Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Things On the Way

As soon as I restarted this blog it's about to be un-restarted.

Before the seven of you freak out about this, know that this un-restarting is more of a pre-re-restarting as this blog is about to go international in the form of a much grander, more impressively manly and bearded site that will probably hopefully be along before you know it (in the next month or so). I shan't say anymore for fear of hyping the thing too much (and because really so much is still up in the air (although not the reality that this is happening)(and also nobody's going to read this)), but I promise the new digs will be linked to here ASAP.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Suh for Heisman!

Don't let the award go to terrible-hair-having, unwarranted-hype-carrying, Notre-Dame-starting-quarterback-being Jimmy Clausen (or that other guy, what's his name from Florida). The best player in the country is Ndamukong Suh, but he needs our help to win the most prestigious-but-dubious award in the country.

Get on the Bandwagon! Vote! Vote! Vote!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Missouri/Nebraska Recap, etc.

So, It Rained a Bit in Columbia

My score prediction having been slightly off (to be fair, I made that prediction long before it was clear that it was going to rain like a motherfucker on Thursday (five to six inches (depending on what report you believe) in a twenty-four hour period is unreal)), I still maintain that Nebraska is the better team by a decent margin. Both quarterbacks looked bad throwing the ball in that rain, and the only difference I saw was that for three quarters Gabbert’s receivers were helping him out a lot more than Lee’s were. RPT at Rock M Nation (the best Missouri blog I’ve seen (out of one Missouri blog)) had an excellent recap post in which he essentially said, quite correctly, that you can’t say much about either team as the conditions were so abnormal. This is largely true. But Nebraska’s biggest question mark coming into the game was in the secondary (well, probably actually linebacker but with all the four and five wide sets Missouri uses linebackers generally aren’t going to make a big impact one way or the other), and what I saw was a group of DB’s who were locking down their man. There was much commenting by certain television personalities about how good the Huskers defensive line (led by Ndamukong “I own your fucking back field” Suh, which more on him in a minute) was dominating their offensive line, which was certainly true, but it didn’t stop Gabbert from doing a very excellent job of escaping pressure and buying time. Trouble was Nebraska’s DB’s were not allowing Missouri’s very decent receiving core to gain any separation (in conditions that are supposed to favor the receivers, as they’re the ones who know where they’re supposed to run and are therefore less likely to slip while trying to adjust). Minus one instance of DB slippage, there were no really open guys for Missouri, with every catch they made being very admirably tough with a DB draped all over them. It was actually a much underrated kind of performance that would probably be getting at least a little more press had Niles Paul not finally broken free and ended up with 100+ receiving yards on the day, had not Nebraska erupted for 27 fourth quarter points any one of which seemed impossible at the end of the third, had not NU finally began to hold on to the interceptions they were dropping throughout the game (no one seems to remember that Prince Amukamara (the best lock down CB I’ve seen at NU since pre-injury Zack Bowman, by the way) had a ball fly through his hands on, like, the Tigers first or second possession), had not Ndamukong Suh been, you know, Ndamukong Suh. Missouri played well, played tougher than I thought given the conditions, and seemed like a team with a lot of upside. Nebraska seemed like a team that can compete right now. Texas Tech next week will tell us a little more (unless it’s raining/snowing in Memorial stadium like it was in Columbia, which this being Nebraska is entirely possible). People can say Zac Lee looked awful all they want (which, I mean, he finished with a better stat line than Gabbert, but people are giving him a pass for some reason while hanging Lee out to dry), but I think he’s going to be good enough to win most of his games, and the defense looks like it will take a lot of pressure off of him this year. We’ll see how it plays out, but I like Nebraska a lot after Thursday’s game.

Ndamukong Suh for Heisman?

It’s being floated by at least two non-Nebraska affiliates, and while it seems crazy it also seems like the year for it to happen. Tim Tebow is concussed, which even if he plays this week means he’s one bad hit away from not playing, like, ever again. Sam Bradford has already missed too much time to really be in the running. And Colt McCoy, barring some kind of statistical turnaround come Big XII play (which as the defenses he’s facing are going to be, for the most part, way tougher that UTEP’s, Wyoming’s, Texas Tech’s, etc. (and yes I know TTech is a Big XII team, but they’re defense is awful and Oklahoma’s/Nebraska’s/Missouri’s are not)), just hasn’t played well enough to win the Heisman (it doesn’t help that he’s not going to get 800 yards again this year, because Mack Brown, unlike Urban Meyer, actually care’s about his player’s futures). No running back is playing at a high enough level right now, at least not consistently, and there’s not really any do-everything receiver/returner types out there, either. Jimmy Clausen has put up the numbers, but one bad game will drop him out with the perceived weakness of their schedule (although Michigan’s resurgence has somewhat bolstered that). Eric Berry is still very much in the race, but he has yet to get a pick this year and you know offenses are throwing away from him. At this point, based purely on dominance and impact on team’s fortunes, no one deserves it more than Suh. There’s definitely a lot of season left, and we were in this same situation when Tebow won it the first time, but I think if Suh keeps playing at this pace (which, to extrapolate it out based on current production, would put him at, on the season (using a 13 game season, so not even assuming a north championship): 83 tackles total, 18-19 for loss, 8 sacks, 18-19 fucking pass breakups (worthy of bolding), 2-3 forced fumbles and 2-3 interceptions. That’s a decent stat line for a linebacker. For a defensive tackle, that’s unreal. He’ll need some kind of Heisman moment, for sure, like a return for a TD to seal a win over, say, Oklahoma, and he’ll need all of the offensive guys listed above to knock themselves out of contention (not to mention no running backs to step up and have a 2500 yard season), but it’s definitely more possible than I though it was going to be.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A First Post Of Sorts

By Way of Introducing Myself

There used to be another blog here with the same name (written by the same person, too which was…uh…me), but that blog sucked and we all know it (and by we all I of course am referring to the three people who ever read it, which I mean if you want a reason I quit doing it there it is). But I’m (re-) starting this new (old) blog in its place, using the same name (which I liked) but with more of a sense of purpose. Expect long, meandering, possibly annoyingly pretentious posts like the one that follows. Expect long parenthetical asides (in my non-blog writing I’ve been using them a lot, and it’s sort of become this like fetish with me where I want to push the fucking things to extremes (including parentheticals (which according to MS Word is not a real word which is in no way going to stop me from using it) within parantheticals) wherever possible, just to see what happens, and so if you’re not into that kind of thing then maybe go read ESPN’s blog nation or, like, a Hemmingway novel or whatever). Also expect no more than maybe a post a week because that’s really all I can probably muster what with life things and non-blog writing to do and video games to play and TV shows to watch (not to mention football games both college and pro) and food to make since I like to bring homemade lunches (mostly so I can smugly look down on everyone at work whose rocking the McDonald’s value meal lunch or whatever) and plus spending time with friends and loved ones, none of which makes me anymore busy than anybody else but all of which maybe will do as an excuse for my own lazy blogging habits. Anyway…

A Preview of the Nebraska/Missouri Game

The non-conference schedule for my team of choice (the Nebraska Cornhuskers, if maybe the color scheme and list of links didn’t tip you off) is over and conference play begins next Thursday at Missouri (a team whose non-con story line goes something like “Oooh, look at that frosh QB shred those teams that were supposed to be maybe kind of good preseason but have turned out to blow ass but that’s not going to stop us from saying that he’s like the second coming or whatever”), a place where there’s been some recent struggles for the Huskers, not going to lie. But a place where, really, it’s not like the crowd is going to make a difference and the past few year’s results probably had a lot more to do with the teams taking the field than anything external (unlike the VT game this year, which if we learned anything from it’s that neutral-field-wise that game’s a blow out for Nebraska, which it would have been anyway if not for our own Bush-level incompetence in the red zone (if you’re a Bush fan, maybe insert, like, Nancy Pelosi or something, whoever is your poster boy/girl for political incompetence (and really, mine could probably be Sarah Palin, at least in so far as her 2012 bid is concerned (already, too, which is unheard of))). All due respect to Missouri fans, but it’s not like a team that spends it’s Saturdays in front of 80+ thousand people is going to be fazed by the, what, 50k you guys pack in (really too lazy to look this up, but I’m guessing it’s around there). Meaning the location of this game is as meaningless this year as it was last year (when, you’ll recall, probably against your will if you’re a Husker fan, the Tigers strolled into Memorial stadium where they hadn’t won since, like, the civil war (joke) and proceeded to dismantle a what-would-turn-out-to-be pretty good Nebraska team 52-17).

Nebraska comes into the game with a loss (on a last second miracle @ VT, but we’re not in the habit of declaring moral victories, right?) but possibly looking like the better team (depending I’m sure on where your allegiances lie), which couldn’t be said of any of the last three teams to go down to Columbia (all of whom lost, you’ll remember). Missouri fans will be quick to point out that Zac Lee has only looked good against Sun Belt competition (true, although it ignores the fact that Blaine Gabbert has only looked good against what might as well have been Sun Belt Competition), while Nebraska fans will point out that Roy Helu is leading the Big XII in rushing while Missouri can’t seem to stop the run. Nebraska has one of the better front fours in the nation (the hyperbole surrounding Ndamukong Suh having already reached deafening levels really only matters in so far as it’s deserved, while the ends have been good and Jared Crick has surprised (not to mention Cameron Meredith and Baker Steinkuhler making things happen coming off the bench)), while Mizzou’s line has been suspect. In so far as these things go, the Tiger’s receivers have looked to good to great while Nebraska’s secondary has looked like the model of inconsistency it’s been for years now (although really still way, way better than any back four the Huskers have fielded since the ought-three bunch that collected 37 picks en route to a first in the nation ranking as far as turnovers go), but I’d caution reading too much into that as a) Missouri has played nobody worth mentioning and b) despite their Sun Belt origins the Huskers have played at least two teams with pretty stellar QB’s (I mean, Rusty Smith is an almost sure-fire NFL draft pick, and he looked like crap against Nebraska, and that Arkansas State kid did direct a top 20 offense last year). I’ve been very impressed with Prince Amukamara (plus check the high top fade, bitches), and Larry Asante is finally starting to look competent against the pass (and he’ll still fuck a guy up in the run game, which was always his strength). The linebackers are green but then also facing a team that goes three- to five-wide pretty much all the time, and they have flashed ability and speed (it’s kind of absurd watching 6’ 6”, 240 pound Sean Fisher fly around the field like a DB (although he was a high school safety)) and have improved with each game. The point being, I like the Nebraska defense to slow Missouri’s offense down at least some. Even the high velocity throws of a strong arm like Gabbert’s will look like the pathetic ejaculate of very tiny penis if he keeps getting hit while he’s throwing, which (as I expect the Nebraska front four to prison-bitch own the Missouri offensive line) should probably (hopefully) happen often. And since I don’t think Missouri’s defense will slow down Zac Lee and co on the level of VT, I expect NU to win something like 38-21 and for it to not really be that close, which would be fantastic. Is that maybe too much of a spread? Probably. But you know what: Missouri’s still fucking Missouri until it proves it can win without Daniel (see how I spelled his name right Missouri fans? I do care), and so that’s the stance I’m taking. I like Nebraska to roll in this one.

On Matters Disciplinary or: How Hack Journalism Conflates Unlike Situations Concerning Star Running Backs or: Why Dennis Dodd Needs a Swift Kick in the Dick or: Lawrence Phillips (Kind of a Punch Line in and of Itself at This Point Don’tcha Think?)

Dennis Dodd, douchebag extraordinaire (and really kind of a shitty writer just from a craft perspective, neverminding the inanity of his subject matter and the ability he has to just completely miss the fucking point, like, pretty much one hundred percent of the time, which even has far as journalistic hacks go is an almost impressive record), recently wrote this article in which he compared the LeGarrette Blount reinstatement to that of Lawrence Phillips, which okay I can see how the one would come up while thinking about the other, sure, but seriously, Dodd: Lawrence Phillips, for however much BS there is in the version of what happened you probably heard (and I’m not going to rehash any of that here) nevertheless broke into a girl’s apartment, slapped her around a bit and dragged her down a flight of stairs by her hair. LeGarrette Blount sucker punched a 300ish pound offensive lineman who was (like a real douche himself) talking shit after an emotional, frustrating game of a violent sport played by large, scary men with biceps that probably outweigh you. The two are not really like things at all when you think about it, other than “star running back” and “violence,” which I suppose is all you need to get your editor to sign on the thing if you’re Dennis Dodd (because, like all professional journalists, Dennis Dodd has to run everything by an editor, which is what makes he and his colleagues “valuable voices of journalistic integrity” (and what makes bloggers and other non-professionals like me “fags”)).

Dodd then proceeds in the article to write this amazing sentence:

I want to see signed documents from mental health professionals that this kid has made noticeable progress, that one month away from the field is enough, that he is, well, cured.

Neverminding all of the stuff I said before about how really what this kid did isn’t all that bad (pros do this kind of shit all the time and it doesn’t seem to turn them into sociopathic murderous whatevers (OJ Simpson non-withstanding)), but what the fuck gives you, Dennis Dodd, the right to any of that stuff. That’s privileged, personal information that isn’t any of your goddamned business.

You may not have heard of HIPAA laws, Dennis Dodd, but they pretty much prohibit mental health professionals from disseminating any of the information you just asked for (and that’s assuming any of that information is even relevant; sucker punching someone like a little bitch does not a mental health case make), so unless Blount himself chooses to disclose it, you’re shit out of luck. But also who made you judge and jury for this kid? If my kid (if I had a kid, that is: we’re dealing with a hypothetical kid, here) gets in a fight, would you come to my door and demand to see signed documents from mental health professionals on him? Cause maybe I would say then that it’s you who needs to be seeing mental health professionals.

The point being, get off you’re fucking high horse, Dennis Dodd. Just because you were too much of a pussy to ever sucker punch anybody when you were younger doesn’t mean you weren’t just as stupid at some point. We were all dumb college kids, and we all did dumb things (mixing narcotics and alcohol, both in great excess until you can’t move or open your eyes and proceed to vomit all over yourself, the chair you’re in, and on the floor, check) at that time (or were, like, the most boring college kids around, which I mean that’s probably a good thing so if that’s you, kudos; you don’t suck at life as much as the rest of us).