Sunday, October 31, 2010

Texas Rangers: An abbreviated personal history...

The first World Series appearance by the Rangers inspired, for lack of a better term, the column in this Sunday's Times in Shreveport and News-Star in Monroe. I have a semi-long history with our nearest big-league team...Sort of like Toby Harrah, who played shortstop for the Rangers for a bit and whose name is the same frontwards as backwards, but unlike Bump Wills, who made the cover of SI and ... not much else. (Not that I wouldn't have loved to have had his 'career'!)

Here's the column, and below that, more useless information ...


Their owners moved the Washington Senators to Texas in 1972 not necessarily to become the New York Yankees of the South, but instead to become a sort of poor-man’s country club for a fan base that sported “The West Wasn’t Won With Registered Guns” bumper stickers on its pickup trucks.

Having just moved to the Ark-La-Tex and gotten a driver’s license, that was plenty big-league enough for me. Win (rarely) or lose, I have appreciated since then my many dealings with your historically colorful and hard-to-figure Texas Rangers, champions of the American League and, even as we speak, in the World Series for the first time.

The baseball gods have turned the water into Gatorade.

A Rangers fan due to proximity more than passion, I nonetheless am no bandwagon annie. I saw the Rangers even before they were the Rangers: 1966 or ’67, in Washington, 8-1 losers to the Kansas City A’s and Ruston infielder Wayne Causey in old D.C. Stadium, later renamed RFK Stadium. I was 6 or 7 and this was the first big-league game I’d ever been to. The sounds. The smells. The colors. The A’s sleeveless jerseys. It beat climbing to the top of the Washington Monument, I’ll tell you that.

My first Rangers game in Arlington, I got no closer to the field than the parking lot. 1974. We’d moved here from Carolina and my parents took me and my sisters to Six Flags Over Texas. I voted for a Rangers game instead. Didn’t happen. But I talked my dad into pulling the Impala into the parking lot that night and, thanks to the Baseball Gods, there was the frail and aging former Yankees manager Casey Stengel – he would be dead in less than two years – getting out of a golf cart by the press gate. Had on an all-white suit and carried a cane.

My heart stopped.

The P.A. guy was announcing “Graig Nettles, New York Yankees third baseman!,” as the next batter. All I can tell you is that I could not believe it was happening, even as we drove past car after empty car, away from Stengel, away from the stadium, my ignorant family still too jacked up over the log ride to understand that we were in the presence of greatness.

I didn’t ask if we could go in. I didn’t ask if we could turn around. The Stengel sighting (I’d name my son ‘Casey’) and hearing an actual batter announced on a big-league P.A. system was more than I expected and more than I deserved. I thanked Fate and the Rangers for the timing, for the first of many happy moments they’ve given me, none of which involved them winning or losing. I didn’t care. Just like the Rangers’ didn’t.

We’ve run out of innings so I’ll put the rest of this on the Teddy blog at, but one last story: Once our church youth group went to Six Flags (everybody always wanted to go to stupid Six Flags!) and I snuck next door to a 1 p.m. Rangers game, lucked into a ticket by the dugout, and as a 17-year-old was right there by Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford for the Old Timer’s Game before the real game started. Glory Hallelujah! It was a thousand degrees hot and the best church trip I ever went on. It was the day I started believing in miracles.
Teddy Allen,, is a Times columnist.

Supplemental Flotsam...

My first Rangers game in person, when I actually got to to INSIDE the stadium, was 1975-ish against Kansas City. First homer I ever saw was from big John Mayberry, and Hal McRae was mad about a being called out on a close play at first, and Harmon Killebrew was in the dugout. In person. I wept. Freddy Patek, the Royals’ 5-4 short shortstop, homered too. Hit it in the tiny gap, maybe three feet wide, that ran between the top of the outfield wall and the bottom of the grandstands, all around the outfield;

Saw Fergie Jenkins start in the first game of a twinight doubleheader against the then California Angels. The temperature on the big Texas clock in left was 101 at gametime. Fergie went the distance. Times have changed;

Saw that doubleheader with the youth director at my church, whose name was Charlie, and his wife. I was 17 years old?, maybe? Now I know why I was asked to go: They needed me to help drive! Got a ticket, my first, on the Interstate, just west of Shreveport. And a few weeks later, Lyman Bostok, my favorite Angel not counting Rod Carew or Nolan Ryan or Gabriel, was killed by gunfire in a case of mistaken identity;

I saw Johnny Pesky dancing in the Red Sox dugout between innings. That was the same game in which Yaz stepped out of the box after a swing, sort of favored his back a minute, then stepped back in and grounded out weakly and then came out of the game. He's mix the next couple of weeks and the Yankees, way behind, would begin making up ground until catcing them on the final day of the season and beating them in the one-game playoff on the homer by Bucky Dent. And all that started with that one swing by Yaz in Arlington Stadium, July of 1978. Didn't seem like a big deal that day ... turns out that it was;

Billy Martin wore a little gold cross by the T on his Rangers cap. I remember him going out to remove a starter named Hand (maybe Bob Hand?) who was training about 147-0 in maybe the fifth. 1975 or so? But I loved me some Billy Martin;

July 4 of '75 or '76 or '77, me and Coach E drove over from West Monroe and saw Richie Zisk single in the 9th to beat the Yankees, then we watched fireworks, then we drove all the way back home;

Me and Jaybo and Ramz -- can't remember where Matth was -- went to the Arlington water park for the day (Wet 'n Wild?) -- this was '82 or '83 -- then over to the stadium and watched a rookie named Saberhagen get pounded; and we thought he was supposed to be good;

Ended up in the coaches' office eating pizza with Rangers coach Art Howe once when I was covering a game, but that was my first time to cover one and how I got in the coaches' room I'm not sure. . . I was trying hard to get to the locker room ... So we start talking about our mutual friend Big Charlie Wilkinson and it took me a while to get out of there ...

Took my son Casey to see the Orioles, his favorite team (because it was my favorite team; he's since come to understand that they are the most under achieving team in all of professional sports and will be so until our current owner is misplaced), to a game, just us two, in the middle of the week. He was probably 7 or 8 so it was `97 or '98, in there. He loved center fielder Brady Anderson. He wore a Brady shirt to the game. But we went to the Rangers souvenier store and he wore a Pudge shirt DURING the game and left Brady in the car. He slept all the way home...

For three consecutive years -- '99 through '01 -- we took Little Leaguers over there to play in Dr Pepper Park, then go to a game. The first year, I got 88 tickets. The next year, 124 tickets. The next year, 180-something tickets and four Little League teams from Shreveport played in the neat little park in the shadow of the big stadium before walking over to the game. It was a beautiful thing...parents, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, grandfolks .... much fun...

Saw Nolan Ryan pitch in his final year. He gave up a three-run homer to the Orioles' No. 3 hitter early, lasted six and got the win. It was a hot Sunday afternoon...

The first game Casey ever went to was against the Indians. We left in the sixth or seventh and I watched the rest of the game on the hotel TV. He said he would stay "if they let me bat. Do you think they'll let me bat?" He was 6 and he was serious...

Watched Harvey Haddix pitch in an Old-Timers Game, a re-creation of the 1960 World Series, Yankees vs. Pirates. Loved his sleeveless jersey ...


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thessalonians Series, Part 5

1 Thess 4

1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.


* Christians are to live by different standards than the world's ever-changing standards ... Judiasm, emperor worship and Greek 'anything goes' religions and attitudes were the standards for Thessalonica at the time of this writing...(the mid first century...)

1. Live in order the please God (v. 1)

2. Live a Life of Continual Growth (v 1 and v 3 ... "be sanctified..." meaning to be 'set apart
Justified -- moment of salvation
Sanctified -- daily walk
Glorified -- death and resurrection

3. Live Under Biblical Authority (v 4 and 8)
Park of our problem is we're not really reading the World ... and when we do, we often apply it selectively

4. Live a Life of Purity (v. 3-7 ... moral purity vs sexual immorality)
v. 6 -- Don't defraud your neighbor ... sex with someone besides spouse defrauds them and their/your future spouse

5. Live in a Way that Blesses Others (v 9-10)
Am I doing life in a way that lifts up other people?

* Hold yourself to God's standards. This is aht makes life matter...


Friday, October 29, 2010

Whale Wars, Part 6

(My notes from Sunday if you trust my note taking. From Dr Chris at FBC Ruston.)

Jonah 3: 1-4

1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."

We live in a 'day of political correctness.'
In the original way, political correctness was a good thing, as it was defined. It was a case of being sensitive to others. Now, it has moved to silly degrees and most people seem TOO sensitive. Now we're asked to compromise the truth.
Christmas tree = Holiday tree
Loudmouth = Verbally Abundant
And on like that.
Political Correctness is not new. In Jeremiah 28, a prophet downplays Jeremiah's prophecy. (If you don't want to go to that chapter, I can tell you that in the final verse, the false prophet buys the farm.)
Our World Needs Prophetic Voices
Jonah 3:1-4 ... Jonah tells Nineveh to 'duck!'
* A prophet's main job is to proclaim God's truth, AND also sometimes to prophecy (of particular coming events.) ... So, ALL of us are called to speak God's truth to the world around us.
* True prophets have, in the Bible, always been politically correct. They kept getting killed.
* We need prophets ... in our homes, schools, at work, in our churches ...
1. God's Truth (v.2) "...give them MY message..."
a. Tell it as God's word and truth reveals it
b. Get God's Word IN you
2. Love -- don't steamroll people;
"speak the truth after it's baked in love..."
(v 3:10) ... " When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."
(v 4:11 --God says to Jonah, "But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
I Corinthians 4:11 -- " everything in love..."
3. Redemption -- v. 10 - compassion
* God sent Jonah not so He could destroy them but so He could redeem them
* Don't talk of hell as if you are glad people are going there! Share redemption instead!
Love, Redeem, Restore, Help
A good prophet is like a good parent
A. Will you be a prophet? Can you have the will/guts/understanding that, sometimes to people, it might be loving to say, "I'm afraid of whwere you're going to spend eternity" or "I'm seeing some things in your life that are far from God's Word and that's not how you should live."
B. Will you HEAR the truth? -- Nineveh did and was redeemed. Hear the prophets...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Temps Rise as LSU Game Pre-empted ...

An update from my friend Other concerning LSU's coming in second to Auburn Saturday -- not that any of you with television sets in the Shreveport-Bossier area would know that...

Other said:
As an LSU fan, I don't guess I've ever been more disappointed or disgusted than I was Saturday. At times I tried to laugh to keep from crying or screaming. It didn't work.
Who was in charge of the game plan? What a debacle.
Terrible choices. Embarrassing performance. Ineffective, repetitive, but, based on past efforts, predictable.
Somebody should be fired. Because it probably won't end with the Auburn game.
We'll likely see more of the same with Alabama, Ole Miss, and Arkansas.
But that's enough about KSLA-TV.

ALSO, a Les Miles quote post-woodshed (and maybe my favorite of the season, though it's funny and, un-Les-like, sane):

“There’s a want in every football player to take someone on, and that’s what we did. Sometimes when the person is 250 pounds it can be a little much.”

(What he coulda said:)

"Some's got it and some ain't."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thessalonians Series, Part 4

My note taking from Sunday night, if you trust my note taking: From Dr Chris, FBC Ruston

1 Thess 2:17-20
1 Thess 3
1 Thess 4: 9-10

We are to be on a people mission.

Christ's final words before the ascension were instructions ...
To love people
Win people
Train/Disciple them
Matthew 28:19-20 ... The Great Commission

1. People Must Be Our Passion (2: 17-20)

2. Encourage People (3:1-9)
Every church needs a minister of encouragement ..Not discouragement. Encourage others with kind words. Timothy came back to Paul from Thessalonica all fired up about the faithfullness of the church there. That encouraged Timothy, Timothy encouraged Paul, and Paul wrote back to encourage the church.

3. Pray For Them (v 3:10)
A theologian once said that if we thought about it, we'd find that 'we don't gossip about the people we pray for, and we don't pray for the people we gossip about."

4. Love, Love, Love People (v. 3:12)
May Godlike love be overwhelming and powerful ... (4:9-10 ... 'love more and more and more...')

We talk about love a lot because God talks about it a lot
Proverbs 10:12 "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."

Can God use one person to change the world? Pastor Rick Warren ("The Purpose Driven Life") was asked if he felt he could, with God's leadership, change the world. Warren said all he knew was that on his tombstone, he wanted, "At least he tried."

We are always on a People mission...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sermon on a Stick: Whale Wars, Part 5

My notes from Sunday morning if you trust my note taking, from Dr. Chris at FBC Ruston...


At some point, we will each need a second chance. God is the God of a second chance.

Jonah 3:1 "Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah A SECOND TIME:"

1. We All Need This
Cain. Joseph. Moses. King David. Peter. Saul/Paul. The Bible is filled with people who received -- and accepted -- a second chance from God.

In the 1980s, .38 Special had a hit song with "A Heart Needs a Second Chance." All hearts do.

(In the 1990s, Lyle Lovett recorded "God Will." Part of the lyrics:
"And who keeps on loving you
When you've been lying
Saying things ain't what they seem
God does
But I don't
God will
But I won't
And that's the difference
Between God and me."

Ouch. Often, we're unwilling to give others a second chance.)

2. What The Second Chance Does Not Mean
Jonah 1:15-17 -- Jonah exercises his free will to rebel.
He put others and himself in terrible danger, broke trusts with others ...
Don't play games with the grade of God ... Gal.6:7 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

3. Embrace The Second Chance
This is How We Find It

A. Repentance
Jonah 2:1 -- "From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God."
Jonah gets right with God
Get rid of the junk and clutter that harms your spiritual life

B. Do Right
Jonah 3:3 "Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh..."
Jonah's story illustrates that the whole Bible is about God putting people BACK into the ministry
(Illustration of Seabiscuit -- don't throw things/people away just because it's/they are a little banged up.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up, (take 5)

Other's picks from the Mad Hatter's Monday press conference. (Other is a friend of mine and a man who, like me, will find his life much less funny once LSU fires its coach.)

On the 'sporadic' passing game...
"Some of which is the situation in the game and one, to manage the game effectively and controlling the ball on the ground. Certainly you'd like to throw the football better than we have. In the McNeese game, I would have certainly thought we would have hit a post or two, but they did a great job. Sometimes you have to give credit to the opponent. They did a good job defending us. We'd like to throw the football better. I guarantee you we are practicing it well."

On the pressure to respond after Auburn's offense scores...
"You're going to be able to do the things that you can do, and I think we're talented enough when called upon to have the passing game operate. I think that will happen. I think when called upon to control the ball on the ground, that's certainly the piece that we also have to continue to do. When you get into a game against your best opponents, you're certainly challenged best. We'll certainly see how it matches up."

On if he feels throwing the football with Jordan Jefferson at this point is a good idea...
"We're seeing the ability to throw the football in practice. It just needs to manifest itself in the game. It needs to show up. I think both quarterbacks will eventually get there. It would be timely certainly this weekend."

Reminds me of a reassuring quote from another confident guy with a hat ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

New TIMES debuts today ...

The greatest change in look and content for The Times in the 14 decades it has served as the heart and conscience for the Shreveport-Bossier City area is in your hands today as you read this story. The new look and press are called Berliner, for the sleek European-style format that is only used in a small handful of U.S. newspapers. Beginning today, you have it in The Times...

Read more of this story by John Andrew Prime and check out more of the new Times at The picture above is a mock up; today's lede story is the one above with the headline, "Start the Press ... New press, look debut today"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sermon on a Stick: 'Certainty?!"

(From Sunday at FBC Ruston and Dr. Chris, if you trust my note taking...)


Write down YES, NO, and MAYBE. Which one would you circle today, right now, if the question was, "Do you know, if you die today, where you will spend eternity?"

* The Bible is Clear About Life After Death

1. We face the judgement of God (Hebrews 9:27) .. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment

2. Heaven is real -- (1 John 5:11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

3. Hell is real -- 1 John 5:12 .. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

* The Bible Is Clear About How We Get To Heaven

1. 1 John 5:11-13 "Believe" here means to understand it and trust it intellectually, and surrender/follow ... "11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

2. John 14:6 -- 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

* Are You Certain About Your Eternity?

1 John 5:13 .. 13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

*** Six 'markers' that offer salvation assurance

A. WHEN were you saved? John 3:3 ... 3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
When is the day you bowed your heart to Christ?

2 Corinthians 5:17 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

C. DESIRES ... desires change when our hearts change
1 John 2:6 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

D. PEOPLE -- God gives us a natural love for people when we're saved
1 John 4:7-8 ... Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
1 John 4:20-21 .. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

E. REPENTANCE .. 1 John 3:6 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
Sin is not the saved person's habitual lifestyle

F. HEART -- the Holy Spirit will have a testimony in the new person
1 John 5:9-10 9We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.
John 16:8 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt[a] in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:

The Holy Spirit gives comfort OR conviction.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


(Reprinted from The Times, today...)


“Just before noon the horse was led haltingly into a van next to the stallion barn, and there a concentrated barbiturate was injected into his jugular. Forty-five seconds later there was a crash as the stallion collapsed. His body was trucked immediately to Lexington, Ky., where Dr. Thomas Swerczek, a professor of veterinary science at the University of Kentucky, performed the necropsy. All of the horse's vital organs were normal in size except for the heart.

‘We were all shocked,’ Swerczek said. ‘I've seen and done thousands of autopsies on horses, and nothing I'd ever seen compared to it. The heart of the average horse weighs about nine pounds. This was almost twice the average size, and a third larger than any equine heart I'd ever seen. And it wasn't pathologically enlarged. All the chambers and the valves were normal. It was just larger. I think it told us why he was able to do what he did.’”

So begins the classic piece from Sports Illustrated’s William Nack, whose 1990 tale of 1973 Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing winner Secretariat is worth reading over and over again.

I hope the movie is as good. I hear it is. Can’t see it fast enough. (And not just because it stars Diane Lane. Hello!)

“Secretariat” opened Friday. Columnist Cal Thomas calls it “‘The Blind Side’ meets ‘Chariots of Fire’ meets ‘National Velvet.’ It is ‘Annie’ on four legs.”

“The sun’ll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun…”

Like Annie, we all run on hope. It’s trite and hints at sentimentality, but a healthy optimism and focused hope sure makes the day brighter. Like the story of Depression Era underdog Seabiscuit, another horse who became a national celebrity, a story like Secretariat’s reminds you of the possibilities, of all the good that, with heart, can happen. You gotta have heart…

In beautiful blue and white checkered colors, Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, the final leg by an absurd record of 31 lengths. In the Belmont Stakes, Nack wrote that the thoroughbred ran “rhythmic as a rocking horse.” Secretariat started sprinting from the gate – and never stopped. One of the most magnificent photographs in all of sports is the jockey Ron Turcotte looking over his shoulder down the stretch – and being all alone. Just the horse and the rider, and Belmont Park rocking.


Secretariat was euthanized 21 years ago this very week, victim of a painful hoof disease that in this case was incurable. But in retirement, tens of thousands had come to see him, a chestnut colt who, in 1973, had given the nation a break from the confusion and discontent of the Vietnam War and Watergate. When he died, millions mourned him, including Nack, a rookie turf writer for Sports Illustrated in 1973 but a longtime friend of Secretariat’s by the time the famous horse died.

Nack wrote about the time Secretariat had snatched his notebook away and refused to give it back. He wrote about the time Secretariat picked up a rake in his teeth and began cleaning his own stall. And “I told about that magical, unforgettable instant,” Nack wrote, “frozen now in time, when he turned for home, appearing out of a dark drizzle at Woodbine, near Toronto, in the last race of his career, 12 lengths in front and steam puffing from his nostrils as from a factory whistle, bounding like some mythical beast of Greek lore.”

Heart makes the difference. In stories like Seabiscuit’s. In stories like Secretariat’s. In stories like yours and mine.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whale Wars (4th in a series)

(My notes from Sunday if you trust my note taking. From Dr. Chris at FBC Ruston...)


Jonah 2: 1-9

* We lose things all the time: keys, car phones, even our minds! We're always going to lose things. So it's important to know how to FIND what we REALLY NEED.

How DO we find what we really need?

1. Turn To God
Psalm 46:10 "Be STILL and know that I am God..."
We miss finding God because we won't be still

2. Turn To God No Matter What Your Situation Is
A. If things are good, turn to God
Sometimes our comfort keeps us from hearing God ... A great sign of spiritual maturity is CONSISTENCY ... turning to God daily.
B. If things are really bad, turn to God ...turn as Jonah did.
a. Repent --- Jonah 2:8 ... "worthless idols" are temporary things that we 'worship.' We need a heart and direction change.
We can't head in the wrong direction and end up in the right place.
b. Do what you should -- (v. 2:9) ... Pastor R.G. Lee said what when Christians slip, they neglect doing to church, reading their Bibles, tithing and praying ... And sharing Christ...What needs to be rekindled in my life today?
Worship equals surrender.

3. Turn to God and He Will Work In Your Life.
(Jonah 3:2 -- "1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
God restored Jonah and set him on the right path.
James 4:8 -- "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."

Things might not turn out like we want them to, but we'll turn out like God wants us to.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Is the LSU Coach Listening to in Those Headphones?...

My friend Other told me that one of his buddies, an LSU fan, said about the team's 5-0 record yet laughingstock reputaton: "We're beating folks with one coach tied behind our back." That's funny. My opinion...

So, here are some things me and Other think might be running through the headphones. We know it's not offensive football plays being sent in from the coaching booth upstairs. Hey, he's not THAT stupid...

"The ocean. Like from seashells..."

Rosetta Stone's 'How to Speak Portuguese"

Merle Haggard's "Wonderin' What in Sam Hill's Goin' On"

The Farm Market Report


Highlights from the '04 and '07 seasons

Nothing. They just keep down the noise from the crowd...

You Can't Make This Stuff Up , Take 4: (More Meth Valley Hatspeak...)

LSU head coach Les Miles spoke to the media on Monday to recap Saturday's victory over Tennessee.

See the the complete transcript at

It's pretty lengthy but here are a few favorites chosen by my friend and LSU go-to guy Other...

On who decides who is going to play quarterback in between offensive series...
"Before the series generally there is conversation that would involve me, and during the series generally that's the play-caller. Certain situations speak to (Jordan) Jefferson, and certain plays speak to Jefferson as well as certain plays speak to Jarrett Lee."

On repeating the clock management issues...
"I think it's a completely different scenario. It's a clock management issue without question, but it's not the same. This specifically was trying to use a down, not give up a down, and that was a mistake. That was not the mistake that was made at Ole Miss. The mistake that was made here also dealt with clock management, but it was a completely different scenario and will be approached in a like fashion. The correction will be made very well."

On why there is a disconnect between what happens on the sideline and if Jefferson should have been more assertive in that situation...
"It would have been very easy for us to signal to clock it and have him clock it. The issue was trying to facilitate the call on the field and get the personnel that you want in the game. That decision was made prior to the time understanding. The 'clock it' call certainly was the absolute best call at that time, and it would have gone in the order that it would have anyway. We would have used the play that we used, and that would have been the last play. We would only have gotten another one after we choose the run. The next play, we could have scripted another play, but we would have never gotten it off. We like the calls that we made, and we did want to move in and out with quarterbacks, so moving in and out with quarterbacks and changing personnel certainly added to the mistake and certainly the multiplicity of the things that had to all take place in a short amount of time."

Monday, October 4, 2010

THE METH VALLEY MIRACLE!: You Can't Make This Stuff Up (3) -- Special 'Coach of the Week' Edition

From my friend Other after LSU's 'had 'em all the way' shellacking of Tennessee Saturday in Tiger Stadium or, as I like to call it (in honor of the offensive coaches), Meth Valley.

I take back everthing I said about Les Miles not being quite up to the job.

What an absolutely brilliant sequence.

Who'd've ever thought about pretending to be confused and disorganized just to confuse and disorganize the other team?

First you tease the Vols by yanking the quarterback who had just driven down to the two with some clutch throws.
And when you run your quarterback instead of your money guy and don't get in, you have him seem as if he doesn't care that the clock is running out.
Next you shuffle players as if you don't already have a play strategy for no time outs at the goal line needing a touchdown to win.
Then you have him dance around with a very convincing I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-back-here act.
He then pretends to forget about signaling for the ball but the center snaps it anyway and it rolls harmlessly down field as time runs out.
So Tennessee is convinced they've pulled off the greatest upset in Dooley's entire life.
But before they can dump the Gatorade, a la Bluegrass Miracle style, they're hammered in the gut with the penalty that you knew was coming all along.
Finally you send the team back with the real play, the money guy goes in – ballgame.
You don't even try the extra point that they could block and take the other way for two to tie.

I take my mad hat off to you, Riverboat Gambler.

I'd be lookin for Coach of the Week recognition.


Friday, October 1, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up (2) ...

More from LSU football coach Les Miles, who is thinking of using his most heralded defensive player on offense. Thoughts from my friend Other follow Les' thoughts (for lack of a better term):

On Peterson: "I don't know when he'll be ready, but there are some thought processes for him on offense."
Other's response: Will he need a bucket, so he can put it on his head to think, like Sgt. Carter had Gomer do?

On booing: "I have a scotoma against all that other stuff," Miles said. "I don't see it. I can't reflect on it. It draws no feel. It's non-descriptive. You kidding me? You have to understand something. I saw Jack Lambert play (for Pittsburgh). He didn't have any teeth. He was tall and he was tough, and he made every tackle. He was from Kent, Ohio. And I want you to know something, I had great respect for him. Wow. And Jim Brown. I remember touching him, Jim Brown, No. 32 in a Browns uniform. Are you kidding me? I was from a middle-income home. So it was such a rare treat to be in a stadium of color and music and excitement that I elevated it well above anything that could be negative. I promise you that (booing) never came across my mind. The only negativity of Cleveland Municipal Stadium was it was too cold in late December. What more do I need to say?"
Other's response: Jack Lambert didn't have any teeth so LSU fans should not boo.

(BONUS COVERAGE: The term scotoma is also used metaphorically in psychology to refer to an individual's inability to perceive personality traits in themselves that are obvious to others.)

On telling about Peterson practicing on offense instead of keeping it from the opponents: "Only because I've been asked," Miles said. "If I hadn't been asked I would have never said it. And to let people know that we give consideration to things that are obvious. If my grandmother was alive, she would give consideration to playing Peterson on offense."
Other's response: If my grandmother was alive, she would give consideration to playing Shepard or Lee at quarterback.

In conclusion:
"I think our special teams is a reason that we win," Miles said. "If the offense can throw it a little bit better and continue to run it like we have, we might see if we can parlay this team into a better position than the 4-0 position that we are currently in."

(I don't know what to say...(Sort of like the LSU coach.)