Kentucky is Alabama with a winter coat.
This has been my hypothesis for several years, but Louisville's title last night confirmed that I'd been correct all along. Louisville is Kentucky's Auburn, the school with a minority share of a state that's crazy about a single sport. Basketball is to Kentucky as football is to Alabama.
Louisville and Birmingham, the largest cities in both states, are separated by just 367 miles on Interstate 65. The states of Kentucky and Alabama, perpetual laggards in relatively unimportant standings such as education, health, and percentage of residents with college degrees, have chosen to specialize in basketball and football, respectively.
It's what they do.
The similarities between the sporting cultures of Alabama and Kentucky are uncanny -- you have a massive state school that takes up the majority of the rooting interests -- Kentucky and Alabama, spunky state schools that have a vibrant minority of fans -- Louisville and Auburn, nearly identical populations 4.8 million in Alabama vs. 4.4 million in Kentucky, limited population growth from outsiders, and no pro sports in either state.
The states are mirror images of each other, with college sports more popular in their largest markets than in any other cities in the country.
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding former Auburn football player Mike McNeil has been this, why did he wait until one week before his scheduled trial date to suddenly tell his side of the story to Selena Roberts?
It doesn't make much sense, particularly because many of the jurors in his criminal trial are likely to be Auburn fans. Why alienate those jurors by going after the university that those jurors probably support? It doesn't make any sense at all to put the most popular employer on trial in an effort to prove that you didn't commit a robbery. It would appear to be foolhardy in the extreme, completely and totally idiotic.
But that, apparently, is part of McNeil's defense strategy for his upcoming robbery trial, to argue that Auburn is partly to blame.
I guess you have to throw up some legal hail marys when the police pull over your car minutes after the robbery and find you and three other men with stolen objects.
So how will McNeil make his case?
OKTC has obtained the 33 person subpoena'd witness list for McNeil's trial; the list features at least seven former members of the Auburn Tigers football team. Three of the players on the witness list were also charged with armed robbery alongside McNeil.
Those seven players are: Deangelo Benton, Anthony Morgan, Shaun Kitchens, Dakota Mosley, Neiko Thorpe, a current Kansas City Chief, Michael Dyer, who has since transferred from Auburn and is seeking to enroll at another school for the 2013 season, and Antonio Goodwin.
Kitchens, Mosley, and Goodwin were also charged alongside McNeil in the 2011 armed robbery. Goodwin has already been of armed robbery after a 2012 trial. His defense? That he'd been smoking synthetic marijuana before the crime and was not responsible for his actions.
Goodwin is currently serving 15 years in jail.
Can we just give every player and coach on the 2010 Auburn title team complete and total immunity in exchange for the whole truth about that season?
At this point anyone with a working brain knows that 2010 Auburn was one of the biggest cheating teams in NCAA history. I mean, just look at the roster of allegations. From buying Cam Newton, to robbing houses, to paying players, to insane amounts of drug use, to illegally recruiting players, to changing grades to keep players eligible, if there's an NCAA rule on the books, 2010 Auburn probably broke it.
Hell, Auburn was such a mess that the school hired private security guards to keep tabs on its own players.
Even 1980's Miami players are like, "Damn, y'all need to chill at Auburn."
In the wake of the Selena Roberts story, there are now ten different players that have pointed the finger at Auburn for cheating over the past several years. What incentive would ten different players have to make up lies about Auburn?
Really, there are none.
by Christian Wick
The NHLPA and the Board of Governors have approved NHL Realignment for the 2013-14 season. Below is the map of what it looks like according to NHL.com
The wisdom of the NHL strikes again. I'm willing to bet most elementary kids who have no knowledge or interest in the NHL would look at this funny. Who do we have to blame for this? Atlanta. Yep, good ole ATL. The worst sports city in America couldn't hold on to the Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets). The NHL got its Eskimo panties in a wad and re-aligned to cater to another Canadian team. [This is actually the second team Atlanta has lost - the Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980.]