Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sept. 4, 2012, Part 2
Week 1 Cavalcade
- Part 1 - Make My Day
- Part 3 - Ten Reasons To Be Grouchy
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Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … it's missing the criminal element. I always felt like to have a successful column you've got to have a few bad citizens writing it.
"That stuff in the elevator, you made that up?
That was good. You have one thing money and practice can't buy. You look like a nice guy." … I get that Notre Dame has to go a little overboard on the discipline after some horrendous PR problems over the years, but what did radio broadcaster Allen Pinkett say – with his comments to a Chicago radio station that the Irish need to start recruiting players with questionable character - that every athletic director in America doesn't already accept as the way business is done?
Pinkett wouldn't have been in any trouble if he said Notre Dame needs to recruit nastier players instead of suggesting the school should bring in a few "bad citizens," and no college football program should target players with potential issues just to add a little spice to the mix, but you can't win at a high level at any sport without being forced to sell your soul a wee bit when it comes to getting the most talented players possible. It's part of the whole sports experience; you can't be a die-hard fan of a team without rooting for several players you wouldn't trust to watch a goldfish.
Cue up the 30 for 30 love letter that detailed exactly how Miami went from being a perennial doormat into the one of the greatest dynasties in college football history. Part of the transformation came from loading up on a boatload of phenomenal players, and part of it came from of a swagger and attitude boosted up by a slew of questionable characters. In the documentary, former Hurricane quarterback Steve Walsh laughed off the criminal acts from some of the players – even by some of the stars - reasoning that they did what they had to do to get by.
"It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day." …
Pop quiz. Q: What college football program has an issue with criminals? A: Technically, ALL OF THEM.
You can't have a college football program or a university without a sizeable portion of the players and students engaging in underage drinking and/or smoking pot. That's what it means when a player is suspended for violating team rules – he got caught.
If you really need to field a football program full of choirboys, go ahead, but don't whine when your Navy team gets steamrolled by my squad full of top-shelf talents 50-10.
Highlight on Page 11 of Urban Meyer's 129-page Plan To Win: Always keep your life in proper perspective. Get three hours of sleep a week whether you need them or not, and always, no matter what, find the time at least once a day to think about looking at a picture of your family.
And let's send it down to the sideline reporter, Heather, uhhh, ummm, Cox … There's no truth to the rumor that the ACC and SEC are the league tie-ins to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the opening weekend games in Atlanta because the Big Ten and Big 12 playing each other sort of sounds like a threat to traditional family values.
WARNING: You may only read the following blurb if 1) you agree to not clog my inbox with your dopey political views and 2) you refuse to send me some e-mail or tweet with the vapid "I don't come to CFN for anything political" whine … Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan gave a pregame speech to Miami University before its 56-10 loss to Ohio State.
Bad line to amuse one side of the aisle: Ryan
promised that his plan would provide the RedHawks
with a voucher that would give them an extra six
points. However, they'd still have to figure out how to make up the extra 40 on their own.
Bad line to amuse the other side: Ohio State could've scored more but they ran out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division were all they had left. In the end, the RedHawks couldn't be dragged down by OSU's usual cheap tactics because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious.
Highlight on Page 37 of Urban Meyer's 129-page Plan To Win: Tebow, rinse, repeat. Tebow, rinse, repeat.
I say let us put man and a woman together/
To find out which one is smarter ... If you can't figure out who the best quarterback is on your team, you're probably not a very good head coach. That's the job. A coach is supposed to be able to project how each piece of the puzzle fits and he's supposed to have a plan for how to set up a move ten steps down the line if a certain player progresses the way he's expected to. It's one thing if an established Spurrier-like legend is trying to juggle a quarterback situation to see who steps up in a role when pressed, but Florida's Will Muschamp hasn't exactly earned his stripes quite yet. Jeff Driskel might have been named the starter, but it's not like he did anything against Bowling Green over Jacoby Brissett to make him The Guy.
By the way, thanks to the Gainesville Quarterback Club for having me down there to speak last week. And thanks, Gainesville, for the nine pounds of waterweight I lost walking around the campus in insta-sweat 93-degree heat and 1,753% humidity.
Highlight on Page 49 of Urban Meyer's 129-page Plan To Win: Men aren't really complicated, Ana, honey. They are very simple, literal creatures. They usually mean what they say. And we spend hours trying to analyze what they've said - when really it's obvious. If I were you, I'd take him literally. That might help.
"The drinks are on … the house." Put that away, Tyler Tettleton. Your money is no good here.
"Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now." … It was awfully nice of Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien to put the names on the jerseys to make it easier to identify the ones who aren't very good at playing football.
Be thankful the NCAA didn't add the punishment of forcing Penn State fans to watch that game again … Don't you go falling into the pity pit that's being set up to trap the weak and the stupid. Don't start feeling sorry for Penn State because the football program lost on Saturday and will probably stink for the next bazillion years. That's sort of the point – the school and football program are being punished. This is how it's supposed to work. The players who are still there were given every opportunity to leave and chose to stay. The students are supposedly there to learn things. A true world-class university shouldn't need a good football team to be relevant.
The NCAA might have had it right – sucking at football might be worse for Penn State than the Death Penalty … Fortunately for Penn State, the Ohio game never really happened.
There's word going around that something resembling the artist formerly known as Penn State football is going to play Virginia this weekend, while actual college football teams are expected to make the trip to Happy Valley over the coming weeks to put on a series of exhibitions designed to separate 100,000 or so poor saps from their money. None of it, of course, will matter in any way.
Since the NCAA didn't drop the hammer, watch out for America to create its own version of the Death Penalty by banishing the program from its attention span for the next five years. Since the Nittany Lions can't go to a bowl and can't win the Big Ten title, the football program doesn't really exist, so why bother?
It's not like the USC situation of the last few years or Ohio State being slapped on the wrist this season; there was always the thought that those two were going to come out just fine on the other side.
Penn State will chirp every time some recruit is forced by an overbearing Nittany Lion-loving dad to sign on with the program, but it's not going to get enough players with any appreciable talent to make any real noise like the Trojans were able to do last season. And even if they did, so what?
Penn State might lose the remaining 11 games on its schedule this season and no one would really care. It could rise up and rip through the next 59 games with college football's greatest winning streak of all-time and it would mean absolutely nothing.
Penn State University isn't going to "heal" based on anything that happens on a football field, and it's certainly not going to get back its good name or reputation any time soon if the last eight months are any indication of how the school and community are going to continue to act.
So, Penn State football, go ahead and go through the motions. See how much money you can make off of your customers who want the experience of saying the words we are or Penn State in front of other people. Now that the novelty has worn off following the loss to Ohio, I'll be sure to remind everyone else to check back in 2017.
You are … Penn State. … Dignity. It has been sorely lacking throughout the entire process, but there's still time. There are plenty of good people around the program and the university, and their voices are about to be heard louder and clearer.
Highlight on Page 58 of Urban Meyer's 129-page Plan To Win: Score more points than the other team. If you do that, you'll have a chance in every game.
Not that I'm not a fan of getting the face time … Crap, my helmet came off. Now I'll have to go on the sidelines for a blurb.
Thank you, Malcom/Michael Floyd for going to the NFL … This year's recipient of the Ray/Roy Roundtree - Don'ta/Dont'a Hightower Award for the name I'm going to screw up at least 14 times goes to … USC WR Marquise/Marqise Lee! And here's your trophy from Iowa State coach, Paul Rhoades. Roades. Rhodes?
Highlight on Page 64 of Urban Meyer's 129-page Plan To Win: Eat, Pray, Love.
Great, I missed Bridgewater going ballistic but managed to catch SMU-Baylor … Ah yes, it wouldn't be the official start to the college football season if I didn't space that there's a game on the first Sunday of the opening weekend. Congratulations, Kentucky vs. Louisville!
I'd be more than happy to live in a Stella Artois ad, too … Excuse me for a moment. I'm searching for the lever that turns my office into the bar in the Heineken ad with the Amy Winehouse/Adele-like singers and funky dancers.
The last line on Page 129 of Urban Meyer's 129-page Plan To Win: Braxton Miller, Braxton Miller, Braxton Miller, Braxton Miller and Braxton Miller.
And I'm pushing for the 2015 national championship – or at least one of the playoff games - to be played in my basement, but there's no chance my girls will have all their Barbie crap picked up by then … The journey starts here. Welcome to my shameless and impossible quest to be on the committee that helps pick the playoff teams in two years. Why do I deserve a spot? I'd be the only person on the committee that 1) knows that UTSA's win over South Alabama was the best game of the first weekend of the college football season, 2) came name more than five players on each team and 3) can therefore prove I have no life whatsoever and can survive being sealed in a small room for hours on end dealing with college football.
Week 1 Cavalcade
- Part 1 - Make My Day
- Part 3 - Ten Reasons To Be Grouchy