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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

August: The Game Is Afoot

Those are the memories
That made me a wealthy soul... 

The football season draweth near.  And with it the (now) annual Corrigan NE coast pilgrimage, a veritable Sisyphean quest to answer the age old question:  how many friends and family can a couple sponge off of in a single road trip?  (Answer: a lot.)

I'll give you an hour to move your hands, Lisa...
    The most sincere of thank you's , therefore, to:

      * Peter / Bonnie
      * Al / Diane
      * Tim / Marcia
      * Jim / Steph
      * David / Alan
      * Bob / Teresa

    As well as Jerry and Jane, JP and Shari, Randy and Jean - as well as the famous Dr. Scanlon Mr. Cincotta for taking time out of their days to hang with Lisa and I.  

    Pete, I feel I can share this in confidence... 
    It was unfailingly fantastico everywhere we went.  The weather was (mostly) great, the banter was lively and the hospitality without parallel. 

    Indeed we experienced the whole spectrum of storytelling on this trip... from the occasional, mind-numbingly mundane (yes, we get it, Tim, your experience as Tiffany Trump's Penn faculty advisor should be sufficient for White House security clearance) to the provocative, even near scandalous (who'd a thought JP was still that limber - he must be doing a lot of yoga these days) - though propriety forbids me from repeating much of what I heard in that latter category.

    Yeah, right.  

    Put a G&T in my hand and I'm singing like a jailhouse stooge.  

    Tim, retirement sounds a lot like what you're doing right now... 

    And if my alcoholic intake over the road trip was any indication, I'll be the next freakin' Pavarotti.

    But I digress.

    And one of the additional benefits of barnstorming our great country in the 21st century, beyond spending quality time with the missus - is the proliferation of The Podcast, a 'new media' invention that allows for one to be distracted while driving when texting isn't simply enough.

    Both informative and entertaining, the well conceived podcast enables one to spend as little as 30 minutes and come off sounding significantly more informed than one really is.

    In other words, hello gorgeous.  I have found my métier!

    So... for those willing to stoop to such lowbrow media, allow me to suggest but two:
    Stranger danger!
    • Disgraceland (
      • Obscure stories of very bad behavior by some of the music world's most famous, certainly most colorful, entertainers from Sinatra to Marley, Jerry Lee Lewis to James Brown, Van Morrison to Sid Vicious.  The Motley Crüe one is exactly what you'd expect it to be.  (And if you listen to just one, make it the Norwegian Death Metal segment. Eek.) 
    • Behind The Bastards (
      • Interesting 'bet you didn't know this' stories about some of histories worst humans.  From Vlad the Impaler to Hitler to Stalin (did you know, that Stalin wasn't even his real name!  It was a his nom de revolution - meaning 'steel' - basically taking a bad porn star name to inspire his genocidal vision).  Oh - the 'What Was On bin Laden's Hard Drive' chapter is especially interesting. (Hint:  starts w 'p' and rhymes w 'corn'.)

    Himmler... Goering... watch this - it's all you need to know.
    What's that got to do with anything?  

    Simply that often, we think we know someone.  Or their story.  

    Then you find out... not so much. That, for instance, Nazi Germany's military strategy was largely inspired by the country's equivalent of JK Rowling a con man obsessed with western US mythology who captivated a nation.   

    That ought to give one pause as you do your pre-football season due diligence.  As if you needed another reminder of 'don't believe everything you read.'

    But hey, good luck!

    Word of the Month (maybe Year)

    Used in a sentence:

    Young Jerrence pondered much of what he's seen or read in this new Truth Isn't Truth' world and considered the almost to-be-taken-for-granted mendacious nature of so many public institutions:

    *  the White House
    *  the Catholic Church
    *  the Ohio State

    He was pretty sure that, in fact, one could now major in Mendacity at tOSU.

    And he wondered, will the collective ND Nation now get off Brian Kelly's case for his head coach-y obfuscation when queried by the press?

    I didn't think so. 

    I sighed a million sighs,
    I told a million lies
    To myself...

    Wager Time!

    We're going round in circles!
    We have no single point of view.
    And like the clouds that turn to every passing wind
    We turn to any signal that comes through...

    Certainly not one opinion but early returns do suggest a certain collective optimism about the season from the group.  Either that or a devil-may-care, "skew it, let's get this over with early in the season" fatalism.   Funny how often those two attitudes can be confused.


    TC’s Russian Equivalent
    ND Connection


    Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Who doesn’t love a Russian novel?  

    What they lack in brevity they make up in ‘set your hair on fire’ pessimism.  

    And Fyodor was The Man.  (Anyone who can write "The Idiot" 150 years ago gets my vote for prescient genius.)

    11+ wins would be Dostoevsky-like excellence.

    Dave M., John P., Brian M, Joe S.


    Lini, Raz the Elder, Jay, Bryan, Ted



    First of all, dogs rule. 

    Dogs in Space even more so.  Especially the first, and when they end up giving their lives in such heroic fashion, well... 

    Like a 10-2 season, you probably wouldn't have cheered for Laika at the time but in hindsight, you’re more impressed with the outcome than you expected.

    JP, Jerry Ci, Jim T., Dennis, Tim S.,  Jerry P., Graham, Brian W., Kevin C., Peter, Coat-Man, BucksGutschJohn L., Spit the Elder,, Spit the Younger, Ryan


    Sergei Federov

    Is he the greatest of Russian hockey players?   
    400 goals, 554 assists. MVP, Selke winners. 

    He’s gotta be in the conversation.  

    But, as my (then 10 yr. old) nephew once said, he was “that stinkin’ Federov” for many - so you have to be a little conflicted about him and his impressive career. 

    Probably like 9 wins will leave you.

    Jerrence, Bose, Lindonian, Feif, Jim S., Jim B., Gerard, Mike C.,  Tim C., Bob J., Pat C., Shea, Bill B.


    Vasily Zaytsev

    Battle of Stalingrad.  

    Germany v. Russia. 
    Two snipers.  

    The original Larry Corrigan ‘root for a tie w lots of injuries’ scenario.

    (And boy did they deliver on that.)

    So, not unlike a 7-8 win season, while you maybe appreciate Vasily's effort - - you really want no part of  the experience. 

    Ray, Alex S.,  The Brothers Rasmus, Mike G.Paul B.



    Nesting dolls

    As a wee lad, I received one of these as a gift from a family friend.  

    I can still recall my little WTF confusion... as well as a visceral "you gotta be kidding me" disappointment. 

    Not unlike what 5-6 wins would feel like.


    4 or less


    Any way you look it (him) this is bad. 

    Really, really bad.

    As would 4 wins.

    Quote of The Month

    "What's her name?”

    R. Raymond

    Upon hearing the esteemed Dr. McGuire gush over the rejuvenating benefits of his new Norwegian moisturizer.

    Schedule - 2018
    Notre Dame 28, Michigan 24

    1      Michigan -- Labor Day weekend                         
    8     Ball State                       
    15    Vanderbilt    
    22    @Wake Forest    
    29    Stanford -- 


    6      @Virginia Tech                     
    13    Pittsburgh - Alumni Hall / Union Pier reunion                      
    27   Navy                               


    3      @Northwestern -- Razmatazz!                      
    10     Florida State                               
    17     Syracuse @ Yankee Stadium                              
    24    @USC              

    Terry's Trolls

    I saw on ESPN Sports Center this morning that the Big 10 has five teams rated in the pre-season top 15.  The most of any Power 5 league.

    Yet there was no mention of them also leading the country in reprehensible behavior.  At least behavior that's been caught...

    Time will tell us
    Who... is trying to sell us.

    This week's candidates: 

    1.  Zach Smith.  One month later and we're not talking about your wrestling program anymore, Ohio State!  That's the good news.  That, and your prior tatoo scandal is looking pret-ty silly. 

    The bad news is that your football program - and St. Urban - are gonna come out of this looking like the sleazy bunch that they are. All because an assistant coach beats up his wife, has an affair, has sex toys sent to the office*, sends dick pics FROM THE WHITE HOUSE because... why not?  

    *to be fair, what if Amazon delivered it a neighbor?!  Awkward.

    2.  DJ DurkinThat he coached at Michigan only two years ago (and the U. of Florida before that, hmmm) only makes this story that much more Big 10 relevant...  

    If anyone had thought the age of analytics in sport had made the neanderthal football coach extinct, think again.  

    Some clown thinks he's Vince Lombardi and lives by the tired credo of 'if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger'.

    What about when it does kill you, coach?

    3.  Jim Harbaugh.  You know it's a bad stretch for the Big 10 when he's the league's coaching show pony, simply for the reason that he's just unfathomably weird and not detestably amoral.

    Of course, disparaging chickens is fightin' words in Scotchlandia, they being the caliphate country city-state bird 'n all. 

    Especially now, given the three newbies status as fully contributing members of Scotchlandia society. Yes, those are colored eggs - they don't call the hens "Easter Egg'ers" for nuthin'.  (If Timothy Leary had genetically designed a chicken this would be it.)

    And finally (one couldn't leave out the SEC)... 

    4.  Dan Mullen.  When Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen said his team had a no-guns policy, what he actually meant was the exact opposite.  After WR Kadarius Toney was found with a loaded AR-15 rifle in the back seat of his car, Mullen said the policy allows players to own guns as “we live in a country where that’s one of your rights.” 

    I meant only 'mostly no guns...'
    While Mullen felt the need to clarify what the no-guns policy meant, several of his players thought the message was pretty simple and clear. 

    "No weapons allowed," WR Josh Hammond said. "That's been our policy since coach got here."  Mullen, hired last November, said that’s only the case in “certain situations.” 

    "It's a no-weapons policy in certain situations of how to be educated to not have (issues)," he said. "No weapons, that's easy to remember. If I write out all the different (scenarios) — no weapons in these situations or have a weapon for a hunting situation, if I'm doing this, I store it at this location, I keep it here, I have gun safety rules and knowledge — that's not a quick catch to them to register in their mind. Does that make sense?" 

    Actually, no.

    Final Thought

    How I Spent My Summer Vacation
    (This is pretty impressive.)