Oct 01

Legal Weed in Mississippi?

A group is filing a petition in Mississippi to have legalizing weed put to the voters. My Republican friends (nearly everyone I know) already think I am a Marxist card carrying liberal so it should come as no surprise that I think weed should absolutely be legal in this country. That being said, this initiative has about as much of a chance at being passed in Mississippi as Roberta the town whore has in getting elected mayor. You see, Roberta is liked well enough in the community but we can’t admit that publicly. Definitely not in the church house come Sunday morning.

I wasn’t paying a whole heckuva lot of attention to this (because I know it’s a lost cause) but a “friend” on Facebook brought it to my attention. He posted an article about it and said something to the effect of “If you are for this, unfriend me now”. Well hell. You don’t have to ask me twice. I am always looking to cull folks from Facespace. I ain’t even remotely mad about it. We were only work acquaintances (he’s a cop) and I have said many times that life is too short to be getting pissed off all the time on social media. He did us both a favor.

I have had numerous arguments about legalizing marijuana over the years. The funny thing is that opponents have no good argument. Seriously. The only two I have heard that hold any water at all is “That it’s already illegal.” My problem with this is that it never should have been illegal in the first place. Alcohol is legal. In 18 years of running EMS calls, I can not count the number of calls I ran that involved alcohol. I have never been on ONE call where being high on weed was the problem. Unless eating the house out of Cheetos is an emergency. Folks arguing against weed legalization would have been the same folks upholding prohibition and breaking barrels of whiskey with axes. We should be clear about that. Not only is alcohol legal, we actively support it’s abuse. How many bars do you pass on your way home from work? How many cars are in the parking lots? How do you suppose all those people are getting home?

The second excuse they use and the most popular is that marijuana is a gateway drug. I am sure it is for some people. The same way some folks that like shooting guns end up shooting people. Look people, being BORN is the gateway drug. Life is a tough sonofabitch. Some folks deal with this differently from other folks. It’s almost as if we are all different people. Do some people move on from marijuana to other harder drugs? Sure. Do some people use weed for most of their adult lives without starting to shoot crap in their veins? Yep. Do some folks, like me, try it a few times in college and never again? Yep.

I just don’t get the hypocrisy. If you against any and all drugs (alcohol, tobacco, prescription pain killers, caffeine etc), I think you are a weirdo but I respect you.

If you think alcohol is ok and smoking one plant (tobacco) is ok but smoking another should send you to prison, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you to GFY.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/legal-weed-in-mississippi/

Sep 30

Write On, Brother

Quote of the Day:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”     –Ernest Hemingway

TB has been at this writing thing now, in earnest more or less, going on eight years. I enjoy it. I love the MTG and it’s little universe of folk and the interaction we have when the place is rocking.

But the whole idea back when I started “a blog” was to work my way around to writing the book I have long felt locked up inside my increasingly-addled brain. I haven’t done that yet and one thing I have learned over these years is that there is nothing so obnoxious as to tell about how you are “working on a book.” Therefore…..

…..I am not going to tell you about how close I finally am to accomplishing this lifelong goal. I am not getting in to how I realized over time that a novelist I am not. Nor will you read about how I for the first time have a clear vision of what my book will be like, that being a collection of essays, most of which have been written on this page as first drafts and the remainder of which are well outlined in my head. Above all I am not going to tell you that come hell or high water I am going to finish this thing before my next birthday.

What I will mention, because you asked, is that for the first time my words have been published in the outside world.

It all started at a birthday party for a friend of my daughter’s. I was snooping around, looking at the wealth of well-worn books haphazardly lining the shelves in the family den. These books were not for show. As I was admiring the treasures, the little girl’s Mom came in the house and we began talking about our common interests in the literary way. She told me she’d read some of my essays here and had I read David Sedaris? I had not, so she explained that we have much in common in style and background except that he used to be a junkie, lives in France, has half a dozen best sellers to his credit and is a homosexual.

She pressed one of his books on me and I took it home, dubious about our commonality. Which brings us back to me not telling you about how his template is the one I am currently mimicking to some degree.

No, the point of this, if I can stop digressing, is that my friend also asked, upon learning of my affinity for Ernest Hemingway if I would be interested in reading For Whom the Bell Tolls and summarizing it for her. It seems that she was engaged to write a series of books on famous authors, summarizing their major works, lives and impact. And she hates For Whom the Bell Tolls.

I liked it twenty years ago when I read it the first time, so I said “sure.”

Well, now the book is out. The Little Book of Hemingway by Nicole Valaire. Plus a few pages written by TB. It is sort of a survey course for adults on Hemingway and it’s really good and hey, only $2.99 on Kindle! Buy it from the MTG portal to support Be Excellent to a Stranger.

I urge you to punch it in to the Amazon search window on your left and check it outIMG_6418.

For my labor I was generously compensated with a copy of the book, signed editions of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls” by David Sedaris and an inordinate boost to my self esteem. Inside the front cover of the “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is the inscription, “Dear Ben, I’m so happy you’re alive.  –David Sedaris.”

All of which is to say, Nicole, a Yale graduate with a degree in comparative literature, published author and veteran of the Manhattan publishing world has offered to edit my book. The one I’m working on but, exercising discretion, I won’t tell you about.

Ok, I’ll tell you one little thing. The title is Trainstopping.

But you didn’t hear about it from me.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/write-on-brother/

Sep 28

Les Miles Is (Really) Cold Natured

For years, people have talked about Les Miles as the Mad Hatter. He eats grass. He calls trick plays. You never know what he’s going to do. As an Ole Miss fan, I mainly think of him as a terrible clock manager. I heard that he once called a time out before the opening kick off. But I digress. Actually, can you digress if you’ve not yet established a point? I don’t know. I think that was another digression.

Take a look at this picture.Les+Miles+Mississippi+State+v+LSU+xL6mTss-a0bl

Les Miles is wearing a long sleeve pullover. (As usual.) Take a look at every other person in the frame. They are all wearing short sleeves. That’s because, unlike Les Miles, these people dress according to the weather. This particular game was played in September. In the Deep South. It was hot. It was humid.

Thus, I find myself wondering, What draft of cold air does Les Miles feel that no one else in the stadium feels? How is it that in any stadium in the country, there can be a chill in the air only around Les Miles?

“Aren’t you cold,” asked Les Miles.

“No, coach. It’s 92 degrees and the humidity makes it feel like we’re in southeast Asia,” the assistant coach replied.

“I don’t know. I just can’t get warm. It’s like there’s a jet stream of coldness bearing down on me,” said Miles.

People speculate that Les Miles will one day leave LSU to coach at Michigan. It’ll never happen. If Miles needs a long sleeve pullover when the temperature drops below 115, he’ll die in a Michigan winter

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/les-miles-is-really-cold-natured/

Sep 25

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 5 (Dak Valley edition)

Quote of the DAY:

I’ve got a Tiger by the tail it’s plain to see.”     –Buck Owens, via Nelson

Well well well here we are all together again.

First things first. TB did something no Thursday Picker in his or her right mind should ever do. I changed my POTW from Bama to South Carolina Saturday morning. For that sin, I lost my POTW. On the upside, I went 4-1 on bonus picks and oh by the way, DAK VALLEY.

The MTGU had it’s first bad week of the season going 11-16 on POTW’s. Wanna know why it was so bad? In a word, DAK VALLEY. On the season we are still a healthy 57-46-2.

On Bonus picks the MTGU posted a 39-26 mark, now 125-90. I bet even Dak would be impressed.

Folly Jon and Flyin’ J won the week with POTW winners and 4-1 bonus records. Nelson gets song of the week and Sweet’s Hank Williams homage gets the points for List. Pitalo and Nelson pick up 5 points for hitting the biggest Dogs O’the Week. But the real winner this week was, of course, DAK VALLEY.

One of the best things about DAK VALLEY has been the haters. My god how I relish the taste of sweet sweet grass infused Tiger tears and the reminder of how much, like all civilized folk, I loathe that bunch. ‘Course the haters have come out much closer to home as well, always enjoy that too. I’m looking at you Irvine Redd and you too Folly Jon. They think the Bullies are mean. Cruel, even. All because of one–err–two little stomps–I mean accidents, which by the way would not have occurred at all if so many Tigers hadn’t been lying flat on their backs all night.

So, anyway, here are last week’s standings and remember, the top 11 won their POTW’s and bonus picks only are in parentheses:

  1. Flyin’ J  (4-1)             68
  2. Folly J (4-1)               68
  3. RSR                          62
  4. MD                             62
  5. Harmony                    62
  6. Fig E. Fresh               62
  7. SmilyJ                         62
  8. Coach TeaJay            62
  9. Sweet (3-2, LOTW)     61
  10. BW Buzz (3-2)            56
  11. SDog (1-2)                  44
  12. Pitalo (4-1, dotw)         43
  13. TB (4-1)                      38
  14. Fish (4-1)                    38
  15. Big Ed (2-1)                 26
  16. Tiny D (2-2)                 20
  17. Irvine Redd (2-2)         20
  18. RJ (2-2)                       20
  19. Nelson (1-2, sotw)      19
  20. Krebs (1-2)                  14
  21. Kitchen P (0-1)             14
  22. The Daily Wit (2-3)       14
  23. BR                                10
  24. JLou                             10
  25. Face                              10
  26. Mac                               10
  27. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  10

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                          258
  2. Folly Jon                   218
  3. SDog                         206
  4. Mac                           201
  5. Kitchen P                  200
  6. BW Buzz                   200
  7. SmilyJ                      196
  8. TB                            188
  9. CoachTeaJay           183
  10. Sweet                       179
  11. Flyin’ J                      176
  12. Tiny D                       171
  13. Nelson                      163
  14. RJ                             160
  15. MD                            156
  16. Big Ed                       155 (Big Ed, I gave you the points for “Kent”. Please refer to them as Kentucky from now on so I know who you mean.)
  17. Fish                           148
  18. Face                          144
  19. Irv                              144
  20. Fig                              144
  21. Harmony                    139
  22. Pitalo                         137
  23. Krebs                         116
  24. TDW                          102
  25. JLou                           92
  26. TKH                            72
  27. BR                               40
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  10

Here are my picks of the week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Rutgers  -11.5
  • Maryland  +3.5
  • Notre Dame  -9
  • Washington St +13.5
  • Texas A&M  -8.5

POTW  S. Carolina  -4.5

And here’s my weekend DAK VALLEY backlash playlist:

  • They Hate Me – Peter Cooper (no video online, but worth a listen if you click the link)
  • I Hate Myself for Loving You– Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  • Cruel – Dropkick Murphys
  • Mean Street — Van Halen

SOTW–Stomp and Holler – Hayes Carll

07 They Hate Me


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-5-dak-valley-edition/

Sep 22

Relive the MSU Victory in Dak Valley with TB

Quote of the Day: 

“I believed it myself.”     –Dak Prescott, being asked what he would’ve thought if told MSU was going to beat LSU before the season

Now, y’all didn’t think I was gonna let this week go by without a post about the cataclysmic goins-on in Baton Rouge last weekend, did you? ‘Course not.

But here the thing. I can’t do it. This was big. Really big. I was there back in 1999 when we beat the Tigers at Scott Field. I was there the previous two times we beat them too–1990, my sophomore year at State and down in Death Valley in 1991 with SmilyJ. Other than those few years, nada. O-fer this century. I’d lost (almost) all hope that we’d ever beat LSU again. Auburn? We get them every now and then. Bama? They are the gold standard, but nobody plays them tougher than us. LSU. Forget it.

Until now. Until Dak.

So I could tell you all about how it makes me feel, but I thought I’d show you instead. Here’s a look at my twitter feed from Saturday with a few comments you will recognize in bold added as of this writing to give you an idea of what was going on in the moment. It’s sort of different and i don’t know if it really works or not, but hope you enjoy time travelin’ roller coaster ride with me.


Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

I was too nervous to tweet until State scored on the first drive of the game. 

FlabLoser @FlabLoser ·

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Pour it on! #Dakattack 98 MF’n yards.

Dogs go up 14-0. TB finishes first beer.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Fellow bulldogs.1. assume NOTHING. 2.Do not change seats. 3.Do not pee. 4.Do not channel surf. 5.Don’t shift your weight. 6. ASSUME NOTHING.

It was gonna take a total, universal Bulldog effort. Somehow we were aligned so as to please the gods of football and I didn’t want anyone messing with the delicate balance.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
more points more points more points

Bulldog Sports Radio @BulldogsRadio ·

Captured my feelings and thoughts perfectly.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
two down territory–DakAttack DakAttack DakAttack–I don’t believe they can stop him twice

We Bullies didn’t trust our kicker. They call him Sobes.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
hells bells, gotta kick. Come on sobes

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Never doubted it–now BUSTEMUP DEEEEE

Robbie Faulk @robbiefaulk247 ·
Internet explodes for Sobes

Sobes puts it right down the middle.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
I’m not greedy Dak, just give me two first downs and a decent punt right here. ‘course, if you’re feeling generous…..

Robbie Faulk @robbiefaulk247 ·
Big part of the game here from MSU. Last year they lost momentum in games in the last few minutes of the half.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
good hold Bullies, now just run this half out safely

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Li’l Scamp just came in, “who’s playing.” Bulldogs & Tigers I say. “Tigers are winning, right.” Nope I say. (not yet anyway)

Kid was on thin ice.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
oh dak, no………cue Kellenburger btw

Dak forces a forward pass, very nearly intercepted. Kellenburger is the Ole Miss beat writer who wrote a column saying Dak was overrated because he NEARLY threw some interceptions last season.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
shoulda ran the damn clock out

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
really, really need to dial up a td coming out of the half #captainobvioussayssomethingobvious

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Does Dak really have the “it” factor we’ve been hearing about all summer? If so, he’ll show it after the kickoff.

On the previous series, Dak fumbled and the Tigers scored to make the score 17-10, State. For months it has become a cliche that Dak has the “IT” factor that makes him a great leader. Now was the time to show us if that was just talk, or, you know, he had “IT.”

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
completely rattled.

Turns out we were not completely rattled. Tiger Stadium, for the moment was going berserk as LSU’s defense turned up the heat.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Great call dan

Dogs got a huge first down on a brilliant counter/screen play.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Haven’t seen JRob in awhile

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

Dak breaks off an epic, for the ages, brilliant 56 yard run, Heisman posing not in the End Zone, but while stiff arming a hapless Tiger to the ground to break free. Yep, Dak has “IT” alright.

Daniel Bütler @RunDanRun26 ·
#DakAttack #HailState

FlabLoser @FlabLoser ·
#DakDynasty #HailState

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Alright now. Chris Jones. Preston Smith. BMac. BBrown. STEPUP

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
If y’all think it’s loud in Death Valley, you should try to withstand the noise in my living room right now without plugs #HailState

Spencer Hall @edsbs ·
Cousin Eddie is emptying his shitter directly into your living room, LSU.

Tweet of the night.

Spencer Hall @edsbs ·

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

Dak’s second signature moment. He escapes a sack, scrambles left, throws across his body and hits Jameon Lewis for 74 yard touchdown pass. 

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Goddangit Bulldog fans…..it’s still too soon. KEEP THE KARMA HAMMER DOWN

Idiotic State fans starting to get cocky on Twitter. And pretty much everywhere else too.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
I’m frightening the neighbors now even on Touchbacks #HailState #dakprescott

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
“I gotta lotta mo. I gotta lotta mo.” –Clubber Lang

Jocularity. Jocularity.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
just heard the Famous Maroon Band for the first time all night. #DeathValley #HailState oh CRAP #PRESTONSMITH All American!!!

MSU Defensive End Preston Smith got a sack while I was tweeting some stupid shit and I had to adjust mid-tweet.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Honestly, there CANNOT be 5 minutes still left in the third

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Here come the zebras #HailState

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

It was what I was talkin’ bout. 

Bob Carskadon @bobcarskadon ·
I’m running out of ways to tweet “Hey Dak did something good.”

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Dak is the leader and he’s showing IT. But this whole team is ballin’ tonight.

So Far.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Lotta football to play, but that Dak Fumble woulda killed a lot of previous MSU teams……


EVERY previous MSU team

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

I tweeted my awareness that the fourth quarter was nigh.

Bulldog Sports Radio @BulldogsRadio ·
Oh my. Oh my.

Sobes made another field goal.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
That started from the ONE. Scored earlier on a drive from the TWO.

Speechless, except #HailState

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
LSU looks like us, circa 2000-2013

They were rolling injured Tigers off the field almost every play.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

Bernardrick McKinney, All-American

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Still 3 scores. Gimme one more TD Dak

Bulldog Sports Radio @BulldogsRadio ·
Mckinney will have none of your two point converting, LSU.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Watch for the onsides kick. Only way the hatter wins this one is with big plays and gimmicks

FlabLoser @FlabLoser ·
Break. Their. Will.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Here come the long passes. Need some pressure.

We went into the damn prevent.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
On the count of seven, everybody. EVERYBODY say it all together: You Can WRAP IT, in MAROON and WHITE! #HailState even you @moosedog9501

State inside the LSU 10 yard line, first down. 34-16 lead. 3 minutes and a half left in the game. Yeah, it was finally safe to cut loose.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
They need to let JRob get 3 more.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Put the ! on this one Bullies

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Ok, well, a period will do too.

As soon as I tweeted to “Wrap it” Coach Mullen pulled the starting o-line and JRob, our tailback only 3 yards away from 200 on the night, inside the LSU 10. We would not score.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
I said not long ago, @DanMullen has built a great team. Now he needs to lead it.

He’s leading it tonight, baby. Complete performance.

Well, up to that point it was.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
I hate the damn prevent.

Hate. The. Damn. Prevent.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
starting to crash. Numb. Gonna take hours for this to sink in. What a night. #HailState Damn those Bulldog fans in #DakValley sound good too

The lead was insurmountable, short of some crazy ass voodoo.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
What the?!

State’s backup center snaps the ball over our QB’s head. LSU recovers.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·

Crazy ass voodoo. Suddenly, 34-29, one minute to go.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
god bless @MacGrifferous

Recovered the onside kick.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
open up one more hole big boys

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
come on Devin Bell and deep snapper guy….just boot it through the end zone

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Oh my god

LSU completes a long pass.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
please rush 4

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
put Dak in. I am NOT kidding.

Time for one more play. Tigers lining up for the Hail Mary. Shoulda put Dak in.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
I just lost at least a year off my life.

Totally Worth It.



Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
That was the biggest 5 point blowout that could’ve turned in to a loss I have ever seen. #HailState #DakValley

The Crxxm Diaries @CrxxmDiaries ·

Some excitement at the end, but there’s little doubt Mississippi State just put the SEC on notice. The Dogs are here to compete for a title.

FlabLoser @FlabLoser ·
Beat the refs. Beat the Tigers. Beat the Mad Hatter. Beat all the voodoo magic shit that tried a 4th Qtr comeback. #He15man #HailState

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
6-3. 3rd and 57. Texas 91. Immaculate Interception. Dr. Bo’s fumble. Arkansas 98.

This is right up there with ‘em.

#HailState #DakValley

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
I hope Leonard Fournette shook Daks hand after the game ’cause that’s the closest he’s getting to the Heisman for a coupla years #DakAttack

LSU hyped freshmen back posed for Heisman against ULaMo earlier in the season.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
just saw this stat on espn: LSU was 43-3 in night games in DakValley in the last 10 years. Now 43-4 #HailState

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
That football weekend coming up in 2 weeks…..Biggest EVER in Mississippi. Should be 4 unbeatens facing off in total.

Travellinbaen @Travellinbaen ·
Sitting in my chair scanning webs for bulldog talk, munching a chocolate chip cookie, espn, a big ass smile plastered on. #celebratingat44

I really wanted to go out drinkin’ with my ARB’s in this moment, but the old man celebration wasn’t too bad.

Scott Stricklin @stricklinMSU ·
“State didn’t just beat LSU. They trucked the Tigers, dominated them … This was no upset. The best team won.”

What a night.




Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/relive-the-msu-victory-in-dak-valley-with-tb/

Sep 18

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 4

Quote of the Week:

I make a motion of minus 5 pts for MDs unfamily-friendly and not classy “homage” to Jack.”     –Sweet

TB has been waiting for this week for nine months. MSU vs LSU. A battle of undefeated SEC West, um, heavyweights. Yeah, heavyweights! The Bullies led by our (trademarked) “Dark-horse Heisman” contending quarterback Dak Prescott and the Tigers by a true freshman-Heisman-poseur named Leonard. Six years in the making, this is MSU Coach Dan Mullen’s finest team, talented, deep and ready to grab the spotlight. Nine months I’ve been counting down to this game and it’s finally here…….

……annnnnnnnd I’m starting to think maybe the anticipation for once might be more enjoyable than the payoff. I’m not sure I want this game played after all.

Because as many of you know, State NEVER beats LSU. NEVER, as in twice in the last twenty-some years. Our best teams lose to their worst and our worst teams get annihilated by their best. But it wasn’t always thus….

…..In fact I WAS THERE back in Jackie Sherrill’s first year when we smacked the Tigers around down in Death Valley. I was even there the year before when Rockey Felker almost saved his job by beating them in Jackson.

Even better than those notable years was a glorious stretch from 1980-1983 when State beat the Tigers four years in a row, all four victories led by the Great Tigah-Killah John Bond, the only quarterback ever to beat LSU four times.

Well, since this game is gonna happen anyway, I might as well gird up for it. So I’m channeling 1980 today as you will see below.

As for TP, TB lost my first POTW last week to fall to 2-1 on the season. I went 3-2 on bonus picks, now 10-5 for the year. The MTGU went 14-12-1 on POTW’s and 29-27 on bonus selections and now rest at 46-30-2 and 86-64.

Mac won the week by going all in on them Bullies and winning Song of the Week. List of the week went to Tiny D. RJ and Pitalo won the biggest Dog o’the Week honors by picking East Carolina’s upset of Virginia Tech. Big Ed was the biggest loser with a 3-0 mark on bonus picks and he busted the curve to the benefit of RJ. Shout out to Smily and SDog for smaller DOTW’s.

And btw. If any’o’ya’ll see Larry, tell him I said duh-huh. He’ll know what you mean.

Here are last week’s results, the top 14 won their POTW, bonus picks only in parentheses. As always.

  1. Mac (SOTW)     67
  2. RSR                   62
  3. SmilyJ                62
  4. Irv                       62
  5. Kitchen P            62
  6. JLou                   62
  7. TKH (2-0)           62
  8. TDW (2-0)           62
  9. Nelson (3-1)        62
  10. Folly J (3-2)        56
  11. Sweet (3-2)         56
  12. SDog (1-2)          44
  13. Fish (1-3)            40
  14. RJ (0-4, dotw)     40
  15. Tiny D (1-1)         39
  16. Big Ed (3-0)        38
  17. TB  (3-2)              26
  18. Krebs (2-1)           26
  19. Flyin’ J (2-2-1)     20
  20. BW Buzz (2-3)     14
  21. MD (0-1)               14
  22. Harmony               10
  23. Fig E                     10
  24. Face                      10
  25. BR                          10
  26. TeaJay                    10
  27. Pitalo (1-4, dotw)     7

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                      196
  2. Mac                       191
  3. Kitchen P               186
  4. SDog                     162
  5. Tiny D                    151
  6. TB                          150
  7. Folly Jon                150
  8. BW Buzz                144
  9. Nelson                    144
  10. RJ                           140
  11. Face                       134
  12. Smily J                    134
  13. Irv                            124
  14. Tea Jay                   121
  15. Sweet                      118
  16. Fish                         110
  17. Flyin’ J                     108
  18. Krebs                       102
  19. Big Ed                     99
  20. MD                           96
  21. Pitalo                        94
  22. TDW                        88
  23. Fig E                        82
  24. JLou                        82
  25. Harmony                  77
  26. TKH                          72
  27. BR                            30

Here are my Picks of the Week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Missouri     -13.5
  • Alabama   -14
  • Texas A&M  -33.5
  • Rutgers       +6
  • Oklahoma  -7

POTW  S. Carolina  -21.5

And now, I invite you to sit back, close your eyes and travel with TB back to the Golden Era of MSU-LSU football:

  • All Night Long –Joe Walsh (where y’at Larry?)
  • The Long Run – Eagles (looking at you, Dak)
  • Cool Change – Little River Band (it’s time for one)
  • Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (a 1980 football anthem)


Back in Black – AC/DC (because, AC/DC)


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-4/

Sep 11

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 3 (the Jack Cristil edition)

Quotes of the Day:

“…..18 yards away from the land of milk and honey….”

“…..two receivers on the left, one on the right, the ball is equidistant from the sidelines……”

“…..the maroon jerseyed, white trousered, maroon head geared Bulldogs are moving left to right across your radio dial……”

“…..he CANNOT go!”


“……the six-tall180 pound wide receiver from Pontotoc….”

“……get YOUR maroon blazer at Iupe’s, on the square, in Canton.”

“……3 seconds, 2 seconds, 1, and you can WRAP IT, in Maroon and White!”

–Jack Cristil

We lost the great Jack Cristil this week, the Voice of the Bulldogs, last and best of the old line college football radio men. TB started listening to Jack in 1980. I was ten years old and State was good. Jack was already a legend by then, transmitting all the action in his unmatchable staccato-stoic style. Jack was never a cheerleader for the ‘Dogs, as everyone has said this week, but you never doubted where his allegiance lay. You knew it when he announced a touchdown, almost surprised it happened in his excitement, immediately scouring the field for flags and reporting their presence, or sometimes the lack thereof. You knew it too when he was frustrated, though he rarely criticized teams until the very last years, by the way he would intone “Pile Drives into the line once aGain for two yards, maybe three.” And of course you knew it when he announced at the end of games, not quite half of the time, “Wrap it in Maroon and White!”, capturing perfectly in voice the exultant relief we listeners felt in our hearts.

It is hard to believe Jack Cristil is gone. Sure he’d lived a long life and like everyone must at some point, he’d taken sick. But to so many of us, whether Bulldog fan or not, Jack embodied permanence, certainty, and excellence. Coaches came and went, and players, even entire eras passed and yet Jack was there every fall. Scrolling through the FM radio searching for his voice–you’d know it in an instant; driving through the October Delta night with no other car in sight; soothing a hangover floating in the cabin of a 25 foot Wellcraft in the Gulf of Mexico; an oasis of civilization blasting from the radios of dozens of tailgates in the Grove; Jack meant college football and vice versa; and his passing is among the strongest evidence of the inescapable mortality I have encountered.

TB won my Pick of the Week again last Thursday and went a sterling 4-1 on bonus selections. I am 2-0 and 7-3 on the young season. The MTGU is also off to a great start. As a Universe, we went an astronomical 19-4-1 last week. Nineteen. Four. and One. So after two weeks we are collectively 32-18-1. On bonus picks we went a stellar 30-14 last week, now 57-37 on the year. RJ, BW Buzz and TB tied for the weekly win by winning our POTW’s and going 4-1, which is the UCbMoLFSS standard for outpacing all-in players in the event of a loss. Tiny D’s 3-0 matched that and her unblemished mark merits her the top position on the board. RSR picked up her second straight List of the Week title and Coach TeaJay gets Song of the Week honors and his video featured on the MTG Facebook feed. Shout out to Big Ed for jumping back in last week and nailing Virginia Tech as the biggest Dog of the Week.

Here are last week’s standings, the top 19 won their POTW, bonus picks in parentheses.

  1. Tiny D  (3-0)           68
  2. RJ       (4-1)            68
  3. Buzz  (4-1)             68
  4. TB  (4-1)                 68
  5. RSR (LOTW)         67
  6. Flyin’ J (3-1)           62
  7. Mac                        62
  8. Face                       62
  9. MD                         62
  10. SmilyJ                    62
  11. Kitchen P               62
  12. Fig E                      62
  13. Big Ed (2-1, dotw) 61
  14. SDog (2-1)             56
  15. Pitalo (3-2)             56
  16. Folly Jon (2-1)        56
  17. Krebs (1-1)            50
  18. Fish (1-1)               50
  19. Coach tj (1-3,stow) 49
  20. Sweet (4-1)             48
  21. Nelson (3-1)           32
  22. TDW (2-1)              26
  23. JLou                       10
  24. BR                          10
  25. TKH                       DNP
  26. Rennie                   OUT
  27. IRV                        MIA
  28. Harmony                CAL

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                          134
  2. BW Buzz                   130
  3. Face                          124
  4. Mac                            124
  5. TB                              124
  6. Kitchen P                   124
  7. SDog                         118
  8. Tiny D                        112
  9. CTJ                            111
  10. RJ                              100
  11. Folly J                         94
  12. Flyin’ J                        88
  13. Pitalo                          87
  14. Nelson                        82
  15. Krebs                         76
  16. MD                             72
  17. Fig E                          72
  18. Smily J                       72
  19. Fish                            70
  20. Harmony                     67
  21. Irv                               62
  22. Sweet                         62
  23. Big Ed                        61
  24. TDW                           26
  25. BR                              20
  26. JLou                           20
  27. TKH                           10
  28. Rennie                       10

Here are my Picks of the Week and here’s your HandyDandy Link to the odds:

  • UMass  +16.5
  • Texas Tech  -1
  • Oklahoma St  -14
  • Florida  -18
  • Oklahoma  -21

POTW  Georgia  -6.5

My Tunes this weekend:

  • The Jack — AC/DC
  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Stones
  • Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts – Bob Dylan
  • Jack and Diane – John Cougar Mellencamp

SOTW – Radio, Radio  – Elvis Costello

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-3-the-jack-cristal-edition/

Sep 04

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 2

Quote of the Week:Luscious didn’t pull such nonsense at Beach Elementary School.”     –Madd Dawg

So we’re off and running on another season of Thursday Pickin’ and other than the Florida-Idaho game droppin’ a no-show on us, not unlike Luscious Larry, things went rather well.

TB won my Pick of the Week and went 3-2 on bonus picks to start the year. Overall, the MTGU went 13-14 on Picks of the Week and 27-23 on bonus selections. Pitalo got the Dog of the Week with Penn State. And a big welcome to an actual former fighter pilot who flew in to the game last week. Along with Larry, Big Ed and The Daily Wit were MIA, sadly. On the flip side, Fig was back. Back again.

List of the Week honors go to RSR for pulling out 5 songs to honor the Temple of Doom theme for year VII of TP. Song of the Week, as chosen by RSR goes to Harmony. The extra points pushed them out to shared weekly honors. Remember to shout out what tunes you like TP’ers and you can have a say next week.

On an even more important note, if that’s possible, TB’s Bullies whipped up on Southern Miss last weekend 49-0 and Dak Prescott and the boys showed every reason to keep the preseason expectations alive for just a bit longer. But. But there is this thing about Mississippi State and State fans that perhaps all of you are not hip to. It’s not just a Murphy’s Law type thing though to be sure we’re conditioned to the fact that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. No, it’s much more. It’s Dead Indians. Yep. Legend has it that Scott Field, Home of the Bullies, is built upon an ancient Indian burial ground and the natives ain’t happy about it. Thus, not only can anything you can imagine possibly go wrong, but a multitude of misfortune you never saw coming is also to be expected. So it was with practiced chagrin last night that I read the message boards and saw the rumor that several playmakers, including potentially legendary QB Dak Prescott were suffering various injuries.

Now, I don’t know if the rumor is true, and if it is true if the situation is serious. What I do know is, I’m paying homage to the American Indian today for all I’m worth.

First though, the standings after last week–remember, POTW’s are the top 14 and ONLY bonus picks are in parentheses:


  1. Harmony (all-in + SOTW)   67
  2. RockStarRambler (LOTW) 67
  3. SDog (3-1)                         62
  4. BW Buzz  (3-1)                  62
  5. Irv                                      62
  6. Face                                  62
  7. Coach TeaJay                   62
  8. Kitchen Princess               62
  9. Mac                                   62
  10. TB (3-2)                            56
  11. Nelson (1-1)                      50
  12. Tiny D (1-2)                       44
  13. Folly J (1-3)                       38
  14. RJ (3-1)                             32
  15. Pitalo (3-2, DOTW)           31
  16. Flyin’ J (3-2)                      26
  17. Krebs (1-0)                       26
  18. Fish (2-2)                          20
  19. Sweet (2-3)                       14
  20. TKH                                  10
  21. Fig                                     10
  22. MD                                    10
  23. Rennie                              10
  24. JLou                                  10
  25. BR                                     10
  26. SmilyJ                                10
  27. F15 Beeper (0-4)               1

Here are TB’s picks for this week and here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds which is much easier, MD, for people who are not degenerates to read:

  • Georgia Tech  -10
  • Penn St  -14.5
  • E. Carolina  +16.5
  • UCLA  -24
  • Oregon  -12

POTW–Missouri  -3.5 My Tunes for your weekend enjoyment:

  • Cherokee Nation–Paul Revere and the Raiders
  • Seminole Wind–John Anderson
  • Kaw-Liga–Hank Williams
  • Choctaw Bingo–Ray Wylie Hubbard

SOTW–Apache–Sugar Hill Gang

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-2/

Sep 03

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Towels

As I went to get my morning shower today (yes, I bathe), I couldn’t locate a towel. Long ago I stopped looking in the cabinet where towels are supposed to be stored. These storage devices are perpetually empty and should honestly be reassigned to make use of the space. I went to the ol’ faithful fallback, the couch. This is the holding area for all of our clean laundry where parcels of clothing circle the airport waiting on landing instructions. To be honest, many of them are never allowed to land and end up in use before finding their way home.

The couch was towel free as well. I started getting ‘dad aggravated’. We literally own enough towels to supply the Olympic swim team for the entire games. I personally can use one towel for a week. I mean, you are just drying off your freshly washed body. Unless you are doing a piss poor job of cleaning your crevices, you should be fine. But I think like a dude and live with three women (four if you count PIMA).

I don’t know what these people (yes I am profiling) do with these towels. Are they eating them? Apparently, for the female of the species, reusing a towel is sacrilege. This is one of the main problems. Ladies, I know with the 50 some odd bottles of smell good y’all have lined up on the bathtub, there is NO WAY you come out anything but squeaky clean. Momma makes me separate crap for the recyclable bin. I think it’s time to institute such a policy for towels.

I finally located a towel in the dryer. This was my last resort. If victory was not to be had here, I would have had to dig one out of the dirty clothes. Of course, I have done this before but that’s only because I am a survivor.

I will be glad when the kids are old enough (my eldest has already started) to help with the laundry. It is downright staggering how much laundry my wife does a week. I am not allowed to help because, as we have discussed on many occasions, I am an idiot. I am allowed to put up my own clothes, when they are clean, under minimal supervision. I am considering finding myself a hiding spot for a couple of strategically placed towels.

Maybe next to the whiskey.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/encyclopedia-brown-and-the-case-of-the-missing-towels/

Aug 28

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII: “TP and the Temple of Doom”

Quote of the Day:

Willie:  You know how to fly, don’t you?

Indiana Jones: Um, no. Do you?     –Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Quote of the Week:

I’m back.     –Pitalo

For those of you keeping score at home–and how could you what with the Unnecessarily Complicated but More or Less Fair Scoring System (the UCbMoLFSS) to contend with–this is the VII’th season of Thursday Pickin’ (TP). You know what that means? No matter how old you are now, you were quite young back when this thing started, and many of you have been here since that first sparsely telecast day back in aught-seven.

If there are any newcomers, or potential newcomers reading this, you may be asking yourself, “Why am I here?” or “What’s the meaning of life?” or perhaps “If you take cranberries and stew them like like applesauce will they taste more like prunes than rhubarb?” I can help you with all of that, surely, however that is not what we are doing here today at all. We are here, as anyone can tell you but I guess I’ll be the one, to play the Best Damn Pickin’ Game in the Whole Dang So-Called Mainstream Universe (the BDPGitWDS-CMU).

What does that mean exactly?

WHAT DOES IT NOT MEAN! you might more productively inquire!

Here’s the deal. Every week I make five predictions against the spread on college football games and then I pick my Game of the Week (the GOTW). After that, to get us all ready for the weekend, I drop a choice play list of the baddest-ass tunes this side of Shanghai on you.

In the comments, you pick your Game of the Week and if you choose you can pick anywhere from 1-5 additional bonus picks. I score them according to the UCbMoLFSS and publish the results each Thursday. Hint: if you want to win this game just pick a GOTW and a playlist and hope for the best. However, if you are the sort who, if not for the limitations put upon you in the so-called mainstream universe would live much more like Indiana Jones than you currently do, you should add the bonus bets.

Now, not everyone is really that good at picking the results of football games against the spread. Hmm. That’s not quite right. NO ONE is really that good at picking the results of football games against the spread. So if you are nervous about your lack of knowledge, stuff it in a sack. Just make a pick every week. You will undoubtedly finish ahead of Larry and BR.

Simple as that.

If you wanna play the advanced game, which is optional, you can designate a Song of the Week (SOTW) and a Dog of the Week (DOTW). The DOTW is not scored but you get bonus points if your underdog pick wins and is the biggest longshot of the week.

One last thing-congrats to Coach TeaJay for winning last year’s regular season crown. Also, I think Face won the playoff. So, him too.

One other last thing-Congrats to Mac and Nelson for coming in first and last on the pay pool. Kudos and Karma to them for dumping their winnings into this year’s Be Excellent to a Stranger Fund. If anyone wants to do the pool again at $20 a head, let me know in the comments. We need at least 10 if we are to do it again. For newbs, this is strictly optional and only started because several folks expressed interest a few seasons ago. Thursday Pickin’ is free–what-a-bargain!

Ok, here are my picks of the week and here’s your (trademarked) handy dandy link to the odds :

  • South Carolina     -9.5
  • Ole Miss  -10
  • Oklahoma St  +17.5
  • Clemson  +7.5
  • W. Virginia  +25.5

DOTW  Boise +11

POTW  Ohio State  -16′

My tunes this week in honor of Willie, from Temple of Doom:

  • What Would Willie Do – Bruce Robison
  • Willie Nelson – The Wagons
  • I Think She Only Likes Me For My Willie – Danny Griego
  • Shotgun Willie – Willie Nelson
  • Don’t Touch My Willie – Kevin Fowler




Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/08/thursday-pickin-season-vii-tp-and-the-temple-of-doom/

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