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SEC Headlines – 7/30/12

(We’ll go with Elvis as our headline photo of the day.  I was in Tupelo last week and I can tell you that the King’s first home was about as big as the average American living room.  Tiny.)

1.  Practice starts all across the 14-team SEC this week.

2.  Ex-NFL (and CFL) great Warren Moon talks about his old teammate Brent Pease, Florida’s new offensive coordinator.

3.  Georgia receiver Tavarres King is ready for the season to start.  (I can’t read King’s name without thinking of this.)

4.  Knowing it can’t actually happen, John Calipari has tossed out another “scheduling gimmick” — Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville and Kentucky play two home and two road games against other teams in the group every year.  (Sure seems like a safe way to make it look like he’s not ducking home-and-home series… which was part of his last non-traditional “scheduling gimmick.”)

5.  In case you missed it, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has found a new kid to pick on in Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze.

6.  This writer says Tennessee can’t afford Tyler Bray’s off-field antics.

7.  Here’s a quickie breakdown of Vanderbilt’s schedule.

8.  The big question at Missouri?  How healthy is quarterback James Franklin?

9.  Michigan and the Big Ten will have a big opportunity to steal some spotlight and some respect from Alabama and the SEC five weeks from now.

10.  Auburn still needs to pick a quarterback at some point.

11.  Well that didn’t take long.  Ex-Auburn tailback Mike Dyer has already been booted from Arkansas State by Gus Malzahn.

12.  The Bobby Petrino scandal takes on new light following the mess at Penn State.  (And don’t forget, AD Jeff Long helped speed up the hiring of the coach’s mistress by getting UA’s HR department to fast-track things past affirmative action standards.)

13.  This scribe says the hype around new LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is already out of control.

14.  Receiver Donte Moncrief gives Ole Miss some hope in 2012.

15.  MSU defensive back Johnthan Banks is making a bizarrely-spelled name for himself.

16.  Kevin Sumlin may have moved from Houston to Texas A&M, but he still intends to make Houston “home base” in terms of recruiting.  (He also says he won’t oversign players.)

17.  The ever-excellent Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News examines what a disappointment college football’s added 12th game has been.

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Newton Criticized, Moon Cries Racism

Earlier this week, NFL draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki went a tad over the line — in our opinion — in his review of former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.  His comments read as if they came from an opposing fan and not a professional analyst:


“Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup.  Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them.  Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room.”


Oh, and that fake smile…

Fake smile?  That’s kind of “in the eye of the beholder” isn’t it?  Who can really say if someone has a fake smile or not? 

But according to ProFootballTalk.com, Nawrocki is “one of the most respected draft analysts in the business.”  And according to Nawrocki he’s “received calls and messages from NFL teams suggesting that he ‘hit it on the head’ in his evaluation.”

Well, former NFL (and CFL) great Warren Moon isn’t pleased with Nawrocki’s criticism of Newton.  And unfortunately, he blames the criticism on racism.

“A lot of the criticism he’s receiving is unfortunate and racially based,” Moon told CBSSports.com.  “I thought we were all past this.  I don’t see any other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony. … He’s being held to different standards from white quarterbacks.  I thought we were past all this stuff about African-American quarterbacks, but I guess we’re not.”

Note to Moon: Do a quick Google search on “Ryan Mallett” and “character issues” and then kindly shut the hell up.

Racism is a very real issue in our world and it’s not going away.  As long as they under-educated in our society continue to pass their imbecilic beliefs from one generation to the next, racism will continue.

But it doesn’t help matters when someone like Moon blames something he doesn’t like on racism.  It trivializes a very real issue.  It’s called “crying wolf.”

Newton — in this case — is basically being called a two-face by Nawrocki.  Mallett — the white ex-Arkansas quarterback — has basically been called a two-face in multiple media reports.  There have also been rumors of drug use and a lack of leadership skills.  Those who dig into the matter seem to find no meat on them bones, however.

Moon has an ax to grind because he was sentenced to several seasons in the Canadian league before finally being given his shot in the NFL.  At which point he threw up some Hall of Fame numbers.

But Moon came out of college in 1978. 

JaMarcus Russell — black — was selected #1 overall in the 2007 NFL draft.  A year earlier Vince Young — black — was selected #3 overall, ahead of Matt Leinert and Jay Cutler.

It’s not 1978 anymore and Moon’s claims simply don’t ring true.

Newton isn’t dealing with criticism because he’s African-American.  He’s dealing with criticism because players are vivisected before each year’s player selection meeting.

And it’s the same kind of criticism Mallett — who’s white — has been facing.

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