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River Dispatch Archives

...Anticipation for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight...

...Anticipation for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight... I just re-watched Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. It's been three years since Tarantino released a movie. I needed a break from revising stories, and decided to delve into his last read more...


Ace Atkins' Latest Book The Redeemers

The Redeemers By Ace Atkins I just finished The Redeemers, a fine book by Mississippi writer Ace Atkins.... Born June 28, 1970, in Troy, Alabama, Ace Atkins played football at Auburn University, and even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1993 read more...


"A Momentary Stay" : Musings on the Poetry of Harry Moore


A Trip Back in Time: A Review of Bob Keefe's "Stories From the Okefenokee"

In 1969 a young Marine returning to civilian life after a tour of duty as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam found refuge in a remote and primal place in the Deep South, the Okefenokee Swamp. The Marine's name was Bob Keefe, and he spent five wonderful years in the swamp, working as a read more...


The Magic of the Shoals: The Lindsey Film Fest Screening of "Muscle Shoals"

Not since the sold out Drive-By Truckers/ Decoys concert during the 2011


"A Heaping Helping: Songs for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of AL" by Scott Ward

This week I had the pleasure of chatting via Facebook with Alabama musician Scott Ward, producer and director at Lucky Dog Records. Ward has just produced a digital CD designed to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. The CD which features 23 tracks by read more...


Swinging With The Duke at the 2012 W. C. Handy Festival

The Righteous Brothers may sing about a "rock and roll heaven," but when I die I want to go to jazz heaven. And if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a jazz vocalist.   I was in jazz heaven for two hours Tuesday read more...


Mayberry is Alive and Well in Rogersville, Alabama

Henry David Thoreau went to the woods because he wanted to "live deliberately." I go to Rogersville, Alabama. Rogersville is a progressive little town that has managed to keep the flavor of a time gone by. read more...


View the BBC's Southern Rock Documentary on Swampland

Swampland has added the BBC's new Southern Rock Documentary to it front page.   Go here to view it - Swampland Front Page


Life Lessons in The Big Easy by Martha Gragido

There’s something maternal about a train. It carries you where you need to go and rocks you along, sheltering as new horizons flash past your window. Places you’ve never been. Places that have never known the press of your weight. (The bathrooms on the train read more...


Award Winning Author Joshilyn Jackson at Northeast Alabama Community College

Award-winning novelist Joshilyn Jackson will be the featured author for the Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum at Northeast Alabama Community College on April 19, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Jackson’s presentation will be held in the Tom Bevill Lyceum and is free to


Author Judith Ortiz Cofer at Calhoun College Writers' Conference, April 11, 2013

Latina writer and storyteller Judith Ortiz Cofer will be speaking at Calhoun Community College's 12th annual Writers' Conference on Thursday, April  11, at 9:30 a.m. in the Aerospace Training Center. She will speak again at 7 in the evening at the Princess Theatre. Both read more...


"How Do You Like Your Blueeyed Boy, Mr. Death": Harry Crews (1935-2012)

Harry Crews! I guess I thought he would live forever. When all of those years of out of control drinking did not kill him, I decided he had outwitted the devil. That would be just like Crews--to make a wager with the devil and win.   When a great read more...


The University of North Alabama Presents Renowned Author Ishmael Reed

On Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20, the University of North Alabama (Florence, Alabama) will present its 29th annual Spring Writers' Series. The featured speaker this year is internationally known poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright Ishmael Reed. Reed will read more...


Swampland Guest Patsy Glenn Writes about Brandon Sparkman and "Called to Jackson"

My long-time friend Patsy Glenn is a freelance writer residing in Florence, Alabama. Glenn joins Swampland to talk about a local hero, Brandon Sparkman, and his recently published book Called to Jackson, Mississippi: The Last Bastion of Segregation (iuniverse


A Modern Legacy of America's Finest Archivists

A Modern Legacy of America's Finest Archivists A treasure trove of old, obscure American music exists out there. Bits and pieces of lost American culture preserved between the grooves waits for any listener's ear. This


Alabama's Own Wickedly Spicy Wickles Pickles---Made in Dadeville, AL

2011 was the year of Alabama music, and 2012 is the year of Alabama food. Several months ago I wrote about two phenomenal products unique to Alabama:


Rebecca Meredith, Author of The Last of the Pascagoula, Has Alabama Roots

I discovered Rebecca Woods Meredith when I received a copy of her spellbinding novel, The Last of the Pascagoula read more...


Alabama Born, Auburn Educated Octavia Spencer Wins Golden Globe

The 2011 fall issue of the Auburn University alumni magazine featured a stunning photo of Octavia Spencer on the cover, not as Minny, the feisty maid in Tate Taylor's movie of Kathryn Stockett's The Help, but as Octavia Spencer, celebrated actress and a possible


A Conversation with Jerry Masters: "Hanging From A Tree By My Knees"

Jerry Masters, musician and sound engineer for nearly every hit record cut in the Shoals from the late 60s through the early 70s, and I met for breakfast at Cafe Savanna in Rogersville, Alabama, this past August. I had heard by way of Facebook that Masters


Meet Poet and Poetry Therapist Jerri Chaplin

Jerri Chaplin is a certified poetry therapist and poet. She served as the first poet-in-residence at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston (1996). Her work has been read more...


Shakin' in Alabama with the Alabama Shakes--Souful Music Near the Shoals

The small town of Athens, Alabama (not Athens, Georgia) has made national music news thanks to the hot new group Alabama Shakes. Three of the four band members hail from East Limestone High School in read more...


Poem in Remembrance: World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011

Twenty years ago a friend of mine died of AIDS. He was the first person I ever knew personally to die of this disease. He was young and talented and beautiful, and the last time I saw him he seemed completely well. Then I heard that he had died. Shortly after read more...


New Orleans in Alabama: Brenda Marie Osbey--and Lagniappe--Poet Jane Hirshfield

This October I traveled to New Orleans to see my good friends David Lummis (author of


Meet New Orleans Author and Photographer: Kristin Fouquet

Reading the short stories of Kristin Fouquet, writer and photographer par excellence, is like eating bon bons. You just have to have one more. Fouquet writes with a photographer's eye for detail, seeing beneath read more...


Tritium Detected In Water At Hatch Nuclear Plant In Georgia

Tritium Detected At Hatch Nuclear Plant This story makes Janisse Ray's book Drifting Into Darien even more read more...


Coming Soon from History Press: "Rocket City Rock and Soul" by Jane DeNeefe

The History Press will release Rocket City Rock and Soul: Huntsville Musicians Remember the 1960s by Huntsville read more...


A Stroll Through Savannah

A Stroll Through Savannah Widespread Panic put on a mighty fine show last night at the Johnny Mercer Theatre. I look forward to tonight's show as well. It's 70 read more...


Documentary About the Life of Rick Bragg "Out of the Dirt" to Premiere In Alabama

The world premiere of Out of the Dirt, a documentary film about the life of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg, will be held at the IMAX Theare in the McWane Science read more...


What's All This Hullabaloo About "The Help"?

Two years ago, shortly after Kathryn Stockett 's novel The Help was released, I wrote a review of the book for Swampland. I never published the review because I was ambivalent about the novel, and everyone I knew was singing its praises. The Help quickly made read more...


"The Coffee Shop Chronicles" Featured in New Orleans Course at University of Montevallo

David Lummis' novel The Coffee read more...


The Secret To a Happy Ending: The Decoys, DBT, and a Sunday Jam at Dick Cooper's

According to The Drive-By Truckers, the secret to a happy ending is knowing when to run the credits. This week in the Shoals the secret to a read more...


Upcoming Interview: Preston Lauterbach's Chitlin' Circuit: And The Road To Rock 'N' Roll

The Chitlin' Circut: And The Road To Rock 'N' Roll Memphis writer Preston Lauterbach's first book--The Chitlin Circut: And The Road To Rock 'N' Roll--arrived in the mail on Monday. An upcoming interview with Lauterbach is on the way, but I wanted to write a quick read more...


Handy Festival 2011: Rocking the Shoals with Ken Watters and Microwave Dave

This week is Handy Fest 2011, and I was in the Shoals on Monday night, sitting in the Zodiac Theatre in downtown Florence, Alabama, with Randy, my sister Peggy, and a friend


Swampland's Daily Duo of Reviews For 7/26/11: Levon Helm and Through The Sparks

 For Tuesday, we have the legendary Levon Helm bringing his Midnight Ramble to the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Also, we feature the latest from Birmingham's Through The Sparks.  Although the records are stylistically and generationally different, both capture the read more...


Swampland's Daily Duo of Reviews For 7/25/11: Ronnie Milsap and Hope Waits

For Monday, we present two Southern artists whose travels around their native region helped to define their diverse and eclectic sensibilities.  Ronnie Milsap went from the mountains of North Carolina to Nashville with stops at Atlanta and Memphis in between while Hope Waits read more...


A Southern Literary Note on Hemingway's Birthday

A Southern Literary Note on Hemingway's Birthday Today is the birthday of Ernest Hemingway. A southern literary note seems in order to salute one of America's greatest writers... 


Swampland's Daily Duo of Reviews For 7/21/11: Old 97s and David Adam Byrnes

For Thursday's duo of reviews, we're bringing some honky tonk.  Old 97s and David Adam Byrnes hail from neighboring states, Texas and Arkansas, respectively.  Old 97s might also be a lot more comfortable in an indie rock club while Byrnes is a fit for Nashville, but both read more...


Swampland's Daily Duo of Reviews For 7/20/11: Amy LaVere and John Paul Keith

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We've got a couple of great Memphis-based artists with new records.  Amy LaVere has been on Swampland's radar for a while, and her latest Stranger Me is her first album is a few years.  John Paul Keith's The Man That Time read more...


Swampland's Daily Duo of Reviews For 7/19/11: Gillian Welch and Mount Moriah

Today's review duo come from Gillian Welch and Mount Moriah out of North Carolina.  Mount Moriah's is a debut release while Gillian Welch's is her first in 8 years.  The connection between these two releases is their musical sensibility which is mountain country. read more...


Next Stop: Wes Freed & The Drive By Truckers

Next Stop: Wes Freed & The Drive By Truckers Here's a quick dispatch this morning in between projects...Later this afternoon I'll interview The Drive By read more...


Drive-By Truckers To Headline 2011 W.C. Handy Festival in Florence, AL

A concert by the Drive-By Truckers with special guests The Decoys,  along with music icons Donnie Fritts and Spooner Oldham, will read more...


A "Found Poem" on Craig's List--Thorsby, AL, June 22, 2011

Free Donkeys (3)    found and arranged  by Penne J. Laubenthal (photo from www) My mom won 3 read more...


Billy C Farlow Tours in Europe to Promote "Alabama Swamp Stomp"

Blues harmonica player and songwriter Billy C Farlow left last week for a month tour of France and surrounding countries to promote his new album


Billy Reid Shindig in Florence, AL, June 3-4, 2011

Next weekend (June 3-4) will mark the third anniversary of the annual Billy Reid Shindig in Florence, Alabama.


The Civil Wars Play Tornado Benefit at Historic Shoals Theatre in Florence, AL

Once again the marvelously magical duo, The Civil Wars (Joy Williams and John Paul White), took the stage in front of a sold-out house and a wildly enthusiastic audience. This time they were read more...


A Memorial Day Tribute: An Early Salute

 A Salute To All The Veterans An early salute for the upcoming weekend... In honor of Memorial Day, and all the read more...


Georgia Public Broadcasting Films "Georgia Outdoors" on the Altamaha River

GPB Films "Georgia Outdoors" on Altamaha River Earlier this month, Georgia Public Broadcasting filmed for three days on the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia. Swampland read more...


Meet Matthew Nolan, Poet and Resident of New Orleans

Matthew Nolan, who subtitles his books "A New Orleans Poet," is the author of two collections of poetry and prose: Crumpled Paper Dolls (2004) and Exhuming Juliet (2009).  read more...


Never A Pal Like Mother

Happy Mother's Day 2011 Happy Mother's Day to Everyone! Since it's Mother's Day weekend, I thought I write a dispatch around the great Atlanta label


New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Begins Friday

2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival The 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins on April 29 and continues until May 8. A wide variety of music, food, parades, culture and crafts will be available to supporters.


Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitizer Prize Winning Journalist, To Speak at University of North Alabama

Isabel Wilkerson, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in the history of journalism, will be speaking at the University of North Alabama (in Florence, Alabama) at 12:30 PM, Thursday, April 14. read more...


Rock and Roll in the Rocket City Continues with Part 3 by Jane DeNeefe

Swampland is celebrating The Year of Alabama Music with a series of articles by Jane DeNeefe about rock & roll music in read more...


MLB Opening Day 2011

MLB Opening Day 2011 “I was fairly typical of my generation of Southerners, I suppose. I got hooked on the game when I heard Mel Allen’s tense description of Enos (‘Country”) Slaughter of the Cardinals winning the ’46 read more...


Delta Born Blues Legend Pinetop Perkins Dies at 97

Grammy award winning blues pianist Pinetop Perkins died yesterday, March 21, of cardiac arrest at the age of 97. Perkins, whose real first name was Willie, read more...


New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival Begins March 23

New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival “New Orleans is where Tom became ‘Tennessee’ and he considered our city his spiritual home”, said Paul J. Willis, executive director of the annual


Alabama Blues Musician Debbie Bond Pays Tribute to Eddie Kirkland (1923-2011)

The funeral service for Eddie Kirkland, "Gypsy of the Blues," was held on Monday, March 7, in Macon, Georgia. Friends came from far and wide to pay tribute to the 87-year-old blues legend who was killed in read more...


Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby James

James Taylor, icon of the music world, is celebrating his 63rd birthday today His debut album "James Taylor" (on the British label Apple) was released in the US in February of 1969. A reviewer for Rolling Stone called the album "the coolest breath of fresh read more...


"If You're Not Living on the Edge, Then You're Taking Up Space": Flo Kennedy

Most people are familiar with the life and career of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, but how many people are familiar with her contemporary-- the flamboyant and vociferous


The Second Cooler: Documentary by Alabama Filmmaker Ellin Jimmerson

The Second Cooler or Le Segunda Nevera is a documentary film by Ellin Jimmerson, Alabama filmmaker, that asks the questions: why are there twelve million Latin American migrants in the United States illegally and why do thousands not survive the border read more...


Meet Tasia Malakasis of Belle Chevre--Alabama's Artisanal Goat Cheese Creamery

If you have not yet tasted Belle Chevre, Alabama's fabulous artisanal goat cheese, you are in for a treat. A couple of weeks ago Randy and I drove about twenty minutes north of Athens, Alabama, to the tiny fromagerie of Belle read more...


Free Bonus Tracks with The Drive By Truckers’ Go-Go Boots To Support Indie Record Stores

Free Bonus Tracks with The Drive By Truckers’ Go-Go Boots To Support Indie Record Stores In light of the Drive By Truckers new release


R. Garth Reflects On a Concert by The Civil Wars

Last night my friend and fellow writer Richard Garth (author of the Tales from Blue Springs series) attended a concert by the duo The Civil Wars. The concert was held at the WorkPlay Theatre near the University of Alabama Birmingham (Alabama). I asked Richard, who read more...


An "Ardent Spirit" Departs: Reynolds Price 1933-2011

Award winning author and longtime Duke professor Reynolds Price died Thursday, January 20, from complications following a heart attack just over a week before his 78th birthday. Price had been a paraplegic since 1984 when surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his spine ("the read more...


Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit's Upcoming Here We Rest

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s Here We Rest The official release date is not until April, but yesterday I received my press copy of Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s upcoming read more...


Celebrating The Year of Alabama Music with a Series of Articles by Jane DeNeefe

This year, 2011, we are celebrating the Year of Alabama Music. The December 2010 issue of the Oxford American features read more...


Robert Plant Pays Tribute To Townes Van Zandt

Robert Plant’s Homage To Townes Van Zandt Robert Plant recorded Townes Van Zandt’s “Harm Swift Way” on his new Band of Joy disc. I heard the song today, and I read more...


Swampland 2011: "Crossing the Creek" and The Year of Alabama Music

Happy New Year to all you Swamplanders. I apologize for the long hiatus between this post and my last one, but the holidays caught me off guard, and I was running in place for about six weeks. My resolution for 2011 is to complete tasks in a timely fashion. I am read more...


Merry Christmas From Swampland

Merry Christmas From Swampland Ho, Ho, Ho…I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from Swampland. Thanks for all the support. A Happy New Year to you all! Don’t let the Devil get you down. I’ve included a couple of read more...


Southern College Football – Coaching Carousel

LEAD STORY With bowl season beginning and holidays upon us, the big news in our Footprint is the gigantic transformation of the coaching hierarchy in the state of Florida. Do you realize that one-season ‘veteran’ Jimbo Fisher of Florida State is now the dean of read more...


The Way We Were: From the Kitchen Sink to Bea's Beauty Shop

My mother desperately wanted little girls with little curls right in the middle of their foreheads. To that end, she spent years torturing my sister and me in the kitchen sink with Tonis! She would wind our hair tightly on pink plastic rollers and then douse the rollers in a foul read more...


Southern College Football – Championship Week

LEAD STORY The amazing story of Auburn and Cam Newton will continue Saturday when they meet South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game.


The Buzz Around Savannah Bee

The Buzz Around Savannah Bee Two days ago I interviewed my old friend Ted Dennard, proprietor of the Savannah Bee Company. Savannah Bee specializes in the highest quality of honey, lip balm and body care products. Ted read more...


Southern College Football - Week 13 Themes

It’s rivalry week in our Swampland Footprint. Some teams are looking towards league titles (Auburn, Oklahoma/Oklahoma State, NC State, etc.) while some usual stalwarts are just trying to become bowl eligible (Texas, Georgia, Tennessee). The last weekend of the season is the read more...


Southern College Football - Week 12 Themes

LEAD STORY It finally happened. For the first time since joining the SEC in 1992, the South Carolina Gamecocks will represent the East Division in read more...


Alabama Designer Billy Reid Wins Prestigious CFDA Fashion Award

Vogue magazine has announced that Alabama clothing designer Billy Reid has received the 2010 CFDA Fashion Fund award. The award, read more...


Southern Literary Trail Celebrates W. B. Huie Centennial

Hartselle, Alabama, native and best selling novelist William Bradford Huie would have celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday, November 13, 2010. To commemorate the


Saluting Our Veterans and My Dear Friends Frank and Nell Lutz

Today is Veterans Day--a day on which we pay tribute to all those who served this country in the armed services. Today is especially meaningful to me because it gives me an opportunity to honor two of my favorite World War II veterans: my long time friends and erstwhile neighbors read more...


Southern College Football - Week 10 Themes

LEAD STORY What an old-fashioned Southern soap opera we have on our hands. I’m sure by now you’ve read (or at least heard about) the ESPN story regarding the recruitment of Auburn read more...


Southern College Football - Week 9 Themes

LEAD STORY So much of the national attention (ESPN) at this point in the college football season goes to just the handful of teams in the BCS chase. Auburn-- as well read more...


Alabama Born Matt Cain Pitches Shut Out for SF Giants in Game 2

Matt Cain, powerful and versatile pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, showed his stuff last night when he pitched a nearly perfect game shutting out the Texas Rangers 9-0. Cain threw about 102 pitches before he was relieved in the seventh inning. What a way to continue the read more...


Dylan, Petty & Drive By Truckers Participate In ‘Back To Black Friday’

Dylan, Petty & Drive By Truckers Participate In ‘Back To Black Friday’ In support of independent record stores, November 26 stands as ‘Back To Black Friday’. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Drive By Truckers, Iron & Wine, U2, read more...


Storytelling in the South--"Life: Legends and Lies" in Athens, Alabama

Mark Twain may be one of the best known storytellers of all time and, by his own admission, one of the biggest liars, but the art of storytelling did not die out with the passing of Mark Twain one hundred years ago read more...


Caught Glove-Handed: Stone Crabbing in the Gulf of Mexico

"Did you catch them or buy them?" I asked my son John Laubenthal when he sent me this photo. " I caught them glove-handed," he replied. John lives on the lagoon in Panama City and catches/eats all things marine. The apple does not fall far from read more...


Southern College Football - Week 8 Themes

LEAD STORY It’s a huge weekend in the Big 12, with conference and national title implications. Top-ranked Oklahoma travels to undefeated Missouri, while read more...


Double Whammy: The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans and Books-A-Million

This week I am excited to provide the Swampland audience with a double whammy. My friend David Lummis' novel


Southern College Football - Week 7 Themes

LEAD STORY With South Carolina’s huge 35-21 victory over Alabama, the SEC’s current streak of four straight National Championships looks to be in read more...


Great Places in America: The BMA Sculpture Garden in Birmingham, Alabama

The American Planning Association (APA) recently named the Charles Ireland Sculpture Garden at the


Southern College Football - Week 6 Themes

LEAD STORY Florida State and Miami meet Saturday night in South Beach for their usual heated clash. This rivalry has lost a little luster read more...


It's Never Too Late To Read a Banned Book

I recommend that you start with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or perhaps All The King's Men, or even To Kill A Mockingbird which just celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The great poet T.S. Eliot once said that his parents forbade him to read more...


Southern College Football - Week 5 Themes

  LEAD STORY Alabama and Florida will meet in Tuscaloosa Saturday in a battle of the last two National Champions. It’s been over two years since the Gators lost a regular season SEC game (Ole Miss, September ’08), and it’s been read more...


Billy C. Farlow, Mercy Band, and Alabama Swamp Stomp

Hold on to your habaneros. Blues legend Billy C. Farlow is once again having too much fun with a brand new cd, and he is hotter than ever. In the spring of 2009, Billy C. read more...


Southern College Football - Week 4 Themes

LEAD STORY Week 4 will be ‘Definition Saturday’ in our Swampland Footprint, especially in the SEC West. We should begin to see the true identity of many of our teams and what they have the potential to achieve in 2010.


Inside Alabama Politics: Fish Frys, Barbecues, and Chittlin' Suppers

According to my friend Dr. Susan Parker, Alabama politics is not just about politics; it is about food and lots of it. No political rally is complete without a read more...


Southern College Football - Week 3 Themes

LEAD STORY After last season, we wrote how the ACC would look for improvement in 2010. Last year’s campaign was summed as read more...


Filming "The Help": News and Blues in the Delta-- Greenwood, MS

About seven miles east of Greenwood, MS, the rolling hills suddenly go flat, a sure sign you are entering the Delta.  We had driven to Greenwood via the leisurely


Southern College Football - Week 2 Themes


2010 SEC Season Outlook

The nation’s toughest conference looks primed for another stellar season on the gridiron. Alabama and Florida, the last two National Champions, will aim for a third straight appearance in the SEC title game.


Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan--Twenty Years After His Tragic Death

Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, called by many the greatest blues guitarist since Jimi Hendrix, died read more...


2010 Big 12 Football Preview

It was quite the offseason for the Big 12, with the focus on school defections to other conferences. While Nebraska and Colorado will leave the league after this season,


New Orleans Rising: Pontchartrain Park Focus of CNN Documentary

Pontchartrain Park focus of CNN Documentary This evening a documentary on CNN—In America—focused on the efforts of New Orleans actor Wendell Pierce read more...


Hot Haitian Jazz and a Cool New Album by RIYEL (Watters, Atkins, and Abel)

Jazz trumpeter and Alabama native Ken Watters has joined with several of the country's top musicians to form an eclectic and exciting jazz group called


Jimmy Dean--"Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham"

Jimmy Dean, who died on June 13 of this year, would have been 82 years old today, August 10.  In honor of his birthday, I prepared his fabulous low fat turkey sausage for breakfast. To tell the truth, I have read more...


Big 12 Media Days Bring a Huge Sense of Relief

What a summer it has been for the Big 12. From the impending departures of Nebraska and Colorado to the league remaining intact, the conference athletic directors and Commissioner Dan Beebe were just glad to get to the annual Big 12 Media Days in Irving, Texas. There will be still read more...


Oldtimers Charades or "You Know Where She Sits in Church"

As I approach yet another birthday, I try even harder to find the humor in aging. Here is my latest attempt. Southerners have never let anything, including a sudden total loss of recall, interfere with good conversation.


SEC Media Days Attract Huge Attention

The SEC tops the nation when it comes to college football so it should be no surprise that the "Media Days" in July draw so much interest. Media members from all over the country marvel at the three day spectacle that has gridiron fans counting the days until the season read more...


Roadtrip to the Shoals: Billy Reid Couture, Trowbridge's Ice Cream, and Sweetwater Plantation

 I just bought my first Billy Reid. No, not Armani or Versace. Much better!!! Billy Reid, whose creations read more...


SEC Continues Its Run of Excellence

The SEC ended another stellar year with another national championship. South Carolina won the school’s first ever national title when they swept UCLA at the College World read more...


Looking Good at Sixty-Three--Jimmy Buffett Rocks the Gulf Coast

Been there, done that, have the pictures to prove it, but I wish I had been in Gulf Shores last night for the Jimmy Buffett and Friends Benefit Concert. Thanks to CMT, a portion of the concert was read more...


Reading "The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans" by David Lummis

Perhaps because I was an English professor for most of my life, friends are always asking me what good book I have read recently. Well, I am happy to report that I have


Big "XII" Stays Regional Instead of Going West

The college expansion debate and possible maneuvering by key universities over the last month had everyone in our Swampland Footprint buzzing with opinion(s), but for now all of those negotiations and rumors did not amount to much movement.


Music For A Cause: Benefit Concerts from Nashville to Gulf Shores

One week after country music stars rallied to raise over $2 million for Nashville, TN, flood relief,Jimmy Buffet will give a benefit concert live from


Alabama Authors To SIgn Books at Keller Festival in Tuscumbia

As a part of the 32th Annual Helen Keller Festival held this week in Tuscumbia, Alabama, several Alabama authors will be signing their read more...


Rare William Faulkner Collection Auctioned by Christie's in NYC

A collection of William Faulkner memorabilia primarily including first editions (some inscribed) of his novels, manuscripts, personal correspondence (a telegram to read more...


Alabama Bred Artist Paxton Creates Pelican Belt Buckle To Help Save Gulf Coast

My talented nephew, California artist and Elk River native Paxton (Mobley), has been creating fine art for over twenty years and has become a favorite with collectors. Recently, he began desiging original belt read more...


Alabama Author Albert Murray Symposium and Book Launch at Lincoln Center

Two of my good friends, Jeanie Thompson (poet and Executive Director of the Alabama Writers Forum) and


Conference Realignment: Gene Stallings Has A Texas-Sized SEC Vision For A&M

Consider us here at Swampland Sports a bit ahead of our time.  In September of 2007, we published an article about realigning southern college conferences so that read more...


More Music, Moviemaking, and the Annual Helen Keller Festival in the Shoals

You know it's summer in Alabama when the annual Helen Keller Festival week is about to commence. This year the 32nd annual festival in Tuscumbia, AL, (one of the four cities in the Shoals) will run read more...


Talented Texans and Bengals Look for Consistency

Two teams in our Swampland Footprint that will look to repeat a winning season in 2010 are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans. Both franchises have seemed to be a little snake-bitten over the last few years. Cincinnati looked like an exciting passing team on the rise in read more...


Sweet Home Alabama and Bitter Politics

Mudslinging has reached new heights in the rainsoaked red clay of Alabama. Gone are the usual  insinuations and innuendo, and in their place are vicious verbal attacks. Party lines have been crossed, and insults have become downright personal.


More Muscle Shoals Soul: Percussionist Jimmy "BeBop" Evans

Yesterday I was having breakfast at Cafe Savanna  in Rogersville, AL, with my dear friends Susan and Paul read more...


Titans and Falcons Add Solid Defenders in the Draft

One of the most important aspects of the NFL Draft is knowing your identity and drafting accordingly. Two franchises that have played that strategy well in recent years are the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons. Both teams made that Playoffs in 2008 and then barely missed a read more...


The Black Keys, Band of Horses, and the Magic of Muscle Shoals

"Soul nirvana" is what one writer calls Muscle Shoals, that area of the Quad Cities in northwest Alabama where such legendary musicians as


Sister Schubert: From a Sunporch in Alabama to the Corporate Boardroom

I have been a fan of Sister Schubert rolls since I popped the first delectable morsel in my mouth some 15 years ago. The name Sister Schubert is a household word in my family, my sister's family, my daughter's read more...


New Orleans and Indianapolis Add Defensive Playmakers

Many teams in the NFL Draft feel compelled to fill an immediate need with their first selection, but some elite clubs are able to take the best player available and build quality depth for the future. Those picks do not always excite fans on draft day but tend to work out quite well read more...


Holly Hollman Writes about the Dying Art of Shoe Repair

RiverVue's guest writer for this week is journalist Holly Hollman of the Decatur Daily . The following


Please Help Nashville Flood Victims!

Dear Swampland readers, We wanted to pass on an important message from one our Nashville friends: Non- Nashvillians; please spread the word. Temporary shelters are at capacity, missing people are unaccounted for, Nashville has been declared a disaster area by the read more...


Rams Draft Franchise Face in Sam Bradford

We’ll begin our NFL Draft recaps with the team who selected first overall—St. Louis. Much like Detroit a year ago, the Rams forged a new path with the selection of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. After passing on Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez in the last two drafts, St. read more...


NFL Draft Impressions: Rams Get Their Man; Jags Disappoint Their Fans

Did your team improve? Is your fan base excited about the direction of your squad? We will take an in-depth look at the NFL Draft over the next couple of weeks, but wanted to give our read more...


April is the Busiest Month: Alabama and New Orleans

Every week in April has been busy with a literary or cultural event in the state of Alabama including the Alabama Book Festival, an annual event in


Memphis Native Kirk Whalum Named President of Soulsville/Stax

Memphis Native Kirk Whalum Named President of Soulsville/Stax Memphis native Kirk Whalum—a Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist and music read more...


Rams and Jaguars Can Shape Their Franchises on Draft Day

The NFL Draft is upon us, and two of the teams in our Swampland footprint have a great chance to decide the direction of their franchise for the next few seasons. The NFL is a quarterback league, and both St. Louis and Jacksonville can select signal callers who will become the face read more...


Excursion to New Orleans

What an amazing adventure I have had in Louisiana this past week. I am starting a series on Swampland about my adventures in the Crescent City (see New Orleans


Celebrate Record Store Day 2010!

  Record Store Day 2010 is read more...


Tom Kimmel at 9th Annual Writers Conference, Calhoun College, Decatur, AL

I just returned from a long weekend in the Crescent City, but I don't plan to miss the annual writers conference on Thursday, April 15, at Calhoun read more...


New Orleans and the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival 2010

I don't get down to New Orleans nearly so often as I would like although it is a place close to my heart. New Orleans is one of my top three cities in America, along with


Pioneering Alabama Civil RIghts Photographer Charles Moore Dies

The year was 1963. I picked up a copy of the May Life Magazine and was appalled to see  graphic  images of fire hoses and police dogs being turned on helpless protesters in


How Duane Allman and Sam The Sham Gave Clapton His "Key To The Highway"

Athens, GA attorney John Lyndon, brother of the late ABB road manager Twiggs Lyndon, passed on a remembrance right before the Allmans started their run of NYC shows last night.  He was generous enough to allow us to share it with everyone: I saw Eric read more...


Allman Brothers NYC Run Begins Tonight!

 We were hoping that Michael Buffalo would be ready to go tonight, but his eyes still aren't cooperating.  He wanted to assure everyone that he will review all of the Allman Brothers Band shows via Moogis once he is able. In the meantime, we know everyone is read more...


Tribute to Southern Literary Icon Barry Hannah

Award winning Southern author Barry Hannah died Monday, March 1, at his home in Oxford, MS. read more...


Sweet Home Alabama: Movie Making and Music in Muscle Shoals

A Pitch Video, like a "Demo Reel" in the music business, about the music of the Muscle Shoals entitled "Sweet Home Alabama--The Music of Muscle read more...


Big East Teams In Our Region Have Great Potential

 As we wrap up our coverage of Signing Day and recruiting, there are three Footprint teams in the Big East that deserve a mention. 


Grandma Got Run Over By A Treadmill or Southern Belles at Midlife

First of all let me say that I am not a grandmother, but I am old enough to be one. That being said, I will continue with the story. In an effort to level the playing field in the never-ending battle against bulge, my sister (did I mention she weighs 122 read more...


The Strange Case of Dr. Amy Bishop

As the story behind the fatal shootings at the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Friday, Feb 13, begins to unfold, the actual facts behind the incident become more and more obscure. First of all, those who were victims of the read more...


Ram Get Local Ownership, Likely Staying in St Louis

There was good news in St. Louis this week when it was announced that Urbana, Ill., businessman Shahid Khan read more...


New Information on William Faulkner's Historical Sources Comes to LIght

According to an article in this week's New York Times (February 11, 2010), a Southern literature scholar from Emory read more...


Big 12 Teams See Recruiting Success

We’re used to seeing Texas and Oklahoma at the top of the Big 12, and nothing was different on last week’s National Signing Day. The “Big 2” have won the last six conference title games, and they were both ranked in the nation’s Top 10 with their read more...


SEC Continues to Rule the Recruiting World

National Signing Day has passed, and once again the teams of the SEC were dominant in the rankings. The conference that has won the last four National Championships (with three different schools) continually pulls in the top classes, and that's what it takes to compete in America's read more...


Frigid February Is Hot Month for Arts in South

Temperatures may be hovering around freezing in the south in February, but the mercury is rising in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama when it comes to the fine arts The first weekend in February marks the 7th Annual Oxford read more...


National Signing Day: Christmas Morning for Southern Football Fans

It’s finally here- a virtual holiday in our Swampland Footprint.


Alabama Schools Getting It Done in Recruiting

As National Signing Day arrives this Wednesday, fans will hear a ton about Texas and Florida (as well as Georgia) as those states produce so many top Division I players. But another state where recruiting success is being seen in a big way is Alabama. We all know how well Nick Saban read more...


Coaching Uncertainties Create Instability in the Normally Calm Sunshine State

With National Signing Day approaching quickly, tons of attention will be on the state of Florida with so many top players being courted by schools all over the nation. However, the real race to most Floridians happens between the home state programs. The Florida Gators have read more...


Favre Still Rules Though Saints March and Vikings Retreat

I would not want to be Brett Favre this morning---over forty, utterly frustrated, and physically and emotionally devastated. However, this Mississippi born grand old man of football is my hero, and he's not done read more...


Saints vs Colts Present a Dream SPF Super Bowl

Much more to come on this as the Super Bowl approaches, but yesterday's wins by Peyton Manning and the Colts and Drew Brees and the Saints presented our football-hungry region with the best reason yet to watch the Super Bowl.


Getting Defensive in the Peach State

Georgia’s biggest win last season came against Georgia Tech when the Bulldogs rushed for 339 yards on their way to a 30-24 victory. In 2008 the Yellow Jackets top performance took place in Sanford Stadium, as their running attack gained 409 yards on the ground to propel Tech read more...


Team In Turmoil #2 - Del Rio's Presence Hurts Jags Effort To Rebuild Support

After years of wondering and worrying, recent and disturbing word came out from the developer of the new NFL-ready stadium in Los Angeles - their group is 


Crimson Tide Rules: Alabama Celebrates in Life and Art

It was like the closing of the Red Sea in the Rose Bowl Stadium in


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Tech and Tuberville make an Interesting Fit

What a winter it has been for the Texas Tech. From the firing of Mike Leach to the inspired Bowl victory to the coaching search, Red Raider fans have had quite the ride in wondering what’s next for their football program.


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia Still Searching for New Defensive Coordinator

Bud Foster, John Chavis, and Kirby Smart. That looks like a list of top defensive coordinators in our Swampland footprint, but it also the candidates who have turned down the chance to work for Mark Richt this offseason.


SEC Daily Fever: Bama Win Keeps SEC on Top

The SEC captured a fourth straight National Title Thursday night with Alabama’s 37-21 win over Texas in the BCS Championship Game.


Big 12 Daily Fever: McCoy Injury Overshadows Title Loss

  It wasn't supposed to end like this. Texas fans could probably deal with a loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game if they had their entire arsenal, but it just seems different after


Happy BIrthday Week: Elvis Presley and Sam Phillips (Sun Records)

Today, January 8, Elvis Presley would have celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday. On Tuesday, January 5, Sam Phillips, the man who read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Alabama Playing for National Title and Conference Pride

Alabama has played their way back to the national forefront over the last two years, and they will try to cap that run with a victory over Texas in tonight's BCS Championship Game. If the


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Looks for Another National Title in Pasadena

It's finally here. Over a month after surviving a Big Red scare against Ndamukong Suh and Nebraska, Texas will take on another Big Red (techinally crimson) when they meet Alabama in tonight's BCS National Championship Game.


Yellow Dogs and Blue Dogs: Alabama's Three? Dog Night

I know what a Yellow Dog is. A Yellow Dog is a Democrat who would vote the Democratic ticket even if he or she had to vote for a yellow (aka "yaller" dog). But what on earth is a


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Tech Loses More Than a Coach with Leach Firing

What a Texas-sized soap opera going on in Lubbock with the Texas Tech football program. Mike Leach has been fired from the program he took to new heights, and Red Raider fans are left with anger, confusion, and frustration. The Leach ouster has so many interesting angles; read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Meyer Faces Tough Choices Between Florida and Family

Some important decisions are now at hand for Urban Meyer and the Florida athletic department. After the Gators destroyed an overmatched Cincinnati team (dealing with read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Meyer Saga Leaves Doubt Around UF Program

What a roller coaster of a week it’s been for Florida Gator fans. The wishy-washy Urban Meyer drama has left a cloud of uncertainty over the program read more...


Big 12 Fever: Leach Outcome Will Have a Huge Effect on the Conference

A college football coach suspended for a game? That’s definitely something we’re not used to seeing, and there’s no doubt the Mike Leach-Texas Tech administration conflict is very unique. The school’s brass announced their outspoken coach


SEC Daily Fever: Saban Not Worried about Facing Former Assistants in Title Game

The media has raised the question recently whether or not Texas assistants Will Muschamp and Major Applewhite, who served under Nick Saban at LSU and Alabama respectively, give the Longhorns any advantage with their familiarity of the Tide coach as they prepare for the BCS Title read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Conference Bowl Ties in Texas Work for Fans and Teams

Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State did not quite reach their football goals this season. The Sooners were riddled with injuries to top players and were never a factor in the league race. The Cowboys looked like the second best team in the conference, but still could not get over the read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Gator Fans not feeling the Sugar Bowl after SEC Title Loss

It currently looks like Florida fans are not very fired up for the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati. As we approach Christmas, the Gators are read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Oklahoma State out in the cold on Indoor Facility

With temperatures below freezing in Stillwater much of last week, Oklahoma State had to brave the elements in their preparation for the Cotton Bowl against Ole Miss. Meanwhile, the Rebels practiced in their indoor facility when the weather was cold or raining. It turns out that OSU read more...


Alabama Stocking Stuffers

Still stumped for stocking stuffers this Christmas? What about giving the lasting gift of art, music, film, or literature by Alabama authors, artists, musicians, and filmmakers this holiday season ? Here are just a few of the must-haves that will please any readers on read more...


Guest Writer for this Week Reminds us To Count Our Blessings

As Christmas grows closer and 2009, which has been a difficult year for everyone, draws to a close, some of us may find it a bit more difficult than usual  to count our blessings. The South has been extremely hard hit by the recession. Friends have lost their read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Can McCoy be the next Brees?

Colt McCoy has done almost everything at the college level.  He has won major awards, put up huge statistics, set the NCAA record for wins by a quarterback, and led the 'Horns to the BCS Title Game in '09. But what about the NFL level? In recent years, we've seen many Big 12 read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Brooks receives accolade for another solid season at Kentucky

The website collegefootballnews.com had a very interesting choice for their conference Coach of the Year- Rich Brooks of Kentucky.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Missouri Defection Would Shake Up the League

We mentioned yesterday that the Big Ten Conference was looking at possibly adding a 12th team, and that Missouri would be high on the list of choices. These types of decisions and read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Vols Sign Simms Youngest Son

Many teams in the conference added a junior college prospect or two yesterday, and one of the more interesting names to sign was quarterback Matt Simms at Tennessee. Besides the fact that he is the son of Phil Simms, this signing is interesting because his older brother (Chris read more...


A Christmas Miracle: White Pelicans Return to Elk River

White Pelicans are a rarity on Elk River. I had never seen one north of Gulf Shores, but on Christmas morning of 2007,  a read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Meyer's December Shows the Roller Coaster of Being an SEC Boss

From the outside looking in, things appear pretty sunny for Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. He is 56-10 in five seasons in Gainesville, has won two League and two National Titles, had an undefeated regular season this year, and has another Top 10 recruiting class on the read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Hears In-house Criticism of Brown's Salary

Texas coach Mack Brown has the Longhorns playing for their second National Title in four years, and he has led the program to four BCS Bowls in a six year span. Those accomplishments, combined with the UT tradition and massive fan base, mean that the Texas football team brings in as read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Gill Makes his Priorities Clear at Kansas

Kansas made huge news in the conference this week with the naming of Turner Gill as head coach. The former Nebraska star recived a 5-year deal worth $10 million to continue the momentum on the field of the Mark Mangino regime, but without the off-the-field issues.


SEC Daily Fever: Spurrier Extended at South Carolina

it may not seem like a big deal that South Carolina added an extra year to Steve Spurrier's contract this week, but it shows the USC administration is sticking with the program. After some late season fizzles the last few years, it would be easy to jump right back into the coaching read more...


Alabama Actress Kim Dickens in HBO Series "Treme"

Treme, a made for television series set the the historic area of 


SEC Daily Fever: Ingram Wins Bama's First Heisman

There aren’t many “firsts” left with the University of Alabama’s football history, especially now that Mark Ingram became the Tide’s only Heisman Trophy read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Conference Watches the McCoy-Suh Split Hand Heisman to Ingram

While Alabama fans celebrate, Big 12 followers are crying foul over college football’s most controversial award. With Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh finishing third and fourth, many league fans believe 2009 is just the latest chapter read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: The Heisman is the only Award left for McCoy

Colt McCoy will need a new trophy case after a postseason filled with accolades. He set the NCAA record this season for wins by a starting quarterback and led the Texas read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Kiffin denies any wrongdoing

In one year on the job at Tennessee, Lane Kiffin has become a lightning rod for the national and regional media. His brash attitude and recruiting prowess has rubbed some writers and some other coaches the wrong way.


SEC Daily Fever: Alabama Proves That It Takes Money To Make Money

Last January, Swampland answered the national media criticism of escalating coach’s salaries by saying “SEC Coaching Dollars Make Sense”. read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Mack Brown Handsomely Rewarded

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that now certainly applies to coach’s salaries. Much like the theme in our SEC story today, the University of Texas read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Suh's Dominant Season Being Recognized

Could it happen? A defensive tackle winning the Heisman? That surprising development seems to be growing more and more possible


SEC Daily Fever: Kiffin Must Replace Some Top Recruiters

A constant theme on Tribal Fever has been the importance of recruiting, and how all of the top teams in the conference recruit at the highest level.


SEC Daily Fever: All-League Squad Looks Like NFL Draft Primer

The SEC is considered the big dog conference in college football right now, especially with Alabama aiming to win the league’s fourth straight National Title. With


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Adjusts to Underdog Role

Texas rolled through most of the conference season before being challenged mightily by the Nebraska defense in the Title Game. Now the Longhorns face a tougher obstacle in read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Alabama Domintates Florida in SEC Title Rematch

Alabama rode a physical offense and a swarming defense to the SEC crown as they defeated the defending league and national champion Florida Gators 32-13.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Survives Big Red Scare

Texas only got 13 points in their 13th victory, but it was just enough to get by Nebraska for the Big 12 Championship. The ugly defensive battle ended 13-12 on read more...


SEC Championship: The Long Road to the Rose Bowl Stadium

The day was September 12, 1970. The integrated football team of University of Southern California met the all-white team of the University of Alabama at


SEC Daily Fever: Championship Game Becomes the "Southern" Super Bowl

It’s finally here.  #1 vs. #2. Florida vs. Alabama- 24 wins and no losses. Winner goes to the BCS Title Game, while the loser heads reluctantly to the Sugar Bowl.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Mangino Resignation Could Create Domino Effect

With Texas set as a two-touchdown favorite in the Big 12 Championship, the biggest story in the conference becomes the ouster of Mark Mangino at Kansas.


SEC Daily Fever: Richt Fires Martinez, Other Defensive Assistants

About ten days ago, we wrote how Georgia fans wanted some changes in Mark Richt's staff after a frustrating season.


Big 12 Daily Fever: League Titles Have Been Scarce for Texas Lately

Texas has become a superpower once again during Mack Brown's tenure, winning more games than any other school in the country since 1998.  Ten victories in a season read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Florida Dealing with Distraction before Big Game

Florida was dealt a self-imposed blow this week in their quest to repeat as SEC and national Champions. All-American defensive end Carlos Dunlap


Big 12 Daily Fever: North Division Needs a Power Team

With much of the media attention on Atlanta and the SEC this week. the Big 12 Championship at Cowboys Stadium is receiving much less national fanfare. The fan read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Could Florida and Alabama Play Twice?

It’s time to address the question on the minds of many college football fans- if Texas loses in the Big 12 Championship Game and the SEC Game is a close one, could we see a Florida-Alabama rematch in the BCS Title Game?


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas and Nebraska Prepare for Title Clash

Much of the attention this week before the Big 12 Championship Game will be on the matchup between the Texas offense and the Nebraska defense. Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy has been read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Thrilling Weekend Shows League's Strength

The SEC saved its best for the last week of regular season play. There were a number of exciting games where the conference showed its power and depth.


Big 12 Daily Fever: OU Dominates Bedlam Game

While most of this season has been frustrating for Oklahoma fans, their counterparts in Stillwater have enjoyed a pretty successful year. But as far as Oklahoma State taking read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Bama Barely Escapes in Thrilling Iron Bowl

Much like Texas on Thursday night, Alabama got a scare from their in-state rival but also remained unbeaten with a 26-21 last-minute win.


Big 12 Daily Fever: McCoy leads Texas with Heisman-like Performance

Although Texas A&M gave them quite the game, Texas took care of business 49-39 over the Aggies and Colt McCoy vaulted himself to the front of read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia and Mark Richt Could be Staring at 6-6

Many around our Footprint (and the country) believe Les Miles is having the toughest week amongst SEC coaches, but you could argue that it's even worse for Georgia's Mark Richt right read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: A&M Hosts Texas for Thanksgiving

Texas wrapped up the South Division last week, and Texas A&M became bowl eligible with their win over Baylor. So there's not much to play for at Kyle Field on read more...


Meet Alabama Author Anita Miller Garner

This week Swampland reviews Anita Miller Garner's recently published collection of short stories: Undeniable Truths. read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Wild Sequence Ends with LSU Gaffe, Ole Miss Win

The ending of the LSU-Ole Miss game had fans all over the country glued to their TVs, and scratching their heads as well. The Tigers missed both chances to tie the game on a two-point conversion with 1:17 left, but then recovered an onside kick to keep their hopes read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Tech Crushes Oklahoma in Lubbock

What a game Mike Leach’s club had against Oklahoma . Texas Tech outgained the Sooners by 239 yards on their way to a convincing 41-13 victory. After getting throttled 65-21 last read more...


Shades of Thanksgivings Past: Post Thanksgiving Stress Disorder

As we approach another holiday season, I thought I would repost an article I wrote the week after Thanksgiving one year ago. I called it "PTSD: Post Thanksgiving Stress Disorder." . ------- December 7, 2008 Well, here we are again. Thanksgiving has read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Unlikely Candidate Leads OSU Comeback

What a wild win for Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State club on senior night in Stillwater. With starting QB Zac Robinson unable to play and backup Alex Cate struggling, read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Ole Miss Looks To Continue Late Season Surge Against LSU

The top two teams in the conference have been pretty clear for a while, and the rematch in Atlanta is already set for Florida and Alabama. But who's next? LSU has seeimngly been that third squad all year with their only two losses coming against the Gators and Tide. One team read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Special Game Tonight For OSU Seniors

As Oklahoma State prepares to host Colorado tonight, Mike Gundy will be focused on the game and the injury status of quarterback Zac Robinson. read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Chizik's First Year Shows Promise

Auburn suffered a tough loss to Georgia last weekend to fall to 7-4, but even the heavy crtics of Gene Chizik’s hiring would have to admit it's been a good first season. The Tigers will take this Sataurday off as they prepare for the Iron Bowl. And speaking of Alabama,


SEC Daily Fever: Florida's Defense Leading the Way in 2009

While Tim Tebow gets all of the national attention, SEC fans know why the Gators have maanaged to stay undefeated once again this year-- their stellar defense. The Florida read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: OU's Murray May Return in 2010

Oklahoma received some potentially big news this week when star tailback DeMarco Murray said he was “pretty sure” of returning to Norman read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Brooks Making History At Kentucky

With their win over Vanderbilt last Saturday, Kentucky became bowl eligible for the fourth straight season. The Wildcats went to three straight bowl games in the read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Kansas State-Nebraska Clash Will Decide The North

Kansas State travels to Lincoln on Saturday, and they will battle Nebraska for the North's berth into the Big 12 Title Game. Bill Snyder has returned to the Wildcats sideline read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Ole Miss' McCluster Has Record Day Against Distracted Vols

Wonder if Ole Miss would increase the speed limit on campus from 18 (Archie Manning's retired number) to 22 after Saturday? #22 Dexter McCluster had a monster read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: McCoy Ties QB Wins Record As Texas Remains Unbeaten

Many of the stories for the Big 12 Fever during the 2009 season have been negative in nature. Whether it was the injuries to Oklahoma's stars or the struggles of the North read more...


SEC Football:Don't Spill Bourbon On My Mink--Or My Donna Karan

This Friday's Wall Street Journal  published an intriguing


SEC Daily Fever: Kiffin Must Be Decisive In Dealing With Player Arrest Incident

For Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin, this week was supposed to be about continuing the Vols current momentum (on the field as well as recruiting) and winning the "Coach O" game in Oxford. Instead, he's dealing with his first 'crisis management' experience as three UT freshmen read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: OSU-Texas Tech Should Create Fireworks

The league's best game of the week looks to be a potential shootout when Texas Tech travels to Stillwater to meets the Cowboys. The last time Oklahoma State read more...


No "Lazybones"--Happy 100th Birthday Johnny Mercer, RIP

According to The Business Insider, fourteen of the twenty-five laziest cities in America are in the south (ie,, in the Swampland footprint). with


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia And Mark Richt Desperate For An Auburn Win

Georgia fans are feeling a little nervous these days. The Bulldogs have already been blown out by two rivals, Tennessee and Florida, and they will face two more in Auburn and Georgia Tech over the next three games.


Big 12 Daily Fever: '09 Teams Succeeding With Less Passing, More Running

Last week, Nebraska relied on the running game to beat Oklahoma while the Sooners threw five interceptions. Oklahoma State won at Iowa State by running for 331 yards while only throwing for 142. Kansas State beat rival Kansas by rushing for 266 yards and passing for 66.


SEC Daily Fever: Spurrier Says He's Staying At South Carolina For The Long Term

As South Carolina and head coach Steve Spurrier prepare to host #1 Florida on Saturday, this game is a reminder to Gamecock fans of what their coach built at his alma mater and what has not happened in Columbia.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Does It Matter Which North Team Plays Texas In The Title Game?

A Nebraska writer has penned an interesting column that suggests the Cornhuskers would be the better opponent for Texas in order to have a competitive Big 12 Title game. We can surmise that fans in read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Officiating Issues Creates Negative Vibes For Top League

It’s the story that won’t go away- another week, another game where bad officiating dominates the league conversation. The SEC read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas A&M's Late Collapse Endangers Postseason Hopes

Mike Sherman’s club entered the Colorado game having won two in a row and seemed ready to make it three with an eleven-point lead at the half. However,


SEC Daily Fever: Alabama Beats LSU, Wins West

Alabama won a physical 24-15 battle against LSU on Saturday, and they now have cemented the highly-anticipated SEC Championship Game rematch with Florida. The Tide read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Nebraska Shuts Down Oklahoma Offense

Oklahoma’s season went from frustrating to worse Saturday as Nebraska’s defense controlled the battle of the ‘Big Reds’ for a 10-3 win.


SEC Daily Fever: LSU-Alabama Is The National Game Of The Week

The eyes of the college football world will be on Tuscaloosa Saturday afternoon when #9 LSU meets #3 Alabama. This game has conference and national read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: The OU-Nebraska Rivalry Should Happen Every Season

Berry Tramel of 'The Oklahoman'  writes this week about something that just seems obvious to most college football fans: the Oklahoma-Nebraska game should happen every year.


SEC Daily Fever: Meyer looks bad after Spikes debacle

Many fans around the league are asking the question this week: what kind of program is Urban Meyer running in Gainesville? While many have questioned Meyer’s recruiting read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: K-State ascension could hurt league's image

Bill Snyder has returned to the sideline in Manhattan, Kansas, and the Wildcats are sitting in first place in the Big 12’s “little brother” Division. The read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia's Richt looks to right ship in Athens

While much of the attention following the Florida-Georgia game has been on Brandon Spikes eye-gouging of Washaun Ealey, the reality for the Bulldogs is that they have the feel of a program that has slipped a notch from past seasons.


Big 12 Daily Fever: OU-Nebraska has lost a little luster

It’s still the battle of the “Big Reds”, but this one doesn’t have quite the significance of past Oklahoma-Nebraska read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Seemingly Insufficient Punishment For Spikes Sparks Controversy

Is a half-game suspension at home against Vanderbilt  really a punishment? That’s what many are wondering after Urban Meyer read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Sherman Has Aggies Thinking About A Bowl Berth

Texas A&M started the season by winning their first three games against rather weak opponents. That was followed by losing three in a row, including an embarrassing read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Clearly the Conference's Best

Texas versus Oklahoma State was built up as the game of the year in the conference, but the Longhorns separated themselves from the rest of the league with a read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Freshmen SEC Coaches Seeing Success

One of the consistent themes in the conference this season has been the effect of the three new coaches. That continued on Saturday with Tennessee, Auburn, and Mississippi read more...


Beaten Like Dawgs: Florida Humiliates Georgia on Halloween Weekend

Midnight From The Inside Out on Halloween Saturday for the Georgia Bulldogs Well folks, my Georgia Bulldogs were stomped like a gang of losers read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: OSU-Texas Could Decide the Big 12

The biggest game in Oklahoma State history? It's starting to feel that way around Stillwater as the Cowboys prepare to host #3 Texas on Saturday night. OSU enters the game 6-1 overall and unbeaten in the conference, and the ramifications of beating the Longhorns would be read more...


SEC Daily Fever: "Cocktail Party" Remains A Great Southern tradition

It's more than just a football game. Whether it's golf tournaments, concerts, or just a long weekend with friends, the Georgia-Florida game has become a can't miss event for both fan bases and for read more...


Announcing Our New Athens, Georgia Pages - on Swampland and on Facebook

Join Swampland Facebook Pages Hillsides of kudzu lead you into the town of Athens, Georgia.  Athens, located on the Oconee River, serves as the home to The University of Georgia, read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Sam Bradford Shouldn't Be Second-Guessed

Sam Bradford had successful surgery yesterday, and he now will rehabilitate his shoulder in preparation for the NFL Draft. The read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Ole Miss Looks To Finish Strong

As Ole Miss prepares to travel to Auburn this Saturday, Houston Nutt's team will look to build the same second half of the season momentum that they did in 2008.


Big 12 Daily Fever: OSU-Texas Should Be a Barnburner

Texas and Oklahoma State will meet in Stillwater this Saturday night in what looks to be the Big 12 game of the year. The enthusiasm of the Cowboys fan base was read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Tebow Shuns The Media

An interesting scenario happened after the Florida win at Mississippi State; Tim Tebow did not meet with the media.


SEC Daily Fever: Officials Under Heavy Scrutiny

Here we go again-another week, another rash of bad and missed calls that have SEC coaches angry. A week after Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino was reprimanded by the league office, two more read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Nebraska Must Rebound For Conference Balance To Return

We've been very critical of the North Division and for good reason. As the conference tries to catch the SEC in national perception, the North has become an anchor read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Bama Hangs On Against Tennessee

We have used the term "survive and advance" several times during league play, and that's just what Alabama (barely) did with their 12-10 victory over read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas A&M Gives The Big 12 South Even More Depth

While many consider Iowa State winning 9-7 over Nebraska the league's biggest surprise on Saturday, the divisional disparity in the Big 12 becomes cleraer when taken in combination with what occurred in Lubbock when 


Geezefest 2009: Yankee, Come Home!

On September 25, 2009, forty-four years after students from New Jersey, New York, and environs first appeared on the campus of Athens College (now Athens State University),


SEC Daily Fever: LSU needs Auburn win to stay on league's top shelf

Most in the local and national media are already looking towards December for the highly- anticipated Florida-Alabama matchup in Atlanta, but one team who has the talent to throw a wrench in that scenario is LSU.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Could Bradford Return In 2010?

There was much debate last winter on whether Oklahoma's Sam Bradford should enter the NFL Draft. He had won the Heisman Trophy, and many thought he would be the read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Nutt Back In Spotlight As Ole Miss Prepares For Arkansas

When the 2009 season kicked off, Ole Miss looked to be a contender in the West while the Arkansas was supposed to play the role of spoiler - but roles could be reveresed after this Saturday's game.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Tech's Profile Continues To Rise Under Leach

As Texas Tech prepares to host Texas A&M this week, this game looks like two teams headed in different directions. After two tough losses to Top 20 teams to read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Kiffin And Saban Build Their Programs Using Past NFL Perspective

As Tennessee and Alabama prepare for their annual October clash, the Vols seem to be a couple of recruiting classes behind the Tide in building a roster to compete for a league title.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Gundy Has OSU in Big 12 Contention

It’s been quite the rollercoaster for Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State team. The renovated Pickens Stadium played host to a huge opening week victory over Georgia, read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Team In Turmoil #1 - Washington Redskins

We knew it was going to be a tough year for several SPF teams.  We are going to spend some time this week on a few individual teams to give a sense of their respective level of desperation. Our first team is the Washington Redskins.  Their fall might be the read more...


Meet John Lee of "When The Buddha Met Bubba"

Writing under the pseudonym of Richard "Dixie" Hartwell, John Lee, the best-selling author of The Flying read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: North Division coming up short

We have written many times that for the Big 12 to catch the SEC in power, the North Division was going to have to pull its weight.


SEC Daily Fever: League Refs Under Scrutiny After Missed Calls

It seems to happen every week- fans gripe about the refs. While part of that is just fans being fans, this season has seen an especially high number of questionable calls around the SEC.


SEC Daily Fever: Florida Squeaks By Arkansas, Drops to #2 in AP

We wrote on Friday that Florida could be in for a classic trap game against Arkansas, and that’s what it turned out to be.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Bradford Knocked Out Again, Texas Squeaks To Win

The nightmare for Oklahoma fans continued Saturday as their Heisman-winning quarterback was laying on the turf for the second time this season. Sam Bradford read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Oklahoma-Texas should be a Classic

This one has it all-Tradition, Star players, Conference and National Title implications, and good old-fashioned hate. The Red River Rivalry will kick off read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Should Florida be on Upset Alert?

Is this the one? Even though the Florida Gators have won two of the last three National Titles, they lost a surprising game in the middle of both of those seasons. Urban read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Bengals Blackout?

 The Bengals have had a dream season so far. They've beaten their arch rival (Steelers).  They've beaten their in state rival.  They are a last minute tipped pass away from being undefeated, but they are still at 4-1 and lead the AFC North.


SEC Daily Fever: Can LSU Still Challenge For the West Crown?

We wrote earlier this week that it’s beginning to look more and more like a Florida-Alabama rematch in the SEC Title Game.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Beyond The Red River Rivalry

Most of the attention in Big 12 country this week will be on the Red River Rivalry, but there are two other league games that will go a long way in defining the conference season.


Meet Kelly Kazek: Swampland Guest Writer

Journalist and author Kelly Kazek joins us on Swampland to write about an exciting events to take place this weekend in Athens, Alabama: the


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Wants A Red River Win To Lift Their Season

Maybe it’s just gamesmanship before a huge rivalry battle, but the Texas Longhorns say they are glad to see Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford back on the field and ready to go read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Snead and Ole Miss Are Struggling

Along with Georgia, one of the most frustrated fan bases in the league at the halfway point has to be that of Ole Miss. Their record will not look that bad after read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Saints Fever Sweeping the Gulf Coast

 As we predicted, it has been a pretty dire year for SPF teams.  Even one of our playoff locks, the Tennessee Titans, is surprisingly winless and going nowhere fast. The best news amongst our SPF teams comes from the Saints who made an off season commitment to read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia Coaching Staff Under Fire

There is some extra heat radiating from Athens these days, as Mark Richt tries to regroup his Bulldogs after being blown out by Tennessee. AJC columnist Mark Bradley called Georgia’s 45-19 loss in Knoxville “


ACC Daily Fever: The Coastal Division Shaped By Battle of Tech Schools

It seems to be a weekly theme around the ACC; league coaches trying to prepare for Georgia Tech’s vaunted running attack.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Tech Has QB Decision To Make

In ten years at Texas Tech, Mike Leach had never seen one of his starting quarterbacks miss a start because of injury. That changed last Saturday when Steven read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Florida and Alabama On Path For Title Rematch

Tim Tebow did start and play against LSU Saturday night, but it was the Gator defense that dominated the game and propelled Florida to a 13-3 road victory in Death Valley.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Bradford Back Just In Time For The Sooners

Oklahoma fans received some comforting news the weekend when Sam Bradford was announced as the starter. The Heisman winner threw for 389 yards and a score in read more...


Pat Conroy "South of Broad" Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to all of those who participated in the Pat Conroy "Win a Copy of South of Broad Contest" sponsored read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Will LSU's Running Game Beat Florida?

Prime time national television audience, Baton Rouge, #1 vs. #4; this one should be fun. That’s the scenario as Florida travels to LSU amid questions read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Mizzou Suffers Loss With Brutal 4th Quarter

It looked good for three quarters. Missouri was up 12-0 over Nebraska in a game that saw a torrential downpour throughout the night in Columbia. Unfortunately for read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Blank Talks About A New Stadium In Atlanta For Falcons

Amidst a serious economic downturn, Falcons owner Arthur Blank has again begun engaging in public discussion about a new stadium to replace the Georgia Dome.  The fact read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Tonight's Missouri-Nebraska Clash May Decide the North Division

A key game in the Big 12 North will take place Thursday night when the surprising Missouri Tigers host Nebraska. Gary Pinkel’s team has been one of the nice surprises read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Arkansas Has Much To Prove Against Auburn

Arkansas came into the season with the goal of at least being a factor in the SEC West, if not more. Already at 0-2 in league play, the Hogs begin a stretch this Saturday read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Del Rio Keeps Playing Silly Games #3

We guess Jack Del Rio's two game win streak has further emboldened him. After already playing silly media games with players on two different occasions (here and read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Saban and Nutt Share Mutual Admiration

While the Florida-LSU matchup is getting much of the conference attention this week, another key league game will take place when Ole Miss hosts Alabama. The read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Both With QB Issues, OU and Baylor Prepare To Face Off

When Oklahoma travels to meet Baylor, all eyes will be focused on the quarterback position-for both teams. Obviously the whole nation is waiting to see if Sam read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Are the Cowboys and Texans Going In Opposite Directions?

As always, there is panic in Cowboy Nation. Panic like this always ensues when their beloved team isn't undefeated or at least in the top half read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Auburn Faces Offensive Shootout At Arkansas

While most of the attention in the league has gone to the three teams in the Top 4 of the polls, maybe the best story of the early season has been the resurgence of Auburn.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas In the Driver's Seat

The early story in the conference has been the decline of injury-riddled Oklahoma and their two non-conference losses. Meanwhile, the


SPF Daily Rating: Saints Look Consistent, Perhaps Elite At 4-0

  It's early, but the 2009 New Orleans Saints look like a very, very good team.  No one has ever questioned this team's read more...


SEC Daily Fever: LSU's Tight Win Sets Up SEC Mega-Clash

It may not have been the most well played game, but what a finish we all got to see in Athens Saturday. LSU led Georgia 6-0 after three quarters, read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Bradford-less Oklahoma loses at Miami

It started well enough. The Oklahoma defense got two early interceptions, but Landry Jones and the offense could only turn them into seven points. Miami eventually got read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Jones, Not Bradford, Will Lead OU At Miami

The mystery is over for Oklahoma: Landry Jones will start at quarterback when the Sooners travel to Miami to meet a hungry Canes squad.


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia Looks To Define 2009 Season Against LSU

Saturday’s huge clash between Georgia and LSU will go a long way in defining the Bulldogs’ season. Mark Richt’s bunch is 3-1, a pretty solid record read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Del Rio Cancels Garrard's Radio Show

We hate piling on, but Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has been asking for it. Just recently, we wrote about Del Rio's penchant for playing silly games - most read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Baylor's Once Attainable Bowl Bid Seems in Doubt After Injuries

We’ve written this week about the tough blow Baylor suffered when start quarterback Robert Griffin was lost for the season. Based on his stellar freshman read more...


SEC Daily Fever: LSU Can Prove Their Top 5 Ranking Between the Hedges

LSU will begin a brutal three-game stretch this Saturday that will test their lofty #4 national ranking.


SPF Daily Rating: Jaguars to Orlando?

Orlando Sentinel sports columnist, Mike Bianchi, made some big sports news today when he reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars might be looking to move


Big 12 Daily Fever: An Undefeated Texas A&M Relies on Youth

Lost in all the Big 12 buzz has been Mike Sherman's quiet rebuilding job in College Station.  Most were wondering how A&M had sunk so low before Sherman's hiring.  It looks like it's the same old story - not enough recruiting of talent.


Topic for Final Week of the Pat Conroy Contest: Place in Southern Writing

In William Faulkner's masterpiece Absalom, Absalom!, Canadian Shreve McCannon who is Quentin Compson's roommate at read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Dolphins Trade for Thigpen

 The Miami Dolphins wasted no time replacing injured QB Chad Pennington by trading for former Chiefs and Coastal Carolina QB Tyler Thigpen in the wake of Pennington's decision to have read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Bradford Creates A Tough Dilemma for Stoops

The decision of the season is rapidly approaching for Bob Stoops: does Sam Bradford play against Miami read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Hogs Desperate for Win in Big D vs Texas A&M

Can you have a must-win game at the beginning of October against a non-conference opponent?  That’s the feeling around an Arkansas squad that sits at read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Chad Pennington to Miss Season

Although they don't want to officially announce it yet because of a possible misdiagnosis, the immediate signs are that Dolphins QB Chad Pennington will miss the 2009 season with a shoulder read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Is Bama the league's top dog?

Florida still has the #1 spot in the national polls, but many believe Alabama is staking a claim as the best team in the read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Tech loses late at Houston

It was a fairly solid week for the Big 12 as most of the conference beat up non-BCS opponents.  But the one that got away was the read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Texas Stadium RIP

Last night, the Irving (TX) City Council approved the funds to demolish Texas Stadium.   Lost in all the hype of the new Cowboys Stadium, it's hard to believe that a place with so read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Gamecocks Embrace the Spotlight While the Rebels Wither

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. South Carolina played a physical game led by their relentless defense and took down #4 Ole Miss 16-10, Thursday night in Columbia in a classic SEC headknocker.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Rival Abilene QBs Match Up in Houston vs Texas Tech

The talk of Texas this week continues to be the high octane matchup of Texas Tech at Houston.  Second year HC Kevin Sumlin has read more...


Poets Jeanie Thompson and Kathleen Driskell at Athens State University

Poets Jeanie Thompson and Kathleen Driskell will be reading from and talking about their latest collections of poetry at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, at


SPF Daily Rating: What if Redskins Lose To Lowly Lions? Bye, Bye Zorn

 It's the unthinkable times two. The first unthinkable is that an NFL team can finish 0-16.  That already happened with last year's Detroit Lions.  Now that the Lions are 0-2 to start the 2009 season, the question starts - "who will they finally read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Rebels-Gamecocks Ready To Prove It in Primetime

It should be a great Thursday night national television matchup between Ole Miss and South Carolina, two teams that have a lot to prove.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Mizzou's 3-0 Start Bolsters Northern Half of Conference

One of the best developments for the Big 12 North this season has been the solid early start of the Missouri Tigers. With the departure of Chase read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Del Rio Playing Silly Games in Jacksonville

 In what should be a small story, Jags coach Jack Del Rio has brought back WR Nate Hughes to the practice squad after cutting him on read more...


Pat Conroy Contest Week 3: Relationships in Southern Writing

The Pat Conroy Contest  enters week three on September 23. There are some great posts on the


SEC Daily Fever: It's Offense vs Defense When Arkansas faces Alabama

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. One of the more interesting storylines this Saturday will be seeing


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Tech and Houston Provide A Weekend Shootout

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. In what promises to be a Wild West offensive onslaught, Texas Tech will meet Houston in a game that sees these two teams in unfamiliar roles.


SPF Daily Rating: Lack of Playmakers Leave Florida Teams Winless

"I'm not interested in Pro Bowl players, I'm interested in world champions." "[I'm interested in 'non-talent issues' [namely] the hustle, the effort, the technique, the fundamentals, all of those things." The above quotes read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Verbal Jabs Between Meyer and Kiffin Escalate

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin may have gotten the first word in between him and Urban Meyer when he boldly (or stupidly depending on your point of view) announced read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Bradford Back on the Practice Field

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma doctors will have an interesting decision to make in the upcoming weeks.


SPF Daily Rating: The Saints Roll Again Behind Smart Decisions

The New Orleans Saints keep their high powered offense rolling once again as they went into Philadelphia and smoked the Eagles 48-22. What read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Longhorns Looking Like The Class of the Conference

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Texas was able to take care of business against Texas Tech this year, and it looks like


SEC Daily Fever: New Coaches Show Early Promise

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The story of the early SEC season continues to be the impact of the new coaches. We already knew the strength of the top teams in the league (Florida, read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Houston Texans Don't Like Being Called "Soft"

To say the Houston Texans have been disappointing since entering the NFL as a expansion team in 2002 would be an understatement.  In a way, however, everything about the Texans seems understated, including their presence on the field according to those who have been calling read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Meyer Looks To Make Statement Against Kiffin

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The national media has had this game circled since Lane Kiffin's hiring press conference earlier this year. Kiffin and Tennessee will travel to the Swamp this read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Mike Leach Tries To Downplay Tech vs Texas

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Texas is ready to tackle a key step towards their goal of a Big 12 (and National) Title when they host Texas Tech Saturday night.


16th Trail of Tears Ride and Commemorative Sculpture in Tennessee

Tne Sixteenth Annual Trail of Tears Remembrance Motorcycle Ride will begin this weekend (Saturday, September 19) in Chattanooga, TN.  Held annually on the third Saturday in September, the


SPF Daily Rating: Jacksonville Mayor Makes Personal Plea For Fans To Buy Jags Tix

The Jaguars lost an astonishing 17,000 season ticket holders between this season and last.  Expectations are that most of their games will be blacked out locally. So who have the Jags turned to?  


Big 12 Daily Fever: Nebraska Hopes Maturity Will Lead To Win Over Virginia Tech

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The game of the week nationally may be the Nebraska-Virginia Tech matchup.


SEC Daily Fever: Hogs-Dawgs Could Be The SEC Game of The Weekend

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. One of the more interesting matchups of the weekend has to be Georgia traveling to Arkansas. (Give Mark Richt credit - his tough schedule has kept his team on read more...


SPF Daily Rating: Delhomme Under Fire In Carolina

Things are getting ugly in Charlotte and Carolina for Panthers QB Jake Delhomme.  Delhomme is getting major flack from fans. read more...


Pat Conroy Contest Topic #2: The Significance of Family in Southern Writing

"You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood stick to you" says the barn-burning father Ab Snopes to his ten year old son Sarty shortly before Ab burns yet another barn and Sarty turns his back on his father and runs away into the dark read more...


Family In Southern Lit and the Pat Conroy Book Contest

Greetings, I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to a contest Swampland, our Writers of the South Facebook group, and Doubleday Books are running to win a read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Texas Says Revenge Not The Goal Against Texas Tech

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. It was the signature highlight of the 2008 season- Michael Crabtree’s catch and score as Texas Tech upset undefeated Texas.


SEC Daily Fever: Chizik Tries To "Manage" Auburn Fans' Expectations

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Auburn fans have had more than a little frustration with their offense over the last few seasons.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Nebraska Battles Big 12 North Credibility, Virginia Tech

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. As the North Division strives to catch up with the South, the need for big non-conference wins becomes paramount.


SPF Daily Rating: The Falcons Display Winning Formula in Week One

The Atlanta Falcons have opened 2009 just like they did 2008 - by winning decisively.   The main difference is that they beat the ultimately 0-16 read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Kiffin Continues Tennessee's Recruiting Gains

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Saturday was a tough day for Lane Kiffin and the Vols.


SEC Daily Fever: UGA and South Carolina Deliver Early Season Drama

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. What a game between Georgia and South Carolina. With their recent history, we all expected a low scoring, defensive affair.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Oklahoma State Fails To Handle Success

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top ACC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. After a thrilling 24-10 win over Georgia, the fans in Stillwater were on Cloud 9. With a Top 10 ranking and the cross-state rival Sooners loss, the potential of read more...


SEC Weekend Fever: Mullen vs. Chizik

SEC Weekend Fever Previews Top Stories for the Upcoming Weekend Auburn hosts Mississippi State in 2009's first meeting between SEC rookie coaches.  Quite a lot has changed in a year for both squads. 


Big 12 Weekend Fever: OSU Puts Fans Ahead of Money

Big 12 Weekend Fever Previews Top Stories for the Upcoming Weekend What a tough decision for Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder: Dallas vs. Stillwater for the huge opener agianst Georgia.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Aggies Early Schedule Helps To Build Youth and Momentum

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top ACC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know.


SEC Daily Fever: Georgia & South Carolina Ready Defenses For A Tight Game

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Mark Richt and Steve Spurrier are both offensive-minded coaches, but it looks like they have to rely on their defenses to win early in 2009.


SEC Daily Fever: Gut Check time for Georgia

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. After dropping the opener at Oklahoma State, it is a huge week for Georgia as they try to avoid an 0-2 start when they battle South Carolina Saturday.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Injuries Quickly Put A Damper On OU's 2009 expectations

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top ACC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The young season just keeps getting worse for Oklahoma.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Devastating Opener for the Sooners

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. There was the nightmare-with less than ten seconds to go in the first half. It was Oklahoma’s worst fear;


SEC Daily Fever: Solid Debuts For New Coaches Makes Conference Even Deeper

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. With the exception of the Georgia loss, it was a pretty solid start for the SEC. The biggest story had to be the debut of the three new coaches.


Pat Conroy Sweepstakes : Win Copy of South of Broad

Beginning on Wednesday, September 9, 2009,  Swampland.com in conjunction with our Writers of the South Facebook Group and Nan A. read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Spurrier Lets Defense Rule Over Wolfpack

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. It wasn’t pretty, but South Carolina relied on their defense for a hard fought read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Can Mizzou Show That The Big 12 North Isn't Just The Big Ten?

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. A very meaningful game for the Big 12 North will happen Saturday when Missouri meets Illinois in the opener.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Oklahoma gets a Scare

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Nervous Sooner fans are still waiting for official confirmation from Oklahoma, but apparently


SEC Daily Fever: Tide Duo cleared to play in Opener

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Although the NCAA did find a violation in the Alabama case involving receiver Julio Jones and running back Mark Ingram,


SEC Daily Fever: Auburn Opener Provides Dilemma for Vince Dooley

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. An interesting scenario presents itself for SEC legend Vince Dooley in the Auburn-Louisiana Tech opener.


Big 12 Daily Fever: OSU Battling Distractions Before Georgia Opener

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. It’s been an interesting week in Stillwater as Oklahoma State prepares for their huge matchup with Georgia.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Sherman Hopes Personal Example Inspires Aggie Players

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. After going 4-8 in his first season in College Station, Mike Sherman knows how hard he must work to turn things around.


SEC Daily Fever: Embattled Dawgs D Gets Opening Challenge

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. While much of the talk in Athens has been about replacing Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, the key to the 2009 Georgia season may lie in the improvement of the read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Bama Locks Up Saban For Another 3 Years

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. A contract extension for Nick Saban, whose megadeal already runs through 2014?


Big 12 Daily Fever: Led By Griffin, Baylor Looks Ready to Surprise

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. When looking for candidates to challenge the “Big 2” in the South Division, most experts see Oklahoma State playing the role this season that Texas read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Ole Miss Fans Hoping For a Monumental Season

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Coming off a Cotton Bowl win and with quarterback Jevan Snead returning, the expectations at Ole Miss are as high as ever. The fan base has responded by


Big 12 Daily Fever: Does Taylor Potts Represent a New Era of Texas Tech QBs?

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The same question always hangs over the Texas Tech program- is it the quarterback or the system?


SEC Daily Fever: Vols' Brown cleared by the NCAA

$(document).ready(function() { $('p > a[href*=swampland]').after(''); $('p > read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Longhorn DB Earl Thomas Looks To Help Revive Defense

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. In the conference currently known for offense, the team that plays the best defense may be the one that advances to the Title game.


SEC Daily Fever: Latest On Julio Jones and Alabama

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. It's the story that just won't go away in Alabama.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Will Missouri run the ball more in 2009?

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. With Chase Daniel at the helm, Mizzou fans got used to seeing the ball tossed all over the field.


Big 12 Daily Fever: A&M leading WR changes positions

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman has made an interesting decision


SEC Daily Fever: How will Kiffin's offense fare in Year 1?

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. As expected, Tennessee has named senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton the read more...


Art Scene in Athens, Alabama: Local Southern Authors Rule

  The literary scene is booming in the small town of Athens, Alabama. In the past year at least four authors have published their work.


Big 12 Daily Fever: The Big 12 Makes Comparisons to the SEC - Should They?

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The Big 12 conference was well represented in the initial AP Top 25 Poll with


SEC Daily Fever: The Gamecock Spotlight Shines on Garcia in South Carolina

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know It’s nothing new for Steve Spurrier to seem upset with the play of his quarterbacks.


Possums Tales and Other Southern Fare

I was inspired to write about possums when I first saw this sign in front of  Hickory Barn read more...


SEC Daily Fever: SEC Media Policy Upsets the Press

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know A huge debate is about to happen regarding the direction of the league’s media coverage.


Big 12 Daily Fever: Fans Are Lining Up In Stillwater

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. As a highly-anticipated season approaches for Oklahoma State, we know about the preseason Top 10 rating, the renovations to Boone Pickens Stadium, and the read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: OU Linebacker Sues NCAA

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know.   We wrote earlier in the week about read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Eligibility of Prized Vol Recruit Under NCAA Scrutiny

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know   The highly-publicized recruitment of Tennessee’s Bryce Brown has taken an interesting turn a few weeks before the top running back is set to make read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Tough Break for Improving Vandy

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know   Vanderbilt’s defense suffered a major blow with


Big 12 Daily Fever: Red Raiders get RB back

 Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know.   Texas Tech got some welcome news as it appears that 


SEC Daily Fever: Tough Injury for the Razorbacks

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. The Arkansas defense has suffered a major loss with the news that


Big 12 Daily Fever: Big Recruiting News for Mizzou

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Missouri got some huge news read more...


Big 12 Daily Fever: Sooners Await Status of Key LB

Big 12 Daily Fever is the top Big 12 story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Oklahoma is still read more...


SEC Daily Fever: Auburn Names QB Starter

SEC Daily Fever is the top SEC story of the day. Disagree? Let us know. Chris Todd was recently named the starting quarterback at Auburn, and he


Trailblazing Playwright Judi Ann Mason Dies at 54

Judi Ann Mason, who died of a ruptured abdominal aorta Wednesday July 8, 2009,  was widely known in the film and television industry. Born in 1955 in 


Art from Alabama to New Orleans and Along the Trail of Tears

This week's feature is about Going Green in New Orleans--how one city is turning trash into treasures. As we become more and more environmentally read more...


My Life According to Billy C Farlow--Lost in the Ozone

There is a clever little game making its way around the internet. The game is called "My Life According To ....."  To play you simply substitute your choice of artist or band and then answer the questions with song titles recorded by the artist.  I found it read more...


That's What I Like About the South: Whitt's, White Sauce, Dale's Sauce, and Sundrop

In this series of blogs, I would like to talk about victuals (pronounced "vittles") that are uniquely southern. The first stanza of the song "That's What I Like about read more...


Guest Writer Diane Lehr and Renowned Ceramicist James Watkins

Swampland is honored to have Diane Lehr as our guest writer for this month. Lehr graciously consented to do a feature on renowned ceramicist James read more...


28th Handy Blues Fest in Florence, Alabama, July 17-26

W. C. Handy's autobiography Father of the read more...


Orrin Hatch's Folly: Senator, College Football Is About Conferences, Not Teams

After concluding Senate hearings about the BCS, Senator Orrin Hatch wrote an op-ed piece that appeared on ESPN.com.  Here's a selection of that article: During the June 7 read more...


Doctor from Alabama Obama's Choice for Surgeon General

Once again Alabama has made the national news. For the last two weeks the web has been buzzing about a speech that financial guru and CEO of Retirement Systems of read more...


Billy C Farlow, Delta Blues, and More News from Elk River

Well, we have survived yet another holiday weekend on Elk RIver. This weekend we did not burn down read more...


Guns for God?

"I don't see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist." - Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church in read more...


Advice to Mark Sanford: Never Put it in an Email and Never Lie to Your Staff

Unless you have been in the jungles of Borneo for the last four days, you know that


NBA Draft: Swampland's Pro Hoops Teams

Pro sports has a problem in the Swampland Footprint.  Considered the top level of competition and interest throughout the rest of the country, the pro game doesn't resonate with read more...


Not Everyone Can Be From Alabama

Continuing with my theme of levity for the rest of this month, I thought I would share with you this delightful guide to Alabama entitled "Understanding Alabamer" that has been making the rounds read more...


FedEx's Fred Smith Could Be The Perfect New Owner for the Rams

In our post-draft update, SPF wrote about the murky future of the St Louis Rams.  Since then, they've officially put up the "For Sale" sign leading many read more...


Medusa Meets Bride of Frankenstein: A Night at the Sleep Clinic

After my very serious piece about US Highway 72, I thought all of us could use a little levity. Hope you get a laugh out of my recent night at the read more...


Tennessee Rules: Places to Experience, Music That Rocks, Vistas That Amaze

This month I want to share with you the incredible diversity and exquisite beauty of my neighboring state, the "volunteer" state of Tennessee. From geography (Tennessee is often referred to as the read more...


Highway 72--Not the "Highway To Hell" but the "Highway From Hell"

My eyes are bleary and my hands are shaking as I write this blog. I had planned to post a cheery and humorous little piece about possums, but instead I am writing about senseless death. Tomorrow I will bury my second friend to be killed on Highway 72


Alabama Poet Jeanie Thompson to Read from New Collection in NYC

Alabama author Jeanie Thompson will be reading from her most recent collection of poetry The Seasons Bear Us on read more...


Helen Keller Lives On in the "The Miracle Worker"

On the first day of June,1968, author and activist Helen Keller, born in 1880 in Tuscumbia, read more...


Daniel Snyder and his Washington Redskins Strive to Finally Win "On the Field"

They are "The Team" in our Nation’s capital. They remain one of the NFL's most valuable teams sporting the largest stadium in the NFL and a brash young owner who keeps them as high profile as any squad in the league. Whether it’s the big-name coaching carousel read more...


The Tennessee Titans Only Need to Stay on Course

 The 2008 Tennessee Titans played Jeff Fisher football- run the ball, limit mistakes, pressure the passer- all the way to the NFL’s best read more...


Alabama Blues: Freedom Creek Festival and Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza

Don't miss the chance to travel to the beautiful state of Alabama this weekend for some of the best and as well as some of the most original blues you will ever hear. Looks like Alabama will finally get a break read more...


More Southern Success Stories in Florence, Alabama

  When I was a child the only bookstore of any size in North Alabama was Anderson Books which first opened in


Rams Try Rebuild (and Remain) in St Louis for the Long Haul

At the beginning of this decade, the St. Louis Rams were as identifiable as any team in the NFL. The “Greatest Show on Turf” had star power to burn with the likes of Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and Issac Bruce. However, while those teams were lighting up read more...


Alabama and The Civil Rights Movement: Forty-Eight Years Later

  On this day, May 20, 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of "Freedom Riders" in Montgomery, Alabama, read more...


The Saints And New Orleans Find Re-Birth After Katrina

The 2009 season will be huge for the Saints both on and off the field. While record-setting Drew Brees tries to get the team back to the Playoffs, the bigger story may lie within the city as


Indie Filmmaker Tonya Holly Hits the Silver Screen

This week, May 11, When I Find the Ocean by independent filmmaker Tonya Holly will be shown in more than 90 theaters in 31 states including Alabama as an official


For Better or Worse, the Jaguars are Jack Del Rio’s Team

If Jacksonville does not succeed in 2009, there is no one left to blame outside of head coach Jack Del Rio. After the 2006 season, he fired most of the offensive assistants. Following a lackluster 5-11 campaign in 2008, the Jags let GM James Harris go and replaced half of the read more...


Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky: Mother's Day Weekend on ER

"No matter what we get out of this I know we'll never forget Smoke on the water, fire in the sky "


National Poetry Month and Kentuckian Wendell Berry

April is National Poetry Month, and I have been musing over one of my favorite poems that I keep posted on the door of my refrigerator. It is  "The Peace of Wild Things" read more...


Clothing Designer Billy Reid Moves Corporate Headquarters to Florence, Alabama

Who would ever dream that an internationally known clothing designer would base his corporate headquarters in Florence, Alabama. For the past four years, Louisiana native


A New (Media) Day Dawning for the SEC

We ran across this video recently, and we thought we'd put it up for everyone to view.  It ran at the end of Raycom Sports final SEC game during this past SEC basketball tournament in Tampa. We all know about the SEC's new ESPN deal


Authors Michael Knight and Nanci Kincaid To Speak at Alabama Writers' Conferences

 On Thursday, April 16, Calhoun Community College will host its Eighth Annual Writers’ Conference. The featured author for the 2009 conference will be Alabama native


The World's Oldest Living Person and My Nonagenarian Friends

The current adage “Old age is not for sissies” has never been more true. Gertrude Baines, who became the world's oldest living person on read more...


Rocking from Cleveland, Illinois, to Southern France: Spooner Oldham, Wanda Jackson, and Billy C Farlow

  April is a huge month for southern musicians. On Saturday, April 4, my neighbor down the river Spooner Oldham and “the sweet lady with the nasty voice” Wanda


In Defense of Jay Cutler: Why Most SPF Teams Still Don't Get It

I wish it hadn't come to this [trading Cutler]. I'm disappointed. . . . It's a sad day for one of the elite franchises in football and all the Broncos fans, and I'm sad - John Elway The saga of Jay Cutler has mesmerized the NFL landscape just like Brett Favre did read more...


Songs & Stories: An Allstar Memphis Benefit Show

Memphis Heavies Perform Benefit On Sunday April 19, 2009, an allstar benefit show will take place at Minglewood Hall in Memphis. This show is not read more...


2009 Alabama Book Festival Includes Rick Bragg, Frank Stitt, and Nanci Kincaid

This year's Alabama Book Festival will feature a star-studded cast of authors, including author Rick read more...


Historian and Scholar Dr. John Hope Franklin Dies at 94

I first met Dr. John Hope Frankin in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1992 . He was the guest speaker at the


Billy Gillispie's Fate Could Send Big Ripples Throughout the SEC and the Footprint

Mark Wiedmer at the Chattanooga Time Free Press has it right.  If Billy Gillispie gets fired, it will create a coaching shakeup around the Swampland read more...


It's Not Just Southern; Everybody Does it: Misheard Song Lyrics, Malapropisms, and Mondegreens

Recently I decided to do a web search on Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," and  I ran across this book:


Willie King Lives On in New Blues Song by Blind Albert

  Vincent Gabriel (aka Blind Albert) has written a brand new blues song entitled "Ode To Willie King." Gabriel said that he was inspired to compose the song after reading the


Blues Legend Willie King Dies at 65

The music world mourns the passing of blues musician Willie King. Funeral services were held yesterday, March 15, in Aliceville, Alabama, for King read more...


Less Than Six Degrees of Separation: Deryle Perryman, Blind Albert, David Lyman, and Vietnam

For my great-grandparents, the war was the Civil War, for my parents’ generation it was WW II, but for my generation, the war was Vietnam. The Vietnam War shaped a


Horton Foote and William Faulkner: From Page to Screen

The award winning playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote, who died last week at the


Big Medicine Come Soon

"Beyond the horizon, in the Springtime or Fall Love waits forever for one and for all." --Bob Dylan Greetings read more...


Guest Writer Sheila Byrd and the Search for George Washington Harris (1814-1869)

This week’s special guest for RiverVue's Southern Literature: Roots and Branches series is


Sweet Home Alabama Just Gets Sweeter: Literary Events in March

March is definitely coming in like a lion in Alabama this year. March 5-8 marks the occasion of the 12th Annual George Lindsey Film Festival in and around the area of


SEC vs ACC: Georgia and Georgia Tech Battle for Peach State Supremacy

With recruiting classes signed and spring practices approaching, it’s a good time to look at states in the Swampland Footprint that share SEC and ACC teams.  We’re going to start in the Peach State, where a long time


The Clock is Ticking for Spurrier at South Carolina

As we continue to take a post-Signing Day look at the coaches and programs in our Swampland Footprint, it’s an interesting time to examine the state of the South Carolina program under Steve Spurrier.  An SEC legend as a player and coach at Florida, Spurrier has not yet read more...


For Ole Miss and Arkansas (and Nutt and Petrino), It Looks Like a Win/Win

We've all witnessed the media firestorm surrounding Auburn and Tennessee's respective head coaching hires of Gene Chizik and Lane Kiffin.  Like they tend to do, the media took some minor fires of controversy and poured gasoline on them, leaving any remnants of logic and reason read more...


In Defense of Lane Kiffin: The SEC "Family Feud" with Urban Meyer

There is no other conference more proud of itself than the SEC.  SEC fans from rival teams hate each other with a passion bordering on the pathological, but when success arrives, it is embraced not just for the winning team but for the conference at large.


SEC Dominance - From the Field to Recruiting (And It Isn't Stopping Soon)

The reaction to Signing Day is always interesting as every coach in America is thrilled with their class while fans have mixed reactions to their school’s ranking and new players.  Everyone that followed Wednesday's coverage saw plenty of ESPN's favorite big-market teams read more...


Film in the South: Sixth Annual Oxford Film Festival Begins February 5

This has been an exciting weekend, and so if you have recovered from Superbowl Sunday you might want to make plans to travel to


SB Sunday Reflections on the SPF Season: Teams Fell Short; Dungy & Gruden Gone

As the Footprint wakes to a Sunday featuring the 43rd Super Bowl hosted by one of our great Swampland cities, it gives us a chance to reflect on the past SPF season.  Although five of our 13 SPF teams made the playoffs, none made any noise since they all were "one and read more...


Sweet Home Alabama: New Tags for Old

  Sweet Home Alabama Lord, I'm coming home to you ----"Sweet Home Alabama" Lynyrd Skynyrd Band A brand new license plate featuring a pastel beach scene read more...


President-elect Barack Obama and The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was a blistering day in August of 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and read more...


Alabama In the New York Times and on NPR: Southern Sheriffs, Archaic Laws, and Colorful Criminals

From Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun by a Nat'ral Born Durn'd Fool to Smokey and the Bandit, read more...


In Defense of Bob Stoops, the BCS (again), and the Big 12 (and a Look at the 2009 Season)

Proof, in college football, always comes over at least a two year period.  This means that Heisman winners and BCS Championship opponents almost always have to have a strong previous season leading into their big year.


Taking a Lesson from The Fat Man for 2009: Fats Domino and the Courage to Go On

Sunday night I watched the public television premiere of the documentary Fats Domino— Wallkin' Back to New Orleans. I found in that film a message of hope and inspiration for all of us for the coming read more...


Alvin Ailey, Otis Redding--and Fifty Golden Years!

I recently returned from taking a very small bite out of a very big apple. I traveled to New York City this past weekend with my daughter and a longtime friend to experience Christmas in the city and to attend read more...


PTSD--Post Thanksgiving Stress Disorder

Well, here we are. Thanksgiving has come and gone, the carcass has been picked (in more ways than one), the leftovers frozen, the hangovers have been medicated with the hair of the dog, and families continue to perpetuate the myth that


The Sunday Slate (Week Fourteen): NFC South Showdowns!

We had to take a couple of weeks off due to technical issues with the site.  Check out our Faulkner-inspired T.I. Poll to see how the teams rank. On to this week's read more...


Saturday's Slate: Conference Championships

Here we are, after a week off due to technical difficulties, to find ourselves on the verge of crowning some conference champions and setting up the BCS Title teams.  It has been a long and exciting year.  Luckily for us, today's games have the potential to live up to the read more...


Art and the South: Spotlight on Athens, Alabama, and Native Son Paxton

The little north Alabama town of Athens may not be the Sante read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Eleven): Key Swampland Showdowns in Jax, DC, and Indy!

After four SPF teams have byes last week (Dallas, Washington, Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati), we are heading into the home stretch.  Intra-division matchups will determine playoffs berths.  This week our two SPF NFC East teams and the entire AFC South face off. As read more...


Saturday's Slate: SEC vs. Big 12 South Looking Good!

After a season of many a wild ride, a little clarity emerged from last week's games.  The SEC has their championship game set.  The Big 12 is now down to three (maybe four) potential BCS participants.  The rest of our TF conferences have a ways to go, but none of read more...


Not a Red South or a Blue South, but a New South

"...For the times they are a-changin." Bob Dylan On Monday, November 10, the New York Times ran an article entitled


Going to the Dogs

After all the seriousness of the last few weeks, I decided a little levity was in order. I hope reading this blog does you as much good as writing it did for me. In August of this year, our fourteen year old Labrador, who had been suffering with respiratory problems for read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Ten): Byes Galore

Four SPF teams have byes this week (Dallas, Washington, Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati).  There are only a few good-looking games on the schedule.  The rest, outside of a select few, look like virtual byes - either be easy wins or sad losses. As Always, SPF teams in read more...


Saturday's Slate: The November Home Stretch Begins!

College football remains the Footprint's most compelling and spectacular sport.  The 2008 season has delivered us yet again a roller coaster ride of sporting goodness.  The stakes have been high all season.  So far, at least two key programs (Tennessee and read more...


A More Perfect Union

Where shall I start? I am overcome with emotion because today is a day I never thought I would live to see. When I was growing up in Alabama, waiting rooms, restrooms, and water fountains were still labeled White Only. You remember. You saw the movie


The Sunday Slate (Week Nine): SPF Inter-league Barometer Time

Carolina and New Orleans have bye weeks.  There's one Swampland Showdown.  The rest of today's Slate features matchups between SPF teams and the rest of the NFL. There is a chance that SPF teams can go undefeated this week sending a huge message to the rest of the read more...


Tuesday Tastings (Week 8): Midway Point

Thanks to Patrick "Snowman" Snow's item early Monday morning, he helped us cover a lot of ground for our tastings.  Without any further waiting... FINGER-LICKIN' read more...


Snowman's Six-Pack of Reax from Sunday

1) The Titans and Colts will go at it on Monday Night Football in the Music City. Tennessee comes into the game undefeated and looks to deliver the ultimate knockout blow to the usual AFC South Champ. The


The Sunday Slate (Week Eight): Big Games in Big D, Music City

Finally, we have a few big games to savor. As Always, SPF teams in CAPS with (Week 7's T.I. Poll Ranking) TAMPA BAY (4) @ DALLAS (1) - This pivotal Swampland read more...


KO'ing Kudzu in Carolina

After my October 17th feature on Alabama filmmaker Max Shores, I decided read more...


Saturday's Slate: A Bit of Relative Calm Before the Storm

Although you can't take a week off in college football, this week seems like a palate cleanser before some of the biggest homestretch games are played.  November will feature great game after great game and next week's


Tuesday Tastings (Week 7): Rams Recognized, while Dallas Declines

It was a tough week of football in SPF land.  Two of our teams were off (Jacksonville and Atlanta) and several others played like they were taking the week off. FINGER LICKIN' GOOD St. Louis Rams - It is time to read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Seven): Find Some Magic

With only four games worthy of interest and two teams off (Atlanta and Jacksonville), we are looking for a little magic in our Sunday Slate. The NFL usually provides a few unexpected surprises.  Maybe this is that week.  It certainly won't be hard with entertaiment read more...


Saturday's Slate: BCS Busters vs. Disciplined Talent

Last week was a lesson in symmetry.  Many teams met on the field that looked like mirror images.  Something had to give, and it did.  3 of the top 5 teams lost giving the nation a new number one, Texas, who beat Oklahoma in what was probably a top 10 of all time Red read more...


Filmmakers in the South: Spotlight on Alabama

This week I would like to celebrate southern filmmakers, particularly those who hail from Alabama or who have made films about Alabama. One of these outstanding


Leanin' Toward Bama with Funky Donnie Fritts

A couple of months ago when I was down in Huntsville, Alabama for Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, I got to spend a little time with Muscle Shoals songwriting legend Donnie Fritts. We made plans to do a big GRITZ interview, and just as I was about to interview Donnie, I heard read more...


Tuesday Tastings (Week 6): Burt Reynolds Loves The Falcons!

It was a very weird week in SPF land.  Many teams lost games they weren't expected to lose.  A few others had surprising wins.  (The Titans were off so they don't get included this week.) FINGER LICKIN' read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Six): The "Must Wins" Begin

The NFL is a game of inches.  Each week matters.  The stories of each of our SPF teams are told as the season unfolds. There have been enough games to know that this week has more than a few teams in desperation mode.  Simply put, more than a few of our teams read more...


Saturday's Slate: Symmetry Saturday

We've already been treated to upsets throughout the Tribal Fever landscape, but let's not forget that upsets require a precondition of disparity between teams, etiher real or imagined. This Saturday's games are of a different sort.  It seems across the board that all read more...


Tuesday Tastings (Week 5): Nothing Is Easy

St Louis was off last week, so we are spared another missive on how terrible they are.  The good news is that their temporary absence sways our SPF teams well into the positive over all. The best of our teams are living by a simple rule - nothing comes easy in SPF read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Five): Separation Sunday

This week doesn't have the same drama as a Cowboys/Redskins weekend, but SPF teams pushing towards the playoffs, a solid 8 of 15, can further prove their mettle this week by taking care of business. As Always, SPF teams in CAPS with (Week 4's


Saturday's Slate: Picking Up The Pieces

Last week had USC losing on Thursday which appeared to set up big things for Georgia and Florida.  Then, both stumbled last week, but both have a chance to redeem their season. This shapes up to be another great season filled with surprises as another team with destiny read more...


Tuesday Tastings (Week 4): Hail To the Redskins!

Since Miami and Indy had byes this past week, we're leaving them off our weekly Tastings dispatch.  That still leaves us with 11 samplings of varied quality. Let's start off with the best of the bunch... FINGER LICKIN' read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Four): Cowboys vs Indians, er Redskins

Week Four features the only classic pro football rivalry in the Footprint.  That's reason enough to tune in. Two of our teams have byes (Indy and Miami) and several others have critical games.  We will quickly break it down for you. As Always, SPF read more...


Saturday's Slate: Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead!

Of course, this means that the two perennial pretenders that stand in our way, Ohio State and USC, have both lost and neither appear to have the right kinds of games left to springboard back into the national title hunt.  That should mean that the national championship game read more...


Auburn Rules!

If not on the gridiron, at least in the classroom. According to an article in the New York Times (September 21 ) entitled The read more...


Tuesday Tastings (Week 3): We're Dolphin-safe now, but the Goat, er Ram, is Smoked

After getting a full-sized Sunday helping of SPF games, some things have improved while others took a turn for the worse. "Finger Lickin' Good" Yum, yum.  These teams served it up on Sunday leaving their fans hungry read more...


The Sunday Slate (Week Three): The NFC South Goes North While the AFC South Faces Off

Week 3 doesn't feature as many interesting games as last week, but the AFC South faces off and the NFC South heads up north.  As Always, SPF teams in CAPS with (Week 2's T.I. Poll Ranking) Here's a read more...


The Trail of Tears 2008

Today, Saturday, September 20th, some 150,000 motorcycles will make their way toward Florence, Alabama.  This is the 15th Annual Trail of Tears read more...


Saturday's Slate: Barometer Games (Intra- and Inter-Conference)

This weekend marks the beginning of some classic early season rivalry games inside the SEC.  TF has a rundown of all the key games. BEST INTRA-CONFERENCE GAMES


Our Week Two SPF Tastings: Give Us Some Panther, but Steer Clear of Ram and Bengal

After getting a full-sized Sunday helping of SPF games, not everything we sampled was up to par.  Let's do a quick break down in hopes that maybe some of the team cooks can get their wares "Finger Lickin' Good" Although read more...


The Only Serious Philosophical Question

The recent death (September 12) of novelist David Foster Wallace (I


The SPF Week 2 Slate: Pretender/Contender Separation Begins

It's only Week 2, but many of today's games determine how seasons will unfold for our SPF teams.  One game may mean nothing, but two games often represents a trend. Let's start with our inter-SPF matchups.  SPF teams in CAPS with (


The SEC Upgrades To College Football 2.0

The nation at large now sees what the Footprint has long known - SEC Football is dominant and truly in its own league.  Despite the hue and cry against it, the BCS has allowed sports fans to see top teams, by and large, go against each other on the field.  Since read more...


A Place To Come To

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The End of Placeness,” columnist


Friends Flee Gustav

Here on Elk River we are opening our homes and hearts to friends who are fleeing the fury of Hurricane Gustav. My neighbor and former read more...


Gamecocks Destruction of Wolfpack Serves Notice to Clemson and the ACC

Last night was the glorious kick off to the 2008 college football season.  Teams from almost every conference had games allowing us some very early previews of what might be coming in the weeks ahead. Everyone now knows about the


Back from the Blue Ridge

Just a quick note to say that I have been "on the road" for the past five days, and I have lots of exciting adventures and observations to share in the coming weeks. Although I have traveled extensively in the continental US and in Central America and abroad, this was my read more...


Alabama Rules: From Blue-Eyed Soul to Soulful Blues

My friend Deryle Perryman, native of Florence and resident of Albuquerque, recently returned from the Porretta Soul Festival in


A Humorous Comparison of College Football Between the South and the North

As our beloved college football season nears, we at Tribal Fever thought everyone should read this comparison between college football in the South versus our Northern counterparts. (This has been making the rounds via email so many of you might have already seen it - read more...


Buffalo Roaming: Day Four, Cooper's Party

What a great weekend. Sunday morning, I woke up and went downstairs for one of those great made to order omelets at the Hilton. The lady there is one helluva cook, and my grits were damn near perfect too. I sucked back four cups of coffee. It wasn’t


The Dog Star Rages and Leos Roar

It is August and the dog days of summer are upon us. The ancient Romans noticed that the hottest days of the year, late July and early August, coincided with the appearance of


Buffalo Roaming: Day One, Down By The Lazy River in Bamalama

Well, after seven hours of driving, two torrential storms and one near death experience, I find myself in the comfort of a beautiful two story home on the Elk River (which feeds into the Tennessee River down the road a ways as a matter of fact), sitting comfotably read more...


Is 8 Wins The SEC's New Over/Under For Coaching Success?

An interesting debate was sparked last week when the University of Tennessee announced it had extended Coach Phillip Fulmer’s contract: What is an read more...


Alabama in July

The Fourth of July is over and along with it Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July picnic near San Antonio featuring Merle read more...


Alabama: A Place in the Sun

It is July in Alabama and the corn is literally as high as an elephant’s eye. Jungles of lush green flank the country roads. Where formerly one could see for miles, one can barely see the road directly ahead.


NBA Draft Post-Mortem

It was an interesting NBA Draft night with Miami and Memphis from our region making big headlines. Before I take a look at some of the specifics, the question has to be asked: Does the NBA have to make the Draft so complicated for the fans? It’s amazing how many picks are made read more...


Southern Literature Series to Premiere on Swampland

“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past” ( Requiem for a Nun) In William read more...


Father's Day and Rick Bragg

If you are looking for a gift for Father’s Day, look no further than Rick Bragg’s latest gem,


FONO Announces the Capitol Hill Bayou Bash!

This Tuesday, June 17, anyone in or near the DC area should come out to the American Legion as Friends of New Orleans (FONO) continues its efforts of bringing New Orleans and Louisiana culture around our read more...


Friends of New Orleans and Swampland.com Join Together!

Swampland.com is proud to announce that we have joined Friends of New Orleans (FONO) as an official cultural partner for this worthy charity.  Here is the mission statement of FONO direct from the official read more...


With Leadership In Flux, the BCS Proves Its Worth to the Big East

Tribal Fever will never stop its defense of the greatest sport in our Footprint - college football.  How a sport that has record ratings and revenue would ever be under scrutiny is beyond us, but we believe the heart of that line of criticism lies in its "limited" read more...


Duke Over Notre Dame: College Sports Are Still The King Down South

Since the SEC just wrapped up its meetings down in Destin, Tribal Fever thought it would be a good time to check in.  College sports are the glory of The Footprint, and the rest of the nation is taking notice. The significance of yesterday's news that Notre Dame's AD read more...


Kentucky Finally Gets Its NASCAR Fix

If you build it, they will come.... That seems to be the delayed result at the Kentucky Speedway.  This track is perfectly situated between Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati and was built and developed by Jerry Carroll.  Mark Story of the Lexington read more...


More Six Degrees: From Florence, Alabama, to Florence, Italy

On March 4, 2006, my old friend Deryle Perryman and filmmaker Moises Gonzales showed their documentary film Dangerous read more...


Conference USA Must Step Up to Avoid Potential College Football Upheaval

Last year, Tribal Fever presented a modest proposal about conference realignment for teams in the Swampland Footprint.  The proposal came from our understanding of the love and passion of college football in read more...


South Dominates College Baseball

by Patrick Snow There is one more week of college baseball before the conference tournaments, and the teams in our Swampland footprint are looking very strong. I had the pleasure this past weekend to attend a great 3-game series between Vanderbilt and Georgia. The Bulldogs read more...


Farewell to Art Icon Robert Rauschenberg

Texas born painter, photographer, printmaker, sculptor, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, in later years, even a composer, Robert Rauschenberg read more...


SEC Football Update, Memphis Style!

Ron Higgins was on fire over the weekend.  He's one of the best writers about SEC football newspaper writers outside of Tony Barnhart.  (For those of you just finding out about Ron, please


Too Much Fun

When Deryle Perryman contacted me last week to say that he and fellow filmmaker Moises Gonzales were coming to Alabama and would I like to read more...


Why Swampland Sports Loves the BCS

Despite winning back to back national titles in football, the SEC susre seems to hate the BCS.  Lately, this hatred has been reaching a new level. It all started when University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams announced a proposal for


Post - NFL Draft Newspaper Wrap Up

We found this article from a week or so back that is about NFL Network being the tail the wags the dog for that league.  Swampland Sports has long written now about the ways read more...


SPF's NFL Draft First Round Log (Live All Day!!)

read more...


April in Alabama

Nothing could be more beautiful than April in Alabama and, in my case, nothing could be more exciting. I recently returned from the Alabama Studio Weekend in the


Snowflakes: What Are SEC Football Critics Going To Do Now?

With spring football in full gear, it’s never too early to look ahead to the upcoming season. We at Swampland have focused many times on the ongoing theme of the SEC “arms race” in America’s toughest conference schedule to navigate. With Florida and LSU read more...


Alabama: Places to Be and People to See

The Alabama Book Festival held in Montgomery, Alabama, is only in its third season and already it offers a unique opportunity for participants to meet and listen to over seventy authors, among them read more...


Alabama Beat: Words and Music in the Deep South

The three poems currently appearing in the Poetry section of Swampland are by Mississippi born Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey (published by permission of the author). Trethewey won read more...


Snowflakes: Southern Sweet 16

Here a quick primer for our teams in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament. East – This is definitely the Heavyweight bracket for our Swampland region. With #1 overall seed North Carolina playing near home in Charlotte, the Tar Heels have to be read more...


Season Summary: Cincinnati Bengals

Quick Summary:  The Bengals were SPF's most disappointing team from this past season.  They have all the tools on paper to be a perennial contender starting with a great QB in Carson Palmer, who has all kinds of skill position help.  Unfortunately, read more...


Alabama's Going Green: "Let's Get Dirty"

Huntsville, Alabama, has chosen “Let’s Get Dirty” by the Huntsville country music band


Alabama's Going Green: A Delicate Balance

Yes, I read the article in the New York Times this past Monday about the biodiesel spill near


Snowflakes: Why SEC Hoops is No Longer Just Kentucky

With Mississippi and Florida both dropping first round games in the conference tournament, the SEC contingent for the Big Dance seems to be set at five (TN, UK, VU, Ark., MSU). While there’s an outside chance the Rebels could get an at-large berth, the rest of the weekend will read more...


Snowflakes: Small Conference Hoops Does the Footprint Proud

It’s the most exciting time of the year for many of the smaller schools around our region. Their conferences tournaments have become an extension of the NCAA Tourney as winning the automatic bid fulfills their dream of having a shot at the big boys. Many pundits feel it would read more...


Alabama's Going Green

Holden Caulfield wanted to know where all the ducks go in winter. Ann (Andie MacDowell) in Sex, Lies, and Videotape was read more...


Snowflakes: C-USA/Big East Hoops

* West Virginia has won 3 of their last 4 and really seems to be coming together at the right time. One of the main reasons for their solid play of late is that post man Joe Campbell has averaged 25.5 points a game in the last 4 contests, including 32 in the Mountaineers’ huge read more...


Black History Month: Look Back, but Move Forward

“Look back but move forward” was the credo of civil rights activist Johnnie Carr who died Friday at the age of 97.


Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop To Drink

Today the New York Times ran an article entitled “Georgia Claims a Sliver of the Tennessee River.” The quarrel is not just about boundaries. It is about water, read more...


Let The Sunshine In

I was listening to NPR on Saturday morning when I heard the bluesy sound of an acoustic guitar and a voice that reminded me of a cross between Tom Waits and Elvis Costello (more in mood than in actual vocal comparison.). The voice was that of


Snowflakes: Big East Hoops

Louisville got a monster win last Saturday night when they knocked off first place Georgetown. The Cardinals are playing much better ball of late, having won 5 of 6, and looking solid for a good run in the postseason. However, I’ve got to give at least an assist to Rick read more...


It's Not Easy Being Indie

I always thought that in my next incarnation I wanted to come back as an independent documentary filmmaker. I held on to that dream until I sat in an darkened room in a warehouse in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday afternoon and listened to independent filmmaker


Snowflakes: SEC Hoops

* The Kentucky Wildcats finally look to be playing the kind of winning ball that Big Blue fans expect. It took a while to adjust to new coach Billy Gillispie (and his gameday practices), but now the ‘Cats are sitting only one game behind SEC East leader Tennessee. In a recent read more...


Snowflakes: Smaller Conference Hoops

One mid-major club that higher seeded teams will not want to see in the Big Dance is Davidson from the Southern Conference. The Wildcats are perfect 13-0 in league play


Season Summary: St. Louis Rams

Quick Summary:  This was the first year SPF covered the Rams, and it wasn't an auspicious beginning.  It shouldn't have been so considering the Rams finished the previous season at 8-8 and signed their franchise QB Marc Bulger (a West Virginia alum) to a read more...


Adventures In The (Pig) Skin Trade On Super Bowl Sunday

Roving Notes On Super Bowl Sunday 2/3/08 "There is some kind of back-door connection in my head between Super Bowls and The Allman read more...


The Day The Music Died

The day was February 3, 1959. At approximately 12:55 AM, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, the “Big Bopper,” and their twenty-one year old pilot boarded a small plane near Clear Lake,


Snowflakes: SEC Hoops

by Patrick Snow * Someone forgot to tell 2-time National Champion Florida that they were supposed to struggle this season. After winning their second NCAA title in a row, the Gators lost the top six players off their depth chart and lost their coach for a day or two. read more...


Lest We Forget: Four Spirits

January 30, 2008, marked the 60th anniversary of the assassination of India’s political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi. It was Gandhi whose name was most invoked


Snowflakes: Small Conference Hoops

by Patrick Snow The regular season seems to get a little overlooked in many of the smaller or “1-bid” leagues in our Swampland footprint, but there are some great races happening as these teams position themselves for the postseason run. We’ll try each week read more...


Snowflakes: C-USA/Big East Hoops

by Patrick Snow * Could this week finally bring the contest where #1 Memphis actually loses a conference game? The last time that happened was at UAB on March 2nd, 2006. On Wednesday night, the undefeated Tigers travel to Houston to battle the 15-3 Cougars. After read more...


The Best of All Possible Worlds or Is There Balm in Gilead?

I live in the boonies, the hinterlands of Northern Alabama. For years, I made do with erratic reception from local television stations, and then one day satellite TV and DSL changed my life.  This week, thanks to a relatively new channel called


Luther Dickinson: Night Before theTour...

Luther Dickinson Talks Present, Past & Future 1/16/08 Things have been quite busy as of late. I've just about completed my interview read more...


Six Degrees of Separation

In the south we not only claim kin we also claim friends. I have learned that behind every new acquaintance there lies the possibility of finding an old friend—not to mention discovering a new one. Such was the case this week when I was working on a feature about read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 19, Part 4): Down By The River

12. Cincinnati Bengals and 13. St. Louis Rams - Our final Poll spots are held by two teams that have a connection via the river culture from which they arose.  Like railroad tracks in towns across the south, rivers often appear to be a cultural divide, but they read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 19, Part 3): Teams at the Crossroads (aka the NFC South)

We've now gone through the first 7 teams in the T.I. Poll.  So far, the entire AFC South has been covered as well as the traditional big market teams in Dallas, DC, and Miami. This leaves us with a group that the NFL has neatly placed in a division they call the NFC read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 19, Part 2): Teams "On the Verge"

This is SPF's group of teams that are "On The Verge" of reaching elite status.  They all have challenges, but they are clearly heading in the right direction. 4.  Washington Redskins - A lot can happen in a week.  The Redskins' read more...


SPF's Divisional Playoffs Pre-Pregame Show (or T.I. Poll Week 19)

There are three SPF teams left in the Super Bowl hunt, but the news doesn't stop with them.  Of the 4 current coaching vacancies, SPF has three of them (Miami, Atlanta, and Washington). Signs point to a year of great transition.  The SPF footprint has some of the read more...


LIghts, Camera, Action! Film Festivals and Film Debuts in the South

Late winter and spring of 2008 will see the blossoming of a host of film festivals in the South. A number of the festivals showcase original films and present cash awards to the best new films. Others bring classic, hard to find, topical, or thematic films to the read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Wild Card Weekend Edition)

We're mixing it up again going into the playoffs.  In an up and down year, six of the 13 SPF teams made the playoffs.  Two, Washington and Tennessee, made it in the final weekend. SPF is rooting for an all-Footprint Super Bowl, and this isn't out of the realm of read more...


Dr. John Voices Frustration At Friday New Orleans Show

Dr. John Expresses Frustration With Katrina Fallout 12/29/07 Dr. John informed the audience--at his first of two shows in his hometown last read more...


SPF's Week Seventeen Pre-Pregame Show

 Playoffs and draft slots.  It's all on the line in a strange season-ending weekend in the Footprint. EARLY GAMES Jacksonville (11-4, 5-2 away) Houston (7-8, 5-2 home)


White Pelicans on Elk River

White Pelicans are a rarity on Elk River. I have never seen one north of Gulf Shores, but on Christmas morning a friend down the river called to say that a dozen White Pelicans were winging our way in the midst of a flock of cormorants. I had despaired of ever sighting pelicans read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Seventeen)

It's the last week of the NFL season.  There isn't much left to be decided.  Two SPF teams (Washington and Tennessee) can get in the postseason fun if they win.  We expect them to do so if only because they are playing two other SPF teams (Dallas and Indy) who are read more...


Music and Movie Making in Alabama

Sorry to have been incommunicado since Thanksgiving. This time I was overwhelmed by the holiday madness and computer problems (my three year old monitor died). But now all is well, and I am looking forward to an exciting 2008 on Swampland. Today I am posting a read more...


SPF's Week Sixteen Pre-Pregame Show

SATURDAY NIGHT Dallas (12-2, 6-0 away) Carolina (6-8, 2-5 home) NFL Films Video Preview This is a much better read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Sixteen)

SPF laid down the gauntlet before last weekend's games.  Many teams answered the bell.  With two games left in the regular season, teams out of the playoff picture may have as much to play for as those that are in. Don't sleep SPF fans, there is still much to be read more...


SPF's Week Fifteen Pre-Pregame Show

It has been a largely disappointing season for SPF, but these final weeks can redeem or further decimate a team's momentum for 2008. There are three shoe-in playoff teams in the Footprint - Dallas, Indy, and Tampa.  Two others (Jacksonville and Tennessee) have to keep read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Fifteen)

SPF will say it - this has been a very tough year for pro football in the Swampland Footprint.  Of our 13 teams, more than half of them have been in serious disarray.  At best only 5 or 6 teams will have a clear direction heading into 2008.  Most will be going back to read more...


SPF's Week Fourteen Pre-Pregame Show

SPF has been beating a few drums this year, but one is about letting players play.  Coaches coach systems.  GMs find players to fit into these systems (or in the case of special players, systems are designed for their talents). Except for read more...


John Sayles Interview

Mystery & Manners John Sayles Interview 12/8/07 On Thursday I interviewed John Sayles. Sayles' new movie Honeydripper was filmed in Alabama. Honeydripper read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Fourteen)

SPF has looked at the coach/QB relationship.  Now, it's time to look at the owner/coach relationship.  When this relationship is good, everything clicks for the fans.  The fans want to see the coach as an extension of the owner, an extension that helps build a bridge read more...


SPF's Week Thirteen Pre-Pregame Show

While Tribal Fever nation witnessed their conference championships this weekend, SPF has found a few of their own.  There are four key head to head matchups in the SPF footprint this week - two of which will probably decide the winner of the AFC and NFC South. Our other read more...


TF Conference Championship Preview

Today is the day we find out whether it will be an all-Swampland matchup in the BCS Championship Game.  If all goes according to plan it should be Missouri vs. West Virginia.  Still, there are a few other game worth watching.  It has been a great year for college read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Thirteen)

Coaching changes.  They happen every year even though it seems as though jobs are more than safe.  Changes are usually made because the coach no longer has the confidence of the fans.  Once that occurs, the owner is left with little choice. As long term, one read more...


SPF's Week Twelve Pre-Pregame Show

Leadership.  Is it there?  The leader(s) of each SPF team define that team to their fans.  Already, Thanksgiving solidified a sense of leadership between coach and QB with both the Colts and their Manning/Dungy duo and the Cowboys with their Wade/Romo combination read more...


TF Rivalry Week Preview

Rivalry games define college football.  More than bowl games or even conference championships, a win against your rival means bragging rights for a year.  That is why this weekend's game can often be the hardest to call.  A team with a losing record can suddenly make read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Twelve)

SPF often talks a team's style when it comes to identity.  Style, though, is kind of a catch all.  Dig a little deeper and it comes down to coaching and, of course, a team's QB.  This week  seems like a good one to put the QB position under the read more...


Confessions Redux

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Auburn’s 1957 National Championship. Not only did the Tigers go undefeated that season, but they also held Alabama scoreless in the Iron Bowl while running up an astounding forty points. Saturday, November 24, is the golden read more...


SPF's Week Eleven Pre-Pregame Show

This week, more than any other this NFL season, the fan will find out who their teams are.  Are teams going to the playoffs?  Will they be Super Bowl contenders?  Are they on the rise even if playoffs aren't likely? We shall see.


TF Saturday Preview: The Year of Transition Nears An End

The wild year continues.  In many ways this was just a sign of the transition college football around the Footprint has experienced.  In some ways, it shouldn't be as surprising as it has been. Nick Saban's arrival lit a fire under everyone.  The ante was read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Eleven)

Week Ten was a very weird football weekend.  Many of the SPF teams lost games.  Few had important wins.  It just seems like this was a week to stumble. Desperation might be the biggest factor in any NFL game.  The teams that are desperate have an edge read more...


SPF's Week Ten Pre-Pregame Show

SPF will stick by this point - no team set the NFL back more than the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.  This "champion" brought the worst part of hip-hop's "thug" culture to NFL through the real life violence of Ray Lewis, whose murder acquittal and read more...


TF Saturday Preview: Everything's Still To Be Decided

Patrick Snow has it right.  This year's season of college football has shown that it is one of the most compelling sports to follow as a fan, especially in the Footprint.


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Ten)

Everyone knows that football is the dominant sport in the Footprint, but it has always been college dominating the pro variety.  The goal of SPF's "Team Identity Poll" is to gauge the connection of each team to their fans. This week, two different studies were read more...


SPF's Week Nine Pre-Pregame Show

It's it the "Clash of the Titans!"  The Colts-Pats game deserves the hype that it is getting.  Both teams have built long term consistently excellent football teams in the "salary cap era " - something that is supposedly impossible. This read more...


Tiger Rag

In the spring a young man’s fancy may turn to baseball, but in the fall in the South everyone’s fancy turns to football, and in Alabama there is only Auburn and


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Eight)

Things continue to settle out in the SPF Footprint.  This week's big question is whether the South's best is the NFL's best.  The Colts were just that last season, but their old New England nemesis seems to have stolen their thunder again. Here's last week's read more...


SPF's Week Eight Pre-Pregame Show

Much like yesterday's college slate, this week's SPF schedule features teams looking towards the season's end and where they want to be at that point.  Teams know that the season is half over at this point and they need to be making their final pushes. The best teams read more...


TF Saturday Preview: Pole, er.. Bowl Position

If you aren't a Florida or Georgia fan, this weekend might be a good one to spend with the kids.  This is a pretty thin weekend for good games in the Footprint.  That's why Athlon's college football preview spends most of its time previewing games outside our read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Seven)

SPF's season previews are looking pretty good so far.  The teams we singled out like the Jags, the Texans, and the Dolphins have shown themselves to be in hot water with their fan base.  The Jags and the Texans suffered "must win" losses that neither could read more...


Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Wednesday night’s opening game of the 2007 World Series at Fenway Park was a heartbreaker for Colorado Rockies fans. I have always read more...


It is Raining on the River!

I guess I rattled my rain stick enough this weekend to wake up the clouds. We In North Alabama are reveling in what the Navajos call a gentle “female” rain, and I pray it continues all week. I especially hope it rains profusely on Atlanta, Georgia, where they are having read more...


SPF's Week Seven Pre-Pregame Show

Getting on the same page.  Coaches and players that have the same sense of urgency signify teams that are winning.  The NFL is a business, and like all business deals - interests must align. This is the reason that ownership, the front office, and the coaching read more...


TF's Saturday Preview: Act Like You've Been There Before!

It's the old saying when a player celebrates a little too much - act like you've been there before.  This rules seems to also hold true to some of our Footprint's winning neophytes. When programs are new to winning, they don't know how to handle themselves.  That's read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Six)

Here we are again for SPF's weekly Team Identity Poll.  Things have shaken up a bit.  We are much closer to how we saw things at the beginning of the season. Let's start with a look at last week's Poll: 1.  Dallas Cowboys 2.  Indianapolis read more...


On the Road Again

Sorry I have been incommunicado lately. I am still struggling with allergies that seem to get worse rather than better. Ah, fall in North Alabama. Speaking of fall, this weekend my sister, her husband, and two of our friends made a road trip to the hills of middle Tennessee read more...


SPF's Week Six Pre-Pregame Show

It's week 6 for the SPF teams.  Four teams are basically done, but the rest have critical games that will go a long way to determining how the rest of the season will play out for them. Here's this week's slate (video links courtesy of read more...


TF's Saturday Preview: The History Behind SEC Dominance

Tribal Fever would like to start this weekend's festivities by directing everyone to a fantastic series on ESPN.com about the SEC.  Which leads us to this week's focus - the historical read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Five)

The rich seem to be getting richer (and the poor, poorer) in the SPF Footprint.  There is happiness at the top, confusion in the middle, and desperation at the bottom. Let's start with last week's T.I. Poll 1.  Dallas Cowboys 2.  Indianapolis read more...


SPF's Week Five Pre-Pregame Show

It's week five in the NFL season.  Overall, the SPF Footprint is shaping up to be a year of the haves and have-nots.  The Footprint contains two of the NFL's winless teams (Dolphins and Rams) and several other struggling squads.  However, we also have two of the best read more...


Tribal Fever's Weekend Slate (10/6/2007)

Let's start with this week's College Football Preview from Athlon.  Swampland's own Patrick Snow hosts each week.  (Read Patrick's new column on the state of baseball in read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week Four)

Just like in the college ranks, it was a bit of a crazy week in the SPF Footprint.  Right now, there are more bad teams than good, but the good teams are pretty darn good so we guess that evens things out a little. Here's last week's "Team Identity" read more...


Arrivederci Roma, Ciao Athens (Alabama)

I have just returned from ten days in Italy (Venice, Florence/Tuscany, and Rome) and am way behind on my blog, so please bear with me. I am somewhat jet-lagged, and I am preparing to leave for Jackson, MS, on Wednesday to participate in the


Upset Saturday, or not?

Patrick Snow mentioned in his last column that he was looking ahead to next week's games.  Based on yesterday's game result, so were too many top 25 teams in the Footprint.  TF Upsets read more...


SPF's Week Four Pre-Pregame Show

Welcome SPF fans!  Here's today's slate.  (SPF teams in BOLD) Early Games Dolphins v. Raiders preview Rams @ read more...


Swampland welcomes Tribal Fever!

It was only a matter of time before Swampland Sports starting covering the colleges in earnest.  Today marks the start of Tribal Fever, Swampland.com's dispatch dedicated to college sports in the South. We have new features up including Patrick Snow's latest read more...


SPF T. I. Poll (Week Three)

Back to our weekly gauge of how each SPF team is resonating with its fans.  First, let's take a look back at last week's Team Identity Poll: 1.  Dallas Cowboys 2.  Washington Redskins 3.  Indianapolis Colts 4.  Tampa Bay Bucs


SPF 's Week Three Pre-Pregame Show

Here we are again.  Let Week Three begin!   SPF Teams in BOLD Early Games  Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans (


SPF Friday Fishwrap-up: the Cowboy/Redskin paradigm

We've just posted a new analysis of the Wayne issue in Florida, Weaver in Jacksonville and Huizenga in Miami.  Team Identity is our focus as always.  That's why we start our Friday dispatch with read more...


Swampland Sports Thursday Links

Just a few quick hits here on Thursday.... Snowman's Latest Column Patrick Snow's new column is up.  As a Vol himself, it pains him that he's calling out Phil Fulmer read more...


CD and DVD releases for week of September 18, 2007

New Releases Doyle Bramhall Is It News (Yep Roc) Jim Dickinson


SPF T. I. Poll (Week Two)

Time for our Week Two "Team Identity" Poll.  Things keep getting interesting, and that's how we like it.  Let's start off with a recap of last week's T.I. Poll: 1.  Dallas  2.  Indianapolis (tie) 2.  read more...


SPF's Week Two Monday: Playmakers making plays

THE "BEATING THE DEAD HORSE" THEME Our theme for this week is similar to last week's - the importance of playmakers.  In the Footprint, we all love great coaches.  We all love great schemes.  However, it usually comes read more...


More Alabama Authors: Eric Smith

Eric Smith is assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama-Huntsville where his speciality is Post Colonial Literature. Over ten years ago, Eric was a student in my classes at Athens State University. After completing his B.S. at ASU, Eric attended read more...


SPF 's Week Two Pre-Pregame Show

Each week, it will be SPF's pleasure to bring you the best pregame show on the Net.  We provide our audience with clips from NFL.COM mixed in with our commentary and insight.  Let's run down today's slate of games: Early games (SPF Teams in read more...


SPF Friday Fishwrap-up: LeBatard vs. Galloway

Another great southern tradition is writing.  We have a whole section called Discourse that is dedicated to this pursuit.  Newpapers (aka fishwraps) around the Footprint have great sportswriters that deserve to be read, and sometimes needled.


SPF's T. I. Poll (Week One)

Team Identity.  This is our constant gauge for the success or failure of NFL teams in the South.  College football reigns because people see themselves as part of the team.  In the Swampland footprint, allegiances don't change at the college level.  Coaches read more...


"When I die, the brush dies": Remembering Jimmie Lee Sudduth

  Jimmie Lee Sudduth, celebrated Alabama folk artist, died Sunday, September 9, in Fayette, Alabama, at read more...


SPF Week One Game Log

Thursday's game didn't do nearly what yesterday's college slate did to pump us up here at SPF.  Our own James Calemine is a little distraught about his Bulldogs going down to the dreaded read more...


Spotlighting Alabama Authors

During  the next few weeks I will be featuring the poetry of several Alabama writers whose poems were published in the recent anthology: Whatever Remembers Us.  These poems read more...


Hot and Wet or Hot and Dry?

The state of Alabama made the national news on two consecutive days this week: first regarding the referendum that could have reversed the legal sale of alcohol in the city of Athens (billed as "Alabama City Mulls Return to Prohibition") and secondly for the read more...


Turtle Tracks

In the fall of 2005, my sister Peggy bought a 1985 Toyota Dolphin RV from her son in Seaside, CA, and in late October Peggy, our friend Carol C, and I flew out to California to drive the vintage RV the three thousand miles from the west coast to north Alabama.


West "by God" Virginia and The Free State of Winston

Is West Virginia really a part of the south? Jason Headley in an article entitled "A State of Confusion" pleads the case for his home state in the recent issue of Oxford read more...


Look Homeward, Angel: In Memoriam Doug Marlette

On Tuesday, July 10, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette was killed in a car wreck on a rain soaked road in north Mississippi. Marlette and the driver of the truck, the theatre director at Oxford read more...


A Quiet Fourth of July

It is a strangely quiet Fourth of July on the river. Due to the devastating drought, the water level is unusually low, discouraging most boaters and skiers at read more...


Dysfunction Junction

There is a interchange in Birmingham, Alabama, that is so infamous it has been dubbed Malfunction Junction. After the last deadly crash, the powers-that-be declared that the interchange should be completely revamped, resulting in a slightly more functional junction. This is read more...


Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs to Appear On New Gospel Album

Charlie Daniels is participating is in a religious-themed CD of contemporary Christian songs done country-style. Time Life is slated to put the 16-song disc produced by Teddy Gentry of Alabama and Mike Curtis in September, according to Curtis. The disc was recorded in Nashville and read more...


Po Monkey's: One of the Last Great Juke Joints

Merigold, read more...


Swampland Gets The Blues

Ain’t nothin’ like the blues. From the distant wail of Son House, to the darkness of Robert Johnson running from the Hell Hound, the blues are pure magic. In no other style of music can a song about “shootin’ your woman down because she cheated on you” read more...


"Honeyboy" Edwards Still Playing The Blues At 91

2/19/07 David "Honeyboy" Edwards, born June 28, 1915, in Shaw, Mississippi, began playing the guitar at an early age. Over the years, Edwards has played with Charlie Patton, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and Keith Richards--the only living artist to read more...


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