Countdown: Gundy (quack), Vick (Goose), Holtz (turkey)

The Count's also getting a little pudgy.

The Count doesn't like to argue.

In case you missed it, the annual college football argument season officially kicked off Saturday when the Associated Press released its opening national rankings.

I’ve never quite grasped why the rankings fuel such vitriol between fan bases. But it’s what gives college football part of its “charm,” I suppose, and some of that would be lost if we had an actual playoff system instead of the BCS, which of course is the basis for a whole different argument.

Speaking of which, I’ve dug up video footage of the very first argument between a Georgia and Georgia Tech fan. The accents have changed a bit through the years, but I’m sure you’ll recognize the same themes. Ready, set, argue! And after that, The Count will guide you through this week’s Countdown.

Me? I’ll be in the corner over here, trying to sip a Grey Goose and pineapple juice without anybody noticing.

The first Georgia vs. Georgia Tech argument

10. A little paranoid, big fella?

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who deals with stress much like Mt. Vesuvius dealt with indigestion, is already tightening up as his team nears the opener against Georgia. Gundy has ordered his players into verbal lockdown. They’re not allowed to speak to the media — or, maybe

This is the look of one stressed dude.

This is the look of one stressed dude.

more accurately, the media can’t speak to the players — for a 10-day period that will end next Monday. It’s an interesting way to try to handle the buildup to the game. The Cowboys have their highest pre-season ranking (No. 9) in history and are playing in a newly renovated stadium. But if Gundy is sending the message to his players that he’s overly concerned about distractions now, what’s he going to be like game week?

9. What? There’s GIRLS in Stillwater?

You’re not going to believe this. But apparently there are a lot of students on the Oklahoma State campus. Honest. And girls, too! Who knew? Fortunately, the Bulldogs can practice in the relative serenity of Athens, where, of course, nothing goes on and there are only, oh, let’s see — 25,000 undergraduates and I think that many bars. “You’ve got 19,000 students here,” Gundy told the Oklahoman. “You’ve got a lot of cute girls out there. There’s a lot of things going on. Guys have to focus. We’re trying to reel them in. … There’s a lot of distractions right now. Because we can’t keep them in camp. They’re out there on campus.” Oh no. Not campus! Maybe barbed wire fences would help, coach?

8. One Vick, over the rocks

Here's Michael Vick drinking in public in 2006. He can't do that anymore.

No, I’m not going to proclaim Michael Vick must be a degenerate or an alcoholic because he was spotted in a hotel bar sipping a Grey Goose and pineapple juice following his first football practice in two years, according to the New York Post, which I’m assuming has a reporter stationed at every hotel on the East Coast, just waiting for A-Rod. But yeah, I’ll say it: What’s he thinking? I mean, pineapple juice with his vodka and not cranberry juice? What did prison do to this man? And he’s supposed to memorize a playbook? I’m so done with him.

7. Seriously, though . . .

Yeah, it was dumb. When even Tony Dungy, your mentor, your pooh-bah, you’re all-knowing Yoda and spiritual adviser says it’s dumb, you know it’s dumb. “Michael, you can’t do that,” Dungy told Vick, according to SI.com. Does that make Vick different than everybody else? Yes. Is that unfair? Maybe. But that’s the situation he created. He’s trying to impress a coach, a franchise, a fan base, a city, a league, a bankruptcy judge, also some other judges, a list of creditors from here to Surry County, a probation officer, anybody on Madison Avenue who might be considering taking a chance on him and, oh yes, his children. Drinking in public: dumb, Michael. Find another way to relax. And chain yourself to the coffee table if you have to.

6. Text report: Smoltz vs. Braves? Maybe not

I'm going to throw you a fastball now -- kidding!

I'm throwing a fastball now -- kidding!

For what it’s worth, I counted by fives and if that new up-and-coming starter in the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation, John Smoltz, pitches every fifth game, he’ll miss the Braves’ series. “I don’t know right now — I’m just happy to be pitching,” he said in a text message. Understandable. But this should keep him going. Get this run of cream puffs that possibly await him. If the Cards keep using Smoltz as a starter and stick to this fifth-man schedule, he’ll pitch at home against Washington on Saturday, at Pittsburgh Sept. 4, a home day game against Milwaukee Sept. 9, miss the Braves’ series Sept 11-13, then home against Florida Sept 15, at Houston Sept. 21, at Colorado Sept. 27 and home against the Brewers Oct. 3. The National and Pirates are last-place teams and only two opponents (Marlins and Rockies) are playoff contenders.

5. Next star pitching coach: Chris Carpenter

So how does Smoltz go from allowing eight runs, nine hits, four walks and two home runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last start for Boston to throwing five shutout innings with nine strike outs in his first start for St. Louis? OK, he was facing the Padres, not the Yankees. But it had to be more than that. Here are two reasons: 1) St. Louis coaches told him his foot was slipping on the pitching rubber. How Smoltz didn’t notice that himself, I have no idea. 2) Cards starter Chris Carpenter told Smoltz that he was somehow tipping his pitches. Smoltz corrected the issue. Done. So the Red Sox paid Smoltz $5 million, watched him implode, then saw the Cardinals fix his problems in five minutes? There’s something else for the Yankees to laugh about.

4. And now for something completely different

Emmanuelle Chriqui may or may not date Tony Romo. It depends if she's trying to make me jealous.

An online sportsbook, Bookmaker.com, has put up some interesting prop bets. One is, “Which celebrity will Tony Romo date this season,” a line which Cowboys fans will watch closely because they’ll need to know who to blame this season when Romo fails to win a playoff game again. The favorites are Megan Fox and Amy Adams at 7-2 each, just ahead of my personal favorite, Emmanuelle Chriqui, who for some reason keeps hanging around that Munchkin, “E” on Entourage. But Bookmaker may want to research things a little better. It also has posted a bet, “Which NFL player will Jessica Simpson date next?,” and it lists eight candidates, including Tony Gonzalez of the “Kansas City Chiefs.” I’m not sure who’ll be more surprised by this: Gonzalez, who no longer plays for the Chiefs, obviously, or his wife, Tobie, who, well, is his wife. (She shouldn’t worry: Tony is only 7-2 odds, behind Matt Leinart, Kerry Rhodes and Wes Welker a 3-1. (Wow, Tom Brady is 8-1. That could be worth $20.)

3. Holyfield: First Ethiopia, then Korea

This is a very old picture.

This is a very old picture.

Evander Holyfield must be tired of everybody in the U.S. telling him he can’t fight any more because all of his future plans seem to be overseas. His manager, Ken Sanders, told me he’s in talks for Holyfield to fight on an undercard in November near Seoul, Korea. The card would be headlined by WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (whose brother, Vladmir Klitschko, owns the IBF and WBO belts). The Korea bout would pay little but it would curry favor with WBC chairman Jose Sulaiman, who I believe is holding his annual convention of corrupt conventioneers the same week as the proposed fight in Seoul. The plan — and it is only a plan, and this is only boxing — would be for Holyfield to then get a title shot against Vitali Klitschko in March of 2010. FYI, Sanders is still waiting for a check from the Ethiopian government for Holyfield to fight there in September. I’m sure it’ll arrive any day now. What day is the lottery again?

2. Goodbye, Duckett

It seemed like the right decision at the time.

It seemed like the right decision at the time.

I think we can officially declare the Falcons’ 2002 draft as one of the worst in franchise history (and that is saying something). Seattle is cutting running back T.J. Duckett, the former first-round pick, who was 6-foot, 254 pounds, but for some reason couldn’t run between the tackles as well as smallish Warrick Dunn. The Falcons dumped Duckett in 2006, after which Washington, Detroit and Seattle reached the same conclusion they did: He’s a nice guy but lazy and a waste of space. By the way, here’s the rest of the Falcons’ 02 draft. Cover your eyes: Will Overstreet, Martin Bibla, Kevin McCadam, Kurt Kittner, Kahlil Hill, Michael Coleman, Kevin Shaffer.

1. Are you looking for another argument?

Sorry, wrong door. But if you’re wondering what speed-eating paint chips and a visit to the Randall P. McMurphy Clinic for Drive-thru Lobotomies will do to you, just click play. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the downside of the college football season approaching.

Lou Holtz, live from his own private Idaho!

142 comments Add your comment

Heath

August 25th, 2009
1:52 am

Good Lord, Lou. Become a radio announcer for some small college out west so when you decide to throw any credibility you may have out the window, no one knows about it.

honest_abe

August 25th, 2009
3:05 am

got to say the countdown always makes my day…

Tom, Resident Georgia Fan

August 25th, 2009
3:24 am

Lou has Alzheimer’s.

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 25th, 2009
5:32 am

Emmanuelle certainly looks good for her age considering the flicks she made 30 yrs. ago.

merbertmoover

August 25th, 2009
5:44 am

man lou be crazier than a fly on a chicken wing, you know what im sayin? i mean, he gettin so old and senile he actin like a skunk in a cabbage patch, yoiu know what im sayin? man, i love old lou, but he gotta get with it man, notre dame? nc? thats sillier than the pope with a popsickle, you know what im sayin? mm

topdawg70

August 25th, 2009
6:38 am

I despise Notre Dame because they always play a soft schedule and get way more credit than they deserve, and Lou Holtz is the a bigger Homer than Homer Simpson. He would pick Maryland (where he coached) to beat the Steelers. But, sadly he is right on. They should be highly ranked at the end of the year and be the Utah/Hawaii/Boise State of 2009. With the ghost of Knute Rockne as their champion and people like Lou, who should know better, voting on who goes where. Fl or Tx will waltz to the NC. This is the reason I say “Boycott the Bowls”. If all college football fans would only watch the bowl their team is in we could get a playoff and Boise St could eliminate Notre Dame every year.

Spike

August 25th, 2009
7:02 am

Holtz is wacked out, and has been for a while. Shhesssh!

midnite

August 25th, 2009
7:03 am

Mike Gundy will be screaming the infamous “THATS NOT TRUE” line after the Dawgs break his heart on Sept 5 and tell that TSA screener we know where his missing Rolex can be found. I don’t believe Mrs. G has to worry about Tony too much.

chazzo

August 25th, 2009
7:14 am

ND vs. Boise State!!!

Bobby McGreevey

August 25th, 2009
8:00 am

That’s garbage! That’s why I don’t read the paper! Makes me want to puke!

By the way, was the Jenni Carlson (a cutie, by the way) column written about Zac Robinson?

hop

August 25th, 2009
8:09 am

i am not a ND fan,but with their very easy schedule they should win 9-11 games!
southern cal is the toughest game but with the problems at qb this could be a down year for the trogans!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

August 25th, 2009
8:13 am

first of all, I’m betting the house on Gonzalez. Tobie is smokin hot. I’m going to parley that with Brady cause Gisele.
Now Holtz is the biggest Homer since Larry Munson but he has a point. ND schedule is in 3 words pi-ti-ful, so they could easily end up at 11-1 or ever 12-0 if USC is down. I mean come on, when your second toughest game is Stanford or Pitt.

ForTheRecord

August 25th, 2009
8:13 am

Hey folks…his reasoning is sound. ND will only play one team where they will be an underdog. Win that ONE and they will certainly be in the championship game. Shoot, lose one and they likely get the nod over any other one loss team simply because its ND. Shouldn’t be that way with the patsy schedule but they also should not be able to make about as much as the whole SEC conference on tv money by themselves either.
Life is certainly not fair…

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

August 25th, 2009
8:16 am

Heath, Lou can’t do radio……speech impediment

MiltonDawg

August 25th, 2009
8:36 am

Good Stuff JS!! But you did this at 1:18am?? Dang man. Gundy is getting paranoid and think he’s holding back something..say Zac Robinson’s nagging hamstring injury. Doesn’t want our D to go after his legs and aggravate it more. Vick?? We’ll see him next week pictured with a long haul truck driver with an open container of Aderol (or something else). That 02 Draft was disgusting..damn shame for TJ..he had it, but your right, just lazy. Holyfield just won’t let it go..is he trying to save his foreclosed home still? Tony Romo says no to Hollywood and seen around Dallas with some oil baron’s wife who has the big Texas hair and the annoying accent.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 25th, 2009
8:43 am

There’s a lot of distractions right now. Because we can’t keep them in camp. They’re out there on campus.”

In his own clumsy way Mike Gundy has admitted that the purpose of college athletes isn’t to go to class.

Eric

August 25th, 2009
8:48 am

Mike Gundy might seem a little strange, but if he beats GA he’ll be a hero in some parts. Lou Holtz is a comedian.

Dangerous

August 25th, 2009
8:49 am

Even if ND goes 12-0 they will not be in the NC game! Very weak schedule and no Street cred. The reporters that loved them so much in the past know that they could not compete in any of the BCS games. The game would be a blowout.

More Vick??????

August 25th, 2009
8:54 am

More Vick stuff. The AJC is good for 2 a day. There are already 2 Vick articles today. I know if they try real hard, they can do another. The AJC loves them some Vick.

Jeff Schultz

August 25th, 2009
8:58 am

Heath – Maybe high school games in South Bend.

Honest-Abe – Thanks, Prez.

Chef – Funny. Not the same one, but I think you knew that.

MIdnite – He’s 40!!!

Bank Walker – Strange thing about Holtz is how often do you see a school’s FORMER coach be such a homer?

MiltonDawg – Yeah, that’s when I finished it. Better to do that and sleep later than get up and have it posted by 7. … You making up that stuff about Romo and oil baron’s wife? That would be pretty stupid, even for him.

Hillbilly – Never thought of it that way – but yeah.

Herschel Talker

August 25th, 2009
9:04 am

Schultzie – I assume you know that Emmanuelle Chriqui is Jewish, just like you and me (thank you Adam Sandler!). To that I say, L’Chaim!

Sonny Clusters

August 25th, 2009
9:05 am

Jeff, sportswriting was something we always wanted to do and now we know you and maybe you can do some questioning for us and let us feel journalistic. For instance, how does Chipper talk so much better in the paper than he uh, talks on television? In the paper he talks pretty good but on the television he talks like a shetland pony. We was wondering if you clean that up for him in the paper? And what is your favorite cliche from Chipper? And now that Jeff is gone off to New York who is going to do the golly, gee, interviews? And when you talk with Escobar do you use an interpreter? How about with Chipper? What is Chino Cadahia’s favorite donut? These questions you can spread out over time but we’d like to know. We was always wanting to know things when we was playing ball and nothing has changed except instead of playing ball now we are sportswriting.

Hollywould

August 25th, 2009
9:10 am

I have been railing for years that T.J. Dancin feet was nothing. However big he is friggin Warrick Dunn
could get the one yard needed better than the dancing fool. Where are all the folks who keep saying we needed him? See Ya

Topp Dogg

August 25th, 2009
9:13 am

WTF has Lou been smoking ,and why is he not sharing!

Pago Flyer

August 25th, 2009
9:13 am

Why is it…being a homer is illegal?! I’m a homer for sure for the DAWGS.

Marcus

August 25th, 2009
9:16 am

Schultzie,
on the No. 4 entry …. whoever or whatever website thinks or believes No. 88 T. Gonzalez is going to dump his wife for Emmanuelle Chriquiis certifiable …. just on internet pics alone, Mrs. Gonzalez blows out the competition out the water like a U-boat facing up on an unsuspecting British freighter ….not to mention, if that does happen, having to split half of everything … and No. 88 has made a pretty penny in 10 yeas in the NFL. he is muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch smarter than that.

Otto

August 25th, 2009
9:17 am

When can we get JoePa to replace Lou in the studio?

Howard

August 25th, 2009
9:17 am

Jeff…the countdown was funny….but just two questions: In the picture of Vick, was that really him or Ron Mexico? I heard if he used that alias, he could drink anywhere. Next…no comments in the top ten about Phil Fulmer ruminating about returning to coaching?? And what about him working for an investment firm??? Are you gonna use “Philistine’s” advice this fall when you state your odds on games and such?? I’m a “Poke Fun at Fat Fulmer” junkie and I need a fix!!! Quick!!! Before college football season starts in earnest!!!

SimpleDawg

August 25th, 2009
9:21 am

The Goldie Domers have a cupcake schedule this year…..ol’ Lou is right about that, but there’s no way they win every game but UniSoCal. I say they lose at least 3, maybe 4 games. Poor Ol’ Lou…he’s becoming a comic figure…a tragic comedy.

Gundy’s grippin’ already….and with good reason. His Cow-patties are set up for a first class whipping in a no win game. Okie-Light will not be able to dance to the music the Dawgs will be playing.

Should be a fun year….maybe GT & ND can square off in a bowl game this year. It would be a difficult choice, but I’d probably have to pull for the Yechies in that one.

Hawk n the Ham

August 25th, 2009
9:22 am

I can’t stand Lou Holtz on TV, like I can’t stand Joe “name dropping” Morgan on Sunday night baseball.

Every year Gundy will have his birthday. Every year he will only turn 40.

Otto

August 25th, 2009
9:22 am

Emmanuelle Chriqui, Megan Fox, and Amy Adams are all a step up from Mommy Jeans Simpson.

Ricky

August 25th, 2009
9:28 am

Doesn’t Emmanuelle Chriqui look like a sexier version of Debra Winger? I thought this was going to be a sports story, Jeff is including this in his resume to TMZ. I thought good writing was supposed to paint a picture, now you just include the vids. Am I lazy or are you?

Pi$$onaDawg

August 25th, 2009
9:32 am

Mike Vick I think you should be getting a call from your parole officer. You are not allowed to drink alcohol while still under state supervision I do believe.

PMC

August 25th, 2009
9:33 am

Looking at those draft picks (and Jamal Anderson with Amobi Okoye on the board) makes me even more thankful TD is the new GM and that (era) ERROR is over.

drew

August 25th, 2009
9:34 am

Topdawg70 says:
This is the reason I say “Boycott the Bowls”.

I’ve been saying that for a few years. The only thing the greedy basterds that embrace the BCS care about is THE MONEY. The money comes from TV advertising. Stop watching these “exhibition” games (hell, I don’t even care about watching “MY” team play an exhibition game) and the money will dry up, and the greedy basterds will look for some other way to rake in the bucks. I can’t believe they haven’t already embraced a play-off, in light of the interest and $$$$ it would generate. I loves me some college football…just wish the season played itself out with a true champion. It’s a damned shame.

And sadly, with the current system, Lou might be right, and that would be a damned shame too.

I know it’s early, and I know it seems futile, but:

BOYCOTT THE BCS POST SEASON EXHIBITION GAMES!!

Pi$$onaDawg

August 25th, 2009
9:35 am

HERschel Talker you can’t like women. You always talk’n that homo crap about liking St. Simons.

David

August 25th, 2009
9:38 am

whomever said that if ND lost 1 game they would be favored over other 1 loss teams is wrong. I believe ND has lost the prestige it once had…people growing up don’t remember the ND powerhouse teams…you have to watch Rudy to see all that…plus if the S.O.S is poor the computers will reflect that and pollsters look at that heavily…but thats just me…i mean who watches NBC anymore to see ND…

The Dogfighter Returns

August 25th, 2009
9:40 am

Tony Dungy never said “that was dumb” Jeff. You said that. Tony said “you can’t do that.”

How does “you can’t do that” all of a sudden become “that was dumb?” Did you graduate from the same University as Madoff?

At the end of the day Mike Vick has to live his life. He can’t be worried about what others think of him.

As long as his actions do not affect his ability to fullfill his duties to his employer who cares.

His problem was not drinking it was gambling (gambling on dogs).

How do we know he was really drinking vodka? Because some S.O.B said so?

Jeff Schultz

August 25th, 2009
9:41 am

Herschel – I did not know that. I was willing to overlook it if she wasn’t.

Sonny – how do Shetland ponies talk? And is different from other ponies? Sonny, do you hear ponies talk? How about zebras?

Hollywould – right you are/were. Duckett sometimes hit the hole like a ballerina dancer, forgetting he weighed 260 lbs.

Topp Dogg – seriously, would you want to get high with Holtz? Wouldn’t it be one of those I’d-hate-myself-in-the-morning things?

Howard – I figured I’d wait to see if Fulmer actually got a job – or better yet, watch how long he is forced to wait. And Weekend Predictions start in a couple of weeks, so …

Ricky – Emmanuelle is SOOO much better looking than Debra Winger. No comparison. Google around my friend. I had to use a “safe” picture.

Jeff Schultz

August 25th, 2009
9:44 am

The dogfighter — You’re right. Dungy never said dumb. I said dumb. But Dungy didn’t say, ‘you can’t do that,’ because he thought it was smart. It was an action Mike took without thinking it through ahead of time. Dumb.

Herschel Talker

August 25th, 2009
9:45 am

Pi$$onaDawg likes men. He really likes St. Simons. Pi$$onaDawg, Saint Simons, and yellow fuzz perform Lucky Pierre daily.

JSS

August 25th, 2009
9:57 am

Not to nit-pick, Jeff Schultz, isn’t that picture from when Vick owned the wine bar over in East Point? Seeing Vick hasn’t worn braids since 2006… Is there someone on the the stuff you need to be crediting for the photo? By the way, the power boat races were incredible… And buy your pal a joke book, H-I-T (YAWN!) likes sheep!

jeanellevion

August 25th, 2009
10:03 am

Will everyone please leave Mike Vick alone. He a human. He’s over 21. Let him be live your lives, and let him live his.

Fair and Balanced

August 25th, 2009
10:05 am

Vick needed to not engage in a legal act that didn’t violate his probation? Huh? So you dont even bother trying, you just pander to the lynch mob Schultz?

Suck it Nerd

August 25th, 2009
10:05 am

Emmanuelle Chriqui….

The only words worth reading in this article.

Jeff Schultz

August 25th, 2009
10:05 am

JSS –not nit-picking, but yes that’s where the photo is from. I looked for the NY Post photo of him at the hotel but couldn’t find it.

Deb

August 25th, 2009
10:07 am

He who is without sin cast the first stone. Leave Mike Vick alone, let the man live his life.

Give Me da Loot

August 25th, 2009
10:10 am

JEFF… will you please find a hobbie or something…other than report bad and old pic of mike vick….the pic that you have posted is clearly OLD..the guy no longer have braids…..duh….Soo..what are you really reaching for…??? and If he did have a drink or two…so what?..Come on Jeff..please report updated information…thanks

itpdude

August 25th, 2009
10:11 am

I like Lou but I despise Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a completely soft schedule and get way more credit than they deserve. Notre Dame has been on national tv instead of an SEC team ONLY because of their puffed up rep. Despise that team.

slimdiva

August 25th, 2009
10:16 am

i agree with jss …mike do not have braids anymore…..old picture.leave mike alone..let him play football