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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 12: It Must Be Nice...

It must nice... to have Swarbrick on your side.

Every action has it's equal opposite reaction
Thanks to Kelly, our program's fractured into factions.
Try not to crack under the stress, we're breaking down like fractions
We smack each other in the press and we don't print retractions
I get no satisfaction witnessing his fits of passion
This prick is asking for someone to bring him to task
Someone gimme some dirt on this vacuous mass so we can at last unmask him
I'll pull the trigger on him, someone load the gun and cock it
While we were all watching he got Swarbrick in his pocket. 

Follow the money and see where it goes. OHHHH!

With apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the bastardization of his lyrics do not actually reflect the views of this blogger.  

But the parallels are just too irresistible:   it always seemed obvious that in absence of Mssrs. Meyer, Saban or Belichick pulling up in a U-Haul in front of the football offices (they ain't), ND was not gonna be writing off a $20MM contract extension.  

Follow the money indeed.

Beyond that Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious, allow me a final this I believe on a myriad of topics, as we conclude Season 7 of the Brian Kelly Era.  

Feel free to disagree:

*  Kelly stays.  But is he Dead Man Walking in 2017?  I would think 10 wins is the O/U on when the tar & feathers come out.

*  Jim Thompson, can we still expect you at next year's Temple home opener?

* I therefore wonder how one attracts an above average (let's forget 'elite') D-Coordinator when one sees the head coach on the hottest of seats.

*  It's pretty clear we don't have BCS championship talent. But we do have 10-win talent.  So I guess you know my expectations. 

*  Are we ever gonna get smart... strategic... about how we schedule?

*  Kizer - he should stay.  Hope he goes.

*  Hiestand - the eye test would suggest that he might be the most overrated of all our coaches.

*  Or do we simply recruit kids that are too nice? 

*  Booker needs to go.

*  Apropos of nothing, I never saw targeting called on anyone but ND this year.  

*  To that point, potentially, OMG! (Our Man Gruley) wrote a most excellent article (here) on the question of systemic bias in college officiating.  The empirical evidence doesn't suggest quite everything you'd like to think it might. 

*  I'm increasingly unnerved about the level of invective - of outright hate, really - introduced into the conversation of Brian Kelly's performance / future at ND.  

He's a football coach, for Godssakes, and unless you're betting your 401(k) on the ND games, put it in perspective.

Kelly. Swarbrick. Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Though my hands are tied, my feet are bound by Fate.
I play out the base, as I sit and wait,
What visions I see... 

Word of The Week

Used in a sentence:  With the recent spate of disturbing creepy clown incidents being reported around the country, Young Jerrence's coulrophobia began to spike precipitously - causing him to see clowns everywhere, including or perhaps especially, on his alma mater's football coaching staff.

Game Day Observations

The following is an honest-to-God verbatim transcript of conversations that occurred while watching the ND-USC game:

Kay, 91 yr. old mother of Jerrence:   Is this the last game of the year?
Jerrence:   Yes, mom.
Kay:             Thank God.
Liquor is not always the solution, mom.  Not even with ND.

A USC punt return and INT for TD's later...

Kay:         If nothing else, let's drink

A Kizer-to-Stepherson TD cuts the USC lead to 31-21.

Jerrence:  Well at least we won't be humiliated.

Kay:           Not yet. 

And that was when Kay got out the bottle of Glenmorangie.

Jerrence:  Well maybe just a splash.

Quote of The Week

"There is no academic virtue in playing mediocre football and no academic vice in winning a game that by all odds one should lose. 

There has been a surrender at Notre Dame, but it is a surrender to excellence on all fronts..."
Fr. Ted Hesburgh

It's sadly ironic that the guy who led the most sustained period of Notre Dame's dual academic and athletic ascendancy was the least conflicted person regarding their mutual existence or emphasis.    

Cocktail of the Week

Maintaining the hot drink theme - it's snowing hard in Scotchlandia as this was written and the current wind chill is single digits...  

How many of us have looked at the team we see on the field and thought to ourselves, they look like the team I was expecting. But they don't seem to act like what I was led to believe I'd see. 

Hmmm.  Whatever could explain that disconnect?  Two words for you (and it's not 'Brian Kelly'):  pod people. 

Invasion of The Toddy Snatchers
Invasion of The Body Snatchers  (1956)
Directed by Don Siegel

A B-movie mainstay that's surprisingly still suspenseful today, Invasion proved compelling enough to inspire three subsequent remakes.  In the black-and-white original (and still the best) a small California doctor returns from vacation to find the neighbors looking normal but acting, well, weird - almost as if they've been switched out for ultra-boring versions of themselves.

Stop it, Feif!  Whether you like it or not, he's our coach!
The film's themes resonated with a paranoid 1950's public wary of creepy communist conformity.  Not unlike a frustrated ND Nation's perception of their administration's laisse faire attitude to their football program.

On your next restless night, try this sleep-inducing tonic that features an eerily delicious assortment of pods and seeds.

  • 3 oz. hot water
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. pear brandy
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tbls. honey
  • 2 clove studs
  • Star anise pod
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish

Pour the water into a mug and set aside.  Combine all the remaining ingredients (except for the cinnamon stick) in a shaker and dry shake.  Add to the mug and garnish with the cinnamon stick. Beware of drink snatchers!

II.  The 2016 Schedule 

3       @Texas                  L  (0-1)  
The MSU Comeback That Wasn't:  possibly the high point of the season.

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                     W (4-6)
19     Va. Tech                L (4-7)
26    @USC                    L (4-8)

The End.   Don't Look Back.

You can't run, you can't hide...

Buddy's Buddy

For as frustrating as the SC game was  - let's see, 21 points off of INT / kick / punt returns and we lost by 18, hmmm - I wasn't a math major but that would seem to suggest...                                                                                                                                                                  But hey, there was one guy who was impressive.                                                                                                           Josh Adams
17 carries for 180 yds.  
The word was you were never quite healthy all year long. 

Which would make you something of a poster child for the 'woulda coulda shoulda been' year.                                                                                                                         
Better late than never.  Right?

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

The results from last week's poll: 

  • The big winner was apathy.  Only 12 people voted, mirroring our country's lack of engagement in the voting process (not surprising in its similarity given how closely the target respondent group mirrors our national demographics).
  • "Others Receiving Votes" included Lini, Rudy and Charlie Weis, suggesting perhaps it is better to stick with Kelly at this time.

The Wager

Poll #2:  What to do w. the money?

Create your own user feedback survey

Scofflaw Corrigans, I'll get you at Christmas!  Otherwise, if your name still isn't highlighted below, your $25 is still desired:

Young Jerrence
Former Greenskeeper
c/o Scotchlandia
663 Old Suman Rd.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

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?

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

Long a proponent of an 8-team playoff structure, this year is especially gratifying - not only because it so emphatically proves my point but it also brings pain to two programs I love to see suffer.

* Penn State.
Win your conference - check.
Record the best head-to-head win in the country - check.
Beat other top 10 teams - check.
Get shafted by the BCS Committe - priceless.

 *  Michigan, or as I like to refer them, Team Delusional.  
     First, you're very good. Just not as good as you think.
     That said, I'm indeed envious of your rapid turnaround. 
     Your head coach is insane.
     Try playing more games outside the state of Michigan more often.
     You got totally homer'd on that 4th down play in OT.  Chew on that for 10 months.
     Your head coach is insane. 

The upside is the disappointment of these teams' respective season sets up not one, but two certified "If Only The Earth Could Open Up And Swallow Both Teams" bowls:
  • Penn State v. USC
  • Michigan v. Florida State  

A girl can dream, can't she?

Terry's Trolls

"Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain..."
Friedrich Schiller
Poet, Philosopher & Playwright

It's pronounced Froooedrich.  

The Christmas tool, like the Christmas elf, is a creature one inevitably looks askance, a delicious mix of the goofy, the pathetic, the mildly sinister.  Laugh at them at your own peril.

1. Baylor.   Honestly, hiring Matt Rhule.  Really?  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Hasn't Temple suffered enough?  

  • First off, he advocates playing defense - a concept that you banned at the Turn of the Century. 
  • Secondly, I wanted Notre Dame to hire him a year from now.  

2.  BCS Playoff committee.  If ND were Penn State, I would not be The Picture of Equanimity that one sees today.  

I'd be thinking, WTF?  Why even play the games if you're going to base your decisions on an arbitrary (and likely, conference revenue motivated) 'eye test.'

Well it wasn't Nietzsche...
3.  Ron Rivera.  Know that I am not Cam Newton's biggest fan.  His off-the-charts, um, self confidence... is more than a little off-putting for me.  

But hearing of his one-play suspension for violating a team rule requiring wearing of a tie - when the guy was dressed nicer than probably the rest of the tie-wearing team... just seems ridiculous.  

Which philosopher was it that said 'without rules, there is chaos'?  

Well then, Ron, change the rule. 

And the fact that one play resulted in an interception is surely God telling you, "lighten up Francis."

Final Thought

Wade Davis, your Chicago table is ready...