Monday, September 25, 2006

The Real-Life Gil Thorp

Just a few thoughts while I wait for my head to explode at the idiocy of the administration and athletic department (mark my words, this Gameday thing is going to be an absolute fiasco; it's so poorly planned that Donald Rumsfeld is calling it short-sighted...is www.firegarybarta.com available?)

1. For over a year now, I have wondered why Illinois would hire Ron Zook. My original thought was that he's a good recruiter, and Illinois always seems to be losing their most talented high school players (most recently to Iowa). If someone could keep the bulk of that talent at home, they might have some success, even if they have had their brain infiltrated by alien mind probes which make it impossible to comprehend the game.

But then I found out that immortal sports cartoon Gil Thorp was created and published by Chicago Tribune, and it dawned on me: Ron Zook was hired to coach Illinois because Ron Zook is the real-life Gil Thorp. Just look at the two side-by-side:
And they say the same things, too. For instance, after winning the first four games of the 2004 season at Florida, Zook said, "I am excited where we are right now. I know people get tired of hearing the same thing, but we're way ahead of where we were last year. I'm not worried about four games from now. I'm worried about the first play against Kentucky, then I'll worry about the second. We can't get ahead of ourselves." Similarly, before the start of this season, Gil Thorp was asked whether he was worried or excited about his team. He responded, "A little of both. We'll know more Friday night."*

Also, both know nothing about football, constantly underachieve with teams loaded with talent, and never age. I think that's enough. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ron Zook, the real-life Gil Thorp.

2. Pompey lost to Bolton this afternoon, despite completely dominating the game. Bolton got a goal in the 23rd minute against the run of play when Primus failed to properly clear a free kick. I can't blame the guy. After all, it's the first goal anyone has scored against Portsmouth this season. Had they held up in this game, it would have tied Chelsea's 2004 campaign for most games played without conceding a goal. They'll make it back.

3. "Studio 60" just started. I'm ecstatic over the return of Aaron Sorkin. There hasn't been a consistently well-written drama since he left The West Wing. For the uninitiated, go watch the last 6 episodes of the second season of West Wing. Your life will never be the same. Good to have you back, Aaron. Please don't leave ever again.

Until next time, Fire Gary Barta...

UPDATE: I guess they saw it coming, because www.firegarybarta.com is owned by The University of Iowa Athletic Department. See, THAT'S the kind of foresight we're looking for!


* By the way, if you think I know what Gil Thorp said about his team because I read it, you're right. It's a love/hate thing. It's so bad, and the characters are so poorly developed, that I can't help but read it. It's like watching 1/200th of a car accident every morning.

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