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Monday, January 29, 2018

January '18: "Thank you, sir, may I have another..."

Winter in Scotchlandia. 

Mary, Queen of Scots - the family's Lone Survivor chicken, has decamped to the more temperate climes of the barn. (Last stall on the right.)

Omelets for everybody!

Meanwhile, the fair Lisa wings her way home as I finalize this - having just concluded her 5th Sundance Film Festival plunge, to volunteer / binge-watch movies for two weeks.

23 films seen this year, I'm told.

And me?  I'm hanging with Devon, the cat.  And a Special Ops team of single malts.  Watching golf and tennis ("Is Roger Federer tennis's Tom Brady? Or vice versa. Discuss."), waiting for Spring. Four months and counting.  

Already, the Blue - Gold game can't come soon enough.

Tell me, where do the children play?

Well, we now know pretty conclusively the ND 'children' do not play in Miami.  But after January 1st's stalwart effort, the entire state of Florida can no longer be written off so quickly.  So there's that.

We also know that four of the Irish children won't be playing with ND anywhere again*.  At least not on our side of the field.  A fairly shocking turn of events that also gives one pause to think about the nature of youth, character and how appearances... even names... can be so deceiving.  Take for example:  

  • Kevin Stepherson - such a white bread Eddie Haskell name.  And yet, such an impressively committed miscreant.
  • Cat Stevens - a folk rock god during the 1970's.  Until he changed his name to Yusuf Islam after a religious conversion.  Did he lose fans? Almost certainly. If he did that today, would people start screaming "sleeper cell?"  I wonder about that.  (Actually I don't - I'm positive that would surely be the case.)
  • C'Bo Flemister - ND's latest (last?) 2018 RB recruit and 1st team All-Name Recruit. What, exactly, to make of that name: 
    • Were his parents Lemony Snicket fans?
    • How does one even pronounce his first name?
    • What if my name had an apostrophe in it?


"Je't'aime Je'rrence!"   

Tres magnifique, oui?  

*well, maybe one. 

But I digress.

And most recently, we don't know if the Michigan State children are going to be playing much of anything at some point in the future - after the ESPN exposé revealed widespread, what is the word... denial?  indifference?... to sexual assaults across their football and basketball programs, dating back years and implicating beloved head coaches as they both desperately try to turn the public conversation from "what did you know, coach?" to "let the healing begin..."  

Good luck with that. 

So, perhaps losing our esteemed Defensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach isn't The Sign of The Apocalypse that much of ND fandom initially proclaimed.   

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence:  Even four days later, Young Je'rrence's New Year's Day ebullience had barely abated.  Notre Dame had vanquished the LSU cajun hoards against all overwhelming reasonable odds.

Granted, it took a bit of Divine Intervention (and some phenomenally poor pass defense fundamentals) but... we won!  Woo hoo!  

10-3. Light years different than 9-4!  

This buzz is going to last forever... um... actually...  

...until 5pm that evening when the Elko Betrayal is confirmed.  Ugh.

Easy come, easy go.

Cocktail of the Month

Post-Citrus Bowl, channeling my inner N'orleans... 

So, in tribute of the game and a January that, for the Irish, has not been without its share of southern melodrama.

A Sidecar Named desire
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Directed by Elia Kazan

Break out your tank tops! Based on Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer-winning play, Streetcar tells the steamy New Orleans story of one Blanche DuBois, a flighty, fading beauty whose unexpected arrival at her sister and brother-in-law's tiny apartment sets the stage for many a claustrophobic confrontation.  

This was the first film to win three Academy Awards in the acting categories, including one for Vivien Leigh, whose manic performance proved prescient for her own late-life diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. 

When your own last-minute houseguests arrive, offer up this Southern sidecar, which will have them running into the streets shouting for seconds (and maybe a second chance).

  • 2 oz. Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. Grand Marnier
  • orange twist, for garnish
Set aside your beer (sorry, your Stelllllaaaaahhhh) and combine all the ingredients with ice in a shaker.  Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with the orange twist. 

Quote(s) of the Week

"Missed it by that much..."
"What biblical sorcery have you cast on the LSU kicker?"

Shea Corrigan,
Betting novice who took LSU and gave the points

"You can't negotiate with a tiger when your head is in its mouth..."

Winston Churchill

"Am I gonna get my batteries back?"
"They're in the conversation..."

Charles Barkley,
When asked if Philadelphia fans were the worst in the world

Three quotes, united only in their awesomeness - 2018 is going to be a great year. 

End of Season Observations

...especially with almost a month past, none of this is especially revelatory but still some things to ponder for the next eight months:

1.   Watched Wisconsin - the football program that I wish we were - spank Miami... IN MIAMI... with an Ian Book-type QB and a ton of 3-stars who just play assignment-sure defense.  
It can be done.   

2.  "From God's lips to Kelly's ears..."
For those of you - and we've all been there - who've bitched about virtually every ND coaching staff's inability to make halftime adjustments, can we give Kelly a little credit for having the balls to switch QB's?

3.  Someone please tell me why we can't find 6-8 carries a game for Dexter Williams?

4.  If ever a program needed an early recruiting signing period, it was ND this year. Whew.

When I heard Elko was leaving...  

And then when Heistand quit... 

"To St. Harry, our O-line's salvation..."

5.  And don't even be asking what I thought when we hired Jeff Quinn...  

6.  And then kicking four guys (and half the backfield depth) off the team. 

Sure, why not.

7.  But then, as happens... the pendulum swings back:
  • Lea gets promoted - yay.
  • Turns out Quinn's history suggests he's a pretty good O-line coach
  • The final recruiting spots look like they may end up just fine.
  • 2019 recruiting already off to a promising start.
  • And one realizes all those pessimistic Message Board contributors are just sad, Chicken Little masochists who have no better idea than you do of what's going on.  And you know that you don't know dookie.
7.   Can we have even a nano-second of empathy for the state of Louisiana for this month?

Schedule - 2018

1      Michigan -- Labor Day weekend                         
8     Ball State                       
15    Vanderbilt    
22    @Wake Forest    
29    Stanford -- Alumni Hall / Union Pier reunion  

6      @Virginia Tech                     
13    Pittsburgh                       
27   Navy                               

3      @Northwestern -- party at Razz's house!                       
10     Florida State                               
17     Syracuse @ Yankee Stadium                                  
24    @USC              

The Wager

And the winner(s) are..

1.  Jerry Cincotta 
2.  Graham Corrigan
3.  Shea Corrigan
4.  Bob Jank
5.  Matt Lindon
6.  Dennis Ryan
7.  Mark Ungashick
Congratulations, Bob and Mark!  Showing unusual betting acumen, no doubt honed through misspent youth spent in unsavory dens of iniquity... 

$600 each - AND a soon (well, relatively speaking) to be name-engraved on the 2017 Arty.  You simply can't put a price on that.

One last look at everyone's predictions...

Trumpian Rating
12 (3)

Greatest Achievement,
In The History of The World.

Bryan G, Brian M, Joe S
11 (2)
Dave MRaz The Elder
10 (9)

Losers and Nut Jobs,
All Of ‘Em.
Terry, Jay, Lini, JP, John P, Phillip, Ted, Peter B, Daryl
Matt L, Graham C, Mark UShea CDennis RBob JJerry C
Dave G, Kevin C, Jim S, Jerry P, Tim S, Alex SJim B, Brian W,  Spittler the Elder, Blair
Bill B, Jim T, Tim C, Mike CMike G, Jerry W, Kevin M, Tom F,  Ryan CGarrett R
Ray V, Alvin B, John L, Randy Ri, Ward H
Jim R, Randy Ra,

3 or less

Terry's Trolls

"1 - 2 - 3 - 4, cretins want to hop some more!
  4 - 5 - 6 - 7, all good cretins go to heaven.

There's no stopping the cretins from hoppin'..."

Typically, this section is a fairly innocuous punk, reserved for the knuckleheads of (mostly) the sports world - those clowns who are either preternaturally entitled, self-absorbed and / or just dumber than a box o' rocks (see Kevin "4 Arrests Are A Charm" Stepherson).  

Insipid.  Invariably Moronic. Often detestable. 

But they're not evil.   Well, this post's edition represents the clear Exception To The Rule.

1.  Larry Nassar.   One so rarely gets to call someone a monster and have it genuinely apply.  So, Dr. Nassar, no words to react to the magnitude of the depravity.  

One wonders what's the over/under for how long you survive in prison?

One other tangential thought:  I can't even imagine how those Olympic athletes were able to keep it together - and compete at the highest level in the world - during all of this.  Just, wow.

"So, um... what are you gonna say?"
2. Michigan State.  A couple things jump to mind:  1) Many of us have friends and / or loved ones with ties to the school, so it gives me no joy to call MSU out.   2) I'm also 100% positive that they're not alone in national universities' systemic malfeasance toward sexual assaults.  I'd imagine a lot of schools are reviewing their protocols.

And 3)  How is this not the very definition of 'lack of institutional control' taken to its most horrific scenario?

Behind four walls of stone, the rich man sleeps.
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep...

Final Thought

We are sailing to Philadelphia...


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