Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 8-9: No... No... YES! Maybe not.

That's the way the world goes round
You're up one day, the next you're down.
It's a half an inch of water and you think you're gonna drown...

Meet Philosophical Jerrence.  And Renaissance Man Jerrence. (The Duality of Jerrence, coming to Netflix, Spring of 2017). 

Philosophical Man.  Jerrence realizes that perhaps the psychological import he places on sports is out of alignment with its actual value.  That's the sort of insight one is granted when staring 60 in the face.  I share that with you free of charge.

Then, of course, The Cubs Thing happens, throwing that newfound sense of perspective completely out the window.  Raising the question, is maturity more of a Guideline than a Rule?

"Substituting for Pavarotti tonight will be..."
Renaissance Man.  Jerrence's October to present day journey included football games, tailgaters, historically inspired Tony-winning musicals, fine dining, film, literature, performance art (Tim C, we'll be talking at Christmas), concerts and of course, a World Series that amped an  entire city.  

Encompassed in this was the full gamut of human emotion:  joy, pain, amusement, bewilderment (again, Tim C, we'll be talking...), angst, disappointment, despair, exultation, love.

Kinda like that Italian opera with the smilin' on the outside-crying on the inside clown - call it Theoacci.  

Jerrence, finding himself sated from supping at the cultural horn 'o plenty, understood that from a football standpoint, he needed to push away from the table... 

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence: Just when Young Jerrence, post-World Series Game 7, was finally embracing the concept of deus ex machina (a 'get your act together' rain delay, really?  I love this device!), along comes the 4th quarter of the Navy game.  Apparently The Gods of Sport only allow one of those in a week.  

Quote of the Week
"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
who knew of which he spoketh*

Yo, Hank, if you're telling me to equate cold with sadness, I think I may be experiencing hypothermia anytime I turn on ND football. 

* Having spent 7 years courting his wife, they had six children together until she died in a freak dress fire (don't ask) and HWL burned himself so badly trying to put her out, as it were, that he couldn't attend her funeral. 

The Weekend - Observations

Emotionally torn, intellectually horrified. Honestly, why even watch ND football anymore? It only causes heartache, pain and vexation. A lot of vexation.   "This team vexes me!", I've been heard to cry.  "Lisa, I am vexed - fetch me the potcheen!" My brothers, more evolved than me in just about every conceivable way, long ago stopped watching the games live, rather, recording them in the off chance a win would come our way and when it didn't, declare "I DON'T THINK SO!" while hitting 'delete.'

Like I said, the bros are better than me in ways I will never fathom, though this one habit I'm finally going to be adapting quickly.  That said, here's a couple thoughts that crossed my mind during last week's farce:

  • I no longer look upon Navy - on offense, at least - as some trick. What they do, they commit to, and do really well.  We might do well to consider that philosophy.
  • I thought we were fast on defense.  Wrong again, honey, wrong again! 
  • Not typically a reactionary-type fellow... but after the last two weeks, fire the Special Teams coach.
  • Kizer is regressing to the QB everyone described as before last year.  That can't be good for a coach's resume.
  • To that point, the players may not have quit on Kelly - rumor had it the players love him, BVG not so much - but it sure looks like his coaching staff has quit on him.
  • That the loss wasn't a surprise pretty much says it all.  The 4th Quarter was like being inside the Hindenburg.
  • So... for the 1st time, a 2016 Kelly dismissal doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.  Say they beat Army - woo hoo! - but get drilled by Va. Tech and worse, embarrassed by USC... you're 4-8 and in a death spiral.
    • What's the conversation BK has with his boss?  
    • What are the concessions that JS demands to keep his job?
And what upperclassmen bolt from this sinking ship?  Starting w. Kizer?  Tough to feel particularly bullish about the future of ND football.

Cocktail of the Week

I got your innovation right here, Wharton.
So we blew by Halloween with nary a reference to this sacred holiday. Probably because I blew by Halloween with nary a blog. 


But it's never too late for a semi-optimistic lyric with a relevant motif.  It's always darkest before dawn, right?

The Rocky Horror Pisco Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Directed by Jim Sharman

There's a light, over at the Castellini place.
There's a light, a light in the darkness of every Domer's life.

You can still catch a midnight screening of this sordid songfest nearly a half century after it's lukewarm debut, which was adapted from a London stage production that featured a soon-to-be-infamous cross dresser played by Tim Curry.

A don't-squint-too-hard-at-the-details plot concerns young-in-love Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick pulling into the wrong driveway at the right time, becoming exposed (in every sense of the word) to a madcap cast of punk rockers and blonde beefcakes. 

One sip of our red-as-lips libation, and you'll be shouting at the screen - whether you know the legendary lyrics or not.
  • 2 oz. pisco brandy
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
Combine all the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a cocktail glass. 
Serve with an extra helping of Meat Loaf.

II.  The 2016 Schedule 

3       @Texas                  L  (0-1)  
10     Nevada                  W (1-1)
17     Michigan State     L  (1-2)
26     Duke                      L  (1-3)

1      @Syracuse             W (2-3)
8     @NC State              L  (2-4)    
15    Stanford                 L (2-5)
29   Miami                    W (3-5)

5      @Navy                   L (3-6)
12     Army 
19     Va. Tech 
26    @USC    

Savvy Jack Wouldn't Actually Do It, Would He?

With each loss let's re-look this section, shall we?
Clip 'n save:  guys Swarbrick might ultimately think fits the job description:

  • PJ Fleck, Western Michigan (9-0)
  • Kevin Wilson, Indiana (5-4)
  • Greg Schiano, Ohio State (8-1)
  • Mike McIntyre, Colorado  (7-2)
  • Lane Kiffin, Alabama (just seeing if you were paying attention)
  • Charlie Strong, Texas (5-4)
  • Matt Ruhle, Temple  (7-3)
  • ________________ (write-in)

The Wager

And... we're done.   We may not even get to "Season of the Witch" territory.  Where does that leave us, cinematically speaking - in "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Land?!  Yikes.

  • At any rate, what to do with this year's funds?  Historically we've held to two options:
    • Roll the money over to '17 (where I'm guessing the smart money is going to land in the 5-6-7 win range)
    • Contribute to a charity (e.g., Hurricane Sandy Relief last time)
  • If your name isn't highlighted below, you need to be sending me $25:
Young Jerrence
Former Greenskeeper
c/o Scotchlandia
663 Old Suman Rd.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

In any event, let me know any suggestions on where to direct the money.

Which Nic Flick R U?

Why ND Relevant


Raising Arizona

Genius from start to finish. And be honest – you never thought it’d be as terrific as it ended up being.

Kevin C 
Brian M
Bryan G
Joe S



Über clever direction meets surprising performances even if one is a bit confused by the overall journey.

Jay F
Spit the Elder
Tim S
Graham C
Mark U
Daryl M

Ted C
Dave M


Leaving Las Vegas

By all objective measures a high quality performance.  So why does one now feel so despondent?
Mike C
Matt L
Ray V
Jerry C
Brian W
Peter B
Jim S
Dave G
Jim B
Tom F
Spit the Younger


 Con Air

At times both awful and awesome, but with enough enjoyable lines (and stuff getting blown up) to distract one from the disappointment of what could’ve been something really special.

Tim C
Kevin M
Dennis R
Mike G
Jerry W 
Jerry P
Shea C
Pat C
Alex S


  National Treasure

Nowhere near great. But one finds oneself looking back on it more fondly than is justified. 

And if no one’s around... satisfying enough that one’ll watch it when it comes on late at night.

Al B
Jim T 
Ryan C
John L
Randy R
Blair R


The Wicker Man

You've seen this movie before.  Literally.  And you weren't that impressed the first time.  

You're cognizant that you've entered The Disaster Zone - where career legacies are re-written.  And never for the good.

Jim R


Ghost Rider

Oh dear Lord.   You feel physically ill just watching this – and knowing it’s not an aberrant 'one off' performance.

and under

 Season of the Witch

We’ve fallen and we're not getting back up.  

How incredibly sad.

What's on The History Channel?

Buddy's Buddy

If I had written a week ago, Jarron Jones.  But Time Waits for No Man - or Dog.  Unless, like in Buddy's case, it's a dead dog, then Time is pretty much a non-factor.

But I'm getting off point.  This is a What Have You Done For Me world we live in, so JJ, too bad.

We move on. And we move on to merely the greatest sporting event in Chicago history since... The Dawn of Man.  

(108 years of futility does earn one some significant cultural bona fides and more than a little hyperbole.)

But seriously, what else could really compare locally?

The '85 Bears?  Child, please. 
The Bulls - very impressive but after 6x, it kinda loses it's novelty. 
The Black Hawks?  See Bulls reference.
The White Sox?  Dare to dream, South Siders.

While I don't expect many Clevelanders to appreciate it - though I heard Tribe Nation was incredibly nice, gracious - so many cool things about the Cubbies march to history:

A happy worker is a productive worker...
* Kyle Schwarber, badly injured for six months, cleared 8 days before starting Game 1.  And hits .412 in the series. 

* The team getting shut out 4x throughout the playoffs! Talk about having a short memory.

*  Six starters under 24 yrs. old. (Think about that for a minute.)

*  Every WS record the Cubs broke was basically a Cincinnati Red record from the 70's.

*  Down 3-1 and having your top starting pitchers come through (whether Maddon perceived it or not).

"You're a wreck now?  Wait til the 9th inning..."
*  Anthony Rizzo being caught on camera, early in Game 7, telling David Ross that he's losing his shit.   

*  Grandpa Ross, going out in his last year with a World Series ring and a HR in his last at bat.  Not bad for a basically a journeyman player, albeit a now iconic one.

*  The 17 Minute Rain Delay that quenched a 108 year drought.  Cheesy words befitting the most improbable of Divine Interventions. 

Ironic, isn't it, that blue water requires dye in Chicago.

*  The A-Rod "the legs go first when fatigue sets in" / Pete Rose post-game analysis - brilliant!  (At least one of them - and maybe both - next career move seems obvious.)

* On the most perfect Chicago autumn day EVER, a 5MM person parade attendance that was allegedly the 7th largest collection of people in human history. Though, this being Chicago in an election year, many of them were probably dead. 

There's probably a solid 15 guys who won't ever pay for anything ever again in the city of Chicago.  

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

Michigan State.  It turns out my East Lansing-based 'freude' seems to be running into The Law of Diminishing Returns.  

Sparty loses again.  Meh. 

Texas A&M .    Proving just how sadly mediocre this entire 2016 football universe is, the over-rated Aggies' BCS chances blow up the first week they're on the official poll's short list.  


Baylor.   Gets taken to the woodshed by TCU, 62-22.  Karma strikes again.  And there was much rejoicing.

Terry's Trolls

With Halloween, the tools come out of the woodwork.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

But it does beg the question:  are some sports more inclined to bad behavior?  Baseball certainly appears more civilized (a concept that's going the way of the Dead Sea Scrolls).

I would guess not.  Not as long as Curt Schilling draws breath, that's for sure.

1. Donovan Jeter.   ND's first (and likely not last) de-commitment from the Class of '17 recruiting class, who took to Twitter to make said announcement (and ultimately his new commitment to Michigan) - and take a cheap shot at Brian Kelly. 

When the blow back came, Donovan started moonwalkin' back, stating that regrettably he didn't mean to disrespect the coach.  

Huh?  So what exactly did you intend? 

2.  Curt Schilling.  Clown or colossal douche?  This being Election Day, I vote the latter.  The increasingly unstable Mr. Bloody Sock is now advocating what, lynching journalists?  From what I've read of his post-ball player persona, he doesn't have a particularly well developed sense of humor, so pretty sure he's serious here. 

Hey Sh**-For-Brains, as the this article points out, there's already been three dozen journalists murdered this year; six dozen last year.

Good luck with that burgeoning political career.

3. Joe Maddon.    My level of understanding of baseball nuance is limited to observing the Ungashick father-daughter tandem argue over whether the 2nd of George Brett's three HR's in the 3rd game of the '78 ALCS was hit off a slider thrown on a 3-1 count - an experience that is both riveting and a tad frightening.  So I don't know much but I do know this to be true:  I love the guy but the Cubs won Game 7 (and maybe Game 6) despite Joe Maddon.  
4.  Josh Brown.     As a father of two daughters, my Zero Tolerance policy is pretty non-negotiable when it comes to domestic abuse. "Kicker solidarity!" goes only so far.  

And multiple times, Josh?  

5.  MetLife.  You fired Snoopy as your spokesperson?  After 30+ years?  Ouch. 

Final Thought - I

This has become Elvis' go-to final song on his present tour.  How fitting during this, the ugliest of presidential campaigns.  Sure, half the country is going to wake up Wednesday morning hating the other half - and manifesting it through, minimally, social media. (That's what's called technological progress).

But a girl can still dream, can't she?  Searching for a light in the darkness of insanity... 

Final Thought - II

"Your success is now our country's success..."

Who would've thunk one would pine for the political days of the early 90's, when civility and support weren't anathema?

Just don't hold your breath for anything like this anytime soon. 

No comments:

Post a Comment