Archive for the ‘College Football’ category

The Story of Why I Struggle to Walk Right Now

April 28, 2008

Here’s a story. Hopefully there’s some sort of important lesson to be learned somewhere in here.

On Saturday, Yackie and I decided to drive down to Rendondo Beach to visit Sully and KtL. We’d hang out, eat El Burrito Jr., and watch the NFL Draft. A simple enough day. We got their around 1ish, watched a little of the draft, decided to get El BJ, brought the food back to his place, and watched more NFL Draft. As you can probably imagine, Yackie and KtL were not all that enthused about watching names flash across the screen for any extended period of time. We then went out and walked to the beach, got some frozen yogurt (I went with a Coke Float, I have no idea why), came back and, you guessed it, watched more draft coverage. With all the talk of draft picks, 40 times, verticals, lifting reps, and “thrust,” Sully, Sully’s roomate Josh, and I started talking again about how we should see how fast we could run the 40.

This is where the pain begins.

Sully lent me his Arizona basketball shorts (cursed), Josh put on some sort of über-tight nike shirt, and we all went to West Torrance High School to run the 40. Yackie and KtL both had stopwatches, we blasted Kanye, and generally got pumped for a pretty bad idea (as Yackie stated it was many times).

The school was open and we were lucky enough to have the yard markers painted on to the edge of the track, which circled the football field. I immediately took my shirt off (you’re welcome ladies of the South Bay) to cut down on any possible resistance, and began stretching and jogging around. Sully remained unsure if he would run the 40, as he anticipated injury and/or embarrassment. Josh and I were getting in our respective zones (he played HS football, I HS tennis), positioned everyone, and finally, started sprinting. My goal was to be sub-six seconds.

We ran individual, hand-timed heats on the grass, and both consistently ran in the 5.5-6.1 range, although I don’t think I got in the 6s on the grass. Despite Yackie’s complaining, it was relatively fun, and put my curiosity to sleep.

At this point, Sully decided (after numerous full laps around the track) that he wanted in, but only in a head to head fashion – on the track. He ran two heats. His first heat, he beat Josh by a length and finished around 6.06ish. Not bad, especially considering Sully was hedging his potential time by talking up his distance running and claiming to have no short burst.

In the final race of the evening, I raced Sully on the track for unspoken future bragging rights. It was counted off by Josh, timed by Yackie, and we were off. For some reason, Sully, for the first time that day, started grunting and moaning during the sprint, throwing me off a little. I don’t make excuses, Sully beat me by a length fair and square. Immediately after finishing, I felt a tightness in my hamstrings, and started walking a little more gingerly. I didn’t think much of it, and just chalked it up to soreness from not having sprinted in quite some time.

We got some more food, drove home, and lo and behold, the soreness increased. Fast forward a bit, and by the time I woke up yesterday, I could barely move. My hamstrings were the size of softballs, my hips (which don’t lie) hurt everytime I did anything more than flinch, and I became certain that I had not only just shin splints, but hip, quad, knee, shin, and foot splints.

Rad.

Today, I tried walking with Yackie at a regular pace in my neighborhood before she laughed and asked if it was ok to walk ahead at a normal speed. This isn’t good.

As I sit here now typing this, I just tried to cross my legs on the ledge underneath my desk, and it was an unnecessarily lengthy struggle.

Officially, I’m day to day, but I may be sent down for a simulated game and then a rehab assignment.

The lesson here: never fool yourself into thinking it’s a good idea to try to run the 40 yard dash, especially multiple times. I don’t get how it is I’m slower than every single offensive lineman ever, but I now accept it as fact.

Also, Yackie is almost always wrong about things, but occasionally she can be correct.

Ugh.

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Bull Rush in Abril

April 3, 2008

Ok, I’m here. I’m alive, although I’m not sure anybody equated my death with my lack of posting. If so, you should now be feeling an overwhelming sense of relief.

• Last night I went to the Dodger game with Big Daddy Eisner and BDE’s parents, who gainfully employed me during high school. If by some chance, you’re a casual reader of this blog and need BBQ Catering in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please do go with Rosie’s BBQ. We sat in the orange (second level), which proved to be pretty good. The seats were under the overhang, but still in prime foul ball territory, which always makes things exciting, although BDE and I slightly disagree on catching technique. He opts for catching like an egg, where as I’m of the belief that you should cradle it into the body, rib injury be damned. The game sucked, it was cold, and I made myself even colder by eating an ice cream sandwich in the later innings. Also, I think Scott owes me money for parking. (I will, however, accept BBQ food in the place of money.)

• I did a video with college wrestling fans and participants a couple of weeks ago for SI. You’ve probably already made up your mind about whether this interests you, but it’s up on the new version of my site at SI Tour Guy. Hopefully in the coming months, the SI player will be upgraded so that everybody can watch videos on the site that wants to, with no problems.

• I’ve been running more and more and my body seems to be holding up. I attribute this to my listening to the Tony Kornheiser Show on the ol’ Shuffle. Nothing gets you jacked up to keep pushing yourself like a cranky guy pushing 60 who endlessly complains. Good stuff.

• There’s a Sharky’s five minutes from me that is outstanding, save for their horrible, semi-paved parking lot.

• The Ducks just opened spring practice. I did my best to explain the issues being addressed to Yackie, and I must say, she did a fairly good job of following along. What I’ve done to her may now be more clearly defined as a “near-thorough brainwashing.”

• Frozen custard in St. Louis is excellent. After getting lost (in what must be the most abandoned major city in the country), Sully and I made it to Ted Drewes, where around 60 people were eating frozen custard in 40 degree weather. The other highlight was going into North St. Louis (not East) and getting the best ribs I’ve ever eaten. Were we the only two white people in the neighborhood? Almost. Was it as bad as it was described to us? Not so much.

The best thing was returning the car immediately after eating those ribs and having the Avis employees completely flip out at how great the rib smell was as soon as we opened the door. Good folk in the StL.

• I’ve been watching season one of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job (actual title), the 12 minute sketch show on Adult Swim, and it’s pretty funny. It gets a little odd sometimes, but well worth one’s time (if he or she were to have too much of it). Friend of the blog Esa (Garbage blog, see right) recommended Frisky Dingo, also on Adult Swim. I’ve watched four episodes (12 min), also pretty funny. See, this is why I’ve been running so much, I either do nothing or kill myself doing something, I’m strange.

Hulu.com is the best thing ever to help you do nothing. I’ve been watching Arrested Development episodes that I’ve already seen, nonstop.

“You mean he can’t even grow his own hair? C’mon!”

Oregon basketball is not so good. Next year, the team will be completely different, let’s hope Big Ern gets some new assistants, as well. Luckily, Big Mike Dunigan (incoming 5* center) won’t have to deal with those pesky Brothers Lopez. God was this year awful to watch.

• I think I’m going to start doing some new web stuff in the near future, all this time is ridiculous. Stay tuned. Or don’t. Whatever, it’s coo.

• Old friend Sam is moving to London. I ate steaks with him and other people from the Cbas last weekend. Ray Romano was there, but he seemed to want to eat with other people and not recognize that Sam was leaving. Sucker.

We went up to Sam’s office at Google around the corner, where I got way too excited about free candy and played Rock Band for the first time. I killed it on lead vox during Fall Out Boy and The Killers. EPIC.

• Yackie framed my two magazine appearances with the covers of the respective issues they appear in. The thought is great, but I now am constantly distracted by a Playboy cover in front of me with a giant painted ass. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.

• Just so you know, navel oranges are for sure in season.

This is getting long. That’s what she said.

Zing.

Oh Eight

January 8, 2008


Whaaaa??

Hello, I’m back. The holidays were somewhat busy, but I definitely had enough time to come up with a list of ’07 Best Ofs and didn’t because I’m a terrible person. I just got back from Philadelphia/New York/New Jersey, which was wedding/family/meeting stuff. All good times. More on that shortly. Also, I watched too many bowl games and almost lost thew will to ever enjoy sports. And then I watched the Sun Bowl and all faith was restored, at least temporarily until the Ducks lost a basketball game to ASU (urg).

Wha? Monday Bullets?

December 17, 2007


Pre-SuperBurrito.

You got it Chachi. You got it.

• I’m watching House right now and it’s pretty good. Hugh Laurie is fairly strong but I’m not so crazy about the supporting cast. I guess it’s pretty much the Cleveland Cavaliers of the Fox drama department.

• Last night, I went back to Don Antonio’s (yes, the Don Antonio’s) with Yackie, Sully, and KtL. Last time we went was the day UCLA embarrassed themselves in the Final Four this past March. Sully wound up likewise embarrassing himself when he got conquered by the Chicken Super Burrito ($10.75). Fast forward to yesterday, all remained similar (save for Yackie getting an enchilada this time) and Sully managed to at least stay awake through dessert, albeit in a pompous, over-the-top fashion. I have no idea if he fell asleep during the car ride home with KtL, and I don’t know if we’ll ever know. God Speed, Sully, God Speed.

Oregon lost to Nebraska. Tajuan Porter, had an unreal game, but couldn’t make a free throw. I don’t like where this season is heading if the Ducks can’t make defensive stops, hit free throws, and get controlled play from the point guard position, they’ll be sixth-ish in the Pac-10 instead of second-ish, where they should be. Blech.

• Had a downright tasty lunch with old buddy RPT (she’s not old, although I’m pretty sure older than I am), visiting from Portland. I ate with her and her friends she was visiting at Canter’s. It was pretty uneventful (I went with the standard CB Sand), other than a fire truck and ambulance sitting outside the restaurant to take somebody away. Not all that surprising – Canter’s skews anything but young.

Andrew Bynum‘s arms look to be about nine feet long. He looks to be pretty good at basketball. Woo.

• It’s college football recruiting season, which, of course, brings out the recruiting uber-nerd in me. I won’t go into any detail that will at some point incriminate me (and there are many far worse than I), but the Ducks’ class appears to be coming together quite nicely. You’re bored, I’m moving on.

American Gangster is pretty good, not great, though.

• The season two highlight reel of the CFTG I believe should be up on SI and my site in the near future. You won’t believe all the nudity, A-list celebrities, and rampant drug use that’s included. Mostly because it’s not in there.

• The season four Lost trailer looks awesome. Crazy Asian guy from Uncle Junior’s nursing home on The Sopranos? Check. The guy who played Eugene from Eugene, OR from Rescue Dawn? Check. More of the Jack beard? Check. I’m jazzed. Ok, I’ll never say “jazzed” again.

• I just downloaded the CTU phone ringing sound as a new ringtone for my iPhone. I won’t lie, I’m pretty excited.

More later this week. Yes….more!!

Bowl Time…Still? (part 2)

December 4, 2007


I get nervous just thinking about how huge this year’s GMAC will be.

Alright, now we’ll get into the bowls that REALLY don’t matter. Supposedly some of these games are supposed to mean something, but don’t be fooled, they’re being played because somebody’s gotta play in them, or else we’d have some sort of playoff on an equal playing field based on merit. Wouldn’t want that, would we? And yes, my bitterness factor has soared to levels unseen before Dennis Dixon’s unfortunate ACL incident.

Brut Sun Bowl – El Paso, TX – Dec 31
South Florida vs Oregon

This game means the most and the least to me personally. Supposedly El Paso is sort of dump-ish, but that won’t stop literally hundreds of people from attending this game.

When Oregon had to rely on a backup QB who doesn’t run (in a spread offense) and a series of redshirt freshmen who played all year on the scout team, they couldn’t really “play football effectively.” That said, they still should’ve beaten Arizona and probably UCLA. They’re completely decimated physically and mentally, which isn’t all that great of a place going into a bowl game, no matter the insignificance.

South Florida beat some teams that were supposedly good, but weren’t as good as they probably should’ve been (Louisville, Auburn) and lost to decent teams. The Big East is pretty terrible, so it’s hard to tell how good they are, and i’m not sure beating Oregon makes a case for them either way.

I just want this game to be over with.

Gaylord Hotels Bowl – Nashville – Dec 31
Kentucky vs Florida State

Right off the bat, it’s always fun to have the word “gaylord” somehow involved in a bowl game. There appears to be many Gaylord options in Nashville, and size doesn’t matter, as you can stay in any Gaylord in the area, big or small, and have a good time.

Andre Woodson, the Kentucky QB, is pretty good, and Kentucky beat LSU in triple OT. They didn’t lose to anybody terrible, but they’re not all that great. Rich Brooks gets bonus points for getting a field named after him after he left Oregon, but that doesn’t really count for anything.

Florida State is not that good at college football. I used to really like watching the old FSU teams, but the recent FSU offense is matched only by the likes of Calabasas High School in its ineptitude (Go Coyotes!)

I’ll probably instead be watching a rerun of Two and a Half Men and I happen to think Two and a Half Men is a pretty unfunny show.

Insight Bowl – Tempe, AZ – Dec 31

Indiana vs Oklahoma State

Remember the good ol’ days of college football when this was the Inisight.com Bowl? I guess they sold the rights to their “.com” to Papa John. That John sure is a marketing genius, isn’t he?

Indiana loaded up on nobodies and became bowl eligible! Yay!

I saw three quarters of Oklahoma State live against Georgia and they looked like they should be good, but they weren’t all that good upon closer inspection. They had a slighty above-average season in a Big 12 conference that isn’t all that impressive, so who knows. Bonus points, though, for a crazy coach, who, and I don’t know if you’ve heard, is 40. Go at him, he’s a man.

The game’s in Tempe, so at least you know somebody’s leaving the bowl with sores or burning sensations, so that’s always fun.

Chick-fil-A Bowl – Atlanta – Dec. 31
Clemson vs Auburn

First of all, I don’t get to have it that often being in LA, but Chick-fil-A is excellent. I’ve probably only had it two or three times in my life, but it’s always in the back of my mind whenever I’m in the south. And yes, I’m strange.

Clemson has two really good running backs, lost to a bad Georgia Tech team (in Atlanta), lost to an overrated Boston College team at home, and lost to a good Virginia Tech team. They’re also coached by a Bowden, so take that for what it’s worth.

The best thing that happened to Auburn all year is that they beat Florida (twice at the end) and their kicker did the Gator Chomp all over the field. Terrific. Unfortunately, they lost to Mississippi State and South Florida (one of 78 former #2 teams). Neither of those teams is bad, but Auburn should be beating those teams year in and year out soundly.

As for the game, I could be convinced to watch it if I had some actual Chick-fil-A (second only to Bojangles Chicken) in front of me.

Outback Bowl – Tampa, FL – Jan. 1
Wisconsin vs Tennessee

It’s New Years Day, so you know what that means…only one Pac-10 team plays thanks to Tom Hansen’s brilliant bowl alignments! Ok, I got that out of me…

Wisconsin was supposed to be good, but didn’t play outside of the Big 10’s reputation for 2007. They were wildly overrated, played decent defense, had a fairly uncreative and uninteresting offense, and lost to the decent teams they played. PJ Hill, their starting RB, is good, but beyond that, this is a boring Big 10 team. Sorry.

Tennessee lost to Cal, which in retrospect, must be pretty embarasssing for both the team and the SEC. Oh well, Cal was better and healthy then. Tennessee benefited from an SEC East that was pretty inconsistent, with the Volunteers being the least inconsistent, but not necessarily consistent, if that makes any sense. They also got embarrassed by a three-loss Florida team and shellacked by an average (if even that) Alabama team.

This is one of those games that Wisconsin probably wins, mostly because Big 10 teams seem to care about winning inconsequential bowl games and lay giant eggs in big ones.

AT&T Cotton Bowl – Dallas – Jan 1
Missouri vs Arkansas

How dare Missouri beat Illinois and Kansas (two BCS bowl teams), only lose to one team (BCS bowl team, Oklahoma, twice), and finish ahead of five teams that got BCS bids! They soundly beat everyone they were supposed to beat and lost to Oklahoma. No shame in that. Missouri has nothing to prove and will probably mail in this game. College Football!

Arkansas has, with apologies to a healthy Oregon backfield, the best duo of RBs in the country. The Razorbacks aren’t bad, but they’re not all that great, either. Luckily, they’re playing a team that doesn’t want to be there, so they’ve got that going for them.

I’m going to miss Houston Nutt, if not just for him being the subject of the ESPN article about the psychotic Arkansas fans that used the Freedom of Information Act to track his every communication. SEC Fans: Taking College Football Way Too Seriously since 1932.

Gator Bowl – Jacksonville, FL – Jan 1
Texas Tech vs Virginia

I enjoy this matchup, just because you get to see two crazy coaches on the same field. By all accounts, Al Groh is crazy curmudgeon, and Mike Leach is a conspiracy theorist who at one point was obsessed with vikings, but continues to be obsessed with a pass-happy spread offense.

Virginia has Howie Long’s son, who is apparently really good. They also barely beat a bunch of mediocre teams. Additionally, they seem to have the softest fan base this side of Westwood, so there’s that.

I might watch this game for the off-chance that Mike Leach goes completely insane.

Captial One Bowl – Orlando – Jan 1
Michigan vs Florida

I haven’t been predicting scores or anything, but this could be the no brainer of the bowl season. Florida should beat the Wolverines by 45, which of course means Michigan will win somehow.

Michigan really isn’t that good at all and I’m not sure they really have anything to play for. It turns out that Chad Henne is only pretty good, not the world beater he supposedly was in the Big 10. Mike Hart, though, I think is a legit RB, albeit one who never appears to blink.

At the very least, there should be at least one Urban Meyer/Dan Mullen ridiculous play call along the lines of “Triple Reverse Statue of Liberty Fumblerooski.” Always fun.

Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA – Jan 1
Illinois vs USC

Big Daddy Eisner went to Illinois and is very excited that the Illini went from a two win season to the Rose Bowl in one year. He seems to care not that the Illini have earned a trip to the Capital One Bowl and received a Rose Bowl bid, thanks to the generous Rose Bowl committee, who I assume were all old enough to read about Spanish-American War as it was happening. Hurray for Pac-10 vs Big-10, no matter how ridiculous the actual match-up. The Big-10 gets two BCS bids because they pad their schedules better than anyone else! Huzzah!

USC is healthy. Juice Williams is good and will be even better the next couple years, but after January 1, he may get terrible flashbacks every time he hears the word “Maualuga.”

This game, along with the national championship, encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the college football postseason. See you there!

Allstate Sugar Bowl – New Orleans – Jan. 1
Hawaii vs Georgia

I actually have no problem with Hawaii being here. They did everything within the system to get here. Sure, they barely got by terrible teams (Washington, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, gave up 37 to atrocious Utah State), but they won and did what they needed to do in a flawed system. It also helps that they played nobody (but supposedly tried to) outside of their conference. Another bright, shining reason for a playoff.

I was hoping Georgia would make the national championship after not even making their own conference championship (just to screw everything up), but alas, they did not. I don’t even know who I want to win – if Hawaii wins, we get more non-BCS schools padding their schedules and proving nothing until January, if Georgia wins, Hawaii is the fraud we’ve all thought they were all along.

Lose-Lose.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – Glendale, AZ – Jan 2
Oklahoma vs West Virginia

Both of these teams looked beatable all year and were in that elite contender category without either being all that great and invincible.

Oklahoma lost to two unranked teams and West Virginia turns the ball over and is fairly injury prone, especially Pat White.

This game may be somewhat interesting – at least you have two good teams playing in a bowl they both deserve to be in. This year, that’s more than you can say about any other BCS game, so I’ll take it.

Note to West Virginia – practice the hook and ladder and statue of liberty all month long.

FedEx Orange Bowl – Miami – Jan 3
Virginia Tech vs Kansas

Year in, year out, Virginia Tech manages to play well in a conference that doesn’t pose too many challenges. They beat the decent teams and generally fold against the respectable ones. I have no idea how good they are.

Luckily, I have even less idea about how good Kansas is, as they lost to the one respectable team they played all year. Luckily, this somehow gets them an invitation to the Orange Bowl. The lesson learned here is always play substandard competition and hope everyone in front of you gags away their collective seasons, as was the case this fall.

This mess of course is being brought to the OB.

International Bowl – Toronto – Jan. 5
Rutgers vs Ball State

I know what people want to see after three BCS games…uh, inferior teams? This game poses one very important question: Will either David Letterman or Tony Soprano make their way up to the Great White North? If not, I probably won’t be watching. Actually, even if they do, I probably won’t watch. Sorry.

GMAC Bowl – Mobile, AL – Jan. 6
Bowling Green vs Tulsa

This game goes to show you just how awesome having 32 bowls is. I mean, how else were we going to see who’s better between Bowling Green and Tulsa. With all the pundits choosing sides, it’ll be nice to settle this epic battle on the field. No more smear campaigns and rumor-mongering, just good old necessary football matchups, like Bowling Green vs Tulsa.

Bowling Green beat Minnesota, but remember, EVERYONE did. Tulsa beat BYU and Houston, both reasonably impressive victories in dominant fashion.

I like the Golden Hurricane over the Falcons in a close one. But really, that just came out of nowhere.

Allstate BCS Championship Game – New Orleans – Jan. 7

LSU vs Ohio State

LSU is here because they’re undefeated in regulation, duh. Oh, but yea, they lost twice in football games. Also, LSU went from 7th to 2nd because people assume they’re the best team in the country, despite what they do on the field. This is fine because, well, why not? It’s college football. LSU can be easily out-coached, but lucky for the Tigers, they play Ohio State, who has beaten, wait, who have they beaten?

Ohio State has clearly left little doubt that they’re the best team (in Ohio) this season. With dominating victories over, get this, Youngstown State, Akron, and Kent State, it’s hard to argue that they’ve had a magical season (against teams in Ohio). Add in their seven home games, a terrifying road game at Pac-10 powerhouse, Washington (last place), a loss to the only decent team on their schedule, and Ohio State has clearly done enough to prove themselves as a team of destiny (in the state of Ohio).

This game doesn’t matter. If LSU wins, what does it mean? If Ohio State wins, what does it mean? Both teams, through a combination of scheduling and fortunate reputations, have stumbled into a position to claim a trophy that, unless won in any sort of fair scheme, means increasingly little.

Huzzah!

End

So that’s all I got, at least tailgating is fun.

Bowl Time…I guess (part 1)

December 2, 2007


So necessary. Somehow, the site wasn’t PapaJohns.comBowl.com. Hm.

Alright, I’m sure many of you (dozens!) are chomping at the bit to know exactly what’s going on in my little world through a series of bullet points and poorly thought out nicknames, but that will have to wait, because I have a bowl rundown to do so that when you (dozens of you!) wake up and go through the routine of seeing a blog that’s almost never updated, you can be surprised and have something that will kill three minutes of your December morning (or afternoon, evening, or night). There really isn’t anything I love more than college football, but if you get past the idiots screaming things like “Anything can happen!” and “Curse of the #2!” and “I’m actively comparing Alabama football to Pearl Harbor!”, you’ll realize that this season kind of sucked. Let’s continue with the bowl rundown:

San Diego Credit Union Poinsetta Bowl – San Diego – Dec. 20
Utah vs Navy
Unless Navy isn’t bowl eligible, they play here because of the Navy base in San Diego. I never really watch this game, but it’s cool to flip to see all the sailers and seamen (tee hee) come out and do Navy-like things while cheering on the Midshipmen. I have no idea what a midshipmen is.

Utah embarassed UCLA, and unless you played your fifth string QB for the majority of the time against the Bruins, your favorite team probably did or would do the same. Andy Ludwig, who used to be the offensive coordinator for the Ducks, now calls the plays here. Expect oodles of bubble screens.

R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – New Orleans – Dec. 21
Memphis vs Florida Atlantic
I don’t know too much about these teams and I know even less about what the hell R + L Carriers is. Luckily, I don’t care enough to even Google it.

This is one of three bowl games in New Orleans, so to all those FAU and Memphis fans, go buy some gumbo and try not to pee too much in the streets, it’s the least you can do.

Florida Atlantic scored 20 points against Florida and they even beat Minnesota. This would be impressive if it weren’t for the fact that Minnesota played in the 2007 Big 10 (11) conference.

Papajohns.com Bowl – Birmingham, AL – Dec. 22
Southern Miss vs Cincinnati

I’m assuming it’s the “.com” bowl because Papa John wants you to know that you can order his pizza online. Who cares? This pizza goes right through me, so it makes no difference to me. I’ll stop with the digestive sidebar.

Cincinnati embarassed a fully-functioning Oregon State team on national television, but really isn’t that the OSU calling card for early in the season anyway?

Southern Miss played a ton of directional and satellite campus schools – Tennessee-Martin, East Carolina, Central Florida, UAB, and UTEP.

I’ll probably watch this for six minutes to hear people say Papajohns.com over and over again and sound like tools.

New Mexico Bowl – Albequerque – Dec. 22
Nevada vs New Mexico

I briefly worked with Nevada’s punt returner and his brother at Rosie’s BBQ in high school. His name is Alex and he seemed like a good guy. Last year, he tore his ACL on a punt return in their bowl game, so maybe he can get on the field this time and not hurt himself. I will say, though, getting hurt on ESPN, especially if you don’t play a lot, ensures you of plenty of screen and sideline reporter attention. Way to go, Alex!

I’d say New Mexico has an advantage here, but they may drastically underestimate the will and power of Nevada’s punt returner (just don’t go for the knees, Lobos!).

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl – Las Vegas – Dec. 22
UCLA vs BYU

UCLA beat BYU earlier in the year and nobody really cared. And they get to play again!! Tune in as Karl Dorrell coaches his last game for the Bruins and the ESPN announcers talk about how Oregon crapped their pants last year against BYU and that BYU can compete against Pac-10 teams. Also, BYU players are old. I’m getting tired just thinking about how little this game matters.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Honolulu – Dec. 23
Boise State vs East Carolina

The only real thing appealing here is the combination of people from Idaho and North Carolina getting together in what appears to be a borderline-dangerous tropical stadium to watch slightly above average football. I enjoy that Fresno State fans were concerned for their safety here, so you know it actually has to be pretty scary in that area because Bulldog fans are generally, well, psychopaths.

Also, these two teams have ugly uniforms (this coming from an Oregon fan), so that’s always fun. The UniWatch guy at ESPN will probably implode if he accidentally happens upon this game while flipping around.

Motor City Bowl – Detroit – Dec. 26
Purdue vs Central Michigan

Congratulations on a great season, guys! Your reward is an all-inclusive trip to … Detroit! I know you’re particularly pumped about that, Central Michigan!

My brother went to Purdue and stopped caring about football games after his freshman year because he found delivering pizzas for Domino’s to be a booming business on Saturdays in the fall. That story had no purpose, but that’s really all I know about Purdue football beyond Drew Brees, the coach has a pretty rockin’ mustache, and they have a giant drum in the marching band.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl – San Diego – December 27
Arizona State vs Texas

This game has become the consolation prize for Pac-10 teams who may or may not have been screwed out of a bowl game they feel they deserve. ASU probably feels they deserve the Fiesta Bowl, but they haven’t really beaten anyone. Then again, Kansas got a BCS game and the best team they beat may have been Calabasas High (Go Coyotes!).

Texas seems decent, although not as good as Texas should be every year. I never really liked Mack Brown and it’s always fun to see him lose after he lobbied his team into the Rose Bowl a few years ago.

Also, just a stellar job by the Pac-10 of having the second place team play right after Christmas. Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen is the bestest ever!

At least they get to go to San Diego, which is probably the best destination of any bowl city in late December. It’s either SD or Detroit, anyway.

Champs Sports Bowl – Orlando – December 28
Boston College vs Michigan State

Well, after beating up on a bunch of nobodies early, it turns out BC wasn’t that good after all. Matt Ryan seems like a decent QB who just happened to give the game away to Florida State a few weeks ago. Oh well.

Michigan State is no longer coached by the guy who slapped himself after losing to Illinois. In all fairness, he probably made the right move there.

I’ll bet they show clips of the teams going to DisneyWorld!!

Texas Bowl – Houston – Dec 28
TCU vs Houston

TCU was supposed to be pretty good and wasn’t. Houston was supposed to be pretty good and was pretty good. This bowl game has no history (first game: 2006) and will be on the NFL Network, which will undoubtedly cause the same levels of frustration and argument between the NCAA and the major cable companies as it does with NFL games.

Oh wait, no it won’t.

Predicted Ladainian Tomlinson references: 17.

Emerald Bowl – San Francisco – Dec. 28
Maryland vs Oregon State

Oregon State should probably be in the Sun Bowl, but they were last year, so they can’t go. Good job beating Oregon in Eugene, it didn’t matter who won, because either way you just lost hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Maryland seems to be pretty good, let’s hope former Terrapin, Shawn Merriman makes the trip up the five for the game. Maybe if we’re lucky, he can do a special shoot-up right there on ESPN’s cameras and bite somebody’s head off.

Meineke Car Care Bowl – Charlotte – Dec. 29
UConn vs Wake Forest

I don’t know much about this game (which I believe makes me any American ever), but I do know that George Foreman does Meineke commercials, which seems so odd, because he doesn’t seem at all like the kind of guy to lend his name or likeness to any sort of product or company.

UConn has the fraudulent player who did the fake fair catch. I don’t know, maybe show some class and take a cue from a one Alex Rosenblum, punt return SPECIALIST from Nevada.

Tim Duncan went to Wake Forest in the 90s.

Clearly, I’ve already gotten lazy.

Autozone Liberty Bowl – Memphis – Dec. 29
UCF vs Mississippi State

UCF’s coach, George O’Leary lied on his resume and got fired at Notre Dame before coaching a game. Mississippi State’s coach has the first name Sly. Edge: Sly.

Get in the zone, Au-To-Zone. Expect that repeatedly in like four weeks if you have absolutely nothing at all better to do. Remember: clipping your toenails or figuring out your top five favorite Weezer songs counts as something to do.

(For the record: 1. Across the Sea 2. Say it Ain’t So 3. Only in Dreams 4. Buddy Holly 5. The Good Life)

Valero Alamo Bowl – San Antonio – Dec. 29
Penn State vs Texas A&M

Penn State is no good. I know this because their coaches that are under 147 years old had the players play Madden to get better with reads and decisions. After I heard this before the season started, I knew they’d be awful. And guess what? They’re not that good.

After I filmed at Penn State and while getting lost driving on Pennsylvania’s backwards highway system, I got gas at a Valero station and had a third of Casey’s spicy Doritos. This story means nothing, but it somehow connects me to Valero and Penn State in a way that doesn’t matter.

I bet they have spicy Doritos in San Antonio somewhere.

Dennis Franchione, the now former Aggie coach, emailed me and told me he won’t be coaching the team during their bowl game because he now has enough time on his hands to think about Mack Brown’s face of defeat and his Top 5 Weezer songs. Good dude.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Ft. Worth, TX – Dec 31
Cal vs Air Force

So, did Cal just suck and get lucky against Oregon and Tennessee or were they good and completely imploded once Nate Longshore became the only player to have ever been tackled by Oregon’s Kwame Agyeman? This is a pretty key question.

Maybe Longshore will be better by then, but keep in mind that Air Force did in fact take down the monster that is Notre Dame.

I like that a helicopter company is sponsoring this bowl (and yes, I know that they probably make the Army’s helicopters, which makes sense), because it appeals to the .0000000008% of the people watching this game that will ever consider using Bell to produce their future chopper.

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl – Boise, ID – Dec 31
Georgia Tech vs Fresno St

How does this game not do everything it can to try and get Boise State to play in this game? I’ve been to Boise, I actually have enjoyed my time there (good sandwich from the Co-Op Market), but I can’t imagine why any Georgia Tech fans would want to make this trip in late December. Fresno fans, sure, I mean, anything is better than Fresno, no matter the month.

Georgia Tech was good last year. Fresno St. is better than they were last year. Sure thing: FSU will celebrate a personal foul.

Roady’s, by the way, is a chain of truck stops. Feel the excitement!

Parte Dos on Tuesday…

Mad City

November 10, 2007

I, at this moment, am sitting next to Little Sully (because there’s a big one as well) in the press box at Camp Randall, the University of Wisconsin’s football stadium.

We got into Madison at around 1 am, woke up at 6 am, got lucky with a parking spot near the stadium at 7:30ish, and started walking around looking for people to talk to a few minutes later. Oh yea, and it’s freezing here. Actually, it’s only around 40, but eight away is close enough for me. One might say it’s colder than balls here. One might.

Across the stadium from the press box are three levels of suites that span a little more than the entire length of the field. From what I can tell, it looks comfortable.

The crowd is entirely red, and to my knowledge, they don’t need a special “White-Out”-esque rallying day to have this happen.

Sully and I are fading fast, this is going to be a struggle until we get back to the hotel to promptly fall asleep until tomorrow morning.

The meal served at halftime was above average – ribs and salad. Supposedly, there were brats available at one point, but they ran out. Sully was visibly disappointed.

Still tired.

The student just sang “Buttercup,” but kept singing after the song faded out over the PA. Totally excellent.

No “Jump Around” yet. Still two and a half minutes until the 4th.

There has been no such Corndog UW press box debacle to speak of, although we were pointed to approximately 37 different places when trying to find the entrance. I’ve circumnavigated this place like four times. It was enough.

Michigan doesn’t need to win this game to go to the Rose Bowl and it looks like they know this.

Maybe it’s not the lack of sleep and walking all morning that’s exhausting, but just Big 10 football working it’s usual Saturday morning magic.

“Jump Around” just happened and it was probably the coolest stadium tradition I’ve seen so far this season. The whole stadium quite literally jumps around, swaying back and forth. Almost scary. Scary awesome, that is.

I’m going to stop writing now in hopes of staying awake. God speed.