Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi!


Before getting into Vanderbilt sports, I will just say a few things about how sports and school spirit can help deal with tragedies like the one that took place in Blacksburg on Monday. First off, I think it shows the indomitable spirit of the Virginia Tech community that there was an impromptu chant of "Let's go Hokies" during the Convocation memorializing Monday's tragedy. Second, despite being the worst team in Major League Baseball, the Nationals really hit one out of the park last night by donning Virginia Tech hats during their game last night. Class all the way. One of the Hokie hats will head to Cooperstown, the rest will be sent to Virginia Tech, and signed by the Nationals team. Absolutely fantastic.

Since there is no way to transition, I won't (apologies to all my English teachers). Vanderbilt baseball dropped their first OCC baseball game this season, losing 5-3 to Lipscomb. The Commies are now 32-7. Mo Patton has a recap in the Tennessean. Vanderbilt has a chance to get back to their winning ways tonight against MTSU in Murfreesboro. This is game 2 of the O'Shea Bowl. Bobby's got a 1-0 series lead over the old man. Perhaps this might be bold, but I think today's game against Middle is a must win. Vanderbilt hosts Puke Orange this weekend for a 3 game set, and doesn't want to drop 2 straight coming into the series. While UT is not the cream of the SEC crop, this is THE rivalry for Vanderbilt and the last thing Tim Corbin wants is a team limping into this series.

Mo Patton penned a great article in yesterday's Tennessean about "Vanderbilt winning without [an] AD." The article makes a great point about how the current structure has not been tested by the headache of a coaching search for one of the school's major programs (football, baseball, or either basketball team). With that said, the way Gee and DeFKA guru David Williams handled Auburn and LSU's flirtation with Tim Corbin does seem to indicate that they are watching the athletic store. It's a very good article and the probably topic of today's Hotline Hot Topic. While she claims she is "not interested," women's basketball coach Melanie Balcomb is interviewing with another Big Ten School, the Nittany Lions of Penn State.

Friend of VSL and Rome Clone, Boyer in the District, has a great take on Houston Nutt's "defense" of his conduct:
Wow.

I'm no math major, but the span from November 30 to January 11 is 43 days. 1,063 text messages exchanged over the course of 43 days is roughly 25 text messages a day - including the one 19 minutes before kickoff of the Capital One Bowl. Now, let's recall what Houston Nutt's excuse was/is:

"My communications with Ms. Bragg have concerned her work as a professional fundraiser for a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services to the developmentally disabled, her insights regarding the media, words of condolence and support regarding the loss of my mother-in-law after her battle with cancer, and information relating to her close friend who was diagnosed with cancer."

Let me get this straight, coach - you exchanged roughly 25 text messages a day in the height of the SEC Conference Championship Race, the BCS selection battle, and the preparations for the Capitol One Bowl, about HER work as a fundraiser for a non-profit that has nothing to do with football, and HER insights regarding the media (which must've been URGENT to know). I also admire the cancer reset...what do you expect Razorback fan to say? "Ohhh Coach I'm sorry...you lost your mother-in-law to cancer...sorry we questioned the texting!" Right.

Houston Nutt had an opportunity to own up to his affair with Bragg (yeah, an affair), and he's not doing it.

Pile this on the Mustain/Malzahn situation, and Nutt looks miserable.

The Hogs better win the SEC outright next year, or this is Nutt's last
season.

Rack'em.

Vanderbilt's men's tennis team is apparently seeking "revenge" in the upcoming SEC Tournament according to Harold Huggins in today's Nashville City Paper. The boys open up against Mississippi State on Tuesday. The Lady Laxers play their last home game tonight against Notre Dame today at 4 central today. A win today would "boost" their post-season hopes according to an article I found on VUCommodores.com. Finally, I never thought I'd see sour grapes over women's bowling, but this alumnus is pissed...and he might have a point.

While some seasons are winding down, the DC Dores softball season is just getting started. Follow all the action at DCDores.Net. Bobby and Woody will be out there, will you?

My American Idol recap will be brief. Before I get into it, I've got to say that I know many of you who read VSL watch and like Idol. With that said, you are no where to be found when Anonymous goes college radio on me and likens me to a suburban housewife. I am all for Anonymous' smack...I actually think it adds something. But I am calling out everyone on here who likes Idol and falls silent when College Radio (my new name for Anonymous until he identifies himself otherwise) goes off. Let the recap begin. The judges hate country music, so this is always a difficult show.
The talk today is about Simon's eye-roll after Chris sent out his well-wishes to Virginia Tech. I didn't notice said eye-roll, but did find Simon's sympathetic words a little awkward. Bobby's lady friend chalked that up to being unscripted and therefore naturally more awkward than it otherwise might have been. I would never want to impugn Chris' motives, but if he wanted to send out his thoughts and prayers, he should have done it before he began to sing. I'm sure Secreast would have given him 30 seconds to do it instead of one of the stupid "ask the contestant" segments they do before someone sings. Chris was terrible and sent out his regards at a very awkward time...after the judges had skewered him. I am sure something will be said about this tonight, most likely by Simon himself, and hopefully that will put it to rest. Now, to my bottom three. I have Chris, Phil Stacey (despite a good performance), and LaKisha in the bottom 3 with Phil or Chris going home. I wouldn't be shocked is Sanjaya was in the bottom 3 instead on LaKisha, but just like in the NCAA Tournament, you gotta pick some upsets.

Hoser of the Week to be posted later today.
It's been quiet lately, let's hear some chatter.

Bobby, OUT.

Photos courtesty of the Washington Post, TheHometownChannel.com, and the Drudge Report.

7 comments:

Stanimal said...

Alright Boyer, I'm sorry, but this time the Arkansas fan base has gone waaaaaay too far.

I don't know a thing about Houston Nutt personally. I know that he's had his share of ups and downs at Arkansas, I know that he really wanted to keep the #1 QB recruit in the nation in-state and that he would do anything he could to make that happen, and I'm sure like just about everybody he's got a few streaks of morally questionable decisions.

I don't care if he has 1,000,000,000 text messages in a span of two hours. Unless those texts come out with discussion of a provacative nature, you're innocent until proven guilty. The fact that the "fans" of Arkansas went to such lengths as to gather his phone records, even while they were legally entitled, to borrow from Phil Jackson's mis-used term earlier, is fodder for a witch hunt.

As far as you and the rest of the Arkansas fan base knows, she could have been wishing him good luck 19 minutes before the game and he could have sent back, "thanks".

Listen, I respect the passion that y'all have for Razorback football and that you want what's best for your program. But is it really appropriate to go so far as to perform a deep probe of the man's phone records in order to find a reason to can him? If such an act were done across the world of college football, players and coaches alike, what kind of things do you think you'd discover?

I think that this whole thing isn't as embarrassing to Nutt as it is to the state of Arkansas athletics right now. I am not a Hog-hater, by no means at all, I cheered my tail off for y'all at the SEC championship and I'd much rather see y'all succeed than any team out of the West, but if there's a line in the sand regarding how crazy we should get about college football, I'd argue that across this line, YOU DO NOT

Boyer in the District said...

Stanimal:

I heard about this about 2 weeks ago, not too far from the source - which happened to be the biggest real-estate developer in northwest Arkansas and a friend of the Nutt/Razorback family. The issue, at that point, had nothing to do with the nature of the text messages, but the fact that they were done on a phone paid for by the program. Also, there are credit card (for team use only) purchases that Nutt allegedly made for gifts to Bragg. No one's even talking about that - YET.

What's more - she could've sent an innocent "goodluck" message to him on said phone 19 minutes before kickoff. Fine. Arkansas fan's point is - "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TEXTING ANYONE 19 MINUTES BEFORE A HUGE BOWL GAME? NO WONDER WE LOST - OUR COACH WASN'T FOCUSED WHEN IT MATTERED MOST!" See my point?

As for those responsible for using FOI Act to get the records - I'd argue that's a small handful. Arkansas has wanted Houston Nutt gone for years now. I assure you - if similar circumstances were applied nationally to other programs, you'd have those who would dig and dig until they found something in an attempt to displace a coach.

As for the general state of Arkansas athletics - I agree - it is somewhat embarrassing r However, come this season, this will be a memory, and the Hogs will hopefully perform as expected (fyi, watch out for the Hogs defense - apparently they had a RIDICULOUS Spring). As for men's hoops - hell, even Joe Lunardi has us as an 11 seed in his bracket already!

One more thing: "I'm not a Hog Hater, by no means at all.." This is now the second blast you've had against Arkansas (the first being about those who hail from Arkansas, and this one being a slam against the entire fan-base for digging too much).

Stanimal - REACTION!

-Boyer in the District

Stanimal said...

1. The first jab I had against Arkansas was one entirely in jest. The comment originated as a response to your statement that "the sad thing is we'll probably still roll Vandy next year!" Playing the role of foolish outsider with stereotypical opinion, I made a comment that was meant to be a joke: "Yeah, but you'll still live in Arkansas." That being said, I'm sorry if there was confusion regarding my thoughts on AR, I've never been there, but I'm sure its a lovely and wonderful place (especially since I considered going to their law school).

2. I actually COMPLIMENTED Arkansas on a number of occasions in my small piece regarding my attendance at the SEC championship. Please revert back to that date in order to see my thoughts (which in regards to Florida, were wrong, but not in regards to the lovely ladies of Arkansas). That being said, I think I've more than proven that I am not a hog-hater.

3. As to the attack on the entirety of the fan-base, you're right, and I apologize. This is not the action of the entire fan-base. However, it would seem to me that the opinions held by yourself and others are for the most part extremely hostile even though this coach has taken to you the SEC championship on more than one occasion. And then, your response to actions which seem to me to be taking things too far, would indicate that you endorse the fact that these fans looked up his phone records to find some dirt on him. If this is not the case, then please say so.

4. Do you REALLY need to go digging around in a person's background in order to fire him? Georgia fired Jim Donnan and he was 40-19 in the seasons he coached there! Granted he did poorly against Tech 4 years in a row, but the point is that if you want to get rid of a coach, you can do it without digging up private information.

5. When that information comes out publicly regarding the cell phone paid for by the program, and the alleged purchase of gifts, and it is verified and proven true, then I will condemn Nutt for inappropriate conduct. If the program can't catch that though without some fans digging through records, then there's a problem.

6. The point of my statement was simply to say that receiving a text 19 minutes before kick-off is not an indication that they had an affair. I'll agree with you that he should have had all of his attention on the biggest game of Arkansas' season. There's nothing I hate worse than seeing Florida win at anything, I think pretty much anyone will vouch for me on that. Despite that, Arkansas got out and made a great comeback before losing it in the end.

6. I have no doubt that Darren McFadden will go a long way this year to securing a heisman trophy, and that y'all aren't going to miss Mitch Mustain one bit, considering you have the best running back tandem arguably in college football next year. Trust me, I'd chalk it up as a loss if Vandy were playing y'all next year.

Stanimal said...

Excuse my double numeration, the last one should be point 7

Boyer in the District said...

Stanimal:

1. I'm with the statement in jest - no worries. Mine, for what it's worth, was the same. Quite frankly, I was shocked as everyone else was when we beat Vandy. Arkansas basketball had no business doing that, or making the NCAA tourney, for that matter.

2. I was not an avid VSL reader during/around the time of the SEC Championship. Infact, I didn't even know it existed.

3. Like I mentioned, Arkansas wanted Houston Nutt gone when we had back to back losing seasons (including a loss to Vandy at home in there - two years ago). What's more - Mitch Mustain (and his mother) practically held the state hostage for months while he made his decision. When we had Mustain coming, and when we knew before last season even began that Jones/McFadden would be deadly, Hogs fans were PUMPED. Now look at the timeline - to have Malzahn and Mustain leave, to have a sub-par basketball season and the total inability to secure a new coach in time...the text messaging bit is merely the last straw. I am completely not surprised by those few fans (fans?) who went out of their way to get dirt.

I respect that it's "easy" to fire a coach if you want to (ala Jim Donnan)..but for some reason, not at Arkansas. Getting through to the Nutt/Broyles good 'ol boys Club is impossible. Believe me, we had no problem firing Danny Ford before Nutt came along...but Nutt's Arkansas roots are much deeper. In essence, the fans are doing anything they can at this point, even if that means a lame attempt to go above two years of subpar football.

4. I'll never be a Vandy hater. I'm marrying a girl who's a proud alumna!

WAR Arkansas firing Houston Nutt

-Boyer in the District

PhilipVU94 said...

Somehow I'd missed that Nationals/VT story. Thanks for posting that.

Woody said...

I think Stanimal and Boyer in the District should get together this weekend when Stanimal makes his return to the District and have a few drinks. Sadly, I won't be here to witness the fireworks.