Crowley Sullivan is a 20-year sports-media veteran having spent ten years at ESPN as a producer, programmer, content creator, business developer, and brand manager. He now serves a EVP, Planning/GM, Sports for MandtVR, a content creation platform that emphasizes Virtual Reality initiatives.
Bother Crowley at @CrowleySullivan
Thoughts & Prayers After Week 7
THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY
When you’re the head coach of a college football team that loses two games in row by the scores of 58-0 and 78-0, do you start to consider the idea of getting into politics and eventually running for president of the United States?
How about the whole “I’m from Jersey” thing? Do the “Jersey guys” actually think that being a “Jersey guy” is some sort of positive attribute? When I think of a “Jersey guy,” two guys immediately come to mind: Tony Soprano and Charlie Weis. And Tony is the guy that I’d prefer to spend time with.
Rutgers – you have some soul searching to do. And that’s been on the agenda for, like, five or six decades.
And while we’re at it, let’s address this whole 78-0 and 58-0 thing for a moment.
When you manage to score 78 points on an opponent, and the opponent doesn’t manage to score any points, does that make you feel good and strong and awesome? Do those 78 points make the time you lost that big kickball game against the older sixth-graders turn into a victory? That one gal who wouldn’t go see “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” with you – by scoring 78 points on The State University of New Jersey, are you able to go back in time and escort her to the movie house?
I know there’s that whole “It’s not my job to stop us – it’s their job to stop us…” thing – and I get that.
But is there even a small part of you that realizes that a 78-0 victory is a little weird?
Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
OF COURSE, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS
If you’re Washington and you put up 70 points on a hated rival – I’m willing to see that as not being weird.
There were many reasons why Chris Petersen’s name was always thrown into the fray any time there were coaching vacancies while he was cranking at Boise State. This guy knows what he’s doing. And he’s cool in the way he does it.
And this dismantling of the Webfoots wasn’t just a victory in game number six of the 2016 season.
The victory was an exorcism – and it wasn’t just performed on Oregon. This exorcism was hurled at all of the Pac 12 including all of the People of Troy who continue to think that the Men of Troy are just a play or two away.
The Artist Formerly Known As a Human Living Among Us is smiling from on high – the Purple Reign has officially begun.
RICH LITTLE WAS A SPECIAL TALENT
The carriage finally turned into a pumpkin.
Coach Butch has shown us a lot in this first half of the season. And the Vols almost pulled a gigantic rabbit out of another hat in College Station.
But when you commit seven turnovers and are flagged twelve times, you’re going to have a hard time beating Rutgers, let alone Texas A&M.
Vols fans probably don’t want to hear this – but – that afternoon in College Station will prove to be yet another great building block for this program.
That said, Coach Butch has work to do.
A couple of days after being carted off the field on a stretcher after a long and frightening delay, the Vols announced the dismissal of defensive tackle Danny O’Brien for a violation of team rules.
In 2015 he was suspended for violating team rules. And in 2014 he was arrested for underage consumption, resisting arrest, and “criminal impersonation.”
I’m a fairly good impersonator.
I do a pretty damn good Redd Foxx, a decent F. Murray Abraham, and a lights out version of Forrest Whitaker accepting his Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin.
But during the six or seven times I’ve been arrested, I’ve never given consideration to launching into any of those impersonations.
And something tells me that O’Brien’s impersonations – while stone sober, let alone after a few casual gin and tonics – leave a lot to be desired to those of us who appreciate the art of impersonation.
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE
Phi Slamma Jamma went down.
I said they would not.
But I’m a man – I’m older than 40 – and I stand up and face the music when I’m flat out wrong.
I saw Guy Lewis’s gang running the table.
Running the table is hard for any team.
And even though they slipped up, there is a silver lining.
The Cougars’ loss – to the United States Naval Academy – was a victory for America.
And the shot of Cougars’ Linell Bonner caught right in the middle of the Midshipmen rushing the field was priceless – and I’d be willing to wager that even Bonner sort of enjoyed it.
FLORIDA – LSU
I just read a headline that states “Re-scheduling Florida – LSU May Depend on Sun Belt.”
I don’t even care what the background is, what the logistical challenges are, what the Lord has done to present the citizens of that part of the world with His recent weather problems – this is ridiculous.
When you’re Florida, LSU, and the SEC and someone publishes something that states that your ability to play your game may depend on the Sun Belt, it’s time to wonder whether or not you have more in common with The State University of New Jersey than you may think.
They’re fired up in the ‘Zoo!
MAC-tion is being steamrolled by P.J. Fleck and his Broncos.
The team makes its first appearance in the Top 25 IN SCHOOL HISTORY.
What happens if these guys run the table??
Does the MAC get the chance to crash the party??
And in case you’re wondering, they know how to throw parties at Western.
Here’s to this gang keeping this thing going so that some of the big boys can whine about having their personal space invaded.
I read a clever guy’s piece of writing just after Nebraska hired Mike Riley.
The clever scribe wrote this: “I think Nebraska’s hiring of Mike Riley is great! I only have one question – Who is Mike Riley?”
As a student of smarm, I had to applaud the effort with that one.
But, I wonder if that guy knows who Mike Riley is now.
My guess is that he does not. But I’m getting off point.
Nebraska – one of four Big Ten squads in the Top 10 – is 5-0 and has a realistic shot at finishing with a 10-2 record.
To those who think that the College Football Playoff is all that matters and that all of these “other” bowl games are meaningless exhibitions, tell that to the Husker Nation if the Big Red makes a triumphant return to the Orange Bowl after a possible 10-2 season.
SPECIALIZING IN AGRICULTURE
I know I saw this – Arkansas Athletic Director, Jeff Long, on the Razorbacks’ sideline, conferring with Boss Hog at some point during the ball game.
I believe it was during a scenario in which a play was being reviewed.
I thought we went through this whole thing with Pat Haden and everyone agreed that this was really weird.
And if that wasn’t weird enough, a University of Arkansas associate professor of business and economics specializing in agriculture was arrested immediately after the game and escorted out of the stadium for verbally accosting Boss Hog with language elected or non-elected public officials wouldn’t even use.
This associate professor of business and economics with a specialization in agriculture yelled at Boss Hog that if he had a “record” comparable to Boss Hog’s record, he’d be fired.
Like someone said would be a takeaway from this game in very important preview of it last week, the Hogs are always really tough to battle.
THIS WEEK’S MENU
Alabama at Tennessee
The worst part about the dismissal of Tennessee’s Danny O’Brien – that’s Danny O’Brien, the impersonator – is that Tennessee is going to need some impersonators for this matchup. Coach Butch needs someone to impersonate Tom Brady, Lawrence Taylor, maybe Walter Payton, perhaps even Jerry Rice. Most of all, O’Brien would be a very valuable contributor if he could be present in order to impersonate another head coach for the Vols.
Ohio State at Wisconsin
The least-hyped No. 2 vs No. 8 game in the history of college football. Perfectly good reason for the lack of hype – it’s a game featuring two teams that aren’t from the nation’s best conference, the ACC. Or the Sun Belt.
North Carolina at Miami
Can Carolina bounce back after Virginia Tech treated the Heels like a team from the Sun Belt? Can Miami bounce back after losing due to a blocked-left PAT? Can someone tell me why The U doesn’t play all of its home games at Hard Rock Stadium? That was electric and fun and it almost made me think of The U as a college football program as opposed to it being a halfway house for gents making a pit stop on their way to the CFL?
West Virginia at Texas Tech
Before we all officially write off the Big 12, let’s keep an eye on the Mountaineers. Dana Holgorsen is quietly 4-0. Big challenge this week in Lubbock. Aside from just needing to be in Lubbock for a couple of days, West Virginia has a tricky Red Raider team to get past. Some very intriguing battles up ahead – TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor. Every one of those games could go a hundred different ways. Holgorsen might be as entertaining of a team to follow if they can get to 8-0 for a Nov 19 home showdown with Oklahoma.
We all know that college football might not be the place to look if you’re in search of class, dignity, and smarts.
But, if you’re looking for those types of things, I’ll direct you to what might initially appear like an unlikely place: the host desk of the morning gab fest, “Access Hollywood Live.”
There, you’ll find Kit Hoover.
And with the world swirling around her, vultures circling, critics critiquing, judgers judging; dim-witted, too-smart-by-half producers telling her what they think is right in her ear, all she does with calm, cool grace is bring smiles to the people.
She’s done this her entire life.
And nothing shakes her.
Not a house burning to the ground; not a pain-in-the-neck high maintenance husband; not the years of up-before-dawn mornings; not the never-seen-by-friends challenges that go along with building a distinguished career out of nothing; not the midnight feedings followed almost immediately by the car pools followed almost immediately by helping with high school homework.
And not the latest national scandal involving presidential candidates and others saying things on buses followed by news and entertainment people behaving like G. Gordon Liddy’s Plumbers.
If you’re looking for someone to brighten your day, folks, forget about looking at the fancy sports channels, at the whistle-toting footballers, or at the people we all elect to office.
Look where I look every day.
She’ll make you happy to be alive.