Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
1988 NOTRE DAME AND MIAMI
Plenty of background here:
-ND Had lost the last four games versus Miami by a score of 113-20.
-Commentators are Brent Musberger and Pat Hayden, former Rhodes Scholar and current USC AD, whose job is to clean up the mess left by.... a college football and college basketball scandal!! Riveting.
-These teams hated each other. Jimmy Johnson's personal phone number was released during the week. The teams fought in the tunnel after pre-game warm-ups and had to be separated by police wielding billy clubs. Also, it would be reported later that the fans would only throw 2 oranges on the field because of repeated warnings from school management and the threat of a 15 yard penalty.
-This would be the only game Steve Walsh lost in his college career. He would finish 23-1 and enter into the supplemental draft after starting two seasons and garnering a National Championship in 1987. Weirdly, Tim Brown won the Heisman that year.
-Despite not having Tim Brown, the Irish would send 21 of their 22 starters in this game to the NFL in some capacity. The only one that did not have a NFL career? Tony Rice, the starting quarterback.
-Rice would only account for 1700 yards and 16TD on this National Championship team an would out-duel Major Harris in the bowl game against West Virginia. Rice would play in the CFL and for the Barcelona Dragons in the WLAF. I was an Orlando Thunder and Ohio Glory fan myself.
-Recognizable Notre Dame names: Rocket Ismail, Ricky Watters, Chris Zorich, Derek Brown, Todd Lyght, Pat Terrell, Tony Banks, Anthony Johnson, Andy Heck, Frank Stams, Mike Stonebreaker, and Rodney Culver
-Recognizable Miami names: Steve Walsh, Cleveland Gary, Randall Hill, Dale Dawkins, Rod Chudzinski, Mike Sullivan, Andre Brown, Randy Shannon, Russell Maryland, Bill Hawkins, and Bubba McDowell.
-That is the same Rob Chudzinski who is now coaching Cam Newton, who was recently part of a NCAA investigation. Seems fitting.
-The Bears have good ties to this game. Of course they had Chris Zorich, still loved in Chicago. They also drafted Mike Stonebreaker and Mark Green from this game. Mark Green would be a decent back-up for about 4 years for the Bears, but everyone I know knows him as the guy who had to play for Neal Anderson when he got hurt in Tecmo Super Bowl.
-Tony Brooks led ND in rushing in 1988 but his career in the NFL was exactly one punt return for 11 yards for the Eagles.
-Later in 1988, ND beat #2 USC in Southern California without Watters or Brooks 27-10. That game was probably their best game of the year, not this one.
-Randall Hill drops the ball on the first play of the game on a perfect throw.
-Later, Walsh fumbled to ND on what would probably be an incomplete pass now.
-Gary Stevens is mentioned to run this offense in Miami. He would leave at the end of the season and trade Steve Walsh's arm strength for...Dan Marino's. He would be the OC for the Dolphins for 9 years. His passing offense would be ranked in the top 4 for every season but one. He also almost replaced Rich Kotite as HC in Philly.
-The run defense for ND is amazing. Miami would eventually not run much and try passing to Cleveland Gary out of the backfield often.
-Scores are up and Nebraska is beating Oklahoma State 21-0. That is Barry Sanders' team. Nebraska would lead 35-0 at the end of the first quarter and win 63-42. Sanders that year is hard to quantify. Everyone thinks of 2,628 as being the rushing number. Really, though, it is 2,850 since he went 29 for 222 and 5 TDs in the bowl game to finish with 369 carries for 2850 and 42 TD. In his worst game against Texas A&M he had 20 carries for 157 yards and two scores. He made for that with a 61 yard punt return in that game.
-Back to the game, Rocket Ismail catches a 22 yard pass from Rice. Anyone else still have tons of Rocket Ismail Toronto Argonauts cards sitting around? I do.
-Pat Hyden gives the obligatory "Lou Holtz is Great at Adjustments" speech. It was contractually required for all ND games in the 1980s.
-First Wishbone sighting gets 13 yard gain and first down Braxton Banks. Never heard of him? Me, either.
-Rice scores late in the first quarter. On the play before, it looks like he ran the wrong way on an option and gained 5 yards anyway. The guy who did not get the pitch? Mark Green. Mark Green, the guy who only gets carries when Neal Anderson gets hurt in Tecmo Super Bowl.
-Hill returned the kick to the 43, celebrated and then watched the ball go back inside the ten due to a clipping penalty. Darn those convicts. Chudz's first catch gets them out of the shadow of the goal posts.
-Priest on the sideline sighting. Hate or love ND, something about that is kinda cool and intimidating as well.
-Hayden mentions that Miami averaged just 7 plays in their scoring drives. Actually, that sounds kind of normal to me. Anyone else agree? I mean, the Falcons in the NFL had the most 10 play drives. The ten play drive is rare in the NFL. I would think the talent separation in the NCAA teams would lead to a shorter average scoring drive.
-Walsh is picked on a pass down the seams to the tight end (a staple Miami play we still see all the time today, Shockey, Winslow, etc,..). The pass was behind the receiver.
-Miami gets the ball right back on a fumble. Defensive holding was called after the fumble. Seems like if you believed in conspiracies then this would be the Oopps! moment where the refs call the rare situation penalty in favor of the home team. They were not planning on that fumble.
-Guess what? Miami recruited a guy from Tarpon Springs, Florida. That never happens. I'd trade Tarpon Springs for hookers, booze and money any day of the week.
-Walsh ties the game on a score to Andre Brown who was down on the one. No matter, 7-7 it is.
-Rocket beats Bubba McDowell for a 57 yard pass to set up the second ND score.
-On the next drive, a ball is tipped and Walsh is guilt of the dreaded TAINT. 21-7 ND.
-Miami comes back and scores with a few minutes left on a 4th & 4 on the ND 24. 21-14 ND.
-ND does nothing on offense and Miami scores with just 24 seconds left in the half. Tie game at half.
-Rice is picked by Bubba McDowell.
-The conspiracy continues. On the very next play, ND gets the ball back on a play where the running back clearly had his progress stopped. Opportunity missed.
-Rice runs for 25 yards. Musberger mentions players slipping due to thin grass because of the drought that summer of '88. Exciting stuff.
-Rod Carter makes a nice play to stuff a run. Good to know that he did play.
-Blocked field goal attempt by...Bubba McDowell. The future Houston Oiler really only had one bad play and it that really was just a mis-judge of the ball flight on the Ismail catch.
-Cleveland Gary has 8 catches already.
-Notre Dame stuffs a 3rd & 1 to Gary and then stuff the fake punt. Jimmy Johnson is upset that his genius did not pay off.
-This game is all about reaction plays. First play is a 40 yard pass from Rice to Watters on a corner route to inside the five yard line.
-Touchdown out of the wishbone for ND. 28-21 Irish. There is another conspiracy play coming up in this one, but this TD falls into the hands of Johnson. The ND offense had not done much since the 57 yd pass to Ismail and they had a chance to pin them deep. The fake punt was very costly.
-I kind of miss the time when wide receivers put their fingers on the ground at the beginning of the play.
-Another nice thrown by Walsh to Chudz down the middle. Miami back in Notre Dame territory. Right after that a run is stuffed and Walsh misses a ball to Brown in the hole in the zone. Trip right on 3rd down and complete to Gary. Gary now over 100 yards on nine catches. Technically, he is the fullback. Miami has been running their fullback out of the slot. Imagine Vontae Leach out of the slot now.
-Walsh with a quick throw. Picked by 6' 7" Jeff Alm right in the middle of the line. Wow. Alm would play 4 years with the Oilers and get 2.5 career sacks.
-Another emotional reaction play. Brooks cut off on the right, spins, goes left for a 23 yard run.
-Rice down the middle on PA to Derek Brown. Big 25 yard gain. Holtz just used Miami's bread and butter against them. He really does adjust well. Mustberger follows with a story about how Brown was recruited by Miami but ND stole him.
-ND has shown the following formations on this drive: I form, Twins left, Wishbone Option, Single Back, Near, Full House and Pro Set.
-ND settles for the field goal and a 31-21 lead. The kicker for ND, Reggie Ho, looks like he is the size of an actual leprechaun. Seriously, he can't be more than 5' 2". He is listed at 5' 5", 135. No freakin' way. According to the ND website, Ho is now a cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology. So, um, he is a lot smarter than any of us. Hey, I bet he is good at his job, with those little hands and all.
-Walsh complete to Chudz. Sets up a field goal. 31-24 ND.
-Ismail muffs the kick and ND is stuck to start on their ten. Miami misses another opportunity.
-Holtz goes for it all to Ismail on a play action deep. Incomplete.
-That leads into a story about working on Rice's accuracy. Holtz' solution? Giving Rice a dart board b/c he thinks the throwing motion of a dart will help him on the field. Hey, I love darts. I don't care if I have never heard that before. Football coaches... buy your QBs dart boards and do it now. I recommend a BDO Blade III model with thin pointed wires along with a set of 26 gram titanium darts with spring loaded fronts. Also, buy them three lengths for the back and a couple versions of thin and fat flights dimpled and non-dimpled. All that crap I just mentioned costs a total of about $200.
-Walsh right now 24-40 for 356, 3TD, 3INT
-Gary 10-129, Chudz 5-84
-"[Walsh] throws such an easy pass to catch, it is so soft." -Hayden
-And here is most controversial play of the game. 4th & 7 on the 11. Pass to Gary. Mike Stonebreaker ends up with the ball. Johnson would scream forever that Gary was down. Honestly, he absolutely was down. Maybe. I think the right knee was down. But, damn, that was close.
-Someone should show the clip to Johnson now for fun. I mean, the jokes involved with getting "a rise" out of Jimmy are endless.
-After one first down, ND punts and Miami begins on the 49 with 3:52 to go.
-BTW, Johnson is still ragging on the officials on the sideline.
-Late hit by Chris Zorich on Chudz.
-Frank Stams to strip-sack and a recovery for the Irish. Another blown opportunity by Miami. who jumped on the ball? Zorich, of course.
-Miami recovers a fumble with 2:10 on the Notre Dame 20.
-Miami seemed to do so much damage on 3rd and 4th down.
-4th down and 6 on the ND 11 with less than a minute left. Walsh with a big bloody bandage on his chin. Touchdown to Andre Brown. Of course it was a touch pass on an in & out pattern.
-Johnson had big guts. He went for two. Knocked down by Pat Terrell.
-What a game. Hope you enjoyed this write-up as much I enjoyed watching the game.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
ESPN: THE ARTICLE
This may be a dangerous article to write. I am not a journalist; I am just a guy who has enough of an ego to think that my thoughts on sports and the real world is something other people need to hear. I have just finished reading “Those Guys Have All the Fun” by James Andrew Miller. I did not learn that much. I did learn that ESPN is an entity that has plenty of problems, but we helped create some of them. Societal reactions to ESPN and the subsequent decisions by the company provide a lot of the angst that exists. Because we helped create it, it is important to discuss the issues that ESPN has and how things can be done better by both parties.
The book itself is not so much a new work, but a compilation of all the rumors many of us have heard about the network. There are some bombshells, sure, but it is also possible that ESPN made themselves one hundred percent available to the author so the book could be so big that no one would read it for fear that the revelations from candid speech would be too much PR for the company to endure. Other than the Cliffs Notes version of “War & Peace,” I think the only thing that long that I had read before was from Bill Simmons’ “Book of Basketball.” In that hefty helping of pages, what did it actually say?
Overall, the news in the book is not revolutionary. One exception is a story about some secretaries allegedly garnering extra income from offering their bodies for money at the apartment of a drunkard Getty Oil executive. That guy happened to be Stu Evey, the man who made sure the Getty Corporation kept fueling money into the fledgling business. When ESPN was hemorrhaging money to the tune of $50MM more than expected; Evey was the one in front of the Getty board to get more. Many of the other points are things we may already know. Chris Berman is not technologically savvy and is a very loud talker. He got the job because he had that big voice, lived close and seemed smart. Bob Ley is the most respected journalist around. Like the rest of America in the late 1970s and early 1980s, ESPN personnel liked cocaine. Since baseball had a trial about it, a story about that drug from the early 1980s is not going to be something to go on a front page anywhere. Keith Olbermann is a genius who also takes himself too seriously. Even up to a decade ago, ESPN was a place where sexual harassment was commonplace. Bill Simmons does not like to be edited. Mike Tirico may have liked everything in a dress. Tony Kornheiser is an older guy with older thoughts on things and also may be so respected that he is the only guy who can get away with multiple ESPN-judged sins. ESPN-judged sins seem to only been committed when there is a public outcry of some sort. Mark Shapiro is either an embodiment of pure evil or the guy who made ESPN a cutting-edge network. So is Michael Eisner.
ESPN has become a target for everyone from Sports by Brooks, Deadspin, Sean Salisbury and basically everyone that is not part of the current staff. Maybe the reason is because people have an urge to take down the top dog in town. Maybe it is because ESPN an easy place to point at. ESPN is bulletproof in terms of longevity because a couple of smart salesmen figured out a new revenue stream for cable networks that had never been done before. Since ESPN was the first to do that and created a new genre of programming, the service providers are now the ones that have their unmentionables in a vice.
The size of ESPN makes sure that it is not going anywhere. That massive size and the many arms it has makes it impossible for it to fully edit itself. One example of this is about the comments Tony Kornheiser had about Hannah Storm where he mentioned she should not wear the tighter clothes she liked at her age. Another is the famous Rush Limbaugh situation when he made an insensitive comment about Donovan McNabb and the apparent hope that society has for a black quarterback to succeed. There was no initial fervor to the comment, but the media got the ball rolling the next day. The network had to choose between Tom Jackson, a very established analyst, and Limbaugh, a guy who had been there for only a month. ESPN only acted when society deemed a response to be appropriate. I am not comparing the severity of the comments, but I am saying that ESPN only acted when critics and peers reacted. Our society has turned into one where journalism is not necessarily about accuracy or even integrity, but it is more important for a story to be out quickly and be portrayed in the most eye-grabbing way possible. This has led not only to ridiculous hyperbole in language where we see the overuse of words like “all time,” but one that is overly critical and often wrong. Some blame TMZ for this.
For the “TMZ” aspect of the argument, Dana Jacobsen had an embarrassing situation that none of us should have ever heard about. She got inebriated at an office party and took some college football trash talking to a whole different level. She is a Michigan grad and Mike Golic, Notre Dame Alumni, was there. The embarrassing words got onto the internet. She had to make a public apology as was suspended.
ESPN is just as guilty as us because it has attempted to encourage employees to have Twitter accounts and be involved in the social network and blogging atmosphere that is out there. This creates great risk for ESPN in that it can lead to even more public outcry. This was shown in a recent Alabama football blog when a death of a player led to an immediate post on how it opened a position up for a good prospect. It does things in a backward manner when it comes to discipline. It will sit back and hope for the best, only to react when we react. There is a certain quantity over quality concept that seems to be at work here. ESPN also just does some silly things. According to the book, they banned a certain kind of shorts Cindy Brunson liked to wear because of the Hannah Storm situation.
Finally, it is an entity that has and puts itself to a higher standard. The aura that ESPN gives off from the quotes made is one of self-importance, invincibility and overall superiority. Some parts remind me of the end of movie “Dogma” when one of the demons dies and says, “But, I’m a f------ demon.” It can be petty. This was proven by how ESPN pushed out several prominent and successful members of ABC Sports when it was decided that there could not be two sports departments under one company (Disney). The other sports organizations were not very kind to ESPN when it was the new kid on the block, so ESPN struck back when it was given the chance. It can be loyal, but sometimes that loyalty is not based on how many years one has with the organization. It can be determined by who hired the two individuals up for the same position. Of course, that is common in many large organizations.
Unfortunately, this standard it is supposed to uphold has hurt a key aspect of the company. The name of that is quality journalism. It also depletes the integrity of the journalism. ESPN is supposed to be the “Worldwide Leader” while it admits in the book to increasing soccer programming because number two man John Skipper likes it. It also did not report on a big story about Ben Roethlisberger simply because he was supposed to host something on their network. The book then showed several members of ESPN try to defend that non-report. ESPN is truly kidding itself at times. The book manages to show a celebration of ESPN and writes that it has helped to liberate women. Not a decade earlier, a pretty reporter named Karie Ross was forced to leave the company even after she bravely stood up at the cafeteria to complain about the culture in the office. There are reports in the book about pornographic videos being shown in public areas. Scott Van Pelt was suspended because he said something bad about Bud Selig simply because of the ties to Major League Baseball the network has.
ESPN hurts itself with these obvious partialities. The most galling thing for the rest of us is that ESPN wants to be our source for definitive sports answers; however, it now takes some research for viewers to get the complete story. The second most galling thing is that ESPN can be so brilliant when it actually tries. Any viewings of “30 for 30” or “Outside the Lines” proves this. So why can’t they do it all the time?The rest of us are guilty for making ESPN use its time to have to explain Scott Van Pelt, Dana Jacobsen, Harold Reynolds, Sean Salisbury, Steve Phillips or any of the dozens of other stories when it should not have needed the time to address them. Maybe if we back off a little bit and consciously ignore the things we should not have the time to care about, ESPN could get back to doing better day-to-day reporting. ESPN can do a lot better in being proactive rather than reactive. It can go back to the roots of responsible and accurate journalism. These thoughts could be pipe dreams, but they are worth a shot since no competitor has come along to take down the giant. Fox failed and so have Comcast and everyone else. ESPN is here to stay, so they better figure out how to make it better.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
As I said before, I graduated from Ohio State in the spring of 2008. In the interest of full disclosure, I had season tickets for the 2005-2007 seasons; I saw four wins against Michigan; I went to the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and the 2008 National Championship Game. I also never went in for all the rah-rah nonsense. I rooted for the team, but Ohio State was not my football team until I went to school there, in spite of the fact that I grew up in Cleveland, which was split in the '90s between Ohio State and Notre Dame, with a sprinkling of Michigan alumni and fans tossed in to make things interesting. I even rooted for Arizona State in the 1997 Rose Bowl, which Ohio State somehow managed to win despite John Cooper's trolling the sidelines for that game. The Browns left town when I was ten, I couldn't stand Cooper's Buckeyes, and the football team of my childhood was St. Ignatius High School. Ohio State is my university first, and so is my team as a distant second. I root for the football team and the basketball team, I wear a Block O hat every now and again, but it doesn't ruin my day when they lose. Sorry to talk so much about me, but the point is that I'm not so invested in the football team that I'll miss the forest for the trees, or alternatively, the trees for the forest. In any case, I think I have as clear a perspective on this as I can, and it's hard for me not see something ugly in all of this.
I'll start with good news, and that is that Tressel resigned because a civil war would have ensued among the fans had the university chosen to fire him. Based on what I see from my friends and read in the papers, a large segment of vocal Ohio State backers tends not to blame Tressel; that is usually projected onto the young men who sold the merchandise in the first place. Of course it was his handling of the situation that brought him down, but that's not really what's at issue here in people's minds. There have been calls by certain people in the Ohio State community to stop recruiting 'those kinds of players,' and I find them distasteful. Really? What 'kinds of players' would those be, exactly? I think this gets to the heart of the matter, and it's part of why some Buckeye fans continue to identify with Tressel.
The implication of the previous sentence is obvious, and at the risk of getting too political for my own good, it has something to do with the way people look. I floated the theory to a friend of mine, who said it reminded him of a bit on the Colin Cowherd show once upon a time, contrasting opinions of Bobby Knight and Michael Vick among the people you would expect felt represented by each of them. To older white males, Knight was the model coach and a throwback who wanted to instill the forgotten virtue of discipline into the young; to younger black males, the Vick debacle was the product of African-American culture and so they would call and defend him.
Now, this isn't intended to start a race war or to call people in my native state names, though I think race clearly informs those ideas. Here my overall point is that we need to consider the image of Tressel. He's a (publicly) straight-laced, middle-aged white guy who wears a sweater vest. He's outwardly conservative, a convert to Catholicism, and a bit charming in a bland, unremarkable sort of way. Of course, he's a character (or, maybe even a caricature), as is everyone who has as public a profile as he--and he stands in for the all-American monotony that is the state of Ohio in the minds of many. Of course, the place is more complicated than that, and so is he quite obviously. The point is, though, that he represented something and some people. In a time when the state has been kicked down by the new economy (it is true that Ohio has not adjusted well to deindustrialization) and the new century, here was a local boy done good, who had made it without skipping town, the way so many people--including me--have. The state has been hemorrhaging population for over a decade, especially talented sons and daughters who might have wanted to help the place were it not for the suicidal economic policies of their civic fathers. Tressel's downfall is painful for people because a world they don't understand and probably resent for a number of reasons brought down one of their own.
Tressel, though, ultimately bears responsibility, and the thing that makes me pause more than anything else is his lack of a legitimate, full apology for what was done. He's mostly apologized for consequences rather than actions. It may be that he realized all along, given the gravity of the situation and the climate of the investigation, that this was the way that it had to end, so the only card he had left to play was that of the dutiful, stoic martyr. A more cynical interpretation would be that he's so invested in his own image that he couldn't admit to himself what he'd done, much less to the rest of the country. In the fulness of time, I'm not sure how we'll remember this episode or Tressel as a whole. It's both easy and myopic for Pat Forde to write today that Jim Tressel leaves the university with a tarnished legacy. It's worth pointing out that so did Woody Hayes, each of them unrepentant as the university forced one to resign and outright fired the other. So ended the careers of the two greatest football coaches in the history of a university.
It doesn't end there, though. Hayes eventually spoke at an Ohio State commencement, and tried to quote Emerson, telling graduates and the community to 'Pay It Forward,' a slogan which graces university community service campaigns and alumni capital campaigns to this day. He was given the honor of dotting the 'i' in Script Ohio, and in 2005 the university unveiled its tribute to his coaching career on the facing of Ohio Stadium's C Deck.
This is not to say that Tressel will be remembered in precisely the same ways. It is helpful in its own way that Hayes has died. It is easier to forgive the dead because they ask for so much less. This is not entirely true, though, because the requests of the dead are called 'tradition,' which hangs over all of us, and to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, prevents the tyranny of those who simply happen to be alive. Jim Tressel, as a character, tried to stand in for that tradition in a specific place. It must be said, he ultimately failed. Having won so much, though, it is hard to see how the program could turn its back on these days completely and forever.
What I'm saying, of course, is that this is about a lot more than just football. It's not a good thing for the reputation of the university in the short term, and it's certainly not good for the football program. When Cleveland was spurned by the Browns and then by LeBron James, too few people asked an obvious question: when are we going to stop believing that the sum of our city is in our sports teams? There are more important people and things in my hometown than the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers combined. Likewise, there is much more for Ohio State to be proud of than its football program. Anything that makes us--those from Ohio, those still there, and those who want to return--realize that we should pick each other up and that we should stand for more than success on playing fields ought to end as a good thing, no matter how painful in the present.
As another OSU alum, I would like to share a liitle more detail on these points. I was at OSU from 1998 to 2003 and graduated with a duel degree. The National Championship year and game provide a lot of fond memories for me. I am a hardcore fan that rationally tries to balance reality with being a fan. It is easier for me since my family has some Penn State and University of Pittsburgh influences. When people are overly critical of tOSU, I defend it. When the crazy fans defend tOSU with no good argument, I point out how stupid they are acting.
I continue to be amused by people (media mainstream) that keep overstating what is going on with each subsequent story. Ohio State, like every other school in the land, found sanctions BUT then lied about them. Jim Tressel is the one who tried his own cover-up in the interests of himself and a couple of the big-name players involved. It is only natural to have story after story leak out (Ray Small was funny, the kid barely stayed in school and only did so with T's help). Even the student newspaper helped perpetuate the scandal instead of letting the national media handle the scrutinizing. Logic tell us that everything that happened since the sham of a report in December (I mean, five days for an internal investigation, that does not pass the sniff test) has made sense. I have stated on the podcast by distaste for the NCAA and it's policies and silly rules (I mean, I am surprised that these kids can sell their books back). That does not change the obvious lies and ignorance for the system portrayed by Gene Smith, Gordon Gee and Tressel. The resignation was only the next logical step in these events.
There will be a period of time where Tressel will largely go unacknowledged as the team trudges through a couple seasons of sanctions and during the search of a big name coach to save the team from losing it's elite status. Eventually, though, time will allow us to forget this scandal as many others come to pass and time gives away to thoughts of the 10-2 average Tressel season and the underdog Championship win. After all, in the NCAA, if your team isn't getting arrested or being investigated, then your team has not reached the big time.
I have met Jim Tressel. Until a few years ago, his family still owned a house in the town I grew up in. Eventually, the memories will be fond because he does truly care for his players. He does not have the reputation of somebody like Nick Saban. Saban's style of about the understanding that both sides are using each other may be better in some cases, but Tressel's down home bed and breakfast calm makes almost everyone who meets him like him. Tressel is generally a good man who like any big-time coach has some skeletons in the closet (RE: Youngstown St. sanctions) and then tried a cover-up that he failed at. His lies and subsequent statements that did not pass the sniff test reminded me of a guy who tried to cheat on his wife but did not have enough of the street smarts (guile, a-hole-ness, etc.) to pull it off without getting caught.
In the end, it's not all bad. He is just another coach whose career is probably over with millions in the bank and nice house to spend the rest of his life in. He won't be the last and he won't be the last in Ohio State history, either. Besides, maybe Urban Meyer will come home in two years.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
2011 NFL DRAFT FIRST ROUND RE-CAP
I have always been a fan of the time-stamp article. I appreciate how the first thought has to be put to paper and then the writer gets a quick edit and they are done. Last year’s article that was written was one of the most-viewed parts of the web site. So, here goes with the 2011 version:
Pre-Draft- We get Jon Gruden, Mel Kiper and Chris Berman this year on ESPN. I am not sure if ESPN realizes that most of us just started to constrict circulation in our necks.
One pre-draft rumor is that Bob Batterman was in charge of the MapQuest directions for the owners to get to their respective offices, but the directions he gave led them into a terrible part of town and the limos had already driven away. Many owners have tried to call the league office and have said that they feel “cold” and “scared.” They are nowhere close to where they thought they would be. No comment on whether Batterman just hates sports with collisions.
Roger Goodell is in the building. He is getting booed, but let us give him some credit; he could have stuck with original plan. He was going to leave the country to promote the league in London but did not have a ticket to the Royal Wedding.
8:01pm-Obligatory Mel Kiper hair joke here. We are sure of three things tonight: bad nicknames from Berman, Gruden is going to love some players and Kiper will somehow have more hair by the end of the broadcast. Other than that, this draft should prove that we do not know anything, or at least as much as the Bills.
8:02pm- Adam Shefter is trying to clarify the legal issues going on right now. 85% of the fans ate a wing, belched and asked why Berman’s hair does not look like it is from a human head. Let your mind wonder.
8:04pm- Goodell somehow turns boos into mild cheers within three seconds. He needs to be in the classroom of every high school in the country.
8:05pm- Cam Newton is picked. The Panthers were impressed that he could count to a number as high as 36. They will teach him the offense with their version of Rosetta Stone. They hope it works. Jon Gruden listed 8 different things he has to adjust to in the NFL. Other than that, he is a polished QB. Also, the Panthers don’t select until the 3rd round now.
8:13pm- Ed Werder looks lost not being camped out at Brett Favre’s house. I hope he has learned to feed himself.
8:14pm- Denver selects Von Miller from Teas A&M. It’s a solid pick. Miller sort of looks like a bulked-up version of Steve Urkel’s alter-ego.
8:20pm- Marcell Dareus is the selection by the Buffalo Bills. The draft is following the theme of the last minute rumors. I guess the Bills’ new policy is to pick players that will actually help their team. Good for them. I am glad they did not draft a quarterback….. yet.
8:24pm- The Bengals select AJ Green. Can we get to picks we can make fun of yet? Oakland does not pick tonight. I need something. I will say this: He will be better than Peter Warrick. Plus, everyone on the team can leave their shoes out in the open.
8:29pm- Cardinals select Patrick Peterson. Honestly, I am just happy that our mock draft has been really good so far. He will probably end up with more sacks in his career than Andre Wadsworth. It is unfortunate that we will not see many returns from him since the NFL hates kick returners.
8:32pm-Falcons trade up. Everything is up in the air now. They take Julio Jones. He is fast, has some inconsistency with his hands and is tall. Those attributes describe current #2 receiver Michael Jenkins if he was fast.
8:38pm-The trade and the pick is official. The Falcons traded two first rounders, a second rounder and two 4th rounders. Mike Holmgren is very happy right now. Things really are looking up for Browns fans. There must be a meteor heading for the planet. This trade just may be looked back on in the future.
8:43pm-The Niners select Aldon Smith. I guess they really wanted two DEs from Missouri named Smith. This seems high for him, but who can question a team that once gave Nate Clements $50+ Million?
8:45pm-The Titans are up and select Jake Locker. We were exactly right in their thinking. I guess when you have an inaccurate quarterback long enough, you start thinking it is normal to have that. They only took him about a round too high. Gruden called himself a Locker Stalker. What does that mean? He kills coeds AND stalks their boyfriends? Does ESPN have this on tape?
8:52pm-Blaine Gabbert looks just as shocked as everyone else.
8:54pm-The Cowboys select Tyron Smith to replace Marc Columbo. The podcast is back on the board. Plus, it is official that everyone named Smith will be picked in the first round. Judge Susan Nelson told the NFL teams that they had to.
9:00pm- The Jags trade up to take Blaine Gabbert. They are looking to the future and have made a smart pick here. He’s going to be really good at throwing screens to MJD. They will put in another QB when they have to throw downfield.
9:07pm- JJ Watt is taken to help a horrible defense in Houston. If Houston had taken offense with this pick, Wade threatened to eat an entire pig in the draft room. Chris Berman gives us a useless fact about Troy Vincent. At least he did not give Watt an obvious nickname. Of course, it took 8 cattle prods to prevent it.
9:16pm- Vikings select Christain Ponder. No one knows what to do with this. Kiper almost threw his hair. This draft has more mediocre talent at QB than the Arena League. The woman QB from the Philly LFL team has a stronger arm.
9:23pm- The Lions select the lead singer from The Commodores…uh, no, that’s Nick Fairley. The Lions are now better than the Vikings. It is official. Suh and Fairley already betting on who gets to hurt Ponder first.
9:28pm- Robert Quinn is the pick for the Rams. The kid he was holding in the draft room kind of looked like Mr. T. The Rams are slowly becoming a football team again. Adam Carolla’s beer gut is pissed.
9:34pm- Trending on Twitter right now: #ChristainEffingPonder?
9:35pm- Miami selects Mike Pouncey. He is the best guard in the draft, but yet this is only about the 5th worst selection so far. The Jets fans are chanting about how much Miami sucks. Every Jets fan thinks it is okay to act like Rex Ryan. Several were turned away at the door of the draft for trying to lick feet.
9:41pm- Ryan Kerrigan is the selection. We had him slotted perfectly at 16 on the podcast. So what if he does not fit the system? At least they know he will not use the chest of a waitress as a credit card machine. We hear that Shanahan wanted to pick Scott Tolzien, but Snyder gave him the wrong room number to the draft room.
9:49pm- The Patriots select Nate Solder. Boston is actually angry that the hometown boy was not taken. One fan was getting out of line and then was air-choked from a distance by Belichick. The fans fell back in line quickly. They are now bowing to his name again and there was just 4,592,902 pink Solder jerseys sold online.
9:53pm- Berman’s first really bad nickname was just said. There must have been a large bonus in it for him to hold out that long. For the record: He said that Liuget is legit. He is picked by the Chargers. Gruden says that 300 lbs. is “not a big human being.” Some sort of American Dietary Council is on the phone for Gruden.
10:01pm- There are fans face-painting at the draft. This is clearly against the rules of fandom. Just for fun, they should have had one fall over the railing onto a pad we could not see. Maybe the fans would stop booing the Commissioner.
10:03pm- The Giants pick Prince Amukamara from Nebraska. That bonus must have been wired already and the bad jokes are flying. Berman made a reference to the impending Royal Wedding. If Steve Young was here still, he would have given himself another concussion. ESPN made a smart move with the three-man stage this year. Gruden is busy ripping the pick and telling us that Prince is no Ronde Barber.
10:09pm- We can’t help but giggle every time Christain Ponder’s name scrolls across on the screen.
10:11pm-Adrain Clayborn is selected by the Bucs. His nickname is “light switch.” Everyone in the world is happy that he was not selected right after JJ Watt. Although, it is possible that Berman’s head would have exploded with so much obvious-ness lurking.
10:18pm- The Browns select Phil Taylor from Baylor and trade back up to do it. The Browns managed to both make the best and worst trade of the round. Hack is near suicidal. I think it is a good pick as long as he loses 40 lbs and becomes faster and the bones of his feet stop growing together. There is nothing like the selection of 3-4 DT to play in a 4-3 to make Hack want to injure people. Peyton Hillis is making the selection for the Browns. Last year a special pick came from a kid from Make-A-Wish. This year, the marketing route was used since everyone hates the management of the league right now.
10:26pm- Anthony Costanzo is selected by the Colts. With the league year up in the air right now, Goodell decided that it was necessary to keep Payton Manning healthy. Costanzo’s reaction is the most excited we have seen anyone so far. Amazingly, Manning had the exact same reaction and then filmed a commercial to pay the bills. He also wrote some 25% loans to other players in need. Manning is a giver.
10:31pm- Goodell brings American service personnel on the stage with him. He will do anything at this point to not get booed. The next segment will show him helping an old lady cross and the road and he will next be escorted by Chuck Norris on the stage. Anyway, I am into it. USA! USA! USA!
10:35pm- The Eagles select Danny Watkins. Eh. Watkins thinks the only thing he would change in his life that he has never been to jail. See, he differs from Vick on this opinion. I hope it does not lead to future problems. His opinion is weird since Watkins looks exactly like I picture a Mountie.
10:39pm- Kiper is the least annoying guy on the panel. We are impressed by his Jerry Lewis Jet Black Just For Men. It is still not as shocking as the Christain Ponder pick. Gruden says that the Saints may be looking for a CB. He forgets about Malcolm Jenkins and Patrick Robinson, I guess.
10:41pm- The Saints select Cameron Jordan. The selection of average quarterbacks early has allowed for value picks late in the round. Berman plugged Steve Jordan so he could mention his Alma Mater. I guess when a guy only works five days per year; he has plenty of time to prepare.
10:50pm- The Seahawks are waiting forever to announce the pick. They select James Carpenter. That was only about two rounds too early. Arnold Schwarzeneggar will cover himself in mud and stay low to make sure he is safe from when Carpenter’s career explodes.
10:57pm- The Ravens did not sprint to the podium with a pick for Jimmy Smith. I am surprised. We saw Drew Rosenhaus calm down the room for Jimmy Smith. Smith is not on the phone and he may be getting the shakes. Many consider that a concern.
11:01pm- The Ravens passed on the pick. Kansas City gets the pick in in time and will now select. Note to the Ravens: You do not want to do things that Vikings have done in the past in the draft, or today, for that matter.
11:03pm- I think we have to switch to the NFL Network next year, but I am afraid that there is no one there that loves everybody. Or a guy who has more hairspray than an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Or a guy who works only five days a year.
11:05pm- The Chiefs select Jonathan Baldwin out of Pittsburgh. The draft is now off the tracks. No one knows what is going on. Mel Kiper sort of likes the pick. I am just confused at this point.
11:07pm- The Ravens select Jimmy Smith and Ozzie Newsome has gotten his perfect pick for himself as usual. I am concerned for the well-being of Hack. Please send “well wishes” emails soon.
11:09pm- The Patriots trade their pick. The world is round. People argue about politics and religion. China is big.
11:10pm- The Saints are selecting Mark Ingram by trading back into the first round. We are excited. One thing is sure for the PolishguyPodcast; We can tell you what happens in the mid-20s, just nowhere else. The Bears are up now and I am very nervous. If the writing style changes at the end here, then I got angry and ran away. The change will be noticed when every other word is a swear word about Phil Taylor or Newsome getting a perfect pick. Mark Ingram’s emotion is refreshing.
11:17pm- The Bears pick is in. It is Gabe Carimi. Other than the fact that he is the future replacement for Roberto Garza in the NFL and they needed a guy who specialized in pass protection, I love it. Let’s just move on.
11:25pm- Wilkerson goes to the Jets at #30. We had the city right and it seems that Rex Ryan is a good coach for the draft. He seems to go for the best value. Two Eff-you picks in two years for the Jets. I can’t rip on this one. Thank God Gruden embellished a point for me about his wingspan. I guess he is good at grabbing rebounds.
11:26pm- The Steelers select Cameron Heyward. Ho-hum. Just another possible hybrid pass rusher toy for Dick Lebeau. Did you know that Heyward is the son of the late Ironhead Heyward? I learn something new every day.
11:34pm- No one thinks the Packers are taking a punter here. I guess things do not look good for the Bears next year at this point. Hey, guess what? We set a record for defensive linemen taken in the first round. I am glad it was mentioned for the 34th time in the last 8 minutes. The only thing that happened more often was “boos” for Goodell.
11:38pm- Derrick Sherrod is the pick to finish the first round. It is an Eff-You pick better than what we had. Bowers is the biggest name not picked today. Word has it that his medical report came back with an 84% chance of future “Odenitis.”
How did we do this year? We got 26 of the 32 players right, 6 exact picks right (down from 11) and then 8 more correctly picked positions.