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CURIOUS INDEX, 5/27/08

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Ivan Maisel earns the blue ribbon for mainstream feature friskiness with his piece following Mark Richt, Tommy Tuberville, Charlie Weis, Randy Shannon, and Jack Siedliecki around the Middle East on a tour of military bases and ships in the region. Much interaction with troops and snapshot scans included, but also the requisite yukstering you would pretend to be too cool to enjoy if you were indeed too cool--which fortunately you aren't.

A few hours later, as the same bus brought the coaches to the field, someone announced that a coach needed to volunteer to serve as referee. Weis snapped it up.

"I'm going to screw the SEC," Weis said, looking for a reaction.

"It wouldn't be the first time," Tuberville shot back.

Tommy Tuberville also tells George Bush to get rid of some of his White House stuff because his wife won't let him keep all of it. You fry fish for a living as an adult, you learn to fear nothing, sir--not even the lofty peaks of American power intimidate Chopalong Cassidy. The same cannot be said for meeting kids "who look about the age of the kids we're coaching;" that bit seemed to genuinely affect him.

Mike Leach, art aficionado. Mike Leach has spent the offseason getting an imitation Van Gogh painted of himself and pondering the other beauties of the art world. If this shocks you, please never read this blog again.

LeRoy Neiman does great art of sporting events, said Leach, the Texas Tech head coach. Leach also is a fan of the late Jackson Pollock, although the coach feels the painter sometimes went “a little too far.”

“I’d like it more toward Van Gogh, you know?” Leach said. “If Van Gogh were to paint a football game, to me that would be kind of interesting.”

For us, Mike Leach always conjures up the image of Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington in Waterloo:staring down at the field of battle, wine glass in hand, toasting his compatriots with "TO TODAY'S FOX, GENTLEMEN!" If he had a beard, it would have had more adventures than most men have in their whole lives. (Mike Leach reminds you to stay thirsty, my friends.)

Five years? That's all we've got? Being knocked around: the concept of giving all players five years to graduate, thus easing academic pressure, easing the noose of the APR a bit, and also adjusting scholarship terms to adjust to the actual amount of time it takes students not leg-pressing 700 pounds and learning playbooks to finish a degree. Requisite Bowie reference means requisite Bowie video included.

UCLA's not dumb. Rick Neuheisel's contract included a number of clauses constructed to protect the university against, um, certain...things that have happened at certain universities where Neuheisel coached. For example:

The contract also includes safeguards for the university. Neuheisel will not be eligible for performance bonuses if the program is put on NCAA probation and must return previous bonuses if the team is "subsequently sanctioned for NCAA violations in which coach was directly involved, that coach facilitated, condoned, or ignored about coach knew or reasonably should have known."

It's not as harsh or as giving as it looks, but that is deceptive. The deal included a $1.5 million home loan, but in Los Angeles that buys you a closet and a half--hardly big enough to run the adult film studio of your dreams out of, really.

Bill reminds us that it's Seersucker Time. Frankly, down hyah, it's always seersucker time, best worn when strolling the veranda with a bourbon in hand. This works really well if you go to any one of our fine historical homes built by slave labor and just sit on the porch: tourists and guides will assume you're part of the show, and you can just make shit up all day. ("Ah am the proprietah of this hyah ham fahm, where we grew the saltiest and finest hams what sprung straight from tha ground, all cured and ready for the oven!")