Sunday, February 07, 2010

What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

Alabama gives Ole Miss basketball the Bryant-Denny Stadium treatment in the opulent Tad Smith Coliseum.
For at least 22 minutes they did, although it certainly did not take place in a world-class arena. Ole Miss, after spending those 22 minutes in a catatonic state, awoke and won a game that had to be won if the Rebels want to spend a sliver of March in a tournament not called the NIT (or whatever the latest insignificant tournament is that I can't remember). I still don't understand the completely different teams that played in the first half and the second half, but then again I don't understand this team at all. They can roll through spurts where only five or six teams in the country can beat them, then they follow that up with whatever the hell happened for the first 20 minutes in Oxford on Saturday. I don't know if it's a chemistry issue or a faulty internal belief in how good they actually are, thus the periods of complete disinterest and lack of effort, but 23 games into the season it's time for them to get their asses in gear and play to their potential. Or go ahead and totally collapse so I can stop spending my time following this team, which will spare me the pain and suffering I know is coming.

Florida State receives NCAA honor for being a bastion of academic integrity.
Not so much. Instead, due to their inability to control academic fraud, the Seminoles will vacate 12 wins that were a part of the Bobby Bowden era, or, as most people know it, the only significant period of Florida State football. It's hard to believe that between Bowden and Joe Paterno, one of them finally went away (had this academic thing not happened or Bowden's losing of his mind, they might both still be waging a silent war on one another). I was quite certain that one would eventually coach the other into the grave. Instead, Paterno will just coach himself into the grave. JOE, PLEASE STOP COACHING. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOU LITERALLY DIE ON THE SIDELINE. MY FRAGILE EMOTIONAL STATE WOULD BE OUT OF BALANCE FOR AT LEAST THREE OR FOUR DAYS.

Kevin Costner has a pleasant Super Bowl.
Did you see the trailer for the new version of Robin Hood (actually titled just boring Robin Hood, instead of a "Prince of Thieves" addition or a "We promise our leading actor will give a crap this time" tag)? Apparently, there were those in the Hollywood community unsatisfied with the last major installment of Robin Hood, which starred Costner and his Iowa accent rather than a British accent like everyone else in the movie (seriously, even Christian Slater made an effort to pull off the accent). The latest version stars Russell Crowe and is directed by Ridley Scott, who last teamed up with Crowe in Gladiator (or so I think; I'm not looking this one up). But more importantly, it appears as though the music of Brian Adams will not be a part of the 2010 version, which is a total disgrace. Ridley Scott, have you ever heard "Everything I Do"? It's a MUSICAL MASTERPIECE. HOW DARE YOU LEAVE OUT A PIANO SOLO ON SOME CLIFF IN THE ENGLISH WILDERNESS. I ALREADY HATE THIS MOVIE.

The New Orleans Saints wilt once again in the face of pressure.
Never in my lifetime did I think I would ever utter the sentence, "I can't believe the Saints just won the Super Bowl." And I did just that Sunday night, which, a few hours after the Super Bowl, is still hard to believe I did. A franchise with a foundation of failure and four cornerstones of even more failure (is it possible to have more than one cornerstone? I know nothing in terms of building things so forgive me if I'm off on that one.) is now the best team in professional football.

Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi (or, as those of us who lived their knew it, The Bold New City), I was subjected to the Saints appearing on our television every Sunday afternoon. And they sucked. Terribly. Despite this suckiness, we still got them every Sunday. No matter what important national game might be on, we did not see that game. Instead, we watched the Saints bumble around with a team that either kicked the crap out of them or a team that managed to win by not being as awful as the Saints. So, I hated the Saints for being awful and for keeping me from watching a game that actually mattered in the NFL. And it was made worse by those around me, who were Saints fans, despite already caring for teams that consistently failed them (Ole Miss and Mississippi State), and I was forced to listen to their constant belief that the Saints would eventually be relevant in professional football.

Even when the Saints experienced a taste of success with the hiring of Sean Peyton and signing of Drew Brees, I still carried the same dislike of them despite that success, after all they had ruined by childhood experience with the NFL. And I still carry that spite now, and had it throughout the Super Bowl. In fact, I was hoping they'd lose in the most painful way possible, just to make the loss even worse (maybe something like Eli Manning tripping against LSU in '03 on fourth down). But, even with my bias, it's hard to deny how awesome this win was for a group of people who have kept the faith all these years. I'm not talking about all these assholes (like so many Cubs' fans) who jumped on the bandwagon this season or in the past couple of years, but those people who put up with a steaming pile of crap for their lifetimes. To endure a seemingly endless display of failure with no indication things were getting better is an especially brutal task for a sports fan (to this day, I have no idea how someone who followed Ole Miss in the 70s and 80s can give a crap about the school), yet there is a large group of people who did just that. And to those people, I say congratulations, you've earned it. Even though it irritates the hell out of me. But as for the Saints fans who appeared around 2006, take off your Red Sox or Cubs hat, go find your Tom Brady jersey and get out of the way of the real Saints fans who need to let everyone know what this win means.

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