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The Paintings of Georgia Artist Steve Penley

The Paintings of Georgia Artist Steve Penley By James Calemine  Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1964, Steve Penley was raised in Macon, Georgia. By the time he attended the University of Georgia, he'd been painting and drawing for as long as read more...


Inning of a Lifetime

Inning of a Lifetime By Jerry Grillo One inning of Class D ball almost 60 years ago gave Joe Louis Reliford a lifetime of fame and free baseball – that’s right, Reliford gets into Major League ballgames on charm alone, because as an read more...


A Georgia Son in the Big Apple: The Brit Whittle Interview

A Georgia Son in the Big Apple The Brit Whittle Interview By James Calemine Acting is a rough trade. Few attain moments on the silver screen. The streets of Hollywood and New York are paved with bones of dead aspirant thespians. Georgia read more...


Expanding The NCAA Tournament Would Further Erode An Already Suffering Sport

It’s Championship week in college basketball, and it’s a thrilling time to watch teams from smaller conferences earn their way into the Big Dance.  While few believe that the regular season is what it used to be (especially when compared to college football), the read more...


Super Bowl XLIV Will Be Special for the South

The world’s biggest sporting contest is upon us, and the Southern storylines could not be more prevalent. With the Saints and the Colts meeting in the Super Bowl,


SEC, Big 12, & ACC Bowl Primer: Post-January 1 Edition

SEC 01/01 –.Auburn vs. Northwestern - Outback Bowl  (11 am EST – ESPN) 01/01 – LSU vs. Penn State - Independence Bowl  (1 pm EST – read more...


SEC, Big 12, & ACC Bowl Primer: Pre-January 1 Edition

SEC 12/27 – Kentucky vs. Clemson - Music City Bowl  (8:30pm EST – read more...


Weekly Fever Review #5: The ACC Still Not Progressing Quickly Enough

 As we head into October, we've learned quite a few things about this current college football season. SEC - This conference remains on top, not only for our Footprint, but also nationally.  There are still 3 SEC teams in the top 5, and there are two teams read more...


Weekly Fever Review #4: NYC Bowl Hypocrisy, Etc.

It's going to be a briefer than normal weekly fever.  We will take a look at some key games coming up and how they affect our teams and conferences as a whole, but first let's start with a subject that really has us a bit miffed.


Weekly SPF Rating #3: Teams in Turmoil

We warned about a difficult season in SPF land, but we didn't think the wheels would come off so fast for certain teams. The good news is with a few of our top teams.  The Colts and Saints sit at 3-0 and look like potential Super Bowl contenders.  The Falcons, the read more...


Weekly SPF Rating #2: The Desperation Factor

We already warned everyone that 2009 looked like a down year for our SPF teams across the board.  It could be worse than we imagined after one of our better read more...


Weekly Fever Review #3: The South "Officially" Becomes the Home of College Football

We would be remiss if we didn't start our Weekly Fever with some big news - the College Football Hall of Fame will relocate from South Bend, Indiana (home of Notre Dame) to Atlanta by read more...


Weekly SPF Rating #1: 2009 Could Be A Long Year For Our Pro Teams

Yes, it is only the first week of the NFL season, but there are signs that it could be a seriously down year for our 13 SPF teams. It starts with the core of our group of teams - the eight squads that make up the NFC South and AFC South.  In the past, these two read more...


Weekly Fever Review: College Football's Week Two - Big 12/ACC Struggles, etc

Now that week two of the college football season is behind us, we've learned a little more about our teams and what the season might have in store.


Weekly Fever Review: Reflections on College Football's Week One

We thought we'd provide a few thoughts after the first week of the college football season just before tonight's Clemson - Georgia Tech game.  In the months that pass between each football season, certain things are put under the microscope by the media and the fans.  Here read more...


Brad "The Animal" Lesley Guest Blog: Baseball & Marshall Tucker

I met Toy Caldwell for the first time at the Walnut Grove Opry House in Spartanburg, SC in the late 70's. Did my first shot/sip of moonshine that night as well - what a shock. I was playing with the Greensboro read more...


Calipari, SEC Hoops, and the Coming NBA "Bubble"

Watch out - Rick Pitino and Louisville!   John Calipari gave Kentucky what it wanted - a coach that makes them instantly competitive in their state, their conference, and the nation at large.  There is little doubt that it has been hard for Kentucky to watch their read more...


Recruiting Never Ends in the South

When it comes to college football, just ‘Google’ the phrase “recruiting is the lifeblood” and you’ll see a ton of results. The fact that quality recruiting is the number one key for long-term success in the big-time world of college football has never read more...


Power Rankings: College Football Tradition By State

by Patrick Snow With the football season fast approaching, we thought it was time to take a State-by-State look at the schools and traditions that make up the religion that is college football in our Swampland footprint. Gold read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 13): William Faulkner Provides Our Rankings

As the season nears conclusion, it's time to break down our 13 teams into groups, Faulkner-style.  With apologies to this great writer, the titles and themes of his novels and stories seemed to fit our group of thirteen as the season nears its close.


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 11): The Stretch Run Begins!

We know quite a bit about our SPF teams by now.  The only thing left to determine is which teams are playoff bound and which teams have Super Bowl potential.  At least half of our 13 teams will be at home and that number could continue to rise. We can also call at read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 10): Ranking the Coaching Trees

1.  Tennessee Titans - The Titans remain a fantastic SPF story.  Their way of winning - brute force, matched by a will not to lose - has them as the NFL's only undefeated team for yet another week.


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 9): Shakeups At The Top!

1.  Tennessee Titans - Like the #1 college team working each week to hold their place at the top, the Titans have methodically marched through their undefeated season.  This isn't a big play team.  It doesn't have to be.  They attack opponents read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 8): Halfway Home

1.  Dallas Cowboys - They pulled off a critical victory against the Bucs last Sunday.  It was ugly, but that's how it goes sometimes.  A win is a win.  The Cowboys can't afford to be worried about style points right now. They continue to read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 7): Hanging Hammers

1.  Dallas Cowboys -  Let's hear a few words of wisdom from one of Swampland Sports all time coaching greats, Jimmy Johnson: Show me one player who doesn’t need a hammer hanging over him. I don’t think there’s ever been, or read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 6): Tennessee Reigns!

1.  Tennessee Titans - The last undefeated team in the NFL has to get the top spot for at least one week this season.  They have become Tennessee's team as the Vols in Knoxville have struggled to maintain their own identity. 2.  Dallas read more...


No Holds Barred: Ric Flair

by Michael Buffalo Smith One of the most enigmatic and popular wrestlers of the seventies and eighties was the one and only Nature Boy Ric Flair. The recently retired champion was on of my personal favorites, and by far the all time favorite of my old friend and read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 5): Identities Found, Lost

Identities.  This is the "Team Identity" Poll after all.  We are far enough into the season to get a sense of where teams are.  Some have done an amazing job.  Others are teetering, losing their connection to their fans and read more...


No Holds Barred: Ox Baker

by Michael Buffalo Smith One of my favorite wrestlers was always Ox Baker. I witnessed many a smack down at the hands of big Ox, the 6’5,” 342 pound Sedalia, Missouri export. Ox was born Douglas A. Baker on April 19,1934, and began his career in 1964 when read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 4): Adjustments

The NFL vs College.  It's a distinction that has begun to blur.  The two games have been getting closer and closer over the past ten years.  Scholarship reductions are one of the main reasons combined with increased TV exposure for all schools.  Watching Vandy read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 3): Who Are You?

In any season, there is a moment where teams begin to show who they are.  After three games, our SPF teams are showing just that. 1.  Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys took care of business on Sunday night against the Packers.  The Cowboys as a read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 2): Consistency, Both Good and Bad

1.  Dallas Cowboys -  Our recent SPF review of Jeff Pearlman's book on the Cowboys of the 1990's called Boys Will Be Boys shows how this latest era in Cowboys history might possibly be even read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 1): Overcoming Adversity

Starting last Thursday, the NFL season began another year which means that SPF is back with our weekly "Team Identity" Poll. To recap, SPF rates teams not on how good they are, but how well they relate to the fans in the Footprint.  Pro sports isn't as read more...


Resurrection: Kayaking Through the Mid-Life Crisis

by Penne J. Laubenthal Birthdays are often opportunities for self-examination and reflection. Some birthdays provoke more introspection than others. A couple of years ago I decided it was time for me to "live deliberately," in the words of Thoreau: read more...


A Southern Strategy For The NBA

Now that we welcome another NBA team to our Footprint (three cheers for OKC), it's time for the NBA to start making some other changes that will help this league's popularity continue to grow in our read more...


NASCAR: Driving in Different Directions?

by Patrick Snow Some recent events in the world of NASCAR have made us here at Swampland ask the question: In what direction is this sport going? I’ve expressed frustration before about how NASCAR seems to want to forget its Southern roots as they try to put read more...


The SEC At A Crossroads: Don't Make NASCAR's Mistake

The SEC sets the pace in all of college athletics.  The question is what will it do for an encore? Last week's meetings in Destin, FL ended up largely becoming a time to reflect on


Kyle Busch: More Sr. Than Jr.?

by Patrick Snow Kyle Busch is in First place in the Sprint Cup standings as the NASCAR circuit prepares for the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. And if you have watched how he tries to dominate the field each lap of each race, you have to admit how good of a driver read more...


Southern Sporting "Events"

by Patrick Snow As I attended a Kentucky Derby function this past Saturday, it was never more evident that Southerners must throw a pretty good party. We are probably more known


The BCS: A Friend to the SEC (and the Rest of the Footprint)

We at Tribal Fever find it odd that it would be the SEC who would call for a playoff system.  We wonder how the SEC can be so blind to the fact that the BCS has been great for that conference. For those that love the idea of a playoff, we will list the reasons why most read more...


Snowman's 2008 Draft Wrap Up

The annual NFL Draft is now over, and the critics will have a field day with opinions on who did well and who faltered with their choices. I thought I would take a look at the Draft from the collegiate view and see who from our region will have the biggest impact on their new read more...


SPF's 2008 NFL Draft Awards

Although the NFL Draft still have rounds 3-7 to go, we at SPF think it is time to hand out some awards.  Except in very rare cases, team's drafts are defined by their day one picks, and we learned a lot about how the SPF slate of teams are approaching the coming season - for read more...


Getting Realistic About College Hoops Coaching Hires

It’s a who’s who of college basketball in San Antonio with all of the #1 seeds making the Final Four. While the games should be great, there may be just as much drama at the Coach’s Convention, which takes place in conjunction with the Final Four. Many tough read more...


SEC: Conference King Once Again

By Patrick Snow It’s an argument that will never end-whose Conference is better? Fans will debate this topic vociferously every season, and the answer always tends to lie close to your address. I’m not sure that the Bowl games are the best way to evaluate read more...


Huge Hires for the SEC Old Guard

By Patrick Snow It has already been quite the postseason in the SEC coaching ranks, and it’s only going to get more interesting. With the recent additions of Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino along with Houston Nutt and Les Miles staying in the conference, read more...


Bah Humbug

By Patrick Snow Well it’s the end of the year, and soon you will be inundated with “Best of/Worst of” lists for 2007. Those lists will have the normal good (Peyton Manning/Appy State) and bad (Mike Vick/Bobby Petrino) perspective on a national scale. read more...


Anarchy in the ATL

By Patrick Snow The current Atlanta Falcons mess brings up so many thoughts and issues. I thought I would try to answer some of the questions that are plaguing this moribund franchise. How did everything go so wrong? The forecast for the Falcons never read more...


SEC Coaching - None Better

In the end, it was a surprise.  But the surprise came in the school chosen, no the destination - the SEC West. Bobby Petrino finally made it to the coaching promised land when he was named the head coach of Arkansas late last night.  Fresh off of a Monday Night read more...


Reality Check

By Patrick Snow Some schools in our Swampland Region are currently learning a harsh lesson: if you are going to make a major change like firing your football coach, you must have a better alternative ready to go. Arkansas, Southern Miss(and Michigan on a national read more...


Coaching Carousel

By Patrick Snow The end of the college football season always brings with it unfulfilled goals which translates into coaching changes. There has been quite a bit of movement in our region. Some of the firings were inevitable while others showed us just how unrealistic read more...


A Celebration of The Life & Work of Paul Hemphill

A Celebration of The Life & Work of Paul Hemphill By James Calemine "I was ridin' number nine Headin' south from Caroline


First Goal: Win Your Conference

By Patrick Snow 2007 - What a crazy and dramatic season of college football. It seems like the Number 1 or 2 position in the national polls is the most dangerous place to be this year. As hard as it may be for many teams to adjust to all the parity, I believe read more...


Confessions of an Auburn Fan or It's Not Easy Being Orange (and Blue)

                  by Penne Jones Laubenthal The state of Alabama is a red state. It has been slowly turning red politically since 1960. In the past twenty-seven years, Alabama voters read more...


College Football: More Balanced Than Ever

By Patrick Snow As a kid growing up in the South, the question of whether you liked college or professional football better just would not have been asked. The NFL was always watched and enjoyed, but it never compared to the passion and excitement of Saturdays read more...


Colts and Patriots: Providing the Blueprint?

By Patrick Snow The NFL has historically been a ‘copycat’ league and here’s to hoping that the success of the Colts and Patriots influences more teams to build up their offense. When clubs had to adjust to the salary cap in the ‘90s, the theory read more...


NFL Label Book: Overrated

By Patrick Snow Just like many a bad segment of talk radio, another ‘label’ book was recently released into America to get football fans arguing with each other. We have Philly-based ESPN field reporter Sal Paolantonio to thank for this latest read more...


The Great Southern Sportswriters Series

Writing and storytelling have always been deeply ingrained in Southern culture.  The people that combined that art with the Swampland Footprint's passion for sports make the whole experience more special and unique. Swampland Sports is proud to offer this series of read more...


Enjoy the Season

By Patrick Snow Another college football season--another initial release of the BCS standings. This annual ritual seems to send everyone running to call a local talk show to scream about a Playoff system and how the middle letter should be removed from read more...


SEC: Top Level for Coaches?

By Patrick Snow Many of us who grew up in the South have always believed that the SEC was King when it came to sports and our allegiances. We watched and cheered for professional teams, but our passion was always at the collegiate level. For many years, read more...


The State of Baseball in the South

By Patrick Snow (editor's note:  Swampland Sports considers the following teams to be part of the Footprint:  Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, read more...


Post Game Tirades

by Patrick Snow The words and actions after last weekend’s games by two coaches left a lot to be desired. While I may agree with the sentiment of both coaches, there are definitely better ways to express their message. These football ‘CEOs’ have to read more...


A Modest Proposal: Southern College Conference Realignment

Now that Swampland Sports has launched Tribal Fever (TF), our dispatch dedicated to college sports in the South, we figured it was time to do weigh in on the current state of college football conferences. The college football conference landscape in the read more...


An SPF Tale of Two Waynes

After NFL's week one, Patrick Snow sounded the alarm.  The Florida teams in the SPF Footprint were in trouble.  It wasn't just about losing games.  It was about losing read more...


Athletic Directors: Be Ready To Ante Up

Southern college football-we live it and breathe it year-round, and it has become abundantly clear that the stakes of the game have been raised with some of the recent coaching hires. The ‘price of poker’ is increasing steadily, and if your school is not ready to ante read more...


SPF 2007 Team Previews

As promised, we have our 2007 Team Previews! Since fans can go to numerous places to read about rosters, statistics, etc, we at Southern Pro Football want to focus our 2007 previews on the teams and their connection to their area of the South. We will examine read more...


Sunshine State Swoon

Sunshine State Swoon By Patrick Snow Has professional football hit its lowest point in the state of Florida? I’m not trying to overreact to three Week 1 losses, but one has to wonder what direction the franchises in the Sunshine State are going. read more...


The Challenge of Pro Sports in the Southeastern United States

It seems like a simple equation. Growing markets equals new growth opportunities for outside businesses seeking new markets. New economic engines in the South (new factories, new banking and financial concerns, growing tech base, growing populations, and increased buying power) have read more...


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