Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pickin' Cotton

I am a little stunned. The greatest rivalry in college football, the OU-Texas game, is staying at the Cotton Bowl until 2015. City of Dallas officials are set to announce the deal at a Friday press conference on the 50-yard-line at the decaying old stadium.

The city of Dallas is promising to increase the amount of money paid to OU and Texas, as well as to Grambling and Prairie View, who also play at the Cotton Bowl during the Texas State Fair. The city has recently approved $30 million in bond money for improvements to the stadium, in an effort to attract more college football games. The stadium is losing the Cotton Bowl game to the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington, as the bowl game attempts to crack the lineup of the BCS.

At first glance, this looks like Dallas is putting lipstick on a pig. The stadium is a dump, and will still be a dump after the city puts $30 million into it. They plan to rip out the chairs, replace them with bench seating, and to increase capacity to 90,000. I wonder if $30 million is a good investment to attract four or five college football games per year. OU-Texas brings in plenty of out of town visitors, but how will a neutral site game between Oklahoma State and Texas A&M fly at the Cotton Bowl? (How about that: the Ag Bowl presented by John Deere, live from the State Fair!) Or, Notre Dame vs. Baylor? (OK, I know, Notre Dame sells out everywhere they play...)

The stadium doesn't have to be a total palace for college football fans to be happy with it. All that most fans ask for are working toilets and leg room, two things that have been in short supply at the Cotton Bowl in recent years.

This is the city of Dallas we're dealing with, so I'll believe Cotton Bowl renovations when I see them. But, it looks like some people in Big D are seeing some light, even if it's too little, too late.

By the way, OU-Texas belongs at the State Fair, as long as the stadium isn't falling down. I'd hate to see it rotate between Norman and Austin.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'm not blogging much this week.

I am absorbed by the Virginia Tech tragedy. I am 1100 miles away from it, and have only been to the campus once. I fell in love with the place. I do not know anyone there, though I am learning that I know people that know people that lost loved ones in the shooting. (Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It's a really small world)

I am in awe of the spirit and resilience of the Hokie Nation.

I am having a hard time getting anything done. I'll be back up within a matter of time.

Let's Go, Hokies!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Message Board Threads Of The Day

Any site associated with Virginia Tech is being flooded with traffic today.

Tech Sideline is the largest VT site, and is not affiliated with the Rivals or Scout networks. It has crashed at least once today, and has become a large gathering place for Hokies.

The VT Rivals and Scout sites are smaller, but are drawing a record amount of traffic today. The Hokie Rivals board has already had over 2000 posts of condolence from fans of other schools.

An incredible mix of order and expression occurs during such a time as this. Fans of lots of different schools will have their own individual thread, as if they all migrated from their home board at one time. As I write, the VT Rivals site is stacked with condolence threads, mostly saying "Prayers from (your school here)".

Hokie Haven (Rivals)

VT Insider (Scout)

The Lounge (off-sports topic board) at


The Virginia Tech logo has been marked with my amateur editing job using Paint.

I've been to the campus. It's a great place, tucked into the New River Valley, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia is one of my favorite places, having spent time there for both work and play.

My prayers go out to those impacted by this tragedy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Big Deal

Today is the 60th anniversary of the day when Jackie Robinson first played in a major league game. He was the first African-American to play in the major leagues.

Major League Baseball is pulling out all the stops to honor him, declaring today Jackie Robinson Day. His number 42 has already been retired by every major league team. Today, over 200 players are wearing number 42, including several entire teams.

ESPN has been promoting this non-stop for a week. Normally, I believe ESPN blows everything way out of proportion. I get really sick of their hype machine. But, I really don't mind this. This sea of acclaim is coming about 35 years too late.

Jackie Robinson paved the way for African-Americans to play and excel, not just in baseball, but in the NFL and NBA as well. Baseball was a really big deal in 1947, and race relations were not good. Jackie Robinson broke a lot of stereotypes and took a lot of heat as a pioneer.

This is a big deal.

Message Board Thread Of The Day

Out at USC, hip-hop star Romeo (formerly Lil' Romeo) has committed to play basketball for the Trojans, beginning in 2008. His father, Master P, tried for years to make an NBA roster, to no avail. Romeo has a friend, DeMar DeRozan, who is a highly recruited shooting guard prospect. It is rumored that USC is letting Romeo play for the Trojans in order to entice his best friend, DeRozan, to play for the Trojans.

USC is a football school. However, North Carolina is a basketball school, so there is lots of traffic on their basketball board at Inside Their fans have some interesting comments on this situation here:

Romeo to USC

Here's a great post from the thread:

Come on, man. You can't be serious. With this news on Lil Romeo, USC is quickly becoming a joke and a circus. (O.J.) Mayo lets his "friend" do his business deals with Floyd. I wonder how much Master P is going to be involved with Floyd? Maybe Floyd can get a record deal next? What's next for USC? Jay-Z as an assistant manager? Tattoo artist sitting on the bench during the games? Drinking Gatorade out of a pimp cup? Maybe Floyd will let them skip practice so they can do movies?.....

USC is attempting to become "Showtime". There was only one "Showtime": the Lakers.

Here is the USC take on the situation: