For a lot of us, tonight is like Christmas, your birthday and finding your Dad’s stash of Swank Magazines when you were 12 all rolled into one: college football starts tonight. And unlike most opening week mismatches, tonight’s marquee match-up should be a doozy, with Pac-10 dark horse Oregon braving possible blindness from the Smurf Turf and the color-coordinated fans to America’s underdog, the Boise State Broncos (current listed as a 3.5-point favorite).
But this isn’t just a compelling game between two Top 25 teams with big aspirations. No, these two teams (in my best Jim Ross drawl) Just Plain Don’t Like Each Other, especially after last season’s win by Boise State that featured two Broncos getting ejected and Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli getting KOed by a cheap shot while attempting his first pass of the game. Here’s some video if you want to judge for yourself:
How do we know that there’s bad blood here? Because the opposing fans have taken it upon themselves to record musical disses of the other team. Unfortunately, neither team’s fans have the cutting wit or musical chops of, say, a Weird Al Yankovic. Think of them more like even more redneck versions of Ray Stevens, except without anything quite as compelling as “The Streak.”
Yesterday we briefly mentioned that a pair of Oregon fans put out a rap song attempting to lay the proverbial smack down on Oregon’s opponents. Of course, the gloves came off when ripping Boise State’s fans: “The girls at Boise State have this weird genetic mustache trait.” Oh snap! I haven’t heard a diss this harsh since 3rd Base did “Pop Goes the Weasel” (Side note: take that, Vanilla Ice!)
Here’s the video with some NSFW language:
But don’t worry, Boise State fans - Colt and Blackie are here to defend your honor! Which is about as impressive as it sounds: two DJs at a Boise classic rock station (suggested station slogan: “This Spud’s for You, Boise!”) have recorded a parody song of their own, taking dead aim at Oregon’s players and fans. And showing the firm grasp on today’s music scene that you would expect from a couple of radio hacks in Boise, they’ve set it to a Marty Robbins song from 8,000 years ago.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Balding Eagles with their rendition of “El Ducko”:
Once you’ve finished taping up your sides from the rib you might have cracked while laughing, please say a prayer for Boise State starting right tackle Michael Ames. After all, the redshirt freshman is starting his first game for the Broncos with a national TV audience watching while having to block Oregon’s preseason all-conference defensive end Will Tukuafu. And oh yeah, Ames hasn’t played a game of competitive football in five years. I can’t imagine how this could possibly end poorly.
Also ending poorly: the career of former No. 1-ranked tennis player Marat Safin, whose long, tedious farewell tour had its final curtain call yesterday after he was bounced from the U.S. Open in the first round by Jürgen Melzer in four sets. Thus ends (effectively, except for some minor tournaments here and there) the career of a player whose career accomplishments (two Grand Slams) were only matched by his boorish behavior (dropping his shorts to protest points, smashing more than 300 rackets in his career, etc.)
And then there was the Tale of Two Comebacks: Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet. One is one of the two greatest tennis players of his generation, attempting to win a career Grand Slam while battling back from knee problems. The other is a decent player best known for having avoid a lengthy suspension for testing positive for cocaine by claiming that it came from “French kissing” a waitress at a strip club.
Somehow, I doubt you’ll need to click this link to know which one won the match in straight sets and which one looked ready to catch a cab ride to Manhattan to get ready for a night out on the town.
- Gray Flannel Auctions’ yearly online auction chock full of all manner of memorabilia, uniforms and other goodies ends next week, and UNI WATCH has a sneak peak at some of the cooler items. Bill Sharman’s ABA championship ring, complete with the red, white and blue ball depicted on the inset? If that’s not worth $500, I don’t know what is. (Answer: my collection of Pablo Cruise 8-tracks - all in mint to near mint condition, I might add…)
- There can’t be a lot of people surprised that the Dallas Cowboys are again ranked at the top of FORBES’ list of the most valuable NFL franchises, with an estimated valuation of $1.65 billion. A little more shocking is that the Houston Texans are up to No. 6 - I guess winning really isn’t everything.
- OK, I’ll admit that I didn’t expect this: the limited edition Arthur Ashe T-shirt that Jay-Z designed for the U.S. Open is actually tasteful, stylish and doesn’t make me want to punch anyone for disrespecting a true American hero.
- Chinese sports officials are finally letting reigning world champion table tennis player Wang Hao, 25, have a girlfriend - they have “permitted” his relationship with former national teammate Peng Luyang. 25 years without a date? Talk about “Balls of Fury“. (Actually, having spent $10 in the theater to watch that rancid piece of garbage, it’s probably best that we never talk about it.)
- The TORONTO STAR is engaging in some wild speculation that NASCAR and its sister corporation International Speedway Corporation might be making a play for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series.
- Brad Penny holds the Phillies scoreless through eight innings in his first start with San Francisco as the Giants take a 4-0 win. For you stat geeks, an interesting note: that’s seven more scoreless innings than Penny threw all season for the Red Sox.
- Meanwhile, the good news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is that newly-acquired pitcher Scott Kazmir looked great in his debut with the club. The bad news? Felix Hernandez was even better in pitching the Mariners to a 3-0 win.
- Disaster for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers: not only have they given up their pursuit of Adam “Pacman” Jones, but now it turns out that Charles Rogers can’t play because he’s still suspended by the NFL. Maybe this is why Ryan Leaf fled to Canada when he was wanted on drug charges earlier in the year: he was trying to catch on with the Blue Bombers.
- If Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla get into a fight in the locker room before the Marlins game, but there’s no one in the stands to watch the team come back to win over the Braves, then…seriously, they haven’t moved to Las Vegas yet?
- Just in case you thought Rick Pitino would be “humbled” by his recent scandals, apparently you don’t know the man: he’s gone and hired a high school assistant coach who just happens to currently coach top recruit Shabaka Lands.
(As close as Utah fans might ever get to a championship.)