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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 9 (2013): Return to Stargate

When the Alumni Hall contingent descends upon SW Michigan / NW Indiana each year (like the swallows of San Juan Capostrano) and Lisa & I are so generously invited to commune with them over the course of 36 hours, I have this Out Of Body Experience where I find myself channeling famous cultural anthropologists... 
"You must be Barb..."

Am I Margaret Mead amidst the Samoans?
"I call this one, Brian..."

Or perhaps Jane Goodall with her gorillas and their mist?

But there we were - communing with a largely indigenous Midwestern tribe who'd created their own primitive social hierarchy and functional roles:  architect, judge, lawyer, CEO, sailor...  come to think of it, kinda like The Village People. 

But I digress.

This year, Stargate proved to be a closer analogy - and I got to be James Spader! (Even though Mr. Richmond was totally rockin' The Spader 2013 look.)  

Actually, it had more to do with the opportunity to bounce, portal-like, between two parallel universes - 'A' Lot and Alumni World - making the weekend visiting both worlds a wonderfully entertaining end to the 2013 ND Tailgate Season.  

And speaking of Grand Entertainment, how 'bout that game?!   If one were wholly objective about it, it was a really fun game to view.  Ironic, since 'objective' applies to absolutely no one in this group.  Still, it feels about the proper time, even with three games left, to wrap a bow on the season with this blinding glimpse of the obvious:  we're nothing special.  An insight that goes well beyond the QB position.

Song of The Week  
Halloween night with PPG (Pultizer Prize Gruley) & Son at The Vic Theater in Chicago, seeing The Drive-By Truckers. Great evening watching some Alabama boys just bring it, no messing around (unlike Notre Dame's defense).  This week's song is a personal favorite suggesting two connective ND points, driven by lyrics that describe: 

1) the hardscrabble sentiments of a true Have Not, bluntly akin to if ND Football looked in the mirror and saw a barely Top 20 team that shows just enough flashes of excellence to make them wonder why they can't do it more consistently.

2) a scenario reminiscent of a few of your bachelor parties.  You know who you are. 

“Which one's the birthday boy?” she said I ain't got all night.
What’d your momma name you? You can call me what you like.

Every skin in a mystery, gotta make it hard somehow
Sit your narrow ass down hotshot, I'll solve yours right now.

One day you've got everything, next day it's all broke.
Let this Trixie sit up front, let her wipe your nose…”

NIHILARIAN    nih·i·LAR·ee·un

"Fresh cilantro is the secret? Really?"
:  A person constantly engaged in meaningless work.

Used in a sentence:  Young Terry is an unapologetic nihilarian, more than happy to perform the most trivial and repetitive tasks like writing blogs.

"I mean, yeah, it's pretty robotic and unfulfilling.  But I figure it could be worse. I mean, at least I'm not hitting up my classmates for recipes, right?"

Tuesdays with Murphy & Seamus.

Buddy: Ever been to the Louvre? 
Murph: Um, no.
Buddy:  I have. Several times. Ah, the Tuileries in Spring...
Seamus:  Your point being? 
Buddy: My favorite painting there is The Coronation of Napoleon. Created in the neoclassical tradition, the piece is immense - 20' x 30' - and as you might expect, Napoleon is literally and figuratively at the center of the painting.  I thought about it during the 2nd Half on Saturday.
Murphy:  Funny, I thought about why we repeatedly play the wrong defense against the same play after play after play...
Buddy: Fair point.  But in my case, it was because you had a little man publicly celebrated as The Man, just like 5'9" Tarean Folston was shown, finally, to be.
Seamus:  I see what you did there. Tarean, The Once & Future RB King.
Murphy: Gotta say, I agree.  He's the easy call for the Buddy Award this week.

Friday night. 
Dateline Union Pier, MI.  Back with the Alumni Hall gang doing the 'Big Chill' thing - making dinner, opening really nice wines, sitting at the feet of a former judge, watching pearls of wisdom fall from his lips (okay, maybe that was drool) and witnessing the inevitable devolution into ultimately near complete incoherence.




Hey - pop quiz - SAT style! 

Peter Behrens is to Bloody Mary's as Brian Ward is to _________:

A.  His pet macaw, Skippy

B.  John Lohn

C.  Irish Coffee

D.  All of The Above

See answer below

Which world has the alien, reptilian shape shifters?
                       ‘A’ Lot
                        Alumni World
                 Jello shots!

                       The boys!


You could at least act like it's awkward in front of your husband...

                         Two can play that game...

Who is in charge of the weather?

Game Observations
  • Folston, give him the damn ball. 
  • But Cam does deserve some carries.
  • Ben Koyack.  You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.
  • I hate ever using officiating as an excuse but in a game that could've turned on any number of plays, some of the worst phantom calls I've seen in a long time.  Zero penalties on Navy? Really?
  • So much for last week's "we're handling the option much better these days..." observation.
  • YAC.  Not how I felt a little bit Saturday morning. Yards After Contact.  It felt like Navy had 200.  As Mayock put it, Navy's statement to ND was "we're tougher than you are."  They were.
  • It looks like the DB's no one practiced tackling this week.
  • Let's hear it for the Freshmen:  Jaylon, Luke, Folston, Elmer, Stanley - I hope this year's recruits are paying attention to how much these guys are playing. 
  • With the notable exception of our ILB's, it's undeniable how much the team's athleticism has upgraded during the Kelly years.  That game winning play doesn't get made 3 yrs. ago.
  • Why I hate playing the academies:  cut blocks.  That and the fact that after the game, they go back to defending our country.
  • Has The Bob Diaco Honeymoon ended? Or does he simply have the Greatest Strategic Blindspot In History when it comes to option offenses? 
  • I do love the end of game tradition of each team listening to the other's alma mater.

  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                      

23    BYU   
30    @Stanford               

Whew, almost lost my cool there... 

But a win is a win, Team 10. 

With all these injuries and our curiously passive defensive approach, getting to even 9 wins may not be so easy.



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?



Cooler Than You
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz.  lemon or lime juice
  • 4 oz. club soda
Stir all the ingredients vigorously, then add ice.  The refreshing taste takes you back to high school!  Cruising around with your friends, enjoying the last days of summer before you headed back to school, football practice and dates with cute cheerleaders.  

Although now you think about it, that was just an early Tom Cruise movie you saw once.  You actually spent those years drinking Fanta Cream Soda with the cross country team.  Listening to Slade.


1Northwestern.  Because I'm lazy and I do a lot of cut 'n pasting of format from week to week, you were here last week and so you shall remain.  You lost in the most excruciatingly painful manner - a last second Hail Mary pass to a team I loathe - and yet it didn't bother me.

2.  Michigan.  I take no joy in this citing (-47 yds. rushing?!) since it only underscores what an embarrassing lost ours was to you...

In honor of the untimely demise of this section's patron saint, we're dedicating this segment to coach Kiffin for the balance of the season.

1. Richie Incognito.  The ironically named Miami Dolphin guard, consistently identified as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL - with a rap sheet as a serial bully dating back to college - took his "talents" to South Beach and turned them internally...  in what has to be the weirdest story of the season...  that of a seeming hazing-turned-racially motivated-potentially criminal-harassment OF A FELLOW STARTING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN.

2.  Navy.  You get to use the "we defend your country" excuse for everything except those diabolical cut blocks which always get someone on the defense hurt.  And by 'someone' I mean, like half of ND's defense. 

3.  Tommy Rees.  Not for his play. No, for his naming "Wedding Crashers" as his favorite movie in the pre-game NBC introduction.  Good God, man, show some of your upwardly mobile upbringing. You're from Lake Forest, not Berwyn. 

4.  Nick Saban.  The most sought after coach in college football, a guy who treats his (unofficial) 150 member 'Bama team like chattel, lets it be known he seems to have a passing interest in the soon to be open U. of Texas job.  

You know four things are sure to pass: a) many inevitable Saban denials, b) a media storm that won't go away, c) two college fanbases driven even loopier than they already are and d) Nick getting a big raise.


"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."               
                                George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and fashion icon

And precursor to the AJ Brunett School of ND Football prognostication. 

Still time to check out Shea's One Week, One Band guest blogging one more time, even if you don't understand what she's talking about.

Final Thought I - Scotchlandia Update
"But we won't take the..."
Scotchlandia remains a work-in-progress, as we continue to develop both a self-sustaining economic system and a Tolerance-based ethos that will endeavor to embrace - while profiting from - a wide spectrum of cultural platforms.

Find below the latest blueprint for "The Edinburgh Center For Cultural Enlightment, Homeopathy & Self Actualization", aka the barn (Lisa will so be surprised)... 

Inspired by an experience in college where two friends had a contest - one drinking beer and one going The Way of The Herb.  The lasting insight was that of two differing Philosophies on Recreation finding common ground.  And having a pretty interesting time doing so.  It got me to thinking, why does Scotchlandia have to be solely about single malt?  

But where others see challenges, I see opportunity:  making obscene reasonable amounts of money off of alternative recreational vehicles in a controlled, safety-first environment?  (Hello, medical marijuana.) 

Scotchlandia ain't running at no deficit.

Tack Room

    Reefer Row
Level I.       
          Mind Rape

Ye Olde
Ale House

Level II.     
          Gorilla Panic

Whiskey World

Level III.   
          They’re Coming!
          They’re Coming!


Level IV.   
          This Is Permanent.

Here's the concept:  one enters The Center and not unlike Congress, chooses the side of the aisle they are most comfortable with.  Progressively, each stall studio has a higher level of challenge / enlightenment associated with it until you reach the special VIP lounge, Albertville.  At that point, you may think you're in France but you're not.

Ultimately, one exits out the back into a wooded paddock wonderland before you make your way to the gift shop.  All major credit cards accepted.

Pilot program, 2014.  Clinical trial applications can be sent directly to Scotchlandia, USA.

Final Thought - II
Masterpiece Theater
Keeping with the pattern of bouncing between North and South Quad auteurs, I offer Bose's follow up smash to his debut expose on Midwest Kids Gone Wild in SoCal.  This time he takes on the long forgotten, primitive ritual known as Senior Month.  
(By this point it'd be reasonable for any of you to consider this question: how did Spittler even get into medical school - much less get out - when he's in EVERY party video taken senior year?)

SAT Quiz answer:  C.  (Brian, we've not tasted one better.)

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