Sunday, April 17, 2005

This is the end ...

Well, I hate to do this so abruptly, but it looks like I'm going to have to give up this little ol' blog of mine.

I'm not in trouble or anything; I just don't want to get into trouble. Getting dooced right about the time I a) get married, b) buy a new car and c) start to hunt for a home to buy in the terrifying Washington, D.C. housing market is not exactly a prospect that fills me with glee.

It's been fun, and I really want to thank all of you who have stopped by over the past couple of years. You, dear readers, made it all worthwhile.

I wish you all well, and take care.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Argument led to Coleman's suspension

Clemson running back Duane Coleman's recent suspension was caused by an argument on the practice field with coach Tommy Bowden, The State has learned.

MORE SPRING FOOTBALL NOTES: From the Greenville News.

ABOUT THOSE UNIFORMS: Well, Bowden likes them. Enough said.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: Yes, I turned 39 at about 9 a.m. this morning. Yay. This means Cake Day at work, but generally my co-workers will pick up the carrot cake from Whole Foods, so it's worth it. Oh, and Popeye's. It's a semi-joke, but we do love that chicken.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Uniform dismay among Tiger fans

Judging by the comments on the post below, as well as what I've been reading on the Tigernet message boards, folks really don't like Clemson's new football uniforms. The big S.C. dailies report on the new threads here and here.

As for myself, I think we need to give them a chance. The photos issued yesterday show the models without pads and holding their helmets. Not really reflective of football uniforms as they're actually worn, are they?

Let's see the action photos from the spring game next week. We just might change our minds and decide that they're the coolest uniforms (or "costumes," as the wife is so fond of calling them).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The new uniforms are in ...

And you can check them out right here.

DON'T DIS THE OFFENSE: Clemson's new offensive coordinator, Rob Spence, says his squad is doing better than you might think.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Coleman suspended; defense dominates scrimmage

Uh-oh. Here's some potentially bad news. Duane Coleman, Clemson's second-leading rusher last season, has been indefinitely suspended from the team.

DEFENSE IS THE WORD: The defensive squad dominated Saturday's scrimmage. Sounds good to me.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Spring practice: The media blackout is over!

No, it's not an April Fool's joke. There are lots of updates about what's going on with this spring's football workouts. Just go here, here and here.

FORD, PHILLIPS DO A GOOD DEED: Former Clemson coach Danny Ford and current athletic director Terry Don Phillips will help promote fundraisers for the treatment of mental health problems in South Carolina.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here goes:

1) What's the one movie you've seen more times than any other?
Hmmm. Tough to say. It's close between Animal House, Caddyshack, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.
2) If you could turn one book, comic book or other print story into a feature-length movie, what story would you pick and why?
I would do Bonfire of the Vanities, only I'd do it right. The first film version of this wonderful book sucked on so many levels. I was expecting so much, but it was deeply, deeply disappointing.
3) Whom would you cast?
I'd keep Tom Hanks (he was the only good choice, and the only character in the movie who resembled a character from the book) and ditch Bruce Willis (he was a Brit in the novel) and Melanie Griffith (she was an exotic-looking brunette in the book -- and she was supposed to be from South Carolina, too). Speaking of Griffith, is it just me, or does anyone else think she's a horrible actress? (She's really bad in Bonfire.) Frankly, I've never understood her appeal.
4) What one movie would you like to see "updated for the year 2005"? (Ie, a remake)
How about A Clockwork Orange? We're a little closer to the future that the film foresaw.
5) What one movie are you most looking forward to this year?
This year? Hmm. Can't really say yet. This Sin City thing looks kind of intriguing, though.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Updates on Babalola AND spring practice!

You can read all about both subjects here and here.

WOODY DANTZLER -- SAFETY? Find out more about the Dallas Cowboys' plans for the former Clemson quarterback here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

An interview with Terry Don Phillips

The Greenville News sits down with Clemson's athletic director. Read it all here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Basketballer Babalola bounces to football team

Well, here's the big story of the day. Olu Babalola, a senior forward on the Clemson basketball team this past season, is trying out for the Clemson football team. Read all about it here, here and here.

NO LEADERS YET: At long last, here's a media update on what's happening on the field during spring football practice. There's also news about former defensive coordinator John Lovett, who has landed a job at Louisiana Tech.

THEIR HOME IS IN THE HALL OF FAME: A couple of Clemson football players, including William and Michael Dean Perry, will be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Recruiting update: Clemson takes an early lead

From the unstoppable Phil Kornblut. Sounds like good news so far.

ATTENDANCE QUESTIONS: A writer at Tigernet attempts to debunk the perception that the crowds at Clemson football games were bigger in the 1980s than they are now.

I'm not too convinced by this. First of all, we have to consider how attendance is being determined. Is Clemson counting tickets sold to games as opposed to the actual number of tickets torn at the gates? Because I seem to recall that season-ticket sales have remained strong through the years. However, having attended games at Clemson since 1976, I tend to agree with those who say that attendance is down compared with the 1980s. Yes, roughly the same number of people have purchased tickets, but to my eye it seems that a slightly smaller percentage seem to be going through the turnstiles.

And then there's this bit:

Tommy West, widely regarded as one of the more popular coaches in Clemson football�s recent history, saw an average of only 69,120 fans per game in Death Valley.

Forget the dubious point about Tommy West's popularity (he certainly wasn't very popular with many fans I know), and whatever criteria the author is using to determine Clemson's "recent football history." Twenty years? Thirty?

The 1998 season under West, when Clemson went 3-8, is an example of what I was talking about earlier. I went to several home games that season, and even on days with perfect weather, it certainly looked like there were around 50,000-55,000 people in the stands. Heck, I remember going to a game that season and some old alum JUST HANDED ME two tickets on the 50-yard line in the North stands right before I went in. He couldn't use them, and wanted somebody to have them.

So I entered the stadium with three unused tickets in my pocket. (I'd been using the two season tickets my dad had, and then this guy gave me two more, and I used one of his.) Did that represent four people at that game for attendance purposes, even though only one ticket was torn? Or just one?

I don't know. Can anybody clarify?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Clemson releases student-athletes' grades

And you can read all about it here and here.

MORE ON BOWDEN'S SPEECH: The Augusta Chronicle was there to cover it.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: It's been a while, but here goes:

1. What is your favorite movie of all time?
Wow. That's a toughie. I guess I'll just have to take the safe route and vote for The Godfather. (Close second: Goodfellas.)
2. How often do you watch this movie?
Every time I can.
3. What's your favorite line out of the whole movie?
Gosh. So many to choose from. How about this: "Leave the gun. Take the canolis."
4. Who's your favorite character from this movie?
Michael Corleone.
5. What scene do you love the most?
The bit near the end where scenes of Michael in a Catholic church going through the ceremony to become godfather to Connie's son are juxtaposed with the scenes of opposing Mobsters being rubbed out. It's brilliant.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bowden and the fans: Seven years in and still married

Times and Democrat writer Thomas Grant, Jr., has a column on the reception that Clemson coach Tommy Bowden received from Tiger fans in Orangeburg the other day. One fan gave Bowden a confidence-level rating of 7 out of 10.

That sounds about right to me.

NEW UNIS: Fanblogs has a post about the new uniforms Clemson will be sporting this season.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

UPDATE: Phillips in running for Colorado job?

Fanblogs is reporting that Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips could be a candidate for athletic director at Colorado.

Stay tuned, as they say.

CHANGES GONNA COME: Clemson is shaking up the hierarchy of its athletic department. Read all about it here.

BOWDEN ON THE ROAD: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden spoke to a crowd of Tiger fans in Orangeburg on Tuesday night.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The (tight) ends justify the means

The Greenville News has a story on Clemson tight end Bobby Williamson, who is adjusting to many changes in his life. Not only does he have new coaches yelling at him during spring practice and all that, but he's also getting married in Las Vegas this week. Congrats, Bobby.

Take it from me; you won't regret that Vegas thing.

Also, here's a story on Clemson's prospects in 2005 at the tight end position.

ADAMS RE-SIGNS: Former Clemson linebacker Keith Adams has been re-signed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ticket-price increases: The media catch up

You can read all about it here and here.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Tigernet looks ahead at what promises to be an exciting and challenging schedule in 2005.

UNDERCLASSMEN STEP UP: Here's a spring practice story I missed the other day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Gilliam gets his shot to replace Miller

The State has a story about Sergio Gilliam, a junior defensive back who has been cited as a possible replacement for all-world DB Justin Miller, who left school early to join the NFL.

GOOD FEELINGS: It's hard to tell how much of a story like this is on the square, but here's a report from the third day of spring practice which paints a very rosy picture.

TICKET PRICES RISING: Here's the story, which includes lots of helpful charts.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Updatin' on a Sunday afternoon

What a busy weekend. And what a tremendously awesome weekend.

As you readers know, I had the convergence of old friends visiting D.C. for the ACC Tournament and the death of the father of an old friend of mine.

Well, despite the subtext of loss and grieving, it all worked out wonderfully. Here's the itenerary:

THURSDAY: Left work. Drove to Rosslyn (a section of Arlington), found a free place to park. (If you live in this area, you know what a coup that is.) Hopped the Metro there, took it to downtown D.C., walked over to Fado and hung out a while as I waited for my friends to arrive. Fado was loud and crowded, so after the friends showed up we went next door to RFD's (crap name, great hangout with a huge beer selection). After many beers and memories, arrived home at about 1:30 a.m.

FRIDAY: Awoke at 6:30 a.m. Hauled ass to Dulles. Caught 8:55 flight to Charlotte. After delays and such, finally drove off in my rental car in Charlotte at about 11:30 a.m. After lunch at my favorite place in the Queen City, it was off to dad's house to get ready for the 2 p.m. funeral. Service was very nice -- upbeat, not sad, which is how Porter would have wanted it. Saw more old friends, including a few I haven't seen in many, many years. After dinner out with the parents, went out with my friend who had just lost his father. Good times, good talk, then more fun over at another old friend's home.

SATURDAY: Up at 7 a.m. to catch at 10 a.m. flight. Things went much smoother. Arrived home, chilled out for awhile, then the wife and I hopped the Metro to downtown D.C. to console my heartbroken Tar Heel friends. (Hee hee!) More drinks, more laughs, and a cab ride home at 2 a.m.

And here I am. I've got the day off from work, and now I'm going to catch up on some Clemson blogging.

SPRING PRACTICE UPDATE: Go here, here, here and here. And don't forget: The spring football game is April 16.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Tigers tip off ACC Tournament, Tigerpundit hits the road

Here's a rare basketball-related post for you. Good luck today against the Terps, Tigers. I hope you win and then beat the Tar Heels Friday. I was looking forward to taking part in some ACC-related activities on Friday, but a tragedy has intervened to a minor extent.

Allow me to explain.

A friend of mine and his wife are coming up from Asheville for the tournament, and they said I could have a ticket to Friday's noon session -- the winner of today's CU/Maryland game vs. UNC.

However, the father of one of my best friends from Charlotte, who in many ways was like a second dad to me when I was younger, died the other day. As you can see from his obit, he had quite a full life, and was beloved by many. I'm catching an early flight down there Friday morning for the funeral, which is Friday afternoon.

However, I'll be flying back on Saturday morning and I've got Sunday off from work, so I'm hoping to work in some good socializing with my old Ashevegas friends.

Posting should be light to non-existent over the next few days.

In the meantime, on the eve of spring practice, here's an early preview of the 2005 football season.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More on spring practice from the media

The State and the Greenville News both have some reportage on the start of Clemson's spring football practice, which gets under way on Friday.

The State focuses on the "new lingo" that will be floating around the practice field, lingo that's related to new assistant coaches with new plans.

The Greenville News takes a similar tack.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Listen to a spring practice preview

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden held a press conference to discuss spring football practice, which begins March 16. Listen all about it right here.

Speaking of Bowden, here's a story about how he's adjusting to the recent additions to his coaching staff.


Sunday, March 06, 2005

Getting to know a new assistant coach

The State profiles Rob Spence, Clemson's new offensive coordinator. He's a hard-charging perfectionist at work and a man of deep faith away from the sidelines. Also, here's a sidebar about the man who is Spence's football muse.

Friday, March 04, 2005

And now for something completely the same ...

It's the Friday Five! Here goes:

No thinking allowed! Write down the first answers that pop into your head:
1) thing that's on your mind right now
Answering these silly little questions (at least they aren't all deep like last week's)
2) songs you like
Gawd. Well, the wife is playing some Indigo Girls right now, so, yeah, I like that.
3) things that make you angry
Bad drivers; bad parents; Che Guevara T-shirts (here's why); pretentious people; pretentious people in Che Guevara T-shirts.
4) things that make you happy
My wife; family; good friends; good food & drink.
5) people who have made a big impact on your life
My mother; my father; my wife.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Headlines added to Tigerpundit

After many hours of painstaking research and trial-and-error blog publishing, I've finally managed to add Clemson-related sports headlines to the Tigerpundit!

Yes, even though I don't blog about basketball, baseball, soccer or the like, you, my four or so readers, will now be able to know INSTANTLY what's going on in Tiger sports JUST BY LOOKING OVER TO THE UPPPER PART OF THIS PAGE'S LEFT-HAND COLUMN!

That's awesome. Awesome ...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Football program in decent shape academically

But three other teams at Clemson -- men's basketball, baseball and men's tennis -- are not in good shape, according to a recent study by the NCAA.

CATCHING UP WITH CURRIE: Here's Airese Currie's latest installment of his NFL Combine diary. He's not satisfied with his 4.49 time in the 40-yard dash.

RECRUITING UPDATE: From the ubiquitous, indefatigable Phil Kornblut.


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?

Monday, January 31, 2005

More on recruiting; do we have a Top 20 class coming in?

It's possible, according to The Greenville News.

How cool would that be?

Also, check out this story from The State on Clemson recruit Josh Miller.

And finally, here's an overview of how the last-minute courting of prospects has gone.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

An interesting story about recruiting

The State examines the case of Tony Nelson, a high school player who had committed to Clemson but will not be offered a scholarship. The firing of assistant coach John Lovett, who was courting Nelson, is involved. It's a heck of a read, though it certainly doesn't reflect well on coach Tommy Bowden.

Also, here's an updated list of our commitments. Remember, Signing Day is Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

More on assistants' pay; Draft prospects for Miller

The Greenville News reports that the pay for two of Clemson's new assistant football coaches exceeds the salary for university president James Barker!

Now that's a commitment to excellence!

'THE SAVIORS': Underclassmen who are coming out early for the NFL draft, such as Clemson's Justin Miller, could be the jewels in an otherwise lousy class.

WOODROW DANTZLER RE-SIGNS WITH COWBOYS: The former Clemson quarterback, who has found a niche in the NFL as a top kick returner, is back with Dallas.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Report: Assistants will make more money

The State reports that Clemson's assistant football coaches will get pay raises, and the new coaches will be making more money than the ones they replaced.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Super Tigers in the Super Bowl

Philadelphia teammates Brian Dawkins and Keith Adams, who were both defensive standouts when they played at Clemson, will be in the Super Bowl together on Feb. 6 when the Eagles meet the New England Patriots. Congratulations, guys.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A football-related post, finally

OK, now that the wedding is all out of the way, let's talk college football again.

There have been several Clemson football developments in the past few weeks that I have failed to document, and for that I apologize. I'll try to catch up, so here goes.

THE 2005 SCHEDULE: It's been released, and it looks awesome. (More here, here and here.) We open at home on Sept. 3 against Texas A&M. I anticipate an amazing atmosphere for that game. We also have Miami, Florida State and Boston College at home. I hope I can make that A&M game.

NEW ASSISTANTS: As most of you already know, Clemson has hired three new assistant coaches. They are Rob Spence, who will be the new offensive coordinator, Vic Koenning, who will be the defensive coordinator, and Marion Hobby, who will handle the defensive line. Welcome aboard, gentlemen. Now don't screw up. (More here.)

RECRUITING: Signing Day is Feb. 2, and Clemson is well on the way to a solid recruiting year. Just last week, we added a commitment from all-state running back James Davis of Atlanta. Here's a look at a list of our verbal commitments.

OK, that's it for now. I promise you, my dozen or so loyal readers, that I will be blogging as much Clemson-football-related material as I can during the off-season.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A wedding story ...

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. We've been quite busy since returning from our New Year's wedding trip to Las Vegas. I promised you, my loyal dozen readers, a rundown on how it all came to pass. I shall attempt to do that now. You can also read the wife's take here.

THE DECISION: We decided to elope early in the fall. Our original plans had us getting married in late July of 2005 at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, N.C. It's a beautiful location, and we were hoping on a small affair -- perhaps 30-50 people, tops. We even put down a deposit on the location when we were visiting the area last July.

However, once family got involved in the wedding planning, it became apparent that our small, intimate ceremony was going to be neither small nor intimate. The guest list kept growing and growing and growing ...

So, come early fall, the fiancee suggested that we postpone until perhaps the spring of 2006. I agreed, but suggested something else:


The idea immediately appealed to both of us, and we bought a book on the subject. (It must be noted that this was the only book on eloping in the massive wedding section of a large, chain-type bookstore.)

After thumbing through the book, we started getting excited about getting married again. So, we went online and booked a trip to Las Vegas for New Year's.

We told our families about our decision during the Thanksgiving holiday, and to our surprise and delight, they were totally OK with it. But they're cool like that.

Now that we've got the background out of the way, on with the particulars:

DEC. 30, 2004: We depart Dulles Airport at 11:15 a.m. on a flight bound for Los Angeles. Five and a half hours later, we land. It's my first view of the Pacific Ocean, and my first-ever visit to California. After a brief wait at LAX (and a couple of beers), we're off to Las Vegas.

One cool moment: As our flight departed L.A., we flew out over the Pacific Ocean, then flipped a U-turn and headed toward Vegas.

We land in Vegas about 45 minutes later. After a couple more beers, we catch a shuttle bus to our hotel, the amazing Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino.

Man, that place is nice. The STANDARD room is a 650-square-foot suite. It was possibly the best accommodations we've ever had, anywhere.

OK, so we've checked in. That means it's time to hit the casino! We played until the wee hours, then hit the sack. We had a big day ahead.

DEC. 31, 2004: We awoke earlier than usual (three hours' time difference, you know) and caught a cab down to the Clark County Marriage License Bureau in downtown Las Vegas. Because New Year's Eve is one of the busiest times of the year for Vegas weddings, there was already a bit of a line when we got there. After we got the license, though, the line was much longer. A nice lady took our picture as we posed underneath the sign for the marriage license bureau.

After that, we walked about a block and explored old downtown Vegas, now cleaned up, blocked off and dubbed the Fremont Street Experience.

It was a blast. We had lunch at the Golden Gate's famous San Francisco Shrimp Bar & Deli, and yes, I had the world-famous 99-cent shrimp cocktail (and a turkey sandwich). Total bill with beverage: $4.50. The fiancee had a hot dog the size of my forearm for, like, $1.75.

With a suitable protective base put down, it was time for more drinking and gambling.

We did the Old Vegas thing for a few hours, then caught a cab back to the hotel to prep for our big New Year's Eve dinner at Bouchon at the Venetian, which foodies say is one of the finest restaurants in the country. It was quite good, though it wasn't the best meal we had in Vegas.

I will say that I don't believe I'll be ordering pate again anytime soon. (We had it as an appetizer, and I told the wife-to-be that it kind of reminded me of Underwood Deviled Ham, only it was about 25 times more expensive.) The dinner bill, which included several glasses of VERY expensive wine, was nearly $400, but it was worth it.

We finished that in time to head back to the room, where Tipsy Boy here nearly fell asleep. The wife-to-be had to order room-service coffee to make sure I woke up in time to see the amazing fireworks display on The Strip. I did, and the pyrotechnics were indeed awesome.

Afterward, we caught our second wind and hit the casino for a while. Later, at about 2 in the morning, we wandered into the small, swanky V Bar, paid the $60 New Year's Eve cover charge, and had a few more cocktails.

We eventually went to bed at about 5 a.m.

JAN. 1, 2005: It's wedding day!

We had to sleep off a hangover, which we helped cure with an awesome room-service pizza, but we made it on time for our 5:30 p.m. limo ride to the Little White Wedding Chapel and our 6 p.m. ceremony. Yes, it's the place where Britney Spears got married. Basketball legend Michael Jordan also was wed there, as were several other drunken celebrities through the years.

So, we get there, and we're told that we have to take our wedding pictures before the ceremony. That was messed up. First of all, we were both a little nervous, and believe me, it showed in the pictures. Secondly, the "package" we ordered said we got 12 "poses" for our wedding photos. However, that meant that the photographer was only going to squeeze the shutter 12 times. In other words, there were no re-shoots if a picture turned out bad. So we ended up with some really crappy wedding pictures, including a couple where I've been caught in mid-blink. (We eventually lost the pictures during packing for the trip home. Disappointing, yes, but not a huge loss.)

The ceremony itself was actually quite lovely. (Elvis was not involved, by the way.) Short but sweet, and the minister's words ended up being perfect for us. We even wrapped everything up with a prayer. Very nice.

Afterward, we limoed it back to the hotel, snacked on some chips and salsa, changed into jeans and t-shirts, ate at the Venetian's food court, and -- hit the casino again! (Hey, you gotta have some kind of reception, right?)

JAN. 2: This was kind of a casual day. We went back to Fremont Street and gambled, then hit our hotel's casino and gambled some more. (Notice a pattern here?) Oh yeah, we ate and drank some, too.

JAN. 3: During the day, we had an awesome German meal at the Vegas branch of Munich's famous Hofbrau Haus. We both love German food, and it was nice to finally be able to enjoy it for the first time in a couple of years. (There are no good German places in the D.C. area, apparently.)

That night, we had tickets to see Zumanity at New York New York. It's the latest show from the Cirque du Soleil folks. However, we ran into some trouble, both outside and inside the theater.

First of all, the company we had made reservations with had us booked for a 10:30 p.m. show, but the confirmation e-mail they'd sent me said we were booked for the 7:30 show. The Zumanity folks were going to accommodate us at the 7:30 show, but we would have had worse seats than for the 10:30 show, so we decided to wait.

That gave us a chance to check out New York New York, and that was a good thing. We gambled a bit and hit a couple of bars, including an amazing cocktail lounge where the band plays BEHIND AND ABOVE THE BAR!

We both agreed that next time we go to Vegas, we're going to stay at New York New York. It's just ... cool. There's no other way to describe it.

We gambled some more, and had a lovely Italian dinner. And then, it was showtime.

That's when things got a little weird.

We did, indeed, have great seats for the show. However, they were spoiled by the arrival of Anna Nicole Smith and her entourage of fat security guards, purse-toting lackeys and other hangers-on, sycophants and losers. The whole motley crew plopped down RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, then proceeded to block our view by standing up and moving around a lot. To their enduring credit, the Zumanity staffers apologized profusely and brought us a couple of free beers.

But Anna Nicole... damn, what a trainwreck. She didn't clap for the performers, who were truly amazing, and she spent half the night yakking on the cellphone.

At the end of the night, the Zumanity performers did this kind of grand finale on a spinning portion of the stage. It was supposed to resemble a big orgy. (The show's theme is a celebration of human sexuality, and it features topless -- and bottomless -- performers. No one under 18 was allowed into the show.) Zumanity is big on audience participation, so they brought two people onto the stage to join the "orgy." One was a blond surfer dude from Florida named Tad (I think). He was fairly sedate -- he just peeled out of his shirt and kind of cuddled with one of the hottie female dancers.

The other person selected at random to appear onstage? Why, Anna Nicole Smith, that's who. And -- get this -- SHE WAS MIKED UP! That's right. Apparently, she walks around everywhere with a tiny wireless mike box attached to the small of her back. You know, just in case.

Anna took the stage and proceeded to lewdly dry-hump one of the hottie male dancers. I mean, she jumped on top of him, pinned his arms down, started humping him vigorously, arched her back, and showed the audience her O-face.

We were not amused, and the wife was downright disgusted. But what the heck; we had our Vegas "celebrity" sighting.

JAN. 4: Our next-to-last day. We toured a couple of the other casinos. We checked out Bellagio and its famous water fountains, and returned to New York New York. But the highlight of the day was dinner at Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian. This was by far the best meal we had during our trip, and it was one of the best meals I've had anywhere. I didn't know beef could be that good.

JAN. 5: Leaving Las Vegas. Our flight departed at 3:30 local time, and because of nightmarish delays in Dallas, we didn't arrive back in D.C. until 5 a.m. Very tired, but very happy.

Final tally of the trip: One marriage, a couple of great meals, and about $400 in gambling winnings for the wife. (I lost about $300).

Oh yes, and too many wonderful memories to mention.

Friday, January 07, 2005

I'm back after a long break

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past couple of weeks. I was traveling for the holidays, and then we went to Las Vegas .... and got married!

Yes, we were married on Jan. 1 at the Little White Wedding Chapel in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. We were ensconced in the beautiful Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino from Dec. 30 until Jan. 5. It was perhaps the best vacation we've ever been on.

And Gary, sorry I didn't contact you while we were there. We just had too many days where we were asleep until 3 in the afternoon. I'll post a full run-down of the wedding trip to Vegas in the future. For now, I must rest and nurse this low-grade infection that I apparently acquired on a nightmarish flight home. (Departed Las Vegas at 3 p.m.; after a loooong delay in Dallas, arrived in Washington at 4 a.m.)

Anyway, we're both very happy. That's all for now.