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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Week 6: A Star Is Born

This is the strangest life I've ever known...

Ever since I was wee lad, I've known I was... different.  

"Dad, when mom says I'm 'special'..."
"Not like the other children," I recall my parents phrasing it.  

They called me... special.  In hindsight, I'm not sure that I interpreted it in the way they meant it.

Before we go any further, it's not like any of you are poster children for normality.

I was reminded of this when one of my devoted following shared a progression of "lost" moments during the college years that a few of us, um, participated in.   Too many to count through the course of a collegiate life, one twelve month period (sophomore / junior year?) stood out in particular.   

Call us the original Lost Boys.  It's a wonder any of us found our way to graduation.
Speaking of graduation, did anyone actually see an authenticated diploma from this group?

At any rate, recap:

> One got lost in South Bend (after mistaking the Burke golf course at 3am, as one does, for a South African game preserve).

>  One got lost on campus (probably worth mentioning, now, this was not freshman year).
And yet, they let these guys move off campus... 

>  One got lost on North Quad  (understandably, it's a pretty tricky layout with buildings and trees and sidewalks that point in virtually every direction).

> One of us got lost in their dorm (to be fair, Grace and Flanner were, basically, exactly alike).

>  One got lost in their dorm section's bathroom (in their own words: "urinal... shower stall... what, really, at the end of the day, is the difference?").

>  One got lost in their dorm room (perhaps more than the rest of these, this one surely requires some explaining, although not from me).

Talk about a downward spiral...

And while alcohol may have been involved in all of these - okay, it was a significant contributing factor - the fact is even while sober, Mensa wasn't sending this group of Domers any applications.

No MacArthur Genius Grants in any of their futures.

No appointments to the Supreme Court.

Howdy, friend.  You're not from around these parts, are ya?
These incidents are brought up merely to put in context my impression of what it must be like for a visitor, a fan of the opposition, approaching a trip to Blacksburg, VA for a Saturday night game. 

...where they will confront a stadium full of liquored up, Metallica-loving 18-to-22 yr. old miscreants. a territory only shouting distance from West Virginia coal country.

...where "Paddle faster, I hear banjos" is a legitimate warning.  

Yikes.  Enter Sandman?   How about 'Abandon All Common Sense, Ye Who Enter...'

When you're strange, faces come out of the rain... 

Such was my sense of pervading, imminent misfortune for the Irish last Saturday...

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence:  As young Jerrence awoke from his euphoric post-ND victory stupor, he realized the preceding evening's contest had ended up being nothing like what he'd expected. 

Ultimately more breezy contretemp than battle royale, ND showed their clear superiority to the viewing world - but only after Jerrence pulled out the big guns.

And by 'big guns', he meant single malt.  

Quote of the Week 

"I'm like the boy next door... if you live next to a mausoleum."

Willem Dafoe

I bet, growing up, he too was called 'special.'  

Except, he actually was.

Game Day Review

Petition The Lord with prayer?  Petition the Lord with prayer?!

Okay, how about scotch?  Will He work with scotch?  

Turns out, He will. 

1st Quarter:  

Lisa sits down with me and starts watching the game.  Well that's. Weird.  One of the cats crawls into my lap and Lisa tells her, "You really don't want to do that.  Haven't you ever seen him watch a football game?"  But since it's a cat, it just gives her a thanks-I'm-staying look.

*     So, we seemed to have figured out the 4th and short, QB sneak play. 

*    The summer media reports weren't kidding when they said Book couldn't throw deep.

Q.  Is it unfixable?   Or he is just super-amped?

*   Khalid Kareem is a force and I'm really digging the Braveheart lampblack-all-over-the-face look.  

I swear I saw him shout, "they'll never take our FREEDOM!!!"  

2nd Quarter

*   I can't  believe our defense is getting taken apart by two transfers from Kansas and Ball St.

Lisa observes my... discomfort... and gives me a "I don't like where this is headed" look and books to the back bedroom to watch, well, anything else.


Jerrence is not feeling good about this.  If Va. Tech's QB wasn't such a hot mess, alternating between brilliant and brain dead, we should be losing.  

Time to change it up.  To the liquor cabinet!

3rd Quarter

Exit the cat, enter the Macallan.  

And it pays near immediate dividends - Dexter goes 97 yards and with it, 8 pt. breathing room.

The epiphany comes equally quickly:   I, alone, was responsible for that.  Well, me and my friend Mac. Like Butch & Sundance.  Except with super powers.  Time to reload that magical glass.

Boom! 7 minutes later and another score.  Up by 15 and Third Quarter Ian Book, really the whole team, looks like a completely different entity than Second Quarter Ian Book.

I'm getting a little buzzed but I am loving this!  Plus there's a whole other quarter - hangover be damned, cannot. let. team. down.

4th Quarter

7 more game minutes and another ND score.  Drink up, Shriners! Up 22 and visions of a Marvel franchise loosely based on this night are dancing in my single malt-addled head.  

I'm thinking maybe that bottle of scotch was inadvertently zapped with gamma rays and with radioactivity now coursing through my bloodstream... it would just be like our government to have a secret military / research installation smack in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, wouldn't it?  

Good night, moon. Good night, Sandman
Wow, as it fights off Macallan's relentless assault, the orb-shaped ice ball in my glass remains super round, I never noticed that before... I marvel at it's almost inscrutable  impenetrability. 

Waxing philosophical, I ponder my impending Super Hero-dom.  Sure, I contemplated the eventuality of this occurrence - I was special from an early age, after all - but always thought obtaining super powers would be more... painful.  

But a path to - what exactly - involving sucking single malts and altering football games with my mind... well that's just beyond the realm of any comprehension.  (Note to self: Hollywood would never buy it. Maybe as part of the X-Men franchise might.)

Another 4 1/2 minutes pass and ND scores again with a gratuitous Hokie TD sandwiched in between. 

Game over.

Another fill up and I'm coming to terms with the whole "with great power comes great responsibility" thing.  

I have to use my new powers for Good.  And like all great superheroes, I must keep a low profile.  For The Greater Good, after all.

I am reminded of my heroic SEC counterpart, The Bag Man:  that selfless college program patriot who, by working in the shadows... providing cash, jobs, women and other benefits to recruits / their relatives without nary a thank you (or, it must be pointed out, a paper trail), he allows his $7M/year coach to maintain plausible deniability as he pursues BCS championships, fame and more money than The Bag Man can even conceptualize. 

Bag Man is truly the Unsung Hero of (fill in your cheating southern school here).

But on this night, that's me.  Only without the illegal stuff. 

And with scotch.

Bag Man, meet your ND super-hero match... 

For I am In-The-Bag Man!

Terry:   Notre Dame won!  Woo hoo!

Lisa:      That's great. Incidentally, you reek of scotch.

Terry:   So, um, what would you think of a spirited game of "Naughty Supreme Court Justice Nominee & His Naive High School Classmate..."

Lisa:     Touch me and I'll hurt you.

Terry:    But I watched all three different re-makes of "A Star Is Born" for you this weekend, in chronological order, including that incredibly cheesy Streisand remake - what was with her hair anyway - where you sang the soundtrack the whole way through...

Lisa:     Too bad, slick. You should be used to disappointment by now.   And go brush your teeth, for godssakes.

Before you slip into unconsciousness...

Lovely Rita Meter Maid - ND trending...

As big of a win as that was, still not moving us any higher - let's get to the bye week, shall we?

Buddy's Buddy

If I was completely logic-based (yeah, right), this week should be a 'give the damn award to Dexter and move on' exercise...

Depending on how the rest of this year goes (!), one could comfortably argue his 97-yard TD run was The Play of the Year.
Or how about Julian Love?  A couple weeks after declaring him only the 2nd best CB on the team, he pulls a Lee Corso "not so fast" on me - demonstrating that having 'a nose for the ball' isn't just some sportswriter's fiction.  1 INT, 1 fumble recovery for TD, a new school record for passes defensed... awfully good.

But while each is eminently justifiable from a numbers perspective, Buddy looks to the heart - as in our very own Braveheart - Khalid Kareem.    And not just because he seems to die - and rise - on a weekly basis.

The numbers probably don't show it this game but that guy goes for it on every single play, and did so Saturday especially in the first half.  

(If Dexter's run wasn't the POTY, Khalid's 2nd quarter strip-and-fumble-for-TD would be on the shortlist.  

And that was all effort.  Buddy's kind of guy.

Wager Time!

Who's next?

Enter, and exit, The Sandman.

Halfway home. 

Now it's mid-terms and a game where we're 21+ pt. favorites.

With a 'bye' week afterwards.

The very definition of 'trap.'

But at least it's not a night game.


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.

Schedule - 2018

1      Michigan                          W
8     Ball State                          W        
15    Vanderbilt                       W
22    @Wake Forest               W
29    Stanford                          W

6      @Virginia Tech              W                  
13    Pittsburgh - Alumni Hall / Union Pier reunion                      
27   Navy (San Diego)                              

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

Schadenfreude of The Week

The concept of sports-related schadenfreude is not grounded in merely a mathematical algorithm.  Simply because someone who is higher ranked than ND loses... that does not necessarily make them an immediate candidate for dancing on their grave (well, actually it kinda does, especially if it benefits the Irish, but that is not the point here).

No, schadenfreude is often more Art than Science, visceral in it's small-minded pettiness where one can revel in a team's loss - solely based on perceived grievances that are decades past and that may have little basis in logic and zero basis in maturity. 

God, I love it.  Who said the Germans are no fun.

1.   Oklahoma.  While watching this game and wondering 'does anyone in the B12 play defense', one got a clear whiff of entitlement from the Sooners. One of Dante's 9 Circles of Hell surely has some announcer declaring Lincoln Riley as the undisputed finest offensive mind in all of college football... over and over and over.   

"Take the loss, pussy."

2.   Michigan State   A textbook schadenfreude candidate, one can revel in their losing anytime as long as Dantonio coaches them.  Because I am that petty. And that doesn't get me to the issues with school's weaseling out of any NCAA punishment. 

3.  Florida State.  As much as I'd have rather seen the Canes go down, the only thing better than seeing FSU go down is seeing them blow a 20 pt. lead.  I hope mid-November in South Bend is unseasonably cold.

Terry's Trolls

As weak of a crop as last week's honorees were, another week brings re-birth and a re-filling of the horn o' plenty.

Diversity reigns!

Of sport.

Of entertainment medium.  

Going global!

1. Patrick Reed.    Recognize that Mr. Reed, even before the recent post-Ryder Cup fall out, is a Walking Gift to the Content Gods.  

When pretty much everyone seems to hate you, it isn't hard to generate clicks, either by you or about you.  

And when you shoot 80 in a Ryder Cup match and still bitch about being sat down, that can really generate some tasty commentary.  

But his recognition comes from the kerfuffle surrounding his reporting he was 'blindsided' about not being paired with Jordan Spieth - oh the humanity! - when, this week, the Ryder Cup captain (as well as RC teammate Justin Thomas confirmed) told reporters that Reed knew weeks in advance of France that he'd be paired with Tiger...

Well, that's awkward. 

This would help explain the "1-and-done" at Duke... 
2.  Kyrie Irving.  Categorize this under "I'm not angry,  I'm disappointed", Mr. 'The Earth Is Flat' has recanted!  Apologized, even.  

Say it ain't so - who will I mock now?  

Of course, admitting one's mistake, even one as phenomenally ridiculous as this, shouldn't be fodder for this category, should it?  

Perhaps not but the fact that he's only coming clean because he now realizes that 'a lot of people listen to me...' 

Huh?  You've been in the national spotlight since you were 18 yrs. old.  You've created an Uncle Drew character that they made a movie about - and you're only now figuring out your celebrity has influence? 

3.  David Price.  Okay, I'm only going to say this once, David.  

If you play for either the Yankees or the Red Sox, no one cares what you did in the regular season, only October.

Let's see what you do against the Astros.  

Personally, I'm not optimistic.

4.  Fab Bingbing.  I'm sure you were like me when you heard that China's biggest star hadn't been seen for two months.  Eeek!  

What is this thing 'taxes' of which you speak?
Only to find out that she was not so much Lindbergh baby and more Al Capone - which is to say: 

- not the victim of nefarious villains 

- rather laying low as allegations of tax fraud swirl around her.  Oh, Ms. Bingbing, what were you think-thinking? 

Cocktail of the Month

Have you noticed that ND seems to have, increasingly, Saturday night games?

Grwoing up, that used to be movie night, as in Saturday Night At The Movies, where one could see the classics - Hitchcock, Cukor, Edwards, Nichols.

Now, when you turn on that Saturday night football game, do you think to yourself, "I'm gonna see a classic."  

More likely, if it involved ND, at least in recent years, the line of thinking was probably more like "I'm going to be robbed of 3 1/2 hours of my life that I'm never getting back."

Speaking of robbery - and at least fighting back...

Wait Until Dark And Stormy
Wait Until Dark (1967)
Directed by Terence Young

Adapted from the smash Broadway play,  Wait Until Dark remains creepy (if slightly creaky) fun even today.  Which could also describe much of my blog readership.  
Now where did I put the rum...

 The film stars Audrey Hepburn as a recently blind, recently wed downtown dame, whose husband is just trying to do a stranger a favor when he provides safe harbor for her baby doll - which, by the way, ends up being stuffed with heroin.  (Hey, we've all been there.)

When a gang of goons track the doll down to Hepburn's home, she outsmarts them in a fiery showdown that left audiences in the dark (legend has it theater-owners across America even switched off the overheads to heighten the impact).

Get lit with this take on a quintessential cocktail that's so simple you could make it with your eyes shut.
  • 2 oz. spiced rum or dark rum (whichever you grab in the dark)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon or lime juice
  • Ginger beer (or ginger ale), to fill
Pour the rum and lemon/lime juice over ice in a highball glass and fill to the top with the ginger beer.   Now hit the lights and get down to business.

Final Thought

Happy anniversary #33, Lisa Ann.  (I actually really liked the new version.)

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