Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Long, Regional Nightmare Is Over

Vince Young will never wear these colors again.
It's official. Vince Young is no longer a Titan.

Final line on VY:

689-1190 (57.9%)
8098 yards
(6.8 yds/pass; 150 yds/game)
42 TD, 42 INT
QB Rating: 75.7
264 rushes
1380 rush yds
(5.2 yds/carry; 25.6 yds/game)
12 rush TD
30 wins, 17 losses as starting QB.
1 replica jersey that will now hang in my closet until I decide to give it to Goodwill.

So, aside from that win-loss record, it turns out that Vince was painfully average as a quarterback. Winning is everything, but that's a team statistic, first and foremost. No one can say Vince single-handedly won those games, and that's the bottom line.

But thanks, Vince, for giving us plenty to talk about. From your amazing 4th Quarter performances against Arizona in 2009 and the Giants in 2006, to the many times you took yourself out of the game and sulked on the sidelines, and lest we forget the meltdown in the Washington game in 2010, you were a constant source of jubilation or angst. But alas, it's time to move on. Good luck in the future. I have a feeling you're going to need it.

A Growing Optimism

I've been very pessimistic about the coming Titans season to this point, but that's beginning to change, because just the other day, I realized something: Jeff Fisher is gone.

How did I miss this news, you ask? I didn't. I just don't think it really hit me until yesterday when I finally accepted the fact that the lockout is over, and I saw the dynamic changes coming to the philosophy at Baptist Sports Park.

I'm not convinced that Mike Munchak is going to adopt "Fisherball" (i.e. run, run, screen, run, run, screen, run, screen, run, punt/FG) in full. I expect the offense to be a little more exciting this year. All offseason, the coaches have been working on schemes for Matthew Hasselbeck, knowing that he was their prime target, and they got him yesterday. And don't think they haven't been talking to him all offseason. Despite the lockout, those deals were going down and everybody knows it. Knowing now that Hasselbeck will be playing quarterback (for at least the first part of the year) is giving me optimism. He's not an elite QB, but he's serviceable for his age, and he knows his role. Don't expect him to just be the mentor, though. He's going to be motivated to, y'know, not suck, because as soon as he does, they'll hand the keys over to Jake Locker.

On that note, I wonder how quickly Bud Adams will intervene if that happens, though. In 2006, it took three straight losses to open the season before Bud laid down the law and ordered Jeff Fisher to put Vince Young in the lineup, but Bud had an attachment to Vince that he doesn't have with Jake. However, a different dynamic comes into play here: Would Bud demand a change from the Owner's Suite to remind Mike Munchak who is the boss? I don't think so. I fully expect Bud to be hands-off this year, and whatever happens happens without his direct input. Bud has a soft spot for Mike Munchak, who anchored the Oilers' offensive line through the 80s and 90s, and I have a feeling that he's willing to give him a little more leeway as a result.

With Hasselbeck, and even possibly Locker, under center this year, I expect to see a more balanced passing attack than we saw under Collins and Young. More deep passes. Kenny Britt (if he's not suspended) will get to shine this season, but the team needs to invest in one more wide receiver, in my opinion. Chris Johnson (if he's not holding out) will still get the ball handed off to him a lot, but the other facets of the game will hopefully be improved, such as the defensive backfield, which (thankfully) has another year of experience under its belt, but will be seeing a new system put in place by Jerry Gray.

I still don't see the Titans making the playoffs this year, but I also don't expect we'll be getting the first draft pick in 2012. Hopefully, though, we'll see some improvement over the debacle that was the last half of last season. It might take some time for everything to jell simply due to the fact that the new coaches didn't get to work with the players in OTAs, but with the new attitude & new QBs, I think that by the second half of the season, we will.

BONUS BLOG POST: I think we should wait until late July to start the Free Agency & Trading Period every year. Yesterday was incredibly exciting, as the rest of the week is sure to be as well. It's taken my mind off the fact that the Predators are still 71 days away from dropping the puck. :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Julio Lugo was called safe on this play. Ridiculous.
I am pissed that my favorite team won. Or, at least that they won it that way. I invested almost 7 hours into the Braves/Pirates game. It was full of drama, and it ended on the worst call I have ever seen in any sport.

The Braves defeated the Pirates 4-3 in 19 innings on a call that was so bad, it can't even be called questionable. Julio Lugo was out at home by almost 3 feet, and was tagged twice (and called safe) before he ever touched home plate. As ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted: "[Home Plate Umpire] Jerry Meals is going to be in for a very long day Wednesday."

The umpiring was terrible all night. It was worst at the end. If there were ever a case for expanded replay in baseball, the screenshot above is it.

If the Braves win the Wild Card or East Division by 1 game, we'll remember this night and the gift the Braves were given.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Titans Logo Looks Nothing Like the Letter A

As part of the NFL's public relations campaign to get its fans excited about the upcoming season now that the lockout is over, the league is returning to its "Back to Football" campaign used in recent years around the start of the season. As such, the league customizes the campaign for each of its 32 franchises, inserting the team logo into the wordmark in place of the league shield.

What is Footboll? Or is it Footbtll?

In the case of the Titans, however, the placement is curious. Why replace the letter A with the Titans "flaming thumbtack" logo? It looks nothing at all like an A. It more resembles the letter O, and, for goodness' sake, there's a T inside the logo. Of course, both O and T appear in the word "football".

The Jets got it right. Why can't we? I know this is a league creation, but someone here in Nashville had to sign off on it. Maybe Titans management was too busy perusing Kenny Britt's arrest record. Or, you know, not doing anything football-related for the last 5 months.

And, I know, the majority all of my Titans-related posts on this blog have been negative so far. I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer here. I am a huge Titans fan, and I want them to win a Super Bowl more than anyone. They're just so darn easy to pick on right now.

The Road to the #1 Pick In the 2012 Draft begins!

Unlocked & Ready for Action
The NFL Lockout is officially over.

Nashville, it's time to get pumped up for the Titans' 2011 season, which I'm calling "The Road to the #1 Pick In The 2012 NFL Draft".

These are my people. This is where I come from.

After an fun weekend in Cincinnati, where I saw my beloved Braves get beaten down by the Reds, then went to the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum on the way back (which was very fun, educational, and amusing, by the way—I highly recommend to any baseball fan)... I return home to find this posted to my Facebook wall...

Yes, that's the pre-race prayer at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Nashville Gladeville Superspeedway, and that's a preacher from Lebanon. Being a Wilson County native, I can't quite decide whether to be proud or ashamed. It depends on whether the Internets judge it to be hilarious or inappropriate, I guess. Either way, it is amusing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Could Nashville Support the MLS?

Major League Soccer in Nashville?
Is Nashville ripe ground for a Major League Soccer team? We've certainly seen good crowds come to LP Field for the Team USA friendlies in recent years. Some 20,000 attended the most recent one at the same time the Predators played to a sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

While you may say, "Soccer?!?", I say that Nashville has an increasingly diverse population and a large (and rapidly growing) percentage of immigrants from countries where fĂștbol is king. And, of course, there's the old standby reasoning: kids play soccer and it's on the cusp of being the next big thing (which people have been saying since the 70s).

Overhead for an MLS team is rather low. Currently only 6 players in the league command a salary of $1 million or more, but 3 of those (Thierry Henry, David Beckham, and Rafael Marquez) are over $4 million, and the market for Henry and Marquez was no doubt driven up by Beckham's exorbitant contract with the LA Galaxy a few years ago. The average player salary is around $140,000, and that's including those players above the million-dollar mark. You could stock an entire team for less than the Predators are paying Sergei Kostitsyn this year.

The big question is: Who would own the team and where would they play? The answer that would come to everyone's mind immediately is LP Field. Not gonna happen. The only way Nashville will get a MLS team in the immediate future would be if Bud Adams ponies up for the franchise. His old buddy, the late Lamar Hunt, was a charter MLS owner, but the old bird-flipping curmudgeon from Houston is pushing 90 years old now, and I don't see launching a new soccer franchise in Nashville as a high priority for him. And if Bud doesn't own the team, it's not going to play at LP Field. The owner would have to pay rent, no control over any off-field signage, and the Titans would keep the concession & parking money. Good luck with that.

(Ed.Note: J.R. Lind tweets me this: "Also worth noting: MLS would have to waive soccer-specific stadium req to play at LP Field. They've only done that once, for SEA [Seattle]. And Seattle pre-sold like 37K season tix")

It would take someone who would be willing to finance a privately-owned stadium (capacity 18,000-25,000), on land possibly donated by Metro for the cause. I wouldn't ask Metro for any cash right now...with the Music City Center stretching the town thin and Mayor Dean barely interested in getting a new stadium for the Sounds, the city probably wouldn't be willing to take the risk on soccer. But, if the Sounds end up getting a new ballpark downtown, Greer Stadium's current location (with a new building, of course) might be the perfect place to land. With the Predators having a rather large ownership group of local business leaders, I don't know if someone here in town would be available or willing to start such a venture. It might take somebody from the outside (let's hope it's not Craig Leipold) to make it happen.

Even with all that said and a lot of questions left to be answered, I believe within the next 5-10 years, Nashville will be home to a Major League Soccer franchise. Not quite yet...but soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Lockout Is Over!!!

Well, for a minute I thought the owners & players had finally worked everything out and began singing Kumbayah. As it turns out, the owners approved a new CBA that the players hadn't seen yet.

It may be ratified tomorrow, but based on the opinions of players who were interviewed (or had their Twitter feeds shown) on SportsCenter, it's not looking very likely at the moment.

Either way, this much is true: the Titans are going to suck in 2011. There's not much reason to be excited right now over the (possible) resumption of the NFL.

Well, that didn't take long

We're barely 24 hours old, but I had already grown tired of the Big Picture Sports name. It was bland, and frankly, stupid. I wanted to start a blog and didn't really consider the name until it was too late, so I rushed it through and never was happy with it.

Therefore, I made an executive decision and changed it. I wanted it to have a little Nashville flavor.

I chose "Picks, Pucks, & Pigskin".

So, there's the new name. I sure hope you like it. I do.

Optimistic New Vanderbilt Coach, Version 9.0

I just heard new Vanderbilt Football Head Coach James Franklin on WGFX's 3 Hour Lunch.

He's done very well with recruiting since coming on board, and just like every other first-year Vandy coach, he's quite optimistic. He certainly is the most charismatic Vandy coach I've heard in a long time (if ever), but then again, the season hasn't started yet. I'd like to see how he'll handle the media once the inevitable losing begins.

As a lifelong Vanderbilt fan, I can only hope that the recent success of the baseball and basketball programs will eventually bleed over into the football program as well, but as ultra-competitive as the SEC is, I just don't see it happening.

But stay optimistic, coach. Maybe the good attitude will rub off on the players and they can sneak up and beat an SEC opponent or two not named Ole Miss.

SEC Media Days Needs An Overhaul

It's time once again for the circus that is SEC Media Days, where 12 SEC coaches, 36 SEC players, legions of media, and throngs of fans show up and crowd the lobby of a hotel within a Hoover, Alabama shopping mall.

The SEC should have learned its lesson a long time ago. Fans should not be allowed to attend the event as it is presented today. With the sheer amount of people who descend upon the Wynfrey Hotel, there is certainly a fire code violation somewhere. Fans are sleeping on the lobby couches for up to three days, just hoping to shake hands with their favorite SEC coach or star player, and now we have people dressing up in costumes to attract media attention. It has become a huge joke, and it's impeding on the original purpose: to give the media a chance to preview the upcoming SEC football season.

It's high time the SEC made an event out of this. SEC Football is a cash cow. Move Media Days here to Nashville, put it at Gaylord Opryland or the new Music City Center. Call it the "SEC Kickoff" or something football-themed like that. Create a "fan zone", much like they have prior to the SEC Championship Game every December. Keep the fans away from the business side of the event, where the coaches meet with the media, but allow the coaches and players to meet and greet the fans at a specified area.

Holding it during the third week of July would allow fans from across the South to pile their kids into the minivan and make the trek to this centrally-located family destination as their yearly vacation, and take part in all kinds of football-themed events. The way this city knows how to throw a street festival (4th of July, CMA Fest), we can surely handle one more.

There might not be any actual football games to watch, but you can be sure the SEC would stand to gain a LOT of money from such an event. It would help to bring order to what is now a chaotic event, and give Nashville a nice tourism boost for a couple of days. By this time of year, everybody is ready for football season. Holding a football-themed family-oriented event is sure to be a homerun touchdown.

Mayor Dean and Nashville CVB chief Butch Spyridon should formally propose this to the conference. With dollar signs in his eyes, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive would be willing to listen.

SEC Expansion Talk... Again?

I thought we had settled all of this. Instead, it seems the SEC may be courting Oklahoma and Texas A&M. SportsByBrooks has been on a Twitter-frenzy tonight about the possibility of the Big 12 imploding due to Texas' new "Longhorn Network", with the rest of the teams going to the Big East or Mountain West and Texas going independent.

For the record, Brooks doesn't seem to think it will happen, but it remains intriguing.

Should the SEC expand to 14 schools? I say no. I like the conference the way it is. Keep it at 12.

If you're going to screw with the SEC's membership, then organize a trade with the ACC. Ship Vandy over there and take Florida State or Clemson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Different Window of Opportunity

The Predhead shows off his new colors.
I am passionate about the Nashville Predators like I have never been about a sports team in my life. Part of that is due to the tight community of fans that I’ve become tuned into through various forms of social media over the past year. Another part is: I absolutely love the city of Nashville and almost everything about it. I take pride in the awesome things our city brings to the world, and the Preds are no different. This is Nashville’s team. This is the only major professional sports team that bears our city’s name. Sure, the Titans have a larger fan base and represent our city as well, but they focus on being a regional draw with the “Tennessee” name. I bet if you polled 10 NFL fans in another part of the country, at least 3 of them would say the Titans are located in Memphis. The Titans don't do a whole lot to associate themselves with the city.

On the other hand, the Predators are ours. They are proud to call Nashville home, and they went so far to prove that by putting piano keys, guitar strings, and a guitar pick on the new uniforms (that's a different post for a different day). They're a way we can reach out to the world and say, "Hey. This is our team. They play hockey, but they also represent what is so great about our city. They're classy. They're hard-working. Watch them play, and then come to visit, and you'll see why we love our city and our team."

Much has been made recently about the “window of opportunity”, pertaining to a competitive agenda, facing the Nashville Predators. With guys like Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and Pekka Rinne leading the team now, and the massive upside of guys like Mike Fisher, Patric Hornqvist, and Sergei Kostitsyn (and don't forget Ryan Ellis) who are sure to step up their games as this team finds room to compete for a Stanley Cup.

But that’s not the window of opportunity I’m talking about. There is a gigantic open window for the Predators, and it looks out toward LP Field. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the professional football team that calls that stadium home has run into a bit of turmoil lately.

All seemed well until that fateful week when the Titans were slated to play against the Washington Redskins in November. The Titans were on pace to make the playoffs, and all seemed well with the team. They acquired Randy Moss, to much fanfare. Then it all fell apart. Rapidly. Beginning that day, the Titans began to unravel. And that unraveling continues now. Whether or not they’ll be able to pick up the pieces remains to be seen, but even the most optimistic Titan fan will tell you that it's going to take a while. It started with Vince Young quitting on the team during that game, and led to the postgame fireworks in the locker room between Young and Jeff Fisher. Then, for two months, Titans fans began a civil war with each other as the losses piled up. Either you were “Team Vince”, or you were “Team Fisher”. Or, if you were like me, you were on “Team I Wish Both Of Them Would Be Gone.” (My team won, by the way.). Let us not forget that the team proceeded to do absolutely nothing with Moss (it reminds me of the way WCW treated Bret Hart), not that Moss had any reason to be excited to be there. The team kept losing. And losing. And losing. There was absolutely no leadership. Toward the end, it seemed as if they weren't even trying anymore, and they probably weren't. After the decision to cut Vince Young, and three weeks later, Jeff Fisher’s abrupt departure, we got to see that amazing press conference where WGFX’s Clay Travis sparred with Titans front office head honcho Steve Underwood. The Titans then hired an unproven head coach who filled out his staff with what seems to be an island of misfit toys (with the exception of Bruce Matthews), and then the NFL Lockout was on. The team drafted a quarterback with accuracy issues. Kenny Britt got arrested…multiple times. Kerry Collins called it a career.

Since that 1999 run to Super Bowl XXXIV, the Titans have been the 800-pound gorilla of Nashville sports, but it’s hard to find someone right now who is absolutely passionate about the state of the Tennessee NFL franchise. The old saying “hope springs eternal” may not be totally true. The Titans’ may need to go dig another hope well, because the current one is drying up. That’s where the Predators come in.

In hindsight, the timing couldn’t have been better. In the summer of 2010, the Predators brought in a new CEO (Jeff Cogen) and COO (Sean Henry). These master salesmen took an already-good product and made it better, both on-ice and off. The marketing strategy changed from a “hockey-first” pitch to a “Hey, come down to the arena and be a part of something fun” pitch. Did you notice the TV commercials for the Preds last season? Very few of them showed hockey players or on-ice action. Opposing teams were only mentioned in the tag at the end of the spots announcing the next home game. Instead, the focus was on the fans. You saw shots of Broadway before the games, and people cheering inside the arena. You saw people interacting with the Predators’ dancers, and Gnash with kids. We weren’t being sold on hockey. We were being sold on the experience. The sizzle, not the steak. And, whaddya know, more people started coming to the games, and the energy inside the arena led to more wins. The playoffs rolled around, and Nashville had a winner to support. The excitement during the latter games of the Anaheim series and all throughout the Vancouver series led to a fever pitch I haven’t seen in this city since that 1999 Titans Super Bowl run. Though the season ended in the second round, Nashville finally figured out what it had been missing for ten years: there’s a hockey team on Broadway, and lo and behold, it’s a lot of fun to watch them play.

The Preds rose to prominence during the leanest of times for the Titans and gave Nashville something to cheer about. As the NFL lockout ends and the season begins, there’s not much to be hopeful for with the boys in blue, but the guys in gold are giving us something to love. Just as the Titans are going through their deepest valley since moving to Nashville, the Predators are climbing a mountain. I firmly believe they can reach the goal of 25 sellouts this year. The real question is: "Will the Preds hang onto these new fans once they falter and the Titans start winning again?" That's going to be a challenge. But if the people who came to love the Preds during the Titans' struggles are like me, they'll get hooked on hockey; not just our team, but the game as a whole.

There is room for both teams in this town. The Preds sputtered along in first gear for the first 12 years, but they shifted into second gear last season, and as the generations change, I think we'll see more off-ice success for the Preds. The news that Bridgestone Arena has ranked among the world's top concert venues only helps things. Though the city owns the building, the Preds see that revenue, and that's helping to stabilize the finances of the team and make it more competitive on and off the ice. It's allowing them to eventually invest more in the products they control (the team and the building), as they pointed out at the Skate of the Union. Cogen and Henry worked with what they inherited last season, and they've had a year to make this team their own. We're beginning to see the effects of that now with the team's rebranding efforts, the increased amount of non-hockey events happening at the arena, and the aesthetic changes coming to the building itself... and I'm getting very excited about the future.

Though I hope the Titans come back to prominence sooner rather than later, I really think the Preds have a chance here to solidify their place in the hearts of Nashville's casual sports fans that have, to this point, pretty much been Titans-exclusive. I hate to go back to the Herb Brooks “Miracle” line, but hey Preds: this is YOUR time, now go out there and take it. The window of opportunity is wide open.

To All Who Come To This Happy Place: Welcome.

To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.

Okay, that was what Walt Disney said when he introduced Disneyland to the world in 1955. So, I totally ripped that off. But, the sentiment behind it is the same. Welcome to Big Picture Sports.

I’m not going to break down contracts. I’m not going to analyze stats. I’m calling this Big Picture Sports, because I want to take a look at, well, the big picture. The great thing about blogs is that the infinite amount of space provided allows us to get really deep into the details. That’s great and all, but that’s not where I’m going to go (most of the time). I might decide to focus on some minutiae every now and then, but that's not my true intent. I’m going to zoom out the lens a bit and look at things from the broad perspective of a casual fan. I’ll cover things happening in the world of sports, both on and off the field/court/ice. A lot of what will be posted here will be Nashville-centric and Southern-centric, but there might be some other opinions about general sports topics or national stories.

I can't guarantee you a post every day. I'll write as the mood (or a particular opinion) strikes me. And I'll promise that after this initial post, I'll focus more on sports and less on myself. I hope you enjoy it.

Now, the rest of this post is all about me. I’m not asking you to read it, but if you want to understand my mindset, this would be a good place to start…

My name is Zack Bennett. I am Nashville-born, Wilson County-raised. I grew up bouncing around from team to team among the four major sports, really riding the bandwagons and not rooting myself with a deep love for any particular team, until the Titans and Predators came along.

I watched the first Predators game through a snowy picture on a clearance TV hooked up to a coathanger in the electronics section of the now-closed Hermitage Kmart, which is where I was working in 1998. That game, against the Florida Panthers, was broadcast on WNAB-TV 58, and our TVs only picked up Channel 5. So, I had to find a way to make sure I witnessed history. I’ll never forget it. I had always been curious about hockey, and my knowledge of it was fairly limited to what I learned playing NHL ’94 for the Sega Genesis. But I remember being SO excited that we had a team to call our own.

My first Predators game came against the San Jose Sharks. I was still in high school, and my mother wouldn’t allow me to go by myself or with friends, so I bought her and me a ticket. We sat in section 316. I don’t remember if the Preds won or lost, but I do remember how fascinated I was, and how my mother had no clue. My second game was part of a Lipscomb University recruiting excursion, and it was the Preds’ first shutout: a game against the Phoenix Coyotes, when Tomas Vokoun permanently stole the spotlight from Mike Dunham.

During the 2002-03 season, at MTSU, I began a friendship with Brendan Stubblefield (@vols7381 on twitter), and thanks to a combination of $10 Upper Goal Zone seats, and $8 tickets on Thursday via a weekly coupon in The Tennessean, the two of us went to as many games as we could afford. It was then that I fell in love with hockey and the Preds. I bought single-game seats to almost every game in the 2003-04 season, most of which were in the famed “Cell Block 303”. The lockout and a subsequent move to Alabama for nearly 5 years forced me somewhat out of the loop, so I wasn’t here for all the turmoil surrounding the Jim Balsillie and Boots Del Biaggio affairs.

But once I moved back to Nashville in 2010, and began making new hockey friends on Twitter and reading the various blogs, I was hooked again. Now, in 2011-12, I will be a season ticket holder for the first time, and I can’t wait.

My relationship with the Titans is a little different. Right out of high school, I began working for WANT 98.9 FM in Lebanon, a Titans Radio affiliate. Quickly, I volunteered to man the control room during all the games. I was literally getting paid to watch football. The first game I attended was, of all things, the Music City Miracle game. After the Super Bowl loss, I applied for (and received) an internship with Titans Radio, where I wrote for, and produced audio packages for the broadcast each week. Imagine me, at 20 years old, getting practically unlimited access to one of the NFL’s elite teams. The whole experience was surreal. For the 2000 season, I was manning the controls on the flagship station, WGFX 104.5, and in 2001, I was manning master control for the entire network. Then, it all came to an end. My contract was revoked for reasons I still don’t fully know, though admittedly, it was probably because I was being an ass. But, I managed to stay on board at 104.5 as it became “The Zone”. After a year of working with guys like Willy Daunic and George Plaster, I was fired again, so I went to work over at Cumulus, which then hosted 106.7 The Fan. So, there, I got to work, albeit briefly, with Blake Fulton, Joe Biddle, and Pete Weber. Interestingly, me and Kevin Ingram were the only two people to work with both sides of that faction after its very public breakup in 2003.

After moving to Alabama to manage and program a Sports Talk radio station (WUMP-Huntsville), I worked with the station’s afternoon host, Thom Abraham. Yes, the same Thom Abraham who would later come to Nashville. During my time there, I requested a media credential (and received it) for the Titans from 2007-2009, so I went to almost every home game during that span as a member of the media.

As far as college sports goes, I’ve always been a fan of the Vanderbilt Commodores, first and foremost. It’s been a pretty crappy fandom. But, I live by this simple rule: everybody needs a winner in their life. So, I have created a new rule: If you claim to be a lifelong fan of the Vanderbilt Commodores, you get one other team to be a fan of… but you always have to root for Vandy first. So, I adopted Alabama as my secondary team of choice when I was 11 years old. That alliance came in very handy when I was running WUMP – Huntsville’s Crimson Tide radio affiliate.

So, there you have it. I really can’t believe you read all of that, but thanks.

NOTE: The blog's title changed to "Picks, Pucks & Pigskin" roughly 24 hours after the site's launch.