Black Swan, Blood Moon and College Football

Over at Zero Hedge, a preview of this weekend’s referendum on Catalonian independence from Spain.

The 27 September election in Catalonia, which accounts for ~19% of Spanish GDP – matters. First, the pro-independence movement has transformed the election into a de-facto referendum on Catalonia’s independence – an attempt to bypass the Constitution. Second, the result of the regional election could have a bearing on the December national election.

catalonThe pro-independence parties The centre-right Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) joined forces with left-wing Catalan Republic Left (ERC) and other Catalan associations. They will run under a pro-independence joint list: Junts pel Si (Together for Yes). Junts pel Si pledges to declare unilaterally the independence of Catalonia from Spain in about 18 months if they win the election and if the secession negotiations with the central government fail. 

The pro independence parties come from a very heterogeneous political spectrum. This is not a positive. In our view, a Catalan government supported by CDC, ERC and CUP would have only the pro-independence battle to keep it standing. Hence, the leaders of such a government will likely continue on the pro-independence path not only out of conviction on its feasibility but because of lack of alternatives.

Sunday is also the date of the Blood Moon Prophecies.

bloodmoon“There’s a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way,” Pastor (John) Hagee added. “I believe that in these next two years, we’re going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world.”

The popular American preacher recently narrated the Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change, a film created to coincide with the fourth blood moon. The movie was based on Hagee’s book on the topic, the Times of Israel reports.

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:31

 

And, just as I was feeling better about Martin Armstrong kicking the 2015.75 economic forecast out to the year 2033 ….

But all that occurs on Sunday.

On Saturday, we’ve got some bidness to take care of.  Namely, the Red River Shootout, and the Auburn Game.

I think sometimes that my blog podnah hates the Texas Longwhorns as much as I hate the Auburn Tigers.  Frankly though, I just don’t think that’s possible.

Predictions:

Sooners 44, Longwhorns 14

Bulldogs 42, Tigers 35

#HAILSTATE, Baby!

#BOOMERSOONER

Allah Ack-Bama. It’s that time of year again

Wins against the Crimson Tide are rare for my Bulldogs. Heck, they’re rare for any ball club.

On November 1, 1980, the largest crowd in Mississippi history witnessed the Bullies defeating the top-ranked Tide 6-3 at Memorial Stadium in Jackson. Over the years, the size of that crowd has grown by thousands of fans who will tell you, “I was there when we beat the Bear.”

Two teams that ran the triple-option offense and played stout defense played their hearts out that day. It featured the inventor of the Wishbone, Emory Bellard, and the legendary Bear Byant. The keys to the Bulldog win were winning the turnover battle, and playing a more physical game than Alabama.

If my Bullies have a chance in the upcoming game, these will again be the keys to victory.

In the words of Emory Bellard, “Ohhhhh, was it good!”

The video from November 2, 1980 is a classic. It even has famous Coke commercial featuring Mean Joe Green.

Enjoy!

“Mississippi State broadcast legend Jack Cristil hosts his weekly show with Mississippi State head coach Emory Bellard. This show would be a little different as Mississippi State had just knocked off two time defending national champion and #1 ranked Alabama 6-3 in Jackson.”

Everyone Has A Story

I wanted to write something about MSU’s run to the Finals of the 2013 College World Series. It was improbable. It was emotional.  It was wonderful.  

I spent a lot of time thinking about my Dad.  How he loved these Bulldogs!  And how, towards the end of his life, he would have to turn off Jim Ellis’ radio broadcast because it was just too hard for him to listen as State would either grind out another victory, or suffer a tough loss. 

In the end, this was something that made me very proud to be an alumnus of the People’s University.  Words, however,  fail me at the moment.  Fortunately for the Bulldog Nation, Bob Carskadon at #HailState Beat (The official blog of MSU Athletics) tells this story the way it should be told:

The best season in MSU history comes to an end

As we grow older, the more people we meet and with each new person we talk to, we learn that everyone has a story.

Children and adults, astronauts and teachers, white, black, tall or short, individuals lead their own lives, however little of it we see. Each has a past with a corresponding present and future.  Among all the masses, inside of every building and any place we turn, there are people.

renfroe frazier fansAt Mississippi State, affectionately called the People’s University, they know it as well as any.  John Cohen, head coach of MSU’s baseball team, said as much less than one month ago.  Moments after winning the Starkville Regional – the first one on MSU’s campus in 10 years – and advancing to a Super Regional, Cohen didn’t talk about his team or hitting or pitching.  “It’s the people who make Mississippi State special,” he said.  He praised the fans, the members of the athletic department and the citizens of Starkville over his team’s successes.  A couple weeks later, his Bulldogs arrived in Omaha, and again, it was the people who made Mississippi State special.  This time, it was the people on his team.

Sure, State was playing great baseball. They were hitting better than they had all year and the pitching staff had found a groove.  But the people of Omaha, the media covering the College World Series, baseball fans across the country and MSU faithful everywhere fell in love with people, not players.  ‘The Bench Mobb’ (second B is silent), made up of goofballs from the pitching staff, dancing, clapping, encouraging and even rapping in the dugout, were the stars of the two-week event.

SGCJBAYSVZEKLKB.20130615233817Wes Rea became television’s favorite first baseman, the SEC football prospect who turned down the gridiron because he wanted to go to Omaha and play in the World Series.  Trevor Fitts singlehandedly saved Power Point with the presentation he gave Cohen asking his permission for the team to have facial hair, while also leading the charge for Team No Undershirt.

Not a soul has come in contact with Luis Pollorena and not been touched by his story of childhood leukemia and his dedication to giving back now with the life wasn’t expected to have.  Sledgehammers, mullets, rally dances, vine videos and Johnny Cash.

Not to mention the unheralded stories.  Mitch Slauter, who was baptized in front of his teammates on the morning before his Senior Day at Dudy Noble Field.  Sam Frost, the SEC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, perhaps a more impressive honor than any.  This team showed us that everyone has a story, with countless more left untold.

And that’s what made this team special. You couldn’t help liking them and rooting for them, MSU fan or not.  The biggest crowd in the history of TD Ameritrade Park showed up not just because it was MSU’s first appearance in a National Championship, but because it was a team so easy to cheer for.

In a lucky twist, one of the most likeable teams turned out to be one of the best teams in MSU history.  photo (3)From a matter of talent, others may take the top spot, but these Diamond Dawgs have just completed the best season in the history of Mississippi State sports.  In 120-plus years, they were the first to make it this far.  But through their success, they may not be the last.

After hosting a Regional for the first time in a decade, sweeping a Super Regional and starting 3-0 in Omaha, losing in the National Championship was a terrible, terrible feeling for these Bulldogs.

Standing in the dugout, faces stained with tears and sweat, embraces between players, coaches and the like, the first feeling is defeat.  Watching another team dogpile on the mound, gloves and hats thrown in the air while fireworks explode overhead and confetti falls across the stadium is, in that moment, the lowest of low.  But, while a victory celebration took place on the field, cheers rose up in the stands.

“Maroooooon!”

“Whiiiiiite!”

Even late in the game, with the Bulldogs down more than a handful of runs and the outcome all but certain, MSU fans were louder than they had been all night.

They were cheers of support, not of victory.  The unspoken words behind the noise said, “Thank you. We’re proud of you.”  Reaching the College World Series and playing for a National Championship meant an incredible amount to Cohen’s baseball program. It would take more money than MSU has to buy that kind of exposure, and nothing can replace the experience.

But this run, this experience, is far bigger than baseball. In doing something no one in Maroon and White had done before, it became a Mississippi State benchmark.  Academics and athletics, football and softball, men’s and women’s.

These Bulldogs proved it can be done.  No one had to tell themselves they believed. They did believe.

Just as the state of Mississippi can claim generosity, hospitality and countless professional successes over any other shortcomings, so can Mississippi State now claim time at the top in spite of any days at the bottom.

When you’re a kid, you always believe your team is the best in the country, that they can win it all.

With age, realism and awareness set in. You know what limitations your team has.  But now, for the first time, Bulldog fans have made it within reach of doing what they imagined as children.  The baseball team knows it can win it all, and now everyone else has seen.

Quarterbacks and defensive linemen watched their diamond counterparts and said, “Mississippi State really can win a National Championship.”  Tennis players, basketball coaches and those from every sport saw the realization of dreams.  Now they don’t just have to say, they know, “It can be done.”

Following a season-ending loss, and career-ending for some, the sting of defeat bit hard in MSU’s dugout.  Red-eyed Hunter Renfroe embraced Trey Porter, faces buried in each other’s shoulders, knowing they had played their last time together. Their careers in Maroon and White jerseys had come to an end.

The last person back to the dugout, Jonathan Holder found his pitching coach Butch Thompson.  No words were said. They didn’t need to be, and neither would’ve been able to take them in, anyway. A steady hug said everything they wanted to share.  The athletic director, the president of the university, half of MSU’s entire department staff and a horde of media watched from the far side of the dugout as tears flowed.

The end had come, so quick and so hard.  It was goodbye for many, and the start of a long offseason for others.  But just as it signified the end of a season, it symbolized the beginning of something else.

In a short moment between the final explosion of fireworks and the beginning of celebratory music, the smallest of Mississippi State fans stood next to his dad, looking over the dugout at the team he had always believed in his young heart could win it all, and with the optimism borne through youth, offered the best encouragement he could.

“We’ll get ‘em next year, guys.”

Thanks, Bob.  Well done, sir.

Friday before the State-Alabama game, OU-ND, and other tidbits

Top-ranked and undefeated Alabama has opened as a 20+ point favorite over the Miss State Bulldogs for their game this weekend. The New York Yankees were swept in the ACLS. A one-time popular Democrat president is poised to lose his re-election bid. The MSU quarterback, starting only his eighth game, was heavily recruited by Alabama. This will be the biggest game of his career. The Alabama coach has multiple national championships under his belt. A statue of him resides outside the stadium in Tuscalousa, Alabama. Sound familiar? Well, it should. It describes tomorrow’s showdown between State and Alabama. It also describes another game between the same two teams, in 1980, when Emory Bellard‘s Bullies defeated the Bear Bryant-coached Alabama squad 6 – 3.  I think the similarities are more than just a coincidence.  The stars are aligned.

We Believe!  State 28, Alabama 26.     UPSET ALERT!!!

Notre Dame rolls into Norman with their best team in a long time, and the pollsters have taken notice.  The 5th ranked Irish boast defensive stoppers, and will be tested by a Sooner team that is hitting their stride at just the right time.  The 8th ranked Oklahoma team is a 9 point favorite, and I don’t think it will be anywhere near this close.  I’m looking for a good old-fashioned butt-stomping.  Oklahoma 44, Notre Dame 17.

Iowa travels to Northwestern in a critical B1G game for the Hawkeyes.  In a season filled with close games, last week’s blowout loss to the fighting Sanduskys was unexpected.  Look for Kirk’s squad to show up in Evanston, and play some cold-weather defense against Northwestern.   Iowa 18, Northwestern 14.

Other picks and scores:

Florida 38  Georgia 36,  Texas Tech 28 Kansas State 27 (UPSET ALERT #2),

Oregon 44  Colorado 14,  Oregon State 31 Washington 28,  Southern Cal 28, Arizona 21.

Three months to live

Writing a blog post generally begins with an idea, followed by a quick run-through, getting as much down as I can without losing the original inspiration.  After that, a quick edit or three, and finishing touches of a photo, then a title.

Today, I began with the title first.  Now I’m trying to backfill with a post.

Today is Friday, September 21, 2012.

Today, there are 46 days till Election Day.

Today, according to the Mayan calendar, we’ve got three months to live.

Today, Mississippi State is making final preparations to raise their record to 4-0 against another Sunbelt Conference opponent.

Today, if the Mayans are correct, the December 20, 2012 football polls will have Mississippi State ranked #1, and scheduled to face a Big-12 opponent, probably Oklahoma, in the BCS National Championship Game.


This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread, End of the World edition.

WFFOT:  And I feel fine.

 

 

update:  this is too good not to post

 

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