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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 3: The Season of Sybil

Okay, here's what none of you are allowed to do, Whiny Oooh-Hold-Me-We-Have-So-Many-Injuries-The-Football-Gods-Must-Surely-Hate-Us, ND Nation:  

You're not allowed to jump back on the bandwagon this fast.  Own your pessimism skepticism.   Saturday was, after all, just one game that only proved one of several possible conclusions:

a)  Most of us know absolutely nothing about football.

b)  They're 18-20 yr. olds.  Not exactly paragons of consistency.

c)  The Football Gods couldn't bear the prospect of listening to all of ND fandom's weeping 'n wailing and gnashing of teeth

d)  This only prolongs the inevitable depressing The Smith's song choice when the team ultimately fails to live up to expectations. 

"I'm not like them but I can pretend
The sun is gone but I have a light. 
The day is done and I'm having fun.
I think I'm dumb, maybe just happy..."

Poster children for Collegiate Stability...
So why does Our Mother's team appear so bi-polar?  

Personally, I'm subscribing to conclusion 'b' (with a heavy dollop of 'a'). One sometimes forgets these are yutes, some of which actually attend classes.  

There are upsets and near upsets (I'm looking at you, tOSU) every week.   Do we think Saban, Meyer, Sarkisian (okay, bad example) didn't try to fully prepare their players last week?  An certainly parity is much more a factor -  the day and age of Ara, Bear and Woody stockpiling the best 100 athletes, each, are gone.   

Then there's the injuries.  For some teams more than others but almost no one comes out totally unscathed.  (Isn't that right, UCLA?)

So I guess the moral of the story is this:  hope you like roller coasters.

Quote of the Month

"May I suggest, dad, following Mr. Lindon was not your best idea..."
"Happiness is not an absence of problems but the ability to deal with them."


The very definition of Notre Dame optimism, Season 2015.  So far. 

Game Observations 

This week's thoughts:

  • Our kick returner positon has become a Testimony to Mediocrity.   If we make it past the 25 yd. line, drink!
  • Is the rugby scrum our best play?
  • Will freaking Fuller. 
  • 3 false starts and a holding call.  Perhaps, Ronnie Stanley, parking tickets are not your biggest problem this year. 
  • I had hoped we'd retired the 'red zone fade' play.
  • Toews, Kaner, the Blackhawks & the Cup.  Nice.  
  • What happened to Justin "Didn't Ever Miss In Training Camp" Yoon?
  • If we lose any more RB's, don't be surprised...
  • Is there a position Jaylon couldn't potentially play?
  • Does anyone else notice that, with Kizer, the ball gets snapped really fast?  Like, noty even close to a delay of game?  Hmmm.
  • It wouldn't be an official ND game without a knee injury.
    • Insight #1:  Injuries while celebrating are a lot less funny when it's your team's player. 
    • Q.  While no consolation, would that injury have occurred anyway?  It's not like it was a high impact trauma.  He jumped up a couple feet... 
  • SWAG, in my world, has always been an acronym for Silly Wild Ass Guess - something
    Game ball to SWAG!  
    I believe the Engineering majors told me was, in fact, a technical term (and viable strategy for graduation).
    • Now it's Students With Attitude & Game who played the triple option-runnin' scout team.  Game ball!   Recruiting a preferred walk-on to specifically run this... no way our head coach could've have been that clever.    
  • While the poll voters clearly didn't hold it against us, our historic inability to close out impressive wins with step-on-their-throats decisiveness is just so... disappointing. 
  • Call me Old School but I still get a thrill out of athletes who can articulate a critical thought (see Kizer, DeShone). 

Word of the Week 

Micawber (n.)

A kind but ineffective optimist, who means well but is useless; one who idles and trusts to fortune.

Used In A Sentence:  Young Terrence wondered if all the 11 and 12 win predictors were just sad micawbers, earnestly trusting in some unseen ND power of positive thinking.  

But after seeing Saturday's excellent game planning and assignment-sure effort, he began to re-evaluate the potential prescience of his blog's dedicated lunatic fringe.    

Buddy's Buddy.

Is there any question that ND's defense was the story of the game?  Who'd a thunk that they'd hold Ga. Tech to 7 points for 59 minutes?  

Not me. 

So pick any of a number of guys to be this game's Buddy... Jaylon (as usual), Sheldon Day (Mr. Disruptor), Joe Schmidt (Brainiac), even Greer Martini for coming out of nowhere and playing the best game of his (albeit short) career?  All valid choices. 

And yet, that's not this week's Chosen One.  I believe many games turn on certain plays - some early, some late - and this week, I can't escape the feeling that without Will Fuller's play in the first half, when no one else seemed so inspired to either catch the ball (see Brown, Chris) or hold onto it (see Jones, Alize), the game might've been very different. 

The guy's a total stud. And a redshirt freshman QB's best friend.

Not bad for a 3-star recruit that wasn't thought of as much more than an afterthought when he first arrived.  (Moral: never underestimate the boys from Philly.)

This song's for you, BVG and BK.  (Until next week where, should you fail to deliver, we'll have the lynch mob ready and waiting.) 

The Schedule 

5       Texas                 W    
12     @ Virginia        W
19     Georgia Tech    W
26     UMass       Judge John's in town. And he's bringing The Wife. 
Have fun storming Clemson... Philly... Boston...

3      @ Clemson    Ungie hits South Carolina.  Parties with Colbert. Avoids jail time.
10     Navy
17     USC                Game of The Year?!
31     @ Temple     Corrigan Bros. Reunion 

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.  Downstairs - private space. 

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
The list dwindles down to...
  • B Ward, Ungie, R Raymond  
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, Brian M

11:  Bryan GBob R, JP McG, Jay FJerry WKevin MPeter BDave M, Rob W
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 fairly shaky start.

10: Terry C, Jerry P, John LJerry Ci, Matt L, Ted C, Tim SLini, Jim B, Ryan C, Tim C, Graham C

 9:  Daryl MJim SGarrett R*Dave G, Mark U, Tom F, Mike C, Jim R, Mike G
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 R*, Ray V, Jim T, Brian W, Randy R

 7:  Al B
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. 

your odds of winning may have increased, boys.  So did your odds of disinheritance.

Schadenfreude Candidate of The Week

1.  USC.   5 years in a row.  Like Christmas, you know a September loss is coming for USC.  I'd make a joke about the unfulfilled potential on this team driving a coach to drink, but that would be unkind.  

2.  The state of Alabama.  Auburn totally exposed, then the Tide. Wow, would not want to be in that state last weekend.  Actually wouldn't want to be in that state ever but that's an entirely different conversation.    And should you find that assessment harsh, need I remind you of Tammy from Clanton, AL:

3.  Seahawks.   Pack wins!  And shocker - Carroll whines!  The double bonii!!  

Terry's Trolls

Forgive me if you think you saw these same names last week.  You did. 

1.  Bret Bielema.   The newest practitioner of How to Win Friends & Influence People... 'cause he sure ain't winning football games.   And he's not much of a prognosticator - witness this summer's quote, "If you throw it 70 times, we'll kick your butt..."

Texas Tech would beg to differ.  And with Texas A&M up next on the schedule, you're looking like a 3 time honoree here, Bret. 
The closest you ever came to tackling him, Rudy...

2.  Rudy Ford.  The unfortunate Auburn DB who happened to opine earlier last week that stopping LSU's Leonard Fournette "shouldn't be that difficult..."

228 yards, 3 TD's and a 45-21 loss.  

Oh you silly, silly boy.

To hell with the putt.  I once caught a fish this big... 

3.  Suzanne Petterson.   Having a golfer grace this section is pretty rare.  Having a female nominee might be unprecedented.  

Welcome, European Solheim Cup leader who, in a Seve-esque moment, decided to call her USA competitor on picking up an 18" putt when it technically wasn't conceded. 
(This after Suzanne had walked off the green to the next tee.)

Oh the humanity!

This ensured two near certainties:  1)  immediate and voluminous American tears (this isn't baseball, after all, there's tons of crying in women's golf), 2) the USA team coming back to kick their ass in the final singles competition (and winning the competition) and despite an apology suspiciously sounding like a PR expert would craft, 3) Suzanne's impending World o' Hurt on the US tour next year.  

Yes I know, that's three things. 
"Yeah, I'm that guy..."

4.   Paul Johnson.  Apparently his lack of regard stretched beyond merely our D-Coordinator - read this.  

Yeah, Paul, your Georgia State pedigree is sooo much more prestigious than Grand Valley.  

An English Major Walks Into A Bar…

This game calls for a good old fashion revenge theme... 

The Count of Monte Cristal

(The Count of Monte Cristo, 1844-45)
by Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas knew a thing or two about keeping an audience tuned in.  Heck, he knew a thing or 18, because that's how many newspaper installments it took to tell The Count of Monte Cristo, which still sets the bar for archetypical revenge tales.

You know the formula: (1) get wrongfully convicted; (2) go to jail; (3) get out and get even.  Oh yeah, and (4) get rich along the way - the kind of wealth that can fill a jacuzzi with champagne.  

Turn the bubbles up high and hop into this sweet-as-vengeance Cristal cocktail.  
  •      1 oz. elderflower liqueur (e.g., St-Germain)
  •      Champagne (e.g., Cristal), to fill
Pour the liqueur into your fanciest Notre Dame go cup.  Top with the best bubbly you can buy.  (And since you can certainly afford Cristal, lose the liqueur and find a real glass as you ponder the axiom that Revenge is dish best served cold. Or in this case, chilled.)

Final Thought - I

We're white, male, well over 50 and nary a rhythmic bone in any of our bodies.  (Well, perhaps Perez.)  But this is so awesome.  And will make you want to re-watch about 20 films.

Final Thought - II

Beatles play in front of 18 people in The Aldershot Club, December 1961.  18 months later, they were superstars.  So maybe we ought to give ND's young guns a chance. Out of small things, mama, big things one day come.  

Picture courtesy of the Tom Feifar rare photograph archives. 

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