1) Hotty Toddy Gosh Almigh…FAAACK!!!
When Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss Rebels travel to Columbia for a showdown with the South Carolina ‘Cocks of the “Ol’ Ball Coach,” and you put it on national television, entertainment should abound. First of all, there’s at least three good Beavis and Butthead-types jokes in the prior sentence alone. Then there’s always the side-bets…How many visors will Steve Spurrier fire into the turf? Will Nutt finally have the brain-splattering stroke he always looks just on the verge of having? Anytime the Nutt gets exposure, you never know just what could happen.
As for the game itself, one could be in for a ridiculous multi-overtime affair with each team scoring north of 60 points. Or just as likely, one could be treated to a cro-magnon yet exquisitely brutal old-school SEC mud-and-blood defense-fest. The only way it could suck is getting neither.
Nutt’s Rebels must have decided that a #4 ranking was a bit much, as they really offered a gripping demonstration as to why they believe so. Granted, winning on the road in the SEC is never easy (unless you are in Knoxville), but when you have the offensive guruistry of the Nutt armed with a big-time quarterback in Jevon Snead and a Percy Harvin-type playmaker in Dexter McCluster, you must put more on the board than two field goals in the first thirty minutes.
Sometimes you win like a Nutt and sometimes you don’t, but to win you always gotta score touchdowns on the road.
2) Who Wants to be Jan Brady?
If you are my age, you remember the “See and Say.” It taught you what noises various animal made. What Oregon showed us on Saturday is that a Duck can make a Bear say “FAAACK!” Cal made this utterance collectively while having their traditional title-hopes-ending loss a week early, as they really looked like a team concentrating on losing to Southern Cal this week.
Of course, this just delays Southern Cals’ triumphant return; the clubbing they put on the closest rival for the title. Now, we all wait until the end of October for Oregon to take it’s turn as one of the Pac-10 troika that rotates playing Jan Brady to Southern Cal’s Marcia.
3) A World Simultaneous “FAAACK!” Record
All the way from Lexington you could hear it. A full-throated, this-is-the-end-of-days type roar erupting from the freaked-out face of every Florida Gator fan at the precise moment Tim Tebow hit the turf at Commonwealth Stadium. It looked bad in live action, but thanks to instant replay, you got the Zapruder-like imagery needed to determine exactly how close Tebow came to being killed. First, you were amazed that his head didn’t actually come off. Then you were convinced he was going to be paralyzed. As happy as you were to see him walk off the field, you still couldn’t believe it was happening.
4) The FAAACK-ing FAAACK-Eyes!
So, now it’s official. Iowa now gets “the red circle of seething hatred” on my Penn State football schedule; the very same usually permanently reserved for Ohio State and Michigan. The Hawkeyes will remain that third circle every fall until the Nittany Lions actually beat this team.
Not even a Tarantino-style “going medieval on their asses” will suffice. This calls for the ultimate; a Sam Peckinpah-esque slo-mo orgy of death.
Mention the movie “A Star Is Born,” and the TCM-o-phile in me comes right out. I’m not the only one; it seems that every generation feels the need to remake this classic. Legendary Hollywood mogul David O. Selznick first made this movie in 1937. Another, and undeniably the best version starred Judy Garland and James Mason in 1954. Barbra Streisand brought us the most laughable version in 1976. However, Washington’s win over Southern Cal a few days ago actually brings yet another take on this classic tale.
Act I: The Beginnning of the End
Sometime in the not-so-distant future, USC has fallen on hard times; the Trojans didn’t win the Pac-10 for the first time in eleventy-bajillion years. At the post-season gala Coaches’ Dinner, Washington Huskies’ head coach Steve Sarkisian is getting ready to accept the Pac-10 Coach of the Year Award. Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott peers around the auditorium, anxiously drumming the armrest of his chair, because USC head coach Pete Carroll is nowhere to be found.
SCOTT: (getting angrier by the minute…) Where the hell is Pete Carroll?
ED ORGERON: Yyyyyyaaaaaaawwwwwww-he-is-here-yyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaawwwwww!
SCOTT: Good. Where is he?
SCOTT: Drunk? How drunk? Is it bad?
SCOTT: (does a face-palm) Oh, God…What the hell are you doing here anyway? I thought you were with Kiffin in Tenneesee?
Act II: The Discovery
In one of those Tarantino-like jumps in time, the calendar suddenly says 2001. The incredibly debonair Pete Carroll is resplendent in his tuxedo and a slight fog from his unfiltered Lucky Strike. He walks on to the sideline at El Camino Junior College; striding right up to Sarkisian.
CARROLL: Do you always coach like that?
SARKISIAN: Like what?
CARROLL: Like you did just now. I’ve never seen anybody coach like that.
SARKISIAN: Do you mean good or bad?
CARROLL: Do you ever go fishing? No forget that…Have you ever seen a great fighter? (A bit awkwardly) I’m trying to tell you how you coach.
SARKISIAN: You mean like a fish or a prizefighter?
CARROLL: There are certain pleasures you get, little jabs of pleasure like when a swordfish takes the hook, or when a prizefighter gets ready for the kill. You don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you?
SARKISIAN: No, not yet. You mean like a coach beating USC with a team that was 0-12 the previous year?
CARROLL: You’re joking, but that’s exactly what I mean. If you’d never seen a Pac-10 game in your life, you’d know a great coach from the minute he stepped on the field; from the way he stood, or from the way he moves. When you see that, there’s a little bell in your head; one of those little jabs of pleasure. Well, that’s what happened to me just now. You’re a great coach, Esther Blodgett Steve Sarkisian.
SARKISIAN: (surprised, yet humbled) Who, me?
CARROLL: What, no one has ever told you that before?
SARKISIAN: No, Coach Carroll, no one has ever told me that before.
CARROLL: I know exactly what I’m saying. You do have that little something extra that Norm Chow was talking about. Norm Chow, a great coach long before you came around, he always said that’s what “star quality” was; that little something extra. And you’ve got it. So, now what are you doing wasting your time coaching junior college?
SARKISIAN: (defensive) Wasting my time? I’m not wasting my time. You have no idea how long it’s taken me to get this far. I’m doing fine, Coach Carroll, just fine.
CARROLL: You’re wasting your time. Here, you come with me (sweeps Sarkisian into his monstrously posh convertible for a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway).
SARKISIAN: Do you know the only thing I can think about right now? Where will I wash my hair? When anything happens to me, good or bad, I make straight for the shampoo bottle.
CARROLL: With me it’s a bottle all right; perhaps not shampoo, though. But things are so good at SC right now, I have no need of it.
SARKISIAN: I’m afraid I’m no good talking about myself, Coach Carroll. Everything just runs together. My mind works it’s own jumbles.
CARROLL: I can sort them out.
SARKISIAN: (in that vulnerable, yet inquisitive manner usually reserved for a woman falling in love) Can you? Can you tell how long it has taken me to get here? Does a big-time coach like you know the kind of luck I need? Maybe one day, a scout from a Division II school will come along, see me coach, and I’ll get a contract.
CARROLL: Yes, that could happen very easily. The trouble is your dream isn’t big enough. How long is your contract at El Camino?
SARKISIAN: Wha….what? All I know right now is we leave for a road game in the morning.
CARROLL: Don’t go.
CARROLL: Leave El Camino; stay here. You can come coach for me at Southern Cal. Sure, it’s a chance, but you would be well-served to take it.
SARKISIAN: But I’d be giving up everything I ever worked for.
CARROLL: Right, but it serves a purpose. A coaching career is a curious thing; talent isn’t always enough. Timing, an eye for seeing the turning point, recognizing the big chance when it comes and grabbing it. A coaching career can rest on a trifle, like us sitting here tonight. Or it can turn on somebody saying to you “You’re better than that; you’re better than you know.” Don’t settle for the little dream, go on to the big one. Are you scared, scared to take the plunge?
SARKISIAN: Let me ask you something. What makes you so sure about me?
CARROLL: I’ve seen you coach. But you know yourself too, don’t you? You just needed someone to tell you.
SARKISIAN: Boy, I am certainly mixed up now. I thought I was doing just fine.
CARROLL: You needn’t be all mixed up; you needn’t make up your mind right now. I’ll call you first thing in the morning. Whatever you do, remember that I am right.
Act III: The Protégé Eclipses the Star
Sarkisian takes Carroll’s advice and becomes the quarterbacks coach at USC. In no time at all, he becomes a star in his own right, but a star still overshadowed by Pete Carroll. So he moves on to his own starring role, as the head coach at Washington. Of course, a Sarkisian musical number ensues.
Thank you, thank you very much
I can’t express it any other way
For with this awful trembling in my heart
I just can’t find another thing to say
I’m happy that you liked the show
I’m grateful you liked me
And I’m sure to you the tribute seemed quite right.
But if you knew of all the years
Of hopes and dreams and tears
You’d know it didn’t happen overnight
Huh, overnight!It was during a game on Saturday
They used a locker-room towel for my didee
When I first saw the light
It was white-hot from the lights
Coming from the towers on the field
When my dad carried me out there to say hello
They say they stopped the game
My coaching career was born
At a junior college called El Camino So I grew up in a crazy world of locker rooms
And hotel rooms and waiting rooms
And rooms behind-the-scenes.
And I can’t forget the endless rows
Of jeering fans and cheering fans
And nights without a solid offensive scheme
But it’s all in the game and the way you play it
And you’ve got to play the game you know
When your coaching career was born
At a junior college called El Camino
But then I went to where the song girl sings
At first I just stood and watched from the wings
That’s all that Norm Chow would allow
But as I got older, I got a little bolder
And called my own plays anyhow
They kept me in the act For coaching quarterbacks
Until Washington did a crazy thing
Hired me to coach all alone
Norm Chow said ‘You’re on your own!’
And Carroll shouted ‘This is it kid, coach!’
So I went north an answered the call
Let’s see what we can make of this fall
It would be a thrill to have a Trojan kill
‘Cause they’ll try to take advantage of me
(chorus of Husky fans) No!
Carroll thinks I’m an apple on the bough
That he’s gonna shake me down somehow
This ain’t the Palouse, I’ll cook his goose
Carroll won’t take advantage of me
(chorus of Husky fans) Yes!
Huskies, how I love you, how I love you
My dear old Huskies
I’d give the world if I could only be
Sitting on Don James’ knee
Your new head coach will wander no more
When I get to that Puget shore
So I can’t quite be called overnight sensation
For it started many years ago
When my coaching career was born
At a junior college called El Camino
Act IV: The End of the End
Carroll has taken the loss to Washington hard, crawling deep into a bottle. The calendar flashes back to the award ceremony. Sarkisian is getting ready to give his acceptance speech, the chair next to him reserved for Carroll sits noticeably empty. Meanwhile, Carroll prepares to enter the auditorium.
SARKISIAN: I really wish Pete was here. He’s the one who made this all possible. I hope nothing has happened to him
SCOTT: (reasurring) I’m sure nothing has happened.
ANNOUNCER: …And the winner for Pac-10 Coach of the Year is…Steve Sarkisian!
SARKISIAN: (taking the podium) When something like this happens to you; I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I didn’t keep hoping it would; all those speeches you have made up in your bedroom or in the bathtub go right out of your mind completely. You find out of all the worlds in the world, only two stick in your mind – “Thank You.” All I can do I so say them from my heart, and…(Sarkisian is interrupted by one set of hands offering sarcastic applause; they are the hands of a drunken Pete Carroll.)
CARROLL: (staggering up to the podium, in order to go all “Kanye West”) Congratulations, Steve. Looks like I made it just in time, didn’t I? May I borrow the end of your speech to make a speech of my own?
SARKISIAN: (stands bewildered)
CARROLL: My method of getting your attention may seem a bit unconventional, but hard times call for harsh measures. Uhhhh, I had my speech all prepared, but like you said, Steve, it all goes right out of your head. (staggers down and sits on the stairs leading to the podium). Seems a bit silly to be so formal seeing as know most of you sitting out there by your first names. I made a lot of money for you gentlemen, and well, I’m going to need a job now; eventually this habit of losing to non-ranked teams in conference games is going to get me fired. Anyway, that’s it, that’s the speech, I’m going to need a job.
ORGERON: (rising from his seat, Orgeron charges the stage, directly at Carroll) Yyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaawwwwwww-I’m-not-gonna-let-you-ruin-Steve’s-moment-yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwww!
SARKISIAN: Don’t hurt him, Ed!
ORGERON: Yyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaawwwwwww-he-is-just-Mr.-America-of yester-year-yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwww!
CARROLL: Take it easy, Eddie! I don’t want to forget we are friends.
CARROLL: (takes a swing at Orgeron)
ORGERON: (proceeds to sytematically dismantle Carroll) Yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwww!-So-this-is-how-it-ends-not-with-a-bang-but-with-a-whimper-yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwww! (scene fades to black with Orgeron kneeling on Carroll’s chest, wailing on his face with both fists).
“Mr. Kiffin, we have some good news, and some bad news…”
It’s not like Tennessee-Florida is a rivalry with enough heat in it, Lane Kiffin seriously upped the ante when he took the Volunteers’ top job. Upon arriving in Knoxville last winter, he immediately stoked Vol Nation with promises of singing “Rocky Top” in Gainesville all night long after beating the Gators. If that weren’t enough, Kiffin also riled up Florida with his allegations of NCAA violations by Pope Urban I.
Tennessee lost; but Kiffin managed to eat the eighty-pound breakfast burrito comprised of his own words, surviving both the girth and the spice being force-fed to him. While he won the “Man vs. Food” challenge by getting the Vols to make a respectable showing against Florida, having to digest the rest of the campaign through the SEC may cause Kiffin’s colon to burst.
Don’t You Hate It When Your Trojan Breaks?
If you were waiting for Southern Cal’s annual gag-job, wait no longer. Washington quarterback Jake Locker did his best emulation of what Matt Barkley did during Southern Cal’s game-winning drive in Columbus, leading the Huskies to their first win over the Trojans since 2001 and their first win over a ranked BCS conference team since 2003, all a week after ending the nation’s longest losing streak.
The Heisman is Supposed To Go To The “Best” Player
Prior to every season, there are touted hopefuls; those who all expect to see at the at the Downtown Athletic Club in December – this years crop included Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. Once the season begins, one of the anointed always drops out of the picture. Then there’s the guy who pops into the discussion.
Enter California running back Jahvid Best. Since Bradford went down with a shoulder injury, Best has racked up a nation-leading nine touchdowns, including this past weekend’s signature five-score showing at Minnesota.
Granted, there is a lot of football left in this college season, but Best faces some long odds on winning the Heisman at this point. He is not a quarterback, who 8 of the 9 most recent winners have been, and the last west coast player to win the award who wasn’t a Southern Cal Trojan was Oregon State’s Terry Baker (also a quarterback) in 1962.
“Coach Hawkins, The Governor is on Line 1…”
Flanked by a priest and two badges carrying shotguns, Dan Hawkins is walked into a dark room somewhere deep in the bowels of Folsom Field. Only a creaky wooden chair connected to industrial strength wiring sitting under a single light saves the room from complete emptiness. The priest turns to Hawkins, whispering “It’s time, coach” in his ear.
Losing at home to in-state rival Colorado State for the first time in 23 years got the leather straps put around his wrists and ankles. Getting clubbed by Toledo got the wiring attached; a hand on the switch. Then came the awkward silence; the waiting for the clock to strike the appointed hour, a silence shattered in an instant shattered by the ringing of a red phone on the wall. One of the shotgun-toting badges glares at Hawkins from under the visor of his cap pulled low while he reaches for the phone.
“Hello?…Yes, Governor…I understand. Your order will be carried out,” the badge grunts disapprovingly out of the side of his grizzled mouth. “Take him back to his cell. The Governor says today is not the day.”
Why the reprieve after the aforementioned futilities and posting a 13-26 record in 3 seasons-plus at Colorado? Let’s face it…if your job depends on beating the hapless Wyoming Cowboys, the stay of execution is just that; a stay. Now, it just seems a matter of when the switch will be thrown, as the schedule doesn’t favor Hawkins and the Buffaloes. The next three games hold most-likely unwinnable trips to West Virginia and Texas, followed by a visit from the Kansas Jayhawks.
Even the kids can’t wait to throw the switch.
Circus Maximus at Autzen Stadium?
Two weeks ago, the Oregon Ducks looked like a team flirting with an implosion on the scale of the last days of the Roman Empire. Their star running back was suspended indefinitely after the brawl he tried to start in the aftermath of the 19-8 loss at Boise State. Last week, the Ducks needed some late game heroics to stave off a home loss to Big Eleven Ten doormat Purdue. The season looked to hold the peril usually carried by throngs of “Attila the Hun” types thundering over the horizon.
What a difference a week makes. Oregon rebuffed the enemy at the gates by bringing about on Saturday the decline and fall of Utah’s national-best 16-game winning streak.
Duck head coach Chip Kelly avoided becoming a green and yellow Romulus Augustus, side-stepping overthrow at the hands of Odoacer by keeping his team together in the face of the Hun onslaught. The win against the Utes coupled with Southern Cal suffering an early-season conference loss sets the stage Saturday for a showdown with California in Strawberry Canyon; the winner having the inside track to win the Festival of Consualia known as the Pac-10.
Get Ready for the Over-Rating of Michigan
The University of Michigan has nearly 400,000 alumni world-wide, all of whom believe the maize and blue represents the greatest program not only in the history of college football, but in the history of everything ever. This is how a team that went 3-9 last year can claim national ranking after beating the likes of Northern Michigan, Southern Michigan Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and an over-hyped Notre Dame squad.
If Michigan gets all the to Penn State with only one loss (consecutive road games at Michigan State and Iowa offer the loss potential; The Wolvies aren’t likely to lose to Indiana and Delaware State in the “Big House”), brace yourself for a Wolvie-gasm that’s been two years in the making. It’s been at least that long since the “Go Blue” crowd has had anything to get excited about, and they may just begin erupting like sailors on shore leave.
How many times have I wondered what a slightly boozy, slightly senile catcher-turned-announcer would sound like singing all the old standards? Well, now my prayers have been answered.
But here’s the thing – by the sound of it, McCarver can really sing. When the Fox telecast cut back from a break they showed the Phillie Phanatic dancing to one of the old classics and play-by-play man Howie Rose made the joke that we weren’t listening to Frank Sinatra play over the PA, but McCarver instead. And after hearing his ‘talk-as-singing’ style that Sinatra made so famous, it was quite a pleasant sound. If you’re a sports fan and a fan of old crooners, this album will be right up your alley as nobody in sports is as old and ‘croony’ as McCarver.
All I see is Shatner doing Rocket Man in a catcher’s mask. I’m simply speechless.
Thanks to Adam Richman, I now know that is actually possible to gastrointestinally rape one’s self. So that there is no possibility of missing the full experience, Richman has demonstrated two ways in which to leave your colon a golf-bag sized miasma of undigested beef and guatemalan insanity peppers. Each week, he either attempts to eat a hamburger the size of a water tower , or something so incredibly OMFG-it’s-like-chugging-flaming-turpentine hot that even taking the challenge requires the signing of legal waivers, and the cooks wear HAZMAT gear – otherwise the vapor of the cooking peppers will cause them to do that face-melt thing just like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Even a combo plate of the two won’t match the tsunami of destruction headed for Lane Kiffin’s alimentary canal. The post-game conference after Florida beats Tennessee eleventy-bajillion to six Saturday promises to be the Mother of all Word-Eatings, the sheer volume of which hasn’t been seen since the “Egg Scene” in “Cool Hand Luke.”
Just let yourself picture it. Kiffin scoots his chair up to an old wooden table, his eyes fixed on the eighty-pound breakfast burrito made of his own words sitting in front of him. A single bare bulb illuminates the rest of the Vols’ coaching staff huddled around Kiffin, the table, and a trash-can sized figurative wad of eggs, sausage, cheese…and ghost chile peppers.
Kiffin seems to enjoy the first few bites. In fact, there seems to be just the right blend of flavors, the kind that brings that slight smile of satisfaction. The kind of smile that can only exist in that split-second before the epiphany; the pants-shitting, “we’re-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat” moment.
Then it hits him. He doesn’t hit “the wall,” rather it lands on him like a giant boa constrictor digesting a pig stuffed inside hippo stuffed inside a walrus stuffed inside Phil Fulmer. His chair creaks ominously as his newly-increased girth settles back into it. Ed Orgeron begins to vigorously rub Kiffin’s shoulders (“EEEEEEEEYYYAAAAAAWWW -YOU-GET-MAD-AT-THEM-DAMNED-EGGS-YYYYAAAAAAAAAWWW!!!!!!!“) in what has to be painfully inappropriate encouragement, as Kiffin currently has 23 pounds of undigested food in his esophagus alone.
His eyes roll back in his head as during the sigh of surrender just as the fire from peppers bursts from his mouth like a fusion-powered blast furnace. Bits of incindiary burrito rain fire across the room. Kiffin’s torso splits open, shooting flames like an oil-rig fire. Ed Orgeron sweeps Layla Kiffin under one of his “way-too-manly-too-die-in-a-fire-like-you-pussies” arms and dives out a window, the two of them never to be seen again.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure it will look exactly that way.
No, the Right Reverend Houston Dale Nutt is not fisting Jim Rome…yet. Rather, these are just the themes from the latest examples of the completely bi-polar nature of the Nutt, and by extension, any institution affiliated with the Rt. Rev.
Houston Nutt is just a head-scratching, what-the-hell-happened-there type enigma. I can’t decide whether the man is geniunely bat-shit crazy, or just a cunning master of deception. In the last 24 hours, the following pieces appeared on the interwebz, each painting a picture as different as Grant Wood vs. Salvador Dali on acid after a month-long tequila bender.
1) The Germ-o-phobe:
In an effort to ward off the aggressive and debilitating advances of Outbreak Monkey (the H1N1 virus), Ole Miss is considering having its football team wear surgical gloves during its stroll down the Walk of Champions before Saturday’s game against SE Louisiana, CBS College Sports Radio reports. Typically the team walks through the Grove, glad handing the fanbase on its way to the stadium, but the fear of disease, namely the flu, which has swept through the team in recent days, may prompt the move to a more sterile interaction.
Didn’t Howard Hughes go through something like this? Sure, it starts with the gloves; but the next thing you know, you are cloistered away insane-monk style on the top floor of your Vegas hotel with your feet stuffed in Kleenex boxes and saving your own urine.
2) Full-On Caligula:
Ole Miss, in just a year and a half of sustained football excellence, have bypassed the stable, prosperous stage of football glory and skipped ahead to the decadent, endstages of Caligula-esque imperium. They don’t want the steady, stable period where fans behave semi-normally, coaches don’t hand out hundreds for good play, and orgies don’t break out with shocking regularity. They prefer to skip right to the part where they enjoy the Senators’ wives, thank you very much. Proof of this: the hiring of dwarves, a sure harbinger you’ve entered the decadent phase of a civilization’s lifespan.
“I am looking to hire a professional Dwarf Actor for frat house party entertainment at the University of Mississippi in Oxford Mississippi.”
Now that’s the I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-germs-I’m-sticking-it-into-that side of Vegas that should stay there. For those times when a Buick full of tanked-up quasi-skanky sorority girls just isn’t enough, there’s only one answer: “professional” midgets.
Frankly, I’m not sure just how one’s professional status is determined for such a thing, let alone exactly at which skill did they reach the professional ranks. It matters little; the diametrically-opposed nature of one hand with a rubber glove with the other ostensibly on some very-low-to-the-floor naughty bits is the heart of the duality of the Nutt.
Either way, until further notice whenever at Ole Miss, you should be wearing rubber on something.
As the old adage goes, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Why? Because lucky guys do just what the tag decribes; they get lucky.
lucky - pronunciation: \ˈlə-kē\; function: adjective; inflected form(s): luck·i·er; luck·i·est
1 : having good luck
2 : happening by chance : fortuitous
3 : producing or resulting in good by chance : favorable
4 : seeming to bring good luck <a lucky rabbit’s foot>
5: Kyle Orton
But there is another key to luck that doesn’t lie in the definition, rather in the timing. It is one thing to “be in the right place at the right time;” you have to be at the building while it is burning in order to save the damsel in distress. It is a completely different neckbeard when you started the fire. The video above is a classic example. Thanks to the Youtube era, you can see here the few seconds of luck that bailed out the Broncos. What you don’t see is the set-up to the miracle; the reason why Denver needed it in the first place.
On the previous possession, the Broncos were ahead 6-0 nearing the end of the fourth quarter. Denver was in range to kick a game-sealing field goal, until Orton decided this was a great time to take a sack, pushing the Broncs too far back for the 3. After the resultant punt, Carson Palmer reminded us why he is a great quarterback languishing in the backwater of the NFL by engineering a long drive to take the lead 7-6 with less than a minute to play.
I’ve often wondered if this is what they really mean by “making your own luck.” Guys like Orton get “lucky” because they gamble. They get themselves into jams, then somehow get out of it. Whether they are betting that long pony, drawing to a gutshot straight, or just flinging that football downfield, they are unshakeable in the belief the miracle will come.
What are the traits of a man like this? Above all else, they must have that special sort of selective memory that allows a gambler to focus on the triumphs rather than the defeats. Hunches are the life-blood of the gambler; they flow through the veins as if inspired by some sort of divine indulgence. Focusing on the defeats leads to the inability to trust hunches. In order to achieve this nirvana-like state of awareness, the gambler must have the ability to let criticism flow by like a side-stepped blitz.
Go ahead, call Kyle Orton a game manager. He relishes, even loves, the somewhat dubious title. Tell him he doesn’t have a strong arm. He’ll laugh it off, and tell you he can make any throw that’s needed. Boo him when he throws an interception in a training camp scrimmage. Orton won’t flinch, because he’s heard worse — much worse — in Chicago, where he went from starter to third-string clipboard holder, and back again.
Orton is going to need that skill in Denver. He’s dealing with a fan base that believes they traded a future hall-of-famer for a sack full of magic neckbeards. Orton was was booed loudly by Broncos fans for throwing two interceptions in a scrimmage. The local talk radio was ablaze after he tossed three more picks the next week in San Francisco. The low point likely came on another Orton gamble, the bizarre left-handed interception in Seattle.
We all know for what “game-manager” is a code word. It means “not a game winner.” It means Orton is seen as one of the “Mediocre Presidents” as told by the school musical of Simpsons lore.
“I’m not worried about struggles in the preseason I came into the preseason knowing there would be struggles. So, a few interceptions? That’s nothing.” Orton said. “I learned early on in my career that you can’t take anything for granted in this league. I had gone from my true freshman year in college starting all four years to starting my first year in the league, and I thought, this was easy, this is how it’s going to be for 15 years. You go from that to not even having the chance to compete for the job. It was a frustrating couple of years. It took me a while to get back to work and to really appreciate the game. I was disgruntled. I was very upset about it. But I worked my way back, I got the job again and tried to make the most of it.”
In football terms, he’s not the guy with the Joe Namath swagger, he’s not the guy with the Peyton Manning fantasy-nut-buster stats, nor is he the guy with John Elway gravity-piercing, lighting-infused shoulder cannon. He’s actually more like a drunk Ben Roethlisberger.
Like Orton, “Big Ben” is another guy who plays like a backyard quarterback well into his second six-pack, yet manages to win games. Like Orton, “Big Ben” has a tendency every once in a while to just chuck it up and see what happens. Like Orton, “Big Ben” also knows how to bounce back, and most importantly, how to sidestep the slings and arrows.
Perhaps you hadn’t noticed yet in Denver, but that formula has worked twice in Pittsburgh. It’s gotta be the neckbeard.
Ohio State Gets Pushed Around Again
It doesn’t matter how long you lead the game, it is who leads at the end that matters. Everybody else is focused on the Ohio State Pentitentiary University coughing up its fifth straight loss against a Top 5 opponent, but it matters more why they lost. When it came down to “Do you have a pair or not?” time, the Buckeyes got knocked onto their heels in the last minute for another game-costing 86-yard touchdown drive.
Ask yourself this question: When you have a situation where have you have dropped out of the Top 10 and you are going to be bashed constantly by the national media, would you like your star quarterback to a) show some leadership and play arole leading the team to its next win or b) adding fuel to the fire by saying something really stupid?
“Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world,” he said. “I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick, and I always will.”
While this sort of lawlessness may be the norm in Columbus, one must be at least media-savvy enough to realize what an incredibly dunder-headed thing to say. This will all be gone soon, as the Buckeyes look to cruise until The End of Days – their November 7th date with Armageddon.
Notre Dame vs Michigan – Big 12 Game of the Week
If it hadn’t been for the uniform colors, I would have sworn this was a Big 12 game. Two over-rated teams slinging the ball around safe in the knowledge their “defense” will give up at least 30 points. One team exposes the other, but ultimately both will be seen for the turds they are. Saturday, Notre Dame played “sinker” to the Wolverine “floater,” but both are headed on the same downward spiral.
There’s Hope in West Lafayette
With the light-bending gravitational media pull generated by some other Big Eleven Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup, most of you likely didn’t notice that Purdue’s Ralph Bolden has become the nation’s leading rusher. What the hell does that matter in Week 2? It means Hope is more than the latest wearer of Joe Tiller’s Mustache.
Don’t look now, but the Boilers dominated a MAC team good enough to destroy another big-conference bottom dweller and damn near pulled off a win on the road at one of the toughest venues in all of college football. Based on what the last two weeks have showed us, the real test of Hope comes at the end of September when Notre Dame comes to West Laffatucky, a land of possums trapped with beer coolers (“because that’s all we had!”) and where only the scrawniest of house pets are flung into dumpsters (the others meet their maker on a Weber grill).
Nothing would get those Boilers beating on that ridiculous giant drum they love so much more than to visit some defeat on the Golden Domers. As long as Giant Drum A&M Purdue can run the rock, and if the defense can keep it under 20 (probably easier with some of the plowhorse offenses in the Big Ten), anything up to six wins is at least plausible.
On the last episode of “Guess That Gender,” guest judge Crocodile Dundee stated clearly that South African runner Caster Semenya was a dude. Now, some other Aussies, the kind with those juicy, delicious science brains concur.
Two Australian newspapers reported Friday that gender tests show the world champion athlete has no ovaries or uterus and internal testes that produce large amounts of testosterone. The international sports federation that ordered the tests wouldn’t confirm the reports.
Much like Mick Dundee, I’m no gender expert, but that sounds much more dude-like than not. If it walks like a dude, and it talks like a dude, and it shaves like a dude, it’s a dude. But there are some other bigger-brain-than-me types who disagree.
“It’s no different in a sense than a youngster who is born with a hole in the heart,” (Dr. Myron) Genel said. “These are in fact birth defects in an area that a lot of people are uncomfortable with.” Semenya is hardly alone. Estimates vary, but about 1 percent of people are born with abnormal sex organs, experts say. These people may have the physical characteristics of both genders or a chromosomal disorder or simply ambiguous features.
As far as there being a hole where there isn’t supposed to be, I guess Genel is correct. However, there are still just far too many “ambiguities” to be sure. This suggests another possibility may exist. If the problem is the presence of “ambiguous features” resembling female genitalia, Semenya might be a Texas Longhorn.
Once again, the balance of power in the Big Eleven Ten lies in ruins. Once again, the Ohio State Penitentiary University starts a campaign highly-ranked, only to suffer a big early season loss. Of course, these shifts in the balance of power occur because tOSPU dominates the Big Eleven Ten landscape in much the same way Germany dominated Europe in the 40s.
It is this dominance that keeps the rest of the conference over-rated and under-performing. It is this dominance that ensures anybody winning the conference must do so by conquering Columbus, and if that conqueror has national championship aspirations, their conquest must be visited upon the vanquished by the jaws of the most savage of the dogs of war.
Why the need for such savagery? Because history has taught us that the evil used in the construction of a despotic monolith such as the Buckeye Reich is matched only by the evil required to destroy it. While Aldous Huxley said the charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different, it was Quentin Tarantino who showed us just what sort of brutality should, nay, must be rained on the Buckeyes.
September, 2009. Southern Cal has just inflicted a major defeat on the Buckeye Reich, establishing a beachhead in Buckeye-occupied Ohio. Now, a guerrilla band comprised of those who have suffered at the hands of the Buckeyes are roaming the Reich exacting their vengeance.
“All right people, listen up. You have been selected for this detail because like me, you hate the Buckeyes. When you join this detail, you incur a debt payable to me. Every member of this detail owes me 100 Buckeye scalps; and I want my scalps.”
The Needed Savagery:
“So, what are you going to do with that Buckeye uniform once this game is over? I suppose you are going to take it off?”
(Terrified; eyes fixed on the blade inches from his face) “Yes…yes sir, I will take it off. I will even burn it.”
“Now, see, I just can’t abide by that. See, the good thing about a uniform is that it tells you right away who the Buckeyes are. Without it, no one may ever know you are a Buckeye. So, I’m going to give you something so that no matter what, we always know just who you are (carves OSU logo into captured Buckeye’s forehead). Now, we’ll know just who you are for the rest of your Buckeye-suckin’ life. I want you to go back and tell all the other Buckeyes just what you saw, and just who did this, and what’s gonna happen to them.”
Southern Cal’s victory over Ohio State on Saturday sets the table for Penn State to roll through the Big Eleven Ten much like Patton did across France in 1944. But there’s a problem. Coupling Ohio State’s dominance over the conference in the past few years only to be served up bowl-style like so much milk-fed veal with the Big Eleven Ten’s abysmal record of late in bowl games and against non-conference opponents means any team with national championship hopes coming from this conference needs to do whatever it takes to boost its poll ratings.
Hence, the need for savagery.
Ohio State’s loss to Southern Cal sets up the clash between the Buckeyes and Penn State in Happy Valley in November as the de facto Big Eleven Ten championship game, complete with its BCS trappings. Add to this the chance that Penn State could arrive at this affair undefeated, and suddenly the Nittany Lions are front-runners for the national championship.
But in order to blunt some of the criticism of the Big Eleven Ten, Penn State needs more than to just beat Ohio State. After the game, the Nittany Lions need to march on the Buckeye Reich, leaving nothing in their wake but blood-spattered rubble. They must salt the earth of Ohio Stadium so that no Buckeyes ever grow again. They must drink the sweet wine of victory from the hollowed-out skull of Jim Tressel; the rest of the carcass hung from the goalpost as a reminder of who unleashed this reign of destruction.
But the pillaging must not be limited to the Buckeyes. To counteract the soft reputation of the conference, every Saturday from here on out must be an atrocity of heretofore unimaginable proportions, like an eight-dicked fire-breathing demon with every known sexually transmittable disease raping a baby seal on a pile of skulls in an orphanage. If they are ahead by 40 points with 30 seconds left, they should throw deep. Then they should go for two. After that, they should on-side kick and throw deep again. Tarantino captured this perfectly with the “baseball bat” scene in Inglourious Basterds. JoePa must assume the role of “The Bear Jew,” swinging until molars, bicuspids, and eyes litter the ground, and when there is no skull left kicking ribs until the whistle blows.
Somebody’s going to have to call “The Cleaner.”