All posts by Cameron Blankenship

Offensive Lineman for the University of South Alabama. Recently transferred here from UAB after the football program was shut down. Primary focus of this blog will be college athletics with some spotlights on the NFL.

Farewell…

Well, this semester is coming to an end. This will be my last post for a while. It could possibly be the last one ever, but lets put that to the side for a second. It has been a crazy ride in the world of sports since January, so what I thought I would do today is sum it all up as my farewell blog. This blog that originally started as a strictly collegiate football coverage blog, and blossomed into covering many other sports. Everything I covered over the past four months were the things that I thought were the most important or most controversial, sometimes both.

Lets start with the small topics (well at least small in my eyes). I covered A-Rod and how his return to baseball could end up a joke. I covered the hero of the super bowl, and many other issues in the NFL, as well as Tiger Woods and many other things. As far as I am concerned, everybody still hates A-Rod, and Tiger has a lot of work to do to get back to championship caliber. The Patriots found a great one in Malcolm Butler, and will Josh Gordon straighten up and have a career in the NFL? Time will tell with all of these, and I cannot wait to see what happens.

Now I am sure some of you are saying, what about the UAB stuff he wrote? I am getting to it now. As everyone knows, I was at UAB for three years before coming to South Alabama. I had to transfer quick, so UAB was still on my mind a lot. So with me having to do this blog for class, and it being a sports class at that, I figured what better way to speak my mind to the public than through this. I covered a lot of things about UAB. Jordan Petty transferring back, Coach Clark announcing he would stay and see what happened, and then the most famous one. The most recent blog I wrote about UAB was an open letter to Conference-USA. I wrote that just to speak my mind about the meetings that will take place in Dallas in June. I never dreamed what happened next. It went viral. I could not put my phone down for longer than two minutes without getting a notification that someone had commented on it or shared it. Al.com even did a write up on it. I felt official. I couldn’t believe that so many people wanted to share and read it.

My point for this final blog is to thank everyone who took the time to read my stuff. I know most of my non-UAB blogs got little attention, and that is okay. I used this blog to fight what I believe in, and that is getting football back at UAB. Every blog I wrote about it was a plea to bring football back. I’m not saying it did, but hopefully one day I will realize that my blogs helped out a little bit in the process of bringing football back to UAB.

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Does Tiger Have Another Run Left in Him?

Tiger Woods is without a doubt one of the greatest golfers of all time. It’s just that simple. Anyone who tries to argue against that has obviously not paid close attention to professional golf in the last twenty years. Over the last few years though, Tiger has lost his edge. Could it be from him aging? Are the younger guys making their way up in the sport surpassing him? Is his head still messed up from the incident with his wife back in 2009? Those are all great questions, but the greatest question of all has yet to be answered. Does Tiger have another run in him?

For years, Tiger was the most dominate player in all of golf. If he didn’t have the lead headed into Sunday at a tournament, most of the time he was lurking somewhere close to it. Many of golfers have blown leads with Tiger hot on their heels. It’s because of how intimidating he his. Over the past few years that Tiger of old has gone away. Other players usually do not care where he is on the leader board because he is likely to mess up his chances on his own. He is no longer the young superstar that so many people admired. Sure, he can still attract a huge crowd at tournaments, and he still has the skills to compete at the highest level in golf, but so far in the last five years he rarely pulled that off. He only has a hand full of wins in that time frame and has not won a major since the U.S. Open back in 2008.

Do I think Tiger has a little more in the tank? Yes. Yes I do. I think somewhere deep down inside of him is the Tiger of old. Once he finds that, he has a chance to make a Tiger run like we have seen so many times in the past. We have to think about how close he is Jack Nicklaus. Only four major wins away from tying him. That’s a very lofty goal for Tiger though. It takes a lot to win a major, and he knows that, but to do it four or five more times at his age will be impressive. When Tiger Woods plays it is great for the sport of golf. Here’s to hoping that he can muster up another Tiger run in the near future.

A Letter to Conference-USA

It has been over five months now since UAB Football was disbanded, and the war to bring it back is still ensuing. The UAB National Alumni Society, Student Government Association, and Faculty Senate have all expressed their lack of confidence in university president Ray Watts. After documents were leaked in late March that showed plans to cut football before the 2014 season ever started, these same groups called for Watts to resign. We all know this did not happen, seeing as how Watts is still president collecting a paycheck that is a few hundred thousand dollars more than he should be getting. Last week, we learned that Conference-USA will hold meetings in Dallas to discuss whether or not UAB should remain in the conference. For those of you who do not know, one of the bylaws that must be upheld to stay in the conference is that every school must have football. I have one thing to say to those people that will meet in Dallas… Please do not do this…yet.

I know this is a big thing to ask, and I know I have zero influence on the decision, but please just delay the decision to kick UAB out of Conference-USA. I am leaning on the saying “the truth shall set you free.” People can only lie for so long, and I believe time is running out for President Watts and the University of Alabama Board of Trustees that supports him. I have heard from some people that the BOT had nothing to do with it. I simply call those people ignorant. This whole situation is all about belittling UAB, and so far they have done a good job of it. UAB Football being taken away is just one of many things that have happened to hold UAB back. UAB didn’t stop fighting back then and this isn’t going to stop the fight now.

I am aware that if football is not brought back that Conference-USA will kick UAB out. I am just simply asking on the behalf of all Blazer fans to give us more time. There is a study taking place to study the original findings of the Carr Report. This is the report that ultimately led to the shutdown of football, and one that is stocked full of inaccuracies. Hopefully the results will show that UAB could in fact support football, and once again pin everything back on Ray Watts as to why he trusted and supported the decision. I know it is too late for me to go back to UAB for football. I am attending South Alabama now and will play my last year college football as a Jaguar. I am honestly speaking for the legacy that we left at UAB after the 2014 season. So please, don’t make the decision to kick UAB out until they shed some light on the REAL truth of what is really going on in Birmingham.

Braves… I Hope You Know What You’re Doing

For as long as I can remember, I have been an Atlanta Braves fan. With my home being just under three hours from Atlanta, I chose them as the team I would cheer for simply because they were closest in proximity to me. I started attending games at a very young age. I would do anything to be able to take a trip to Turner Field and watch them play. I had posters in my room of Chipper Jones, Jeff Francoeur, and Tom Glavine. I grew up idolizing these guys. Chipper was a Brave until he retired, but as for Jeff and Tom, they have different stories. Tom was traded away to the Mets, and Jeff has been traded more times than I can count in the last few years. This is a part of Major League Baseball. Players are traded every year, whether they like it or not.

This past offseason, the Braves have made some very questionable moves. They traded Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. Two great players that I was sad to see go. After that, Melvin Upton Jr., who was overpaid for very poor play over the last few years. I agreed with that trade. He was making big bucks to under .200 the previous two seasons. As I said before, these trades are a part of baseball, but there was one trades the Braves made that really made me mad. Craig Kimbrel was traded to the Padres. The right-handed closer was traded the day before the season started, leaving many fans very upset.

I know trades are a part of baseball. All I can say to the Braves front office is that I hope they know what they are doing. Many people are calling it a rebuilding process, and they are right, but front Braves’ fans sake I hope this works. I realize that the team may not be great this year, but hopefully this will lead into a brighter future for Atlanta Braves baseball.

No One Can Stop Kentucky

It’s no secret that the Kentucky Wildcats field a very competitive team in basketball every year. Coach John Calipari has become arguably the greatest recruiter of all time. The talent level he brings in every year cannot be matched by any other team in the NCAA. This is something he has to do year in and year out, simply because so many of his players leave for the NBA after one year. However, this year is just a little more special. Yes, Calipari has a team mostly run by freshman and sophomores, as is his custom, but the things this team has done is what makes it extremely rare.

At this point in the NCAA March Madness Tournament, Kentucky sits at an astounding 38-0. They have to a chance to make history and become the second team ever to finish the season undefeated. Only the 1976 Indiana team has ever finished with an unblemished record. With all the hype that is surrounding the Kentucky team, they still manage to perform at an insanely high level in games. Whether it’s doubling up West Virginia in the Sweet 16, or narrowly escaping Notre Dame in the Elite 8, this team just finds a way to get it done. With potentially seven first round draft picks, it’s not hard to see why they are so good.

I know a lot of people do not want to see Kentucky go all the way and undefeated, and that’s okay. People are entitled to cheer for and against whoever they want to. Let me just say this, no one can stop Kentucky. Sure, they might have close games, that’s what championship basketball is supposed to be, but no one will beat them, not this year. If I am wrong, then I am wrong. It’s not going to hurt my feelings. I just think that we all should be rooting for Kentucky. Not only for them to win the National Championship, but to add to the history of the game.

It’s Not All About Swag

Recently, the NCAA announced that they were banning the “crop-top” jersey style from collegiate football games in the future. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is when a football player pulls his jersey up above his stomach and wears it like that. Over the course of last season, many guys did this. Some did it to show off their abs, some did it for swag because they thought it would look cool, and then there were the lineman

I’ll be honest, the last thing I am thinking about going into a college football game is if I have swag, and I think most offensive lineman would agree with me. All I am thinking about before and during the game is doing my job and keeping cool. Wearing the “crop-top” allowed me to be cooler on the field. It may sound crazy, but having my jersey pulled up over my stomach creates a draft that keeps me just a little bit cooler and ultimately more hydrated. I know I am not alone in this. Many of my teammates did it, as well as many other lineman across the country.

I think the NCAA banning us from wearing our jerseys like that is stupid. It’s not hurting anyone, and if someone doesn’t want to look at my belly then they don’t have to watch. It is simply for keeping cool, I don’t care what the NCAA thinks. In my opinion, it’s just them trying to make another bogus rule to take the fun out of the college game.

UAB Basketball Gets it Done, Shows What Football Could Have Been

I know this is a subject that I talk about a lot, but it still seems relevant. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has been without football for over three months now, and many people are still fighting to get it back. After it was shut down, President Ray Watts said that the money not spent on football would be spent to better the remaining sports at the university(yeah right).  In my opinion, I think it was just him running his mouth again. Anyways, I get the feeling that he assumed all other sports at UAB would be mediocre until this money was given out next year. Then what he thought would never happen, did.

Just over three months after the UAB football team was shut down, the UAB Mens Basketball team won the Conference USA Championship. I was there for the championship game. It was an amazing experience to see that team accomplish what they did. Keep in mind, no additional money has been given yet. So, let me ask you this, President Watts… Are you done making up excuses for why you shut down football? Because it seems everyone but you and Mr. Bolton knows it was not about the money. The university that you “care about more than anybody else” just won the conference championship. Were you there? That’s a rhetorical question, sir. Everyone knows that you were not. Maybe you watched it at home. That’s a big maybe, but if you did, you would have seen what happens to a team that is allowed to build and succeed. There was a great chance that the university could have celebrated another conference chamionship in December, for football. With the team we had coming back, anything would have been possible.

I know I have done a lot of rambling in this blog, but I have two main points that I did my best to get across. The first one is, the UAB sports situation is not about money. I mean come on, UAB is headed to the big dance with the money they already had. I am tired of reading all the nonsense from Ray Watts about it. My second point is, if you have a sports team that has a promising future, let them thrive. Don’t shut it down. Anything is possible.