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Posts Tagged ‘college football’

An Oakland (Calif.) police officer works the scene of a homicide.

So, how many of you here in Georgia need feel the need to be able to buy several handguns as often as you want, you know, for hunting purposes? I can tell you how many times I’ve looked out my back door, saw a seven-point buck and brought it down with my Saturday Night Special.

It’s no big secret that Georgia is gun happy—this is a pending bill in the state House that would allowed to carry concealed weapons in bars, public schools, most government buildings, college campuses and places of worship; as you will remember from Sunday School, Jesus was really big supporter of the right to shoot the crap out of your enemies.

It is also true that Georgia is the gun purveyor to U.S. criminals, and has been so for several years. My friend and former SF State Journalism School classmate Cecily Burt put together a great piece for today’s Oakland Tribune about how lax gun laws in Georgia and other states lead to gun crimes across the country, especially California:

Follow the Guns: From Georgia to Bay Area Streets

On April 13, 2009, Crystal Erin Davis walked into the Cherokee Gun and Pawn shop on Knox Bridge Highway in Canton, Ga., and bought a Cobra Enterprises .38-caliber pistol, commonly known as a Saturday night special. She filled out paperwork that said the gun was hers.

“But in fact Davis bought the weapon—and, on other days, 20 others—for her boyfriend, Jeffrey Martin Colon-Moore, a Vallejo, Calif., native and ex-convict who could not legally buy guns from licensed dealers. He sold and shipped the firearms by overnight delivery to buyers in the Bay Area that spring.

“Those buyers, in turn, put the weapons in the wrong hands.

“About 15 of the 125 guns Moore’s crew bought from gun stores or gun shows have since been recovered by law enforcement. While none has been directly traced to a killing, they’ve been taken from parolees after car chases, from juveniles after a robbery and from a car searched after a fatal shooting at a San Francisco nightclub.

“The story of those guns—which emerges from a federal trafficking case—provides a rare view of the ways criminals get firearms, and just how easy it can be. It also helps explain why, when Oakland police seize an average of 1,200 to 1,500 firearms every year, there is a steady supply to replace them.

“ ‘It is definitely frustrating,’ said Sgt. Nishant Joshi, head of the Oakland Police Department’s Gangs/Guns Intelligence Task Force. ‘A lot of guns come from out of state, a lot of straw purchases. Guns are not manufactured in Oakland. There’s no big warehouse in Oakland where you go in and buy what you want.’

“Instead, there are a variety of black-market sellers, receiving guns from states with less stringent gun laws. In California and many other states, buyers undergo background checks and a waiting period before they can take home a gun. But in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada—some of the biggest sources of illegal guns in California—there is no waiting period. Those states also allow person-to-person sales without paperwork.”

Great work, Cecily. The absurd gun laws—pending and existing—in Georgia need to be changed, but the odds of that happening in this redder than red state is just about nil. There’s no talking sense to some folks.

University of Georgia’s star tailback Isaiah Crowell was arrested last night on weapons charges. Bulldog fans are unsettled.

In a related incident, many folks in the state are up in arms today because a 19-year-old was on arrested on charges of possessing a concealed weapon, having a weapon in a school zone and having an altered ID mark on that weapon (the serial number was scratched off). Half the state is ready to throw the book at this young man while the other half is rushing to his defense. What makes this one college sophomore’s fate so riveting to so many people? Maybe it’s because he’s the University of Georgia’s star tailback Isaiah Crowell.

BREAKING NEW:

According to sports talk radio and the Atlanta Journal-Consitution, Georgia head football coach Mark Richt has had enough of the talented but pain-in-the-ass Crowell and booted him off the team.

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Bobby Petrino, post-accident, telling fibs about how the accident went down. Inset: former Arkansas volleyball player Jessica Dorrell, alleged Petrino paramour.

OK, so here in the Atlanta area, the story of University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident is getting a lot of play. Other than in the state of Arkansas, where the story has obvious interest, folks here in Atlanta are following the details with great glee, a sort of Southern schadenfreude, as the man is universally reviled here.

Among the details to emerge are:

• He was not alone; a young woman, 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell—a former Arkansas volleyball player recently hired by Petrino to a $50,000-a-year job at the university to do some recruiting coordinating (actually, it was a job created just for her)—was riding with him;
• They were having an “inappropriate relationship”;
• She is engaged to the Univ. of Arkansas swimming and diving coach (or, at least, she was).

But all is not lost for Petrino, as fans of the school’s football team held a rally on Monday to show support for the coach who has turned the team’s fortunes around. There is a Facebook page called Team Save Coach Petrino and has some 21,000 sheep supporters and counting. The group posted this message to UofA athletic director Jeff Long:

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Arkansas Football: It’s the players running through the A, Hog Hats. It’s more than 70,000 fans calling, “WOO PIG SOOIE!”

Arkansas Football: It’s the State of Arkansas banding together behind one team, and a mascot like no other. Those select few who put on the jersey are, chosen. They wear the colors, they pay the price, and they succeed. They are exceptionable, they are Razorbacks.

Together we stand as tall as the tower of Old Main. Our memories are etched in stone like names on Senior Walk. And our blood flows Razorbacks Red. For 100 years we’ve been Hogwild, and today we continue the tradition.

We are, Arkansas Razorbacks!

SAVE OUR COACH!”

Why is Petrino so hated in Georgia, you ask? Well, Petrino was brought in to coach the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 primarily to make star quarterback Michael Vick into a more complete quarterback. He took the job after signing a huge contract extension at the University of Louisville, where he was head football coach. (They still hate him in Louisville, too.)

However, before Petrino’s first training camp, it emerged that Vick had bankrolled an illegal dog fighting operation. For all intents and purposes, the Falcons’ 2007 season ended when Vick was arraigned on federal dog fighting charges on July 26. The terms of Vick’s bail barred him from leaving Virginia before the Nov. 26 trial, nixing his season. Without its starting quarterback, the Falcons stunk up the join that year.

In December, with the Falcons at 3-10 and with three games to go, Petrino resigned his position in Atlanta the day after pledging his commitment to owner Arthur Blank. Instead, he flew off to Arkansas to take the head coaching job there. Petrino informed his players of his decision to resign via four-sentence laminated note left at the locker of each player.

So, in case you missed the story, Petrino, who has led the Razorbacks to several winning seasons and a No. 5 ranking at the end of last season, was in a one-motorcycle accident the other day. He left the scene, getting a lift to the hospital from so passersby. He told his story to the investigating police and to university official but, like all cover-ups, the real truth eventually came out.

A song about the Petrino’s current mess, called “The Ballad of Bobby Petrino (The Girl in the Athletic Department in the Volleyball shorts)” is getting a lot of air time this morning:
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Stephen Fry, the English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, takes a look at the Iron Bowl—the annual football game between Auburn University and the University of Alabama—and experiences culture shock. His take-away:

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I really don’t know of anything sums up America better. It’s simultaneously preposterous, incredibly laughable, impressive, charming, ridiculous, expensive, overpopulated, wonderful . . . American.”

He has a point:
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