2017 Sullivan's Preseason Thoughts & Prayers: Dabo Matters

2017 Sullivan's Preseason Thoughts & Prayers: Dabo Matters

Crowley Sullivan

2017 Sullivan's Preseason Thoughts & Prayers: Dabo Matters

2017 Crowley Sullivan’s Preseason Thoughts & Prayers

 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


The weird thing is that there are people who think that the University of Mississippi’s football program matters.

I have friends who have used the word “juggernaut” to describe the Mississippi Rebels over the last few years.

Forget for a moment that these pals couldn’t find Oxford, Mississippi on a map.

They’ve just been believers (not necessarily BELIEVERS – just believers).

I guess if you consider Tab, Blockbuster Video, Sbarro, Radio Shack, and Bob Costas’ beloved ABA relevant, then you can consider Mississippi Rebels Football relevant.



Sam Darnold has already won the Heisman Trophy and next year’s NFL MVP Award. At least that’s what I suspect based on the punditry’s feting of him.

Darnold engineered a terrific win in the Rose Bowl. That matters. And he’s shown that there’s reason to think he has a bright future.

Ron Powlus had Todd Marinovich-esque talent as a quarterback.

Beano Cook had two Heisman Trophies with Powlus’s name etched into them hidden behind the Cook Family Basement Bar.

Before we hand over the next few national championships to The Men of Troy, should we take a deep breath and recognize that the head coach at the University of Washington might have something to say about all of this?

Perhaps we could also recall that not long ago, the Mississippi Rebels were a juggernaut.



Hard to put to a fine point on how I’ve managed to stay busy and focused since Dabo raised the trophy, but here’s a repeated scenario that causes me to wonder about our world as I’ve waited for college football to return:

“Would you like me to place your milk into a bag, too?”

No – please do not put the milk into a bag.

Also, don’t put the lettuce into a bag.

And don’t put the soap into a bag.

Oh – and keep the boxes of cereal separate/out of any bag.

The six things of ice cream I got there – don’t put any of those in a bag, either.

My wife’s unmentionables and her various female sundries – no need to put those into a bag – please leave them separate from any of the items you’re putting into a bag.

Please do not place the frozen pizzas into any bags.

And the grapes – don’t put those into a bag.

I’m kind of going back and forth on whether or not the various cheeses should go into a bag – and, I guess the more I think about it, you should probably NOT put any of the cheeses into a bag.

Everything else should go into a bag.



Until Dabo loses, he’s what matters.

Without any apologies to the Fighting Elephants, Florida Female College/Florida College For Women, Troy, the professional football team in Columbus, and all other college football programs, the national champions are the national champions until they are not.



I love The Pirate.

Interesting fellow.

Sometimes, however, he reminds us that he’s a football coach and he wears a whistle around his neck.

I refrained from offering comment a year or so ago but I’m weighing in now.

Mike Leach felt it appropriate to give us Pirate-esque commentary about the supposed fraudulent Cubs fans out there.

“I’m sick of the yuppies out there who are going on about ‘My Cubbies.’ None of those people are Cubs fans. They all make me sick.”

That might not be a verbatim quote – but it’s pretty close.

Speaking on behalf of the countless generations of people who have grown up immersed in everything related to the entire Cubs Experience – My Cubbies are the defending World Series Champions and they’re right in the midst of surging towards potential back-to-back World Series Championships.

Memo to The Pirate: we love when you stray from the playbook.

But you have some work to do with your Cougars.

And when one considers the various lawsuits you have on your desk, it might be a good idea to focus a bit more on coaching your football team this Fall.



When Mark Dantonio and Michigan State defeat the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in Arbor – convincingly – this coming October 7th, which of the following will be the most interesting elements of the post-game analysis:
UMAA will be in position to three-peat as Big Ten East Division 3rd Place Champions
Dantonio and his program will continue to demonstrate that the rumors of his/its demise were premature
UMAA fans will have a hard time muffling themselves regarding “The Schtick” starting to smell like a raccoon nibbling on a dead bird on the steps of the Administration building on the campus of the University of Michigan at Flint
Everyone across the entire college football universe (fans, coaches, administrators, broadcasters, conference executives, referees, in-stadium vendors, sports media consultants, former players, former coaches, ex-girlfriends and ex-wives of UMAA’s current head coach, protectors and teachers of the proper way to speak the English language, and others) will rejoice not so quietly.



Brian Kelly said this a few days ago, “I was the absent professor in 2016.”

If he was the absent professor in 2016, does that mean that he was the absent human with a skull absent of a brain on the day that he sent Declan Sullivan up into the rickety video tower on the day when the entire Midwest was acutely aware of record-setting winds?

Kelly has managed to fight through issues at Notre Dame. But his days are numbered due to the good, old fashioned issues that matter the most – wins and losses.



Meanwhile, If Bob Stoops isn’t the head coach of the University of Notre Dame soon after this coming regular season ends, I will teach myself how to surf.

I’ll find a surfing coach, take lessons, and become a very, very talented and skilled surfer.



Memo to the Big Ten – your conference’s representatives in the last two years of the College Football Playoff have produced an aggregated score of 69-0 (the Big Ten teams are the ones that have accounted for zero points).

Suggestion – perhaps the champion of the conference should show up even if another team is selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.



Butch Jones will make for a fine coach in Oxford, Mississippi a year from now.



My dad had a close friend named Bud Bannister.

Bannister would appear at our house randomly.

Sometimes he’d accompany my dad, the two barreling through the back door having just ransacked the bar car on the train ride home from work. Sometimes he’d show up over weekends at odd hours. His entire approach never seemed to include much rhyme or reason.

Bannister went about 6’6” and he carried around about 280 pounds when he was in tip top shape.

I once saw Bud eat an entire medium-sized pumpkin in our living room after losing a bet posed by my dad just before Art Schlichter completed a heave to convert on 3rd and long.

Bud used the pumpkin stem as a fake corn cob pipe and spoke in a Jimmy Durante voice for the rest of the day/night (and Sunday morning since he woke up on our patio and stayed for breakfast).

Bannister was a roller coaster ride and a tornado mixed in with a sandstorm and a tsunami and he provided everyone with a lot of fun.

But anytime Bannister galloped off to his next conquest, the entire gang always sort of gave out a sigh of relief.

If Bannister hadn’t expired in the middle of extramarital sexual intercourse with the wife of a former professional head coach of one of Chicago’s proud sports franchises, I’d happily pass along his contact information to the people at LSU for when the Coach O Era becomes a broken Tilt A Whirl.



This is the season when Georgia becomes what Tennessee has been for as long as anyone other than Phil Fulmer can remember.

Georgia is the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – but without the pedigree.



Johnny Miller saying that Rory McIlroy is “bad at reading greens” is a lot like saying Earl Campbell struggled when he needed to carry the ball with his left hand.

Miller saying that Justin Thomas’s record-setting 63 in the United States Open Championship wasn’t as impressive as his own former record-setting round in a United States Open Championship played almost a century ago is a lot like when Howard Cosell used to say that Robert Conrad’s bicycle riding prowess in the Battle of the Network Stars wasn’t nearly as good as Bing Crosby’s performance of “White Christmas” on The Smothers Brothers Christmas Special.



May Glen Campbell rest in peace.

My stage name was the self-created “Freddy Punker.”

The performances ranged from George M Cohan show tunes to TV theme songs to college fight songs.

But the one that always brought down the house for the throng of guests of the Sullivans’ out on the porch on those 1970s summer evenings in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

And I bet he’d have made a hell of a good linebacker.

Thanks for the fun and the voice and the legacy, Cowboy.



Dabo. When you hoist the trophy, you matter the most until someone else matters more.

Florida Female College/Florida College For Women.

Someday, others will join me in wondering why an elephant is a normal mascot for the school with, perhaps, the best bona fides in all of college football. Perhaps the New York Yankees should have a giant jelly donut as their mascot.

The Professional Football Club of Columbus (Hang On Sloopy).
What if the Land of Lincoln dares to win the whole thing? What does that wind up saying about Big Game Bob?

Chris Petersen is the best coach in all of college football. The guys that play around with resources and athletes and glorious stadia have it easy. Petersen wins where others have not. That’s the real measurement.
Nobody likes to give Wisconsin respect. Just ask Arizona basketball fans. Or LSU. Or USC. Or Auburn.


He’s a man. He’s 50.

When Mark Richt eventually wins it all with The U, he’ll genuflect and place an honorary national championship ring at the tombstone where Larry Munson rests.

I can’t decide if the best comp for James Franklin is Scott Baio the citizen away from stage and screen, Scott Baio the proud and productive political activist, or Scott Baio as Chachi Arcola. Tough call.

You have one game to win, Valentino Rossi. You get Dabo at home. Win that game and the trophy will be yours to raise down the road. Just stay clear of the potholes, avoid unnecessary guest passengers, and keep both hands on the wheel.

More Crowley Sullivan