One year ago today, fueled by a desire to share our insights on sports, Catfish and I embarked on the adventure that is The Amphibious Sports Duo. After introducing myself, I typed our first post about the Federer-Nadal epic Wimbledon match. After reading this post again I realize I really did not spell, grammar, run-on sentence, or diction check the article very well or at all. Yet, it was a beginning and soon Catfish made his appearance by stating some of his mantras and it was off into great unknown. The main reason we began the blog was because we wanted a location to store much of our material and brainstorming. Our ultimate goal is to be able to take the general thoughts, themes and ideas here on the site and bring them to light in the form of a show on radio. While real world obligations continue to require our attention, we have done our best to attempt to entertain, inform, and provoke thought through our content.
The addition of the Shackleford Files, our podcast, gave us the opportunity to be hear and not just seen. Our last official podcast was two and a half months ago but we have been working in the studio, putting material on tape and (hopefully) perfecting how we work together. The ASD also produced a podcast for our local NBA team, the Charlotte Bobcats, for the blog Bobcats Planet. You can listen to all nine Bobcats Planet Radio episodes here. Catfish and I really had some fun putting those introduction pieces in and just like the Shackleford Files, the show took off once we got in studio together. There is no doubt we have improved from where we started in this respect and are seeking an opportunity in the sports community.
So where does the blog go from here? Do we change our format? Do we do exclusively podcasts? Will we pursue advertising? Even we do not know the answer to that question at the moment (but we can go left or right). Both Catfish and I are trying to get a foothold of what our vision for the blog, our recordings, and where we are in life is going to be. But before we go forward, to mark today's significance we are going to look back. Here are the top ten blog posts from our first year. These posts were chosen based on certain criteria: how well we think they represent our philosophy, the entertainment value, the extent with which they were linked to other blogs, and our subjective opinions. I know you're thinking that how could we possibly choose from our over 600 posts, but somehow we were able to. So enjoy the reminiscing after the break.
10. Tennessee Swingin' September 2, 2008
In this masterpiece by Catfish, he was inspired by the University of Tennessee's epic collapse at UCLA on Labor Day. With some photoshopping and a dash of Swingers dialogue Cat attempted to bring Phil Fulmer up to speed on the problems with not running the ball and letting a third string QB march down the field on you. I guess ole Phil never got the message as he stepped down after the year which ushered in the Lane Kiffin era.
9. Top Ten Trick Plays August 25, 2008
One of our first Top Tens was by Catfish as he caught wind of Western Carolina having a contest which invited fans to draw up a play for the football team and if your play is picked you could win prizes depending on the result. I do not know how the contest shook out, but Cat's mention of the contest along with the subsequent list of trick plays got us our first mention in the blogosphere. Sadly the Fiesta Bowl moment at number 1 has been taken off of YouTube so I put in a replacement vid.
8. BCS Afterthoughts January 9, 2009
Florida ensured my streak of teams I despise winning championships would continue by beating Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. The day after the game, many people were talking about Thom Brennaman talking about Tim Tebow. I chimed in my two cents which got a mention in Extra Mustard and a comment from an obvious Florida fan. I never got to retort to the comment that I used a vague stat stating "A large portion of the viewing audience". Sorry I was not scientific enough to produce numbers, but if you read any papers, blogs, listen to radio, or are not a UF fan, you found Thom's commentary ridiculous. I do not need a solid stat to know that buddy.
7. The Refs Hit Miami Again December 3, 2008
This post concerned a basketball game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge between Miami and Ohio State. Of course these two teams have a controversial history so when Miami's All-ACC, scoring machine and second-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs (love that team for him) Jack McClinton was tossed out of the game for love-tapping a Buckeye after Jack got poked in the eye, it seemed like deja vu to an incredibly lesser degree. Afterwords we learned that the rule as it stood in the NCAA is that if the refs go to the replay and see contact they have to eject, they just cannot call a technical. It was incredibly lame and cost a lot of pro scouts money who flew down there to see McClinton. I thought this play could possibly cost the Canes a tourney bid come March but it turns out the team outside of McClinton played so horrid that losing this game did not even really matter. Miami went to the NIT and lost in the Quarterfinals while Ohio State made the big dance but fell to Sienna due to a double order of onions. The connection made in the post was not lost to the blogosphere as we got a nod on a few blogs including Deadspin.
6. Catfish Turns Heel November 12, 2008
In his quest to be just and fair about his beloved Tar Heels, Catfish concocted the most likely reasons Carolina would not cut the nets down in Detroit. I have to give him credit because this was early in the season when the Heels seemed unstoppable and on the possible path to a perfect season. He took some heat from his Tar Heel brethren but got the ASD's first link on Deadspin and more importantly to him, a championship.
5. The LeBron Situation June 18, 2009
This was only posted one week ago, but in my mind, it was some of my finest work. I cannot remember exactly how the idea for this Pulp Fiction homage got in my head, but I sat at my desk at work and cranked it out. The idea basically was that the Cavs need to make some offseason noise in regards to their roster and somehow Winston Wolfe came to mind as a perfect problem solver. The Cavs have since landed Shaq but it was probably not in the manner portrayed in the post...probably. If you have never seen the movie or do not count it as one of your favorites, then the angle might be lost on you, but otherwise it's an entertaining look at the situation.
4. The Evolution of the Press April 3, 2009
This is probably one of our biggest thought provoking pieces that we have posted. As much as we love the pop culture references and less than tasteful jokes, at our core these are the type of issues we find relevant when it comes to sports and society. This is the kind of discussion we would push for if given our own forum to the masses. Catfish explained the past, present, and future of how sports information is going to be obtained and interpreted. It was linked around the blogosphere as it should have been.
3. The Genesis: Point and Counterpoint July 7, 2008
This argument between Catfish and I (click the "Point" and "Counterpoint" separately for each side of the debate) is really what got the ball rolling for the blog. We wrote the opinions about the 2008 NBA Finals and their legacy in a forum thread and after talking, decided we should begin a blog to house debates such as this. Catfish was contending that the Celtics win over the Lakers had the most impact on individual legacies since the Bulls' first championship in 1991. He came at this from both sides; the Celtics big three and Doc Rivers, and the wounded legacies of Kobe and Phil. He made a strong case and of course this is neglecting the Lakers' triumph this year which alters some of that history. My contention that it was the two years where Jordan was flailing at curve balls where so many legacies were defined. Between Hakeem and the Rockets going back-to-back and all the other stars that failed to seize a title while Jordan was away (Stockton-Malone, Barkely, Ewing, etc.), those two years left a strong mark on NBA lore. Up to this point we had discussed creating a forum for our debates such as these and attempting to pursue careers in it, but it was this particular correspondence that put it into action. Not exactly letters between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, but it's who we are.
2. Carolina's Big Cat Missing October 13, 2008
Catfish made this right-on-point poster after the Panther's Julius Peppers had a less than inspiring game (cannot remember which one, there were many). It has long been a hot topic in Panthers' Country what should be done with number 90 and the debate rages on. Even though for a moment against the Saints it appeared the old Pep was back, this poster still holds true in the Queen City today. The poster is truly a great work of art and got the ASD some pub on the local sports radio station.
1. Bob Johnson Embarrasses Bobcats On CNBC October 15, 2008
I am loathe to make our number one post a negative story, but all the factors of this post combined makes it our top one. Catfish found the video footage of Bobcats owner and Charlotte sports hate target Bob Johnson on CNBC's show "Squawk Box" making such epic statements as "put the right players on the field." Nobody really caught the interview which also featured Mark Cuban and in the morning Catfish had the blogosphere and the local sports radio sharing a chortle over the cluelessness of the Bobcats owner. The story got linked on Ball Don't Lie, SLAM Online, as well as others. Considering this and that we here at the ASD covered the Bobcats closely this year and even had our own podcast dedicated to them, this post makes our number one spot.
So there you have it, our top ten from our Paper Anniversary. I'm sure all seven of you that read us faithfully may have other articles that stood out for you. Feel free to share which ones in the comments. We look on the second year as one of great hope and possibly, finally a positive and stable one. To once again quote Kodos, "...we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!”