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Sprints Writes About Nazis, Cam Newton and Cowbells. Or: Another Tuesday // 10.26.10

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No, you see, I was calling OUR TEAM the ones responsible for the deaths of millions of people
You would think that having Nick Saban bungle the occasional analogy, that Derek Dooley would stay away from war metaphors. No such luck.

(Video HT: Georgia Sports Blog)

Yes, this is a tempest in a tea pot and I find it hard to believe that anyone would actually be offended. And it should also be noted that most people get in trouble for comparing other people to Nazis, so if nothing else, Derek Dooley has accomplished something of a coup here.

But if for no other reason than for safe-keeping, here's the transcript with some thoughts:

Right now, we're like the Germans in World War II, all right?

"We're like the Germans in World War II"? Nothing good can come of anything that follows those words.

Here come the boats. It's coming. The binoculars, like, "Oh my God, the invasion is coming." That's what they were doing. They were in the bunkers. "It's coming." They call Rommel. They can't find Rommel. "What do we do?" "I'm not doing anything until we get orders. Have you gotten Rommel yet?"

If Rommel was what Tennessee needed during its games against Georgia and Alabama, he must have been a whale of a defensive coordinator.

The Americans were the exact opposite. We hit the beach, and "We're on the wrong spot, what do we do?" "I don't know, but these guys are firing, we better hide over there and blow some stuff up to get up there." They weren't looking for (orders). So we've got to make that transition.

In other words, Tennessee players must go from being Germans to Americans. This actually proved to be an easy step for Wernher von Braun and Co.

I don't want the German people to get upset at me. I'm not attacking. But that's what happened.

Two things are notable here. First of all, it's interesting that Dooley is worried more about Germans getting upset than other people who probably have far more grounds for outrage if there are any grounds for that at all. Secondly, Derek Dooley thinks Germans will be more upset for being compared to the Tennessee football team than for being reminded of their Nazi past.

You had one group, they weren't worried about what the plan was, what the orders were. When the war hit, things change. You've got to go. You've got another group, now wait a minute, they told us the invasion was way further north, where we had the empty tanks and were hiding Patton out. "We weren't ready for this. What do we do? Well, we better wait until Rommel tells us what to do."

(Laughs) I hope I got my names right.

Yes, because historical accuracy in such comparisons is crucial.

It's hard for Urban Meyer to watch Cam Newton
But not because of all those "touchdowns" and stuff. No, it's just because the SEC scheduling makes it so darn hard. (Because I'm quoting selectively from the post, which is worth a read, I put brackets around my ellipses.)

Reporter: Do you allow yourself to watch Cam Newton on Saturday? Did you watch him?
Meyer: It’s really hard, I’ll tell you that. I don’t watch much of it. [...]
Reporter: Because ...
Meyer: I just think he’s a very good player, and I’m trying to watch more of the teams we play, so I spend my time watching the other ones we’re going to play. [...]
Meyer: No, no, no, no. I didn’t say that.
Reporter: Does that ever cross your mind?
Meyer: No.

Now, Florida administrators tried to make the case that Meyer meant it was hard to watch Newton because of the "teams we play" and not because of the "he's a very good player." A few problems with that: First, Newton has already played three teams that Auburn faced before Florida faced them or will face them. Second, one of the other games came in a 3:30 p.m. time slot during which only CBS can air an SEC football game. And finally, when a reporter asks him "Because ..." the first thing out of Meyer's mouth is "I just think he's a very good football player," not the bit about opponents. Not that it really matters, other than it sounds like Meyer is trying to make sure no one thinks that Meyer believes he made a mistake by letting Newton leave.

Speaking of ... 

In the same press conference, Meyer made clear the one thing that is not causing Florida any problems.

Meyer says problem is execution, not play calling. "We don’t have a bad play. I don’t allow that." #Gatorsless than a minute ago via HootSuite


Yes, Florida NEVER CALLS A BAD PLAY, apparently because Urban Meyer will never allow them to call a bad play. YOU THINK URBAN MEYER MAKES MISTAKES?!? (HT: Blutarsky)

The ongoing and stupid drive to get rid of the cowbell
I haven't liked the SEC's policy on artificial noise ever since they started limiting when South Carolina could play the Gamecock crow over the loudspeakers, but even that is understandable: It's a very loud noise not really made by your fans. The cowbell tradition at Mississippi State is both a longer-lived tradition than the crow and something that is generated by fans, and so I can't understand why the SEC can't just let it be.

For those of you who haven't been following this closely, because you think that a multimillion-dollar sports league has better things to do with its time than worry about bells: The cowbells have been allowed back into Mississippi State games for this year only as a test. The SEC has now found violations and will charge State financial penalties and re-evaluate the policy.

"I know there’s been a focus, to some degree, on financial penalties but that focus is really misplaced," Slive said. "The real focus here should be on whether or not the legislation will be continued, so that State fans can bring their cowbells into the stadium years beyond this one."

And if SEC officials once again ban the cowbell, they should all be fired. The original ban was easily the dumbest rule in college football. If a college football coach can't get his players to focus despite the cowbells, I would argue that the problem probably lies with the coach and the players instead of the cowbells.

It's sort of like those awful vuvuzelas we all had to listen to during the World Cup. I hated the sound like I have hated few sounds in my life. But it was the local culture and the local tradition, so while I didn't care for the vuvuzela, I eventually made peace with the fact that people in that country have every right to follow their nation's traditions since the world did decide to hold its soccer tournament there. (For the record, I am not now nor will I ever be making a pitch for vuvuzelas to be allowed into SEC football games.) There are reasons to change some traditions, but not this one.

And people who are really concerned about the cowbells probably need to find a hobby.

Isn't this kind of like running up the score?
Cam Newton's Heisman website has now launched. (HT: Track Em Tigers)

Somebody had a bit too much to drink Saturday evening
The somebody was Kentucky's Matt Roark, and "a bit too much" was enough to blow a 0.192. He's been suspended. Well, yeah.

Seems fair enough
Want to stop players from taking money from agents in college? Maybe you start by taking away money after college.