Throughout the week I come across stories in the wider SB Nation blogworld that I find interesting or noteworthy. Sometimes I'll add them into the Nugz, but other times I won't because I forget or because the content isn't Gopher/College Sports specific enough. Which is too bad, because often times these other stories are (IMO) deserving of a little more attention. So I'm going to try to do a weekly post where I link out to 3 stories in the SBN blogosphere that I think are worth your time to check out.
They may or may not be recent. Typically I'll try to focus on content posted since the last edition of the Wanderings, but If I think of something that I liked a few months ago (or run across something older via links, etc) I'll toss those posts up too. I might highlight a story because I found it funny or because I found it insightful. Heck, it might just be because I liked the title or a single joke within it (I'm not promising gold 24/7 here, I'm not made of free time). But I'll always give a little rundown of why I found the post interesting and why I think it's worth your time.
These stories definitely don't have to be related to college sports, though I'm betting many of them will come from college blogs. And (prepare yourselves) I may even link to a story on the website which supports a rival. The world will not end, I swear. If you have a problem with that? Well...
Honestly though, I really do hope you take the time to give the links at least a quick glance. I'm hoping that this feature helps you find new writers and sites that you can enjoy, even if it's only to tune in from time to time. I'm betting I'm not the only one who is a big enough sports fan to appreciate good writing and content even if it's about teams/sports that aren't my primary focus.
However you feel about the links, I'm interested in your feedback. Maybe you have a story that you think I should feature. Maybe you think the stories I'm linking to suck and I need to look harder. Whatever it is, let me know in the comments. I don't want this to be a dead weight feature that clutters up the front page.
Enough seriousness. The inaugural three selections are below the jump.
Undercover Barner: Coping (from the Auburn blog College and Magnolia)
I used to read the old Auburn blog (Track 'Em Tigers) from time to time during the Cam Newton mess and once that was done I sort of forgot about the Auburn corner of the internets. But one day I randomly saw news of a new Auburn blog on the SB Nation bar that sits at the top of the TDG page. On a whim I decided to click over to read their first post. I liked the way they outlined their goals for the new site, the large stable of writers they'd established, and I decided to check back in from time to time.
I did so this week and came across this piece by C&M writer peggyrossmanith. She's an Auburn fan behind enemy lines as a Alabama law student. I've enjoyed her previous Undercover Barner posts and check back for new ones periodically. I was drawn to this post both because it's well written and because I could relate to her feelings about the Auburn/Clemson game and where this Auburn season is likely going...desperately wanting to believe a game is winnable even when it's probably not, trying hard to remain optimistic about your team even when you know things likely aren't going to go the way you'd like. Here's an excerpt of the story:
So as Auburn took possession with the clock winding down and its hopes of besting Clemson in the season opener waning, this little red-headed boy dressed in a tiny number 12 Auburn jersey started yelling for the first time all night.
"You can do it, Auburn!" he shouted. "You can do it, Auburn! You can do it, Auburn! You can do it, Auburn!" Over and over again. He never took a break, and his voice never cracked.
I know he felt those words as he was saying them because I felt them in my bones. While some Auburn fans were filing out of the Dome to beat the traffic, this kid, spurred on by generations of Auburn men before him, was giving the team everything he had. He wasn't giving up on Auburn.
It made me yell a little louder, hold my head a little higher, and hope a little harder. In the end, our Tigers could not defeat the Clemson Tigers; the task was just too great. But I hope that little boy knows that his efforts were not in vain. He affected me and my own personal outlook on not only the outcome of that game, but on my expectations for the season. And he showed exactly what it means to be an Auburn fan.
Escaping the Shadow of the Golden Dome (from the Purdue blog Hammer and Rails)
This story just went up today. Author btfu_crespo writes about his transition from being a Domer fan by convenience (i.e. lived in South Bend) to a Purdue fan as a student and alum. I found it interesting because it hit on some of the themes I tried to discuss on in my "Origins of a Gopher Fan" post. Also, because F Notre Dame. I mean, seriously. Stop waking up those echos, they're tired. I don't agree with everything he argues, especially the "didn't go to the school so you can't be a fan part" that seems tailored to fit his Domer hatred, but I still enjoyed it. An excerpt:
The final tipping point was on October 17th, 2009. That day, Purdue pulled off the upset against #7 Ohio State and rushed the field. I was 3rd row for that game and it is still the best college football game I've ever attended. I had never seen a fan base so united, especially when the entire stadium (except OSU fans) was united in a "Boiler Up" chant. When we rushed the field, I was shocked to see the older fans with their children on the field with the students. Then I realized that most of these fans are Purdue graduates themselves, and they share that bond with Purdue that is unique throughout college football. That same day, Notre Dame lost to USC, again. I remember thinking, why in the world am I still cheering for Notre Dame? I have no connection with them, and they win just as many games as Purdue in recent seasons.
A pair of FanShot videos (#1 and #2) about gameday at Ole Miss (from the Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion)
I feel like I'm shorting the staff at RCR since I've really enjoyed a lot of the stuff they've written about overcoming the apathy in their Athletic Department leadership and these videos aren't their original content. So I'll be linking to the original stories in the future I'm sure. But I had to highlight the videos they FanShot'd because they are both really well done and fun viewing. I think this is especially true if you are a big fan of the traditions and pagentry of college football or if you've heard about The Grove/Ole Miss gamedays but have no idea how an Ole Miss gameday really feels/looks. Both videos (especially #1) are high quality and are well edited/produced. Here's are RCR descriptions of both videos...
Video #1 (my personal favorite BTW)
More great work from Michael Thompson, Micha Ginn, and others. If there were a national championship in official athletic department video shooting, editing, and directing, it'd be ours to lose.
It's only 4.5 minutes long so seriously, give it a look. I don't think you'll be disappointed (unless you spend the whole time comparing our gameday to theirs...that would be a bad idea).
Presenting the Grove via Scott Burton Photography... this guy does really good work by the way.
So, that's the first edition of Wednesday Wanderings. Be sure to let me know what you think of this feature and the links I chose.