ITK brief: baseball lows, gators and missing junk

Well, it’s here. The lull between spring practice and the football season begins its second week. Before this week’s off-the-field scandals break, and with 130 days left until the Tide tees it up against Kent State, please allow me to share a few random thoughts.

Wanna see some bad baseball?
Try Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide baseball team has dropped nine of their last ten SEC games, managing just three runs in the entire weekend series against the Gators. Bama was swept for the second time in the last three weeks, the first coming at the hands of Vandy. A first game decision in last weekend’s Tennessee series prevented this from being sweep no. 3 in a row.

Now I know, I know…Vandy and Florida are top baseball programs. Remember when we used to accept that excuse in football and basketball?

College baseball is a finicky sport because you’re basically fielding teams made up of players that the pros didn’t want (imagine what college football would look like under the same conditions). But the Gators don’t seem to have trouble fielding annually competitive teams in the big three (football, basketball and baseball).

Are we satisfied with two out of three in T-town?

Speaking of Gators
Read today where a woman in in Palmetto, Florida returned home to find a 6-foot alligator in a guest bedroom.

Seems the animal let itself in through a pet door used by her cats; at least one of which is now missing.

Dude, do you know how quick a cat is? Apparently not fast enough, but my dog gets after my cat constantly and never catches him. Now let it settle that the alligator apparently was able to pull it off.

So what the heck is a person living in an area where these death machines thrive doing with a pet door?

There is no way I’m putting in a pet door. Possums, raccoons, vermin and other neighborhood animals helping themselves to my house whenever they wish is bad enough, but throw alligators into the mix and that decision is downright insane.

Almost as insane as…
…an episode of the show River Monsters I saw recently, where a number of reports in Papua New Guinea had some unfortunate swimming accidents occurring.

Seems a fish native to the area was helping itself to the bits and pieces of the male genitalia as area men took to the waters of rivers in the region.

The most amazing aspect to the story was that it happened several times. Pretty much one guy emerges from the water without his junk and that’s all I’d need to hear.

But this was apparently growing to be an epidemic, largely because it’s an impoverished area where rivers are used for bathing, not recreation. Still, a bucket and soap would look mighty good to me after the first report.

Surprise…turns out a relative of the piranha was the culprit. Glad we have those.

Speaking of Junk…
Last week was the one year anniversary of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All of us watched footage from the underwater camera for the better part of last summer in horror as oil spewed into the Gulf.

As horrible as that accident was, with obvious economic impact delivered to the coastal regions last summer, is there a better example of hysteria involving unmitigated suffering not coming to fruition? When are we going to learn that God’s a pretty good engineer, and thus created a sphere capable of absorbing a whole lot more than we think.

I remember back in high school the big hysteria was a hole in the ozone layer, and that aerosols like hair spray were spelling the end of time for our kids. Funny, but I didn’t seem to smell my flesh burning while hiding Easter eggs for my kids yesterday afternoon.

Up on my soapbox now, the issue is the arrogance we have as humans living in today. We’re from the microwave generation, where the here and now is the only span of time that matters. But even the devastation in Japan will work itself out ecologically in time. Problem is, some see their lifetimes as the only span of time that matters, and thus the fixes have to be quick…which are expensive.

Gaining an eternal perspective on life itself and our actual role while here might help that notion.

And finally, still on the subject of junk…
An interesting website…and challenge…has emerged.

www.camnewtonliedetector.com is a site offering Cam Newton $1 Million if he can successfully answer “no” to the following questions while passing a professionally administered lie detector test:

1. Prior to signing with Auburn, were you aware your father was “shopping” you to Mississippi State or any other school?
2. Did you tell Dan or Meghan Mullen that you signed with Auburn because of the money because you truly believed Auburn had paid for your commitment?
3. Did anyone on the Auburn coaching staff/athletic department instruct you how to answer questions from the NCAA by lying or avoiding the truth?
4. Did you or your family ever receive any impermissible benefits from Auburn?

If Cam is the prostitute that many believe him to be, don’t think he wouldn’t take that million if he could. Problem is, it would require him to tell the truth, and he like most Auburn fans don’t want the truth. They just want to win. But isn’t a passion for the truth a God thing?

Auburn’s existence continues to be cheapened by the company it keeps, as evidenced as recently as last week when Bobby Lowder again found himself reappointed to their board of trustees. When will that program commit to shedding the junk that has made it trashy and commit to doing things the right way?

Regardless, the Cam Newton issue is not going away, and will linger and haunt that program…coupled by several other smelly fish…much like Reggie Bush haunted USC. While that story’s chapter has been closed, Auburn’s is far from finished.

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