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Rebel Roundup - April 21, 2011

Oxford's John Currence Was Eliminated from Top Chef: Masters Last Night
It saddened and frustrated me to see Mississippi's favorite chef get the axe from the judging panel during last night's Top Chef. After showing out last week with unique takes on meatballs and oysters, John Currence failed to wow the judges with a risotto which, true to their criticisms, wasn't overtly creative. John's response of "it's risotto, it stands on its own" (I paraphrase) is a valid one, as one shouldn't need varied, far-flung ingredients and gourmet techniques to make something so traditionally folksy and simple. They didn't care though, and gave him the boot over the lady who made a damned chocolate pudding for dessert.

What Currence should have said was "I was hosed with a grain course, I demand a recount." Had he had a meat, seafood, or soup course he'd have dazzled tastebuds and filled bellies with comfort once again. But, no, he had a boring ol' grain to work with and was, per my obviously biased opinion, tossed far too early.

Still, John Currence showed America that, yes, a small town in the rolling foothills of northern Mississippi can and does, with enthusiasm, support gourmet chefs, restaurants, and foods. The celebration of the culinary arts is no longer relegated to the confines of Manhattan or San Francisco, despite the insistence of the denizens of such towards the contrary, and John Currence did his best to show everyone just that. In a way, he took his very own slice of the "thriving New South arts Mecca" (USA Today's words, not ours) and brought it even greater national recognition, and for that we, Oxford, and Ole Miss can't help but extend a heapin' helpin' of gratitude.

Well done, John. Thanks for making Oxford proud, and thanks for the oysters.

Other Rebs emerging as leaders after Shackelford injury | Veazey
D.T. Shackelford is much more than a talented linebacker. He's also a good student and great teammate. His ACL injury, which will undoubtedly keep him off of the field this fall, means that a loss in production from an intangibles standpoint is also to be expected. As an on-the-field leader, few have what D.T. does. That considered, it is refreshing to hear that some players are at least trying to fill that void in Shackelford's absense. One thing this football team is going to need is some junior and senior leadership because it seems like we're going to be relying on a lot of freshman and sophomore talent to stay competitive this Fall.

Houston Nutt speaks, we listen | More Veazey
When Coach Nutt speaks, I cannot say that we "listen" so much, Kyle. Listening to something suggests a comprehension of some sort, one-half of a joint effort which makes up simple human communication. We undoubtedly "hear" Coach Nutt when he speaks, but listening to the guy? That's something which our human minds are not yet capable of.

Study's goal: Bring plans for arena into focus | Veazey Again?!
While he doesn't need our help, I'm sure Kyle appreciates the clicks he's getting today. This piece is a good one though and should excite even the mildest of Rebel basketball fans. AECOM, some company which does, like, stuff and things, is expected to complete a feasibility study by late summer which would provide some details as to how Ole Miss can move forward with a new basketball arena to replace the Tool Pool. Don't get too geeked yet, because it'll be a while before we even see ground broken on such a project.

White expects the arena to take a year to design, a year to complete the funding and two years to build. That would put a realistic estimate for the opening of a new arena during the 2015-16 season, which would leave four more seasons at Tad Smith Coliseum.

I do have some faith that this will work out and work out well for us. AECOM has some experience with this type of work, having recently completed Oregon and UVA's new basketball arenas, as well as Memphis' FedEx Forum (where yours truly saw none other than Tommy Twotone perform at the halftime of a Grizzlies vs. Mavericks game).


Basketball changes means high hopes for ‘11-’12 | The Daily Mississippian
"High hopes for next year," if we're defining "high hopes" as an invite of any sort to the Big Dance, is a running theme of the Andy Kennedy administration. Still though, with an emerging Dundrecous Nelson, fresh Jalen Kendrick, and veteran Reginald Buckner, it could happen... Oh no, we're doing it again.

Mississippi State builds early lead, beats Ole Miss 6-1 | The Clarion-Ledger
Our Rebels have been nightmarishly terrible in neutral-site games as of late, with Tuesday night's non-SEC loss to the Bulldogs being no exception. We're still, somehow, atop the SEC West and could improve further upon that this weekend. We're hopeful at the Cup, you've gotta give us that.

Auburn Plays Host To Ole Miss On ESPNU Thursday |
Auburn's only one back from the lead in the SEC West, so this series means as much to them as it should for our Rebels. More on this from our, ahem, crack baseball "staff" today and tomorrow.

Man accused of critically injuring former Naples standout enters not guilty plea | Naples Daily News
Taylor Hashman's attacker, Ole Miss cheerleader Johnny Beasley, has entered a not guilty plea for the assault charges that were filed against him after an alleged altercation between the two resulted with Hashman in a coma with extensive brain damage. We don't know anything about the case, and there's that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing we have in America, but YOU'RE SO GONNA GET IT JOHNNY BEASLEY.