I'm also icing my ankle because, and this is the complete truth, I sprained it playing kickball with my little brother in the Big Brother/Big Sister program today. I tried to stop too quickly to dodge a kid's peg and I felt my ankle buckle. So I've definitely eliminated myself from being in the running for beaver pelt trader of the week. Instead I'm going to give it to Mark Dantonio for the boldest overtime call I've ever seen, the fake field goal for a touchdown to beat Notre Dame. Hopefully this award will help his convalescence.
OK, on to the mailbag.
Brandon P. writes:
Just read your column and you are right on with the statement about two kids being infinitely harder than one. As the father of a 2.5 year old and 1.5 year old who are 363 days apart, I regret to inform you that it only gets harder. I have developed what I call the "Kid Rule of Square." It is deeply rooted in mathematical fact. It states that "difficulty factor of watching kids = number of kids squared." For instance, if one kid = a difficulty factor of one, then two kids = difficulty factor of four, or are four times harder to watch than one. As such, three are nine times harder to watch than one, and so on and so forth. Ask anyone you know with multiple kids and see if they disagree.
This rule makes perfect sense to me since I can't even explain to you how tired I am at the end of the day now. My second son is one week old and my life is completely different than it was before. I'm a shell of my former self. Here are five ways how my life has already changed: 1. I now sleep in the guest bedroom on a day bed beneath the air-conditioning vent with one small cover. All night long I shiver.
2. I get up at dawn with my oldest son now. Seriously, he wakes up every morning at dawn. What have I done to try and remedy this situation? I've noticed that if I sleep in his bed he sleeps for an hour longer than usual. So now I set my phone to go off at 4:35 AM and crawl under his Thomas the Tank Engine sheets every morning at 4:36 AM.
3. Last night, I just threw up. No warning, no sickness, no alcohol, suddenly my stomach was queasy and I threw up. My son, who does this all the time to no ill effect, walked into the bathroom and said, "Daddy, you need a cookie now."
4. My wife sent me to do the grocery shopping and asked me to get turkey bologna. After an hour of wandering around the grocery store aisles -- when did these places get so big? -- I came back with turkey and bologna.
Raise your hand if you knew turkey bologna was the same product?
Since when can you combine meats?
5. I tried to delete the latest episode of Caillou on my DVR and instead I deleted the latest episode of Jersey Shore.
These are just five things. As you can see, I'm basically done for.
I was In Knoxville last weekend - sad. I'm 4-0 there as a Florida fan: 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2010 - but that was the first time where I felt like I was in Commonwealth Stadium rather than Neyland. Fans were pissy and moany, complaining about the offensive calls, Simms, but not the Gators. Almost apathetic to the game. It was like having a friend as a kid get sick and die, then feeling like you had no one to play with once they were gone. Florida still has the rest of the SEC, but I used to like the fight of that Florida/Tennessee game, but right now, it's just gone. What's it gonna take to bring it back to life?
It's never a good sign when your football program is compared to a dead kid. Or when Florida fans are sending you condolence e-mails.
But the atmosphere you're describing in Neyland doesn't surprise me. It used to be that Florida provoked an unrelenting pool of hate among Tennessee fans. That was because the Gators were often the one team standing between Tennessee and titles. Now? Now there are about 70 teams standing between Tennessee and titles. Instead of focusing on external foes, the fan base's quarrels are all internal now.
When Phil Fulmer was fired, there was a hope that the division over his tenure would disappear with a new hire. I think this was one reason Lane Kiffin was so popular initially. People were just so tired of fighting with each other, we wanted a new guy no matter what he said or did. No longer. And once you go 0-4 against three different Pac-10 teams in four consecutive seasons, you lose your right to be considered a rival of a top SEC program.
I don't believe any Tennessee fans truly expected to win on Saturday against Florida and Urban Meyer. (Notwithstanding my hopeful prediction that the Vols would win). Why would we? Since the SEC went to divisional play in 1992 and created this annual September game, Florida is 14-5 against Tennessee, and the last four wins have been by double digits.
We're 0-6 against Meyer. As I wrote after the game, he owns us. And it's not changing any time soon. In fact, I'll go this far: I don't believe Tennessee will ever beat Meyer.
Randy B. writes:
You made the observation recently that everyone who wears his flat-billed hat pointed sideways is a loser.
As a preliminary, I know nothing about fashion. I wear shorts, flip-flops and t-shirts 90 percent of my waking life. Having said that, people who wear hats on their heads facing anything other than straight ahead or straight backwards are guaranteed to be tools.
Did it surprise anyone when the guy who ran from the foul ball and let his girlfriend get hit was wearing a baseball cap sideways? Of course not. If you'd given me a lineup of 10 people, I could have picked out the guy who was going to let his girlfriend get hit by the foul ball solely based upon how he was wearing his hat.
If I had a daughter and a guy showed up to take her out with a sideways hat on, I wouldn't let her go.
In fact, I'm convinced that businesses could interview for positions available for recent college grads by not asking a single question, and simply placing a hat in a chair. Ask one question, "How would you wear this hat?"
Bang, you eliminate everyone who would do the company wrong without even having the interviewee open his mouth.
Now, on to Vince Young. VY has adopted a subtle modifier of the sideways hat that is nearly as infuriating as the complete sideways look. Namely, he tilts his hat so slightly to the left or right that you always think it's an accident. Like you should fix it yourself. I saw him leaving the locker room once and I thought about letting him know his hat was crooked.
I feel confident that had VY modified his hat to either straight ahead or straight backward, he wouldn't have gotten pulled during the Steelers game.
Jenn B. writes:
Clay, on Friday Night Lights and Mad Men, settle a debate, is Don Draper or Tim Riggins cooler?
Both men are amazingly cool, arguably the two most entertaining characters on television today. (Although Buddy Garrity may be my favorite character to watch on television. I absolutely love him).
I've made the statement that if I could be any fictional character on a TV series, it would be Tim Riggins. Given the fact that Riggins just turned himself in to serve a jail sentence at the end of season four, this makes no sense. Effectively what I'm saying is that I'd like to go to jail just to be Tim Riggins.
That's how cool Tim Riggins is.
Don Draper is cool, but he's also an awful father. Now that I'm a dad, I can overlook virtually any character flaw: money laundering, bootlegging, alcoholism, drug dealing, philandering, being a mob boss. But the one thing I can't overlook is awful fatherhood. I'm fairly confident that Riggins would be a good dad.
So I'm rolling with Riggins on this one.
Ben D. writes:
College bowl games are tax exempt, non-profit corporations but clearly do not conduct their business as a typical non-profit company would. In your legal opinion, is there something to the complaint filed by Playoff Pac against several big bowls?
You've written about the absurdities of the BCS before, so I'm dying to read what you have to say about it now.
In reading the complaint, I don't think the bowls that were sued spent money in a way that is that much different than what the vast majority of nonprofit entities would spend money on. There's an illusion out there that nonprofit entities are better stewards of their money than for-profit entities. The reverse is often true. So nothing in the lawsuit is shocking to me. (Note: this is also true because I've read an advance copy of Dan Wetzel's Death to the BCS that has many of these figures only in much greater detail).
What the lawsuit further develops for me is something I've come to believe: the biggest issue with having a playoff is political more than it is economic. Namely, the people who are making money off the current structure -- and believe me there are a ton of people -- will fight to the death to protect their vested interest in the present system rather than let a new system emerge.
That's even though a playoff would bring in hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars more in revenue every year than the present system. But, and this is key, the winners in that system would be different than the winners in the present system. And if you've got a rigged system that you benefit from, you're doing everything possible to keep the status quo in existence.
Simply put, tt's not enough for something to make sense once politics gets involved, it has to make sense and the people who stand to gain from nothing changing have to be overcome. The people who stand to lose are much better connected politically, fight harder and longer, and will derail any process that knocks their hands out of the metaphorical cookie jar.
Should the head of the Sugar Bowl, Paul Hoolahan, make in excess of $600k? Of course not. I have zero doubt that I could do his job every bit as well for a third of the money. So could several thousand other lawyers throughout the southeast. But is Hoolahan the most overpaid nonprofit executive in the country?
Not even close.
Keep in mind that Urban Meyer coached in last season's Sugar Bowl and makes over $4 million a year to coach a team that is, ostensibly, part of a nonprofit entity as well. I think what lawsuits like this one may do is raise further issues about the nonprofit status and tax exemptions afforded to $100 million athletic departments across our country.
Focusing exclusively on the non-profit structure of the bowls is a little bit like the NCAA catching one kid out of every thousand who cheat on the SAT. Yeah, you might be right that something is wrong there, but the issue isn't individualized. It's systematic.
Follow Clay Travis on Twitter here. With All That and a Bag of Mail returning for the football season, you can e-mail him questions at Clay.Travis@gmail.com