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Countdown to College Gameday: Scooba, MS

THE SEASON IS UPON US. And I don’t mean duck hunting.

It’s just two days until the college football season begins and if you CANNOT WAIT until Saturday and the College Gameday season opener at the LSU v. Wisconsin game from LAMBEAU FIELD (note: NOT at Alabama v. USC), then you are in luck. In the meantime, you can NETFLIX BINGE the six-episode first series of the Netflix original documentary, LAST CHANCE U


For the football fan and the fair weather fan, I think most anyone can enjoy this look into a season (last season) at East Mississippi Community College, a junior college (JuCo) in Mississippi that has a reputation for winning games by unmerciful margins, winning national titles, and graduating their players to the next level of play.


The series was born with an October 2014 article in GQ: Last Chance U by Drew Jubera. In 2012, Jubera published Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team about a high school in Georgia, which I haven’t read but might have to add to my goodreads queue because I thought Jubera’s article was thoughtful and well-researched (unlike this ESPN article, The many hairstyles of Tom Brady).

My pitch for why LAST CHANCE U is great? It’s all about PEOPLE. REAL PEOPLE. People who came from nowhere and have nothing. And people who dropped down from great opportunities after epic mistakes or horrendous grades, and so aptly put by a previous EMCC player, about his life before EMCC, “I had the world by the balls. By the balls…” But they have to go somewhere to put the pieces back together. Even if it means going to a place like Scooba, MS where there are 700 some people in the town and the nearest WalMart is 40 miles away. From the GQ article, “If you don’t cut pines or hunt, there’s no reason to be here. Unless you play football. And need the grades.”

Here are some of my favorite people in LAST CHANCE U:

  • The guy who RAAAAARs.
  • The kid from SHUBUTA, MS named Ronald Ollie (#OllieforPresident) and needs to be subtitled because his accent is so thick and deep but his smile unmistakable.


  • And the academic advisor, Brittany Wagner, who is just trying to make sure these kids have a pencil and a 2.5 GPA.
  • And the two sports information guys. They kill me.

Yes, my new twitter follows are: @RonaldOllie@Brittany_MSgirl, and @EMCCathletics.

While the conference of Mississippi JuCo’s is not the SEC, there is a direct pipeline for quarterbacks out of Scooba to SEC teams:

  1. Ole Miss: Chad Kelly, Jim Kelly’s nephew was at EMCC after Auburn (10/22 at LSU)
  2. Mississippi State: Wyatt Roberts, the starting QB last season (9/17 at LSU) and walking on to the Bulldogs which has a QB opening after Dak Prescott leaving (a name you hoped to never have to hear again)
  3. Auburn: John Franklin III, who got lucky and had one great game last season and the biggest freaking ego (9/24 LSU at Auburn)

Just when you hoped you might never have to hear the name Clint Trickett ever again (QB, West Virginia 2013-2014 after being at Florida State University for a year with Jameis Winston), you are out of luck because he is the QB coach at EMCC.

Seriously, check it out. You will not believe some of the things you see and you will find yourself quoting Quincy from Little Einstein’s, “I CANNOT BELIEVE IT.” It’s so good it has been renewed for another season: EMCC confirmed for second season of “Last Chance U” on Netflix. MORE PLEASE.




Binging with baby

OJ has an ear infection. He woke up like an oven on Thursday and we had his nine month well baby check-up that morning (previously scheduled), his temperature was 102. The nurse practitioner advised me to “alternate Tylenol and Motrin and love on him.” We did that but ever still, he woke up screaming bloody murder this morning at 5am, so we were back at the doctor by 10am. Ear infection. There’s nothing enjoyable about having a sick baby (OJ likes taking medicine as much as his father) but if there is any silver lining–it’s lots of cuddles. And lots of Netflix time.

I can’t recommend a sick baby but I will recommend VELVET, about a department store in Madrid, Spain in the 1950’s. For the romantic period drama binge queens, take heed.



It is en Espanol with English subtitles which means it’s musical to listen to (and somewhat educational for living in Texas) but not a great show for “background” noise (like T likes to have) or to fall asleep to because you have to actually pay attention and read along.

Each episode is almost 90 minutes so it might take you a while to get through all 13 episodes of both seasons but when you’ve got a baby sleeping in your arms and you are not going anywhere very fast, you might just get through it all in less than a week. However I feel like the time invested was well worth it and highly recommend the show.

T calls it my telemundo soap opera but in addition to the love triangles, affairs and steamy and sweaty scenes, it’s also funny, thoughtful, well-written with a good bridge and balance between the two seasons and precisio to watch for the fashion, style, Art Deco architecture and oh yeah, the lead male is so damn handsome.

There are two other recent “department store” shows, but that’s where the similarities between VELVET and The Paradise and Mr. Selfridge end. The Paradise and Mr. Selfridge are both set in England (Oxford, London) in an earlier age (19th century, early 20th century) and each of those stories are set in nascent-era of department stores whereas VELVET is about Don Alberto taking over the successful and established business that his father built, after Don Rafeal’s sudden death (Episode One). As a result, VELVET is funnier, flashier and riskier than either of those shows, and I think, more entertaining. Binge Ahoy! 


Bottle Shock: The Story of a Wine Love Triangle

I GAMBLE when it comes to Netflix–I like picking flix that I’ve never heard of before. Sometimes I win, like with Bottle Shock. Sometimes I lose, like with Au Revoir Les Enfantes. Both have a French connection (FCUK!).

Happily, I will not say a word about Au Revoir Les Enfantes.

However, BOTTLE SHOCK is the true story of a blind wine tasting that took place in France in 1976, featuring French and American (California) wines. The panel of French judges picked American wines in both white and red categories. Amazing, phenomenal, historical and ground-breaking. It gave Napa Valley street cred right around the world. Now don’t be pissed–I haven’t ruined the story for you. You would get this basic plot from reading the cover.

However, I encourage you to watch the film because it is delightful. In particular, there is this fantastic tension: American and French wines being presented by a British man, in the year 1976, the bicentennial of America. What a love triangle! Awkwaaard!

There is another love triangle featured in the film, between the vineyard owner’s son, the vineyard’s intern (hot before it was cool) and one of the field hands. Another good reason to watch the film–great, hot, Latin love scene.

And LBNL, be prepared like a Boy Scout. Watching all that wine on screen will make you thirsty, so be sure to have a bottle (or three) at the ready and within reach–à la vôtre!


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