Friday, December 27, 2013

Is this thing on? [UPDATE: YES IT IS.]

So, that was an extended break from updating the old website here. I'll give you an update of where I'm at, and what I've been doing.

- I was in Auburn, Ala., for this year's Iron Bowl. And, for The Classical, here's my dispatch from one of the craziest sports-things I've ever seen.

- Also, since we last spoke, I've become editor of Packerland Pride magazine and curator of its website,

There you can find selected stories from each issue of the magazine -- we've been around since August -- as well as game previews I've been writing throughout the season.

For the sake of catching up, here are a few pieces I've done for the magazine.

- I traced the Packers' radio and television presence through history, and made the case that hometown radio teams will always be relevant because they're fans too.

- I chronicled the Packers' long lineage of great wide receivers, basically from the team's start.

- As former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson was set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, I spoke with him about his career in Green Bay and more.

Packerland Pride is a fan-focused magazine at heart, and here are three features I did on the incredible things Packers fans do:

- This is on Patti Schroeder, who turned her barn into a memorable billboard during the tumultuous Packers/Brett Favre saga a few years ago.

- On a group from Wausau, Wis., and their longtime tailgating traditions which also serve as perfect ways to showcase Wisconsin hospitality at its finest.

- And, after the highly-controversial Fail Mary against the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, on how a small T-shirt company made up of friends in Iola, Wis., turned the misfortune into a great way to vent, which turned into the best business decision they could've made.

That's sort of caught up, for now, and I'll be back to update again after the January issue is released. Thanks, as ever, for reading, and feel free to email me at anytime at griffingotta [at] gmail [dot] com.

Until next time.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Latest at The Classical

On the eve of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, I wrote, at The Classical, an appreciation of the incredible Game 6 and the mystery of the season's last game. It lived up to whatever I wanted it to be, that's for certain.

It is always a blast to write for that site.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Arena football in Auburn

This week I did a longish feature on the Chattahoochee Valley Vipers, an arena football team with wishes to move to Auburn. They've got a ways to go, but the right mindset to potentially pull it off.

Here's the story.

Until next time.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The month of May at the Auburn Villager


Here's some of what I did in May at the Villager:

- I wrote about Auburn AD Jay Jacobs and his optimism about the future of the school's athletic programs.

- I did a feature on Auburn's 1913 football team, which went undefeated and are thought by some to be the national champions, and maybe the school's best team ever. (Update: This story won first place in the 2014 Alabama Press Association awards for Best Sports Feature Story. So that was cool.)

- Auburn High's baseball team made a run to the state semifinals; here's a look at how and why they got there.

Questions or comments about anything? Feel free to email me at griffingotta[at] Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Newest batch of Villager stuff

Hello --

Here's a roundup of what I've been working on the last few weeks at the Auburn Villager.

- First, I wrote that while the Auburn Tigers may not have many concrete answers after spring practice, they're getting closer to finding them.

- This week, I covered Auburn High school's baseball team and their recent comeback playoff victory.

- And here are the last two week's worth of Mad Men discussion/recap posts: "To Have and to Hold." "The Flood."

Thanks for being here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Also: Mad Men recaps/discussions!

Also at the Auburn Villager, my colleague Daniel Chesser and I are recapping season six of AMC's Mad Men with Monday morning discussions. They're sometimes serious, sometimes ridiculous but always fun (for me, at least).

Here are the first two.

- Following the two-episode season premiere, "The Doorway."

- And after the third -- or second, whatever -- episode last Sunday night, "The Collaborators."

Auburn Tigers spring practice coverage, A-Day preview

Well there's been some spring practicin' in Auburn over the last month or so. It's all going to culminate with this Saturday's A-Day scrimmage and final rolling of the Auburn Oaks at Toomer's Corner.

There's been some progress, some sluggishness, but lots and lots of speed. Here's what I've been writing as the Tigers wrap up their spring.

- First, the most recent. My overall A-Day preview, mostly focusing (of course) on the sort of telling scrimmage.

And on to the rest:

- This was a spring practice preview focusing on the quarterbacks. Since it's still a neck-and-neck race, it still applies.

- Here is a report after new head coach Gus Malzahn's spring-opening, tone-setting press conference.

- As practice started, I looked at Auburn and the implementation of their new 4-2-5 base defensive scheme.

- This was a notebook-style update as players began adapting to Malzahn's up-tempo system.

- My last update before the A-Day preview questioned where the Tigers were at, progress-wise, and whether they were far enough along or not.

There you are. Thanks for being here.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Auburn Villager, March 14: Auburn AD Jay Jacobs talk, Basketball's over, etc.

Hello again. Another week down at the Villager, and more proof that March is more entertaining than February could ever hope to be.

- First, I wrote about Auburn University athletic director Jay Jacobs, who isn't everyone's favorite around here right now. But I'm not sure he's judged as an A.D as much as a de-facto general manager of the football program. I'm not sure that I still have a good answer for the situation.

Anyway, here's the piece. I liked how it turned out, anyway.

- Here's the final preview for an Auburn men's basketball game this season. They were bounced in the SEC tournament's first round.

- And this is a writeup for a local high school baseball team's Play Against Cancer fundraiser.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gus Malzahn: QB whisperer; SB Nation football stuff

My big story this week for the Auburn Villager was a look at new Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn and how, save for a few interesting situations, he has basically made every college quarterback he's coached thus far a whole lot better in his first season with them. When he and Cam Newton joined forces it was just plain silly.

- Here's the link.

Elsewhere, wanted to post some recent stuff I've been doing for SB Nation.

- When Jermichael Finley said recently he wouldn't take a pay cut with the Packers this season, I wrote why that wasn't a big deal, since both sides are treating it as a bottom-line business decision.

- After the NFL Combine, I wrote about Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, just happy to be there after surviving a freak, near-fatal injury on the practice field.

- Last but not least and most sad, I wrote Charles Woodson's free agency profile. I only cried through 78 percent of it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Auburn Villager stuff: February - Now

So the Villager has a new web site that is less dry erase board and more, you know, web site. It's been good so far.

I've been doing plenty, but here are a few recent highlights.

- The Auburn men's basketball team has, wow, been really bad in the new year. I wrote here that even planning for the future in the present doesn't feel optimistic, and here after they lost to Alabama shortly thereafter.

And here's a look at their final home game against Tennessee, and momentum versus habits.

- For the craziness that is National Signing Day, I looked at Auburn's defensive signees, of which there were many.

- Lee-Scott Academy won their third straight state title in girls basketball. The boys lost right afterwards. Their coach talks winning a championship, then losing one in the same night.

More to come tomorrow.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Auburn Villager posts for week of Jan. 31

Hi! Fun week at the Villager, it was.

- I chatted over the phone with San Francisco 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers about the Super Bowl and state of Auburn football. It was pretty neat.


- With National Signing Day next week, I also spoke to Auburn High head football coach Tim Carter about the prospects on his team, including Reuben Foster.


Enjoy Super Bowling.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Auburn Villager posts for the week of Jan. 24


Here's what I was working on last week at the Villager:

- Auburn basketball got crushed by Kentucky, and needed a better performance against Ole Miss. They got it, but still lost.


- Lee-Scott Academy prep basketball, two powerhouses primed for the postseason.


- And Auburn High School girls basketball, also on the eve of the playoffs.


Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Auburn Villager stories: Late December to Jan. 17

I've been spotty filling this space, but here's me playing catch-up. Aside from the profile piece I did on Lee-Scott coach Chad Prewett, I've been writing about basketball in most of its forms here in Auburn.

Here they are.

- Auburn High School's varsity boys got off to a tough start, only to rebound in a weekend (From Dec.20).


- Before the Auburn Tigers started SEC play, I had my doubts as to whether or not they could overcome themselves (From Jan. 3).


- Next, I looked at the AU women's basketball team, starting strong under a new head coach (From Jan. 10).


- This week, I revisited Lee-Scott basketball, with one team's streak ending and the other finally getting practice time.


- Lastly, I previewed Auburn's contest against Kentucky this Saturday, and how this year's team is bringing back memories of ten years ago.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Auburn Villager, Christmas Week: Chad Prewett profile

For the Christmas week edition of the Villager, I worked for a few months on a profile of Chad Prewett, a local high school basketball coach of two teams, at the same time.

Clocking in at over 4,000 words, it was a fun project, and I was happy with the results. If you're interested, there it is.


Happy New Year, all.