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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Final Cut

Monday
December 1, 2003

Here we are, watching the final month of 2003 kick into high gear. It's rather cliché to ask "where did the year go?" (as many people tend to rhetorically do this time of year), but it has flown by, at least for me. Began as the end of a torturous run at Channel 10, then finally freedom and the chance to work for Bubba The Love Sponge. And as we approach 2004, the next year looks promising.

Happy birthday to my sister Mary Beth, who turns 15 today. She can now apply for her Tennessee driver's license learner's permit, which she has been studying for here for awhile. Considering that she's more responsible than most anyone else her age, she should be able to handle driving just fine. Granted, there are more restrictions for young drivers now than there were when I was her age, but she should be able to handle it all without difficulty.

Josh Tenisci
Josh Tenisci is one of many friends I hope to see over Christmas.

The time is nearing to book my Christmas travel plans. I've already missed out on any 30 day window possibilities, but luckily Southwest is pretty reasonable about its pricing from even a week out from the travel date. But around the holidays, flights book quickly, so I need to lock it in, pronto. I've been holding off in waiting to see how things play out with BubbaArmy.com and our fulfillment center, but I've got a general idea for how this should play out from a timing standpoint. I just want to make sure that we have all of our Christmas orders taken care of and that no one gets jilted in trying to make a holiday purchase.

If you've been following the Indianapolis Colts closely, you might've noticed that they have a very predictable philosophy inside the 2 yard line: give the ball to Edgerrin James. Now, on the surface this makes sense, with James being an elite NFL running back. And last week against Buffalo, the trend continued, with the Colts gaining a game-winning TD on a fourth down run by James.

But offensive coordinator Tom Moore's strategy didn't work against the Patriots this past Sunday. The Colts went to the well once too often, particularly against a tough Patriots defensive line (with the likes of hefty DT Ted Washington in there stuffing the run). I credit Peyton Manning for leading the Colts back from a huge hole (down by three touchdowns in the second half), but I implore Moore to consider more than just Edge left and Edge right down on the goalline.

As much as I love the NFL, it still irks me that the league's realignment put my two favorite teams (the Colts and the Titans) in the same division. When the Colts were in the old AFC East, I grew to really dislike the Patriots and the Bills and especially the Dolphins. That's still true now, but it creates some major mixed emotions for me going into next weeks Colts/Titans game in Nashville. Such is life -- at least both teams are strong in the playoff hunt, and one of them will win the division.

Mississippi State today signed Green Bay Packers running back coach Sylvester Croom as its new head football coach. My Starkville rumor mill tells me that the SEC and NCAA promised lighter sanctions against MSU (which is under investigation for alleged violations under Jackie Sherrill from 1998-2002) in exchange for the school hiring a minority coach. I cannot vouch for the validity of that (and I suppose we'll see how it turns out when the investigation is complete), but it is an interesting move. Croom has never been a head coach anywhere, and he inherits a team with some skilled players but a total lack of team chemistry. It'll be up to Croom to bring the guys together.

Michael Clayton
Michael Clayton and LSU need to beat Georgia... but not by too much.

With the power outage here this past Saturday, I managed to pass the time here by listening to sports talk radio. And, wow, was that ever brutal when the topic turned to college football's post-season. To hear some of the idiots on the air trying to defend the BCS system as being superior to a playoff was maddening. How can you support a system where the Notre Dame/Syracuse game will potentially decide who will go to the national title game between USC and LSU? And a system where LSU will actually be hurt if they beat Georgia by too much, because it could knock Georgia out of the Top 10 (and thus impact LSU's "quality win" rankings). It's insanity, yet some of the weekend sports talkers embraced it with a sickening enthusiasm. Open your eyes: it's all about the money (and the control belonging to the major conferences, not the NCAA). Nevermind that a playoff system could produce revenue far outpacing what the bowls draw, it's about who's getting and controlling the money. Bottom line. If you think otherwise, you're just fooling yourself.


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