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CURIOUS INDEX, 2/22/08

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American Samoa rules. 15 percent of American Samoan football players go on to play college football, an astonishing rate for any place, much less one plonked out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The players share mouthpieces, so short are they on equipment, meaning the arrival of a Pop Warner league sponsored by USA Football (the governing authority in amateur football in the mainland) could increase the number of players with the Polamalu fringe sticking out of the helmet playing in college ball. By percentage, American Samoa could be the most football-crazed spot on the planet.

We'll all be doing the Haka soon enough, and couldn't be happier about it. For an intimate look at what practice on that one good field looks like, here's some youth football scrimmage footage taken in American Samoa that looks pretty representative: tin roofs in the back ground, looming, lush volcanic hills, a soggy field, and lots of really thick kids playing their asses off in the slog.

Subway Domer have TAH-NOO-TAH press conference. TAH-NOO-TAH SAY HE NO PREFER NOTHING AT NOTRE DAME--HIM AT NOTRE DAME! THIS ALL THAT MATTER! RAAAAHAHHHHHHHHH!!! HIM WORK WITH KOR-WINN BROWN TO MAKE BEST PACKAGE, NOT FIGHT OVER WHO GETS STEAKBONE OF CHIEF DEFENSE MAN!

Jeremy Elder, the Alabama football player who used a gun to get $26 off a pair of Alabama undergrads in an alleged robbery this week, will seek youthful offender status. This could reduce his sentence, and would also officially distinguish him from those old and busted non-youthful offenders in the jail.

Elder really could have made more money selling the gun, but he wouldn't have had a chance to recoup the investment multiple times over. You know the saying: sell a gun, and you eat once; teach a man to mug, and he'll eat decently for a week before he's shot or arrested.

They're not supposed to talk back! Phil Fulmer responds to columnist John Adams' column earlier this week calling for Fulmer's firing for failing to address the disciplinary issues swarming around the Vol football program. Phil, you obviously don't understand this: columnists write stuff, and you sit there and take it. Respond to bloggers--we're just guys living in our mom's basements, and we need the publicity because Mom's trying to get us to pay rent, man!

"Our internal discipline is based on one factor alone: the course that is most likely to help that individual young man make amends and get his life straight," Fulmer wrote in the column that will appear in Friday's edition.

"I've undoubtedly made some mistakes, but I try to do what I think is in the best interest for each young man."

We should mention that Tennessee is only second in the Fulmer Cup standings at this point. Cough. Joel has the whole letter over at RTT.

Finally, this guy rules. If you're going to give the finger to fans, don't soft-pedal it: put it to the floor and don't let up 'til the engine locks up or you run out of gas.