Monday, December 31, 2007

Reader Wise Still Cocky, Jinxed

With a few games over half of the challenge still remaining a lot of us are still alive. I was going to blog this Air Force vs. Cal game but it will probably just end up with rants about how no one west of the continental divide plays defense and me talking to my imaginary stuffed animal. Air Force is running the option at will but also seems to think defense is an option as well (see, I'm not on my game today)...So much witeboi in the secondary. OK I really didn't have much else to say, I think we all can see the purpose of this entry.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Alamo Bowl SOC

Welcome boys and boys to 2007 Alamo Bowl. For those of you who just watched the Liberty Bowl, I’m sorry.

A little pre-gaming in the studio: Lou Holtz loves Rick Neuheisel. I think they attended the same dirty coach clinic. Holtz thinks he’s a great recruiter. “Shine here, shine here!” Holtz declares what the recruits should do in his usual cereal-eating old man jubilee.

All right, Holtz and Mark May both are going with Penn St. /Sigh My prediction: Pain. Also, my over/under on number of Paterno pant changes is 1.5.

It’s Paterno’s 500th game. I’m surprised it’s not more. He’s old. In the booth, we have Craig James, Doug Flutie, and Chris Fowler, huzzah. They tell me that the Nitanny Kitties are favored over TAMU. Whatev.

Erin Andrews! Honestly, if she showed some cleavage her career would explode all over her face. And my HD just stopped working…wait for it….and we’re back!

Alamo bowl memories: Nebraska, Nebraska, and Bill Nebraska. Terrific. 13th B10 vs. B12 Alamo bowl and the B10 has a 7-5 lead. At the TAMU pep rally, there were some Faggies that said naughty things. Tisk.

1st Quarter:

Stephen McGee leads out the offense for the 9th straight year. Also, Jorvorskie Lane is fat, but they just call him thunder. The Penn St. D is obviously expecting running plays by TAMU, but TAMU throws on all plays on their series and still goes 3 and out.

MUFF!! And you can’t advance a muff, but PSU recovers.

Out of nowhere Anthony Morelli unleashes a rope. If he keeps that up, I might have to take away his nickname of TonyMo, but I doubt it.

TAMU D-Lineman Cyril Obiozor! He wins name of the game. He is the Obiozors! Expect a big game from him.

Meanwhile a football game is happening and TAMU looks really slow. They’ve got that Big 12 speed. And as I type that Penn St is stuffed on a 3rd and 1 at the TAMU 38. JoePa is going for it. Seriously, he’s in the game. QB sneak from TonyMo and they…… it? Replay….guh? Terrible call, yay! Go Big 10!

Textbook drop by Penn St. on 3rd down. So JoePa attempts a 47 yard FG, and he misses. Cutaway, “ahhh nuts”, exclaims Fowler, and Craig James gives a very southern giggle. For fun.

At a pep rally, JoePa is teaching Penn St fans how to cheer. He’s old. Also, the Giants Pats game is apparently on. I didn’t know. It’s currently 7-0 GEEEEEE-Men. I hate myself.

Fowler just describes the Faggies Tight End (heh) as a “specimen”. I love that term. It sounds dirty, but I can't explain why. Also, the Penn St. LBs are getting swallows up. Yum! And during the chewing process, the Faggies punch it in and JoePa’s D look completely unconcerned with that drive. Faggies 7 Kittes 0

The San Antonio Holmes marketing people are all over the commercials in this game. Remember the Alamo? No? Well, never mind then.

Back to the action. JoePa looks confused. He might just be crapping. A possible fumble on the kickoff by the kitties, and you REALLY notice the heavy crowd for TAMU. They somehow rule it a fumble (Faggies recover), even though I swear I heard a whistle. Review time….it’s upheld. Faggies ball at the PSU 16. Wasting no time they score on the first play as the PSU DLine is the suxors. Somewhere, Cyril is pleased. Faggies 14 Kitties 0

I’m eating an English Muffin and the Faggies just love those penetrating holes. I know it’s early, but it appears the kitties are mailing it in. After looking slow at the start, TAMU is now flying around the field. Turn on the refs mic! And they don’t. Also, Morelli remembers that he’s bad. Faggies force punt and take over at their own 20.

Craig James is rambling about a polecat. Heedly! I’m lost. Meanwhile the 1st quarter is over. Things are not going well.

2nd Quarter

Highly definite! Also, I’m joined by Heather and Scooter for the time being. As Heather begins saying redrum, redrum for no apparent reason. Erin Andrews is wearing a zip-up plaid potato sack for a vest and the kitties cannot stop the Texas play.

The Faggies RB stops in the backfield on 3rd and one for no reason, and a big stop for PSU. Punt and Derrick Williams pulls the very rare and even less effective juke INTO the defender. Fowler tells me that Kinlaw continues to “show a muscle” and I’m turned on.

Now it’s the Faggies D getting swallowed up. There’s a lot of swallowing going on. Jeff? You at the game? Terrible play call on 3rd down and PSU goes for it on 4th and 3 from the TAMU 30. Despite how bad Morelli is, it’s somehow caught for a TD. Replay. Wow! That’s a great catch. But will they review? Yes. This is dicey. I think that’s a catch, but wow. I’m not sure this play could be reversed no matter what was called on the field. Waiting….waiting….waiting…and officials can’t hear the replay booth. Super. We’re back and the call stands! Huzzah. Faggies 14 Kitties 7

Giant lead the Pats 14-10 and I don’t care. Also, Heather knows that DSL is short for Dick Sucking Lips and I’ve never been prouder. This comes up because I declare Brad Pitt’s baby girl has them.

Now it’s TAMU that looks bored with the game. The momentum in this game has been yooge for both teams. Penn St gets a sack despite being held twice and neither were called. Also, someone’s mom looks terrified. Scooter, “FUMBLE!!!!” It is and the kitties recover at they TAMU 11. I bet this is reviewed. It’s not, and I’m wrong again.

Holy cross. Also wasting no time, PSU scores on the first play, but did he fumble at the goalline? Officials say no, no review. I think he made it, but it was close. And we have a game! Faggies 14 Kitties 14

Mmmmmm….cheezy gordida crunch.

Running the option with Joverski Lane is like running it with a tackle. He’s fat. And the official violently calls a penalty on TAMU. He’s….excitable. And it’s 3rd and 22 for TAMU. Punt time and Penn St should get good field position. They don’t. Kitties take over at about their own 25.

Mike Sherman is the new Faggies coach as they continue to try to convince us that they’re a big time program. Listen TAMU, you’re not. Sorry.

Penn St has to punt after doing nothing and I’m getting really bored with this game. I need some terrible announcers or an AFLAC question. Heather inquires about my novel as my head explodes.

Great ass grab by the Penn St coach! We’re all marveling at it. Meanwhile it’s 3rd and 2 for the Faggies. They don’t get it and it’s punt time. I need some Lou Holtz. I feel dirty about it, but I do.

Ahhh yes, Morelli is still awful and all is right with the world. But there’s a pass interference on TAMU. I think the official just feels bad that no pass will get within 10 yards of a kittie receiver. Morelli goes deep again, he’s the sex cannon! He likes throwing high. I think someone else just showed a muscle, but honestly I can’t be sure.

Tipped pass caught by the center! And in case you’re keeping track, it’s his first reception of the season. Get Rece some WATER!!! He’s all choked up back in the studio. Back to the game and Morelli overthrows someone by 15 yards. That’s his 9th over throw of the half. Holding on PSU…and overthrow number 10. I’m officially tracking it now.

Oddly, the kitties run the ball with only 50 sec left in the half and they have to use a timesout. Penn St year in review and Fowler says, “Ohio St was just better than them”. And Penn St fans are furious. I giggle. Oh right, overthrow 11 as they had a wide open TD.

So Penn St keeps using the back up QB to run and it works again, even on 3rd and nine. Why not. 1st and Goal as the spot gets reviewed. Move it back to the seven. Whatev. I feel a Morelli pick on the way.

1st and goal: 4 yard….nope, incomplete. Odd.

2nd and goal: Shovel pass, nothing, timesout PSU

Flutie is concerned that a Faggie’s fiancé is a whore.

3rd and goal: OHHH! That was almost the pick I predicted.

Kitties convert the short FG and take their first lead in the game. Kitties 17 Faggies 14

20 seconds until half. Nothing doing for TAMU on one of the most awkward lateral plays ever and it’s half time. Paterno asks if Matlock if on

Lou Holtz! He’s giggling and honey oozes out of his nose.

3rd Quarter

Heather notices how awful Erin Andrews outfit is, and she’s right. However, I’m just ignoring it and mostly worried that I might be showing a muscle. Meanwhile the kittie band shaves letters in their heads and the mildly retarded Craig James thinks is drawn on. Not to be outdone, the completely retarded TonyMo throws one right into a D lineman’s chest. It’s dropped. I say, at least someone could have caught it. I think that’s an improvement for him.

Faggies take over after a punt and immediately turn it over. Well done. Kitty ball at their own 43 and JoePa takes out 12 overthrow Morelli again. TonyMo comes back in, CHUCK IT!!! Ahhh, the moonball (overthrow #13) into double coverage and it’s picked. TAMU ball at their own 2.

Great moment: they show Morelli’s stats (10 for 24, but don’t show he has 13 overthrows) and mention that he believes he has a future at the next level. Next level of what? I’m concerned. Jorvorski Lane fumbles, TAMU gets lucky and recovers and advances it.

Holy cross! TAMU goes for it on 4th and 1 from their own 40. Craig James thinks it’s a great call. *Sigh* Play action, and….EEEE….he barely got it.

The Faggie RB Goodson is an animated runner. Things are flailing all over the place. The Faggies are going to the Texas play on about 80% of their plays.

TAMU is having a nice drive after taking over at their own 2. I think they Faggies are dangerously close to getting flagged for a celebration penalty.

Flutie and James discuss the wordity of Trickeration.

The TAMU kicker hooks in a 38 yarder to tie it up. Nice drive by the Faggies there. However, still think it was a bad call to go for it on their own 40. Whatev. Kitties 17 Aggies 17

I actually think TAMU has outplayed Penn St. so far, but if TonyMo could even approach competent PSU will pull this one out. You listening Tom Brady? Pull out!

Ok, Josh Beckett is a frumpy tool. I think we can all agree on that. And shit. Kinlaw is hurt. Apparently he showed too much muscle.

The Patriots just scored to go up on a Brady-Moss hookup as they both set record for most TDs in a season on the same play. Yay?

JoePa looks confused.

TonyMo WANTED to overthrow again, but the wideout yanks it down for a big first down. He’s still awful. However, approaching competent is on my radar. And PSU runs the Texas play with QB #17.

JoePa looks tired.

JoePa looks grumpy.

MASSIVE HOLE for a 25 yard TD romp right up the gut. The kitties take a lead near the end of the third quarter. That was a big answer to the nice TAMU drive. Kitties 24 Faggies 17

Feels like the Faggies are due for a turnover. Any more points for the kitties and this one is over. As they’d be forced to throw, which doesn’t work for them.

Craig James has really stepped up his game as a terrible announcer. I’m pumped. Now we’re discussing Brooklyn. Why not. Oh my my MY!! Apparently JoePa de-pantsed a Miami player before the '87 bowl game when they were wearing fatigues. I guess the obvious question is: how did he see him?

4th Quarter

Heather takes off her shoes and her feet reek. Jackson should be jealous.

Craig James thinks TAMU should be happy that they’re losing in the 4th quarter. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Meanwhile, nice hold by PSU to force a punt. They take over at their own 32.

So my SOC commercial versus game tally has officially become TonyMo overthrows 13 versus the San Antonio Holmes promos (currently at 9) . I’m excited to see who wins. Well, not really.


Nice stop by TAMU to hold PSU to a three and out. PUNT (Teen Girl Squad) MUFFED! And you can’t advance a muff. TAMU recovers at their own 1. James thinks he should have kept fumbling it. Craig is REALLY stepping it up for me. I can't wait to see how much worse he can get.

TAMU holds in the end zone (ahem, in YOUR end zone) but the CUSA refs won’t call it to give the kitties a safety. Instead, Me and Stephen McGee make a nice play to get a first. However, he’s very awful. But, I think McGee knows he’s awful. TonyMo is dangerously awful for the exact opposite reason.

Craig tells me about the hero position. I die a little.

McGee does it again as he gets a corner to bite and complete it up the sideline on 3rd and 11. And Heather falls asleep while scooter eats a hot pocket.

The side judge gets knocked down, possibly for lack of blaccuracy (he's black). I want a replay to see what happened. Ahhhh. Penn St coaches were creeping on the field. Jerks.

Another nice drive by TAMU. Now at the PSU 34 with a 3rd and 3. The kitties are now getting no pressure on McGee. The Patriots go 16-0. Sigh. Oh, they pick up the 1st.

TAMU has a 4th and inches at the PSU 2. I think they have to go. They do. And, they….FALL DOWN! Classic. Kitties take over on downs. I think PSU had the option sniffed out anyway, but text book fall down makes it all the better.

Goddamn this is a long game. 3.5 hours in and still have half a quarter to go. At least the sponsors are happy. Scooter is eating ham.

Kinlaw returns from his rib injury and immediately shows a muscle.

Oh dear. Joblowme Lane is crying. Doesn’t he know who the PSU QB is? This game is far from over. TAMU students make gun gestures. I’m confused.

Heather awakes and begins signing an original song about ice cream. I’m terrified.

There he is! Overthrow 14. I knew TonyMo would make another appearance. Kitties have to punt. 4 minutes left. Jesus. End all ready!

Shovel pass by McGee, dangerously close to being over the line there. No replay, I wanted to see that again. Oddly, TAMU stays committed to run even this late in the game. However, there is plenty of time.

Palm forward holding call on TAMU backs them into a 2nd and 20. McGee then throws to no one in particular and it’s 3rd and 20.

McGee gets crushed after the throw and it’s 4th and 20. TAMU elects to punt with 2:09 to go. Touchback. The kitties need to kill 2 minutes to take home the win.

Kitties pick up a first down and that should just about do it. TAMU take their last timesout with a buck 22 to go. More crying from TAMU players. AND……that’s it. Almost 4 hours and over 2500 words. Congrats to Penn St. on the Alamo Bowl win and to graduating TonyMo. All us buckeye fans sure will miss you.

Final Score: Kitties 24 Faggies 17

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Third annual thebowl.challenge: December 29 edition

Wha happen'?

TCU beat Houston 20-13 and no one saw the game and no one cared.
Boston college beat Michigan State 24-21 in a remarkably even game. The difference was five MSU turnovers, including 4 picks by Spartan QB Brian Hoyer, who was bad, bad, bad in this game. I guess saying "the difference was the turnovers" is the functional equivalent of saying that the difference between the two teams was QB play: Hoyer was terrible and BC all-everything signal caller Matt Ryan was merely underwhelming. Ryan was 22-47 for 249 with 3 TDs and 2 INTs, while Hoyer was 14-36 for 131 with 2 TDs and 4 INTs. I don't think either team cracked 300 yards of offense. This could have been a great feather in the Big Ten's cap, with this season's main storyline apparently being "Jesus, the Big Ten is terrible": anyone watching the game could tell that this 3-5 Big Ten team was the functional equivalent of the ACC's runner-up. But the Spartans ended up losing by three, so this game is almost definitely gonna be filed away and ignored, just like last year's Alamo Bowl where 2-6 Iowa led most of the game against Texas and lost in the final minutes.
On the flip side, Oregon State beat Maryland 21-14 in a game that the Beavers, well ... they didn't quite "dominate," but they were clearly the better team. Maryland got up 14-7 at the end of the first quarter behind two big plays from its offense. That offense basically did nothing the rest of the game, as OSU slowly exploited their talent advantage behind their defense, a very good running game, and extremely middling QB play. This game was way more boring than the score indicated.

In the pick 'em, there was a lot of point accumulation, what with there being three games played. Reader Wise passed Unofficial MGoBlog Cartoonist Joel A. Morgan for the lead, and Jeffy shot up to #3 on the strength of his 3-0 day that netted him 55 points. Other big movers:

Jesse Palmer (not pictured) went 2-1, but he had 27 points on BC and 26 on Oregon State, totalling 53 points (but losing his 17-point game, Houston).
Coworker Ben went apeshit, going 3-0 and netting 56 points.
Joanna shot up the charts with 50 points accumulated on a 2-1 day.
Evan went 2-1, but got his 28- and 19-point games correct (in a Palmer-esque move, he put 16 on Houston), for 47 points.
Coworker Stephen went 2-1, but got his 29- and 13-point games correct, for a 42-point day.
Yours truly went 3-0 for 45 points.
Todd went 3-0 for 44 points.
Kat, Scooter, and S. Lawrence netted 37, 38, and 43 points, respectively.

Aaaaaaaan Adam was the lone group member to go 0-3. Standings are below (Jesse Palmer is tied for 3rd).

1The Dur's picks = FAILJ. Wise10-1343157
2Football in the GroinJ. Morgan 10-1346152
3Simply The VestJeff10-1349147
4Do me, I'm gayTodd8-3356144
5Chereth CutestoryJack10-1366132
6WestenderThe Cave7-4358122
7Charlie Weiss CatKristin6-5375114
10lick my houston nuttsKevin7-4375107
10The DDustin6-5352107
12Special Education ConferenceAndrea8-3409106
13Suck on Effervescent CocksRyan8-3385105
14Stupid ScottEvan6-535899
15Joel defends hate crimesThe Dur8-340094

Friday, December 28, 2007

Third annual thebowl.challenge: Paper devils?

I kind of wish SMQ had made this post before our bowl picks had to be made. He only predicts a 34-29 Longhorn victory, but his points made me extremely leery of ASU. According to the broadcast last night, ASU QB Rudy Carpenter basically talked trash to the Texas players all week at the various functions players have to go to before bowl games. That ... didn't work out so well for Rudy. The Sun Devils got down 21-0 after one quarter and ended up getting outrushed 300-22 on the way to a 52-34 Longhorn victory. A flurry of 4th quarter passing from ASU's backup ended up nudging ASU over 300 yards passing, but total yards still totalled out to a 474-327 (5.5 to 4.2 in yards per play) advantage for Texas. ASU's five turnovers didn't help. But it was an overturned turnover (wow, palindrome-ish) that ended up being the story of the game: with Texas up 21-0 and ASU driving, Carpenter threw a rather careless lateral that Texas scooped up, destroying any momentum the Devils had accumulated. BUT: Texas assistant (and Mack Brown's step-son) Chris Jessie pulled a Bartman and apparently touched the ball, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty which gave ASU the ball back. The Sun Devils scored on the next play to make it 21-7. Personally, I though the replay made it fairly clear that Jessie didn't actually touch the ball (and Jessie stressed this over and over in a postgame interview), which made the determination by the officials somewhat puzzling. For what it's worth, LD from Gunslingers thinks the call stunk all-around.

As for the pick 'em: for what I assumed was damn near a 50/50 game (hence my confidence value of "2" on Texas), an astonishing 20 out of 33 entrants picked Arizona State, and while only two of the 13 Texas backers put double-digit confidence on the game, eight people laid double-digit wood on the Sun Devils, including 22 by Schill, 24 by S. Lawrence, 25 by coworker Ben, and a mind-a'sploding 31(!!!) by Joanna.

On tap for tonight:
5:00 PM on ESPN: Michigan State vs. Boston College
8:00 PM on NFL Network: TCU vs. Houston
8:30 PM on ESPN: Oregon State vs. Maryland

1Football in the GroinJ. Morgan7-1379119
2The Dur's picks = FAILJ. Wise7-1385115
3Charlie Weiss CatKristin4-4390104
4lick my houston nuttsKevin6-2390103
5Do me, I'm gayTodd5-3400100
7WestenderThe Cave5-339098
8Simply The VestJeff7-140492
9Special Education ConferenceAndrea6-243488
10Chereth CutestoryJack7-141187
11The DDustin3-538673
12Joel defends hate crimesThe Dur5-342470
13Suck on Effervescent CocksRyan5-342169
15Tackle Football PicksFred4-437161

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Third annual thebowl.challenge: tackle somebody, guys!

We all knew CMU's defense was, shall we say, iffy at best. They gave up yards and points all year, most notably for our purposes in a September matchup with Purdue, who happened to be their bowl opponent last night. As expected, yards and points were plentiful, but there were two big noticeable things on top of that: Central provided plenty of yards and points this time, and Central's tackling, particularly in the first half, was atrocious, and added bushels of YAC to Curtis Painter's already magnificent day: 35 of 54 for 546 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. Purdue got up 34-13 at the half and seemed to have the game in hand, but CMU put up a 28-point third quarter, tying the game at 41 going into the fourth. Then each team traded scores, Central knotting the score on an acrobatic 19-yard TD catch by Bryan Anderson. But? But: in the words of the imminently mortal Wayne Fontes, they scored too quickly. The Chips opted for a pop-up punt which gave Purdue the ball at their own 40, and Painter led them down the field for the winning kick as time expired. All in all, a good showing from the Chippewas. OT would have been fun, but I guess the game was kind of okay as it was.

Some shuffling in the standings: Kristin picked CMU, but only had 2 confidence points on it. That may prove costly, with the barrage of people who picked Purdue with a lot of confidence. Husband and wife team Ryan and Andrea had comparatively less confidence on Purdue, and as a result they have fallen a little bit in the standings. Jesse Palmer would be 7th in here, wedged between Sean and Matt.

1Football in the GroinJ. Morgan6-1382116
2The Dur's picks = FAILJ. Wise6-1389111
3Charlie Weiss CatKristin4-3393104
4lick my houston nuttsKevin6-1393103
5Do me, I'm gayTodd5-2402100
6WestenderThe Cave5-239198
8Chereth CutestoryJack6-141385
9Special Education ConferenceAndrea5-244082
10Simply The VestJeff6-142175
11The DDustin3-439173
12Suck on Effervescent CocksRyan5-242869
13Joel defends hate crimesThe Dur4-342965
15Tackle Football PicksFred4-338761

Up tonight: annual favorite for "best pre-January bowl of the bowl season," the Holiday Bowl, between Arizona State and Texas. I have no idea what's going to happen.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Third annual thebowl.challenge: Tanks for nuthin', Boise

There is basically nothing to update in the standings today, because the standings look exactly like they did yesterday. Why? Because every single one of us -- that's 100%, 33 out of 33 -- picked Boise State to win last night. And personally, I think we were right to do that. Boise was a much better team; however, as happens at least three or four times every bowl season, a team just didn't bother showing up, put forth a 50% effort, and either 1.) lost to a team they had no business losing to, or 2.) got blown out by a team that was approximately their equal. We have our first culprit this year: the Smurf Turfers from Boise. They stunk and shouldn't even have been close, in a game that shouldn't have been close, but in the opposite direction. So the standings stay the same.

...Except for how many points we lost. Keeping with this inexplicable bowl season, Kristin only put 1 confidence point on the game. Andrea only put 5 on it, and everyone else with fewer than 25 confidence points on the game didn't adjust their confidence levels to begin with. Here's the rundown of massive points lost:

Joel - 30; Other Joel - 28; Kevin - 32; Todd - 25; Sean - 32; Ryan - 27; Jesse Palmer - 24; Matt - 30; Jeff - 32; Me - 30; The Dur - 29; Ben - 32; Christina - 21; Evan - 27; Dustin - 28; Fred - 32; "B. Gordon" - 30; Coworker Stephen - 28; Donnie Smavels - 28; and S. Lawrence - 27.

Lo, the carnage. No more games until the 26th, so it's highly likely there will be no more posts until the 27th. So have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanuka, a Kwayzee Kwanzaa, a Tip-Top Tet, and a solemn, dignified Ramadan.

The silver lining...

Staying at folks' place for Christmas. Unable to sleep. Go downstairs. Can't watch TV because sister is sleeping on the couch. Decide to serf the interwebs. STUMBLE ONTO COMEDIC GOLD THAT ALSO SERVES AS VALUABLE FIELD TESTING FOR THE LADDER THEORY AND A CAUTIONARY TALE FOR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE. Why the HELL have I not been made aware of this site before? Ladies and hombres, I present unto you: Hot Chicks with Douchebags.

You're welcome, motherfuckers.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Third annual thebowl.challenge: I hate myself

Wha' happen?

GAME ONE: Southern Miss played inspired football under already-fired coach Jeff Bower, but the fact that they're bad at football ended up winning out over their passion and grit and all that stupid shit.
GAME TWO: Nevada isn't good. New Mexico is okay, and Nevada is bad. Bad. Un-good. Terrible. The opposite of competent. Etc.
GAME THREE: This game was dominated by the defenses, as UCLA only managed 316 yards to BYU's 265. If that sounds like UCLA outplayed the Mormons, well, they didn't, because yards per play averaged out to 4.2 for each side. Each team turned it over twice, with BYU's fumble on their own 4 yard line obviously being the most costly. At the end of the game, UCLA drove down to the BYU 11-yard line, but the potential game-winning field goal was blocked as time expired.

So after our first day of multiple games, there was theoretical "movement," in that points were added to everyone's scores, but there wasn't a lot of change in the standings ... except for me dropping six spots despite getting all three games correct. I had a ton of confidence points on Cincinnati, but so did everyone; I had 3 points on New Mexico playing their Home Game Bowl against Nevada, but hardly anyone had a lot of points on Los Lobos; and the killer, I only picked BYU with 6 confidence points. Every logical thought in my head said that BYU should win, what with UCLA using their 3rd- and 4th-string QBs and playing under an interim coach after The Mediocre Karl Dorrell was canned. Then there was the whole matter of them crapping the bed last year against Florida State and pissing everyone off. So like I said: everything pointed to a BYU win. But something didn't sit right with me, and I actually had it higher on the points list and moved it down the day before games started. See, I have problems sometimes with being stupid.

People who WEREN'T stupid, on the other hand, include our Big Movers of the day: Kristin (31, 19, and 22 points on Cincinnati, New Mexico, and BYU, respectively), Unoffficial MGoBlog Cartoonist Joel A. Morgan (31, 6, and 23), Reader Wise (29, 6, and 22), Kevin (29, 2, and 23), Todd (26, 16, and 23), The Cave (26, 10, and an astonishing 30(!) points on BYU), Ryan-- all right, fuck it: everybody except ME and the people who didn't adjust their confidence points. In retrospect, I would have been much better off in this group if BYU hadn't blocked that field goal. See, I always end up winning somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-70% of the games, and now I've started 5-0, but I've hardly gotten any points out of it, and now I'm bound to regress to my own personal mean of 60-70%, so I'm gonna have to lose higher-point games. AND I DON'T WANT TO. I'M NOT WHINING! NO, YOU SHUT UP!! I HATE YOU!!

On tap today: the Hawai(slight pause)i Bowl, featuring Boise State, which is not a state, and East Carolina, which is not a state.

1Charlie Weiss CatKristin4-1396104
2Football in the GroinJ. Morgan5-043989
2The Dur's picks = FAILJ. Wise5-044286
4lick my houston nuttsKevin5-045177
5Do me, I'm gayTodd4-145473
6WestenderThe Cave4-145170
7Suck on Effervescent CocksRyan4-145866
8Special Education ConferenceAndrea4-146562
9Simply The VestJeff5-046860
11Chereth CutestoryJack5-047256
12Joel defends hate crimesThe Dur3-246954
15Stupid ScottEvan3-246846

Once again, Jesse Palmer has not been included. He's at #8, between husband and wife team Ryan and Andrea.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We interrupt this Bowl Fun...

Holy Terwilliger's! I know it doesn't mean anything but we're beating Florida at something. In The Schott today the Buckeyes lead 49-33 with 10:00 left. What are the odds we hold them to under 41 points? I'd like to be able to give you some mid-game stats but has decided that these 2 programs probably don't have enough of a following for anyone to the game has nothing to do with CBS other than the fact that they happen to be the networking airing the game. So no live game statistics today.
Observations: We shoot better at home. Florida seems to be struggling with points probably due to the cold weather. Speaking of, I'll bet the Big Ten owns the SEC in Hockey.
(TV timeout)
I'm down 14-0 in the New Mexico Bowl but only 4 points at stake. Could no one else but a state sponsor that thing?

Now for the Twig bashing...he still can't guard anyone. Anytime we press he seems to get blown by leaving our defense at a disadvantage. John Sanderson Diebler has only managed to darken his gray undershirt (a la 80's Georgetown players).
Koufos's shot selection is very questionable. He just missed a 3 with over 25 seconds left on the clock...5:30 left.
We actually rebound very well compared to these Florida scabs. It was hard to tell last year because they only missed about 4 shots.
...Now we'll wait to see how long it's going to take Florida to get to 41 points...Hello stuffed Bear, how have you been? 2:48 and they've scored 43.
As the game resumes Thad is pissed off about something...and is right!. No free throws for Florida. Parsons airballed a free throw a few minutes ago so the crowd is all over him. Meanwhile we can't break a press against this white-ass team. I cringe at the thought of when someone "more athletic" presses us. Florida decides not to foul with under 2 minutes left and an 11 point deficit...then Billy calls timeout while the clock is already stopped.

Well this one's about over...other comments, are uniforms look like shit. I'm sure the Florida fans are probably all yelling, "We won when it mattered!" I hate that argument (when it's not me yelling it). As a young lad I heard Browns fans yell it at Bills fans in Cleveland Stadium. Do you think that's what Billy Donavon just told Thad as they shook hands?
62-49, we win yet still no banner. Back to foozball.

Third annual thebowl.challenge: we all had 1 point on that

... or just about everyone did. In what could end up being the least compelling matchup of the bowl season, Florida Atlantic beat Memphis 44-27 in the N'Awlins Bowl, and very very very VERY few people in the pick 'em had that game at a confidence level above 1 or 2. Well, except for group leader Kristin and Her Completely Random Picks (29 points on Memphis. Woops.), Kevin (22 points on FAU), Ryan (9 points on FAU), and huge notable exception Fred, who stands at 0-2 in the group, having lost his 25- and 23-point picks (Navy and Memphis). As it stands, seven entrants are languishing at 0-2: Fred, Schill, Katey, Dustin, Kat, coworker Stephen, and someone named "R. Davis." No one is out of it (except Fred), but Katey and Kat (and Kat's spectacular pick set name) stand a particularly good chance at getting back into it, as they have only lost 5 and 3 points, respectively. As always this early in the bowl season, THINGS GON' CHANGE. On tap for today:

1:00 PM - Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss (ESPN2)
4:30 PM - Nevada at New Mexico (ESPN)
8:00 PM - UCLA vs BYU (ESPN)

As a final sidenote, I'm watching the pregame stuff on FSC right now, before the Liverpool-Portsmouth game. Host Guy asks Analyst Guy why Portsmouth is so good on the road and so middling at home, and Analyst Guy gives an answer that would be right at home on any number of American Football broadcasts: Portsmouth has lots of speed (A BUNCH OF GUYS OF AFRICAN DESCENT), and when they play on the road the opponents have a tendency to come out and attack more often, and Portsmouth can just run past them (PRESUMABLY WITH ALL THEIR FAST TWITCH MUSCLE FIBER). Conversely, when Pompey is playing at home, the visiting teams tend to pack it in, and Portsmouth doesn't possess the skill to penetrate those packed-in defenses (NOT ENOUGH GRITTY ECKSTEIN TYPES, "GOOD DECISION-MAKERS," AND "POSSESSION" PLAYERS). I couldn't believe it. For what it's worth, Liverpool is dominating, up 2-0 thirty minutes into the game and absolutely carrying play right now.

On to the standings (sidenote: I haven't included Jesse Palmer yet, because I want to include as many people we know into the 15 spots as possible. Right now Jesse stands at #5, one point behind Kev and six points ahead of me. Should I include him in the blog standings or not?):

1Charlie Weiss CatKristin1-146832
2Football in the GroinJ. Morgan2-049929
2The Dur's picks = FAILJ. Wise2-049929
4lick my houston nuttsKevin2-050523
5Chereth CutestoryJack2-051216
6Simply The VestJeff2-051612
8Joel defends hate crimesThe Dur1-15189
8Suck on Effervescent CocksRyan1-15189
10Do me, I'm gayTodd1-15198
11Stupid ScottEvan1-15107
12I'm kind of a big dealB. Gordon1-15195
13WestenderThe Cave1-15174
14Special Education ConferenceAndrea1-15243
14The ThunderS. Lawrence1-15243

Friday, December 21, 2007

OOOOOH, NAVY SEALS!!! .... and Utah

Nipsey here. It’s that time again. Time for more SOCing of terrible, terrible bowl games. And pancakes.

Welcome to the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bo- oh…
Welcome to College Basketball!! Pittsburgh vs. Duke in the 12 Aeropostles Classic or something…. and we have overtime. Crap.
Bowl season will apparently to wait.

That was nice (sarcasm) of ESPN to show the score in the upper right hand corner…with the way the clock is moving, I’m guessing Navy has the ball.

There’s a Pitt guy screaming like crazy…oh …. that’s why… his knee just did un-knee-like things. Ouch.

Hold on… with the writers’ strike going on, does writing this post make me a scab? Wait… of course not… it won’t count because this post will neither be creative nor entertaining.

Now that the Poinsettia Bowl’s kicked off (supposedly), time to go look at everyone’s picks on Let’s see who forgot to adjust their confidence points this year. For the record, I’m going to lose this year’s Bowl Pick ‘em by a very large margin. Mark it down.

Jay Bilas just said “drive by nelson” and I pictured a guy reaching out of a car strangling innocent bystanders.

Really, when is football starting?

So…did anyone else watch the College Cup final? Seriously, I am sick and fucking tired of losing national championship games. That’s 3 in 2007.

Hey -- we’re on ESPN Classic - pre-empting 334 hours straight of boxing coverage.

Navy’s got it at about Utah’s 10.
Sweet mother of mercy. We’ve got Rece Davis, Mark May, and Lou Holtz in the booth. Huzzah! Honestly, the announcers are the key to any good S.O.C. blog entry.

Fumble! Utah’s got it at their own 2. Rece says turnovers have been the key so far, so I can only assume Utah threw an INT or something.

Rambo commercial. Giggle. Come on everyone - no joke to write here - that’s just funny on its own.

1, 2, 3, 4...Mark May just said Navy’s D is “small, but feisty.”

I apparently haven’t watched any Utah games this year, because I had no idea their QB’s name is Brian Johnson. Come on. That’s so dull EA Sports would have rejected it.

Utah getting 5 yards for like each of the past 10 plays and they’re into Navy territory. Johnson throws deep into double coverage, but overthrows. Take off your Bad Idea Jeans, Brian.

And now Brian Johnson just got to do the offense introductions and called one of his receivers “The Cuban Missile.” I can only guess what they call it when he fumbles in the red zone.

Johnson misses an open receiver by approximately 30 yards, and the Utes punt.

So is there an actual Ute tribe, or were the people in the University’s athletic department who came up with the name just reeeeeally lazy?

Lou is babbling incoherently about some team he coached in the 1830s.

First play for Navy and Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada pitches to the tailback for about a 40 yard gain.

You know I love the option. The quarterback has chance to keep it, pitch it. This time he pitches it for a big gain.

Dammit. I just realized I have to type Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada repeatedly for the rest of the night. Thank goodness for copy and paste.
End of 1st quarter.

Utah’s mascot is ugly… but nothing like TCU’s. That thing took over like 60% of my post the last time I did this.

Navy’s kicker not-so-badly shanks a 50 yard FG attempt.

Rece reminds us that in case anyone forgot, Paul Johnson left for GT and is replaced by Ken Niumatalolo. Fuck. Can’t we have some easier names here, Navy? That’s it. From now on, I’m just gonna call him good ol’ Coach Jones. Heckuva coach that Coach Jones.

Mark May has obviously been practicing saying Coach Jones’s name.

I was about to comment on how Utah was running the ball so well, and then some Navy LB tackled the tailback behind the line of scrimmage with his crotch. A 1 yard gain and the Utes have 3rd and 9. And Utah picks it up with a pass out to the right.
On 1st down, Utah tries a little hook and ladder (I refuse to say lateral) but loses 2 yards. I’ve never seen that.

Rece keeps adding that extra syllable to the word Poinsettia and its pissing me off.

Two more effective runs, and Utah finally scores.

NICE! There’s some commercial using the song Funkytown. I don’t care what it is, I’m buying it. Areva. Um…what the hell is that? That was like the nonsensical commercial for Mr. Plow. But you gotta love Lipps, Inc.

Great play by Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enchilada - fake handoff and a run to the right for the 1st down. In Utah territory. Next play garners a pass interference of the “I’m a DB - I don’t need to turn around and look for the ball” variety.

This time the quarterback pitches it AGAIN for a big gain.

Rece just said something about “tight uniforms being en vogue.”

TD Navy! Rece: “Kaipo on the keeper.” Alliterative!

Duh - just realized that 90% of fans are probably Navy fans with this being in San Diego. Scratch that… 10% are Utah fans, 60% are Navy fans, and 30% thought they were getting tickets to the Holiday Bowl.

Wow, the mascots were just in a dance-off on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Honestly, my dreams are coming true. Bowl season, the holidays, and mascot dance-offs on aircraft carriers. I am a happy Nipsey.

Lou believes he may be of assistance and scores the dance-off a tie. I agree.

The prestige of the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl has garnered MAC refs.

Rece just calls the QBs for Memphis and Florida Atlantic two of the most unheralded quarterbacks in the country, apparently forgetting that they play for Memphis and Florida Atlantic.

Troy Smith is getting the start on Sunday for Baltimore, somehow jumping ahead of the not-so-prolific Kyle Boller and the corpse of Steve McNair.

I was going to skip the Flomax halftime report, but Jesse Palmer’s going to be involved somehow and I just can’t resist.

Actually, now that I get a good look at him, Coach Jones looks like he’s 13 years old.

Long pass from Kaipo-Noa Kabuki-Enhada goes in and out of the hands of a Ute DB. Navy going for it on 4th and 2 from Utah’s 35ish. 1:01 left in the first half. Timeout.

Giggle. A shot of the 3 guys in the booth, mini Lou Holtz in the middle. Seriously, he’s leaving immediately after the game to go make toys at the North Pole.
Navy gets it on a pitch to the left.

Ooooh. Pass to the end zone from Kaipo-Noa Azubuike-Enhada and the receiver makes a hell of a catch but was out of bounds.

After a completion to the FB, it’s 4th down again. Navy to kick the FG - 39 yards with 32 seconds left. Mark May suddenly goes ballistic about the ability of coaches to call a timeout right before the snap.

Perfect kick. 10-7.

Aflac - Navy is one of 4 schools to have a president and a Super Bowl winning QB. (Jimmy Carter/Staubach) Name the other 3.
I can only think of the obvious one off hand. Seriously, I have no idea where presidents went to school. I thought they were like all Ivy Leaguers.

Huh. Navy fumbled a punt early. Who knew?
Jesse Palmer just said “man-to-man” and I think it moved.
Bill Parcells is out to show that this Tuna is Dolphin-safe! Honestly, I cannot possibly be the first one who came up with that.
I’m torn. My competitive nature is leading me to root for Utah (I need those 10 points, dammit!), but I love watching Navy, and the Middies looked like the better team in the first half, if only slightly.
I wonder if there’s any other big sporting events in San Diego tonight.

Rece asks Mark and Lou what each team needs to do in the 2nd half. Mark May advises Navy to… get this…run the ball. I swear that‘s what he said. You sure you want to switch up that Navy game plan, Mark?

Right at the 2nd half kick, Lou gets excited and starts screaming gibberish. Wow I wish I had an audio clip of that for you. Now Lou is mooing. Things are looking up for the 2nd half. Who knows what Lou got into over the last 20 minutes away from the mic. (If I was a nerd, I would have made a joke about that audio being a “Middie” file… but I’m not… so I won’t.)Lou just said he knows Coach Jones “intimately”, then says something about his wife. Not kidding.

Clips of Rob Stone asking Naval cadets to pronounce Coach Jones’s name. Guess what? THEY CAN’T!!

Elsewhere, Navy’s offense is effective. Thought that needed mentioning. And just as I write that their fullback, Kittaney (Tawney Kitaen?) breaks free for a TD. 17-7. Man, I want to change my picks. I just don’t see how Utah’s getting back into this game unless they just start passing like crazy and effectively. Still tons of time I guess.

Okay, even the faceless announcer is saying Poin-sett-ee-ah. Am I wrong on this thing? Please leave comments on this issue.

Utah gets about 20 yards on a 1st down pass play. There you go, Yoooots. Then they call a timeout before the next snap. Talk about a huge pet peeve of mine. You cannot waste timeouts in the 3rd quarter in a game like this. Utah’s down 10, against a running team…. They’ll probably need like 8 timeouts in this half.
Wow. Utah just lost 8 yards on a 3rd and 2 stretch play. You have got to be kidding me. Utah punts. Again.

Footage of Lou doing his newspaper trick at the Bowl luncheon. Can’t get enough of that. Seriously, I know I’m dense, but how the fuck does he do that?!

Utah gets a 3 & out after stopping a Torgo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada keeper and will get good field position.

Utah finally decides to pass (2 in a row!) and - surprise - is actually getting yards. I’m not sure why it took them so long to do this. Injury timeout.

Okay, either it suddenly started to rain there, or I’m just now noticing it. I’d bet on the latter.

3rd and 1 and Navy blows up a just plain gross inside handoff. Utah going for it…. and gets it. I thought Navy had him. Mark correctly points out that there wasn’t a hole, but the guy was patient.

REVERSE! And Utah just made this a game again! 17-14.

Okay there’s 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and they’re still doing the defensive introductions. Some guy from Utah introduced his teammate as “The Freak” --- Tell us about Jevon Kearse, John.

Aflac -Michigan, Stanford, Miami of Ohio.
I knew I heard this question before. It think it was during a Redhawks game.

Navy’s suddenly having trouble moving the ball, and Utah’s got the ball back.
TOUCHDOWN UTAH! Single coverage and a 40 yard TD pass from Brian Johnson.
My jinx of Navy is complete.

We have a winner!! Scooter didn’t adjust his confidence points!!

Navy just fumbled on 2 plays in a row and got it back both times.

Coach Jones has benched Kaipo-Noa Bukkake-Enhada. Didn’t see that coming.

Start of the 4th quarter, and Kaipo-Noa Boubacar Aw’s back in…. and gets smacked. Another 3 and out for the Utah D. I totally caused all of this.
Utah’s bringing in tons of WRs now and passing almost exclusively. Both Mark May and I called on Utah to do this a long time before they actually did. That is not a good sign, Utah coaching staff.

Navy’s defense just doesn’t have any answers for this.

Johnson back to pass (again)… and scrambles like crazy and scores another TD. 28-17 Utah.

And Navy’s in some trouble. Utah’s somehow figured out the triple option, and they may need Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Agbonlahor to throw the ball. (That one’s for you, Jackson).

Navy finally getting a couple 1st downs. There’s still about 11 minutes left, so Navy doesn’t have to freak out just yet, but they need points in the worst way.
Here’s the space in my post where I was going to vent about Donald Washington, but didn’t end up having to:

And scene.

Navy has a pulse!!! Fullback Tawny Kitaen runs up the gut and into Utah’s red zone. Sounds personal.
Sean White, no not the fire extinguisher wielding one, scores on what was a shaky option pitch. And Pai-Gow-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada juuust gets across the line for the 2 pt. conversion. 28-25.

I gotta admit this is probably the best terrible bowl game I’ve ever SOCed. First I though Utah was dead. Then I thought Navy was dead. And now it’s a 3 point game with 8 minutes left.

Oh, and Utah still has 2 timeouts, so I’m an idiot.

Navy should have had an interception in the end zone, but the DB just plain dropped it. Thrown into double coverage.

On 3rd and 4, Brain Johnson’s in a lot of trouble, but spins out of it and gets enough for the first. Utah moves the chains again and its 1st and goal. That dropped INT by the Navy safety is apparently gonna kill them.

Utah’s switching QBs liberally.

Wow. Utah totally pulled a DeSean Jackson but instead of the ball going though the end zone it bounced off the front pylon and shoots out of bounds. I have no idea what the call should be but Lou thinks it should be Navy’s ball at the 20. Refs don’t agree. Utah 4th and goal from the 1ish.
What a great fucking game. 3:40 left. Navy down by 3 and at their own 1.

Suddenly its 4th and 2 for the Middies around their 9. 2:22 left. W/ 2 timeouts, Navy could theoretically punt, but I think they’ll end up going for it.
They do!
And UTAH stops Kaipo-Noa Ruxpin-Enhada and Utah will win the game. A couple plays, later the Utes go up 35-25.

I step away for a second and come out to see Miika-Noa Kiprusoff-Enhada hit a guy for a 60 yard TD.

Longest pass play of the year for Navy. It must be past the Utah secondary’s bed time. 35-32.

Onside kick time.
A Utah guy and a Navy guy both grabbed it but the Navy guy ripped it out first.
Honestly, as far as the kick itself, that may have been the best onside attempt I’ve ever seen.
And Apollo-Anton Kaipo-Ono Kaheaku-Enhada gets a little greedy and throws a pick.

Utah likes pina coladas and escapes. 35-32 final.

Wow. Here’s hoping the rest of the bowl games are as good as this one… and the SOC posts are much, much better.
Happy Hollandaise!!!

Third Annual thebowl.challenge: And they're off!!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year began in earnest last night, as Utah got a mid-second-half rally to go up comfortably and then weathered a late-second-half rally from Navy to hold on for the win (SOC forthcoming all the time coming from Jeff). If you went to bed a little after midnight when Utah got up 35-25 with a minute and a half left (though why would you, if you stayed up that late anyway?) you missed a semi-wild finish, as the Middies threw (I know!) a 58-yard TD pass and recovered the onside kick with :50 left. Unfortunately lightning didn't strike twice for QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (cut-and-paste, bitches), as he threw a pick on Navy's second play after the recovery. Utah scrolled through their plays, selected "QB Kneel," and the game was over.

It took a while for it to happen, but the offensive shootout everyone predicted really got going in the second half, after an opening 30 minutes that only netted 17 points. After the mistake-riddled first half, the teams combined for 50 points in the second. I don't know why Utah spent the entire first half in their "we're playing a 1AA school" offense; it stands to reason that the Utes could have won comfortably if they had bombed away all game on Navy's miserable secondary, yet Utah only threw the ball like 6 or 7 times in the first half. When they got down 17-7 and Kyle Wittingham deemed it appropriate to actually open up the offense, yards and points came in bunches. In the end, this turned out to be a remarkably competitive game, as Utah outgained Navy 451-438, and yards per play averaged out to a 6.3 to 6.1 advantage for the Utes.

This is a roundabout way to say that Kristin is completely insane for having picked Utah with 32 confidence points. When I brought up the fact that she is currently in first place, her comments, in order, were, "you know I just randomly pick things," "well, I always get off to a good start," and "I really don't know what I'm doing." I'm sure we all feel better about ourselves now. Anyway, almost everyone started the season by treading lightly, as 21 of our MWB record-breaking 33 entrants picked the Utes to win, but only five people had more than 10-point confidence in it, and 12 of the 21 had a confidence level of 4 or less. Fred and Schill, who always have off-puttingly similar picks, each picked Navy to win with 25 confidence points. Oops. The table, in part, is below, and I still haven't figured out how to put a table in here and NOT have a friggin' half-page worth of nothing in front of it. Ah well. It's bowl season!!1!

1Charlie Weiss CatKristin1-049632
2Football in the GroinJ. Morgan1-050325
3The Dur's picks = FAILJ. Wise1-050424
4Chereth CutestoryJack1-051315
6Simply the VestJeff1-051810
7Joes defends hate crimesThe Dur1-05199
8Do me, I'm gayTodd1-05208
9Stupid ScottEvan1-05217
11The ThunderS. Lawrence1-05253
13The Eye of SauronADAM!!1!1-05271
13Di's PicksDi1-05271
13J. NearyJoanna1-05271

Aaaaand that's 15 people. There are five more people who picked Utah and had a confidence level of 1, and they are: my dad; James; Mike, Joanna's husband; Kevin; and Scooter. I'm trying to keep the table down to a brief 15, and you guys are screwing me with your similar picks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

VH1 continues to mass-produce nostalgia stew

And I've got a big fucking spoon. Sexually.

Hour one. Hour two:

80. Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
I honestly don't know what to say about this. I was too young at the time to realize that this was a total joke song, so I don't remember if the general public realized it then either. Hell, I don't know if people realize it now, or even if I'm just completely off-base. No, no, they just showed an old clip of the band, and the singer used the word "ridiculous" to describe it! Commenters are talking about how this song is "dumb." No shit. Right Said Fred is apparently smarter than you. The singer is considering a run for mayor of London in 2008. Get the hell out of here. He'd have my vote if I voted and, you know, cared about stuff. He's too sexy for your cat, people!

79. Meredith Brooks - Bitch
An ironclad rule of pop music: if you can combine mild controversy ("OMG I can't believe she called herself that!") with mind-numbing repetition, odds are better than good that you will have a hit single. Lisa Arch: "It gave you permission to say 'bitch.'" Oh, Jesus. "But mom, it's the title of the song!" Hee hee! PENIS!! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

78. Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
I hated this song back then, and I have no idea why. And it's not even that I like it now; I'm pretty damn ambivalent about this tune. But I have absolutely no reason for hating it. The commenters are gushing over this song more than any of the others so far. The Seventh Earl of Mix-a-Lot: "He made it cool for a black man to play guitar again." Oh man, the dudes from Living Colour are gonna be pissed at you, Mix-a-Lot. Total aside: the Hanson kids are showing up on here all the time, and their comments almost always seem insightful. At least they didn't grow up to be Britney Spearseses with wangseses. Kravitz now "runs an interior design business." Also, he wears more scarves at one time than any five hipsters you could find.

77. Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
Everyone's talking about how this song is telling a story, and not like the way songs usually seem to, but the way, like, "Trapped in a Closet" does. It's literally telling you a story. "I got up. I had breakfast. My ho paged me." Etc. I think we're all waiting for the "Ice Cube's a pimp" message to get displayed on some kind of zeppelin one of these days. Maybe this bowl season we'll get lucky. In the wildest overstatement of the first 75 minutes of these programs, Announcer Lady says Cube has built up a "stellar acting resume." Honey, we all liked "Three Kings," but come on.

Songs that missed the cut!
"104." Foo Fighters - Everlong -- Apparently this is not as "greatest" as "Rico Suave" or Duncan Sheik or that Liz Phair song I've never heard of or that fucking Nelson song. I hope Dave Grohl ass-rapes all of you voters with his enormous hand from this video.

76. Blues Traveler - Runaround
I absolutely understand why this is on here, and I guess I can agree with its placement. But I don't like this song, and I will change the station any time it comes on the radio. It's a personal choice. Vanilla Ice thinks John Popper is an amazing harmonica player. Thanks, 'Nilla. No one has anything interesting to say about this song, so they focus on how Popper used to be morbidly obese and is now just fat.

75. Kris Kross - Jump
He he. The "wearing your clothes backward" trend is such perfect evidence of how much pressure there is on kids to conform. Why the hell would you do this? It didn't look cool. It sure as shit wasn't comfortable. But a couple of goobers on MTV start doing it and pretty soon everyone in the school looks at you funny if you're actually wearing your pants the way they were meant to be worn. The solutions, as I see them, are twofold: 1.) Zubaz pants, or, alternatively, 2.) nudity. "Don't try to compare us to another bad little fad," sang Kris and/or Kross. Such a keen sense of irony for such young boys.

74. Cher - Believe
No no no no no no NO! I refuse to say anything about this piece of shit, except that Cher looks and sounds like a drag queen in this video.

73. Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy
Liz Phair says this was the best song of the 90s. She's fucking crazy. This song topped the modern rock records charts for a record-breaking 18 consecutive weeks back in 1998. I hope you're proud of yourself. Listening to this song again for the first time in ages I am struck by how plain it is. I never really liked it, and now I'm grasping to figure out how the hell it was even popular.

72. Barenaked Ladies - One Week
AKA, The Song That Ruined Barenaked Ladies. There is 100% truth to the rumor that I once made a Ladies CD for someone and titled it, "BNL: the Pre-'Stunt' Glory Years, or: Steven Page Wrote Better Songs When He Was an Alcoholic." But hey, that's hingsight talking. At the time, this song was huge and everywhere and good and I was happy that BNL was getting more popular and I couldn't see the ginormous failure of "Everything to Everyone" on the horizon. Life, as they say, was good.

71. Arrested Development - Tennessee
I like this song way more than I did back when it was popular. Some douche on the show says that it was the kind of rap song you could play at an all-white party and seem kind of hip. Not you, buddy. Not you. The group split in 1996 and "frontman Speech went solo, blowing up big in Japan." Is that a euphamism? Whoa whoa WHOA. In 2003 the group got back together to sue the TV show "Arrested Development" for using their name. Get the FUCK out of here. Apparently it was settled out of court. I fucking hate this song. Fuck you, Speech.

70. Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
Great, great song. Funky in a totally new-sounding way. And this was one of those times where MTV helped get a fantastic song out to the public and helped it become popular. Because come on: the video is what did it. Jay Kay dancing around, tiptoeing past seemingly-possessed furniture while he finger-wags the camera ... great stuff. And I love thinking of this song because it reminds me of Cave doing his stupendous impression of the video as we treadmilled our way in and out of every casino in Vegas. In 2007 they played a concert on an airplane to get into the Guiness book. Is there some kind of Jamiroquai support charity I can give to?

69. Korn - Freak on a Leash
I tell you what, I may not like it all, but I can understand the appeal of the vast majority of musical styles. But the whole late-90s rap-metal thing just threw me way off. No thank you. I remember this song being really popular, and I remember hating every second of it. I think this is a textbook example of what Evan's buddy Elliott calls "'daddy touched me' music."

68. Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
If this is on the list and "Summertime" isn't, I'm just gonna-- oh FUCK, they just showed a brief clip of the video for "Summertime"! And they didn't even mention what it was, it was just, just there! Did "Jiggy" really reach higher levels of ubiquity than Smith's vastly superior 1990 tune? America, you have failed again.

67. Deee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart
Oh, FUCK YES. If I had to make a list of my 10 favorite songs of all time, this would ... well, it would be fighting to get in there. It would be in contention. I don't think I've ever seen this song played in a social setting without people singing along and dancing. I hypothesize that it's impossible to refrain from doing these things when you hear "Groove is in the Heart." I don't think there's ever been another song that sounds even remotely like this one. Also: Bootsy! And a brief verse from a super-young Q-Tip thrown into the middle, just to rub everyone's faces in how awesome this tune is! And it's my preferred karaoke song, although my Lady Miss Kier impression could obviously use some work. Also, I'm just noticing that she looked an awful lot like Rachel McAdams ... seriously, I need to stop. Let's move on.

66. Edwin McCain - I'll Be
So I have you to thank for this piece of shit song, EDWIN. I made the mistake of watching two seasons of American Idol in college, and I heard so many caterwaulings of this song that completely butchered a tune that I considered pretty iffy to begin with. Blah.

65. Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
I'm not sure what can be said about this. Is there anyone who doesn't like this song? Everyone on the TV is gushing about it, and I agree with them. Also, I'm tired.

64. The Presidents of the United States of America - Peaches
Wasn't "Lump" way more popular, or am I crazy? It's a fun song, but I always felt like I liked the personalities of the guys in the band more than I liked their actual songs. Their frontman writes "scores" for porn movies now. There's 2 million jokes to be made there, but I can't get the bat off my shoulder.

63. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Mase & Puff Daddy - Mo Money Mo Problems
Everything I said about Korn can be applied here and multiplied by 10 for everyone involved, especially Mase. That nasal monotone was pleasing to the ear? Really, people? The one good thing was that this video obviously served as the template for Terrance & Phillip's smash remix of "Shut Your Fucking face, Uncle Fucker."

62. Live - I Alone
I can't talk rationally about Live. I once knew a guy who basically thought that they were the only band worth listening to. That in and of itself is no crime, but when you're too young to drive, and this guy is your ride everywhere, and all he'll fucking play is goddamn "Throwing Copper" when you're in the car, it ... it really fucking wears on you, man. So, I can't even think about this band or this song without breaking into involuntary streams of profanity and defecation. Oops.

61. Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do
VH1 tells me that this song made Crow an "instant rock icon." I think that may be an overstatement. It's no "stellar acting resume," but still. Jesus, Sheryl Crow has nine Grammys? I mean, I know they're meaningless, but that's still crazy. Aaaand we get a bunch of tabloid shit about things she's done in the last few years. Babies and global warming and Lance Armstrong. Aaaaaaaand I'm spent.

Packaging My Adolescence, Part the First

Greetings, everyone out in blogland. Or, alternatively, both of you reading this. It was brought to my attention last Friday that VH1, your one-stop shop for retro pastiche, had compiled a list of the "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s." Obviously this struck me as something that would tickle my fancy, since anyone who knows me knows that 1.) I love making and talking about lists, especially those that are pop culture-related, and 2.) I am weak. Hence, as an exercise for the upcoming bowl season, when I will be (hopefully) posting every day and (theoretically) doing a running diary/liveblog/SOC of a game, I decided to watch this silly special and talk about it, bloggy-style.

VH1 has done one of these before, an abomination called "The 100 Greates Songs of the 80s." I call this an abomination for many reasons, but the most obvious ones are that "Take On Me" was in the 20s and the number one song was Livin' on a Goddamn Prayer by Bon Jovi. I fucking hate that song. While an 80s version of this gimmick seems like it would be right in the wheelhouse of a man who created an eight-disc (and counting) mega-mix of 80s pop, the 90s represent the epoch during which I aged from nine to nineteen. As with most kids, this was the time when I discovered that there was music other than what my parents listened to, bought wholesale into the seemingly-rebellious-but-secretly-totally-popular-and-conformist rock genre du jour (they called it "grunge" for a while), and then developed a more nuanced personal taste and went off to college to talk about it endlessly. Like you do. ANYWAYS, this list theoretically chronicles my formative years of being immersed in pop music, so I'm interested to see what's on here.

Two more things: I'll be goddamned if I know what the hell the criteria was for "greatest song" status. For the 80s version I'm pretty sure it was an online fan vote (how the hell else would Livin' on a Fucking Prayer get ranked so high, if not by collar-popped douchebags hitting "vote" and "refresh" alternately?), and this probably was too. Since my previaling opinion on the world is "people are stupid," I'm not going in optimistic. Secondively, I have seen a lot of what's on here, because, as I said, I was made aware of this listing last Friday. It was pointed out to me by coworker, pick 'em participant, and possible reader Ben, who sadly lamented that (SPOILER ALERT) there was no Dave Matthews Band on the list. Let's not hold that against him.

All right, let's get down to it.

Okay, right away they tell us that these results are based on an online vote. They also opened with a montage of video clips that gave away - if you can pick out the videos shown - thirty-six of the songs, by my count. I could be off by one or two. Note that we are not given a definition of what "greatest" means. Is it "most popular"? Is it, you know, "goodest"? Um, "best," I mean? Is it quality, is it sales, is it what songs a bunch of idiots remember if they see the names on a list? Some combo meal of any of those? Fucked if I know.

100. Gerardo - Rico Suave
Yeah, this song was huge, and I'm pretty sure that everyone felt kind of bad about it even then. Someone named Alison Becker says that if this song comes on and you're not singing along, "you're an asshole." Well fuck you, too, bitch. Present-day Gerardo is a minister and says "there's life after being an artist." Let me be the umpteenth person watching this to say, "how the hell would you know?"

99. Missy Elliott - The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
I hate this song. I hated it then and I hate it now (by the way, you'll probably see that phrase a lot in the next few days, assuming I'm lame enough to keep doing this). Though it's kind of astonishing to see how, um, spherical Ms. Elliott used to be. Everyone interviewed talks about how "different," "weird," and "spacy" the track was/is. The synonym I'd use for it is "shitty."

98. EMF - Unbelievable
Since I grew up watching "NBA Inside Stuff," I've probably heard this song somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 times, because it was used for commercials and "jam session" clips non-stop for what seemed like five years. Jesus, that video uses a lot of strobe lights. Announcer lady says that EMF failed to have a follow-up hit, but that's bullshit: they had another tune called "Lies," and I remember that the video was black and white and featured a lot of mud.

97. Prince - Gett Off
Seriously? This song? Wasn't "Cream," off the same album, like, fifty times more popular?Anyway, there's lots of obvious jokes from the commentators about the title of the track and how every single song Prince ever wrote is about fucking. For "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans, the video features Season 2 cast member Robia LaMorte (Ms. Calendar) dancing around in her unmentionables. Yay.

96. -- Oh wait! Here are some "songs that missed the cut"!
"105." - Wu-Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck -- I don't think I've ever heard this. In a related story, I am super-white. Okay, that's the only one for right now.

96. Nelson - (Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection
Who the fuck voted in this thing? At least Hollywood Steve and the guy who played Michael McDonald in "Yacht Rock" showed up. Still: snore.

95. Montell Jordan - This is How We Do It
Holy shit, this was from 1995? I could have sworn it was later than that. I feel old. So, the song: we all loved it. You did, and you did, and so did you. Don't bother denying it. Wait, do we even have to deny it? It's a fun song, right? I mean, I haven't thought about it in forever, but come on. If this came on at a party or in a bar, wouldn't you sing the whole thing? I think I would come pretty close. Also: I don't recognize about 60-70% of these "actors," "writers," and "comedians" commenting on the songs. Montell is currently working on a family-friendly reality show called "Montellivision." I did not make that up.

94. Fastball - The Way
Coworker Jessica said she hates this song, because it got "overplayed" and she got sick of it. I have certainly felt that way about songs before, but I like to think that really good tunes can overcome overplayage. Do I consider this a "really good tune"? Shit, I guess I do. I still like it, at least.

93. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories - Stay
SHOULD. BE. HIGHER. This song was everywhere, the video was everywhere, it's still on the radio all the time, what the shit is it doing all the way down here with Nelson and (wait for it) Duncan Sheik? I hate you, America. I seem to remember that someone at Rolling Stone wrote an entire article in that particular year-end issue all about the dress she wears in this video. It's fucking iconic. Whoa, a Jewel sighting! Where did she go? Present-day Lisa Loeb is talking about people finding her and her glasses attractive. She even used the phrase "sexy librarian." I assume she must be talking about how she's smoking goddamn hot.

92. Public Enemy - 911 is a Joke
Seeing the kingpin of a reality sleaze genre that has probably caused more penicillin consumption than World War II being mentioned along with the phrases "protest song" and "greatest song" causes no small amount of cognitive dissonance. Once again: suburban, white, lame.

91. Sarah McLachlan - Building a Mystery
Yawn. I did like that tune, "Possession," though. Jewel says this song is like "getting in a bath of warm water." Hoo-kay. I would have said "eating plain toast."

90. New Radicals - You Get What You Give
I've seen this song thrown around on lots of lists like this. I must have missed something. This song annoys me and always has, and I even spent the better part of a year wearing a fisherman's hat in social situations! The singer broke up the band almost right away and has ... produced an Enrique Iglesias record? Zuh?

89. Liz Phair - Never Said
I've got nothing. Wow, an old clip of Liz talking to Tabitha Soren! I miss Tabitha and Kurt Loder. He's not still on MTV, right? Again, never heard this song before. It sounds to me like it's kind of ripping off Sly Stone's "Everyday People." Whatever. She was hot then and has only gotten hotter.

88. Duncan Sheik - Barely Breathing
Announcer lady says this was "an early taste of emo." I never liked this song back then and I fucking hate it now. That's right, he wrote the "Tony-winning smash" "Spring Awakening." Good for him. Some woman says "I think that kind of gave him a new life." Ya think?

87. Billy Ray Cyrus - Achy Breaky Heart
Pop country for stupid people (redundant?). Edwin McCain and Sir-Mix-a-Lot love it. "Achy Breaky Heart" has the Mix-a-Lot Seal of Approval. Sometimes I think that this song was only written so that the "Simpsons" writers could make the "achy breaky pelvis" joke in "King Size Homer." God has a brilliant sense of humor.

86. The Cranberries - Linger
I fucking love this song. I want to listen to the whole thing right now. I don't think I own it - what the hell's wrong with me. iTunes time! Singer Dolores O'Riordan (great name!) apparently had a nervous breakdown and had to semi-retire. Bummer.

85. Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain
Somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra! Possibly while high! Cypress Hill, I'm looking in your direction! The guy from Color Me Badd who kind of looked like George Michael has swelled over the years. He thinks this song makes you feel high. Frontman B-Real is on a paintball team called the "Stoned Assassins." Um, FYI.

84. Snow - Informer
"Snow"! He's white! I don't like this song. Seriously, do you think that this song would have gotten popular and would still be remembered relatively fondly if you could tell what the hell the guy was saying? Rob Sheffield: "If you had to pick two words to sum up the 90s, they might be 'Canadian reggae.'" Right, because of Snow and ... ... ?

83. The Breeders - Cannonball
Ooh, didn't see this one coming. I don't remember the last time I heard this song; it's kind of gotten shuffled away into the recesses of our pop culture consciousness. Or mine, at least. Ben Lee says this song "sounded like smoking pot." I'm sensing a theme here. Rob Thomas says he thinks this song had the best bassline of the 90s. Is me saying that having Rob Thomas say that about you is a backhanded compliment in itself a backhanded compliment to ... myself? What? I think I still like this song, but I haven't heard it in forever.

82. Geto Boys - Mind Playing Tricks on Me
I don't remember this song at all. You would think that I would at least remember their midget rapper. You would be wrong.

81. Paula Cole - I Don't Want to Wait
Guh. Squish. "Comedian" "Lisa Arch": "Paula Cole had sort of this, like, Earth-mother quality to her." Was that because she was always barefoot and didn't shave her armpits? Because that's 73% of what I remember about her.

First hour's down. More to come.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So does this mean we should worry?

Michigan seems to be pretty happy about their hiring of...dammit, I already don't like him. He's much harder to type than Loyd Carr. I refuse to learn how to spell Double R's name. I suppose they have visions of him running the spread offense all over us. Good luck dipping into that deep talent pool of black quarterbacks in the Michigan high school system. Yep, lots of speed demons from that upper peninsula who will love playing in 30 degree weather. There's a reason we play smashballs football in the Big Ten...half of the season it's the better option in the given conditions.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm like Tevye and shit


Yes, it's that time again. By popular request, we're bringing back, for the 4th straight year,'s thebowl.challenge. Why the hell not. There's some talk about a running diary or two happening as well, but let's not count our chickens before they hatch; Todd is a temperamental bitch. Once the games actually start, I pledge to post the updated scores each morning, along with some of my patented incompetent commentary. Unless, you know, I don't want to. But I'll try.

ANYWAY, the group is set up over at The group name is "Nathaniel's Dance Party". The password is "boban". See if you can take out defending champion, uh ... "T. Lyon," assuming that he/she enters again this year. The grand prize, as usual, is MOTHERHONKING PRIDE, BITCHES! Confidence points, 1-32. You know the drill. And if you don't, I'm not gonna help you. More.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm probably not the only one to say this

Les Miles is still going to Michigan. I haven't heard someone spin their talks and be that "non-volunteering of truth"-ish since Clinton. He used no future tense about saying he's the coach at LSU. I'll give it a few days, but this story will be back out in the open again soon.

We can use this to our advantage. It's going to come out. Herbie will stir some shit up and get to the bottom of things. Notice how Michigan isn't even talking to anyone else besides assistants?

Now, if Miles should happen to beat us, what else could Michigan want. I advise them not to base the hire on that. Remember how we hired that one coach from the Pac-10 for beating Michigan while at another school? Not so good.

Don't Panic

Fear not my friends! I have discovered the weakness of the spread offense. I think we saw it in West Virginia's loss, LSU has been exposed some, and I'm sure you can name a few other examples. Running the spread offense makes you a one man team. If your quarterback so much as hurts a finger (nice example), your whole offense is screwed. 2 quarters without a quarterback and you're losing to a man flailing around on crutches named Wanstache! So how do we go on and beat LSU. Hurt their quarterback...and then next...and then next until that Doucet guy has to go from catching passes to taking direct snaps.

So I'm not guaranteeing a win or promoting dirty play, but should their quarterback have an injury it could really throw their game plan off. That however, is not an excuse. No one seemed to remember Ted Ginn Jr's broken foot in our loss last year. Nope, that had nothing to do with anything. He barely would have mattered in overall offense and field position. He's on the fastest Buckeye since Jesse Owens.

I'll be back later with another surprising prediction that will effect OSU for years to come!