While patiently awaiting the kickoff of tonight’s Miami-Florida State contest …
The Sports Illustrated college football preview issue arrived in the mailslot, what was it, just last week? August 17, sorry. Just finally getting around to reading it. It was buried under … never mind.
Cover: Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli, C Jordan Holmes. Headline: “PARTY CRASHERS: The Ducks have the firepower to shake up the BCS,” by Austin Murphy. A Top 20 list, with Oregon at No. 11.
Inside: A two-page photo shows Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount leaping over an Oklahoma State defender, with the caption: “Oregon’s Blount, who hurdled a defender on a 29-yard touchdown run in the 2008 Holiday Bowl, will be the featured back in an offense that could wreak havoc in the Pac-10.”
A few pages later, a piece on Oregon, and Blount: “A vexing blend of speed and power, the 6’2”, 240-pound senior from East Mississippi Community College rushed for 1,002 yards last season (7.3 yards per carry) as a backup to Jeremiah Johnson. Accelerating into the secondary on one play, Blount hurdles an Oklahoma State safety en route to the end zone. Another Blount highlight, this one from Oregon’s 65-38 Civil War beatdown of Oregon State: He uses just enough wiggle to elude a linebacker on his way to a 46-yard pickup. “I threw the stiff-arm too early,” says Blount, critiquing himself. “You ain’t even got a stiffarm,” says tight end Ed Dickerson …”
No, apparently Blount has a nice right cross instead.
And Oregon is 0-1 and sinking fast.
And this whole Year of the Pre-Game Handshake has been sucker punched. We didn’t even get to see enough Erin Andrews in her first game of the season, hours before Boise State punked Oregon in the nightcap. By then, EA Sportie Spice must have been back at the hotel, all tucked in.
Maybe the SI jinx has a hand this Oregon debacle (although, to be fair, the magazine did its usual bet hedging by having the QB and C of Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Penn State as its other regional covers … covering their own rear ends).
While those last three had nothing really to apologize for after Week 1 of the collegiate football aptitude test, the Ducks … well … the rest of the weekend was the Blount Apology Tour (linked here), apparently the first rehabilitative step toward getting his degree, but not his football letterman’s jacket for his senior year. The professional scouts will have to come by the school to see him in the gym, because he won’t be tormenting Pac-10 foes the rest of the season, if we are to believe whomever is coaching the Ducks this season.
Some believe, rightfully so, that Blount’s punishment was too excessive — it’s ESPN’s fault for televising the game (linked here). See how that one holds up in the court of public disinterest. And Boise State would be the first to welcome him if he decided to transfer.
Oklahoma, No. 3 on many preseason polls, is also 0-1. That gives the Ducks and Sooners one thing to latch onto: Losing earlier, rather than losing later, is a good thing.
Ohio State, in the top 10 in many preseason polls, didn’t even have the pleasure of losing early. It had to bail water to get past Navy in its opener, and only lost because the Midshipmen offensive coordinator decided to pass on a two-point conversion. Roger Staubach was not in the backfield. This is why the U.S. armed forces drive the rest of the world crazy. Our Navy has stayed in the game because of its ground attack, and now wants to go to the air. Interception. Return. Game over. Bring on the Trojans for a national TV crew that has fewer storylines to latch onto.
To Reggie Bush’s non-Kardashian pleasure, Petros Papadakis won’t be calling that ESPN game. Instead, RB Reggie has to think he wasn’t really smart to fire off a Tweet criticizing PP’s work on the Fox Sports Net telecast of the USC-San Jose State tilt (linked here).
If we cared more about Twitter, and its future as a reliable means of transmitting sports information, we’d get into this one a little more. But, alas, we care less and less as the seconds tick by. It just makes for an interesting visual, thanks to SportsByBrooks.com technlogy.
The attention should really be on Tennessee-UCLA for their Week 2 matchup. Lane Kiffin, put your tools on the table against Norm Chow. May the smarter dude win. If that were the only criteria, we’d pick a Bruin upset.
And, while Trojan and Bruin fans will be making their first road tailgate parties of the season — having to endure sweltering conditions on Saturday in L.A. that we just inhumane — take notice of this list of Top 10 Tailgating tips provided by Sports Pickle (linked here), and see how many of them apply to your cornhole-playing friends who just don’t get it:
1. Cool it with the football. Hey. Great. You brought a football to the tailgate. I might throw it around with you. A few times. Maybe. But I’m here to have some drinks and load up on food and hang out with people. That’s really the entirety of my plans. I didn’t bring my cleats. You see, I came here to watch football. Not play football. Seriously. Relax with the football, guy! No, I will not play two-hand touch. No, I will definitely not go long. Under any circumstances. If you wanted to play football today, you should have made the team. Go away, you drunk moron.
2. Relax about your the chili. Your chili is not famous. It’s just not. So stop saying that it is. See everyone here? They all know you. They all enjoy your chili. At least most of them do. Now, see the people one spot over at the other tailgate? I just asked them and they have never heard of you. More importantly, they have never heard of your chili. So there you have it: your chili is not famous. And, really, it’s not that hard to make good chili. You mix a bunch of stuff together. Then you make sure it’s spicy. Boom. Good chili. You should really try to find something else in your life to be proud about. Everyone kind of pities you.
3. Don’t invite Kevin. Every tailgate has a Kevin. He’s annoying. Whoever is responsible for inviting him all the time, please don’t do it again.
4. Remember you’re not coaching. We all like football or we probably wouldn’t be here. But this is not the set of Edge NFL Match-Up. I don’t know if Right Trap 38 Hitch-Over Falcon or whatever it was you just said is the key to solving Alabama’s defense in the red zone. Nor do I really care. Hey, look! The burgers are ready.
5. No one cares what you want on your burger. They will ask you want you want on it. But it’s just to be polite. And to be polite back, you should say: “I don’t care. Whatever.” This is not a gourmet restaurant. Someone just made you free food. Don’t be picky. Just eat it.
6. Girls, wear football jerseys. Look, I get the awkward psychology of it. It’s like guys are somehow attracted to the football players they root for and want to have sex with them. I don’t know. Maybe. Whatever. You look hot. So put on that football jersey and I’ll drink until I don’t care about the awkward psychology of it.
7. Let’s not be too anal. That’s what she said. (Come on, that’s funny at a tailgate after four beers.) What I mean is, basically this: I’m not following your stupid rule and writing my name on my red cup. If I lose my red cup when I get there, I will just grab another new one out of the bag. If this ruins you financially, here is a dollar. But put that Sharpie away. Save the ink for writing messages on people when they pass out.
8. Kids are a risk. It’s okay to bring along your kids or your little brother or sister. But understand that they’re going to be spending the day around a bunch of adults, most of whom will be drunk. These people will not self-edit. And junior is going to see and hear everything. Chances are on Monday he comes home from school with detention for telling his teacher he loves her in belch-talk.
9. Get off your cellphone. You’re supposed to talk to the people at the tailgate when you’re at a tailgate. So get off the phone. Stop texting. Stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing on your iPhone. Whoa! You have an iPhone app that can get live scoring updates from every game in the country? Okay, you can keep the cellphone. Everyone else … away.
10. Girls, don’t make-out with Kevin. I don’t care how much you had to drink. He’s really annoying. Now we’re never going to get rid of him. What are you doing?! Stop! No, don’t say you think you’re in love. It’s Kevin!