My friend, Steve Ellis

 

I know this my day to give predictions, and we’ll get to those. But I’ll let you know now that they’ll be brief.

From time to time I ask for permission to use this space to share something personal with you. This is another one of those times.

Yesterday we lost a damn good man and a damn good sportswriter. Steve Ellis of the Tallahassee Democrat covered Florida State for nearly 30 years and did it with great distinction. Nobody knew what was going on at Florida State better than Steve and he did it with a work ethic that was legendary.

Did he clash with the folks at Florida State from time to time? You bet. But everybody from President T.K. Wetherell to Bobby Bowden respected Steve Ellis as a pro. In fact, he was a pro that other pros looked up to and relied on as a great resource.

When I really needed to know what was going on at Florida State, I would talk to Steve late at night when I knew he had finally stopped working. Yeah, I was a competitor but our friendship was strong enough that he felt comfortable discussing his work with me and giving me special insights that were incredibly helpful.

The story about Steve in today’s Tallahassee Democrat says that hewas working on a story at home when he suffered a massive heart attack on Nov. 10. He wouldn’t let his wife, Karen, call 911 until she emailed the story into the paper first. That’s Steve.

http://nolesports.tallahassee.com/article/20091120/FSU03/911200321

I talked to Karen Ellis on Monday night and she was optimistic that Steve had survived the worst of it. His life was going to have to change, to be sure. They were going to embrace that change together.

I was on my way to Athens Thursday afternoon when the word came. We had lost one of the good guys.

If you have an extra prayer in your pocket this weekend, send it along for Karen Ellis and the folks who loved Steve. This is going to be a tough Thanksgiving.

 

Now on to the picks. I was 7-3 last week. The record is 80-30 on the season.

 

1. Kentucky at Georgia: Georgia just needs to keep running the ball. Kentucky has the No. 11 rush defense in the SEC. Georgia 28, Kentucky 17.

 

2. LSU at Ole Miss: Dexter McCluster touched the ball 29 times last week and Ole Miss pounded Tennessee. The Rebels will do it again. Ole Miss 21, LSU 20.

 

3. Vanderbilt at Tennessee: Vanderbilt just can’t score enough points to hang with the Volunteers. Tennessee 28, Vanderbilt 13.

 

4. Mississippi State at Arkansas: How good is QB Ryan Mallett? Arkansas leads the nation in red zone scoring with 38 scores in 39 trips (29 touchdowns).  Arkansas 31, Miss. State 17.

 

5. Virginia at Clemson: The Tigers and C.J. Spiller are just too much for the Cavaliers. Clemson advances to the ACC championship game and a date with Georgia Tech. Clemson 41, Virginia 13.

 

6. Maryland at Florida State: Florida State (5-5) needs this one to become bowl eligible with a trip to Florida coming up next week. Florida State 31, Maryland 14.

 

7. Ohio State at Michigan: Rich Rod really needs this one to take some of the heat off. Ohio State has already clinched the Rose Bowl. A loss means Michigan (1-6 Big Ten) will finish last in the league for the first time since 1962. Ohio State 17, Michigan 14.

 

8. Kansas State at Nebraska: Nebraska clinches the Big 12 North and a showdown with Texas for the conference championship. Nebraska 28, Kansas State 13.

 

9. Oregon at Arizona: These two teams control their own destiny in the Pac-10 race. The winner has the inside track to the Rose Bowl. Oregon 28, Arizona 27.

 

10. Kansas at Texas: Texas clinches the Big 12 South and Colt McCoy wins his 43rd game as the Longhorn’s starting quarterback. That breaks the record formerly held by Georgia’s David Greene. Texas 35, Kansas 10.

 

 

 Please follow me on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

115 comments Add your comment

Thunderbolt Patterson

November 20th, 2009
12:53 pm

Rodster- nevermind.

Eric

November 20th, 2009
1:01 pm

Roswell Ed is in bed with me! ;)

Call it Like It Is

November 20th, 2009
1:04 pm

Hey Trade School Junkie,

You are a Moron as FL walts again to the SEC and the NC, and oh btw, maybe another Heisman to boot!

Dumb Ass!

Enough Said!

how2fish

November 20th, 2009
1:06 pm

Sad new Tony..prayers sent…

Buzzfan®

November 20th, 2009
1:19 pm

Sorry to hear about your friend, TB. Sounds like he truly was a good guy.

Brenda R.

November 20th, 2009
1:19 pm

When Steve first need a home in Tallahassee, I was able to find him and his wife a lovely 3 bedroom that was convenient to campus and downtown. Not only, that but I was able to get the price down to something that a journalist just starting out could afford on their salaries. I will miss him and always thought he was a class act as well as a great reference for my real estate business. To not commercialize this post, I will not mention my real estate firm by name. God Bless the Ellis family and I am sure Steve and Uga7 are in heaven looking down on us with fondness as Bowden and Richt lead their teams in his memory this weekend.

Thunderbolt Patterson

November 20th, 2009
1:37 pm

Call it Like It Is- FL “walts” to the SEC??? And you call someone else a DA?

Will

November 20th, 2009
2:03 pm

Sweet Willie is pounding his chest and his bald head is as big as Sanford Stadium. When that happens usually we give up about 500 yards. That scenario is what most are expecting Sat night then hopefully he will brought back to earth before the GT game. That’s the only game that matters now!

F-105 Thunderchief

November 20th, 2009
2:04 pm

I predict Alabama will defeat Chattanooga. You heard it here last.

CLO

November 20th, 2009
2:19 pm

I relied on him on daily basis, he will be missed and our House Divided FSU/UF) will keep his family in our prayers this weekend and over the Holiday Season….

Chief Nock-A-Homa

November 20th, 2009
2:20 pm

FIRE WATER! FIRE WATER!

JR

November 20th, 2009
2:26 pm

Go dawgs! We will dominate kentucky. They are weak. Then gt is next. Another winning streak will start against the overrated nerds.

UGA 31 uk 10
UGA 37 GT 17

JSS

November 20th, 2009
3:02 pm

To Mr. Karen Ellis, An extension of appropriate well wishes at your time of immense loss…

MOOOOOOOOO

November 20th, 2009
3:17 pm

HEY eric MY littlebarnner bud!!! 9 MORE DAY’S BEFORE THE BEATDOWN IN MOO TOWN!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! HIGH TIDE COMIN’ IN !!!

steve

November 20th, 2009
3:35 pm

Saturday will be an emotion filled day in Tallahassee. Senior day means this will be the last time these kids play at home in their careers. Tommie Wright, the man who wrote the Florida State fight song will lead the band in playing it at halftime- for the first time ever. Nick Menacof, the stadiums public address announcer for hte last 25 years will be calling his last game. Mickey Andrews, a man among men, a coach who revolutionized defense turning it into an a full out onslaught will coach his last game before the fans who love and respect him so deeply. And now it will be without Steve Ellis in the press box. His loss will be felt for a long time in that as a source for trustworthy and fair reporting that probed deeply into this program, Steve Ellis was the man. His longtine reporting gained him access that few will ever know. Yet he kept enough distance to retain objectivity while never forgetting there were real people involved. Godspeed.

Tim Tebow

November 20th, 2009
3:35 pm

This is for you Steve…4 tickets, 4 hotdogs, and 4 cokes

Not Disappointed

November 20th, 2009
3:55 pm

CPJ got an extention………….. “Hmmmmmmm. What’s this I hear about him leaving?”

Ramblin Wreck!

Not Disappointed

November 20th, 2009
3:57 pm

It will be a sad day tomorrow at Doak Stadium. I hope FSU plays well.

Ramblin Wreck!

Born2Buzz

November 20th, 2009
4:14 pm

Well said AtlantaGator. My sentiments exactly.

GT

November 20th, 2009
4:20 pm

Writers are about the only source of straight scoop any more, sorry we lost this one. Sunday mornings with coffee and the sports page use to be somewhere in the top five events of a week. Nothing including FSU stays the same.

Too bad Dogs

November 20th, 2009
4:24 pm

yep Dogs need to wear black againin lieu of CPJ signing another contract extension., Unlike Saban, Petrino and the cast of other snakes of coaches in the SEC, Johnson is hanging around GT and complete the job, bring a NC to GT. Now gee, let me think if I were Dwyer, Nesbitt or Morgan, that would give me the incentive to hang around and go for national championship in 2010.

BobinBuford

November 20th, 2009
4:24 pm

Not Disappointed:

That won’t stop them from hoping that CPJ will leave – the poll on the Tech page has 26% thinking he still will leave.

Must be all the UGA fans voting on that one.

Johnny Test

November 20th, 2009
4:26 pm

Trade Scdhool Flunkie…. wishful thinking on your part. Uga beats KY and Florida kills FSU. You best be worried about UGA and Clemson.

Got 12?

November 20th, 2009
4:29 pm

Too bad,

Oh yeah, a one-year contract extension! You guys really locked Johnson up, air tight!

You heard it hear first: The first Tech sell out of the new millennium will be the Bama game in 2014.

Headed to Tuscaloosa.

Johnny Test

November 20th, 2009
4:29 pm

Who cares if CPJ stays.As a Dawg fan I hope he does. The series got real boring before he showed up. He has won one game. Let’s see what happens this year.

Johnny Test

November 20th, 2009
4:36 pm

TOO Bad Dawgs… You canb’t win national championships with a defense and special teams as bad as TEKs. The offense is good. That’s it.

gotech

November 20th, 2009
5:43 pm

Just said a prayer for Mr. Ellis.

Kelvin

November 20th, 2009
6:05 pm

Yes, Steve was one of the good ones. I remember going down to the Democrat in the mid-90s and was offered the job covering FAMU football and FSU basketball (Steve’s football beat at FSU was all-consuming). That’s sad to hear. He offered good advice and seemed like a good colleague to work alongside. (Alas, I turned down the job to stay in Montgomery! What in the world was I thinking?!)

matt

November 20th, 2009
7:23 pm

Mark Sublette at Clemson

November 20th, 2009
7:24 pm

I was fortunate enough to work with Steve at The Tiger, the Clemson student newspaper, in the the mid-1970s, and he was already the man you speak so highly of. He was already writing his straight-forward, incisive, inquiring stories about Clemson sports, and, yes – he cheesed off the athletic department there, too! He even wrote about his own roommates’ secret basketball ticket connection, and came back to the quad to find the frat brothers had moved all his room’s furnishings out onto the porch, arranging them just as they had been in the room. He just laughed.

Great guy. We will miss him. His kind doesn’t come down the pike often. Bless you, Steve.

James Armstrong

November 20th, 2009
9:04 pm

Nice sentiments indeed… we did lose a great one. The age of internet makes us appreciate those print writers who have crafted their art and connections for so long. Steve Ellis was a great FSU writer, and he was also a cherished Clemson grad. We still grieve and miss Jim Phillips at Clemson, and now we grieve and miss Steve Ellis. Thank you for the kind words and remembrance, Mr. Barnhart.

Tide Rising

November 20th, 2009
10:23 pm

F-105 Thunderchief

November 20th, 2009
2:04 pm

I predict Alabama will defeat Chattanooga. You heard it here last.

Thunderchief,

Thanks for the rousing vote of confidence. I feels betters already. Go coarch Saban.

Alabama Jack

November 20th, 2009
10:38 pm

With a coach named Dabo, Clemson has to be good.

SC Rules!!!

November 20th, 2009
11:44 pm

Atlanta Gator,

Kuddos! I too send prayers for the family and friends of Steve.

Tony, I am sorry for your loss.

Fight On!!

Slim Pickens

November 21st, 2009
7:36 am

………………………Josh Nesbitt for Heisman……………………….

In Sympathy

November 21st, 2009
8:09 am

Only 54 years old, God Bless the Seminole Nation.

Mike

November 21st, 2009
8:54 am

We’ll miss Steve, no doubt. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Go ‘Noles!!!

Ramblin Rick

November 21st, 2009
11:08 am

I see an upset tonight at Sanford & Son stadium.. Kentucky 35 UGAY 31.

You heard it here first Mutt Nation!

Paul Johnson owns Athens

Its CJ Spiller Time

November 21st, 2009
11:17 am

Clemson football team and our Basketball team are AWESOME!!!!!! Clemson knows how to do Beatdowns. YES we know STYLE points count! Sorry UGA You just SUCK ! Wofford ?????

Finger N Cider

November 21st, 2009
11:21 am

No mascot ? WTF UGA is so Lax nowadays!

Da dawg pound

November 21st, 2009
11:24 am

Its CJ Spiller Time,

Clemson knows how to do beatdowns? Just like you beat down the bammers in your opener last year? You and your conference got humiliated.

Ramblin Rick

November 21st, 2009
11:48 am

Did Big Willy Martinez kill UGA 7?

Its CJ Spiller Time

November 21st, 2009
11:50 am

hey da dawgpounded….. UGA sure had suffered a lot more beat downs lately than Clemson had in the last 20 years. BTW when was the last time UGA really has put beatdown on a good team that was ranked? Been a while huh?

SC Rules!!!

November 21st, 2009
1:31 pm

Shane#1,

Dude so sorry about how your season has played out. NOT that ours has faired much better. Are you gettin’ hunkered down at the bunker yet? My respects to the Seiler family & UG nation for the sudden passing of UGA VII.

Here’s to much better results next season for both our programs!

Fight On!!

True_Crimson

November 21st, 2009
3:15 pm

It's Jonathan Dwyer/Josh Nesbitt Time

November 21st, 2009
3:32 pm

GT knows how to BEAT DOWN a 10-1 season
and be ranked # 7.
GT will CRUSH Clemson!

Coach O

November 21st, 2009
7:32 pm

The LSU players made a great effort, but their coach lost the game with poor clock management. FSU found a way to win one for Steve — good for them…

Who will coach Notre Dame?

Jeff George

November 21st, 2009
10:31 pm

Les Miles is an IDIOT! How can you not have your kicking team ready to take the field? “The Hat” is a moron.

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

November 21st, 2009
11:22 pm

BHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH suck on that bulldawg nation!

Jacob

November 21st, 2009
11:44 pm

Can’t wait to see the prediction for GT GA next week.