Is Alabama the Viral Video Capital?

It’s the week leading up to the Third Saturday of October—the day in which the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers duke it out on the football field for yearly bragging rights.  While this tradition has been enjoyable, it has been made even more enjoyable in recent years because of a viral video featuring a University of Alabama student called “I Hate Tennessee.”

The success of this video makes one wonder if there are more viral videos that feature Alabama residents.  It turns out there are quite a few—some even becoming internet royalty. Here a handful of those videos:

Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife

Huntsville resident, Antoine Dodson, became an internet sensation after he warned fellow residents to beware of would-be rapists.

I Hate Tennessee

What makes this video great is the cyclical nature of the popularity.  The video has its fans throughout the year, but it gets its biggest number of spins during the month of October.  It’s been ten years now, and the video brings joy to so many hearts.

The Mobile Leprechaun

Talk about another seasonal joy.  This one has huge national acclaim, but it also has huge statewide support during the month of the March.  St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the same with this legendary gem.

Honorable Mentions

What are some others that didn’t make this article? Dancing teachers of Tuscaloosa? A particularly witty sound bite of Coach Nick Saban? Violent city councilmen in Dothan? If you know of some more Alabama viral videos, list them below in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @Ben_Baxter or on here.

Potential Retirement Nest Egg for a Median Household in Each Alabama County by Age 67

The following chart shows what a current median-age, median-income household in each Alabama county will have saved for retirement by age 67.  The most recent median age data was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, and the most recent median household income (HHI) was collected from the Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research.  Annualized rate of return of investing is set at 9 percent inside a tax-free growth Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), or Roth 403(b).  The savings rate per year is set at 15 percent of median household income.  The assumption is that each median household starts with zero saved in retirement, and that each median household never gets an annual pay raise.

County County Seat Median HHI Median Age Retirement Value at 67
Tuscaloosa Tuscaloosa $46,892 32.4 $1,594,896
Lee Opelika $41,256 31.0 $1,592,745
Shelby Columbiana $69,432 38.6 $1,331,831
Pike Troy $31,844 31.5 $1,175,095
Madison Huntsville $58,833 38.4 $1,150,001
Autauga Prattville $54,366 38.3 $1,072,737
Montgomery Montgomery $43,054 35.8 $1,072,574
Elmore Wetumpka $54,298 38.4 $1,061,356
Russell Phenix City $35,585 34.9 $963,211
Jefferson Birmingham $44,852 37.6 $945,107
Mobile Mobile $42,943 37.3 $930,623
Limestone Athens $51,175 39.3 $918,721
Dale Ozark $41,940 37.4 $900,434
St. Clair Ashville $50,571 39.9 $857,498
Coffee Elba $46,931 39.2 $850,561
Chilton Clanton $41,450 38.9 $772,872
Morgan Decatur $45,082 40.2 $742,825
Calhoun Anniston $41,123 39.4 $731,286
Houston Dothan $40,124 39.3 $720,328
Blount Oneonta $45,567 40.9 $702,017
Bibb Centreville $39,546 39.6 $689,998
DeKalb Fort Payne $36,241 39.0 $669,382
Franklin Russellville $33,881 38.4 $662,267
Marshall Guntersville $36,536 39.2 $662,165
Baldwin Bay Minette $49,626 42.6 $648,075
Escambia Brewton $37,077 39.8 $634,714
Talladega Talladega $39,999 40.9 $616,235
Cullman Cullman $39,922 40.9 $615,049
Lauderdale Florence $41,324 41.3 $612,532
Macon Tuskegee $28,518 37.6 $600,922
Barbour Clayton $34,971 39.8 $598,662
Etowah Gadsden $39,904 41.5 $580,138
Colbert Tuscumbia $43,057 42.3 $579,064
Washington Chatom $41,321 41.9 $577,840
Cleburne Heflin $40,418 41.9 $565,213
Perry Marion $27,403 37.9 $561,419
Sumter Livingston $25,413 37.2 $555,895
Lawrence Moulton $41,574 42.5 $548,275
Butler Butler $32,512 40.5 $520,527
Hale Greensboro $33,315 40.8 $518,225
Dallas Selma $26,602 38.5 $515,109
Clarke Grove Hill $36,620 41.9 $512,101
Walker Jasper $37,245 42.3 $500,900
Crenshaw Luverne $34,445 41.5 $500,773
Marengo Linden $32,977 41.3 $488,807
Bullock Union Springs $26,580 39.5 $468,199
Monroe Monroeville $34,733 42.3 $467,117
Pickens Carrollton $31,933 41.5 $464,253
Lowndes Hayneville $30,675 41.2 $459,103
Jackson Scottsboro $36,923 43.1 $459,020
Randolph Wedowee $36,939 43.3 $450,225
Chambers LaFayette $34,116 42.5 $449,920
Covington Andalusia $36,149 43.1 $449,398
Henry Abbeville $39,930 44.2 $444,947
Marion Hamilton $37,707 43.9 $432,974
Geneva Geneva $34,425 43.1 $427,965
Fayette Fayette $35,664 43.5 $426,150
Clay Ashland $35,940 43.7 $420,994
Tallapoosa Dadeville $36,779 44.2 $409,835
Wilcox Camden $24,035 40.4 $388,516
Lamar Vernon $34,553 44.4 $377,378
Winston Double Springs $35,528 44.7 $376,476
Cherokee Centre $38,013 45.9 $356,450
Choctaw Butler $35,049 45.3 $349,476
Greene Eutaw $26,504 42.7 $342,737
Conecuh Evergreen $29,101 44.2 $324,277
Coosa Rockford $34,679 46.8 $296,217

Follow Ben on Twitter @Ben_Baxter or on here.

Retirement US News

1st Annual B&F Rising Star Awards

Rising StarsEvery February while growing up, we all learned about inspirational African-Americans who made a mark in history.  But what about inspirational African-Americans who are making or will be making a mark in history?

Luckily, we don’t have to wonder any longer.  Below are seven fascinating individuals—each with unique stories and backgrounds.  They are Marc Childs Moore, Brandon Chalmers, Candice Hale, Marquis Heath, Trey Moe, Kevin Peterson, and Latrisa Pugh.  Each have been asked the following two questions:

(1) What do you currently do? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

(2) How does your heritage help or hurt you in the path toward reaching your goals?

Marc Childs Moore

“I work in Copyright for BMG Chrysalis, the music arm of Bertelsmann Media Conglomerate.  Specifically, I work in music publishing  I also play violin with the Grammy-nominated blues legend, Phil Wiggins. We perform throughout the country.  In 5 years, I see myself running my own arts company and developing as an expert in artist rights.

Being from Marion, Alabama prepares you for hardwork.  You work hard not because you expect some magnificent reward, but because your work is your reputation.  The quality of your work is a reflection of your seriousness of purpose.  I was taught ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ and I carry that philosophy with me in all of my work.  There is a serious lack of resources and opportunities in the Alabama Blackbelt.  As a result, when one receives a blessing, we try to make the most of it and hopefully share that blessing with others.”

Brandon Chalmers

“I work in Higher Education at The University of Alabama.  More specifically, I help coordinate one of the university’s graduate programs.  You can find me at

In 5 years, I hope to still be working in higher education.  It’s a labor of love; I really enjoy working with college students of all levels.  I previously worked with incoming freshman and transfer students, and I now work with graduate students.  Ideally, I would like to work with undergraduates again as I feel like there is something a bit more unique when you capture college students the first time around.

I think that being an African American male certainly created barriers that I had to overcome to get where I am today.  But as for my future trajectory, I don’t feel like I could encounter any obstacle that I couldn’t overcome.  A person I consider a mentor and a role model at the university once told me that he had been passed over for promotions before when he had performed the brunt of the work that got someone else recognized.  He told me to me to keep working hard and add credentials to my body of work and the opportunities would present themselves. He said ‘get your credentials and no one can deny that.’ Good sound advice for anybody to live off of.”

Candice Hale

“I’m currently working on my PhD in English at LSU.  I am concurrently teaching English composition classes, literature classes, and WGS classes for freshman to senior students.  In five years, I see myself professionally in an academic setting at a community college or a small liberal arts college teaching English comp and literature courses.  I would hope to remain in the South and enjoy my family.  I would hope at this point, I would, too, be married and enjoying family and my career as a professor in its fullest capacity.

I sometimes believe that my identity as a biracial black woman has its advantages and disadvantages in the college setting.  At times, it affords me advantages as one of the only “token” students or instructors of color because there are no others to fill a quota.  Then, at times, to be the student/instructor of color in these academic settings can make me appear hyper-invisible as if I do not exist to anyone.  To be overlooked and to experience these covert experiences of institutionalized racism can be very damaging to a workspace and a community.  And while I’ve experienced these types of racist situations and micro-aggressions from colleagues (but not my students), I’ve still managed to succeed academically and professionally.  With my own determination and perseverance to help others in my communities, I know that my experiences are important to the literary world and my social world. I enjoy teaching and spreading the word to all lovers of literature and critical thinkers.”

Marquis Heath

“I am a General Dentist at Rural Health Medical Program, Inc, a non-profit medical clinic under the Health Resources and Services Administration umbrella. I am also an associate dentist at West Princeton Dental Clinic and Clinical Professor at Fortis Institute.

In five years, I plan on being in a very similar position, as I am on the early end of my career.  I do not foresee any major changes in that short period.  A major goal is to incorporate and obtain 501(3)(c) status for my non-profit, which will serve to increase the affordability of dental care and dental education for those who need it.

My heritage has helped me by instilling in me the humility that allows me to be more compassionate in my field.  An often overlooked component of our heritage is the affinity for looking out for others—sticking together.  Being a beneficiary of that mindset, I will always have the goal of helping others.”

Trey Moe

“I’m a comedian and an entrepreneur of a few online businesses.  In five years, I will be working on my third stand up special, owning a few apartment complexes, and more than likely living in LA, but I will also have a place in ATL.

I come from a tough neighborhood and growing up we didn’t have much financially.  But regardless of what was going on outside, there was a plethora of love inside of our house at all times.  Not having much as a kid made it easy for me to make the move to LA.  My up-bringing taught me how to survive in any city—no matter the situation or financial struggles.  Being successful in something that goes against the norm and takes perseverance. It is all about weathering the storm and how much punishment can you take before quitting.  But I’ve been taking punishment my whole life so this LA struggle feels painless.”

Kevin Peterson

“I make YouTube videos and maintain an active social media presence. I’ve establish a decently audience of “fans” and engage with them any way I can using the internet. Since the internet changes and evolves rapidly, I have no idea where I’ll be in 5 years.  Hopefully my success will increase to the point that I will be more financially independent and be able to do more ambitious projects.

I don’t consciously think about my ‘heritage’ that much, but I grew up poor and I am black and I think the perspective I have gained from those experiences informs what I create and my viewpoints which obviously come across in my videos.  There aren’t very many “mega successful” black YouTubers, but it’s not a thing I think about as being a hindrance.  I feel that I have as much of a chance to make it as anyone else.”

Famous People That Are My Age (YOUTUBE)

Latrisa Pugh

“I am an accountant and instructor at The University of Alabama for the Division of Student Affairs.  As an accountant, I act as a liaison for the various departments under this umbrella which is anything that has to do with student life (housing, recreations center, career center, student media, etc).  As an instructor through the UA Honors College, I teach a financial freedom seminar class each semester. I am also the founder of Educational Cash Flow Youth Program where we teach financial education to youth and adults.  Currently, I am partnered with the LIFT program through the UA School of Accountancy to teach adults and students in the community.

Five years from now, I should have passed exams to be licensed in financial planning and public accounting. I do plan on continuing to work in higher education and move up in my career track. I also hope that the nonprofit be working throughout the state of Alabama and many families lives have changed for the better financially.

My heritage is very important to my career path. It has really been a driving force.  It has helped me with my goals because I do understand the many sacrifices that have been made.  The career path I have chosen is to improve the current and next generations.  I have a responsibility to make sacrifices of my own.”

Cheers to the first annual Baxter & Friends’ Rising Stars!

Expectations and Realities: Week 1 AP Top 25 College Football Teams

Week 1 of college football has come and gone. While we wait for the polls to update, let us take a moment and see how each of the teams in the AP top 25 poll performed relative to their predictions.

In the table below you will find the 25 teams ranked in the AP preseason poll, the predicted spread, the actual result, and the percent error. The teams are sorted based on how well the team performed based on the spread for that game. Teams with a positive percent error performed better than expected while teams with a negative percent error underperformed. Note: this is not a measure of if a team won or lost a game, rather a measure of how well the team won or lost the game. For example, Oregon beat South Dakota 62-13. Oregon won their game in convincing fashion. However, Oregon was expecting to win by 54 points, but won by 49 points.

Relative Performance of AP Top 25 College Football Teams

Rank Team Opponent Spread Actual %Error
21 Texas A&M South Carolina 10 -24 340.0%
12 Georgia Clemson -9.5 -24 152.6%
22 Nebraska Florida Atlantic -20 -48 140.0%
18 Ole Miss Boise State -10 -22 120.0%
15 USC Fresno State -18.5 -39 110.8%
17 Notre Dame Rice -19.5 -31 59.0%
6 Auburn Arkansas -17 -24 41.2%
10 Baylor Southern Methodist -33 -45 36.4%
5 Ohio State Navy -13.5 -17 25.9%
13 LSU Wisconsin -3.5 -4 14.3%
8 Michigan State Jacksonville State -34.5 -38 10.1%
11 Stanford UC Davis -42.5 -45 5.9%
4 Oklahoma LA Tech -33.5 -32 -4.5%
20 Kansas State Stephen F. Austin -42 -39 -7.1%
3 Oregon South Dakota -53.5 -49 -8.4%
23 North Carolina Liberty -31 -27 -12.9%
14 Wisconsin LSU 3.5 4 -14.3%
24 Missouri South Dakota State -25.5 -20 -21.6%
19 Arizona State Weber State -46 -31 -32.6%
2 Alabama West VA -23 -10 -56.5%
7 UCLA Virginia -19 -8 -57.9%
1 Florida State Oklahoma State -20.5 -6 -70.7%
25 Washington Hawaii -17.5 -1 -94.3%
16 Clemson Georgia 9.5 24 -152.6%
9 South Carolina Texas A&M -10 24 -340.0%

I’ve added the following chart to help you visualize the data.

The first 12 teams in the table exceeded expectations while the bottom 13 underperformed. Texas A&M, ranked 21, tops the table exceeding predictions by 340% outscoring number 9 South Carolina 52-28. Expectedly, South Carolina underperformed by 340%. Defending national champions Florida State struggled in their opener underperforming by 70.7% against Oklahoma State. Georgia/Clemson and LSU/Wisconsin games were other notable games as it marks the only other two Ranked teams that lost their opener. The Georgia/Clemson game had an error of 152.6% while the LSU/Wisconsin game had an error of 14.3%. While Georgia trumped Clemson in a 2nd half shut out, LSU rallied in the second half to edge out their spread by half a point against Wisconsin.

On average, the ACC underperformed by 78.8% while the SEC exceeded expectations by an average of 31.3%. Below are the conference averages.

ACC          -78.8%

PAC 12     -12.8%

Big 10       18.0%

Big 12       30.1%

SEC           31.3%

IND           59.0%

Important notes:

1. Spreads can be found at

2. Percent error is calculated as (Spread-Actual)/Abs(Spread)

3. If you like what you see here (or don’t) let me know below. You can also point out mistakes or criticize the article.

Apollo’s Preseason College Football Predictions

SEC Championship Game: #3 Alabama 11-1 (24) vs. #5 UGA 11-1 (17)

Big Ten Championship Game: #1 Michigan State 12-0 (32) vs. #14 Wisconsin 10-2 (10)

ACC Championship Game: #4 Florida State 11-1 (38) vs. #19 Miami 9-3 (15)

PAC-12 Championship Game: #2 Oregon 11-1 (34) vs. #9 UCLA 10-2 (28)

Big XII Champions: #6 Baylor 11-1

College Football Playoffs Seeding

#1 Michigan State vs #4 Florida State

#2 Oregon vs. #3 Alabama


Heisman Trophy

Todd Gurley (Winner)

Marcus Mariota

Kenny Hill

Jameis Winston

Bryce Petty

Coach of the Year

Biggest Surprises

Texas Longhorns, Penn State Nittany Lions, and Texas A&M Aggies

Biggest Disappointments

Clemson Tigers, South Carolina Gamecocks, USC Trojans

The Curious Case of Trent Richardson

Richardson is as compact and coiled an athlete as the position has seen since Adrian Peterson. Richardson is explosive, powerful and balanced. He is a heady and instinctual player who is patient enough to wait for blocks and quick enough to cut backfield to daylight. Richardson has a strong core that he uses to break arm tackles and get physical leverage under blitzers in pass protection. He is a true three-down back who can be effective on screens.

Trent Richardson may be the best running back to come out of college since Adrian Peterson. He possesses rare strength and speed for an individual his size. He has all the intangibles that you went in a player. Passionate about the game, has a great work ethic, and performs his best against the strongest of competition.”

Richardson is easily the top back in this class, and probably the best running back to come out since Adrian Peterson 5 years ago. His power and speed combo are pretty impressive, and his workhorse ability is rare in today’s game. While some teams will devalue him since the shelf life and value of running backs is more limited, he’s good enough to be the exception to the rule. He should be a top 10 pick, and should vastly improve whatever team lands him.”

Trent Richardson Running By

Richardson was a killer in college.

Just 2 short years ago, these phrases were a nice summary of everything being said about Trent Richardson. He was a can’t miss prospect. He was the exception to not taking running backs early in the draft. He was a true franchise changer. He was easily the best running back since Adrian Peterson.

My how the mighty have fallen.

Trent Richardson was famously traded to the Colts for a 1st round pick and was widely hailed as the missing piece to a budding Colts dynasty. Fast forward just 6 games and Richardson wasn’t even the starter. Losing snaps and trust from coaches, Richardson wasn’t the guy the Colts thought they were getting. And at a hefty price of a first round draft pick, this isn’t good news. Richardson does have value, as we will look into the stats of his production. Reader beware, these numbers are gruesome.

Trent Richardson

Yeah, it’s that bad, man.

Rookie Year

Richardson’s rookie year was somewhat of a disappointment, but was actually talked up due to the Browns being the Browns. He was a bright spot, they said. Well, the numbers tell a different story.

In his first year as a pro, Richardson totaled 950 yards rushing and a nice 11 TDS. Seems respectable. The 1,000 yard benchmark is usually the sign of a productive back, especially in an age where passing is king. A look deeper into those 950 yards gives us a slightly better view at what his value was. He averaged a paltry 3.6 yards per carry. It is generally accepted that to be deemed a “good” back you must run for 4.0 yards each time you get the ball. To put in perspective, Adrian Peterson (the man Richardson was supposed to be), averaged 5.6 yards per carry his rookie year.

Adrian Peterson is on the Wheaties box

Adrian Peterson gets a Wheaties box. Richardson gets a toilet bowl.

DYAR and DVOA are two amazing statistics employed by Football Outsiders. Basically, DYAR is yards above replacement (league average) and adjusted for defense. This gives us a good indicator of total value. DVOA is defense adjusted value over replacement. This metric is used to measure on a per play basis. Richardson had a DYAR of -51, good for 37th in the league. To sum up what that means, Richardson was 51 yards worse overall than what a league average player should be. DVOA isn’t much better. Richardson accumulated a -13.3% per play value, good for 33rd. Yikes. Per play, Richardson was -13.3% worse than a league average player. Not exactly lighting up the stat boxes.

However, those 11 TDs showed up for a reason. Unfortunately, Richardson is a middling tackle breaker, so he doesn’t break off too many big runs. He is a great short yardage back. His longest TD run was 11 yards. This is a testament to his high TD count. If you are close, he can bang it in.

Another bright spot was Richardson’s receiving, going for 367 yards on 51 catches. His DYAR in receiving was 74 and ranked 11th for all running backs. This positively shows he was an above average pass catcher. His DVOA was a little worse, with a 4.9% and a 23 ranking. The DVOA would be higher, but as he doesn’t break many tackles, he mainly had a lot of short catches and had minimal yards after the catch. Still, you can point directly to his receiving stats and be able to see value. He is a plus out of the backfield. His 1 receiving TD is slightly skewed, due to him being a beast in short yardage situations. Kudos to the Browns coaching staff for realizing his strength and giving him the ball in short yardage situations instead of forcing his other plus skill, receiving.

Overall, I would give his rookie campaign a slightly below average mark. He produced in receiving, but was downright bad in rushing. The franchise label was all but gone, and it looked as if his best case scenario was simply an average back.

trent richardson

This scene was all too common

Sophomore Year

Oh boy. We discussed the pricey trade. He at least had some positives and almost had to get better, right? Flanked by an emerging Andrew Luck, the running lanes were sure to be wide open. Lets see what the numbers say.

He rushed for 563 and 3 TDs. Wait, what? He did have 80 less carries, but his yards per carry dropped all the way to an absolutely abysmal 3.0. In most cases, that is good enough to get you kicked out the league. But the Colts just paid a 1st rounder, so they have to wait this out to see if they can maximize value.

The advanced metrics rear their ugly head even worse than conventional. Richardson’s DYAR was -108, good for a ranking of 45. Wow. Richardson actually became even worse at running the ball. The DVOA checks in at -22.2% and ranks 44th out of all backs. If you remember the description of these stats, Richardson is -22.2% worse than a league average back on a per play basis. Again, these are numbers that will send you to the unemployment line.

What about his one plus, receiving? Basic numbers show he 35 passes for 316 yards. On the surface, seemingly respective numbers. Overall, Richardson was still a plus, but his value was slipping. His DYAR was 34 for a rank of 26. Low ranking for all the backs, but he saw his snaps fall. A plus DYAR is still a plus. The DVOA came in -2.6% for a ranking of 25th. Again, Richardson is unable to break tackles, so his per play stats will look worse, since he cannot break off long runs after the catch.

In his second year, Richardson became worse across the board. The coaches were well aware of this, as we saw his snap count fall more and more throughout the season. He was literally unplayable in the Colts playoff appearance. A gigantic step back for the once budding franchise back.

Verne Lundquist presenting trophy to Trent Richardson

Richardson misses the good old days.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Honestly? I don’t think he can get any worse, outside of not playing. We can officially rule out ever being a franchise or game changing back. Richardson may have to accept his role in the NFL, a short yardage back with a good set of hands. A move to full back may actually not be a bad move. I imagine the Colts will give him one more season before making that type of decision, though.

Through his first 2 years, Trent Richardson is the definition of a bust. The only people who still think he has amazing potential are delusional Colts and Alabama fans. You can hang up franchise status. Richardson is a good short yardage back. He can also catch. This brings value. He can reinvent himself as a special package running back for short yardage situations. He can become a shotgun formation specialist as his catching skills are above average.

Read that last paragraph again. This man was the next great running back in the NFL, and now we are writing statements like that. This upcoming season will be huge for Richardson. A season that may decide whether he needs to find a new career or not. Stay tuned.