Ghetto Moms

When you're not going to work everyday, there are perks such as being able to go to the spray park on hot days in the middle of the week when it's not as crazy busy as it would be if you went on the weekend when all the working saps have days off.

An added bonus to going to the spray park in the middle of the week is that while you are watching you little one run in and out of the water, you are sometimes provided with sideshow entertainment performed by the local ghetto moms who are also lurking at the spray park.

For example, the other day I witnessed one Ghetto Mom in high heels and skin tight white tank who was sitting very close to the water (one wayward spray of water and it's a wet t-shirt contest) get up off her bench and clip clop over to a group of boys who were playing with water guns in the middle of the spray park. She put her hand on her hip and bobbed her head while she said, "Excuse me?! Don't spray water in her eyes? OK??? THANK YOU!" And then she wiggled back to her seat.

She was talking about her daughter. Apparently her daughter didn't like getting water in her eyes. I was thinking that maybe her daughter, who was about 7 and dressed like she should be swinging around one of the poles at the park should maybe stop following around the boys who were happily playing their water war games with each other. Everywhere they went, there she was following them. Perhaps little Brittney should stay away from the rowdy boys instead of sauntering around after them and looking like she's waiting for them to stuff a 5 dollar bill in the string of her much-too-sleazy-bikini.

A short time later the same ghetto mom got up and scolded another one of the same group of boys for getting some wayward water spray on her cheap faux leather purse. "OK??? THANK YOU!" Clearly she just wasn't getting enough attention simply sitting watching her under dressed daughter saunter around after the boys. She needed to be noticed too.

Notices she was - by another ghetto mom on the opposite side of the park. The mom of the boys that Ghetto Mom #1 was scolding. And she did not like it one bit. "If you come to the spray park you should expect to get wet!!! Gaaahhhd!"

Of course when the rowdy group of boys came near her, she started screaming "DRY ZONE! DRY ZONE"! So clearly she didn't expect to get wet just because she was at the water park.

And tell me why she would stop at the dollar store on the way to the water park to buy her kids water guns? If you're going to the water/spray park... there's lots of water shooting every which way already so why the water guns? Use those in back yard of your trailer park.

The entertainment came to a close when Ghetto Mom #1 packed up little Brittney and sauntered out of the park, passing Ghetto Mom #2 and giving her the greasy eyeball, and Ghetto Mom #2 whispering to potential Ghetto Mom #3 "That's her."

I left shortly after that, the show was over. Who needs the TV and it's soap operas? I've got reality to enjoy.

Next week I think I'll check out the local Walmart.

Florida State, Florida State, Florida State: Carr makes off with someone's car

So the VFA wrote this Tweet today: "Right, it's Monday. Who's going to get toasted by the NCAA/cops this week?"

I added: "#Floridasagoodbet", of course referring to the fact that three Florida teams had appeared on my most hated list (although to be fair, Miami is a reflection of the future rather than presence - college football's only good with a good Miami etc etc etc).

Within two seconds, this came through: "Florida State linebacker faces felony charges".

FELONY CHARGES? Yep, apparently Nigel Carr, starting linebacker for the Florida State Seminoles, is facing a bunch of charges, including auto burglary, credit card theft and fraud.

We'll say that again: Auto burglary, credit card theft, and fraud.

Jimbo Fisher's apparently saying that the university's policy is to suspend players on felony charges. 

Mind you, it won't really matter if he's suspended - because if he's found guilty, he could well be jailed, anyway.

Wait a minute, he's an athlete.....he'll get choose when he does time. Can the rest of us do that please (ie never)? 

My delight-led photographic imagery must not preclude that which is important to others in my family. Son loves karate. He would be at the studio every single day if possible. This is *his* delight, and he is one of mine. :)

The irony is that anyone who knows him knows the gentle soul
 that he is.

The 2010 College Football Most Hated List

A few years ago yours truly came up with a decent idea: Why not pen the "Most Hated List", which outlines the schools that the VFA hates the most.

It wasn't popular. People cried in the streets. Michigan fans sent me hate mail (ha! ha!). Ohio State fans asked: "Why in the hell aren't we higher?" Christ, 72 damned people got into an argument on Bleacher Report about it, and ended up hating each other (just kidding, boys and girls: one love!), and one major sports website ended up, cough, cough, using the idea (I've asked the writer about whether his idea was original and have had no reply, which, as a journalist I'll take as a "no comment"), without giving me or Bleacher Report any love. Oh well....

Anyway, 2010's another year. Fat Charlie's left the building at Notre Dame, Jesus (sorry, Tim Tebow) has left the building at Florida, Nick Satan's winning championships at Alabama, and, er, Michigan's Michigan.

In other words (cue the LSU student section....)

So here are the REVISED 2010 College Football Most Hated List.

1) Michigan (2008 position: 2)

I still hate them for the B.S. 2005 call against Penn State, that led to college football's laughing stock turning the Nittany Lions over. I say this again: I'm not expecting Penn State to have the world's best 2010, but I'm hoping that Michigan has a worse one than Penn State. If the Nittany Lions only beat three teams this year, let it be Youngstown State, Temple (let's face it, if we lose to these two we'll be go from national treasure to national joke) and....Michigan. Hope you fail, Rich Rod.

2) Florida (2008 position: 1)

While Florida got away with some crime on the field (Brandon Spikes raking Georgia's Washaun Ealey's face in the Cocktail Party last year), it's nothing compared to the crimes that Urban Meyer's team has got up to off it. Last time I looked, the Gators were going for Miami's all-bad record. When's Meyer actually going to do something about it? Or get questions on media day like: "Hey Urban. Your team can't behave themselves off the field. When are you going to throw a kid or two off the team?". Oh, and the students I met on Spring Break who went there are some of the most arrogant, conceited little ****s I've ever met in my life.....and I went to English private school! I should know!

3) USC (2008 position: 6)

Two words: Lane. Kiffin.

4) Notre Dame (2008 position: 4)

The NBC Contract is one thing: Get the money if you can. But the Fighting Irish's subsequent refusal not to join a conference has infuriated me. Plus, the whole better/holier-than-thou stuff gets on my tits, too. Oh my gosh, how could Notre Dame Navy? And to Syracuse? Because they had a crappy defensive coach, that's why! The fans, however, get some thumbs up, particularly for the "Convicts vs Catholics" sign.

5) Alabama (2008 position: N/A)

Their fans are pretty classy individuals, but we'd love to see the "Rammer Jammer" song get rammed right back at them sooner rather than later. That might lead to the devil (sorry, Alabama's coach, Nick Saban) getting fired. Which wouldn't be a bad thing.

6) Ohio State (2008 position: 5)

Ohio State fans will be honored to be on the list, considering that they pelt opposition fans with buckeye nuts/cut their car tires/ yell abuse at them. Oh, and then there's Terrelle Pryor, the idiot with the Superman-cape and a Buckeye hat, and the fact that Kirk Herbstreit seem to have gotten all of his buddies jobs at ESPN. On the plus side, the whole band thing is actually pretty cool, and the Horseshoe's one heck of a stadium - if you can stand the inmates.

7) Tennessee (2008 position: 3)

A dramatic fall for the Vols in the polls this year, but the hiring of Coach Dooley, who comes across as a decent individual, more than makes up for the fact that bright orange is a horrible color, Knoxville is a horrible place (aside from main campus, which has picturesque Southern architecture), and that song "Rocky Top" is just plain horrible. Oh, and to the bald guy who paints orange and white squares to make himself look like a giant chessboard: Some of my friends which you could turn yourself into a dartboard).

8) Texas (2008 position: N/A)

Interestingly, I've seen their fans in action (at the cool Texas-OU game in 2008), burnt orange is a cool color, Austin's a cool place, the co-eds are cool (and hot), and Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley, by all accounts, were really cool guys (although the future Mrs McCoy did glow in the dark, while her-husband-to-be looks like an alien). But it doesn't change the fact that Texas feels an entitlement to win all games, all National Championships, and if they didn't win, it wasn't because they were outclassed. So for crying out loud, if you're in Austin, DON'T mention the game in LA, because they'll forget January and instead bore your ass off with Vince Young, who apparently is the tall, athletically-gifted, and stupid, brother of Jesus.

9) Florida State (2008 position: 7)

Despite Bobby Bowden going, Florida State still has a place in my dark heart: simply because it's Florida State. You can't go from disliking a team intensely to hoping they succeed every week. FSU wasn't a great football team when Bowden arrived, and they aren't going to be a great team until the 'Noles get rid of Jimbo Fisher and start again. That could be 30 years, for all I care!

10) Miami (2008 position: N/A)

It's funny - I didn't hate Miami until I saw the Billy Corben video of "The U". Then I realized why everyone in the world hated them so much. Then I visited Miami, and had my laptop robbed. And talking to the 'fanbase' in Coral Gables, even the waitresses in the TGI Fridays next to campus don't like University of Miami kids. Why should we, really? Oh, and we know that this team's going to very good in years to come, so we thought we'd get the 'hate on' early.

Also considered: Pittsburgh (PSU's local rival), PSU (love/hate relationship - the team drives me crazy but I love them almost as much as I love.... (no, don't say that), Oklahoma (why DID they get into the 2009 NC game again??), Arizona (Irrational hate - but always wanted them to lose (probably because I've got too many friends who live in Tempe, home of ASU).

10 Guys Who We Know/Would Like To Think/Hope Were At THAT South Beach Party

Dear NCAA,

We at the View From North America would like to report the following players for being at THAT big party in South Beach, Miami.

Forget AJ Green, law enforcement officers, it's these people you've got to speak to:

1) Mark Ingram (Alabama)

2) Jewel Hampton (Iowa)

3) Tate Forcier (Michigan)

4) Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State)

5)  Rich Rodriguez (Michigan coach)

6)  John Clay (Wisconsin)

7)Brandon Saine (Ohio State)

8) Nick Saban (Alabama)

9) Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)

10) Julio Jones (Alabama)

We'd like to also add that all of these players (and Saban) will be important factors in Penn State's schedule in 2010. So if you'd like to issue them all with season bans (or just ones past their PSU date (ie Ingram and Jones get banned for two games!), it would be incredibly helpful to the Nittany Lions' cause in 2010!

We'll even support you in the BCS shambles, and never speak ill of you again!

Yours sincerely,

The View From North America

Over the Edge: the current fundraiser for Northern California Special Olympics at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco today and tomorrow. These images are all from Husband's camera phone from today's event. He's not actually doing the rappelling but instead is at the top, making sure only those with credentials get roof access. 38 stories. There's a reason I'm not there, but it sure is for a good cause. 

What it's like...

Ever wonder what it would be like to juggle life with a newborn and a toddler?

Here... let me give you a glimpse of what a small portion of my day is like...

Things were running fairly smoothly today. Early this afternoon the baby was napping and the toddler was getting antsy so I thought it would be a good time to take her outside with me. I would water the grass and catch a couple of rays and she could play with her outside toys. I left the baby in his swing close to the open window and door.

It went great, for a while. Then perhaps I was enjoying the sun's warm rays on my face just a little too much. Perhaps I dared to close my eyes and turn my face towards the blue sky for just a few seconds too long. For when I turned back to reality I found this...

I thought, "oh crap, she's going to get the bum of her pants dirty!"
But before I could do anything about it, I heard crying coming from the open window. I quickly popped into the house to check on the boy and found him like this:
As I was attempting to calm him, I heard something at the front door. I turned to find this dark figure looming in the door way:
A mud soaked toddler was about to race through my (somewhat clean) house while my newborn baby screamed his lungs out. I managed to get her back outside where I could strip her down while juggling the baby in my arms...
A short while later as I was patting myself on the back for getting her in the tub and getting her cleaned and changed and then managing to also get him like this:
I was faced with this:
And sadly, it was far to early in the day to have one of these...

So Who Was Better in 2005: Reggie or Vince?

 Right, we know that USC has handed back its copy of Reggie Bush's Heisman to the NCAA.

But now, Texas fans want the copy for their God, Vince Young. After all, it was Vince Young who destroyed USC's defense in the National Championship Game, who beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe and performed athletic miracles week in, week out for the Longhorns in their title-winning season.

So we at the VFA want to ask this major, major question: Who deserved the Heisman?

Of course, it would easy to say that Young deserves the Heisman. After all, Reggie Bush was 'indicted' by the NCAA for taking money 'n' stuff from the Nick Saban's 'pimps' (Gosh we wish we'd waited a day so that we could quote Saban for our article for Sky on this). ESPN's Gene "I've got the hardest journalism name to spell for the PR guys" Wojciechowski says in his article that 'Vince' was cheated out of his Heisman trophy because of Bush's antics.

So, who would you vote for - retrocatively, of course?


Whatever Reggie Bush may have done off the field, Reggie Bush -statistically - was incredible for the Trojans. You can't really argue with well over 2,000 all-purpose yards, 18 touchdowns, and one assist.

But then again, so was Young. He threw for 3,036 yards and 26 touchdowns for the Longhorns. He RUSHED for 993 yards and 12 TDs.

EDGE: Surprisingly, Young (Young 1, Bush 0)


And while Reggie Bush was 'turning around' games for USC against chokejobs Arizona State (we were at that game) and giving a push to Matt Leinart at Notre Dame, Vince Young rescued his team's season against Ohio State, and later at Oklahoma State. The guy was incredible. Mind you, you could argue that if Bush had been allowed to pass, then he might have done a good job at that too. But he was busy running the ball and returning kicks....

EDGE: For the push, we'll give it to Reggie (Bush 1, Young 1) 


There is no argument for the fact that BOTH players were the most talented guys Texas and USC had ever seen. That's why BOTH were tremendous in the Texas-USC game, and the fact that Young came out on top - and Bush made a stupid lateral decision - may have been some karma coming to Bush camp after Reggie's win in NYC.
Reggie Bush - at times - was a ghost when he was USC. No-one could catch the guy when he was in flight. But then again, trying to deal with 6 ft 5 Vince Young on the ground wasn't too easy either - he ran for nearly 1,000 yards in both his QB seasons as a Longhorn. Vince Young had a better arm, but Bush had pretty good legs, too.

VERDICT: EQUAL (Bush 1 1/2, Young 1 1/2)


Reggie Bush could really do no wrong as a player at USC. ESPN loved him, Trojans loved him, the world loved him. Everyone knew that Bush was not going to give another year to USC. On the other hand, Vince Young stayed under the radar, continually putting up good games and letting his actions - not his mouth, do the talking.

EDGE: Let's face it, ladies and gentlemen, Reggie Bush has charisma (Bush 2 1/2, Young 1 1/2)


Let's forget that Bush's wins have been 'retroactively' destroyed by Camp Trojan, and reflect on a damned good year. Apart from Notre Dame, Bush played well against teams that were OK, if not brilliant. Young managed to win in the Horseshoe (AND the National Championship Game, but that would be after the 2005 Heisman ceremony, so it doesn't count).

 EDGE: Vince Young. Horseshoe points go a long way. (Young 2 1/2, Bush 2 1/2)

With the votes tied.....we'll go to video.

Reggie's video:

Vince's video:

The choice, ladies and gentlemen, is yours.

Quit laughing Georgia: You're next on the NCAA list

Despite having their own much-written-about problems with their athletic director, boozy players and a bum-pinching former quarterback, Georgia Bulldogs fans still can't relax: their team is next on the NCAA investigation list.

According to multiple news sources, the NCAA are now going into Athens and inquiring about Bulldogs players attending 'THAT' party in South Beach.

Thankfully for Georgia fans, wide receiving sensation AJ Green - who might just be the best player in college football - wasn't at the party. According to the linked SI discussion, he was Summerville, South Carolina, on the Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately for Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina, some of their players were at the place - with UNC player Marven Austin stupidly using Twitter to celebrate the fact he was (he gets special 'idiot' points from us).

We don't know what, if any, Georgia players are being investigated by the NCAA. But we're sure that the NCAA cops will give us all the detail - but probably not before the start of the season (such is the nature of bureaucracy etc etc etc).

We're pretty annoyed that one bit of detail hasn't come out: the agent who threw the party.

The almost post...

FYI - I was just going to sit down and write a blog post about me taking my two kids to the community centre drop-in program this morning and how it just about killed me but as I started typing I realized that it would take up far too much mental energy to write the post that I wanted to write. Then I also realized that both my kids are napping and that I'd rather spend that precious quiet time staring blankly at the wall in a near-catatonic state than write an elaborate post. Or even a not so elaborate post.

This was the best that I could do.

Take The Money And Run: The CFB Offenders' Playlist

It's DJ VFA here, and we've got some beautiful tunes to be played out there in the summer sun for y'all.

This week, we're talking about money, agents, boozing and we want YOUR tune suggestions. Greatest suggestions get, well, nothing but two thumbs up for yours truly.

Here are our suggestions:

1) Steve Miller Band - Take The Money And Run (Especially for Reggie Bush)

2) Everybody Knows - Leonard Cohen ('Cos everybody knows the good guys lost)

3) New York, New York - Frank Sinatra (Where Reggie last picked up a Heisman trophy, and where he won't be coming back to in December)

4) Paper Planes - M.I.A. (Because all agents want to do is take your money, son. That's why you shouldn't go down to parties)

5) Fat Bottomed Girls- Queen (Because ex-Georgia back-up QB Zach Mettenberger is pinching them)

6) Merry Mac - Great Big Sea (Best Irish drinking song ever, and probably played during the party that saw 11 of the guys arrested last week)

7) Fight music - Eminem (For the University of Tennessee, who ALWAYS seem to make the football season that little bit more interesting)

8)Murder Of One - Counting Crows (How taking money from an agent or a booster can ruin a program and a career. Ask Alabama or lately, USC, peeps)

9) Sweet Home Alabama - Lynrd Skynrd (Quite the opposite of how Mr Dareus is going to find Tuscaloosa this year - especially if he's been found to violate the rules)

10) Patience - Take That (Because these damned college football players need some. You're going to get your money, for crying out loud!)

And finally: "Habitual offenders scumbag lawyers with agenda I tell you sometimes people I don't know what's worse" ("Amen", Kid Rock). It says it all.

Reggie Bush's Heisman Is On Its Way Back

I've just tweeted Reggie Bush, who today saw his 2005 Heisman trophy sent back to the NCAA when he was a young, very gifted running back at the University of Southern California

I said: "Damn shame about that Heisman of yours - you were the best player in the NCAA in 2005."

And it's a fact. He WAS the best player in 2005 - and quite possibly one of the best you've ever seen. You can talk about taking away his Heisman (and murals and shirts), his alleged agent relationships (he actually hasn't talked about what actually happened to the press), and maybe his records, but you can't get away from this fact: if Reggie Bush DIDN'T play for USC, they probably would have been an afterthought in the National Title conversation (we can only hope that Penn State would then have played - and beaten - Texas and won the National Title no-one expected them to win). He was sensational.

Reggie Bush was the "best of the best". He put up 2,611 all-purpose yards and flew/ran/jumped into the end zone 18 times. Heck, he also gets an assist for the Notre Dame game, when he pushed in Matt Leinart for the game-winner with about zero seconds on the clock. It wasn't his fault that the USC Trojans couldn't stop Vince Young in the National Championship game, even though the silly lateral probably lives long in the memory.

And now? All we have is memories.

And they were damned good, too.

Don't Fine The Schools, Ban The Agents

Listen, we're all for the NCAA inspecting schools to work out possible violations and infractions. If the rules weren't being adhered to, then schools should be punished.

On a day when news comes through that Alabama junior defensive end Marcel Dareus is being investigated over whether he broke NCAA rules by attending a party in South Beach with some of the NCAA's most talented players. The problem with the party? It was thrown by an unnamed sports agent.

This isn't the first problems with agents that Alabama has has. Offensive linesman Andre Smith refused to co-operate with a school investigation into whether a member of his family spoke to an agent in late 2008, and he was suspended for the Sugar Bowl game against Utah, which turned out - probably because he wasn't playing -into one of the biggest shocks college football has ever said.

'Bama coach Nick Saban, who we're not fond of here at the View From North America (while he'll get annoyed at his players getting tapped up by agents, he has no problem getting tapped up by other schools and then jumping ship at the most inopportune moments (see the Miami Dolphins for details).

Saban told ESPN: "What the NFL Players Association and the NFL need to do is if any agent breaks a rule and causes ineligibility for a player, they should suspend his [agent's] license for a year or two," Saban said. "I'm about ready for college football to say, 'Let's just throw the NFL out. Don't let them evaluate players. Don't let them talk to players. Let them do it at the combine.' If they are not going to help us, why should we help them?"

He added: "Right now, agents are screwing it up," Saban said. "They are taking the eligibility of players. It's not right that those players do the wrong thing. We have a great education process here. We have a full-time worker who meets with players and their families and does everything else."

Saban's problem isn't the only one. At the same party North Carolina DE Marvin Austin and South Carolina tight end Marvin Austin also attended, and were summarily investigated. According to, Austin and Saunders were great friends and compared notes, in an attempt to get the best deal. With the problems that UNC have had with Quan Sturdivant (what's happening with that, by the way Butch Davis?), this slightly darkens the powdered tar heel, into, well, Duke blue.

After what happened with USC this year, it's obvious that the NCAA aren't about to take any prisoners. Why can't they work with the NFL on this issue and try and rid agents from college football? These guys are more of a menace than alcohol, which has once again reared its ugly head in the 2010 off-season.

Because in the end, you've gotta feel sorry for the schools. Possibly not USC, but definitely schools like UNC, the 'other' USC and Alabama, who could see horrible fines, player bans and possible scholarship cuts because of the acts of the agent clan which populate South Beach, Miami like crab populate the sea beds of the Bering Sea, Alaska.

White Out Or No White Out, That Is the Question

According to The Daily Collegian, there's going to be no stadium "White Out" this year, despite it being on student tickets for Penn State's clash with Temple.

Although we at the VFA are a bit biased (because we're flying over from the UK for that game) - we'd love to see people wearing white fill the place for the Illinois homecoming game in early October - the only palpable home game is Michigan at home on Hallowe'en.

But for Paternoville VP John Tecce, the visit of the Wolverines will see at least the student section dressed in one colour (it hopes). He tweeted: "I am almost positive Michigan will be a student White Out. Those aren't announced until the week before the game but it'll happen."

Five years on from one of the greatest "unexpected seasons" in Penn State history - 2005 - it would be great to see Penn State's student body (who ex-Buckeye and now ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit reckons is the best in college football) have something to celebrate.

While we're pretty comfortable in our prediction that the Nittany Lions will run the table at home, that would also mean either a victory at Alabama or Iowa for a White Out for Michigan to be truly meaningful. Because then, my friends, victory over Michigan would set up a Horseshoe showdown with the probably-going-to-be-unbeaten-up-to-then Buckeyes. 

Anyway, here's a rather long (student) highlight of the greatest White Out in Penn State history.

Glorious, wild 10-foot-tall sunflowers like these greeted us at several corners as we approached Dolly's 80th birthday party in Chico.
Surrounded by many of her friends and loved ones, the heat did not stop her from thoroughly enjoying her event.
A cupcake and candle for each person in attendance...a group wish-making extravaganza. :)
I love solar flare and homemade entertainment. :)

We love you Dolly!

Too Much Fun at Notre Dame?

"So son," says Joe Montana. "Have fun over the weekend?"

"I went to a party," said his son, Nate. "Right until the point that me and 43 of my best friends got busted by the cops for underage drinking."

"Son, I know you were only drinking Millwaukee Best, but you were still drinking underage and you cost me $150. Me and your mother will speak to you about this at Christmas."

Montana must have been pissed that his back-up quarterback son was arrested for underage drinking, when he's already trying to challenge for a job and this blot on his copybook isn't going to do him any good.

But then again, so were a bunch of the football team, hockey team and basketball team.

What we want to know is: How in the hell do you manage to arrest not 10, not 20, not 30 but 40 people? That's 80 cops (two per person)! That's awesome.

The cops deserve the Fulmer Cup, not Notre Dame, although their team has gone up the rankings after such an effort.

There is a serious point for Notre Damers - Brian Kelly's gonna be FURIOUS. Expect some suspensions on the opening day - if there's any justice.

Leo Should Do College Football

We at the View From America went to go to "Inception" today, and to say the least, it's one of the best films of the summer. Is Christopher Nolan the new Stephen Spielberg? Probably not. But then again, he's an amazing director.

If you haven't been told about the premise to Inception, it's about a guy who makes his money going into people's dreams and stealing their ideas and selling them on. Now, he has to go into someone's head and PLANT an idea.

That made us think, what would happen if Leo decided he could get into the dreams of NCAA coaches, players, and referees, the college football history could change.

Here are some thoughts we'd love inserted....

1. Lloyd Carr (2005) "It would be unfair ask for an extra couple of seconds. And my guy's foot was really on that line."

2. The refs at LSU/Georgia (2009): "No flag on that AJ Green celebration"

3. Penn State students (2009): "The design for the 2009 White Out shirts look like crosses, or butts. Or both. We'll look stupid in front of ESPN wearing those."

4. Joe Paterno before Iowa game (2008): "Let's use some handwarmers."

5. Tom Osborne (2010): "Let's just stay in the Big XII"

6. Each person on the NCAA Commmittee, ever year: "To hell with the BCS. Let's have an eight-team playoff, and play until December. Football's meant to be played in the cold."

7. Charlie Weis (Notre Dame years): "This game's not just about offense, I need to spend some money on a defensive co-ordinator"

8. Official at Ohio State-Miami 2003 game: "No way was that pass interference."

9. Penn State: "Let's re-name State College 'Paternoville', because after all, if it wasn't for him, where would we be?

10. Every NCAA football athlete (since time and memorial): "I am not going to drink or go to parties this year, or any other year. My goal is to go professional. If I screw up, I let myself and my team-mates down. I am not going to do that, and risk my reputation, the reputation of the university, and the reputation of the coach, or my NCAA career."

11. Urban Meyer: "I should really start kicking some of my repeat-offending players off the team (although with thought No.10 in his players' heads, it wouldn't matter)"

12. Nick Saban/Lane Kiffin: "Loyalty's more important than anything else. I should keep my promises to my staff and my team".

13. Miami/FIU players in 2001: "Let's not get into a fight. It's only a game"

14. USC's band director: "We really need a new song"

15. SEC Refs (Prior to the 2009 season): "Let's all make some good calls this year"

Cell phone battery

You know how it is when your cell phone is running low on batteries? And you want to charge it up but you don't have time for a full charge because you have to go somewhere or do something and you need to bring your phone with you? And so you put it on the charger for the few minutes that you have - which is just enough to get you through part of your day but only if you don't use it too much? And then when it starts getting low again you really try to conserve the battery because it is now flashing that little red light and can only do certain things with the batter so low? And then when you do get to charge it up again you still don't have a lot of time so it only gets charged just enough to get you by, once again? And again you have to pick and choose if you really do need to make that call or send that text?

That is me. I am that cell phone.

I am getting by on minimal charge. And only if I conserve energy during the day. By 3pm my little red light is flashing and I can only perform certain tasks - ones that are absolutely required. A cup of coffee or tea MIGHT give me enough charge to get through the rest of the afternoon but by 7pm I am flashing red again and I need to really pick and choose which tasks I think I can carry out on such a low charge because it would be disastrous to run out of batteries and shut down mid-task. A good 8 hour charge (a good night's sleep) would do wonders for me and I could take on the world - but it's not happening. Not for some time. I will be operating on minimal battery juice for a while yet - getting by on minimal charge-up time.

Bitchiness in the Big House

Michigan's announcement that The Big House was now the biggest stadium in college football - it now houses 109,091 soon-to-be miserable fans was greeted with some derision.

Our favourites?

"If Penn State decreased their seats to 8", Beaver stadium would hold 174,333. If Michigan increased to 13", 67,631 seats." @OnwardState

"So there will be over 109,000 miserable bastards in The Big House this year. Don't forget the away fans-they've got to go there!" @Viewfromnorthamerica (that's us, by the way!) 

Other people remarked - we couldn't find the Twitter messages- but along the lines of: "That'll be 20,000 people for every win they'll have this year!" 

Are people out there really predicting a 5-7 year and a boot-out for Rich Rodriguez? 

The Big House has been home to some great finishes, but none more amusing than this....

Toy Story 3 soldiers prepare for landing at an early party for the young man turning 12.
My first cake - and with Lego minifigures.
Coca Cola in bottles. :)
And a local pal. Yay!

High Times on Chapel Hill: Ballplayer get busted

Whether you're boozing it in Athens or battling in bars in Knoxville, it's not been a wonderful few days for SEC teams.

Now we have another team to talk about: North Carolina. And while the frats Michael Jordan's former school likes to get its buzz on with a few underage beers, we thought their football players weren't dumb enough to get caught trying for 'another buzz': the cursed weed.

Well, talented linebacker Quan Sturdivant  probably feels like a right turd after getting busted for being in possession of weed.

Forget the fact that it was a "simple possession" and "less than half an ounce", Sturdivant was caught and should be thrown out for at least six games. If he fails a drug test - which should be mandated by those at Chapel Hill - he should be barred for seven.

"Turdivant" might lose a ton of cash after this deal too - people think he's a second round position for an NFL future.

What do we think will happen to Quan? It's up to you, readers!

Georgia Takes Action

Mark Richt was swift to take action on two of his arrested players, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.

In a move that should put the fear of God into any footballer thinking of misbehaving again, he's suspended  tailback Dontavius Jackson and split end Tavarres King from all team activities.

Not only that, but Jackson's done for the first six games of the season, and King won't be playing Game No.1, either.

Earlier this off-season he kicked out butt-pinching back-up quaterback Zach Mettenberger for sexual assault.

It's pretty easy for Richt from now on: Install a "No Alcohol, No Tolerance" policy on his players from now one. That includes everyone from AJ Green (the best player) to the back-up to the back-up punter. Hell, throw in the waterboy too, just in case he's tucking into some Jack Daniel's on the side.

The fact is this: Unless Richt (and other coaches across the land) start really coming down on their players about boozing, then they may well have the NCAA to contend with, who must be getting well and truly fed up with seeing their name tarnished and be getting ready to hand out some sanctions and some probation.

When are players going to get the message that using alcohol if you're a Georgia player - and particularly an UNDERAGE Georgia player - is a stupid, stupid thing?

And Now It's Georgia's Turn....

After Georgia AD got caught drunk-driving, back-up quaterback Zach Mettenberger was booted off the team for sexual battery, then you would have thought that any members of the Bullodgs team would want to keep their heads down.

Well, no.

Following up the early-week arrest of cornerback Jordan Love's arrest for obstructing a police officer after the cop came along to investigate accusations of people shooting off fireworks in the courtyard of a UGA hall (apparently it was a "breakdown of communication" (God only knows what that means), the Dogs have got themselves back in a whole world of trouble.

Now, redshirt sophomore tailback Dontavius Deshawn Jackson and Split end Tavarres King were also arrested with underage possession of alcohol, and Jackson was also charged with (we're stunned here) a DUI too.

In a town like Athens, where driving after having a few beverages isn't the biggest surprise in the world (as tough as the police are, experience from this writer can tell you that drink-driving goes on on a pretty regular basis down there), Jackson must have been driving pretty badly.

SEC East fans, you'll understand that any feeling of joy that those in Athens felt after the arrests of the lovely chaps in Orange on July 9th has been tempered somewhat by a blotted copybook of their own. Florida fans can now look down their noses at Georgia (and their butt-stroking ex-QB) and Tennessee (and their gas station robbers), because this year only WR Frankie Hammond was "nicked" by police. The charge? You've guessed it....

And it's not all SEC East: Iowa's defensive end Broderick Binns, also booked for drunken driving and so was Louisville's starting corner Johnny Patrick, who was 'gotten' for midemeanour assault.

Anyway, we're off for a beer. Anyone left on a football team care to join us?
Babies. :) Not one, but two. Cousins, just 2 weeks apart, almost 4 months old, and grandbabies to my friend Victoria. There is nothing like photographing these precious little beings. Thanks for coming out to play Kimiko and Serata.

Help from the mommies, who really, make it all possible. Everything's better with mommy.

And It's All Gone Rocky On Rocky Top

Well, the University of Tennessee are back.

While they haven't won a National Championship since 1998 (yes, we know, still longer than Penn State!) or an SEC Championship since 1998 (Penn State last won a Big Ten title in 2008), or beaten Penn State since 2007 (well, they haven't played them since the 20-10 Outback Bowl loss, either, to be fair!), they are back in the hunt for the most important trophy of all: The Fulmer Cup.

Invented by our friends at college football superblog "Every Day Should Be Saturday" the Fulmer Cup gives thumbs up to miscreants. For a few years, Penn State looked like taking home a Cup. With Fulmer gone and Lane Kiffin's Fulmer-ness pretty quiet (if you consider holding up a gas station wearing UT football clothing "quiet"), Derek Dooley's boys returned with a bang, or two in Bar Knoxville earlier this week.

Apparently players Da'Rick Rogers and Darren Myles were both arrested for their behaviour, which saw "7-10 guys" pound the crap out of one guy.

What did the guy say? Did he go over with an imaginary microphone and say: "We've heard losers wear bright orange. What do you think, guys?" and ask Myles - who had been arrested in April for getting hammered and causing trouble- or Rogers the question?

And even better - they beat up an off-duty cop trying to keep the peace! Nothing says classy like beating up an off-duty cop, guys!

Anyway, it looks terrible on the team and terrible on Dooley, who probably should have thrown Myles' ass off the team after an arrest. To quote Joe Paterno, this Myles kid isn't a "good kid", when he's touching booze.

See you in an AA meeting soon, Mr Myles!

Warm July nights = tea parties on the back patio by the fountain.

It wasn't until I sat for tea that I took notice of the heart shaped water droplet on these beautiful cherries. How lucky is that? Must have been the company.

1O College Football Wishes

I've got 10 college football wishes - which will hopefully be solved before the start of the season....

1) Pete Carroll and Reggie Bush 'come clean' about the USC incidents

I love Pete Carroll because of his work in LA with gangs and the suchlike. However, I'm not so enamored with the way that he had no public press conference to explain the truth behind the goings on of one Reggie Bush. Why not, Pete, why not? And why didn't Reggie Bush do the same? Was it because of lawyers' advice? If so, what have you got to hide?

2) I want Penn State to work out who their offensive line is

As they didn't do a good job last year, let's hope that this one gets sorted in practice. Also on the list: quarterback, defensive line, and secondary. Not asking much, then...

3) People to start mentioning another team other than Alabama

Are people setting Nick Saban on this pedestal because they really believe that this Alabama team is the best thing since USC 2004 and 2005, or is it because they want him to fail? I don't want Mark Ingram to fail (except against Penn State), because the kid's got a good heart and is a decent guy who's been through the emotional wringer, personally.

4) I'd love the kids to stay out of trouble (and ADs, too!)

I didn't know if to laugh or cry about Georgia's Athletic Director Damon Evans getting caught behind the wheel and drunk last week. All I do know is is that friends of mine at UGA weren't too proud of their guy for lecturing them on not drinking and driving, and then doing EXACTLY THE SAME. We're all hypocrites- the last person who wasn't had a rough time around Easter (I'll leave you to get that one!), but still......I'd also love the kids to stay out of trouble. I'm sick and tired of hearing about college football players getting caught doing X, Y and Z. If you can't stay at trouble, stay at school. Your coach WILL help you stay out of trouble with some backbreaking exercises.

5) Speaking of practices...

If only our NCAA players would take a leaf out of the book of the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, who's spending every day as a pro working out in an effort to get better. That's better than some of the folks we're following on Twitter, who seem to pride themselves on getting blasted in bars and acting like fools (we won't mention names!!). Does practice make perfect? Ask Fitzgerald, quite possibly the NFL's most perfect receiver and a future Hall of Famer....

6) People would start talking about Notre Dame

Now that Fat Charlie has gone, there's been a big hole - in more ways than one - at the University of Notre Dame. Has the pride gone too? Why is no-one talking about them? Are 'Machine Gun Kelly''s men going to be that bad this year?

7) And not mention the Nittany Lions..

Under the radar will do, fellas, under the radar will do. True, losses at Alabama, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State may do the trick, but if the Lions beat Alabama, then everyone's going to be talking about the Nittany Lions anyway, right?

8) Let's forget about conference alignment

We've talked about Texas. And Oklahoma. And A&M. And the Pac-10. And the end of the Big XII. And the world. But right now, all we've got is Nebraska moving to the 'Big, Er, Ten, Or, 11, or 12a' and Colorado moving to the 'Pac-10, or is it 11?' We'll care about Nebraska again. Colorado? Notsomuch.

9) And start forgiving USC

If you're a USC hater, then you don't really care what's happening to one of college football's proudest programs. But for me - and I loved the way they played football under Pete Carroll - it's pretty sad. But now the rottenness has been removed (just prepare yourself for some Tennessee-style recruiting violation apologies, Trojans fans!!), we'll start a short, new era: USC the Pac-10 punchbag. Let's remember this (as alcoholics say): but for the Grace of God go we.

10) Let's talk about the BCS and a playoff!

Yeah, right.
Summer means county fair time, which looks a little bit like this...
livestock such as sheep and anghorra goats...
and racing piggies...
cowboy hats... -she's learning that brown is good ;-)...
funny kids in funnier hats...
browsing entries such as personal collections...

the mini world of the railroad...

and hopefully a second visit on Wednesday again for $3 entry. :)

Playing The Brain Carnage Game: The Jordan Norwood Reply

Jordan Norwood read my reply (I Twittered it and placed a link on his Facebook page), and said this about the article "Playing The Brain Carnage Game".

"My thoughts: unfortunately, I feel like hits such as the one I took are just part of the game. I am in no way embarrassed that I got hit that hard, and knocked out for a few seconds. But I am very embarrassed that they called it a penalty. Makes me feel like the ref had pity for me or something. I decided to play I decided to play football, decided to go across the middle and catch the ball knowing I was going to get hit like that."

"Maybe where the work could be put in is informing players (such as myself) of the long term repercussions of such hits. May cause guys to retire earlier and save years of their health down the road."

Here's the hit, by the way....

A slightly extended (ahem, more professional!) article on the NFL has been written and published by Sky, where the VFA also has a column.

Birth Details (Lincoln)

On June 23 I was officially one full week overdue and feeling every bit uncomfortable as I looked.

I had an appointment with my midwife that afternoon. After an exam and discussion she asked if I would be interested in taking a labour inducing "cocktail" that is made up of natural ingredients and very commonly used in Europe. I had heard of the cocktail before as a friend of mine used it and had success. I figured it couldn't hurt since I was scheduled to be induced a few days later anyways. So she gave me the one ingredient that was not readily available at health food stores and sent me home to think about it.

If I was to take the cocktail I was under strict instructions to call the midwives prior to taking the first dose so that they could plan out their evening. I was also to have someone at the house to look after Ruby. And if/when I went into labour, I was to head to the hospital after I had two hard contractions within 5 minutes.

So I went and bought the rest of the ingredients for the cocktail. I had my mom at the house with her overnight bag. And I advised the midwives I was going to go ahead and take the cocktail.

I took the first dose at 5:15pm June 23. By 7:45pm my contractions had started although they were fairly mild. I took the second dose at 10:15pm and went to bed. I woke up at 12:45am June 24th with some stronger contractions. Steve heard me let out a little breath of pain and flew out of bed, grabbed the bag and headed for the door. I wasn't sure we were really ready to go just yet but since the hospital was a bit of a drive to get to, I agreed to go.

We called the midwife on the way and told her we were headed to the hospital.

Contractions got stronger on the way.

By the time I was admitted and wheeled into my room at about 2am, the contractions had eased up and slowed down a bit. I was only 3cm dilated.

The midwife on call had me sit in the jet bath for a half hour or so while she tried to catch some sleep down the hall.

After the bath I layed down on the bed and dozed off. I woke up at about 3am to a stronger contraction and then a "pop" feeling. I stood up and realized my water had broke (what little of it was left).

Steve buzzed for the midwife.

Contractions just got stronger from there.

And stronger.

There was no time for any sort of pain medication except the gas and after a couple of puffs I didn't think it was doing anything to help the pain and only making it harder for me to breath so I gave up on it and suffered through some pretty severe pain.

And by severe, I mean that I begged to die.


At 5am, I was fully dilated and was told to push. I cried and begged for them to get the baby out some other way - any other way - because I did not feel that I had it in me to push. I again begged to die.

How I ever found the strength to push I will never know, but at 5:14am Lincoln Ross Roberts was born.

His dad was bursting with pride...
Lincoln had a little nap in bed with me, then was given a bath and then we got him dressed and 8 hours after giving birth we headed home. I just didn't see the point in sitting around the hospital for whole other day and night.

I felt like I had been in a bad car accident and was completely exhausted but somehow survived.