Between Deflate Gate and Marshawn Lynch, this has been the best week ever for people that say they love sports but do not actually love sports. Nothing encapsulates the uselessness of mainstream sports media than the fact that a player not answering questions overshadowed every single player that did answer questions.
When in doubt, root for the team that doesn’t put stickers on its helmets.
#2 – I am a huge Stanford fan today.
#1 – It’s 5 am on November 17. Notre Dame is playing Wake Forest, a 5-5 team and rated one of the worst in Division I-A, and I am too excited to sleep.
I was listening to Westwood One’s radio coverage of the Super Bowl with Boomer Esiason doing the color analysis. Nick Collins intercepted a pass from Ben Roethlisberger and returned it for a touchdown, which prompted Boomer to describe Collins’s role on the play as “playing a deep center field . . . like Bernie Williams.”
Like Bernie Williams? The former Yankees outfielder who retired in 2006?
Not Curtis Granderson or Brett Gardner who would play center for the current Yankees. Or Milwaukee Brewers center fielders Carlos Gomez or Mike Cameron or Marquis Grissom or Scott Podsednik or Hall of Famer Robin Yount or Gorman Thomas. Or Andrew McCutchen or Andy Van Slyke or a Pirates outfielder past or present. Or even Josh Hamilton or another outfielder from the Texas Rangers who play in the same city that the Super Bowl was played in.
Nope, Boomer went for the timely, relevant Bernie Williams.
One more thing, on a more serious note… I’ve often heard a safety playing deep in the middle of the field described by commentators as playing “center field.” Is there no football term to describe this? Football has a complete language around it, but for a deep safety they go to a baseball term?
In 2007, Duval Kamara was recruited to play football at Notre Dame. Coming out of Hoboken, New Jersey, he was rated a four-star wide receiver. As a freshman he caught 32 passes, the second most on the team, scoring 4 touchdowns. Between his reputation coming out of high school and and promising freshman year, expectations for the rest of his career were high. Unfortunately, due to a combination of not being utilized correctly, the emergence of other options at wide receiver, and general ineffectiveness, Kamara’s career at Notre Dame was often seen as a disappointment.
In 2007, Robert Hughes was recruited to play football at Notre Dame. Coming out of Chicago, Illinois, he was rated a four-star running back. As a freshman he rushed 53 times for 305 yards for a 5.5 average, best on the team, scoring 4 touchdowns. Between his reputation coming out of high school and and promising freshman year, expectations for the rest of his career were high. Unfortunately, due to a combination of not being utilized correctly, the emergence of other options at running back, and general ineffectiveness, Hughes’s career at Notre Dame was often seen as a disappointment.
On November 1, 2010, the Notre Dame football team had a record of 4-5 following back-to-back losses to Navy and Tulsa. With games against top-25 opponents Utah and USC sandwiched around Army, who runs the same offense that Navy used to blow out the Irish, Notre Dame was staring at a second straight bowl-less season.
Hosting Utah on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish dominated the Utes, with Duval Kamara catching two touchdown passes to put the game out of reach.
Playing Army at Yankee Stadium, the Irish dominated the Black Knights, with Robert Hughes running nine times for 39 yards, including the go ahead touchdown.
And last night, visiting the Los Angeles Coliseum, with 10 seconds left in the first half Notre Dame stood at USC’s 1-yard line. The pass went to Duval Kamara, who reached the ball across the goal line before being pushed out of bounds. With 6:18 left, Notre Dame received a USC kickoff down 16-13. On the ensuing drive, Robert Hughes ran four times, for 6-, 12-, 12-, and 5-yards, the final carry driving into the end zone, putting the Irish ahead for good.
Make no mistake, a 7-5 record is not good enough. But that doesn’t make a 3-0 November, ending the USC streak, and the redemption of the 2007 recruiting class any less sweet.
If it was a shoelace tying competition, we would have won.
There’s going to be plenty of time to criticize Brian Kelly, the 29th coach of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. So before he does anything to remind us of Davie, Willingham, and Weis, let’s say a few nice things about him:
- He has a 34-6 record at Cincinnati.
- He’s been featured on SmartFootball.com for offensive strategy. (Charlie Weis was featured as an overrated recruiter.)
- He makes the decision of color by the The Shirt committee easy. Maybe we can avoid the Return to Glory slogan this time though.
- With initials of BK, the cross promotion potential is ridiculous. Have it your way, right away with BK now!
He is the 2009 National Coach of the Year (Ty Willingham won the same award in 2002).
Win or lose, there’s no way that I’m going to be able to say something coherent after the ND-USC game this weekend, which is why I’m giving my opinions in advance…
- For an ND blowout victory over the Trojans, turn to page ‘National Championship Game, Here We Come‘…
- For a last minute drive putting the Irish ahead for the win, turn to page ‘Clausen for Heisman‘…
- For a close, hard-fought Irish loss, possibly aided by poor officiating, turn to page ‘ND and Weis: A Match Made in Purgatory‘…
- For another 30+ point Irish loss, turn to page ‘Oh God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?‘…
New York 83 67 .553 -
Philadelphia 82 69 .543 1.5
For those of you who like graphical representations, see the Hardball Times.
Of course, the Tigers and Cardinals backed into the playoffs last year and ended up playing each other in the World Series, so who knows.
Not only did Notre Dame lose to Michigan, and looked bad doing it, but that means I have to do this:
However, in the interest of maintaining optimism, I present to you five things that make me happy.
5) I saved 50 cents with a coupon at lunch yesterday.
4) Today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day.
3) My bike is functioning again and serves as the best way to get to work since I’m not eligible for a bus pass anymore.
2) I have my health, which is important since I don’t know if I have health insurance.