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Friday, September 9, 2022

Ohio State: Incense And Peppermints

A new day is coming
People are changin'... 

Dateline:  Flint Lake IN

45 years ago this autumn... 
In these uncertain world times, with calamities of both the man-made and force majeur variety seemingly around every corner.

And Truth Be Told, 2022 has been, on occasion, a little more interesting than what the Corrigans envisioned when the year began, I have found myself - in between jaunts to the sauna, pontoon rides, catching up on Peaky Blinders - returning to The Good Book.  

And I'm not talking about the Bible.  

And certainly not the periodical that anyone who visited 41 Mapleton St., Brighton MA 02135 in the early '80s (and sat upon The Wonder Porch) might've been exposed to.

No, this is a book grounded in a century's old wisdom, updated in the past decade for unique Class of '79 relevance.  

I'm speaking, of course, about Liniderata.

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste
And remember what peace there may be
In silence.

See if any of these insights speak to you.   This may be a football season where these words just might provide necessary succor. 

Listen to others
Even the dull and ignorant
They, too, have their story.

The world is full of trickery
But let this not blind you 
To what virtues there is.
Everywhere life is full of heroism.

Take kindly the counsel of years
Gracefully surrender 
The things of youth.

And whether or not
 It is clear to you, 

No doubt the universe 
Is unfolding 
As it should.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams
It is still a beautiful world.

Be careful.  Strive to be happy. 

Quote of the Week

"Did he say something that wasn't true?"
Steve Spurrier

Responding to Nick Saban's quote that Jimbo Fisher bought his '22 recruiting class

Over the years, I've come to appreciate coach 'Ball Game' - a man who seems to live at the intersection of "What's my tee time?" and "I don't give two f*cks about pretty much anything" -  a locale to which I aspire to migrate some day. 

And yes, Texas A&M has reserved a spot in Schadenfreude World every chance possible. 

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph
:  As Young Jerrence reflected on the game, the premium whiskey still coursing through his veins, he ruminated over all the football aphorisms he'd ever heard in his life.  Indeed there were far too many to even count:

1) "Defense wins championships." Sure, whatever. 

2)  "Football is a game of attrition."  Kinda self-evident but okay. 

3)  "It's about the Jimmy's and Joe's, not the X's and O's."  Huh? 

4)  "Never order a chimichanga from those roaming stadium vendors."  Bingo!

Each one a little more cliché than the next. But after watching the Irish O and D-lines basically get their asses kicked, almost literally, the one that genuinely resonated with Jerrence... that was so emphatically reinforced... was this:  the game is won in the trenches.  No shit. 

Game One Thoughts

Hungry for those good things, baby
Hungry through and through... 

It was probably naive of me to think the expensive Japanese whiskey I started drinking, as ND went on its only sustained TD drive of the evening, was some kind of magic elixir.  

Duh.  Everyone knows that's the role of The Macallan.

But it was testimony to my low expectations for the evening that I wasn't wishing to burden the single malt stash with that level of challenge.  Turns out, I probably should've.

A few more revelations from Saturday night:

1) The schedule.  Classmate / 801 Cypress Room impresario / part-time coat-wearing super hero and friend of the blog, R. Raymond, Esq. recently opined that perhaps it might've been savvier, Jack, to start off with Marshall and THEN play Ohio State.  

In hindsight, tough to argue that line of thinking.  And yet, one couldn't help but notice that Ohio St. didn't exactly come out of the gate hitting on all cylinders.  Mr. Prohibitive Heisman Favorite, CJ Stroud, was particularly less than pinpoint accurate.

Maybe we did catch them at the right time. 

On the flip side, this technique sure explains tOSU's success..
2) The O-line.   Ugh.   It's not so much that Ohio State's D-line was better than ND's O-linemen (they were) but rather, that our five guys looked like they had never even met each other, much less played together.  

The lack of communication.  

The dysfunction. 

Oh the humanity!

(And Zeke Correll appears to be just... not good.)

3)  Cam Hart
  He's our best DB? 

4)  Tyler Buchner.  I think he's going to be really good, assuming the O-line gets sorted.  I also think a) we should get used to defenses daring ND to pass and b) the likelihood of him getting hurt / missing some playing time is quite high. 

5)  Tommy Rees.  I'm a fan.  Really glad he stayed (and after LSU's game, I'm betting he is too). But we've been hearing for a long time how well regarded in coaching circles he is.  Time to justify it.  

5) Coaching Staff.  By and large, a pretty solid performance for the coaching staff, O-line notwithstanding.  Very few breakdowns, the young players not at all looking overwhelmed, eliminating big risks (read mistakes) in an intimidating environment - with field position surely eliminating a lot of things they made have wanted to try to do.  

And outside of Freeman clearly not being a fan of Tommy throwing the ball with :30 left in the 1st half, looking pretty cohesive.

So happy together... 

6)  Special Teams.   Well at least those guys acquitted themselves well. 

7)  Tackling.   At the risk of sounding too whiny but, after watching Ohio State's #3 - who, to be fair, was a beast - running over and through ND's defense for much of the game...  when is the last time ND had a guy, ostensibly a LB'er, who when they hit someone, that opponent went DOWN.  


Jaylen Smith?

One mitigating fact must be cited:  2nd half time of possession - OSU 19 minutes, ND 11.  Our offense did the defense no favors.

8) Consolation Prize?  Taken from a private message ND board:  "...heard that Ohio St. was extremely impressed with how well ND played, and how physically / mentally tough they were.  

They also expect ND to be very good in the very near future - and that has them concerned. 

They were surprised they couldn't rattle Buchner as much as they thought they could. Felt they could force him into more mistakes - but he was very well prepared, mentally, just didn't execute as well as needed." 

So, as Carl Spackler would say, "we've got that going for us."

Buddy's Buddy

For those of you who, like me, might read too damn much about this team - even in the off-season - you probably heard a couple consistent story lines:

* the Front 7 is rife with absolute beasts
* the Secondary was pretty iffy, especially after getting repeatedly torched against Oklahoma St.

But.   There were these two freshman CB's that were looking pretty intriguing... we might have something here... 

One was splashy, making play after play in the Spring and Summer practices - and loved to tell you about it afterwards.

The other one, steady and quiet.  

Fast forward to Saturday - I think someone of the 801'ers used to call it 'Reverse World' - where that front seven decidedly did NOT show up while the secondary acquitted itself quite respectably against an Ohio St. group widely considered the best collection of WR's in the country.

And who led them?  Not Cam Hart.  Not the trash talking freshman, Jaden Mickey. Nope, it was Mr. Quiet, with a name like an actuary, Benjamin Morrison.   

Assuming that performance wasn't a fluke - and to play that well, in your first college game, in that venue - wow.  What a boost that'll be for the D. 

Fingers crossed. 

Runner upEd OrgeronI have come to love this guy. 

RIP, Queen Elizabeth II

Consider me a fan.  The most normal one in her family - admittedly a low bar - our years in the UK saw her as a big advocate for the Riding for the Disabled charity that Defarge volunteered at in Surrey... 

Cherish is the word...

RE-PETE (A shameless, illegal lift of Pete Sampson's weekly mail-bag)

Mailbag is back!  And so is Jerrence's pilfering! 

Mail theft is a federal crime, yes?  But if I say I'm sorry and won't do it again...  granted, a promise I have no intention of keeping - content is king, baby!

Consider this section an homage to Mr. Sampson and my small effort to increase his circulation via aggressive sampling tactics to a lucrative, albeit tiny, audience.

At any rate, I'm sure we all have questions coming out of the game - the woulda, coulda, shoulda's.  Let us dwell a little bit on the area that most concerns me at present - that Offensive Line.  

How much would a healthy Patterson help the line overall? I would like to say a ton, but I’m not sure the rest of the line played anywhere close to well for most of the night. — D.E.

Patterson being at full strength would have helped the line a lot, which isn’t the same thing as saying Patterson at full strength would have made the line automatically good. One great left guard isn’t going to fix everything that was off on the line’s interior, nor would he solve Jim Knowles’ defense for a first-time starting quarterback. Ohio State’s defense played well. Give them at least some credit for Notre Dame struggling. Still, does Patterson elevate the play of both the left guard and the center? That feels like a reasonable take.

Coming out of the game my biggest misread on Notre Dame was the quality of the offensive line. I thought this group had a chance to be very good out of the gate. Then it turned in a brutal performance that hamstrung the entire operation. I remember Harry Hiestand hitting the ground running during his first stint at Notre Dame because that team made the BCS National Championship Game. But that’s not exactly how it happened.

Here are Notre Dame’s rushing totals against the first three Power 5 opponents faced in Hiestand’s first season. The Irish opened by running all over Navy, then faced Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan in consecutive weeks. Removing sacks from the equation, the Irish had 31 carries, 92 yards (2.96 yards per carry) versus Purdue, 35 carries, 124 yards (3.54 yards per carry) at Michigan State and 31 carries, 94 yards (3.03 yards per carry) versus Michigan. Compare that to the 27 carries, 95 yards (3.52 yards per carry) at Ohio State. This isn’t to say the offensive line played well. I didn’t. But Hiestand didn’t whip that 2012 group into shape with one spring ball and one training camp either, so perhaps we all got over our skis thinking this line would just pick up where Hiestand left off in 2017.

Source:  The Athletic
September 7, 20212

Cocktail of the Week

Having recently visited Jerome Perez, Esq., I've come to appreciate the opportunity for expressing one's creativity beyond mere blogging, that impending retirement figures to represent.

Which is to say, mixology.

Dovetailing nicely with my dream of operating Flint Lake's first floating adult beverage emporium from our pontoon, probably illegal, like something one might see in an episode of Ozark (except without the threat of Mexican cartel interference nor the psychotic hillbilly heroin dealer competition).   I think. 

And I ask you, what is more 'Ozark' than a Mark Twain-inspired cocktail?

Huckleberry Sin
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
by Mark Twain

Conceived to exploit the success of the author's earlier, blatantly comic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn emerged as a stand-alone classic.  In folksy first person, Huck recounts riverboat escapes, narrow escapes, and occasional cross-dressing - set against a Mississippi River raging with racial strife.

Mark Twain, a pen name riff on safety measurements used for steamboats, intended the book as an excoriating critique of slavery.  But to this day, it remains banned in some libraries  across our lands, with parents and teachers crying - irony alert! - racism. 

Drink the tension away with a bittersweet tribute to Huck's pap, a daylight drunk who could've used a good education.

5 fresh blueberries, washed

2 oz.  berry-flavored vodka (e.g., 44º North Mountain Huckleberry Flavored Vodka)                    
1 (12 oz.) can, club soda 

Muddle the blueberries in the bottom of a mason jar.  

Add ice and pour in the vodka, filling to the top with the club soda.  

Enjoy the sunset - but stay alert for riverbank (or lake) beverage bandits.

Source:  Tequila Mockingbird
Cocktails with a Literary  Twist
by Tim Federle

2022 Schedule


 3                     @Ohio St.                 L
10                    Marshall 
15                    LINIPALOOZA XII
17                    Cal (Berkely)        
24                   @UNC

 1                     OPEN
 8                    @BYU (Las Vegas) 
15                    Stanford            
22                   UNLV            
29                   @Syracuse

5                     Clemson  
12                  @Navy                     
19                  Boston College  
26                  @USC 

Not the most inspiring of home schedules, to be sure.  
Merely meaning that the Stayer tailgaters will have to be bringing their 'A' game each and every week.

Tomorrow's the day. 



12-0'ers, what beautiful dreamers you all are.  The world needs more people like you.  

Not to bet or invest their money for them, mind you.  That, clearly, would be madness.

Nonetheless we all admire your childlike embrace of endless possibilities and quixotic journeys.  

Whatever.  On to the next tier. 

Team 11, assume you all planned for this occurrence - it's show time. 





"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few..."


Brian M., John P., JP, Blayney


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts..."

Lini, Theo, Sloane, Dave M., Peter


"Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions..."

Bob J.Gutsch
Jerry P., Bill, Bob S.,
Mike C.Pat B.,
Jim B., Tim S.,  Feif,
Mike G., Phillip S., George, Mike B.,  Shea


"Never, never give in..."

Jerrence, Raz, Mark,

Bryan, Matt, Daryl, Graham, John,  Jim T., Alex, Randy, Pat C., Gerard W.


"History is written by the victors..."




Albert, Garrett R., Brian W.


"When you get a thing the way you want it, leave it alone..."



"The best argument against democracy is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter..."



"If I were married to you, Mr. Churchill, I'd put poison in your coffee.

If we were married, I'd drink it..."




"He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire..."



"If you're going through hell, keep going..."


Schadenfreude of the Week

It's been well documented that for the experienced schadenfreudist, September is only negligibly more bountiful than the summer offseason.

Sure, there's a couple teams that have the stones to play a ranked opponent.  But mostly, you have the USC's (Rice?  Really?) and the Michigan's (you couldn't even play Colorado, it had to be Colorado St.), who identify D-1 patsies.  And who's to argue with their strategy.  It seems to work:  the former is now #10 in the AP poll with the latter streaking up to #4 (unbelievable.)

Of course, considering ND's opponent this week, one should be careful about making this criticism too strongly.  Still...

Oh and Michigan isn't likely to sniff a ranked opponent until October 29th.  


1)  LSU.  I don't feel good about myself - how I now find myself reveling with the unclean masses in the national past time of dumping on Brian Kelly.  And I feel worse for the Behrens / Brady pals who are lifelong Tiger fans that don't deserve what they're about to undergo (that said, better you than us) in embracing an allegiance, however forced, to BK.

But gosh darn it - style points for how you lost, LSU!  And the fact that the one coach that followed Kelly out of South Bend was the special teams guy.  

Hang that banner, SC.

2)  Oregon.  Brian Kelly probably watched this game and thought "and they give me shit about my teams not showing up?!"  

Hold that thought, coach.

But yowzer, not a good look for the PAC12.  

3)  Utah.  This game was a toughie - does one root for the state known as God's Waiting Room or the one that's home to Heavenly Father's scariest believers.  

Well, I watched "Under The Banner of Heaven" and was pretty freaked out by the Mormons... 

Terry's Tools

One gets the sense that we could just lock in a few places here, like the reserved parking spots in Stayer, for very special tools.

But I'm a card carrying defender of democracy so we'll let this section play out.  And as my good friend Alvin told me recently, competition is good.

Yes, it is.  

But one guy who is not going to be nominated this week is Ryan Day.  Whether he was genuinely worried at the end of the game or just ignoring his inner Jimmy Johnson, I was mighty glad he didn't try for an additional score - 'cause I think he could've got it (our D looked that gassed) and it would've changed the narrative, unfairly so. 

1) Brian Kelly. Okay, not for the reason you might think.  Perhaps many of you missed this a few weeks back when coach Kelly was asked about his team's prospects, he began to gush about his freshman TE, Mason Taylor, calling him the best freshman TE he's had in his career and on par 'with the kid from Georgia..."

WTF, Brian.   Remember Michael Mayer?  A kid who balled out for you how many times?  Slam dunk 1st round draft choice. We know you're not that stupid - you remind us often - so you're either just that petty or just that cravenly political.   Or both. 

2) LIV Golfers.   I have no problem whatsoever with the players that have bailed on the PGA tour for the prospect of making significantly more money with an easier (and more balanced) lifestyle.  

Plus we get to wear shorts!

What I do take issue with is their "we want our cake and eat it too" attitude.  

Sorry but you quit the league -  you don't now get to still play in our most prestigious tournaments or considered world ranked when you play a 54 hole game.  

Actions need to have consequences. 

3)  Margaret Court. You may recall Mrs. Court - Aussie who was the dominant women's professional tennis player from 1960-77 and, it must be stated, still possessor of the most Major championships in history by anyone, man or woman.  

No one thinks much about her any more - it was 50 years ago after all.  But with the latest publicity rush over Serena Williams and her final, this-time-I-mean-it go at the US Open, Mrs. Court decided to let the world know that her feelings were hurt... that Serena never 'admired' her.

Seriously?  You're 80 years old.  Act your age. 

Geez. I thought I was petty. (I am.) You'd think she'd be happy that Serena left her the record.

4)  Doug Gottlieb.   File this under the same category as 'water is wet'... but Mr. "su credit card, mi credit card" is still a halfwit.  And an irresponsible one at that.   Some of you may recall that earlier this past Winter / Spring (I can't recall), long-time Atlanta Brave star, fan favorite (and, at the time, free agent) Freddie Freeman signed with the Dodgers --  with there being much controversy over whether the Braves ever actually tried to re-sign him.

Cub reporter Gottlieb, aspiring to break a big story (and embracing the 21st century journalist credo that it's better to be first than accurate), came out with a claim that Freeman's agent never showed his client the Brave's offer.  Which, not surprisingly, said Agent took umbrage with since, um, it wasn't true

Hijinx, and lawsuits, ensued.   Resulting in this week's announcement:

Well done, Doug.

Final Thought - I

My Year of Disillusionment continues.

Final Thought-II

Give me pennies 
I'll take anything... 

Factually, coach Freeman is 0-2.  Before we get too far ahead of ourselves - and none of us are under the illusion that all will be fixed in a single week - let's just get a win on the board, shall we?

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