Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Chronicles of Currie: And then what happened?

Airese Currie's NFL Combine diary continues here.

Man, is this riveting stuff or what?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Currie Chronicles continue

Here's the latest update to Airese Currie's NFL Combine diary. Enjoy.

YES, QUESTIONS: Here's another one of those question thingees. I guess we can call this the Saturday Seven Plus Three. Here goes:

1. What�s your favorite kind of cookie?
Chocolate chip.
2. Who is America�s most overrated actor?
Harrison Ford. I know, blasphemy and all. But no matter what role he plays, he's always Harrison Ford. Outer-space cowboy? CIA superagent? Futuristic robot assassin? Fugitive doctor? Philiadelphia policeman-on-the-run? Heck, even captain of a doomed Russian sub? Ford makes them ALL THE SAME PERSON!
3. Name a guilty pleasure.
Sex and the City. I had my doubts when it first came out, but the wife made me watch it, and I actually ended up liking it quite a bit, and not just because Kim Cattrall got naked on every episode.
4. �Scrubs� or �Everybody Loves Raymond�?
Scrubs. Because I've actually seen a couple of episodes. Yes, believe it or not, I've never seen an entire episode of Raymond. (What can I say? I work nights, and the only reason I saw Scrubs was because I was off one night in the summer when NBC ran like four episodes in a row. It's a really good show, by the way.)
5. Name two things you can�t live without.
My wife and my beer.
6. Your first pet�s name + your mother�s maiden name = your porn star name.
Pee-Wee McNutt. (We used to have a Chihuahua.) Talk amongst yourselves.
7. What song are you listening to right now?
"Little Red Light" by Fountains of Wayne.
8. Name your celebrity crush.
Rachael Ray.
9. Favorite punchline from a joke.
"Yeah, and it's deep, too." (If you've seen Sling Blade, you know what I'm talking about.)
10. Who do you want to pass this meme off to?
Anybody who wants it.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Former receiver Crosby not eligible for baseball bonuses

The saga goes on. Major League Baseball has ruled that former Clemson standout Roscoe Crosby is not owed $750,000 in signing bonuses from the Kansas City Royals.

What else can go wrong for this guy? He's been severely injured, lost his best friends in an automobile accident, dropped out of college, and now he won't be getting paid. It's like a Greek tragedy or something.

Crosby, however, remains optimistic. He says he's going to an NFL tryout in Columbia. Maybe he can sign with a team. God knows he's got tremendous potential.

Good luck, Roscoe.

FOOTBALL ONLY FOR HILL, GADDIS: Clemson football players Tye Hill and C.J. Gaddis, who also compete in track & field and baseball, respectively, say they'll be focusing exclusively on football. At least for a while; Gaddis could come back to the diamond after spring football practice, which begins March 12 and ends with the Spring Game on April 16.

CURRIE'S DIARY: Former Clemson receiver Airese Currie has the second entry in his NFL Combine diary. Check it out.

WESTZONE UPDATE: Construction is proceeding apace. Here are some photos.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here goes:

1.) If you were in a band (you know, a successful one...), and you HAD to remake an old song, what band/song would you choose and why?
OK, this is a weird choice, but I would like to hear someone do a really loud, kick-ass version of the Monkees' "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone." (Heck, there's probably one out there somewhere.) I saw a band at a bar in Charlotte one time that did an amazing version of this, and I've never forgotten it.
2.) If you were a Make-a-Wish child, what would you wish for (and why)?
Well, a cure for the disease, first of all. Barring that, a trip to a strip club for one final lapdance!
3.) If you had the chance to learn when you were going to die, would you take it? Would you tell anyone if you knew (either your date of death or theirs)?
No, I would not. And I wouldn't tell anyone their death date, either.
4.) If you couldn't die until you helped someone, would you rather live forever selfishly or die earlier?
That's just a stupid question. I'm afraid I can't really answer that. Who really WANTS to die? I mean, I suppose after a thousand years life might get a little boring, but come on. The whole premise is a bit ridiculous: "I must find release from this brutish existence, but I can't until I give a homeless guy a cookie." I mean, there's a whole lot left out of this question. Is my never-ending life fantastic, or does it suck? If it's a non-stop orgy/smorgasbord/open bar and I'M NEVER GOING TO DIE, why SHOULD I help someone and check out? On the other hand, if I'm forced to live as a consumptive ragpicker in Calcutta for a couple hundred years, I think I'll opt for the cookie giveaway, like, yesterday. Also, does everybody else in this fictitious situation have this eternal life/help somebody option, or is it just me? If it's just me, then the world won't really notice my selfishness that much, will it? If it's everybody else, then that changes things quite a bit. On the other hand, if "helping somebody" involves doing something substantial for a loved one, that changes things once again. Jeez. Could we please have simpler questions on the Friday Five? Or ones that don't veer from cover songs to deep philosophical puzzles?
5.) If there's any goal you haven't accomplished yet, what is it and what is stopping you?
Becoming a millionaire. Insufficient income/poor luck at the lottery.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Currie describes his days at the NFL Combine

Former Clemson receiver Airese Currie is keeping a diary for The State on his experiences at this week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tony Nelson: The story that WON'T DIE!

The Greenville News reports on a letter that Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips sent to IPTAY representatives explaining what happened in the "de-cruitment" of Tony Nelson, a star high school running back from Germantown, Md. (For background, see here and here.) And here's another take on Phillips' letter.

UPDATE: I don't know if this is the letter, but here is Phillips' most recent "Current Issues" column, which addresses the Nelson case.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Q&A with a last-minute signee

The State has a Q&A with Antonio Clay, a highly recruited prep linebacker from Georgia who opted to sign with Clemson at the very last minute.

Monday, February 21, 2005

UPDATED: Academic report leaves school confused

The NCAA has issued a new report detailing how athletes are doing with their schoolwork, and officials at Clemson (and elsewhere) are having trouble figuring out what's going on. (Note: Linked fixed on 2-22.)

WATCH THOSE BOOSTERS: Interesting story on the unseen, and often uncontrollable, forces that can get college football programs in deep trouble for recruiting violations. Tommy Bowden is quoted. (Note: Linked fixed on 2-22.)

BAHAM'S READY: With the departure of two receivers, Curtis Baham expects to see the ball more often in the fall.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

UPDATED: Random notes on a cold, sunny Saturday

* Funny blogger Jim Treacher defends the honor of Napoleon Dynamite after the film was attacked by Roger Ebert. At least, that was my initial take on it, and then I read the following comment:

I was going to link to this post with a remark that you had managed to simultaneously defend the movie and write a perfect parody of an obsessive film fan's rant but I realized that that would spoil the whole thing, so I didn't.

The wife and I saw Napoleon the other week at the dollar theater, and we're still throwing out lines from it: "You got like three feet of air!" "Sweet jumps!" "My lips hurt real bad."

I've been overhearing a lot of other people doing the same thing.

I thought the movie was pretty funny in a quirky way, but it didn't change my life or anything. Now, Shaun of the Dead or Team America: World Police? To me, they're much funnier, but they don't have those memorable lines.

OK, the Susan Sarandon puppet screaming "You will die a peasant's death" was pretty memorable in Team America. As was the theme song, which some wiseacre has turned into a hilarious music video here. (WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!!)

Anyway, if you need a Nap-quote fix, go here.

* When I was a kid, I absolutely loved MAD magazine. I used to buy the then-current issues, and I also loved the old paperback collections of the original MADs from the 1950s. (They were always dropping in words like "fershlugginer" into the text.) If you're an old MAD fan, check out this collection of MAD covers.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Clemson reports minor violations to NCAA

Clemson has self-reported five very minor infractions to the NCAA.

How minor? Well, somebody got their hand slapped for giving a prospect a "publication," which apparently is against the rules. (We wouldn't want potential college students reading anything, now would we?)

McCLOUD TO TRANSFER: Reserve receiver Gerald McCloud has announced that he intends to transfer. Good luck, Gerald. UPDATE: Also, receiver Michael Collins is giving up football because of a degenerative hip condition. He'll become a student assistant coach this season.

TYE HILL UPDATE: Here's a story about Tye Hill, a star defensive back on the football team who also is a star track athlete. However, injuries have slowed him down during indoor track season.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here goes:

1. If you could have anything you wanted to eat for a day, what would you choose for your meals and snacks?
Oh wow. Let's see. Well, I'd have a big breakfast of a Western omelet, silver-dollar pancakes, fresh-made sausage and really good coffee. Lunch would be fried fish, fried chicken or pork barbecue (Eastern N.C. style, natch) with some greens, fried okra and potato salad. Dinner? A dozen gigantic fried oysters, a crab cake, a big filet mignon, salad with bleu cheese dressing and a twice-baked potato. Then again, I could eat Thai food all day, too. Or Indian. Or Chinese.
2. Is there ever a dish/food or dessert you wanted to try but never had the opportunity, what is it?
Can't really think of any. I've tried a lot of different foods, including alligator.
3. What's a dish/food or dessert you've tried that you wish you hadn't?
Without a doubt, pate. The wife and I had it in Vegas, and I did not care for it. You can read her take on the pate, and a few other things, right here.
4. Ever watch cooking shows? (i.e. "Great Chefs," "Epicurious," etc.)
Yes. I enjoy Rachael Ray's $40 a Day (and NOT just because she's so damn cute, either! Sorry, honey. Hey, it's not like I don't have to listen to her drooling over Jon Stewart all the time.) I also enjoy those "history of food" shows.
5. Are you hungry yet?
Nope. Just had kabob for lunch. But thanks for asking.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Instant replay coming to ACC football

The league will experiment with instant replay on disputed calls.

I say good move. Those sorry ACC refs need all the help they can get.

DABO BRINGS 'EM IN: Clemson assistant coach Dabo Swinney has been named one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Additionally, this story notes that former Clemson assistant Rick Stockstill, now at South Carolina, is also among the nation's best.

NFL MOVES: Former Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler has been drafted by the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe. He joins former Clemson offensive lineman William Henry, who was also picked by the Galaxy.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The last (hopefully) word on Tony Nelson

Here's a longer run-down of the saga of Tony Nelson, a former Clemson recruit from Maryland who is either the victim of a deceitful Tommy Bowden or a young man who failed to do the things he needed to do to assure himself a football scholarship somewhere. Things like making good grades, or keeping his options open with other schools instead of putting all of his eggs in one bright-orange basket with a Tiger Rag bow. (If I remember correctly, one of our signees this year had made verbal commitments to a couple of programs before finally settling on Clemson.)

The story linked above, which is from a newspaper near where Nelson lives, obviously has some big holes in it. There's an awful lot of hearsay that's presented as truth, and it definitely takes a "homer" angle. But read it for yourself and decide.

As for myself, I think the truth, as usual, falls somewhere in the middle. The recruiting process is indeed a bit deceitful. Big-time colleges often make promises they don't keep. But high school players need good advice, too. They need to do their homework -- and not just the kind their biology teachers are assigning. They need to keep their options open. They need to go on as many official visits to as many schools as possible, and they should avoid making firm plans to accept a scholarship until they are certain that they are going to get it.

OK, that is all.


1) Would you rather live in a world with or without technology such as computers, cars, airplanes, bombs?
I like technology, especially cars. And bombs. Car bombs? Car bombs are my favorite. And computers. Because without computers, I would be unable to answer insipid Friday Five questions out there on Internets.
2) If you had to live without either heating in your house or air conditioning, which one would you keep?
Where I live, I think I'd keep the heat. But it's a close call, because it can get pretty hot in the D.C. area in the summer.
3) If you had to own five dogs, what kind would you get?
Hmmm. Tough call. I'd probably get Shelties. My sister has about 10 (she shows them competitively), so I'm familiar with them. They are very cute and very friendly. After that, probably a Lab of some sort.
4) If the world had a front porch, what would you do on it?
I'd push a ratty old sofa out on it and sit there waving at traffic. Also, I'd pile old, rusty, broken-down bits of "technology" all over it, just to piss off the neighbors.
5) Would you rather live in a neighborhood where you know all of your neighbors by name, or where everyone sticks to their own business?
Sticks to their own business. Though I would like to know some of my neighbors.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Memories of Miller time ...

Justin Miller motors downfield during the 2004 season opener against Wake Forest. I hate to see him turn pro, but I wish him the best of luck. Here's his own description of training for the upcoming NFL draft. (Photo courtesy of TigerNet.)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Yet another recruiting postmortem

The Greenville News has a good follow-up on Clemson's recruiting year. Check it out. Also, check out coach Tommy Bowden's comments on groundbreaking for the WestZone Project.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

More on the recruiting of Tony Nelson

Ron Morris of The State has a column about Tony Nelson, the running back from Germantown, Md., who was promised a scholarship to Clemson only to have it denied very late in the recruiting process. Nelson eventually signed with I-AA Massachusetts, but there has been quite a backlash, especially against coach Tommy Bowden.

BENNIE THE GREAT: The State also profiles former Clemson great Bennie Cunningham, an All-American tight end who won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Follow-ups on Clemson's great recruiting year

Here's an interview with returning defensive back Tye Hill, and here's a story from Clemson's student paper.

WESTZONE PROJECT TO BEGIN: The $45 million renovation of the West End Zone should begin next month.

CRITICAL YEAR FOR IPTAY: Clemson's athletic fundraising organization is hoping to raise big bucks in 2005.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: It's back! Longtime readers of this blog (yes, both of you) will recall that I used to do this every Friday during the off-season, but then the original Friday Five closed shop. Well, it's up and running again at a new home.

If you're unfamiliar, here's how it works. You copy and paste the five questions into your blog, and then post the answers. It's a way to let your readers know a little bit more about you.

OK, here goes:

1. How old were you when you got your drivers license?
2. Did you get your own car right away, use the family car, or bum rides from friends?
I had to use the family car for a while, but I got my own vehicle not too long after I got my license.
3. What was your first car and what was it like?
It was a while, 1970 Toyota Corolla. My friends called it the "Snowmobile." It ran pretty well, but it did not have much pickup. One notable feature: the car had automatic transmission, which was dubbed "Toyoglide."
4. How old were you when you got your first traffic ticket and what happened?
I was 18, and I got caught speeding. I was going 88 in a 55 mph zone on I-77 south of Charlotte, near Fort Mill, S.C. By that time (my senior year in high school), I was driving a 1978 Grand Prix, a hand-me-down from my dad. I didn't even see the cop until he was right on my rear end. Scared me to death.
5. What is your favorite car story, be it an accident, road trip, etc?
Hmm. That's a tough one. I guess I'll have to say it was the time I drove from North Carolina to Colorado, then down to New Mexico, then back to North Carolina. It was in the summer of 1997. I took two weeks off from work and went out West to visit some friends. We stayed in Colorado Springs and Denver for a couple of days, then drove down to Albuquerque for a few more days. I'd never driven out West before. It was quite an experience.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Recruiting roundup: One of our best years in a long time

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says this crop of football recruits might be the best he's seen in seven years in Tigertown. (More here.)

And here are profiles of signees James Davis, Josh Miller and Thomas Austin. There's a notebook, too.

To hear audio of Bowden and assistant coach David Blackwell discussing how recruiting went this year, click here.

ANALYSIS: Here's Tigernet's take, and a breakdown of which coach recruited which players.

Here's a list of our signees with their rankings. ranks our class 21st in the country.

Here's College Football News' take.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Signing Day is here, and things seem to be going well

All indications are that Clemson will have a Top 20 class loaded with skill players and big linemen.

Here are two links that will be continuously updated throughout the day:

Tigernet's Signing Day coverage

The official Clemson site's Signing Day coverage

UPDATES: Clemson landed Antonio Clay, a highly prized linebacker who had been courted by Oklahoma, Miami and Florida State. What a catch!

* Also, running back Tony Nelson of Germantown, Md., the subject of a recent story in The State that generated some controversy, has signed with UMass. The Washington Post provides a long story on the recruiting of Nelson, whose high school coach really seems to have it in for Clemson and Tommy Bowden. (Note: If you can't read the Post story because of registration problems, go to bugmenot. com and find a password.)

* Here's a story from WIS-TV in Columbia on Clemson and USC signees.

P.S. Did we sign any war daddies this year?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Shuffle off to iPod land! You can play, too!

Here's one of those occasional posts I'll do that has absolutely nothing to do with football.

OK, here's a little game you can play with your iPod. I got it here.

1. Open up the music player on your computer.
2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
3. Hit the "shuffle" command.
4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing.

Here goes:
1) Black Eyed Susan, Dillon Fence
2) Children in Bloom, Counting Crows
3) Lovely Day, Bill Withers
4) Midnight Cruiser, Steely Dan
5) Help Me Shake It, Graham Parker
6) Back on my Feet Again, Randy Newman
7) Operator, Jim Croce
8) Lawyers, Guns and Money, Warren Zevon
9) Sugar, Carla Thomas
10)Ramblin' Man, Allman Brothers

Anybody else want to play?