LSU graphic for the 1984 game.
Apologies for not posting this here sooner. Things have been kind of crazy with relatives and so forth. I've done all my family stuff after Christmas this year.
This doesn’t exactly fit the “rivalry” theme, but that’s what I decided to call blogs of this type.
There is a fair number of Notre Dame fans in Louisiana because of the Catholic population, so there always seems to be a fair amount of excitement over these games since the winner may have bragging rights for a while. I apologize in advance if this blog isn’t up to my usual standards. It was mostly written on an airplane, and I’m using an unfamiliar computer.
Tuesday’s game will be only the second meeting since 1998. In just over a year's time, the Tigers had faced the Irish three times, winning only one. Apart from 2006 and 1981, all the other games were in groups of at least two, so I’ll do those together.
The series is tied, 5-5. LSU has won the only two “neutral” site games, but both were in Louisiana. LSU’s only win at Notre Dame was in 1985.
2006 (Sugar Bowl) – LSU 41, Notre Dame 14
The 2006 game (in the Sugar Bowl) was interesting, at least it was an interesting match-up going into the game. LSU didn’t win the SEC, but what had kept them from the title game was the loss to eventual national champions florida (whose berth in the championship opened up the Sugar) in the regular season. They also lost to auburn in a bizarre 7-3 game marred with officiating disputes.
Notre Dame entered that year with one of its strongest teams since the early ’90s. Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija led a very productive offense. Though neither Quinn nor LSU quarterback Jamarcus Russell amounted to much, they generated a lot of buzz for the NFL draft. Russell would be the #1 draft pick a few months later.
The game was competitive for a half, but LSU looked to be the stronger team all along. They just didn’t translate that into points as well in the first half. LSU won going away, 41-14.
When LSU won the national championship in 2007, it was remarkable not only for the two losses that season but also for the fact that so much talent had gone to the NFL after the previous season.
1997 – Notre Dame 24, @LSU 6
1997 (Independence Bowl) – LSU 27, Notre Dame 9
1998 – @Notre Dame 39, LSU 36
LSU had a fairly good year in 1997, going 9-3, but they had a miserable time with the Irish on a rainy November day (not night) at Tiger Stadium. They got revenge when the Irish came back to Louisiana, this time to Shreveport for the independence bowl. Neither game was close.
The bottom fell out for LSU in the next two years. Gerry DiNardo’s tenure, which had started with a 29-9-1 record, ended with a thud. The Tigers only won 3 of the last 18 games he coached.
There were a number of close losses to good teams in there though, and the Irish were one of them in 1998. LSU took a 34-20 lead with 8 minutes to go in the third quarter. The Irish responded by scoring late in the third, and then LSU had a chance to go back up by 14 in the fourth. On second down from the Notre dame 17, LSU’s Herb Tyler threw to the wrong team, and the Irish ran it all the way back. There was some hope when LSU blocked the extra point, but this didn’t matter when Notre Dame scored the go-ahead touchdown with just under 90 seconds to go in the game. When the Irish won by three points (after intentionally taking a safety), it was the fifth loss that season alone to a bowl-eligible team by less than a touchdown.
1984 – Notre Dame 30, @LSU 22
1985 – LSU 10, @Notre Dame 7
1986 – @LSU 21, Notre Dame 19
There were three competitive games in the mid-1980s. That may not have been the case in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Tigers began their worst stretch in recent memory and the Irish were competing for national championships.
Following a three-game losing streak in 1984 (Bill arnsparger’s first year at LSU), Notre Dame went on the road to upset a 7th-ranked LSU team that would eventually go to the Sugar Bowl. The Irish would not lose again until the Aloha Bowl.
After a disastrous loss at home in the third game in 1985, LSU went undefeated the rest of the regular season. The week after Alabama, the Tigers had a close call against Mississippi St., but they still entered the game against the Irish at 6-1-1 and ranked #17 in the country. After starting a respectable 5-3, Notre Dame lost to Penn State (who would finish 11-1) the week before hosting LSU.
Notre Dame took the lead just over 5 minutes into the game but would not score again the rest of the way. Still, the Irish held onto a 7-3 lead until late in the fourth quarter. With about 7 minutes left, an LSU drive stalled just a few yards into Notre Dame territory. After a 38-yard punt, the Irish took over at the 6 and went nowhere. This defensive stand allowed LSU to pick up roughly where they had left off on offense.
On a third and one (after a 9-yard run by LSU QB Jeff Wickersham), LSU took a gamble with a throw to running back Dalton Hilliard (uncle of current LSU running back Kenny Hilliard), who went down the sidelines for an 18-yard gain. Wickersham made another throw of 21 yards to get LSU into scoring position. After two runs, LSU took the lead 10-7 with about 3:30 to play.
After Notre Dame drove 25 yards to their own 48, Irish quarterback Steve Beuerlein’s pass was tipped. The Tigers came up with it and were able to run out the clock.
LSU made the Liberty Bowl after that season, where they lost to Baylor.
The Tigers would have a similar record going into the 1986 game against Notre Dame, this time playing the Irish at home. LSU was ranked #8, and Notre Dame was again unranked and headed toward a 5-6 finish.
Another close game ensued. This time LSU was first on the board with a touchdown after about 5 minutes of play, but Notre Dame’s Tim Brown took the kickoff back 96 yards to tie the game. LSU took the lead back after an 82-yard drive of 8:47. There was no scoring again until Notre Dame closed to 14-10 with about 6 minutes left in the third quarter. That score took place after Notre Dame converted a 3rd and 14. LSU would have had a stop on that down when it was first tried, but an LSU facemask offset a Notre Dame clipping penalty.
On LSU’s next play from scrimmage, Tommy Hodson threw an interception, which was returned to the LSU 2. The Irish gained a yard on first down but went no further, and the ball went over on downs when Brown was tackled for a loss on fourth down. The following LSU drive was a three and out, and Notre Dame then drove to the LSU 13 with six running plays and only one pass. The Irish then went backwards but they converted a 44-yard field goal attempt to get within 1.
LSU used a mix of running and passing to drive 79 yards in 11 plays. The Tigers only faced one third down on the drive, a 3rd and 3 from the Notre Dame 28.
Notre Dame’s next drive ended in a turnover, but LSU did nothing with it. The LSU defense could do little to stop the Irish from driving down the field in just seven plays for a touchdown. They stopped the two-point conversion though, and the Irish did not get the ball again.
1981 – @Notre Dame 27, LSU 9
Two awful teams played in 1981. LSU would only win three games that season, which is probably best remembered for ending with a humiliating 48-7 defeat at the hands of Tulane. Notre dame would finish 5-6 but they probably looked good momentarily in a 27-9 win at home.
1970 – @Notre Dame 3, LSU 0
1971 – @LSU 28, Notre Dame 8
What first inspired the Irish and Tigers to square off was the end of the 1969 season. LSU had only one loss, by two points to Archie manning’s ole miss rebels, and was hoping for a Cotton Bowl invite to play undefeated Texas and had declined other howl opportunities. Notre Dame, which had declined all bowl invitations since 1924, decided at the last minute they wanted to play Texas instead. They lost 21-17.
Notre Dame would only lose to two schools in the next two seasons, USC and LSU. The Irish did beat LSU at home, 3-0, in 1970. After a scoreless struggle, LSU had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but their field goal attempt from the 17 was blocked. The Tigers kept Notre Dame from scoring on the next drive but were pinned at their own 1 afterward. Notre Dame then took over at the LSU 36. Interference was called on LSU on the first play from scrimmage, and Notre Dame drove 10 more yards before the winning field goal with only 2:54 to play.
LSU went 9-3 in both 1970 and 1971. In the 1970 bowl season, LSU lost to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, and Notre Dame got revenge over Texas in the Cotton.
In the 1971 game, LSU had lost to both Ole Miss and Alabama in the previous few weeks, so they took the opportunity to work out their frustrations in a 28-8 win. LSU was #14 AP and #18 in the coaches’ poll going into the game. Notre Dame, which had been #7 in both polls before the game, did not go to a bowl that year, while LSU beat Iowa St. in the Sun Bowl.
Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013)
Auburn (2010 post-game)
(Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Another week and again I find myself writing my blog from my dad’s hospital room. I wish I had better news to report, but I just don’t. I remain hopeful, but it very much seems that we will need a Christmas miracle for my dad. Christmas…is it possible that we are almost there? It only seems like yesterday that I was writing my blog about swimming. To borrow a line from a great song…”it’s a long long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September.” As the days grow short, they become precious indeed.
I read a comment on facebook that said that the college football format has “cheapened” the regular season. I have been thinking about those words and just don’t understand that position. It would seem to me that with the current format that the regular season games have become vitally important, with regard to qualifying for the 4 team playoff. Some college football fans have been complaining about the lack of attention paid to strength of schedule. The playoff committee seems have heard this complaint and is hanging their hat mainly on strength of schedule and “good” wins. Why would I say that you ask? Well, how else could you have the unbeaten defending champs as the 4th ranked team (FSU) and the 3rd ranked team (TCU) ahead of the team that beat them (Baylor). It is odd and it is confusing, but it sure as hell has folks talking about college football. While we may complain and question those top four teams, it is easy to see that the job of the committee is damn hard. Let’s be honest for a moment…each of us has a favorite team and conference. It has been said that you can use statistics to support any opinion. If you have ever doubted this, read the different opinions on college football. Fans and writers grab any common stat to try to make their case. It is okay as this is part of what makes being a fan fun. Because of this, I tend to take the various opinions on college football’s best teams with a grain of salt. With Texas well out of the running, I am still digging this college football season. But, I must admit that I remain somewhat confused with the ranking of TCU above Baylor. Yes, I understand that TCU scheduled and beat Minnesota 30 to 7, while TCU went to Buffalo and scalped the Bulls 63 to 21. The bottom line for me is that Baylor beat TCU. Yes, it was a basketball score…but it was still a victory. I appreciate that the best college teams are being held accountable for scheduling weak non-conference opponents, but how do you ignore a head to head game? For those Ohio State fans, you are lucky that I am not ranking the teams as you would be behind Baylor. Slice it anyway you want, but the Big 10 is just not very good this year. Those Golden Gophers that are tipping the scale for TCU are now 8 and 4. Three of those 8 victories were against Eastern Illinois, Middle Tennessee and San Jose State and a one point victory over Purdue (who has 3 victories on the season). Why is this victory being savored so sweetly?
I don’t often agree with Pat Forde, but he makes a ton of sense here:
Of course, then you have the curious case of the Big 12 officials deciding that TCU and Baylor would be named “co-champions” if they finish with the same record. Has everyone lost their mind? In the Big 12 bylaws, it explicitly says that head to head is the tiebreaker…so tell me how Baylor would not be the conference champion? I watched every miserable minute of the TCU and Texas game and the Texas and Baylor game. To be honest, if Texas has even a mediocre QB, they had a decent chance to beat TCU and Baylor. If you saw the score, you probably would think that TCU routed Texas. The reality is that Tyrone Swoops just handed the Horned Frogs the game. Four interceptions and a fumble will get you beat every time…and TCU did what good teams do, they finished. I will take nothing away from the Horned Frog’s victory, as they were the better team… but Texas is not that far away from being a force. I said earlier in the season that Tyrone Swoops was not the answer at QB for Texas and I stand by that statement. What I realized is that Swoops is good enough to beat bad teams, but will never be the QB that Texas needs to get where they want to go. I was listening to sports talk leaving Austin Tuesday night. I understand that Texas is already talking to UAB QB Cody Clements, with the announcement that UAB would be eliminating football. I don’t know much about Clements, but this is the sort of stop gap move that would help Texas. I also know that Texas is looking at a JUCO QB as another option. One thing I do know is that competition is a good thing for a football team.
UAB coach Bill Clark leaving the meeting to end football...a sad tale. Is this just the beginning?
As I heard that UAB was discontinuing football, this got me to wondering how many other schools would come to the same conclusion as UAB officials.
Here is the statement issued by the university:
"The Athletic Department faces many challenges given the rapidly evolving NCAA landscape and soaring operating costs, which place extreme pressure and a growing financial burden on programs like UAB's. Costs are continuously spiraling upwards driven by cost-of-attendance payments to players, meals, equipment, facilities, coaches, travel and more," the statement said.
"The fiscal realities we face — both from an operating and a capital investment standpoint — are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the Athletic Department and UAB," college president Ray Watts said in that statement. "As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the Athletic Department, football is simply not sustainable."
Football is simply not sustainable…these are difficult words to read, but not surprising. UAB is the first school to cut football since Pacific did in 1995, but my guess is that many other schools might have to make the same decision. With the decision to pay players on the horizon, the costs to play will continue to move higher. The number I heard mentioned for player compensation is $5000 per player. While I do not have the details, I would assume that each player on scholarship would receive this amount. This would be an annual cost of $425,000 for each school. For schools like Texas or Alabama, this amount is nothing. For other schools like UAB, it is a deal killer. A few months back, then SMU coach June Jones made the comment that smaller schools might have to play on a different schedule than D1 football. Many scoffed at his words, but they made sense to me. I hope I am wrong, but I see a very different time ahead for college football. Change is coming, whether we like it or not. UAB is only the first…
Have you seen the new milk ads? I think that they are sort of catchy…what do you think?
MLB umpire Dale Scott announced this week that he is gay. To be honest, I am ambivalent to the entire matter. I guess the announcement by Scott was about him, as he said…MLB has only judged him by the job he has done on the field. And this is as it should be! How long will it be before we no longer see these types of headlines? I did find one of the comments to the article to be funny as hell…”it takes great courage to admit to being an umpire”. Exactly!
I was going to write something about the Cowboys and the stupid ass schedule that the NFL has them playing this year, but I won’t. The egg they laid on Thanksgiving Day was epic, but not the end of the world. I still like where this team is headed, although they will have to figure out how to stop that Eagle offense. If you have a mind, check out this article:
Colt...no longer a third team QB.
Before I go, I have to give a quick shout out to Colt McCoy. After reading so many say that McCoy is not an NFL QB…how does 392 yards and 3 TDs and 0 interceptions sound?. So all you saying Colt can’t get it done…how does that QB rating of 113.1 taste? Of course, when you are playing Andrew Luck who goes for 370 and 6 TDs...you aren’t going to win that game. Some will point to my continued focus on Colt being because he is a former Longhorn. While I admit this has a small measure of truth, the reality is that there are many former Longhorns that I do not write about. I recently read an article by Scott Allen that was an interview with Steve Young and found it to be a fascinating read. He equates becoming a good NFL QB to doing graduate work. Young recalled his early days in San Francisco and the hours of repetition that Mike Shanahan had him do. Shanahan would say, let’s go over this again and Young would reply…no Mike I’ve got this…and then they would go over it again and again. Young says he has nothing against RG3 and even calls him “one of my guys”…or guys that can run around. In Young’s opinion, Griffin has just not put in the time to become a successful NFL QB. He thinks that McCoy is in the middle of this learning cycle…ahead of Griffin and Cousins and…that he may be more than a stop gap measure. Young correctly points out that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, did not have the athleticism, so they had to do the graduate work to become great. He talked about how great QB’s own the pocket and perform their jobs by reflex. Young also noted that he and Drew Brees were not good QBs initially, but through hard work were able to find their way. It is interesting that Young named Brees as he is exactly the type of QB that I think Colt McCoy could one day become. It is about putting in the study time and landing in the right system. Now…it will be interesting to see what happens in Washington as they have 3 QBs to consider. For the moment, I have to believe that the Redskins job is Colt’s to lose. Honestly, it could not happen to a nicer guy than Colt. Although, I will be rooting against his Skins in a few weeks!
Here is the link in case you want to read the entire article:
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
I can still recall old Mister Barnslow getting out every morning and nailing a fresh load of tadpoles to the old board of his. Then he’d spin it around and round, like a wheel of fortune, and no matter where it stopped he’d yell out, ‘Tadpoles Tadpoles is a winner’. We all thought he was crazy. But then, we had some growing up to do.
When I heard that trees grow a new ring for each year they live, I thought, we humans are kind of like that. We grow a new layer of skin each year, and after many years, we are thick and unwieldy from all of our layers of skin.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Holy cow. It’s almost Thanksgiving. 2014 must’ve gone by faster than any year in recorded history. I’m pretty sure someone lopped a month off the year somewhere. It’s been kind of a weird year too. The Kansas City Royals in the World Series? The Cleveland Browns spent a week in first place? ¾ of the major sports championships belong to the west coast? It’s also November 17, a very special day in the history of the Gab - today marks birthday #6 and the start of year 7. A long strange trip it’s been.
The people you know when you’re young play a special role as you get older - a connection to the younger you, the kid that was looking forward. When your elders have begun to pass, perhaps even some of your contemporaries, the kids you knew when you were young are the last link you have to that time. I have the great fortune to still be connected to some of those folks. A few weeks ago we realized it’d been 3 years since the group of us had gotten together, so we changed that this weekend.
It’s funny, in your 20’s and 30’s you’re celebrating the marriages, and the kids, and the houses. In your 40’s, you’re toasting the divorces and “moving on,” expressing condolences for the passing of a parent, and bragging on those now teenage (or older) kids you celebrated in your 20’s and 30’s. And so it goes that as I sit here and look at how fast 2014 has flown by that I realize how quickly time goes by. Every year seems to go by faster than any year in recorded history. I mean, how many people know that there have been 14 “Gay Bowls” already? Time flies man.
There’s all kinds of weird things that happen in any given year. When I was going to school, there was the “dome run.” Who would’ve thought that 20-odd years later, the same guy would have his finger just fall off while he was playing cards? You’re just not likely to find a more messed up cat than this guy.
As we have more avenues for people to show off, the more weird stuff we come up with. Some of it’s banal, still more of it is just painful. Way to ruin what should be a good thing, and draw attention to the fact you’re a DB (and I don’t mean defensive back).
People do dumb things all the time, we’re just far more exposed to it now than we were “back in the day.” Just saying “back in the day” makes me feel 1000 years old, but technology has changed just how fast things are different year to year. I bought an iPhone 4s as soon as it came out. 3 years later we’re on 5 more models of iPhone: the 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6+. We’re moving at a faster pace. We have televisions the size of a wall, but we’re never home to watch them - as evidenced by the fact we don’t even have landline phones at home anymore: depending on who you ask between a quarter and half of all homes either don’t have or just don’t use a home phone. Christ, our cars are now Wifi hotspots: so you can stay connected while you’re on your way to where you’re going.
There’s all kinds of ways to be dumb too. PJ Williams totals his car and runs off. One wonders why someone would just take off - I mean the car is registered, it’s not hard to know who it belongs to. Hmmm. Perhaps alcohol? At any rate he gets a traffic citation. Legally, the accident never happened. Wow. There’s simpler ways to be dumb - like freaking out when someone friendly to you touches your butt. Well, that one wouldn’t usually be dumb, but if you’re in the middle of a hard contact sport, you wouldn’t think a slight grope would be that distracting.
Of course there’s dumb, and there’s pure evil. It should go without saying that it’s a privilege to bitch and moan about blown calls or missed plays. We live in a place where we can while away time and then wonder where all the time went. There’s so many different ways the people who you knew when you were young can leave the scene so you should definitely make the time to enjoy them while they - and you - are around to enjoy. I enjoy you, my faithful Gabbers - and happy 6th birthday to the Gab. I’m happy to be able to say I’ve known the Gab since it was young.
Take a look at the stats on that side bar: 2095 Featured blogs, 1668 Featured 2.0, 535 NFL blogs, 732 user showcase posts. Not bad for a small community of writers participating because we enjoy it. We've all joined the Gab at various points - and I'm glad I've had the chance to participate in building and sustaining this place. There's no other place I'd rather wax poetic about getting older, no other place to complain about people doing dumb things. Well done Gab!
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. The Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child. While I think that most people would agree with this statement, my belief is that each of us would take something different from these words. I grew up in a household that strongly believed in using the rod or more accurately…a belt. Lord knows, I was a hard headed kid, but I was never spoiled. While I screwed up regularly, I knew that there would be consequences. I also knew that my parents loved me. As a kid, I had a basic understanding that my parents disciplined me because they loved me. My Dad used to say something that I thought was bs…something about the spanking hurting him as much as it did me. Well, at 9 or whatever…I knew that there was no way that his butt was hurting as bad as mine. It was not until I was a parent that I understood what he meant. Kids don’t come with a handbook. Really, the only thing reference guide parents have is what they learned growing up.
Adrian Peterson was indicted by the grand jury in Montgomery County last week for injury to a child...his 4 year old child. Many people see the pictures of his son and immediately assume that Peterson is a sadistic ass. I look at the pictures of his son and realize immediately what Peterson’s childhood was like. If you have never been to East Texas, you cannot possibly imagine how different the region is. Honestly, it is beautiful…the red dirt and pine trees are some of my favorite memories of summer visits to my grandparent’s home. East Texas is a very rural region that is generally poor. Agriculture, timber and oil are the primary business in the area. It is also deep in the heart of the Bible belt. Adrian Peterson grew up in Palestine Texas, a town of 18,000. In this small town, how many churches would you guess there are? Would you be surprised to know that the number is 71? Of this number, 25 are Baptist Churches. I don’t know Adrian Peterson, but I know where he comes from. These are good people…honest folks with traditional values. Life has changed over the years, but core beliefs have not. When kids get out of line, they are punished. This is what Adrian Peterson and I both learned growing up.
I have a difficult time condemning someone for how they discipline their children. Especially when I see the results of kids that grow up with no discipline at all. In reading an article about Adrian Peterson, I ran across this comment from a mother named Linda. Here is what Linda had to say:
I grew up in a home with "corporal" punishment, so when I had a child, this is the form of discipline I used. It wasn't until my child was 12 and got a spanking for trying to do a book report the night before it was due (they had 2 weeks to do it), that it became an issue. When my child told a friend they got a spanking, the friend told the teacher, who called child services. My child was taken from our home for 1 night and return the next day. The social worker assigned to us was awesome, and said to me,"As a mother, I don't disagree with what you did. However, as a social worker, I have to tell you that is it wrong." From that day forward, I never physically abused my child again. However, I lived with the threat of "touch me and I'll call the cops" for the next 4 years. My child began to skip school and do pretty much what they wanted to. I was given a citation for truancy for my child. By 16, my child had moved out of my home and was living with the family of a registered sex offender. By 17, she had quit school and was pregnant. At 18 she was on welfare, had no diploma and no job. My child has always refused to use any form of punishment on her child. At 11, my grandchild was expelled from school, after failing in a district "behavioral program". At 30, my child is afraid of her own child, who steals from her and has threatened her life. Her only regret? "Maybe spanking him every now and then wouldn't have been such a bad thing." Society has taken control away from the parents and given it to the children. We grew up with rules, consequences and punishment, yet somehow we became honest, respectable, productive adults. We work had and respect others, especially our elders. We don't think society owes us just because we exist. Can it sometimes go to far? Absolutely. You can have punishment with limits. But most of the excess comes from individuals who tend to have excessive personalities. Children need structure and boundaries. And sometimes, punishment. Just not excessive punishment that causes bodily injury. If given the choice, I would be raised exactly the same way, all over again.
I have gone back and forth in my mind regarding Adrian Peterson. I truly believe that he was trying to do the right thing. He was doing what he had learned growing up. But, I also believe he was excessive in spanking his son. My wife and I were forced to adjust how we punished our children when our middle daughter was about 4 years old. She was stubborn and independent beyond her years. I spanked her one time and she told me, “That did not hurt”. As Julie and I talked later, we realized that spanking this child would not work. We had to change the manner that we punished our kids. Honestly, it is much harder to discipline kids when a spanking is not the punishment. As a parent, it takes effort and creativity to understand the proper motivation to teach children right from wrong. Our pediatrician told my wife one time that sometimes spanking a child is necessary. He used the incident of a kid walking out in the street. It is necessary in that case in order to get the child’s attention immediately. But leaving a four year old with bloody whelps is wrong. The one thing that I have come to believe is that although spanking children is effective in teaching them right from wrong…it also teaches them to hit. I cannot finish this topic without remembering an incident at the home of a close family friend. I was probably 5 and my brother was a couple of years younger. We were doing the wild Indian thing and my Mom finally had enough. She told me to go outside and bring back a switch. I did as instructed and remember dreading the walk back into that house. I handed my Mom that switch and prepared to take my punishment. A funny thing happened…my parent’s friends had this really cool German Shepard named Tina. I loved that dog, so smart…just the best dog. As my Mon drew back the switch, I heard a low growl. My Mom stopped and looked around…the growl was Tina saying, not in my house. My Mom decided to listen to Tina. The funny thing is that my Mom had never before used a switch to spank us…and Tina made sure that she would not that day either.
With all of the discussion over the NFL, we have overlooked some great baseball happening. September, is usually associated with football, which is really too bad. September baseball is tough to beat. It is the time of year when things get real interesting. The Orioles and Nationals clinched their divisions on Tuesday. The big news here for me was Baltimore winning the AL East. Yes, the Nats are a nice story, but they are a team built to win. The O’s sort of came out of nowhere to literally run away with the division. I suppose I should not be surprised that Showalter has his birds in the playoffs. The guy just knows how to win. I admire his baseball knowledge, but I admire his toughness most of all. Showalter took a look back to remind his team that the Orioles had a successful history. I continue to be amazed at how successful the pitching staff has performed. Seriously, there are no big names like Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar or Dave McNally. I dismissed this team early in the season as just not having a staff built for playoff baseball…I was wrong. This Baltimore team simply does not allow anything to distract them from their goal. They lost Machado and did not miss a beat. Chris Davis is lost for 25 days…and they just keep playing. This is a team that plays exactly in the image of their skipper…they are tough. I am not sure how they will fare against a team like Detroit or Los Angeles…but I would not count them out. I truly believe that baseball is better when Baltimore is playing good baseball.
Many fans may view Chris Davis as the villian in this Oriole story book season. In truth, there is more to this than another player failing a drug test. While it is true that Davis tested positive for Adderall, it is also true that Davis and 118 other players received permission to use Adderall in 2013. Did Davis not know that he did not have permission in 2014? Either way, he has to take responsibility for his actions. I have always been a fan of Davis, and was sorry to see the Rangers trade him. He is a Texas kid that grew up in Longview and played JUCO ball at Navarro in Corsicana Texas. It is nice to see kids make it that come from humble roots. There was another story this week, that I think says more about who Chris Davis is. A motorist reportedly arrived on an accident that had a man pinned under a truck. He pulled over and joined in to attempt to return the truck to an upright position. After achieving this, he turned to the man next to him and gave him a high five...he was surprised to see that it was Chris Davis. Given the past few months of negative stories regarding athletes, it is nice to read something that is positive. Nice job Chris Davis!
In other news...
MLB announced that Jonathan Papelbon received a 7 game suspension for his touching gesture to the Philly fans. Umpire Cowboy Joe West did the right thing in giving Papelbon the heave ho, then screwed up by grabbing Papelbon's jersey. MLB agreed and issued West a one game suspension.
Sorry Joe, you can't initiate contact...even if the douche bag deserves it...
Congratulations to Jose Altuve for setting a new single season Astro hit mark at 211 and counting. He eclipsed the pervious mark for season hits of 210 established by Craig Biggio. This has truly been a break -out season for Altuve. It seems like each night he has at least two hits to pace his team. Pound for pound, is there a better player in baseball? I just love the way that Jose plays the game. He gives hope to vertically challenged players everywhere. I am telling you…the Astros will make huge strides next year…and Altuve will be the guy setting the pace.
Craig Biggo was on hand to congratulate Jose Altuve.
Remember…don’t get so into watching football that you forget about September baseball!
Did you hear about the furor regarding the Columbian women’s cycling team? Apparently some really do not like their uniforms...
That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
If you're a horse, and someone gets on you, and falls off, and then gets right back on you, I think you should buck him off right away.
I hope that after I die, people will say of me: "That guy sure owed me a lot of money."
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
While still stuck without my own personal computer... (So yes, my "up to date-ness" ends on Saturday morning before this week's college football games kick off.)
Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
New England Patriots - I watched most of the Patriots game last Sunday. But with the team up 17-7, I fell asleep. And that's when the Dolphins decided to wake up. Despite missing 3 of their starting linebackers, the defense just killed the New England offense after going down by that 10 point margin.
I woke up when it was 20-20 and wished I was still asleep as the Dolphins went on to win 33-20 and hand the Patriots their first opening day loss in 11 years.
My buddy Brian (a big Dolphins fan) had to be ecstatic watching the defense manhandle the Patriots offensive line. The Pats managed just 89 rushing yards and sacked Tom Brady four times.
Brady threw for 249 years and a TD, but after going up 17-7, it seems he was on the run for the rest of the game.
After all the preseason talk of how different the defense looked and played, it was more of the same because the defensive line couldn't stuff any holes and the Dolphins run game took advantage with 191 rushing yards. Knowshon Moreno was practically unstoppable with 134 of those yards.
This can't be what Bill Belichick planned for, but this game showed that the Patriots aren't quite ready for primetime yet. It also demonstrated AGAIN, that the preseason doesn't mean a darn thing.
Baltimore Ravens - Video footage from inside the elevator that now former Ravens running back Ray Rice beat the crap out of his fiancee (now wife) surfaced this past week and as soon as it got out (TMZ gets another "scoop"), the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
I have strong feelings about domestic violence, let that be clear. But for me, despite the reported ugliness of the new footage (I refuse to watch and help TMZ make more of a name for themselves), I have to wonder why the NFL didn't kick Rice to the curb the first time around. He certainly deserved it.
Suspending and firing him at this point seems like they are punishing him twice for the same infraction. And on that point alone I'm a little annoyed at the NFL.
Ray Rice is certainly a scumbag, the video definitely confirms that I'm told. But the league punished him once. However ridiculously bad they handled it the first time around, I can't imagine the player's union isn't going to raise a stink on general principle for a player being punished twice.
Minnesota Vikings - It isn't a good time to be Adrian Peterson. Last week reports surfaced that he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he wanted to play for Dallas. That could not have endeared him to the Vikings ownership, coaches and other players. And the fan base was likely enraged.
And then on Friday, news broke that he had been charged with child abuse in Texas for using a switch to spank one of his sons. SAY WHAT?
DUDE! How goddamn stupid are you? You used a switch on your son? Have you conveniently forgotten that just last year a son you didn't even know you had was beaten to death by your baby mama's boyfriend? I'm all for discipline but let's get serious here, using a switch may have been a time honored idiotic tradition back in the day but in the here and now, that crap just ain't gonna fly with law enforcement. Oh by the way, the guy who killed that son of yours goes on trial for second degree murder next month. MORON!
For those fantasy football people that have Adrian Peterson on their teams, better make adjustments to your roster, the Vikings have benched him for today's game against the Patriots.
I actually managed to split my two leagues during Week 1. I really have no confidence in my lineups so getting even 1 win was pretty sweet. Of course, I'm favored to lose in both leagues this week so I might be writing with a "woe is me" vibe next week.
MIRACLE ON ICE USA HOCKEY TEAM NEWS
Just a bit of sad news...Bob Suter, one of the players on the 1980 Lake Placid hockey team that stunned the world by beating the Russians, passed away this week. He was 57 years old. He was a scout for the Minnesota Wild (and father to one of their players, Ryan Suter) as well as a youth hockey figure.
He's the first of the players from that team to pass away. You can read more about his life here.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide once again dominated their opponent last week. But it didn't help them keep their #2 ranking.
Despite beating Florida Atlantic University 41-0, the Tide dropped to #3 in the rankings after voters/computers factored in the strength of schedule angle in the Oregon-Michigan State game. Oregon won that game going away and they vaulted up to #2.
As for the FAU game, the Bama defense gave up just 145 yards in total offense (57 rush, 88 pass) and had 3 sacks.
Given that the game was a blowout, both Blake Sims and Jake Coker saw time at QB. Sims threw for 214 yards and 2 TDS, while rushing for another. Coker had 202 passing yards and a TD. He got sacked once.
The team as a whole rushed for 204 yards, with Kenyan Drake leading the way with just 45 yards (with a TD run). Amari Cooper was the biggest offensive star as he racked up 189 yards receiving and caught a TD pass.
(I'll write about this week's Alabama home game vs. Southern Mississippi and the Boston College home game vs. USC next week.)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Boston Red Sox - As if the season wasn't going badly enough for the Red Sox, second baseman Dustin Pedroia's season came to an early end when it was announced that he would be undergoing season ending surgery on his hand.
The Boston Herald had an interesting article that broke down all the injuries Pedroia has suffered in recent years and questions whether he'll ever be the same player he was before all the injuries.
Texas Rangers - The Texas Rangers were stunned a bit last week when manager Ron Washington resigned. The Rangers have been playing really badly this season, but Washington wasn't in danger of being fired after 1 down year.
While no specifics have been given, the resignation was termed by Washington as being done to deal with an "off the field personal matter."
The cynical SOB I am, the first thing I thought of was that he'd been caught using cocaine again. I really hope that isn't the case because it would be yet another sports related disappointment and at the rate they are coming these days, the sports pages might just as well be the front pages of a newspaper.
New York Mets - As if the simple fact of being the New York Mets and stinking to high heaven wasn't enough, now we have the story of team COO Jeff Wilpon being sued for discrimination by a female former team executive who became pregnant while unwed. Reading the story, apparently Wilpon acted like a total dick and is seemingly about to pay the price for it.
It makes me wonder just what is going through the minds of the "men" who run sports teams and or play the games. It is a different world these days, you bumbling Neanderthals!
You can read more about that story here.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
The women's basketball schedule was released this past week and while they will play ten teams that made the NCAA tournament last year, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with the slate of home games they'll have this year.
Since I can only attend Sunday games, I can't even think about seeing them play Duke this year. And then there are the teams I'd love to see them play but they are road games: Stanford, Hartford and Louisville.
I'm really psyched to see them play Notre Dame which is the biggest Sunday game on the home schedule, so I'll be getting tickets for that one. After that I don't know which games might strike my fancy. The remaining Sunday games (after the first of the year that is) feature Syracuse, North Carolina State, Florida State and Virginia Tech (which is the final regular season game of the season AND Senior Day.)
You can check out the full schedule here.
New York Liberty - Assistant coach Katie Smith has apparently decided to start writing a weekly blog on her website. The first installment breaks down some of her adjustments from being a player to becoming a coach. You can read it here.
Phoenix Mercury - Congratulations go out to the Mercury after they swept the Chicago Sky and clinched their third WNBA title since 2007.
Atlanta Hawks - It's been quite a week down in Atlanta hasn't it? First the majority owner Bruce Levenson announces he's selling his share of the team after an email he made with huge racial overtones was made public.
Well, I suppose owning up quickly to his rather stupid views is a point in his favor. And it saves NBA commissioner Adam Silver from having to deal with a Donald Sterling sequel to oust an owner clearly out of step with society at large.
And then on Friday it was announced that Hawks GM Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence for his role and comments in the seemingly growing story. I don't know why he wasn't fired because he will never be accepted by the players and fans again.
And this brings up a question for me. Am I the only one in the world that was raised properly?
Where does all this hatred come from? I mean, I was always taught that you don't hate someone based on the color of their skin. I worked in youth basketball for 25 years and when I first started out, there was a knock on the league that only the black coaches won championships. Which was entirely BS even then, but I'd say winning 10 titles as a head coach (11 if you include the one I was an assistant coach for) put that lie to rest.
And why would anyone these days make such sweeping generalizations about players or a race of people? Maybe I've somehow managed to maintain a sense of naivety about race relations but I've yet to meet a person of another color that I've hated based solely that their skin wasn't as white as mine is? For cripe's sake, the man I considered my basketball mentor was a black man whose death from cancer devastated me.
Generally when I've disliked or yes even hated someone it is after I get to know them as a person, and it is based on their personality or attitude...NOT THEIR SKIN COLOR!
I'm a stick in the mud about some stuff in this world but I can't imagine the mindset of people who hate or discriminate against someone for reasons of their skin.
It seems that the powers that be running NBA ballclubs really need to either get with the times or get the hell out of the game. Or maybe it would be enough for them to simply grow the hell up!
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - The team dropped a 2-0 match to Fairhaven on Monday to start off their week. They lost to ORR on Wednesday 6-0. Meanwhile, the JV team which has one of my former players (Gabby) on the team lost 5-0.
On Friday, the Vikings varsity managed to find the net but lost to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-2 for their 40th straight loss. Brianna had 8 saves in the game while Paige was cited in the paper for impressing with her play.
Wareham Boys Varsity Soccer - The Vikings fell to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-1 for their fourth straight loss to open the season. My ex-player Eoghan assisted on the team's only goal.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team dropped their match with Fairhaven by the score of 3 games to none. But the team got their first win on Wednesday night when they beat ORR 3 games to 2. They are now 1-3 on the season.
By the way, you can check out an article (with a couple of quotes from one of my ex-players Rae-Lyn) about the only boy playing on the WHS girls volleyball team here.
Friday's match against Dighton-Rehoboth saw the Vikings win 3 games to 1 to up their record to 2-3. Rae-Lyn had 6 digs, 18 kills and four aces in the match.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - The team lost to Dighton-Rehoboth on Wednesday by the score of 7-0.
Upper Cape Tech JV Football - The team lost to Mashpee in their season opener but my girlfriend's son Connor said that he led the defense in tackles for the game.
Wareham Varsity Football - While the team has an off week this week, I wanted to make sure I included a photo of one of my ex-players from the opening game. Josh (#10) scored a TD in the game and is being looked upon to be one of the team's top offensive contributors.
By the way, to show you how far the Vikings might have to come this year, Bishop Stang (the team that beat them last week 42-26 last week) managed to somehow lose their second game on Friday night 46-2. And that is not a typo, they managed just TWO points against their second opponent after demolishing Wareham's defense the week before.
Movies - I saw the movie Draft Day this past week. It had a few relatively preposterous scenes but overall I actually liked it. The one problem the movie demonstrates so aptly is that the best possible GM candidates for the team are in Hollywood working as scriptwriters. The actual GMs the team has had over the years keep the fanbase in the eternal but fruitless hope that they will ever actually build a contender.
Books - This week's book purchase was the paperback edition of the Sara Paretsky mystery Critical Mass. It is the latest in her V.I. Warshawski series.
Music - I went out to see a cover band called Sound Tower last Saturday night with my girlfriend. The guy who owned the Rock Is Life.com site that I wrote reviews for in the past is the band's frontman but I'd never seen them live before. We stayed for two sets and I found it quite enjoyable. I really liked their cover of the Bad Company song "Can't Get Enough". You can check them out at http://www.soundtowerrocks.com
Here's a pic of me and Julie at the show:
You can check out the new Mr. Big song "The Monster In Me" here (Youtube Link).
Movies (Fan Films) - I'm a big fan of the show Firefly and the follow up movie Serenity. And this week brought a new fan film based in the same universe. The film is actually getting positive reviews online and I thought you all might like to check it out. You can see it HERE!