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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 11 (2009): Dead Man Walking

Well there’s probably one guy who’s relatively sanguine about today’s game. (And I’m not talking about Stanford’s Toby Gerhart who might’ve watched our vaunted run defense perfect their olé routine...)

Jack Swarbrick.

Earlier this week, I read about this seminar, “Moses & the Burning Bush:  Sign from God or Just Simply Crowd Control?”  And it got me to thinking… at the time, at least… about how Jack was going to make his decision-that-wasn’t-made-yet-but-sure-seemed-like-it-should’ve-been.  Would it be tea leaves?  The magic 8-ball? Dead chicken entrails?  

Uh, probably unnecessary. Bad is bad. And Charlie is a bad coach.  Nice guy. Baaaaad coach.  But more on that later.

Word of the Week

Subterfuge [suhb-ter-fyooj]

an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.

Synonyms:  deception, scheme, trick, dodge, ruse.

Used in a sentence:  "Jack Swarbrick will no longer have to resort to subterfuge in considering the dismissal of Charlie Weis.

Song of the Week comes from Soul Asylum, a 90’s Minneapolis band. They had no hits that I know of but they did have an album that my daughters and I used to pogo around the kitchen on weekend mornings when we were living in Richmond, England the first time (’93 – ’95).  Their best song was, appropriately called “Misery”. 

“They say misery loves company.  
We could start a company
And make misery… ‘Frustrated Incorporated’
I know just what you need. 
I might just have the thing.
I know what you'd pay to see…

Put me out of my misery.  
I'd do it for you, would you do it for me?
We will always be busy, making misery!”

Those were good times.

Game thoughts

1.     Weis has not only NOT gotten better as a coach, he’s gotten worse.  The team is undisciplined (“I’m talking about you, Sergio”), lacking in accountability (“still talking about you, Sergio”), unable to sustain any emotion for very long (“nice 1st quarter, what about the subsequent three?”), wretched on special teams and unable to scheme anybody. You have to lay that at the coach.
2.     The running game.  New epiphany – I wonder if we can’t run it consistently because Charlie is just functionally unable to commit to it. Juts doesn’t like it – or believe in it - as much as he likes passing. Even when they run it well, he can’t help himself from having to pass it. He had a 3rd and 2 which he passes on (and misses), one series after converting a 4th and 3 with a run.  Contrast that with UConn, who just ran it and ran it and ran it until we proved we could stop it. Which we didn’t.
3.     The X-Files. Okay, what did you do with the real Michael Floyd – ‘cause the one we’re seeing now is NOT the same guy as before his injury.
4.     The Sun Also Rises.  And we’ll also take a sack at a critical juncture in the game.
5.     Golden. One really tough SOB. From game #1 to now, unbelievable improvement.
6.     Turk the Punter.  Ironically, had a really, really good game.  He hit the snot out of it, high and far.
7.     Walk on Kicker Whose Name I Don’t Recall. Also had a very good day. Clutch (w the exception of one KO out of bounds). Too bad his mates couldn’t seem to tackle…  
8.     Helmet-to-helmet hits. All season long – and all across the country – this stuff is happening and sooner or later, someone’s going to get really fucked up. Paralyzed. The impotent NCAA probably won’t do anything until that occurs but they should.

Scoreboard watching.  Remember the halcyon days when we used to look and see if someone lost so we’d move up?  Now we watch to see what the coaching implications are:
ü  Oklahoma loses 41-13.  Bob Stoops no longer attractive? Not to me!   More interested as the local natives get restless? Let’s hope so.
ü  TCU rolls, 45-10 over the Fighting Ranchers (or whatever Wyoming calls themselves).  Give Patterson credit for taking care of business, even against the patsies.
ü  Rutgers gets rolled by SYRACUSE, 31-13.  A cynic would say that makes Schiano the perfect ND coaching candidate! I say, “come back, Greg, when your resume is a tad more impressive.”
ü  Stanford loses to California, 34-28.  Everyone off the Harbaugh bandwagon? You shouldn’t be because of this loss. You might be, however, because he’s a dick.
ü  UNC over BC, 31-13.  Easy win, fueled by defense. How novel.  Butch, I still esteem you even when no one else seems to!
ü  Northwestern beats a good Wisconsin team, 33-31. Locally, one hears that their coach, Pat Fitzgerald, loathes ND so not likely a realistic candidate for us… but does it piss anyone else off that this guy, in his 3rd year or so, seems to be on his way to becoming a really good coach – AND THEIR COACH HAD TO DIE FOR HIM TO GET HIS CHANCE. “Son of beetch. Sheet!

Recruiting.  The tragedy of the failed Charlie Weis partnership is that he clearly ‘got’ Notre Dame and was able to articulate it to 18 yr. old kids.  Even more impressive is that it would seem that he was able to sell the school and not merely himself.  That’s beyond rare for that profession.  The next guy may end up being just as good of a salesman – but there’s no question he’s going to have to do it in a very different way.

Schadenfreude Winner of the Week.  Let’s just make Michigan the winner of the year, shall we?  They simply never disappoint.  And while he was never even the slightest bit nervous, Tate For-SEE-AY’s five cool-as-a-cucumber turnovers made up for what continues to be another underwhelming chapter in the career of Terrelle Pryor. Will UM have the balls to pull the plug on Rich after two years?  Will they be using the same discreet channels as ND surely is to gauge the interest of, say, Harbaugh (or Miles)?  Stay tuned!

Non-football Winner of the Week.  Patty Carnevale, who interned at our office this summer (working on the Kraft business) got a full-time job offer from us this week.  Woo hoo! Now to put that in perspective, we had 30 kids interning… maybe, maybe 5 of ‘em got offers… we’re the biggest agency in Chicago and this particular office is one of the single biggest on the planet.  And Patty rocked their world.  Well done – I hope you choose us!

Tomorrow.  On to Green Bay!  What is it with my fascination for teams with good QB’s, dubious defenses and mediocre coaches? At any rate, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Sully, I’m road tripping with three of my office colleagues to see The Pack vs. The 49’ers… and it’s the start of deer hunting season!  The stadium figures to be aglow with paramilitary action wear.  Feif will be so jealous. Go Pack go!

And Then There Was One….  Seriously, who in their wildest imaginations, would’ve thought Albert would win the pool?  Believe it. 

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