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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Week 10: Moonage Daydream

All night, I want the young Americans...

Senior Night - Notre Dame's final home game of the season is always a funny experience.  Not 'ha-ha' funny (because it seems we often lose and where's the humor in that) but 'strange' funny since you'd think the team would be sky high motivated to play their best.  And yet, invariably, they don't. 

I can't imagine why comrade Lenin has invited us to dinner...
A strange, tragic-yet-almost-predictable occurrence I couldn't help likening to that of the Romanov's - made famous back in the Spring of '77 when, on 'Famous Deaths Through Food' Night, Jerry Perez re-created the (allegedly Lenin-directed) assassination of the family:  Czar / Czarina Nicholas & Alexandra and their children: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and the hemophiliac son, Skippy). 

Kabuki theatre on a cafeteria tray. 


I'm not ashamed to admit that Perez's tableau nearly brought me to tears:  the seemingly never-ending hail of bullets (was it brown rice?) against the helpless green bean family... recalling the North Dining Hall almost running out of ketchup due to Jerry's commitment to the bloody verisimilitude of Skippy's particular demise.  

And what did ever happen to Anastasia? Yet another mystery.  Legend suggests her body was never found... that she, in fact, escaped and lived. 

So last week's contest, like the Romanov's end game, was truly never in doubt even if surrounded by suspicion, innuendo and scandal.  How badly was Book's injury?  And was it, in fact, really due to a South Dining Hall food poisoning misadventure - with the cover up reaching all the way to the highest levels of the university administration?  

Okay, I made that up.   Still, what was the deal with ND's November (and in particular, Senior Game) failings?  Inexplicable. 

But after handling Northwestern last week with relative aplomb, and making fast work of the Seminoles this week, the empirical evidence suggests that this just might be a different November than we're used to.  


Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph:  
As Young Jerrence watched the most comfortable game of the season unfold - 17-0 and there was still six minutes left in the 1st quarter -  he began to fret about something else.

What was he going to write about? Everyone knows the best writing comes from negative space:  anger, frustration, misery.  He was ridiculously happy.

And a little buzzed.  His friend Mark kept bringing him beers.  It would be rude to refuse...

Moreover, pretty much everything Jerrence had to say about the team he'd already written through the course of the prior nine weeks.  

Rarely a practitioner of Original Thought, that wasn't going to be an option either. 

Still, none of that hadn't yet prevented him from writing his usual overly prolix blog posts - why start now?

Thank God for pictures, tools and movie-based cocktails, he thought. He would get this through creative crisis.

Quote of the Week 

Tag!  You're it!  Wait, what...

"There is no 'I' in team.  But there is in QUIT."

Young Jerrence
watching FSU in the 2nd half

Something I didn't anticipate writing before the season started:  Florida State is really... not good. And by 'not good,' I mean awful. 

What was less surprising was their clear disinterest in playing in sub-freezing temps, down by 26 pts.  

Weekend Review

Dateline: Notre Dame, IN

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in..."

The Stayer Boys final South Bend rodeo for 2018...
When the going gets tough, the tough get smart - and go indoors. (Or to Naples.)

1st Quarter

"Can we go back to FL now?  I'm freezing my ass off..." 
So FSU steals our "on the first series, give the ball to the other team" play.  Scoundrels.

3rd series, another FSU turnover.  Not surprising - if it works once, why not keep running it?

17-0 with 6 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

This is awesome. 

"Ungie, if you're getting up I could really go for another beer..."

2nd Quarter

Where has this been for the past 3+ years?
Can't get used to Florida State is all white uni's.  And those poor linemen... the look is not exactly slimming.

As for the green jersey haters out there (cough JP cough), lighten up, Francis.  The kids like 'em and they're better than the Shamrock Series atrocities.  

Here's a thought:  why not make them simply the Senior Game jersey every year?  Take the pressure off them requiring an overly special game - while giving the kids a chance to wear them every year.

Also, Mike Tirico was right:  ND's blue numbers were impossible to read if you were watching in the stadium.

3rd Quarter

Ungie dons his victory outfit
As much as I truly detest much of ND's fanbase for their deep commitment to sucking the joy out of any ND (and therefore Kelly) success these days, one teensy weensy frustration I can get behind is Lea's reluctance to rush the QB with more than is front four.

He'll do it - but very judiciously. And he did begin to do so in the 2nd half.

At this point in the game, as they were dropping pass after pass, I finally noticed something:  FSU's WR are freaking HUGE.

4th Quarter

After Wimbush's 2nd INT, The Oracle of St. Louis does two things:

*  predicts every. single. run play. in the final, 97 yd. TD drive.

*  sets the Over / Under on ND passes attempted for the rest of the game at 3.  

And still over-estimates.  

After 365 yds. gained on the ground, apparently the O-line said "challenge accepted!" to Jerrence's pre-game charge to stepping up their game.  Nice.  Now let's see you do it again.

Luke, I'm your father...
But just as the game got a little, well, dull... it also got similarly weird:  with still probably 4 or 5 minutes to go (and the score 42-13), the Terry-Mark-Jim-Tim nexus are watching the stadium empty with an urgency suggesting a bomb threat had been called in.  

Except for one section on the other side of the stadium where we see no one was moving.  Not one.

We wondered:  Did they understand the game was actually ending? (Perhaps they were, dare I say it, foreigners.)  

Were they a church group hanging around for midnight mass?   

Maybe they were a cult executing some kind of Heaven's Gate - Hale Bopp exit strategy, waiting for that comet with their name on it, headed right for section 7... the one that was gonna take them out, just as Prophecy foretold, when the clock hit 00:00.


Whatever.  The Stayer boys had 'victory libation' decisions to make.  

The Hale Boppers were on their own.

One Last Look...

Question of the Week

If you haven't discovered The Athletic and more specifically the Pete Sampson-led, Notre Dame coverage within (link here), I'd encourage you to do so.  For a mere $5 /month, great insight, especially his weekly mailbag.   (Frankly, the content is waaaay better than the drivel you're getting here.)

Lovely Rita Meter Maid - ND trending...

"Don't let me hear you say Life's taking you nowhere..."

10-0, baby.  And taking you to NYC. 

Buddy's Buddy

If one were to take a vote today as to the team's MVP, one would be hard pressed to believe it'd be anyone other than Ian Book.  His insertion into the lineup was nothing short of transformational.

Moreover, if there was a sentimental favorite for Player of The Game last week, it'd be hard to argue the case against Brandon Wimbush.  He was the clear pre-game favorite and, by and large, didn't disappoint.

But Buddy would say, "I defecate on your sentimentality!"  (Under that goofy exterior was a results-oriented, hard ass Alaskan Mal) 

And he'd be right.  The guy that most affected last week's game was the same player that changed the season earlier, Dexter Williams.   Playing against, surely, many of his home boys - guys he either grew up with, played against, or measured himself against for probably a decade, he only had the game of this career.  

And for these untrained eyes, he's the best runner ND's had in probably a decade.  Josh Adams was fast but he didn't have the vision this guy does.  And I don't know what Dex's 40 time is but he ain't getting caught from behind. 

The O-line should be buying him dinner.

Before the final blog of the season is written, I'm going to do a 'My Favorite Guys' team and he's going to be on it. Like his other 2017 RB peers, he could've bailed, transferred somewhere else and lived a significantly easier life.  But he didn't.  And it's going to pay off for him.  It's already been paying off for ND. 

Wager Time!

Never been happier to watch my 9 win wager go down the tubes.  And the fact there's still nine guys at the 11-12 win level feeling really good about themselves - not that there was ever any low self-esteem'ers in that group - really speaks to either a) the redemptive power of self-delusion or b) Larry Corrigan's "even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally" principle. 

Either way, rock on!  I'm thinking one of this year's tie breaker's should come from Gruley's latest novel... did I mention it's available on


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.GrahamBrian W.Kevin C.Peter, CoatMan, 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.

JerrenceBoseLindonianFeifJim 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 -                     W                      
27   Navy (San Diego)           W                           

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

Schadenfreude of The Week

In a week where basically every team that matters, from a BCS Playoff standpoint, held serve... celebrating others' losses really challenges one to bring out the worst best in one.  

Where one must dig deep to embracing others' disappointments in an almost selfless way. 

In  the early 17th century the Greeks came up with the concept of agape - a christian, communal love devoid of emotion or eroticism.   Come, join me, as I as I agape the bejesus out of the following failures:

This week's roll call: 

1.   USC.   We've gotten to the point where USC losing isn't such an extraordinary occurrence, albeit still delicious... they now get style points for how they lose.   

Yes, this is probably going to be the end of coach Helton and the potential for a significant upgrade, earthly or satanic (yes, Urban's been mentioned as he may need to take his snake oil act on the road again), is more likely than not.  

But let's enjoy it while it lasts. 

2.  The State of Florida.  Okay, Florida hung on but Florida State, you're terrible. And the U goes down against... Ga. Tech? 

Collectively the state is 16-14.  Good thing you have that sparkling state educational system to fall back on.

3.  Michigan State.   It takes a lot for me to revel in the team that loses to Ohio State (though I may be forced to in another week).  But I've grown weary of hearing about how tough they are. How good Dantonio is. Sorry - both have been overhyped for years, largely due to refs allowing their DB's to commit criminal assault on virtually every play.  And the Michigan criminal courts allow their players play at all.

Enjoy mediocrity.  And future hours spent in the state legal system. 

Terry's Trolls

Have we yet discussed the genus of the Geographically-Specific Tool?

The Darwin Awards - the recognition of Mankind's simplest creatures who find the most mind-numbingly creative ways to accidentally off themselves - have long celebrated them.

And seeing the FSU ("Free Shoes University") tools run onto the field (before getting run off it), reminded me that, like in athletic recruiting, some parts of the country are more talent rich than others...

Scary monsters, super creeps...

1. Mike Gundy (Midlands).    Who doesn't love an anecdote about an entitled coach who hypocritically bitches about a player opting to transfer when they, in fact, interview for jobs every year* to get their compensation bumped?  I know I do.  

So how about this one from Oklahoma State's Mr. "I'm A Grown Man" douche?  He's got a player declaring "I'm outta here" (despite starting the first four games of the year) and Gundy goes full Clint Eastwood / Gran Torino on the kid.

I'm going to let slide the liberal reference but tarring all of Millennial Nation with that brush is simply beyond the pale.  Maybe the reprobates you recruit are like that, Mike, but the sons and daughters of Stayer Nation would beg to differ.  Moron.

*Arkansas and Tennessee immediately spring to mind. 

2. Zach Smith  (Columbus, the Hell-mouth).  After one had gone through as public, high profile (and justified) of a humiliation as Mr. Smith did, one would think you'd skulk away to a dark corner and lay looooowwwww for a very long while.

Au contraire!  That would be flawed, old school logic.  "Fortune favors the bold!"  

So it probably wasn't entirely a shocker when the disgraced former tOSU assistant coach came out of nowhere last week, for no immediately apparent end game, to accuse current Texas head coach (and former tOSU coaching colleague) Tom Herman of cheating on his wife.

Okay.  Thank you for sharing.

Psychotic episodes are unsettling to all the parties involved. But I think something positive,  cathartic even, can result from this:  I'd imagine this will help any number of college coaching staffs, at every level, reduce it's search pool by one name. 

3.  Marcus Peters (West Coast)."  By all accounts, New Orleans coach Sean Payton has been a pretty solid citizen, neither a prick or an idiot. Engaging, honest.  Clever, even.  At the same time, Mr. Peters, ever since his days at U. of Washington, has pretty much been a knucklehead with little or no impulse control (Marcus, I feel your pain).  

Hey Marcus, talk less, defend more.
So last week, when Payton offered, pre-game, that he was optimistic about the match up of Michael Thomas (arguably the hottest WR in the NFL right now) against Peters, it seemed a fairly benign statement.  

Of course, not to the aggrieved Marcus who flipped out in classic CB diva fashion, accusing the coach of "talking sh**."  

Excuse me?  Thomas ultimately torched Peters for 12 catches / 211 yards in a Saints win. 

Cocktail of the Month

If one was going to describe the perfect metaphor for Florida State's rise to greatness over the past 30 years - and recent crash to earth, wouldn't it have some of these same elements?

* Obscene amounts of money poured into an enterprise.
* A creepy old man behind it all.
* The promise of Next Gen technology.
* The employ of a number of morally bereft idiots.
* The freakish 'stars' of the show end up running amok.

Jurassic Port
Jurassic Park (1993)
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Wait, an overrun theme park that isn't Disney World on Spring break? Jurassic Park was the brainchild of best selling novelist Michael Crichton as seen through the wide-lens of Steven Spielberg, whose track record for telling humane stories starring inhuman life forms remains unparalleled.   

Here, the director revolutionized just how jaw-droppingly realistic a 40' computerized dinosaur could look (and still looks, decades later) - sending theatre-goers under their seats and back for multiple sequels.

Get ready for lines around the block when you make our cracked-egg cocktail.  It's a scream.  
  • 1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. port wine
  • 1/2 egg white
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and dry shake for :10.   Add a handful of ice and shake well.  Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, find a secure location, and never forget:  if dinosaurs can open doors, they can certainly steal a drink.

Final Thought

Dear Seniors, 

Senior Day is one of my greatest memories from my five years at Notre Dame. It's an extremely special day filled with a great deal of emotion, pride and love for Notre Dame. It's a day of celebration for all that the players and team have accomplished over their respective careers at the most prestigious University and football program in the world. 

It's the last time that each player will be able to play in Notre Dame Stadium, and each senior is honored, one by one, in front of all the Notre Dame family alongside the people who truly helped us get to that point in our lives and careers. The parents and loved ones of the players are able to celebrate at midfield and soak in running out of the tunnel for the last time. 

It's the culmination of a player's career at Notre Dame and the moment of hearing Mike Collins introduce you for the last time out of the tunnel is a memory that all the players will carry with us for the rest of our lives. 

I remember being asked during a press conference early in the week leading up to Senior Day about what it would feel like to play at Notre Dame for the last time. It was funny because I made an effort that week to try my best not to think about the emotions that would take place before the game. I had a job to do against Navy and wanted to make sure nothing stopped us from winning against the Naval Academy. Unfortunately, that was not possible for me. 

Notre Dame, and playing for Notre Dame, meant the world to me, and knowing that my last game at home was right around the corner was a tough pill to swallow. All week I tried to think back about all the memories and friends that I made over my time at Notre Dame. It just made the game, and moment of Senior Day, that much more special. 

Notre Dame is what it is because of the people who make up the Fighting Irish family. I was extremely fortunate to have met and befriended some of the best members during my five years, and I spent the week thinking about how to make those people proud one last time. 

Game day finally came after a long week of preparation. I tried to stick with my normal warm-up routine, but I was definitely more anxious and nervous to get the game going. I put on my uniform and got ready to play. I remember Coach Kelly calling up the seniors in order, and my name was called to be announced last. So, one by one, each of the seniors lined up in the tunnel and slapped the Play Like A Champion Today sign for the last time as a Notre Dame football player, and proceeded down to the main tunnel. 

We started hearing our names called and I was composed until towards the end. I started to cry when I heard the names of my two best friends and teammates called and saw them run to their families. And then it came time for me. 

Mike Collins called out for the last time, "...and the kid from Philly!" I hugged Coach Kelly, looked up to see my mom crying at midfield and lost control of my emotion. All the memories, pride and love I have for Notre Dame hit me at once and I ran to hug my mom so proud of what I had accomplished here. I'll remember that until the end of my days. 

As this Senior Day approaches, I urge every one of the Notre Dame players, past or present, to reflect with great pride on playing for the Blue and Gold. It's the greatest honor any football player will experience. It's the most incredible school, with the most incredible people, and to have had the opportunity to suit up and play for Our Lady is something that should be cherished and respected. 

I love Notre Dame with all my heart and so grateful that I had the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing here. So, seniors: enjoy the moment, take it all in, because it's a once in a lifetime type of opportunity to play at Notre Dame. Celebrate it with your family, teammates, coaches and friends and thank the good Lord above that you are playing for the Irish. Go out there, play your hearts out and get one last win for Our Lady of Notre Dame. 

Always and forever, love thee! 🍀 

Mike McGlinchey '17

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