Thursday, October 26, 2006

Movin' on up!

I got an epromotion! It's been fun, but the guys at Orange and Blue Hue offered me a spot writing for them. They get about ten billion times the page views I do, and they said I can write exactly the same crazy nonsense I write here. So it's time to move on, at least until they get tired of my shenanigans (which are cheeky and fun). This is a good opportunity to work at a much better site; as well as to take advantage of good writers who can cover up my own shortcomings.

Thanks to my readers for apparently enjoying my stuff (stat-counter says you're there!)

I should have an article up there by the end of the day. You'll know it's me, because I'm the only one too unoriginal enough to come up with a pseudonym. See you on the other side.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Let's Play What If

What if the two most electrifying players from last year's Rose Bowl, one of the most exciting games of my life time, were on the same team? What if through some freak of recruiting, Vince "The Human Abrams" Young and Reggie "Laser Shoes" Bush ended up on the same team? (It's hard to believe my nicknames for those two did not catch on). While we will never know what those two players could have done together, Gator fans might be lucky enough to experience something similar. If Tebow and Harvin live up to their potential, the Gators of tomorrow could be something special.
While looking forward to a hypothetical future is the hobby of losers, and focusing on "what if?" can cause one to loose sight of reality, this particular scenario is too fun not to think about. Tebow, like Young, is a big truck of a quarterback who shrugs off tackles with power and size. Young, however, was more than just a physical freak, he was the kind of player that others would gladly follow into battle. Tebow also seems seems to be developing into a fiery leader that commands the respect of his teammates. Young, despite his unconventional release and the constant criticisms thrown his way, did have a good arm with enough power and touch to get the job done. We have yet to see enough of Tebow's arm to really gauge how good of a passer he will be, but it's worth noting that he won several Florida High School passing records (a state where Daunte Culpepper, Danny Wuerffel, and many others High School Football), so he must at least be capable of throwing the ball further than your average blogger.

Percy Harvin is fast...the man channels the speed-force Wally West style. There are Auburn defenders still looking for their shoes from his one man reverse a week and a half ago. His awe inspiring run was one of the few Florida highlights in that terrible game. The fact that he was a threat to take it to the house every time he touched the ball, against a top tier defense in their own house, as a true Freshman, shows the kid's potential. If Harvin stays healthy, the sky literally is the limit on his ability. It is the trend to declare very playmaker the next Reggie Bush, but with geniuses such as Lee Corso claiming Harvin could live up to that incredible standard, how could it be anything but true? (note: sarcasm). Harvin has a long way to go, but he has the tools to make a Bush like ceiling possible.

There are no guarantees in Football. Both of these guys could be busts, average players, or the victims of terribly injuries. This entire post could be the wishes of a deluded fanboy, or a terrible blog-jinx on the futures of two spectacular athletes. Or it could be prophesy, and in two years it will show the Church of Albert to be prescient. In that scenario: feel free to send your donations via Paypal, because having a prophet at helm may allow this blog to legitimatize its title and get all the tax benefits of being a Church. Fingers crossed for the future and for the present (because this season is hardly over).

(Disclaimer: even if Harvin and Tebow develop into my wildest fantasies, the Gator team of tommorrow will still need a Defense. With 7 graduating seniors on D, as well as Nelson and Siler...there may be a lot of shootouts in the next few yeras)

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Thursday, October 19, 2006


The other day I was at Gator Fever, a scary place that sells nothing but Gator related merchandise. If you need orange and blue condoms, a gator skinned jacket, or an animatronic Albert that attacks bulldogs on command, this is probably the place for you. I was browsing around, and I saw a terrifying sight.

GATOR BRANDED JORTS! I honestly believed the "gators wear jorts" stereotype was a myth. And then this happened. They are available for ladies (or men with nice legs) too.

While they may have ruined my life, at least they are reasonably priced.

Anyone who can afford 55 dollar jorts is not the stereotypical redneck Gator fan. I wonder if this same person gets their mullet trimmed at a custom salon, has iroc badges on a Ferrari, and drinks JD out of a diamond studded flask. Seriously, 55 dollars for the most white trash product there is? There are no words.

Obviously, being a Gator, I picked up five pairs. Can't wait to wear them tailgating


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Reevaluating my Expectations

“I sprinkle sand into the waters of night. The grains burn as they fall, reminding me of another in times long passed away. I watched him even then as he fell, his face undefeated, his eyes still proud.”

While it’s possible that Neil Gaiman wasn’t talking about the 2006 Florida Gators when he wrote that, I doubt it. My expectations for the season may have fallen, but I am still a proud (some would say cocky) Florida Gator.

It’s just time to be realistic again, along with the pride. At the beginning of the season I told myself that this was not a Mythical National Championship season, that the schedule was too difficult and the team too young. I said that if we could split the LSU and Auburn games I would be happy. I even went so far as to say “If I had to choose a game to lose, I would pick Auburn, because I do not want to lose at home on homecoming.” (Speaking of: if I ever meet the man who scheduled LSU for Homecoming, I will stab him in the soul). I set the SEC Championship and a Bowl Game as the best case scenario.

Then something happened. Someone passed me the Kool-Aid, and damn, it was Great Bludini delicious. I drank and drank. All of a sudden, I could not see the team’s obvious flaws. I talked myself into an undefeated season not just being possible, but being likely.

Now my hopes have been murdered, and it’s time to readjust my expectations. The SEC Championship game is now, once again, the goal. I’m not going to focus on the various crazy hypotheticals that could put UF back in the Mythical National Championship picture.

It was not long ago that I set realistic goals for this team, to be disappointed that the team has accomplished them is ridiculous. No more Kool-Aid, no more overconfidence…well, some overconfidence, you’re not a Gator fan if you cannot use your cockiness as a weapon against rival schools. However, a balance between realistic expectations and a slight overconfidence is necessary to retain my sanity. Otherwise, another night like this past Saturday in Auburn could drive me to murder some Volunteer fans (Sure, it was Auburn that beat us, but their fans were too nice for violence).

While it's unlikely being driven to Vol-murder would send me to jail, as I have yet to meet a criminal judge in Central Florida that is not a Florida grad, the murders would be a bad idea because I do not want even an unsuccesful murder charge appearing on my bar background check. My career is dependant on keeping my football expectations realistic (I won't bring up basketball, as it is physically impossible to keep those expectations grounded).

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I knew it!

Auburn was not supposed to be blasting shitty rock music at insane volumes during the game.

"The SEC has issued Auburn University a warning for violating SEC policy by blasting loud music over the public address system between plays when Florida was on offense in the second half of Saturday night's game.

The rule states: “The use of institutionally-controlled computerized sound systems, including music, and institutionally-controlled artificial noisemakers shall be restricted to pre-game, halftime, post-game, after a score and team or media timeouts.”

The first violation results in a warning, while the second results in a fine not to exceed $5,000."

Tip of the hat to ZZgator from's comments.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Reflections on Auburn: Part 2

Part 1 is here.

We came to Auburn from the south, thinking it would be fun to take back roads rather than the interstate. We had a good time, but ultimately it was more depressing than fun. I realize someone from Florida commenting on the sadness of Alabama is risking a diagnoses of pot-kettle-black syndrome, but since I was born in Alabama and raised in Florida I have right to criticize both states (or it makes me a huge redneck). On the trip through Alabama, I saw countless homeless people (including one brushing his dentures in a gas station bathroom), endless cotton fields, more roadkill than I could keep up with counting, a "Drifter's Lounge," and a campaign billboard that said "Please vote for my Paw Paw." Plus, on the way back, we drove for over an hour without seeing a single street light or gas station, which was pretty amazing. Even the backwoods areas outside of Gainesville have all night gas stations.

While rural Alabama is a culture shock, Auburn itself is a great little town. Very pretty with lots of nice houses. Most of the people were pleasant and good hosts. The campus itself reminded me a lot of UF, but without the office park feel. I had a great time. I ate a little place called "Big Blue," which served cold beer and these crazy bagel chips that were delicious.

As nice as the town, the people and the campus were, with one exception,* the stadium itself was a huge disappointment. It's built like an NFL stadium; very wide and open. As a result, the place is not very loud. It was a night game, and in my extremely biased opinion I felt was more quiet than most day games at the Swamp. For most of the game, it was much more quiet than the Swamp. Then, to top off a relatively quiet crowd, they pump in rock music. Hearing Ozzy Osbourne come over the speakers is not something I ever expected at a College Game. Save that shit for the NFL. In College, the teams have live bands that follow them around, use them. When the rock music first came on, I was literally in shock. I could not believe it. If I wanted a prepackaged, unauthentic football experience, I would have driven to an NFL city.

Needless to say, I was let down. I thought all SEC venues were supposed to be impressive experiences, but Jordan-Hare was not.

*Exception: The eagle flying in was amazing. He gave me goosebumps. Florida obviously needs to rip this tradition off and have a huge bull gator charge into the stadium at the beginning of the game! If I am ever capable of donating millions to the school, I will have an Alligator Habitat installed near the stadium and get UF a real, live Albert.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Not truly Gator related...

Although Rex Grossman did play for us.

I'm watching Monday Night Football and Chicago is down 20-0 to Arizona. It's the start of the second half. Theissman just said "in the first half Rex didn't have time to throw, the Offensive Line was letting him get hit. Now they're getting him some time, that was the adjustment they made"

So the halftime adjustment was "Hey, O-Line, you're not blocking enough, block more"

Thanks Joe, that's some great analysis, it's what you get paid for.

Sorry the rest of the Auburn coverage has been delayed, I've been busy and sad these few days.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Reflections on Auburn: Part 1

Auburn Alabama,

where Feral Dogs wander the streets and subsist off of garbage,

the houses have huge holes in their roofs,

the Mustangs are pink,

and Gators go to die.

(in all seriousness, great town. More on the game and the town when I recover)

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Here I am, on the road again. there I am, up on the stage

Off to Auburn! I'll take some notes, and snap some pictures. I've heard that Auburn is both a great place and terrible Deliverance style place. I guess I'll find out for sure tommorrow.

If I'm not horribly depressed on Sunday I'll give my take on the city and the game. That or I'll get pulled over and thrown in a backwoods Alabama jail where I'll spend the next few weeks squeeling like a pig, either way.

(I apologize, I know two references to that movie/book in a single tiny post is excessive, but it's late)

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Friday, October 13, 2006

UF-Auburn Preview

Another week, another tiger. Last week, I proved conclusively that an alligator can more than handle any tiger opposition. Then, a little less importantly, the football team backed up my statements and handled the LSU Tigers on the field. This week, the Gators face the Auburn Tigers. At first glance, this would appear an easy win for the Gators.

But not so fast! Auburn has two mascots. The tiger is backed up by the “War Eagle.” Can Albert handle both of them? Albert is tough, but can he beat a tiger while being the war eagle brings death from above? Reaching a conclusion on the game requires a more in depth look at the war eagle.

According to Wikipedia, “The Eagle can be armed with combinations of four different air-to-air weapons: AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium range air-to-air missiles on its lower fuselage corners, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under the wings, and an internal 20 mm Gatling gun in the right wing root.” and has a maximum speed of “Mach 1.2, 900 mph at low altitude; Mach 2.5, 1,650 mph at high altitude (1,450 km/h / 2,655 km/h).”

Things are not looking so good for Albert. He’s a tough bastard, but he’s not designed for supersonic warfare. Fortunately, while not well known, the University of Florida has a starship, and Albert is the captain. I present to you, the Battlestar Gatoratica!

This faster than light, nuclear armed warship is thousands of years more advanced than a silly fighter jet. Like usual, Florida is a more advanced state than Alabama. Once again it appears that UF has the firepower edge over an opponent.

UF 21 Auburn 13 (fingers crossed)

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'Gator Wranglin' for October 13th
Stealing stories from America's best student paper

Mr. Two-Bits is perhaps the greatest man in the world. He's a true Gator Warrior with a first class ticket to Valhalla waiting for him. Like a cheer-leading zombie, he’s never aged and never lost energy. He’s flirted with retirement, and it’s hard to believe that it’s every for real, but every time it’s mentioned I will fear the possibility of his leaving. Every year the Alligator runs an article extolling the greatness of Mr. Two-Bits, and yet again his retirement is mentioned.

Please don’t leave us!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gator Law!

I know that this blog has mentioned Gator Growl approximately seventeen thousand times in the past week, and I am sorry for that. So I promise that this is the last time (unless I'm lying).

At Growl, a few commercials were played that parodied Miller's Man Law commercials. Each of these commercials created a Gator Law, which were voted on by members of a council. The council included Albert the Alligator (ALL HAIL), Brandon Siler, Tim Tebow, a representative of the Florida Band, the Orange and Blue Guy, a professor I didn't recognize, local stand-up comic Chris Cope as "Florida Super-Fan," and probably some others I am forgetting. They sat around on a table and drank Gatorade. I was hoping that they would appear on youtube, because they were pretty good. The following are the Gator Laws that were established:

"A Florida fan may cheer for SEC rivals if it their victory will benefit Florida. However, it is never acceptable to cheer for FSU"

"When it comes to body paint, fat is our friend"

"The University of Florida is a learning institution, class or exams are not to be rescheduled based on game times. However, Saturdays are sacred and not to be touched by anything but football."

Note: my memory is not perfect (I did go to a State School), so the laws may have been worded slightly different at Growl.

There was another awesome bit at Growl that really needs to show up online. It was a parody of the "Go Gators" commercial that features the different people saying things like "Go write the Great American Novel" and "Go Cure Cancer," except it was for the Seminole Nation. It included the gem "Go get Herpes Simplex B" and ended with "Florida State University is in Tallahassee - The Seminole Nation is unemployed." That closing line was taken from the real commercial's "The University of Florida is in Gainesville, the Gator Nation is Nationwide" tagline.

That bit was filmed by Jamison Webb, President of Theater Strike Force, and apparently the lines were all improvised. Well done guys.

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It's called Fact-Checking

Ivan Maisel, did you go to journalism school? Do you have editors?

In this piece, he talks about Florida having trouble getting blue chip Quarterbacks to come because of Tebow.

Take a look at our recruitment list, specifically: Cam Newton. Newton is a highly regarded dual threat QB, who get this, was recruited with the help of Tim Tebow.

Not that Maisel reads this blog, but oversight from the major media always bothers me. I normally enjoy Maisel's work, but this wouldn't be a sports blog without some snark directed at the Worldwide Leader.

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'Gator Wranglin' for October 11th
Stealing stories from America's best student paper

The Football D is into Bondage

Brandon Siler made a huge chain out of nametags for every player on the Defense. I can't think of anything hotter than Siler, Scoop, and Predator chained togeth....erm, NOTHING. Read about it here.

Joakim Noah is crazy

"It's like the laws in the jungle. Does the lion get hunted? Does the lion get hunted? No. The big lion never gets hunted. The lion goes and hunts. That's just the way it is."

Is there a more quotable player in College Sports? The full article, which is actually about Noah being modest, can be seen here.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This just in: Florida fans not racist, love Chris Leak

We’ve all seen the articles calling Florida fans racist because of a few idiot alumnit. They're all over the place, in a number of forums. Orson recently took Sportsline to task like Reggie Nelson once did to Danny Glover’s police unit. Rather than soak my blade in venom and go on the offensive, as others have done much more effectively than I could manage, I present a counter-point. Florida fans love Chris Leak.

As I am sure most of my readers know, Florida has a huge homecoming ceremony called Gator Growl. It was held last Friday. At Gator Growl, the graduating seniors on the football team are introduced to the crowd, one by one. Meyer says a few words about each player, and the crowd of around forty thousand cheers them on. When it was Leaks turn, the crowd immediately went into a standing ovation before Meyer could say anything. It took Meyer three attempts to get his voice over the chorus of “Leak, Leak, Leak,” and he still could not finish his little spiel for Leak, because the crowd took over again. Leak received the biggest ovation I have ever seen at Growl, and honestly, I felt like I might cry, which is okay, because everyone around me, and Leak himself, looked the same way. Chris Leak is a hero here at Florida. The fanbase knows that this program would never have survived the Zook years without number 12.

Poor Dallas Baker had to follow Leak. During Leak’s ovation, Baker was on camera. While he looked happy for Chris, he kept waving off the cameras, knowing his own ovation could not possibly be as moving. While the cheers for the touchdown maker were great too, it’s hard to believe Leak wasn’t introduced last as his ovation from the Florida faithful was impossible to follow.

Then, the next day during Gameday, they ran a piece about a “Quarterback controversy” at Florida. The crowd behind the set began to chant “Leak for Heisman,” a chant that would continue all over the student section throughout the game on Saturday.

Hell, even the evil Facebook is a good example of pro-Leak sentiment amongst Florida fans. The pro-Leak groups outnumber the one negative group almost 10-1, and far more than that by membership size. My favorite one is called “If you boo Chris Leak, I will punch you in the face.” Oh, to punch an asshole alum in the face, it may just happen one day.

Florida fans love Chris Leak and the media needs to stop creating stories. A few hundred drunk alumni do not represent everyone. Any collection of ninety thousand will have a few idiots, but to act as if they are the majority is asinine. Sell the sport, not the drama.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

LSU Award Show

Loudest Crowd Ever Award

The Swamp was crazy. I’ve been to many home games over the years, and this was the best I’ve ever seen it. At Gator Growl, Meyer read a quote from an LSU player claiming that the Swamp was not loud. Meyer used the quote as a challenge, and made it clear that our job as a crowd was to reclaim the swamp. Everyone in the student sectioned responded 100%. It was an intense afternoon. The cheerleaders attempted to lead organized cheers, but they failed. The crowd utilized the much more effective strategy of turning into a screaming, stamping, clapping madhouse. One non-stop syllable is much more effective than "go gators, clap clap clappity clap." It was a proud day to be a Gator fan.

The Robot-Gorilla Jumpshot award

Did you hear? Tebow’s first TD pass looked like a basketball shot. I’m surprised no news outlets are talking about it.

I was right in front of Tebow’s second TD pass. It was not pretty. Had LSU not been so completely focused on stopping the Robot-Gorilla from running them over Brock Samson style, it would have been an easy pick. None the less, LSU fell for the one man play action and my mancrush on Tebow is becoming dangerously close to being legitimately homoerotic.

Cartwheels and Pushups Award

Oh Tate Casey, what a ridiculous catch. For all the talk about Tebow’s jump pass, perhaps the best part of the play was Tate Casey on the receiving end. Coach Meyer said it best, “We’d rather our tight end not fumble around and fall down and do six pushups, do a cartwheel then get up and try to catch it.” When Tebow threw that ball, the entire student section seemed to scream “What the fuck!” which quickly gave away to silence. A second passed, Casey came up with it, and pandemonium ensued.

The "I earned my graduate degree in interceptions" Award

Ryan Smith, thank you for taking advantage of a dubious rule and coming to Florida. One of these days you won't drop an obvious pick-six and solidify yourself as the most badass grad student at UF (which is saying something, because I'm a grad student. Oh yeah).

The Phillip Fulmer is a Fat Bastard Award

Jim Gaffigan is the only ginger I will ever love (don’t let the bleach fool you). At Gator Growl he converted any joke that involved someone working a shitty job to a crack about FSU and said Fulmer is fat. Sure, he was pandering. He even admitted as much with his creepy internal monologue slash audience opinion voice. Hearing one of my favorite comics attack the most dangerous and hated fat man in my life was still fantastic. Fulmer scares me on and off the field. His teams are sledgehammer monstrosities that threaten my dreams and if I ever encounter him in real life I would fear his ever increasing mass reaching singularity. A Fulmer induced event horizon is not where I want to spend eternity.

Speaking of Tennessee, I am sex-with-supermodel happy that we already defeated them. If we can finish one game ahead of them, they will be our prime strength of schedule argument towards the end of the year. Throwing that many points against even an overrated Georgia is impressive. And let’s not forget, the other top-10 team they curbstomped has been impressive. If Cal keeps winning big, and Tennessee keeps winning big, Florida wins big by proxy. Hard to believe that a bunch of Nobel prize winners and two tooth scary rednecks both connect to us readily, College Fooball: bringing all Americans together.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

With Cannon to the Left of Us!


We're halfway through the death march, and to be honest, it doesn't look as perilous as it once did. In fact, I'm trying not to get too hopeful about the rest of the season, don't want to thought-jynx the Gators. I'll post a more complete reaction tomorrow, but I will post my favorite post-game moment from a joyous Gainesville for the blogosphere to enjoy.

A group of LSU fans, after the game, were taunting some Florida fans. Just your normal random profanities, nothing special. The Florida fans responded by singing to them the following song, set to the tune of "It's Great to be a Florida Gator"

"It drive...eight hours"

Within seconds, tons more Gator fans joined in. The belligerent LSU fans were completely surrounded by singing Gators. It was glorious.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Best News Ever!

Marcus Thomas is playing! The fact that he single-handedly moved the line three points is beyond awesome.

So today was the busiest day of my blog's short life. Super thanks to EDSBS, MGO, and everyone else who linked to me. Taking your sweet pageviews has made me very happy.

If you missed it and do not want to scroll through the massive amounts of crap below, I wrote a very unique LSU preview (well, at least I think it's unique--but I'm biased).

Welcome back Scoop!

Close Encounters: David Lee

A long time ago, I had a class with David Lee. Lee is now on the Knicks, and is apparently quite the fan favorite. My experiences with Lee have been written about at Slam Online by the excellent Marcel Mutoni. You can check out that article here.

For incoming Slam readers, thanks for visiting. This site is primarily about Florida Football and Basketball, with a very nerdy twist. This article is probably my defining work thus far, with a shocking amount of pageviews.

Go Gators, and today: go Knicks.

More Gator/Tiger Science

I wrote to many professors asking about Tigers and Alligators, not all of them could respond in time to be listed in the original article. Any further responses will be listed here.

Dr. Pomarico from LSU was kind enough to reply to my questions, here is his analysis.

" Thanks for your question. Here's some information I've collected (in bold) with my unbiased analysis (in purple):

1) Since I assumed we're talking about Florida gators, I went to the everglades website for some info.

The weight of an alligator in relation to its length can vary greatly. One 11 foot 6 inch (3.5 meter) alligator weighed 591 pounds (265 kilograms), whereas another alligator measuring 12 feet 1 inch (3.7 meters) weighed only 460 pounds (209 kilograms).

So your weight quote (exceeding a ton) is a bit high for an average gator and this year’s crop of gators seems to be about average.

2) I also assumed we are talking about Bayou Bengal Tigers so I consulted a website devoted to information about Bengal Tigers.

Bengal Tigers are fully grown and males reach 200-230 kg (440-500 lbs) and up to 3 m in length (about 10 feet) with another 3 feet of tail.

That makes our weight comparison fairly even.

3) The other aspects in a battle will be influenced by the environment (i.e., home turf).

On land alligators can lumber along dragging their tails, whereas, tigers possess both speed and agility. However gators can walk on their toes with most of the tail well off the ground. Using this "high walk" alligators can run up to 30 miles per hour (38 kph) for short distances! So they may surprise the tiger with a burst of speed.

If the tiger can avoid this surprise, then the edge goes to them.

The natural inclination would be to consider the gator as a heavy favorite in the swamp however you should remember that Bengal tigers LOVE to swim! Bottom-line both predators are dangerous and should be careful when facing each other. "

Any other professors who are kind enough to reply to my massive email assault will be quoted here.

Many thanks to all of you.

UF-LSU: A three part preview

Anyone can analyze a football game based on statistics or players. Here at the Church of Albert, we take a different approach. This is a three part preview, comparing Mike the Tiger and Albert the Alligator to each other directly using science, the power of fiction, and sorcery. A lesser blog would split each of the three segments into individual articles, but here at the Church of Albert we throw the entire bloated thing at you at once.

Part 1: Science

First I turned to the ultimate determiner of fact: Wikipedia. Alligators appear to have an advantage in size, as an adult male can weigh over a ton and a Bengal tiger is less than half that size. Wikipedia also says that alligators sometimes take down Florida Panthers, and that tigers occasionally take down crocodiles…so Wikipedia is not very helpful.

According to Zoobooks, a respected source of scientific data, Nile Crocodiles often feed on Lions. I once read that male lions are more than capable of handling tigers in a fight (due to their mane protecting the neck and more experience fighting one on one). This tenuous A=B=C Zoobook based logic gives an alligator the edge over a tiger.

As you can see, my exhaustive research is inconclusive. So I have turned to an expert to analyze this problem.

Dr. Reed is the curator of mammals at the Florida Museum of Natural History and he got his PHD from LSU. He is both an actual scientific figure and involved on both sides of the game. Thus he is the perfect person to analyze this conundrum. His words, mostly unedited, follow.


Both the American Alligator and Bengal Tiger have been listed as endangered species (we've all had bad football years), but the alligator is no longer listed as endangered and is seeing a return to prominence.

Both are top-level carnivores, they are at the very, very top of their food chain. That means that rarely is an adult tiger or alligator going to be taken down by some other animal.

Both have amazing defenses:

Tigers have incredibly strong jaws and sharp claws.

Alligators have strong jaws and sharp teeth, but they also have a wicked tail (a defensive secondary) that can knock you off your feet.

On offense:

Both tigers and alligators are lie-in-wait or ambush predators, their prey doesn't know what is coming until its too late (disguised plays).

Tigers are highly efficient predators (check out J. Russell's stats from last week)

Gators are a double-threat (Leak and Tebow in the backfield)


Of course, they live on opposites sides of the world, so we are speaking hypothetically. However, we did have big cats in North America that are now extinct (and clearly the alligators are not). We had several different kinds of saber-toothed cats in North America and one that was found right here in Alachua County (Xenosmilus) that was about the same size as an African Lion.

One must consider which animal is creeping into the territory of the other, too. A tiger is not as well equipped for a fight in the swamp, although tigers do well around water, the muddy conditions of a swamp might prove challenging.

Bottom Line:

I think it is fair to compare them as full-size adults, and I think it is fair to say that it will be a hell of a fight. The skin of a tiger is amazingly tough, and I would give them a slight edge (not unlike the oddsmakers).”

So Science gives Mike a slight edge.

Part 2: Story

(that scary picture was taken near my hometown, in a lake I've swam in. /shudder)

I present to you the world’s first Albert the Alligator and Mike the Tiger fan fiction. At The Church of Albert, there is nothing we won’t do in an attempt to figure out who will a game.

“Mike stopped in some thick grass, he had been running for a while. He stopped to think on his situation. Mike’s thoughts weren’t in words, but in pictures, smells and sounds. His thoughts ran over the day, assessing his situation. He remembered the naked-apes dying under his claws, oh how he hated the naked-apes. Their stink covered his body. The stink of their blood covered his beautiful fur. Oh how Mike loved his fur and most of all loved keeping it clean. Being covered in the stink made him mad, he shuddered with anger, thoughts filled with murder.

Mike’s mind raced over the day, and the anger turned to joy. Anger and joy are related emotions for a tiger. He stunk of naked-ape, but he knew the stink was for a good reason. The naked-ape loud-mover had fallen over and the exit-less cave had opened. This had allowed Mike to run free. Oh they tried to stop him, but Mike’s claws and fangs were loosed. He would never be trapped in the exit-less cave again. Never again would the many naked-apes yell at him again.

This was the best day of Mike’s life. He stopped to lick the stink off of his pretty fur.


Albert floats just under the surface of the water, his nostrils poking out. Albert doesn’t think so much as react. His body takes information from the outside world via his senses, instinct asses those senses and picks one of three primal commands, and Albert’s body reacts to the command he is given. Albert is very efficient, it’s been over a million years since evolution has changed him. Right now, he waits. His nose peaks above the water and smells something strange. Something large and possibly dangerous. Something that doesn’t belong. Albert’s first primal command has been dictating his behavior all day and this new information does not change that. Albert waits.


Mike is pleased. He has done a good job of cleaning his coat, he is very pretty. If there were any female tigers near, Mike is sure they would like his coat. Mike is a sophisticated animal. He has conflicts between thought and instinct. He has never seen a female tiger besides his mother, so he knows they do not exist. Yet despite these thoughts, his body fills him with lust for female tigers. He is not sure what all of this inner conflict means. Mike shrugs it off, for now, it is enough that his coat is pretty. He is thirsty, all the killing and running and cleaning has made him thirsty. He can smell water nearby, and he goes to drink.


The smell grows stronger. The first command continues to repeat itself in Albert’s primitive brain. Albert waits.


Mike finds the watering hole. He is so thirsty. Part of him, the part deep inside, tells him that the water hole may not be safe. Mike’s brain dismisses this. Just as there are no female tigers, there is no danger in the water hole. Experience has taught him that he is Mike and he is a killer. Nothing can hurt him. Mike leans in for a drink of water.


The intruder begins to drink right above Albert. The proximity of a possible rival and meal causes the second primal command to kick in. Albert bites.


Green teeth monster! Mike is grabbed by a beast and he almost panics. But Mike is a killer, he is fierce. Killing leaves no time for panic. Seven hundred pounds of feline muscle tenses and grasps the shoreline with rear paw. The front paws slash rapidly into thick reptilian armor. Mike thrashes back and forth in the green teeth monster’s mouth, drawing blood repeatedly with his claws.


Albert feels pain. Albert never feels pain. Albert however, is too primitive to panic, and instead, his third primal command kicks in. Albert rolls.


Mike dies.”

The power of the pen gives Albert the edge.

Part 3: Sorcery

We come into this segment tied 1-1. The winner here; wins the game.

Wizards of the Coast displays a strong anti SEC bias by not even having an alligator in their monster manual. I choose a CR4 Crocodile to represent Albert. A CR4 Tiger will be used to represent Mike. That’s right, Dungeons and Dragons will choose the ultimate winner to this challenge, and thus: the game. I wasn’t kidding when I claimed this was the nerdiest sports blog out there.

Albert is Huge. He has 59hp. His initiative is +1. His AC is 16. His base attack/grapple is +5/21. His attack is a bite +11 melee (2d8+12) or a tail slap +11 melee (1d12+12). His full attack is just both of those attacks together. He has improved grab.

Mike is Large. He has 45hp. His initiative is +2. His AC is 14. His base attack is +4/+14. His attack is claws +9 melee (1d8+6). His full attack is his attack twice and a bite at +4 melee (2d6+3). He also has rake (+9 melee at 1d8+3) and a feat called pounce, which should just be called “I win button.” Pounce says that if he charges, he gets a full attack and two rakes.

We will set this on land, because if it were in the water, Albert’s various water bonuses would end it instantly. The two animals are just standing in a giant arena facing one another.

They roll initiative (all dice rolls done on AIM). Mike rolls a 16 (+2) for an 18. Albert rolls a 19 (+1) for a 20.

Albert will charge and bite. The charge boosts his attack value up to 13, but lowers his AC to 14 for two turns. Albert again rolls a 19, +11 for a 30. Albert hits for 2d8+12 damage. Albert rolls 4 and 3 for damage, hitting for 19 total.

Mike’s hitpoints are reduced to 26. Note, if this fight were in the water, it would already be over. Albert’s feats allow him to drag an opponent to the bottom of the water after a successful melee attack. DEATH ROLL IS UNSTOPPABLE.

Mike does a full attack. He rolls 9, 19, 14. After bonuses: 18, 27, 23. All three hits. Mike rolls damage. Two d8s and two d6s. 4, 8, 5, 3. Total damage of 35.

Albert’s hitpoints are reduced to 24.

Albert does a full attack. 3 and 20. After bonuses: 14 and 31. The 20 is a critical threat, Albert has to roll another d20 to see if he achieves critical. Albert rolls a 17, the critical hit connects. So Albert’s damage rolls are: 2, 2, 8, 9. Plus bonuses of 36 (crits are NASTY). For a total of 57 points of damage.

Mike is eviscerated.

Albert wins the Sorcery segment of this preview, thus winning the whole thing 2-1. Some conclusions: this blog is run by a huge nerd, DnD is balanced poorly, and the death roll is UNSTOPPABLE.

Enjoy the game. Go Gators.

(updates on the Science part here)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Randomness that distracts me from debtor's remedies in bankruptcy

The Alligator this morning reported that Marcus Thomas was back on the practice field yesterday. This could be good news. When Meyer was asked, he basically said a whole heap of a mess of nothing. I have my fingers crossed on this one, and if I were a religious man I'd be throwing my prayers at the higher powers. Thomas is the best player on our team, and it would be nice if he could take a break from the reefer to play some football. As I am also a Dolphins fan, I am growing tired of both marijuana being villified and athletes refusing to refrain until after they retire. I think marijuana should be legal (and is delicious), but smoking it could end my legal career, so I refrain. I don't see why football players can't apply the same logic. Sigh.

Come back to me Scoop!

Yesterday I was not the only person to write an arbritrary comparason regarding College Football, Fire Mark Ray wrote one too, and it's almost as nerdy as mine! Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

College Football Teams as Superheroes

The blogosphere has a long history of comparing College Football teams to something that are not College Football teams. It's been done with The Simpsons, The Smurfs, Rappers, South Park, and probably dozens of other times. Every one I've read I've enjoyed, the idea is too good not to steal. Since I'm far nerdier than your average blogger, I've picked a nerdier subject. I'm comparing teams to Superheroes (or at least comic book characters). Here is a list of teams in randomish order and the superhero who best represents them.


While this seems like a no-brainer, what with the mascot being a Wolverine and all, I did not want to compare Michigan to Wolverine. This is because I do not like Wolverine, and I do like this year’s Michigan team. However, there are some similarities. For one, Wolverine is very overrated. Both comic fanboys and the general public love Marvel’s midget for reasons that I’ll never understand. Yeah, he’s gritty, short and smokes cigars, but so is Joe Pesci and he’s not worshiped by millions. Michigan is also overrated. For years they got a free #5 ranking at the beginning of the season. The fact that Michigan was underrated to begin this season does not help my comparison so I will choose to ignore it. Plus, the colors are similar.

Notre Dame

Both Superman and Notre Dame enjoyed long periods as the most powerful forces in their respective worlds with relatively recent declines. When people think of superheroes, they think of Superman. When they think of College Football, they think Notre Dame. Superman was the defining Superhero for most of the 20th Century. Similarly, Notre Dame was a powerhouse for the same period. However, in the 1980s Superman was depowered in the Crisis just as Notre Dame has not won the National Title since 1988.

Boston College:

Metallo hates Superman. He considers Superman his arch enemy. Superman doesn’t give a fuck about Metallo, and would definitely not list him as an arch enemy. Still, occasionally Metallo manages to beat the hell out of Superman, even though it is usually not close. Remembering that Superman is Notre Dame, the preceding basically describes BC.


Like Superman, the Batman is one of the most famous and influential superheroes. Unlike Superman, who made his name through being more powerful than his enemies, The Batman is notorious for being a bigger bastard than his enemies. Like the Batman, Bear Bryant was a magnificent and terrifying bastard for his opponents. Once, when Batman was told he was a cheater, he replied “I call it winning.” If there is a more accurate description of Alabama football, I have yet to hear it.


While the Authority may not be well known among the casual public, comic book fans have a huge love/hate relationship with the controversial superteam. Like Florida football, the Authority did not even exist until the 1990s. The Authority differ from more conventional superteams in that they take a proactive approach to world politics and are not afraid to kill. They, like Florida, are characterized by offensive firepower. For the first few years of their existence the Authority were led by a charismatic, egotistical nutcase named Jenny Sparks who died at the turn of the millennia. How is that any different than Florida and Steve Spurrier? (dying and leaving for the NFL are the same thing) Since Jenny’s death the Authority have been in disarray and only recently have found themselves again under a spiritual successor (literally—it’s comics) to their dead leader. Hopefully Urban Meyer can be the successor to Spurrier.


For Christ’s sake, the Kingpin looks exactly like Phillip Fulmer.

Ohio State

Jack Hawksmoor wears a suit, but will still punch a man in the brain for disagreeing with him. Ohio State may have a coach who wears a sweater vest, but they’re as dangerous as it gets.

West Virginia

Cyclops only has one way to attack someone, with his eye beams. It’s his only power, but damn is it powerful. West Virginia is only capable of running the ball, but damn do they do it well. I have an Aunt from West Virginia, and the stories she tells make me really hate that state. I also hate Cyclops, so this works out well.

Texas Tech

Iron Man is a mad genius who constantly tinkers with his ridiculous armor set to make it more powerful. Sometimes this tinkering backfires and Iron Man has trouble with his hardware in the middle of battle. Iron Man is most effective from range, and when enemies close in on him he has trouble. Iron Man is also a bit of a puss, and when someone hits him in the mouth he is much less effective. TCU closed in on Texas Tech and hit them in the mouth a little bit and it was over. Alabama did the same thing last year.

Florida State

Elijah Snow is an old crotchety man who can slow down anyone he faces with his ice powers. Despite his age and demeanor, he’s smarter than he looks and has a knack for pulling victory from the jaws of defeat. It’s almost like they intentionally based the comic on Bobby Bowden. Okay, so maybe Bowden doesn't slow down oppossing teams with his ice powers, but with his nasty defense...or maybe it is ice powers, we may never know for sure.


Jakita Wagner is Elijah Snow’s daughter, and may never be able to step out of his shadow. She’s vibrant, deadly, fast and extremely capable, but no matter what she does she will forever be associated with her father.


Luke Cage may be a thug, but he can wreck some necks. Miami, current season aside, may have a history full of Sean Taylors and Edgerrin Jameses (what else would the plural of James be), but they’ve also got a long history of punching teams in the throat.

Louisiana State University

Jesse Custer has the power of God and is limited only by his psychotic sense of honor. LSU has all the god given talent in the world, but it’s limited by a basket case QB and some suspect play calling. Plus, Jesse grew up in Louisiana.

Penn State University

Solomon Grundy is a zombie. There’s nothing more to say.

University of Southern California

The Incredible Hulk is an unstoppable force of nature that you do not want to get angry. He sometimes turns into a meek little man that gets pushed around for a little while, but eventually the Hulk bursts out and separates arms from shoulders. USC often puts forward meek-scientist type efforts for three quarters followed by a city destroying fourth quarter that puts opponents away.


Lot’s of Superheroes have a female version of themselves that no one takes seriously. She Hulk fills that role for that Hulk, and since USC is the Hulk… (editor's note: if you google search She-Hulk there are some damn disturbing pictures)

Virginia Tech

Both Doctor Doom and VT get by on trickery and mad geniusing, but ultimately lose in the end.


Captain America is always popular, always iconic, but he just isn’t as powerful as his contemporaries. Then for a while, Mark Millar showed up and wrote the most badass Captain America of all time. Millar’s Captain America made me proud to be an American. Substitute “Vince Young” for Mark Millar and you see where I’m going with this.


The Sentry is an incredibly powerful superhero published by a major company, but no one has ever heard of him. Auburn is an incredibly powerful team in a major conference that is so unknown they were left out of a championship.


Both Namor and Oregon have some of the lamest, most homoerotic costumes of all time. Plus, as powerful as Namor is, no one cares about him. Just like Oregon.


Just like Georgia, John Constantine always wins ugly, but he almost always wins. In the long run, he can never stop his friends from dying and Georgia can never beat Florida. At the end of the day, no one hates John Constantine more than John Constantine. Every Georgia fan I know is secretly self loathing.

(disclosure: Hawksmoor is actually in the Authority, so I’m double dipping. I just liked both comparisons too much to change them)

(update, fixed all the single spaces between one told me blogspot hates transferring from Word)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Alabama Award Show

Because some players deserve awards for their performances.

The "Predator menage a trois" Award

Reggie deserves that pair of tridelts, that's for damn sure. The Governor of California once said of Nelson: "If he bleeds, we can kill him." So far, no one has made him bleed and he's been collecting heads all over the schedule. Here's hoping he can fit a pair of polished tiger skulls to his belt.

The "Byron Leftwich with a Jetpack" Award

This one goes to Chris Leak and his physics defying 45 yard run. Alabama's defense had their hands full planning for Florida's many offensive weapons, but somehow I do not think their gameplan included a stop for "#12 Gamebreaking run." Florida's QB situation is a textbook example of sports racism gone wrong. The white QB is the fast, athletic playmaker while the black QB is the slow bookworm with a laser rocket arm.

The "Incubus has written twenty five songs about how much I miss you" Award

Who else but Scoop could win this award? While the D did a pretty good job against Alabama at times it seemed like QB 2-a-day had all day to throw. Scoop, and his body, Marcus Thomas, bring the Gator pass rush to murderous levels. Thinking of Marcus Thomas doing backflips onto oppossing quarterback's faces brings much happiness around the Church of Albert.

The "Weapon X needs to give you a healing factor" Award

According to the AP, DeShawn Wynn is questionable for LSU. That's not good. UF finally gets a tailback and fate takes him out when the team most needs him. Say your prayers to Albert, maybe he'll "nut up" and make it back.