Tag: Chris Allen Brown

Man, where’s the Sunkist?

By Chris Allen Brown/Associate Editor

I’m not really one to complain — a lot — but I need my daily supply of Sunkist. There’s only one thing a guy wants after a long, eight-hour work day and that’s an iced-cold … orange soda.

(You thought I was going to say an adult beverage, didn’t you?)

But no, I have to settle to an expired Minute Maid Fruit Punch.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a great drink choice, too, but not if the expiration date reads “FEB2618.” But today’s date is “MAR1218” and there were things floating atop my drink after one gulp.

Maybe it was the “real fruit juice” that Coca-Cola says is in Minute Maid. Maybe it was something that started to grow inside the bottle because it was an expired drink. I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out if my byline isn’t in The Chanticleer in two weeks

(Hello, Spring Break next week!)

Anyways, for those who don’t know, Sunkist is a Buffalo Rock product, which Jacksonville State had a 10-year relationship with prior to giving Coca-Cola vending rights in late 2017. So, since August 2017, there have been no Sunkist bottles in a vending machine around campus.

Speaking of which, my first memory as a JSU student resulted because of a bottle of Sunkist.

I was walking to Martin Hall for a freshman-level Biology class in the Spring of 2012. I was thirsty, because I had to walk a far distance — parking, right — and came across a vending machine with Sunkist. I thought, ‘Man, this is perfect. I hope JSU always has Sunkist. I’d enjoy this place so much.’

I inserted my dollar and change then waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.

No bottle rolled out. I wasn’t happy.

From then on, I only attempted to get Sunkist at the café following JSU’s weekly football conference on Mondays. However, that changed when I declared as a Communication major and came to Self Hall on a weekly basis. And a weekly basis I bought a Sunkist from the only reliable vending machine on campus.

Me and Sunkist went together like Eli Jenkins and Josh Barge scoring touchdowns on Burgess-Snow Field. Or Whitney Gillespie and strikeouts at University Field. Or Trent Simpson and smashing home runs out of Choccolocco Park.

So, you can understand the heartbreak the first time I went to the vending machine in Self Hall and there were only Coke products. You can feel the pain and agony as I write this and glance down at this red liquid to my right where a Sunkist should be.

Man, I hope my future bride is OK with having a Sunkist foundation at our wedding. That’ll be … delightful.

 

 

 

Ready or not, here come the Gamecocks

Chris Allen Brown, Associate Editor

It hasn’t been the best start to a season for Jana McGinnis and the Jacksonville State softball team this year, but this is a program with a history of coming on when it matters most.

The Gamecocks, the preseason pick by many to win another Ohio Valley Conference championship, are off to a 7-12 start through 19 games. So far, JSU has a pair of wins over Army, one against Jacksonville University, Radford, Southern Mississippi, Lipscomb and Samford.

The win over Samford, 3-2, came on February 14th and stands as only one of two games (Gamecocks play Fort Wayne at 3 p.m. on March 7th) played at University Field so far, this season.

Despite the double-take worthy record for JSU softball, it really doesn’t mean much of anything at this point of the season.

Why?

Because you can’t win an OVC tournament playing against non-conference opponents. You can’t earn a regional tournament appearance without playing Southern Illinois University at Edwards, Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State, Austin Peay, Morehead State or Murray State.

Those are the most important games. The ones that determine if Jacksonville State even makes the OVC tournament. But don’t worry, they’re coming.

Just like the Gamecocks are.

JSU opens conference play with a doubleheader at UT Martin on March 24th, then jump over to Cape Girardeau, Mo., to play SEMO the next day. Five days later, a road trip to Murray, Ky., awaits.

It’s not until April 7th and 8th that JSU will play a meaningful OVC game in front of their fans at University Field when Belmont and Tennessee State come to Jacksonville.

A three-series road trip to Clarksville, Tenn., (Austin Peay), Edwardsville, Ill. (SIUE) and Charleston, Ill. (EIU) within a two-week span could separate contenders and pretenders among the conference standings.

From there, dates with Morehead State (April 28th), EKU (April 29th) and Tennessee Tech (May 4th) round out the regular season, before the OVC tournament starts in Oxford, Ala. on May 9th.

While McGinnis and her team have logged a lot of miles so far, this season, the time for throwing up your feet on the red chairs at University Field is quickly approaching.

They’re home.

4 for 4: Let’s taco ’bout us, baby

As a special Valentine’s Day treat, the four editors of The Chanticleer have written about a few of the things that they love. Here’s Associate Editor Chris Brown:

Chris Love.jpg

Sorry Daniel, I didn’t mean to steal your pun-under with my headline … or did I?

Anyways, if you know me at all, especially my best friend’s wife Leslie, you know I’m all about tacos. (You thought I was going to say sports, didn’t you? It’s OK, I don’t blame you, but I write about that enough, so I figured I’d write about my favorite food since I’m always eating.)

There is no wrong soft taco: shredded chicken, beef, steak, etc. It all sounds and tastes amazing. In fact, I know I’m not the only person who loves tacos. I mean, there is even an entire day decidated to tacos.

Quick story time: growing up, I would go to Taco Bell and order tacos just to see how many I could eat at one sitting. As years passed, every time I’m really hungry, I still figure out how many I can eat. In fact, there have been many a Saturday nights that one of my best friends, Matt, and I just sit at his house playing Mario Kart 64 and eat tacos. It’s a lovely way to pass the time without getting into trouble.

I will say, though, that when I eat at Mexican restaurants, I decide to order chimichangas rather than tacos.

But back to the topic at hand …

there is just something magicial about tacos. Maybe it’s the way they’re made or the taco sauce I pour on them, but they’re amazing. Thankfully, though, Taco Bell doesn’t have a buy one, get one free promotion or else I would weight more than 250 pounds … maybe that would get me a tryout on the football team.

But really, it’s OK to love eating a certain food, especially if it’s tacos. You may think you’re a terrible person by eating food to cover up your feelings of being alone this Valentine’s Day, but, if you do, just think about how I’m writing about tacos rather than a girlfriend.

Did that help?

Brown: No better place for Chipper Jones than Cooperstown

Chris Allen Brown

Associate Editor

It was a Sunday night — September 2, 2012 to be exact.

Philadelphia Phillies closing pitcher Jonathan Papelbon had a history of blown saves (BS) against the Atlanta Braves. But this time … this time there was more than just a fourth BS next to Papelbon’s name in the final box score.

With the Braves trailing 7-5 with two runners on base and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jones, a switch hitter batting from the left side of the plate against the right-handed Papelbon, drove a 95-mile-per-hour fastball nearly three-fourths up the stands in right-center field. It was the 75th win for a playoff-bound Braves team — one which would eventually be swept in three games by the Pittsburgh Pirates a month later. It was Jones’ second game-ending home run during his farewell season with the first coming in the bottom of the 11th inning in a 15-13 win against the Phillies on May 2nd.

But those weren’t the only fireworks for Atlanta during Jones’ 19-year career with the Braves.

After missing the 1994 season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Jones launched his first career home run on May 9, 1995 en route to a 3-2 Braves win over the New York Mets. It was the first of 42 career home runs for Jones against the Mets.

Fast forward 13 years and Jones became just the third switch-hitter all-time — Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray — to hit 400 career home runs when he took Florida Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco out of the ballpark. (Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira have become the fourth and fifth members of the exclusive club since the end of Jones’ playing career.) By the end of the 2012 season, Jones had 468 career home runs, which would surpass Murray for the most by a switch-hitter in the National League.

With 8,984 at bats, Jones finished his playing career with more walks (1,512) than strikeouts (1,409). From 1995 to 2012, he recorded 12 seasons with more walks than strikeouts, including a span of six straight from 1998 to 2003. As of his election to Cooperstown, Jones remains one of just three players, who primarily played third base, to drive in more than 1,500 runs. He also hit above .300 from both sides of the plate en route to finishing his career with 2,724 hits.

With last Wednesday’s announcement of Jones joining the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, there’s no bigger satisfaction to those who follow professional baseball religiously than seeing one of the all-time greatest switch-hitters take his rightful place among the best players to ever jump over the foul line while taking the field.

Defense sparks Gamecock success

 

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JSU’s Gretchen Morrison guards a Murray State player in the Gamecocks’ 97-65 victory over the Racers on January 11 (photo by Katy Nowak/JSU).

Chris Allen Brown, Associate Editor

Seven. That’s how many conference games it took Rick Pietri and the 2017 Jacksonville State women’s basketball team to match its Ohio Valley Conference win total from a year ago.

But wait, there’s more.

Sporting a 12-7 record at the moment, if JSU earns two more wins during its remaining 10 games, that will allow the Gamecocks to surpass last year’s overall win total (13) and be the most since Jacksonville State went 19-10 during the 2014-15 season, which was when JSU knocked off SEC foe Alabama in Tuscaloosa 64-62 on a last-minute basket by Destiny McLin.

The common thread between the two teams is on the defensive end of the court.

At the beginning of the 2014-15 season, Pietri and his players held seven of their first eight opponents to under 60 points — Alabama being the exception — en route to 9-3 non-conference record. During OVC play, the Gamecocks held five opponents under that mark.

Fast forward to this year and the Gamecocks have held 12 of its opponents under the 60-point mark and eight of those performances resulted in victories for JSU.

There’s been a youth surge, too.

Six of 16 players listed on the roster are either true or redshirt-freshman. Ki-Ki Patterson, Gretchen Morrison, Tyler “Cocoa” Phelion and Tasha Magruder make up the senior class, while Leah Strain, Destiney Elliott, Brianna Perry and Rayven Pearson are redshirt or true juniors. Morgan Towells is the lone sophomore on the team.

Of those six freshmen, Taylor Hawks, Kiana Johnson, Jayla Walker are seeing significant playing time. Hawks, specially, has started the last 11 games for Pietri and is shooting 40 percent from the field with 50 assists to 35 turnovers and 11 steals for the year. Johnson, like Hawks, has started the last 11 JSU games and has scored in double-figures against Morehead State twice and against Murray State.

But no one player on the roster has had such a positive impact as Pearson, who has started the last 11 games. The Hazel Green native is averaging 9.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 430 minutes of game action. She’s also blocked 22 shots, credited with 16 steals and 25 assists during the season.