Archive for January, 2009

Made using ingredients Kurt Warner used to stock at Hy-Vee …

January 29, 2009

Every so often a really good idea comes out of NDNation’s Back Room. This is one of them.

Certified prole food.

Certified prole food.

And this is where I say: “I’m Chris…”

January 28, 2009

I don’t need Dateline NBC to tell me its the college football off-season. No, my decrease in beer consumption (last weekend not withstanding) and lack of anticipation for 7 PM on Thursdays tell me all I need to know. But the real reason I know the off-season has arrived, is my heightened awareness of the daily activities of 18 year old (sorry Chris) football players.

I took a glimpse (or 12) at my favorite recruiting site while on the clock today. As a colleague walked by, I hastily closed the window, not because I did not want to appear un-productive, but because I did not know how I was going to explain to this person that I pay $9.99 a month (or $90 for a year) for a website to update me on the status of 18 year old football players all over the country.

Shame-wow?

Shame-wow?

I can’t wait until the next week is over, all LOI’s are faxed, and every Walgreen’s and CVS in America has a run on blood pressure medication. Yes, I admittedly enjoy following recruiting, but its an unfulfilling hobby. Your average Joe the Plumber on the street isn’t going to care that my team signed the 34th ranked RB (4 Star by the way) on signing day. To gain some satisfaction from this “hobby”, I am forced to delight in the enjoyment or displeasure of anonymous Internet handles. While I will enjoy watching the shenanigans on signing day, I’ll take the Big Ten Network game of the week over that any day.

An ode to my pardner

January 28, 2009

Brent Musburger annoys me. He always has and probably always will. I try not to let it, but his pompous drivel usually taints an otherwise enjoyable Saturday.

Howdy.

Howdy.

So I turn on Big Ten Network last week and there he was, The Pardner. It was a classic performance – an early 90s game in East Lansing – with Jack Arute on the sideline. In October, I would have hit the mute button. But last week, with no radio to tune him out and only basketball on TV, I took a listen. Brent still annoys me. He’s just not good at what he does. But this time his Jackaroos and Brian Grieses didn’t sting so much. I actually kind of missed him. The same way a dumped boyfriend remembers how cute she smiled while picking her nose.

So Brent, you’re still the worst play-by-play guy in college football, but you’re my crappy commentator. In honor of The Pardner, here are a few other annoying traditions that sound pretty good in the offseason’s rosy glow. . .

– “Taste of the Town” with Todd Blackledge. There’s a reason food shows are hosted by hot girls or funny guys. Blackledge is neither. At least Mike Patrick is peripherally involved.

– Sports Illustrated’s preview issue(s). Don’t give me six covers. Ask Austin Murphy which team he likes, take their picture and slap it on the front.

– Rutgers fans. 100% Jersey trash. I do miss the ongoing drama of when Schiano will bolt for Miami.

– Big and Rich’s opening song for College Gameday. It’s horrible – the most NFL-like feature in the college ranks. First of all, Gameday doesn’t come to “your city.” Places like Eugene, Tuscaloosa and Blacksburg are not cities. They are towns. College towns. And Chris Fowler won’t let us forget it.

The Winter Blues

January 27, 2009

It’s eight above zero and work is dragging like Jerry Rice’s feet in the corner of the end zone. The Big Ten Network is your main source of both news and entertainment. You don’t want to do laundry because there’s a 60% chance that your apartment’s icy back steps will cause you to slip and break your neck. And the milk in your morning cereal was sour.

It’s times like this when you need to stop, collect your thoughts and reflect on what’s really important. Enjoy your new screensaver, gentlemen.

Go Blue.

Go Blue.

How did they know we were coming?

January 23, 2009

The ND Athletic Department must have gotten word of our plans for Saturday evening.  I suspected we had some influential readers besides HJK_Irish.  From UND.com:

Notre Dame will hold its annual BLACK OUT game on Saturday, Jan. 24 when the 19th-ranked Irish play host to third-ranked Connecticut at 7:00 p.m. (ET) as part of ESPN’s College GameDay.

The first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive a free BLACK OUT t-shirt, sponsored by South Bend Orthopaedics, PJ Marketing and the South Bend Tribune. In addition to the shirts, the first 500 students in attendance will receive black wigs, sponsored by Crocs.

Why T-shirts and Croc wigs are being passed our rather than Backer drink coupons isn’t entirely clear, but I like the thought process.  A couple thousand blacked-out students wearing Crocs should get the JACC shaking.

If only half the free drink is spilled, consider it a success.

If only half the free drink is spilled, consider it a success.

The Linebacker Lounge is also preparing for our arrival.  Pitchers of Long Island Iced Tea have been pre-mixed and cougars from all over Michiana are rumored to be on the prowl.  DJ Drew has called in a favor to a friend and a special musical guest will be making an appearance to play a classic Backer tune:

Road Trip!

January 23, 2009
Tyrone Willingham sez Gentlemen, lets embark upon our automobile excursion.

Tyrone Willingham sez "Gentlemen, let's embark upon our automobile excursion."

ESPN is en route to the JACC. Digger’s back on campus. And Mike Brey’s cagers are prepped to defend the nation’s longest home court win streak. You have our permission to be pumped and jacked. Skunkbear, AllTimeCenter, DerrickMayesHayes and friends head to South Bend tomorrow for the festivities. The itinerary includes afternoon brews at Corby’s, dinner at Rocco’s and a post-victory celebration at The Linebacker Lounge.

Greetings from The Pumped and Jacked One

January 22, 2009
As sent from his Twitter account yesterday . . .
“Still on the road recruiting… I’d tell you where I am, but NCAA rules don’t allow me to reveal that. It’s like I’m on a secret spy mission
It’s as if he’s teasing us. Like Bin Laden on video from the caves of Afghanistan.

Scent of a Skunkbear

January 19, 2009

News from the Skunkbear Den with 230 days until kickoff …

– Sam Young is not declaring for the NFL draft and will return for his senior year at Notre Dame. We look forward to watching Young for one more season before joining the Mike Gandy Society of Mediocre ND Offensive Linemen Who Succeeded In The Pros.

– President-elect Barack Obama announced today he will name Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn to serve as Rocket Surgeon General. Quinn, known for his movie star good looks and wholesomely homosexual television commercials, was flattered by the appointment. “Obviously, I’m no brain scientist,” Quinn said. “But neither is Dr. Sanjay Gupta.”

– Former Irish great Tim Grunhard has been hired as a grad assistant at ND. Grunhard will be the only coaching staff member without a neck.

They call this a running game?!?

They call this a running game?

For the love of Frank Reich, don’t leave yet

January 15, 2009

I never leave a game early. Just can’t. When the Irish are down by 27 and the weather sucks, I know it’s time to go. Friends get mad at me and my sense tells me to take off. But I just can’t do it. It’s not in my DNA.

Oh, I wish I could. After 127 minutes of this year’s Syracuse game, I felt like walking out. It was freezing, my feet were ice and Notre Dame couldn’t move the football. But I stayed. I didn’t want to – and I was disgusted with the results – but I had to stay. Because in sports, there’s always the chance that something amazing, something completely unexpected, something completely unbelievable will happen. And when that incredible, unfathomable, improbable thing happens – whatever that is – it’ll be worth it to be there. The alternative is not acceptable.

Take, for instance, the 1982 Stanford-Cal game. Think the Cal fan who left early was happy the Golden Bears came back and won? Doubt it. “I was at the famous Stanford Band Game,” he’ll sadly tell his kids. “But your old man didn’t see what happened. I was walking to the car with your uncle.”

My roommate left the 2006 Michigan State-Notre Dame game early- the Miracle in the Monsoon. Said he couldn’t see the field because his glasses kept fogging. But it doesn’t matter. He was sick over his decision. He doesn’t even want to hear about the game. Carlson’s touchdown, Lambert’s pick, Stanton’s choke job – they bring no joy to the guy who left early. The result only taunts him.

And I bet there’s a few people today with mild depression after walking out early on Frank Reich. The guy quarterbacked the greatest comebacks in college (a 31 point deficit for Maryland against Miami in ’84) and NFL (32 point deficit for the Bills against the Oilers in the ’92 playoffs) history. There has to be one soul who left both those games early – probably some lonely Terrapin fan in Buffalo – who breaks his TV every time Reich shows up on ESPN Classic.

Leaving a game early guarantees that any miraculous win by your team will be joyless. I think back to the 2006 win over UCLA at least once a month. And each time, I feel good. It makes my day just a little bit better. What if I had left early? I don’t even want to think about it.

Scent of a Skunkbear

January 14, 2009

News from the Skunkbear Den with 235 days until kickoff …

– How can you satisfy your macho urges while simultaneously enjoying spaghetti and Bud Light from your living room? By watching two and a half hours of Tuesday night reality TV on A&E.

I recommend the experience to anyone. It’s like watching five straight episodes of Cops, with less white trash and a narrator. Tonight alone I saw three fugitives captured, a rookie cop berated, a parking lot stakeout and one solved murder. We look forward to watching the Iowa football team participate in Tuesday Night A&E as the off-season progresses.

– Speaking of Iowa football, the Fulmer Cup begins this week. Check Every Day Should Be Saturday for daily stories of intoxication, incarceration and incontinence.

– It looks like Jashaad Gaines is finished playing football for the Irish.

Most folks call Larry Brownsberger “that guy who sells dead raccoons out of his trunk”. Jon Tenuta calls him “grocer”.

If it aint rabid, its edible

If it ain't rabid, it's edible.