Yale’s 2004 Prank on Harvard – One of the Greatest! (via ESPN.com)

by Travis Normand
November 25, 2016

The following feature aired on ESPN’s College Gameday in 2014. I could have sworn I had posted it here soon after it originally aired. However, I came across the video again today and after a quick search, it appears I did not post it. So, in case you have never seen this, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch it.  This is why I love this game.

From ESPN.com:

Revisiting Yale’s 2004 Prank On Harvard

A decade after two Yale students pulled off an elaborate prank on Harvard during the 2004 edition of “The Game,” they revisit the plan and execution that has turned them into legends.

Click HERE to watch the video:  http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=11917734

Ex-UT cheerleader Harley Clark dies

by Travis Normand

The following article was posted at ESPN.com [emphasis added].  I found it interesting that Harley Clark got the idea for a hand signal from his rival school, Texas A&M.

Ex-UT cheerleader Harley Clark dies

Associated Press

Updated: October 9, 2014, 7:15 PM ET

AUSTIN, Texas — Harley Clark, the former Texas cheerleader credited with introducing the “Hook’em Horns” hand signal used by tens of thousands of Longhorns faithful over the past six decades, died Thursday at his farm outside of Austin, school officials said. He was 78.

The school didn’t release details or a cause of death for Clark, who watched his hand sign become one of the most recognizable and familiar signs of support in college athletics.

Clark introduced the hand sign — the index and pinky fingers extended and the two middle fingers tucked under the thumb — at a 1955 pep rally. It quickly caught on and became a universal symbol for the school and its athletic teams.

Clark later became a lawyer and was appointed a state district judge in 1977. He issued a landmark decision in 1987 that declared the state’s public school finance system unconstitutional because of disparities between wealthy and poor school districts, a ruling that was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court.

Clark “embodied the spirit of our beloved university,” said former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former Texas cheerleader and current president of the Texas Exes alumni group. She called the hand sign a “symbol of Longhorn pride that is recognized and shared around the globe. His love and dedication to UT-Austin will never be forgotten.”

In a 2006 interview, Clark said he had wanted some kind of hand signal similar to that used by the Longhorns’ rivals at Texas A&M, where the “Gig `Em” sign dating to the 1930s is a closed fist with the thumb pointing straight up. Friend Henry Pitts showed him the Longhorn sign, which Pitts made up while shadow casting.

Clark shopped it around before a pep rally as Texas prepared to play TCU, and got mixed reactions. Undaunted, he was convinced it would catch on and it did.

“It’s perfect,” Clark said in 2006. “It just says Texas.”

It also got him in some trouble. The dean of student life lectured Clark that the signal was considered a vulgarity in Sicily and might be misinterpreted in Texas. But it was too late to stop it.

Texas fans show it during the signing of the “Eyes of Texas” before and after games, and there’s seldom a touchdown where a player doesn’t flash it for the cameras. Longhorns opponents liked to use it just as often, turning the signal upside down in a mocking gesture.

The sign even reached the White House. It caused a Scandinavian scandal in 2005 when President George W. Bush and his daughter Jenna, a Texas graduate, flashed the sign during Bush’s inauguration parade. A Norwegian newspaper interpreted it as a sign saluting Satan.

Clark is survived by his wife Patti, and four children. Funeral services were pending Thursday.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

Wisconsin Badger Fan: “Kilted” Ken Werner

*Originally published on January 10, 2013. 
*Updated on July 23, 2014 via an email from Mr. Ken Werner.  In that email, Mr. Werner informed me that:

  1. His name is spelled “Werner” (not Warner).  
  2. He has, in fact, attended (to this date) 427 games (not 40).  In other words, the 40 that appears in the article is a typo.  

I really appreciate the email from Mr. Werner.


by Travis Normand

There is a short article and photo in this week’s ESPN The Magazine (January 7, 2013) about Ken Werner.  Unfortunately, what you see in the magazine is only a teaser for what is apparently posted online at ESPN.com.  This normally wouldn’t be a problem, however, in order to read this particular story one must have a subscription to ESPN’s premium content.  I use to have a subscription to this service but I finally got rid of it.  It simply wasn’t worth the money.

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College and SEC Bucket List (per ESPN)

by Travis Normand

If I have said it once, I have said it 100 times.

It is the culture, history, and environment surrounding the sport of college football that makes it so fantastic.  This is what distinguishes college football, more than anything else, from other sports (most especially the NFL / professional football).

From the ESPN.com SEC bucket list:

The pageantry that comes with college sports makes it that much more enduring to fans. The sports are great, but it’s the environment around them that add a little more flavor and excitement.


[Press Release] ESPNU Expands National Signing Day for Eighth Consecutive Year

ESPN - 9KPress Release from ESPN
January 24, 2013
To tweet this release: http://es.pn/UnKdJw

ESPNU Expands National Signing Day for Eighth Consecutive Year

10 Continuous Hours to Start the 2013 College Football Season: Reporters Embedded at 13 Schools; 17 On-Air Player Commitments; Guest Studio Analysts Gene Chizik and Derek Dooley

ESPN kicks off the start of the 2013 college football season with the most comprehensive National Signing Day coverage to date on Wednesday, Feb. 6 with the 10 hour ESPNU National Signing Day Special at 9 a.m. ET on ESPNU, live look-ins from SportsCenter throughout the day, and accompanying reporting on ESPN’s RecruitingNation.com. The special will also be available on WatchESPN and ESPN3, in addition to being simulcast on ESPN from 3:30-4 p.m.

ESPNU’s eighth annual special will include at least 17 of the nation’s leading recruits revealing their college decision live and reporters coast-to-coast for up-to-the-minute information across ESPN platforms. ESPNU will be embedded at 13 of the nation’s top teams all day interviewing coaches, and providing up-to-the-minute news on each team’s freshman class as the commitments are faxed in. ESPN’s RecruitingNation.com will also have reporters at high school announcements and in-depth analysis on its 14 team dedicated nation sites.

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ESPN’s journalistic integrity is harmed again

by Travis Normand

Take a look at this article on Deadspin.com titled:

It is clear that in the first video, the 11 p.m. SportsCenter credited SportsByBrooks.com with the information.  However, the next video showing the 1 a.m. SportsCenter (airing two hours later), had removed such credit.

ESPN could have simply cited the report that appeared in The Times-Picayun, which also got its information from SportsByBrooks.com.  Instead, however, SportsCenter anchor Jonathan Coachman said the information was something that “we’ll have to see to really believe.”

It appears that ESPN doesn’t want to give any credit for the information and instead wants to degrade the original source without naming names.

Fascinating stuff, but then again, its what we have come to expect from ESPN.

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[Press Release] ESPN Reaches 12-Year Agreement For New College Football Playoff

For immediate release:
November 21, 2012

ESPN Reaches 12-Year Agreement For New College Football Playoff

All Related Games Including National Championship, Semifinals And More

ESPN and the group that will administer the new college football playoff have reached an agreement in principle to present the playoff games and selected other games for 12 years on an exclusive basis across ESPN’s platforms. The agreement will begin after the 2014 regular season (including January 2015) and continue through after the 2025 regular season (January 2026). It includes the national championship game and semifinals, as well as other bowl games that will be part of the rotation to host the semifinals. Combined with previous deals for the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, the arrangement would provide ESPN with rights to all games that are involved in the new post-season arrangement to determine a college football national champion.

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by Travis Normand

Just like the post on BustedCoverage.com said, I know that my own site (OPS) is full of spelling and grammatical mistakes. However, when you are ESPN and you make these types of mistakes, you are going to get called out.  It is that simple.