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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

And Now For Something Not So Completely Different...

Isn't this why we watch?  Why we care?  Why I write my drivel...

There's really not that many times in one's life when I can honestly say, "I remember exactly where I was when..." A couple easy ones:
  • JFK's assassination (1st grade, Rev. George A. Brown School)
  • Neil Armstrong's moon walk (my aunts' house, Ottawa IL)
  • Lini's kidnapping by Dillon (my Grace Hall dorm room)
  • 9/11 (FCB's Milan office)
Out of my way, little Englishman...
One less obvious moment was on June 24, 1995 when the New Zealand All Blacks played South Africa's Springboks in the Rugby World Cup.  

The All Blacks had a player, Jonah Lomu, the likes of which the sport had never seen before - a guy literally the size of Lawrence Taylor and fast.  That year, New Zealand tore through the field like a hot knife through butter.  Living in a near-London suburb at the time, I recall their 45-29 pasting of England to have been particularly humiliating (the game not being nearly as close as the score would suggest). 
Even with the final being played in Johannesburg against a really good home team,  the outcome was expected to be no different.  The All Blacks had Lomu.  But then something happened.  Mandela came to watch the game and gets introduced to the crowd pre-kickoff, Black president of a country known for it's shameful apartheid history, wearing a Springboks jersey.  

Hey there, elitist white boy sport, I'm your biggest fan!

Even through the TV screen, one could feel the... vibe.  And what was interesting was that the immediate reaction wasn't particularly spontaneous but built and built and built. At a certain point, you kinda knew you were witnessing something culturally important.

Much like the game itself - I was a total rugby neophyte - I'm sure at the time I didn't fully understand that.  (Plus, I was watching in England so inevitably there was alcohol involved.)

One would like to say, at that point, 'game over'.  But it actually wasn't really that way (final score 15-12, South Africa) but because the Springboks hung so tough against a potential Greatest Team of All Time candidate, anyone watching the game had a 'they're actually gonna do it' feeling grow as the game went on. 

Very, very cool.  And how often can you say that the award ceremony was more powerful than the actual game?

Song of The Week.
A Holiday Three-Pack, each in their own way, capturing the holiday spirit...   

For listening with a scotch...

For listening with (rum-based) egg nog...

For listening to with amyl nitrate poppers...

Here's wishing you and yours a terrific holiday season. Celebrate responsibly.

Word of The Week

:  To hate someone or something so much that you'd actually spit on it

Used in a sentence:  In the sports realm, there is nothing young Terry more passionately conspues than, well, a lot of things actually but for brevity-sake, Ohio State and their uber-hypocritical coach.

Game Time Observations
"J.J. Watt over Suh? Don't you want to humiliate Stanford?"
We had no game.  But you knew that.  

I did, however, have a dream.  

At first, I thought it was Clarence the Angel showing me What Life Would Be Like If There Had Never Been An 'A' Lot...


Though I did learn that every time Peter makes a Bloody Mary, an angel earns their wings.

But I digress.

Actually, Clarence was just a Make-A-Wish Foundation representative telling me they had made a mammoth clerical error and as such, even though I was neither a child nor suffering anything obviously life threatening, they had to award me my fantasy.  Which, as it turned out, involved Aaron Rodgers / Jamaal Charles / J.J. Watt / Patrick Willis / Earl Thomas suiting up for ND against Stanford.

Best. Dream. Ever.

Buddy's buddy
I still think he's Mr. Grumpy Pants on a good day (and Mr. Smug SOB most other days).  But unlike ND, his team seemed to get better every week and boy, did he ever have them primed against Tattoo U on Saturday night.

But I heard Charles Barkley (one of the most entertaining personalities alive, any genre) talk about how the thing that most impressed him about Mandela was his capacity for forgiveness.  He was imprisoned for 27 years and yet when he got out, he forgave. 
Check for your wallet, coach Dantonio...

With that in mind, I'm putting aside the PTSD I attribute to his Little Giant gambit and am giving it up for Mark Dantonio.  

This Bud's for you, coach.

The Schedule
August / September
31    TEMPLE                         W  
  7    @Michigan                       L  
14   @Purdue                           W 
21   MICHIGAN STATE         W 
28   OKLAHOMA*                L  
  5   ARIZONA STATE (Dallas)     W 

19   USC                                         W  
26   @Air Force                              W  
 2     NAVY                             W  
 9    @Pitt                                 L   

23    BYU                                 W 
30    @Stanford                         L 

The Wager
And then there were... The Elite Eight:   GarrettBryanJohnBrianLiniJerry PRyan CMatt.

By unanimous proclamation - okay, I made it up myself... HERE'S THE TERMS OF THE TIE-BREAKER:

The Game:  Notre Dame vs. Rutgers, December 28, 2013

One point awarded for each exact, correct answer
  1. Pick the winner - with the spread (currently, ND -17 pts.)
  2. Pick the over / under (currently, 51 pts.)
  3. Pick the 1st ND player to score.
  4. How many TD passes does ND's starting QB throw?
  5. How many INT's does ND's starting QB throw?
Five points possible earned, winner(s) to split the $600 pot after each finalist are paid their $25 entry fee.  Send your predictions by the morning of the 27th and I'll post 'em all for everyone to cheer or jeer.  And no one goes home a loser!  If you come up short, you're an instant Schadenfreude candidate!

Schadenfreude Winners 
This is definitely a week of quality over quantity...

1.  Ohio State. I am full of shame and self-loathing for the level of pleasure I took at the Buckeyes' losing.  (Decisively, I might add.)  

When I look at their team, all I see is thug, thug, illiterate thug, charged-but-never-convicted thug, thug, thug, Darwin Award semi-finalist, walk on thug. And The Anti-Christ as coach.   

2.  Oklahoma StateHow's that ROI on your $500MM, T. Boone?

Who says Texans don't have a sense of humor?
3.  Texas.  If nothing else, it'll be really fun watching Saban deny deny deny the "Nick to UT" rumors.

Lane's Lads

When the biggest games get played, the stars come out to shine. So do the tools.   Especially when their behavior is so often both inexplicable and inexcusable.

Richard Sherman.  Presently, is there a bigger douche in the NFL (and that's saying something).  Runs his mouth incessantly, as if he actually went to class at Stanford.  Inveterate cheap shot artist. The 49'er beat you and you blame it on the refs?  Okay, so let's add whiner to your skill set.

Dude, even your old coach Harbaugh wanted nothing to do with you. 

Cocktail of The Week

       The Dylan Thomas
  • 1 oz. Scotch
  • 1 oz. Scotch
  • 1 oz. Scotch
  • 1 oz. Scotch
  • 14 oz. Scotch
Just drink the scotch.  Not for amateurs, Italians or people who value their liver.  Named after the great Welsh poet, who famously proclaimed "I've just had 18 straight whiskeys.  I think that's a record..."
And died not terribly long afterward.

Actually don't do this.  Ever. You will not go gently into that good night.

Recruiting Time!
So it's The New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Feif's birthday, against the Rutgers Scarlett Knights.

Better be a crushing victory.

That said, So far so good heading down the back stretch.

Only one week removed from last week's status update, here's the latest news on the group that seems of highest potential to be Class of '14 commitments:
1.  Nyles Morgan, ILB.  Still a stud, still liking ND a ton.  Gonna announce at one of the early January all-star games.  Apparently an ND-Vandy battle.
2.  Nile Sykes, ILB. Two things to like about him: he's supposed to be really good. And he's a close friend of Morgan's.  Very likely to commit at this weekend's football banquet.
3.  Michiah Quick, WRND / Oklahoma / maybe USC now with all the Sark buzz.
4.  Alan Lazard, WR. Apparently, not happening. Just too far invested with Iowa State and as a legacy, even harder to back out.
5.  Charles Nelson.  Apparently ND'll take his commitment even if McKenzie qualifies.  He, too, will be at the banquet this weekend and is a better than 50-50 bet to commit.  
6.  Matt Elam, DL.  The kid likes to tweet. A lot.  A Kentucky kid, his short list is allegedly KY, 'Bama and us. He might be a giant mass of goo but we kinda need him. 
7.  JuJu Smith, S.  Having grown up an SC fan, Sark's hire seems to have changed everything.  And not in a good way for ND. Especially since Sark brought JuJu's uncle with him on staff from UW.
8.  Peyton Hendricks, S.  He's starting to look like a must-have guy. His teammate, an ND commit, is in his ear about du Lac but seems to be taking his time.
9.  Tyler Luatua, TE.  The lad has supposedly been an ND lock for most of the year, said he'd announce on his 12/15 birthday and now, has pushed it back to his January all-star game.  He's supposed to be really good but there's at least one other stud TE out there (who also visited recently).
    Quote of The Week

    I like Wharton students - they pay full retail...
    "I don't care what people think of my poetry as long as they award it prizes."

    Robert Frost, winner of 4 Pulitzers       

    I've heard my brother, the legendary Dr. Tím Tím, express a similar sentiment - in fact every time he re-writes yet another forward to one of his many film books and re-issues it as "New Insights! More Pictures! Smaller Words!" to unsuspecting college students...

    Final Thought - Reunion '14!
    "Ray?  Ray Volk?!  It's me, Chris..."
    Received my first piece of reunion propaganda and sadly, it wasn't from Jerry.  Or Barb.  A tad disappointing.  

    But it did get me to thinking... it's never too early to begin preparing for the event.  Like establishing one's safe word - that subtle code word signaling "man in conversational distress!"  Engineers, accountants, you know the interpersonal skill-challenged classmate I'm talking about.

    May I suggest 'Obamacare'?

    Short.  Topical. Incendiary.  Not only will it stop that classmate from further expounding on their thriving actuarial practice in Wilkes Barre (and their go-to "death is a growth business" jokes) it'll evoke an almost Pavlovian response from this crowd to savagely join in the conversation and save that friend (and by 'that friend' I mean 'me') from 20 more minutes of mind-numbing chat they'd otherwise never get back. 

    Alternative optionSweet Buttery Jesus!  

    So named after the 62' iconic statue near Monroe, OH*.  While in reality neither sweet or butter-based (but, apparently flammable as it ultimately burnt to the ground)... what would appear to be a complete non sequitur makes a fantastic, Ron Burgundy-like exclamation to virtually any soul-sucking conversation you might find yourself in.

    *Further justifying Ohio's position as perhaps the most underrated state for facilitating the truly bizarre... 

    Final Thought -II

    So what are you doing for dinner after the game?

    That Geico Pig - would one be correct in assuming he's a Chiefs fan?

    For a town that so loves its ribs, an interesting choice for a fan, isn't it?

    Final Thought - III
    Masterpiece Theater

    It's Christmas time.  And what do (did) 801'ers do when there was snow on the ground and they had a couple weeks of free time on their hands?

    "Hello, Wyndham, NY..." 

    Party on, Wayne!   Party on, Garth.
    Make sure you watch both parts, if only to see JP's impossibly awesome family.  (I'm thinking now they might've been hired actors...)

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    Week 12 (2013): It's Not Complicated

    Who thinks throwing the ball to the other team is a good idea?
    Another year.  Another round of woulda - coulda - shoulda's.  

    But honestly, with the benefit of hindsight, what did we expect?  

    We lost, minimally, one game we had no business losing (Pitt) and that was enabled largely by an inexplicable targeting call no worse than the Stanford one that was correctly overturned (and probably shouldn't have been a penalty at all).  Oh, and I saw a dozen worse hits this past weekend alone.  

    And apparently, Michigan knows how to get up for only two games a year - us and Ohio State - but after that, they're not even a good MAC conference team. As one shrewd analyst suggested, Brady Hoke is the Chris Christie-looking, Ann Arbor version of Charlie Weis.

    But look what we had to deal with:

    1.  A mediocre-at-best QB.  Sorry but I don't subscribe to the 'where would we have been without Rees' rationalization.  You guys are all laudable Notre Dame men - but I wouldn't want you at QB either.  (Well, maybe Peter.)

    Recall that I was the guy that said we're all going to be pleasantly surprised by Tommy this year.  Call me The Anti-Nostradamus.  Even as The Greatest 3rd String Notre Dame QB Since Joe Montana, he wouldn't have started at Northwestern.  

    And don't even think about Northern Illinois.

    Blame Kelly for a lack of back up plan - but who anticipates their starter to get kicked out of school?  And Nancy-Boy Kiel?  He was only recruited by, oh, everybody in the country. At any level, QB remains the most important position on the field and when Golson went hasta la vista, we were staring at a 9 win ceiling.  We just didn't know it.  Except Alvin.  Especially also when... 

    2.  A D-line that had their starters together for a whopping 23 snaps the whole year.  Alabama and LSU could've maybe survived that.  But that's only because they carry, like, 100 scholarship athletes off the books.

    3.  More injuries that took at least three other Defensive starters for, in almost every case, the whole year.  Where were we weakest this year?  Up the middle.  Who was hurt? Grace, Baratti (pretty sure he would've started over Collingsworth).  And Spond, of course. 

    4.  And an O-line that by the year end, lost it's entire starting interior core.  Pretty impressive how well they pass blocked.  Maybe this explains, in part, their suspect run blocking. 

    Much of this speaks, of course, to a program that is still building depth.  And it's not to make excuses for another year of some head scratching defensive schemes and play calling.  

    Just trying to lay out a few facts as to the daunting hand the team was dealt to start with... 

    Song of The Week.
     I was in Detroit for the weekend.  And I really like this song.  That's about the extent of any application this song might have with the Stanford game.  That said, Che might've been a Stanford Man, I'm not entirely sure.  Maybe the Executive Ed program, something to do with International Strategic Alliances, no doubt. 

    But I'm sure there's some ND people out there panicking about the state of the football program.  I am not one of them.  Sometimes things don't work out like you planned...  especially in an attrition-driven sport like football.

    He looked a lot like Che Guevara, drove a diesel van.
    Kept his gun in quiet seclusion, such a humble man.
    The only survivor of the National People's Gang.
    Panic in Detroit, I asked for an autograph -
    He wanted to stay home, I wish someone would phone...

    Word of The Week
     (This one's for the entitled Stanford narcissists...)


    :  One who habitually describes and / or regards something as unimportant or having no value.

    Used in a sentence:  Like so many fans when their team's fortunes go south, young Terry's constant, detached dismissiveness of things sports-related earned him a reputation as the 'A' Lot floccinaucinihilipilificator.

    Game Time Observations
    Note the distinction - game time as opposed to actual game.  I didn't actually see the game live.  Instead had a commitment to a cousin's wedding in Detroit and throughout the course of the evening, while checking game updates and receiving odd texts, couldn't help but draw some interesting, almost parallel universe-type connections between The Game and The Family Affair.  The observations will be few - so as to not repeat (too much) that which has been said a dozen times already this season.

    Lisa, that is not how it's supposed to be served.
    The Westin Cadillac Hotel, downtown, is really nice.  And Jaylon Smith is really good.

    Much of the rest of downtown Detroit is a kinda depressing.  As is Our Red Zone offense. 

    My wife really likes her port (I told you, Ungie).  And Kelly really likes to pass. 

    Each might want to consider doing both in greater moderation.

    Of course, mom, they've got Grey Goose...

    My mother, at 88, is still quite the party girl.  

    And Tommy, at age 21, is still quite the untimely turnover machine.

    I'm told that if Detroit could clean up it's corruption, the city would have a fighting chance for success.  And if you replaced 'corruption' with tackling in that sentence, the same could be suggested about ND football.

    Okay, if these analogies are too Corriganesque for you, let me to give you a faster, simpler analogy to the game.  One that you'll all be very familiar with:  Ingmar Bergman's cinematic classic, The Seventh Seal.  Allow me to recap the Stanford game in this way: 

    There's this Knight.  He comes home from The Crusades, fatigued and frankly, more than a little disillusioned.  It was a really long, tough, disappointing season.  He meets Death on a beach. Challenges him to a chess match.  One more game.  While fancying himself to have some skills, The Knight doesn't know that Death is private university-educated and Bobby Fischer-crazy good at the game.  Yikes!  Las Vegas immediately installs Death as a prohibitive favorite.  A mortal lock, one might say.

    Or you might possibly have seen the sequel...
    A bunch of stuff then happens.  Various players come and go. There's some trickery,  a bit of deception, some of which works better than others. 

    Towards the end, The Knight gets a little desperate.  It doesn't help.  Game over.  

    The End. (Though The Knight did beat the spread and Vegas took a beating.)

    Buddy's buddy
    As much as I'd like to find someone of singular high performance to recognize, I can't.  I've read that apparently Dan Fox played a whale of a game - but how does one nominate him when Stanford ran like a hot knife through butter virtually all game long?  If one were rewarding quality over quantity, one might be inclined to recognize Mathias for the one open field tackle he made.  Cumulatively.  All season long.
    It's pronounced Glen-MORE-an-gee...

    And we really weren't on offense enough for anyone to (positively) distinguish themselves. Folston might've.  If we tried to run.  But we didn't.

    But there was one creature who distinguished themselves last weekend, Bella Behrens - the Corrigans' hostess while in The Motor City... an excitable, 130 lb. lass who knows her way around a single malt, mushroom & pepperoni pizza and high stakes college football.  

    Hello, perfect female.

     The Schedule
    August / September
    31    TEMPLE                         W  
      7    @Michigan                       L  
    14   @Purdue                           W 
    21   MICHIGAN STATE         W 
    28   OKLAHOMA*                L  
      5   ARIZONA STATE (Dallas)     W 

    19   USC                                         W  
    26   @Air Force                              W  
     2     NAVY                             W  
     9    @Pitt                                 L  

    23    BYU                                 W 
    30    @Stanford                         L 

    The Wager
    And then there were... The Elite Eight

    At least for now.  We're still in the process of determining a tie breaker protocol.  If you've got any interesting thoughts, please share.  

    One pilot test concept involves a series of questions spanning 
    • one's favorite ND bloggers 
    • best REO Speedwagon song ever
    • the cinematic significance of Herzog's "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" (start studying your Klaus Kinski filmography now) 
    • an extra credit essay on "Gin: Vodka's More Interesting Colleague."

    The intent is to be both challenging and edifying so the winner(s) feel a true sense of accomplishment. But as I said, it's still a work-in-progress.

    Finally, if your name is not highlighted in yellow, I don't have you recorded as having paid.  If I'm wrong - a lot of money was exchanged while alcohol was involved so it's a distinct possibility - give me a shout.  Otherwise, just send your $25 to Stable Boy, c/o Scotchlandia USA.



    School of Thought / Representative Quote




    The Self-Indulgent & Excessive

    “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day.  You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity..”

    Man up! We’re still BCS bound even w/o Everett and Eddie! Go Irish!  (And stop bogarting the wine skin, bro…)

    Kevin C, Ray, Dave M


    The Logical

    “Face the facts of being what you are, for that changes what you are…”
    Epicuris is an incorrigible drunk but he’s right about this still being a very good team.  That said, losing Golson has to cost us a game or two.

    Terry, Peter, Ted, Mike G, JayJPDaryl, Jerry W, Dennis

    Raz, Jim S, Jim T, Bob S, Tim C, Jerry C, Mike C, Tom, Randy, Tim SBlair,  Kevin M, Shea, Mark


    The Realist

    “I sit astride Life like a bad rider on a horse.  I only owe it to the horse’s good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment…”

    I don’t have a clue what’s gonna happen but the odds alone suggest we’ll win 7-8 and go bowling in Shreveport. 

    GarrettBryan, John, Brian, Lini, Jerry P, Ryan C, Matt



    The Skeptic

    “The wise have always said the same things, and fools, who are the majority, have always done just the opposite…”

    Epicurus is delusional. Everett is a significant loss. The entire ‘O’ was built around him. Bet high at your peril.



    The Cynic

    “What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others…”
    The high point of the year is gonna be the ‘A’ Lot experience.  AgainNot that that's a bad thing.



    The Nihilist

    “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything…”
    Honestly, why bother with any of this?  Life beyond ‘A’ Lot is a wretched, futile existence - devoid of meaning. May I have another Bloody?


    Schadenfreude Winners 
    On the biggest college football weekend of the year, one knew there was going to be plenty of awesome heartache to choose from.  And like my Thanksgiving eating habits, I'm trying mightily to practice moderation...
    Not so sweet home, Alabama...

    1.  Bama.  What a way for a 3-peat to end.  Not with a bang but with a "...WTF just happened?!" 

    Hey Tide, roll that.

    2.  USC.  Not a surprise, losing to UCLA and derailing the "keep coach O" movement.  Getting routed was a nice touch, however. Enjoy it while it lasts everyone - I don't think Sark is a bad choice as the new head guy*.  If nothing else, they'll be recruiting machines.

    *Of course, I was a big Mark Richt and Butch Davis advocate as well.

    3.  A&M.  Not a great week for Kevin Sumlin.  First it comes out that you've been politicking for the USC job for, like, a month. Then you get taken to the woodshed by Mizzou, ending what little relevancy your team had this year.  And with Johnny Football surely buggering off to the NFL in a month, your SEC future isn't looking exactly all that sparkling.  So is that new 6 yr. extension a reward or a prison sentence?

    Lane's Lads

    When the biggest games get played, the stars come out to shine. So do the tools.   Especially when their behavior is so often both inexplicable and inexcusable.

    First, chocolate or vanilla?  Oh, and one point or two?
    1.   Brady Hoke.   Judging by the lack of widespread outcry, I may be surprisingly alone on this opinion... but going for two points - because your seniors wanted to - instead of taking your chances in OT was just about the dumbest thing I witnessed this past weekend.  (And I'm looking at coach Saban.)

    Two points to be made here, Brady:  1.  You may not have felt you could stop Ohio State BUT THEY WEREN'T STOPPING YOU EITHER and 2. (As my wife has reminded me on many occasions), letting your players make the decision?!  WHO'S THE PARENT HERE? 

    2.  Mike Tomlin.  Check out coach Mike doing the E Street Side-Shuffle.  Maybe that "I had my back to the play" excuse is not so air tight after all...

    3.  Jay Jacobs (Auburn AD).  Proclaiming it'd be "un-American" to leave an SEC team out of the BCS Championship because the conference's seven year run at the top.  Well, gee, Jay, entitled much?  Why do the rest of us even bother playing?  But you're right on one thing - Mizzou deserves to be in the championship.

    4.  Stanford.  One thing I really, really appreciated about The Cardinal or The Tree, whatever it is they call themselves these days:  like ND, the players manifest almost none of the histrionics that the rest of football - college and pro - indulge in on a play-by-play basis.  They just line up and go.  And when the play's over, they get up and do it again. Amen.

    That said, calling themselves (or their style) "Intellectual Brutality" is incredibly pretentious.  And not particularly original:  I had a prof tell me that in 1978. And I'm pretty sure it wasn't a compliment inasmuch as the observation accompanied his suggestion that my prose had 'gaps of logic that Jerome Heavens would've killed to run through'.  Asshole.

    Cocktail of The Week

    Breakfast of Champions

    • 2 oz.  bourbon (whatever brand you fancy)
    • a mug half-filled with yesterday's instant coffee
    • Whipped cream from a can

    Add the bourbon to the coffee.  Stir.   Spray a healthy portion of the whipped cream on top. Have a whippet chaser.  

    Wow, that was awesome!  Why haven't I always gotten lit up on Thanksgiving morning?  

    Have another.  

    Wake up on the dining room table with your children staring open-mouthed at you, and your wife slowly shaking her head.  Think to yourself, "Hey, at least things can't get any worse."

    Then realize you're all out of whipped cream.

    Recruiting Time!
    We've got nothing let to play for - unless you call The New Era Pinstripe Bowl, The Hearts of Palm Dallas Bowl or The San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsetta Bowl (The SDCUPB) worth bothering about.  

    And I actually do, if the game gets played around my birthday - and means hanging out with Feif, drinking Lini's wine and debating favorite REO songs while our wives ponder what exactly they thought they were getting into ~30 yrs ago...

    Otherwise, we're into coming-down-the-back stretch-recruiting time... and if there was ever a silver lining to the valiant effort our boys came up with Saturday night, it was recruiting related.  Which is to say we didn't embarrass ourselves and send recruits running for other schools.

    But with anywhere from maybe 5-6 spots open, it might be interesting to review who ND is sitting on... not an exhaustive list but the primary targets, it would seem are:
    1. Nyles Morgan, ILB.   Total stud, at a position of huge need, from nearby Chicago. Yet, he's only warming up to ND now. Which may actually be a really good thing.
    2. Nile Sykes, ILB. Another Chicago kid, evidently having a fantastic season. Some think he's as good as Morgan.  And inasmuchas they're friends.  We stand a pretty good chance of getting both.  (And boy, do we need 'em.)
    3. Michiah Quick, WR.  The good news: he's a god who's liked ND a lot for a long time.  The bad news:  he's from Fresno where ND's track record for closing the deal is terrible.
    4. Alan Lazard, WR.  Very highly rated and presently an Iowa St. commit.  But don't hold your breath: a theory is that he loves ND but won't be able to reconcile reneging on his dad's school.
    5. Charles Nelson.  A small, fast WR from Florida (is there any other kind?) being pursued,
      Slot Receiver., Comedian..
      possibly as a fall back to the academically challenged Isaiah McKenzie (which is looking increasingly dubious the more times the lad re-takes the SAT...)
    6. Matt Elam, DL.  A large Boy-Man, described a lot like Louis Nix four years ago, which is to say a little flaky, a lot lazy and likely in need of a consistent kick in the ass to reach his potential.  Still, beggars can't be choosers for ND when it comes to the D-line.
    7. JuJu Smith, S.  His name alone makes him my 'must have' recruit.  That and he's supposed to be a superstar at a position we're god-awful at.
    8. Peyton Hendricks, S.  Apparently a good-to-very good (but not necessarily great) prospect who'd be nice in any year but maybe really a need if JuJu doesn't come-come.
    9. Tyler Luatua, TE.  Supposedly one of the top 1-2 TE's in the country and considered an inevitable commit for the past three months... but he hasn't (and one has to wonder why at this point).  One could also argue we're pretty deep at a position with pressing needs elsewhere.
    It's a popular notion to suggest that practically speaking, Golson and possibly Tuitt are the most important 'recruits' this year.  Hard to refute that.  Everett appears to be green lighted for re-enrollment mid-December although one never should assume too much when it comes to logic involving ND Admissions. (They let us in, after all.) 

    And there's a kernel of logic attached to Tuitt returning - improve your draft stock with a better senior year - though it's hard to see him coming back.  (6'7", 320 lb. linemen, who can run, don't ever really go out of vogue, do they?)

    Quote of The Week

    "Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example."

    Francois de La Rouchefoucauld, 17th Century French nobelman

    A theory that neither the ND coaching staff nor the 'A' Lot patronage are, as yet, in danger of disproving.

    Final Thought - I

    Disappointing football season.

    Outstanding tailgate season. 

    Get over one, celebrate the other.

    Final Thought - II

    Masterpiece Theater

    An 801 two-parter:




    See you next year!