Friday, November 03, 2006

Kickin' It w/ Herb Kirkstreit & Jack Bolercraig

It was a bit of a puzzlement to a lot of Americans last Saturday when, in a nationally-televised game between Notre Dame and Navy, Jack Bolercraig informed America that Midshipman QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, basically, had THE all-time greatest name in college football.
That might be true -- but, only if you've been watching college football for three or four weeks.

For the record: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada might NOT crack the Top 5 Greatest Names (QBs Only) for those of us who've worshipped at the college football temple for the past 36 or 37 years.
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada might win in terms of "most hypenated" or "most Hawaiian."
Jack Bolercraig, though, is more Gary Bender Junior than college football historian -- as noted by the fact that he continually referred to Kaheaku-Enhada only as "Kaipo" because spending 10-15 minutes memorizing "Kaheaku-Enhada" would require professionalism above and beyond babbling into an open mike.

The record needs setting straight:
THE all-time greatest college QB name (in history! ever!) belongs to Asoteletangafamosili Pogi of Oklahoma State, circa early Y2K.
The winner of the 20th Century Best-Name College QB, of course, is Sonny Sixkiller of the Washington Huskies, circa 1970-71.
Sonny might've scored higher in the compulsories if only his given first name weren't "Alex" and maybe something more along the lines of "Sixto," a la Sixto Lezcano.
"Folks, that's another six points for Sixto Sixkiller!"

If Asoteletangafamosili Pogi hadn't come along, the Pacific Islander QB name would have belonged to Samoa Samoa of Washington State, circa early-'80s.
Apologies to you, Marques Tuiasosopo.
Thanks, anyway, for playing.
Enjoy the lovely parting gifts.

Asoteletangafamosili Pogi and Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada remind us how far Y2K has to go to live up to the final three decades of the 20th Century when our college football QB landscape was dotted by not only Sonny Sixkiller, but also Condredge Holloway, Houston Nutt, Buck Belue, Steadman Shealy, Marquel Fleetwood, Rusty Trail, J.J. Joe, Elvis Grbac, Stoney Case, Zebbie Letheridge and Major Applewhite.
J.J. Joe ... that name sounds almost as made up as the time when Homer told Moe that he had a "friend" whose name was Joey JoJo Junior Shabbadeaux.
Moe said it was the worst name he'd ever heard (forgetting to mention how Bart used to phone the bar looking for Amanda Hugginkiss).

While America won't be able to address the Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada matter again until the Army-Navy game on Dec. 2, it should be pointed out that THE all-time best name of the '70s (all divisions, not just QBs) was ELVIS PEACOCK ... the best of the '80s was HIAWATHA FRANCISCO (Notre Dame); the best of the '90s was a tie between KYWIN SUPERNAW (Indiana) and KABEER GBAJA-BIAMILA (San Diego State); and so far in this New Millennium, it's Osi Umenyiori (Troy State).

As per Jack Bolercraig, it's a good thing that Michigan and Utah didn't play in 1995 -- and that he wasn't assigned to do the play-by-play. Such an assignment would have required Jack Bolercraig to repeatedly say the names of the star running backs -- the Wolverines' Tshimanga Biakabutuka and the Utes' Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala.
Then again, when the Carolina Panthers' Biakabutuka and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Fuamatu-Ma'afala met at Three Rivers in '99, well ... not many of us remember who was broadcasting that game.

Sidebar: In his Oct. 4, 1971 cover story for Sports Illustrated, Roy Blount, Jr. detailed the stereotypes and bigotry associated with Sixkiller during his junior and senior seasons at U-Dub.
Blount, Jr. noted that Sixkiller, a full-blooded Cherokee, was referred to in print as "the most celebrated redskin since Crazy Horse" and that another writer, without any basis in fact, declared that Sonny's surname was "handed down by his father who had accomplished the feat of killing six bison and therefore won the name ..."
Added Blount, Jr.: "Once, questioned was there much folklore practiced at his house, he (Sixkiller) replied, "'Well, we didn't sit around weaving baskets.' "

Thank heavens race-relations have improved soooooo much since the Dark Ages of the early-1970s.
As we fast-forward to the modern day, there's a black head coach (Tyrone Willingham) and a black QB (Isaiah Stanback, who is currently injured) at the alma mater (U-Dub) of the first black QB (Warren Moon) inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Funny how, just last week on ESPN's College GameDay, America learned of Notre Dame's Ryan Harris, a practicing Muslim at a Catholic university.
Then again, if ya ask GameDay to provide stories from points on the map that aren't South Bend, Ind. or Columbus, Ohio or Los Angeles or Austin, Tex. or Ann Arbor, Mich., well ... Fowler, Corso and Herbie aren't living up to their end of their fight song.
"We're comin' ... to your CITT-TAYY!"

When the Worldwide Leader does its homework and assembles a feature story, it is many times very moving and poignant. And we male viewers are telling the Mrs., "No, actually I'm rubbing my eye because my contacts are bothering me."
Even if we don't wear contect lenses.
Those lump-in-the-throat features this season have been the Corey Gaines/Chuckie Mullins piece on the weekend that Ole Miss retired Chuckie's #38 ... the story about Texas A&M linebacker Mark Dodge/Pentagon 9-11 was brilliant ... the piece about Nebraska's Tyler Gentry was solid ... ditto for the saga of Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey and his younger brother.

On the other hand, there are too many Saturday mornings when GameDay appears to be mailing it in. How many times can ya mike up USC QB John David Booty ... or feature him as a Shreveport yokel in L.A.?
We're done with the "Booty Call" and "Sleeping Booty" stories, et al.

Hey! How 'bout a feature on a teeanger who grows up in Hawaii and then enlists in the Navy and ventures clear from the Pacific Ocean to an academy in Annapolis, MD and, when the football team's No. 1 QB (Brian Hampton) suffers a season-ending knee injury, the Hawaiian kid is thrust to the top of the depth chart in a complex option offense?
A possible angle could be that a QB at Navy has a full classload, military obligations and a football practice schedule to juggle during the week -- as opposed to a football practice schedule intermingled with missing an 8 a.m. class and then making up for it by checking to see if the ping pong table is available in the rec room.
It's not?
OK ... it's off to the weight room and a late lunch in the dining commons.

There we go again ... doin' the job which ESPN is 'sposed to be doin' for us.

For the umpteenth time, yes ... we know that Jeff Samardzija is a minor league pitcher ... we know that Tom Zbikowski is a boxer ... and we know that Brady Quinn has those Kate Jackson eyes and those Kate Jackson cheekbones and a brother-in-law named A.J. Hawk and aspirations of winning the Heisman, blah blah blah blah ...
Oddly enough, it was during ABC/ESPN/DisneyTown's Notre Dame-Michigan State game when the female sideline reporter (Holly Rowe? Erin Andrews?) informed us that Spartan tailback Jehuu Caulcrick is the son of a Liberian head of state who was murdered and ##**##&&((((.

The story was compressed into a 30-second, oh-by-the-way whatever, so if ya blinked, ya missed it. And, if anyone wanted to know more about that compelling human-interest story, well stay tuned because: Is Jim Tressel the greatest coach ever? At any level? How is Pete Carroll doing this week after the loss in Corvallis? Is Lloyd Carr ready top match wits with Jim Tressel? How does John David Booty bounce back from a loss in Corvallis? How does a mastermind like Charlie Weis win with Tyrone Willingham's recruits -- the ones who underachieved for Tyrone Willingham? Is John David Booty more advanced at this stage of his 'SC career than Matt Leinart? Is Michigan ready for Ohio State? Has 'SC linebacker Brian Cushing worn #10 this season with more distinction than John David Booty?

Those GameDay knuckleheads ... God bless 'em. Where would we be without Todd Blackledge or Desmond Howard spending 5 minutes on that 50-foot-by-50-foot slab of AstroTurf blah-blah-blah-blahing about yakkety-yak-yakicity?

As long as the fellas show up at Auburn for a 9 a.m. (CDT) GameDay B.S. session (as happened on Oct. 14) and then as long as the show wraps up immediately and everyone clears a path so that Herbie can get to the airport to be whisked away by private jet to State College, PA for the Michigan-Penn State game, that's what matters.

" 'Cuz they're BORE-ING ... in my CITT-TAYY! ... "

So, the next time ESPN airs that GameDay promo wherein the hubby and the Mrs. are shopping for the toaster oven, close your eyes and pretend YOU are the hubby when Herb Kirkstreit acts like a wise-ass with his "Man, I hope she goes for the crumb tray."

YOU: "Listen up, you backwards Buckeye mother trucker. Your Blackeye teams went 0-3-1 vs. Michigan and 0-4 in bowl games, so don't tell me how college football operates. Take yer pretty-boy hair-gel and Grandpa Corso and hit the bricks, shitbird, before I cram this crumb tray halfway up yer rectum and force yer boyfriend Fowler to forcibly fish it out."

Now, that'd be a GameDay that, for once, wouldn't be a LameDay ...

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