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Friday, November 6, 2015

Week 8: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

This is what we call a 'play on words'... see, the band's name is Temple of the Dog - and we played Temple, get it? Well, 'played' might be an overstatement - more like 'survived'. Then there's the whole 'blood is on the table' lyrics and going hungry juxtaposition - which I'm pretty sure is all about Man's Inhumanity To Man.  Or possibly Temple's Inhumanity To Notre Dame - didn't they know they were supposed to play the role of Door Mat?

Kinda disappointing. Definitely scary, befitting Halloween. And let's not forget Disturbing (David Lynch would say, in Philadelphia, that's table stakes).  In any event, just another Saturday night in Center City...

At any rate, I like the song. 

Quote of the Week

"I got your Brotherly Love right here..."

                                                       Jim Thompson

The comment was actually made within the context of discussing the impending onslaught of Mormons on Philadelphia as they build their (seeming) regional HQ on their way to world domination. (No wait, that's the New England Patriots.)   In reality, it could've just as easily summarized the Owls' attitude toward the presumed narrative of Notre Dame rolling in, on a national stage, and eviscerating the ambitious-but-delusional basketball school.

Yeah, not so much. 

Weekend Observations 

The Philadelphia Story

Act I    "Temple Wait-Listed Rudy"

*  When one thinks of Philly during the formative years of my growing up, let's be honest - nothing especially 'life affirming' springs to mind.  Their fan base, the product when one mixes madness, paranoia and self-loathing.  Their cuisine - hello, they worship the cheese steak - catered to the gastronomic sophistication of a feral dog.  The local politics could be summed up:  Frank Rizzo. Their culture, Rocky.  

But things have clearly changed.  The downtown - Center City - is booming with commercial activity.  The restaurants - many are off-the-charts outstanding.  And the quality of human significantly evolved (the Temple fan who sat next to me at the game notwithstanding).  Witness the most excellent Game Day signs!

The Corrigan boys met the Thompsons (and Meg Behrens, actually) in Reading Terminal Market for breakfast coffee and Saturday is off to a rousing start - the feisty, plucky Owls are going down! But yes, you can top off my coffee, ma'am.

Act II    "Pope Francis, I Can See Your House From Here!"

*  From our seats high above Lincoln Financial Field, it finally sinks in - this football game is a Very Big Deal for the city.  Not just for Temple. The city of Philadelphia.  (Cynically, in light of the Phillie - Eagle - 76'er - Flyer performances, why wouldn't they embrace this game?)  But no mind. The pope's visit a month ago?  A warm up act, a mere amuse bouche for The Main Meal.  

The night is unusually temperate - fantastic!  If nothing else, there's no fear of catching a battery-laced snowball coming our way. 

Act II    "I'm Not Having Fun" 

* The game started off so well... then not.  Much like the UVA game, I'm getting really tired of hearing Temple's cheer when they do something positive.  Which feels like a lot.  ND's O-line is not dominating and our star RB suddenly looks like a WR playing the position.  Kizer has become bi-polar... either Big Play or Red Zone Drive Killer.  The defense looks great - until 3rd down.  And Temple has seemingly taken a successful page out of the Michigan State playbook, grounded in the insight that the refs won't call holding or pass interference on every play... 

Jim T. later tells me the Temple QB played the best game of his life. Of course he did.

Note to self:  Stop coming to away games with daughter Ryan.  Together, we clearly represent bad mojo for the team.  

Then there's the refs.  While I hate blaming them, the targeting penalty, at that time in the game, really?  Rubbish.  And of course Shumate's replacement gets smoked on the key Temple TD.  

At this point I am resigned to losing, as I enter the 4th of The Five Stages of 'ND Loss Acceptance:'

  1. Disbelief
  2. Denial
  3. Rage
  4. Resignation
  5. Glenmorangie

Act III   "That Was Not What I Hoped"

*   I'll be damned. DeShone de-done it again. You de-man!  A couple immediate epiphanies streak to my cerebral cortex:

  • Temple Is Good, especially defensively.  This wasn't ND's typical playing down to their opponent.
  • Kizer's poise cannot be understated. 
  • The old adage about being strong up the middle - okay maybe that's a baseball thing - but it applies here too.  And we aren't.  At least we sure don't appear to be.  MLB and S play is not great.
  • One ABSOLUTELY  doesn't want to be responsible for getting a penalty, 15 yds or otherwise - while standing near coach Kelly.  Eek. 

The Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer carries a story about an ND grad who chooses what game he attends each year according to the potential for the easiest, least stressful, win.  This year he chose the Temple game.  Oops.  Bummer for you, mate!

This could have easily been my brother, the venerable Dr. TÍM TÍM, who's all about getting the "V" in the most relaxed, low stress fashion possible.  And his cell messages during the game suggest this was not the experience he thought he was signing up for.  Oops.  Bummer for you, bro!

Act IV   "Everyone Got What They Wanted"

*  Now fast forward to Monday... ND actually rises in the polls (including The Only One That Really Counts (below)) and Temple stays in the top 25.  Everybody wins!  

Even if it didn't feel like that around Saturday midnight.

Game of Throne - The BCS Poll

And right now, neither do we. 
Like the punch line to the joke, "what do you call 50 lawyers in the bottom of a lake," ND being ranked #5 in the first BCS poll is a nice start.  

But as Clown Prince Lee Corso would immediately quip, "not so fast...", the ranking doesn't really mean much other than a) someone is recognizing our strength of schedule and b) we should therefore be rooting for all of our opponents - even USC - to win out.  As abhorrent as that last thought is.

BCS Ranking
Future (losable) Games
1.  Clemson 
FSU, Conference championship
2.  LSU 
@’Bama, @Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Conference championship 
3.  Ohio State
Michigan St., @Michigan, Conference championship
4  Alabama
 LSU, Conference championship
5.  ND 
@Pitt, @BC, @Stanford 
6.  Baylor 
@Kansas St., Oklahoma, @TCU
7.  MSU
@Ohio State, Conference championship
8.  TCU
W. Virginia, @Oklahoma, Baylor
9.  Iowa
@Indiana, @Minnesota, Conference championship
10.  Florida
Florida State, Conference championship

Word of the Week.


No mooning, Mark!

Used in a sentence:  Better than a sentence, how about this article of a team who embodies the word?  Oh and ND isn't too bad at the 'tirelessly persistent' thing either... 

Buddy's Buddy

Has this award ever gone to an opposing player?  I think not.

Has it ever gone to anyone named Trevor?  Definitely not. 

But anyone credibly argue that Temple and the aforementioned Mr. Matakevich and his defensive mates didn't pretty much outplay ND all night?  This week, we played 'big play USC ball' and got away with it.  

"Run, Forrest, run!"
That said, isn't it about time we recognize our freshman sophomore QB?  Sure he does some occasionally dumb things.  And his 5 yd throws are demonstrably worse than the 50 yd ones... Last weekend's red zone performance, pre-4th Quarter, wasn't exactly Heisman audition material.  

But arguably, he made every big play offensively.  And when it came time to make like Joe Montana - again - it's looking increasingly less flukey by the week.  

So, good for you, DeShone Kizer, you're the big lizard in our backyard, busting down our neighbor's door...  

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         W

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

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

One would think the 10-11'ers remain feeling increasingly optimistic.  And Alvin's definitely up against the wall.  

But we still haven't played a game in November... 

The '2014 Scofflaws' list dwindles down to 
Ungie and R Raymond.
As far as 2015 entry fees, if your first name starts with an 'M', it's likely you haven't paid yet.

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 TBrian 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. 

4 games left, boys...  you need ND to lose minimally 2 of them. Hmmm...

Schadenfreude Candidate of The Week

1. Toledo.    This is the best I could do.  One less unbeaten team.  I feel so empty.  

2.  Duke.  Even though they got totally screwed, against Miami of all opponents, they need to go back to understanding they're a basketball school.  And set their aspirations accordingly. 

Terry's Trolls

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

1.  JT Barrett.  Drinking on a non-game weekend. Okay.  Drinking and driving?  Never smart.  Drinking, driving and then trying to outrun the cops?  

Then again, it was in Columbus, where the rules don't... really... apply. Even so, that's stupid.   

Is there a Barrett here?  JT Barrett...

2.  Urban Meyer.  Wow. a one game suspension.  AND NO SUMMER SCHOOL.  

That'll teach you to mess with coach.  Have you forgotten I'm named after a pope?

3.  Kelly vs. Grimes.   Not either guy's best look on national TV, that's for sure.  Who's at fault?  Both? I dunno.

4.  Marcellus Wiley.   Called out Brian Kelly as being racist for unhinging against a black man.  Have a look here.  

Kelly is many things.  Pretty sure a racist isn't one of 'em.  But don't let us stop you from making off-the-cuff incendiary remarks. 

Muscovites looking for a love connection... 

5.  Mom.    Not my mom - or any of yours, for that matter.  No, I'm talking about the female academic coach at ND who allegedly played pimp for her daughter.   

How embarrassing is that - to have to have your mom coerce hook up's?   Has she not heard of Tinder?

6.  Refs from the Miami - Duke game.  Granted, the last play was craaaayyyyzzzyyy.  Except for the part where the guy's knee clearly touches down.  And the three blocks in the back.  And the nine minute review where, presumably, y'all were contemplating the trade off between correctly reversing the decision and getting out of the stadium alive.

An English Major Walks Into A Bar…

Halloween - could there be any other choice?


(Frankenstein, 1818)
by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley created more than a monster when she anonymously published Frankenstein at age 21 - 21?! Seriously? hey, Mar, no one likes an overachiever - she also birthed one of pop culture's greatest misattributions.  Frankenstein is the name of the loopy doctor, not the green-faced, peg-necked creature.  (He gets his own nickname, including-but-not-limited-to "vile insect" and "wretched devil" - courtesy of his dear ole dad.)

Experiment with the following Halloween-ready, bright green concoction.  Heads up:  more than a few folks have gone mad after downing a couple of these: 
  •      1 oz.  melon liqueur
  •      1 oz. tequila  
  •      1 (12 oz.) can club soda
Pour the liqueur and tequila over ice in a highball glass, then fill to the top with the club soda.  Now light a few candles, lock the door, and guard your potion with monosyllabic grunts. 

Final Thought - I

The walk down from our seats, a dramatic re-enactment...

Final Thought - II

We missed you, Mike.  No more absenteeism in the future!

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