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Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Awakening

"Come on out of your dreams and wake up from your reverie...
Here we are, running circles around around around around.
When nothing is right, just close your eyes and you're gone.
Dreams, Dr-dr-dreams..."

So what have you done in your winter away-from-football-blogs somnambulance?  For me, it's been an enriching time of self-discovery and maturation... 

The author pauses, dramatically.  The moment, the concept -  a more evolved Terry - pregnant with potential.

You think I'm funny? Funny like a clown? That I amuse you...
Between thinking deep thoughts about God's Grand Plan (The Echidna:  proof of His sense of humor?  Or simply that He created recreational pharmaceuticals before putting the final touches on the food chain.) 

... And more practical contemplation, like perfecting my golf "starting the lawnmower"* swing thought.  (Thank you, Jerry.)

Then there was the night in April where introspection ran more to the "fight or flight" variety - when my bride invited a Bernie Sanders volunteer-in-distress (is there any other kind?) to stay overnight while the woman, stranded in Indiana, made her way back to northern CA**.  Yikes. Insufferable and delusional.  And I thought evenings with many of you were descents into madness.  Well, actually, they were - but not like that.

*not a euphenism. 
** of all my wife's acts of generosity  (and They Are Legion), this one has to rank up there with the most poorly thought through

But Hope does Spring Eternal.  And how could it not, looking at all the great things 2016 already has in store:

Lisa, our horn 'o plenty truly does runneth over
1.  No more Demetris Robinson updates!
2.  Jon Snow isn't dead!
3.  Ravinia Season!
4.  Shakespeare 400th anniversary!
5.  Jason Bourne / Matt Damon is back!
6.  Ryan Corrigan goes IronMan in August! 
7.  Terry & Lisa Do Austin!  (And with the Belknap / Rasmus / Flaherty's!)
8.  Linipalooza VI!  (BYO Sociopath.)
9.  Hamilton tickets in October!
10.  A potential ND Lindon appearance! 
11.  ~ 160 more days of Trumpnado!

And that's even before we get to The Future's So Bright I Need Sunglasses expectations for the football team.

Spring Game Thoughts

Recognizing the flaws inherent in trying to evaluate a team playing itself, I offer some thoughts, in no particular order:

1.   Astonishing how quickly the game got boring.

2   While young, the team looks ridiculously talented on the offensive side.  3-star WR Kevin Stepherson indeed looks like he's gonna be a playah...

3.  So much of the narrative was (is) about the QB.  To me, it didn't look as close as the media - or Kelly -  were making it.  

Put me down in the Kizer (Soze!  Soze!) column - and not just so can repeatedly make this film reference.  

But enough about me - your thoughts?  
Take the poll!

4.  Not entirely sure what the point of playing Folston was if he couldn't get hit. 

5.  The defense definitely tackled better.  Stop me if you've heard this before:  Redfield looked really good.

6.   Both better be - the D is probably the difference between 11-1 / 10-2 and 8-4 / 7-5.  And by the way, the clock is ticking on your legacy, BVG.  And probably your job.

Thought of The Month

Behold the very foundation of the annual football wager...

Recruiting- 2017  

Recall this (fantasized) headline in February?   NOTRE DAME OFFERS HOOKER!

Here's an update:   

Surprising absolutely no one who ever attended the school. 

South Hills Catholic goes shopping... 
But I digress.  

In the late '70s, western Pennsylvania meant only two things to me:  

1.  The home of perhaps the weirdest most eclectic collection of high school lads from one school (South Hills Catholic, Class of '75) I'd ever encountered


2.  Location of George Romero's zombie tour de force, "Dawn of The Dead" - shot almost entirely at the Monroeville Mall - an unflinching metaphor for a rapacious U.S. consumer society.  A film that, not unlike those SHC graduates, haunt me to this very day. 

But now it would seem that western PA has become prime recruiting ground for the ND football program:  LB David Adams, DL Kurt Hinish, OL Josh Lugg and the latest, top ranked 2018 QB Phil Jurkovic.  

And I couldn't be happier.  If these recruits are anything like our South Hills classmates, du Lac will not only exceed their diversity requirements (perhaps more than they wish), the kids will be amazing representatives  of ND. 


One final Demetris Robinson thought:  who doesn't think we dodged a BIG bullet?  This song is for you, D-Rob. I severely regret wasting any of my time in January - February considering your enrollment...

They'll hurt me bad but I won't mind
They'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time
I hope you know this'll go down on your permanent record... 

Word of The Month

Used in a sentence:  With the conclusion of the Spring game, Young Terrence looked ahead to autumn tailgates yet to be had - the 2015 season, an evanescent experience now firmly in his rearview mirror...

Schadenfreude of the Montb 
"Celebrating The Misfortune of Other Teams Since 1956"

 1. Washington Capitals.  I'm not even that big of a hockey fan.  And maybe because of that, I enjoyed seeing a) the season's most dominant team go down and b) the Penguins being the ones who brought them low.  (I can't quit you, Pittsburgh.)

2. UNC .   If you'd been around me in March, you would've inevitably been treated to my "Roy Williams, Most Overrated Coach On The Planet" rant.   I stand by that evaluation.  Well done, 'Nova.

3.  St. Louis Cardinals.   Forgive me, Sully, but for one season, I enjoy seeing the Cardinals as something less than 'pencil them into the playoffs right now' dominant.  Plus, this time of year, at least until LeBron loses (sorry Cleveland), I'm clearly struggling for teams to cheer against.  Football season can't come fast enough...

And Now For Something  Completely Different

The advertising industry can still, occasionally, pleasantly surprise.  (For those unaware, back in the day, Britain absconded with a treasure trove of Greek antiquities, in particular the Elgin Marbles - friezes of the Parthenon obtained through a sketchy agreement with the Ottoman Empire that ruled Greece at the time). Asking nicely has clearly gotten them nowhere...  

Terry's Trolls

I got your Brotherly Love right here...
1.  Sam Bradford.    I've always imagined that those blood lusting patrons of the Roman Colisseum, thumbs poised in a preternatural 'down' position, were the forefathers of the Philadelphia sports fan.  Neither have ever had much tolerance for the nancy-boy afraid of competing, even when it's against a lion.  
So when you chose, Sam, to pout over the Eagle's drafting their presumed QB of The Future, well, you got the fanbase's attention.  This, after you signed a two-year $35M extension w. $22M guaranteed. 

Enjoy next season, Sam, bonding with the local citizenry.  And I'm pretty sure the digit you're likely to see from them isn't gonna be their thumb.

You're making me look like Mensa, bro.... 
2.  Cam Robinson.  Alabama starting OT and likely 2017 1st round draft choice, nabbed for driving with weed (Okay, not a big deal) and, oh, a stolen hand gun.  Whoops, felony!  And stopped in Louisiana, not 'Bama.  Double uh oh.   

And the football world thought Laremy Tunsil made bad decisions. 

Doping in the Games?! I'm shocked!
3.  Russian Olympic Team.   A report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency accused Russia of systematic state-sponsored doping.  Eek!  The chemist identified as a linchpin in that operation - Irony Alert! the longtime head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory - told the NYT that he worked for years, at the direction of the Russian government to help the country's athletes use banned, performance enhancing substances in global competition and go undetected.

And who says Big Government is bad.  

Russian officials have responded to the accusations with both defiance and contrition - a strategy oft employed by Ryan Corrigan as a wee lass whenever she was in trouble, to, I might add, a spectacularly low level of success.  Good luck, comrades. 

4.  Odor vs. Bautista.   First, just because someone's a tool doesn't mean one can't occasionally enjoy their antics.  Second, I don't know who was in the wrong, if either. 

But I do know that after decades of watching big, strapping professional athletes - outside of hockey - fight like girls, Rougned's punch was awesome

Buddy's Buddy

Unicorns.  Political moderates.  The 4-hour erection.   All the stuff of mythology, passed down from generation to generation, reverently... confidentially... told in places as disparate as campfires and mahogany paneled private clubs. 

Such is also the classification of the Notre Dame Blue-Gold game 'star'... that promising, if ultimately inconsequential, athlete who gives the ND fan base reason to believe, for one utterly meaningless scrimmage, this year's problem at (name your position) is now solved.   

For 2016, take your pick - Shaun Crawford, Torii Hunter, Dexter Williams, Justin Brent anyone? - would all be reasonable choices.

But this section has always strived to honor it's namesake... a creature not always among God's most clever - but with a good heart and an underrated sense of the moment.  So this month's recognition is bestowed on... Scottish golfer  Russell Knox.  

Sitting at -8, approaching the end of his 3rd round and still in the top 10 of last week's unofficial '5th Major' TPC... in front of a large, animated amphitheater audience (and the rest of the viewing world) at the 17th island hole... he rinses three balls for a sextuple bogey 9.  

Been there, Russ.  

His subsequent quote, "It's just difficult.  You're so nervous. I mean, you've got thousands of people laughing at you.  It's a very uncomfortable feeling..."  

Ya think?

But here's why he's a certified Buddy's bud:  he laughed w. the world (at least outwardly), took his medicine, came back on Sunday and shot a 68 to still finish top 20.  Well done, boy-o. 

Okay - one additional word about the tournament's winner, Jason Day, a sentiment representative of where his peers' heads are at:

Cocktail of The Month

"Match that innovation, Wharton!"
What if you read in the upcoming semester syllabus that a certain Cinema Studies class was going to serve cocktails as part of the (extraordinarily tenured) prof's 'deep dive immersion' Intro to Film class?  

Would you enroll?

One would venture even the most left brained Accounting major would sign up for that.  (Of course, the Engineering majors would've already hacked into the system, signed up, taken all the available slots and started the lab work.)

Alas, those possibilities are behind most of us (hello, adjunct professorship!) but the fantasy lives on via Tim Federle's latest offering, "Gone With The Gin:  Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist."  The initial summer-time offering:

Monty Python & The Stoli Grail
Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975)
Directed By Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

Killer bunnies, knights who say, "Ni," and God Himself was just a smattering of the zany supporting characters who appear in this legendary cult satire from Britain's madcap Monty Python comedy troupe.  Chronicling the quest of King Arthur & Co. on their bloody hilarious (and just plain bloody) search for the Holy Grail, the film was shot on such a tight budget that they couldn't even afford horses, leading to an infamous bit in which a footman claps together two coconut shells to simulate hooves.

Your own search for the perfect drink will come to a conclusion with this coconutty cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. coconut water
  • 3/4 oz. pineapple juice
Combine all the ingredients with ice in a shaker and shake well.  Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.  

Or a grail, if you've already got one.

Final Thought - I

Golf season has arrived in Chesterton, IN. 

Friends welcomed.

Final Thought -II

Kay Corrigan often said that bad things occur in 3's.  So it seems with the 2016 deaths rock gods:  David, Glen and now Prince.  Each undeniably unique.  Each undeniably influential. And in very different ways, undeniably cool.   

It'd be remiss for this blog, being at least tangentially football related, to not recognize his 2007 Super Bowl performance, considered by many to be the best half time show ever. The NFL blocks me from repurposing here in video form but here's a link to a very interesting 8 minute feature on it.  Pretty impressive.

Equally impressive is his wailing on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" several years ago, as part of a tribute to George Harrison's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

RIP, Prince. 

But why end on a down note?  It's almost 60 degrees in Chicago - Summer is here!

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