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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"The Minute I Laid Eyes On You I Knew You Were No Good"

Cecil Hurt: Trouble Was Always Brewing For Jimmy Johns.

Kevin Scarbinsky: "A lot of us (define 'us', Kevin. Names?) have heard whispers during the past academic year that Johns might be involved in off-field activities beyond missing class or showing up late for team meetings......."

Ian Fitzsimmons and Lance Taylor of WJOX knew.

The minute they laid eyes on..............

College Football Police Blotter: Jimmy Johns

Popular Alabama football player Jimmy Johns has been arrested for 5 counts of selling cocaine to undercover agents of the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.

For the fans of Alabama football, the hits just keep on coming. Five times. In a search of his apartment by officers, cocaine and marijuana were also found. This incident follows what is a now becoming long line of infractions by football players that have occurred since the hiring of Nick Saban. What separates this incident from the others is that the Johns arrest comes after team meetings with Saban where he supposedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the high profile incidents. Psychologists were hired. Player peer groups were formed. It was rumored that after the Rashad Johnson incident, Saban met with the Tuscaloosa Chief of Police. To no apparent avail for Mr. Johns.

Predictably, the Internet blogs and talk shows are blazing. (In the interest of truth in advertising, as your humble correspondent types, he's listening to a radio show emanating from Birmingham, AL) Questions are flying about like muslim scarves at an Obama rally.

What did Nick Saban know and when did he know it?

Was his staff aware at any level?

What's worse: You knew and did nothing or you didn't know?

Mr. Johns was apparently selling to students. Were members of the football team among those students?

Were members of the team aware of Mr. Johns' activities? The police are going out of their way to make it known Johns' teammates WERE UNAWARE of his activities. Why?

Regardless, Mr. Johns had history. While certainly the latest situation is the most egregious, this isn't a first time incident for him. If not before, it's certainly plain now Jimmy Johns did not belong on the University of Alabama campus for any reason.

And had he had to meet the same entrance requirements of a regular student, we'd have known that right off the bat.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The GOP: Gas and Oil Party!

"After eight years, President Bush and Dick Cheney have turned the GOP into the Gas and Oil Party. That's the legacy that they are going to leave."

Massachusetts Rep. Edward Markey responding to President Bush's call to Congress to lift federal restrictions on domestic oil exploration and drilling.

Ironic. If you listen to the pundits, John McCain is stumbling over himself in an effort to distance himself from the President. Yet here, as was the case a few weeks ago when Mr. Bush created a liberal furor comparing today's terror apologists to those who coddled Nazis before WWII, the President has handed the "presumptive" Republican nominee another clear issue to separate himself from his opponent and a political club to beat him over the head with.

The War on Islamic radicals and access to oil are the defining issues of this election and certainly of our time. Energy independence from those who would do us harm is critical to the American way of life. Solar, wind, nuclear and other alternative energy sources are important rungs of the ladder we must climb as a nation to get out of the energy fix we've gotten ourselves in. But we can't do this without oil. Domestic oil. OUR OIL.

Like four dollar a gallon gas?? Let Iran continue to provoke unrest in the Middle East to the point of war. You'll be pining for 5 dollar a gallon gas! In the event Israel makes a defensive strike on Iranian nuclear sites, gas will skyrocket 4 dollars a gallon overnight! Never doubt it.

The only question is when will John McCain quit wasting time prattling on about climate change, stand strong and fight for our way of life. We have to utilize our resources. We have to drill. We have to secure a reliable source of petroleum while we refine alternatives. Democrats stand in the way.

Political idiots such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, B. Hussein Obama and the aforementioned Rep. Markey demagogue the oil companies and flat out lie to public about the impact of domestic oil production to our market and economy. They propose to sue foreign entities who they have no jurisdiction over and sit on reserves at home.

Doubt the impact of our resources on the world market?? Just talk among conservative voices in Washington and across the nation in the past couple of weeks have spooked the Saudis into pumping 500,000 more barrels A DAY over current production. Remember that the President was just there recently begging for more oil and they couldn't seem to find an extra drop. They're listening. They know. They're scared. They're scared somebody here might get a clue.

So they call us the Gas and Oil Party? No problem here. When and where does this party start, John McCain??

Party hardy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


"gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday, gone like a soldier in the Civil War - bang, bang, gone like a fifty-nine Cadillac, like all the good things that ain't never comin' back, she's gone."


And so goes the college basketball career of Richard Hendrix at the University of Alabama. Gone.

Gone in the NBA draft? Maybe.

First round draft pick? Not likely.

And don't think Richard doesn't know that. He's already got his degree. His father's a basketball coach. Despite the fact he signed to play for Mark Gottfried, he's no dummy. By his own admission, he knows he's a second round pick.

No guaranteed money.

No guarantees, period.

Richard's shot in the Association is at forward, but he doesn't have that game. Richard needs another year to hone his facing-the-basket skills. He (and his father) have determined that he can't risk another year under Mark Gottfried. Some make comparisons to Kennedy Winston, who also left early, didn't get drafted and eventually faded into hoops oblivion. (I think he resides next to Rod Grizzard. They collect and swap Pat Reilly yard gnomes)

The difference is Richard knows EXACTLY where he stands.

(are we clear?

Yes, sir.



He's going anyway. (like a freight train....)

Of course, the pro-Gottfried media is focusing on the return of Ron Steele. Conventional wisdom held that if Steele and Hendrix returned, Mark Gottfried was practically guaranteed a SEC West title and his job saved. But a review of Gottfried's 10 year tenure reveals high expectations are followed by hard luck. There was scattered grumbling in the hinterlands before the '04 Elite Eight run. No one saw that coming. The rarefied air of the '04 - '05 preseason expectations crashed into a ugly tournament loss to Wisconsin/Milwaukee. (coached by u-know-who, north of the border) The '06 Sweet Sixteen tournament loss to Ben Howland's UCLA squad gave fans hope. We were a Ron Steele three-pointer from advancing. Fans again had hope for the future. We all know how that turned out. Since, Gottfried's program has folded faster than a cheap lawn chair at a Bear-Stearn's company picnic. (juxtapose the career path of Jordan Farmar to Ron Steele from that, don't)

No one wants to say it but the fact is Ron Steele would be gone too if he weren't damaged goods. Gottfried told anyone who would listen (and there were plenty in the lapdog local sports media) that Ron was the "best player in practice" late last season. High praise considering the flashy play of freshman phenom Senario Hillman. But we weren't entertained with any ESPN Top Ten Plays or YouTube videos of Ron from practice and considering the word from the NBA camps and tryouts it's now likely Gottfried was spinning to deflect attention from Ron's multiple knee surgeries. He's now taking a page from the Bryant playbook and poor-mouthing Ron.

And if there's anything Mark Gottfried's good at, it's beating down the bar of expectations and bunny hopping over to the raves and applause of his apologists in his dwindling fan base and media.

But give Mark Gottfried credit for one thing. It's June and we're talking basketball in Alabama. (for better or worse)

Give Richard Hendrix credit. He's one of the few good men to play basketball for the Tide.

Good Night and Good Luck, Rich.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dear John: An Open Letter to John McCain

Dear Mr. McCain,

Well sir, here we are. It's now you vs. Obama. It's been eight long years but you're finally where you thought you should have been this time in 2000. The presumptive (I love that word) Republican nominee. And don't worry about those crybabies clamoring about your speech in Louisiana the other night. You can lose the green screen. Reading a teleprompter? Piece of cake. I'm sure your campaign can find somebody out there that will react a little more enthusiastically than those cajun bums you were speaking to Tuesday. There's plenty of time. (although one must wonder what you've been doing the past four months!)

No, those are not big issues, really. My concern is your strategy. You seem to have allowed a rookie (and his lapdogs in the media) to set the theme for the campaign: change. Your response? Me, too! 'I'm for change, just the "right" kind of change.' You set out to demonstrate this by documenting the number of issues you've "reached across the aisle" to democrats to "get things done" for "the good of the country".

Only problem is, John, when you're on the stump rambling on about what a maverick you've been for the past seven years, you're reminding your Republican base why they hate you. And trust me on this, John. There's a lot of outright hatred for your actions of the past seven years in your base.

It wasn't just your stand on amnesty for illegals, John. It was the way you went about it. Working with Ted Kennedy? Then trying to ramrod the legislation through before anyone found out what it was about. Then when we the people said no, you wailed about how "talk radio (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neil Boortz) was running the country." And that said with the Fairness Doctrine fresh on the minds of conservatives nationwide.

Campaign Finance "Reform".

Climate Change legislation.

Gang of Fourteen.

I could go on. It's a very long list.

You're being baited, Mr. McCain. You're letting them set the debate then reminding your party why they've been so disturbed by you to win the argument.

You've got a lot going against you, sir. Barack Obama is young. Frankly, you're old. He's telegenic. Sorry, bud. You're not. He's a great speaker. Uhh, you're not. And most importantly, the mainstream media is set on getting Obama in the White House. And keeping you....out.

In the end the question is: can you win over enough of the undecided mushheads to make up for the conservatives you've alienated to win the election??

Yup, John. Keep on reminding us what a maverick you are.

Sincerely, Ray