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Free Form Friday Is Getting It On.

It's college football's offseason. That's not my problem. It's not your problem. It's our problem. And collective problems call for random speculation about secondary violations committed by Auburn and an offseason movie list. Thus, I present to you Free Form Friday. Until further notice, I'll spend Fridays posting a vaguely organized compendium of non-sequiturs, pop culture observations and college sports miscellany which you may discuss in the comments, or ignore in favor of your own topics. Think of it as your weekend open comment thread.

If it's Friday it's time for me to take another stab at Auburn. Ditto the NCAA, which is now investigating the Tiger Prowl recruiting caravans that Auburn coaches went on in 2009 and 2010. Such gratuitous displays of coach flesh during the spring evaluation period were later declared verboten by the NCAA after they realized that Auburn(like Georgia, which also sent coaches out en masse, just not in a snazzy limo) was not actually sending 8 coaches on the road to all "evaluate" the same recruits. It was a see and be seen thing, nothing less.

I hesitate to add "nothing more" because the fact that an investigation is occurring seems to indicate the possibility of something more. If I had to guess (and I'm doing precisely that), I'd say that there were some allegations that the coaches somehow impermissibly contacted student athletes while on their caravan, perhaps talking to underclassmen who could potentially become recruited student athletes. But in the grand scheme of things that's nothing major. It's about as secondary as secondary violations get.

What this fishing expedition does indicate is that the NCAA is about 3 minutes away from setting up an Opelika field office devoted solely to catching someone associated with Auburn doing something, or to discourage everybody connected with Auburn from doing anything. As has been noted here at Dawg Sports many times the NCAA is a lot like the IRS, in that once they start digging the odds of them finding something that at least requires further explanation, and at most results in a penalty, are around 99.9999%. Ask A.J. Green.

Speaking of people who won't be playing in their team's season opener, SBNation's Boise State bloggers at One Bronco Nation Under God (OBNUG, for those in the know) have examined the recent dismissal of defensive tackle J.P. Nisby from the Bronco football squad, and what that does for the Boise defensive line rotation. That rotation includes a guy named Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. Really.

The OBNUG article brings up an important point to remember in the leadup to Georgia's season opener against the Broncos. I have every reason to believe that Boise State's going to be better coached and better conditioned come September 3rd. As I've said here before, I'm an optimist, but I'm also an empiricist. I'm just going to assume that we're going to play like Fido's ass until I see otherwise. But if there's one area in which Georgia may have a decided advantage it would be depth on the lines, especially the defensive line. With Todd Grantham even considering playing  Kwame Geathers or John Jenkins some at defensive end along with Deangelo Tyson, Abry Jones, Derrick Lott and Garrison Smith, the 'Dawgs could be pretty stout up front. I am not confident that we can outscheme the Broncos. But we just might be able to pummel them silly.

This week on FFF I'm trying something a little different. Over the next few weeks I'll be rolling out my personal list of 21 movies every man should see. Now before you get all jumpy and ask why I didn't include _____________, here's the deal. I've got a list compiled. But it's subject to change based on your input. So while I'm sure you and I would probably list many of the same ones if I posted the whole thing right now, I'm willing to hit the ole Netflix subscription if you offer up something worthy of bumping one of my submissions to the curb.

The selections are based on my blind approximation of the BCS formula. No, that's not true. But my formula is equally opaque. It's a nebulous combination of entertainment value, cultural significance, and "zeitguyst." That is, if you're standing around a summer cookout with a group of men of varying ages and backgrounds and the subject of movies comes up I wanted to list the ones that you should be at least somewhat familiar with so as not to become more of a social pariah. Therefore your Finnish art school submissions will fall on deaf ears here. Because there's nothing more highbrow than a healthy appreciation of the lowbrow, and my taste in cinema is decidedly lowbrow. So with no further ado the first installment of the Manly Movie Mashup, in no particular order:

  • Top Gun. Few and far between are the Tom Cruise movies I can tolerate, but this is one of them. Worth watching if only so that you can effectively threaten others with the spectre of "flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog $#!* out of Hong Kong." I've also heard that Kelly McGillis is in it.
  • The Hangover. There are few movies so unapologetically unapologetic as The Hangover. Worth watching if for no other reason than that David Hale can paraphrase it with enviable dexterity.
  • Ocean's Eleven. Either the original or the Clooney remake. Doesn't matter. Though the remake has as many quotes that I use in everyday conversation as any movie besides The Big Lebowski (I think that's what they call a spoiler). I never fail to die laughing when Scott Caan's character tells Saul (played by Carl Reiner) that he "thinks you'd really dig Provo." I also resist the urge to post a screen capture of that conversation in every post that references BYU on this website. You have no idea.
  • Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarentino is not for everyone. And all Tarentino films are not for me. But every man needs to at least be able to parrot the "Royale with cheese" conversation, if not the "what does Marsalis Wallis look like?" scene. It's a man law.

Hopefully a scad of you will make it out to this weekend's Dawg Sports Meetup in Athens. Unfortunately I'll be otherwise detained* but I hope that all of you enjoy the kind of warm spring afternoon that I'm convinced only occurs within the bounds of Clarke County. Except of course when it's not at all warm and springy.

This is the first year I can recall in which fans may be watching the G-Day Game less to see what kind of performance the players can put together and more to see how the players themselves are actually put together. While I certainly want to see a better conditioned football team, and while the early results are promising, I'll be reserving judgment until September for the 28th year running. If football games were about having six pack abs then Gerald Anderson, God bless his endomorphic little heart, would never have seen the field. And if legends were born on G-Day, then Torin Kirtsey would be in the Circle of Honor. In any event, have fun, hold hands, look both ways when crossing the street, and try to stay together:


*Don't worry it's just a 72 hour mental health hold. I knew I shouldn't have listed Charlie Sheen as the beneficiary on my IRA. But he needs the money and seems like he would use it for the greater good.