The Portal … Lunkers … Mike Leach … and … a Sacrilege!

December17/ 2022
BL Rimshots

December 17, 2022

1,000+ “student-athletes” have decided to matriculate somewhere else … obliterating forever “Big Time College Football” as anyone has known it. 

Whether that is “a good thing” or otherwise is no longer a valid debate.   Allowing for whatever “too little too late” rules that the NCAA tries to apply, it IS The Now and The Future.

That toothpaste has left the barn – that horse is out of the tube or whatever …


Raise your hand if you think ANY of those 1,000+ are interested in the course catalogues of any of their possible new matriculating destinations.

Remember that old tradition of a semi-literate 18 y/o recruit “meeting with the Dean of Whattzamatta U’s Business School to discuss  their curriculum”?   I have this hilarious vision of how those meetings went with T.A.McClendon or Marvin Austin during their respective “official visits” …LOLOLOL.

The late notorious “Black Santa” once told a naive 18 y/o LB in East Tennessee interested in majoring in Criminal Justice that UNCCH had “one of the top Criminal Justice programs in America”.  Huh? 

When the gullible young linebacker received his freshman class schedule devoid of anything related to “criminal justice” he realized – too late – he had been hoodwinked.  UNCCH, of course, has never had anything akin to a Criminal Justice course of study.

If “Black Santa” was recruiting in 2022 he would no doubt be “assuring” his young “marks” of “millions of NIL $$$$”.

SURPRISE … in just over a year of “NIL” … cases are now popping up all over Power5 World of “the check is in the mail” or “there must be some mistake” or “we said maybe” … yadda yadda … and those promised “Benjamins” not materializing as 4-5 stars are revealed to be “maybe 3-stars” at best. Uh Oh!

The Most Sought-After Recruits these days are solid 3-star QBs who don’t mind holding a clipboard for 2-3 years while getting “a free education” … and watching the Drake Mayes of the world get all the PT. … case-in-point how Dour Dave had to scramble in November. 

I haven’t seen any reports out of West Raleigh; but, “amid the lofty pines” Mack2.0 has lost a Coordinator, an O-Line coach a dozen plus DBs and assorted flotsam and jetsam from those “highly-touted” recruiting classes.

Not exactly the “complete rebuild” in Year Four that Mack had in mind.


Local Legend Lands Lunker

The entire experience only lasted “maybe” 3-4 minutes. 

Around 8:15 AM on a brisk December morning last week I was casting a “jerkbait” – specifically a 5″ StrikeKing KVD Jerkbait – on a residential pond in North Raleigh when My Fishing Life was forever changed … the freight train hit about 20′ from shore.

It wasn’t Spencer Tracy as “Santiago” fighting the giant marlin in Hemingway’s  The Old Man & The Sea, but it was pretty cool.

I was using an early Christmas present from Kid … a 6’6″ Dobyns Fury spinning rod … a nicer rod than I usually buy myself.   Before he broke the surface I knew he was “a big’un”.   Because he hit so close to shore the battle was brief. 

I had him on the bank … removed the lure … weighed him … took pics (see above) and returned him safely to his watery home … all in the afore-mentioned 3-4 minutes.

Pics were quickly sent to Blondie, my grandson “Magoo”, and a local fishing buddy “Philip”.  All were quite impressed especially 3 y/o “Magoo” up in Richmond to whom I have already achieved “superhero” status.

At 7 lbs 8 oz this was, by far, my “PB” (fishing lingo for Personal Best) for largemouth bass.  My previous largemouth PB was 3 lbs 6 oz.  I’ve caught much larger redfish (27 lbs), striped bass (52 lbs)  and catfish (38 lbs) but a 7 lb+ largemouth bass is “special”.

“Why anyone fishes?” has as many answers as there are fishermen.  Is it for such a brief solitary experience as I enjoyed that recent morning … or is it the eternal “possibility” of such an experience with every cast on every outing?  I think its both …

For me, this experience joins when I wrote “PDEWs” or “Carolina Married a Stripper” or “Two Cheerleaders In a Toilet Stall” or “Her Name Was Cotton” or … .  I look back and say to myself “Damn, THAT was a good thing.”


RIP To a for-real “Character”

I only knew what you knew about Mike Leach.  He died very suddenly last week of a heart attack.  “Sudden deaths” are different from “prolonged battles with cancer” or “retired and passing away at an old age” because you don’t have time to prepare for such.    All of us are candidates for “sudden death”.  YIKES!

If anyone had asked any fan of college football about “Mike Leach” two weeks ago words like “character” … “Iconoclast” … “pirate” … “odd” … “outspoken” would have been used.  All those still apply in describing him now.

I like “characters” whatever their profession.  A football coach who actually has “a favorite movie” other than “Patton” or “a favorite book” other than “The Art of War”.   Who can give an interview without resorting to stringing together a series of bland “coachspeak cliches”.  A “football coach” who has a Life and interests beyond “his job”.  There are not very many who fit that qualification.

Mike Leach’s greatest success was probably at Texas Tech where he had a young intern named Lincoln Riley … and where he locked Craig James’ son in an maintenance shed.  I’m sure Mack Brown remembers a THRILLA in Lubbock where Mike Leach whipped one of Mack’s juggernaut UT teams.

College Football is less “colorful” without Mike Leach.


OMG!  Say It Ain’t So !!! SACRILEGE …

I grew up in Eastern North Carolina.  My life has paralleled the phenomenon known as “Barbecue” as a noun not a verb.  I “get” the myth and hoopla about “the holy grub” as columnist Dennis Rogers described it.   A good friend of mine has written a book on the subject and taught it in his Southern Culture classes.

I’ve eaten at many of the “shrines” across The Carolinas, Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, etc where loyalists make regular pilgrimages for combination plates with, of course, sweet tea.  I understand the regional differences in sauces and slaw and types of wood and methods of cooking et al. 

I’ve had “hankerings” over the years for barbecue at (fill in name of regional shrine) and gone to some lengths to satisfy those “hankerings”.   All that said … I realized recently that I have gradually lost the “hankering” for Barbecue!

I still enjoy a bowl of Brunswick Stew – with or without squirrel or other forms of roadkill –   It’s just me; and by no means am I belittling the rest of Western Civilization for their food passion. – BUT –  I no longer crave barbecue

There, I’ve said it.  If you feel you can no longer visit here to read the musings of a heretic, I will understand.


I’m going to make a real effort to …

watch and enjoy Soccer!  I have not watched The World Cup so far but I WILL watch the finals tomorrow between Argentina and France.  I want to see “Messi” … apparently The Greatest Soccer Player Ever.

As you know, I’ve lost any/all interest in The NFL and The NBA for various reasons I won’t go into in.   Maybe “Soccer” can be a new “go to” for mindless entertainment.  If I can figure out the screwy way they keep track of how much time is left in the game.

My son-in-law grew up playing basketball and football … played football in college … but he has lost ALL interest in both sports.  He LOVES watching Premier League Soccer … is a big fan of Manchester United ???


So … (1) I’ve lost my taste for barbecue … and (2) I’m considering following Soccer.  That sacrilegious combination has to be mentioned in Revelation as a sign of End of Days.


MORE of BobLee’s Rimshots – HERE



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