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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 3 (2013): And Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, maybe not so much.  Another game, another disappointment.  I thought we were past this.  Evidently not.  

You mean he's not going to Debtor's Prison?
But speaking of things we are past... my life as an itinerant marketing consultant.  Which is to say, for those who didn't know, since the start of July,  I'm no longer occupationally unencumbered (sans job).  

Huzzah!  And the Corrigan girls rejoice - no more prospects of thin gruel for their Christmas porridge!  

Of course, with the good comes the bad.  Now that I have somewhere to go every single day and apply my energies, certain projects have to be suspended:
1. "Tommy".  A rock opera for the new millenium.  Deaf, dumb and blind QB becomes a modern day messiah for small backward, mildly inbred group of religious radicals in SE Pennsylvania. (Think Book of Morman Meets Amish Mafia.)  A clear Tom Cruise vehicle. Or Pauly Shore.

Always look on the bright side of life...
2. "Infectious Diseases In Cattle".  An admittedly derivative book of children's sonnets using sickly-but-cheery livestock as "the sun will come up tomorrow!" metaphor.  Probably a non-starter anyway, due to my inability to find a word that rhymes with Jakob-Creutzfeldt. And identify anyone willing to illustrate it. 

Next stop - North Korea!
3. "Pussy Riot:  The Balaclava Strikes Back." A coffee table book featuring the kookie russian punk rockin'-feminist-masked avengers as style icons leveraging both their unlistenable music (cd included!) and their love of primary colors and cheap acrylic, with fashion tips for what to wear when toppling an authoritarian government.   The perfect Christmas gift for that certain 'tough to buy for' someone.  Perhaps in '14.

At any rate, thanks to all for your support during a pretty odd, frustrating time for me.  

What's that got to do with ND football?  Well beyond the fact that I bet the Pussy Riot chicks can tackle better than our DB's and I KNOW they'd never get knocked on their butts by a little RB not carrying an AK-47 (I'm talking to you, Matthias), not much.  

But such is the mental state of watching this team after three games:  mixed up, disappointed and looking for answers in the most unlikely of places.  Like the Kremlin.

Thanks, first of all, to everyone who shared their Top 10 albums lists.  I never realized there were so many Tony Orlando & Dawn fans out there.  But growing up in the tumultuous 70's affected us all differently I suppose.  One band that I'd personally throw into the under-rated camp would be Creedence and the poignant "Someday Never Comes" seems to describe my attitude towards our football program.

"Papa, why does every QB we play against look like a Heisman candidate, even when it's the guy's first start since his Pop Warner days? Why does Tommy throw it 90mph when his receiver is 8 yds away from him? Why do we play the slow white guy at (pick your position here)?"

First thing I remember was askin' papa, "why?"
For there were many things I didn't know.
And daddy always smiled; took me by the hand,
Sayin', "Someday you'll understand."
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and ev'ry mother's son.
You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause someday never comes. 

Pococurante  adj   \ˈpō-kō-kyu̇-ˈran-tē, -ku̇-\

:  indifferent, nonchalant, apathetic

·      Italian, poco curante caring little
·      First Known Use: 1815

Used in a sentence:  The ND team showed such a frustratingly pococurante effort for 3/4 of the game that young Terry was forced to turn his attention in a different direction. And by 'different' he meant 'single malt.'

Pre Game
Watching ESPN Game Day in the a.m. and...

Treat #1:  A nattily attired Lyle Lovett is the guest game picker!
Treat #2:  His presence forces Desmond Howard off the dais.  A win-win!
Treat #3:  Lyle totally knows what he's talking about, making savvy and insightful observations on half a dozen games.  And in the process, thoroughly bewilders Lee Corso.   Not that that is such a remarkable achievement.

Lyle, you've long been The Most Interesting Thing About Texas.   

Now you're Deity. 

First Half
  • Apparently we're quite vulnerable to the screen pass.
  • We have to be one of the worst 3rd down defenses in the country.  
  • Good decision making, GAIII.  Bobble the ball in the end zone then return it. 
  • It was unfortunate timing to have watched Bama's #4 (Yeldon) run roughshod through A&M this afternoon... 
  • Brent is almost immediately irritating but here's the thing:  he's not wrong.
  • As Terry calls for a freshman RB - any freshman RB! - he also calls for The Macallan.  And the cool spherical ice ball maker I got for Father's Day. 
  • Tommy.  Pick Six! And the Purdue guy drops it.
  • How to beat ND:  quick RB in any kind of space against a LB, instant 8 yds.  And probably a lot more. 
  • Another near Pick Six.  Um, coach Kelly, I think Purdue has figured out the flat sideline pass.
  • Tommy breaks contain and... we still have the ball at the end of the play.  Consider it progress. 

Engineering applied for the betterment of society...
 Halftime Haiku!

Efficient ice orb,
Awesome engineering feat.
Taught in Solids, yes?

Second Half
"Enough w the red zone fades!"
  • We've reached Defcon 3.  Time for more Macallan.  
  • Lisa has buggered off to the back bedroom as my alter ego, Mr. Grumpy Pants, makes himself known. That is so predictable of her. I'm am forced to fend for myself in the kitchen...
  • Greek yogurt, some kind of edible shrubbery, cat food.  Twinkies! 
  • 1st play, another flat pass.   Apparently my psychic advice is no longer of use to the coaching staff.
  • Tommy throws into triple coverage.  Again.
  • And TJ Jones makes a remarkable catch.  Again. 
  • Like sea salt with a dark chocolate mousse, the spongy goodness of the Twinkie makes for an unlikely-yet-symbiotic companion to the soothing Speyside notes of The Macallan.
  • Bennett Jackson!  I don't wish to sound ungrateful but it's about freaking time
  • "We may be white but we're slow!"  
  • We cannot put these guys away.
  • Tonight, Tommy has a remarkable ability to throw the ball just outside the reach of the receiver so that they can get a hand on it. But just not catch it.
  • I'm starting to hear voices in my head.  Scottish voices. Who clearly know nothing about American football.  But hey, no one else seems to either tonight so join the club.  
  • Brent professes his Man-Love for Louis III and Herbie is looking like he secretly wants to report him to their HR rep for creating an uncomfortable work environment. 
  • 7:00 left and no more scotch, no more Twinkies.  This game can't get over soon enough.
Summary Observations
  • We are incapable of playing any way other than DOWN to the level of our competition.
  • Not Tommy's best game - and he's already everyone's favorite whipping boy - but beyond his obvious physical limitations, I'm tired of hearing how smart he is.  He's not.  And when your coach has to spend an entire half 'settling him down', as a senior, against Purdue, what does that say?
  • As Sully pointed out, our offense is too sophisticated, apparently, for a freshman RB to be able to grasp.  But opponents can suss it out after two game films. 
  • I see Louis III getting double teamed a lot but where, exactly, is Tuitt all game long?
  • Outside of Jaylon Smith, our LB's appear to be the least athletic humans in the stadium
  • The DB's, with the possible exception of Jackson, have clearly regressed.
  • Guess we don't have to worry about Diaco being poached if this keeps up. 
  • I'm not sure our O-line is quite as mediocre as they look - they pass protect pretty well - but it's clear, as Sully suggested, that teams will dare ND to beat them passing.
  • So maybe people ought to cut Kelly some slack on his play calling.  If there's eight defenders at the line of scrimmage, any running lanes are gonna be really hard.
  • That said, the last run-out-the-clock series was mildly impressive.  But Cam McDaniel can't be our go-to RB, can he?
  • Would Kelly ever have the courage to change QB's, as Stanford did last year?  Return Tommy to reliever role?  Doubtful. Maybe that's more a commentary on Hendrix / Zaire than Rees...
The Schedule
August / September
31    TEMPLE                         W 
  7    @Michigan                       L  
14   @Purdue                           W  
21   MICHIGAN STATE            
  5   ARIZONA STATE (Dallas)         

19   USC                                       
26   @Air Force                            
 2     NAVY                     
 9    @Pitt                      

23    BYU   
30    @Stanford               


Alvin is looking very, very smart right about now.



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, Jay, JPDaryl, 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?



The Televangelist
  • 2 oz. Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
  • 1 splash amaretto
  • Ginger ale
  • One copy of Joel Osteen's "Your Best Life Now"
Combine the first three ingredients in a highball glass with ice.  Drink. Scan idly through Osteen's book during the TV timeouts. 

"Anyone can create by faith and words the dreams he desires, " the book unabashedly promises.  "Health, wealth, happiness, success! Even the perfect red zone play calling strategy!"

Wait a minute.  This doesn't sound like stuff that Jesus would say.  

Keep reading through the book - it's halftime anyway.  Get to the part about how you have a "Miracle in your mouth". Throw back another cocktail.  "Why yes I do!"

Then keep reading, if you dare.  But keep that Captain Morgan handy.  You're going to need it.

Last week, tough. This week, easy.  Davaris Daniels is gonna be a star, not that the rest of the world may necessarily know it this year.

This was one week where the stats weren't deceiving:  8 catches, 167 yds. and 2 TD's.  And for all the commentator's chatter about Purdue daring ND to go deep, it's a mystery (to me) why it took us so long to do so.  

Nonetheless, the clear Star / Savior of the game. 

Another  easy week to find joy in other's misfortune.  

1.  Texas A&M   Not the beat down I was kinda hoping for but a loss is a loss. And with coach Sumlin (and Johnny Football) likely off to the NFL next year
2.  Texas. Talk about hitting rock bottom. 27 unanswered 2nd half points against a team that's 10 years removed from starting a Manning at QB.  In a complete downward spiral, I can't look away. 
3.  Wisconsin.    Old habits die hard.  Your complete-tool-of-a-coach left for Arkansas (good riddance to bad rubbish) but you were still ranked higher than us.  So I must celebrate your misfortune.  Not that it makes me feel any better about the ASU game in Dallas in a few weeks.
4.  USC.  Hey SC fans, welcome to our world (circa the Davie-Willingham-Weis years)!  You hate your coach, know he's a total fraud, yet every time you win, you lose - as he becomes possibly, just maybe, that less fire-able!  Enjoy a year of twisting in the wind. 


1.  Johnny M.   As my brother Mike so aptly put it, you're the Lindsey Lohan of college football. So talented and such a colossal train wreck.  I loved this gem from Saturday's telecast, "My motto is live hard, play hard."   Wow, that's original.   

2.  Pete Carroll.  Whining to the refs, that's nothing new for The Poodle.  But last night's attempt to lobby the refs about some fan - with clear malevolent intent - blowing a whistle from the stands to confuse his lads (and leading to a 49'er punt block) was unique inasmuch as the Seahawks were playing at home.   Good one, Pete. 

3.  Brandon Merriwaether.  He was a thug at 'The U' and after a couple NFL stops is now a thug for the Redskins.  That doesn't make him particularly special.  But this kinda does:  Sunday he goes helmet-to-helmet with Eddie Lacy and gives him a concussion, knocking him out for the game (and probably longer). That worked out nicely.  So he does it again to another Packers RB - and this time gives himself a concussion.   I hate it when that happens.


"There are no menial jobs. Only menial attitudes."               
 William Bennett, 
who apparently never envisioned 
anyone having to do telemarketing for 
The UroClub, "the golf club you can pee in."

Final Thought - I

A Lot.

Be there.

Final Thought - II
Early Linipalooza events planning:

Wednesday (9/25):  Join the Corrigans, Flaherty's and Belknaps for an evening of full slabs, zesty sauce, onion rings, creamed spinach, adult beverages and lively banter.

"We're from California...
May we see your vegan menu?"
Did you know that sometime in the early 1950’s, Frank Sinatra made his first visit to Twin Anchors? Over the decades, he continued to make Twin Anchors one of his favorite stops.  The tales abound. Frank’s order was always ‘Ribs, and keep ‘em coming!’ 

Today, Twin Anchors is frequented by young and old, regular, 'normal' folk as well as the odd and the famous, including reclusive author, raconteur and mixologist Peter Behrens who is known to bring his entourage of miscreants into the restaurant every August when they lay siege to the town for a long weekend of Cubs and alcohol. Not necessarily in that order.

Friday (9/27):  Harborside International., Port course.  Update:

So far, we've got 5 takers for 8 spaces:  TC, Alvin, JP,  Ray-head, Ungie.

Operators are standing by to take your call.

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