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Friday, October 28, 2022

Week 7: "Moving On, Nothing To See Here..."

I stay down with my demons...

Dateline: Notre Dame IN

It was halfway through the 2nd quarter, ND winning 23-7 and one would have thought that Jerrence would've been in a semi-orgiastic state.  The team had scored more points in 15 minutes than they scored in the entire Stanford game. 

And all he could think was, "I can no longer watch this offense without alcohol."

It wasn't the toughest sell in the world to persuade his daughter and two older brothers to watch the 2nd half from the civilized confines of Rohr's, the Morris Inn bar.

Did that improve Jerrence's state of mind?  At least as far as his opinion of the team and its prospects, only directionally.  The malaise of that afternoon wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

Quote of the Week

"I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy."

Leo Buscaglia 

If you hadn't died 25 years ago, I'd have sworn you watched Saturday's game too.

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph
:  Jerrence looked at the scoreboard - there was still more than 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

How could this game be taken this long?  The team was winning, scoring points - Jerrence thought there should be more of a feeling akin to excitement.   Minimally, why wasn't he settling in and at least savoring what seemed to be a comfortable afternoon, watching an easy, low stress ND victory?  

Instead he felt a mixture of frustration and boredom. 

Perhaps it was because of the hebetude in the team's offensive showing.  Everyone on the planet now knows ND will run on 1st down.  And not just any run call, the same run call.  The only unpredictability with 2nd and 3rd downs was which one would involve a pass to Michael Mayer.  

And if it wasn't for the TE's catching ability (and catch radius), the offense would almost be unwatchable.   

Jerrence found himself looking ahead to November 9th.  Season 5 of The Crown.   At least that family's dysfunction was interesting.

Game 7:  Thoughts

Is there a powder to erase this?
Is it dissolvable and tasteless?
You can't imagine how I hate this...

Let's start by saying Rohr's at The Morris Inn serves an excellent cheese 'n stout fondue starter as well as  an ambitious Puglian burrata.  Both pair well with almost any adult beverage, as the four Corrigans confirmed via statistically significant clinical testing. 

To that point, Jerrence's brother Kevin (he, of the half dozen or so Napa/Sonoma winery memberships, knows a little something about vino) vouches for the Class of '75 Paul Hobbs Pinot. 

Note to self for future reference, all.

So... who wants to talk about the game?  NOT ME!  

Okay, I do have two QB thoughts that need to be stated, if only for primal therapy purposes:

* Freeman had the perfect opportunity to get Angeli legitimate playing time and he didn't.  The game was not remotely in jeopardy and Pyne had his bell rung. Very disappointing - and one can't help but think that's not going to come back and haunt us - it's not like Pyne isn't going to get hit.

* Another opinion:  The 20 (or so) consecutive runs at the end of the game appeared to be far less a sign of "our offense will impose its will upon you" dominance and more an unspoken self-recognition we have absolutely zero confidence in our passing game.   

Both disappointing and depressing.

Moving on... what does interest me is this: Recognizing that 2022 is more transitional than we anticipated.  But transition implies a certain movement, hopefully positive in nature, does it not?  

If one accepts that premise,  Jerrence sees 3 4 priorities going forward:

1)  Preserve your (borderline) top 5 recruiting class - so no humiliating losses.

2)  Identify who you're going to build next year around - and that includes the coaching staff.

3)  Start doing your research NOW on QB transfer portal candidates.

* Assumption #1:  Who knows what the condition of Buchner will be in.
* Assumption #2: Cincotta was right, Savvy Jack - and how many times has one ever said that? ("That would be the 'empty set', Alex.") - Pyne is not the answer now and he won't be next year either

4) November Stayer tailgates.  Finishing the year strong.

The few, the proud.

Buddy's Buddy

With a game won as seemingly handily as last week's, one would think there'd be any number of viable candidates to be a Buddy - and surely there is:

The Usual Suspect(s):  Michael Mayer, who never ceases to amaze. (Just because he's a god, Drew, doesn't mean you have to worship only him, if you catch my drift.)

The Unsung Hero(es):  Blake Gruppe, who seems to bail us out of every red zone disappointment. (How different would Saturday have been if he'd missed a few of those early kicks?)

The 'Didn't See That Coming' Guys:  Tariq Bracy, who's arguably been the team's best DB so far this year - something one couldn't even conceptualize after last year's Fiesta Bowl.

The 'Where Have You Been' Guys:  Which brings us to this week's winner, Isaiah Foskey.   Anointed as a preseason surefire 1st round draft pick, he's been largely invisible for much of the season.  Not Saturday.  One could make a case that his blocked punts were our best offensive plays - certainly our most consistent.  

And on top of that, 3 sacks.  Nice.

Man oh man, do we need that to continue for the rest of the season! 

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

Keeping with the theme of "this year is basically over, isn't it?"...  

How about a question to Mr. Sampson that's equally more forward looking?

Rank these ways in which Notre Dame could improve its offense next season from most crucial to potential mistake:

• CJ Carr re-classifies to 2023
• Notre Dame upgrades at offensive coordinator
• Notre Dame brings in a 3 1/2-star 2023 QB recruit
• Notre Dame brings in a transfer to compete for the QB position
• Notre Dame brings in a transfer at wide receiver

Joe F.

When you included “next season” in the question, this answered itself.

1. Notre Dame brings in a transfer quarterback
2. Notre Dame brings in a transfer at wide receiver
3. Notre Dame upgrades at offensive coordinator
4. Notre Dame brings in a 3 1/2-star 2023 QB recruit
5. CJ Carr reclassifies to 2023

Whatever Drew Pyne does the rest of this season or however well Tyler Buchner heals from his shoulder separation, Notre Dame choosing not to take a transfer quarterback would feel like roster mismanagement. The job needs to be open after this season. Let Buchner, Pyne and a transfer quarterback fight for it. If Buchner or Pyne beats out somebody like Brennan Armstrong (Virginia), Hudson Card (Texas) or Sam Hartman (Wake Forest), so be it. That’s good for Notre Dame. And if the inverse is true, if somebody like Armstrong, Card or Hartman is better than what Notre Dame has in place, that’s fine too. Rolling the dice with Buchner and Pyne without additional competition would be a mistake. And the upside of hitting on a transfer quarterback is massive. What would Notre Dame have been without Jack Coan a year ago? Probably something similar to what we’re seeing right now.

Taking an older receiver wouldn’t impact Notre Dame as much as a quarterback, but how differently does this offense look with Ricky Pearsall (who transferred from Arizona State to Florida) or Charlie Jones (Iowa to Purdue)? Pearsall’s stats have been modest (16 catches, 303 yards, two touchdowns), but his yardage and touchdowns could lead Notre Dame’s wideouts. Jones has been a revelation for Purdue with 72 catches, 840 yards and nine touchdowns. Those stats rank first, second and third nationally. Go find another Ben Skowronek.

Joe, the way you phrased the offensive coordinator section makes me think you’ve already make up your mind on Tommy Rees. Changing the offense comes with some risks that adding a quarterback or receiver does not. Does the recruiting class hold together? How would this offense look with better quarterback ability? Rees is clearly under fire. But as Rees would say himself (usually he’s deflecting credit when he does), it’s players, not plays. Notre Dame can improve both. But if Rees was calling plays for Hartman, methinks fan opinions would change.

Fourth is adding a high school senior quarterback in the 2023 class. There aren’t many options. The quarterback the Irish would add probably feels more like an impulse buy than a researched decision. It too late and there’s too much uncertainty to flip a bigger name like Kansas State commit Avery Johnson. If Dante Moore, Christopher Vizzina or Jackson Arnold want to come, take them. Notre Dame has already done its due diligence. It already knows they fit. But if you’re going to add at quarterback, add a transfer, not a high school prospect you’re just getting to know.

Dead last on this list is the CJ Carr reclassification. Asking a high school prospect to skip his senior year is a huge leap anywhere. Doing it at Notre Dame makes it even more complicated. If Carr was all-in on reclassification from the start, maybe the calculus changes. He hasn’t been. Maybe a redshirt season at Notre Dame helps Carr compete for the job in 2024. Maybe. But if the question is about what helps Notre Dame next year, adding Carr doesn’t. And keeping him in the recruiting class might help the offensive skill recruiting stay hot.

Source:  The Athletic
October 26, 20212

Cocktail of the Week

Keeping with the theme, equal parts depressing and unfathomable, a book (and a solid Daniel Day Lewis movie) that also delivers a libation that'll allow you to lose feeling in your extremities and, possibly, fantasize a more interesting ND offense. 

The Unbearable Lightness of Peeing
The Unbearable Lightness of Being  (1984)
By Milan Kundera

Czech writer Kundera sets up this Communist-era classic with an open question about the paralyzing ramifications of our seemingly inconsequential everyday decisions. (Something tells us he didn't get invited to a lot of cocktail parties.) 

Kundera goes on to introduce a horndog surgeon with an impressive mistress-to-marriage ratio, but don't get too turned on!  In the end, everybody ends up either dead or dejected, and you might be left questioning what your life would've looked like had you never picked up this meditation on politics and sex.  

Or attended a 2022 ND home football game.

Modify your mood with Prague's favorite spirit, at least for tourists.  This quenching gulp goes down so much lighter than its namesake book that you'll be running to the bathroom after a few serious slurps. 

* 3 1/2 oz. pineapple juice

* 1 oz. absinthe

* Lemon wheel, for garnish

Combine the ingredients over crushed ide in a rocks glass and garnish with the lemon wheel. 

Go soft pouring the (highly alcoholic) absinthe, lest you wake up contemplating where the hell you are.  

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

2022 Schedule


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

 8                    @BYU (Las Vegas)     W
15                    Stanford                    L     
22                   UNLV                        W             
29                   @Syracuse

5                     Clemson  
12                  @Navy                     
19                  Boston College  
26                  @USC 


Stating The Obvious:

Five games left, how's everyone feeling?

How's this for a hard truth - the team has to go 4-1 just for this year's wager to have a winner.


They could do it.  It could happen.  Probably won't.

Dare to dream. 

The saints smile shyly down on you
They couldn't get over your nine-leaf clover





"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, SloaneDave 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, Jerry C., Daryl, GrahamJohn  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

Sometimes you have to give the little guys some love.

So for all the high profile losses one celebrates in sports (looking at you, Los Angeles Dodgers), we need to occasionally take a step back and remember the teams that one doesn't necessarily ever worry about - but you still like seeing having their neck's stepped on.

1) Texas A&M.   Aren't you bored, Jerrence, with always putting A&M on this list?

No, Jimbo, I'm not.  

2)  Pitt.  One shouldn't normally care, one way or the other, about what Pitt does.  And God knows Jerrence is a BIG fan - huge - of his classmates who hail from the Iron City, The Prague of Pennsylvania.

But their head coach, Pat Narduzzi, is such a colossal douche and committed ND hater (what'd we ever do to you?), that they (he) need to be recognized at least once a season for their resolute adherence to mediocrity. 

3)  Miami You just didn't lose to Duke - Duke, in football!  - you got smoked, 45-21. 

It would appear that coach Freeman isn't the only 1st year head coach having an uneven start. 

Congratulations, Mike Elko. 

Terry's Tools

Maybe I've been too harsh on the NCAA.  Their complete abdication of any sort of governance has turned college sports into the wild west - and allowed all sorts of vermin to crawl out of their dark holes.
Normally, I'd be weeping 'n wailing 'n gnashing my teeth over all this.  Check that, I am weeping 'n wailing 'n gnashing my teeth over their laissez faire management style.  

But, sadly, it is good for shameless bloggers. After all, content is king

1) Lendale White.   File this along with "water is wet" but on a podcast this week, the former USC fullback, running mate to Reggie "I wasn't getting illegal benefits, I was just ahead of the NIL curve" Bush in the legendary Pete Carroll years, told the story about how he once 'found' a duffel bag with $150,000 when he moved into his apartment
 - thus explaining how he was able to tool around LA in a new Lexus.  

Sure you did. 

2) The Three Stooges.  Otherwise known as PJ Williams, Denver Harris and Chris Marshall, three Texas A&M freshmen (from last year's $30M Recruiting Class).  

The threesome, allegedly, thought it was a good idea to fire up a fatty in the locker room before their game against South Carolina.  

Which the team lost.  Jimbo Fisher, offensive savant and tough-as-nails taskmaster.

 "'ve been holding onto it
And I sure would like a hit."

3).  Ye.  The artist formerly known as Kanye West gets unceremoniously punted by Adidas (after making more than a few very public antisemitic comments) walks - with a TV film crew (as one does) into the Skechers LA office, ostensibly to offer his genius (why else).

And is promptly escorted off the premises. 

Final Thought

There may or may not be a blog next week as Jerrence and daughter Ryan take their newfound Wadden Golf Academy retooled games to Cabo.  

Oh Mexico
It sounds so simple, I just got to go...

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