Friday, September 28, 2007

Official Fran Vendetta: Day 8

I decided to write my main man, Bill Byrne, another letter today. Why? Because of this.

Cliff's notes for that link: Fran has just stopped sending out a newsletter to certain highly-placed boosters willing to pony up $1,200 a year for information.

What information, you ask? Why, injury reports (Fran always says that he doesn't discuss injuries unless they're season-ending) and frank evaluations of his players. For instance, the writer of his letter (the same athletic department employee who ghostwrites Bill Byrne's Wednesday Weeklies, actually) put in one edition: "Privately, Coach told me last night that Earvin (Taylor) and Pierre (Brown) are very steady but with average speed," McKenzie wrote. "Kerry (Franks) has great speed, but (is) inconsistent in receiving."

Now, this is true. It is in fact what I say about Kerry Franks, except I use the word "butterfingers." But this brings us to Problem 1: how is this going to affect locker room dynamics? How are the players going to like it that their coach has been, well, talking about them behind their backs? For cash?

That brings us to Problem 2--the greater of the problems, and the one I discussed in my letter to Bill Byrne--where is this money going? According to the story, it's funding (link not provided out of spite), which is admittedly not the world's most nefarious purpose. But the point is that Fran is selling information about Aggie student-athletes (the term I suck-uppily used in my letter) and profiting from it. How is the information his to sell?

I don't know how big this story is going to turn out to be. I don't know whether Fran has violated any actual rules, or how angry anybody that matters (e.g. University bigwigs, Stevie McGee) is about this. However, I do know what I told my friend Bill: "I've never been a Fran fan. But even if he were Bob Stoops or Urban Meyer, I would raise at least one eyebrow about this."

What do you guys think?
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh, Television . . .

So, even though I am holding fast to my breakup with Grey's Anatomy, I decided to give Private Practice a shot. The fact that I'm writing this while the show is still on should give you some indication of how that went.

I turned it off at about the half-way point (although I was surprised that it hadn't been on for much longer--that's how it felt) because it is, in a word, stupid.

Twice--twice!--I needed to comment (out loud, to myself, which is how I roll when watching TV): "This is the worst exposition EVER." Seriously. The show starts with the chief lecturing Addison about how she shouldn't go flitting off to L.A., so she decides--because it's so relevant, and so believable--to describe the rest of the title-credits characters to him. And, by happy coincidence, to us! And then, the Evil By-The-Book Hospital Administrator (gee whiz, she's going to cause those wacky-but-loveable private practice doctors a lot of trouble, you can tell!!) corrects Taye Diggs when he calls her Amanda** because "My name is Charlotte**, and I'm the Chief of Staff here, as you know perfectly well." WOW, writers! You just taught me her name and who she is, by cleverly inserting it into the dialogue!!!

[**: I don't remember the mistake name or, ironically, her actual name.***]

[***: I needed to edit this later to add that, actually, her name is Charlotte. Dangit!]

And don't even get me started on the plot. Just, for your own sake, believe me when I say that the main plot and all the little supporting-character plots are even worse than the "banter." (More sample dialogue: the "cute" "surfer" boy receptionist says to Addison, "You don't respect my midwifery skills, do you?!" . . . No, seriously, don't get me started on the plot.)

* * * * * * * *

In related news (it's related because . . . I saw it on TV tonight? Because it also involved Patrick Dempsey? Although with Private Practice, it was that I didn't have to watch him being a jerk anymore. The commercial made me think, "Patrick Dempsey, what are you doing?!"?), I just saw this trailer. Clearly, this movie will be awful, but that gag at the end with the bicycles? Pretty funny.

Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Official Fran Vendetta: Day 3

It's hard to root against a coach of the team you're rooting for. On the one hand, of course you want your team to win. What kind of monster would you be if you didn't? On the other hand, the more your coach loses, the more quickly he'll be fired, which will be better for your team in the long run. But, back on the first hand, if your coach is winning, then why does he need to be fired at all? So it's a dilemma, especially when your coach isn't ludicrously, jaw-droppingly awful, but just bad enough to keep your team mired in mediocrity. Beating the little teams and losing ridiculously to the big teams (maybe only allowing an upset as often as he actually pulls an upset) isn't bad enough to get dumped immediately, but it's not good enough to be, you know, good.

What I'm getting at is that I don't know how I want my Ags to perform this season. Obviously, I should be really happy if they somehow, say, run the table in the Big XII and get to a good bowl game and somehow not BOMB in it. But I just don't think that's possible. I might be able to squeeze a bit of malicious glee out of it, and look forward to the relief that the Canning of Fran would bring, if we drop every (or almost every) game in conference and fail to reach bowl eligibility for the third time in five years. But I neither want that to nor think that will happen, either.

How will we do? Here are my not-particularly-educated guesses:

Baylor: win, although I'm not going to bet the farm on it. Maybe a small chicken, though. But it could be close, as our last three matchups with Baylor have been.

Oke State: win. I'm more ambivalent here, because it's hard to know how those krazy kowboys will do one week to the next. They're an up-and-down team, and since they're up now, my guess is they'll be down at Kyle Field.

Stupid Texas Tech: Forget everything I said in the first few paragraphs; no consideration on this earth will ever, ever, make me think that losing to Tech is ok. That said . . . we'll probably lose. It's in Lubbock and we can't defend the pass. And we can't pass. It would be a shootout, if only we could shoot. Dangit.

Nebraska: lose again, unless Nebraska proves to be a house of cards. At this point, it looks possible. However, it's in Lincoln, and not being able to hang with USC doesn't mean they can't beat us. (That near loss to Ball State, though . . . .) On th other hand, because the Big XII North is terrible (seriously, you guys, what's your problem?!) and because Fran has to give us a glimmer of false hope (I think it's in his contract), maybe we will win.

Kansas: I don't think anybody has the information to predict the outcome of Kansas' conference schedule. They've been murdering cupcakes (in the grand snacktime tradition of Mark Mangino, I'm sure). What does that mean? Who knows? It's at home, but that didn't always work in our advantage last year. So I'm going to say: if we beat Nebraska the week before, we come in this game on a high and crash. Lose. If we lose to Nebraska the week before, we'll be desperate for a win and get it. Win.

So, with NU and KU combined, 1-1.

Oklahoma: The only question is going to be how bad we lose.

Missouri: Again, the north is bad. As usual, I think Mizzou will collapse, defying high expectations yet again. Still, it's at their place, and they may be mad about us beating them last year. Lose.

t.u.: They're not that good--by their standards. We're at Kyle--but they won't be happy about last year in Austin. Even the Fran-wants-to-make-my-head-explode-by-evading-firing-by-beating-texas mojo won't pull it out this year, and we will lose.

So, I see the Ags going 3-5 in conference, for a 6-6 record overall. Depending on how the rest of the conference does, maybe good enough for the My Mom Said I Could Have Some People Over So I Invited a Couple Teams to Play in My Backyard Bowl.

Good enough for Fran to keep his job? I hope not.
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Official Fran Vendetta: Day 2

I signed the Fire Fran Petition probably over a year ago, and today they sent me an email, urging me to invite all my friends, neighbors, co-workers, loved ones, pets, acquaintances, former pen pals, and people I see on the street to sign it as well.

In lieu of all that forwarding, I give you the link:

And you'll find this video there, but it's too funny for me not to post it here.

Click here to read more . . .

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oh, College Football, Why Do You Taunt Me So?

The day after losing a football game pretty darn decisively, there can be some fairly embarrassing headlines for sports stories. A sample (without links [except for the one I think is really pretty good]--if you want them, you can find them on Texags):

"Miami outclasses No. 20 A&M"

"A&M blown away in Miami"

"A&M gets flattened at Miami"

"A&M still suffers from stage fright"

"Aggies trip on big stage again"

And, worst of all:


Oh, and veering off-topic onto some much-needed ranting . . . this isn't a headline, merely a quote from our OWN HEAD COACH: "We just got beat," coach Dennis Franchione said. "We got beat by a better team."

WHAT?!? Say it was an off night, that we had it in us to win, but our O-line or our special teams or something--anything--just didn't quite perform up to par. It doesn't have to be true! You're admitting that a team that got SHELLACKED by your DIVISION RIVAL Oklahoma is just plain better. C'mon, man! Coachspeak! Can't you do ANYTHING right?!

In case you're wondering, Fran, our truce is over. I officially hate you so, so bad again now. OFFICIALLY.
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, September 17, 2007


Jim Broadbent isn't somebody I think about, usually, in the course of everyday life. Alan Rickman, yes; William Daniels, heck yes; even Bill Nighy has intruded into non-entertainment spheres of my existence.

But when Jim Broadbent does occur to me, I inevitably realize: that guy is awesome. I mean, let's talk versatility. The same guy was Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge

and Bridget Jones's dad!

I don't know if that impresses you, but it sure impresses me.

All this is to say that I was pretty pleased today when Mugglenet informed me that he's going to be playing Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. He's not quite roly-poly enough, that's true, but A) Robbie Coltrane isn't nine feet tall, either (and let's not even start on the color of Dan Radcliffe's eyes), and B) he's going to rock it, I promise.

(Do you think we'll get to see Jim Broadbent as a sofa?)
Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, September 16, 2007

About a Link

My dad was asking me about my link over there on the side to BlondeChampagne. I don't know the author in a non-internet sense, although I feel like (after having read even the archives of her blog) we'd have a fair amount to talk about if we ever met. She's a college writing instructor/freelance writer, and I found her blog through two of the funniest things I ever read on MSN (back when I checked my hotmail more than twice a month). And though I've linked to them before, I'm sure, here they are again:

Professor Snape

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Both well worth the reading, I assure you.
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another Internet Picture

I can't make any comments about this. It is perfection unto itself.

Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Found Something Pretty on the Internets

Somebody at the game took this yesterday, put it on TexAgs, and now it's my desktop image.

Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Something Very Sad

For the first time, I'm . . . not perfectly happy with Stevie McGee.

(Note, though, that I'm not unhappy enough to quit calling him Stevie.)

Going from 19-0 at halftime against a mid-cupcake team to three overtimes? That's not all his fault. Heavens no. But my boy has got to learn how to pass.

Don't get me wrong: I love running quarterbacks, and I love Stevie's moxie. He's not afraid to keep the ball, get the first down, get knocked right over. But him rushing as much as his best running back? That's not sustainable, Stevie. You're going to get hurt. And once you're playing better teams, it's not going to work as well.

I didn't get to see the game (I assumed it wouldn't be on Wisconsin's Fox Sports, although it turns out I was wrong. Disappointed!), so maybe it's just that he can't find anybody to pass to? I don't know.

And I know he was probably completely wrung out after that hot humid monster of a game, but:

"You know what? I [am] so tired about hearing run game, pass game and all this bull crap," said McGee, who rushed for 124 yards. "All that other crap, that bull crap . . . whenever we lined up, we did whatever it took to win the game and we did that."

Actually, no you didn't. Sure, Jorvorskie got to the endzone when it counted most, but flushing a 19-point lead down the toilet? That does not jive with "whenever we lined up, we did whatever it took to win the game". You, Stevie, know as well as I do that what you did to win this game is not going to be good enough for almost all of the rest of them. I hope you and your boys turn this around, pumpkin, but I'm bracing myself for that not happening.

Gig 'em, Stevie. Please.

Edited to Add: Another note on today's game--after reading a bunch of this, I had to send my homeboy Bill Byrne (A&M's Athletic Director) this message:

Dear Mr. Byrne,
I am a diehard Aggie who lives very far away, and I therefore get really pumped when I can see my Ags on TV. That being said, I wish you wouldn't move any more early-season games to the afternoon for TV's sake. I've been hearing from people who were at the game that it was one of the most miserable experiences they've ever had. I know from experience that it's hard work, standing and screaming in the full sun for hours, and I feel really bad for the people who did it today. The student-athletes of course had a terrible time as well, even with trained professionals and equipment to take care of them. But nobody's taking care of the 12th Man, Mr. Byrne. But reasonable game times would be a good effort on your part.
Rachel Campbell
Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2005

Now, upon re-reading it, I regret beginning two sentences in a row with "but." However, I do not regret laying it on kind of thick. I remember the Tech game in 2002, which didn't sound nearly as awful as this one, and it was truly just about the hardest I've ever worked, trying to keep up with my full volume in full sun and Texas heat.
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, September 3, 2007

If Only I Could Really Do Justice to His Adorableness . . .

I know this didn't have to be its own separate post, but since I was dissatisfied with the work of others . . . I made my own South Park Jim Tressel.

Mostly, I used this site, but I did have to modify him on my own (for some reason, sweater vests aren't a standard option for the make-your-own South Park thing).

P.S. I know the logo is totally lame, but what do you want from me? All I have to do this kind of thing is Paint. And Paint is no Photoshop, that's for sure.
Click here to read more . . .

Variations on a Theme

After I found those Big XII coaches-as-South-Park-characters, I went looking for more. I was not as successful at finding people-as-South-Park-characters as I had hoped, but I did find a few things.

There are actually several sets of SouthParkified football coaches. My favorite example is the Big T(elev)en coaches (with Jim Tressel not looking nearly adorable enough, but sufficiently sweater-vested). Click here to see it full-sized--it's really pretty well done.

I also found Jane Austen (and some Jane Austen characters).

And a parody of those "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC"commercials.

. . . But my favorite result of the search is still the composite sketch of the four kids from an episode of South Park.

That was actually my desktop image for awhile. Because it's so great.

Click here to read more . . .

A Questionable Purchase

So . . . I just spent 10 American dollars on The Very Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. You know. The high-pitched guys.

Here's what happened: I used to think that the Four Seasons were good for making fun of. Exclusively. But then, once I got my satellite radio, I realized there were several songs of theirs that I got a kick out of listening to, so I tagged them as a favorite so I'd get alerted whenever they were on. And you know what? Every time they're on, I listen, and I enjoy it. Is that so wrong?

So now I have the whole thing on iTunes.

And I'm pretty happy about it.

P.S. Another thing I'm happy about? There's a new Terry Pratchett book coming out on September 18th! I'm so glad I went to Amazon to research this blog entry!

P.P.S. Speaking of things Amazon knows I like (it's a little creepy how good at that it is), how have I not bought Season 3 of House yet?
Click here to read more . . .


This just in from


A&E will be premiering its Weird Al Biography special on October 11 at 10 PM Eastern.

Awesome! This should be a good replacement for that VH1 Behind the Music from 1999 or so that still ends with mild sadness that he's single. Because now he's got him a wife and a bebbe and everything.
Now I just have to con someone with cable into letting me watch it. Yay!
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, September 1, 2007

In the Spirit of Football . . .

Whilst I was looking for pictures of Mark Mangino to illustrate to a friend how gigantic he is (as you do), I found a picture of all the Big XII coaches as South Park characters. Enjoy.

Click here to read more . . .