AIRBHG, PAWLLLL and Fighting Okra: College Football Oddities

By Kris Hughes

When the summer drags on and one can only take so many arrest stories and news of three-star recruits committing to mid-majors, attention turns to the lighter side of college football.

Three oddities in particular caught my eye / ear over the past few months and provided more than one chuckle during the dog days:

1. AIRBHG- AKA the Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God

via HawkeyeLounge

As the story goes, AIRBHG, the Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God, has been smiting any fool silly enough to try and occupy a place on the Iowa Hawkeyes‘ depth chart in recent history.

The site Black Heart Gold Pants originally came up with the apparition after several Iowa running backs since 2001 have had an improbable, even unbelievable string of bad luck.

Every season since 2001 one running back after the next on the Iowa roster has fallen prey to a litany of on-field injuries and off-field indiscretions, leading Iowa fans to turn to what so many do when they struggle to reason with the world around them: an otherworldly force.

Thus, AIRBHG was born and continues to smite running backs this off-season as Marcus Coker transfers to Stony Brook, Jordan Canizeri tears an ACL, Greg Garmon is arrested for marijuana possession and suspended, and De’Anthony Thomas is dismissed from the team after several team rules violations.

AIRBHG so inspired BHGP they actually have now released a series of T-shirts honoring (or, perhaps, mocking) him in an open attempt to end the curse.

Something tells me AIRBHG won’t be impressed. Hell, he already has a Twitter hashtag in his honor and that hasn’t yet quenched his insatiable thirst for destruction of the Iowa running game.

2. PAWLLL- In Honor (?) of Alabama Radio Personality Paul Finebaum

via B/R

Birmingham, Alabama based radio host Paul Finebaum is a permanent fixture in Southern sports radio. Finebaum has established quite the following on his daily Paul Finebaum Show which brings all type of, um, personalities out from the dark corners to express their opinions on all things SEC football, in particular the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Many of Finebaum’s callers tend to express these opinions in a particularly whiny tone which sounds more like PAWLLLL than Paul. Thus, the PAWLLLL meme was born.

Here are a couple of  Twitter nuggets about the man Southerners love or love to hate:

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In response to above tweet:

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You get the point.

Wherever you have Paul Finebaum you have PAWLLL– for better or worse.

3. The Delta State Fighting Okra

via Google

Albeit tounge-in-cheek, tiny Mississippi-based Delta State University has one of the most bizarre and least intimidating mascots in all of collegiate sports: the Fighting Okra.

Yes, you read that correctly, a fighting gourd, who with his brown gloves and intense stare strikes fear into the hears of millions, or, at least a couple hundred.

As the story goes, Delta State students were infuriated when forced to pick a mascot to replace their beloved Indians nickname which the University decided to part with due to the all-too-common political correctness concern, so they came up with the most ridiculous mascot they could possible imagine in turn.

The Fighting Okra indeed rival other gems like the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and more close to my heart, the New Braunfels Unicorns of Texas high school football fame who use their pink and purple unis to drive terror into the hearts of opponents.

Fighting Okra I’m sure would be a sight to behold, but I’d rather not.


Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.

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