Big Jack’s Rhymes: Where Have You Gone Tiger Football?

I can remember the days when Tiger Football made us proud.
We’d go to the Liberty Bowl and join the crowd.

And with guys like Vollmer and Fletcher and Harry Schuh,
Guys who knew darn well what to do…

We’d sing, Go Tigers Go, and ya wanna know what?
We’d watch as they kicked some serious butt.

They’d play like crazy because what he heck
If they didn’t coach Murphy would wring their neck.

When we played at Auburn our chances were really thin
But we came away with a 31 to 20 win.

And the next year here at home, if you want to know
I’m a son of a gun, we made it two in a row.

We beat Ole Miss and it wasn’t too late
To get a win over Florida State.

Ah the good ol’ days… memories to burn.
I have to wonder if they’ll ever return…

But like a poor ol’ coyote, howling at the moon,
I don’t think it will be any time soon…

 

Written by Jack Eaton on 8/30/11. “Big” Jack can be heard every Friday at 8am on KWAM 990 alongside former County Commissioner John Willingham. He was recently inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Divine Rags guy fascinates fans on MSL

Memphis TV commercial star and Internet sensation Divine Mafa joined Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter in studio on MSL to talk about the Divine Rags commercial, his elaborate home, Magic Johnson and more. Also, Divine performed his own versions of classic TV commercial catchphrases. Plus, a special appearance by Divine Rags girl Jamie.

AUDIO PART 1:

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Click here to download Part 1 of Divine Mafa’s appearance on the August 27, 2011 MSL

AUDIO PART 2:

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Click here to download Part 2 of Divine Mafa’s appearance on the August 27, 2011 MSL

Click here to watch the famous Divine Rags commercial.

Click here for more MSL interviews.

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MSL (MemphiSport Live) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Show in the 2010 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

MSL: 8.27.11

Hour 1:

Memphis TV commercial star and Internet sensation Divine Mafa joins Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter in studio to talk about the Divine Rags commercial, his elaborate home, Magic Johnson and more. Also, Divine Rags girl Jamie makes a special appearance. Plus, the guys discuss the trouble at Z-Bo’s house, Memphis vs. Mississippi State, Luke Walton joining the Tigers and more during the Starting 5

Click here to listen to Hour 1 of the 8.27.11 MSL

Hour 2:

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter continue their interview with Divine Mafa. Also, Divine gives his own versions of classic TV commercial catchphrases. MemphiSport Tiger basketball beat writer Brandon Harris calls in to talk hoops and Big Brother 13. Plus, another edition of the city’s 2nd Favorite Sports Radio Segment Hang Up & Listen.

Click here to listen to Hour 2 of the 8.27.11 MSL

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MSL (MemphiSport Live) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Show in the 2010 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

5 Reasons why Tiger Football will improve in the 2011 season

Expectations for this year’s Memphis Tiger football team are very low.  After all, last year’s Tiger football team was one of the worst teams in the nation finishing with a 1-11 record.  Statistically Memphis ranked in the bottom half of college football in every statistic including finishing 115th in total D, 116th in points for, 117th in both total offense and points against, and 118thin turnover margin.  Do not fret Tigers fans, there is a silver lining in every cloud and here are 5 reasons why Tiger football will get things turned around this year.

1) This is Coach Porter’s second season as head coach

Memphis and head Coach Larry Porter experienced some severe growing pains last year.  Porter bought in new offensive and defensive schemes in his first year as head coach and it took a while for players to get accustomed to the changes.  Now that players are acclimated to the way Coach Porter and his staff want things done everything should run more smoothly this season.  Also, thanks to a full season of games in Porter’s system, the coaches now have a better understanding about the strength and weaknesses of each individual on the team and how to maximize the potential in every player.  Coach Porter has begun to change the culture of Tigers football and fans will begin to see the benefits in this year’s team.

2) They have winnable out of conference games

One of the main reasons Memphis struggled mightily last year was that they played three teams from AQ (automatic qualifiers) conferences last year.  Last year’s out of conference slate included a home game against Tennessee and trips to Mississippi State and Louisville, all of which resulted in blowout losses for the Tigers.  It is a different story this year as the Tigers play just one school from an AQ conference this season (Mississippi St.) and that game is at home. Their other out of conference games are at home against FCS foe Austin Peay and trips to Arkansas State and MTSU (the Tigers’ lone win last year).  The tigers have a legitimate chance to go 3-1 out of conference this year which will bring newfound excitement to the program and cause a huge boost in morale.

3) The in conference schedule is not as difficult as last year

Conference USA must have taken pity on Memphis because the in conference slate is extremely manageable this season.  Memphis plays the two worst teams in the western division (Tulane and Rice), avoid the two best teams in the west (Houston and Tulsa), and they get East Carolina, Marshall, and UAB at home.  They do go to divisional foes UCF and Southern Methodist (best two teams in the division), but Memphis is not going to beat them this year no matter where the games are played.  The Tigers have a real shot at a 3-5 in conference record, which combined with their winnable out of conference schedule would make them bowl eligible this season.

4) There is no pressure on the Tigers this year

Memphis is a young team with very little pressure on them this year. Even though this is Coach Porter’s second year he is still rebuilding the program and he has not yet recruited the types of players he needs to be competitive on a week to week basis.  Only 9 starters return to a team that was 1-11 last year so it is safe to say that Memphis will be the underdog in almost every game they play.  Being the underdog can be an advantage, the lack of pressure will allow the team to play more loosely and relaxed.  If they can get four or five wins this year will be a success.  The Tigers are the hunter not the hunted and they will sneak up on teams who underestimate their ability.

5) Confidence

It is no secret that the more confident your team is the better they will play and the more likely you are to win.  Memphis lacked confidence under Coach Porter last year and it seemed like they did not expect to win.  The familiarity with the system combined with an easier schedule and consistent play will lead to a more confident 2011 Tigers football team.  This season everybody knows what to do which will allow the players to really cut loose on the football field and make more big plays.  Memphis’ confidence will increase with every win they get causing them to become a more dangerous team. 

 C.J. Hurt covers Tiger football for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter @churtj09.

Photo by Joe Murphy.

Walton hire shows Pastner’s penchant for innovation

It is quite possible that Luke Walton may never sit on the University of Memphis bench for a single game, but his hiring has already proven to be a rousing success for the Tigers. Social networking sites such as Twitter were set aflutter with the news, including a tweet from Dick Vitale referencing Pastner as a “rising star” and calling the hire a “very creative and positive move.” The publicity alone represents an immense triumph, and you can bet that if Vitale is singing his praises, the rest of the college basketball world has also taken notice.

Remember how John Calipari perpetually used the NBA angle to lure players during his tenure at Memphis? Josh Pastner has taken the idea a step further. Nevermind rambling on about how you’ve coached in the NBA and know what it takes to get there. How great is it for a potential incoming recruit to be able to speak with a member of the staff that is currently PLAYING in The League? How can a young athlete possibly avoid being overwhelmed as he listens to stories of playing alongside Kobe Bryant or being coached by Phil Jackson? How can he help but notice the championship ring gracing the finger of a man that is trying to recruit him?

Pastner has always been a phenomenal recruiter; that’s why Calipari brought him to Memphis in the first place. But it would have been easy to doubt whether that ability would enable him to bring in top caliber players when he served as the head man. After all, the head coach is often the closer, and the assistants often just follow the guidelines and proven formulas their boss has been using. But there is no doubt now that the U of M’s current coach knows how to get it done on his one. No one should ever question his capacity to be innovative or doubt his unrelenting desire for success.

It remains to be seen if Pastner will be able to coach a team to an elite level. So far, his teams have won exactly zero games in the NCAA tournament, and that particular squad attracted doubters all throughout the regular season. But if this latest move is any indication of what he’s willing to do to get there, there is ample reason for Tiger basketball fans to get excited about the future of the program under his leadership.

Michael Jones covers Tiger Basketball for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter @MemphisMJ.

Bases Loaded: Home cooking could see Redbirds make a strong run

Leading Off: Memphis now finds itself only 4 games back of Omaha, having gone 8-2 over their last 10 contests, while the Storm Chasers posted a 7-3 mark. Although they still have some ground to make up, ‘Birds continue to hang within striking distance.

On Deck: The Redbirds will play 8 of their final 13 games at home, where they have been phenomenal this season, going 40-23 versus 29-38 on the road.

Single: Prior to the start of Wednesday’s game, Memphis led the PCL with a 4.11 ERA. Brandon Dickson leads the staff at 3.73, which puts him 3rd in the league. If they somehow manage to catch Omaha for the PCL North crown, it will be largely due to the efforts of the pitching staff.

Double: The team batting average has slowly crept up to .271, but the ‘Birds still find themselves 14th out of 16 teams in the PCL.

Triple: Nick Stavinoha is quietly having a stellar season at the plate and is making a good case for team MVP, having reached the 100 RBI plateau along with 27 home runs. Those marks find him tied for third and and second respectively in the PCL.

Homerun:  10… the Redbirds elimination number as of August 24th, meaning that any number of Omaha wins and Redbirds losses totaling that number will see Omaha win the division.

Bases Loaded is a weekly recap of the past week’s storylines and news from the Memphis Redbirds.

Michael Jones covers the Redbirds for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter @MemphisMJ.

Photo by Justin Ford.

MSL: 8.20.11

Hour 1:

Marcus Hunter and guest co-host Carrie Anderson of Action News 5 talk about high school football kicking off, Chris Johnson’s holdout, the Grizzlies preseason schedule and more during the Starting 5. Also, Jeff Hulett calls in to talk about Rock for Love. Plus, new Commercial Appeal writer Kyle Veazey joins the show to talk SEC football.

Click here to listen to Hour 1 of the 8.20.11 MSL

Hour 2:

Kevin Cerrito calls in to talk with Marcus Hunter  and Carrie Anderson about variety of topics and to play Guess What Famous Memphian Cerrito Saw on Bourbon Street Last Night Wearing A Tuxedo T-Shirt. Plus, callers participate in another edition of Hang Up & Listen.

Click here to listen to Hour 2 of the 8.20.11 MSL

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MSL (MemphiSport Live) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Show in the 2010 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

 

Today on MSL with guest co-host @Camragal@kyleveazey(11:30), Hang Up & Listen (Noon), @cerrito live from his bday party (12:30)

Commentary: University of NCAA Receives the Death Penalty

From Oregon and LSU using Willie Lyles’ “recruiting agency” to Ohio State’s “Tattoo-gate” college football is now being ravaged by rules breakers and cheaters from coast to coast.  You can add Miami to that list of big time college football programs that will be facing serious sanctions sometime soon.  With news coming out this week about Miami’s indiscretions how can the NCAA regain control over the alleged amateurism in college football?

Some experts believe making an example out of one program will work and the “U” is the program that they have in mind and let’s face it Miami is an easy target.  If allegations made by Nevin Shapiro are true then Miami is the NCAA’s definition of repeat offender which opens them up for the harshest penalty in college sports, the loss of their program for a year (the “death penalty”).

According to NCAA rules, “An institution shall be considered a ‘repeat’ violator if the Committee on Infractions finds that a major violation has occurred within five years of the starting date of a major penalty.”  The most notable of the repeat offenders is the SMU football program of the early 80’s, the only football program to ever receive the “death penalty”.

Other more recent repeat offenders include Pete Carrols’ Trojans teams which were sanctioned for major NCAA violations in 2001 and paying Reggie Bush by 2004.  They got a 2 year postseason ban, lost 30 scholarships, and lost their 2004 BCS Title (no “death penalty”).  So if USC did not get the death penalty how can you give it to Miami?

Let’s pretend that the NCAA is an actual university with a major football program and all 120 FBS schools are their players.  Over the past two seasons you have three big name players (let’s call them Ohio State, Georgia Tech, and Georgia) trading memorabilia for extra benefits, two players taking trips paid by agents (Oklahoma State and North Carolina), players we know are getting money under the table and just have not proved it yet (entire SEC except Vanderbilt and the entire Big 12 except Iowa St.), and one player who is spending entirely too much time in the weight room (Michigan).   Add to it the fact that only 17 of your 120 players have never violated the rules and I think that the NCAA has a complete lack of institutional control.  Also consider the fact that this type of behavior has continued to happen since 1953 and it is safe to throw the repeat offender tag on this program.

So, again I ask, how can the NCAA regain control over the alleged amateurism in college football?  It is a simple answer really, they can’t.  The NCAA has shown an inability to stop boosters from giving and players from taking extra benefits throughout college football.  It appears to me that the NCAA is a repeat offender and that they have lost institutional control.  According to NCAA rules and regulations this makes the entire NCAA eligible for the “death penalty” and honestly that is what needs to happen.  They have allowed the programs to become bigger than the institution of amateur college athletics and the only way to regain control is to suspend all of college football for an entire season.

There will be an uproar from the administration, players, and coaches but it is partially their fault for not taking responsibility for their actions off of the field.  You will hear an outcry from the fans and boosters but they are the ones willing to do anything for a win, including cheat.  The big time TV companies will sing a chorus of disapproval, but without their financial impact teams would not be so willing to cheat so as to get the money from a major TV contract.  Finally the NFL would be outraged that their free minor league system is no longer in place even though they continuously allow the players who break the rules in the minor league to turn pro without any punishment.

I know this is a bit much and it will never happen.  However, the NCAA needs to find a way to get control to protect the sanctity of amateurism in college football.  Otherwise they can get ready for more cheaters and more scandals.

C.J. Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter @churtj09.

 

Bases Loaded: ‘Birds find making up ground hard to do

Leading Off: Over the last 10 games, Memphis has been able to make up very little ground over Omaha. The Redbirds have gone 7-3 while the Storm Chasers have posted a 6-4 mark, leaving the ‘Birds at 5 games back.

On Deck: The Redbirds finish up with 7 games against Albuquerque and 8 against Nashville, both of whom have similar records to Memphis. So if they have any chance of catching Omaha, they’ll have to do it against winning teams.

Single: Memphis has fallen to fourth in ERA in the PCL, with a mark of 4.14. Anyone hoping that their pitching would carry them to a division title will likely end up being disappointed when all is said and done.

Double: Although their team average has improved to .271, the ‘Birds still finds themselves 15th out of 16 teams in the PCL.

Triple: With the big club having made a few additions via trades and other acquisition methods, some stability will probably be welcomed in the near future. Constant callups from the Cardinals have made it difficult for to Memphis find their rhythm. Unfortunately, the beginning of September also means that MLB rosters will be expanded.

Homerun:  18… number of games the ‘Birds have left in the 2011 regular season as of Aug 18th.

Bases Loaded is a weekly recap of the past week’s storylines and news from the Memphis Redbirds.

Michael Jones covers the Redbirds for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter @MemphisMJ.

MSL: 8.13.11

Hour 1:

“Phone Line Armageddon” shuts down the Sports 56  telephones. Also, Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter talk about SEC expansion, Tarik Black’s weight loss, Dan Uggla’s streak and more during the Starting 5. Plus, the return of Marcus the Magnificent.

Click here to listen to Hour 1 of the 8.13.11 MSL

Hour 2:

Memphis Grizzlies in-arena emcee Jeff White joins Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter in studio to talk about variety of topics and to play the Cheerleader Interview without the Cheerleader. Plus, the guys talk about Jerry Lawler’s first ever WWE t-shirt, small market teams, NBA 2K12 and more during Woohoos and Boos.

Click here to listen to Hour 2 of the 8.13.11 MSL

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MSL (MemphiSport Live) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Show in the 2010 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.