Saturday, December 02, 2006

The S.L.I.D.E. Rule (and Betty Nguyen's Bruins!)

When it's wall-to-wall college football, as it was today, you learn some mighty important lessons. Such as:
A) A betrayal is revealed
B) The wizard predicts doom
C) A princess professes love
D) And the crowd celebrates with their king
WAIT A SECOND!!! Who substituted our college football game notes with the script for Medieval Times (Dinner & Tournament)?
Damn jousters and their damn jousterish behavior!

While the bouncers and the technicians are straightening out that mess, the ol' TV clicker is taking an ice bath right now.
Click-click-click ... it was impossible NOT to bounce all over America and peek in to see what made this nation great.
And, yes ... the click here and click there regimen was fully operational when the choice was Grandpa Corso and Grandma Holtz ("Lispy McMushmouth") on one network (The Winter X Games Network) and the hotter-than-hot (but with a professional, stylistic hottness) Betty Nguyen on CNN.

Nguyen's Bruins, much like Betty Nguyen herself, delivered the goods -- which was merely one pretty piece which made up this Saturday mosaic of coll. FB glory.
Sure, Kitty Pilgrim's okay ... but she's no Betty Nguyen. That's not a knock against the professionalism and pleasant-looking nature of Kitty -- it's more like a five thumbs-up endorsement for The Nguyenator.
Besides, Kitty's not available on Saturday's to take America's mind off the steady stream of vomit flowing outta the mouths of the LameDay boys.

Once the airwaves were unclogged with the nonsense and rhetoric which Grandpa Corso and Herb Kirkstreit sputter, the Disney Football Paradigm/ABC-TV Division stuck it to America pretty good right from the get-go when Paul Maguire was seated in the rain on the sideline at the WF/GT ACC Championship game in Jacksonville.
From his perch in the apparatus known as "Cart Cam," a hooded Grandma Maguire was seated in the rain with a blanket across his lap -- and the only props missing from this comedic tragedy was knitting needles, a ball of yarn and a big bottle of Scotch.
(Shhhhh ... no one's hinting that Mags will catch up with that bottle of Scotch later, wink wink)

Look ... for a guy who played college football 82 years ago (47, actually ... at a football factory known as The Citadel), the Disney Football Enterprise does not need to defend itself against the complaints from me, you, you, you, that guy over there, her and that other dude that there should be some NEW blood in its production (or, at least, blood which isn't 60% blood and 40% Johnnie Walker Red ... which is only a guess, based on the level of competency and coherency).
So sad that Adrian Karsten had to hang 'em up ... and that Disney feels it necessary to hid Dr. Seriously, if the fluffy football funhouse known as ABC/ESPN was interested in removing some of the fluff and frivolity from its funhouse, then a pro known as Dr. Jerry Punch wouldn't be hidden on the Disney "C" game each week.
No one's saying that Paul Maguire is a frickin' jackass, ummmm ... well, actually, everybody is, it's just that when you begin a sentence with "no one is saying blah blah blah ..." disclaimer, sometimes it can soften the blow of pointing out somebody's incompetency or incoherency.

What does anybody expect from ABC, the network which gave us "The ABC After-School Special"?
For example, LameDay's self-eval for today was probably "We were heartwarming!" given how they saved (or "sat on") the story of Patrick Henry Hughes, the blind, wheelchair-bound Louisville student who participates in the Cardinals' marching band (trumpet) with the assistance of his dad, who does the wheeling.
The self-important patting-on-the-back must've been intense, however ... Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly had that story in the Oct. 16 issue.

As usual, LameDay was observed weaving all over the highway and, then, just as they were about to pull over so that the 96-year-old Grandpa Corso and 207-year-old Grandma Holtz could go pee behind a roadside bush, they'd already peed their pants, leaving Herb Kirkstreit to crack a window.
Ooopsie daisy ... that's not a "urine" smell eminating from Corso.
Somebody did a Number Two because he overdid it with the Dulcolax Stool Softener this morning.
Grandpa did a doo-doo.

Do the math, America ... Corso, Holtz and Maguire are all in their 70s, telling America how this n' that works in College Football America. "Not that anyone thinks they're too old," but when they played the game, it would be another 10 years AFTER their playing days ended that the Alabama Crimson Tide would have its FIRST black player.
Which leads to our next point: It wasn't until some point in the UCLA-USC game that most of America got a glimpse of UCLA placekicker Justin Medlock on the UCLA sideline and noticed that he's "one of those guys."
By "one of those guys," we mean a left-footed kicker!
Oh, and Medlock is left-footed (and damn good at what he does) ... and he's black.

For those Americans who are NOT in their 70s (and who watch more college football on one Saturday than Corso, Holtz and Maguire watch during an entire season), we could never name any black placekickers in our lifetimes, other than Clemson's two Nigerian imports from 20-plus years ago, Obed Arriri and Donald Igwebuike.
Black punters, sure ... Reggie Roby, Greg Coleman, a handful of others ...

But, Medlock represents one of several dozen stories which the Disney Football Funhouse ignored so that America could spend more time tuning out Corso when he said for the seventh time in one show "They've gotta protect the quarterback ..." and Herb Kirkstreit's just-raspy-enough voice uttered, "I think (State U.) is on upset alert today ..."
Most of the time, we put up with this incessant drivel ... just so we can get to the A+ feature story, which is ESPN's strength.
WAIT! Corso thinks (Team X) needs to run the ball today.

It'll be a long, lonely winter without the Disney Football Funhouse (ESPN/ABC) to ridicule and mock every Saturday (something which Deadspin's "Hugh Johnson Project" does regularly).
EspyTime Theater continually punished those of us who are TiVo-impaired -- meaning that, if we don't have a friendly "FF" button, we are doomed to an existence of coll.-FB pregame spent scratching our heads while EspyTime Theater scratches its ass (or crotch).
"What the f*ck was THAT?"
(And we're talkin' more here than Grandpa putting on the shiny Tommy Trojan helmet BACKWARDS -- unintentionally -- as the crawl at the bottom of the screen informis us that three Delaware players plead guilty to breaking into a teammate's room to steal liquid steroids)
Shhhhhh ... Grandpa's gone nappytime.

Of course, Fowler offered a 15-second teaser re: Oklahoma-Nebraska by downplaying the fact that Neb. QB Zac Taylor is from Norman, Okla. ... his dad played for OU ... and his sister still works in the OU cafeteria.
THAT'S your story, pinheads.
Corso: "(Team X) needs to run the ball to set up the play-action pass."
Herb Kirkstreit: "The (TeamX) offensive line needs to provide protection for (Player X)."
Same ol' fill-in-the-blanks sh*t every week.
And, it wasn't until 12 minutes remained in the final Coming To Yer Sitttt-Tayyy show that Herbie actually said the name of Bruce Davis, the other half of UCLA's defensive ends which he called "in my opinion, the best in the country."
It's pretty much what you'd expect from a QB who went 0-3-1 vs. Michigan and 0-4 in bowl games.
Davis, during the postgame mayhem following the UCLA victory, called out the ESPN douches, but, what was puzzling was that he called him "Kirk Herbstreit" instead of "Herb Kirkstreit."
That was weird.

Davis and his Bruisin' Bruins might've been cheesed off that Corso got mighty indignant (twice) when he said that UCLA had already accepted an invitation to play in something called "the Emerald Bowl."
Disney execs probably should rein in Corso from gettin' all uppity about bowl games which are scheduled for broadcast on ESPN because what Corso did there was to say, "F*ck the f*cking piss-a** Emerald Bowl and watch FOX or NBC on Dec. 27, America."
For chrissakes, Corso flings around a lotta attitude for a colossal bozo who, in 1970, led Louisville to a 24-24 tie against Long Beach State in something called the "Pasadena Bowl," but then couldn't sieze on that momentum, opening the '71 season with a 0-0 tie against Vanderbilt.
That's just sh*tty coaching.
Team X wasn't prepared.
So humiliated was Long Beach State that it dropped its football program.

Look ... most of the problems at Disneyland Football on TV is plagues people and organizations in the real world -- the S.L.I.D.E. Rule.
Y'see, the S.L.I.D.E. Rule principles are in effect when Herb Kirkstreit's debonair dunce-icity is colliding with Corso fighting the backlash of the Dulcolax Stool Softener.
S.L.I.D.E. is what governs 90 percent of the F'ed-up behavior out there ... when matters get outta hand and a snafu (Situation Normal All F'ed Up) arise.
In short, it is folks being:

S = Stupid
L = Lazy
I = Insane
D = Drunk
E = Egomaniacal

Although our lab boys have yet to deliver incontrovertible evidence, their records show that Maguire possesses all the earmarkings of a Type-D personality while Holtz/Corso are registered Category-L's (with subtle Category-E features), since all they do is show up and rattle off sh*t as though they're smarter than you n' me.
Which they aren't.
Not by a longshot.

Although it will only slightly damage the acronym, "incompetent" can be substituted for "stupid" -- and "drunk" can be interpreted as "under the influence" (i.e. barbiturates, ganja, phen-fen, oxycontin, H, crystal meth, laetril, morphine, ephedra, Dulcolax Stool Softener, Vioxx, and cough syrups which are 110-proof ... so, you're "sorta" off the hook, Maguire and Gottfried, wink wink).
Unless you had sex with the A.D.'s wife ... then, all bets are off.
FYI: That goes under "E" in the SLIDE Rule.

So, it's understandable when America is nearly comatose midway through a Comin' To Yer Sitttt-Tayyyy presentation and the mind starts to wander to the time when Robbie Hart said softly and calmly to his ex-fiancee Linda, "That information might've been more useful to me yesterday."
Then, 30 minutes later, America finds itself growling at the TV, like when Robbie says to Linda, "Again ... things that could have been brought to my attention YESSS-TURRR-DAYYY!!"

Disneyland's College LameDay could have actually achieved less lame-ability if only someone would've displayed the wisdom (and good manners) to make the 2-hour show an endless stream of feature stories, narrated by Tom Rinaldi, Steve Cyphers and/or Chris Connolly.
That's EspyTime Theater's strength ... features, features, features. It's something that the Disneyland Football Infrastructure has the resources to make an impact with every week.

As it stands right now, LameDay couldn't come close to completing the matching part of the exam which looks like this:

A) Medlock . . . . . . 1) Four-time N.L. batting champion
B) Matlock . . . . . . 2) Ex-Mets/Rangers lefty P; '72 N.L. Rookie of the Year
C) Madlock . . . . . . 3) Black, left-footed placekicker for UCLA
D) Matlack . . . . . . 4) NBC's popular TV courtroom show, late-'80s/early-'90s

Y'gotta wonder if Fowler (the most-semi-professional one of the Big 3) would know that it was Madlock and Matlack who were co-MVPs of the '75 All-Star Game.
Meanwhile, Corso pulls another Abe Simpson moment-du-senility and wants to name the new highway overpass "the Matlock Expressway."

So, yeah ... it was the warmth and feminity of Betty Nguyen on the Haystack TV screen to counteract the B.S. that Herbie was tryin' to violate me with.
Once the games began and Grandma Maguire was juiced up and ready to CartCam it, yeah ... it was doggone f*cking explosive.

Y'gotta love Wake. A fill-in QB named Riley ... a DB named Riley ... it never ends with those guys.
Sure, it helps when the SuperScatterArmed Reggie Ball is QBin' the other team, but, hey ... c'est la vie.
What matters to most of us is that Winston is a quality cigaret, but, Salem is a menthol, so it's not OK.
Therefore, some of us remain ambivalent about Winston-Salem, NC, home of the Demon Deacons.

WF/GT was a little bit of a plodding, choppy prelude to the explosion which was to follow: Army-Navy was a little underwhelming, but it was a delight to hear that CBS announcers STILL don't know how to say the name of Navy QB Kaipo-Noa Keheaku-Enahda. This time, the hatchet job was performed by a geek named something like "Eon Igloo" and some other bozo, an ex-Bengal/Jet/Cardinal QB named Norman SomethingOrOther (hard to spell, hard to say ... he's that blonde dude).
("Hey, Boomer ... we don't know how to say "lipstick five-osis" -- or whatever your kid has -- so we're givin' all our money to the research for a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, mainly because it has a cool football term -- "lateral" -- in its name)

OK ... as an appetizer for 'SC-UCLA, the clicker took us to Berserk-ley for Cal-Stanford in The Big Game. They're laughing at him now, but when Stanford's "T.C. The QB" is All-Pac-10 next year, we'll see who's laughing then.
T.C. The QB prepped at "M-A, By The Way."

That's when all hell broke loose ... once we immersed ourselves in Trojans-Bruins and clicked back n' forth between that and the beginning of Alligators vs. Razorblades inside the Georgia Dome ... and then clicked back n' forth between Gators-Hogs and the beginning of Sooners-Huskers ... and then clicked back n' forth between Sooners-Huskers and WVU-Rutgers ... it was total insanity.
But, a good kind of insanity -- not the weak brand of insanity which LameDay offers every Saturday.

Lotsa weirdness, too ... like when some of us we're wonderin' why Booty hadn't thrown much to Steve Smith, then ... zing! Two completions and 'SC's gonna pull it out, until ... someone said, "Can't ya just picture a UCLA linebacker dropping an INT that hits him right in the numbers" and then ... pow! Eric McNeal goes up high, blocks the pass, gathers himself, spins, finds the ball and makes the diving interception of his own deflection and, jeez ... some of us haven't seen an interception THAT nifty since the one that Auburn linebacker Karlos Dansby made in the '01 Peach Bowl.
Fuh reel.
(Of course, Grandpa spent the postgame hours trying to explain to America USC's poor blocking technique which allowed the INT to occur ... same thing he did after 'SC had its 2-point conversion pass batted at the end of the loss to Oregon State -- only, this time, Gramps, nobody on 'SC was assigned to block McNeal, which means that if Gramps gets hit head-on by a drunk driver on the drive home, it's OK to say, "That's simply bad driving by Holtz. He has to prepare for the collision with better behind-the-wheel technique and better through-the-windshield survivability.")

Then there was that strange sequence in the Gators-Hogs game when the 17-0 Fla. lead completely evaporated as Antwain Robinson picked off Chris Leak's shovel pass and trucked 40 yards to the house for a 21-17 Hogs lead.
It got crazier on the ensuing possession when Fla. ran that crazily-disguised (and slow-developing) fake punt which Jemalle Cornelius (wearing Danny Wuerffel's #7) turned into a 17-yard gain for a first down. Then, after burning his final timeouts while figuring out what to do with his life, Urbie elected to punt on 4th-and-1 -- only Reggie Fish looked ridiculous on the PR, muffed the kick all over Atlanta, to which Wondy Pierre-Louis (from Haiti) recovered for a TD.
Ya gotta wonder: Was that the first TD in the history of college football to be scored by a Haitian?
(Grandpa has an intern working on it. He'll get back to America sometime during the 2009 season)

Of course, the Arkies had a special-teams f*ck-up which set up FLA's first TD ... when Jarred Fayson (wearing Spurrier's #11) blocked a punt.
Ya gotta wonder: Was this the first time in the history of college football that two different players wearing jersey numbers of two different Heisman Trophy winners made special-team plays which led to TDs, directly or otherwise, in the same game?
(Herb Kirkstreit is working on polishing up his "If Team X can establish the run, that'll set-up the play-action pass" and "Team X's defense needs to get after it" ... because Herbie doesn't really know the history of college football, he knows the catch-phrases, which is why he went 0-3-1 vs. Michigan and 0-4 in bowl games ... )

Sometime after all that madness inside the Dome in The A-T-L, Paul Thompson tossed the final shovelfuls of dirt onto the grave of Rhett Bomar. Of course, it didn't hurt that the Huskers had a ghastly-lookin' fumble on their first play from scrimmage, setting up a one-play, 2-yard TD drive by OU.
Thompson looked good on the Sooners' third possession when he hooked up with Malcolm Kelly for a one-play, 66-yard TD "drive."
However, the score which dazzled we who believed in Thompson even when Bomar WAS the QB had to be the third-quarter masterpiece. Facing a 3rd-and-10 on his own 1, Thompson found freshman Jermaine Gresham (7 recpts before today) and the TE turned it into a 35-yard gain.
Then Thompson hit Juaquin Iglesias for 19 yards to the Neb. 45. Then, Thompson hooked up with Kelly for 9 yds. to the 36 and, after a 6-yd. gain by Allen Patrick (The Other "A.P."), Thompson delivered a strike to freshman Adron Tennell (1 catch all season) for 13 yds. to the Neb. 17 before a Thompson-to-Kelly completion for 12 yds. gave OU a FD at the Neb. 5.
After Dane Zaslaw (yeah, THAT Dane Zaslaw) clanked a catchable pass, Thompson went back to his Mr. Reliable and lofted a perfect TD pass to Kelly in the right corner of the end zone.
That made it 21-7 with 1:25 to play in the third quarter.
6 of 8 for 99 yards -- and if it was Bomar who'd done that ("as if!"), we'd've all been calling Rhett's completions "money throws."
P-Tomp, though ... he was rollin' to his left, rollin' to his right, stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!

Zac Taylor ... was not as good in attempting to conquer the Sooner Schooner which has its home base in his hometown.
Good gravy, the kid threw 50 passes and one was a late, late, late delivery which Nic Harris picked off in the end zone and another was an ill-advised throw which Reggie Smith picked off at the OU 4.
Another Callahan-conceived masterpiece.
It sure didn't remind anyone of "Pelini's Lord Pilkington" -- a name which sounds either like a masterpiece painting hanging in a gallery somewhere or possibly a breed from the Westminster Kennel Club.
Actually, it was the '03 Huskers' head coach and the NU pitch-n'-catch combo of QB Jamaal Lord (who sucked) and WR Ross Pilkington (who sucked less).
What the hell ever happened to the wingback in Lincoln?
Don't ya gotta have a wingback?

Either way, it was mighty impressive how we had a Big XII Championship Game attendance record of 80,031 shivering their asses off at Arrowhead.
Here in the warmth provided by the Haystack Hideaway's central heating, the clicker didn't get much of a break during 'Homa-'Braska (so we have no record of Joe Fan tossing all of his footballs into the gigantic Dr. Pepper can at halftime, which couldn't have been much worse to watch than Zac Taylor) because there was there was a Showdown in Morgantown 'tween the 'Neers n' the Knights.

Although there was erratic play from both teams, WVU freshman QB Jarrett Brown was sumthin' else. His 40-yard TD run was dandy and then that throw (while running to his left) in the end zone to Brandon Myles in OT (for the game-deciding score), well ... all you can say to that is "jiminy Christmas" or "leapin' lizards."
Or stronger language.
That kid showed some real stones in the absence of starter Pat White.

One guy that J.B. made proud was the dude which the TV cameras caught wearing that navy blue hoodie with three lines of a printed logo -- a yellow, block-letter WEST (up high) and a yellow, block-letter VIRGINIA (down low) sandwiched around a white, block-letter FUCKING (smack-dab in the middle).
Awright! That was either a proud WFVU student -- or somebody that Rutgers planted in the crowd to make Morgantown look like Hillbilly Central.
If it was a WFVU student, the obvious question that America wants answered is, "Are those available in the bookstore? And do you have any in XXXL?"
OK ... so that's two questions.

The TV clicker madness really fries the brain ... but, it's a good kinda fried -- like when you eat an entire box of brown sugar right from the box, spoonful after deadly spoonful.
Or when you sit in your car for an hour with the engine running while you complete a mid-level Sudoku puzzle because, dammit, you're doin' your part to intensify those greenhouse gases which help melt those pesky, iceberrrrrgs.

The only loser here was probably Colt Brennan. America needed time to decompress with a BLT or a cold drumstick and a refreshing beverage rather than jump right into a midnight affair between Hawaii and Oregon State, ummmmm ...
"No Beaver tonight, honey."

Watching college football is fun.
Grandpa Corso, Grandma Holtz and Herb Kirkstreit should try it sometime.

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