Pop Icons & SEC Football – A Comparison

Alabama Football Quarterback Joe Namath Pop Star
Alabama Football Quarterback Joe Namath Pop Star

Former Alabama QB Joe Namath was a Pop Star

Hello again, old friends. It feels so good to be back in your computer monitors again. I apologize for my absence over the past few weeks, I came down with a serious illness called law school finals, and I almost died. Much like Urban Meyer’s permanent tee time, I’m back this time for good.

It seems like just yesterday the young 2010 SEC season was just beginning. The blogosphere was aflutter with bold predictions and baseless optimism. Even Vanderbilt fans were smiling. Oh how things have changed with time. Now that the dust of the regular season has settled, and a new SEC champion crowned, let us look back over the regular season with blissful, misty eyes, and take a moment to reflect on happier days.

Like any professional, well compensated, informed journalist, I choose to honor the game in my reflection. Some so called “writers” use pathetic attempts to grab page views by making cheap shots at teams and engage in high school like gossip about college athletes. You won’t see any of that childish, petty stuff here at SDS. We respect you, reader, because more than anything, you are our friends. Now, without further adieu, let us celebrate the 2010 regular season the right way, by matching each 2010 SEC program with its pop culture counterpart, in the most high school gossipy, cheap shot-ish way possible.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars LSU Tigers – Lyle Lovett

LSU Football Pop Star - Lyle LovettWhen you think of Lyle Lovett, you don’t think of talent, or some country song that he allegedly sang. You think of an ugly dude that somehow convinced God to suspend the rules and allow him to marry Julia Roberts. Not even old, not hot Julia. I mean young, in her prime Julia. Picture it, old, broke Lyle Lovett and young, hot Julia Roberts, watching episodes of “Lonesome Dove” on VHS cassette late at night. Lyle Lovett will forever be remembered as the luckiest guy in the history of human relations.

Enter the 2010 LSU Tigers. Did they have talent? Yeah, I guess. Steven Ridley is pretty good for them this year; I’ll give you that. But remember how this team failed to convert on 4th and goal as time expired against Tennessee but won the game anyway? What about how they picked up a first down after the kicker picked up an incomplete pass? They won ten games with a quarterback who sported a 2:1 interception to touchdown ratio. Their head coach is nicknamed the “Mad Hatter.” The Prosecution rests, your honor.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Arkansas Razorbacks – Phil Mickelson

Arkansas Football Pop Star - Phil MickelsonPhil Mickelson is the most famous #2 n the history of sports. No matter how poor the competition is playing, Phil always finds a way to play worse. If Tiger is playing great, so is Phil, right behind him. Every year the pundits declare this season to be the year of the Phil. Spoiler alert: it never is.

You see my point. Arkansas, like Phil, has all kinds of talent, relatively speaking of course. This season was supposed to be the year of the Pig. With Ryan “Too Tall” Mallett and Bobby “Now you See Me Now You Don’t” Petrino, Pig Souie was all set to have a record season. That is, until they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, Arkansas had a good year, 10-2. BCS bowl. Ryan Mallett’s T-Rex arms. Good season, but not great. They say that Arkansas is on the rise. That’s cool, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Georgia Bulldogs- Santa Claus

Georgia Football Pop Star - Santa ClausEveryone loves Santa Claus. Children all over the world clamor down the stairs every Christmas morning to see what Old St. Nick left them under the tree. As children get older, they find out that the whole thing was a lie, and St. Nick was actually a figment of their imagination. This is the timeline of every Bulldog fan’s football season. The beginning is so much fun, all kinds of hope and excitement, top rankings, National Championship predictions, coaches jumping off high dives. Before the first game of the year, Georgia fans live on the cloud right after Cloud #8. All smiles, giggles, and cookies by the fireplace. As the season progresses, the children become adults, and realize that the hope they once had is now nothing more than foolishness. To be fair, Georgia was a pretty good team with A.J. Green back, unless you’re Colorado. That’s neither here nor there. Like the shopping malls, the Georgia athletic program loves to exploit the hopes and dreams of Georgia fans, selling dreams of sugar plumbs and crystal footballs. Hey, it’s good for business, right?

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Kentucky Wildcats – Gnarls Barkley

Kentucky Football Pop Star - Gnarls BarkleyRemember that song ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley? Man that was a good song. Back in 2007. It was all over the radio; Mr. Barkley was heralded as the next Conway Twitty. Or something like that. Remember his next his song? Oh that’s right, he never had another hit song. Just like that fat guy from American Idol, that skinny guy from American Idol, that sorta hot girl but not that hot girl from American Idol, or that guy with grey hair from American Idol, Gnarls was a one hit wonder.

See the connection? Kentucky beat South Carolina, effectively ending Scar’s national relevance hopes. That was pretty cool, and everyone was talking about Kentucky being on the verge of breaking out. And then they didn’t. With the top passing offense in the SEC for a time, two of the top receivers in the league, a top five running back, and a First Team All American, Kentucky only won six games, and only one of any relevance. Just like Gnarls Barkley, Kentucky faded into obscurity, and made no real effort to climb out of it.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Vanderbilt Commodores – Angry Birds

Vanderbilt Football Pop Star - Angry Birds GameIf you have an iPhone or Android device, chances are you’ve played that Angry Birds game. Those cute little birds shoot from a slingshot and try to knock apart poorly built wooden structures so that they can squish green pigs with no appendages. No one knows why the birds are so angry, something about the eggs. Anyway, it’s a fun little time waster but at the end of the day, it bears zero relevance on your real life.

You guessed it: Vanderbilt is the fun little time waster with zero relevance on the Southeastern Conference. It’s cute that they have a football program, but this side of Jay Cutler, they have failed to do anything other than save money on jerseys by not putting player names on the back. As Robbie Caldwell and Bobby Johnson have proven, you can quit whenever you want.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Alabama Crimson Tide – Cigar Guy

Alabama Football Pop Star - Cigar GuyIf you don’t know who the Cigar Guy is, you must live under a rock or still have a 56k Internet connection. Maybe both. Some photographer took a picture of Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup, and in the backgroud in a guy with a cigar in his mouth. It was great. Everyone was talking about the Cigar Guy, and how cool he was, and trying to find out who he was. The talking heads theorized that the Cigar Guy was a brilliant, hip, gentleman that is obviously so stylish and cool that he must always dress that way and smoke cigars. When the truth came out, it was just a coincidence, and he was sporting that attire to resemble Miguel Angel Jimenez. Not nearly as cool as we all hoped, but it was fun while it lasted.

Alabama, on the same hand, was also cool for a while. The talk about town was that Bama was set to repeat their national championship season, and the talking heads were all Bama, all the time. Then, we all found out who they really were, and we were crushed. At the end of the day, the Crimson Tide ended up being just a distraction to the bigger SEC picture, and the even bigger national championship race. It too, was fun while it lasted.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Auburn Tigers – Dave Matthews Band

Auburn Football Pop Star - Dave Matthews Band“The Dave Matthews Band is so cool, maybe the best band in the history of bands and music in general,” says a college student. As one of the more famous and talented bands in the scene today, the Dave Matthews Band has a strong following. While the band is comprised of several, very talented musicians, the vast majority of Americans, even some casual DMB fans, only know Dave Matthews; the other members remain relative unknowns.

Like Dave Matthews, Cam Newton is widely known through out the country as a talented football player. A very very talented football player. Most know he plays on a team from the Auburn University, but as for the rest of the team, they might as well be known as the “running back,” or “that one receiver.” Not sure if Dave’s father does his contracting, but that would only make this case easier.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars South Carolina – Lindsay Lohan

South Carolina Football Pop Star - Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan was great in the ‘Parent Trap,’ but then she just disappeared. Gone. Vanished. She spent what seems like the better part of a decade just trying to get a chance to become relevant again. Once she got her long awaited second chance, she blew it. Now she is a first class train wreck, and while it was fun to watch her life self implode like a dying star, I really just feel bad about how pathetic her life really is.

South Carolina spent years trying to re-enter the relevance conversation, but once they got their shot: choke town. They had Auburn on the ropes, but Steve Garcia dropped the ball, literally. Beat Alabama, then fell to Kentucky. The Chickens fought their way through the Junior Varsity SEC East, only to get blown out in the SEC championship. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was just a series of unfortunate events, but either way it was a textbook choke job. Stephen Garcia may be more emotionally stable than Ms. Lohan, but it is close.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Florida Gators – Justin Beiber

Florida Football Pop Star - Justin BeiberDo you have Beiber Fever? The way I see it, Justin Beiber is the luckiest 14 year old boy ever, holding hands and playing spin the bottle with every star from the Disney Channel. Lucky he may be, but a skillful performer he is not.

John Brantley bears a striking resemblance to the Beibs. Just like young Beiber, John Brantley may have talent, but you would never know it given his performances. In fact, I would venture to say he isn’t very good.

Time will tell if new coach Will Muschamp turns out to be a pop star like Beiber. People in Texas sure did flock around him. Now that he’s grown up and coaches his own program, will he be very good?

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Tennessee Volunteers – MySpace

Tennessee Football Pop Star - MyspaceMySpace used to be cool, maybe even relevant. When they added the MySpace Music component, MySpace managed to maintain a wee bit of relevance, even though the social network market share belongs to Facebook.

Tennessee, the home of Peyton Manning and Reggie White, also used to be relevant. This year, they started bad to miserable, and it only went downhill from there. They got a bit better with the addition of Tyler Bray, but at the end of the day, Tennessee football is better as a memory than anything.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Ole Miss – Jersey Shore

Ole Miss Football Pop Star - Jersey ShoreJersey Shore is a show about a partying group of New Jersey residents who think they are the Bees Knees. They Wang and Chung with the best of them, but they aren’t really as cool as they think they are. In fact, being able to “party” well has no place on a resume, let alone in the self-validation process.

Mississippi loves by the motto: “We may not beat you in on the field, but we will beat you in the party.” Or something like that. Yeah, you can do the math here.

SEC Football Teams & Pop Stars Mississippi State – Lady Gaga

Mississippi State Football Pop Star - Lady GagaLady Gaga sure is famous, and she puts on one loud show, so I’m told. She may have a best selling album, but what she lacks in talent she makes up in flash.

Cue Dan Mullen’s State team. I’m not even sure they fielded a quarterback. They won some games, and has become one of the most talked about teams in the league as of late, but I’m not sure anybody knows why. Good marketing can go a long way.

Here’s an example.


So these are my thoughts… Now that I have disrespected every team in the SEC, let’s hear your comparisons between SEC football teams and different icons in pop culture. Leave a comment below:



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  • Justin Beiber has that Alabama haircut. The Hoover Hair.

    • Auburn University…not Univ of Auburn. And Justin Beiber is actually very talented…not sure why so many people don’t think he is…

      • This reply made me laugh so hard, I farted.
        Justin Beiber, talented?
        Next you’ll tell me Jeremiah Masoli adapted well to the SEC.

  • Umm, Justin Bieber is now 16! This bit of info provided by my “Bieber Fever” 12 year old daughter…

  • FWIW, it’s Auburn University, not the University of Auburn. Probably a more renowned Auburn alumnus is Jimmy Buffett. Being from Mobile, Alabama, it was at Auburn University that he first picked up the guitar, and began singing. The story goes that he was at a frat party one night when he noticed all of the girls were surrounding his roommate, who was picking on a guitar and singing. Convinced that was the ticket to pick up chicks, he learned to play the guitar and sing. It just turned out that he was better at it than most.

    Jimmy attended Auburn University, and later received a B.S. in History from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1969.

    Jimmy’s own words describe his early days:
    “I got into music basically to meet girls, no doubt about it. Women have always been an influence on my music, good and bad. It looked like the greatest job in the world. I was in college at the time, a freshman at Auburn University. I was a shy, awkward kid from Mobile, kind of a wallflower. My roommate had a guitar, and even though he knew only three chords, he always seemed to be the center of attention with women. I said, ‘Teach me those chords’.”

    So I learned the guitar and started hanging around folk clubs, watching the bands. They all had big shiny Martin guitars; I would’ve given my right arm for a Martin guitar. And the women — all the time women — were hanging around the band. I thought: this is the job for me”

  • Ironically Lyle Lovett is an AGGIE and LSU will probably win another “ugly one” w/ L.L. present in the Cotton Bowl. Too funny!

  • Cee-Lo, aka Gnarls Barkley – just like Kentucky fans – have a new song for you. Look it up.

    • Whoa, I had no idea Cee Lo was actually half of Gnarls Barkley. Even more, Gnarls Barkley wasn’t a real person. What a day.

  • kentucky will never “break out”


  • The Auburn pop icon should be Ray Stevens – Kind of funny, but talented all the same.

  • You are one of the biggest maroons I’ve seen in print. That is all.

  • Whoever thinks the almighty Crimson Tide is like the cigar guy is so full of it! This team has always been a legacy and always remain that way. One of the ALL TIME greats of the SEC! Look it up!!

    • You’re right, but since this article was written about the 2010 team, the past championships are irrelevent.

      • Tyler, you have to be real careful when writing anything even remotely uncomplimentary about the Tide. A lot of them are good sports, and take articles like this in the humorous way it was intended, but some of them aren’t as accepting of humor towards the Tide. Personally, i enjoyed your article, and I know the time and effort it takes to come up with a piece like this. It was very well thought out , and very well written.

        • I enjoy how you say that as if there aren’t just as many- if not more this year- Auburn fans who can not take a joke. Most of them don’t have anything to say because he compared them to Dave Matthews, and I’m pretty sure half of them didn’t read below that. I think this article is hilarious and in good fun, i just think is an obnoxious amount of ignorant comments below it

  • I think a better comparison for Auburn would be Milli Vannilli.
    All style, no real substance. A devastating truth comes out after they win the big one and have to return their grammy / trophies.

    • Dave, to make such a comparison, you would need something concrete to base it on, not just personal wishes. Of course, he could have used Eddie Murphy from “48 Hours” for Alabama, where he was busted out of jail long enough to play cop. In this case, Alabama would be the one in jail (3 years NCAA probation) and playing cop could be playing in the BCS game while on probation.

      • oh, it’s coming.
        won’t be before the bcs, thanks to slive. but you can bet the 2010 heisman will be returned before cam takes his first snap in the nfl.

        • Of course it will, right after the FBI finally identifies the second gunman that was on the grassy knoll!!

        • The almighty Daveodamus can see all.. tell all.. and predict all..

        • We all know that Cecil Newton was the 2nd gunman!—WDE—

  • You guys don’t have anything better to write about than this?

  • There’s always….Toni Tennille or SNL’s Victoria Jackson….LOL

  • I’m going to quibble just a little bit here: most of the individuals you cite are not exactly “pop icons.” Lyle Lovett is very, very far from popular culture.

  • The problem with both Oxford and Starkville is that they compare themselves to each other. While both towns are quaint sleepy college towns they need to take a look at Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Auburn, Nashville, Knoxville, Baton Rouge, etc… to see that they don’t compare.

    I’ve spent plenty of time in both Starkville and Oxford and I can’t see a difference in either one. The downtown area in Oxford is in the shape of a square and the one in Starkville is basically one main street. I personally like the square better but who cares. It is so funny to see you little brothers fighting each other all the time.

  • I am certain that I am a little bit dummber for reading this article….

    You should swap SC and Kentucky’s icon….

    I don’t know how we can tie Gnarls Barkley in with SC, but UK is the true Lindsey Lohan of the SEC.

    By definition, Lindsey Lohan is a “pop icon” because of a few fair to decent things she’s done on tv and movies. But, with in the last 7 years or so, Lohan has been busted for drugs and other crap and been in and out of trouble with the law, only to never get anywhere at all.

    This speaks exactly of the UK program. Nobody in the entire relm of NCAA football has cheated or tried to cheat more than UK and never actually bettered thier program.

    Known cheaters thoughout time: Miami, Southern Cal, SMU, Florida State and the list goes on and on. However at least these guys did improve by cheating. Kentucky has a history of being in trouble (Hal Mumme) and still being a doormat in the SEC.

    ….Just like Lohan, do things illegal and still never move forward.

  • Thanks for the article. I thought it was great. To these people that are complaining, If you Don’t Like It STOP READING!!! Dang!!!

  • Relax people.

    Tyler, I for one throughly enjoyed your article. Oh, and Roll Tide.

  • Arkansas as Phil is exactly right and thats how it’s been for years. That’s probably the best comparison to the team bc as you said there is always enough talent but they always play to the level of their competition, sometimes above their abilities and sometimes below but keep in my mind Phil eventually won the Masters…..

  • Just kind of strange that anyone from Kentucky would have the stones to post anything “insulting” about any other SEC school when the conversation involves football. I’m sure those that follow the other schools won’t have a hard time responding to this jibberish. Hell, Vanderbilt even looks down on Kentucky. All any of UT fans need to say is “26”.

  • Haha I Iove you guys, you all make this whole blogging thing fun. Thanks so much for taking the time to read our articles and for making comments. We laugh out loud at what you all say, and we love the posts that get us good. Thanks guys.

  • Loved ur work on this….I learned enough from this and the responses to either continue the charade I am “in the know” or better yet qualify for “are you smarter than a 5th grader.” Reading the replies…well, I thought a hockey game was going to break out. Great piece of work Tyler…creative. You are my favorite MAROON.

  • Not “hating” on your article.. but to say that Tennessee isn’t on the rise again, you have got to be out of your mind. That is all. GO VOLS!

  • Nice article, but the Gnarls Barkley errors is enough to invalidate the whole thing. I know you’re not a music writer, but you should at least do some fact-checking before writing about subjects you don’t know. At the very least, go back and edit after you learn the truth

  • Funny, and I even got a laugh out of the fact that my Gators are compared to Justin Bieber, but does anyone proof read your articles? I felt like someone hit spell check, but never read to see how badly written this was. Do everyone a favor, go back to 7th grade and learn about proof-reading thoroughly.