When the SEC announced the so called "Cowbell Compromise", which allowed Mississippi State fans to bring their cowbells to football games as long as they rang them only at appropriate times, anyone with more than five functioning brain cells knew it wasn't going to work. Guess what? It isn't. The compromise was supposed to be a way for MSU fans to preserve their "tradition", but when the whole tradition has been to make a mockery of the rule against noisemakers how can anyone think it wouldn't end up like this? The only way this will stop is for officials to penalize MSU 15 yards every time enough cowbells ring to be any kind of issue for the visiting team. Fans don't care about fines, but they will stop if doing what they're doing is screwing their own team on the field. Either the SEC wants to do something about artificial noise or they don't, and it's time to make it clear which one it is and treat all fanbases accordingly.
Here's a stunner: the New York Knicks apparently treated NBA rules as something to be ignored, and the trouble started under Isiah Thomas. In this case, the issue is repeated workouts for prospective players at a time of year franchises aren't allowed to do that. Thomas was in charge of the Knicks when this began happening, and after reading the well researched Yahoo! Sports piece it's very hard to imagine an explanation for the events chronicled in the article that didn't involve him knowing about them. This may seem relatively tame given Isiah's disastrous tenure as a whole, but remember the Knicks were trying to rehire him just a few weeks ago. Most NBA observers still believe owner Jim Dolan will eventually bring Thomas back to the Knicks, so he has to be held accountable for this if that happens. Will David Stern make the inept showcase franchise in his biggest market pay for flaunting the rules, or not?
In February, I noted the crude behavior of recruit Markeith Ambles. The supposedly talented WR prospect from Georgia had been a commitment to Tennessee before Lane Kiffin's departure, and eventually joined the USC signing class instead after a drawn out "look at me" recruitment. Ambles did visit Tennessee post-Kiffin, a process that included him making a direct sexual proposition to a female Knoxville radio host publicly via Twitter. Everything about this kid screamed trouble at a very high volume, but talent trumps all in recruiting. Two months into his freshman season, Ambles has now been suspended indefinitely from the Trojans - turns out he's an irresponsible jerk. Go figure. People tell the world who they are all the time - it's up to you to believe them.
As Florida moves closer to bringing Chris Rainey back to the playing field, I thought some of you might enjoy checking in on another former UF guy who missed a substantial chunk of a season due to a suspension. Marcus Thomas was given another chance by Urban Meyer, but the defensive tackle blew it because he felt like going to Halloween Horror nights rather than comply with the terms of his reinstatement. (We'll see if Rainey can hold up his end of the restrictions placed on him). In his fourth NFL season, Thomas just got his first sack and appears to have grown up somewhat. The flakiness is still definitely there though: he lists his hometown as Yokosuka, Japan rather than Jacksonville and thinks next year's lockout will be good because it will allow him to start his acting career. If they make another Friday movie, Marcus could be a strong contender for a role. Otherwise, he'd better hope they play next season.
Somehow it had been off my radar that the federal government is requiring street signs no longer be in ALL CAPS by 2015. They say research shows a capitalized first letter followed by lower case is easier for older drivers to read. Maybe so, but in my experience it's hard enough to find the signs when you're driving in different cities to begin with. The bolder the letters, the easier it is for me to either be able to tell what they say or at least judge from a distance if the length is right to potentially be the street I'm looking for. Leaving the question of the cost to replace signs out of this and strictly focusing on the two lettering options, does this seem necessary to you?