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FLIM FLAM REBELLION: HISTORY, wherein we get into the boring parts you already know about

This book is a re-chronicling of what we already know. There’s literally nothing new here.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Mississippi
When the FLIM FLAM review drops.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

This book is horrendously boring. It’s terrible because it moves nothing forward that we don’t already know. This book was written by me, by Jeff, by Pat Forde, by Deadspin, by Dan fucking Wolken months and years ago. Nothing happens here, because you already know it. We have a goddamn story stream for this book. Robertson swore that no one is going to cover this story, when we at RCR have already covered this story.

This book always already should have never been written, and it’s only appropriate that an Ole Miss compliance blogger should have written it. There is literally no news here. And it’s only appropriate that an Ole Miss humor blogger should tear it to shreds. Hi.

Chapter one. Chapter one opens with and narrates one of the most glorious days in Ole Miss football history. The overturned interception call against Alabama in Oxford in 2014. Jeff and Godfrey wrote one of the most stunning things I’ve ever read in the wake of that triumph. As an Ole Miss fan, reading this chapter is something like an uplifting celebration. Probably Steve wanted to piss off his readers, and, well, I can understand that, because I’ve pissed off plenty of you. But this chapter is pretty compelling. OLE MISS 23, ALABAMA 17, PAWL.


Did you know that Ole Miss football committed NCAA recruiting infractions? Us neither. Steve Robertson has brought them to light, in his book, FLIM FLAM: The Truth Behind the Blind-Faith Culture that Led to the Explosive NCAA Investigation of Ole Miss Football. That takes up like two whole plots of standard SB Nation blog space, which seems a bit excessive. We write at most like 1,000 words and move on. Steve? Nah. He’ll go probably 200 pages. Or 312 pages. Whatever.

We wrote about the Ole Miss violations. He did too, quite a bit, as a Mississippi State blogger, and we can all fuck off. Email us about it.

It’s remarkable that Robertson’s chapter one’s incipit is that of one of the most memorable days in Ole Miss football history. Probably Steve should begin here, because it was a triumph of the 2013 recruiting class that he’s so keen to pin as the illicit gain of an Ole Miss football program that didn’t deserve such recruits. That paid for these recruits. BOUGHT ‘EM UP, HUGH. How dare they?

Barf. Anyway, let’s take a look at this. Want some sexism? Here’s some fucking sexism.

The reigning king of college football [Nick Saban] had been vanquished by a former girls’ basketball coach from Tate County, Mississippi.

My guy, you just belittled women’s basketball as somehow less than, full stop. This is the most common insult lobbed in Hugh Freeze’s direction on every Mississippi State message board shitpost venue — which is little less than what this stupid book is, front to back — and it’s also the one that betrays you as a sexist, stupid hog, Steve. Women’s basketball is fucking awesome. I went to the same high school as Maya fucking Moore. Maya Moore would dunk your ass into Hades then laugh her way off to Sonic for chili tots with the rest of her laughing teammates.

Let me stick in a peg, here. I fear that this review series will suffer from becoming too boring. The reason being that this book is so goddamn boring. ALL of chapters two and three are devoted to recent Ole Miss football history. Bruh, Jim, we were all there. We know, man, and we know the characters involved. We know that they paid recruits and gave them loaner cars and allowed them to sleep on coaches’ couches. Here’s the “laundry list of dirty deeds alleged,” as presented by Steve in chapter two:

  • Allegations of improper contact between boosters and recruits.
  • Charges of boosters providing clothing, gifts, lodging, and meals.
  • Talk of a booster possibly proving an automobile to a recruit.
  • An Ole Miss staffer reportedly offering cash in hopes of getting a prospect to commit.
  • Arrangements for a deferred loan and loaner car.
  • Unethical conduct by the head football coach and lack of institutional control.

Robertson of course describes this litany as “pretty serious stuff for 2017,” a rather remarkable statement given this country’s and this sport’s horrendously fucked up labor practices. As we’ve already pointed out, this entire FLIM FLAM project is a glorified defense of the NCAA’s rules and anti-labor system, which unnecessarily and unfairly punishes young people for seeking compensation commensurate with labor expended. That’s all. Go read some fucking Upton Sinclair, you moronic fuck.

Let me also pause here to note that (in Italics), (not in Italics, but capitalized), and (not capitalized and not in Italics) appear in the opening chapters of this disaster in equal measure. Who copy-edited this poop-pile? It was Ralph Waldo Emerson, of course, who pointed out that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” and this thing needs like three copy-editors. I’m a copy-editor for SB Nation, and there’s no way in hell I’m taking on that task. Comma splices are rife here.

GAH. The bile eating up my esophagus and throat and eventually into my brain. Like this horseshit:

While [Freeze’s bravado and confidence] played well to the home crowd, Freeze’s detractors were all too willing to oblige him on his response [EDITORIAL NOTE: his dare to find out recruiting violations]. While Freeze maintained that he and his staff were doing things above board, there were more than a few people willing to call his bluff.

Steve, none of this is in the first person singular, and that seems rather glaring. YOUR ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK IS ABOUT THIS SINGULAR PARAGRAPH AND YOU OFFER UP NAMELESS “DETRACTORS” AND “MORE THAN A FEW PEOPLE WILLING TO CALL HIS BLUFF.” Yes, Ole Miss broke the NCAA’s arbitrary and retrograde rules, but let us never forget that you are the loudest and staunchest apologist for that amoral institution, and the fact that you pawn this off on “detractors” — when you yourself are the fiercest among them — is perhaps the height of disingenuity.

Chapter two. Chapter two is about linguistics and history. I guess. I’m a linguist, and it’s only kinda about linguistics. Chapter two dissects the etymological history of the “Hotty Toddy” cheer at Ole Miss, and Steve does not want to go toe-to-toe with me on this topic. He doesn’t want to go toe-to-toe with me on anything, apparently, BECAUSE HE DIDN’T SEND ME, A MISSISSIPPI SPORTSWRITER, A REVIEW COPY.

Deep breath. Every time I open this book, deep breath. Chapters two and three are a cursory and desultory history of Ole Miss football, in addition to the history of “Hotty Toddy,” because he has to explain the title to you idiot readers. I actually smile that this asshole had to write these two chapters because they cover some of Ole Miss football’s best football. But then I smile in horror that Steve basically did the same thing that I’m doing now, namely hate-writing about something that is truly revolting. Anyway, Steve’s history is couched and pitted against Mississippi State, sure, because we’re dealing with a Mississippi State writer who writes about Ole Miss — weird — but Steve Robertson of or whatever it’s called devoted two whole chapters to a history of Ole Miss football. That’s fucking hysterical.

Steve spends a significant portion of chapter two parsing out the history and etymology of the “Hotty Toddy” cheer, which demands no such attention, because it’s shouted in drunken haste every day of the week. Maybe William Faulkner composed it one night atop Peabody Hall. I wish he had, because he’d write the absolute worst things about Steve Robertson that would send this rat into a well pointed at the earth’s core. Here’s an annoying sample:

Merriam-Webster defines Flim Flam as “deceptive nonsense or deception, fraud.”

We’ve worked through enough of this diarrhea stink to know what you’re up to here, Steve, and guess what? This shit just dies on the highway. The jig is always already up with you, with this trashy, stupid book, and that sentence right there should have been the only thing you wrote about the Ole Miss investigation. Take your misplaced and incorrect moral rectitude and shove it up your ass.

In fairness, chapter two does give a solid history of the Billy Brewer era at Ole Miss, and his pursuant NCAA investigation, because Steve is super into sex scandals and whatnot. Like, REALLLY into sex scandals. Also, there’s some sort of pattern here or something. He doesn’t ESTABLISH the pattern, doesn’t fully connect the dots and fill in the blanks, but it’s there, because we’re hate-reading. You see it’s about the CULTURE that led to this most recent round of allegations and violations. There’s definitely a pattern that we’re not making a pattern of. Again, it’s FLIM FLAM, and this thing is so goddamn fucking stupid.

Chapter three I can hardly talk about because, well, I’m too drunk to do so right now and this thing is so goddamn awful that I want to shoot myself in the face, but, yes, he does refer to Ole Miss as “The Plantation,” which again reminds you that this particular document is nothing more than a Mississippi State message board shitpost. That’s all this is. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever read, and I have a doctorate in Greek and Latin literature. I’ll read chapters 4-6 at some point after I visit my sister and my newborn niece this weekend.

Someone come take this thing away from me, because I want to die.