The weather was so impressively-springtime-like here in the Mid-Atlantic Corridor (thank you, fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses for teaming up to provide earth-warming goodness which provided us with the unconditional splendor of a 70-degree, January Saturday) that some of us actually stopped taking sides in debates of Sunni insurgents vs. Shiite militias and, doggone it ... we trekked out into the wilderness.
At least, into the wilderness which is Sbarro
Saturdays and Sbarro go nicely -- unlike the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite militia ...
Yup ... rather than resolving ourselves to the isolation and despair which was the inaugural International Bowl, it was time to return to the living. It hardly seems like it was two Saturdays ago (way back in 2006) when our heroic Men of Sparta were stickin' it to Urlacher College in the inaugural New Mexico Bowl, most notably when QB Adam Tafralis chucked that 70-something-yard TD pass to WR John Broussard when there wasn't a defender within 20 yards (no lie ... TWENTY!) of the receiver.
And was it really only last Saturday when all sorts of mayhem broke out at the at the Meineke Car Care Bowl (formerly the Continental Tire Bowl), the Alamo Bowl (originally the Builder's Square Alamo Bowl) and the Chick-fil-A Bowl (formerly the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl)?
Indeed ... that was the final Saturday of '06, spent with our favorite players, Kaipo What'sHisName-O, Lie Muss Swede and Math You Stafford.
And, God bless your soul, PFC Kevin on Panel 17E.
Whether the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite militia know it, college football still offers the best dollar value for Americans -- and it's for that reason that more people give a rat's ass about the Cinshitnati Bearcraps blowing a 24-0 leading to Western Michigan (but, still winning, 27-24) than they concern themselves about the b-ball team at O'Reilly Auto Parts University winning its Big XII opener with a powerful statement against football powerhouse, Sooner Schooner.
That was Career Victory No. 881 (which is a record ... for men's b-ball, anyway) for the O'Reilly Auto Parts University head coach and his son, the "head coach designate."
The hoopla surrounding Career Victory No. 881 was almost nil, however ... that more or less matched the notariety that the Lubbockians and Lubbockites gave to Mike Leach and the Texas Tech football team (which has a "TT" on the helmet) after they rallied from deficits of 28-0 and 38-7 while defeating Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.
For Mike Leach, his identity crisis is very simple.
He doesn't speak "O'Reill-ese" -- and, until he has his players with OAP decals on their helmets, the program will suffer.
However, this may (or may not coincide) with what this Planet predicted one month ago:
"Mike Leach is no Spike Dykes and, although you're a football school (in theory), Bob Knight is going to break Dean Smith's all-time career wins record before your TTU football fraud is pummeled in the Insight/Independence Bowl. That's something to look forward to." -- "INCOMPLETE EMPTYING," 11/04/06)
Take it easy, Mike Leach. Spike Dykes was no Rex Dockery -- and Coach O'Reilly Auto Parts and Head Coach O'Reilly Auto Parts, Jr. probably aren't going to get O'Reilly Auto Parts University b-ballers past the second round of the Big Dance in March.
FYI: The Golden Gophers WERE pummeling you for five-eighths (62.5 percent) of that Insight Bowl Which Nobody Watched (On The NFL Network).
Meanwhile, "yes" ... it was an intrusion when Knight violated our personal space several days ago with Win No. 880. It disrupted the flow of our New Year's Day bowl-game viewership -- and witnessing the Head Coach Designate offering an awkward semi-quasi-half-hug to the ol' man dented our brain so much that even Erin Andrews' more-clingy-than-usual sweater (which she wore in curvaceous fashion at the Wisconsin-Arkansas Capital One Bowl) could not un-dent it.
In the New Year's Day aftermath, it was interesting to see/hear Pusburger had made it safely to Columbus for the IU game vs. 28-year-old Greg Oden one night after his Rose Bowl broadcast.
And, Erin Andrews made it to Columbus, too ... with a different, but just-as-clingy sweater for 28-year-old Greg Oden to gawk at.
Enough about 28-year-old freshmen who'll stop attending classes roughly 15 seconds after Ohio State's loss in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
And, here's something else about hard work: Y'know how we're force-fed (by the Disney/Knight B-Ball Enterprise) those clips of Knight barking his way through an O'Reilly Auto Parts University practice with gruff platitudes about "Hard work, goddammit!" or "Outworking the other guy, growl growl growl"?
Once you look behind the gruff nature of it all (and once you ponder sending the ol' guy to a day spa so that he can get his eyebrows trimmed, as the Mrs. wants him to do), you're tempted to perform an audit and ask, "Would someone do me a favor and access Patrick Knight's timecards for the past 10 years?"
It's then that the truth would be exposed.
That 6-foot-5, carboard cut-out has been coasting for, ummmm ... 18 years? 19?
That depends how much work he actually put in as an "assistant coach" at (cough!) "Akron."
KNIGHT (bangs the center of the steering wheel with his fist): "Jesus Christ! This is bullshit! I'm not here for a fucking inquisition! And if that's what this is, then get the fuck out and hitchhike back home! The fucking stepfather was a fucking goddamn fucking asshole from the word goddamn go. He fucking lied and he lied and he lied! Jesus Christ! I mean, this is my fucking life we're talking about! My fucking heart was ripped out by this goddamn bullshit!"
It is this Planet's privilege to re-print those immortal words because, sometimes, F-bombs keep us focused.
Unless he was talking simply for the sake of hearing his own voice, logic would dictate that if he allowed 'Playboy' to put his words into print, it was so that non-b'ballin' civilians would have written material which would serve as guidelines for their lives
Before the dad of the O'Reilly Auto Parts University's "head coach designate" drops me off, figuratively, in F-ing Dayton, we must all rest up for what promises to be a breathtaking GMAC Bowl less than 24 hours from now.
Maybe our best GMAC matchup ever: Southern Miss. vs. Ohio.
The GMAC Bowl isn't to be taken lightly -- nor are we to dismiss the GMC ads on TV wherein we see Tampa Bay Bandits QB John Reaves throwing a TD pass to Eric Truvillion.
When the season opened, the Steelers had two GMAC Bowl MVPs on the roster -- Ben Roethlisberger and Omar Jacobs.
You don't see that very often.
And, we saw it less often because Jacobs was released from the Steelers practice squad five days after the season-opening win over the Dolphins.
The Eagles signed Jacobs in late-Nov.
But, now the GMAC Bowl and Knight's antics are laughing matters which don't matter because the news just hit the wire that USC placekicker Mario Danelo was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in San Pedro.
We're six days into 2007 and already we've lost two football players (Darrent Williams and now Danelo) who didn't live to see 25.
We're always kiddin' around and horsin' around here at the Haystack, but those deaths ... that's messed-up ...