Football and the visual arts. Two things seldom mentioned in the same breath. The followers of one typically eschew the other, but I think there are a lot of striking parallels between the gridiron and the canvas. Today, I present to you the SEC West as represented by paintings. I will bring you the SEC East tomorrow.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
The parallels here are quite obvious. The Mona Lisa and the Crimson Tide both have iconic stature in their respective fields. The Mona Lisa is THE painting just as Alabama is THE Southeastern Conference team as far as widespread recognition goes. One only needs to read through this post to see that Roll Tide is known far and wide.
Additionally, both have been referenced in popular songs: Mona Lisa in Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" and Alabama in Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues."
Arkansas Razorbacks: Riding With Death by Jean-Michel Basquiat
That's Houston Nutt's career at Arkansas if he doesn't produce a winning season in '06.
Auburn Tigers: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso
Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is much like Auburn in that it has a chip on its shoulder and seeks to destroy the old guard. Occasionally misunderstood, it is the work of a master and one included in the canon by those knowledgeable in the field, but it is still yearning to find its place in the pantheon of popular opinion alongside the undisputed masterworks of previous generations. One that understands the development of western art will have no problems seeing this work's place in history. Still, at the end of the day, it is a painting of a bunch of whores.
LSU Tigers: Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 by Marcel Duchamp
It's not actually a painting. It's a photograph of a co-ed walking down the steps at Death Valley at the precise moment LSU scored a late touchdown against Auburn in 1988 to win the game.
Mississippi State Bulldogs: The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet
This painting is a metaphor for Mississippi State's recruiting abilities.
Ole Miss Rebels: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
This painting is a foreshadowing of The Grove and you'll never convince me otherwise. It has been described as a scene showing all different classes of people in the park at leisure. They're not particularly concerned with what might be happening later, they're just in it for good time.