Florida-Georgia will now stay in Jacksonville through 2016. Hopefully this will put a stop to complaining from UGA fans and Mark Richt about how unfair it is to play on Florida soil, but I doubt it. It's a great tradition, one that other cities are trying to emulate as a way of enhancing a game's value (Arkansas and Texas A&M at Jerryworld in Dallas, for example). Do you think CBS would have signed up to carry Florida-Georgia seven years out if it was just another big SEC home and home? Of course not - it's the location that gives the game its history and makes it truly special.
Les Miles isn't the sharpest crayon in the box, something the LSU coach proved again earlier this week. Miles, who is supposedly a voter in the coaches poll, was asked whether his Tigers were a legit choice as the number seven team in the country. Miles proceeded to demonstrate once again why the coaches poll should be done away with...
"I can't tell you who the best teams in the country are, because frankly I don't get to see them every week," he said. "I don't know who's hot and who's not. I could no more rank ..."
At this point, Miles realized he was about to blurt out the obvious fact he does not fill out "his" ballot and started saying "I know I vote" over and over. All of this would be merely amusing if this farce of a poll wasn't actually a huge part of the BCS standings.
Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel has concluded Jacksonville is not a viable NFL market, but this is a classic case of a national guy not knowing what the real issues are. The Jaguars are in a small city, which is why they should have marketed aggressively to Gainesville, Ocala and Lake City as well as south Georgia. Instead, they've done virtually nothing. Jacksonville's expansion sibling the Carolina Panthers do a caravan, complete with a youth football camp, in places around their region like Myrtle Beach even though it's four hours away from Charlotte. Seen any Jaguars kids camps in Gainesville lately? When I worked at the Star 99.5, we offered to carry every Jaguar game on our FM signal. Instead, they opted to stay on AM 850 ("we've been on there for years") despite the fact their 1 PM games are routinely preempted on Sundays for UF women's volleyball. Does that sound like good marketing, particularly when your games are frequently blacked out in the area? I could write a full article on the multitudes of ways the Jaguars have screwed up, but you get the idea. To say a team can't succeed in Jacksonville just because fans won't pony up to watch a terrible team put together by this arrogant and inept organization is nonsense. Make someone with the mindset of a Mark Cuban or Arthur Blank the owner and they'd be just fine.
Remember Sean Salisbury? For a number of years, he was pretty ubiquitous and relatively unobtrusive on ESPN's coverage of the NFL. Late in his Bristol run Salisbury's persona started to take on a strange, creepy edge. He and John Clayton were paired up against each other for a weekly NFL segment that consisted largely of Salisbury insulting Clayton for not having played the game, unlike tough guy Sean. In 2006, he was suspended from ESPN for an incident that reportedly involved him showing someone a cel phone picture of his genitals. Not much later, he was gone from the network. After Salisbury was dropped from the lineup at 105.3 the Fan in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, more rumors swirled about what had led to the quick departure. Apparently all of this came together to lead to Salisbury making a bizarre public spectacle of himself in a series of emails to Deadspin yesterday. Aside from his threats to sue the website and become its owner, he also claims to have kept a thirteen year journal of his time at ESPN which he plans to use as the material for a tell all book that will blow the lid off Bristol. By the end of his unhinged correspondence Salisbury's language reminded me of the kind of speech a villain gives at the end of a terrible movie like Bruce Willis's Striking Distance about how he's getting his revenge on the hero cop. Public freakouts like this don't happen everyday - hopefully for Salisbury he's got a great plan for that book, because this seems like a really bad career move.
I've never been into horror movies or haunted houses. Since I know there's no actual psychopaths on the loose, having some actor jump out at me holding an axe just isn't that exciting. Lots of people go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal or Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens every year - whatever floats your boat, I guess. Kings Island near Cincinnati has unveiled their version of the haunted house for this year. It features skeletons representing Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi. The McNair skeleton has a hole in his helmet. The park also plans Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy and Ed McMahon exhibits of a similar nature. This has got to be the creepiest, most inappropriate thing any amusement park has ever done. Everyone involved in the decision to create the display should be fired.