Note: Shane sent his weekly column in this morning and informed me that it will be published in the Call News in Citronelle.
New Direction â€“ Same Shane
By Shane from Centerpoint
Those whoâ€™ve read my stuff on the Capstone Report will have to forgive me for the first paragraph or two in this weekâ€™s column. Those who are about to meet me should relax. Iâ€™m harmless. Sit back and give my opinions a chance. Donâ€™t believe those bad things youâ€™ve heard about me on the Finebaum Radio Network. Besides, Iâ€™m striking out on a new path. From this point forward I will make a serious effort to widen the scope of my commentary and focus on being more objective with my written opinion. In other words, Iâ€™ll only write about Crimson Tide football three out of the four weeks in a month. Just kidding!
Listen, I realize that weâ€™re all full of great ideas and most of us have sound opinions on just about every topic under the sun. In fact, the majority of those people who respond to my articles sometime send me better material than I originally write. I also make sure I read every response. The fact that you took your valuable time to write back to me serves as a form of validation for the main reason I write â€“ to exact a reaction and emotional response from the reader.
Now that the introduction deal is out of the way, Iâ€™ll go ahead and do some opining. Iâ€™ll see if I can hit on a few controversial topics and show you why they call me a straight shooter. Actually, you might find yourself agreeing with me before Iâ€™m through. Or, you might end up sending me a 900-word masterpiece on how I should see it your way.
Iâ€™ll start with the Auburn â€œTiger Prowlâ€. Personally, I think that using limos as â€œflash-n-dashâ€ to generate interest in a college football program is insulting to all people who are struggling to make it during these very difficult times. I also think it is a wasted gimmick, especially when Auburn is trying to close the gap with a master recruiter like Nick Saban.
Wait a minute! Not so fast my friend! I stand corrected. I think my opinion must be way off on this one. Experts like Paul Finebaum, Tim Brando, I-man, and Charles from Reeltown are declaring the Auburn â€œHummer/Limoâ€ event to be a huge success. Charles and I-man are immediately hailing the move as Saban-like, while Finebaum â€“ who started the week laughing out loud at Coach Chizik â€“ has now swapped tongues and decided to announce that the perception war has been won by Auburn. He and Brando are in total agreement, with the opinion that Saban has been â€œone-uppedâ€ by Gene Chizik.
Realistically, I do firmly believe that some modern young people are shallow enough to be impressed by stretch limousines. Therefore, I agree that the idea of seven coaches showing up in front of a high school riding in a limo is innovative. I must also acknowledge that, good or bad, the stunt kept Auburn University as the top topic of conversation in the state for an entire week.
Another sportsâ€“related topic I would like to mention involves my position on a very controversial move by the University of Tennessee and head football coach Lane Kiffin. The university is going to allow a young man, who was convicted of participating in the crime of rape when he was thirteen, to be awarded a scholarship to play football for the Vols. Kiffin and others say the young man is rehabilitated and deserves a chance.
I believe that the star player crossed a point of no return when he committed one of the worst criminal acts Iâ€™ve ever heard about. Seriously, being convicted of crimes like rape and murder â€“ really any major felony â€“ should prohibit anyone from having the privilege to use a scholarship. There are far too many law-abiding young men with â€œclassâ€ who deserve a chance and have earned the right to be in that coveted position.
Take my word for it. Kiffin has made me laugh with some of the goofy things heâ€™s said and done, but this decision is a bad one. One mistake by the kid â€“ with all eyes watching â€“ and Lane could have a disaster on his hands.
I wonder how the playerâ€™s teammates will handle him at practice. I wonder how the opponentâ€™s players will handle him. I am very curious to see what the opposing crowd has to say to him. I canâ€™t help but think that the kid is in for a long, difficult struggle. I hope he doesnâ€™t crack under the pressure. If he does, could he be dangerous again?
Finally, I want to say that Iâ€™m looking forward to filling this space with (what I hope to be) some quality, well-balanced, opinion pieces. I trust that youâ€™ll find my sports-related musings to be entertaining, if not funny. Who knows? Maybe there will even be times when you find my ideas to be very insightful. Iâ€™m sure that wonâ€™t be too often, but Iâ€™ll take what I can get.
â€”Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.