Thursday, July 8, 2010

Next ad campaign: Mother Theresa is kooky for Kraft!

As soon as USC hired Lane Kiffin as their head coach, it was a given that they'd have to start apologizing for things on a regular basis. Yesterday the "I'm sorry" letters went out to Florida, Alabama and other schools that were accused by the Trojan athletic department of improperly contacting freshman running back Dillon Baxter once USC was hammered by the NCAA. Imagine that, a Lane led program making false charges of rules violations. So if there was nothing to base the Baxter allegations on, why did USC make them? To try and divert attention from their disastrous news, of course, while also insinuating that lots of other programs were dirty as well. So what happened when the negative attention from the apologies began to register? Suddenly a story by an L.A. based reporter came out that USC wanted to play Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-a kickoff game in Atlanta and the Vols had refused. (USC's PR strategy: look, media, shiny things!) The implication, of course, is that Tennessee is scared to face the coach they despise. That would be the same coach who helped put them in the difficult personnel situation they're currently in, which will be even worse next year. Kiffin knew very well that UT's schedule was already full for that 2011 season, which is why the Vols booked the 2012 game instead when they signed up to play NC State in the C-F-A game WHILE HE WAS THEIR COACH. For him to act surprised UT wouldn't play the Trojans next season is disingenuous, but why would you ever expect anything else from Lane?

There's no point in me bashing LeBron James again today. Everyone's doing it, and no one's going to do a better job than Adrian Wojnarowski's scorching demolition of the self proclaimed King for Yahoo. Instead, I want to praise Kevin Durant. It's entirely possible that Durant will be a better player over the next half decade than LeBron - both are currently top five players in the league. Rather than complain about being in a low profile media market like Oklahoma City, Durant has embraced the fans and the town and been the cornerstone of his team's rise to relevance. Yesterday, rather than make a big production of his potential pending free agency or even holding a press conference, Durant signed a new deal with the Thunder for five seasons. The difference in approach as well as the level of class displayed versus what will be happening on ESPN tonight at nine couldn't have been any greater. For whatever it's worth, Newsday indicates LeBron's going to Miami and since they're owned by the same Dolan family as the Knicks maybe they know something.

What will fill Sportscenter hour after hour once LeBron speculation's no longer in the mix? Odds are pretty good it will be a blend of Brett Favre speculation and the Tim Tebow watch. Just this week alone we've seen:

1. Tebow continue to be the most purchased NFL jersey ever since his Bronco uni became available.
2. Tebow touted as the toughest player on the Broncos by the new Madden ratings, ahead of all his offensive linemen.
3. The debut of a website selling nine different Tebow themed t-shirts, including one featuring him decked out as The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

Next week will be the debut of the NCAA video game with him on the cover. As sick as people got of hearing about Tebow's exploits during his college career, they're about to get an even bigger dose as soon as he does anything good or bad in Broncos camp.

A National Academy of Sciences study makes the claim voters are more likely to support an incumbent if the college team they're a fan of is winning during the two weeks leading up to the election. Considering I live in a state where the incumbent US Senator is running against an unemployed guy who suggests selling action figures of himself would be a good way to spur economic growth and job development, I'm not sure what the Gamecocks do the week before the election is going to turn out to be too critical.

Thomas Jefferson is sort of an important guy in America's history, what with that whole writing the Declaration of Independence thing. He's considered to have been an intellectual giant of his time, and one of our greatest presidents. Can anyone explain why there's now a series of commercials depicting him as a macaroni and cheese obsessed twit looking to pick up chicks? Just because he mentioned a recipe in some notes from his time in office the guy's now a punchline?

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