So where have I been??????

When I sent out a tweet Sunday evening from where I was in South Carolina, I followed it up with a promise to discuss why I went dark for a few weeks on Twitter and other social media outlets on the next episode of Couch Box Radio.

Then today, after getting lit up with tons of responses regarding my return to Twitter (translation: civilization), I figured I could finally explain in brief the reasons for my absence from social media and the air.

1. I got overwhelmed by everything

During the craziness that was National Signing Day, I told a friend of mine on Twitter that with all the projects that I’m involved in (radio, writing, etc.), I needed a break from everything and everyone. No offense, I get along with about 98% of my followers and shit, but sometimes you need a break. Since I’ve been back on Twitter, I’ve been able to relax and not go off the deep end about things I see on there.

2. Me and Steve Spurrier shared the same city

For a few months, I was in the northeast corner of Richland County, South Carolina, otherwise known as the county in which Columbia, South Carolina is located. While it was ironic that I was working in the same city where Tennessee’s greatest living troll coaches football and two hours from where my grandfather retired from the Air Force (I didn’t catch a Carolina baseball game the whole time I was here), I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Relaxin’ Jackson, otherwise known as Fort Jackson.

3. The Jimmy Graham saga

I honestly believe that Twitter (correction: all of social media) is the worst thing to happen to sports since Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage site (yes, I still hate that guy).

Up until the day that I disappeared from social media, there was all kinds of crazy talk about what was going to happen to Graham on Twitter. And while some was in good humor, there were just some outlandish shit coming from couch potato analysts.

So there you have it, three good explanations on why I disappeared from Twitter for a few weeks.

It’s good to be back.


Goodbye, Tim Wilson: Y’all Come See Us, Y’Hear?

The greatest comedy performance I ever saw happened under a bridge.

My best friend and I saw Tim Wilson for the first time at a festival in Chattanooga. They put him outdoors, on a small stage with ampitheatre-style seating under an overpass.

A comic outdoors? This we had to see.

Tim Wilson has passed on, and the saddest part may be that from here on, we will have only a finite amount of material.

He crushed that, and with it, my philosophy on how to enjoy comedy changed. Tim Wilson struck me as what would happen if George Carlin had grown up in rural Georgia. He could communicate to his audience while pontificating on subjects above some of their heads.

In short, he was Jeff Foxworthy with more than one joke.

Tim Wilson became one of my very favorite comics, and though I never saw him again live, I bought his albums and enjoyed much laughter while absorbing his thoughts on everything from PEDs in sports to the decline of the American social climate. In a world where Dane Cook is selling out arenas, it was nice knowing that there was a smart, articulate comic for me to enjoy, who, like me, also loved NASCAR.

See, it’s kind of an odd thing where I’m from to bring an academic, well-read opinion on things. Thinking freely/differently is often frowned upon – it’s bad for the ballclub, and frankly, it scares people. Tim Wilson managed to do it while not alienating his core group of fans.

That’s not to say he didn’t pander on occasion (“Hillbilly Homeboy” and “Cleminem” come to mind), but his material was reflective of a guy who had experienced good and bad in life and generally wished the best for the people in his country.

Twenty years to the day after Bill Hicks passed, we have lost Tim Wilson. It would be easy to say that the world is two times less funnier today without them, but that would not begin to describe the loss the comedy world has suffered. 

Celebrating rebirth of a different kind

For the second time in a decade,  the city of New Orleans is once again home to the NBA All-Star Game, which will be played Sunday night at the Smoothie King Center.

Unlike the 2008 affair, which was all about celebrating the rebirth of the city, the 63rd annual game is more about the rebirth of a different kind in New Orleans.

When the NBA seized control of the then-Hornets, many assumed that David Stern was overstepping his boundaries as commissioner.

And while at the time it seemed that was what Stern was doing, overstepping his boundaries,  looking back on it, the former commissioner was saving the team from George Shinin.

Although there was moderate success during the Shinn years, the problem with Shinn in New Orleans was his lack of deep pockets and more importantly, the blatant mismanagement of the team.

Which if you follow the tea leaves, is something that the franchise is still paying for in 2014.

George Shinn, who as Drake would say, started from the bottom, was as trusting as the recently-convicted Ray Nagin.

He made people think that he stepped in saved basketball for New Orleans after Katrina, going as far as grabbing a microphone during a playoff game and spitting out lie after lie to a packed New Orleans Arena.

When in actuality, as area sports pundit Bryan Bienemy told me on Tuesday, Shinn tried to keep the team in Oklahoma after Katrina.

“David Stern’s greatest moment as commissioner,” he told me, “was seizing control of the team from George Shinn.”

Three years after a near-trip to the Western Conference Finals, Shinn tried to once again move the franchise and in the process, attempt to make New Orleans the first American city to lose two NBA teams.

“The people of New Orleans deserved better,” Bienemy said of Shinn.

Nowadays, with Tom Benson running the show on Girod Street (yes, the street that housed the infamous cemetery years ago), New Orleans’ second All-Star Game is once again celebrating rebirth.

This time, it’s the rebirth of a franchise.

#BlueGrayReport – Hiding from Jim Burr

Joey returns to join Larry for this week’s episode! They have to keep the volume to avoid offending the officials, but they get in some good discussion about the wins over Gonzaga and UCF, Saturday’s tilt with UConn (11:00 AM CT, ESPN) and everybody’s friend Romeo getting the boot from Jim Burr Wednesday night. The gents also say goodbye to Eddie Cantler, the former Tiger trainer and associate AD.