Category Archives: college football

From the archives: The lure of Southern football

TweetWhile I’m taking a summer break from the blog, I’m reposting and updating selected links from the archive.
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When Florida State defeated Auburn in the last BCS title game in January, it ended a seven-year run for the SEC in winning national championship games.
But the trophy still remains [...]

Midweek books: Soul-searching and college football, con’t

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
A new season of college football typically brings a wave of new books about what’s wrong with the game, and what might be done about it.
This season is no different, and already a few [...]

Sports History Files: College football’s eternal seduction

TweetIn his informative, well-researched history of college football on television that was published nearly a decade ago, Alabama sportswriter Keith Dunnavant entitled his book “The 50 Year Seduction.”
The uneasy alliance between television networks and college football powerhouse schools began more or less around 1950, until the NCAA, fearing money losses at the gate, supressed greater [...]

Inadequate words for the talented Mr. Clowney

TweetSpencer Hall tries to explicate Jadeveon Clowney’s memorable tackle/forced fumble/recovery on Michigan’s Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl in many ways, but remains flabbergasted all the more:
The part I still can’t wrap my brain around: Clowney did that with about eight yards of running room. In the span of 24 feet, he gained enough [...]

Bowling for Bacardi in La Habaña

TweetSports attorney Jason Belzer’s dug up this gem about some long-lost bowl games that might give present-day corporate naming-rights mockers pause.
Before there was an International Bowl, and long before an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stage a Haka Bowl in New Zealand, a very famous rum manufacturer was able to persuade American college lads to head [...]

As Syracuse wins the 1958 NFL championship game

TweetJeff MacGregor went to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium Saturday, but there was nothing evocative about the experience:
In life and in sports, these fictions of history are a more seductive reality. This is especially so at Yankee Stadium, itself a time machine and a tomb and a shrine to better days, a replica of [...]

The story of the original Johnny Heisman

TweetJohnny Manziel’s heartfelt speech upon winning the Heisman Trophy Saturday undoubtedly would have made the honor’s namesake proud.
For as fearlessly — and occasionally brashly — as the Texas A & M quarterback plays the game, earning him the nickname “Johnny Football,” his humility in the wake of being the first freshman to win the award [...]

Much more than sports as mere entertainment

Tweet“Those who think that sports are merely entertainment have been bemused by an entertainment culture.”

– Michael Novak, “The Joy of Sports”

For those who insist that the commercial colossus of major college football has no soul, that it is played out primarily for television audiences in the pursuit of maximum ratings by teams that use unscrupulous [...]

A few riffs on the culture of Southern football

TweetMy favorite explanation of the appeal of college football in the South came from Clinton campaign guru James Carville several years ago, when he was asked by The Wall Street Journal to explain the legions of fans who never took a step inside a classroom at the schools they follow treat yet their teams with [...]

A heartbreaking tale of a staggering talent

TweetThe young man they call the Honey Badger plays with a ferocity that I’ve found a bit unsettling even for college football, and SEC football in particular.
Thayer Evans of foxsports.com has the deep background of Tyrann Mathieu’s painful upbringing in New Orleans, and how he’s trying to overcome it. The LSU Heisman Trophy finalist’s father [...]