1707, 2015

Real Deep with Eric Mac Lain (Part IV)

By |July 17th, 2015|Football, Real Deep, Sports|1 Comment

This wraps up our in-depth series with Eric Mac Lain
Q: How was 2014?

A: We knew that we had lost all of this firepower but the way we recruit at Clemson is so phenomenal. We just reload. We don’t rebuild anymore. Guys like Mike Williams, Tay Scott, and Deshaun Watson, all of these guys just keep coming in. Wayne Gallman, TyDye, all these cats just coming in ready. Young but ready to go and I just think that this was a special season. You had so many guys step up, so many surprises. Like Tay, Deshaun. Just on the scene how fast they were ready to go and play. We just knew that we could rely on these guys – new play-makers, new faces. We had a couple of ups and downs to start the season. We started one and two. I’ve never had that kind of start to any kind of season in my life. That was really different adversity that we had to take on. I think we handled it well. We went on to win like nine games in a row . Then slipping at Georgia Tech there was so much adversity that happened in that game. First Deshaun getting hurt as well then others getting hurt. It was a good defensive game but we had two crucial turnovers that ended up as touchdowns. I think that was a gut check for us to end the season on a positive note. Playing Carolina we were very prepared for that game. The coaches did an excellent job with that – scouting them, reports that they did. We were ready for anything that they did and it showed in the game. We […]

607, 2015

Real Deep with Eric Mac Lain (Part III)

By |July 6th, 2015|Football, Real Deep, Sports|2 Comments

Eric Mac Lain on 2012 and Becoming a ‘Big Ugly’
Q: How did everybody respond in 2012 after the Orange Bowl?

A: After we got home and the seniors left, we were ready to go and get back to work. We took winter offseason workouts by storm, we really attacked those. That was one of the biggest years we had, you saw a big increase in numbers in strength, speed, all of these areas. Guys were ready to take that next step. All of the true freshman that played like Sammy, Tay (Martavis Bryant), Tajh having a year under his belt now. They were ready to take the superhero role to where “It’s all on us, we’re ready to go.” Those guys did a tremendous job leading, the defensive guys really pushed us in the off-season as well. We had a great spring, great summer workouts, and great fall camp. Unfortunately going into the season you lose a couple of games, but LSU really showed our preparation. It was total domination by the offensive and defensive lines. The score didn’t reflect it as well as it was determined with turnovers and little stuff. That bowl game was a testament to the work that we put in the offseason to come together as a team and be a dominant force.

Q: How did you move from Tight End to Offensive Line? Did you ever think you would switch positions?

A: When I was getting recruited because I was a bigger tight end in the 245-255 range people always say “Oh, you’re going to be an offensive lineman.” I never thought I would, I thought I would be a tight end. The schemes are good for blocking and catching tight ends. […]

307, 2015

Boycott NASCAR

By |July 3rd, 2015|NASCAR, Sports|4 Comments

NASCAR joined the liberal media in banning the Confederate Battle Flag and calling for the desecration of the veteran’s war memorial in Columbia, South Carolina.

Thousands across social media are now calling for a boycott of NASCAR. A common theme which runs throughout many threads is the feeling by fans that they have been “betrayed” by NASCAR.

At the time of this writing, practically every post on NASCAR’s official Facebook page today, contained at least one, if not multiple comments, regarding the Confederate Battle Flag.

While there were many comments on NASCAR’s page, we had a very difficult time finding any comments in agreement with them in regards to the Battle Flag, and most were along the lines of the following comments which have received the most likes for the day, making these the top four comments on NASCAR’s page:
Bobby Dunaway NASCAR banning the rebel flag…I personally do not own a rebel flag, but I believe that NASCAR has forgotten its roots and has abandoned the people that made the sport what it was. There was a time when you could afford to take the family to a race, that time has passed. There was a time when you had to inherit tickets to go to a Bristol race, that time has passed. I guess it is time for me to pass as well. What used to be a fun sport is now run by a bunch of politically correct people that are so out of touch that they are ruining the sport. Goodbye NASCAR.

John Morgan 15yr long season ticket holder at Bristol, tickets usually purchased for the fall Talladega race. Never again NASCAR. You wont get another dime. This PC crap is ridiculous. I don’t fly the […]

107, 2015

Real Deep with Eric Mac Lain (Part II)

By |July 1st, 2015|Football, Real Deep, Sports|3 Comments

The Orange Bowl and other 2011 Events
Q: How was the adjustment from High School ball to College? Was it a struggle or was it ‘this isn’t so bad’?

A: So we got here a little later than they do now. We got here in early July. We started going to different things, and of course there’s no pads. It’s just the guys working out. I’ve always loved to work out. It was just a little different, a little faster pace, bigger guys to work out with obviously. We also did “Skills and Drills” which is player led 7 on 7s and other individual things that we go through so there’s no pads. I’m like “Oh yeah, oh yeah I got this. Same stuff I’ve been doing.” Then fall camp rolls around and they put me in. I’m supposed to block Andre Branch. I’m 6’5” and maybe 250, and this grown man of 6’6” 290 is in front of me. So they’re just like “Block him.” I’m like “What? I can’t do that?” It was definitely an experience of ‘Was I really ready for this?’ because I redshirted. Mentally you’re a young kid going up against grown men so it was hard to make the transition at first, it’s just different.

Q: What was the atmosphere in the season after going 6 and 7? Were there rumors that Swinney could be fired if another bad year happened?

A: When we came in that summer it was different. We had the guys in my class like Stephone Anthony, Grady Jarrett, Sammy Watkins, myself, Ryan Norton, Spencer Region. All these guys are ready to work and punish people, ready to start playing. Coming off a losing season it’s different. Thankfully I’ve […]

906, 2015

Reese Colburn Draft A+

By |June 9th, 2015|Football, South Carolina, Sports, State|2 Comments

*Images borrowed from Facebook
Roman and Jennifer Colburn’s Facebook pages are filled with the sheer delight that their son Reese Colburn experienced June 6th. Reese Colburn is not able to play football – normally. This past weekend, the ten year old was a player at Clemson’s youth football camp. There, he was surrounded by his peers who are youth football players, and for today he is one of them.

Reese has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome which is a serious birth defect. In layman’s terms, the left side of the heart is undeveloped. The right side has to take up the slack – pumping blood to the lungs and the body. For Reese, this meant having three open heart surgeries. The day he was born, he had to be flown to Boston without his mother in order to have the first surgery. Another surgery occurred at six months old and a ‘final’ one when he was two. HLHS was a death sentence in infancy until the early 1980s when the surgical process was developed. Reese survived his surgeries and is currently a happy ten year old.

Reese’s dream is to play football, but his pediatrician has to break his heart every six months and explain to him that playing football is not an option. “Some of the kids in his class started to play Pee Wee football and that, combined with not being able to fully participate in physical education, has really taken a toll on him” Roman told me. Reese can only play golf or baseball. It built to a point where he visited a child psychologist to help him work through his limitations.

Then Roman had a lightbulb moment about four months ago. Roman had played football at […]

1805, 2015

Real Deep: Eric Mac Lain (Part I)

By |May 18th, 2015|Football, Real Deep, Sports|3 Comments

Real Deep features people who want a deeper interview, who want to be known as a person. These interviews are open ended conversation that lets the interviewee and I develop a relationship and talk about various subjects both on and off topic. A wide variety of things are discussed and almost nothing is off limits, however not everything is on the record. Real Deep strives to let the subject communicate in an open way to the audience. Therefore, most of the words are the subject’s and not mine. This also means that the text is only edited for obscenities and readability, so not all grammatical rules are followed. The audience will gain a deeper insight into the man behind the lights as a result of reading Real Deep.

This week’s edition of Real Deep stars the man, the myth, the legend: Eric Mac Lain. Eric is a Clemson football player known for his stellar character and pride for Clemson. He is also the kind of man you would want your daughter to date. Eric Mac Lain is a genuine person who is the type of student athlete others should aspire to be. This part will discuss his early life, his recruiting, and his commitment to Clemson.

Q: What was your childhood like growing up?

A: I was actually born in Montgomery, Alabama. My father was in the Air Force, he got out and we moved to Tennessee. I lived near Knoxville for ten years and I was a huge Vol fan. Peyton Manning, all those guys. I grew up watching them and went to the games, all the good stuff. Then when the Towers fell my father got back in the Air Force, we moved […]

1205, 2015

Devin Funchess Pick Analysis

By |May 12th, 2015|Football, Sports|Comments Off on Devin Funchess Pick Analysis

Grade: B-

Devin Funchess is will be a wide receiver to pair up with Kelvin Benjamin in Carolina, and a nickname has already appeared: Twin Towers

Funchess moved around positions at Michigan, creating a mismatch for opponents.

Funchess can play all three wide receiver positions in the Panthers offense, and has a high football IQ. His pro day 40 time was 4.48 seconds up from a horrendous 4.70 at the combine.

Funchess is 6’4” and 232 pounds and uses his size well at the position.

Funchess has a good catch radius – albeit not as impressive as teammate Kelvin Benjamin.

Funchess has solid hands and he is a good blocker down the field, an underrated attribute for a receiver.

The Panthers can give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares with Benjamin and Funchess on the outside as two big targets. Then Greg Olsen would line up at tight end and either the second TE or speedy slot WR Ted Ginn could provide Cam with four solid receiving options every play.

The Panthers moved up 16 slots to select Funchess, and surrendered their second, third, and sixth round selections in order to do so.

Gettleman was afraid that Funchess would be selected – two wide receivers were selected in the eight second round picks before Carolina traded up.

Gettleman said that they counted six teams with WR needs before their pick, but no wide receivers were selected in the second round after Funchess.

Gettleman told the media after the first round that the Panthers were not interested in trading up.

The presence of Funchess whom the Panthers had a first round grade on and the draft board alignment probably persuaded Gettleman to trade up.

The price was steep and I was initially skeptical, but after looking at Funchess’ film and seeing […]

405, 2015

Free UAB – Football Civil War in AL – Part III

By |May 4th, 2015|Alabama, Football, Sports, State|1 Comment

Part III: Aftermath and Outlook
The student body took to the streets, and Free UAB began. Free UAB Student Organization (FUSO) was formed, with Timothy Alexander as the president. He was a motivational player. He never took the field but still invested blood, sweat, tears, and heart into UAB football. When the team was on the practice field grinding through drills he would be on the sidelines doing pushups and sit-ups, encouraging his teammates to keep pounding. He became the spokesman of Free UAB when he delivered a speech to the Birmingham City Council and received a standing ovation. He goes to different cities and states and discusses Free UAB. He shared similar sentiments to Henderson:
“We heard about it with two games left to go, but we thought if we kept winning we could save the program. We just didn’t know. Ray Watts never came to a football practice; he didn’t care about UAB football.”
Alexander also grieved over the impact it had on the players. He lamented:
Everything that you worked for is gone. We came to UAB for football. What do we hope for, what do we believe in? Football was our way out, it was our stress reliever. It was a gift from God. It was my passion. It was our way out of bad places and out of bad things. It was stripped from us.
Tensions in Alabama and on the campus are high. Ray Watts cannot travel around campus without an armed body guard to protect him. This is a college president on a college campus, not a war zone, not a prison. The administrative building is locked down, and one can only visit by appointment. The Faculty Senate issued […]

105, 2015

Panthers Pick Analysis – Shaq Thompson

By |May 1st, 2015|Football, Sports|Comments Off on Panthers Pick Analysis – Shaq Thompson

Round 1, 25th Pick Overall
Shaq Thompson LB/SS/RB (Washington)
Grade: B
The Panthers desperately needed a tackle but six tackles went off of the board including DJ Humphries one pick before. The Panthers decided to take Shaq Thompson, who won the Paul Hornung award for the most versatile player in 2014. He was a linebacker who played like a safety and played at multiple positions. According to Gettleman, “Bottom line is they were the two guys we were talking about. D.J. and Shaq, they were the two. When the Cardinals were on the clock we knew either way we were getting a really good football player. Both have big upside. We would not have been disappointed either way.”

Gettleman said about Shaq’s versatility, “It will allow us to keep three linebackers on the field…He was the highest rated player we had on our board left.” He played outside linebacker, inside linebacker, special teams gunner, running back, and a little bit of safety. Shaq lined up everywhere and will be a valuable chess piece for the excellent Sean McDermott, the Panthers Defensive Coordinator. Some Washington fans were surprised that Shaq went in the first round, and thought he was better fit for the second round. Panthers fans are mixed on the selection, because it ignored various levels of needs on the offensive line, the defensive backfield, and wide receiver. Shaq Thompson should at the least eliminate Roman Harper’s spot on the team and should succeed the older Thomas Davis when he decides to retire. This was better than selecting a wide receiver, reaching for a second level tackle, or another position at a lesser value. Gettleman has made some controversial selections but most of his picks have done well so […]

2704, 2015

Free UAB – Football Civil War in AL – Part II

By |April 27th, 2015|Alabama, Football, Sports, State|Comments Off on Free UAB – Football Civil War in AL – Part II

Part II: Additional Background and the Kill.
“He’s never come to a game or practice.
He’s never congratulated us on a win or even the season we had.
He showed no emotion at all.”
~ WR Henderson

Authors note: These recordings reveal that the coach search committee felt that Bill Clark had to save UAB football: http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/01/private_recordings_reveal_uab.html
We hired Bill Clark who was the head coach at Jacksonville State. He had two weeks to build a signing class, and the ice storms got in the way. He recruited a lot of JUCOs (junior college players) and put together a good class. We had a 6-6 season, attendance was up 130 percent, and there was more excitement surrounding UAB football than in the previous decade. There were ominous warning signs however. UAB only had a one year lease with the city of Birmingham and the crumbling Legion Field with no plans for an on campus stadium. There were no games scheduled for after 2016. Bill Clark had a three year contract instead of the typical five years given to a new head coach. Then there were the phone calls:

“I got a phone call in October warning me that UAB football would be shut down at the end of the season. I forgot about it and I didn’t give it much value. Two weeks later, I get a different person calling me stating the same thing and I was assured there was something to it. Then I got worried.” – Rep. Williams.

He had a meeting with Dr. Ray Watts (UAB President) and some other people. Watts assured them that no decision had been made or would be made until the strategic study was completed. Rep. Williams did not trust or give […]