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Friday, October 4, 2019

Week 4: Long As I Can See The Light

"I went down Virginia
Seeking shelter from the storm
Caught up in the fable..."

Virginia. Storms.  Fables.  That pretty much sums up the weekend.

Dateline:  Chicago, IL.  It was late in the evening and Jerrence found himself in familiar territory:  at Villa Lini with a Hendricks & Tonic firmly in hand.  

Not a spatula, Bill, a butter knife... 
The Dim One had approached the table in his usual highly excited state, declaring something to the effect that Biv needed a butter knife and he had procured one.

Jerrence thought, "not the weirdest thing I've experienced in this apartment" (not by a long shot) but he did find it notable that none of the others in the group were taken aback by the combination of Biv and a knife in the same sentence.  Perhaps it was because the blade wasn't serrated, the probability of bloodshed being significantly diminished.  That new kitchen was awfully white and a blood stain there could prove problematic. 

However, Biv with a butter knife suggested other troubling possibilities and  Jerrence's imagination was sufficiently fertile that he didn't need that kind of provocation to feed it's darker impulses.  

There are some things, once thought, simply can't be unthought.

"...there's drinking in this apartment!"
Later that night, he found himself amongst another group:  his wife, his oldest daughter, The Hostess and a family bestie whom we'll call Mo (because that's her name).  While always an enjoyable collection of personalities, what made this occurrence notable was this:  

They were making no sense whatsoever.  

Like talking in tongues, some ancient language with which Jerrence was unfamiliar. Lit up like Christmas trees, Jerrence realized he was the lucid one in the group.  

Now that would make the short list of Remarkable Occurrences at 1155 N. Dearborn.

And yet, he found their stream of conscious meanderings strangely seductive,
Judy, do you know you're levitating...
creating an almost trance-like state.  When much to his horror, he realized, "Son of a bitch, I'm in a journey metaphor... 

...only this time it's Homer's Odyssey and I'm talking to The Sirens!

It was at that moment, our hero had the most Homeric of thoughts, "I want to go home."  

Nay, need to go home.

It's 2019 articulation manifesting itself to his cerebral cortex more along the lines of a gutteral fight-or-flight reaction.

"I gotta get the f*** outta here.  Now."

He imagined that the ND football program had those same thoughts, leaving Athens last week and longing for the comfortable environs of Notre Dame Stadium.

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph:  

After experiencing, albeit vicariously, the noisy intimidation of the UGA's home turf last weekend, Jerrence walked into ND Stadium concerned about the arenas' historical mansuetude

Simply put, the polite "welcome to Notre Dame" culture - so often commented on and appreciated by opposing fans - permeated the stadium and didn't do ND's football team any favors.

But this week, entering ND Stadium, Jerrence had brought a special group of operatives, not unlike a Marvel Superheroes team:

* There was his daughter, Ryan, IRON-WOMAN. She'd exhaust you by making you chase her over land, sea and cycle.  

* His son-in-law, Paul, SEAL (not to be confused with the singer). He'd end you in a variety of ways, even with the most benign of instruments. 

"Hand over the butter knife, Biv."

* His close friend, Jerome, aka THE DIM ONE.  He could baffle you into an almost paralytic numbness.

* Jerrence himself, whose alter ego 'Crash' (don't get into a car with him when skiing) would eviscerate you with... words.  Okay, not the best superpower and one that would likely get him killed, violently, in the team's first comic book issue.  But he'd live on inspirationally, and should the franchise go to TV or film, flashbacks.  

Ultimately, the stadium on Saturday proved to be reasonably loud but Jerrence knew they'd need more in two weeks time.   Fortunately, the USC game would be a night game, allowing for more drinking and presumably, volume.  He hoped The Sirens would be attending - they would get that party started..

Quote of The Day

"We'll find out what kind of team we have next week..."

Brian Kelly
post-UGA loss

If Saturday is any indication, it would appear we discovered what this team is:  1.) potentially dominant on defense (when healthy) and 2.) hugely disappointing on offense (if they don't figure it out quickly).

Part II

How can you not like a coach with that type of answer?

Game Observations

The first thing I remember  was asking Rasmus, "why"
For there were many things I didn't know...

You better learn it fast, you better learn it young.
'Cause "someday" never comes...

1 game is an occurence.
2 games are a disturbance.
3 games are a trend.
4 games are... the reality.

1.  So about Ian Book... it's now really hard to foresee that someday, he's going to take that leap to top tier QB status. 

2. Probably a number of reasons for that - arguably he's faced at least two very good defenses (UGA, UVA) - but the fact that opposing D-coordinators have a lot of film on him and his tendencies, doesn't bode well.  And if I were a DC, I send extra rushers every down until he showed he could beat it. 

Luckily we've got a Brian Van Gorder defense this week.  Or a Johnny 'Drama" defense.  I'm not sure which.

Which begs the question:  are we sure that Kevin Dillon wasn't actually our DC for those years?

2. Nonetheless, UVA is pretty good.  (And their QB is really good.)  Sure, they're no Rutgers but we all can't attack scheduling with the rigor and ambition of the Big 10.

3.   We discovered at UGA that one of the differences between ND and the elite has to do with depth.  We've got some.  Not everywhere.  And with Daelin Hayes going down, it would appear we got lucky.  Jamir Jones, your table is ready. 

4.  Happy (belated) birthday, Bonnie Behrens!   

5. Re the D-line, I hardly ever heard anyone mention his name but you know who played really well? 

#41 Kurt Hinish.  

6. And Julian Okwara, not to be unappreciative but it's about freakin' time you started looking like that 1st round draft choice you're supposed to be.   

7.  Keep fightin', Theo.

8.  Chris Finke.  You are supposed to be our Hunter Renfrow, the Caucasian walk-on WR who all-he-does-is-catch-clutch-3rd-down-passes-that-keep-drives-alive.  Um, not so much.

9.  Did anyone else feel like that game was seriously over-officiated?  And over-reviewed?  Good Lord, why bother having refs if every other play goes up to the booth for video confirmation.

10.   Props to Tony Jones.  One suspects that he'll be a kid that'll never be flashy but almost always gets the job done at a time in the game when you really need it:

- could be a run (see last week), 

- could be a reception (see last year's USC game)

-could be a picking up a blitz (see UGA two weeks ago). 

11.   Kyle Hamilton. I think I now get why the whole 5-star recruit designation matters.  

Question of the Week

Keeping with an bookish theme - see what I did there?  - this week's Mailbag Q&A plundered from The Athletic:

Buddy's Buddy

Let's cut to the chase here this week, Clark Lea you da man!

What's one of the constant refrains that this group has yelled at their respective TV's while watching ND football over the past 25 years, beyond "Honey, can you bring me another beer... PLEASE?!

I'd guess it's been this - and I'm simplifying the language for a family audience:  where are the 2nd half adjustments?

I think we saw them last week.  Against a QB who might be, outside of Fromm, the best we face this year.  And frankly, every week the D has been pretty rock solid.  

Fun fact that you may have seen this past week: he's the first ND D-Coordinator since the mid-1970's to go 18 straight games of not allowing more than 30 points in a game.  (One would think that'll go to 19 this weekend.) And putting that statistic in context, know that he also has the longest streak in the nation on the same criteria.

Incidentally, The Athletic has a terrific article on Lea this week, chronicling his interest for learning and teaching, regardless of how indirectly connected to football it might be. (Example:  he spent time w Vanderbilt's national championship baseball coach this summer.)

A lot of folks are wondering if you're looking at ND's next head coach, citing the success of Ohio St. and Oklahoma for promoting from within.  Don't know.  But do know we ought to be appreciating what we've got there right now. 

Cocktail of the Week
I forgot.

I forget a lot these days but I can't believe I forgot that

There I was on Friday night, enjoying a rare night where the entire family was in town, enjoying food, drink and lively banter.  And upon those occasions, what do the Corrigans love to do? 

Revel in the Milano days, that's what.  And while the girls weren't quite old enough at that time to appreciate the health benefits of the digestivo -  that after dinner liqueur that settles the stomach - they are now!

And there was that bottle of limoncello in the freezer, screaming, "put me in, coach!"

And I forgot.  Damn.
Infinite Zest
Infinite Jest (1996)
By David Foster Wallace

A Ten Commandments-size cast populates this rule-breaking modern classic, infamous for sprawling prose, endless footnotes* and a madcap depiction of the future**.

Confounding and delightful in equal measure (at last, someone who gets me), Jest takes place in the 'burbs of Boston***, between a halfway house and a nearby tennis academy.  Wallace had one of his central characters take his own life, and in a tragic true-life twist, the author did the same - leaving behind a magnum opus that will be argued and digested for infinity.

Serve up a tennis-ball-yellow cocktail that mimics the zest and bounce of one fallen literary legend.

* 2 oz. vodka
* 1 oz. limoncello
* 1/2 oz. lemon juice

Minding that tennis elbow, shake the ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  

Head back to the court, sport, tailgate... and never give up on your game.  Or your team.

* Just like this - but they appeared at the end of the book - over 400 of 'em!
** Time is marked with corporate sponsorships, as in Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken. 
*** Wallace briefly studied philosophy at Harvard (who hasn't?) and later taught at Emerson.  

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

Wager 2019 - Taking the Leap

But I won't, won't
be losing my way
Long as I can see the light...

'11 wins' is still alive! 

As long as I can see... the defense plays like they did in the 2nd half... 

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                        W                            

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

Now that we've dispensed with the annual September Parade of Cupcakes, let us hope that October brings us more disappointment ('Go Hawkeyes!') at the expense of those We Love To Hate.

In any event, the month is ending with a bit of a wimper even as it involves a family favorite and a near miss that perhaps gives us all hope that the BCS race won't be quite as pre-ordained as it seems right now. 

1.  USC.   The Lord giveth and The Lord taketh away.  And apparently so does the Washington defense.  Sorry, coach Helton.  For whom does the bell toll, it tolls for thee. 

2.  Clemson.   Okay, you didn't actually lose.  But you sorta did, given the nation's desire to return Alabama to it's birthright as #1.  Newsflash: Ohio State might be the best team in the country right now.) But the important point here is that Clemson has seemingly proven it's impossible to keep the most talented of 18-20 year old focused for 12 straight weeks.

Looks like a #1 draft pick

Playing like a stoner... 

Terry's Trolls

While I think it's pretty much agreed the world has a near inexhaustible supply ot tools, douches and cretins, some weeks it's harder than others to identify them lurking in the shadows.

Thank God for the SEC.  

This week's nominees:

1. Jeremy Banks.    Tennessee LB who got himself arrested, as one does, back in mid-September - pulled over for making an inappropriate U-turn and not having his license on him. 

You said, what to the police?!
So far, not so bad. (Well, there was the fact that the license was suspended and there was a warrant out for his failure to show up for a court date.  But, hey, this is Tennessee and who amongst us hasn't forgotten about the nuance of the legal system?)

But then Jeremy had to go Full Metal Jeremy as he was being driven to the nearby Detention Center, told a passenger doing a ride-along in the squad car, "you don't want to be an intern because where I'm from, we shoot at cops..."

Um, Jeremy. Dude. Know your audience. 

While you're at, officer, you might as well drug test Jeremy.  That boy clearly has no idea where he is.

2.  Percy Harvin.  SEC alum, declares he was high for every NFL game he ever played.  

Okay, not a great surprise.  

He doesn't allude to his time at Florida but this is the Urban Meyer-led, Aaron Hernandez-playin' Gators we're talking about.  

Do we really have to even ask?

Not. A. Chance. 
3. Mack Brown   A minute left in the game, you score the presumably tieing TD against the assumptive Best Team in The Country and you go for the win.

Bravo.  If you play them 9 more times, you're never getting this close again.

And you run an option play?  That's the best you've got?  You do know Vince Young isn't your QB any more, right? 

Final Thought

The preacher asked
And she said 'I do.'
The preacher asked me
And she said 'yes, he does too.'
And the preacher said, 
"I pronounce you 99-to-life.

Son, she's no lady, she's your wife

Happy anniversary #34, Lisa Ann. 

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