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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Week 3: Ground Hog's Day

Anxiety, why do you always get the best of me?
I'm wide awake and I'm in pain... 

*  Daughter Shea, while interning in Nashville five years ago, discovers Jason Isbell.

*  Corrigans make annual pilgrimage to see Isbell last Friday night, where he plays much of his most recent album/cd, The Nashville Sound.

* Saturday, ND plays Nashville-based Vanderbilt.

*  At the same time, Stayer tailgate cornerstone Jim Belknap celebrates 60th birthday where?  In Nashville.

Coincidence?  I think not.
Message received, universe.

What exactly that message was?  Unclear.  But one had to assume something weird was likely.  Before investigating, an anecdote, courtesy of the aforementioned Mr. Isbell:

It is rock 'n roll legend of Van Halen's contractual insistence on the removal of brown M&M's from the craft services table for all of their concerts.  WTF?  Widely perceived as the epitome of celebrity hubris - asking for something stupid just because they can - the demand actually belied a significantly more savvy motivation:  determining one's venue partners' attention to detail matters when dealing with lengthy, detailed contracts. 

(Editor's note:  we're pretty sure that insight did not come from the brain of David Lee Roth.)

The logic was this:  if the band saw brown M&M's in the off-stage candy bowls, they knew the venue organizers hadn't thoroughly read the contract.  And for a band whose performances involved serious - and potentially dangerous - light shows and pyrotechnics, it raised the question, what other corners had the organizers cut in their show preparation protocols?  


Honesty - how extraordinawy
The moral of the story might be, relative to ND football, two-fold:  

a) Things that look stupid from a distance aren't always


b) Attention to detail actually matters. 

Think about those concepts as you watch ND this year... (I'm looking at you, Chip Long.)

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence:  As young Jerrence watched Brandon Wimbush repeatedly throw deep into double - and often triple - coverage, he wondered whether the QB suffered from an as yet undetected malady, safety scotoma... 

...the tragic (and typically professionally fatal) disease of being utterly blind to the presence of defensive safeties while attempting passes beyond 20 yards.  

Quote of the Week 

"Did you see the game?"
Mike Zimmer
Head coach, Minnesota Vikings 

...when asked why he cut his kicker (and recent 5th round draft choice) - after he'd missed three makable FG's, including a potential game winner in OT from a distance barely farther than a PAT.  Oops.

While not normally a fan of anything Vikings-related, one must give it up but for coaches who actually a) answer the question they're asked and b) tell the truth.

Game Day Review

What a difference a week makes.  They promised us that things would be different... better... this week.  Better effort.  Greater focus.  Smarter strategies.  I guess two of three ain't bad.

There's an answer here if I look hard enough
There's a reason why I always reach for the harder stuff...

1.  Who is Chip Long's inspiration for his Red Zone play calling:
Just pick a QB, Chip. Or Brian. One of you...

                        a)  Amos Alonzo Stagg.
                        b)  Timothy Leary
                        c)  Notorious RBG.
                        d)  The Lama

2.  Is there a reason we never throw to the middle of the field?  Asking for a friend.  

Lisa, fetch the Zantac, I'm going in for seconds... 
3.  Jambalaya - Louisianan (Cajun?) for God-like.  Thank you, Bonnie, Peter (and the Brady Bunch) for the highlight of the tailgate.

4.  Our defense is pretty good. But they're not yet great. Certainly not great enough to overcome the hole they'll put in when opposing DB's start holding onto to those ducks we thrown into double coverage. 

  • If there's an Achilles for them, one would have to think it'd have to be our lack of QB pressure without blitzing.

5.   Sully is correct:  Julian Love gets all the (media) press; Troy Pride Jr. is better.

6.  I really like the wheel route. If the RB can catch, it's virtually unstoppable.

7.  Given his wife's history w cancer, Kelly should really consider a hat instead of a visor.  He's Irish, fair of complexion... that's just reckless.

8.  Adjustments.  We say it every year.  Where are they?  We start off so well and then...

9.  We don't throw deep particularly well so tell me again why Book doesn't play? 

Net:  right now, this is probably a top 20 team, but certainly not top 10.

Buddy's Buddy

This week's selection process is notable for both it's breadth and depth of nominees, related to both on and off the field accomplishments:

* Could one pick - again - Tyler Newsome - he of the "all business upfront, party in the back" mullet?  He kicked the snot out the ball and literally flipped the field more than once, none more important than that final one, late in the 4th quarter.

*  Or Tony Jones, the RB no one ever seems to get too excited about but showed that rushing skills involve more than just speed.  And how about his receiving abilities (did I mention how much I LOVE the wheel route?)...

The Few, The Proud...
* But how about the pre-game Stayer Crew stars, who manned the fort, as it were... 

- smaller in number, quality over quantity

- unexpectedly über-pleasant, you could actually have extended conversations with people.

-  and Jambalaya.

Don't bogart those knitting needles.

* Then there's Lisa "Madame Defarge" Minnella.   Showing all those sitting around her the Zen of Stress Management during tight 4th quarters.

And the winner is...  Mr. Jones - help me believe in anything. 

Wager Time!
3-0.  They don't ask how, they ask how many.

Not that anyone should feel especially confident about their picks right now.  Honestly, who knows where the hell this team is going to end up...


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.


LiniDaryl M.Raz the ElderJayBryanTed



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.

JPJerry CiJim 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, LindonianFeif, Jim S., Jim B.GerardMike C.,  Tim C., Bob J., Pat C., SheaBill 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 RasmusMike 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.

Mama says God won't give you too much to bear.
That might be true in Arkansas
But I'm a long, long way from there.

Speaking on behalf of all ND fans: preach, Jason, preach.

Schedule - 2018

1      Michigan                          W
8     Ball State                          W        
15    Vanderbilt                       W
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      

Schadenfreude of The Week

Hold that position for, say, 9 weeks...
1.   USC.  File this under "however disappointed you were over the last two weeks' performances, know that it could be so much worse."  

Isn't that right, Men of Troy?  

2.   Florida State.  See point #1.  That November night game in South Bend isn't looking so 'Must See TV' now is it, NBC?  

(Too late to move it back to a 3:30pm start?)

3.  Wisconsin.   Truth be told, I very much admire the Badgers' program even as I wish I had a time machine to go back and hold onto Barry Alvarez.   But at least for this week, I need all the 'schaden' I can freude... so having a top 10 team go down makes me feel just a little bit better.

Terry's Trolls

This week's recipients feature the Loud Mouth Tool, a species earmarked by their rare lack of any self-awareness as they prove the adage, "tis better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." 

Something they have in common with narcissists and sociopaths, I believe. 


Makes one pine for the good old fashioned Selfish Tool.

1. Urban Meyer.    As of this week, he gets to crawl out from under his rock.  And the first thing he declares is that hey everybody domestic abuse is bad!  

Even with that blinding glimpse of the obvious came the inevitable disclaimer that he's not sure what he could've done differently, the police didn't tell him (um, what about what your wife told you?), he didn't lie, blah blah blah...    

He vexes me greatly. 

ND 1, FSU 0.
2.  Jalen Ramsey.  Every year in the pro ranks there's always one guy who just can't shut up. Usually it's a prima donna WR or in this case, their defense-side twin, the CB.  

Enter Ramsey, showing off that Florida St. class by offering his opinion - whether you asked for it or not - on basically every star out there.  

Here's the Cliff notes summary:  he's awesome, everyone else is... meh

Hey Jalen, no one cares.

3.  Vontae Davis.  Retiring at halftime, in a game where you were a starting CB.  

Well, that's a new one.  

There's no 'me' in quit but there sure is an 'I'.  

4.  Jack Morris.  Iron Man pitcher from a different, tougher era or just your basic Hall of Fame Douche?  One supposes they're not mutually exclusive but yet another anecdote surfaced this week that sticks a decided vote in the latter column.  The abbreviated version if one doesn't wish to read the link:

  • Record-setting KC Chief QB prodigy Pat Mahomes praises Alex Smith's selflessness last year in mentoring him even as he knows the kid is there to take his job.  (Which he did.)
  • Mahomes' father, Patrick Mahomes, an MLB relief pitcher back in the day tells a, um, similar story of asking Minnesota Twin ace-of-the-staff for insight on how to throw a pitch when he beginning his career and being immediately told to f*** off.   Nice, Jack. 

Cocktail of the Month

As the final weekends of Summer come to a close and school starts kicking in, why not call out a movie / cocktail that celebrates both the sad (unrequited love) and the absurd (high school) as the new term begins...

Not unlike last Saturday's unfulfilled yearning for a comfortable win, if an actual blowout was out of the question. 

Rushmore (1998)
Directed by Wes Anderson

Though he'd scored critical cheers with his first film Bottle Rocket, it wasn't until Rushmore that Wes Anderson gained attention of the relative masses - at least in indie-film terms.  With Harold and Maude-like themes of an over-scheduled prep school sophomore (Jason Schwartzman), whose adoration of a young widow (Olivia Williams) puts him at odds with a love-struck millionaire (Bill Murray's comeback role), Rushmore was shot on a shoestring budget with style to spare.
Put a Virty-bird in front and this is JP...

Get schooled with this precocious take on a kid-worthy chocolate milk classic.

  • 4 oz. chocolate milk
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. crème de cacao liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 mini-marshmallows, for garnish
Combine all of the ingredients (except for the marshmallows) in a shaker and dry shake.  Pour over ice in a highball glass and top with the marshmallows.  This one ought to score some extra credit.

Final Thought

Giving new meaning to the nickname, The Show Me State... the AP News article read "small town in Missouri is stirring controversy after announcing the title of its new local newspaper..." 

The newspaper's first edition has yet to, um, roll but management has assured the name ain't changing.  

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