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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Week 3: I Blame The French

It was a neon night
A little glitter
Multi-colored slide... 

Multi-colored?!  Multi-red maybe...
The older I become, the less tolerant I find myself getting about jargon. And creepy clowns. (Get a real job.) Both of which seem largely unnecessary and yet find their way into the Advertising / Marketing space more than they ought.  

As an industry we think we're just so bloody clever and, like a virus, that self-love spreads until everyone is using the same references and buzzwords.  (My favorite of course - which has become a blog operating principle - is we no longer plagiarize, we 'curate.') 

Could we all just talk normal for a few minutes?

To Sam's Club!  And step on it!
At any rate, one word that has become particularly overused is 'journey,'  These days, no one's shopping - you're on a consumer journey. 

No, actually, some of us are just going across the street to the store for milk.  And maybe bagels if the deli's got the blueberry variety and they're fresh. We're not piling in the van with Jack Kerouac on an acid-fueled cross country adventure (that said, you do not want to go Costco after a few cocktails.  That will freak you out.) 

While I should responsibly lay all this journey nonsense at the feet of McKinsey & Co. with their high falutin' path-to-purchase model, I choose to blame the French.  (How very presidential of me, oui?)  Just as I did Saturday afternoon when on a 178 yd. par 3 at Sand Creek, I whistled my tee shot into the greenside woods - pin high, it was the right club! - having hit the ball straight after setting up for my patented hook.  Gotta be the jet lag.  Or the residual Bordeaux still in my system. Damn those frogs and their seductive country.

He hit his 4 wood - on a par 3 - can you believe it?
Speaking of golf, I've heard proffered that it , too, can be viewed as a journey.  One of deep introspection and self-discovery.  

In my particular case, that trip resembles Conrad's Heart of Darkness:  full of mystery, occasionally thrilling, at times even hopeful...

...inevitably ending in disappointment, angst and self-loathing.

Just like Saturday night's game. 

Word of the Week
Used in a sentence paragraph:  

As Young Jerrence wound his way around the Sand Creek golf course late Saturday afternoon, his mind drifted south... 

...and to the three classmates who he knew had journeyed to that evening's ND-UGA game: 

* There was the worldly, erudite Mr. Rasmus.

* Also the esteemed Dr. McGuire, raconteur and New England dandy.

* And finally, J. Wills, a better human on virtually every dimension than Jerrence would ever be. 

But this was Athens, Georgia we're talking about, he thought to himself.   

Hadn't they seen Deliverance?!  The Walking Dead?! Or Smokey And The Bandit?!  

Nothing good happens in that state.

If one can't believe what you see in the movies, where are we, exactly, as a society?  Next they'll be saying the media can't be trusted.  So from Jerrence's perspective the inhabitants of that territory were gormless at best, more often criminally deviant.

"You must be JP..."
Jerrence was concerned about them.  The locals would be especially attracted... 'like white on rice'... to the good doctor and his preternaturally purty mouth.  As he felt the rain begin that afternoon, still three holes from the clubhouse, Jerrence feared this was not going to end well for one of them. 

And he had a pretty good idea who...

Quote of The Day

"I've had 18 straight whiskeys. I think that's a record."
Dylan Thomas
shortly before death

Well one ought to applaud the ambition, yes?

My application of that level of commitment, indirectly, probably explains why in the 2nd half Jerrence felt UGA's defense was so good that it seemed like they had twice as many guys on the field as ND.

He might've been seeing double.

Game Observations

Radio operator to the tower
Jerrence coming in for a landing.
Put your head between your knees...

Vortex pulls me in.
The vortex spits me out... 

In analytical hindsight - which is to say upon re-reading my game time scribbles - going from the golf course (and the obligatory post-round G&T in a go cup) directly to the 7pm kick off with scotch rocks might not have been the evening's best decision.  

I broke out a new single malt wing man, Auchentoshan by name, believing that The Macallan's magic has run its course late last December.  

Was it fair to put a rookie up against such high pressure stakes?  Perhaps not.  But it did come highly recommended by an Irish stranger who I met while standing in line to use the bathroom at Mordecai's - a lovely bar across the street from Wrigley Field with an astonishingly impressive whiskey portfolio. 

That said, to wit:

1.  I have to get this off my chest and if I had a therapist I'm sure they'd support this level of emotive outpouring:  Fuck you, SEC, and the horse you rode in on.   You and your hospitably insufferable condescension about all things southern football. Do we make fun of your commitment to marrying family members?  Your regard for Dukes of Hazzard as Masterpiece Theatre? Or your romantic, revisionist revelry toward failed Civil Wars? The fancy framed GED certificates so proudly displayed in your offices...  

Actually I do.   But that's not important here.

Here's a suggestion:  see the world.  And by 'the world' I mean someplace outside your own zip code. 

And that goes for your football teams.  Then maybe the rest of the country* will buy into your self-proclaimed conference dominance - because if what everyone saw Saturday night is any indication, you're not nearly as good as you think you are. 

There, I feel much better.

*excluding ESPN.

2. Their QB was (is) better than our QB.

2a.  So is their RB. 

3.  Sorry but Kirby Smart appears to be the most ironically, counter-intuitively named coach on the planet (though I do give him props for some pretty classy post-game comments). 

4.  Cole Kmet - ND's next consensus All American.   

And if he plays in the remaining games like he did last week, it'll be this year. 

5.  You'll never convince me that ND's poor offense in the 2nd half didn't contribute greatly to the D wearing down.  

A particularly impressive 2nd half stretch:

  • For those counting, that's 16 plays, 61 total yards and 5:00 minutes of rest you gave the defense.  Ouch. 
6. About that last Book heave - granted he was running for his life from the snap - did anyone else yell, not unlike a little school girl, "FINK'S WIDE FUCKING OPEN!"   

Well perhaps not exactly like a school girl. 

7.  Not an original comment - I read it somewhere else - but it seems a number of ND's false starts was on our Center not hearing Book's clap, not the players who actually jumped.  Which begs the question, who'd a thought anyone could hear a clap in that noice?

8.  Gary Danielson really is a bit of a douche, isn't he?  

Question of the Week

This week's mailbag Q&A theft from The Athletic:

Buddy's Buddy

While one is tempted to nominate all those very nice Gawja fans that treated my classmates so very nice this past weekend - newsflash: they always do to the losers - I'm going to limit the nominees to the game participants:

1.  Clark Lea.  Beforehand, everyone said (including this writer) ND was going to get literally run over.  You said, "Not today!"  Great game plan.  If only the offense could've provided you little more R&R.

2.  Drew White.  Winner of the Key & Peele Blandest Name in College Football, keeps showing up each week.  One would've thought that UGA's speed would've revealed White as a major liability.  It didn't.

3Cole Kmet.  Winner! Winner! Chicken dinner!   Even with Book still appearing... uneven... the O looked completely different w Kmet as a viable, stretch-the-field option.  The question is, why did they stop going to him in the 2nd half? 

Cocktail of the Week

Did you know that gin was once thought to be " the peasants' drink"?  

Also, that the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily, Elizabeth, Maria and the tragically club-footed* Anne) while sitting around one Saturday... guzzling dry English gin (!) like it was tap water... created the Whales Tales drinking games**

"Whales Tales, Prince of Wales..."
"Pertnine, pertnine 4!"
"Nay, who?"

All because of gin.  So here's to you, magical elixir of the hoi polloi... as the midwestern season turns autumnal when a young man's thoughts turn to darker spirits, we have precious fews opportunities to celebrate thee. 

* Okay, I made that up.
** I made that up too

Gin Eyre
Jane Eyre (1847)
By Charlotte Brontë

You know what's too tragic to be funny?  Not being able to hear the screams of 90,000 inbred yahoos while you're playing the #3 team in the country, that's what.  A feminist survivor story published under a male pseudonym.  With Charlotte Brontë writing as Currer Bell, Jane Eyre (think: Gloria Steinem in a bonnet) is the introspective of an abused orphan-child turned bored teacher-girl turned lovesick governess-lady.

"I'd rather be happy than dignified..."

Unfortunately, her groom already has a wife - if only the book had been set in Utah instead of the moors of northern England - and Jane sets off on a soul-quest... refusing subsequent marriage proposals and eventually landing the man, the baby and the happy home.

Wait!   This is exactly the same story JP told me of his trip to Athens last weekend. 

That said, Ms. Brontë wasn't so lucky; she died while pregnant, less than 10 years after Jane debuted to acclaim.  

Raise a glass of English gin to a legendary lady (and JP), worthy of a sweeter finish than befell her (them). 

* 8 sprigs fresh mint, washed
* 2 oz. English gin 
* 1 oz. lemon juice
* 1 1/2 teaspoons, granulated sugar
* 2 dashes, orange bitters

Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice, with bonus points if you tear the mint leaves first.  Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.  Now nurse that drink like a good nanny. 

Source:  Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With A Literary Twist
by Tim Federle

Wager 2019 - Taking the Leap

Driver 8, take a break
We can reach our destination
But we're still aways away...

"Still aways away."  Yes, we are.  And probably not getting any closer to the BCS Promised Land this year.  I'll share a strongly felt personal belief:  because of the public perception related to last year's Clemson game disappointment, I don't think, short of another 12-0 season, ND was ever going to get the benefit of the doubt when it came to BCS voting credibility.    

Now, even with an "impressive" loss - and let's recognize how self-serving it is for the SEC to now be saying ND is really good - I just don't see it happening. 

But as my close friend and confidant, AJ Brunett, might say, that's just me. 

But 11-1.  That can still be happening. 

TC’s Keanu Analogy
ND Connection

The Matrix
 Okay, so I didn't entirely get this film's concept - just like I probably won't understand if / how we get to 11+ wins.  

But in our 'ends justify the means' world, who cares?  We won't.  The film's financial backers certainly didn't... 

Brian M
John P
Pat B

Spit the       Elder
Jim S
Daryl M
Dave M
Peter B
Paul B


 If one viewed this film in greater esteem, I wouldn't disagree.  I mean, Keanu + Sandy Bullock + Dennis Hopper + Jeff Daniels?  Hello...

The point is, like this film, 10 wins would be considered very satisfying to if not all, a lot of folks,  including me.

Dave G.
Bryan G
Tim C
Kevin C
Joe S
Bob J
Spit the  Younger
Jim B
Ward H
Jerry W
Tom F
Tim S
Mike G
Brian W
Dennis R
Ryan C


John Wick
 All you need to know is they killed his dog. Even for the professional hit man, that's harsh. 

All bets are off after that. 

Like this movie, a 9 win season will leave you conflicted - it could've been so much better.

But damn there's some fun bits mixed in.

Bill B.
Jim T.
Jerry P
Mike C.
Joel G.
Kevin M
Alex S
Gary H


Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Will you be happy with a 'regression to the mean' type season?

Of course not.

Just like I had such high hopes for this film - utterly ridiculous in every way possible, where one walks out thinking "WTF was that?" -- similar to a 7-8 win season.

John L
Ray V



Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
No one would ever call this great cinema but it was a bit of launching point for Keanu - and that's what one would hope 5 wins would be for ND... something to build on.


4 or less
The Replacements
Not, in fact, a bio-pic of the influential Minneapolis band (which, Keanu as Paul Westerberg would be BRILLIANT) - but rather a really bad football flick, even Keanu couldn't save this disaster.  

Honestly, there's no defense for this movie - just like a 4 win season.

Schedule - 2019

2      @ Louisville                W                    
14     New Mexico                W          
21    @ Georgia                     L                 
28    Virginia       Linipalooza XV!                             

5      Bowling Green                               
12    USC                                         
19     OPEN                                   
26   @ Michigan                                    

2      Va. Tech                                     
9      @ Duke                                      
16     Navy
23    Boston College                                          
30    @ Stanford                          

Schadenfreude of The Week

The way this year is shaping up - hey, September is supposed to be when you bank your easy wins - I may be able to just nominate 6-8 teams and just rotate them...

Florida State, Stanford, Michigan, USC.  Rinse, repeat

This week may be a beta test for three of 'em - all fan favorites of ND Nation... 

We are playing Louisville today, right?
1.  Florida State.   When is a win like a loss?  When your fanbase no longer cares enough to actually show up to watch you play.

2.  Michigan.   Remember when everyone thought the Jim Harbaugh hire represented an existential threat?

3.  Texas A&M.  Jimbo + Elko = Losers.   Hugely expensive losers. But losers nonetheless. 

4.  Stanford.  Will their losing ever get old?  I think not.

5.  Washington State.    To be clear, I take relatively little joy in this loss - I don't even know where Pullman, WA is.  It's just how you lost this week - giving up 50 points in the 2nd half, after scoring 28 pts of your own in the same time, to still lose 67-63 to UCLA.  Wow.   

Terry's Trolls

If last week was a veritable cornucopia of industry variety, this week is more of the Wonder Bread ilk. 

Or so they say.


Paul, take off the mask... 
1. Paul Finebaum.    Finebaum is one of those guys where you find yourself asking 'where the hell did he come from?' and what makes him any kind of authority of anything, much less college football.  Apparently, he has ridden the coattails of SEC dominance to become an ESPN talking head.  

And his head was telling him that ND would get crushed by the likes of Georgia. 


2. Chicago Cubs relievers.   I'm not even that passionate of a fan of the Cubs - but they are the North Side neighborhood team and I do think Anthony Rizzo is pretty dreamy - but man, are their relievers awful.  

Last week was like Groundhog's Day - walk in the apartment, turn on the TV, the game is on, it's the 7th or 8th inning, 1 run game, Cubs holding on.  Until they don't.  And Pedro Strop (will you please wear your cap right?) is walking off the mound, pointing his fingers to the sky as if to be saying, "Thank God, for giving me this job that i have no right possessing.) . Every night. Ugly.

Final Thought

Which one is the birthday boy?
(She said) I ain't got all night.

Happy birthday, brother Kevin!  Okay, not the most appropriate song (but I was going with an Athens, GA theme here.)