Friday, November 29, 2019

Well, I called that one wrong. Indulge me, if you will. I got my start as a sports reporter and sometimes it’s fun the stretch those legs.

Last night’s Egg Bowl was a pretty good ball game and lots of fun to watch. Neither team is having a great year, especially given how relatively strong the SEC is overall. LSU and Georgia are powerhouses, and Alabama’s strong as always. That being said, neither Ole Miss nor Mississippi State – much less their fans – give much of a damn past last night’s game. State rivalry is generally a bigger deal than conference rivalries. So while neither team is lighting things on fire, the Egg Bowl might be the athletic high point of the years.

And it was worth watching. There is absolutely nothing quite as tedious as a “big game” where one team completely dominates the other. It’s why any Superbowl with the Patriots is going to be a drag. In any event, it was a tight game up until the last actual minute.

With MSU up 21-14, Ole Miss’ back quarterback Matt Corral connected with wide receiver Braylon Sanders for a very impressive 57-yard gain. After a couple of penalties put the Rebels in the red zone, Corral hit receiver Elijah Moore for a short, two-yard touchdown.

Now here’s where it gets funny. A little set up first, though. At the end of the third quarter of last year’s Egg Bowl, which saw State stomping Ole Miss like a rented mule 35-3, a huge bench-clearing brawl kicked into gear, resulting in four ejections and unsportsmanlike conduct calls on “all players from both teams”. I’ve been in amongst that sort of thing once or twice in my professional career, and believe you me, when you’re a 5’8″ geek, the giant monsters that make up the average college football team trying to break each others’ necks is unsettling indeed.

So, four seconds left on the clock, all the Rebels needed to do was kick the point-after and the game would go into overtime, tightening sphincters all over the state of Mississippi. A little more set up, if you will. During the 2017 Egg Bowl, in the middle of a 31-28 squeaker over the Bulldogs, reciever D.K. Metcalf (now with the Seattle Seahawks) celebrated a 63-yard touchdown pass from QB Jordan Ta’amu (now with the incredibly silly named Houston Texans) by, well, pretending to be a dog peeing on something. He got on all fours, lifted his back leg in that well-known doggy maneuver, and got a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on him. At the time, the score was 24-6 Ole Miss, so it didn’t matter.

Okay, we all on the same page, now? A touchdown in the final seconds of the game, bringing the Rebels within a field goal of pushing the game into overtime, and knowing that both teams are being scrutinized for dickish behavior, for some reason Moore does the doggy peeing thing. That got them a penalty and pushed them back to a 35-yard, which kicker Luke Logan (who’s been having a good year) missed, and the clock ran out. The Mississippi State Bulldogs won the Egg Bowl and the Ole Miss Rebels get to be the goats for the next year because some kid acted stupid.

Anyhow, I thought it was funny. I may have said before, but football’s kind of my guilty pleasure. It’s a horrible activity run by utter garbage human beings who make disgusting amounts of money by smashing human beings together in an attempt to hurt them too much to continue, leading to years of damaged physical and mental health, after which the owners or schools don’t give one shit about them. And the fans are even worse, bemoaning the slightest attempt to make the game a little less destructive on the players just because they didn’t make the JV team in junior high and, consequently, have no inner life whatsoever as adults.

But it’s fun to watch, even though I feel bad for enjoying it and can only stomach so much. After living in New Orleans, I finally understand the sense of community a winning sports team can bring to people and there is absolutely no reason the sport can’t be less physically and mentally damaging apart from it’d make the fans mewl like sick kittens.

Speaking of the Crescent City, the Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons, their hated rival, with a commanding 26-18, clinching the Southeastern title and a playoff spot. This came just a few days shy of three weeks since the 3-9 Falcons pushed New Orleans (10-2) all over the Superdome and made them look like sad chumps. Apart from the victory, the Saints got a measure of revenge, sacking Atlanta QB Matt Ryan nine times and probably ruining his Thanksgiving. The last time the Saints scored a spot this early in the season was 2009, when they went on to win the Super Bowl and New Orleans threw the biggest party in that town’s history.

Anyhow, that was fun. I couldn’t do sports anymore for all sorts of reasons, including but not limited to a disgust with the overall business, but it is fun stuff to write about. Mainly because it doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just games that kids play every weekend and adults take way, way too seriously. In far too many states, a goddamn football coach is the highest paid government employee, and that’s just ridiculous. College athletes are exploited by the schools, who rake in millions while the poor ball player could lose his whole life if he accepts a meal from an alumni. And that is reality.

Okay, a quick look at the News and we’ll call it a night. Well, the only thing grabbing my attention is this piece by CNN where the House Judiciary Committee is giving the Trump Gang until Dec. 6 to decide whether or not his attorneys will take part in the impeachment proceedings against The Boss. There is honestly no telling what the dippy bastard will do, as his cried and ranted that it “wasn’t fair” he wasn’t being given a chance to defend himself, completely misunderstanding the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing as well as the whole “right to confront your accuser” thing.

I’m saying they won’t. The Trump people have gotten a lot of mileage out of sitting on their hands and letting the government spin its wheels while claiming to be victims, and I see no reason they’ll change that trend. The faithful will swallow it hook, line and sinker, and the press won’t push back on it to any great extent. And I seriously doubt anyone in that bunch of poltroons who has any control over the big crybaby will let Trump himself testify, because they know how bad the dumb bastard is at that sort of thing.

As of this writing, it’s 6:30 p.m. and I don’t see a Friday evening news dump. We’re in for some nasty weather this weekend, possibly really nasty, but luckily I don’t have to do anything. Otis and the varmints are well, I have some games I need to put some time into, and the last month of 2019 starts Sunday, and good riddance to it. Y’all have a good weekend if I don’t see you before Monday.

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