Thursday, January 05, 2006

Lookin' Through a Glass Football

Before the title game started, I wanted USC to win. Win big. During this 34-game winning streak I felt the same way when as I did when I played Bill Walsh College Football on Sega Genesis as a teenager: domination is good, run up the score, defense is no gouda.

As the game progressed, though, I found myself rooting for Vince Young to take over. All of a sudden I wanted VY to scramble and score, to carve up Pete Carroll's month-long scheme. I went from standing in a big Russian winter hat clapping for Drago to jumping and cheering for the over-achieving underdog. Hey, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

The match-up lived up to the hype and capped off an incredible bowl season (for everyone except NU's Joel Howells). I was privileged to be joined by Slack LaLane silent partner Donnie Fiedler and his law school pal Nick, and the three of us decided to take some notes from the game. Here's what unfolded:

--Before the game, we briefly discussed Ariel Sharon's significant stroke, and I proclaimed him dead by the end of work today. Nick's response? "He actually looks like mash potatoes in a suit." Well said.

--While deriding ABC's crew of Saunders and the Two Schmucks (Craig James and Aaron "Poor Man's Chris Zorich" Taylor), we discussed the whereabouts of missing ex-ESPN studio analyst Trev Alberts. That led to this exchange:

Ace: "Weird that Trev Alberts hasn't surfaced yet."
Donnie: "Neither has Adrian Karsten. Or those miners."

--Anyone catch the ref's response to Sandy Day's coin toss? Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, one of only nine Supremes, threw a coin on a field and the referee feels compelled to say into his mike "Wonderful." Great moment. Scalia dissented.

--This was perhaps the most hyped game in the ESPN era, and everyone in the network's stable put in their two cents. But notably missing was any real analysis about the actual game. We heard predictions, we saw highlight reels, we heard about Reggie and Matt and Vince, but not once over the past three weeks of hype did we hear any key stats or hidden gems or unsung heros. ESPN is the only game in town on television, and they really did a piss poor fucking job of doing anything other than promoting themselves.

Cases in point: How come I never heard that USC has the third worst punt coverage in the country, and that the Texas kick returner is pretty damn good? Or that LenDale White and Reggie Bush had a combined 452 touches this season and only fumbled the ball once? Or that Texas' entire starting defense is actually from the state of Texas? Every single one! That's craisins. Or that UT tight end David Thomas was very Shockey-esque, a receiver who falls forward every time and is VY's favorite target?

Where was this stuff, and the million other items that should have been mentioned all week. I'm amazed at how much ESPN talked and how little they actually said. I've basically weened myself off ESPN.com, but there's nowhere else to go on the tube. We really need SI.com to start a successful network.

--First great Keith Jackson quotation of the night...and, please, you have to read these in the Keith Jackson voice:

From right after Texas' fumble on the first USC punt -- "Turnovers: You can't predict 'em, you can't prevent 'em, and sometimes...you just can't deeeal with 'em."

Aside from being utterly nonsensical, that's just plain wrong.

--LenDale White just pounded in his school record 55th career touchdown. And after putting in two more, he solidified his role as the best player on the team last night. Leinart put up a nice second half, and Bush had that one SICK touchdown run, but nobody helped their draft status more on the USC side than LenDale. Well, except for when he and his buddies basically gangbanged the sideline camera in celebration, that might scare off some uptight GMs.

--This may have happened more than once, but one entire commercial break was a massive ad for different Disney offerings. First there was an extended mersh for the new Disney distributed Pixar film Cars, then a big ad for Walt Disney World and finally a promo for ABC's questionable hit Dancing with the Stars. Shameful, just shameful (I'm actually talking about Kenny Mayne, not Disney).

--We saw a promo for Firewall with Harrison Ford, and that reminded us of another eight-letter film that begins with F starring Mr. Ford. And that got us going on Dr. Richard Kimble in Firewall lines: "You switched the screen names." "So that Cisco Systems, can give you, the Internet." Ah, good times. It's hinky. Provasic forever.

--Another Keith gem, although this one's all in the delivery: "It rained on Monday. Ohhhhhhh, did it rain."

--Here's one more from the senile gentleman in the booth: "We're in the six minutes and fifty seconds of the second quarter."

--After Texas' first touchdown, I'm left wondering this: Why isn't Vince Young's lateral considered a "bonehead play" like Reggie Bush's? Because it worked. Bush made a good play but a bad lateral. Young made a bad play but a good lateral. Is that the difference? If anything I think Vince made the bonehead play. I mean, the guy is a black quarterback.

--Keith's best line of the night, after the missed extra point that followed that non-touchdown touchdown: "But anyway, it is, uh, missed. And, uh, the Trojans are not...damaged."

--Limas Sweed made a great block downfield on Texas' next touchdown. If that's not the best name in college football, I'd like someone to point me to one better. I guess Ramonce Taylor is pretty good name, too. Limas Sweed, what a name.

--Could you imagine being at a rock concert where the band broke into the "This is Budweiser" song and jammed the fuck out of it? I'm dead serious. If you don't think this would be a perfect cover for Umphrey's McGee or somebody fun, you're kidding yourself.

This is who I am. This is where I'm from. This is what I believe in, when the day is done...This is what I like, this is what I do, this is what I call mine, this is true.

This is Budweiser, (this is beer), Budweiiiiser (the King is here), this is Buuuuudweiser, this is beer! > extended jam that melts my faaaace, brah > chorus reprise.

Oh man, I think that would be absolutely incredible. Sickness.

--The 1st and 10 graphic said "Presented by Citi." These guys bought the fucking down and distance graphic? Or did they buy the 1st & 10 specifically? You know what this means, right? We're that much closer to hearing Donnie's and my dream:

"Traffic's backed up on the Sears Expressway, folks, all the way back to AT&T Boulevard, even moving slowly beyond the Verizon Interstate." We're close, folks, almost there.

--Do we really need another famous Steve Smith? There's the Michigan State/NBA journeyman hoopster, the Carolina Panther receiver that didn't kill his pregnant wife and now this one. There's even a Steven A. Smith, although he always goes by Steven A., even casually. "Hey, Steven A. can you pass the chips?"

There's also the Ja(y)son Williams trio: the white trash point guard, the black garbage point guard who wiped out on his Schwinn, and the rebounder who blew a hole through his Greek limo driver's sternum.

Are there any other famous athlete names with more than two people belonging to that name? There's gotta be more...

--Here's another Keith-ism: "He's a big guy, and if you don't do your work on him...he'll...get loose." I'm pretty sure he was referring to Duane Jarrett, who he also said was "made out of old leather and hamstrings." God, Keith is the man.

--Reggie Bush's touchdown to make it 31-23 was off the charts. Seriously, we need new charts. If you're a dude, and you watched it with friends, and everyone in the group didn't yell "Ohhhhhhhhh" or "Whooooooa" or "Hoooly fuuuuuck," I never want to hang out with your friends. They're lame.

As it came down to the end of the game I stopped taking notes, but you all know what happened. So let me just say thanks to the Coors Light Silver Penis Train for constantly asking me to join hands and start a love train, as well as the BCS for scheduling the game in a bowl where Strictly Californian Keith Jackson could call it.

Don't believe the hype? I believe it, yo. I don't know why, I just do.

17 Comments:

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Russell Kahn said...

Great game, good times. But two things pissed me off: the constant reviews and the AWFUL broadcasting. You nailed a bunch of 'em, Slack, but here's one that pissed me off:

The plural of "time out" is not "times out." The announcer said "times out" REPEATEDLY, meaning he did not just make a mistake--he actually thought the plural was TIMES OUT.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

That's just Keith being Keith, Russ. He's from the 1920s, lay off 'em.

Truthfully, I think he makes the game better. EVERY line out of his mouth is delivered so hysterically it just makes the contest that much more fun to watch.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger ahren said...

"shockey-esque"

>> so he drops every third pass thrown his way and stomps around the field pouting on every play where the ball doesn't come his way?

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger Alex Fritz said...

"shockey likes the cock-ey"

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

That's true of Shockey, Ahren, but I meant in his build and whiteness and general makeup.

I'm surprised you're a Shockey hater, he's a huge Phish fan. Gotta love Phish-lovin' celebrities, no matter how creepy they are.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger the belligerent intellectual said...

I had to rewind the "old leather and hamstrings" comment twice to make sure that's what he said. I think it might even be racist.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Alex Fritz said...

Schockey likes Phish? That doesn't seem right to me. Actually, the only pro-athlete that I can really picture at a Phish show is Matt Morris, and that's only because he wore a hemp necklace and came up to bat to "Weekapaug Grove" for one glorious summer back in '99.

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

D'Brackishaw Ferguson has the best name in college football. OL from UVA.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

D'Brackashaw Ferguson was brought up a few times last night...maybe my Jets will pick him up with the #4 pick. Great player, great name.

Shockey definitely likes The Phish...I'll point you to two articles:

NFL.com and New York Mag

And BelligIntel, I'm with you on the racist remark...I think I said about 12 times last night, "Dude, that's a little racist."

He didn't quite say "Vince is running like he stole some hubcaps," but there were some questionable calls. Well, actually, maybe that was me making the blatantly racist remarks, not Keith.

 
At 5:41 PM, Blogger misterlister said...

I heard a rumor that John LeClair, Legion of Doom member who played college rubber at UVM, is also a Phish fan. Can anybody confirm or deny?

For college athlete names I'm a fan of the Buckeyes' duo of Santonio "riverwalk" Holmes and A.J. "where's my dirtbike" Hawk.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Guss said...

I thought the PSU and FSU game would probably be the best out of the bcs bowls. I was proved way wrong and got a few more hours of sleep too. I've hated USC since they came back on ND and it still haunts me. I hate Leinart and Bush, so I rooted for the Texans...and I've never liked a college team outta Texas so it was a first....VY looked impressive, almost too impressive...repeat if he comes back

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

I actually ran into the other room, grabbed the future wife and dragged her back into the living room to watch the replay of Bushie's touchdown. She thought something was wrong, like a player's leg fell off. But when she saw it, all she said was "Wow. You're an idiot. Don't ever drag me off the computer like that again. He's supposed to score touchdowns, isn't that what he gets paid for?"

I thought that was pretty funny.

Coming in at a close second for line of the night from the future wife was "so, are these teams both in the NCAA and in Division 1?" I said yes and she says "Wow. That's cool."

And she's a college coach with a National Championship under her belt, Div. 2, but still.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Does your future Mrs. know something we all don't:

"He's supposed to score touchdowns, isn't that what he gets paid for?"

He's been getting paid? Maybe he gets bags of cash and/or a tractor. Gave a kid a tractor.

Lister, good work on adding to the great names in college football...I like the "Riverwalk" moniker especially. But AJ Hawk's nickname is either "Lattimer" or it's nothing. Seat at the table, baby!

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

I'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic. But who knows?

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

Hey Ace, I can't believe you don't see the difference between Young's pitch and Bush's (besides that it worked). Bush's was way down the field to a guy who thought he was just down there to block and was attempted with two defenders in the way of the pitch. Young's was on an option play where his pitch man was still trailing him, and probably still ready for the ball, and with no one in the way. So I think it was definitely a smarter play, but Bush would have gotten plenty of credit for his, had it worked, despite it being a stupid idea.

There's a local weather guy here named Steve Smith. Also, I can't believe you left out Roy Williams. Curt/Kurt Warner is another good one, not just the two NFL guys, but there was some college player from Georgia or something that was mentioned the other night.

About the advertising, I don't know if you guys get any Jefferson Pilot games up there, but their first down line is purple instead of yellow because it's brought to us by Prilosec.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

JR, I really do disagree on the lateral thing, but I'm also way too tried to make my point. Agree to disagree. Whale's vagina.

But thanks for the Roy Williams drop-in, that's a great one (and probably pretty easy, where the hell was I on that one?). I wonder how many more there are...

Any help?

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

No, I can't agree to disagree unless you've got a decent argument, otherwise I'll have to try to convince you.

There are probably more names like that, but I can't think of anymore at the moment.

 

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