As many of you know (and some of you don't) Hank Williams Jr. - famous for his "are you ready for some football" song for Monday Night Football - will no longer be singing his little song. Whether he was fired, or left ESPN on his own, doesn't matter. The issue here is why he's gone and what he said. He stirred up controversy on a show called Fox and Friends (sounds like something my niece would watch, not some news program) last week by making some wacky analogy between Obama and Hitler. When asked about it later, he wouldn't come off it, and instead dug his hole deeper by calling them (obama/biden) the enemies. A failed attempt at humor and not surprisingly, ESPN suspended him last week, which eventually led to his termination. Here's my take on it: ESPN made a mistake by letting him go. Who HASN'T heard the phrase or song "are you ready for some football?" MNF has gone through many changes over the years and is slowly becoming more and more small time. From changing many announcers (Dennis Miller anyone?) to losing Madden and Michaels, then going from network tv to cable. Are you ready for some football has been the one thing that has stayed the same. A tradition if you will. And now it's gone because we live in such a politically correct culture, ESPN caved in to what would've been pressure from some group of protestors, our some form of outcry, and let him go. Last time I checked, there's this little thing called the right to free speech. You don't have to agree with what Williams said, and I don't, but he has his right to his opinion and shouldn't lose his job over it. But I also feel that ESPN, as a company, has a right to protect their interests, and it is within their rights to fire him. It's unfortunate but if NBC is smart, they'll pick him up for their Sunday Night Football telecast, which is better than MNF now anyway. They get the better games, it's on network tv still, have better announcers (except I do like Gruden on MNF) so it would make since for him to go there. Sorry but Faith Hill and her little song doesn't get me ready for football. Hank Williams would be a major upgrade. On to the baseball postseason.
I've heard many people recently talking about how great the first round of the playoffs have been, because so many series' went 5 games. Wonder what those same people are saying now that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies have been eliminated. Anybody excited for a potential world series match between the Brewers and Rangers, or Cardinals and Tigers? Because that's what you might get now.
Speaking of the Phillies, they were baseball's version of a dream team heading into the season with their 4 or 5 aces that they picked up during the offseason. And how did that work out? A loss in the first round. They failed to live up to the hype, just as the NBA's dream team (Heat) did, and the NFL's dream team (Eagles) currently are doing. The Oregon Ducks have a dream team of a backfield, and they are certainly producing. Here are some numbers from their latest beatdown win, 43-15 over Cal:
- JR RB LaMichael James rushed for 239 yards on 30 carries, surpassing the 4,000-yard mark and moving into fifth place all-time in conference history with 4,129 yards.
- James became the first Duck to record three straight 200-yard rushing efforts and first player in the FBS with three in a row since Tulane's Matt Forte in 2007. The last Pac-10/12 player to do it more times was USC's Marcus Allen (5) in 1981.
- FR RB De'Anthony Thomas became the first Duck with 100-plus receiving yards in a game this season with 114 on six receptions. He had a career-best three touchdowns, two receiving and one rushing.
- JR RB Kenjon Barner set a career-long on his 68-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter.
- JR QB Darron Thomas has at least one touchdown pass in 18 straight games, the second-longest streak in the nation.
- Thomas had gone 110 pass attempts without an interception before a pick by Cal's D.J. Campbell in the 2nd quarter.
- After the INT, Thomas went 5 for 6 for 95 yards and three touchdowns.
- JR CB Cliff Harris had a season and game-high three pass breakups.
- As a team, the Ducks broke up a season-high 14 passes.
- JR FS John Boyett recorded his second blocked kick of the season and career when he tipped Cal's 40-yard attempt by Giorgio Tavecchio at the end of the first half.
- James first touch of the game went for a 53-yard touchdown run, his third rushing score of 50 or more yards this season.
- The Ducks have now won 19 consecutive games at Autzen Stadium, dating to 2008, and 14 straight conference games - both at home and overall. UO improved to 4-0 in Thursday night games at Autzen.
- Oregon shutout its opponent in the second half for the second time this season (Missouri State, Sept. 17).
- The last three times the Ducks have trailed at home at the half, they have won by margins of 28, 19 (vs. Arizona in 2010) and 21 (vs. Stanford in 2010).
- Oregon's 43 points were its fewest at home since 37 in a 37-33 victory vs. Oregon State Dec. 3, 2009.
- The crowd of 58,796 (capacity 54,000) marked the 77th consecutive sellout at Autzen Stadium, dating to 1999. The last non-sellout was Sept. 18, 1999 vs. Nevada.