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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 9 (2009): The Princess Bride

Full disclosure: this summary isn’t going to be funny (just ask Lisa who sat next to me watching today) or clever or rich with cultural references.

This week, I got next to nuthin’… totally stunned by the entire ‘what-could-go-wrong-did-go-wrong’ series of events. One analogy I read about recently did strike me as apropos this morning – that of three morals arising from the fantastic, one-of-the-best-movies-that-works-on-both-an-adult-and-children’s-level-ever-made, “The Princess Bride”.  I’ll allow you to make your own connections.

Criminal genius, Vizzini, throws seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the way of the mysterious, dogged pursuer (ultimately revealed to be farm boy Wesley), exclaiming each time “Inconceivable!”.

Vizzini meets his downfall in a match of wits of his choosing between the two; a challenge where he believes he cannot possibly fail.
The legendary Dread Pirate Roberts takes the poor farm boy on his ship and puts him work, telling him at the end of each and every day, "Good night, Wesley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning..."

With each passing day of survival, Wesley knows he’s not going to die. In fact The Dread Pirate Roberts ultimately turns over his pirate ‘franchise’ to Wesley as he goes off into retirement. 
Wesley is subjected to the King’s brutal Machine which sucks the life out of him beyond any chance of survival.  Wesley’s mates bring him to Miracle Max who, after considerable hassling from his wife, analyzes him and declares, "It just so happens your friend is only mostly dead. Mostly dead is still slightly alive..."

Moral:  Maybe there is such a thing as being too smart for your own good. And don’t believe your own hype.

Moral:  One’s credibility quickly wanes with each day you promise something but don’t deliver.

Moral:  Have a little faith – we’re not dead yet.

Accordingly The Word for the Week:

Catatonic (I meant this word to apply to me, post-game, but it would appear its also applicable to the ND football program.)

Pronunciation: "kat-&-'tän-ik
Function: adjective
1. of, relating to, being, or affected byschizophrenia characterized especially by a marked psychomotor disturbance that may involve stupor or mutism, negativism, rigidity, purposeless excitement, and inappropriate or bizarre posturing —cata·ton·i·cal·ly /-i-k(&-)lE/ adverb

2. In computer jargon, a description of a system that gives no indication that it is still working. This might be because it has crashed without being able to give any error message or because it is busy but not designed to give any feedback.

Game Thoughts
1.     I hate playing Navy.  First of all, you can’t hate ‘em and as you all know, if I can’t hate I got no game… They’ve got that whole ‘defending our country’ thing going for ‘em, they’re actual students, none of ‘em seem to be dicks, they play hard, disciplined football...  And if you beat ‘em, no one’s impressed. 
2.     Our O-line is only incrementally better than last year.  Those last 2 sacks were embarrassing.
3.     Navy’s “want to” was far better than our “want to”.  Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, yesterday’s opponent after all, has already contemplated dying for their country; it stands to reason their resolve is always going to be a competitive advantage. This might be the essence of the O-line – the other guys’ will is just stronger. And that seems to be the case every week.
4.     Poor tackling catches up with us.  Did anyone notice that every time Navy ran a QB sneak on 3rd or 4th down, they got AT LEAST 3 YARDS!
5.     3rd Down.  Why is it we can play pretty decent defense on downs 1-2 but almost never when it gets you off the field? I’ll say this for our D, we’re an Equal Opportunity donor.
6.     This game made Jimmy only more attractive to the NFL. The kid is tough as nails, mentally and physically.
7.     Charlie definitely doesn’t have It. Certainly defensive preparation was suspect. Red Zone = Dead Zone. But how does one blame him for bad execution?  We marched up and down the field, repeatedly and by my memory, left more than 20 points on the table, due to guys just not getting it done:
ü  Two missed FG’s (one of which was unforgiveable)
ü  Michael Floyd’s “rust”
1.     seemingly not knowing the play, leading to another INT that Jimmy doesn’t deserve
2.     dropping an easy deep ball before the unforgiveable sacks
ü  Clausen going for it at the goal line and fumbling.
8.     The Grid. Messrs. Wills, Ungashick, Behrens, Lindon, Flaherty, Rasmus, McKee… thanks for playing. As you can see, we’ve entered Program Purgatory and Charlie’s ticket back to NJ is being considered… Next up the Carnevale, Cincotta, Gordon, Maher tandem.

Mr. Swarbrick, it would seem it’s time get out the rolodex and start some internal conversations w. Father Jenkins, maybe make a discreet call or two. But as always, who… Brian Kelly? Jon Gruden (please God, no)? To think you're going to get one of the Holy Trinity (Meyer, Saban, Stoops) remains fanciful to me.  So any suggestions, anyone?

Schadenfreude Winner. The Michigan Implosion continues, which would’ve made today sooooo sweet if we hadn’t spit the bit.

This was a really bad loss and returns the program back to the precipice. I truly thought those days were behind us.  Apparently not. Not that they can’t recover but that there is less than zero margin of error for Charlie.  And with the way Pitt, UConn and Stanford played yesterday, winning out is looking pretty daunting…

Time for me to curl back into the fetal position and call for my mommy – ‘cause I don’t see ‘best case’ happening.

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