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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 4 (2013): Return To Mediocrity

Travel to 1155 N. Dearborn...

Meet Interesting People.

And Google them. 

Linipalooza '13
You'll never know what might occur.

What do you mean Tommy doesn't  do  'read progression'?'

Text of the Week (and possibly, year)
How can you sit there live and watch this debacle?  I hope at least that you have rags dipped in ether that you can huff from time to time...
 Received while in-Notre Dame stadium, 9/21/13

Response (not mine): "I wish we had thought that far ahead..."

I get asked from time to time, usually within the framework of an annual performance review, 'how do you arrive at the peculiar thoughts that you do?'  

Is it because...
  • The possible side effects of your mother smoking and drinking during your pregnancy?  (It was the 50's...)
  • The physical and psychological abuse subjected to by your older brothers, who made you the unwitting pawn in sadistic games like 'Rodeo Roundup' - where your role was that of the 'frisky calf'?
  • The slow, insidious effects of parenting two gifted but frankly, odd children who've made you question the whole 'nature or nurture' thing?
  • "Daddy, is that The Three Wise Men?"  No.  No it is not.
  • The increasingly poor choices of friends you made in college, culminating in an unhealthy, downward spiral you've clearly never quite walked away from?
Never entirely sure if those were permissible lines of workplace inquiry, the usual answer was a simple "yes."  

But I digress.  I share this because I'm beginning to have similar uncomfortable questions about our coaches' line of curious thinking.  

Song of The Week
It was fortuitous that just a week ago, The Replacements were playing a rare, semi-reunion gig at Riot Fest near Chicago. Always something of a cult band, by rights, one of their albums should've made my Stygian collection on the Trip to The Great Beyond.  It didn't. But be that as it may, their song "Someone Take The Wheel" is the perfect metaphor for my perception of The ND Football Plan.  'Cause, for sure, I don't know where we're going.
The music is pounding out in that rain
and we're standing in the shadows
forever on the brink
turn it up so I don't have to think.

Someone take the wheel
and I don't know where we're going
Anybody say what you feel
Everybody's sad, but nobody's showing.

WELTSCHMERZ   welt·schmerz noun, often capitalized \ˈvelt-ˌshmerts\ 
:  mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state 
:  a mood of sentimental sadness
German, from Welt world + Schmerz pain
First Known Use: 1864

Used in a sentence:  After games like last Saturday, young Terry often wondered whether his love of schadenfreude in the sports world was driven by his overwhelming sense of Notre Dame Weltschmerz.

Pre Game
"Can I freshen that cocktail for you while I'm up, Kay?"
Friday night.  The family is in town.  

"And this weekend, the role of the Eddie Haskell oldest brother will be played by Jerry Cincotta..."

A role, apparently, he was born to play.

Later he falls asleep during the 41-40 Fresno-Boise State game, demonstrating that weird ability our father had to hear while REM'ing.  Creepy.


Game Day.   The boys pile into the Lexus and head east for South Bend, strategically throwing (we think) Cincotta as far back in the car as humanly possible - in effect creating a small quarantine area from the rest of the car.

Tactical error.  He spends the next 45 minutes waxing rhapsodic about... clouds.     Campus CANNOT come soon enough.

"Bob, I was led to believe this was 'khaki mandatory..."
Arrival and 'A' Lot is back in business!  It seems like only yesterday.  Perfect weather. Perfect crowd.  Even perfect dogs.  Perfect hosts, obviously. And of course, The Perfect Behrens Bloody Mary.  How shall I name thee?
  • 7 Course Meal In A Solo Cup
  • A Conversation With God
  • 50 Shades of Awesome
And the little scenes One Act plays that one observes :

I'm told my dates get arrested here... Yes, I was aware of that.

How are you getting out of going into the stadium?  I've got my mother-in-law with me...

We have a proud history in our family of marrying light years above our place on the food chain - do NOT screw this up...

You can act normal, Belknaps.  But you're not fooling anyone...

The Game

Actually I would prefer not to comment.  It only makes me sad.  Other than to say 'thanks again for the seats, Tim' and that I'm pretty sure that we were experiencing Cirrus cloud formations all afternoon long.

Summary Observations
Engineers, please solve for X if n = Tommy
  • If Rees is even mildly accurate, we win by two touchdowns.
  • Between Tommy and the DB's, we are teaching - and they are learnin' - regression really well.
  • How bad must Hendrix be - and how unprepared Zaire - that they don't even sniff the field?
  • If Saturday was any indication, Martin should be relieved of play calling responsibilities immediately.
  • Unless, in fact, our play book really does have only three pass patterns (go long, fade, run as close to the sideline as humanly possible).
  • Did we throw more than once to the TE? 
  • ND first downs:  2 rushing, 5 passing, 7 penalty.  Score one for a balanced attack! 
  • It would've been nice to see some of those PI's on replay.  But, of course, didn't.  Because WE DON'T HAVE A JUMBOTRON.  He says, bitterly.
  • Shumate is awful in coverage. Does no one teach looking back for the ball?
  • Cam is plucky, tough.  Still can't see him as our best RB.
  • Irrespective of whether some of those PI calls against MSU were correct, they had their hands on ND receivers waaay down field all day long. 
  • Don't know if it's only against ND but Dantonio remains a smug, I-gotta-be-the-cleverest-guy-in-the-stadium tool.  His unnecessary halfback pass was arguably the play of the game.  Enjoy running that back a few times when you're watching film, coach.
The Schedule
August / September
31    TEMPLE                         W  
  7    @Michigan                       L  
14   @Purdue                           W 
21   MICHIGAN STATE         W 
  5   ARIZONA STATE (Dallas)         

19   USC                                       
26   @Air Force                            
 2     NAVY                     
 9    @Pitt                      

23    BYU   
30    @Stanford               


Team 11 might be the only ones remotely happy after this game.  Live for at least one more week.



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?




  • 1 oz. Disaronno Originale amaretto almond liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. Coco Lopez cream of coconut
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Cocktail Bitters
  • Cocoa powder, to taste
Gently shake the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with cocoa powder.  You've read about how the deadly poison cyanide tastes like almonds.  Note how smoothly the drink goes down.
Sometimes the worse things for you seem like the best ideas at the time.  Like actually entering Notre Dame stadium with friends and family.  It was an awesome tailgater.  Why leave it?

But you did anyway.  At least your seats had cushions.  Thank you, Sully.


An imaginary conversation on what seemed like a completely imaginary day...

Buddy:  Welcome, Murphy and Seamus Flaherty, nice to have you as the celebrity guest 'ND Buddy' committee this week.  
Seamus:  Nice to be here, it's an honor.
Buddy:  I'm a big fan of your owners.  Beyond the psychotic Red Sox thing, Jay is a cool dude.  And I've never seen a woman shoot a beer quite like Mary...
Murphy:  They have their moments.
Hey, that green-yellow vodka looks suspiciously like...
Buddy:  Well, lets get to it.  In a game that would compel me to stay on this side of the grave, what good did either of you see?
Seamus:  Well, we saw a couple things worth talking about.  I'm more of a traditionalist and want to throw Brindza's name into it.  
 On those last two punts, he was channeling his inner "I Am Thor, Son of Odin!" thunderfoot and got us out of some pretty awful field position.
Murphy:  I had a slightly different take and think, flat out, the referees were the stars of the game.  They were our most consistent, go-to offensive weapon.  Then again, I did help myself to some spilled Behrens Bloody Mary at the tailgater - that horseradish is killer - so my observational skills were, perhaps, was not at their peak.
Buddy:  I want to party with you, Murph!  The REFEREES it is.

A number of close calls but not enough abject failures.  Bummer.  

1.  USC.  A 17-14 win over Utah State - the Aggies.   Did you know - other than Thompson - that at one point they were known as The Scotsmen?  Cue the Braveheart music.  Also cue the "Deadman Walking" music.  Or so SC alums would like.  But even as Lane keeps winning close games that used to be blow outs, one is... never... quite... sure... that Kiffie'll get the boot.  So count this one in the 'awesome schadenfreude' column as SC Natiuon twists in the wind.


1. The 70's Club.   Has there ever been a weekend where four teams, like Ohio St., Miami, Louisville, Baylor, have rung up 70+ points on the same day?  Almost certainly not. And there's a reason for that - it's a totally lame thing to do.  

2.  Ty  Warner  You subjected the world to Beanie Babies, in doing so making yourself a billionaire and making any parent in the 1990's with small children hate you, as those little critters literally multiple like rabbits.  Then you skip out on the tax obligation?  The $53M fine is not nearly enough:  one can only hope your prison sentence involves some kind of pre-school obligation with severely over-tired, entitled brats. 

3.  Jacoby Jones.  Nothing says 'cretin' quite like the magic elixir you get when combining a professional footballer, a party bus and stripper named Sweet Pea.  But when you get hit in the head with a bottle by said exotic dancer, it almost makes one pine for those awkward 'Dancing With The Stars' days?  Almost.


"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."               
 William G. McAdoo

Now defeating a stubborn football coach, with a new contract, is an entirely different kettle of fish.  As we're likely to see this week.

Final Thought - I
       Behrens                     Flaherty                     Belknap                Lini                          Rasmus

A Lot.  Be there.  Again.

Final Thought - II
Early Linipalooza events planning:

Wednesday (9/25):  Still on the docket: Corrigans, Flaherty's, possibly Belknaps... maybe even an appearance by noted author and gonzo journalist, Bryan Gruley and / or Dillon Hall's #1 Son, Jeff Bob Rasmus...   for an evening of hearty midwestern cuisine and adult beverages, with the strong probability that we'll talk about you in your absence.  

And by 'talk about you', I mean 'make up stuff, share with the other patrons and post on social media'.

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

The foursomes are set:
12:30pm: Ungie, Lini, Spittler The Elder, Spittler The Younger
12:40pm:  JP, Alvin, Peter, TC

If you're interested in playing, give me a shout and we can see if there's still a chance to snag another tee time.

Final Thought - III


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