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There's nothing wrong with a mutually agreed-upon grayshirt whether its in the SEC or Big Ten.

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There's nothing wrong with a mutually agreed-upon grayshirt whether its in the SEC or Big Ten.

This reasonable position is the same one adopted by Mark Richt, which got Coach Richt ousted from the good graces of the zealots at Oversigning.com. I'll be curious to see whether they are similarly harsh in their judgment of one another of their own. Go 'Dawgs!

Reference is made to a first annual "Sacrificial Goat Roast" and it is unclear whether this is an...

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Reference is made to a first annual "Sacrificial Goat Roast" and it is unclear whether this is an elaborate metaphor or a literal event. This is Georgia's season, people.

Brian Cook on the First Annual Dawg Sports Sacrificial Goat Roast. Go 'Dawgs!

The Sporting Blog is no more and has been sold to SB Nation. This is mostly a problem for me when I...

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The Sporting Blog is no more and has been sold to SB Nation. This is mostly a problem for me when I try to explain what I do to people over 50—before I could just say I write for "the AOL" or "the Sporting News" and that would create flickers of recognition. In other ways it is basically no change. I'll write non-Michigan stuff for SBN, keep the mothership going as it was before, and work on my patient explanations of how you can make a living writing on the internet. Another thing that is tentatively moving to SBN: the BlogPoll. CBS never did anything with it, shoving it into a corner and studiously ignoring it. At SBN it will get the tech help it needs . . .

This isn't exactly front-page stuff, but it is (a) noteworthy news of potential interest and (b) evidence of (i) the growing influence of this network and (ii) my need to check my e-mail, because I am way behind. Anyway, welcome aboard, Brian! Go 'Dawgs!

From time to time I am forced to look in the mirror and consider myself an asshole. This is one of...

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From time to time I am forced to look in the mirror and consider myself an asshole. This is one of those times. I don't know, man. The last few years have been wearing on me and at this point you would not believe the kinds of totally unverifiable but plausible-seeming stuff that hits my inbox and sometimes, like when you feel compelled to address the same damn thing that doesn't mean anything at all for the tenth time in the last few months the dike breaks and you publish something you regret. There is a lesson about the value of editors and a news cycle that has some time for reflection, consideration, and actually talking to the people involved. Sometimes it's unfortunate that this enterprise basically couldn't exist with the former and sometimes—still, even after five years—fails to apply the lessons learned over that timespan when it comes to the latter. And by this enterprise I mean "I". I know better by now, but apparently sometimes I don't. . . . All I can ask for is understanding. Mea culpa.

I'm not sure how disturbed I should be by the fact that Brian Cook's Michigan fandom seems increasingly analogous to my Georgia fandom. I mean, I've never asked anyone at an airline counter if they knew who I was, but I get how disappointment at the performance of your alma mater's sports teams can wear on you. Received and understood, Brian. Go 'Dawgs!

He also happens to be Georgia's president, where he is so well-loved that even the mild-mannered...

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He also happens to be Georgia's president, where he is so well-loved that even the mild-mannered law-talkin' bloggers give him the same nickname as Mussolini. The crankier ones less given to Faulkerian sentences just call him "a big fat liar" and "hypocrite." These assertions aren't just internet crackpottery. They've been backed up by by hoity-toity accounting firm Deloitte and Touche. . . . Adams is one of the leading candidates to replace deceased NCAA president Myles Brand. Say what you want about Brand, but he at least seemed earnest. His major project was an academic reform push that seems at least marginally effective at publicizing and punishing schools that don't make a good faith effort at graduating 60 percent of their players. There aren't legions of incensed Indiana bloggers who spit before saying his name. There isn't a 50-page audit alleging massive financial improprieties with his name on it. At no point did 70 percent of the faculty give him a vote of no confidence. It seems like literally everyone with a stake in UGA gets that sign above without having to think about it, so what possible reason could there be to put him in charge of the NCAA?

Opposition to Michael Adams outside of Bulldog Nation is starting to pick up steam. As an extra added bonus, this is unquestionably the nicest thing Brian Cook has ever written about me! Go 'Dawgs!

With the thrill of the unexpected, though, comes the unavoidable tradeoff of a certain kind of...

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With the thrill of the unexpected, though, comes the unavoidable tradeoff of a certain kind of justice for obviously superior teams -- such as, say, Kansas, which defeated rival Kansas State three times en route to the Big 12's regular season and tournament championships, only to watch the Wildcats move closer to the national championship because their inexplicable lapse against an inferior opponent came at a more convenient time in the season -- whose otherwise brilliant campaigns can go up in a blink. (The classic football example is the 2007 Patriots, arguably the greatest team in NFL history, whose perfect season was extinguished by a six-loss team that not only lost to New England in the regular season but finished three full games behind the champion of its own division.) For all the BCS' faults, producing an "unworthy" champion has never been one of them, as opposed to the occasional Villanova, N.C. State and Arizona in the basketball tournament; the Series' sins have always been at the opposite end, of leaving obviously worthy contenders out of the mix rather than letting stragglers in. . . . There is a middle ground between those competing poles that recognizes that a playoff should be open enough to allow all worthy contenders, restrictive enough to exclude the riffraff, and designed with the goal of producing a champion that has inherently produced the best season by virtue of winning the playoff. Both Brian Cook's tightly restricted six-team proposal (which swears off automatic bids for anyone) and Dan Wetzel's expansive 16-team scheme (which admits all conference champions, even from the Sun Belt) come pretty close. Of course I have my own preferences somewhere between those two plans, preferably appropriating an Australian Rules format. But this post isn't about conjuring up specific plans, or we'd be here all day -- the first priority is to spread of the gospel of any playoff; the details can come later. It's only to recognize that March Madness, for all its enthralling surprises, is always an important reminder that whatever makes it through when the time comes -- and I still say it's going to come -- should consciously heed both extremes.

Dr. Saturday on a college football playoff, at his best and worst: his best, because he is telling the clamoring rabble to be careful for what they wish; his worst, because, ultimately, he gives in to the temptation himself. In everything complex in life, from college football to health care reform, "the details can come later" is a recipe for disaster. Those five words come at the start of every well-meaning zealot's public works project to pave the road to Hell with his own misplaced good intentions. Go 'Dawgs!

Richt's recruiting policy is to go after players he knows will qualify, which means Georgia doesn't...

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Richt's recruiting policy is to go after players he knows will qualify, which means Georgia doesn't usually work to sign a guy who has junior college written all over him. I also know that Richt has a strict rule against pulling scholarships from current players. Once you're a Bulldog, you're staying a Bulldog unless you decide on your own to leave or an injury forces you to stop playing. So if UGA only has 20 scholarships available for a specific recruiting class, Richt won't go out and sign 22 good players and then boot two unproductive ones off the current squad.

David Hale on Mark Richt. Remember that the next time a Georgia Tech fan makes a big deal about the signing of Lonnie Outlaw or Brian Cook offers an overly broad assault on SEC oversigning practices. There's plenty of other good stuff in the article, too, so go read it if you haven't already.

[I]f you're the sort of puritan who believes in that kind of monomaniacal infidelity to a sport,...

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[I]f you're the sort of puritan who believes in that kind of monomaniacal infidelity to a sport, then sure. But that assumes one kind of sports fan. A doting, faithful fan whose eggs of loyalty lie in one basket, a basket that in the case of Will [Leitch] bears the logo of the St. Louis Cardinals. Your loves are trademarked, and every second away from them is a moment of longing abandon looking back toward them. Good for you. I have my own faith, too: Florida football. Unfortunately, she's only around five months of the year at best, and a man like any man has serious needs. For seven months these eyes wander in search of spectacle, especially heart-stopping, violent, and often dangerous spectacle. Thus the appeal of the Olympics, and especially the World Cup—the stunning Brazilian in the short skirt that almost gets us fired every four years—which forces us to abandon home, family, and common sense in the name of soccer and incoherent international hullabaloo. The same applies to MMA, or the Triple Crown, or to March Madness, the NBA playoffs, or to any ridiculousness that catches the eye and can reasonably be called sport. Which is why I'll be the one watching men betting on the first raindrop down the windowpane on ESPN 17 in ten years in April. For me, fandom can be ducking your head in every four years, because while life is not long it is certainly very wide, and covering that span is worth the effort.

Like pretty much everyone else who is acquainted with him, I like Orson Swindle Spencer Hall. One of the things I like about him is the fact that he, like Matt Hinton and Brian Cook, articulates effectively positions with which I disagree, which I respect because it helps me to understand and appreciate that which I otherwise would dismiss out of hand as simply wrong. This is a classic example of that phenomenon, which is crystallized in Spencer's use of the phrase "while life is not long it is certainly very wide," which absolutely sums up the distinction for me. William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway both were innovative authors and Nobel Prize-winning novelists who lived life on their own terms, but their writing styles could not have been more different because their lifestyles could not have been more different. Faulkner traveled the world and did what Southern writers tend to do, two guys whose birth certificates read "Thomas Wolfe" notwithstanding: he settled in, put down roots in or near a place to which he had longstanding family ties, and wrote about where he was. Hemingway, by contrast, went everywhere and wrote about everything he saw in the great big wide world, doing so with a level of effectiveness that allowed him (as P.J. O'Rourke put it) to romanticize Spaniards teasing farm animals. While I have never discussed literature with the man, I'd be willing to bet a fairly good-sized sum of money that Spencer Hall prefers Hemingway to Faulkner and no one who has ever been in my living room has any doubt that my preference is for Faulkner over Hemingway. Faulkner, you see, was all about depth, about knowing one place intimately. Hemingway, by contrast, was all about breadth, about experiencing as much as possible. Both approaches have their merits, and each has its pitfalls---the risk of depth is narrowness; the risk of breadth is shallowness---but we define by our choices the risks we are willing to run. If asked to complete the phrase "while life is not long it is certainly very _____," I would have filled in the blank with "deep," not "wide," and therein lies the difference. I don't intend to watch one minute of the Olympics, and the next soccer match I watch that does not include among the contestants a blood relative of mine of elementary-school age will be the first one, but I will spend Friday nights following women's gymnastics meets on the computer because those women represent the University of Georgia. Spencer cares about sports broadly, I care about Bulldog athletics deeply, and, while he is capable of depth and I am capable of breadth, each of us knows where he falls when push comes to shove. The fox knows many things. The hedgehog knows one big thing. Vive la difference.

Never let it be said that Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton isn't a man of principle. If he...

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Never let it be said that Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton isn't a man of principle. If he wants a radically underqualified coach whose main asset is his daddy's reputation, by God, Tennessee will have a radically underqualified coach whose main asset is his daddy's reputation. Derek's father happens to be Vince Dooley.

Brian Cook on Derek Dooley. It's a bit harsh, and I like Derek Dooley, so I'm not entirely comfortable ripping on the guy, even second-hand, but the Tennessee folks have been big enough jerks over the last fourteen months that I'll indulge myself in a little more Kiffinfreude at their expense.
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