Saturday, September 30, 2006

Media Bias

I normally try to avoid complaining about how the sports media is "out to get us".  I'm sure that any Auburn fans who watched College Football Gameday this morning were screaming at the TV as the three hosts came to a consensus agreement that Auburn most definitely was not the second best team in the nation.  But, honestly, after the last two games I don't think that we are either.  And, really, most teams feel that way at one point or another.  I've read many letters to the editor from fans of Ohio St., LSU, Miami, Florida St., and other schools that have had fantastic success yet still feel that the media is trying to hold them down.

But astute readers will notice a key word in the previous paragraph.  That word is "most".  There are a couple of teams that the media does love without reservation.  Teams like Notre Dame, USC, and, especially, the University of Alabama.

I'm watching the Alabama/Florida game.  It is currently halftime with Alabama up 10-7.  On the whole, Alabama has looked like the better team.  And I have learned many interesting facts.  Did you know that Alabama reciever Tyrone Prothro was "without question, the best player in the SEC" before his injury.  Or that Mike Shula was "one of the top coaches in the SEC", with a 5 minute discourse defending his decisions in the final minutes and overtime of the Arkansas game last weekend (Run up the middle 3 times and let your kicker who has already missed twice try a 45 yarder.  Brilliant!!).  But my personal favorite was when they favorably compared QB John Parker Wilson to Tom Brady.

But, as I often say to anyone who starts complaining about the media, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, as long as Auburn wins, I'm happy.  Especially when that win will be the fifth in a row over a rival at Jordan-Hare Stadium West (located in beautiful Tuscaloosa, AL).

Monday, September 25, 2006

An Unwarranted Disclaimer

I have been known, from time to time, to call All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren my favorite book of all time.  If it's not, it's certainly in the mix.  So it was with great trepidation that I approached the recent film inspired by said novel.  In the past, some of my favorite books have been made into great movies (Lord of the Rings) and not so great (I, Robot).  I have also been disappointed by very good movies because I had previously read the book, which was better (Jurassic Park).  This particular adaptation has met with tremendously bad reviews (11% positive at

Well, I didn't think it was that bad.  It did, however, feel like a Reader's Digest version of the book.  Warren's novel is incredibly dense (and I mean that in the best possible way).  The previous (Oscar winning) adaptation handled this by focusing almost entirely on the political aspects of the story.  This one tried to cram most everything into just over two hours, so a lot of the scenes lacked the resonance and impact that they should have had.

But I'm not really hear to review the film.  Instead, I want to take issue with something that I noticed in the ending credits.

At the end of the movie, after all the actors' and crew's names had rolled by, there was the fairly standard disclaimer that "The characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity with real people and events is mere coincidence ".  You'll see that phrase or something similar at the end of most movies.

Only, this time, it is not at all true.

All The King's Men is most definitely and purposefully based on the life of Huey P. Long, former governor of Louisiana.  I wrote a term paper for my Great Books II class about just how closely Warren used Long's life as a model for his novel.  If you read a biography of Long, be prepared to have many of the events of the film (or novel) spoiled for you.

I know they use that disclaimer for legal purposes, so that they can't be sued by someone claiming the movie was based on their life.  But I still find it amusing that they would use it in this case where it certainly is not true.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Noble Plan Gone Awry

If you examine me on a genetic level, you would see that I am mostly composed of genes earned from my father's Page family.  Not only do I look like a Page, I have the same laid back, easy going attitude that my father exhibits.  I have very little of my mother's much more hot-blooded Bates heritage. 

Well, except for one thing.

I do have a very strong stubborn streak.  Especially when I become faced with the fact that I made a bad decision.  I would rather go down with the ship than admit defeat.  Sometimes I am able to control such a feeling.  But today was not such a day.

Today there was a blood drive at the student union.  I am a regular blood donor, so of course I decided to stop by and drop a pint during my lunch break between classes.  I arrived at the Foy ballroom at about 12:15, an hour and forty-five minutes before my next class.  Plenty of time, right?

Well, I didn't realize it, but they had allowed people to make appointments beforehand.  So, there was one line for appointments and one line for walk-ins.  And the appointment line was backlogged.  Still, they said the wait would only be an hour to an hour and a half.  No problem.

Fast forward to 1:50.  I really need to be heading to my Software Architecture class.  I have moved forward three spots in line.  This is where the stubbornness kicks in.  I'd be damned if I was going to just pick up and leave after I'd been sitting there for an hour and a half.  Dr. Hamilton would get over it.

Fast forward to 3:20.  I really need to be heading to my Information Security class.  But I'm at the front of the line!  I can't leave now!  Not after 3 freaking hours!  So I continued to sit through another class.

Finally, at 3:35 my name was called.  My blood was let, and I received my sticker and free t-shirt.  I actually could have made it for the last 45 minutes of class.  Yeah.  Like that was going to happen.

So, nameless stranger.  Enjoy the blood.  It should do you well, even if it is tainted by frustration and stubbornness.

Friday, September 01, 2006

War Eagle

I love Auburn.  For many reasons, but here's the latest.  

I went to the liquor store today.  (I had to buy whiskey for my super special grilling sauce, mom.)  Anyway, the first thing I noticed when I arrived was that the lot was full.  I literally had to circle around waiting for someone to leave just so I could park.  Once I got inside, there were four cash registers open and lines at each.

And this was at two in the afternoon.

This can really only mean one thing.  Football is in the air.  And we War Eaglers know how to tailgate proper.

Go Tigers!