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UCLA Football Keys to Success: Ditch Spring Practice

Apparently there’s a tradition with the football program that they ditch a Spring practice every year. Though I was at school there four years and have followed the team for much longer, I hadn’t heard of it til now. Perhaps it’s because the team never had much hype or expectations. Or perhaps it’s because of this very tradition that the team sucks, and the two go hand-in-hand. Though it’s old news by now as it happened on Tuesday, I never really got my chance to take a stab at this. What kind of team has a tradition where they skip practice? What kind of loser rebels came up with this? Worse yet, what kind of losers let the tradition continue under their watch? How hasn’t someone put a stop to this?

I remember seeing and reading recently that some of the new coaches were working the players harder. Like guys were bragging about being up and working out/training around 8am or something. I sat there laughing to myself — if they’re bragging about being at the track or in the weight room at like 8am and that’s early, then WTF were they doing before? No wonder the team stunk. I would have thought it was a given that all D-I football teams — especially those aspiring to win their BCS conferences — would be up everyday bright and early, running, lifting, and training on a daily basis. But no, not at UCLA — their traditions aren’t to have weight lifting contests or 40-yard dash contests. Nope. Their tradition is to skip practice. Yup, that’s the attitude — that’s the ticket. No wonder they’ve been so disappointing all this time. And now I think about guys on the team who were winners recently — the Maurice Drews, the Brandon Chillars — and I wonder how these guys let this tradition continue.

How can a team tradition possibly involve not working hard? Is there any wonder why the program has sucked so much recently? I think we just answered the question.

78,000 Bama Fans Show Up to Watch a Practice Game

Last year around this time, I was astounded and almost insulted, that over 92,000 people showed up to watch the Alabama Spring football game know as A-Day. Honestly, 92,000 people to watch a sporting event of absolutely ZERO consequence. Like don’t you have any grass to mow or laundry to wash or something? Saturday baseball isn’t enough? You’d rather watch a game that doesn’t count for anything? Apparently so, because the buzz surrounding Bama football is almost as great as it was last year when Bama was fresh off of hiring Nick Satan Saban.

This Spring, over 78,000 fans showed up to watch A-Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. That was the second highest turnout at A-Day, only second to last year’s Saban-a-palooza. I don’t get it. I really don’t. I guess it’s just the same crowd that defends Bobby Petrino like he’s the patron saint, and Saban like he’s the savior. And you wonder why these money-grabbing unscrupulous coaches will leave any situation for the kesef? It’s because these 78,000 fans will show up to watch any signs of life from their football team and celebrate their head man like he’s a god. Goodness, I wish fewer would have shown up, but Bama football is apparently king.

Now when regular season games come around, Bama fans will be wise to purchase their tickets using Ticket Solutions. That’s one of the site sponsors and they have excellent Alabama football tickets, Arkansas Razorbacks football tickets, Florida Gators football tickets, and they can also provide all your SEC Championship Game Tickets. Now those are the games worth showing up for.

Urban Meyer’s New Recruiting Methods

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Meyer were the coach of the Texas State Armadillos. But I guess when you’ve won a title recently, you can do pretty much anything you want. So in some new form of campus outreach, Meyer’s holding tryouts where he’s asking Florida students to run the 40. The 15 fastest students will be brought back on Saturday to race against Meyer’s three fastest players — Louis Murphy, Chris Rainey, and Deonte Thompson. If any one of the students beats a player, they will receive a full scholarship. Considering the top three students ran 4.47, 4.48, and 4.49, I’d be slightly worried if I were Meyer. Think about it: one slip, and one of these students could easily win. Either that or they could try jamming a rocket up their ass.

Meyer is trying to brand his squad as “the fastest team in America.” I get that. You may have thought I was joking with the title, but Urban’s truly trying to market his team as such in order to attract a certain type of recruit. The team is playing its spring game on Saturday and it will be televised by ESPN. No doubt they’ll be talking about the races and showing footage of them. Personally, I think a scholarship should be awarded if one of the players outruns an actual gator. Now that would make for some good TV. Almost as good as Ocho Cinco racing a horse.

Ryan Perrilloux Rolls with Strippers, Calls Waiter ‘Osama’?

LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux won’t be allowed to participate in the team’s Spring Game on Saturday, but his status with the team is fine, according to Les Miles. You better get used to his name because you’re going to be hearing it a lot throughout the fall. That is, long as he stays out of trouble from restaurants (and in general), which he seems to have a difficult time of doing. Matter of fact, already boasting a pretty sizable rap sheet, Perrilloux was busy adding on to it recently.

Another employee at Kona Grill confirmed Wednesday that Ryan Perrilloux was involved in a verbal altercation at the restaurant, saying the junior quarterback called a server “Osama.”

Perrilloux entered the restaurant with an unidentified former LSU football player and three employees from Crazy Horse Cabaret, the anonymous employee said.

The restaurant has since allegedly received phone calls from Miles and Perrilloux to apologize for the incident. Meanwhile, a recent report says the Kona Grill is denying anything happened. Sounds to me like they’ve kissed and made up. I’m going to go ahead and believe most of the first report. And really, who would lie about a line like Osama? My one question is how the server knew the chicks were from the Crazy Horse. He must spend a lotta time in strip clubs if that’s the case. I’m guessing Perrilloux doesn’t make it through the entire season without a transgression.

The photo used above is actually a poster from site reader/commenter Jeff’s company called LA Pop Art. Check out LA Pop Art to see their variety of collegiate athletic posters which actually have the words to the school’s fight songs written out as part of the poster’s artwork. Check out a few more samples after the jump:

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Bobby Petrino Too Scared to Play Texas

I think this story slipped by nearly everyone, well, with the exception of The Wiz and my man Arnie Spanier at Sporting News Radio. According to the Austin Statesman, Arkansas called over to Texas to ask about canceling their scheduled game for ’09, the back end of a home-and-home series. The teams will meet this coming season in Austin, a home game for Texas, but Bobby Petrino’s backing out of the game in ’09. One has to wonder why Arkansas would cancel a future home game against a notable opponent, but the answer became clear: Bobby Petrino is a manipulative weenie when it comes down to it.

Apparently Arkansas will begin playing Texas A&M in the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington beginning in ’09, scoring a major payday for each team. The paper says Arkansas does not want to have both Texas and Texas A&M on their non-conference schedule in the same season. I think we saw this season that having a creampuff schedule is the way to go these days in college football, given the success of Kansas and Ohio State to name a few. I could easily understand it if coaches tell their ADs to start scheduling patsies in the future. But to come right out and ask to cancel a game with a tough opponent? That spells wussie, chicken, puss, whatever you can think of. Certainly seems like Bobby Petrino’s M.O, so I can’t really say I’m surprised.

East Carolina’s Chris Johnson Is Fast

When you think of East Carolina, I’m not sure exactly what comes to mind. I’m guessing it’s not football, though David Garrard has done a lot to change that recently. Maybe you will think of athletics because of Kings SG Kevin Martin, though he played for Western Carolina. Or maybe, just maybe, running back Chris Johnson will change all that. Turns out he was the fastest player at the NFL combine, burning up a 4.24 40 time. I’m ordinarily not too impressed by combine stats because I don’t believe they’re significant in the overall evaluation of a player, but this video was too cool to pass up. Check out Johnson’s highlight reel from ECU:

Maybe it was just the competition, but damn, CJ sure looked like he was in Madden jamming on the turbo button heavily against a crappy defense. Dude just looked FAST.

If you liked that video, this Joey Gathright/Adrian Wilson jumping video will blow your mind. Talk about athletes with just freakish ability, man.

Police Trim Berkeley Tree-Hugger Homes

You may have thought you were reading some important stuff here over the past seven weeks. You were wrong. The year wasn’t officially christened until we had our first Berkeley tree-hugger update of 2008. If you remember, at last check, one of the tree-huggers had fallen out of his humble domain humpty-dumpty style, broken limbs everywhere. Well be happy that all has been set right in this world. Police hired some arborists to roll up in there Nino Brown style and cut down the tree-hugger homes:

The arborist climbed into the grove about 6 a.m. and cut most of the ropes connecting the half-dozen platforms the tree-sitters have built in the foliage. The arborist also took down one of the platforms, which was uninhabited.

“They cut a s- bucket and it fell to the ground and exploded,” said Erik Eisenberg, 39, a leader of the tree-sitters’ ground crew who goes by the name Ayr. “They’ve made things less safe and less sanitary. All they’re trying to do is harass and intimidate us.”

Dude, honestly, Erik, you live in an effing tree. You have no say in the matter. That’s like losing your right to vote. And maybe someone should welcome these cats to the 21st century. You know, an era in which we have plumbing and take advantage of this new invention called … wait for it … toilets. Now there’s a heck of a thought.