Tag: orson swindle

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2. GEORGIA. Don't say that Georgia's time-killing fourth quarter drive against Auburn for their...

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2. GEORGIA. Don't say that Georgia's time-killing fourth quarter drive against Auburn for their final score was not one of the prettier things you will see on a football field. Eleven plays and seven-plus minutes of possession is bad enough for a defense down 35-7, but what really saps the will to live? ALL RUNS. This passes for courtesy in football, and is not courtesy at all because 11 straight runs is the anesthesiologist showing up with a claw hammer and saying, "I'm just gonna make this quick for you. It's the polite thing to do." Todd Grantham's defense is fourth in the nation in total defense, and Jarvis Jones has a concealed carry permit for the thing he carries in a holster he wears everywhere he goes. Inside that holster: a picture of Jarvis Jones holding a sign that reads "SOON." Spencer Hall's college football power rankings. Go 'Dawgs!

Chick-fil-A is out of chicken, and they aren't getting any more today.

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Chick-fil-A is out of chicken, and they aren't getting any more today.

Disaster looms at SEC Media Days. Dang, now I'm glad I didn't go. Go 'Dawgs!

What happened to that fantastic scoreboard, 'Dawgs? . . . Either that dawg is so determined to...

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What happened to that fantastic scoreboard, 'Dawgs? . . . Either that dawg is so determined to hammer your ass he's going after you with the claw end, or he's so stupid he's about to hit himself in the face with the blunt end. It works for visitors and home crowds, really, since you can assume either with likely probability. Oh, and nice sweater, American Apparel dawg. There's skinny jeans behind that scoreboard and you know it.

Spencer Hall asks about our historic scoreboard. I'm hurt that he didn't remember this explanation. Go 'Dawgs!

[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.

Urban Meyer, too, nursed the fantasy of the tropical fantastic. When circumstances made him choose...

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Urban Meyer, too, nursed the fantasy of the tropical fantastic. When circumstances made him choose between his health and his job, he took his family and money in the bank, and that when he did, some small part of his brain turned up the beach music, and commenced with New Life Gameplan, Week One. It was not that easy for Meyer, of course, or for Florida, or for anyone who followed the program with a shred of affection or interest. That is shorthand for what will happen over the next few months, when Florida gets a new coach, when Meyer opens up about just how ravaged he is by doing the job whose potential he exhausted, and that in turn exhausted him. When we begin the new, and go through whatever comes next–the screaming, the ambiguity, the anxiety of whatever the next coach, the next team, and the next season will bring and the medications we will have to inject directly into our eyeballs to cope–we’ll forget how hard this had to be for a guy who torched himself in the fire of his own ambitions, but who stopped short of complete self-immolation when his body balked at last. If he’s lucky, he’ll forget, too. In his five years in Gainesville he was as good as any coach in history, but if he’s done, it’s Bali Hai time for him. Not many people get the opportunity to get their own slice of the tropical fantastic with time left on the clock, money in the bank, and their kids still in the house. This could be any one of a thousand sinister scenarios: the NCAA waiting with a hammer outside the doors, Ohio State and the Vatican orchestrating a five year secret plan to succeed Tressel at Ohio State, or Dan Snyder’s most insane gambit in his endless quest to end football success at Florida, or [insert your own deluded fantasy here.] It also might be a man hitting the wall with the throttle wide open. . . .

Orson Swindle on Urban Meyer, before the reversal of his decision demonstrated his inability to stop short of complete self-immolation or to take his family and money in the bank when forced to choose between his health and his job. Love him or hate him, this is sad, and more than a little scary.
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