Friday Fives: Clemson takes over

A fistful of comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports.

Just wondering: Considering the seismic events of this season, is the Richter Scale now the measure of how much the earth moves every time Georgia loses a football game?

Let the moderately sized Tiger eat

Clemson's Dabo Swinney, in full. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, in full. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

If Clemson is the top-seeded college football team in the land, then surely the humble and the blue-collar are inheriting the earth.

And, I for one want to live in such a place. A place where boxed mac and cheese is haute cuisine.

I want to live in a place where the soap opera is on the same plane as the regular, fat-lady-in-a-horned-helmet opera.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where none of the movies have subtitles and all of the books have real short chapters?

A place where Jeff Foxworthy is the poet laureate.

And certainly preferable is a place where a coach named Dabo is all the rage, while all the swells at places like Ohio State and Alabama chase him.

Ah, but the myth of the first playoff poll    

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is why Clemson is on top. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is why Clemson is on top. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Be warned, however, that Clemson’s position atop 2015’s first playoff rankings is written in sidewalk chalk.

November’s rankings mean about as much as last week’s weather forecast. These things at this stage, invented purely as an irritant to provoke pearls of discussion, have the half-life of a YouTube cat video.

Consider the first-ever set of rankings that came out last year. Half of the anything-but-final-four teams were from Mississippi; and both Ole Miss and Mississippi State fell out of the equation quickly thereafter.

And where was the eventual champion on that entry-level poll? Ohio State was 16th, saddled with an early loss and barely in the discussion. FSU was the only playoff team in the top four in that first poll. The others were at No. 5 (Oregon) and No. 6 (Alabama).

So, Tigers people, enjoy the view, but be very uncomfortable.

A World Series to remember, if I only could

Jonny Gomes whips the crowd into what passes for a frenzy in Kansas City. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jonny Gomes whips the crowd into what passes for a frenzy in Kansas City. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Rumor has it that some team from the midsection won the World Series, and it wasn’t St. Louis.

Between various football games and a need to get the minimum amount of sleep required to survive, there was scarce little time to watch baseball. They say the ratings were boffo, but for the life of me I don’t know who could stay with every Kansas City comeback.

But here’s to former Brave Kris Medlen, a guy who was not much of a factor in the postseason but deserves a ring for persevering through two Tommy John surgeries.

And, to a much lesser extent, here’s to former Braves rental Jonny Gomes, who didn’t let the fact that he was not even on the Royals World Series roster stand in the way of giving a raucous speech at the victory parade. If the Braves ever win anything again, it might be worth bringing him back just to be master of ceremonies.

An excerpt of Gomes’ rant (picture him holding a giant American flag as he speaks):

“Guess what? Cy Young winner – not on our team. Beat him,” Gomes said, probably referring to Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.

“Rookie of the Year – not on our team. We beat him (guess that to be Houston’s Carlos Correa).

“MVP of the whole league – sorry, guys, not on our team. But we beat that guy too (Toronto’s Josh Donaldson, likely).

“Y’all want to be politically correct. I’m the unpolitically correct person. We whupped their ass!” Gomes concluded, who then threw the mic into the crowd for emphasis.

Now, that was memorable (although who knows if Gomes could recall it the next day).

Bumper cars

Matt Kenseth (rear) exacts his retribution on Joey Logano. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Matt Kenseth (rear) exacts his retribution on Joey Logano. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

A lot of real racing people seemed to think that NASCAR sent the wrong message by suspending Matt Kenseth for two races after he blatantly took out Joey Logano at Martinsville last week.

They seemed concerned that on one hand the governing body had previously encouraged its drivers to “have at it,” in the mode of the old-time drivers who settled their grudges on the track. Then to turn around and punish Kenseth appeared to them to be hypocritical.

But this from an admittedly haphazard racing person: They didn’t punish Kenseth enough. He’s still eligible to race at the season finale in Homestead, while he should have been banished for the rest of the season.

For a driver out of contention in both the series playoffs and that individual race (Kenseth) to take out a driver positioned to win his fourth straight race (Logano) was a travesty. Don’t care what his beef with Logano was. Non-factor Kenseth reshaped the entire playoff race with his crass/crash maneuver.

Why should Kenseth be allowed back on the track at all this season, where he can only be potential trouble again?

Does this man look like he needs a helper monkey?

The Cowboys Dez Bryant is all healed up and healthy again. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Cowboys Dez Bryant is all healed up and healthy again. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys are up to their helmet star in issues this season, but early this week what were they talking about? Dez Bryant’s monkey.

The Cowboys receiver sent out an Instagram picture of himself with his new baby capuchin monkey, and much turmoil ensued.

PETA was not amused, but then, it never is.

The organization actually had a point this time, its spokesman saying, “Monkeys belong in the wild – not in the hands of football players who acquire exotic animals just to make a splash on Instagram.”

Having lost five straight and preparing for a Sunday prime time game against Philadelphia, coach Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones both were compelled to weigh in on Dez Bryant’s monkey.

As you might expect, Jones was the picture of compassion for all of God’s living creatures.

“I am a monkey fan. I can stand in a zoo and look at them all day long and die laughing,” he said.

Now, we can barely wait for Bryant’s next Instagram post, the photo of him standing next to the cage where he keeps Micky Dolenz (kids, ask someone much older).

Reader Comments 0


Steve, Kenseth's little Beef with Logano was when Logano spun and wrecked him while Kenseth was leading a race late at Kansas. Logano basically ended Kenseth's season by wrecking him. If the little twerp would have been patient and raced Kenseth Correctly he may have still passed him and won the race. Kenseth's move at Richmond was deliberate and he should be penalized ,but Steve don't make Logano out to be an innocent victim in this he got what he deserved . Karma is a Bit##

I see where you said you were not a big Nascar fan, so I can see where you thought Kenseth was a non entity in the Chase, he is because of the fact that he was put out of contention by Logano's actions in Kansas.Do a little research and you would understand the BEEF Kenseth had with Logano.


Steve ,

As a certain ESPN football Talking Head would say "COME ON MAN" !!!!!! Am I your only reader 5 posts and I have made three of them. It does not look good for the new format. I hope you are in an editorial board meeting this morning , because the new pay for view format is a failure.


Sorry Steve looks like I was wrong. Looks like my comment was the first of just three comments. Looks like someone in the editorial department miscalculated again. Thirty cents a day may just be too much for your fans to pay to post on your blog.


Another blog moved to  So what's the point of still having around?


NASCAR needs to ease up and let them fight it out on the track. NASCAR is so PC now people have stopped caring. 


Let me be the first of many to comment on Steve's blog. You can thank me later ,Steve. Geaux Tigers!!!