Saturday, December 6, 2008

Know Your Lions

As previously stated, it's very easy to watch PSU football, get lost in the game, and merely look at our players as athletic pawns in a college system. This cannot happen. These boys that lock it up for our entertainment every weekend are real kids. They have back stories, most of them far more colorful than the humble jerseys they don. It's just a shame that most of us will never get so much as a glimpse into their personal lives. This segment delves into a selected player's personal life to show us a little more of the person, and less of the athlete.

The next player in the queue for this feature is Josh Gaines.

Trust me on this: He is much wider than you think.

What you didn't know about #47*:

  • Recognized by Guinness as the record holder of world's largest "sausage fingers".
  • Despite the name "Josh", is not actually Jewish.
  • Ate a brick.
  • Most hated castaway was Gilligan. Because no matter what happened, Gilligan had FAIL written all over him. Much like certain ex-QBs of similar physical stature.
  • Still wakes up crying over homeless dog his parents wouldn't let him keep when he was 10 years old, at mile marker 172 in South Carolina off of I-95.
  • Has never shaved (his face).
  • Holds PSU record for "Most Kickers Stuffed into the Trunk of Josh Gaines' Car".
  • Refuses to play "Guitar Hero". Believes it's downright sinful to believe you are playing an actual instrument, when, in reality, you are just pushing any combination of 5 buttons. This does not impress Josh**.
  • Earned the nickname "Robot Ham". His teammates won't say how.

So there ya go. If you have any further info on young Josh, feel free to leave it in the comments.

*because I made it up
**or because he can't play due to said "sausage fingers"

Monday, November 24, 2008

BIG TEN CHAMPIONS


So yeah, I was close in my predictions. Kind of. Well, maybe not. OK Kreskin, anyone who knew PSU was going to hang 49 on MSU, raise your hands. Didn't think so.

PSU came out sharp, executed, and kept those green helmets spinning all day long. I cannot remember a senior day where the seniors contributed so much. I am going to miss these guys next year, especially the receiving corps. Conversely, Odrick announced he is coming back, so look forward to another season of me slobbering all over him. Let's just hope Maybin does likewise.

Lastly, anyone know what Dantonio was doing taking two timeouts in the final minute of the game? Was it a protest? I don't get it.

Other Notes from the Weekend:
  • Notre Dame's loss further proves Whitlock 's theorem. And also breaks the NCAA record for schadenfreude, formerly set by this game. ND has now had top-10 recruiting classes for the past 3-4 years. How in the hell can they keep this recruiting pace when they continually lose to inferior teams?
  • Texas Tech provided a bizarro-PSU clinic on how to tackle. What I saw was horrible pursuit angles, arm tackles, and absolutely no heart in their drubbing. Congrats, Oklahoma.
  • Before last weekend, I was a little torn on who I would want to face in the Rose Bowl. On the one hand, OreSU would be a game I know we could win, albeit a closer game than what occurred last September. On the other, I hate USC, and their failure to reach the Rose Bowl in such a lackluster conference would be of great insult to them. I am slightly leaning toward USC, even though it is a defacto home game for them. Given the results of Saturday, I say bring on the Trojans.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

...and Spartans on Attack

This week a monstrosity returns to State College:



If ever there was a metaphor for a made up rivalry, it is embodied by the above. I don't want this doctored up file cabinet in the trophy case, and neither should Joe. My guess is that's why we let up a 17 point lead last year in the 4th quarter. Sure, that's the reason.

Playing Sparty at the end of the season is just that; a marker for season's end. There is no glitz of your typical rivalry games, e.g. Michigan vs. OSU. Hell, even this year I would rather be Michigan just for the chance to end our season with a hated rival. And that's the definition of "hyperbole".

Look, if you want to end the season with a bang, don't play for office furniture. A fitting end to this game would be rather ECW-ish. Quite simply, a ladder is placed at the 50 yard line in Beaver Stadium. Jared Odrick launches himself onto the trophy. The MSU and PSU seniors join each other afterwords for a sledgehammer party on the remnants. The splinters are then taken to Canada and buried. And we all do shots.

I would be satisfied.

This season, the game actually means something, but we all know it's an anomaly. For the most part, unless the above is happening or LJ is breaking 2000 yards for the season, the game is meh. Let's make this game worth something. I propose the following trophies/obligations the game should carry with it.

1) Joe's glasses:


He is arguably the most respected college football coach. His image is the personification of PSU football. I would kick a rabid tiger in the balls to keep the glasses where they are. And so would you.

2) Sparty's shield, sword, or helmet.


And yes, I know Sparty traditionally does not carry a sword or shield, but both would be easily recognizable representations of MSU tradition. Plus, any of the above would look totally boss hanging in Beaver stadium. Alternatively, the Spartan crest on the MSU Helmet could come off, which holds great double entendre. Too much? Maybe. But then again, scroll up to see what we are currently playing for.

3) The Lion's Tail


Bear with me here; I know it looks like the Lion is dropping a 2. Losing the last game of the season means that for PSU football games the following year the Lion will go tailless.

Like I said, these are a few ideas that would at least make the game more meaningful in off years. Personally, I really don't know what the Spartan's hold dear and could offer to the matchup, which kind of proves my point.

Sigh...I have a bad feeling about this game regardless. PSU has not lost a game to Sparty at home since joing the Big11 10, but that might change on Saturday. As of late, PSU has been starting out too slow, and the offensive line just has been steadily regressing as the season has progressed. MSU wins because:

  • Josh Hull is slow
  • Odrick, Maybin et. al keep getting raped at the LOS
  • We don't dedicate ourselves to stopping Ringer
  • We don't put pressure on the QB on obvious passing situations
  • Clark plays too tight

MSU 27
PSU 20

EDIT: The Nittany Turkey outdid me, and for that, I hoist my jug of corn whiskey to him. Peep this:

"Wait! I’m getting an inspiration here! After I had my hip replacement surgery, I often wondered what the hospital did with the sawn-off top of my femur. I speculated on whether the surgeon took it home for his dog to gnaw on, or whatever. With Joe’s THR imminent and with it being inextricably associated with the MSU game, perhaps such clashes in the future can be played for “JoePa’s Bone”!"

Genius? Genius.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Indiana has Its Hoosiers

It's very simple. They are not good. We are playing at home. If PSU comes out less than ready for some angry homicide, I will have lost some faith in the senior leadership on this team.

Unleash the HD!!!!!

Indiana - 13
PSU - 48

I turned 29 on Thursday. Again. Every time I turn 29 it hurts just a little bit more. The communion I go through every Saturday with PSU brings me back to younger days, and the pain of age goes away. I can drink whiskey with impunity. I can smoke 300 packs of cigarettes. I can play 80 minutes of MARFU rugby. I can go an entire tailgate without using the port-o-johns. These are but a small few of the feats I am fully capable of on gameday.

Enjoy the game, and LET'S GO STATE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Now?

Is this us?

Galen over at TNL is echoing a theme common in the PSU community right now. To give up. The sense of loss and despair from Saturday's upset (ed-great adjective and metaphor) has lowered him to such basement levels of anger and self-abuse that he has sworn off PSU football for the year.

This cannot happen. Not now. Not ever. Galen and Nick do great work for the PSU community, and if half the symbiotic relationship were to quit functioning, the site would cease to have the impact that it currently has.

I don't like the New York Giants. Never have. But Fassel did have one great quote:

"This is a poker game here and I'm shoving my chips to the center of the table. I'm raising the stakes. That's the game and anybody who wants in can play. But I'm upping the ante.''

While I do realize that in professional football, you just have to make it to the playoffs to have a shot at the championship, the quote in itself is pretty inspiring. The message should be evident. Ante up or get out. We have the 6-7 months of non-PSU football to argue about what happened last weekend.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Aftermath

I have been walking on clouds since the Phillies won the World Series. Not much matterred. Eagles? Meh. Flyers? Meh. PSU facing 3 teams we should beat? No problem. O wait....



PSU 23
Iowa 24

My congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeyes. We made mistakes, they capitalized. We coached poorly, they did not*. They executed in the redzone, we had drives that stalled.

Quick Thoughts

  • Hull and Quarless should be sitting until the end of the MSU game. That kind of play by both of them is inexcusable.
  • Our OL was extremely bipolar.
  • Green and Royster played well.
  • The second TD was Rubin's fault.
  • I have been screaming this all year: if you are playing against a horrible QB, and it's 3rd and long, rush more than 4. You have to.
  • Odrick was a beast all the live-long day.
  • Norwood dropped an easy pass for first down. This is the second game this year he dropped a very easy pass for first down. I hope he doesn't lose confidence.
  • Bowman had an outstanding day. The guy is everywhere. And he stopped Shonn Greene dead on one play with a pure form tackle.
  • I put this one more on the coaches than I do the players.

Again, props to Iowa. And I think I might be in love with Mitch King.

/blocking out 1999 in my head for the rest of the week.

*Except for when D. Williams lined up in shotgun.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Iowa (quickly)

Iowa 7
PSU 31

It's close early. PSU pulls away in the second half. Royster, Green, and Clark combine for 250 on the ground.

Today's preview is brought to you to courtesy of my brothers of ME-TAL


Let us drink to the power

Drink to the sound

Thunder and metal

Are shaking the ground

J Leman trembles in awe and ecstasy of such powerful lyrics.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

PHILLS WIN!!!


I don't remember the '83 NBA championship, although I do remember the players. I vaguely remember the 1980 World Series. Believe it or not, I wasn't alive for the Flyers' Stanley Cup win in '75. I will always remember and cherish this. And now the spending spree.

And for those PSU alums who were also Pittsburgh fans at the end of the bar, I heard your boos and was immune. You graduated. Grow the fuck up.

For the Mets fan (not Adam, but thanks anyway) who turned around to congratulate me, thank you. Way to humbly represent your fan base. The savages mentioned above could learn a thing or three on how to keep one's dignity.

Back to football.....

Thoughts for the Bye Week

This bye week for PSU could not come at a better time. The month of October represented the harshest month in the schedule for the Lions. These past 4 wins have taken its toll physically and mentally on the players and fans. If there was to be a "letdown" game for the Lions, surely it was to come the week after a win in Columbus. Especially if they had to play the surprisingly dangerous Iowa squad.

Personally, I needed the week off. I am going to watch some non-PSU football and relax. On Sunday I will start dealing with Iowa, and not before. I would hope that is what the players are doing as well.

Mahalo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

PSU 13, OSU 6

What...A...Game. I wrote after the Michigan game that "Some say that this only makes us stronger. I say bullshit-adversity is faced against good teams in dire situations. When this kind of adversity is overcome, the team gets confidence. " Saturday night is exactly what I was talking about.

So there I sat on the evening before gametime. I had a dual TV setup (went with the PSU game on the HD), my laptop humming along so I could drunkenly post on BSD, and a whole motley of remote controls to various electronic means for enteratainment. I'm pretty sure it was a sin. But I don't care. Nothing was ruining this for me. No distractions. I was watching this game on my terms. And I would do it all over again, provided I did not have tickets to the actual game. Selfish? Definately, but I did not want inferior viewing of the game at a bar, lines etc.

Wow. After I typed the above, I noticed something. That is freakin' weak.

Onto the recap...

PSU Notes

  • Both lines were immune from penalties. No, wait, let's try that again. PSU had a few non-calls (Royster on a screen in the 2nd-I think Ohrnberger got away with one there), but the OSU OL was straight mugging the PSU DL. Examples-Odrick was held thrice, the third most frustrating because he had Pryor in his sites. I'm not saying he would have caught Pryor, but the forcefull hand placed inside Odrick's shoulder pads spun him sideways. And when you twist a 6'5" DT sideways with one hand, it looks pretty damning. The second person to get 'jobbed was Maybin; he was forcing Pryor's decision making all night, and at the crucial moment (which lead to the INT, and ultimately the game), Maybin was tackled while rushing. If that play went otherwise, you could bet there would be a new Dick Honig All-Star nominee.
  • ZUG? ZUG. ZUG. ZUG. ZUG. ZUG. ZUG.
  • Did anyone notice Shipley diagnosing Clark's concussed status with his fingers? After Clark's initial frustration, he quickly reverted to a leader and cheered his team on. Leader's do not do the former, but the latter. Call it a push.
  • Bowman>>>>>>>Laurinitis.
  • All night long, the defense was flocking to the ball. Know when the run defense is doing its job? When the RB isn't falling forward for the extra yard. Wells always had one person in front of him to make the stop, and 2-3 others to drive him backward.
  • Royster made some weird decisions. In the second quarter, with PSU in the redzone, a middle screen was called. He followed his blockers to the second level, where it appeared to me that he would have more than enough leverage for the first. He had 600-700 lbs. of PSU OL grade beef trucking downfield to block, but he elected to go laterally. Bad move. He as he tried to turn the corner, he was blindsided. This could have lead to a fumble. It didn't, but you catch my drift.
  • From the opening whistle, Rubin was everywhere. His defensive prowess can be exemplified thussly:
  • I love the "Noooooooooooooooo" in the background. That being said, Rubin's forced fumble was followed by the smartest football play by an individual I have seen since Westbrook knelt down on the one last year. Tyrell Sales was prone, and the fumbled ball was bouncing near him:

                          He knew that Pryor or another OSU player would prob get the ball before he could get to it. Instead of trying for possession, he batted the ball further away.

                        Bowman came up with the ball, and you know the rest.

                        PSU played brilliantly on defense, and the offense made some plays. Tresselball? Nope, Paternoball. And it worked.

                        I would be remiss if I didn't give OSU some props. They played one hell of a game.

                        OSU Notes

                        • Terrelle Pryor is going to be everything that was expected of him. We wanted him to throw. Pryor, with the help of some motivated receivers, made some very spectacular plays. He finished with 226 yards, a personal best. I would not criticize him for trying to bounce outside and making a play. He took the weight of all OSU hopes on his shoulders and almost single-handed beat the #3 team in the nation. As an 18-year-old.
                        • OSU has some damn fine corners (when they weren't getting flagged), and their DL put pressure on Clark all night. Especially Gibson. The one time they let Clark breathe, the Clark to Zug combo burned them.

                        Quote of the Game:

                        "I looked at Ohrnberger in the fourth quarter and he looked back at me. And we said, 'We're not losing this game.' " - A.Q. Shipley (seen below)

                        Other than the above, all I have left to say is that I am extremely proud to be a PSU fan. And so help them God, if these kids get in trouble "relaxing" in their bye-week, the backlash will be hell-sent.

                        Friday, October 24, 2008

                        The Ohio State Has Their Buckeyes...



                        Crikey. At the beginning of the year, most of us had the Lions with a loss at this point in the season. Now we roll into Columbus for a night game at the 'Shoe, ranked #3 with national championship aspirations. I don't even play for either team, and am incredibly nervous already. I can only imagine how the starters feel. But hey, that's why OSU players get payed the big bucks (ed-bad puns and hate already flowing), eh?

                        Reasons why we can win in Columbus:
                        1) Pryor can't pass the ball. Yet.
                        2) Bradley has scouted Pryor for the past 3 years in Jeannette, and was the lead recruiter on him.
                        3) When the PSU run is stopped, we can pass. If the pass isn't working, we can run.
                        4) While the OSU defense is arguably the best in the Big10 11(especially their corners), they are VERY soft over the middle.
                        5) Tressel cannot vary his offensive strategy too much on a game-to-game basis.

                        Reasons we can lose:
                        1) PSU comes out flat, like they have in the past few games.
                        2) PSU rushes 4 the entire game. We did this last year and got picked apart (not likely, given #1 under why we win). Same with Michigan last week.
                        3) Hull and Sales start and remain in the game.

                        So its very simple (kinda); on defense, rush 5-6 on every play, keep Wells and Pryor contained. I don't even care if we get burned by Pryor in the air on a few plays. He will f up. For proof, look how Wisconsin played him. Granted, Pryor finally broke through at the end, but the lessen should have been learned from tape of said game.

                        On offense, go deep early, and crack the secondary. Clark cannot fumble the ball. Our most consistent running play for the year is off right tackle. Keep pounding it there.

                        Actually, that was the game plan for PSU going into Madison.

                        Music I'm using to get my head right before game:

                        I'm old. let's go old school with some MAARS. Because MAARS needs women.


                        The enginerd in me just squealed a little. Hell, might as well keep going with that late 80's/early 90's goodness. That's Eric B and Rakim, bitches.....


                        ...and then Big Daddy Kane. Yes, the "Juice" soundtrack was one of the best ever. So was "Purple Rain". What of it?

                        And yes, I am aware that I might be the whitest man ever.

                        PSU 27
                        OSU 20

                        Monday, October 20, 2008

                        Michigan Recap

                        The Good(for the entire game)


                        • Evan Royster: 17 car, 174 yds, 1 TD
                        • Deon Butler: 8 rec, 105 yds
                        • Jeremy Boone: 3 punts, 134 yds, 44.7 ypp

                        The Bad

                        • There was nobody who played bad overall for PSU. There was just....

                        The Ugly


                        The above pic is a metaphor for the way PSU came out, and that's just because I couldn't find a picture of the first snap sailing over Clark's head. We come out flat, let the other team hang around, and then started playing. Some say that this only makes us stronger. I say bullshit-adversity is faced against good teams in dire situations. When this kind of adversity is overcome, the team gets confidence.

                        We (the royal we), however, created our own problems by taking 1.5 quarters of vacation. This trend is unsettling, and has happened in too many games played this year.

                        Other than the offensive miscues (pun intended), WTF was going on with the defense? Every running play, and thus 95% of all plays which were executed by the Michigan offense, were inside the tackles. Yet we backed off, made horrible reads, were pushed around by the Michigan OL, and provided no pressure in the backfield. Early in the first quarter, with Michigan going for it on 4th and short, Bowman had a guy in the backfield (eerily similar to the play he made last week against PJ Hill). He made the hit, and then inexplicably let the guy go. Upon review, it looked like Odrick might have swept his feet out while he was making contact, but still.

                        It seemed like once we subbed out Hull and Sales, the problems kind of disappeared. We played the run correctly, and figured out that Threet is no threat downfield. After that, we just had to make a play every 3 downs or so and watch Michigan destroy itself. The offense relied on Butler and Royster, which turned out to get the job done without any Spread HD playcalling. It is noted that Hull and Sales were inserted back in the lineup with more positive results.

                        My insane theory on what the gameplan against Michigan was?

                        • Michigan is having a down year. Joe knows this. As with Purdue/Wisconsin weeks, PSU is going against a relatively easy team (Michigan) and then a perceived difficult night game on the road (OSU).
                        • In Purdue we looked bland, but still won. This theory applies in that there was no flashy playcalling against Michigan, just marginal playcalling.
                        • The slow offensive start in Madison aside, this theory again holds water in that Wisconsin never knew what hit them for 4 quarters of football due to the lack of traditional PSU-style conservatism. And that unheralded innovation is going to be unleashed in Columbus on Saturday night.

                        Other Notes

                        • PSU should have rushed more than 4 in the first half of the game. It just seemd that the DL couldn't find their game until the backup LBs came in.
                        • Odrick is still a manchild
                        • Congratulations to Kevin Kelly!
                        • Maybin was still strong.
                        • Nate Stupar defied emporer Zoltan by stepping in the way of His regal punt. Zoltan ordered Stupar's immediate liquidation, but Stupar had already been carried off to the safety of the underground resistance. DEATH TO SPACE TYRANT ZOLTAN!!!!!
                        • Norwood dropped a few passes. Weird.
                        • What streak?

                        Movin' On

                        OSU on Saturday night. They are ranked #9, and we are #3. The setting represents past failure, and the last large obstacle to PSU football salvation.

                        In keeping with my insane theory, I pray PSU will come out with something OSU has never seen before in a PSU defense. Hopefully, it is something along the lines of a 3-4, with Maybin mirroring Pryor. This is similar to what the Eagles do against mobile QBs. Pryor has proved himself as a talented running QB, but not really a passing one. Yet.

                        The trick is, how do you contain Wells?

                        Lastly, if we come to Columbus with the execution seen in the first 25 minutes of last game, we will get smoked.

                        Friday, October 17, 2008

                        One Last Post...

                        Because I am bored, and need to flex my imagination....

                        Know Your Lions

                        As previously stated, it's very easy to watch PSU football, get lost in the game, and merely look at our players as athletic pawns in a college system. This cannot happen. These boys that lock it up for our entertainment every weekend are real kids. They have back stories and personalities far more diverse than the humble jerseys they don. Thus, it is the object of these posts to provide the reader with a glimpse of what these guys are really like.

                        In staying with the defensive line, the next badass to be exposed herein is #91, Jared Odrick.

                        Or, as the opposition skill players call him, "Oshitpleasegodno". Don't know how this is extrapolated from "Odrick", but football players are a funny bunch.

                        Anyhoo, the following was a list of questions posed* to Jared via questionnaire, and his written responses follow.

                        Q: What do you feel gives you the advantage at your position?
                        A: Size, strength and speed in combination with technique. Also, coach Johnson gave me a wristband to be activated during the game that cuts off the flow of blood to my hand on passing downs. Makes it bigger. Quarterbacks hate that.

                        Q: What do you eat before the game to keep your strength up?
                        A: Eat? No sir. I drink only the purest Venom (ed-the following illustration was actually provided by Jared**. Note the above-mentioned apparatus).


                        Q: What music do you listen to on game day?
                        A: Coach Johnson made me a mix of sounds he recorded in a Kansas City slaughterhouse interwoven with the Notre Dame Fight Song. It gives me the blood-fever. After 45 minutes of exposure, I'm ready for the game.

                        Q: Favorite JoePa memory?
                        A: Joe came to visit me my senior year in high school on a recruiting trip. I didn't think much of him until he challenged me to a Rochambeau. He even let me go first. I lost after a 20 minute struggle, but Joe promised if I came to PSU and graduated I would get a rematch.

                        Q: What is best?
                        A: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the cheerleaders.

                        *hypothetically
                        **not provided

                        Up North, the Wolverines

                        It's been awhile-work tends to pile up when you are away on road trips. And slack off. And have unlimited computer access at work and are easily distracted by shiny objects and a Phillies' playoff run. So yeah, I've been busy. Moving on....



                        So this week the Wolverines (2.0) come into town. They bring with them baggage and failure, which is fine with me. The problem is, as a whole, I just can't hate Michigan. I don't know why; maybe it's because they are traditional rivals to Notre Dame. Or their fans were incredibly nice to us on our road trip last year.

                        What I do not like about Michigan is the little things. Let's start with the stadium:

                        1)Michigan Stadium
                        • Their seats are small for most of our American fatasses. Not mine tho', which comes in handy when your chubby friends sit in your row, but I digress. Thus, the traditional nomenclature of the "Big House" has been attached to said stadium since they can compress more fans into the bleachers. And here comes the PSU inferiority complex:




                        • It's quiet, even when at capacity. You can literally feel the sound being sucked up into the void.
                        • Their student section blows. Jingle your keys all you want, but it's gay.
                        • The visitor's section is at the top of the stadium, and wraps around the corner of the endzone. That's just rude.

                        2) Dick Honig

                        • 2002. Johnson was clearly in, asshat.
                        • 2005, 2 seconds.
                        • 2005, Avant was out.
                        • 2005, Hart fumbled.
                        • F#$king DICK HONIG

                        Other than that, I really don't have a problem with their fans, except for item #2 above. I have never noticed the arrogance theory other blogs ascribe to.

                        That being said, I hope we stomp them new mudholes this year. Eleven years is a tough run for any team. Trust me, I have a vested interest in Philadelphia sports.

                        PSU On Defense

                        Michigan is in a transition year offensively. They have no QB to run RichRod's spread attack, new RBs, and an entire set of inexperienced WRs (which is going to look somewhat familiar to us next year). I fully expect Michigan to come in and run the offense we saw vs. Notre Dame last year, or Wiscy last week. Nothing flashy, just short passes and vanilla running to avoid potential screw-ups. I fully expect PSU to rush 5 or 6, with blitzing LBs providing different looks. Maybin will again act thussly:

                        PSU On Offense

                        Michigan does not have a bad defense. In fact, they have a very underrated defensive front seven. What frightens me, and consequently could be the only thing keeping Michigan in this game, is forced turnovers. I take solace in our starters' past few games performance. Clark has shown almost preternatural decision making and accuracy. Royster knows Lawlor and the O-Line will provide the running lane needed, and the starting WRs all have veteran experience.

                        PSU Special Teams

                        We have Williams and Kelly, the latter being an asset this year. Emporer Zoltan might be one of the best punters in the universe, but he doesn't kick field goals or act as a return man. Provided Boone is marginal, PSU maintains a clear advantage. Unless Williams loses a fumble.

                        All signs point to PSU blowing out this Michigan team. How can Michigan possibly win?

                        • We go into offensive "sphincter mode". I don't see this happening at home against a team that is down.
                        • Royster's hand injury flares up and he fumbles the ball more than once.
                        • PSU has an eleven year flashback/panic attack.
                        • We play "bend don't break". I don't like defenses tired late in the game because they were on the field too much in the first half.
                        • Michigan is within 14 by the fourth. WE CANNOT LET THIS MICHIGAN TEAM HANG AROUND.

                        All the above seem improbable. Still, I will not signal victory until the clock runs down.

                        Final Thoughts

                        We should have won last year but failed. We better win this year, because Michigan will not be down for long.

                        Michigan: 6
                        PSU: 51

                        EDIT: Most PSU and Michigan blogs have that fateful final play in the 2005 game. That clip will never be posted here. EVER. I can't look at that clip without that feeling of despair and loathing over what could have been. If I were to post it, I would most likely blackout and wake up in a prison cell covered in blood and confusion.

                        Wednesday, October 8, 2008

                        Final Thoughts: Purdue

                        On Offense:

                        • Must we always go on the conservative side when on the road?
                        • Royster is a beast, especially when led by Lawlor
                        • The only thing that infuriated me was the punt on the Purdue 38(?) yard line.

                        On Defense

                        • Hull stepped up. We'll see how he does this week against PJ Hill untill I completely apologize.
                        • Odrick is an absolute terror. Koromoa looked good.

                        That's really all I have. I wasn't able to take pics in Purdue (stupid camera), and the stories are just too long to properly explain. Let's move on to this Saturday night.....




                        ...Like you didn't know this was coming.

                        Tuesday, September 30, 2008

                        Illinois Recap

                        Just some closing thoughts on the awesomeness from Saturday night:
                        On Offense:

                        +

                        +

                        +

                        =

                        (HT: BHGP)

                        On Defense: As my mother put it, "What's with your middle linebacker? He seemed lost" If my mother figured that out, I suggest we start looking into moving personnel around. Sorry Hull, but it looks like you are the odd man out. We all really want you to do well, but you are just not getting it done.

                        My final thought before moving on is that I don't believe we should be ranked that high yet (some have us as a top 5 team). We are still relatively untested on the road, and have OSU coming up in a few weeks. That, and we haven't beaten Michigan since the Clinton administration. We also have to play in Madison; although I do feel better about this since they bedshitted against Michigan.

                        My mood will remain as "cautiously optimistic" until said games are completed.

                        Movin' On: Purdue

                        On Thursday evening I leave for Purdue. Me, 16 friends, 2 RVs, 9 cases of Old German, and West Lafayette. I will be trying to blog with updates on this trip to show the rest of you why one should try and make it to at least one away game per year.

                        What do I expect out of PSU? I will be happy if we don't revert to the vanilla offense, and we come away with a victory. That is all. Low expectations, truthfully, but the past two trips were to Notre Dame (2006) and Michigan (2007). And now you understand why.

                        Thursday, September 25, 2008

                        Preview: Illinois

                        The above picture is of Chief Illiniwek, who was wrongfully removed as the Illinois mascot. Yes, I am bitter about these PC Nazi moves. Was it a badass logo? Scientific studies reveal that yes, indeed it was.

                        So they went and got rid of the mascot and tradition. Given the same scenario, and I had to chose a new school mascot, I would have gone with The Fightin' Lemans.

                        WARNING: In women, prolonged exposure to this picture may result in
                        spontaneous pregnancy.

                        Seriously, is there anything more inspiring than this picture? The All-American good looks and haircut to boot. And let us not forget about the awesome necktie. Picture this: it's late in the game, you are down by 6, and exhausted. Or, your planet is being invaded by aliens. Whichever. You turn and see this mullet-god inspiration sprinting toward you, waving a flag, and screaming for you to get up and fight. That would be more than enough to press me through whatever pain and exhaustion I might be feeling.

                        O, and he was a damn fine linebacker as well.....

                        On to the football...

                        One of the most bitter losses I have ever experienced came at the hands of Illinois last year. The scenario was that PSU was coming off of a devastating loss in Michigan, and needed something to pull this team together. Our first drive netted a Kevin Kelly field goal. The ensuing kickoff saw an untouched Arrelious Benn take it 90 yards to paydirt. The lone offensive highlight in game full of errors was Derrick Williams torching the Illinois secondary. The rest was full of Morelli thick-headed turnovers, lack of execution, etc. Given the above, it was weird that we were even still in this game with 27 seconds left. Again, Morelli removed all hope of victory by displaying his trademark unclutch abilities.

                        O, and Leman had an interception. But I digress.

                        In short, I just felt empty after that game. These were two games that PSU should have won, but didn't. This year, I want revenge.

                        Even with the loss of Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois has a few weapons we are to be concerned about:

                        The Juice
                        Illinois returns starter Isiah John "Juice" Williams*, who looked somewhat impressive in the opener against Missouri. However, it was probably due to a crappy Missouri defense then anything else. I guess we'll find out when Missouri rolls through its lackluster schedule and hits a bowl game against a real opponent. His numbers through the air: 26/42, 451 yards, 5 TDs, 2 Int. He also rushed 19 times for 10 yards.

                        Against Eastern Illinois, Juice was a nightmare on the ground (16 car., 174 yards, 2 TDs), and meh as a QB (16/25. 124 yards, 1 TD, 2 Int.).

                        Against Louisiana-Lafayette, Juice went 13/25, 147 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int, and picket up another 35 yards on the ground on 11 tries.

                        Benn
                        This guy legitimately gives me nightmares. Last year, he was everywhere: 5 rushes for 8 yards, 6 catches for 84 yards and a TD, and a kick return for a TD. Not bad for a freshman.

                        Daniel Dufrene
                        Dufrene is off to a good start as a starter for the Illini, averaging 6.7 ypc and 100 ypg. Although he hasn't made it to the end zone this year, has has rolled up the numbers that would warrant attention.

                        What is most important to remember about last year's fuckup is that we did take Juice out of the game. Outside of a good first quarter, Juice was highly ineffective, and had to be replaced later by some chump named McGee. I have no doubt that our game plan regarding him is to simply keep him in the pocket, and force him to make bad plays. Getting Koroma and Evans back, even in limited roles, will no doubt bolster this stratagem. Other than that, keep a safety (Scirrotto) dedicated to Benn to remove anything over the top, keep an eye on Dufrene, and defensively we should have a good game.

                        Offensively, the only worry I have about PSU is losing the ball. There have been 11 times thus far the ball has hit the ground; while PSU has been lucky in recovering the majority of them, this is far too many. Add to this that the ball may be slick due to inclement weather, and we have the potential for a nightmare. Last year's game was decided by turnovers, and hopefully history won't repeat itself.

                        O, and PSU has the small intangibles of a night game and the White Out. Feelin' good about this one.

                        The final score:
                        Illinois 13
                        PSU 31

                        EDIT: ESPN this morning displayed on its ticker that Koroma and Evans will be playing this weekend dispite their legal infractions. There was no mention that they had both been suspended for 3 games, missed practice, etc.

                        *"Juice" has turned into a remarkably bad nickname in the past 14 years or so. Might want to go with something else here.

                        Wednesday, September 24, 2008

                        Surfacing Briefly....

                        My time has been tight what with the end of the fiscal year coming up, so my blogging (or attempts thereof) has been severely curtailed. Yes, I have actually had to do work. So until the road trip next week, please don't expect that much out of me other than the occasional line or two.

                        My thoughts on the past 4 games?
                        • Big ups to Jay and Galen. I absolutely love the playcalling, and how in almost every play multiple skill players can be used. Of course, it helps to have a man-beast QB that can read defenses. Just sayin'....
                        • Jerome Hayes went down. This gives me sorrow to which I cannot ever write about. Sometimes, I think Niche was right.
                        • Get Evans and Koroma back in there for Illinois. I am pretty sure by now they understand what they did and how it effects the team.
                        • As predicted, Navarro Bowman appears to be THE NEXT ONE.....
                        • We are deficient in special team coverage, and turn the ball over too much.

                        So there ya have it. We ate our cupcakes, they tasted good, and now onto the conference schedule entree. Selah.

                        Know Your Lions

                        As previously stated, it's very easy to watch PSU football, get lost in the game, and merely look at our players as athletic pawns in a college system. This cannot happen. These boys that lock it up for our entertainment every weekend are real kids. They have back stories, most of them far more colorful than the humble jerseys they don. It's just a shame that most of us will never get so much as a glimpse into their personal lives.

                        The next student-athlete in the queue for this feature has to be Jack Crawford.


                        As we all know that Jack is a little late in picking up the game of football; he was born in England, and originally came to America to play basketball. Basically, he has a freakish size/speed matchup (6' 6", 260, 4.55), but is underdeveloped due to lack of experience. This will change under LJ Sr. (See Hali, Tamba).

                        I recently sat down with young Jack* to write about the odds and ends of his life. The following are just some things that people should know about him:
                        1. Once beat the shit out of Tunney O'Hanlon. Then slammed an entire case of bitter, sang "God Save the Queen", and pleasured every woman in the room.
                        2. Speaks when spoken to around LJ Sr.
                        3. Believes rugby is for "wankers".
                        4. Worked hard in the offseason to eradicate English accent by living in North Jersey.
                        5. Distrusts the Welsh.
                        6. Has this picture posted over his locker as fuel for playing Michigan.
                        7. Can rhyme any word with "purple".
                        8. Thinks Braveheart was a good enough movie, but would like to remind everyone that on June 19, 1306, Robert the Bruce's Scottish rebels were defeated at the Battle of Methven.
                        9. Mo Evans calls him the "Limey prick trying to take my job". Secretly hopes that this is just a nickname, and wants to be his BFF. That is why he moved to DT.
                        10. Hates urinals.

                        So there ya have it. Don't be afraid to confront Jack with his personal information, as listed above. I'm sure he will laugh**.

                        *no I didn't
                        **he won't. and for the love of God, don't tell him I said any of this.

                        Tuesday, September 2, 2008

                        Know Your Lions

                        It's very easy to watch PSU football, get lost in the game, and merely look at our players as athletic pawns in a college system. This cannot happen. These boys that lock it up for our entertainment every weekend are real kids. They have back stories, most of them far more colorfull than the humble jerseys they don. It's just a shame that most of us will never get so much as a glimpse into their personal lives.

                        All that ends now. To get you (ed-even more so) emotionally invested in PSU football, please allow me to give you the smallest insight into our players. First on the list.....

                        Derrick Williams


                        We all know him as #2, the Greenbelt prodigy, a product of The Stable, etc. But these facts really do not give us any insight into the person; it is the minutae of life which defines us. For example, did you know that in the above picture, Derrick is not wearing a shirt? After his freshman year, he took his nipples off with a belt sander and had his jersey tattooed onto his body. True story*. Other interesting facts:

                        • Had 2 extra canals implanted in each inner ear this summer. The result is far superior balance.
                        • Can communicate with corn.
                        • Has no fingerprints. The ridges on his palms and fingers are actually millions of microscopic setae.
                        • Only person to successfully call Paul Posluszny "chump". Did it twice.
                        • Hates being called "D-Will". Fears "Greased Pole" might catch on. Is toying with the idea of self-applying "High Heel", 'cause he routinely snaps ankles. Understands self-applying nicknames is against the rule, but is trying to find a way to breach the social norm**.
                        • Whispers "Mr. Drummond" under his breath when speaking about or to Joe Paterno.

                        *not true
                        **like starting a blog

                        Monday, September 1, 2008

                        Final Thoughts, Week 1

                        Just some random thoughts while watching the DVR'd game:

                        • Moments before kickoff, the "WE ARE" chant was performed in fine fashion. There was one CC player on the sideline who was shaking his head, trying to convince himself that the sound wasn't affecting him (#83, I believe). I don't think he's a very good salesman.
                        • Good run stuffing up the middle. Odrick is a beast. Baker who?
                        • Gaines and Evans looked ready.
                        • DWill stays on his feet after contact. Ran a great WR screen. Me likey.
                        • Clark's first pass was a gem. So was the second. I'm not used to seeing on target passes and crisp decision making. Keep it up.
                        • Good playcalling. For all the guff I give JayPa, I have to say I was impressed by the job Jay and Galen did. Further, neither QB ran. While this is due to good OL play, but also due to the offensive stratagem of just keeping the QB in the pocket on purpose.
                        • Jerome Hayes came in and had a great first step. Good to see.
                        • Devlin has a sweet touch. However, I just thought that the offense moved better with Clarke.
                        • BANI-BANI-BANI.......OY-OY-OY! Other than that pick, I thought the LBs were a little soft in coverage.

                        Other wise, I was very happy with the results, considering we were playing a cupcake. No real injuries, everyone got a few plays, and both QBs looked solid. As expected the line and the running game was pimp. That being said, I fully expect Oregon to come into town next week and test the LB coverage. The back seven better be ready.

                        So far, off to a good start. Let's keep going.....

                        Friday, August 29, 2008

                        Tony Hunt Update

                        Lookin' Good in Midnight Green

                        A little over a week ago, PSU football alumnus/Tennessee nightmare Tony Hunt was asked to play FB on the Iggles. Not a bad move. Andy Reid finally realizes that kind of talent just can't be bottled up on the sideline. The only problem I have with this move is the timing; why wasn't this done at the end of last season? Now, Tony has to move to a position he is only slightly familiar with in an exponentially more intricate offense.

                        So how has Tony performed? Depends. As far as FBs go, he is marginal-he just lacks size. If he had the opportunity in the offseason to gain some weight, it might change things. That being said, I am currently going over the last two dvr'd games, and I have to admit: I am kind of excited about this.

                        Tony, at FB, has thusfar excelled in blitz pickup, as well as picking up a LB last night in a run blitz. He made an outstanding play on special teams, and has caught the ball with great poise out of the backfield. The first half was going great for him against the Jets' scrubs-he did all main functions of a FB (lead blocking, pass blocking, and short yardage). However, the last play wherein he was the lead blocker for Booker, he reverted to a RB, hit the hole hard, and didn't wait for Booker to follow him. The result was a Jets LB shooting the gap and making an easy play. His only mistake, really.

                        In short, I am happy with this move-Tony gets some serious PT, and a chance to show what he can do. He is still marginal in lead blocking, but he showed good signs of improvement last night, albeit against the backups.

                        /takes off Iggles glasses.

                        Now that the bias is removed, I would hate this move if I were a non-Iggles PSU fan. Why? Tony is a RB. He is a punishing, between the tackles bruiser who gets better with every carry during the game. Moving him to FB might get him some more experience, but not at the position he was designed for. The Eagles should release him, and let another team put him in his natural position. Which looks like this:


                        /puts glasses back on

                        In looking at the RB situation, it would appear that this move is most likely temporary. In this case, Buckhalter is in the last year of his contract, and Booker isn't going anywhere. After Buck is gone, Tony slides back to RB, and in 3 years is a compliment to Booker (should be other way around-ed) as Westbrook winds down.

                        Thursday, August 28, 2008

                        PSU vs. CC

                        Right now, every PSU blog is producing some kind of in-depth preview of Coastal Carolina. And that's fine-they all do wonderful jobs in their own right.

                        You will receive none of that here, for the reasons set forth in the last post. It's ridiculous. Why would I spend my time researching a team I cannot take seriously? Yes, I'm bitter, and TINNOMJ has done a great job already breaking down what our third stringers will be facing.

                        What do I hope for?
                        • No injuries.
                        • Clarke and Devlin show competent execution through the air.
                        • Good weather.

                        So welcome to Happy Valley, Chanticleers. Your money is on the dresser. We're done here, whore.

                        PSU 45 CC -10

                        EDIT: admittedly, Mike over at BSD gives me some perspective on why I should go to this game. Well played, Mike. You almost sold me. Almost.

                        Moving on...

                        Admiral Akbar Award for Week 1

                        This season's inaugural AAA goes to.....

                        Nah. Just kidding. Too easy/obvious to be a "trap" game for Michigan. Last year's bedshitting to Appalachian State is still fresh in their minds and noses, and I highly doubt Michigan will be playing conservative football. I fully expect Michigan to come out swinging, DickRod style, minus the token 10 bubble screen gameplan. You don't remember what happened last year? OK, one last time:


                        Verily, schadenfreude at its best. Still, I am sure this weekend the Michigan faithful will be a little uneasy until the final gun. And for those faithful, I offer comfort in case of defeat: you still get to play Penn State. There is always hope.

                        No, I hereby award the following matchup into the Order of Akbar:

                        Why you say? A number of factors. For one, USC has a date with TOSU next week, a #2 vs. #3. I'm pretty sure USC will opt for conservatism in lieu of preparation for upcoming schedule.

                        Further, as of late, USC usually has one or two head-scratching losses per year. These guys are so loaded with (paid) talent every year, it's near-inconceivable that they drop a game to say, Stanford (2007), Oregon State and UCLA (2006). Why not get their inevitable loss to an unranked team out of the way now, and then run the table to get a shot at the national championship? Why not indeed.

                        That, and I truly dislike USC. Not as much as Notre Dame, but maybe a distant second.

                        LOOK OUT USC! ITS A TRAP!

                        Tuesday, August 26, 2008

                        Almost There....

                        Four more days until football life begins anew for every PSU fan out there. Four more days until we can shake off the tailgating cobwebs, and truly enjoy a mild Saturday in the cow pastures. These are days full of grilling, cornhole, drinks with friends at 8 AM, and screaming "WE ARE" until your lungs turn inside-out. That is, until one looks at our first matchup. Peep this:

                        This will be the first PSU football opener I have missed in some time. Why? I refuse to spend my hard-earned money on tickets, hotels, and provisions just to watch this crap. "The Chanticleers"? Really? I cannot believe that with around 54 non-BCS schools in D-1, that the best we could get to kick off the year was a second tier DII(yes, I know they changed the designation. I don't care.) team. These guys have been around for a whole 6 years.

                        And why would I bother attending? I can give you a pretty accurate forecast of what will occur:

                        • PSU goes uber-conservative in playcalling, not wanting to give any future opponent any usable gametape.
                        • Score easily, pad the statistics, make sure all starters get some playing time, and then throw in the backups. Then the seniors. Then that guy who plays the cowbell. Then the starting lineup of the State College H.S. cheerleading squad.

                        Don't get me wrong; I will be watching via the BTN. It's been about 8 months since the Lions last took the field, and I am jonesing for some football. I will cheer when they show Joe leading the boys onto the field. I will hold my breath for the text message informing me the results of the drum major's flip attempt. I will overflow with nostalgia when I see the lion. And I know others at home will be just as afflicted with the pain of not being there.

                        It's just a shame that I will have to switch over to another channel during commercials to watch a quality game. Ultimately, the most depressing aspect of this matchup is that people will fill the stadium, regardless of opponent, giving those with power statistical leverage to maintain their scheduling joke.

                        Did I say 4 days? I meant there is a scrimmage this weekend, and in 11 days, we get to see what PSU can do against a decent OOC opponent. That's when the real football begins.

                        And of course, I blame Jim Delaney. He would do well running Disney.

                        Sunday, August 17, 2008

                        Can Devon Borrow a Redshirt?


                        First Sean Lee gets a fluke injury, now reports are in that Still reinjured himself. Or rather, someone called "dogpile", and Still was on the bad side.

                        Fuck. Three weeks ago, we were deep at DT. Now, we have three DTs with game experience, and one is coming off of a buggerred ankle.

                        This offense better be ready....

                        Friday, August 8, 2008

                        Football and Star Wars

                        My inglorious larval phase included the late 70's, and lasted well into the 80's. During that time, I had several influences on my life that would forever leave their mark-Precambrian electronic gaming systems, Saturday morning cartoons, Philadelphia winning sports championships, Knight Rider, the Muppets, etc. One of the leading influences in my life back then, and many others in my generation for that matter, revolve around the original Star Wars Trilogy, Episodes 4-6.

                        The lessons of Star Wars can be applied to everyday life for us geeks. For example; if these aren't the droids you're looking for, move along.

                        Still, my favorite all-time truism of Star Wars occurs in the Battle of Endor, Episode VI, "Return of the Jedi". The Rebel alliance had all of its forces combined, had the element of surprise, a good plan for a three-prong attack, etc... They come out of hyperspace ready to go, and then this happens:



                        The trap scenario can be incorporated to many areas; for example, some genius applied it to other movies:




                        And for his awesome fuckery, Admiral Akbar shall always be the poster child of unwittingly running face-first into someone else's game plan. While I fully understand that it probably wasn't all his fault (others had input to the plan, and the Princess is off pushing guerrilla warfare), Akbar is solely responsible for the fate of the Alliance. "Heavy lies the crown", and such.

                        *Why wasn't the guy who formulated the battle plan above Yavin consulted?

                        And let's be honest: Akbar should have lost the Battle of Endor. That Death Star was fully operational. If not for a weird, unforeseen string of events (Ewoks, the Emperor being thrown down a shaft by his second in command, etc.), the Alliance would be terminated. Remeber this for later.

                        Now onto football. Everyone loves the concept of the "Trap Game", or that game on every team's schedule that said team overlooks, and could end up losing. What better place to apply the metaphors of Star Wars?

                        So here we go. As with last season, I pick a matchup I feel is worthy of receiving "The Akbar Award", and is given to the higher ranked team that could potentially run into a very precarious situation. That being said, here is the decoration in all of its glory:













                        EDIT: Zac, you're right. Let's scale the geekness back to acceptable levels.

                        Tuesday, July 29, 2008

                        Briefly Surfacing for a Sec...

                        Just a few points for the upcoming season concerning this humble blog:
                        • As stated with my hiatus message (see below), I am definitely cutting down the generic football randomness of the past to purely focus in on PSU football.
                        • That being said, I will probably limit myself to a few posts a week.
                        • The weekly reoccurring feature of issuing "The Akbar Award" will go on for this site, and my other blog (Eagles coverage/NFL). I really enjoyed writing that feature every week. More on that later....

                        Also, I wish all 3 of my readers (Hi Mom) a pleasant ending to their respective summers. Let's get ready for a brand new season.

                        Other then that, I would just like to mention that Stephen A. Smith, and in a larger part ESPN, can take their drive-by story and shove it up/down their collective filth holes.

                        Monday, June 16, 2008

                        Shut'n Down for Awhile

                        Fig. 1-1: See ya in August.

                        Closing down 'till this fall. Why? This off-season made me over expand and go off topic, and I really just have nothing useful to add until August.

                        Enjoy your summer.


                        Sunday, June 8, 2008

                        On Vacation....

                        Fig 1-1: A very accurate depiction of my morning


                        Tuesday, June 3, 2008

                        Tuesday Potpourri

                        Last night, I stayed up to watch the awesomeness of the Stanley Cup final; lucky for me it went into some hot overtime action. It was weird-I informed Zac by mid 2nd period that he should get the razor out, and for 19:26 into the third, I appeared to be right.

                        Not so much......

                        So what does this mean? Once again, I start cheering for Detroit to just end it all, and the Philly curse is unwittingly cast upon them. Well screw that. GO PITT!

                        Moving on.....

                        Quick Links

                        • With Leather has now come up with the best anecdote to ever begin a post with.
                        • WWTDD reports on Nick Hogan's borderline sociopath tendencies. The Superficial was kind enough to update us on the legal proceedings.

                        Philly Stuff

                        • Chase Utley is a golden god. Because no way could a person that handsome be mortal.
                        • Naturally, we can't go more than a few weeks without some drama in the Birds' locker room. Lito Shepphard hasn't shown up for a voluntary workout. Big fucking deal. It's voluntary, right? Yes? Than I don't care. Sometimes I really hate the Philly media. Just, for once, report what happened, and let it go at that. And yes, I am aware that 99% of the team was there. Still don't care. Given his injury history, this is only preparing our team for the inevitable week 3 scenario.
                        • Sami Kapanen retired (ed-from the NHL). It's a shame: he never really clicked with the Flyers after the '04 playoffs, and was relegated to the checking line. He never showed any sign of resentment in his demotion, and played hard every night without complaining. Good luck playing back home, Sami. Drop us a line sometime.
                        • Paul Domowitch is reporting that the Cowboys are the team to beat. I call shenanigans; the Cowboys have shown the uncanny ability in the last two season to peak too early, and bow out in the playoffs. My top 10? Glad you asked:
                        1. New England-cheating be damned, that team is still frightening.
                        2. Indianapolis-Still got Peyton, and a subpar defense.
                        3. Jacksonville-Not sold on Silky Garrard yet. Good D and running game, tho'.
                        4. New York Giants- Still finding ways to win.
                        5. Cleveland- They got Horse Balls Anderson; however, he did look shaky at the end of last year. Regardless, they return most starters and made great acquisitions.
                        6. San Diego- They retained most of their team, including LDT and Merriman.
                        7. Cowboys- Now makin' it rain!
                        8. Steelers- Stilly Mcbeam is the gayest mascot, and will continue to haunt this team. My advice? Get some cheerleaders to cancel that mojo.
                        9. Green Bay- their defense steps up, Rodgers puts up marginal numbers, and Ryan Grant improves. This team can do good things.
                        10. Buffalo-Paul Posluszny has his first pro-bowl appearance

                        You probably have noticed that I left the Eagles off. I did this because I wanted to make a list unbiased by my homerism; this was the only way I could see how.

                        Secondly, at this point, I have no clue on how the Birds are going to do this year. As of today, I could see them being as high as 5th on the chart given the way they finished the season; I could also see them tanking again.

                        God, I miss football.

                        Friday, May 30, 2008

                        Favorite Tailgating Food/Drink

                        "Gluttony ain't a sin if it's good and you ain't full"

                        Been awhile since I posted one of these, but it's been worth the wait.....

                        Pepper Shooters

                        Fig. 1-1: Humina humina humina.....

                        PSU Tailgate Experience: Every tailgate beginning in the '05 season.

                        Suggested Purchase Amount: Always go for the large container. Pack 'em in, and then add some of the drippings to keep the jewels properly hydrated. Rotate every hour or so.

                        Purchase from:

                        Fig. 1-2: So good they dedicated a wall to it. Next to the above is an entire wall dedicated to Frank Rizzo.

                        http://www.dibruno.com/

                        Notes: When purchasing, always check the color of the prosciutto inside. If it's more pale then a healthy pink, select another pepper; the now-ruined item has been sitting in the olive oil too long, and will most likely be salty. Further, pepper seeds really shouldn't be present.

                        If you do have the opportunity to hit DiBruno's you should do so. You will know when you are there when you enter the store and see:

                        1. Tight quarters
                        2. Multiple kinds of aged meats and cheeses hanging from the ceiling.
                        3. A picture of Mussolini

                        Fig. 1-3: A glutton's heaven

                        Further, always go for the red ones (see fig. 1-1). While waiting in line, don't be shy about sampling the world's finest meats and cheeses. When in doubt, ask questions; the staff there rules.

                        Ingredients (Traditional):

                        • Marinated cherry peppers
                        • Sharp Provolone cheese
                        • Prosciutto

                        Pros:

                        • Readily available
                        • Taste incredible
                        • Short prep time-just need to plate 'em
                        • Go great with mozzarella and beer
                        • Any ingredient by themselves makes for good eatin'
                        • You luckily found the hot one! Your mouth is on fire!

                        Cons:

                        • You mistakenly find the hot one! Your mouth is on fire!

                        Implements:

                        • For people with social graces, a knife and plate will be necessary.
                        • For everyone else, a napkin/paper towel will suffice.

                        Interesting Facts:

                        • Many believe this food originated up in a Rhode Island Deli called Daniele Foods.
                        • It is rumored that the name comes from the phonetic "prosciutto", i.e. "pro-shoot-o", and the Italian (lazy) habit of not pronouncing the last letter in a word if it is a vowel. Or something.

                        Conclusions: Most alternate places I have purchased these from (commissaries, random delis, etc.) each produce a very good version, so if you can't make it to south Philly, you will still get a good product.

                        I have to stop posting this type of material before lunch.

                        Wednesday, May 28, 2008

                        More Stuff...

                        By now, you should have heard about Maryland luvin' LJ Sr. like a fat kid loves cake; he hustled two more stellar recruits, Brandon Felder and Sean Stanley, from Larryland's talent pool.

                        Not that I am hating on the trend, but for us part-time (ed-lazy) bloggers, this sudden damburst of recruiting talent has left us struggling to keep up.

                        Since I am one hell of a guy (and handsome to boot), I will provide you other hacks out there with a time saving device that in the biz we like to call a form paragraph. Form paragraphs are a must in my line of work, and enable one to efficiently describes a multitude of situations in a timely, pre-written format. Kind of like Mad Libs for adults, sans the cockhumor.

                        Areas to be filled in/suggestions are in parenthesis.

                        (Date)

                        _______(FOS, RUTS, Rivals, BSD) is/are reporting that recruiting demigod LJ. Sr. continues his silver tongued ways, this time stealing the highly-touted ______(Maryland, Virginia) recruit ________(recruit's name) from _______(institutional name) _________(Academy, Prep, High School, Gladiator Academy).

                        For Defensive Lineman
                        ______(recruit's name) finished his junior year voted all-_____(state, conference, metro) by the ____(relevant newspaper), racking up __ tackles, __ TFL, __ sacks, __ forced fumbles, and/or _____(other relevant statistic). Here's the gamefilm:

                        (youtube clip of him separating a "skill position" player from their shoes/consciousness/dreams).

                        The scouting report on _____(recruit’s name) describes him as possessing _______(a good motor, good technique, good explosion, balance, a high midichlorian count)

                        (HS coaches relevant quote)

                        _____(recruit's name) is reporting a 3.__ GPA, as well as ______(ACT, SAT, equivalency). Stars be damned, this kid has got offers from ______, ______, and _______ (VT, Michigan, Illinois, OSU, Texas, Maryland, Notre Dame, other relevant program), and it never hurts to steal one from those teams.

                        For DBs
                        ____(recruit’s name) finished his junior year voted all- _____(state, conference, metro) by the ________(relevant newspaper), racking up ___ interceptions, ___ passes defended, ___ tackles, and/or _______(other relevant statistic). Here's the game film:

                        (youtube clip of a safety without a conscience, or CB showing blazing reaction skills. Special team return skills should be added as necessary)

                        The scouting report on _____(recruit’s name) describes him as _______(scrappy, deceptively quick, quick to react, gangbuster, ballhawker, smart, leader, Jesus-like)

                        (HS coaches relevant quote)

                        ______(recruit’s name) is reporting a 3.__ GPA, as well as _________(ACT, SAT, equivalency). Stars be damned, this kid has received offers from _________, ________, and ___________ (VT, Michigan, Illinois, OSU, Texas, Maryland, Notre Dame, other relevant program), and it never hurts to steal one from those guys.

                        Optional
                        ______(recruit’s name), also doubles as a return guy, so we could potentially get some bonus use out of him.

                        WR
                        ____(recruit’s name) finished his junior year voted all- _____(state, conference, metro) by the ________(relevant newspaper), racking up ___ catches, ___ running yards, ___ TDs, and/or _______(other relevant statistic). Here's the game film:

                        (youtube clip of player one handing grabs, catching the long ball, breaking tackles, blocking downfield, hugging his momma)

                        The scouting report on _____(recruit’s name) describes him as having_______(having excellent hands, break-away speed, blocking skills, leadership skills, nunchuck skills)

                        (HS coaches relevant quote)

                        ______(recruit’s name) is reporting a 3.__ GPA, as well as _________(ACT, SAT, equivalency). Stars be damned, this kid has received offers from _________, ________, and ___________ (VT, Michigan, Illinois, OSU, Texas, Maryland, Notre Dame, other relevant program), and it never hurts to steal one from those guys.

                        Optional

                        ______(recruit’s name), also doubles as a return guy, so we could potentially get some bonus use out of him.

                        ______(quote of recruit's reason for coming to PSU. Should include praise of LJ Sr., and not of other, less talented coaches)

                        Welcome to Happy Valley _____(recruit's name)!
                        _______ (WE ARE, FOR THE GLORY OF STATE)

                        So there ya go; next time LJ snags another big fish, just use the above, and save yourself some time. Modify as you see fit; however, if you do, in fact, use my above work, I demand compensation in the form of one (1) monkeyboy the next time I roll into town.

                        Pucks
                        Moving on to hockey, the Pens done got worked again. As With Leather has pointed out, this series is more or less an extension of this:

                        Ugh, I feel for ya Pens fans.