Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Notice Board

During the course of any given week, a number of things piss me off. Most of these things are not worthy of their own post. However, they can easily be placed in a list and talked about in short, bulleted columns. And so, to completely rip off Stephen Colbert, these people/things are on notice:

Dan McCarney - Really just here to reiterate the brilliance of my previous post. But let's consider this one question: Where does he go from here? Steve Spurrier is a college football God, leaves for the Redskins, fails with the Redskins, and returns to a mid-level SEC program. Butch Davis leaves The U for the Cleveland Browns, returns with North Carolina. Frank Solich underachieves ever so slightly but gets NU to a national championship game, gets canned, and ends up at Ohio. So where do you go if you have a lifetime winning percentage around .320, never win your half of a conference, constantly implode in November, and never get to the big time? Is the job at Ames High available?

Chicago Bears Over/Under - Plays of the week:
  • San Francisco +6
  • N'Orleans + 4 1/2
  • Minnesota/Green Bay under 39
  • Buffalo/Indy over 45
  • Baltimore/Tennessee under 37 1/2
  • Chicago/NYG over 38 1/2
Of course, that means fade each of these picks.

Bill Simmons - It has been building for a while, but the Boston Homer has finally jumped the shark with one pathetic act.

Moving away from Boston has really hurt Billy Boy. He's gradually become one of the Boston writers he used to mock, only with more John Hughes/Aaron Spelling/Pearl Jam/Rounders references. His NFL preview picked the Patriots to win it all (a yearly tradition that has become almost "Berman picks the Bills"-esque). He based this choice (I'm not kidding) on Belichick's mastery of the two tight end formation. Apparently, he'll be facing off against Barry Switzer and the wishbone. His NBA preview dismissed the Phoenix Suns without any real explanation, another annual tradition echoed in his most recent column. The myopic Red Sox crap halted ever so slightly this year in the face of a pretty bad Sox squad, but it was insanely annoying nonetheless (especially to us Yankee fans). The Simmons Homerism has always been there, but it's become painfully obvious ever since the Sox won the Series (did I mention that he's written a book about the Red Sox? It's now in paperback!) and has only worsened since then.

Which brings us to last week. Pats-Colts. The intensity of Simmons' blind love for the Patriots is surpassed only by his hatred for Peyton Manning and the Colts. And so Simmons put pen to paper and gave us a steaming pile of crap, a column he's written in 19 different forms over the last 3 or 4 years, basically declaring his hatred of Manning, his love of Brady, and a long list of "can't win the big one" complaints. He even broke out the "Tom Brady isn't on TV all the time like Manning, and that's unfair" line of argument, forgetting that Brady shills for EVERYTHING from shoes to credit cards. The column's basic premise was a line every Simmons reader has read 47 times: Why would anyone take Manning and his chokeiness over Brady and all his wonder?

And then the Colts bitch slapped the Patriots.

The next morning, the column was gone. Sure, it was still buried in the archives, but it wasn't on his front page. Remember, Simmons writes 2-3 columns a week and generally keeps them there for a couple of weeks. Not this time.

I don't blame him for writing the column, even if it was callous, mean-spirited, and lacking in humor. But when you rip someone, stand by your words. This should be especially true of a writer who has taken other columnists to task for overstatement and contradiction. I took jabs at Syracuse, Illinois, and Indiana this season. I would never take down those columns, though. I stand by what I write. Billy, by pulling his anti-Manning column, has become just as bad as every one of his colleagues at the Worldwide Leader. He should be ashamed of himself.

Off Tackle Left and Cover 2 Man - Ken O'Keefe and Norm Parker still have jobs. Inexcusable.

The Big East Conference - I called the Louisville game last week, and I was too late to call the Louisville/Rutgers game tonight (I would have taken Louisville and give the points), but my "Not Ready for Prime Time" assessment was confirmed this week. Big Least fans spent the week asking why they aren't respected. When someone would bring up their schedules, they would inevitably say something about how the big boys won't play them. Of course, that's an argument generally reserved for the Missouri Valley Conference in March, not A BCS CONFERENCE. You are supposed to be one of the Big Boys. You shouldn't need games against other big schools. You should have enough of them in your own conference to bring your strength of schedule up. The fact remains that you can't go around acting like a small conference and expect to be treated differently from other small conferences. By the way, for the record, I want to see Ohio State-Florida.

Badgers - As in Wiskey. Iowa appears to be in the tank. Wiskey has a lot to play for. But the fact is that I like Wisconsin more than any other Big 10 school, only because they are so much like us. Big, but not OSU/Michigan big. Heavy drinkers. Big-time partiers. Tailgate marathoners. And so, with this season quickly becoming a losing proposition, I'm having a hard time finding the heart to take on Bucky Badger...OK, fine...
  • Ron Dayne set the NCAA rushing record on Senior Day against Iowa. Those were the best of times for Mr. Dayne. Last week, he accidentally ate his helmet on the Houston sidelines, buried on the depth chart behind such superstars as Samkon Gado, Wali Lundy, and a one-legged pirate named Shabby McNaughtypants. In fact, he has fewer rushing yards this season than Ladell Betts. Who is Ladell Betts? The Iowa starting running back on that fateful Senior Day.
  • They have a basketball player who looks like Chris Rock. Actually, that's kinda cool.
  • Their women are NOT attractive. And I'm not talking in generalities. Has anyone ever seen an attractive female student from Wisconsin? They don't exist. It's like Ahab and the white whale (heh, white whale...)
Bucky = Douchebag

So, what happens this week? I think the Hawkeyes, embarrassed as never before, motivated, on Senior Day, with their entire season on the line, come out hot for the first time all season. Perhaps Norm will watch a game film, move 8 players up front and make the Wisky passing attack beat us. Despite the awfulness of our corners, I don't think they can do that. Kyle Schlicter finds his form for the first time this season to knock down a last second field goal. Iowa 24-Wisconsin 21. Go Hawks. I leave you with this little bit of motivation:

If this team doesn't come out looking like the New Zealand national rugby team, well, I don't know what to tell you. (By the way, this is just about the most badass thing on the planet).

Barbara Streisand - If I steal from Colbert, I have to pay a little respect...


Irish Hawk said...

This is not the Iowa team we are used to seeing. Iowa teams that have been sucessful in the past are built on solid defenses and a run first offensive approach that opens the passing game up via play action passing.

On offense we have NO running game. We still try to play action pass and nobody bites on it b/c the D-line can stop the pathetic run game. If there is no running game we have to pass all of the time and the receivers and Tate are not good enough to do that.

On defense we may have the worst secondary in the big Ten. Wisconsin was just throwing jump balls up and their receivers always came down with the ball.

To put it simply we suck. I think we tried to get too fancy. We need to get back to our roots and recruit tough kids who though aren't tops athletically can play hit you in the mouth football. Also, build up the O-line and get a physical running back that can get 2-3 yards after contact. That will open up the passing game.

That is my opinion. The sad thing is I don't see any upside coming out of this year. No shining stars so to speak. I am definately more excited about the future of Illini football and that is kind of sad.

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