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      Smack Zone Exclusive: Enlightening Page from USC Coach Steve Sarkisian's Playbook

      Smack Zone Exclusive: Enlightening Page from USC Coach Steve Sarkisian's Playbook

      In yet another example of ground-breaking journalism, Smack Zone staffers risked life and limb to attain this enlightening page from the Steve Sarkisian playbook.[/caption] Look, we don't want to make light of a man's alcohol problem. And clearly, Southern Cal football coach Steve Sarkisian has a very real alcohol problem. But we here in the Smack Zone central office take our public service role seriously. So, when our enterprising editorial staff acquired a top secret page from Sarkisian's playbook, we felt it was in the interest of Trojans and other college football fans throughout the land that we share this enlightening information. We wish Coach Sarkisian a long, healthy, happy recovery during his enforced, indefinite leave of absence. We also wish to offer the USC Trojans a sober wish of ... well, sobriety under interim coach Clay Helton.

      When Tarps Attack: Kansas City Tarp Strikes Back

      The tarp at Kansas City's Kaufman Stadium is a menace. Just ask the guy who was devoured while preparing for a rain delay Thursday during Game 1 of the ALDS between the Royals and Astros. Here's a GIF clip from Deadspin (look away if you're squeamish; this gets real ugly, real fast):

      It was not the first time the dreaded KC tarp went after a member of the grounds crew. Remember this, from a few years ago? [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfr0SGW81Xw] This is no benign, field-protecting expanse of plastic and fabric. This tarp is a predator. This hideous creature even has its own Twitter account: @KC_Royals_Tarp. It's an outrage that baseball hasn't banned the Kansas City tarp for conduct detrimental to the health of the grounds crew. I mean, compared to the mildly hungry tarp that ate Vince Coleman during the 1985 NLCS, the tarp in Kansas City is a ravenous beast. We're seeing a pattern all over the country, in fact. If not for a couple of alert Pittsburgh Pirates this past summer, the tarp at PNC Park would have enjoyed a tasty grounds crew snack before making its escape on the wild winds of the Allegheny Mountains. Remember this? [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRQEMONYIEs] Stay alert, baseball grounds crews. Watch the skies, but keep an eye on the tarps. They're alive ... and they're hungry.

      Texas Football is STILL Better than These 33 Things

      [caption id="attachment_1236" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Texas Football Things are bad for the University of Texas, but it could always be worse. Illustration: Steve Hill for Smack Zone.[/caption] We know what you’re thinking: What college football team sucks more than the Texas Longhorns under second-year coach Charlie Strong? Wait a minute. WHY WOULD YOU ASK SUCH A QUESTION? What are you, some kind of agitator? Do you relish negativity? Are you one of those people who enjoys the misery of others? Damn, that’s cold, dude. And at the start of Red River Rivalry week, too. You ought to be ashamed. Rather than ask such a negative, nasty, unhelpful question, why not take a positive approach? Why not think of it in terms of how much betterΒ University of Texas football is than these 33 things:

        1. A root canal.
        2. Dropping a bowling ball on your big toe.
        3. Taking a sip of coffee that you thought was still warm but turns out to be ice-freaking-cold.
        4. Taking a sip of coffee you didn’t realize was about 8,000 degrees and burning the hell of out your tongue.
        5. Unpassable kidney stones.
        6. Running out of gas on Route 90 between Del Rio, Texas, and Van Horn, Texas.
        7. NOT running out of gas on Route 90 between Del Rio and Van Horn.
        8. Idaho football. Barely.
        9. Dropping your iPhone in the toilet.
        10. Losing the remote. Again.
        11. Sitting in a recliner 15 feet away from the coffee table, which is where the remote turned out to be.
        12. Graduating with $60,000 in student loan debt and having to move back in with your parents.
        13. Standing in line for an hour at the DMV with no signal on your iPhone.
        14. When the PlayStation network is hacked again and all you want to do is play FIFA 16.
        15. Going into the Swamp on a high with national title aspirations and getting the crap kicked out of you.
        16. Getting sand in your Tag Heuer at the beach.
        17. Not being able to figure out what Instagram filter works best on your amazing sunset photo.
        18. Drafting Jordy Nelson in the first round on your fantasy football team.
        19. When Tori Spelling spills the beans about your summer romance.
        20. Any given Kardashian.
        21. At least half of the kickers in the NFL today.
        22. Stepping in dog poop – barefoot.
        23. Getting eliminated from baseball’s post-season on the last day of the season.
        24. Getting your name spelled incorrectly on the cup at Starbucks.
        25. When you have the perfect tweet about how bad Texas football is, but it’s too many characters.
        26. Finding out Darth Vader is your father.
        27. Finding out Hayden Christensen is Darth Vader.
        28. Making out with Michael Scott of the Office.
        29. Having to login EVERY TIME you open an app on a free Wi-Fi signal.
        30. Craving Chick-fil-A on a Sunday.
        31. Watching your carefully planned and choreographed Star Trek routine turn into a national laughing stock when the band loses its shape on the field and it starts to look like a giant Jawhawk performing oral sex instead of battling the Enterprise. [caption id="attachment_931" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Kansas State band Image: Kansas State University.[/caption]
        32. Ebola.
        33. Toby Flenderson.
      Flenderson Texas football is bad, yes. But it is still better than all of these things. So, take heart, Longhorn fans. It could always be worse.