Running around to Give you the Reacharound



First, read BI's ode to the golden age of MTV. Then, before heading to the pool, or Athens, or Gainesville, or wherever, hit up your favorite guido or gaming website and lay down the following:

UCLA (+7.5) over Tennessee - $10

Florida (-35) over Hawaii - $10

East Carolina (+9.5) over Virginia Tech - $25

East Carolina (+340 ML) over Virginia Tech - $10

Michigan (-3.5) over Utah - $20

Alabama (+4.5) over Clemson - $50

Alabama (+170 ML) over Clemson - $30

Usually, I don't lay too much money down the first two weeks of football…so we'll be giving you plenty more options on how to lose some money in the weeks to come.

2008 Record: 0-0

2008 Pot: $0

Enjoy the last weekend of summer, the first weekend of football and be sure to come back on Tuesday our sobered-up analysis of the weekend that was. Go Dawgs!


Preliminary Top 25 Music Videos Part I

What's that you say? This is the most pointless posting Sue's has ever regurgitated? You must've missed the gem toting the benefits of a hot receptionist at your dentist's office. And don't worry, we have diabolical plans in the making for the most ridiculous reading you could possibly think of. As soon as our Master Piece on The Mighty Ducks Trilogy is complete, you'll have the best reading material this side of classic posts by a certain friend of Sue's that hails from Boston.

Pointless to put up a preliminary post, eh? Well this is a work in progress. It's entirely possible we're going to reorder this list or, understandably, add to it. We certainly reserve the right to move some of these up and down as we please until it's complete and, as soon as 2Pac resurfaces, who's to say he won't unleash a torrent of genius music video once again? I wouldn't bet against that. But Jibber probably would.

This list will be created in sets of five. Because that's the safest way to handle this incredibly delicate subject. And plus, how much time do you expect us to consecutively get stoned and argue over classic music videos?

Hoping we don't piss too many people off, here's our list of the best music videos of all time:

25) Video Killed the Radio Star, Buggles (1981)

What better way to start out this list than the song that ushered in the era of 24-hour music videos? This was the first video ever aired on MTV, and in early 2000 it also became the millionth video shown on MTV. Wanna know something you didn't know? Multi-Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy winner Hans Zimmer, famous for his scores for Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, The Rock, et. al (my all-time favorite of his was the Broken Arrow theme - awesome), is playing the keyboards in the video. Thanks for starting out our list, Buggles. Wherever the fuck you are.

24) Eddie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack (1975)

BULLSHIT! If Runaround Sue's is going to come up with this asanine list, they can't put this piece of crap on there! If you're going to have any song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it has to be the fucking "Time Warp!" Those dumb assholes.

To which I say: chill the fuck out. It's early in the list and Time Warp may still make it. While technically not a video (in this era of YouTube, any song able to be featured thusly is considered a "music video"), this little wonder makes it for sheer originality, if that's what you want to call it, and longevity. People are still putting this production on at midnight shows live just for their own amusement. Meatloaf's bloated younger self busting out a kick ass song? Tim Curry mercifully murdering said Loaf with a pick ax? Hard to argue with this video barely squeaking in at #24, but feel free.

#23) Estranged, Guns N Roses (1991)

This song has a very strong probability of moving up the list, spotted so early in the list because we expect Guns N' Roses to come strong later on. While this is Bourne's favorite rock song by his favorite band of all time, this is a completely impartial choice. Dig it:

The video is the third and final part of an unofficial trilogy preceded by "Don't Cry" and "November Rain" (watch out for these contenders later on). This video cost nearly $4 million to produce, astonishing at the time and still considered insanely massive today. The nine-minute-long video for "Estranged" is similar in style to the previous videos in the trilogy, but only loosely picks up the theme of the previous two. This is mainly because Axl Rose and then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, who played Axl's girlfriend in "Don't Cry" and "November Rain," had broken up right before filming, making the theme of separation and divorce the focal point. And yes, I knew all of that without Wikipedia. Displaying Axl playing with his kid backstage then panning to empty rooms with toys? Very nice.

By the way, this song represents the way music used to be. I love Rap as much as the next guy, but music used to change tempo and melody throughout. This does it several times, and all of them are as awesome as a live fight between a t-rex and five raptors. The piano solo and heart-clawing guitar riffs are legendary.

Best part? In the final sequence, when Axl goes to an abandoned oil tanker during the climax of the song and leaps into the water. Also notable is the immortal Slash ripping his guitar standing in the middle of the ocean. Telling a story in the video receives strong points from Sue's. Doing so in a compelling way mixed with a kick-ass song and still-dazzling effects, and you are guaranteed to make the List.

#22) Flash Gordon Theme, Flash Gordon Soundtrack (1980)

Following the video most likely to climb? The video most likely to fall, completely out of the List as a matter of fact.
We're willing to bet most of our readers out there have never heard of this epic film, or if they have completely forgot the rock anthem FLASH! Ah, ahh! by Queen. With rocket cycles, birdmen, a pre-Bond Timothy Dalton, New York Jets Quarterback turned Earth-Saver and gratuitous hints at saphic lust, all that was missing was a fucking kick-ass theme song. Well, Queen, who we can thank for another get-your-ass-up and work out theme as well, stepped up to the plate and belted one like A-Rod in an April game (just kidding A-Rod! Sue's love you!).

After watching this a few times, I can honestly say that this video accurately represents one of my favorite cheese movies of all time. This song kicks nearly as much ass as the movie, and together you've got the type of nostalgia people pay for in large sums. For those of you still reading this, the scene where Flash and Prince Barin fight to the death is the perfect link for matching up against an old buddy in fantasy. FLASH! He'll save every one of us!

#21) In the Living Years, Mike and the Mechanics (1988)

We have to have solid representation from the 80s here. If the 90s were music videos going out every night bangin the young ass and acing tests after three-day benders a la college, the 80s were the awkward, learning how to dress and hide your massive erection in class a la high school.

Well, this video has it all. Impromptu boys choir? Check. Classic 80s black trench coats? Plenty. We've got the ridiculous mullet-beard combo and obvious lip singing here folks. And what better way to take emotionally packed lyrics about the universally understood awkward and sometimes tragic relationship of father-son to a new level than focusing on the relationship of the singer and his son. This video even does the cemetery song better than Blue October, although not better than a sure-fire top three video to be named later. I remember as a young'n thinking that "I wasn't there that morning. When my father passed away. I didn't get to tell him...all the things I had to say" was one of the saddest and most powerful single lines of a song I had ever heard, and it still sticks. Couple that with the singer's son walking away from his grandfather's grave and you've got a video in our Top 25. Besides, it was either that or Milli Vanilli.

#20) If, Janet Jackson (1993)

While the song masterfully samples from Diana Ross and the Supremes' "Someday, We'll be Together," the video perfectly demonstrates Janet's ability as one of the best female dancers of her time. This video is awesomely choreographed, leading the pack in group-choreographed sexually charged moves that paved the way for circle jerkers like the Backstreet Boys.

When implausibly cut-up dancers are lowered to the dance floor by metal chains in the opening, you know this is going to be an electrified vid. According to some, the video "challenged notions of culture and sexuality in a highly-stylized and imaginiative presentation with a them of voyeurism." Okay, sure. Winner of the 1994 MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video, on this one MTV definitely got it right.

Best part? The second solo sample of the Supremes where she does that...arm-thingy. Whitey here has tried to duplicate that move on the dance floor ever since. Seriously. This narrowly edges out the part where Janet and her dominatrix dance troupe shove their male dancers' heads into their crotch.

Oh, and by the way? This was when Janet was just so-fucking-hot. I mean, HOT. With this song, the video was done perfectly. Janet was guaranteed to make this list, and may sneak in again with her brother Michael on Scream, but this video certainly deserves it's place here at #20.

So there it is folks, numbers 20-25. Of course this may change, and we may even stretch it to a Top 30 to fit in borderlines. But we will, eventually, arrive at the Best Videos of All Time presented by Runaround Sue's.


Pre-Season Top 10

Let the games begin

After this week Sue's will have a single, cohesive and agreeable Top 10 list. But to start out the year and highlight how irrelevant preseason rankings are, we'll have two.

So, the Real Top 10 Preseason Ranking from Runaround Sue's:

  1. Georgia
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Florida
  4. Southern California
  5. Ohio State
  6. Louisiana State
  7. Texas
  8. Missouri
  9. West Virginia
  10. Wisconsin
If this season is half as insane as last year, this will look completely different within 3 weeks. Here's to Georgia and Ohio State in Miami at year's end.


Another Day at the Dentist

Man, oh man. What is better than spending an afternoon with someone poking and prodding around in your mouth with some sharp ass instruments? I just can't think of a better deal. You mean, I pay you several hundred dollars (less if you're one of the 3.4% of Americans with insurance!) so that you can make me incredibly uncomfortable, give me a free showing of the habitat that is your inner nostrils and generally leave me with nothing to do for a few hours than guess what you ate for lunch? Sign me the fuck up! Note to dentists: if you eat onions for lunch, use some fucking mouthwash.

Now, I realize that this isn't exactly about sports, but fucking shit man. I had lots of downtime for a few hours. With that mind-blowing introduction, the following is the best and worst of dentist visits.


1) Catching up on Your Sports and Celebrity Reading

"Brittney Spears is thin again? No? This is an old issue and she's actually preggo again? When did Mary Kate start fucking Richard Gere? Fuck this is from last year!" There's nothing quite like having a smörgåsbord spread of US and Sports Illustrated magazines in front of you. Granted you usually only read through about 2/3 of any article, but shit man! I read 1/3 of an article on Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson and their ability to hold onto their friendship despite competing against each other for the all-around gold medal in gymnastics! It was their dream and they talked about it ever since becoming the first two announced to the team two years ago! It was a beautiful almost-half a story! More on the gymnasts in part II of our Olympic coverage.

If you're like me you have more important things to do in the bathroom than read SI. Like, read US News and Weekly Report or your book. So it's always a splendor when you get to act like a kid in the candy store and pick out which celeb-trash rag or Super Bowl Coverage Special! issue of sports magazines will keep you busy for a while.

2) The Free Shit

Dental floss that tastes like raccoon shit? Toothpaste with a good 1.5 squeezes in it? Toothbrushes you just specifically told me not to use? $1 off coupons for Ultra Super Badass toothpaste that costs $25? Fuck. Yes. Maybe I'm too old to get a lollipop. But God damn it, when I get something for free I just feel special. I don't give a fuck what it is. I could go on a trip to the mountains and stop at the General Store and they could give me a bag of bear shit on my way out. "Free bear shit? Are you fucking kidding me? This place is fucking awesome!" So kudos to you, dental pharmaceutical companies. You make my shitty day less shittastic.

3) The Leggy Receptionist

Now, this isn't always a given. If you're going to the dentist and they don't have the Free Shit and the Huge Magazine Selection, son you in the wrong place. But if your tooth examiner is really on top of his shit, he'll also have a hot ass girl at the front desk. It's a given. I mean, if I owned a business I'd take a 38% decline in productivity for a 75% increase in aesthetically pleasing tits for the one employee where it definitely matters. I'm pretty sure any person with good business sense, including those with vaginas, would do the same.

It's very important that you always flirt with this girl like she's the hottest girl you've ever seen. Not only does it really make going to the dentist a much more positive experience, but you just don't ever know. Ya never, know.

EDIT: Point of advice, if you do flirt your ass off and somehow get the ridiculously hot receptionist from your dentist's office to go out on a date with you, be sure to check for the wedding ring. I mean, if you care about that sort of thing. But be careful. Seriously.


1) The Self-Esteem Crusher

Also known as your consultation after the hygienest has efficiently gaped and stretched your mouth out wider than a Saigon whore's ass, so that it's more sore than a Saigon whore's jaw, this is when the real fun starts. No matter how well you've brushed, no matter how many times a day you've flossed, there's always something you could be doing better. It's like a soul destroying argument with your girlfriend.

Dentist Says: "So what about flossing?"
Dentist Means: "Your gums look like a toothless homeless kid's from Baltimore."

Dentist Says: "Three times per week? That's good but you should really floss at least once per day."
Dentist Means: "You little lying fuck. You don't even deserve to sit in my comfy chair you bastard. You haven't flossed since the Wall fell, have you?"

Dentist Says (flossing your teeth): "Do you know the proper way to floss? Many people floss but never get down the right technique."
Dentist Means: "Your gums look like shit. Y'know, I'm really looking close now, and I can just be honest and say this is the worst shit I've ever seen. You're one sick fuck."

Inevitably you always leave feeling like you're not doing enough. I don't give a shit if you brush 3X daily and floss twice. There's something you can be doing better. You're using Crest? You dumbass. Use Aquafresh. It's got baking soda stabilizers. Using Aquafresh? Not good enough. Don't you care about your health? Use Sensodyne. Here's a $1 off coupon.

2) Feeling Like a Pussy

If you're lucky, you've never had a cavity in your life and the most discomfort you feel when you go to the dentist is when they poke and prod your mouth with sharp ass instruments you end up getting into an argument about at the end of the visit.

BI: You should really be careful with those things when you're poking someone's mouths.

Hygienist: Oh, why is that?

BI: Look how sharp they are! You could literally kill someone with these things!

Hygienist: Now come on. I think that's pretty impossible.

BI (taking sharpest instrument, making stabbing gesture toward throat and ear of hygienist): No really, look! If I stab you right here and pull, your whole throat opens up! Or I could just go in on the side of your ear here, see?

Hygienist (looking frighteningly towards the reception desk, slowly raising hand to take instrument): Yes, well, I've never really tried that before.

But if you have had a cavity, you know what it's like. How do they figure out if you're in pain? Put you in mild discomfort, of course. How do they find out if you're in immense pain? Put you in pain! It's fucking brilliant! I'm going to take this sharp thing here and ram it all around your teeth until you say "Ow, shit!" okay? Alright let's start.

3) The Cost

Without insurance, your poor ass better just go ahead and forget about the dentist. We're talking about a fucking G just for a filling. Several hundred for a teeth cleaning. And God save your ass if you need something a little more complex, like a crown or some shit. You're looking at about $3k. Guess what mutherfucker? You're losing a tooth 'cause you can't afford health insurance. Now your ass is homeless because your boss thinks you're unsightly to clients. Your wife's left you, your kids are going to Florida State, and you're sucking dick for a baked potato. All because you couldn't lay off the God damn snickers. Life's a bitch, ain't it?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to eat an apple fried in bacon grease.

5 Random Thoughts and Rankings

Well, this is going to have to work as Runaround Sue's official 2008 College Football Preview. Without further are 5 Fearless Thoughts on this season.

1. Clemson will not live up to expectations.

A no brainer from where I stand, and yes, trust me, I appreciate how weak the ACC is. Where to begin...isn't Clemson ranked in the Top 8-15 range to start off every season? Doesn't every season inevitably follow one of two patterns...

1- Clemson starts the season on a hot streak, ascends to or near the Top 5, only to come crashing down to earth to end with 4-5 losses?
2- Clemson starts the season struggling, Tommy Bowden is placed on the hot seat, Clemson beats Florida State and ends the season on a hot streak, finishing with 4-5 losses?

Also, regardless of the situation that plays out, Bowden WILL receive a contract extension following the season. Clemson's ability to extend this guy's contract is roughly the equivalent of my girlfriend signing her eighth contract of the last year with T-Mobile so she can replace the phone she just fucked up (again). Seriously, how can Clemson fan feel confident with this guy as their coach? Is he not Jim Donnan, part deux? The last six seasons, Clemson has finished 9-4, 8-5, 8-4, 6-5, 9-4, 7-6. Their best ACC record over that period is 5-3. And now I'm supposed to buy them as a darkhorse title contender? Sorry, not happening. Throw in Bowden's recent attempt at revisionist history, and he's no friend of Sue's.

(That enough rhetorical questions for you?)

2. The Big 12 will almost, ALMOST, be as good as the SEC...this season.

Bama is still probably a year, and a QB, away. LSU is reloading and is heading into the season with more questionmarks than in any recent season. Petrino's got a helluva mess to clean up in Fayetteville. Tennessee and Auburn are installing new QBs and offensive systems. And you know what? The SEC is still the nation's best conference by a comfortable margin. However, this season, the Big 12 could be third-to-none in terms on on-field talent, coaching and teams at their presumptive peak. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas and Missouri will all field their best teams in recent memory, and in some cases, ever. Texas, as always, looks to be a Top 10-15 stalwart all season. Oklahoma State and Nebraska's programs are improving. Enjoy this year, Big 12, because following Monday's news, this is the closest you'll get to that #1 spot in quite awhile.

3. West Virginia will begin a long slide back to irrelevance.

Call me crazy, but if I'm a couch-burning West Virginia booster; rather than figuring out ways to sue Rich Rodriguez or send his kids death threats, I would probably find it more prudent to put pressure on the University administration NOT to hire a coach who's only head coaching experience includes a 7-17 stint at VMI. Hiring/keeping a coach based on player(s) preference is usually not a smart move outside of an NBA superstar holding a franchise hostage. Needless to say, a college football team is structured a bit differently. Luckily, a ridiculously simple schedule, with the toughest games being home contests against Auburn and South Florida, will allow West Virginia to linger with the big boys a bit longer.

And while we're speaking about coaching changes, here are some winners and losers of the offseason in that department:

Michigan - It may take a couple of seasons, but Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez is a significant improvement.
Arkansas - Petrino has coached five college seasons and still hasn't hit double digit losses.
Duke - Cutcliffe is their best coach since Spurrier. He'll have them in a bowl game and in multiple "where did these guys come from?!?" features within three seasons.
SMU & UCLA - With June Jones and Neuheisel, there will be no lack of excitement in these programs.
Nebraska - Anyone who has successfully studied under Hayden Fry, Bob Stoops and Les Miles is a good choice to coach a Big 12 team.

Southern Miss - I'm not a huge proponent of kicking to the curb the coach that put your small-time program on the map.
Ole Miss - Yes, The Nuttjob always got the most out of his talent, blah, blah, blah. He also never fully took advantage of having the best SEC running back since Herschel Walker and squandered his best recruiting class through PR gaffes that would make John Rocker blush. If 8-4 seasons is what Ole Miss is looking to get back to, you have to wonder why Cutcliffe was fired in the first place five years ago.

Texas A&M - Will Mike Sherman be the next Pete Carroll or Bill Callahan? I'm gonna guess closer to the latter.
Georgia Tech - Paul Johnson could be the best or the worst thing to ever happen to that program and I would not be surprised.

4. Georgia will win the SEC, yet somehow get shut out of the BCS Championship game.

Everything has been said about the ridiculous nature of Georgia's schedule this season (although 2009's edition doesn't look any easier), so I will spare the talk on that end. One or two losses against that schedule will put Georgia in the "nation's-best-squad" talk. However, at the end of the day, if Georgia has two losses, I can't see them jumping another highly-ranked, highly-regarded team with less losses by foolish pollsters. As a Georgia fan that bleeds red and black, I'm trying to be objective here, and as Bourn mentioned to me, I'll have plenty of moments this season to show my homerism. So that's why, I have to go with...

5. Oklahoma and Ohio State meeting in the BCS Championship Game.

While getting pounded by SEC teams in the last two title games, Ohio State fans have pointed to this year as THEIR year. With an astonishing 21 starters returning and several blue-chippers behind them, they are indeed stacked. An early road loss to USC could be their only hiccup, but I've got them winning that one and their next two toughest (sic) contests at Wisconsin and vs. Michigan. Oklahoma is likewise stacked, espicially on the offensive line that protects their Heisman candidate QB, and also features a favorable schedule. I have no idea who will win this always-a-bridesmaid matchup, and I don't care to guess. Until the day the BCS matchups are announced, I will hold out hope that UGA will be in the position to lay a 3rd consecutive S(EC)tomping to Ohio State.

Sue's Top 10

Why only 10? Because, really, who gives a shit about whether a team is getting screwed by being ranked 18th instead of 14th?

Also note: This poll moving forward, will be of the teams we feel are the 10 best teams in the country right now. Nothing else (i.e. schedules) is taken into account.

1. Georgia
2. Oklahoma
3. Ohio State
4. Florida
5. USC
6. LSU
7. Texas
8. Alabama
9. Arizona State
10. Mizzou...with Kansas close behind.

Call it a Sun Belt bias. More to come later.


Enough to Pay Two of Our Coaches

As first reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the South Eastern Conference announced today a megadeal with ESPN that will ensure that SEC games are broadcast nationally, consistently, for the next 15 years.

The deal, which will will pay the SEC a fucking ridonkulous $2.25 billion, trumps the deal announced last week regarding CBS' contract, worth about $55 million per year through the '23 season, and is also fucking INSANE.

Don't get me wrong, the SEC deserves every single penny of this. And, like a fantasy team manager concluding half-way through the season that it's pointless to try and compete for stolen bases by continuously picking up perennial suck asses like Willy Taveras or (cringe) Juan Pierre, I think it's time that the other conferences just went ahead and focused their attention on sports that don't matter: namely, baseball, basketball, swimming...pretty much anything but football because it's not even close.

And why wouldn't you want as many SEC games televised on your network as possible? When your conference schedule is loaded with incredible match-ups damn near on a weekly basis, well, then I guess you'd be the SEC instead of whatever crappy conference of which you are a part. Or maybe you're not a part of a conference at all. Thanks to some astute research by georgiasportsblog, this would theoretically give Mississippi State and Vandy (about $15-17 million per year) a more lucrative deal than Notre Dame (currently $9 million per year). So all of you non-SEC fans out there who are sick and tired of us always resorting to bashing other conferences at parties, never paying attention to any out of conference non-bowl games, and never calling girls from other conferences after drunken hook-ups, do you see? Do you finally understand now? Perhaps the endless flood of pics (SFW) showing how much more beautiful our southern lasses are isn't enough. Multiple championships year after year, not enough. Slamming Ohio State in a national title game 3 times in two years, still not enough. But now the SEC Snobs out there have two and a quarter billion reasons to talk even more shit about your lousy conference, so prepare yourself now. There's nothing like a little cold hard cash to serve as proof of SEC dominance, absolution for SEC elitists. Hold a tick...isn't SEC elitists redundant?

There are several advantages and perhaps a few disadvantages to this deal. Advantages include a butt ton of money and even more visibility for the conference, increasing our recruiting, presumably. One especially advantageous advantage of the deal is that we no longer have to sit trhough 35 minutes worth of "What is wrong with Notre Dame this year? They are 0-5 and don't look to be improving!" coverage when all we want to see is some highlights of two top-20 teams. ESPN is notorious for stroking their own tail, so to speak (read: arena football, X-Games, etc.), providing copious amounts of wide-ranging coverage to highlight their own programs. This includes specials on Outside the Lines, promotions ad nauseum, increased visibility on Top 10 plays and so on.

The only advantage one may come up with is, as with all things including ice cream (trust me on this one), too much of any good thing is, always, a bad thing. Overexposure will get a lot of people in America sick of the SEC. And, once SEC (just the football now, our institutions are already world renounced) is solidified as a global force, more of a corporate brand than merely an acronym encompassing the greatest schools in the nation, the SEC may lose some of its appeal.

Take it from someone who has watched SEC games on Raycom year after year: it was terrible. When the camera was actually trained on the football, which was at best 3/4 of the time, the footage was grainy and jumpy. It was like someone filming a natural disaster or something. The replays were even worse. I can't tell you how many times the Raycom announcers led into a replay, only to discover they didn't even have the camera trained on the play.

But this was all part of the appeal, to be honest with you. Our own little southern football, crappy network and all. It was charming in a way. But I am not worried about losing our charm. SEC football is about more than just the highest level of college football on television and whooping other teams' asses. It's about pageantry. It's about tradition. And the tradition-drenched SEC will never lose it's appeal for that's built on ideas, rivalries, colors and superior attitudes that have been developing for hundreds of years.

I said hot damn I can't wait for football to start.


Old Gold

As someone who is a huge NBA fan and also straddles a fine line between patriotic and jingoistic, I can't express how proud and relieved I am to see the US Olympic basketball team restore their rightful place atop the world basketball ladder.

I never really understood how the U.S. team had gotten to the point where a 6th place finish in the 2002 World Championships and bronze medals in the 2004 Olympics and 2006 World Championships was even a possibility. Sure, I understood that the competition abroad had gotten better, that the best players on foreign teams were among some of the best players in the NBA. I even bought into the notion that the competition had played and practiced together for years and years, while the U.S. seemingly just showed up to practice in Las Vegas for a few weeks prior to the start of a tournament.

But still, we continued to throw out a team of 10-12 all-stars every time. Sure there were poor roster and coaching choices (Stephon Marbury?!?! The Disaster that was Larry Brown), but these lackluster performances on the world stage from 02-06 proved that our talent was no longer enough to secure a commanding or even gold-medal performance.

This year's Olympics ended up being the perfect storm for Team USA. Most of the league's elite-level superstars agreed to join the squad for the first time since 1996. The system implemented by Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski brought much needed stability on the court and in personnel. While the original plan calling for a greater focus on role-players proved to be more hype than substance (for the handful of non-stars invited to the original camp in 2006, Tayshaun Prince was the only player on the 2008 team that wasn't a multiple-time all-star), on-court chemistry and overall cohesion provided the U.S. with their most dominant performance since the original Dream Team. It was truly a joy to watch this team play together. (Well as enjoyable as tape-delays and replays-while-knowing-the-outcome allow, but I digress)

Now that America has re-asserted their position as THE basketball power, where does USA Basketball go from here? It is unlikely that all the stars that agreed to play this time around would be willing to sacrifice their summers in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as well. For the trio of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dewayne Wade, these Olympics allowed them to avenge their poor (albeit Brown-hindered) performance in the Athens games. Are any of them really concerned with winning a second gold in 2012? For James and Anthony, espicially, their careers immediately become all about if they can take their NBA teams to the next level, and if not, where they will be playing in a couple of years. Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd, two of the most standout performers within international basketball competition/rules, will likely be too gray to play again in 2012. While the U.S. point guard position should be secure for years to come, can a team led by the Brandon Roys, Al Horfords and Kevin Durants of the NBA stand out against (much less own) these still-improving teams from around the world? Here's to hoping so, but more than likely, these next few international competitions will have us pining for the 2008 squad, much as we did in the years following the 1992 Olympic Games.


I See Ya Tryna Do Like Me, Man Dat Dance Was Ugly

While the typical Georgia fan is likely concerned with the Dawgs' shuffling of the offensive line, whether or not Knowshon Moreno should return punts, or when Brannan Southerland will return to the field, we here at Runaround Sue's tackle the deeper, burning-hotter issues on the eve of the 2008 Season: What will become of the Soulja Boy this season?

Those unmistakable beats of Crank Dat (Soulja Boy) first graced the airwaves of Sanford Stadium during last year's Ole Miss game on September 29th. Of course, by then, the song had already received heavy radio airplay and was finishing its run atop the Billboard Hot 200, making it a certifiable mainstream pop hit. Needless to say, the pigmentally challenged crowd at Sanford ate this up, eliciting a cheer and excitement usually reserved for 7pm kickoffs. The players got pumped too, and started dancing a bit. The Jumbotron showed Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno doing the Soulja Boy dance on the sideline, and a trend was born. Thanks to this accidental inspiration (as well as Ole Miss' lack of depth/talent, Sun Belt-caliber QB and poor coaching), the Dawgs steamrolled the Rebels.

Georgia was hardly alone in the Soulja Boy phenomenon; but as the season and the Dawgs' fortunes moved forward, Crank Dat became a staple at all future home games, culminating with The Blackout win against Auburn.

A few rhythmically-stunted moves (some by yours truly included) and wince-inducing Red & Black columns later, the season ended in enormous success. For better or worse, the Soulja Boy will always be connected with the 2007 season…but how will that play out in 2008?

As many a hip-hop fan knows, nothing is weaker than reveling in yesterday’s hits. Not only that, Lebron James, highly influential to young athletes, recently stamped Soulja Boy with the mediocre/irrelevant label. The equally influential Jay-Z did likewise . Will the players move on from last year's dance craze? Will they latch on to something more relevant; or, with the increased expectations, will this season be all about taking care of business?

When the PA announcer at Sanford inevitably players those first few beats of Crank Dat eight days (!!!) from now, we know the fans will do their thing, but what happens after that? Will the Soulja Boy be extinct from Georgia’s sidelines by homecoming? If the song doesn’t play at all, does that mean that Coach Richt finally caught the drift of the lyrics’ intended meaning and decided to ban the song? Only time will tell, but feel free to take your best guess.

Fortunately for the fans of the Soulja Boy/UGA culture, Crank Dat's steel drum mega masterpiece will be a staple of tailgating playlists for the 2008 and 2009 season. And if you’re one of the blessed souls that either attends or is stationed next to a tailgate that is still playing Who Let The Dogs Out, well then, there is a good chance you’ll still be Crankin’ Dat in 2013.


It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Now that THAT time of the year is upon us, it has become imperative to make the annoying but necessary plans for the next 15 Saturdays. This means figuring out your transportation, lodging, tickets, parking and all the erstwhile etceteras that go along with being a college football fan in the South. In addition, this also includes attempting to watch 10+ hours of quality college football on a weekly basis, all the while tailgating and consuming 8,000 calories (only 3,000 of which are food). Unlike the unfortunate souls that have to live in Big 10 or Pac 10 country, SEC fans don’t have to sit through a plethora of match-ups between unranked teams sandwiched between a “Game of the Week” that could prominently feature Iowa or UCLA.

No, the SEC fan is treated to a smorgasbord of delectable games each week. While this seems, and is, a great thing, it also puts SEC fans in the unfortunate position of maintaining an enjoyable level of rowdiness while properly being able to keep a meaningful eye on the game. All this so that you aren’t left watching Sportcenter on a Wednesday and wondering “Wait…what…how the hell is Jasper Brinkley out for the rest of the season?!?” (Not that this happened, to, uh, anyone in particular…)

Offensive Coordinators Worst Nightmare

Well, the SEC fan is in luck this year, because the fine folks here at Runaround Sue’s present the 1st Annual SEC Guide to Alcohol Purchasing and Being Able to Properly Consume a Weekend of Football Coherently (next year’s edition will have a better name). This guide will give the SEC fan a rough outline of the quality of each Saturday’s games combined with the proper alcohol purchases. Adjust accordingly based on personal tolerances and/or financial situation (tip: If going the cheap route, Barton’s Vodka and Gin is always preferable to Mr. Boston’s), but the general rule of thumb is, the better the games, the better the alcohol selection.

Week 1 Games (predicted televised games on Raycom, CBS, ESPN and other national/regional channels listed only):

Hawaii at Florida (12:30 p.m. ET / Raycom)
Appalachian State at LSU (4 p.m. CT / ESPN)
Mississippi State at La. Tech (5:45 p.m. CT / ESPN2)
Alabama vs. Clemson (at Atlanta) (7 p.m. CT / ABC)

Being able to stand up straight and properly lead an “S-E-C!” chant following a hopeful Bama waxing of Clemson around 11pm is a must. That MSU/LaTech game would be a good time to sponge up some of the alcohol with a bite to eat.

Verdict: Case of Natty Light, Liter of Jack Daniels.

Always a good present for SEC fan.

Week 2 Games:

Southern Miss at Auburn (11:30 a.m. CT / Raycom)
Central Michigan at Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET / FSNS)
Wake Forest at Ole Miss (2:30 p.m. CT / ABC)
Miami, Fla. at Florida (8 p.m. ET / ESPN)

Another average slate of games that gets better as the night progresses.

Verdict: 12 pack of Amstel Light, 12 pack of Budweiser, 3 shots of Jagermeister, 3 Vodka Tonics (can’t use bourbon on a night game between 2 Florida teams)

Week 3:

UAB at Tennessee (12:30 p.m. ET / Raycom)
Arkansas at Texas (2:30 p.m. CT / ABC)
Georgia at South Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET / CBS)
Auburn at Mississippi State (6 p.m. CT / ESPN2)

ABC continues to luck out with having their lackluster conferences schedule out-of-conference games with SEC teams. Some astute remote-toggling or barroom eye-shifting will be needed for the Arky/UT and UGA/SC games.

Verdict: 6 pack of Bud Light, 4 Red Bull Vodkas, 12 pack of Coronas

Week 4:

Alabama at Arkansas
LSU at Auburn
Florida at Tennessee
Georgia at Arizona State

This weekend should break your wallet or liver, whichever comes first.

Verdict: Case of Bud Light, Handle of Jack Daniels, 3 lines of coke Kamikaze shots, 4 pints of Newcastle

Week 5:

Mississippi State at LSU
Tennessee at Auburn
Alabama at Georgia

As far as encores go, this slate of games isn’t too shabby after the previous week’s venerable SECorgy (pronounced, S-E-Sorgee). Throw in the fact that College Gameday is a near lock to visit Athens, and you’re looking at another weekend for the ages. Have I mentioned that we haven’t even hit October yet?

Verdict: 6 pack of Schlitz Tallboys, Handle of Makers Mark, Several flasks full of Jack Daniels (if that’s a bit bourbon-heavy for the ladies, substitute a handle of Absolut as you deem appropriate)

Unfortunately, drinking Schlitz in this millenium will not yield similar female talent.

Week 6:

Kentucky at Alabama
Florida at Arkansas
Auburn at Vanderbilt

A bit of a respite from the last few weeks, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’ll enjoy these games more than whatever ABC will be showing this afternoon.

Verdict: Case of Miller Lite…the lesser of the light domestic beers (better taste my ass)...fits well here.

Week 7:

Arkansas at Auburn
Tennessee at Georgia
LSU at Florida

Aaand…we’re back! I know there’s no McFadden/Jones/Nutt, but the last few editions of Arkansas-Auburn have had the feel of a game pulled straight out of the ESPN Classic highlights. The fact that there’s no Brandon Cox either and that it’s only the 12:30EST game make this weekend another winner.

However, Arkansas’ answer to Brandon Cox is still around.

Verdict: Case of Coors Light (spread the wealth), Handle of Jim Beam, TWO (count ‘em) Bud Selects, 4 shots of Jose Cuervo

Week 8:

Ole Miss at Alabama
Arkansas at Kentucky
Vanderbilt at Georgia
LSU at South Carolina
Mississippi State at Tennessee

All games are listed here because I have no idea which ones will be televised. Take your girl to the mountains, fuck her silly, and while she’s taking a nap, sneak off to watch LSU-South Carolina

Verdict: A 12-pack of Rolling Rock and whatever wine you have with dinner.

Week 9:

Kentucky at Florida
Alabama at Tennessee
Georgia at LSU

Kentucky-Florida games are always entertaining. And it’s just a guess, but I don’t see John Parker Wilson duplicating his performance in last year’s Tennessee game unless there is a Nicaraguan Football League out there that I don’t know about. Those last two games should be instant classics.

Verdict: 12 pack of Killians, Handle of JW Red, 6 pack of Michelob

Week 10:

Auburn at Ole Miss
Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
at South Carolina

There is a very good chance that this week could feature an All-SEC match-up between the #1 and #2 teams in the country. Go early, go hard, and don’t look back.

Verdict: 4 Bloody Marys, Handle of JW Black, 4 shots of Patron and whatever beer that remains moderately chilled in a poorly-operating hotel mini-fridge upon your return from the landing.

Week 11:

Georgia at Kentucky
Alabama at LSU
Arkansas at South Carolina

SEC West race could be decided on this day…Petrino and Spurrier square off in the first annual Asshole Bowl.

Verdict: 12 pack of Heineken, Liter of Wild Turkey

Week 12:

Mississippi State at Alabama
Georgia at Auburn
South Carolina at Florida

Let’s finish this up quickly…

Verdict: 3 Dirty Martinis, Liter of Ketel One

Week 13:

Arkansas at Mississippi State
Ole Miss at LSU
Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Verdict: Drink 40s of Icehouse until you black this day out.

Week 14:

LSU at Arkansas (Little Rock)
Mississippi State at Ole Miss

Auburn at Alabama
Florida at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Georgia
Kentucky at Tennessee
South Carolina at Clemson

Vedict: Ease your Turkey Day hangover by sipping on The Glenlivet for Friday’s slate of games. Saturday, you’re looking at a 12 pack of Yuengling, followed by a 4 Rum and Diet Cokes (only 60 calories!). Remember, it is absolutely crucial that you be able to do the “S-E-C!” chant on this day.

Note to folks spending the weekend in Georgia: Substitute Sam Adams Seasonal Brew for Yuengling.

Statistics show that 88% of Americans do not understand the relevance of this pic.

Week 15:

SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)

Verdict: Southern Comfort. All. Day.

Disclaimer: Runaround Sue’s reminds all 8 of our readers that the legal drinking age is 21 years old and to not drink and drive, be responsible, always tip your bartender and to not be “that guy.” Unless "that guy" is the asshole who won't stop doing S-E-C chants. In that case, we'll join you.


Shut Up and Enjoy the Olympics Already! Part I

It really surprises me how apathetic the general U.S. public is about the Olympics. I mean, we're nearly as indifferent as we are about that other slowly-but-surely-dying-tradition that happens every four years: presidential elections.

I ask you with heartfelt sincerity, America. Why? Is the fierce invasion of Brett Favre's face into your home every night really more intriguing than the Olympics, with all of its pure-gold stories of redemption and revenge?

Or perhaps you're more enthralled with Arava the paralyzed turtle and her quest to finally get laid. You go girl!

I mean, here we are, fantasy owners and L.A.liens (nods to Outkast) alike cheering for this Manny guy who screws over his whole team just to get more money. A story we've all heard before. You can't honestly tell me Manny thought he had a better chance of winning a championship in L.A.

Manny's Scores
Self-Sacrifice for Good of Team: 0
Focus on Winning Championship: 0

Meanwhile, we've got 16-year old gymnasts competing on sprained ankles, hugging each other even after teammates essentially lose the gold medal for all of them for one little fault.

What's that? You missed that?

Too caught up attending Ellen DeGeneres' wedding? Really, Ellen. Slacks at your own wedding? Methinks we're taking equality a bit too far here.

Then there's Michael 'bout to be bigger walking sponsorship than Peyton Manning Phelps. We're witnessing perhaps the greatest single performance in any Olympics in the history of the Games. And it's not being done by a total douchebag, but a really down-to-earth, aww shucks I love my mom good old American boy. You can't help but root for this guy.

Missed that too? Can't blame it on the time difference. Perhaps we are all still stunned at Rosanne Barr's hurtful remarks calling Angelina Jolie an "evil spawn" and our outrage, both Conservatives and Liberals, over Barr's suggestion that Republicans are behind a "worldwide economic assault."

No? On the edge of your seat watching the worst case of mistaken identity since Lisa Marie Presley thought she was marrying a "human" or a "not entirely fucking crazy guy?" Kal-El Cage, Nic? Seriously? You named your fucking son after Superman? If you're such a huge fan, try naming your dog Krypto or some shit like everyone else. What is it with you Hollywood folk.

The point is, the Olympics are about two things that are always a staple for American entertainment - sports and improbable stories. I mean, c'mon folks, these athletes train their whole lives for something that we at home barely think is relevant any more. I just think that's tragic. We should be rooting these athletes on as much as possible, welcoming them all back with a parade. Know why? Because everything's all good as long as we're thumping all of the other countries, consisting racking up the most medals. People stop caring, people stop training, and all of a sudden we're not doing as well? Then the American public's going to be super pissed. "Hey, what the fuck? I thought we owned in swimming? How come we just got beat by Kyrgyzstan?! That's a fucking landlocked country! They don't even have any water around them!"

It's just the American way. I understand that we'd be more into it if it took place in an American city. I really do. But just so you know you're on alert, America. Chicago's considered a favorite to host the Games in 8 years. If we don't have a strong turn out, it's really damning to our sense of national pride.

The only real piece of news worthy enough to pull your eyes from the Olympics should have been Germany ruining our last chance of making our droll office work fun.


It Ain't 55 at MSG, But It'll Do

I was never a big Michael Jordan fan. Kinda hated him actually. He owned the Hawks and everyone else in the mid-90's. You know the way everyone hates Duke, Yankees, A-Rod, whatever? Thats the way I felt about Michael Jordan and those Bulls teams. That being said, he's the greatest athlete I've ever seen; and this is pretty tight:

Video copped from You Been Blinded.