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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 7: California Dreamin'

"Hide on the promenade, etch a postcard: 
'How I dearly wish I was not here'
In the seaside town that they forgot to bomb.
Come, come, come nuclear bomb...

Everyday is like Sunday.
Every day is silent and grey..."

This song, so delicious in it's commitment to bitterness.  I love it.  And I dedicate it to Trojan Nation - how terribly horrible it must be... to be... you these days:

- Every year you have a Top 5 recruiting class, practically without leaving your zip code. 

- Every year, with weirdly perverse pride, you wear that garish cardinal and gold, a color scheme even the US prison system won't adapt

- Every year you have smoking' hot cheerleaders

- Every year you end up with, minimally, 4 loss seasons

- Every year, seemingly, you hire the Pee Wee Herman of coaches

- Rinse 'n Repeat.

Indeed, every year must be silent and grey for Trojan Nation.  Metaphorically, you are the coastal town they forgot to shut down. 

Come Armageddon!

But I digress.

Recently it was opined that I might be turning full nihilist.  My ability to care about ND football, in fact, possibly being in question.  

Imagine that. 

Was it last week's Herzog quote? My love for all things Morrissey*? The increasing inclination to wear black? 

Yea verily, midway through the 3rd quarter of the SC game, when we were doing absolutely nothing and the Trojans seemed to move with distressing ease, I did despair.  

But then I found Redemption.

Actually, what I found was the Morris Inn Bar. Ecstacy!  And in it, Le Famiglia Castellini.  Bliss!

And round about that same time, DeShone Kizer also re-found Will Fuller.  (And discovered that, in fact, it's almost impossible to overthrow him.)

Team mojo re-discovered.  And Order in The Universe thus restored. 

Do you ever wonder why so many sad songs are so awesome?  Me too.  And it's one of the many topics I'll be covering when I start my on-line college in a few years.  Crash U.  Think Bob Jones University except targeted at a different type of crazy.  Other subjects I'm pondering:

*  Satan's Trifecta:  The Wit & Wisdom of Saban, Meyer & Harbaugh

*  Tibia & Fibula:  The Twins Ancient Rome Doesn't Want You To Know About

"I got your PETA right here, bub..."

*  Edmund Burke & March Madness:  Evil Triumphs When Good Men Miss Their Free Throws  

* Innovation: What The Hells Angels Can Teach You About Duct Tape's Many Uses

Hey, I wonder if I'll be eligible for government aid?

Quote of the Week

"We've lost to three teams once coached by Ty Willingham..."

                       USC fan

Ouch. When you know you've hit rock bottom.

Weekend Observations 

I hope you appreciate these insights are getting thinner by the week...

1.  Welcome back from WITSEC, Corey Robinson,  Keivarae Russell, Max Redfield.  And not a moment too soon.  

2.  Cody Kessler is really, really good.  Please tell me he leaves after this year, right?

3.  Never ending 'chicken or the egg' question - is it our scheme or the players?  Why can we look so good and so bad, defensively, quarter-to-quarter?

4.  Offensively, I'd encourage everyone to remind themselves Kizer has played in exactly 5 college games ever.   It's remarkable how well he's done on some awfully big stages (e.g., Death Valley in a monsoon, USC under the lights).

5.  ND picked a really good game to bring in their most coveted recruits.  And our latest commitment is an ex-Bama commit named Kareem! 

Barb, please.  Hochevar is purely a set up guy. 

6.  Twin Anchors still rocks.

7.  Props to Clay Helton, USC's interim coach, for holding the team together as well as they did.  I personally thought they were one Torii Hunter fumble away from totally caving... but he did and they didn't.  Must be very frustrating to always be the go-to interim coach but never actually The Guy.  

If there's any justice, someone will throw him a head coaching job this off season.  

Ar dheas Dé go raibh a anam

8.  Toast to a departed classmate:  I didn't know Bobby Kennedy especially well but all of my interactions with him were exceedingly pleasant.  Just a good guy.  And I know he was close to a few of you. 

9.  Stating the obvious, USC's skill position guys are terrifying.  And especially painful that each of them (JJ Smith-Schuster, A. Jackson, R. Jones)... if memory serves... had ND as their 2nd choice.  Son of beeech, sheeet

10.  I don't know if it's delusional or not but...  ND still has a shot at a BCS playoff berth.  And thanks to P. Behrens, esq. I present the following without commentary, if you're wondering how the rest of the season plays out for the other contenders:

Future (losable) Games
1.  Ohio State
Michigan St., @Michigan, Conference championship
2.  Baylor
@Kansas St., Oklahoma, @TCU
3.  Utah
@USC, @Washington, @Arizona, UCLA, Conference championship
4  TCU
W. Virginia, @Oklahoma, Baylor
5.  LSU
@’Bama, @Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Conference championship
6.  Clemson
FSU, Conference championship
7.  Michigan St.
@Ohio State, Conference championship
8.  Alabama
LSU, Conference championship
9.  Florida St.
@Clemson, @Florida, Conference championship
10.  Stanford
N/A, we need them to win until 11/28! 

Word of the Week.

Propinquity (n.)

pro·pin·qui·ty \prə-ˈpiŋ-kwə-tē\

:  nearness of blood :  kinship
:  nearness in place or time :  proximity

Used in a sentence:  With the temperature dropping and Young Terry's confidence in the team flagging, it was the propinquity of The Morris Inn Bar that proved his salvation Saturday night, both physically and spiritually. 

Buddy's Buddy

No one would argue that there's any number of valid candidates this week.  All of the aforementioned MIA's, for starters.  And is there a week where one couldn't justifiably argue for Prosise?  The guy looks like a natural at RB - and the ultimately winning TD appeared to be nothing but shear willpower.  And by the way, without him, where would Kizer be?

That all said, for me, the game turned on a couple key plays by the same guy:  Will Fuller.   Play #1:  ND's first play of the game which immediately nipped in the bud the 'uh oh here we go again' thinking after SC's opening drive.  Play #2 and #3:  the pass interference calls when ND desperately needed anything positive to occur after more the one full quarter of futility. Play #4:  the long catch (and perfectly thrown pass) which set up more points. 

So, I'd like to dedicate the following to him. Or maybe more appropriately, Adoree Jackson:

Need I remind you... 

Indeed, Will, you are our hope, you are our smoke.  

Enjoyment of this video is increased exponentially when one envisions any three of the 'A' Lot hosts in the place of the Gap Band members.  Your choice but please make one them Lini. 

The Schedule

5       Texas                  W    
12     @ Virginia         W
19     Georgia Tech    W
26     UMass               W 
Have fun storming Philly... Boston...

3      @ Clemson        L
10     Navy                  W
17     USC                    W
31     @ Temple         Game of The Year!

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

*  3-7pm pre-game get together at Dillon's on Boylston.  Downstairs - private space. 

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

One would think the 10-11'ers are feeling especially chuffed about their chances.  But need I remind us all of November 2014?

The '2014 Scofflaws' list dwindles down to...
  • 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 CBrian M

11:  Bryan GBob RJP McGJay 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 CTim SLiniJim BRyan 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 VJim 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. 

* 5 games left, boys...  you need ND to lose minimally 2 of them. How you feeling about that?

Schadenfreude Candidate of The Week

1.  Michigan.   Brady Hoke:  "I wouldn't have punted..."  
                          Michigan Nation: "That's because you would've been down by 14 pts..."  

2.  Alabama.   But they didn't lose, you say?  Well, it would appear that the schadenfreude concept is a transferable one... (Go Hawks!)

3.  Ole Miss.  Let's be clear here:  this in no way affects my interest in experiencing a Game Day in The Grove.  But we needed them to lose - and now win probably out.

4.  Miami.  Just got pasted by Clemson 58-0.  It was probably fantasyland to think they could upset the Tigers.  The Canes are not good.  And not especially relevant to us.  Except when it comes to a couple fairly key Florida recruits this year.  And that's why we can celebrate this.

Terry's Trolls

No more ND-bashing, there's enough losers out there to slake my thirst for Idiots Who Walk The Earth...

1.  Michigan Nation.  We kickers and punters... we are humans!  Do we not laugh and cry like the rest of you?  Do we not run away like school girls when significantly larger humans chase us?  And do we not ingest cocaine and get suspended - that would be the Clemson kicker - a total one-off.  

Okay, maybe not a one-off (see pt. 5).  

"What just happened?"
So all the Walmart Wolverines out there, throttle back on the vitriol aimed at your punter's unfortunate mishap.  Recognize it for what it was - one of those rare, cosmic harmonic convergences where everything (and everybody) happened to be in precisely the right place / right time.  This time you got stung.  Get over it.

Plus, a couple years from now, he'll be back in Sydney, living large, and you'll still be in Flint. 

2.  Mark Dantonio.  You might be the least gracious winner on the planet.   Your team wins by the freakiest of the circumstances - and in an appearance remarkably similar to your lucky ND fake punt win of years back, your post-game comments come off like that was the plan. Puh-lease.  Can you not just call it for what it was, Divine Intervention? 

3.  Chuck Pagano.   Soon-to-be ex Indianapolis Colts head coach and this week's runaway winner in the 'Dumber Than A Box of Rocks' category.  Interesting fake punt.  What exactly were you thinking, other than 'this is so going to get my a** fired...'?

4.  James Dolan.   CEO of the Knicks and card carrying Isiah Thomas apologist, good to see you back in the winner's circle!  

This week he reaffirms his belief in Mr. Thomas, why I don't know, and after having been forced to shell out $12M in a sexual harassment suit last year.  What a strange man.

5.  Police Blotter.    A popular feature - back! Do note the over-indexing of kickers and punters.  I weep for our species.

An English Major Walks Into A Bar…


(Moby-Dick, 1851)
by Herman Melville

This one will make you think twice about flushing a goldfish down your toilet. In Melville's Moby-Dick, published first in England (and greeted with scathing reviews!), the titular whale is best known for attacking Captain Ahab's ship and then - talk about 'special skills' - chewing off the poor guy's leg. 

Ahab spends the rest of his career, such as it is, limping around, determined to exact revenge on Mo-Dick, only to finally spear the whale and - Plan B! - get dragged underwater to his own, hugely ironic, death.

This sea-inspired cocktail is as Blue as the Pacific but the real fun is in playing fish hunter. Grab a harpoon and get even.
  •      1 oz.  vodka
  •      1/2 oz. Blue Curacao  
  •      1 (12 oz.) can lemon-lime soda
  •      1 Swedish Fish candy, for garnish
Combine the vodka and the Blue Curacao over ice in a highball glass.  Fill to the top with the lemon-lime soda.  Now for the demonic part:  grab that Swedish Fish by the gills, spear it with a swizzle stick and get plunging.  Just don't go under yourself. 

Final Thought - I

Thank you, Jay, for forwarding the link to this article about Rodney Culver, the legacy he left his daughters and their ultimate reconnection w. Jerome Bettis.   Terrific read.  

I was the man in seat 4C last week sniffling because of it.  

Final Thought - II

One last nod to Los Angeles, musically.  In it's own right, just as sad as Morrissey...