Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Iron Maiden's Live After Death

Iron Maiden's Live After Death

Iron Maiden's Eddie as the Grim Reaper

The Headless Horseman

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Check out the article at History.com.

Happy Halloween!!!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Jamal Adams is the Flop King!

2014 LSU Safety Jamal Adams - The Flop King

2014 LSU Safety Jamal Adams - Florida Flop

2014 LSU Safety Jamal Adams - Ole Miss Flop

In what is being called another Oscar-worthy performance, LSU's Jamal Adams performed a flop move during the third quarter of the LSU-Ole Miss game Saturday.

After Ole Miss quarterback nudged the freshman safety with his shoulder, Adams fell backwards, arms flailing right in front of a referee. Ole Miss was penalized 15 yards for "unsportsmanlike conduct," which was likely due to Adams' theatrical flop.

Adams pulled the same move before when the Tigers took on the Gators in Gainesville a few weeks ago.

Florida receiver Andre Dubose shoved Adams, who then dramatically flopped to the ground.
His flop moves are certainly getting noticed, and Adams has been unofficially crowned "king," the king of flops, who is possibly channeling his inner King James, LeBron James. The pro basketball superstar is known for his epic flops on the court.

Check out the article at Nola.com.

LMFAO!!! The way he flails his arms out is just classic. I love this guy!

Geaux Tigers!!!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Geaux To Hell Ole Miss!!!

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Parade Grounds - October 25, 2014

Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! - Connor Neighbors - October 25, 2014

LSU Tigers RB Leonard Fournette facemasked - October 25, 2014

LSU Tigers QB Anthony Jennings 2014

LSU Tigers TE Logan Stokes - October 25, 2014

LSU Tigers Safety Ronald Martin

Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! - Coach Les Miles - October 25, 2014

Trey Quinn crowdsurfing - Fans Storm the Field October 25, 2014

Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! - Fans Storm the Field October 25, 2014

The voice of public-address announcer Dan Borne boomed over Tiger Stadium’s speakers: “Please stay off of the field!”

Good luck, Dan.

No. 24 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss 10-7 on Saturday night in a heart-pounding, wild classic that returned this heated rivalry to its golden years of the 1950s and ’60s.

How good was it?

LSU fans stormed the field for the first time in more than a decade. An estimated 15,000 — most from the student section — rushed onto the playing surface after a mad fourth-quarter comeback.

Quarterback Anthony Jennings hit Logan Stokes on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 5:59 left — an improbable game-winning completion to a tight end that capped a stunning drive.

The Tigers marched 95 yards — 92 of it on the ground — and Jennings found Stokes for his first career reception.

“This team wanted to make this night special,” coach Les Miles said, “and they did.”

LSU (7-2, 3-2 Southeastern) won a third straight game after the program’s worst loss in 15 years — a 34-point blowout at Auburn — and may have dashed the playoff dreams of previously undefeated Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1).

The Tigers did it by punching the Rebels in the mouth. LSU rolled up 264 rushing yards on a team that entered with the nation’s sixth-best running defense, and the Tigers held Ole Miss scoreless on its final nine possessions.

None were bigger than the final two Rebels drives.

Following the winning touchdown drive, the Tigers stuffed Wallace on fourth-and-1 near midfield, and then Ole Miss had a crazy ensuing possession after an LSU punt.

The Rebels marched to the LSU 25-yard line with 9 seconds left. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze sent his field goal team out on third down, but the Rebels couldn’t get a 42-yard field goal try off in time.

After a delay-of-game penalty, Freeze reinserted his offense, and Wallace hurled a ball toward the end zone meant for Cody Core.

The field goal would have been 47 yards, on the edge of Ole Miss kicker Gary Wunderlich’s range.

“With nine seconds on the clock, I thought we could sprint out and either take the flat throw or throw it out of bounds,” Freeze said. “We just didn’t get it done there.”

Safety Ronald Martin picked it off at the goal line and fell to the 2-yard line with 2 seconds left, eliciting a massive celebration from a sold-out Tiger Stadium.

Some of the 102,321 then raced onto the field after a Jennings kneel to celebrate yet another fourth-quarter comeback under their quirky coach.

The Tigers have won 24 games under Miles when trailing in the fourth quarter. And this one came hours after Miles’ mother died. Martha Miles passed away Friday evening. She was 91.

“Miss ya, Mom,” Miles said afterward.

“I want to say thanks to all of those people who have found the time to wish me condolences for my mom,” said Miles, who was given the game ball by the team. “Had a rough night last night.”

He had a great one Saturday in a game that took fans back decades. The squads met multiple times as ranked teams in the 1950s and 1960s as they battled yearly in low-scoring, defensive matches for SEC supremacy. This was the first meeting in Tiger Stadium with both ranked since 1970.

LSU won despite turning the ball over four times. The Tigers survived a wacky first half and a disappointing third quarter — they had just 44 yards.

Jennings threw two interceptions, Leonard Fournette fumbled into the end zone and Terrence Magee lost a fumble, too.

But the Tigers had three running backs break the 60-yard mark, including Fournette’s 113, and they pounded Ole Miss for drives of 11, 17 and 13 plays — the final one capped by Stokes’ touchdown.

Stokes hauled in Jennings’ pass toward the back of the end zone on second-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Jennings faked a handoff to Kenny Hilliard, drawing in a run-focused Ole Miss defense. The quarterback rolled to the right and fired in the pass to an open Stokes.

“Secret weapon. Don’t tell anybody,” Miles said of Stokes, who had no catches in two years at LSU and transferred in 2013 from Northeast Mississippi Community College, about 90 miles from Ole Miss’ campus. The play overshadowed a defense that carried the weight of this win.

Ole Miss had 52 yards on its last 27 snaps, a run that included four straight three-and-outs.

“It’s a crazy atmosphere,” said Wallace, who was 14-of-33 for 176 yards. “This is the craziest place I’ve played. Absolutely was a factor.”

The start of this one was wacky — and not in a good way for LSU.

The Tigers’ first two drives went for 63 and 70 yards, but LSU came up empty. Colby Delahoussaye missed just the second field goal of his career — this one from 28 yards — on the first drive. Fournette ended the second drive by losing a fumble into the Ole Miss end zone. On first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Fournette carried to the left side, and the ball squirted out.

More funky first-half woes? Magee followed Fournette’s fumble with a lost fumble of his own on the next drive, and LSU’s defense dropped at least two interceptions.

The Tigers had one drive in the third quarter end partly because of a Jennings fumbled snap, and they lost the tunover margin 4-1.

It all worked out in the end, though.

“(Ole Miss) ran into a team that’s improving and believe they can. Finds ways to win,” Miles said.

“We’re going to be special. This is a team that’s ambitious.”

Check out the article at The Advocate.

This just goes to show how tough of a conference the SEC West really is! Geaux Tigers!!!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

ESPN College Gameday at Tiger Stadium!

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Tiger Stadium - October 25, 2014

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Tiger Stadium - October 25, 2014

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Tiger Stadium - October 25, 2014


The Ole Miss Rebels will put their SEC West aspirations to the test once again on the road Saturday, heading to Death Valley for a big-time meeting with the LSU Tigers.

Hugh Freeze's third-ranked Rebels have set the SEC on fire this season with an upset over Alabama, and they have since validated that victory with blowouts over Texas A&M and Tennessee. But LSU is feeling confident as well, coming off victories over Florida and Kentucky.

To make the battle even bigger, ESPN's College GameDay will be on hand!

The Tigers have had a rough go of things in an SEC West that they usually dominate, falling to both Mississippi State and Auburn in distasteful defeats. But while their College Football Playoff hopes might be dashed, they'll be hungry to prove themselves and spoil the Rebels' season.

All the talk in the SEC West is about everyone other than LSU, but Death Valley will be at the center of the college football world Saturday to give the Tigers a chance to thrust themselves back into the conversation.

Check out the article at The Bleacher Report.

Geaux Tigers, time to play spoiler!!!

P.S. In case you were wondering, Yes Katy Perry still likes corndogs! =P

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!!!

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!!!

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!!!

A few weeks ago, singer Katy Perry tore through Oxford, Miss.

She was in town for the Ole Miss-Alabama game and was the guest picker on College Gameday, where she hit on Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight and threw corn dogs. She pulled the corn dogs out when picking the LSU-Auburn game, a nod to an old joke about LSU’s Tiger Stadium smelling like corn dogs.

Later, after the Rebels knocked off the Crimson Tide, she capped the night by chugging beers and jumping off a bar at a local establishment. It was quite a performance and sadly the last we thought we’d hear about her.

Thankfully, Les Miles has moved the story forward. “What happened? She likes corn dogs?” Miles said the other day after practice when asked about Perry’s joke on TV. He hadn't seen it, so he then was filled in.

“Oh no she didn't," Miles responded. “I guess there’s things to talk about that are important and things that are not, right? I’d have to say that people who make observations about how other people smell based on the fact that their nose doesn’t work well. I guess if that’s the issue -- I want you to know one thing and I’ll say it very honestly: I have gone to Tiger Stadium and never smelled corn dogs.”

That’s because you’re too busy smelling grass, Les. Nonetheless, we score this round a win for Miles. You know I love you Katy, but you don’t mess with our guy Les!

Check out the article at Fox Sports.

Haha, Les Miles is a hoot!

No ill will toward Katy. She's sexy, entertaining, and fun! I even had to laugh when she started throwing corndogs. So, right back at ya, girlie... hope you don't mind the tongue-and-cheek. Just let us know if you need some more sauce! ;)

P.S. Yep, that's my photochop at the top. Feel free to steal, but a backlink would be appreciated.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

F22 Raptor at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

F15E Eagle at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

B2 Spirit at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

A California man shot some absolutely jaw-dropping photos of the U.S. Navy's famed Blue Angels the week before last during the lead-up to San Francisco's Fleet Week festivities.

Click through the slideshow of his series of photos above. All of the images are spectacular, but the money shot is a surreal photo of the No. 5 fighter jet flying at a very low altitude as it passes above the bridge while cars and pedestrians cross over the iconic span in each direction during rush hour. (Scroll down to see it at full size). The photo has gone viral on Facebook and the online message board Reddit.

The photos were captured by Rich Shelton, 55, of Tiburon, which is just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Shelton, a self-described 'semi-serious amateur photographer' told AOL.com in an email that he had staked out in an old World War II bunker just west of the bridge's toll plaza on Thursday, October 9, as the Blue Angels were conducting a practice run before the air show that was held a few days later.

'It's a great spot because the bridge's towers align perfectly,' he said.

Shelton said he used a full-frame Sony a7 with 70-400mm lens, which he typically uses to photograph landscapes and is a tricky camera to use for high-speed action.

'During Thursday's practices they made numerous passes over the bridge in different positions,' he explained. 'Due to the ... approach speeds, there's a fair bit of luck involved trying to catch a perfectly centered shot.'

The F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets are capable of reaching speeds of just under Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound -- or about 1,400 mph. However, the top speed pilots are allowed to fly the jets during a performance is about 700 mph, or just under Mach 1.

The U.S. Navy won't confirm the authenticity of any photo not shot by an official Navy photographer, but Lieutenant Amber Lynn Daniel, confirmed to AOL.com that the Blue Angels were practicing around the time the photo was shot.

Daniel, the Blue Angels' public affairs officer, said she consulted with expert colleagues who estimated that the jet seen in the photo would have been flying at an approximate altitude of 600 feet at the moment the photo was taken and traveling at a speed of about 300 knots, or 350 mph. Both of those figures illustrate how difficult a feat it is to capture a perfect photo of a passing jet using a static camera position.

But Shelton managed to pull it off, nailing the amazing shot of the F/A-18 Hornet, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Dave Tickle, in perfect crisp focus seemingly frozen between the orange support towers of the legendary suspension bridge. Although, surprisingly, after he achieved the one-of-a-kind image, he didn't think all that much of it. 'I thought it was just another interesting Blue Angels shot,' he recalled.

That all changed when he posted it on his Facebook page where it immediately began racking up hundreds of likes. Then, someone re-posted the image on Reddit and it rocketed to more than a million views on that site, Shelton said. His original Facebook post topped out at nearly 4,000 likes. 'I only expected 30 or 40,' he confessed. 'There were also many kind comments from Facebook folks, along with a number of skeptics.'

'It was a calculated but lucky photo, and I'm very happy with it,' he added.

Shelton is married with a grown son and is retired now. He volunteers as a search manager for the Marin County Sheriff Search and Rescue unit, which keeps him 'very busy.'

He's been enamored with photography since he was a kid, he said, and even managed to pay for college with money he earned doing event photography. Lately, he's rediscovered the art.

'The advent of digital cameras and printers have really reignited my love of photography,' Shelton told AOL.com. 'I'm always looking at the world around me in the context of how I might capture an interesting photo.'

Check out the article at AOL.com.

Awesome photos from what appears to have been an awesome airshow!!!

Be sure to check out the Rich Shelton's Flickr photostream for more awesome photos!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

LSU Tiger Bingo!

Geaux Bingo!

This year, Tiger fans might need a little distraction and humor on Saturday nights. We’re here to help.

Cut out this bingo card, grab some friends and some beverages, turn on the game and get ready to play. First, decide how you want to play — we recommend saving the blackout for the fourth quarter. Using beans, beer caps or whatever you have around, mark off your squares as each thing happens. Les turns a new phrase at the half? That’s a square. The camera shows an Elvis costume in the student section? Yup. The announcers wax poetic about the food in Baton Rouge? Grab yourself a beer cap.

Have fun and enjoy responsibly.

Check out the article and Geaux Bingo! card at The Advocate.

Haha, Advocate, very funny! I'm no fair-weather fan... I remember being soaked to the bone in Tiger Stadium during the 1988 Miami Hurricanes debacle... Geaux Tigers!

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Friday, October 03, 2014

College Footbal Fan Map

NCAA College Football Fan Map

Twice so far at the Upshot, we’ve published maps showing where fan support for one team begins and another ends — once for baseball and once for basketball. Now we’re pleased to offer another one: the United States according to college football fans.

Unlike professional sports, the college game is much more provincial, with scrappy regional programs dominating their corners of the country. Texas and Oregon are two of the most popular teams, but together they account for only 25 percent of territory in the lower 48 states. There is no team with a level of national support that approaches that of, say, the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox or the Los Angeles Lakers.

If you squint while looking at the college football map, you might even think you’re looking at a state map. In the Southeast, strong programs like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana State and Oklahoma dominate their states — and stop right at the border.

But there are enough exceptions to make this quite different from the state maps we all grew up learning. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been so mediocre for so long — failing to finish in the top 15 nationwide since the Kennedy administration — that fans have moved their support to the Wisconsin Badgers. And Nebraska! They do love their Cornhuskers across much of the Great Plains.

But programs can divide a state, too. Seven colleges, led by the Longhorns, lay claim to at least some part of Texas. Elsewhere, some teams have managed to carve out bits of territory, extending only a bit beyond their campus: Vanderbilt around Nashville; U.C.L.A. on the west side of Los Angeles; and Oregon State, around Corvallis, south of Portland. Then there’s the Northeast, with its relative lack of interest in college football. Once you’re east of the Hudson, no team dominates, and many teams claim a small percentage of fans.

All told, 84 programs can reasonably claim to be the most popular college football team somewhere in the United States.

Like the other sets of maps, these were created using estimates of team support based on each team’s share of Facebook “likes” in a ZIP code. We then applied an algorithm to deal with statistical noise and fill in gaps where data was missing. Facebook “likes” are an imperfect measure, but as we've noted before, Facebook likes show broadly similar patterns to polls.

Check out the article and College Football Fan Map at The New York Times.

Cool map, but definitely could've been better by using team logos.

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Monday, September 01, 2014

Extreme Selfies!

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie with Boeing Dreamliner

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie Launching Missile

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie at Mach 3

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie over Kyle Field

Astronaut Selfie - Out of this World!

No offense to that selfie you snapped at that wedding or that baseball game. But THESE are some of the coolest selfies ever!

Check out the slideshow at The Hollywood Gossip.

Awesome!!!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

The Grand-Place in Brussels is in full bloom as the bi-annual flower carpet has been unfurled in the city.

The first Grand-Place flower carpet was made in 1971 to celebrate Belgium's begonia flower.

Check out the slideshow at MSN News.

I would love to see this work of art in person... somehow, I doubt the photographs do it much justice!

Be sure to check out the official Flower Carpet website.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

SEC Network launches TODAY!!!

SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

Tim Tebow - SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

Kaylee Hartung - SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

With all the focus on Thursday’s debut of the SEC Network, ESPN’s Dan Margulis said the joke around the network studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been “What will we do Aug. 15?”

Of course, there is a plan. The SEC Network is no one-off media event, like a single game or a concert. Thursday merely marks the starting point for a 24/7 sports channel devoted to the Southeastern Conference, its constantly renewed future and its rich past.

Considering the estimates of what the SEC Network will be worth to the conference and its 14 member schools, the future looks pretty rich, too.

“It’s the beginning of a long life, we hope,” said Margulis, ESPN’s senior director of college sports programming.

“As we like to say, ‘It’s time to light the candle.’ ”

The SEC Network will be switched on at 5 p.m. CDT Thursday.

With its availability to 87 million homes, it will in an instant reportedly become the nation’s fourth-largest sports network in terms of viewership behind only ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1. Its reach will eclipse established channels like the NFL Network, the Big Ten Network and ESPNU.

Unlike the Big Ten Network, which started in 2007, the SEC leaned on the marketing muscle of ESPN to distribute the network and produce virtually all of its programming bound for cable and satellite providers.

SEC schools will be responsible for producing virtually all of the events that can be viewed online and on mobile devices.

In its first year, the SEC Network is expected to have about 450 games on the television (or linear) network and a minimum of 550 events available online and through apps, though the latter number is quickly expected to grow.

Kevin Wagner, LSU’s assistant athletic director for television operations, said each school is required to produce a minimum of 40 games per year selected by the SEC Network. Each school may elect to produce up to 80 additional events, though the schools must bear most of the production costs.

“All of that will be live on ESPN3 or WatchESPN or on an app,” Wagner said.

The SEC Network will debut to the fanfare of an opening essay from famous athletic voices throughout the SEC’s history. They will include LSU basketball great Shaquille O’Neal, SEC quarterback legends Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning, 12-time Olympic swimming Dara Torres and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath.

That introduction will lead into a three hour-long show called “SEC Now,” which will be SEC Network’s version of “SportsCenter.”

The inaugural “SEC Now” will feature live reports from every SEC campus. LSU pitching great Ben McDonald and SEC Network announcer Peter Burns are set to go live from outside Mike the Tiger’s habitat near Tiger Stadium, with interviews with LSU football coach Les Miles and baseball coach Paul Mainieri.

Margulis said it’s important for the SEC Network to demonstrate a balance of coverage from the start among the SEC’s 14 member schools.

“You’ve got to be cognizant of it,” he said. “You want to cover the stories of national interest that may not involve all 14 schools, but at the same time you serve 14 schools and 14 audiences.

“The first 14 days of the network will have eight or nine hours each day dedicated to a different school, with football previews for each. There are some exciting realities for all the schools.”

After Thursday’s debut, the SEC’s next big milestone will be its Aug. 28 football doubleheader. Texas A&M plays at South Carolina at 5 p.m. that day, followed by Temple at Vanderbilt at 8:15 p.m.

In all, the SEC Network will carry 45 football games, fronted each Saturday by an on-campus “College Game Day” like program called “SEC Nation.” The show will visit every SEC campus, as will the network during the first few weeks of the season.

LSU’s first football game on the SEC Network will be its Sept. 6 home opener against Sam Houston State.

Additionally, the SEC Network will feature more than 100 men’s basketball games, 75 baseball games and 60 women’s basketball games.

All 21 SEC sports will receive some sort of coverage or feature, Margulis said, though just how much coverage many Olympic sports will receive remains to be determined.

Like a football team rolling toward a championship season, ESPN spent the spring and summer knocking off one distribution deal after another with providers such as Cox, AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network, Time Warner, and more recently DirecTV and Comcast. Hundreds of local and regional providers, such as EATEL in Ascension and Livingston parishes, negotiated collectively with ESPN to hammer out their contract.

“We talk about aggressive risk-taking and we think this fits that,” Margulis said of the SEC Network. “We’re fortunate to have a great partnership with the SEC.”

“I really applaud (SEC) Commissioner (Mike) Slive and the ESPN folks for the distribution we have to date,” LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said. “I thought we would get distribution going well, but frankly I’m surprised. I thought it would take a year or two.”

The publication Sports Business Journal reported the fee for carrying the SEC Network will be about $1.40 per subscriber per month in the 11-state SEC footprint and 25 cents per subscriber elsewhere.

Despite these costs, spokespersons Sharon Bethea of Cox and Trae Russell of EATEL said their companies do not anticipate any rate increases for their customers at this time.

If the Sports Business Journal numbers are correct, it’s estimated that each SEC school’s share of SEC Network revenue could ultimately be about $14 million per year. SEC schools each received in $20.9 million in revenue from the conference this year, based largely on the championship events and TV network deals already has in place.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

WOOT!!! This is going to be the best sports network in the country in just a few short years!

Be sure to check out the SEC Network online!

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Friday, June 06, 2014

D-Day - 70th Anniversary

70th Anniversary of D-Day Normandy - June 6, 1944 - 2014

LCVP -aka Higgins Boat- on D-Day in Normandy, France - June 6, 1944

LCVP -aka Higgins Boat- on D-Day in Normandy, France - June 6, 1944

Landing Supplies at Normandy, France - June, 1944

General Eisenhower speaks to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne - June 5, 1944

D-Day assault routes into Normandy, France

View of the American Cemetery from the Memorial - Normandy, France

Omaha Beach from Normandy Cemetery - present day

National World War II Museum - New Orleans, Louisiana

Every generation has its generational markers. For those of the World War II era, December 7, 1941, stands supreme, but the events of June 6, 1944, rank a close second. Seventy years ago on that day, 156,000 Allied soldiers, supported by many more sailors, airmen and marines, embarked on the long-awaited invasion of occupied Europe. This was an Allied effort, but American fighting men bore the brunt of the combat and the resulting sacrifice.

For decades, the members of the World War II generation have remembered where they were that June morning when they heard the news that the Allies had landed in Europe. The road to victory, still to be hard, nevertheless now appeared assured.

For years as I grew up, my own grandfather – too old to serve himself, but well aware in 1944 that his 18-year-old only son was about to deploy to the Pacific – would remind me, “Today’s the anniversary of D-Day; that’s the day we knew we were going to win.”

From paratroopers who jumped into the black skies above Sainte-Mere-Église to U.S. Army Rangers who waded ashore in neck-deep water to scale the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, Operation Overlord was necessary to bring Nazi Germany to its knees. Once this direct assault across the storm-tossed English Channel was underway, there would be numerous stories of individual heroism and exceptional leadership, but the very first occurred with the decision to send the armada on its way.

That decision rested squarely on the shoulders of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme allied commander. The weather was dicey; the chance of failure high; the logistics of coordinating the largest amphibious invasion in history daunting.

The initial target date was June 5. But faced with horrendous weather, Eisenhower ordered a postponement – no small thing with a million men, 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft queued up and ready to go. When the weather showed no sign of easing on June 6, Eisenhower summoned up his own personal courage and made the affirmative decision nonetheless.

In an example of leadership that those purporting to be leaders today should remember, Eisenhower scribbled a communiqué to be issued only if the invasion failed. Accepting sole and full responsibility, he wrote that any blame or fault was “mine alone.”

The invasion forces began landing in Normandy at about 6:30 a.m. on June 6 along a 50-mile sweep of rocky beaches. British troops spearheaded operations against sectors codenamed Gold, Juno and Sword, while Americans attacked Utah and Omaha beaches. The fight for Omaha was the most horrific. There, the veterans of the 1st Infantry Division teamed with the 29th Infantry Division and two battalions of rangers for the assault.

Planning down to the company level had been meticulous, but in the rough seas and early morning darkness, little went according to plan. Strong winds and currents pushed the first waves of landing craft away from their intended targets and caused follow-up waves to be further scattered or delayed.

Known as the “Big Red One” for their shoulder patch, the soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division had no monopoly on courage, sacrifice or sheer agony, but they were in the thick of the most critical minutes on Omaha Beach. Having come ashore too far east and stumbled into a killing zone of enemy crossfire, the division’s 16th Infantry Regiment stalled until regimental commander George Taylor exhorted, “Only two kinds of people are going to be on this beach: those who are dead and those who are about to die. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

They did, blasting their way through barbed wire, machine gun nests and concrete bunkers to gain the high ground atop Colleville Draw. Supporting fire from offshore destroyers aided the effort and helped the men on Omaha Beach break out of the beachhead via other heavily defended gullies.

The price for the Overlord invasion on June 6 was 4,413 Allied dead, of whom 2,499 were Americans. Many came to rest in the Normandy American Cemetery on the bluffs overlooking Omaha Beach. The first interment there was made on June 8, and today more than 9,300 American casualties of D-Day or the ensuing war in Europe lie there.

Second only to the awe due the courage and sacrifice of these brave men is the tremendous industrial might that made the Normandy invasion possible. In 1943 alone, American steel plants and shipyards built 1,949 ships and 68,600 aircraft. Onto the beaches of Normandy came thousands of the landing craft and tens of thousands of the tanks, jeeps and trucks churned out by American factories and frequently produced by American women manning the assembly lines of the home front.

The national effort at the time of the Normandy invasion was as united and singular of purpose as at any time in American history. What is frequently overlooked, if not forgotten, is that at this same moment, American marines and soldiers were also landing half a world away on the beaches of Saipan and Guam. Failure was certainly possible, but not a thing to be contemplated.

The D-Day invasion was so successful that within a week of the June 6 landings, the Normandy beachheads were secure and more than 325,000 troops and 100,000 tons of equipment and supplies were poised to race across France, eventually liberating Paris on August 25.

The number of men still alive who waded ashore, jumped from the air or sailed the choppy English Channel that June morning is dwindling. By the time the 75th anniversary of D-Day is celebrated five years hence, few will be left. Out of their collective experience, the central lessons of the Normandy invasion are the importance of personal courage in the face of great uncertainty and an entire generation’s can-do attitude to accomplish the seemingly impossible. The qualities of these remaining heroes that echo the loudest are commitment to mission, collaborative teamwork and unshakeable resolve. May we never forget them or their ideals.

Check out the article at Fox News.

Check out the D-Day 70th Anniversary website

Also check out the Defense.gov D-Day feature

Be sure to visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana for some exciting events going on today!

If you are interested in accurate D-Day and WWII history, I highly recommend the following books by Stephen Ambrose. He has written other WWII books, but those four are by far the most notable and my favorites:

The HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, inspired by Stephen Ambrose's book by the same title, is a must-see for any WWII history buff. I have found the series to be one of the most historically accurate movies made on the topic... I highly recommend checking it out!

There are MANY movies made in the WWII setting, check out World War II on Film at www.worldwar-2.net and the Wikipedia List of WWII Films.

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