Ryan Welton

Sports + Digital + Music + Life

Monthly Archives: August 2019

Jalen Hurts Named Sooners’ Starter, But D’Eriq King Is The QB Oklahoma Needs To Worry About

0

The Oklahoma Sooners named Jalen Hurts starting quarterback on Monday in breaking news that nobody doubted. The Alabama graduate transfer was a shoo-in for the job, it seemed, over the underrated Tanner Mordecai and the future superstar Spencer Rattler.

Hurts has played in three national championship games and helped the Crimson Tide win the 2017 natty.

But come September 1, Hurts might not be the best QB on Owen Field.

D’Eriq King is coming to town, and he’s got a Dana Holgorsen offense in tow.

Everybody who thinks that Week 1 versus the University of Houston is going to be a cakewalk is grossly mistaken. New defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and the Sooners D will get a stiff test in Week 1 against a proven offensive system and a QB who has a puncher’s chance at a Heisman Trophy in 2019.

Deadly serious.

King was leading the nation in touchdowns last November when a torn meniscus sidelined him for the rest of the year.

The website underdogdynasty.com, which covers football in Conference USA, the Sun Belt, the AAC and Independent college football, ranks D’Eriq King as its No. 1 player in the AAC.

They write:
We’ve said it for a while and we’ll say it again: D’Eriq King is the best player in this conference, no question. He was robbed for Conference Player of the Year last year, and deserves more respect from all of college football.

King was one of three players to account for 50 or more touchdowns last year. He did that in 11 games, and might have led all of college football in touchdowns if he didn’t get hurt. Dana Holgorsen’s staff gives him yet another playbook, but that won’t slow him down at all. Holgorsen said he won’t run King as much this year, so his passing numbers should improve. Regardless of what happens, King’s talent is too good to ignore, and we need to give him the respect he deserves.

Check out this pass. This is the type of stuff that killed the Sooners time and time again the past few years, especially against teams that had taller receivers (think Texas and Iowa State):

Let’s check the roster. I’ve got some good news, Oklahoma. Houston doesn’t have any upper-classmen taller than 6’2″ and their one 6’3″ receiver is a freshman.

But to be brutally honest, this YouTube video should scare the devil out of Oklahoma fans. King is a fantastic passer, and Sooners fans know darned well that Oklahoma’s defense of the past two seasons wasn’t really any better than any of the teams you just watched in that video.

There are zero guarantees Oklahoma wins Game 1. The battle versus Houston in Norman on Sept. 1 is basically a Big 12 game from the past couple of years. Winning is surely expected, but by no means should anybody fail to understand how big a test this really is.

This could be a 55-48 type of game.

So, while Monday was all about getting the Jalen Hurts-as-starter news out of the way for the Sooners, OU fans should be getting to know D’Eriq King.

Dude could be the stuff of Oklahoma’s nightmares come Sept. 1.

Photo credit: University of Houston athletics

Is Oklahoma Sooners QB Spencer Rattler Closing In On Jalen Hurts?

0

I’ve only begun to dive into Netflix’s QB1 series featuring Oklahoma Sooners phenom Spencer Rattler during his time at Pinnacle in Phoenix. I’m struck by how small he is compared to other big-time quarterback recruits.

And then we see him throw. Crisp.

And then we see the attitude. Confident.

And, damn, if it isn’t like seeing a young Baker Mayfield get after it.

As a Sooner fan, the thing that strikes me the most is how committed Rattler was to Oklahoma from the get-go. His coaches had to tell him to stop wearing his OU gear at practices.

But could this freshman, who didn’t go through spring ball at OU, have a chance to supplant incoming transfer Jalen Hurts as opening week starter? I don’t think there’s a chance of that — but there is a lot of buzz at how Rattler is performing.

This article from the Norman Transcript suggests Rattler is in the thick of the QB race with Hurts and Tanner Mordecai, who is no slouch for the Sooners. The reporting is that while Rattler hasn’t necessarily made ground on Mordecai or Hurts, he has come into his own as far as execution.

OK, then. But could Rattler see playing time this year? I’d bet the farm that he at least gets his four games before taking the redshirt, probably. In fact, I predict we’ll see him Week 1 versus Houston.

Former OU nose tackle Dusty Dvoracek talked with News 9 Sports Director Dean Blevins about Rattler, noting how impressive he’s been in practice.

I think the biggest question I have is whether Rattler is actually redshirted. My current hunch is that he won’t be. We’re in an era of win-now, and if Lincoln Riley thinks No. 7 can help Oklahoma in a Big 12 title game or a national playoff, then Spencer Rattler will be playing when it counts — even if it’s only for a couple of packages.

Photo from Soonersports.com

R.I.P. Baba Sen, aka the Cosmic Barber

0

Reprinted from another (former) site of mine, bunnygap.com:

When I tell you that there’s something for everybody on YouTube, I mean something for everybody. And when somebody in that community passes, it’s a loss felt by all.

Baba Sen, the Cosmic Barber, reportedly has died in Pushkar, India, or thereabouts of cardiac arrest on the morning of October 19. Word came from a YouTube live video on the channel, Indian Massage:

For those of you who are familiar with the world of ASMR, many of those artists credit Baba Sen as being an original, unintentional ASMR artist. Word spread fast on Reddit.

Word from Baba’s Facebook page was that he was only 47.

Apparently, he had been out at some kind of festival and just didn’t wake up this morning.

So, you’re asking yourself, what did this man do? He gave head massages in a very unique manner that was fascinating to watch. Surely, it was quite relaxing, too, for the recipient. Word is he charged only between $8-10 per massage, and if you didn’t have the money, he charged less or nothing.

This is reputedly one of if not his last videos, which the poster says will go to help his family:

And now for some of Baba Sen’s greatest hits. Enjoy the YouTube rabbit hole, er, the bunny gap — and if you can help this guy’s family out, do so!

Ryan’s Playlist No. 3: The Rise of Maren Morris + DMB that Needs a Re-listen + New John Prine!

0

We’re already four days into August, and I’ve failed to post my July music list. Egad! For those of you new to the blog, each month I Shazam everything that really catches my ear, and then I re-listen to the music and write about the best.

The goal is to introduce everybody to at least one new awesome song, band or artist. It’s also to help me remember the songs that comprise my memories, remembering why I loved them at the time.

I’m certain I’ll achieve that this go-round. The theme this month is a lot more female. Not on purpose, but I’m glad it was. When my wife Kristi asked me if there was a theme to my picks for July, I replied that it felt like I had more women on this list. The first among them is already a pretty big star and I think she’s on the verge of elite stardom, Maren Morris.

She reminds me of Kacey Musgraves but with more of an edge. Who remembers “80s Mercedes” from 2016? Damn, this is fantastic:

I remember exactly where I first heard this song. It was in Buckeye, Arizona at our friends’ house on a spring training visit.

Here’s another great one called “My Church,” and imagine Shelby Lynne from 1999 on this one. Shelby’s “I Am Shelby Lynne” is one of the best albums I’ve ever owned, and Maren has perfected that sound, whether purposely or not.

But the tune that made my list for July is the best song I’ve heard from anybody in 2019. “GIRL.” If I could recommend one new artist to check out for anybody over 40 looking for new music, it would be Maren Morris. Dude, hand her all the Grammys. All of them. She’s the first artist since Amy that has made me want to stop and listen to everything she’s ever done.

“GIRL” is from earlier this year, but John Prine’s “Lonesome Friends Of Science” is brand new. Just posted to YouTube, it’s from his new album called “The Tree Of Forgiveness.” Charming and smart, even if it sounds a ton like Jerry Jeff Walker. Easily the best song title of 2019.

Another tune is from the Funky French Playlist, the compilation of songs Kristi and I listened to on our honeymoon. This comes from indie pop duo The Darcys. This has a funky hook and fantastic production.

Karen O of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs teamed up with Danger Mouse for this delightful lite rock vibe. Who else is totally hearing Nicolette Larson here?

This tune called “Bleachers” bleeds the boundaries of pop and country, but we were surprised to learn that Jillian Jacqueline is categorized country. This is smart pop in my book. It’s like the best pop music is coming from Nashville these days.

Speaking of which, laugh off this dude as bro country all you’d like, but Chris Lane’s “I Don’t Know About You” (again) is a fantastic, hooky pop song. My favorite part about watching the video on YouTube is the first comment, “Sounds like he’s trying to unlock her security questions for online banking lol.” Affected as the production might sound, this is a wonderful piece of songwriting. It’s like yacht rock with a country accent.

Speaking of yacht rock, can we all just admit that Art > Paul?

This next one is a song I Shazam’d from the car on my commute to Tulsa. Ronan Keating was part of an Irish group I’d never heard of called “Boyzone.” Love this. Catchy af. Vocally, I’m hearing a ton of Jude Cole from back in the day.

Speaking of back in the day, this is a tune from The Waitresses that we heard on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Of course, this makes me want to hear their famous Christmas song, but I can appreciate how awesome and identifiable their overall sound was. And how kick-ass their bass player is.

Not sure where I first heard South Carolina’s own Chaz Bear, recording under the name Toro Y Moi, but I loved it even more after watching the video. Quirky and catchy.

And I’m not 100 percent certain where I first heard Port Cities, although they’re another Canadian act who could technically be on our Funky Fresh Playlist. This is beautiful. They don’t need anything beyond a guitar and vocals.

And a couple of classics to end my July list. This is a Gram Parsons tune called “Wheels” recorded by Emmylou Harris. The harmony alone sucked me in. The lyrical picture painted kept me locked in.

The last song on this list caught my ear on first listen, but upon subsequent listens, I’m realizing that this is one of the better rock songs of the past 20 years. It’s got a message. It’s powerful. It was written and performed by an immigrant. And it requires the volume cranked.

%d bloggers like this: