Brent Amacker's

Brent Amacker's
A Slightly Different Perspective

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to Get a FREE Hotel Room...AND Breakfast!

It's like this:
We were on the first leg of our trip to Washington, D.C. to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. We had anticipated an earlier departure in order to beat some 'rush hour' traffic, but real life ain't that way. I was a failure in my duties as 'co-pilot', since I was unable to maintain conciousness in spite of doses of coffee and Starbucks Mocha Latte. We had to make the periodic stops for gas, food, and 'twin maintenance'.
One of these stops involved the afore-mentioned "Hazzard County Sheriff" vehicle sighting. ANYhow, after many hours and many miles of travel, it was time to find a hotel for the night. We avoided several establishments in 'questionable' areas, and were unable to locate some in designated locations. We settled on a Drury Inn on the north side of Atlanta. It seemed relatively safe, if not 'upscale'. Well-lit, secure parking lot with a gate and guarded parking lot. Free hot continental breakfast. Perfect.
The desk clerk was polite enough, and as our party waited in the van I procured us a room. After retrieving the keys, we proceeded to unload the van and make our way to the desired accommodations. With twins and luggage in tow, we made our way to the third floor and down the hall to our room. I swiped the key, pushed open the door, and we filed in......and froze.
We were greeted to a couple of unmade beds, some half-filled soda drinks and a television blaring MTV or something. We quietly back-pedaled out of there and I returned to the front desk. I calmly explained that it appeared that the room was indeed occupied. The girl behind the desk was startled and apologetic, and offered to upgrade our room at no extra charge. Same floor, so we didn't have to make a long expedition; just move down the hall.
I went back up the elevator and explained to everyone the deal. We made our way down to the next room, and just as I swiped the key, the desk clerk comes running up the hall.
"Waaaaaaiiiiiit!" she she frantically whispered as she waved wildly and sprinted towards us. "That room is occupied....!" So she had almost sent me into an occupied room for the SECOND time, potentially placing me in danger of being shot as an intruder... again! Damn!
In conclusion, she took us over to one of the suites and ushered us in. "I'm sooooo sorry!", she said. "There is no charge! I'm gonna refund your money!" And, in fact, she did.
We filed in, had her bring us a cot, and settled in for the evening. Mama & Daddy got the fold-out couch, while Jared got the cot. Aunt Alice & Uncle Brent took the twins and slept on the king-size bed in the bedroom.
When we got up and got clean & ready to go, I told Wendell that I had taken care of the room. Breakfast was his responsibility. "No problem!" he said.

How to Rate a Bar-B-Q Restaurant

As we travelled on our journey to D.C., we had occasion to discuss places to eat. In trying to determine which would be best, Wendell and I got on the subject of Barbecue. Since we had never heard of some of these places, we pondered how they would compare to our local favorites.
We just so happened upon a billboard touting a local smoke-pit, prompting Wendell to exclaim "That place HAS to be good-- They have THREE pigs on the sign...!"

Made sense to me.

The Crimson Tide Is Making Me FAT!

Okay, here's the deal. I have three truths that I have realized:

  1. College Football needs a playoff
  2. NOBODY in Virginia can EVER say ANYTHING about people in Alabama being rednecks or hicks, or make a tobacco-chewing or hunting joke

  3. The University of Alabama Crimson Tide is making me FAT.

The first truth can easily be proven and summarized by simply watching the games and endless ESPN reviews this season. Of course, if ALABAMA wins out I say screw a playoff! Roll Tide! If we lose a game, we will join an ever-growing list of one-loss teams crying for a chance to earn some respect on the field!

The second truth can be seen first-hand by simply taking a drive through the region. Once you get out of metropolitan D.C., it's a hillbilly hoe-down waiting to happen! Don't get me wrong... I admit there ARE plenty of red neckerson's in the South. They just are not solely restricted to the Dixie region.

The third truth will require some elaboration and back-story. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term 'back-story', it relates to what goes on before or leading up to an event or episode. Usually for a fictional literary or Hollywood character.) Every football season, my lovely wife Alice and I host gatherings to watch Crimson Tide Football. Usually this involves a couple of televisions-- inside big-screen, outside 27 or 31-inch set up on the carport for space purposes and for rowdier, outdoorsy types. I typically have my little beer fridge stocked. Everyone who attends usually also brings beer or some other alcohol. Navigation through a sea of beer-filled ice-chests and coolers is routine.

I normally will have the grill going, or the smoker. If a large crowd is to be expected, more food is cooked and the neighbors even haul over their gas grill for optimum cook-time efficiency. In other words, we throw down. This just generally has become accepted as the norm, and with the arrival of Cole & Wade Ellis, aka "The NEW Bama Twins", camping at the house is now an integral part of our gameday experience.

So, anyway, Alice and I are travelling with The New BAMA Twins and their family to Virginia and Washington, D.C. to visit family for Thanksgiving. As with any two-day drive, conversational subject matter can be very diverse. Topics range from the best route, the weather, the kids, politics, traffic, and (of course) Alabama football. As Wendell and I were discussing our appropriate attire for the week, we were both lamenting our inability to schedule sufficient exercise and our expanding waist-lines. His work schedule, along with coaching his 9-year-old son Jared's football team and helping Tina with the twins makes it hard to run or to work out. I, on the other hand, work my regular job at the tire distribution center, then draw Mardi Gras designs and commission work usually well into the night. Being 44 years old with an occasional back-pain or sciatic nerve issue tends to thwart any real effort on my part, as well.

He made the statement that college football was making his jeans tight, and we both had an epiphany: ALABAMA Football is making us fat.

There's really no argument. We cook. We drink beer. We eat. We watch football. If it's an exciting game, the beer tends to go down easier. If Bama's winning, even moreso. If there are other good games on, which this year has unusually been the case.... well, you get the picture. This year has been a cardiologist's dream. Sausage. Beer. Chips & Salsa. Steak. Wine. Cheese Dip. Crackers. Barbecue. Taco Soup. Venison. Hamburgers. Hot Dogs. Chili. Potato Chips. Gumbo. Shrimp. You name it, we probably ate it.

But here's the catch. It's a formula that has worked well so far. ALABAMA is undefeated and ranked Number One. Who are we to argue with success...? Our routine has bourn fruits of which three months ago we could only have hoped. Sure, it seems a bit superstitious. 11-0 speaks volumes. As long as The TIDE is feasting, so are we. We can diet and exercise after the season. ROLL TIDE.

By the way, on our way up, we saw a white "Hazzard County Sheriff" car up on a rollback. Yep. From "Dukes of Hazzard". Looked authentic. We figured someone probably got it at an auction. Again, the camera was packed away, so I didn't have the brains to snap a pic with my cel phone. Genius.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coach Saban's Pep Rant

Here is the infamous Thursday night pre-game rant from "Nick Saban's Hey, Coach!" Radio Show. He was responding to a fan's question about how Bama matched up "on paper"....! Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

BAMA Hosts Mississippi State

Can sweet revenge be impressive enough to keep The Crimson Tide on top....?
The Mississippi State Bulldogs pay a visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night in an SEC West matchup featuring a former Bama player and assistant coach under the legendary Paul Bear Bryant, Sylvester Croom, and a current coach hoping to propel The Tide back to the top of the college football world. To STAY.
Alabama needs to pound the Bulldogs (and those other guys in two weeks) pretty good for some 'style points' in the polls, or else we could find ourselves ranked 2nd or 3rd by the time the SEC Championship Game gets here. State generally plays us tough, and I have a lot of respect for Coach Croom (He would have been MY choice over DuBose, Shula, or Price). He is having a tough time this year, but I believe he's doing things the right way over there.
That being said, we owe them a whoopin'. Not to take away from their accomplishments, but Bama has literally given them the ballgame the past two years. That won't be the case this time. The Tide has a lot at stake, and I believe they'll step it up a notch.
Revenge this week will be sweet. If we get by this one, a win in two weeks will be REAL nice.
ALABAMA 38, Mississippi State 7

This week's SEC picks go something like this:

The Rebels get bowl-eligible for the first time since 2003 by beating Louisiana-Monroe (yes, THAT Louisiana-Monroe).

Ole Miss 28, ULM 14

LSU 28, Troy 14

Steve Spurrier is a great coach. Sneaky. Innovative. Bold. Cocky. None of this will matter as the Gamecocks travel to Gainesville. The Gators are just too much, even for the Ol' Ball Coach.

FLORIDA 42, South Carolina 17

Vanderbilt and Kentucky is a toss-up. Two similiar teams, 'Cats in a bowl, 'Dores looking to be bowl-eligible.

Now for the weird. Georgia was highly-ranked. Strong, fast, un-beatable. auburn was highly-regarded. Fancy new "spread offense" and all. The Dawgs were edumacated by The Tide. The Tigers have been schooled, fooled, re-tooled and un-spooled. Georgia has played well, with the exception of a couple of spankings by Bama and Florida. Auburn, on the other hand, has sputtered after a quick start which was halted- abruptly- by none other than Mississippi State. The tigers were VERY lucky to get out of that offensive showcase alive....! The Bulldogs will be about a kajillion-point favorite, but for some reason I think this could be close. Maybe too close.

Could this be the week the tigers/plainsmen/war-eagles/whatever put it together...? Do they shock the nation...? Accidentally score a touchdown...? Upset the Dawgs..? Does Tubby Tomerville save his job...?

Not likely. GEORGIA 21, auburn 20


Click on the title of this post to see a HILARIOUS Blog entry on "Gump4heisman". It's dead-on, and pretty darn funny!
The 70's are BACK!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

SABAN Returns With TIDE To LSU

Do you smell corn-dogs...? If you've ever been to the cesspool that is Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, you KNOW what I'm talking about. That place just smells funny.
And the home crowd is the rudest, most vulgar and inhospitable bunch you'd ever want to meet. They are openly hostile and verbally abusive. I would not recommend visitors take their families to a game there, especially at night after LSU fans have had all day to get liquored-up. Lucky for The Tide it's a day game, so maybe everyone wearing purple and gold won't be cursing, falling down, and puking...!
They have always hated Alabama. (A 20-year home losing record will do that to ya!) Sure, they've had some recent success-- barely-- and now they fear us. We're on the rise, and Saban's recruits are graduating...! They try to lay all the blame on Saban, but he left their cupboard full of talent. They act like he left straight from Baton Rouge to Tuscaloosa, conveniently forgetting that HE LEFT THEM FOR THE NFL!
Anyway, I know the 'tigahs' will be fired up, but ALABAMA is just too strong and talented. LSU may keep it close early, but a superior CRIMSON TIDE will shut them down. Heck, we might even hold them to a goose-egg..! Look for the home sides of the stadium to empty out early.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sign Seen In Mandeville, La.

Thanks to Mike King for the heads-up on this pic:


TIMMY JERNIGAN, resident "Redi Killowatt" and tri-athlete competitor, finished sixth in his division in yesterday's Senior Bowl Charity Run. Congratulations go out to him on this tremendous accomplishment, and we are all proud of his efforts.
Unfortunately, not everyone was able to be there for his big moment:

Thanks to Uncle Henry for the heads-up on the clip!

BAMA Ranked #1 in AP After Win, BRENTOONS Picks PERFECT

THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE claimed the #1 spot in both the AP and Coaches Polls, and should be tops in the BCS rankings later today as well. After handling Arkansas State 35-0 for homecoming, The Tide sat back and watched as the Florida Gators, our likely opponent in the SEC Championship game, dismembered and devoured the Georgia Bulldogs (as a possibility I predicted! See below!). Then, as a not-entirely-unexpected bonus, Texas Tech up-ended the Texas Longhorns to boost ALABAMA to the top position.
To top it all off, THE CRIMSON TIDE and Coach Saban rumble into Baton Rouge (Do you smell corn-dogs?) ranked #1 to face the angry LSU Tigers(defending National Champs), whose fans are still bitter about Saban's departure. They'll REALLY hate him-- and us-- after next week's game! I LOVE college football...!
BTW, my game picks were perfect.... for a change!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


It was inevitable. For their very first halloween, Wade and Cole Ellis, the New Bama Twins, were dressed as "Thing 1 and Thing 2" from "Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat". Their father Wendell was, as expected, The Cat.
The costumes were purchased by the boys' Aunt Sharon at Universal Orlando, and the wigs were crafted by their Aunt Alice (my lovely wife!). I will be posting more pics, along with photos of the boys' lovely mother Tina, a bit later!

BAMA Homecoming & Other Picks....

Okay, it's homecoming, THE University of ALABAMA Crimson Tide is undefeated at 8-0, and a seemingly easy Arkansas State team is coming to town. Well, nothing is a given, and you can be SURE that Coach Saban will have The TIDE ready for a team that beat Texas A&M a few weeks back. Three letters have been prominently displayed throughout the entire athletic complex all season as a reminder of what can happen if you don't pay attention and play at 100%: "ULM". All he has to do is point to last year's homecoming defeat at the hands of Louisiana-Monroe to motivate this team. Alabama needs to pile up some points to stay at the forefront of the pollsters, or we could end up like the cow college a few years back: outside looking in when they play for all the marbles. If Texas Tech upsets Texas.....?
ALABAMA 49, Arkansas State 10

and Florida face off in what both university's presidents try not to call "The World's Largest Cocktail Party" (which is really inaccurate if you've ever been to ANY game in the cesspool that is Baton Rouge). All of the 'spite' crap aside, this looks to be an exciting game. Georgia, for the second year in a row, actually matches up pretty well against the Gators across the board. That being said, if they come out and play like the first half of the Bama game, Florida will put this so far out of reach it won't even be funny. But I don't think that will be the case.
Florida 45, Georgia 38

Kentucky 28, Mississippi State 10
LSU 28, Tulane 24
South Carolina 14, Tennessee 13
Arkansas 24, Tulsa 21

auburn at Ole Miss is really an enigma. Sure, some will say there is still some bitterness on the part of the Rebels toward Tommy "I'm not going anywhere" Tuberville in lieu of his leap to the tigers/plainsmen/war eagles/whatever. Different teams, different decade. The bottom line, two similiar teams heading in different directions. Sadly, this could possibly be the week auburn rights itself.
But probably not.
Ole Miss 21, auburn 14


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