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I’ve been meaning to post something about this for several days but thankfully it’s still pertinent enough to write about it. The following is the text of an email I got from a friend a week or two ago:

The Paul W. Bryant Museum will be open the week of Spring Break; March 17th thru 21st! Our hours will be 9 a.m. – 4 p. m. The museum will be closed Sunday, March 23, 2008 in observation of Easter.

The Bama Twins will be signing autographs on A-Day from 10 a.m. until Noon.

For more A-Day information, please visit www.uagameday.com.

Who the fuck are the Bama Twins? Tell me they are not talking about who I think they are talking about.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. Like my friend I was hoping that it wasn’t who he, and now I, was thinking it was. Very shortly though good ol’ Google confirmed my fears. These lovely creatures are the “Bama” twins.

houndstooth_twins.jpg

What the hell have we come to when these two young women are signing their autographs and on top of that the event is sanctioned by some branch of the university?

First off, what are their names? Let’s say I did want an autograph. One of them could sign it “Betty Crocker” and I wouldn’t be any wiser. How can you get an autograph from someone whose name you don’t even know? The publicity didn’t even say “Daisy and Ellie May, otherwise known as the Bama Twins.” No, it just says the Bama Twins. Has this become common knowledge? I don’t think so. I know a helluva lot about Alabama Football and I don’t know the names of the “Bama Twins”. I could tell you the starting defensive line for the ’99 team but I assure you if you ask me to name just one of the “Bama Twins” I would be at a total loss.

And b, what have they done, other than be good looking twins, to become celebrity enough to warrant someone wanting their signature? Have they donated a bunch of money? Has CBS guaranteed to show the majority of our games if they’ll film an intro? Did they meet each recruit in our consensus number one class as they arrived into town? All I’ve ever seen them do is walk through the Quad and show up for a few seconds on a telecast and all the sudden they’re the next Sela (fucking) Ward.

Granted I am not a big signature seeker. If memory serves the last signature that I personally got was Jill Arrington’s after the ’04 Iron Bowl and the only reason that I did that was because, even in my bourbon fueled misery from the loss, when I found myself face to face with her, I knew that “I think your hotttt!” wasn’t an appropriate thing to say to her while my wife was standing there and “I want to lay you down by the fire and make sweet love to you all night long” probably wouldn’t have been the most classy thing either so I opted for the autograph. But for the love of Pete, she was Jill Arrington, not a nameless twin who wears houndstooth.

jill_arrington.jpg

Furthermore, I understand that they don’t (and never have attended) the University. I mean, I’m glad their fans and all and I’d give a hug or a “good game” after a really good victory but that doesn’t make them autograph worthy?

What exactly are you gonna do with a Bama Twin autograph anyway? Is there a big ebay market for them? I doubt it. No, it’s probably going to be something more like this: It’s four years from now and your cleaning out a desk drawer prior to moving to a new place.

You: Hey honey, I found this old A-Day program from’08. There’s no reason to keep it is there? I mean it is A-day after all.

Honey: No, no reason I can’t think of. Throw it away.

You: Hey, wait a second. Who the fuck is Betty Crocker? She signed this program here on this page with those girls who used to wear houndstooth hats and go-go boots and walk around campus.

Honey: You mean the famous maker of delicious and easy to make baking products?

You: No, I’m pretty sure she’s dead. Besides she wouldn’t have been at A-day even if she were alive.

Honey: Isn’t that the day you got drunk and you and (name redacted) followed those two girls around begging for me to take your picture with them?

You: You just described every tailgate experience for the last ten years. How am I supposed to know? Screw it. I’m throwing it out.

And that my friends, is the best case scenario.

Now before the hate mail starts, I’m sure they are sweet and dedicated fans. It is not a personal thing against them. I don’t know them so I’m not judging them. This isn’t quite as ridiculous as the Jenn Sterger phenomenon either. To begin with these chicks are like 14 times less slutty. But the fact is they have done about as much to deserve celebrity status as she has. They have looked good and been caught on camera.

stergerjennfsustands460wr.jpg

And if that is all it takes to be a celebrity, I should have been famous a long time ago.

Work still has me pinned to the mat, so I still cannot focus on posting like I want to but the exciting news is that Gerry Dorsey and I are working on something that I am pretty excited about for EDSBS. So, be checking for it there and I’ll announce it here.

Football practice started again – and Luther Davis is back. Yayyy!

Richard Hendrix is having a press conference today to discuss his future. Please stay.

And finally on a sad note, Victor Ellis has passed away. I remember Victor fondly from his time at the Capstone. God speed Victor. Prayers to your family.

To start things off, someone who obviously had more fun than we Monday. Or maybe not. Pay close attention to the girl in the red sweater.

As holidays go, St. Patrick’s Day rates up there with the best of them for me. It comes at a great time of year here in the Southeast. The trees are starting to bud out and it’s warm enough for shorts yet cool enough for long sleeves. The dreaded humidity tends to stay away for a little while longer. It usually is around tournament time, so there is a steady stream of entertainment. Also there is no preparation involved usually (although last year two of my friends and I bought matching green track suits) other than putting on my kelly green Chuck T’s and doing a little preparatory hydration. St. Patrick’s Day is basically a day to sit and drink all day. And in the past that’s what I have done. Usually to oblivion.

This year it was a little different. St. Patrick’s Day was on a Monday and with the much whined-about work load there was no way I could justify a day off with the sole purpose of drinking. I did however, put on my All-Stars and a Red Sox tee before I left the house that morning ( a vastly different outfit than I normally wear to the office) prompting my wife to comment that I must not have any meetings scheduled for the day. “Only with a pint of Guinness,” I replied as I walked out the door.

I got to work in a good mood vowing only to listen to Irish music all morning. That worked out well for about two hours as I had listened to all the Van Morrison, Dropkick Murphy’s, Chieftain’s, and what few traditional Irish song I had on my iPod. Twice. I even opened it up to U2 and stretched it another hour.

By lunch time, the beautiful spring weather had me ready to be outside, so I took the opportunity to go downtown and complete an errand I had been needing to finish for several days. Halfway there the phone rings and I good friend of mine who had taken the day off was calling me from the bar.

“Have you already started,” I asked.

“Just finishing my first pint,” he replied.

It was 11:30. Which is tame by Fall Saturday standards but this is a Monday and the beginning of Holy Week on top of that.

“I’ll be there in a minute, ” I said and steered my car over the bridge and into a parking spot about  half of  a block from the only Irish pub in Tuscaloosa. I think calling it an Irish pub is a misnomer. It has the words “Irish Pub” in its title and there are certainly artifacts in it that would make you think of Ireland but like most mildly successful bars in this town it has started attracting the college crowd. While I am sure that is good for business it isn’t all that good if you’re looking for a true pub experience. I’ll get a little more into that later.

The first pint went down smooth. I don’t normally drink Guinness but since it was St. Patrick’s Day and I am probably at least a quarter Irish (the other  fractions consisting of Scot, English and the mark of a true southerner, Indian, in my case Creek, ancestry) I vowed to imbibe only Guinness. One of the other bad things about this “Irish pub” is that they have never bought or repaired the cooler they have to adequately chill Guinness so the beer is a little warmer than ideal. But I pushed through none-the-less and after my second pint decided I needed to finish the errand I had started out to complete and return to the office to finish up what I had started the day hoping to do. My friend assured me that he was going to leave as well to finish some chores and that we would reconvene at the bar later that afternoon.

I had the good sense to grab a hamburger on the way back to the office to soak up some of the alcohol, the combination  of which made the battle to fight off a nap a tough one. I struggled through and by 3:30 I was thinking about calling it a day. The phone rang again.

“Are you on your way back,” my  friend asks when I answer. I can hear loud music in the background.

“Are you back already,” I ask.

“Never left,” is the response.

“I was thinking about heading back that way,” I said.

“Would you mind picking up some chicken fingers for me on the way,” he says, sure that I won’t say no.

“Absolutely”, I say, “because nothing screams Irish like chicken fingers.”

“Don’t even get me started on that,” he replies and before I can ask what he means he has ended the call.

Twenty minutes later I find myself walking up the sun-drenched sidewalk, bag of chicken fingers in hand. I have to fight through the few bouncers and regular patrons I know from my frequent visits to the place who attack the food but I arrive at my seat with the greasy strips of poultry still intact.

It’s kind of quiet I think as my first (well third) pint arrives at the open space of polyurethane covered wood in front of me. I find that odd because there are at least three dozen more patrons than the two that were in here when I left. Momentarily the relative silence is shattered by the acoustic cover band that has set up in the corner.  “Tiny Dancer” is the first song of the play list.

“Nothing say St. Patrick’s Day like Elton John,” shouts my buddy over the din.

“This must have been what you were referring to,” I say.

“All – fucking – afternoon,” he shouts disgustedly.

To list the play set would only piss me off again but I do remember it getting worse the more that I drank and I distinctly recall clapping when the set was done. Not out of appreciation for their talent mind you but appreciation that they had stopped. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad it’s  just that the choices were  inappropriate for the occasion as was the selection of that particular act. Set lists of Elton John, John Denver, Van Morrison, and Toto (yes Toto – and Africa of all songs) cranked at capacity on the ample PA system might be fine late at night when the average age of the patrons is 21 and the most uttered phrase is “Oh my God!” but at 4:00 in the afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day when the average patron is a professional who has left work early for the good excuse to hoist a glass with friends it is ridiculous.

“Nothing screams St. Patrick’s Day like (insert crappy pop song here)” became the catch phrase and battle cry of the afternoon.

There were moments of respite when the band would stop and the PA would play some recorded Irish music. You good see the mood visibly lift when “Drunken Sailor”, “Whiskey in the Jar”, or a bagpipe melody would float through the crowded room. But by around dark that gave way, along with with the higher age of the crowd, to hip hop music. Now I like hip hop. The name of this blog should tell you that I am at least a little fluent in the genre but once again, there is a time and place for everything.

“That’s it. I’m out,” I exclaimed as I waved to the bartender to tab me out.

I pulled my wife, who joined us late in the afternoon, away from friends and headed for home.

All in all it was a fun time. I got to steal away from work a little early on a Monday, drink several beers, visit with lots of friends that I don’t often see, and generally have a good time. To top it off I was in bed at a decent hour and didn’t fell absolutely wretched the next day. A lot has changed. It wasn’t too long ago that I would be hammered drunk by 2:00 in the afternoon and have to call several folks the next day and apologize for what I might have done or said. I think a big part of that is shots or absence of to be more exact, but that’s another post for another day.

The sad thing is though that I can’t be sure if it is the bar changing, because it certainly has, or if it’s me. We have often said that we want to go to one of the big celebrations in a bigger city but truth be told our little pub has always been enough.

Oh well, I’ve got almost a year to figure it out. Something tells me though that I’ll be in the same seat drinking the same warm beer and complaining about the same inappropriate music next March 17th.
Some days it just good to drink. Wherever you happen to be.

This is easily my third favorite holiday. I realize that the day is much deeper than the drinking binges it has sent me on over the years but really I can firmly get behind a day where the sole purpose is to drink (another reason I love football season; there are 7 to 12 St. Patrick’s Days in a three month period – you’re drinking at 9:00 A.M. and the good thing is you’re supposed to be, so stop looking at me funny). And that is what I am going to do. Just as soon as I can fight my way out of the office this afternoon.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I am only listening to music about Ireland or by Irish people. So when I get sick of Van Morrison and U2 by about noon I ‘ll have to rethink that. And as my gift to you; The Dropkick Murphys

By the way, did you know that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Engineers?

Dropping that knowledge is just one more way I am trying to live up to my motto: PMR, not only is he fun, he’s educational.

Update: My man Gerry Dorsey has got the right idea.

As I mentioned in my last post, work has piled up and I’m in the process of digging out with the prospect of an Easter spent with my family as the carrot dangling in front of me. The stress is manifesting itself in many ways. As evidence I present to you an email exchange between commenter Marcus Aurelius (who also happens to be one of my very best friends and a co-conspirator in our crime ring tailgate) and myself last night, while we were both still at our respective offices.

It began thusly:

From: MA

To: PMR

Re: A-Day and Gridiron Bash Update

FYI on the upcoming A-Day thingy.

All I’ve got to say is Alan Jackson, bitch. Alan Jackson.

Seriously though, it might be big.

The text of the email was followed with an announcement from the Alabama Alumni Association about the Gridiron Bash. Lots of information about the events surrounding A-Day, including parking and tailgating instructions were included. If you are actually interested you can look here.

I responded:

From PMR:

To: MA

Re: A-Day and Gridiron Bash Update

A. Alan Jackson sucks big giant donkey c–k.

2. I am not tailgating on the quad (unless everybody else does)

About ten minutes later I got this response:

From : MA

To: PMR

Re: A-Day and Gridiron Bash Update

  1. No shit, c$$k-lick. That was sarcasm.
  2. (or 2.) I didn’t say ANYTHING about tailgating on the quad. I just remember someone bringing up people coming to his house on A-Day weekend and cooking out and then maybe going to the “game”. Sorry. Must have been some other d#&ckhead.

At this point I thought that maybe we were starting down a path we would both find regrettable when we weren’t working 16 hour days and so I replied:

From PMR:

To: MA

Re: A-Day and Gridiron Bash Update

Sorry dude. I wasn’t trying to be a smart-ass. I was trying to be funny – like I knew you were. You must be as stressed as I am? Seriously, if you ever made a statement to me about Alan Jackson that was emphatic enough to use the word “bitch” and it wasn’t a joke, I have to “bitch”-slap you to bring you back to your senses.

This morning when I logged in this was in my in-box:

 

From : MA

To: PMR

Re: A-Day and Gridiron Bash Update

I love you?

Disaster averted and friendship salvaged. Now all I have to do is uncover myself from the pile of shit that has found itself on top of me and I can actually think about enjoying A-Day.

Alan Jackson? That’s a whole other story.

 

This blog is starting to gain a little attention and momentum, so I should really be hitting you with muy y interesante posts but unfortunately I am looking at what may prove to be two very stressful and busy weeks with the real job.

I am not saying I’ll be absent, just that posting will be light with a mix of none. I have found that this is good release for me though. So, don’t be surprised to find a rant about how I “am not a dog person” or how Tuberville has his headphones custom made to fit his enormous ears.

So here is the Monday Football Haiku (I wasn’t joking about that):

Off Season is long

Hoops is a poor trade off

Beating Vandy helps

That’s just a pitiful effort and I apologize but it is a picture into how uncreative I am feeling right now with the stress of work bearing down.

At least Rashad Johnson got his charges dropped. I can now cancel the order for the “Free Rashad” tee shirts I was having printed up.

And I leave you with this:

Have a great week.

Things are not looking good for the AAFL, an off-season football league that is trying to capitalize on college football fans by fielding teams in college football hot-beds like Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Michigan by using some player with ties to those areas.

There is a report this morning in the Gainesville Sun that the league may be close to folding. It has less than a month to come up with $7 to $10 million for stadium leases.

I hope they find a way to play as it would have been a great off-season distraction and I’m guessing that you could have gotten a sky box in Legion Field in Birmingham for around $43. That is, of course if Legion Field had sky boxes.

Update: Orson (um.. Spencer) has post up about it at TSN. And he reminded me of the excellent report of the draft provided a while back by Holly and Company.

AAFL,  rest in peace.

Had to post video of my new hero. (HT: EDSBS)

Dear Little Brother (or Disgruntled Auburn Fans*),

I know we haven’t talked in a while, and granted, the impetus was probably on me to come to you first, but hey, I’m here now so let’s talk. I’ll admit, it’s been a little hard to talk to you these days, you’re going through a period of success and to be honest you’re not very humble about it. Trust me, humility is a tough lesson to learn (actually, it’s taken me quite a while to learn it and I’m sorry if that has affected you negatively).  Honestly, after our contest and latest set-back in November I was really wanting to avoid you. But it’s been a few months now and we’ve had some good things happen so I’m ready to move on.

Since we haven’t really talked in a while it’s only polite for me to congratulate you on your recent success. These are indeed halcyon days for you and honestly you deserve it. You had to stand in our shadow for a long time. It’s good you’re finally getting some recognition, I mean it isn’t like your that recognizable outside the Southeast. I mean there isn’t a state named Auburn. I can’t really think of any other schools named after their home town that are major players in our world of college football. And when you get beat it’s not like those that do it are tearing down goal posts or renting billboards. It’s hard to think that you don’t matter anymore when people still celebrate defeating you the way they do. But, at any rate, you do have a good streak going, especially with us, and by no means will I try to belittle that. Kudos Little Brother.

Our recent struggles also seem a little magnified in light of your relative success. Maybe that has caused the riff to be a little more pronounced and you know you haven’t been all that sensitive about it. Not that you have to be, mind you, I know we can get to teasing pretty bad and I’m sure your feelings are still a little raw about it all. But you see the thing is, when we tease you now you just get so, so… well defensive.

Just because we poke a little fun at you doesn’t mean we don’t like or more importantly that you aren’t “worthy” of your accomplishments, it’s just that you have to try and compare them to ours.  I mean, come on, when you were little and we beat the shit out of you constantly did you just stop having pride in yourself. No, you fought back and you know what, you even won on occasion. That’s the spirit we like in you. I just can’t understand why when we try to exhibit a little pride ourselves or josh around with you have to get all mad and try and tear us down more (trust me, we absolutley know you won six in a row. We know it. No, seriously, we were there at all six and remember them). And please don’t get me wrong, it’s not an ego thing. Trust me, we have self confidence in spades.  It’s just that it gets kind of tedious and annoying and the neighbors are starting to talk about it.

I know this is going to sound kind of bad especially in light of the present situation but I’m a little worried about you. You just seem on edge lately. I’m worried  becasue when the success slows down a little you don’t show the solid reasoning to be able to handle it. Trust me on this, the success comes in cycles and we’ve gone through plenty of them. You’re up one year (or several) and then you’re down. But there are absolutes with all of this; you are never at the top or the bottom too long. It flucuates. I’m scared that when this little streak ends, and it will (and maybe not even this year) you won’t have much to cling to. You’ll shout six (or seven) and I’ll just kind of roll my eyes and move along. It will be more annoying then than it is now.

I just get the feeling that the real meaning of your existence is to beat us. It’s as if that is the best you can do is beat us. It’s just hard to see you limit yourself like that.  I know it’s hard for you to understand but I don’t define our accomplishments by what happens with you (although it’s time for the trend to reverse in our contests). We’ve always tried to shoot a little higher. And we’ve been fortunate in that we have had success with it. I won’t go into numbers but the record is proven, regardless of what you say or think about it. In fact it kind of comes off as sour grapes when you try to attack the record.  I guess the point is, you be you, because I’m going to be me. Stop worrying about what I say in jest because I’m sure not going to worry about what you say.

In closing I just want to say have fun with it. At the end of the day, the things said between us don’t really matter. You’re not going to change my mind about you just like I’m not going to change your mind about me. Comedy is apprecited and comedy is often generated by something new and fresh. Granted you’ve earned the right to throw out “six” as an arguement but I’m expecting it at this point and I’ve been about as humble as I can be about it. Bragging rights doesn’t come with silence from the rival. Trust me on that one.

At the end of the day remember that I respect you and like you (when your not acting like the chicken hawk). Hell, your my brother. We share a lot of things in common. And as far as I’m concerned you’re welcome at my house anytime. Just remember your manners. It makes it easier for me to remember mine.

Love,

Picture Me Rollin

* this is not meant for all or even most Auburn fans, only those that wear their hearts on their sleeves and/or expect Alabama fans to worship them as overlord because the football team has won a few games.

Last week was a good week, in the sense that a lot of people checked out this here blog thanks to the good ship Swindle and company over at EDSBS. The problem now becomes, how do I keep you entertained and coming back.

I was thinking recently that I do not have any regular features on this blog and wanted to add one. My desire was that it would be ridiculously simple and yet flexible and entertaining enough to keep people coming back for more.  I also liked the idea of a Monday thing and thus had even more reason to keep it simple.

Last week, on the day that this was WordPress’ “fastest growing blog“, the blog in second place was called 22 Words.  The point of 22 Words is to get to the point of any topic in 22 words or less. I like this and while I’ll be the first to admit that if I have ever uttered anything funny or intelligent, someone else said it first, I didn’t want to copy that straight away.

But I came up with something else that I believe is closely related and thus proudly present to you the first Picture Me Rollin’ regular feature, Football Haiku:

Now, joy in Bama

Not on the court or diamond

No arrests this week

So there you have it. Now please make this somewhat fun and add your own. The only rules is that it must be a Haiku in the loosest sense of the form; five, seven, and five syllables. It should also have something to do with football, preferably college, but I won’t get to picky.

Have a great week!

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