Week 12 Takeaways – College Football

This weekend we saw a number of interesting things that boggled the mind and left us wondering “What happened?”

In an a season full of blunders and misfortune, Kansas somehow took the #4 team in the College Football Playoff Rankings (TCU), to the wire and should have put them away. Whether or not by luck, or skill, TCU fought back from horrible circumstances and found themselves triumphant.

In Athens, my team of choice, Auburn decided to leave the defense (as they have much of the year) in Auburn. Even more remarkably, they somehow thought scoring only 7 points against the SEC’s leading scoring offense was going to be sufficient. The highlight of the game was Todd Gurley’s return back into the backfield after his well documented suspension. He ran feverishly and efficiently against a paper mache defense like a blowtorch to cotton. Interestingly enough however, Todd Gurley was not the deciding factor. That factor, as I presume we we will be hearing much more often, was Nick Chubb. He gashed through arm tackle after arm tackle as if he were Herchel Walker himself. At the end of the day, for Auburn, I believe this will be the calling of Ellis Johnson’s head as D-Coordinator. He was a loser as a head coach at Southern Miss, and he was very average at South Carolina. The takeaway here is, now that his job is most certainly at risk, who comes next? Perhaps a Will Muschamp if Florida decides he must go?

In Miami tonight we learned that the Seminoles, while annoying and with little character off the field, are tremendously resilient on the field. 26 Wins in a row in any conference is impressive. Florida State has proven time and time again, with every off field issue, there has been zero affect on the field. Taking situations that can ruin any number of other teams’ seasons and turning them into mush, just won’t apply to this one. They, along with what I would call a spineless coach, have managed to impress the nation one week at a time. It ain’t pretty, but they win.

In Tuscaloosa we saw Mississippi State become the Mississippi State of old. Many shots to the foot cost them very early in the game. For example, Josh Robinson trying to dance outside of the scheme to get more yards at the one yard line cost them 2 points and all the momentum shift Alabama needed to roll the rest of the game. Dak Prescott’s final numbers looked decent, throwing over 250 yards, but he looked out on sync with his receivers for much of the game. Dak wasn’t able to find any open space to run as the Crimson Tide loaded the box with 8 men and dared him to beat them with his arm. At the end of the day, my takeaway from this game is that MSU nor Alabama will be able to withstand the College Football Playoff for two reasons. Number one is that Alabama can’t win at home if they are not in Tuscaloosa. It seems as if Blake Sims’ phenomenal performances are limited to the confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium. One bad or average game in the playoff, and the Tide will be out. If they even make it to the playoff. Auburn could be a pesky problem for them moving forward as everyone knows Alabama struggles against the hurry up no huddle teams. Secondly, for MSU to win the playoff, they have to bounce back from being knocked off the high horse for the first time ever. Seeing as how Mississippi State had never been #1 before until this year, it’s hard to predict if they will be able to take on a damn good Ole Miss squad. Emotions will be running high, and to be honest, I think Ole Miss has them right where they want them.

How It All Shapes Out : Insert anything, your guess is as good as mine.

Lincoln Film Review – Probably The Worst Film Ever IMO

Boy I really had to curve my lack of enthusiasm for this paper, but enjoy if you are a “Lincoln Head”

Lincoln Film Review
The motion picture Lincoln did a great job of depicting many facts from President Lincoln’s time in office. In the early moments of the film, two young soldiers speak of his great speech “The Gettysburg Address.” Although this may not have been an accurate moment of time, being as soldiers most likely would not have quoted him line by line, what was said was word for word exactly the words spoken by Lincoln in his address.
In the time of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln (played by Daniel Day Lewis) was attempting to push through an amendment to Constitution of the United States. Amendment 13 was in an effort to abolish slavery and involuntary servitude, except by punishment. With so many things going on at this time, there was a strong distaste within the political parties to push this through on their own. Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet had thought that if he would have waited for the seats in the house to change, the passage of the bill should come through quite effortlessly. Although reasonable in the assumption,
Abraham wanted to get the bill signed prior to the ending of the war. There was one issue however, the South was ready to issue terms in order to end the war peacefully. Knowing this, Abraham’s cabinet thought even more strongly that they should accept terms, and further wait it out and pass when the majority was surely in hand.
Thaddeus Stevens (played by Tommy Lee Jones), a man who had often times stood for the rights of blacks, found himself dead center of the house discussion. He was ridiculed and verbally harassed for standing for what he believed in. However, in the film, he seemed very calm and patient, and also very quiet. Although its speculation at best, Thaddeus Stevens supposedly, as a single man, had a black woman in his life. Many people believe that the rights he were fighting for and supported also were to a personal benefit for him.
One of the common fallacies was that Abraham Lincoln wanted all slaves freed. Possibly, as a moral standard, this may be a common opinion, but Lincoln wanted to stop the expansion of slaves into other areas of America. In the movie, the descriptions of how heated these conversations were was fairly accurate. Many people were strongly opposed or strongly favored. Very few people actually were wavering on what to vote for. For those who were unsure, Abraham Lincoln sent out assistants to the representatives or to the citizens in an effort to persuade them to vote in his favor. This too, was a correct evaluation. As a part of being President, Lincoln also exercised his rights to the War Powers he is allowed. He most certainly did so to help further the race to complete Amendment 13. On the day of the vote, many people had gotten word that the Southerners were attempting to negotiate a term of surrender. This became a cause of uproar within the house. Two men were sent down a hill to fetch a response by President Lincoln himself. If he had stated the truth, which was that the South were negotiating a surrender, the house most likely would have made a motion to stay the bill for further deliberation and discussion. However, Abraham Lincoln sent back a letter stating that he knew of no such thing. Therefore, the decision to vote on the bill had been made and what came next is history. The bill won and all slaves within the southern states were freed and the war had to come to a stop. The south surrendered quickly and then shortly later in time, President Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre by John Wilkes Booth. The motion picture ended with the uproar of the people, sad and in disbelief.

How To Get Away With Murder? Hypothetically Of Course.

This is no way an endorsement of how to literally get away with murder but here’s a paper from last year that was a challenge from my Composition teacher. It was my first paper ever in college, so it’s not nearly as good as the others I have done.

You see it on the internet, “Man acquitted of murder charges.” Again on the radio “woman killed her child and is back out having the time of her life in clubs.” Or you read “How sexy is the Boston Bomber?” This fascination with murder has been around what seems like forever. Shows like CSI, NCIS, Cold Case, and Criminal Minds give some people the notion that murder is as simple as “one, two, three.” In reality, the murderer who is never known is the most successful. So now, as only humans do, we ask ourselves, “How do you get away with murder?”
Most importantly, in order to be successful, you must understand what murder is. Murder is the unlawful killing of one human being by another. It may sound simple, but finding a way to maintain your innocence through the eyes of the investigators is very difficult. Most people who decide to commit murder make many mistakes such as physical evidence. For example, Gerard Lopes of Fort Lauderdale, Florida beat his adoptive mother to death and the main physical evidence used within the court case was semen left from a sexual assault prior to the murder itself. One woman cut off her husband’s member and he bled out. Fingerprints left on the remaining of the genital were the final point of emphasis in her case.
This brings us to our first point on how to get away with murder. Don’t kill anyone who is part of your daily life. I understand you can’t stand your mother, brother, mystery lover or any kind of significant other. Do not kill anyone directly involved in your life. The best idea is to pick that perfect stranger. Whoever it may be, make sure they have no prior connection to you, you can begin the planning phase.
Planning a murder should be thought out and never written. In the movie Law Abiding Citizen, the murderer had blueprints of how he tortured his victims on his property. If your plans are written, they can be seized and used as evidence at your trial.
Now that you found your victim, you have to decide on what the ideal weapon should be. Remembering to leave as little evidence is crucial. Common murder weapons are but not limited to, guns, knives, poisons, drugs, and physical trauma. The best weapon that you can use is an icicle. You can stab your victim as many times as you wish, simply heat up the ice and then there is no murder weapon to land you behind bars! Nobody to date has done this, or if they have, who could prove it?
Opportunity and timing is crucial for success. If one person sees you commit the crime, you will be caught for sure. George Zimmerman was almost convicted of murder due to an eye witness. Luckily for him, the witness couldn’t tell enough about that dark and gloomy night. Be cautious by checking your surroundings, and then make your move.
Lastly, I would consider hiding the body. In Cleveland, I would probably hide the body in the woods of my grandfather’s property. Other places however are Breeder Farm, the woods up on the back of the Holiday Inn Hill, or you could push someone into a wood chipper, and feed your fish and watch the evidence disappear.
In conclusion, I can assure you, you are better off playing a game or watching a movie. But if bashing that hooker’s head into the pavement on Grand Theft Auto isn’t enough, go ahead and give it a shot. Ninety-seven percent of murder cases end up in some form of conviction. Two percent are acquitted for self defense. And half of one percent are seen as a freak accident. So you think you can beat the numbers? I’ll just stick to the video games myself.

Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire

Usually I don’t post anything but sports related topics, but here’s another sample of my writings. This is looking at the effect of Thomas Lanier Williams’ personal life as he wrote and produced one of his most famous plays/movies.

Thomas Lanier Williams III was an American playwright master. He took common situations, many depicted on his personal life, and thrust them on to blank pages with ink seemingly flawlessly. Several of his pieces of work had a dark, gloomy, saddened feel to them. This is widely believed to be the case due to a very rough upbringing. Thomas Lanier Williams, commonly referred to as “Tennessee Williams”, was born March 26th, 1911 to Edwina and Charles Coffin Williams in Columbus, Mississippi. Now surely you find yourself wondering why a boy from Mississippi is referred to as “Tennessee”. The answer is actually not really known. Many people believe it’s due to roommates making fun of his Southern Drawl while others contest it was to honor his family members that hailed from the state of Tennessee. While Thomas Lanier was growing up, he had a multitude of issues swirling around his family that had affected him quite greatly. For example, his sister Rose, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and struggled mightily from it. Personally, he even had to fight off a disease known as Diphtheria that almost left him dead at an early age. This left Williams weak and made it very difficult for him to obtain friends and be able to do things the other normal kids could. The fact that he couldn’t function as well as the other kids in society angered his short tempered father. C.C. Williams was a father who used a more violent approach to upbringing than your standard smack on the rear. He used his fists and lost his temper quite often on Thomas and Edwina. Growing up in the danger zone with an angry father, a troubled mother, and a mentally unstable sister, led to some of the greatest playwriting material of all time. Thomas Lanier Williams wrote seemingly similar stories that could have been second by second accounts of what happened in his young life. But exactly how did this things come about in A Streetcar Named Desire? In the coming pages I will analyze the personal trials and tribulations and how they may have affected Tennessee’s writings due to his sad, lonely, and depressing upbringing.
To say Tennessee Williams’ childhood was difficult would be an understatement of epic proportion. He had probably one of the worst family homes of any major significant playwright of all time. His father had anger issues and often times would physically assault Tennessee and his mother, Edwina. In A Streetcar Named Desire, you see the overwhelming physical nature of Stanley Kowalski when the first time he appears he is bowling and a fight breaks out. Stanley’s wife, Stella, was also a victim to this primal nature displayed by her husband. Blanche Du Bois, Stella’s eccentric sister, seems to be worried for her sister’s wellbeing. After the rough night at the Kowalski house, Stella tells her sister that, “He’s always breaking things, that’s just his nature. It’s one of the things I love about him most.” This seems to be a direct correlation to how Tennessee’s mother felt about her husband C.C. Williams. The similarities are frighteningly close as with every conflict in the playwright turns out to be solved or extended, by a violent eruption that Stanley amasses. Might this be exactly how Tennessee Williams saw his childhood playing out on the silver screen? According to Dakin Williams, (his brother) this is how it seemed as he and his brother were seemingly ushered from home to home throughout their entirety as children. Even Tennessee reflected on those moments when his father would show at home drunk, standing over his mother, with rage in his heart. He simply said “She loved him through it all; that’s what a wife is to do.” Edwina’s submissive nature was most likely attributed to the era in which they were in. In the early 1900’s, the role of the man of the house could have almost been best represented by the term dictator. Everything the man said, everything he did was seemingly unchallenged and at the time rightfully so. The man would go out and work, come home, and make sure everything at home was done the way he sought fit. As the primary bread winner, the man ruled the home, leaving women who stayed at home with the children co-dependent on the success of the man. In A Streetcar Named Desire, the overwhelming physical nature of Stanley Kowalski is reflected to many as a result of being a battle hardened veteran who could have left half his mind in the war. In that era, men who came back from war were very difficult to deal with due to ongoing bouts of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These things alone might be the primary reason for his primal behavior and his habitual ways of asserting himself physically. As you can see, the violent nature, clearly reflects Tennessee’s own personal tragedies at home.
Tennessee Williams wrote the characters in A Streetcar Named Desire a certain way in order to get a response from the viewers and readers alike. He wanted to paint the picture of this hard working man, coming home and over stepping his grounds at home. He also wanted to add value to the female opinion and warn of the dangers of men like Stanley Kowalski and even his father with the character Blanche Du Bois. The role of Stella Kowalski, seemed to be that of the same nature as Tennessee’s mother, Edwina. She played the submissive housewife, who at any and all cost, backed her husband. There just so happened to be a problem with the production of the playwright as it transitioned to Broadway and the silver screen. When the role of Stanley Kowalski was taken by Marlon Brando, all bets were off. The hardworking man, with the violent outbursts, became the reader and viewer’s heartthrob. Whether it be the accent, his physique, or his acting style, everyone changed their view about the violent man as Brando assumed the role. As the play continues on, you can see very clearly that Stanley and Blanche are headed on a collision course. Blanche is worried for her sister, citing that Stanley is “common”, and dangerous. The peak of action is when Stanley leaves his wife at the hospital to have the baby because it would be another day before she had it. In came Mr. Kowalski and there was Blanche, wondering how the baby was. “The baby won’t come before morning so they told me to go home and get some shut eye,” Stanley said. Then all of the sudden, Stanley charges in the conversation demanding answers about the rumors that had been spoken about Blanche around town. She admitted to Stanley her original opinion of him, and then confirmed that the many rumors were true as she began to get emotional. Stanley remembers Blanche’s flirty ways earlier in her times in the French Quarter, and actually says something provoking to Blanche. “Oh, you want some rough house! All right, let’s have some rough house”. After that, she threatens to kill Stanley as he makes a move toward her (Bloom 56-57). Although it isn’t shown, it’s highly suggested that Stanley had raped Blanche as he let his primal instincts take him over. During the movie, it pans out and the screen faded to black leaving the viewer to their imagination. The next scene, I assume, was weeks later. The scene shows Stella Kowalski and their neighbor from upstairs’ concern for Blanche as they make sure to tell her how wonderful she looks. As you can tell by the tone of the situation, Blanche has had some form of psychotic break (Adler 42-43). Often times throughout the entire movie, she had spoken to herself, but never to this degree. A knock at the door and the sudden quiet tells the reader the answer to the question of what was really going on at the house. The people from the asylum came for Blanche as she must have been seen as mentally and emotionally unstable and most likely clinically insane. After much coercing, Blanche finally agrees to go with the man as she states “You’re not the gentleman I was expecting”. As Blanche departs, everyone’s emotions are a wreck, and Stella takes her child upstairs to the neighbors’ house and vows to never go back down there again (Bloom 47). She realizes that Stanley Kowalski could be a danger to her and her child. She makes the conscious decision that Tennessee Williams’ mother Edwina never did. She left the situation to better the life of herself and her kid. At the very end of the movie, you hear Stanley scream out “Stella!” in hopes that once again she will come back down and submit to his primal nature. The most difficult part of the playwright to decide is whether or not she returns to Stanley and embraces him as she did before. Honestly, the difficulty of being a single mother in the French Quarter with seemingly no job in the 1900’s is that her life and her child’s life might have actually taken a step back. It was very hard for women to work in that time. Also, with no money, and no job already, getting someone to take care of the child while she searches for a job would be quite treacherous and difficult to do. Living on the street in New Orleans would have also presented a different issue every day. Many men, not just Stanley Kowalski, had a violent nature. That means that Stella could have been subject to rape, assault, and even kidnapping. The life that she knew and loved before really might have been her best option. It’s pitiful and sad, but the life of a married woman who is abused in that era is better than a homeless, jobless, single mother wandering the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
In conclusion, Stella Kowalski, in my eyes, is the direct reflection of Edwina Williams. She is presented with many issues throughout her life but honestly doesn’t know where or what to do. This proves that Tennessee Williams held this vision of his mother’s struggle in his memory and presented it for the entire world to see indirectly. The call to action the reader and viewer feels afterward is that we should provide some sort of standard to how people were treated, especially female. Today, although never perfect, we have a system in place for any and all domestic issues within a household. All a woman has to do is pick up the phone and call the police, tell them of the horrible things that are going on, and the police and attorneys will help the situation. Many women will actually do that now, unless they are like Edwina Williams, and are too afraid to call and quite possibly afraid for their life.

My Brother, Oscar

Oscar Taveras has been my best friend in professional baseball outside of people I’ve known my entire life. Today, my best friend and brother died in a horrific car accident. I am at a loss for words, which is almost impossible. My heart is broken for selfish reasons. I wish I could sit and talk with you about what pitch to throw 2-1 to a three hole hitter again. I wish I could take ya for a ride down PGA Blvd and pretend we are rich studs again. I want all the moments in the clubhouse of you acting a fool. Even when you weren’t on our team, visiting and showing interest. I miss the sound of the eruption of the ball against the hard maple as you square up the ball. But more than all, I miss your character. In a sport riddled with bad eggs, you were a Golden One. You had charisma in everything you did. I remember you watching me pitch and then telling me, “keep your eyes on the prize, you’re going places”. Even if in sarcasm, because I had no clue it was possible,those were the nicest words anyone in the organization ever spoke to me. You made me feel like a big leaguer on Field One with the GCL Squad. Those moments, I wish they had never ended. But God said he needs my best friend, but damn, he took the best power hitter in my fantasy lineup. My brother, OT, Sir Monkey Hacks, The Truth, Oscar, I shed many tears for you tonight man. My heart is shattered, but you were right, I have to keep my eye on the prize. We have to meet again. I won’t settle for not seeing you hit .400 and 50 bombs for God. Hopefully, we get picked on the same team, and Hopefully, you’ll snag a deep drive for me in deep right center. I can’t want to see you again man. You were truly something special.

Fly High, and Remember, Your Second Rookie Season Just Started Buddy
I love you brother.

Tu Gringo Hermano, Cole

Understandably (Hopefully) , I’ve Been Missing

Well as you would know if you ever had kept up with my writing work on here, I haven’t posted a conversational topic or even a bold statement that requires no response at all. I wanted to take this time at just past 3:40 A.M. to catch you up on everything in my life and maybe even mention some of the things I’m doing now.

First of all, I got away from baseball for a while. I needed to clear my head and see if this game is what I see myself doing the next few years of my life. The fact of the matter is, I really still do not know what I want to do. Being 22, I feel like I have the right to be sluggish on planning my future out. But, hey, maybe not.

Secondly, I reenrolled into school at our local community college, Cleveland State, and I am currently going through my second semester. I’m trying to be one of the few people in my family to stick it out and get a degree. Right now, I have been balancing the duties of late night study sessions, Composition writings, SEC Football, and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. As you can tell by the time I am writing this, the latter of those seems impossible. Something interesting about school however, I’ve found my first collegiate love, and no, its not the 34D brunette (that’s an estimation of course) that sits beside me in Psychology class. I have found myself encased in every single piece of writing I have completed. I love it, it’s like my personal and deeply enhanced view on everything. No matter what I see, feel, hear and touch, I can always find a better way to write it down and put it in words. It really is strange, something I hated to do when I was a kid and even into high school, but now its what gets me through the tough times in my life.

Third, it’s FOOTBALL SEASON. For my Midwest following, you might not truly understand what it’s like to be in the SEC region quite yet, but you will. Friday nights I go to bed at 9 or 9:30 so I don’t miss a second of the quality games the SEC teams play week in and week out. I mean, heck, the Georgia South Carolina game, was an instant classic. Kentucky vs. Florida was even a double OT game, which should have never happened, but still. Auburn, my team obviously, didn’t even play, and it was a great weekend.

Lastly, I learned something about myself when it pertains to social media. I become a recluse when things in my life become more interesting or dramatic. I do it subconsciously, and even though I know I’m doing it, I cant stop. It’s really weird. I guess in my own mind if I don’t say anything, the people who really care about me and want to know what’s going on will ask. But often times, more so than the other, people don’t ask. I guess I have very few or little amount of friends. I have two really good friends, but to me, that seems like enough. I don’t need a huge following to feel worthy of space. So, if you never hear from me again, I’m observing who is interested enough to know why I’m not talking.

OMT -One More Thing – The Cardinals, for all of you who may wonder if I keep up with, might actually make the prediction I made after the Yadier Molina injury. So, that’s a story to keep an eye on. I’ll be close, but probably wont hit the nail on the head perfectly.

Hope All Is Well With You Guys, Goodnight (or Morning)
God Bless
– Cb3

Taking A Break From Baseball – How About SEC Football?


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Yup, I said it. Taking a break from writing about baseball. Tonight/Morning (Depending on where you are), I will write about the upcoming SEC Football Season. I decided I would switch things up since Fox Sports Midwest blacked out my Lance Lynn game I was going to analyze.

First of all, I should probably explain where my allegiance lies. I am a very open and proud Auburn University fan. This stems from a family history with the University. My grandfather and father both attended Auburn at some point in their life. My father, happened to be on campus when perhaps the greatest athlete of all-time, Bo Jackson, was there. Now that you have a little history on my favorite college and why, we proceed with my top four teams in each division.

Preseason Power Ranking and Projection
SEC East
1.) South Carolina – Primary reasons for the Gamecocks to win the east would be due to a quality returning quarterback and defensive line. Dylan Thompson spent much time behind Conner Shaw and in earshot of The Ole’ Ball Coach for the last year. He started a few games and provided an offensive spark and even a bit of a QB controversy before Spurrier decided that he was going to play Shaw the rest of the year. (Projection 10-2)

2.) Florida – This one comes as a huge shock to most. However, if you watched the Will Muschamp led defense last year, you would have seen one of the best defenses the SEC has had in recent years. With a constant flow of quality defensive players signing and joining the Gators’ roster, they should be even deeper than last year. With a QB returning for the second year in the system AND fully healthy, the offense should show major signs of improvement from what was an abysmal year last year. (Projection 9-3)

3.) Georgia – The Bulldogs would have more than likely been my favorite if their wasn’t so many arrests and suspensions of key role players this offseason. Georgia however has to replace the SEC’s all-time passing leader in Aaron Murray and also hope the Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have completely recovered from their season ending surgeries. With almost 90 percent of the skill players with season ending injuries last year, the ‘Dawgs were truly decimated, yet showed growth in their youth with the trial by fire method of development. (Projection 9-3)

4.) Missouri! – HERE YOU GO FANS! Sadly, the ‘Zou might not be rocking the way you would hope. With losing the QB and several key players in the skill game, especially Dorial Green-Beckham, putting points up might a difficult job for Maty Mauk and the limited Tiger offense. Struggling to score without a major improvement from the defense could even push this team’s record below the .500 mark. Hopefully Pinkel has a few plans to surprise teams at they can get back into the divisional race. (Projection 7-5)

Now for as Paul Finebaum likes to call it “The King’s Division”
SEC West

1.) Auburn – This is difficult to explain because I feel biased. The returning of a starting QB in Nick Marshall is a first for Gus Malzahn. It is very hard to imagine anyone stopping the Hurry Up No Huddle Offense when every player in the two deep other than incoming freshmen has played more than 100 snaps in the offense. The defense needs to improve, but many people believe the second year for the young defensive team will show much more improvement in the secondary and up front. (Projection 12-0) – I know it sounds bold, and biased, but bare with me.

2.) Alabama – The other team in the state of Alabama will have a tough time replacing a QB who managed their team to so much success over the last few years. All signs point to Jake Coker to be the starter, yet according to Saban, he hasn’t distanced himself in the QB race. With an exposed secondary, as evident in the Oklahoma game last year, Nick Saban has to tighten up the D unless he wants teams to rain deep balls all year this year. (Projection 10-2)

3.) LSU – The reason for the Tiger’s placement at three here might just be a combination of two factors, Les Miles and Death Valley. It has been a couple years since the Tigers of Baton Rouge have really jumped up and surprised anyone. With lesser expectations this year, look for Leonard Fournette to hit the scene and potentially lead the SEC in rushing. The other factor, with many young and new quarterbacks visiting Death Valley, look to see glossy eyed kids get a taste of fear when they walk by Mike the Tiger on the sidelines. I see the Tigers having a good season and building the future stars of the SEC. (Projection 9-3)

4.) Mississippi State – The Bulldogs have found a spark they have been looking for the last several years under Dan Mullen. Dak Prescott came off the bench for Tyler Russell last year due to injury and flipped a power dynamic. The MSU Bulldogs became much more physical team than previous years. The defense is improving every year and you have to wonder, what year will they put it all together and make a run at the championship? Sadly, they aren’t quite there yet. (Projection 9-3)

So there you have it, if my projections stand true, South Carolina vs. Auburn In a 2010 rematch will be the SEC Championship game this year.

With the SEC season kicking off August 28th, I thought It would be good to take a look and give my predictions. If you guys believe in me, maybe make a call to Las Vegas and place a bet or two. Comment below or Tweet your response with your personal opinion at @Cbrand17.

Have A Blessed Day.

My Confessional – (Deeper Thoughts)

Man, I have dreaded the decision to do this already, but here it goes.

I’ve caught myself wondering at times what I would do if the game I love is ever permanently taken from me. But then I thought about it. After surgery and rehab now completed, there is a small chance nobody will take a passing glance at me as I try to run the dream down again. But then I have this thought, “Is this my dream, or all I’ve ever known?” Now, I begin to feel that cold deep crushing in my stomach and chest that really makes me scared to even fathom the answer to that question. I think when I told my dad at age six that I was “going to play professional baseball”, I did that because I had formed a perception of this dream that is nowhere near close to what it is in reality. I never knew there was an MiLB, I never knew that I was going to have to struggle to pay for food every month, I just thought “Hey, I’m going to be on TV, and millions of people are going to love me.” Boy, I was a damn fool. I never thought my best friends that I developed along the way were going to be released, traded, promoted, demoted, and leave me to fend for myself. But then again, I was six. The world had me fooled at that age. So now I have to think hard about if baseball is a part of me and who I am, or is it in fact much bigger, and maybe its ALL I am. After all, the only thing on my mind since I was a kid was playing pro ball. I never thought about starting a family, getting a degree, or even doing the “fun stuff” in life. Now I’m 22 years old, with only a semester of college completed, (sort of) and no job, and my only work skill is throwing a fastball by a hitter. That’s a hell of a resume, right?

Many people begin to think back and blame their organization that drafted them for how they were treated and released. I, on the other hand, will forever be grateful for the Cardinals for taking that chance on me in 2010. I proved my six year old self right. I did play professional baseball. Now, after a shoulder surgery that needed to be done, I have to think about what I learned about the world and the people in it and use that moving forward, whether I play ball again or not. The only negative I have from the Cardinals is that when they let me go, I had nowhere to go from there. That ENTIRELY falls on me and my ignorant way of thinking through growing up. Luckily I thought about investments and thought about saving money.  And then the gavel from the baseball judge came down, and I was released with nothing to show for it.

I hated myself for that. I locked myself in my room and hid from the world instead of “getting my ass in gear” as my Grandfather says. I fell into a terribly deep depression with nobody to really talk to, because nobody around Cleveland, Tennessee knows what its like to be 20 years old as a former professional athlete. I never sought out help, I just let these things weigh me down and turn me into a critic of life. To feel so ignorant, to be afraid to ask someone what to do and how to do it, was sickening to me. I even went as far to blame God for my misfortune, even though deep down I know my God was truly just testing me. God never gives us anything we can’t handle, no matter how bad it feels

Since then I have thought about the things that I’ve accomplished in my life at such an early age. I played pro ball. That was my life goal since I was six. I was the first player at my high school to ever be drafted directly out of high school. I made some money, and I realized the most important thing ever tonight while writing this, I’m still here. I’m still moving forward. I am chasing an old dream with a new mindset. Going to school in the fall with the idea of a back up plan in case my dream is temporarily or permanently put on hold again. But what might even be more special to me, is the fact that I can write my thoughts down and have a few of you wonderful people interact with me about it. I love the thoughts, positive or negative. I no longer see myself or anything for that matter in a negative light, I see the positive and the benefit of everything in life. I’m slowly finding myself now. All the people with the Cardinal allegiance, fans or friends, or just the fans of baseball, are helping me now almost every step of the way.

But like I said to my friends and family, I’m just now coming back into form. I’m scared to death, but I believe that’s life for everyone. I fear for my successes and my failures equally. A wise man told me that’s how the most mature men think. Understanding what can come from what you do, good or bad, is truly knowing. With that being said, I see myself entering some unknown territory in the near future, but I won’t be afraid. I’m wiser now. Hopefully that beholds a better future. Until then, I’ll just pray and leave it all up to God, while I do my part too.

Social Media’s Choice of Execution? Impalement!

Over the recent years, many athletes have been judged by the likes of teenagers, ignorant fans, reporters, and many other “Social Figures” by the hundreds of media outlets. Is this fair? In some cases, yes. In others, possibly not.

In case you missed the media “blowout” from the All-Star Game yesterday, the National League starting pitcher Adam Wainwright said he was going to give Derek Jeter some pitches to handle. What many people will never understand, as a pitcher, that’s Waino’s job. It’s his job to throw the ball over the plate in the strike zone. Every batter he faces should have at least one strike to look at unless he issues a rare four pitch walk.

The second issue I have with this is that if it weren’t for Derek Jeter’s last ASG of his career, nobody would have known Adam said what he did. For the record, Derek Jeter knows Waino wasn’t spoon-feeding him hittable pitches on purpose. The pitch that he hit was an 89 MPH off speed pitch that sunk through the bottom of the hitting zone. Because Derek Jeter hit the ball down the line for a lead off double, people magnified and mistook Adam’s statement as an open invitation to blast a quality pitch.

Wainwright is a hard-working, devoted pitcher. He won’t let anyone he ever faces have a free shot. Everything Derek did at the plate in the All Star Game was on his own, with no assistance from the pitchers.

To address the media whirlwind that is circling over head today, I would like to mention my own personal opinion that was mistaken. I tweeted that “Lucroy is channeling his inner Crash Davis, telling the hitter what’s coming”. This too was taken wrong by a few Brewers fans. It was a playful joke that was used to reference the home run Miguel Cabrera hit in the first inning. I don’t truly believe Lucroy said “Hey Miggy, I think you should hit this one over the left field wall”. But he did it anyway. See the connection? What is said isn’t always said in one hundred percent seriousness.

Random Moment of the night post –
But the biggest and the most significant blunder made by a Social Media, or National Media Source for that matter, was when @CBSNews tweeted out “Michael Jeter takes bow at his final All-Star game.” Now, there are many things wrong with that tweet, but lets just start with the obvious one. Michael Jeter was an actor who died in 2003, and DEREK Jeter, was the Shortstop in the All-Star Game. Secondly, I might be wrong, though I’m almost certain that CBS News’ headquarters is in New York. SO, to be in New York, and not know who the shortstop has been for the last 20 years is, is truly pathetic. As a network that prides themselves on being one of the all time greats, this is just a bad job of reporting and media failure. Double and triple check your information next time CBS.

But hey, you don’t see anyone getting on CBS for what they said do you?

Join me next time on Caught Him Looking for your next baseball related blog.
@Cbrand17 <- make sure you tweet for suggestions and opinions about the blog, if you provide a subject I use, I will post your tag for the masses to see.

Have a Blessed Day,

Here Come The Waves, Brace For Impact or Abandon Ship?

When Poseidon stirs the sea, and things get rocky, what do you do, brace for impact and take the crushing blows, or do you dive into the sea and pray for survival? Many Cardinals fans feel a similar type of way about the news of Yadier Molina and his ligament tear. As everyone already knows, or in case you missed it, Yadier slid into third and damaged the thumb on his throwing hand. It hampered him enough to warrant a replacement in the form of Tony Cruz. The MRI later revealed a tear that will need to be repaired surgically and will keep him off the diamond for a minimum of eight to twelve weeks. In this segment of Caught Him Looking, I’ll go over five reasons why you shouldn’t fear the tides and not even fear a potential leak in the ship that is the Cardinals season.

1.) The Brewers (First Place Currently) historically play their worst baseball after the first half of the season. Everyone knows about the second half fall offs. It happens all the time to teams, because by game 125, the real cream of the crop surfaces. If this trend holds true, the Cardinals, who have been historically positive in the second half, will be able to make another division run.

2.) Yadier isn’t going to be around forever. I know it pains people to think about this ever happening, but eventually the Cardinals will have to find a new heir to the dish. Though his retirement I speak of is probably far off, it doesn’t hurt to give Tony Cruz and Audry Perez a firm look to see where they are at. After all, baseball is about the future.

3.) With the emergence of Matt Adams at first base, the offense will only diminish by a minimal amount if at all.If Allen Craig magically finds his groove again, the offensive production could even improve considering the RBI’s he has left on the field so far. With Yadi gone, Matheny can move some spots around to create more opportunity for the lineup. Mike, if your listening, which you’re not, learn these three words. “Hit-And-Run” With Wong, Taveras, Carpenter, and Bourjos, you should go first to third on singles all the time.

4.) Yadi typically bounces back from injuries fairly well. Eight weeks of post op rehab is going to make him want to prove his worth when he returns. Time off for a catcher, can be a very good thing. When Yadi returns from injury, he typically brings energy with him too. Yadi will be lighter in the knees with time off. With that being said, his game may even surpass what it is currently at. If so, we could be looking at the catalyst for a deep playoff run.

5.) Defensively, Tony Cruz does a really good job, he doesn’t nearly do the things Yadi does, but that all comes with time. He usually stays on the same page with the pitcher and that’s all that really matters at this point in the season. Tony doesn’t need to imitate Yadi in order to be productive. As long as he frames the ball well and throws out at least sixty percent of base stealers, the Cardinals should be above .500 while Yadi is gone.

At the end of the day,even with Molina out of the lineup, the Cardinals are a perennial powerhouse year after year. I’m not one to make big predictions, but here’s one for you.I believe the Cardinals will end up the division winner and end the season with a 94 – 68 record. I see things on the field that make me feel as if things will really click in the second half.

Make sure you comment to me your opinions on this blog at @Cbrand17 on Twitter and tell me your predictions for the final results for the year and second half.
I’m curious how many of you are optimistic out there!
Have a blessed day and Go Cards!