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Thursday, August 6, 2015

August: BCS, This Time We Mean It

"Some of them lose and some of them lose...

But that's what they want 
And that's what they choose.
It's a burden, such a burden
Oh what a burden to be so relied on..."

I like to watch... 

There's an age-old axiom, "write about what you know."  But what if you don't know anything?  Zip.  Zilch. Nada.  You're, literally, an intellectual cipher.  You're the real world embodiment of Chauncey Gardner from Jerzy Kosinski's "Being There." 

What then?  

Well then, you write about what you experience.  Or more often, what others experience and you steal, intellectually.  But is it stealing, really, if one is unsure about they're seeing, experiencing... what's real and what isn't?  When Reality just might be a Machiavellian construct of the Military-Industrial complex?  Or the Liberal Media. One of those two, I get them confused. 

It's essentially the writer's corollary to the Philosopher George Costanza's insight, "it's not a lie if you believe it."

Which leads me to "How I Spent My Summer" and it's application for my ND Football prediction.  Maybe I really did this, perhaps not.    

Here's what has happened thus far.  I think.   

Golf, wedding, wedding, wedding, golf, golf, concert, wedding, concert, concert, golf, wedding.  

I am nothing if not a creature of habit.  Oh, and frequent intermittent trips to Orlando, America's most character-less city.  

The films that 'A' Lot English majors wish they could make... 
Plus one very clever movie, "Me And Earl And The Dying Girl" which no one here will likely see...  other than Perez / Thompson / Lindon / Rasmus.
Music by Brian Eno. 

Worth it alone.

At any rate, this is the pre-season for me... just words on a page blah blah blah - so pay no mind; I don't play my starters until Labor Day. 

Quote of the Week

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I've ever met."

Abraham Lincoln, 
foretelling the Musings From 'A' Lot blog

One thing I'm positive did occur this summer was the celebration of mom's 90th birthday!  

"Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth.  Party on, Kay!"  

And out of that 3 day family bacchanal, I heard the most heartwarming story about a young lad's ability to change - one that I think is most applicable to ND Football 2015, for all you still unsure whether coach Kelly can take us to The Promise Land despite his missteps thus far.  

I believe he can.

At any rate, there was once a wee lad.  We'll call him Timmy.  And if Stephen King were writing this story, he'd have described the youth as a 'willful' child.  

Head strong.  Continually acting out. 
"Is that child... tied... to a rope?"
Given to bouts of profound frustration... with disturbing wall-banging - inducing impressive (if worrisome) knots on his little head.

In a word, disturbing. 

Worse, he began hanging out with the more unsavory elements of his pre-school. Clearly, little Timmy was headed down a very dark path. 
Honestly, son, I never thought you'd amount to anything... 

So what was a mother to do under those daunting circumstances?   Especially when all her other sons were so well adjusted?  

Well, she didn't give up that's for sure.  With a strong faith and lots of "tough love" - mostly involving a sophisticated pulley system and application of early water-boarding principles - she cracked The Timmy Code! 

And you know what? That lad turned his life around. He's now a world class film scholar, bon vivant and raconteur... a loving husband and father, he's a veritable pillar of his community. 

And of course, a loving son. 

The End.  

So don't give up on coach Kelly. 

WagerTime  - 20 Questions

In the spirit of setting a level playing field and in advance of the annual Lini Thesis, some things to ponder... factor in... as you develop your forecast.  Consider: 

1.  What are the odds of Malik Zaire making it through the season without getting hurt?
2.  And who plays QB if he does?
3.  Are the alleged dramatic improvement in our safeties for real?
4.  Is the PGA experiencing a Renaissance, with all its Young Guns and despite Tiger's Duvalian Fall From Relevance?
5.  Can Kelly commit to a run-first offense?
6.  Can said offense really survive with only 2 RB's? 

7.  And if so, will we be wasting a major strength at WR?

8.  What didn't Tom Brady want us to see on his now destroyed cell phone:
      a.  texts to Pats ball boys
      b.  texts to Pats cheerleaders
      c.  texts of Brett Favre's junk
      d.  texts of Caitlyn Jenner's junk

9.  Why would we schedule Navy the week before USC?

10.  Is Donald Trump's presidential campaign (Trumpnado 3: Oh Hell No):

 a)  God's Gift to the Democratic Party.
b)  The Catalyst for Republican Party unification.
c)  His next Reality TV project.
d)  The One True Sign of the Apocalypse.

11.  If we can't handle Navy's option, what's that say about our chances vs. bigger, more athletic Ga. Tech?

12.  How much does the Defense need Jerry Tillery to make an impact?

13.  No Ishaq Williams likely - will anyone even notice?

14.  Can the euro gyro be the basis of a sustainable economy?

15. How will Van Gorder utilize the Grace - Schmidt - Morgan axis?

16.  What will we do for a pass rush?

17.  How ugly will the Clemson experience be?  And I'm not talking about the game.

18. The 1st Coaches Poll has the following rankings. Four ranked opponents, two of which are away games. But because we're that good, do you even care?
                                                 #10  USC
                                                 #11   Notre Dame
                                                 #12  Clemson
                                                 #17  Ga. Tech
                                                 #21  Stanford
"People don't realize how beautiful South Bend is this time of year..."

19.  The number of 'A' Lot tailgaters at the November 14th Wake Forest game:

       a.  Four.  The die-hards.

       b.  Too many to count, we're BCS Playoff bound baby!

       c.  Less than at the Fenway Park tailgater the next week

       d.  Unless Tim Duncan's
playing, it will be the empty set.

20.  ND wins the national championship, you're delirious with joy. To celebrate, you impulsively run out and adopt a baby lion off the Dark Web.  Do you name it:
It (was) pronounced 'Sess-il'...

       a.  Malik
       b.  Equanimeous
       c.  Alize
       d.  Cecil
       e.  Caitlyn

The Schedule - More Data for your Regression analysis!

5       Texas           Linipalooza on the 3rd!  Rasmatazz on the 4th!  Golf in between...
12     @ Virginia        Corrigans - Ungashicks storm Charlottesville!
19     Georgia Tech
26     UMass       Judge John's in town - does 'no' still mean 'no'?

3      @ Clemson    Ungie hits SC.  Over/under on timing of his arrest? 6pm.  Friday.
10     Navy
17     USC                Game of The Year?!
31     @ Temple     Corrigan Bros. Reunion - lock your doors, Philly!

7      @ Pitt
14     Wake Forest
21     @ BC (Fenway Park)  'A' Lot goes to Beantown*.   Oh boy. 
28     @ Stanford

*  3-7pm pre-game get together at Dillon's on Boylston.  (Don't let the name put you off, it's a bar, not a petting zoo.)

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

With the rollover of the 2014 pool (paid in, to-date), the amount is $600; still waiting on the following scofflaws:
  • Daryl, the Wills bros., Brian, Bose, Ungie.
  • The would-be winners until everyone decided to roll it over:  Alvin, Gutsch, Randy, Dennis.
Checks may be sent to:

TP Corrigan
Former Greenskeeper, Scotchlandia
663 Old Suman Road
Valparaiso, IN  46383

 Which Dan Are You?
ND Implication
Daniel Day Lewis

Greatest actor of our generation.  And he’s Irish.  Does it get any better than that?

I think not. 
12: Kevin C

11:  Bryan G, Bob R,

Danny Noonan

In the sequel that never got made, he went on to become a wealthy hedge fund manager, avoids jail,  buys Bushwood, and maintains Lacy Underalls as his mistress.  

 Nice recovery from a somewhat shaky start.
10:  Terry, Jerry P

 9:  Daryl, Jim S, Garrett,
Lt. Dan

Heroic, absolutely.

Sympathetic, without any doubt. 
Successful small business owner, impressive.

Still a paraplegic. 

Who wants to trade 
places with him?

 8:  Blair,

Danny Torrance

Redrum!  Redrum!

Sure he survived but still sees Scatman Crothers in his dreams, even after graduating from Mother Theresa’s School For The Irretrievably Unbalanced.  

Not exactly a success story.

Dante Alighieri

He didn’t write 'Paradiso', he wrote Inferno.  

As in Hell. 

Which is where ND football would be if this occurs. 

Today's  Word for the Wager.

Abulia (n.)
  • Abnormal lack of ability to make decisions; an absence of willpower or an inability to act decisively, as a symptom of mental illness.
Used in a sentence:  With the inevitable 11th hour submission of wager predictions, Young Terry often wondered what drove that behavior... 'analysis paralysis', chronic procrastination, or early onset abulia

Terry's Trolls

The calm before the storm:

1.  David Shaw.   Once a tool, always a tool.  Upon hearing of coach Kelly's comment that, realistically, all his players are at academic risk by virtue of the school's high standards, remarked "An unfortunate comments for the school and the program..." 

What Dave - may I call you, Dave?  - failed to point out is that while his school, Stanford, is difficult to get into, it's almost impossible to flunk out of

2.  Dabo Swinney / Gary Pinkel et al.  
Ye, of the "ND Must Join A Conference Or No BCS Playoff Soup For You", three observations:
  1. Why don't you worry about your own team?
  2. You don't seem to be complaining about the added revenue ND is bringing to your games.
  3.  We'll join a conference as soon as you stop scheduling Wofford, Appalachian State, SE Missouri, Arkansas State etc.   In other words, not anytime soon. 
3.  DeAndre Jordan.  Changing your mind is a God-given right, upheld by the 2nd Amendment that states as long as I'm packing heat, especially in Texas, I can do ANYTHING.  And flip flopping on Mark Cuban might even be something to be applauded.  But hiding out afterwards? Ignoring the guy's phone calls?  G-U-T-L-E-S-S. 

Who Wants To Be A Star?

Surely we can do better than this...
With Linipalooza* - Rasmatazz** quickly coming upon us, we'll be shooting a new blog cover headline photo for the 2015 season.  (Evidently, something about not having not paid SAG royalties to the current talent - maybe Scott Walker is right about unions.) 

Your chance for untold notoriety, lucrative endorsement opportunities and sycophants prepared to do whatever you want.  
Or so I've been told.   

Nonetheless, casting calls begin at the bar, 7pm sharp.  Bring your portfolio, references and a small gratuity when making an appointment with the photographer.

*  Thursday, Sept. 3rd, Villa Lini (Chicago IL 60610); 6:30pm to whenever my wife leaves.
** Friday, Sept. 4thChateau du Raz (Winnetka IL 60091); 6:30pm to whenever Feif's wife leaves

An English Major Walks Into A Bar…

Tequila Mockingbird

(To Kill A Mockingbird, 1960)
by Harper Lee

Harper Lee's been in the news this summer, perhaps you've read about it, with what was supposed to be her first book, a prequel to what was otherwise her only novel...  the oft-taught tale told by little Scout Finch, watching her Alabama town rally behind a lying drunk's lying daughter, who's up and accused an innocent African-American man of taking advantage of her.   

Lucky for Scout - who watches from the courtroom balcony as her lawyer father defends the man - she's got levelheaded pals by her side, including Dill, who is famously modeled after Truman Capote.  After a conclusion that leaves you both hopeful and haunted, toast to a sometimes sour justice system* with a tequila shot that's guilty of packing a dill pickle punch.
  •      1 ½ oz. tequila
  •      2 drops of hot sauce
  •      1 dill pickle

Pour the tequila into a shot glass, add the hot sauce, and slam that bad boy back before chasing it with a big chomp of pickle.  No tears allowed here:  if you can't stand the heat, get out of the South.  (Or the Midwest in August.) 

*unless you're in Tallahassee and you're a Noles fan, then it's just fine all the time... 

Buddy's Buddy.

Okay he hasn't had the success that one normally attaches to this award and yes, he's still only 27 years old... but if there's a God, He will grant Jason Day this year's PGA Championship.  You gave him vertigo, how about a little, you know, quid pro quo?
Only a momentary setback, Jason.

Sorry, Jordan.  
Sorry, Rory.
Sorry, Ricky.  

C'mon, Buddy.  Make it happen.  Pull some strings up there. 

Final Thought -I

Back to parenting - earlier you heard the story of one courageous parent's decision to do what was necessary to get her child back on the right course.  But you've all been there - with most of that successful childrearing in your rearview mirror.  How about a walk down memory lane.  Any of the following sentiments ring true?

And my favorite...

Final Thought - II

In the 80's, I thought John Hiatt was America's greatest songwriter.  In the 90's, for me, Lyle Lovett.  The 00's were a blur, between Italy and England... a lot of wine, a lot of time in pubs, who knew - or cared?  

Now, for sure, it's Jason Isbell, master of the small, powerful story -  and he's got a new cd worth checking out.

"You and I were almost nothing
Pray to God that God was bluffing,
17 ain't old enough to reason with the pain.
How could we expect to stay in love
When neither knew meaning of the difference
Between sacred and profane..."


Final Thought - III
This never gets old, does it?

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