Haters will say CFB Huddle’s Game Balls concept is a weak facsimile of other weekly rundown column elsewhere. Thanks to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, I’ve learned to brush it off.
Enjoy the best of the week in college football.
Haters Will Say These Kicks Are Faked
Forget Dude Perfect: University of Minnesota specialists turned the trick-shot genre on its head this week with the most amazing series of boots you’ll ever see. Watch for yourself and prepare to be amazed.
Haters are gonna say it's fake. pic.twitter.com/8mwBlODJsQ
— Gopher Specialists (@MinnSpecialists) June 15, 2016
An underrated supplement is the release posted to GopherSports.com, which includes the deadpan gem: “shockingly there were some cynics in the virtual world who voiced their skepticism in 140 characters.”
Props to the Minnesota specialists for producing the best “Haters Will Say” video to date. Most viral video fads of the last few years have been…well, terrible. The Harlem Shake marks a bleak time in American culture, for example.
However, the “Haters Will Say It’s Fake” meme has led to some great #content.
Only haters will say it's fake. pic.twitter.com/DMPOapbcY7
— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) June 13, 2016
Late Night TV U.
Pat Fitzgerald may have my personal account blocked on Twitter — I’m guessing for a column I didn’t even write — but @cfbhuddle is still free to peruse the tweets of @NUFBFamily!
Northwestern celebrates graduation this weekend, and Wildcat celebrity super-fan and alum Seth Meyers joined in the festivities.
"I feel like I look like the team accountant."
— #B1GCats Football (@NUFBFamily) June 17, 2016
Meyers appeared with Fitzgerald and fellow NU graduate Stephen Colbert in a 2014 commercial. Miami might be Tight End U., and Penn State Linebacker U., but Northwestern’s pretty clearly claimed distinction as Late Night TV U.
Speaking of TV, Summer is peak TV-watching season for me. Once college football approaches, the work schedule ramps up and stays hectic through college basketball.
We can officially say we’ve reached summer when NBC airs American Ninja Warrior seemingly every night (co-hosted by former San Diego State standout Akbar Gbaja-Biamila!); ads for terrible replacement shows air during the NBA Finals; and CBS announces the lineup for Big Brother. Big Brother 18 is apparently taking a cue from Jersey Shore, casting a gym manager whose yearbook motto was a botched Junior M.A.F.I.A. quote.
BB18 also features a resident of the Bronx and two Jersey residents — one of whom is a D.J. No one tell the Maloofs, lest they make another bad investment.
Jersey Shore‘s white-hot popularity for a brief period and equally rapid fade serves as a reminder that the best way to keep a trashy reality series afloat for several years is to constantly turnover the cast, and know your audience. The Bachelorette seems to be wildly popular with college football media — shrug emoji — to such an extent Friend Of The Site Ben Kercheval chronicles the show on his personal blog.
This season is the second in which the “reality” series featured a contestant with SEC ties. Two summers ago, it was former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s brother. This year, it’s former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers. Rodgers is seemingly playing the role of villain, if the below clip is to be believed.
In addition to The Bachelorette, ABC went heavy on game shows this summer, one of which is hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan. Bringing this back to college football, Strahan is one in an illustrious line of HBCU alums to become superstars in the NFL.
Strahan played at Texas Southern, a program in the SWAC — the same conference that produced Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State); Steve McNair (Alcorn State); Walter Payton (Jackson State); and Buck Buchanan, “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd and the great Eddie Robinson (Grambling).
ABC, home to Strahan’s $100,000 Pyramid reboot, aired the first installment in the documentary series O.J.: Made in America. The in-depth look at the life of USC Heisman winner and NFL great O.J. Simpson, coupled with the FX docu-drama aired this spring, renewed conversation about the cultural impact of the 1994 arrest and 1995 trial.
Drew Magary posited in March Strahan is the contemporary equivalent to Simpson pre-arrest: Hall of Fame football player with crossover appeal.
I explained the parallel to my wife, a huge fan of Strahan from his appearances on Live! and Good Morning America. She knows him more as a TV personality than a record-setting defensive end.
Will Leitch also offered an interesting parallel: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) June 17, 2016
Though The Rock’s football career ended prematurely, he parlayed his popularity from the single hottest period in the history of professional wrestling into one of the most lucrative careers in Hollywood.
While I’m taking a very hard-pass on his action-comedy vehicle with equally bankable co-star Kevin Hart, I will tune in to Season 2 of Johnson’s HBO series Ballers. The first season felt like the love child of the woefully short-lived ESPN series Playmakers, and the first few seasons of Entourage before it went off the rails with the terrible Medellin storyline.
• Brandon Cavanaugh examined the unique path of Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp for Today’s U. Cavanaugh spoke with family of the Husker standout, whose roots in Lincoln run through several decades. This is one entry in a running series following a player likely to blow up in 2016.
• My son was born two years ago in May, making this weekend my third official Father’s Day. Since joining the not-that-exclusive fraternity of fathers, I’ve grown increasingly vigilant about pinpointing examples for my son. Thanks to The Undefeated, I found one this week. You have to admire the young man’s hustle.
• Summer is camp season for thousands of kids around the country. I spent many summer weeks at basketball camps growing up, and later worked as a counselor while in college. Jim Harbaugh’s made camps the talk of college football, and ESPN went behind the scenes to examine the uproar.
Sending You Out With A Tune
Here’s Christian McCaffrey with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”