SEC Commissioner Slive speaks to Missouri fans in Kansas City

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 7:27 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — For Missouri fans eager to learn more about Missouri's upcoming move to the Southeastern Conference, Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill in Kansas City was the place to be Tuesday afternoon.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was on hand to address the Tiger Club of Kansas City, giving Tigers fans a chance to get a feel for their new conference’s leader and for Slive himself to find out what kind of fans his league just adopted.

In the back of the sports-themed restaurant, Slive spoke and answered questions for almost 40 minutes in front of an jam-packed crowd of more than 300 people that included Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden and UM System President Tim Wolfe.

After a rousing 30-second round of applause following Alden’s introduction of Slive, sporting a black tie striped in gold, gave a standard welcome speech complete with a glorified history of both the university and the conference it is joining that most in attendance unabashedly appreciated. Slive even led the gathering in a spirited cheer, loudly pronouncing "M-I-Z" to which the crowd passionately responded "Z-O-U."

But after the ritual glad-handing and excitement had ended, Slive provided some interesting insight into his conference’s and Missouri’s motivations for teaming up and some of the expectations he has for the SEC in the future.

On why Missouri moved to the SEC

"I think what Missouri was looking for was a home that was stable and a home where it felt comfortable," Slive said, alluding the uncertainties surrounding the rebuilding Big 12 Conference.

On the financial situation Missouri is entering

Slive told the crowd that the SEC has “landmark deals” with ESPN and CBS. ESPN alone has committed for the next 15 years to broadcast on average, about one SEC event per day. As far as Missouri’s incorporation into these deals, Slive said the SEC has begun negotiations with its television partners and that he is “optimistic that we can make Mike Alden very happy,” to which the crowd responded with roaring laughter.

On further expansion of the SEC

"We weren't looking to expand before," Slive said. "We were content with our 12 teams. What made us consider expansion was the quality of institutions" that were available. Slive added that the SEC is not looking to add more teams now and that they are focused on the 14 teams currently in its conference.

On the chance that sports (such as wrestling) will be added to the SEC

"Not much," Slive said.

On potential nonconference opponents for Missouri next season

"That will be a decision that institutions make," Slive said. "In other words, Mizzou plays the schedule it wants to play. That’s not a conference decision."

On rumors of Arkansas becoming Missouri's cross-division rivals from the SEC West Division

Slive didn't budge much on this question. In a post-speech interview, Slive commented that future football schedules will be finalized in May during SEC meetings. He also would not comment on how it was decided Missouri would join the East Division of the SEC. In 2012, Missouri is scheduled to play football games against SEC West Division members Alabama and Texas A&M.

On whether SEC conference championships games will be played in Kansas City

Slive said there is a chance that could happen, but it won't be anytime soon. The men's conference basketball tournament is booked all the way until 2016-17. Cities such as Kansas City can apply to host for the next season. As far as football, Slive made it clear he thinks the conference championship game won't be played anywhere but Atlanta for the foreseeable future. Atlanta has successfully hosted this game since 1994.

On a nine-game conference football schedule

"It is an interesting discussion ... but as of now, there has been no interest in our league to go to nine," Slive said. 

 On individual television networks for SEC schools

"Our institutions cannot go ahead and have their own networks," Slive said, addressing a question about the Longhorn Network that the University of Texas recently created.

By the end of Slive's speech, it felt very much like the Missouri faithful had become ardent fans of the commissioner. His references to Missouri's long-standing traditions like the whisper walk and declaring his affection for Shakespeare's Pizza certainly helped.

As long as Missouri's transition continues to progress smoothly and the university prospers from its newly formed bond, Slive and his conference appear to have at least 300 new fans.

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Mark Sherman April 1, 2012 | 2:25 a.m.

I'm hoping Frank and Ellis make it over here, and maybe some more will join in.

I see that the mayor is mentioned. Personally, I'd be leery of taking the tournament to a place where the mayor is named Sly James. :-)

I don't think the SEC will add any sports until individual schools start adding them. Wrestling, rowing, and ice hockey just aren't big in the Southeast. Any idea if Missouri's wrestling team will join a conference for that sport only?

As for Missouri's permanent cross-division rival, it will be impossible to sort that out until we see what the division alignment is. I don't see Missouri staying in the west for long. This is not like the NFL, which for years had Dallas and St. Louis in the NFC East, while Atlanta and New Orleans were in the West.

Is there a particular reason why Kansas City is seen as a possible tournament site but not St. Louis? I was under the impression that St. Louis is the larger city.

Speaking of which, purely by coincidence I came across a quiz, "Name Missouri's 10 Most Populous Cities":

I got five without help and two more with a glance at a map. After that I was stumped. You should be able to do better.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 1, 2012 | 5:13 a.m.

Mark S: If we confine ourselves ONLY to the population residing within the city limits, Kansas City has a larger population than St. Louis, but if we call "St. Louis" both the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County (a separate administrative unit) and St. Charles County (a sepatate administrative unit), that combination has a substantially larger population. Much of the individual wealth is located in St. Louis County.

Remember, a significant portion of the Kansas City metro population resides across the state line in KANSAS (two counties). And yes, Dorothy and Toto, many of them are most definitely KU fans. They also tend to individually have more bucks than residents of Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City, Missouri isn't even the COUNTY SEAT of Jackson County, in which it's located: Independence, Missouri is the county seat. Independence has a larger population than Columbia. Why is it the county seat? Because it was a thriving city before anyone had ever heard of Kansas City, which was once called Westport Landing. Westport itself is now a part of Kansas City (it consists largely of restaurants, bars, shops).

Confusing? Well, this is Missouri! I have no idea why they pick the places they do for basketball finals.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 1, 2012 | 5:35 a.m.

If "here" means Florida, I will be traveling to Raleigh-Durham, NC and Graniteville, SC later this month, but that's as close to either Florida or New Orleans as I will probably get this year.

I have always enjoyed New Orleans. So did my late wife. In more recent years I used to fly to the airport, rent a car, spend the weekend in New Orleans (at my own expense) and then drive to deepest, darkest Mississippi to call on a factory at Ellisville.

They say one of the more romantic things one can do in New Orleans is to rise early before sunrise, go down to the Market area, and have a cup of chicory coffee and a pastry while watching the sun rise. Yes, but don't pick a morning when the city is emptying all those restaurant DUMPSTERS! Wow, what a stench!

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 1, 2012 | 10:21 a.m.

MS - What is the usual embarrassed answer when one screws up KU and UK? "I knew that!"? On the other hand, what do you do with those thinking you are referring to "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"?

During a visit to N'owlins maybe twenty years ago, we enjoyed the horse racing at Fairgrounds race track. Probably five years ago wife wondered about doing that again on our way home from Tavernier at end of March. I checked to make sure they were still racing there, booked motel near by and we "lit out" Mar 31 as always and arrived in NO Apr 1st, the day after the last race at Fairgrounds for the season. We enjoyed the city Again anyway. During that stay 2 or 3 blocks into a street off of downtown Canal St., I fortunately noted a "pothole" about 2ft. wide and probably that deep, before we fell into it. No sign, barrier or anything else to note the presence.

KC is central to more Big 12 teams than StL is only reason I can imagine for the choice. MO played IL football last 5 years in StL. We attended once. The seats under the 2nd tier provided excellent vision but sound was terrible. One could not even hear what "Marching Mizzou" was playing. We were told this was an inherent problem, there.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 1, 2012 | 11:13 a.m.

Mark S. - I neglected to note that MO-ILL games were played at Edward Jones Dome, which had acoustical problems.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 2, 2012 | 2:24 a.m.

What's more confusing is that KU stands for University of Kansas, not Kansas University. As for UK, I follow this general rule of thumb: If the conversation mentions the Queen, it's United Kingdom. If it mentions football, it's University of Kentucky. (Context generally clues me in as to whether it's American football or soccer.) This rarely gets me in trouble. :-)

I understand about the difference between the city and the metropolitan area. Most people when asked what is the largest city in Florida assume Miami, when in fact it's Jacksonville, which has annexed nearly all of Duval County. The greater Miami area, however, includes something like 100 different municipalities, adn the the Census Bureau considers Miami and Ft. Lauderdale to be one metropolitan area. This makes it, I believe, the sixth largest in the U.S. (Think about that the next time someone refers to the Marlins as a "small-market team.")

Isn't Kansas City very near Lawrence, Kansas, home to you-know-who? That's why I would have expected St. Louis to be more of a UM (or is it MU?) town.

New Orleans is definitely a fun town. I have never been there for Mardi Gras, but I have been twice around Sugar Bowl time. The first time was when I was in college -- I was in the Gator Band -- and we went to the old Bluebonnet Bowl. But since we had to drive through NO to get to Houston, we spent a night in Slidell, and the buses dropped us off in front of a hotel at the edge of the French Quarter, with instructions to meet at the same place to be picked up. What we didn't realize was that the hotel was where the Georgia football team was staying. THAT was interesting.

The second time was after the 1991 season, when the Gators went to the Sugar Bowl. I went on my own, and by chance on New Year's Eve I ran into a guy who lived on my dorm floor 10 years earlier.

I hope they have sufficiently recovered from Katrina so that it's an enjoyable trip.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 2, 2012 | 5:04 a.m.

Lawrence, Kansas is very close to the Kansas City metro area. Driving there you have two super highways to choose from, I-70 (Kansas Turnpike - toll) and K-10 (freeway - which goes directly to the campus). The historic buildings are located on what KU calls "Mount Oread." Yes, there actually ARE changes in elevation in the state of Kansas.

Are you familiar with what in New Orleans is called the Garden District? It straddles the streetcar line that goes to the zoo and Loyola University. There's an excellent restaurant there called "The Captain's Table." My guess is that it has been booked solid well in advance. One thing about the Big Easy is that there are good places to eat in ANY price range.

Rock, chalk ... oops!

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 2, 2012 | 8:23 a.m.

You better watch that "Rock whatever" crap!

Another thought about NO. In that city, a hand on the harbor tour boat, Cajun, told us during that first family trip (probably 30 rather than 20 yrs ago) that his neighborhood was best in the city (food entertainment, everything!) To get there, just go to the end of the line on the street car. We had no time that trip, but a waiter at a Joe's
Crap Shack in Galveston later told us the same thing.

With no races to watch this last trip, we jumped on the trolly one afternoon. Not paying attention to time, I would guess we spent an extremely interesting hour observing unique homes, as well as Tulane University (not Univ. of Tenn.) but, at the end of the line, there was nothing! A few business buildings and a Burger King. Maybe Ellis could shed light on this mystery.

I had also been to NO several times while in USAF radio school at Biloxi (if I had spoken it, it would of course, be Biluxi) in early 1950's. We learned then, that A Streetcar named Desire was already a bus. An important historical note, which is why my crowd often chose NO to visit. For it's history!

Mark, wife and I once went to the Gator Bowl. First auto tour up, down, up (10 days, Savannah - Key West - Destin). It was in June. while thru Jacksonville I took a wrong turn on a detour and next thing we knew we were at the Gator Bowl! Life is good, ain't it?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 2, 2012 | 8:17 p.m.

I really don't remember any specific places in NO -- except for Pat O'Brien's, which is famous for its (unfortunately named) hurricanes.

One interesting thing I remember seeing. I think this was another trip in the fall when I was with a pep band going to the LSU game, which is in Baton Rouge, but of course it's better to stay in New Orleans. A group of us were wandering through the French Quarter during the day, and we saw a big to-do. It turned out to be a wedding, although didn't look like any of the wedding ceremonies I have ever been to. It seemed a bit more party-like (this was coming out of the church, not the reception), and the bride was wearing RED, which apparently is not that unusual in the bayou.

Other than the four Georgia games I attended when I was a student, the only time I had been to the Gator Bowl (which now has an unmemorable corporate name) was at the end of my senior year when we played in the Gator Bowl game against Iowa. This was easily the coldest football game I have ever attended. I believe it was about 30 degrees, but the Iowa fans were quite happy -- they said that back home it was 30 BELOW. In any event, I still prefer that to an indoor game.

What is that "Rock, Chalk" thing, anyway? I know it's a Kansas cheer, but what does it mean?

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 2, 2012 | 9:21 p.m.

Let Ellis explain rock chalk. I think it has to do with chalk rhyming with hawk and neither has anything to do with sports in Kansas.

The last criminal "call" for Tiger football was under the lights in Columbia. (Mizzou never bothered installing lights until Big 12 brought hot daytime weather teams from Texas into the mix.)

It was Neb. again, end of game, football was in nearly same position as the Buff 5th down game. Neb tried one final pass play into end zone - broken up! But Neb receiver going down and unable to control the ball, as it fell to ground threw out a leg and kicked it into the arms of another Neb receiver. Dead ball, right? No player can kick a loose football, right? Wrong, it was ruled a catch and Neb, won another one.

That true official in the sky, apparently helped Mizzou against Neb in Lincoln probably back in 1970's. We were there and Neb was again close to a game winning score on 3rd down. The crowd was silent in anticipation, when my devout wife plead out loud "oh, please dear God let him fumble!" He did and Mizzou recovered! It seemed about everyone around our end zone seats heard her and she was the star for them. The heart ache and fun seemed to come in about equal doses in Mizzou football, for us, but if we hadn't been there, where would I get all these great stories to keep folks on edge, or asleep?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 3, 2012 | 5:21 a.m.

The origin of "Rock, chalk, Jayhawk, K-UUUUUU" is lost in time, but Frank is correct in assuming it is what it is because "Rock," "chalk, and "Jayhawk" rhyme.

Properly executed, the chant should begin quietly, then slowly increase to a crescendo, at which point the "KU" is not drawn out, but is "snapped." It's hell to be losing to KU in a basketball game and then have that ruckus start up in the last minutes of the game. It says, "We're now going to eat your lunch." That's what it means.

My late aunt studied at and received her bachelor of music degree from KU in the mid-1920s. For sometime we had her old year books from KU. Apparently in the early 1920s KU was actually winning football games(!) and the year books showed the scores of their wins over MU, always with the notation, "Another knot in the Tiger's Tail." Given the number of times that football series has been played, and that the number of wins for each side is somewhat equal, poor old Truman the Tiger must have a tail composed entirely of knots. :)

To hear some Tiger types carry on, you might think the two universities have equal enrollments; they do not. As public universities go, KU is not large. (There is also Kansas State University.)

The Jayhawk is one of the most recognizable logos in college sports. Like MS&T's Joe Miner, the Jayhawk is always shown walking forward and is deliberately characterized to look as ugly as possible. Unlike Joe, the Jayhawk doesn't carry a pistol.

PS: I have a friend on the faculty at LSU (Baton Rouge, not LSUNO). She's a mycologist and a true "Cajun."

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 3, 2012 | 7:21 a.m.

"Unlike Joe, the Jayhawk doesn't carry a pistol."

The Jayhawkers of 1800's KS surely did. Regular trips to MO, kill MO farmers, steal everything that could be moved, burn the rest, then haul their gains to Lawrence for auction.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 3, 2012 | 8:50 p.m.

University of "Kaintukee", AKA UK, has won another Nat'l Championship over ks jayhawkers of big 12. I applaud!

I thought, today, of the time when K-State football was at bottom of barrel, years before those in charge, as reported, raised 7M$ and borrowed 7M$ and hired Bill Snyder as head football coach.

Traffic, when we played them was thin. I drove a carload to the stadium and chose east entrance between stadium and "Governor Hearnes" center which housed our basketball arena, many sports offices and parking in rear, handy for football, except for the walk back to stadium. The traffic was being directed by the stadium to the Hearnes parking, up a slight hill.

I, the ever alert driver noticed, on right, a wide space next to the stadium fence, with no restrictive signage, that would be available with just a little parking ingenuity. I did it beautifully and was congratulated by all in the car. When I opened my door, the patrolman standing there, said as well, "You did one hellofa job parking here, now get this s.o.b. (did not abbreviate) out of here, up that hill and into the parking lot!

We of course, began donating only to provide scholarship funds, not for convenience of parking.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 4, 2012 | 1:46 a.m.

OK, this is weird. First, I had to Google "MS&T," which I found out is the former Missouri-Rolla. Then I wanted to see the mascot, so I tried a Google search, entering, "mascot joe ms&t." When the results came back, at the top I was asked, "Did you mean mascot joe meth?" What kind of science are you folks teaching in Missouri, anyway?

I also found a story about Joe Miner being replaced as being too intimidating. (Isn't that what you want in a mascot?) Obviously, meant I HAD to find a picture of the old mascot. All I can find is a guy wearing a green vest and carrying a pickaxe -- no guns, and not THAT scary. Maybe that's the new mascot?

Here's one you may or may not have heard of, involving one of your new conference-mates. At Mississippi, for many years they had a costumed Rebel mascot named Colonel Reb, who was sort of cartoonish Southern gentleman. You probably know what he looks like. A few years ago, the school stopped using the mascot because he was seen by many as a symbol of racism and slavery. A year or two ago, they decided that a new mascot was needed. The students, being students, came up with their own idea: Admiral Ackbar, the commander of the rebel alliance from the Star Wars movie. ("It's a trap!") See here:

Of course the administration refused to even consider it, and I'm sure George Lucas would have sued the pants off them. They ended up going with a much less interesting (and less original) bear, although the team is still called the Rebels.

As for school size, assumptions are always dangerous. Most people assume that the two largest state universities in Florida are Florida and FSU. Numbers vary depending on the source, but here's what I found:

1. Univ. of Central Florida (Orlando)
2. Univ. of Florida (Gainesville)
3. Univ. of South Florida (Tampa)
4. Florida State Univ. (Tallahassee)
Florida International Univ.
6. Florida Atlantic Univ. (Boca Raton)
7. University of North Florida (Jacksonville)
8. Florida A&M (Tallahassee)
9. University of West Florida (Pensacola)
Florida Gulf Coast Univ. (Ft. Myers)

That's right -- UCF is the largest university in the state. The list illustrates that people's perceptions of colleges is influenced a lot by athletics.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 4, 2012 | 6:35 a.m.


You obviously didn't run across Old Joe Miner in your cyber travels. I said "ugly," not "scary." We don't do "scary." Send me your mailing address and I'll send you two decals: one of Old Joe and the other a current decal that's a "letters only" logo. I'll pay postage.

The "Old Joe" decal will say "University of Missouri-Rolla," which was correct at that time. We've rid ourselves of that "Podunk University-Rolla" name.

If Joe was dressed in green, it was a promo for the annual St. Pat's Parade: 108 consecutive annual parades and counting. Ah, 'tis a grand sight to see St. Patrick ride up Pine Street in Rolla, standing tall on a manure spreader and surrounded by his Knights, and the street painted green (a harmless vegetable dye). Civilian an' military bands blaring away, the Clydesdale horses pullin' the beer wagon, students raisin' their mugs of green beer, and all them silver*, gold* and green strings of beads bein' thrown to the multitude.

Your comment about largest (enrollment) campus doesn't surprise me. The largest public higher education campus in the state of Iowa is a junior college (DMACC, pronounced "dee.mack"), which has more students than any one of Iowa's universities.

*- And what other colors would you be havin' for America's first ever and oldest publicly supported School of Mines and Metallurgy?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 4, 2012 | 7:35 a.m.

USF has only had a football team for perhaps 15 years. When I was there, there was a lot of sentiment to NOT have one, to keep the focus of the school more academic. However, the pro-footballers won, and they have since become a quite succfessful Div 1 school for their age.

Their mascot is a bull. There's no shortage of alumni that feel that is appropriate.


(Report Comment)
frank christian April 4, 2012 | 10:18 a.m.

The U of MO-Columbia mascot is Truman(first name Harry), the Tiger. He has been chosen, nationally as best mascot more than once (more nat'l awards than either MO football or basketball teams have ever garnered).

You may, or may not have heard that Truman, during a photo op before last years game at Independence Bowl dropped and smashed the IB trophy. A replacement was found in time for us to win it.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 4, 2012 | 8:54 p.m.

Ellis: I didn't say he was scary, it was a woman who organized the group to have him replaced. She said her kid was having nightmares about Joe. I still have nightmares about Lindsay Scott scoring that touchdown, but certainly not about Uga (Georgia mascot).

I wasn't thinking of community colleges. Pretty much all of Florida's Community Colleges have been designated "state colleges," but at least two of them are larger than UF. In fact, Miami Dade College has over 160,000 students, although that's spread over eight campuses.

Thanks for the offer of the decals, but I don't want to post my address publicly. There are crazy people on the Internet. However, my Google search turned up a LOT of photos of Joe wearing green.

Seriously? He rides a manure spreader? Remember in the other discussion I mentioned my hometown of Stuart. Many years ago there was a kid who got into huge trouble when he rode the family's manure spreader through the middle of town -- no parade, I think this was during the night. Anyway, that young man grew up to become the sheriff of Martin County, a post he held for 20 years. I always wondered what he would have done if a kid did that on his watch.

Mark: I remember when USF was still the Brahmans. And bringing the topic full circle, Jim Leavitt, who brought the football program into existence and coached there for many years, is a Missouri alum.

Frank: I hadn't heard about Truman's fumble. Back in January of 1997, when UF won the BCS, someone (might have been Spurrier, but I forget) nearly dropped the trophy, which as you know is made of glass. Probably not the wisest design for a football trophy.

Here' my idea: Take Truman, along with Mike (the LSU Tiger mascot) and Aubie (Auburn's tiger), lock 'em in a cage together, and see which one comes out alive. The winner can take on the mascots at Clemson, Princeton, Memphis, Grambling, etc., etc.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 4, 2012 | 9:25 p.m.

"Take Truman, along with Mike (the LSU Tiger mascot) and Aubie (Auburn's tiger), lock 'em in a cage together,"

Probably not a good idea. I believe our Truman's "bod" at least occasionally, encapsulates that of one our ladies. Another reader's information on this question would really be great! Not about cages, but, who's in the Truman suit?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 5, 2012 | 5:19 a.m.


Whatever. There is only one thing "scary" about America's technical institutes - whether private, such as M.I.T., CalTech, or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute*, or public, such as Colorado School of Mines, Missouri S&T or New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology - and that's their respective CURRICULA. Scares the crap out of most high school graduates.

And that's what they WANT to be known for. Of the six I've named, four are NCAA Division III (no athletic scholarships) and two are Division II.

*- America's oldest, and one of its best.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 5, 2012 | 6:59 p.m.

Frank, isn't there an actual Tiger mascot, besides the person in the costume? I'm not sure about Aubie, but Mike is the real deal. We never had a live alligator, at least not in the past 30+ years. But there are dozens, maybe hundreds, living in Lake Alice, which is on the campus.

When I was a student, there also was an alligator living in Graham Pond, located just in front of Graham Hall, where I lived my freshman year. (It was coed then, I understand it's female-only now.) During my senior year, a couple of guys came from the state to remove the alligator. It was well known that Lake Alice was at or above the limit, so this meant the Graham alligator would have been put to death. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with the students. You don't kill alligators at UF, you don't kill Tigers at Missouri, and at FSU...well, you get the idea.

A large group of students soon gathered by the pond and eventually formed a ring around the pond to protect the alligator. Eventually the wildlife people left, figuring they would come back later. But when they did, all they could find was a four-foot alligator, which is too small to put down. We never did find out what happened to the big guy -- it was a MIRACLE!

As for guys in costumes...I have picture from my graduation of me with Albert the Alligator. Perhaps due to the flash, you can see a face peering out of Albert's mouth. I tend to think this is a Florida State student who wandered too close and was eaten.

Ellis: What about Texas Tech? They are Division I, FBS. And if you want to win some bar bets, ask people what was the first Florida school to win a national championship in football. Nearly everyone will guess Miami. The correct answer is Florida A&M, which won the first Division I-AA title, in 1978, I believe.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 5, 2012 | 9:15 p.m.

Mark - No, there was an effort to acquire a Bengal tiger. A fellow, as I recall, had one caged at his residence at the lake (Ozarks), but tho news reports are all I have, I'm sure the danger (tigers would have little problem with 'gators, or people) was the factor in the decision to put people in tiger suits and refer to them as Truman. Never bothered to count, but I'm sure it took at least six to steer Ralph the buffalo around the field for their games. How many would it take for a tiger? I have had a beautiful 4x3 photo of a resting Bengal above my back bar for 30 years. Imo that's enough.

My first visit to FL, don't believe I've mentioned it, after leaving "Baluxi" MS was with USAF, 7 months at W. Palm Beach, before moving to France with an Air Rescue Squadron. That was 1950's and am sure the ban on killing of alligators (they had been reportedly near extinction) had allowed reproduction to the extent they were in the sewers,storm drains and ponds until they were dining regularly on family dogs and cats, etc. of any one living near open water.

Somehow, I've gotten this letter out of line. I'll try to post it and write again later.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 6, 2012 | 2:01 a.m.

The stories of alligators living in sewers, drainpipes, etc. are highly exaggerated. Now, when I moved to Stuart in the early 1970s, it was common to see them in canals or just sunning in someone's waterfront lawn. However, the type of cuisine they prefer lives out in the open, in the sunshine. Also, as cold-blooded reptiles, it behooves them to have access to a place where they can warm themselves in the sun.

There are few documented cases of alligators living in sewers, mostly from the 1930s in northern cities where they were probably flushed down toilets. I wouldn't expect them to last long into the cold winters. Anyone who tried keeping a baby alligator in Florida and then got rid of it would probably just toss it in the nearest body of water.

Family pets are considered fair game (by the alligators, not by me), but attacks on humans are relatively rare, and usually occur when the human is doing something stupid or when the 'gators are nesting. However, a kid I went to school with was killed by an alligator. But my grandmother had a neighbor whose backyard was the favorite tanning spot of Freddy, our local reptile. Nobody ever reported Freddy, and the neighbor just made sure to keep at least 10-15 feet away, and everybody was happy.

Weird things do occur though. Check out one of my favorite photos:

I would like to think this is Bobby Bowden's house, but it's in South Carolina.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 6, 2012 | 5:50 a.m.

@ Sherman:

As used in higher education names, "Tech" is a lousy descriptor. The only NCAA Division I school I'm aware of with the name "Tech" in it is Georgia Tech.

On what basis? On the basis that a real technical university or institute, public or private, has AT LEAST 50% of its students (more typically >70% of them) enrolled in engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry and related majors (including geology and geophysics). There are only about three dozen institutions in the United States and Canada meeting that criterion; more than half are private.

What about Virginia Tech? Virginia Tech, Iowa State University*, Purdue, Auburn, Clemson, University of California-Davis, etc. are first and foremost ag schools, Most have engineering schools (Purdue has a whopper).

Why is Georgia Tech an exception? Maybe because they want to be. Some of the best engineers I've worked with were from either Georgia Tech or Purdue. One of the former runs a business from Florida, and she does very well.

Texas Tech does not have a good academic reputation (and that's not just my opinion). They seem to be the "fall back" university for Texas students. Ever been to Lubbock, Texas? Makes Rolla, Missouri look better.

*- Aka "Kow Kollege," "Plough Tech," "Moo U." Before I made adjustments, when I would spell check with my software it would correct "MU" to "MOO." Hmmm!

(Report Comment)
Priscilla Koeplin April 6, 2012 | 7:36 a.m.

Just as an FYI: The name of the university is Georgia Institute of Technology. They are called "Tech" just as we are called "Mizzou".

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 6, 2012 | 11:49 a.m.

Mark S. - I'm not expert with my laptop, and after changing pages a couple of times while I was writing, I noted that my story was being shown at very beginning of Slive piece. It apparently posted OK.

I noted, last night in another evening paper that we are now being shown SEC sports related stories. TN's new defense and the FL tight end pleading no contest to domestic battery against his live in girl friend. We have a running back now off the team and out of jail for similar offense. Perhaps ours could gain some probation points by talking to yours.

The most unnecessary sign (to me), but probably helpful to many was one in Keys but can't remember where, read, "Do not swim with alligators at night!"

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 6, 2012 | 12:15 p.m.

Felt something was wrong. Keys have bona fide crocodiles. Believe that sign was at Miccosukee Indian Village up on 41 where all the tourists can see it.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor April 6, 2012 | 2:04 p.m.

I can only add that in the late 80's early 90's, (spoiler alert... don't let the kids read further...) all of our truman were men. We locked my roomates (the #2 Truman / womens volleyball and bball and many, many appearances) "body" in a trunk in the closet as to try and contain the smell!

I was in Orlando for spring break last week and was in line for a water park ride behind a large group of coeds. I overheard two of the young men explain they had just transferred to Central Florida from South Florida because of the athletic program and the social aspects it adds to the college experience. Sports aren't always a waste of money if they bring in alumni donations and more tuition! I don't think they were athletes, although I have to admit I was listening with my eyes pointed elswhere ;-)

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 6, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.

Orlando? A water park ride? I'm a "stick in the mud"?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield April 6, 2012 | 4:59 p.m.

About 18 months ago, a guy came through Kennet selling alligators and sold about 50. Apparently lot of the buyers couldn't handle them as they grew and turned them loose because now the city is scrambling to locate all of them.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor April 6, 2012 | 6:35 p.m.

It was the 12, 9, and 7 year olds choice... ;-)

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 6, 2012 | 6:56 p.m.

I figured that, but could not let your unimaginably insulting, name-calling incident go without reprimand. Just kidding.

I understood that women have sometimes played the part of Truman the Tiger. Could you, or perhaps Priscella K. find anything to share on this important subject?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 6, 2012 | 6:58 p.m.

mike mentor:

Thanks for telling us what you overheard at the water park. I've been asking why it seems to take so long these days to get what most people 1946-1960 took only 8 semesters to earn: a BS or BA degree. Maybe I'm starting to understand why. :)

"Campus time, an' de livin' is easy..." (Apologies to "Porgy & Bess"). Jus' keep on pilin' up dem student loans!

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 6, 2012 | 6:58 p.m.

MM - I might add, we don't need anymore information on the men!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor April 6, 2012 | 7:51 p.m.

Available money and a young person told every idea they have ever had lies between good and great making the decisions with said money, is not always going to go well...

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 6, 2012 | 10:22 p.m.

"About 18 months ago, a guy came through Kennet selling alligators and sold about 50."

Jimmy, were you aware of the python problem in the FL Everglades? (plug "pythons in Florida") I noted around 10 yrs ago in a Keys fishing publication that a 14 footer had been killed by fishermen and brought in around Flamingo, prominent fishing put-in establishment on FL Bay. I believe they have opened a season on them and once read that beagles were being trained to find them. The snakes still seem to be problematic and have not heard about the beagles.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 7, 2012 | 12:07 a.m.

Crocodiles can be found in the southern part of the Everglades, although not easily. This is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles live together. I have never seen one myself. About 15 years ago, there was a news story of a crocodile found in Central Florida, I think around Melbourne or Cocoa Beach. Nobody knew how it got there, but the fact that it made the news gives you an idea how unusual this is.

Jimmy: I'm pretty sure the guy in Kennet was breaking the law. Alligators are no longer endangered, but you need a special license to hunt or trap them. Also, they would be considered exotic pets, and there are obviously safety issues. If you can't keep a pit bull in certain areas, I'm sure you can't keep an alligator.

I hadn't heard about the beagles, either, but you wouldn't want them to do anything but help you find the pythons, as it would be no contest. The real difficulty in finding pythons in the Everglades is that it is so difficult to get around least for us two-legged creatures.

What really worries everyone about pythons is that they are capable of taking on alligators. There is a video someone took during a trip of an alligator and a python going head to head, and the 'gator won only by dragging the python underwater and presumably drowning it. And then there is this:

In the end, no winner here. Just because you CAN eat something doesn't mean you SHOULD eat it, even if you're a python.

As for the football team...really the best disciplinarian we have had for a while was Steve Spurrier. He had nearly a zero-tolerance level for mischief when he was at Florida. One year during a trip to the Sugar Bowl, a couple of players were involved in a fight, one of whom was a starter. Both were sent home on the next plane. However, the Old Ball Coach seems to have mellowed since going to South Carolina, and in more ways than one.

I hadn't heard about the TE, unless this is a follow-up from an incident last year.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 7, 2012 | 5:07 a.m.

Are you reptilian experts familiar with a critter called a cayman. They look like "stubby" alligators. I'm looking at a photo of some taken in the Brazilian Pantanal, an area composed of a mix of savannah and swamp. This particular bunch is deliberately fed raw meat at specified times, but is free and not in a zoo. They will attack cattle, when cows wander into the water.

There's a post, above, by one "Priscilla Koeplin." A check reveals this is "Priscilla's" second post and that the first post was in 2008!

We may know "Priscilla" under other names, but "PRISSY" might definitely be an apt nickname. :)

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield April 7, 2012 | 8:51 a.m.

The front page of Saturday's Trib has a story about the gators. I don't know which is worse: them or gators.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 7, 2012 | 10:55 a.m.

I've never forgotten as a kid, grandma took me to see a movie made by "Bring 'em back alive", Frank Buck. He made his living trapping African wild animals and "bringing them back" to zoos etc and filming the action into interesting movies.

One segment depicted the capture of a python snake. In the very center of their camp they planted strong wooden posts in a circle with possibly 12" space between them. Before retiring for the night they put a hog (pig) inside the circle. Next morning the snake was seen as having entered the trap, eaten the hog, then being unable to leave, with the addition to it's girth. I believe Frank said something like, "it works every time!"

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 7, 2012 | 10:42 p.m.

Now, Ellis, be nice to the lady!

I was interested in alligators and crocodiles since I was a little kid living in New York and had never even heard of the University of Florida. So, yeah, I have definitely heard of caimans. (Please note that I do not claim to be a herpetologist.) They look even more like alligators than crocodiles do, except they aren't as large. I doubt I could distinguish a caiman from a young alligator, but since they don't live in the same regions, you can tell which one is in the wild.

There is a fourth member of the crocodilian order called a gharial, but these are easy to distinguish because they have very skinny snouts. This makes them much less dangerous to humans than alligators or crocodiles, even though they tend to grow quite large.

Jimmy: I have never heard of an alligator being arrested, but then I have never heard of a Gator eating a human. But either in its native habitat, the Swamp, can be dangerous if provoked.

Frank: The story of Frank Buck's python reminds me of the trick where a peanut is placed in a small opening. A monkey reaches in and grabs the peanut, but can't remove his hand unless he opens his fist and drops the peanut. I believe similar tess have been tried with mixed results with football players at Georgia. :-p

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 8, 2012 | 4:25 a.m.

@ Sherman:

I am always nice to ladies, whenever I encounter them. Like the principal character in the novel "Catcher in the Rye" I have an aversion to phonies. Do you know Ayn Rand once posted on this forum? A considerable feat, since she's been dead for years.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 8, 2012 | 12:01 p.m.

Jimmy may have the problem noted of a man at a civic club meeting some time ago ( you may now note that everything happened to me "sometime ago"). The member was sitting at the speakers table on the audience side and program for the night was a professional to acquaint us with the different snakes to be found in MO. The member seemed to turn white when the snake cages were settled near him and the fellow asked if they could be moved. The handler having nowhere else to put them said, not to worry none of these specimens would think of biting you. The member got up left the room and never came back.

SEC football game officials spent time with Tiger team earlier, 2 days to familiarize everyone with that end of SEC. I doubt there would be that much difference in officiating, but that they like to "let them play" and "You've got to call the train wrecks. Talk to them on the fender-benders." sounds like better football to me.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 8, 2012 | 7:03 p.m.

Ellis: Can you prove Ayn Rand is dead? I want to see the death certificate. Long form.

Frank: You think Jimmy is afraid of alligators? I promise I don't bite, not even in online forums like this.

Regarding your comment that "you may now note that everything happened to me 'sometime ago'"): Surely something occasionally still happens to you. I think when stuff stops happening to you, you're with Ayn Rand -- according to Ellis, at.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 8, 2012 | 8:24 p.m.

Mark S. - Yeah, a funny thing just happened. There had been nothing in computer land and had about decided the same for TV when I happened upon Amazon Croc's, documentary about the "Black caiman, largest and rarest reptile on earth. A pretty interesting piece, pictures of fools getting down into the Amazon River with them. They studied them at night and found that the animals were more active in darkness. The researchers were using a boat 23' long. Said a caiman pulled right along side, evidencing length nearly identical to that of the boat.

That, you may see, is, now-a-days, my problem. The "funny things" are nearly always something I see on TV. Just kidding. April 15 is just around the corner. Time to dewinterize my old boat. Life will begin for us, again.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 8, 2012 | 10:27 p.m.

Mark Sherman:

If you file an application with the City of New York and pay any fees, you can have what you wish. The date of death is 3-6-82. I don't do death certificates (but maybe I could scare up a subpoena.)

While Ayn Rand was philospohical, Sally Rand (born in Hickory County, Missouri) had a better figure. Sally occasionally appeared at the old Grand Burlesque Theater in St. Louis - along with her ostrich feathers.

Said Billy Rose to Sally Rand,
"Why don't you dance without your fan?"
So Sally danced without her fan,
[Sorry, we must terminate this poem because this is a family newspaper.]

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 9, 2012 | 6:51 a.m.

Billy Rose noticed a small souvenir shop near the entrance of his magnificent Acquacades in 1939 NY Worlds Fair. It's sign advertised "Billy Rose Souvenirs" Infuriated that another was making money using "his" name, "Rose" told the small shop owner to be out before the sun went down or he would be sued for using "Billie Rose" in false advertising! The little shop owner said, "fine, we will see you in court, Mr. Rosen!"

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 9, 2012 | 11:13 p.m.

Re: April 15--I already filed, got my refund and spent it.

The city of New York will give me anything I wish? What would the fee be to make the Kardashians go away? And can I get a discounted fee for the whole lot of them?

Was Sally Rand an objectivist? (I've seen pictures of Ayn Rand, and I don't want to know what kind of dancing she did.)

There are many quick ways to end a lawsuit. I understand Jackie Gleason wanted to sue Hanna-Barbera because "The Flintstones" because it essentially was a copy of "The Honeymooners," even going so far as to take actual plots. Gleason's attorney told him that he would almost certainly win the case, but pointed out that he would forever be known as the Man Who Got the Flintstones Cancelled. He dropped the suit.

My favorite was back in the mid-1980s when Burger King ran some ads with a character who was clearly based on Fred Rogers (as in "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood). Fred was not happy about being used commercially, so he just bypassed the attorneys and wrote a polite letter to BK asking them to stop. The marketing people there said he was so nice and polite they couldn't say no to him.

Of course, I'm sure they were also thinking that taking on Mister Rogers in court would be corporate suicide. ("Excuse me your honor, before I'm sworn in, I'd just like to change into my sweater and slippers.")

By the way, I hope all of you had enjoyable holiday weekends.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 10, 2012 | 11:16 p.m.

Well...I guess you now have an example of how even the off-season is interesting in the SEC.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 11, 2012 | 9:45 a.m.

Yeah, but not interesting enough. Only subject I could think of yesterday was a Doris Day joke. Decided not to write it as people would think this bunch is tied up with dead celebs.

Arkansas may have considered G. Pinkel as new football coach, but his driving habits have gotten him in trouble as well.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 13, 2012 | 7:40 a.m.

M. Sherman - As noted, something interesting to write about before MU women softball beat FL women somewhere in the NCAA tournament has been a problem.. All the while, I was forgetting my magazines always kept in my bathroom. Bathroom to computer is physically not far, but sometimes too far to carry a heavy thought.

I have retained my subscription to FL Sportsman and only now remembered the "Outdoor Happening" always on their last page, about an individual experience in the outdoors. This issue was about what the writer identified as an American crocodile.

Like you, I thought they were only found in the lower
Everglades and I had never seen one there. This fellow had bicycled to a canal next to Homestead Bayfront Park (surely not in the lower 'glades?), noticed bait fish activity, threw a top water plug at them and hooked a huge jack. It's first run spooled his reel (I had that happen twice in the Keys, lost both fish.) and he spent the next several minutes running up and down the canal bank trying to keep up with what he determined was a 15 lb. jack.

He had the fish at the bank when, a "brown cloud" appeared beneath it, grabbed the fish, then surfaced in middle of canal with the hook still in the fish. The fisher began reeling and stated that the croc must not have realized that it was being moved. He pulled it up to the bank took pictures, (a great one with the jack hanging out of the mouth accompanied the article). The croc then took off, broke the line, surfaced down the canal and ate the jack. The author estimated length of the croc was 12+ ft.

Fishing is just "more interesting" in FL.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 14, 2012 | 5:28 p.m.

Frank, it wasn't how Petrino drove, it was who he was driving with. And what they did when they arrived at their destination.

I probably should have said that crocodiles are found in the extreme lower part of the peninsula, as I didn't really consider one might find its way into a developed area. But I'm sure Homestead was part of the Everglades before it became Homestead.

The problem with saying that a particular species is found in a particular area is that nobody bothers to tell the animals. Or as I said when we had a few hurricanes in December and January several years ago, hurricane season may be over on November 30, but the hurricanes don't know that.

P.S.: Doris Day is still alive!

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 15, 2012 | 12:16 p.m.

Wrecking your bike, cracking 3 ribs and ones neck, surely has to do with the way one drives. We read again this morning, Saturday, the links he went to, to hire the gal. She must be better than she looks.

We once fished the 'glades up around U.S. 41. 'gators were everywhere one looked. We did not note any crocs, which, as you state, does not mean that they were not there. We did not "note" many fish, either.

"Doris Day is still alive!" She is that! I was not sure and did a quick check. Must have picked up on another Doris Day on the same page.

My Dad had always thought Oscar Levant's statement, "I knew Doris Day before she became a virgin.", was hilarious. I couldn't remember Levant and plugged in the statement to get his name. There must be a dozen references and every one of them quote Levant as "before she Was a virgin." Only Doris, herself, referring to Oscar's quote, during an interview, stated it "became" as it was accurately publicized over 50 years ago. We ain't the only ones getting things wrong.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 16, 2012 | 7:54 p.m.

Yes, but Petrino wasn't fired because he drove the bike badly. And it seems the woman had a fiancee of her own. Hopefully he gets out quick.

I have no doubt you saw a lot of alligators. Were you actually looking to see if any of them were crocs? It wouldn't occur to me to look that closely...but it might now. Not that I have seen either lately.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 16, 2012 | 9:00 p.m.

Somewhat contentious, aren't we? If the coach hadn't wrecked his bike would we know that he had the wrong "broad" on board? Would he have had to lie to his boss, which is what got him fired? Pinkel also owns and drives a Harley, but got a DUI in his auto. He was stopped because he was driving too slowly.

Having not closely examined each 'gator we passed in the water and on the banks, while in the everglades, perhaps I should have stated I "felt" there no crocs. There is quite a difference and when I thought "do they mingle?" I looked and got this,

A lot has been made lately, introduced last Saturday, about Mizzou's new nike uniforms for all our sports. Football uniforms have new safety measures don't they? Are they all switching now, do you know?

Tidbit about Kans. They broadcast loudly in Lawrence that K.C.MO belonged to Kansas. Frank Haith just got the two best high school basketball players in K.C. MO, verbally. Maybe HimSelf didn't need them.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 22, 2012 | 1:54 a.m.

Maybe the Jayhawk people are just being neighborly and "loaning" you some of their property. After all, it's not as if they expect these guys to play against Kansas any time soon.

As you can imagine, there are major recruiting battles between Florida, FSU and Miami all over the state, but I can't imagine a coach at any of those schools claiming to "own" a particular city -- not even Gainesville, Tallahassee or Miami. It would surely come back to ite them in the bass.

Here's another difference between alligators and crocodiles: Crocodiles are less popular as mascots. I couldn't think of any, so I googled it. I found two: One represents the Toowoomba Grammar School in Australia, and the other represents the Rancho Cucamonga baseball team -- but the team is called the Quakes.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 23, 2012 | 9:28 a.m.

Mark S. - It seems, since we've discussed crocodiles, they come into the news, "every time one turns around".

Yesterday, reading about al-Qaeda battle in Uganda, it was mentioned that one of the government losses was a soldier that while crossing a river, was killed by a crocodile. Perhaps al-Qaeda has a mascot.

They are fascinating, somehow more so than 'gators. The audio in the link states that the one was at a Flamingo dock sipping dripping fresh water. Probably in our third year in Tavernier I noticed a manatee apparently returning from exploration of our canal to the ocean. Could only see it when it came up for air, until a few houses down someone hung a running garden hose from their dock (an illegal act to attract a manatee). This dude stayed half the afternoon "sipping" the fresh water.

I now include the croc in my wonder why these animals loving fresh water so much and both having fresh water readily available to them would ever go near salt water.

Many among us are wanderers, I suppose I'm just a "wonderer".

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 23, 2012 | 11:07 p.m.

Well, since crocodiles are more dangerous than alligators, maybe we should just assume that a crocodile is a terrorist alligator.

As for the saltwater...perhaps they find freshwater food too bland. "Needs salt...hey, I know where to find some salt!" Down in the bayou they like that blackened water...

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 24, 2012 | 8:46 a.m.

Mark S. - ".hey, I know where to find some salt!". Good point! They eat a meal, then go look for seasoning? A little odd but we know life is tough in our wilderness.

I'm leaving to spend rest of the week at "the lake" (Ozarks, as it is referred to around here). I can't remember when I last saw a croc or gator down there, a fresh water containment. Your assessment is that they are all off looking for salt? Hummm.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 24, 2012 | 3:38 p.m.

Can't say they are all looking for salt, it just explains why they don't stay in the freshwater. Of course, if they're on a low-sodium diet...

Hope you enjoy the lake.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 29, 2012 | 6:06 p.m.

Mark S. - New subject. But first, do you know, or care anything about "offshore" boats?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman April 29, 2012 | 11:27 p.m.

I'm not much familiar with boats, although lately I've been hearing about a large one that sank a few years back. If you think I might need to be filled in, please do.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 30, 2012 | 8:51 a.m.

Mark S. - I should have identified the boats as "go fast". They were built for racing and drug smuggling. While beautiful to see, for the added speed, their exhaust systems are straight, thru the hull above the waterline, making them sound like an old Ford tractor with no muffler. The boats were developed by a Miami resident named Don Aronow. I had read of his ventures and adventures in a boating magazine (now have found an account online: Quite interesting.

This affects wifey and I, as well as all whom detest noise pollution because, according the the first article, after Don's murder, the people of Miami Beach and surrounding area would no longer accept the loud, defiled boats into their midst. They, thus, have been introduced into our inland waterways and wildly accepted by our "good time rock and roll crowd". Even smaller, regular runabouts with only the usual power have to have the thru the hull exhausts to produce the noise. This is not only the case at LofO (it is full of them), a GA resident told me their lakes are overwhelmed as well. People wondering why something isn't done about the boats on our lake, are often told, "too many MO, Senators own one."

We belong to the group most offended by the noise. Most live in homes at least somewhat removed from the water. We own an old cruiser moored at a marina and live On the water. We once were able, by determining where a go fast was located by following it's sound, on an otherwise quiet evening, to determine that the noise was easily discerned tho boat was over 1 mile away.

This noise factor nearly ran us off of the Lake and is the reason we now only go during the week. One of the warm, quiet, beautiful, evenings, this week, we were sitting at end of our dock about 6 ft. apart. Our conversation had to halt while a go fast boat at least 1/4 mile away passed us.

The recession has certainly made it quieter down there, but to the detriment of those trying to earn their living. I'd rather have the noise.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 3, 2012 | 2:43 a.m.

Oh, cigarette boats! Those I have heard of.

What is "LofA"?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 4, 2012 | 8:46 p.m.

"What is "LofA"?" From here, that looks like LofO, which would be My abbreviation for Lake of Ozarks.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 6, 2012 | 10:13 p.m.

Sorry, I surely did mean LofO. Now I know what that stands for, but I'm still stumped bo LofA! Los of Angeles, maybe.

Talked to my dad over the weekend. He says he is working on getting tickets to the Giants-Cowboys game in Dallas in October. If he can get them, he will get one for me and fly me out. Dad, is a lifelong Giants fan, so he will continue to be an irritant to all Texans -- I have mentioned before that he doesn't care for the Longhorns, and he used to be in a group that had season tickets for the Spurs, although he HATES them, too. (In the group, he always took the tickets for the Suns and usually the Knicks, and occasionally the Jordan Bulls, when he could get them.)

It would be an interesting trip for me. We would drive up to Dallas, but the flight to Austin usually involves changing planes in Dallas. I may have to look into getting a night flight back from Dallas, but it might get costly.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 7, 2012 | 5:43 a.m.

Austin, Texas is a major city with A LOT going for it (regardless of how one feels about UT-Austin), but because of its geographic position relative to Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio it suffers from not having the air traffic a city that size would normally have. For example, if Austin were located where Salt Lake city is located, there would be more air traffic.

Years ago I could fly non-stop from St. Louis to Austin (TWA), then it got to where I would need to first fly to Houston (IAH, not Hobby) and then catch a brief flight to Austin (Continental).

The present Austin airport is located on what used to be Bergstrom (spelling?) AFB; the previous airport was in the middle of Austin.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 7, 2012 | 3:46 p.m.

I agree with you about the relative geography, although San Antonio is really in the same boat regarding the airlines. Dallas is a hub for most airlines, and Houston for at least one.

I suspect the reason you lost your direct flight to Austin is the demise of TWA, which used St. Louis as a hub. But it could be worse. When I first moved to Florida with my mom, Dad lived in Phoenix. The nearest airport to us was in West Palm Beach, but to get from PBI to PHX, I had to change planes in Atlanta AND in Dallas.

This was before the airlines were really set up to deal with unaccompanied minors, so at the age of 8, I was navigating major airports alone. By the time I was 12 or so, the airlines started to assign employees to keep an eye on kids flying solo, but by then I was pretty experienced and I found these people to be more annoying than anything else. However, let me start a separate message to tell you about the worst flight of my life.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 7, 2012 | 4:03 p.m.

My dad used to get tickets the Fiesta Bowl every year. So when Florida won the SEC in 1995 and was invited to the Fiesta Bowl to play for the championship, he gladly offered me a ticket. Of course, I didn't book a flight until after I knew that the Gators would be playing, so a lot of the seats were already booked.

Getting to Phoenix wasn't a problem, but what happened when I got there was bad enough -- a 62-24 evisceration at the hands of Nebraska. So my return flight was going to be unhappy enough.

The itinerary only made it worse. I had to get an early evening flight to Las Vegas, where I had a layover of something like 4 hours. Then I had to take the redeye to Atlanta, change planes again, and fly to Miami.

When I got on the overnight flight, I was on the aisle, next to two kids traveling alone, I think they were 10 and 4. The kids were well-behaved, and having traveled like that myself many times I could relate.

Across the aisle from me was a man who I believe had Tourette Syndrome. I say this because periodically he would let out a loud yelp. (He didn't curse -- I have heard that this is actually rare among people with Tourette.) So I knew what was going to happen.

About halfway through the flight, the kids wanted to know, "Why is that man making that noise?" It's hard enough to try to explain Tourette to a grownup -- imagine trying to explain it to a 10-year-old and a 4-year old. I got zero sleep, but the flight attendant was so happy that I had the Tourette talk with the kids, she gave me free headphones.

Then my flight from Atlanta was delayed. And when I finally got to Miami, I couldn't find my car in the garage. By the time I found it, I had to pay for another day of parking.

At least they didn't lose my luggage.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 7, 2012 | 5:48 p.m.

I didn't do any flying when I was 8 years old. Had I done so it would have either been with United Airlines or Braniff (a long defunct airline), or possibly on a B25 "Billy Mitchell" medium bomber, as there was no shortage of those.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 7, 2012 | 8:26 p.m.

When my grandfather passed away while I was at Kessler AFB, Biloxi, MS I got a "hop" on either B-25 or B-26 to Scott AFB in Il. 600+ miles = 2hrs. It took rest of the night to get to Greyhound depot in STL and on a bus for Columbia.

Both of those airplanes had huge propellers that turned nearly next to the ground. Every time I looked at one, then and now, I imagine inadvertently walking into one. I was lucky the air rescue triphibious (supposed to land and take off in deep snow as well. Another lucky, I never experienced the excitement of the third part.) planes had props 13 ft above the ground.

On our last (really) trip to Europe, we went NY to Paris. Amsterdam to Pittsburgh. They lost our luggage in, Pittsburgh. Delivered it next day.

I just remembered, Porfirio Rubirosa, world renowned playboy, and friend of Zsa zsa Gabor, while she was married to Geo Sanders (you remember them, I'm sure)got a lot of publicity with his converted B-25. We saw it on the apron at Nice one day.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 13, 2012 | 12:02 a.m.

Ellis, people did not fly on B-25s because they wanted to fly! If that were an option, I would have asked to take a flight on the SR-71, but that's no longer in service, either. And I do remember Braniff, although I never flew on it. Actually, I have never been on United, either, but have been on nearly every other major airline.

I remember George Sanders only because he once played Mr. Freeze on the old (Adam West) Batman series. I didn't realize he was married to Zsa Zsa, which is interesting because she also was on the Batman series, although not the same episode.

In the late 1970s, Dad was stationed in the UK, and for a year or two he was a flight surgeon. During one mission, they had to perform a refueling operation, during which Dad looked out the window and saw the tanker about 10 feet from his window. I'm not sure exactly how close the plane is supposed to be, but I know it's not supposed to be THAT close. I'm pleased to say I have never had a flight quite that interesting.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 13, 2012 | 6:11 a.m.

Mark Sherman said:

... people did not fly on B-25s because they wanted to fly!"

You were there at that time?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 13, 2012 | 5:13 p.m.

If I keep telling these "war stories", Jack Hamm will be after me for sure.

While stationed at the Bordeaux airport in France our crew and airplane were at Burtonwood AFB, Warrenton, England, when I was hospitalized with tonsillitis and was left behind civilian air travel was arranged for me at the base travel office. Quite serious about it, the rep apologized for my ticket saying that Air France was the only line available Warrenton to Bordeaux. He stated "I know many people refer to it as "Air Chance", but it actually is a quite good airline." It was for me as the trip was quite uneventful.

For spelling etc., I had to read up on Rubirosa and Zsa zsa, somewhat. I didn't recall that he belted her when she would not leave Sanders for him. She showed up at press conference with a patch and said he gave her a black eye. For Ells's benefit, I forgot to mention that Porfirio had painted his B-25, Pink.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 13, 2012 | 6:48 p.m.

A pink B-25. Sounds wonderful. A squadron of Martin A-26 Marauders operated from a former Luftwaffe airstrip in extreme west Germany (west of the Rhine River). The airstrip was located in a saddle (the entire area was hilly). Both ends of the runway were substantially higher than at the center, such that when you stood at one end of the runway and a Marauder was taking off from the other end, by the time the plane was midway down the runway all you could see was the upper portion of its tail! I actually saw that. It was truly weird.

At the Army Corps of Engineers Center [then] located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia they will tell you it's impossible to operate such an airstrip.

Apparently nobody told the Luftwaffe. :)

PS: I knew someone who had many hours in A-26s as a pilot. He claims they were very touchy aircraft to fly.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 14, 2012 | 8:02 a.m.

I hope these comments to be just interesting as I'm not trying to "top" the last one read.

The Luftwaffe airstrip reminded me of Bluie West 1, built in Greenland for WW2. We ferried our airplane W. Palm Beach to Bordeaux and landed at BW1, before Iceland (Keflavik, an extremely busy airport, now a "ghost town" since air traffic goes straight across.) a copied description of BW1:
"If you haven't landed at BW-1," writes army pilot George James of his ferry flight in a twin-engined B-26, "you have missed one of life's biggest thrills. We were briefed for hours with talks, movies taken from the nose of an airplane, and a topographical model. The reason for what might seem like overkill is that BW-1 is 52 miles up a fjord with walls several thousand feet high, numerous dead-end offshoots, no room to turn around, and usually an overcast below the tops of the walls. You had to get it right the first time." Another description tells of the presence of a sunken freighter as identification at the mouth of the correct offshoot fjord. Unless you have learned to make your aircraft "back up" you had best pick the right fjord.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 14, 2012 | 10:51 a.m.

Ellis - I'm not sure a pink B-25 would be "wonderful". In Zsa zsa's language it would probably be "maaavelous"!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 15, 2012 | 5:41 p.m.

I wasn't there, but I know B-25s weren't flown by the airlines. I'd guess some are owned by collectors, though. And I guess if one had military credentials, you might be able to hitch a ride, if space were available.

I'm picturing a batallion of Japanese soldiers in the Pacific seeing a pink B-25 and not taking action, just staring at it, not knowing what to think, until they saw the incoming.

A few months ago, Dad forwarded a mailing he had received from an acquaintance who had visited the Las Vegas Air Show. It concerned the A10 Thunderbolt, a rather add looking plane also known as the "Warthog." Here are some pictures:

Apparently the odd look is the result of what might be thought of as designing backwards. The military had come up with the guns first, then designed a plane to go around it. The guns were built to kill tanks -- also armored personnel carriers, trains, bunkers, or just about anything else intended to be bulletproof. The gun fires rapidly, and the plane is built to fly low, slow, and take heavy artillery. It has double and triple redundancies and can fly with one engine. I wish you could see the picture Dad forwarded of the damage inflicted on an A10 that flew for another hour before returning to base -- it's riddled with bullet holes and a chunk of the wing is gone.

The bullets are enormous and can be fired at 4200 rounds per minute. (No typo.) The empty shells are run back into the storage drum because at full blast, there would be too much debris to damage the plane. And to top it off, missiles can be launched from the underside of the plane.

Apparently a lot of Iraqis saw the A10 in action, but they won't be describing it any time soon.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 17, 2012 | 4:08 p.m.

Mark S. - I didn't know this about the A-10, though do recall an airplane named "warthog".

While in Keys, it seemed at least once per day one or two jets, I believe from the base in Key West came buzzing around at only a couple thousand ft. I liked their look and they now seem similar to the photos you provided. Could they have been warthogs?

We were down there when the base at Homestead was closed. The people voted on a proposition to turn Homestead AFB over to Miami International Airport, thus relieving the congested area around it. The business and jobs to be created were not enough. They voted it down, reportedly due to the noise factor. A grave and silly error imo.

Looks like we are going to have to move out of the "blue" again.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 27, 2012 | 3:45 p.m.

I am not aware of an airbase in Key West. I think the nearest bases to the Everglades are MacDill AFB near Tampa and Patrick AFB near Cape Canaveral. I have no idea what types of aircraft are based there.

The old Homestead base is now an AF Reserve base, so we have had people based there sent to Iraq and Afghanistan for several years. Again, I don't know what aircraft fly from there.

I'll bring the discussion back to sports for a moment. We had a bit of a disappointing weekend in the Gator Nation. The baseball team was eliminated from the SEC Tournament yesterday, despite having been ranked as high as #2 during the past week. (There are about five different polls in baseball.) Yesterday they carried a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning, but gave up five runs to Vanderbilt, which had beaten them earlier in the tournament. This included a successful triple-steal -- which I have never seen even attempted before. They got two runs back in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't pull it out. Vandy wasn't even ranked, but they are playing in the final game today against Miss. State, which is ranked #24. But we will still get to host one of the NCAA Regionals.

Meanwhile the women's lacrosse team lost in the national semifinal on Friday. I don't know much about lacrosse, but the game went into OT, and they appeared to have the winning goal, but Syracuse challenged the stick on the goal, and the netting was found to be too deep, so the goal was negated. What is notable about this is that this is only the third year Florida has fielded a women's lacrosse team, and they went to the tourney as the #1 seed. On the plus side, there is only one senior on the team, and unlike the football and basketball players, nobody will be declaring early for the draft.

Are you guys getting hyped up for playing in the new conference?

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon May 27, 2012 | 4:19 p.m.

"I am not aware of an airbase in Key West."

Key West Naval Air Station; has a 10,000' runway.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 27, 2012 | 10:15 p.m.

I am now aware. Thanks!

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 28, 2012 | 8:31 a.m.

Mark - I learned of the Base from a former Marine pilot friend, who told me he had visited the Keys by flying into that Base. "Marine pilot" would indicate Navel, not USAF, where I am from. An examiner of tests given for entrance in AF took time to tell that my ability to identify a/c silhouettes was exceptional. He never gave me any money, nor has anyone since for this exceptional talent, but, I do believe the planes down there looked like warthogs and an oddity, at the lake, last week,two low flying planes also fit the description. They would probably be from Whitman.

We went from the beautiful to the bad this last week. Men's baseball won Big 12 tournament for the first and last time, beating Kansas for the last time, 12-2 in 8 innings.

Tiger, girls softball lost NCAA Regional, two games to one, to LSU. Our ace pitcher, Chelsea Thomas, had her worst games ever and leaves the girls out of the World Series for the first time in last four years.

A Bowl with the Big 12?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 28, 2012 | 9:16 p.m.

I saw that Missouri and LSU (softball) were in the 11th inning, but I didn't hear until later who won.

Our girls missed the WCWS for the first time in a long time, too, having lost in the Regionals, both losses by one run. Unfortunately it was one of those situations where the coach had to put principle first, as the starting third baseman (the team's leading hitter), shortstop, left fielder were kicked off the team just before the start of the first game. He didn't give any more explanation than "violation of team rules," but it must have been a big deal if it wasn't just a suspension. The Lady Gators also went to the WCWS the last four years, and played in the finals three of those years.

I'm hoping the baseball team does better, on the field and off. They definitely have the bloodlines. The roster includes Tyler Thompson (his father played for the SF Giants for years), Cody Dent (Bucky Dent's son), Karsten Whitson (son of Ed Whitson; he came to UF after turning down a huge signing bonus), and the grandson of Lew Burdette (his name isn't Burdette). Ironically, Vanderbilt has Carl Yastrzemski's grandson, so when they played the Gators, it was sorta like a rematch of the game where Bucky Dent's home run went over Yaz's head. Except that he didn't hit one this time.

It really seems as though genes do a lot more for you in baseball than in football or basketball, as there are a lot of colleges around the country with relatives of major leaguers on the roster.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 29, 2012 | 3:28 p.m.

Also, I see that Mizzou won the Big 12 baseball title. I love this. Next year you can ask people where the Big 12 baseball champion is, and then answer them, "In the SEC, of course."

Also, I believe baseball is usually the last sport to finish during the academic year, so you get to leave the conference with a trophy. Well done!

I just noticed something. We all know that the SEC will now have three Tiger teams, but we will also have two schools located in Columbia, South Carolina being the other.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 30, 2012 | 8:55 a.m.

Mark - "we will also have two schools located in Columbia, South Carolina being the other."

Yeah, one is bigger, the other Better! giggle.

G. Pinkel, with them in Destin, divulged that AR will be our cross division rival. Do they play in Fayetteville, or Little Rock or still both? I've only been down there once for a sojourn at Hot Springs. That water certainly makes a glass of whiskey taste better. I brought 10 gallons home and drank every drop. Lawrence was certainly easier to get to. Neither AR nor MO seem the have great N-S highways down there.

Pinkel also noted that our #1 QB James Franklin is ahead of schedule on recovery from shoulder surgery. Good news, because #2 was recently suspended pending charges of leaving scene of a fender bender late one night, this spring.

What about the SEC-Big 12 Bowl? Probably be fun to watch, but haven't we both expressed feelings about the need for another Bowl?

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman May 30, 2012 | 7:00 p.m.

I hadn't really thought about which Columbia was bigger. But the other Columbia is the state capital. What made me think of it was that when I saw Missour had won the Big 12, I wanted to see if they were hosting a regional. I already knew the Gamecocks were hosting, but it occurred to me that if Missouri also hosted, there would be two "Columbia Regionals." Now THAT could cause confusion.

It makes a lot of sense for Arkansas to be the cross-divisional rival, as the border makes this a likely main rival in the future. Of course, you might eventually end up in the same division, but I'd like to see that as an annual matchup. LSU sort started a rivalry with the Razorbacks, but since Baton Rouge is in the western part of the state and College Station is in eastern Texas, that might get something going. But I think LSU will always prefer to beat Alabama.

Apparently Arkansas still uses the stadium in Little Rock (according to Wikipedia).

"That water certainly makes a glass of whiskey taste better. I brought 10 gallons home and drank every drop."

Ten gallons of water or 10 gallons of whiskey? :-)

We have ALL expressed our opinions on adding more bowl games. Unfortunately, the powers that be don't seem to be paying attention.

For all the griping about the BCS, I actually am more annoyed with the rest of the bowls, and not just because there are too many. The way the conference tie-ins are set up, there are certain conference matchups that can't normally occur. For example, there is NO bowl matching an SEC team with a Pac-12 team. There are only three ways such a bowl matchup can occur:

1) BCS Championship Game
2) Another BCS bowl game, but the odds are against this because of the Rose Bowl's preference for inviting a Big 10 team and a Pac-10 team
3) a conference doesn't have enough eligible teams to fill its bowl commitments. But the bowls that have to look for at-large teams in this scenario are so low in the hierarchy that nobody would care.

Of course, if the NCAA goes to a playoff, you could see an SEC vs. Pac-10 game in the post-season. But I suspect a playoff will lead to fewer intersectional games during the regular season.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 2, 2012 | 6:43 p.m.

Quite a bit of news from Destin, you got it I'm sure. Everyone at Mizzou still happy to be there. They previously stated that expansion would be necessary and have announced plans for that. We heard today that K.C. will still host big 12 Basketball tournament. That was a concern at Mizzou at leaving, business in K.C. MO might suffer. AD Alden stated that Arkansas, as well as MO would be open to playing at neutral sites in future. We've already played Ark State at Arrowhead Stadium. K.C. business may not notice the difference, except for an increase. I'm ready! I may have to invest in HD!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 3, 2012 | 11:43 p.m.

Really, there probably is no reason for the Big 12 to move the basketball tournament. The departure of Missouri just makes Kansas City a more neutral site.

I'm not sure why Les Miles wants to avoid playing Florida. We've been down the last couple of years, and they have been up. Seems like it's a bigger challenge for us to play them than vice versa.

I caught the end of the Missouri baseball game the other night. They were trailing at the time, but came back in the later innings. I guess I brought them some luck. Unfortunately I had to work tonight, so I wasn't able to give them any magic against Louisville.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 4, 2012 | 6:53 a.m.

The 2010 population of Columbia, South Carolina is 129K, somewhat larger than Columbia, Missouri. I was just there in April. South Carolina isn't an urban state, Columbia being an exception.

Please pass the boiled peanuts. The more slimy they are, the easier they go down. :)

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 4, 2012 | 7:55 a.m.

Thanks Ellis, I had always "assumed", I suppose, that Columbia SC, was far larger(perhaps double)than "our'n".

I thought I had eaten boiled peanuts, but never detected "slime" on, or in them. Another major hit on my knowledge "bank"?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 5, 2012 | 7:19 a.m.

@ Frank Christian:

Were you sober when you ate the boiled peanuts? I think they'd be best tolerated with some alcoholic libation.

For many years I could say that South Carolina was the only state east of the Mississippi I had never been in. Then some idiots severely pressurized part of the hot zone (2,000 deg. F.) of a brand new tunnel kiln (firing building bricks) and severely damaged the kiln and many of its cars. What a disgusting mess! Lawsuits were pending. All I could do was take photos and collect samples of the damaged refractory ceramics. The plant was located at a wide spot in the road called Pee Dee (for the river of the same name)) near Florence.

My niece and her husband live in Graniteville, SC near the GA-SC line (Augusta, GA). Our hearts should bleed for my nephew-in-law. He has a high position in National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Edgeville, SC. He gets paid - very well - for hunting, fishing, camping, attending sumptuous banquets, etc. And he is a serious hunter. Go to their home and various dead animals stare at you from the walls.:) He frequently hunts turkeys here in Missouri during the season, and is almost always successful. He does have to travel a lot (United States, Canada, Mexican Yucatan) and he has to watch his weight: all those banquets!

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 5, 2012 | 8:19 a.m.

Ellis - I googled boiled peanuts to make certain we were on the same page, and sure enough boiled peanuts are the ones that when split, an image of Santa Clause is apparent at the root end. This is what I was told when first shown the phenomenon at about age 5. They are the same ones whose shells paved the floor of many of the finest watering holes across our country for many years. As the nuts were always offered free, I hated to see the gimmick end. Could your bad publicity have cause it?

"Were you sober when you ate the boiled peanuts?"

Not always, but while this problem was never uppermost in my mind I like to think I would have been able to discern that I was putting "slime" into my "chops".

A question begs. Where you Ever sober when you ate boiled peanuts? One also wonders why you felt the need to insert "Wild Turkey" into the conversation?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 5, 2012 | 1:07 p.m.

My nephew-in-law assures me that it's a bad idea to engage in drinking Wild Turkey before going out to shoot wild turkeys.

Many years ago there was a regional airline (like Ozark Airlines) called Southern. Back in the early 1960s they were still flying DC-3s (no, I'm not kidding you).

On Southern's fights occurring in the late afternoon all passengers were offered bags of roasted (NOT boiled) peanuts, in their shells. Passengers were encouraged to crack open the shells, eat the peanuts, and THROW ALL THE SHELLS ON THE AIRCRAFT FLOOR! Pony bottles of beer could be purchased at some ridiculously low price. Rather impressive quantities of peanuts and beer were consumed.

The aircraft cabin cleaning crews must have enjoyed their work!

Southern sold out to Northwest, which in turn has sold out to Delta.

Then we also didn't have the screening mess at airports. I feel sorry for airline passengers today who have never known better times.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum June 5, 2012 | 2:19 p.m.

Actually, you assumed correctly Frank -- the metro area of Columbia, SC, is over 700,000. The entire county of Boone contains only 170,000. Not even close.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 5, 2012 | 4:59 p.m.

Thank you Louis!

Ellis - The Marine pilot I have mentioned as having flown into Key West via the Navel Air Station there, flew for Southern then Delta until retirement at mandatory age 60 for airline pilots. This he said was true. The regular schedule of flight crews was a 3 day trip, on duty. Then 3 days off. An associate, married, but always a "womanizer" retired as was required, but never told his wife. Every 3rd day this guy would pack up, kiss wifey good bye and go to "work" and always returned, on time, 3 days later.

You also reminded me, as I was told, that while I was in the service, it seems, my dad's boss, not a hunter, but invited duck hunting, borrowed my shot gun. It also seems that tho they had a "blind", when they entered it sunrise of the next morning, they took guns and a dish pan full of an exiting new drink discovered the night before. No ducks, because they , Thankfully, never fired a shot!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 9, 2012 | 3:50 p.m.

I recall crossing the Pee Dee River when driving up north to visit relatives when I was a kid. (My stepfather will not fly, so those trips were always by car.) If I remember correctly, there are actually two Pee Dee Rivers. OK, I have to look this up. The main river is the Great Pee Dee, and the Little Pee Dee is a tributary.

Regarding the drinks on the plane: When my father was married to his third wife, my half-brother once went by plane to visit his mother (Wife #2). His flight back was on New Year's Eve, and so the flight attendant let him have a little champagne. And I guess a little more. And a little more. This was the first leg of a two-leg flight. Well, this was some years ago, and apparently they airline didn't have someone watching an unaccompanied minor, or maybe he was just old enough not to be escorted. Anyway, he fell asleep and missed the connecting flight. I am REALLY glad I wasn't there when Dad got that phone call.

Peanut shells on the floor: Not unlike the (now-defunct) Roadhouse Grill?

"Southern sold out to Northwest" Now that's what I call irony.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 9, 2012 | 5:55 p.m.

M. S. - "the (now-defunct) Roadhouse Grill?" Could you have been referring to the Road Kill Grill? "You kill 'em, we grill 'em! My son gave me a T shirt with their menu and all. All their dishes sounded delicious but couldn't remember any of them so I checked and got it on google. . They serve "chicken that didn't quite cross the road" and many other delicacies.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 9, 2012 | 6:17 p.m.

Thought it might be wise to separate this one. Have you ever had a can of "Florida Keys Fish A/h's"? The label on the can tells all about the contents. A/h's vary in size and maturity, etc. I brought home and passed out several, from a Key Largo flea market, until the vender sold out and new owner didn't know where to get them.

On a trip up the "left coast", in Oregan, a site we stopped to see had a fish market with free salmon samples for customers. The owner was a salesman, speaking to every customer in some friendly way, so I asked if he had ever eaten a can of Florida Keys Fish A/h's? Without batting an eye, he replied, No, but it sounds good!

I was right. They don't want me to write the word.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 9, 2012 | 10:06 p.m.

The Roadhouse Grill was a chain of casual dining restaurants in the East. They would give you free peanuts while you waited for your food, and the shells would just go on the floor. They went bankrupt and closed in 2008. There was one near me and another in the same plaza where I worked at the bookstore, so certainly the location was a plus for me.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 9, 2012 | 10:12 p.m.

Never heard of Florida Keys Fish a/h. I'm guessing a/h is what you might call "tactful shorthand." If so, then yes, I agree -- a/h's (fish or otherwise) vary widely in size and maturity, as well as education, political affiliation, school alliances, and pretty much everything else.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 9, 2012 | 10:42 p.m.

Imo - One would think possibly, that with the formally disgusting, slang words that have now been added to our dictionary as usable language, context might have some bearing. I was not calling someone a foul name. I posted a word printed on the label of a can being sold legally, at least in the state of Florida. None of the friends I gave the cans to objected to the word. Do you suppose this means my friends are sub-par?

The rejoinder was not a particularly polite one. I was told to "watch your mouth!"

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 10, 2012 | 7:37 a.m.

Since you mention it, I do recall having eaten at a Roadhouse Grill and they did do the peanut thing.

Yes, there are two Pee Dee Rivers. It was only on a recent trip (in April) when I was in both North Carolina and South Carolina that I realized the drainage basin for Great Pee Dee River extends well up into North Carolina. I crossed the river driving south on I-95 in South Carolina.

Over the years I've seen the demise of a number of airline names:

Eastern (which once had a minor hub in Kansas City!)
Pan Am
Mid Continent (absorbed by Braniff)
Southern (absorbed by Northwest)
Ozark (absorbed by TWA)
Mohawk (absorbed by Allegheny)
Allegheny (became U.S. Airways)
TWA (absorbed by American)
Northwest (absorbed by Delta)
Frontier (the original one)
Continental (absorbed by United)
Texas International (absorbed by Continental)

I don't believe Hughes Air West is still flying. Yes, THAT Hughes.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 10, 2012 | 3:58 p.m.

I have flown on quite a few of the airlines you mentioned:

Eastern (used to be based in Miami)
Pan Am (the name was resurrected twice, but both attempts failed)

Also, there was National Airlines, which was absorbed by Pan Am. Apparently the employees retained a loyalty to the brand, as they still maintain a website. Actually two -- one is operated by the former flight attendants organization, and the other is more of a nostalgic site.

And if you remember People Express (also merged into Continental), there is a group planning to revive that airline, too.

And last year AirTran was acquired by Southwest. AirTran, of course, was the former ValuJet, which bought the smaller AirTran primarily to get rid of the ValuJet name, which had been damaged by the 1996 crash in the Everglades.

Eastern was a sad, sad story. It was, I believe, the largest airline in the world at one time. It then ran into problems, and when Frank Lorenzo's Texas Air acquired it, it was just a matter of time. Eastern had what at the time was the most sophisticated reservation system in the industry, and after Lorenzo got hold of the airline, he had Eastern sell the system to Continental for a fraction of the value. Many people believe that was the sole reason he got involved with Eastern.

As for language, there are odd rules that take place online. Once I was in a chatroom and, for reasons I don't recall, made reference to the the former VP of the United States. This would be former Senator Cheney, who was VP under George W. Bush. However, the chatroom software changed Mr. Cheney's first name to asterisks. This led us to trying other words which seemed to be acceptable, including the common name of mammals of the subgenus Asinus. (It includes donkeys, in case you need a hint.)

Also, years ago, before everything moved to the web, AOL tried policing language on its forums to the point of banning the word "breast." This did not go over well in the Cancer Forum or the Cooking Forum, both of which had to start substituting the word "chest."

Which is just asinine.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 11, 2012 | 9:28 p.m.

I'm sure the "Cheney incident" was not your only experience in our days of political correctness in speech or even in the subject. I have related problems with the Missourian since R. Reagan I dropped my subscription to the print that far back. This was before Rush L. and Fox News and everyone was at it. Our local radio station, as late as 2008 had an hour with Fred a noted local Republican and Simon the liberal. The book, The Deniers, naming those opposing the global warming theory and detailing their lengthy qualifications. It had of course been denounced by every liberal before it was published. I read it and thought the Fred and Simon listeners should hear about it. I called and Simon sounded as though he was shot at the mention of the book and spent much time belittling it and proclaimed anyone that believed it was less than sane. Some confusion with Simon occurred and I wasn't able to discern what he was saying. Finally, Fred said, "caller, Simon disagrees with you and is trying to get you off the air! Burst into laughter." Conservative callers getting zapped was everyday occurrence, then.

I bring this up now, because the occurrence regarding the can of Fla. fish parts was my fault and I wanted to state that no such restriction of conservative speech has occurred for me or anyone I've read during this lengthy encounter with the Missourian and I wanted note it and express appreciation for it.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 12, 2012 | 3:05 p.m.

"I wanted to state that no such restriction of conservative speech has occurred for me or anyone I've read during this lengthy encounter with the Missourian"

If you mean this specific lengthy encounter, I haven't seen any conservative (or liberal) speech -- which helps to keep me coming back. If I want a political argument, I will look for a political discussion. Not that we've been able to keep to the original sports topic, but still...

I have no desire to get into a political discussion about global warming or anything else, but since you mentioned global warming, I came across an interesting tidbit in Smithsonian magazine last night. It details a debate a few years back on that very subject between two prominent politicians.

One was the incumbent Vice President from a southern state who was about to run for President, a man considered a dangerous radical by his political opponents. The other was a Yale man, who was himself looking at a run for the White House, and who develolped someething of a reputation for his particular way with words.

Care to guess who these two men were and when the debate took place? I'll post the link later, as it will give away half the answer.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor June 12, 2012 | 4:08 p.m.

Did the article examine how the personal wealth of this incumbant VP and future white house contender, (the deniers are really the people who still claim he won...), grew exponentially from capitalizing on the snake oil he sold ???

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 12, 2012 | 9:47 p.m.

Mr. Mentor, I believe you and I are speaking of two different VPs. The man I am referring to was quite wealthy beforehand, as his family already had money. OK, that actually still doesn't narrow it down.

I do not intend to be baited into a political argument, so just be patient. I'll let Frank have a crack at it before I post the link.

By the way, I used to work with a Mike Mentor, but I don't think you are him. Ever work in a bookstore in Florida?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor June 13, 2012 | 8:13 a.m.

Not me Mark... I have been to Florida many times, but never to work ;-)

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 15, 2012 | 2:47 p.m.

Mark S - "If you mean this specific lengthy encounter,"

No, I was referring to the time spent on this blog in general, a couple of years, I think. I had publicly criticized Missourian for their political bias previously and meant to put your Chaney bit together with the bias shown only 4 years ago to evidence how bad it was and then mention the pleasant lack of bias in their publication these days. I apparently only succeeded in confusing you. Sorry.

Al Gore is from a southern state and has proven himself a radical. W. Bush is a Yale man, but have no idea of the speech. I can only picture Gore standing menacingly over Bush in prez debates because he was told it would help him in the debate.

Our leaders are really working hard on a downtown reception for SEC football games.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 15, 2012 | 4:49 p.m.

OK, Frank, apparently you made the same assumption that Mike did. The debate referenced in Smithsonian took place in 1799. The VP was Thomas Jefferson, and has Yale-educated opponent was Noah Webster (the dictionary guy, not to be confused with Daniel Webster, the orator). If you want to read the article, here is the link:

I didn't think to look up whether Noah and Daniel Webster were related, but I see that they were cousins, so I could also have mentioned that the Yalie was from a famous political family, and that when the VP did run, the election was highly disputed.

I was surprised that what we think of as a modern topic went back more than 200 years. And the personal similiarities between Jefferson and Webster on the one hand and Gore and Bush on the other are remarkable.

I am curious, however, as to what "snake oil" Mr. Mentor believes Jefferson used to enrich himself. :-)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 16, 2012 | 6:15 a.m.

Thomas Jefferson was well educated for his time. He was a graduate of The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (after which he studied law). Jefferson, both as President and in his later years, was very concerned about there being an educated American public, including there being access to higher education.

Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, the first public university in the United States.

In his writings, which are extensive, Jefferson posited that without an educated populous the nascent American democratic experiment could not survive. Unfortunately, modern day Americans seem bound and determined on proving Jefferson's premise correct. Filling a seat at a college or university for four or more years does not necessarily mean that one is educated.

William & Mary remained a private college for many years but is now part of the Virginia public higher education system. Gaining admission isn't easy. It is the second oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, older than Yale.

If you visit Monticello, be sure to view Jefferson's tomb stone - designed by Jefferson himself. There is no mention of his having been President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Ambassador to France, etc. Only three accomplishments are mentioned; one is that he founded University of Virginia.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor June 16, 2012 | 9:28 a.m.

Watch it! Dem daer be fightin' words !!!

Jefferson is one of my all time heroes!

He preached civic duty, individual liberty and against corruption in government, hallmarks of my own individual beliefs. He said the federal government is a dangerous necessity to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community; it should be watched closely and circumscribed in its powers. YEP!!!

In fact, many of his beliefs could be paralleled with modern day libertarians except for his strong belief in education as an equalizer for oppurtunity. Again, a very strong personal opinion of this guy. As much as anyone, he was the reason we got it right. Goosebumps !!!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 16, 2012 | 4:22 p.m.

Never been to Monticello, but I am aware of the inscription on his gravesite. I have been to the Jefferson Memorial. When I was very young -- maybe 6 -- Mom and I went to visit relatives near D.C., and we went to the historic sites.

Then in 2002, I went on my own, largely to see the Smithsonian museums. But I also signed up for a nighttime tour of the monuments. It's a different atmosphere seeing them lit up at night, especially the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. If you get the chance, I recommend it.

Mike: YOU are the one said the VP I referenced was sellling snake oil.

"He said the federal government is a dangerous necessity to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community; it should be watched closely and circumscribed in its powers."

And then probably violated the Constitution when he made the Louisiana Purchase. Which only proves that anyone can go too far if given the power to do so. But he also waged a notoriously dirty campaign for President against John Adams. Not that the Federalists were a bunch of choirboys, either. Even today, many historians consider this to be nastiest election in American politics.

I'll give you another story with a twist. In the Old West, people would usually drink some form of whiskey when they went to a saloon, less often beer. But drinking something non-alcoholic was generally considered a sure sign of a pansy from the East.

One day, a guy comes in and orders coffee. This led to inevitable teasing from the other patrons, which the Easterner at first ignored, but one particular guy kept giving him a hard time, and eventually a fight was challenged.

The Easterner knocked the guy to the ground with one or two blows. Turned out he was not the best guy to pick a fight with -- he was a past captain of the boxing team at Harvard, fellow by the name of Theodore Roosevelt.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 21, 2012 | 10:31 a.m.

Mark - Have we finally covered it all? Had been looking for something more important but our "Monticello" is all I have come up with.

A replica was built just east of Columbia before 1940. I believe by an import-exporter named Campbell. His daughter was in my 2nd grade class and we were treated to a class picnic and tour of the historic replica.

It may not have been too faithful to the original design, because I can find no reference to it on google. Without driving out there, it appears the building is now centered in the club house of a new golfing community. (These are assumptions, someone with better information would be welcome.) Pictures now indicate that a lattice, rather than dome surround the top.

My best memories are that the 7-8 year old daughter had her own kitchen adjoining her bedroom and then the crappie I caught in the lake, behind.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 21, 2012 | 6:46 p.m.

From what I understand, Jefferson never really finished Monticello. He was always making additions and changes, so I guess a faithful replica should have scaffolding and construction workers onsite.

We can never cover it all because there is always something new. As you probably know, we're close to having a four-team playoff in college football. And apparently the recruiting news from both Columbia and College Station is quite good. I came across this just now:

It seems to focus more on A&M, but Missouri figures prominently in the story, too.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 25, 2012 | 5:55 p.m.

Mark - we're adding 6000 seats to our stadium. We'll have 9th largest in S.E.C.

We've got two Q-backs again. #2 got out of his hit & run rap.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 27, 2012 | 9:17 p.m.

Well, I'm honored that you are making more room in case I decide to take in a game. What will the expanded capacity be?

I see that the championship game under the new BCS playoff will go to the city with the highest bid. I have a bad feeling that basing the location solely on monetary bid will one day lead to a bad experience. They really should take other factors into consideration, or at least have some minimum standards in terms of population, number of hotel rooms, commitment to not having another large event the same week, etc.

Also, they might want to take steps to reduce the possibility of a school trying to guarantee a home field advantage. I realize that you wouldn't want to exclude major cities such as Los Angeles or Miami just because they are home to major football schools. However, I could see a big-time school in a smaller city trying to secure a home field advantage by contributing money to the bids for their city -- perhaps Tuscaloosa, South Bend, or Columbus. And yes, I realize Gainesville falls into that category, too.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 30, 2012 | 3:05 p.m.

"What will the expanded capacity be?"

77,004. The last 4 will be behind the scoreboard. We could get you one of them, just tell us when!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman June 30, 2012 | 11:31 p.m.

BEHIND the scoreboard? I don't think I'd want to sit there...

I wish I could make a reciprocal offer, but getting tickets at UF is really hard, at least if you're not a booster. Last time I went, I met my Dad in Gainesville, and we had to buy from the scalpers.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 1, 2012 | 5:44 a.m.

In the SEC aren't Vanderbilt and Mississippi State fans seated "behind the scoreboard," and aren't their teams frequently also behind [in] the score?

Vanderbilt has a classy name. The name alone oozes money. That's something. In Nashville there's the option of attending Vanderbilt or Grand Old Opera; most people attend the later.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 1, 2012 | 6:06 p.m.

Of course, more people go to the Grand Old Opry. It's much easier to get into. :-)

Did you know I went to Harvard? I spent most of the day there -- saw the museum and took the Unofficial Tour.

Vandy, of course, is the only private school in the SEC, and of course it is highly rated academically even among private schools -- probably one of the two best schools in the South. (Duke, of course, being the other.)

I'm not sure where they sit at Vanderbilt, even though I was at a game there. The whole band didn't go, and I went with a pep band (one bus). It was the last time Vandy beat the Gators. It was also the only time I've ever been truly drunk. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Mississippi State seems to be getting better. Of course, that has happened before and not lasted more than two seasons.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 5, 2012 | 5:50 p.m.

Did you note Mizzou has accepted the transfer of a "standout softball player at Florida", Sami Fagan. She will sit out '13, but sounds as tho her hitting is needed here Now. Do not follow them too closely, but, this seems the case from what I've read.

And razorB's new football coach is bankrupt. You are right this important stuff just keeps Happening!

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 5, 2012 | 7:02 p.m.

I hadn't heard about Sami transferring to Mizzou, but I did know she wasn't with the Gators anymore. She was one of the three players kicked off the team the day the regional tournament started:

One of the others was her sister, Kasey. Do you know if they are both going to UM?

Have you seen the new ad for the EA Sports College Football 13 game? Apparently they have a feature where you can put any player from the past on any team, and they did the unthinkable in the ad -- TEBOW IN A GEORGIA UNIFORM! I'm trying to round up a group to head to EA's offices and -- well, let's just say we'd like to do some things that Tebow is just too good to do. And no, they did NOT make things better at the end by putting Herschel Walker in a Gator uniform. (If you want I can put up a link to the ad on YouTube.)

I didn't hear about Arkansas' new coach. I guess he'll need a raise.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 5, 2012 | 8:43 p.m.

Mark - Our paper never mentioned why or even if, Sami was no longer with Gators. Our coach, Earleywine, said he had met her in recruiting.

I had thought of relating this but never did. Had you heard of the drug dealer traveling with our Tiger basketball team?

"In March, FBI agents arrested Coolley on felony cocaine distribution charges at the Missouri team hotel in Omaha, Neb., hours before the Tigers’ most recent NCAA appearance, a second-round loss to Norfolk State."

No excuse, but possibly a good reason Tigers could not handle the hot Norfolk St.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 6, 2012 | 4:29 p.m.

Actually, nobody knows exactly why the three players were dismissed. The coach only said it was a violation of team rules, but didn't give any details. I would imagine Sami discussed this with the UM coach, though. I did find a story reprinted in several places about the transfer, but it didn't mention why she left Florida. There is story on a Gator sports website about both sisters transferring (Kasey is going to Arkansas; apparently they have never played against each other before), and it does give a clue. None of the players or UF have talked about it, but apparently Mr. Fagan (dad) told a newspaper that there was "an altercation on the team" that led to a divided clubhouse. This might explain why they were both involved, as one might expect one sister to stand behind the other.

I guess the fact that Sami had met Coach Earleywine during recruiting helped her decide where she wanted to transfer. The story also says the two would not have had to sit out if they transferred outside the conference, so they obviously really liked their respective schoools. They both received offers from in-state schools (one from Florida Gulf Coast and the other from South Florida) which would have allowed them to stay close to home and not sit for a year.

The third former Gator is going to Arizona State, so she will be playing in 2013.

As for the drug dealer...I couldn't pull up the story you linked to, so I tried Google and found another story, but there was no mention of drugs being sold to the players. However, Google also returned this story:

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 6, 2012 | 6:57 p.m.

Sorry couldn't get the story to you. The link I gave you was in STL. The other paper here originally broke it. I don't know how to show that to you. But, there eventually never was any suspicion that Anyone with MIZZOU knew the guy was dealing, though several players had given him their complimentary tickets, on several occasions. The fact that he was arrested in Omaha, the night before that game, would seem to me, give reason for our players to loose focus on Norfolk State.

We don't think about Kansas anymore. Except that our Governor just signed a bill prohibiting a Missouri auto license plate to be purchased with a Jay Hawk logo on it.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 7, 2012 | 10:37 a.m.

I think the problem with the link was on my end, because I also had trouble posting my comment. Eventually I just rebooted and it still had a problem even loading my homepage. Now I've got the story. I didn't realize that Haith had been at Miami. As you can imagine, the whole Nevin Shapiro thing was a big deal around here -- although I haven't heard much about it for a few months. But I doubt it's relevant to the situation at Missouri, especially since Coolley was traveling with the team before Haith was there.

I'm surprised you had license plates with Jayhawk logos even before. We have over 100 different license plate variations, including one for every college in the state (public or not), but there is none for any out-of-state schools. For the record, I have had the UF plate for almost 20 years. It costs a little bit more, but the extra goes to the university.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 7, 2012 | 2:06 p.m.

The new law was passed and signed to address a new, recent request for the Jay Hawk logo.

A much worse hassle occurred some years ago. A MO congressman made a speech in the House long years ago declaring, "I'm from MO and you've got to show me!. Our motto became, MO the show me state and, I believe, was spelled out on our auto license plates long before a few decided that to advertise the phrase there was unseemly. It gave me and I'm sure most Missourians, a valuable sense of togetherness, but as one local liberal radio announcer joining those fighting for removal from the plates said, "it makes Missourians sound too contentious". I'm not sure if the controversy created the law, but MO "the show me state" is now required in the statute.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 7, 2012 | 8:45 p.m.

I had always heard that nobody was really sure where the name "Show Me State" came from, and nobody really knew whether it was originally intended as compliment, insult or neutral. I do know there are several different stories, obviously with varying degrees of accuracy.

I certainly don't take it as contentiousness. I figure after all these years, it just "is" and doesn't necessarily have to have any special connotation -- well, outside of the obvious (that it indicates something to do with Missouri).

But really, a Jayhawk on a Missouri plate? What would Woody Hayes think of a Wolverine on an Ohio plate, or anyone from Oklahoma think of a Longhorn logo on their tag? People would be burning down the tag office.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 7, 2012 | 11:06 p.m.

Mark - Show Me state.
". I figure after all these years, it just "is" and doesn't necessarily have to have any special connotation -"
One of few instances, several years ago in Columbus, Ohio, buying a bottle of whiskey in a government liquor store, showing my ID the attendant, smiled and said, "oh, you're from MO, we have to show you? Who would not be proud to smile and answer, "you damned right!" as I did?

"What would Woody Hayes think of a Wolverine on an Ohio plate, or anyone from Oklahoma think of a Longhorn logo on their tag? People would be burning down the tag office." The Okies and Texans would smilingly Remove the offending tags in the quickest, easiest manner available to Them.

Woody Hayes would strike the offender in the throat and the fans, in Columbus would burn the car.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 8, 2012 | 1:25 p.m.

There's an old story, which you've probably heard, about Woody Hayes going to Michigan on a recruiting trip and running out of gas near the state line. Supposedly he pushed his car across the state line rather than buy gas in Michigan.

Personally, I don't believe it. If Woody wouldn't buy gas in Michigan, I doubt he would go there to recruit, either. Also, old-time coaches like Woody always preached that the most important thing to winning was preparation, so I don't believe he would have allowed himself to run out of gas in the first place.

The fans in Columbus are pretty brutal, though. They ran Kirk Herbstreit and his family out of town for supposedly being anti-OSU (or more accurately for not being sufficiently pro-OSU, even though he's not supposed to show bias on the air). This is a guy who actually was a Buckeye QB.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 8, 2012 | 3:22 p.m.

The one night in Columbus is my only experience with the city. We turned on local news TV, (after I returned from the State Liquor store.) and heard a lengthy dissertation about fan action after OSU games. It was Friday in the Fall. The announcer was descriptive of the damage (glass breakage, overturned autos, etc.) that apparently happens after every football game. Talked about the cost to businesses and the feelings of the owners and implored the students to "think" and try to stop their destructive celebrations.

That has been my only connection with that city and OSU, but it surely sounded as tho the Students run the town.

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 9, 2012 | 2:34 p.m.

"it surely sounded as tho the Students run the town."

Food for thought: Columbus is also the state capital. Also, maybe it's not just the students, maybe the alumni. This might explain why appeals to the students don't solve the problem.

I was actually in Columbus for about a week, although it had nothing at all to do with OSU. (Oh, sorry, I better correct that to tOSU, or I'll have hordes of Buckeyes reminding me that it's THE Ohio State University.) My dad was stationed at Rickenbacker AFB and I went to visit him over the winter break. It was horribly cold (remember, I live in Florida), and I spent most of the week battling some sort of stomach virus that kept me "refunding" everything I ate.

I did a brief search and I don't think I posted this here before, but I apologize if I'm repeating myself. Back at the end of 2006, leading up to the BCS Championship Game between Florida and Ohio State, Lindy's published an Ohio State commemorative edition entitled, "A Championship Season." It was about 100 pages and devoted about two to Florida. It kind of annoyed me seeing this on the newsstand every day.

Until, that is, we thrashed the Buckeyes. After the game, I HAD to go out and buy a copy. I e-mailed the following to Lindy's (slightly condensed):

"Thank you for publishing your special issue commemorating Ohio State's BCS title. The photography is top-notch and the articles informative and balanced. I'm sure when a publication like this is rushed into print, there will inevitably be a minor error or two.

"The issue is so impressive, I plan to have it mounted so I can display it alongside my 'Dewey defeats Truman' edition of the Chicago Tribune, my 2004 New York Yankees World Series pennanat, and my invitation to the MGM party celebrating the Best Picture Academy Award for 'Ishtar.'"

I got a nice e-mail back saying that they published the magazine as a business decision, as Ohio State (sic) has the biggest alumni base in the country. He also pointed out that they did win the Big 10 championship.

I wonder what happened to all of the unsold copies. Perhaps they were shipped off to that village in Africa that thinks the Buffalo Bills are the greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 9, 2012 | 5:49 p.m.

Not as impressive as your example, but,to show it has gone on probably forever. The 1961 MIZZOU-Navy Orange Bowl was clearly to be about Navy and Heisman winner Joe Belino, as soon as the TV show aired. Even famed MO Q-back, Paul Chrisman, doing the color was in line. Tigers went ahead 21-7 and were in control. With little mention of that from Chrisman, he entered a tirade about the strength and speed of Belino. It has been shown to be Impossible for a single player to tackle Joe Belino! The words were barely out of Chrismans mouth, when DE Danny LaRose, like bricks hit Belino before he took a step and put him on his back in the Navy back field for a loss. The broadcast, however, went on as it had been "practiced".

(Report Comment)
Mark Sherman July 9, 2012 | 7:28 p.m.

I love when someone says something ridiculous and is proven wrong with minutes. (Except when said person is me, of course.) It's like whenever a kicker steps on to the field and the announcer says, "___________ hasn't missed a FG in his last 22 attempts," and you just KNOW he's going miss this one. Actually this seems to happen even more reliably with blocked punts.

Personally, I feel that momentum is very much overrated. You usually hear it referred to when it is reversed, which sort of undermines the entire concept of momentum. This is Mark's Rule VIII of College Football.

(Report Comment)

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