Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Quiz Answers

1 - The only three coaches to win both National Titles and Super Bowls (Coach Lambert is the fictional creation of Dan Jenkins, but no more fierce for it).

2 - Volunteers, Rebels, Minutemen, Cornhuskers, Sooners, Hoosiers, Boilermakers.

3 - Black Knights, Golden Gophers, Golden Bears, Golden Hurricane, Green Wave, Crimson Tide, (the) Cardinal, Red Raiders, Orangemen, Yellow Jackets.

4 - What? With Mark May and Lou, what's not to love....

5 - Ask TJ Lambert, or the reciever Coryott hit in 94, if you can wake him up yet.

6 - They are just three of the more noteworthy teams to pull of terrificly exciting upsets of Top 10, BCS-conference teams at home on a Thursday Night ESPN game.

7 - No football, but boy do we have Crazy......

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Real World SD 2

what can you say? did you SEE THAT? i am
determinded not to write about the Real World every
week, but the San Diego kids are making it tough not
to. they're just laying out so much, so fast that
it's impossible to process it all. let's see, in 2
episodes totaling 60 minutes, they have accomplished
so much - racial, freakish, extrodinary sluttiness, a
solid 40-percent of on-camera time visibly drunk.
we'll start at the top:
So they shattered the Racial Fight Over/Under by
attacking it in Episode 2, as 'Ja' (black guy) and
Robin (Tampa bartender with the tits) went at it. But
in keeping with a trend for this crew, they didn't
ease their way in or out of the fight and nobody took
thepassive-aggresive route. no, this is the meanest,
rawest cast ever assembled, and if there was any doubt
about that they blew it away when Ol' girl got
hammered and flat-out dropped the N-bomb outside a
funniest part? HOW TO CHOOSE?!?!?!? the
I'll-Never-Sin-Again-If-I-Live-Through-This look on
the roommate's faces? Robin's finger-in-the-face
pointing thing and Ja's inability to deal with it?
Bill - Mellow Guy, and now, Mesmerized By The Tits-Guy
- walking-hand-in-hand with Robin moments later,
waxing about how he knows her well enough to know
she'd never hurt anyone - one of the most in-denial
moments since Steven thought he was going to get Bryn
run off the show for throwing a fork? Or just Robin's
shirt, a possible Top Ten Nominee for sluttiest
garment in show history?
I mean - WHAT A MOMENT!!!
And yet... the moment had just begun.
Because rather than collapse into apology and storm
off humiliated, she rides home with the other 5
roomies (Ja took a cab), and works on her story the
whole way home. and as the roomies relentlessly
impress on her on indefensible her position is, she
retreats deeper and deeper and deeper into the "nobody
knows my background" and "I dated black guys"
So Ja gets home, close to burning the house down,
and who does he call? His mom.
Now the universal rule for Real World phone calls
is this: they make things worse. Always. because
the person on the other end - friend, family, teacher,
gf or bf - is basicly jealous of their set-up and
wants to wreck it, so they encourage the cast member
to stand their ground and fight. And they do. And
you end up with pretty much the whole Chicago season.
So what's Ja's mom do? it went like this:
"She called a guy a N-word."
"was he black?"
"was she black?"
"No, mamma, she's a white girl."
And you think - it's over. somebody is out of the
house this week.

and then it happened: Momma talks him down. she
delivers a tolerance-of-thier-ignorance speech that
you can hang in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
next to the burned Freedom Rider bus.
I couldn't believe it. Truth, Humanity and Love
shoulders past Lust and Liquer - first time ever! mom
literally saved the show.

so Ja, urged on by the terrified sobs of Cameran,
southern girl, goes downstairs to put the fire out
with Robin. And you think, 'oh, man, i can't believe
it but it looks like everything is gonna be OK. Ja
will just land the whole thing in that cave on that
asteroid and....'

the roommates have a big meeting and Ja is calmly
telling Robin and the whole group that no mtter what,
Robin can't know what he's been through and Robin

"Have you ever been raped by a white person?!"

get us out of here, chewy. This is no asteroid.

watching with me, Mandy, within a minute decided that
she was flat-out lying. that she'd had 2 or 3 or 4
hours to sit there and think "what the HELL am I gonna
say to get out THIS?" and decided the only thing that
trumps the race card is the rape card.
I am willing to believe she embellished the details
of a Big Mistake Boyfriend, but sure enough, in a
confessional tape, she backpeddles like a Michigan
cornerback, saying she'd had a "bad relationship" with
a person of a "different background" and comes very
close to saying it was 'no big deal'. she CERTAINLY
never says 'rape' again.
But with ja in front of her, she Victims-up like a
And it works, at least for now, cuz everybody goes
to bed.

and 20 minutes after the last time i did it, i
exhaled. unreal.

so that episode peters out with Bill and Robin playing
basketball and talking cute and i guess that's all
further evidence that nobody with tits like those
could hurt anybody.

so I chilled, to the next episode.

i'd say this one was much more light-hearted, but how
could it not be?
No, in this one, the kids get their Job - they are
going to be sailing instructors or something for the
yacht company tht runs the America's Cup boat Stars
and Stripes.
only, there's a lil' ol hiccup.
Frankie (freak girl) has a Freak eruption to rival
her Cystic Fibrosis confession: she is mortally,
psychotically, panic-attack-inducing afraid of Big
Boats. Define Big: let's say Jay-z's Big Pimpin'
Yacht and up. She LITERALLY cannot look at a Big
Boat. She is standing in the kitchen of the hosue,
and across the Bay, probably a mile away, a Cruiseship
(Carnival or something) goes by and she runs from the
room, gasping for air, and starts splashing water on
her face.
Can't do it - cannot even SEE a big boat without
totally losing it. Mandy challenged me to find out,
in medical terms, what kind of phobia that is, but i'm
not even gonna try. it's the Real World, and that's
enough for me.
And her job is now to sail around San diego, the
west coast's #1 cruiseship port and the world's second
largest Navy base.
gonna be GREAT summer.
Also, Jeannie, the Asian roommate so neglected and
ignored in the first 2 episodes that i didn't realize
she was part of the show, has her own racial moment,
but this one is pretty lighthearted as well.
she complains of being shunned by the 4 popular
housemamtes, and forced to hang out with the 2
unpopular ones - whch make the clique 4 against 3,
which seems pretty good to me, but what do I know?
No, the good part is where she complains that
growing up she felt isolated because of her race (both
parents non-english speaking Korean) as she grew up -
in San Francisco.
I don't know Jeannie or her parents or where,
exactly, she grew up. But if there's one city in
america where being asian at least buys you some
safety in numbers, its san francisco.

also by the end of 3, Bill and Robin were sleeping
together. duh.

and i'll leave you with this, the tear-streaked
confession-and-repentence of Cameran during the Ja
Event: "I will tell you that I have told black jokes,
and i have used the N-word, because I didn't know, and
I sit here and listen to all these things you're
saying and they're so beautiful."

prediction for next major event: Bill, Mellow Guy,
goes nuts on somebody. but who cares. just so long
as they don't hide the booze.

"Welcome to the Real World..."

It's a John Mayer song, but just too appropriate...

First, let me say that I was watching TV tonight and the inevitable Sports Illustrated “USC National Champion Commemorative Edition” ad came on. And everytime in history when this horrible shill comes on (Lakers, Uconn, Avs, whatever) they’ve always offended me, like, “HOW DUMB do they think people are that would order this?”
Yet, when it came on, I full on thought, “hey, it would be cool to ha-“
Then I remembered the identical commercial for LSU I saw two days ago. And then I remembered that SI really sucks.

So I promise I won’t even mention last year. We know where it was, who was on it and what they did. I’ll be fair.

Having said that, Real World San Diego debuted last night. If you didn’t just gasp, we don’t like the same stuff. Gorgeous, dim-witted people living beyond their means, drinking and partying beyond their limits and hooking-up beyond their endurance must bore you. But not me. Guess we’re just different that way.
So what’s with the house? Up against a Marina? What? Who wants a party pad backing up to a parking lot for boats? Maybe there’s a party yacht assigned to the crew, but not so far. When they showed the view from the balcony, I expected the opening credits of Gilligans Island to be rolling over it. It’s WAY too grown-up.

But the cast… man. They’ve got it HONED down at MTV. As I mentioned about something else last week, the formula discipline is GOP-like at this point. Not an achiever, leader, addict, virgin or clubhouse cancer in the lot. Not even a gay dude, foreigner or black guy – OK, there’s a black guy, but he’s not a black guy like the black guys MTV puts into the house in “Making the Band” or anything. He could be on a CBS sitcom.
In fact, they call could. Just a terrific cross-section of suburban America’s Least Motivated, Except for Sex. Fantastic. They are the clichés that never stop working, So here’s the major cliches covered so far, listed by cliché character:

Asshole Frat Guy
- dark, well-gelled hair.
- Loud, obnoxious, northeastern accent (Chicago in this case).
- Shoots a mean game of pool, usually shirtless
- Girlfriend at home he pledges loyalty to.
- Sreaming, cursing, tirade-like fight with Hometown girlfriend on the phone
Bound to happen: He’s the early center of the house, if for no other reason than he’s the loudest and is just spilling slut-appeal all over the floor from the moment he walks in.

Freak Girl
- more than 2 facial piercings
- a dark past (nice touch: she has cystic fibrosis, which we learn when she informs her new roommates, as they sit around smoking – if that’s not funny to you, go find out what cystic fibrosis is)
- boyfriend at home she pledges loyalty to

Do I need to say it? Do I need to tell you they get hammered and hook-up on the FIRST NIGHT?
Let’s see: In the hot tub - Check. In front of the rest of the cast - Check. With all the drunken, hook-up giggle-talk (ie, the nonsense two people babble between kisses) displayed for us in subtitles - Check-plus!

(Personal Favorite moment of entire episode: the moment the next morning when Frat Guy unpacks his suitcase, pulls out the framed picture of Hometown Girl and looks at it longingly – in other words, he CHEATED ON HER before he UNPACKED HER PICTURE!!!!! It’s the greatest TV franchise of all time. Just submit!)

Now, the drunken hot tub hook-up in the debut episode – particularly the drunken hot tub hook up in the debut episode between the two LEAST COMPATIBLE cast members - is basicly the Real World version of the Opening Day No Hitter. How do you POSSIBLY top it?
Well, just like baseball, that’s why you have a bullpen:

Absolutely Scorching Southern Girl
- oozes sluttiness from every fatfree curve
- jams them into impossibly slutty outfits from noon on
- Yet, is hottest in the morning, walking around barefoot in a BCS-conference football tshirt (this one’s Clemson– streetsmarts! irony!).
- Episode 1 Confession that she hates everything Frat Guys is and stands for…
- …And Yet (“I can’t believe I’m saying this!”) is attracted to Frat Guy! At Real World headquarters, that moment – when the hot girl/wrong guy-cliché springs to life – has got to be referred to in development meetings as The Franchise. Or maybe just Conception.
- Inspires the obligatory Frat Guy Confession tape condescendingly referring to her as “sweet” and “innocent.” Maybe it’s the bias I bring, but the Real World boys NEVER see the southern girls coming. It’s like Ben Stiller bending down to ask Fluffy if that’s her in there making all that noise. Or a TCU receiver turning for the ball in Quinton Coryott’s secondary.
- In the VERY NEXT SCENE, she is lobbying Frat Guy – almost pleading – to dump Hometown Girl, using a well-thumbed copy of the “This is our youth! We’re supposed to have fun!”-speech that all Real World kids have to memorize at their first audition. I can’t decide if when she told him to “sample other fish in the sea” she was being more ‘sweet’ or more ‘innocent.’

In the grand picture, she’s hotter than New York’s Julie and right there with Chicago’s Tanya – and 14 miles of bad road behind YouKnowWho.

Black Guy! Gotta say it with the slammer (“!”).
- doesn’t seem to mind white guys calling him “bro” “yo” or “kid,” and doesn’t seem to mind the increasing level of black-speak used by Frat Guy (“That shit is whack, yo” etc)
- spent some time at white-people-placating Black College (Morehouse, if his tshirt is to be believed)
- glasses
- instantly picks-up on Southern Girl/Frat Guy drama
- for some reason, thinks he’s the only one who sees it, and decides he’s going to assume the Sly Narrator role for the entire forthcoming episode, which is a little like play-by-play of heavy rain.
Over/Under until he goes nuts and accuses at least one chick cast member of racism: 3 episodes.

And finally, the Two Who MIGHT Be Sane

Mellow Guy
- decidedly non-frat
- Strokes-lead-singer haircut
- Is the only one who doesn’t stress about roommates or bed assignments.
- Loses to Frat Guy in pool as they discuss the girl cast members’ tits.
- 80-percent chance he’ll achieve something significant in his life during the season (get into med school, band gets signed, excels at job, something) which will never make it onto the show – cuz if there’s one thing that’s a for-sure buzzkill on the Real World, it’s the real world.
- Has about a 45-minute Day 1 window where he could hook-up with Southern Girl, doesn’t go for it, and by the end of the episode we can see (even if he can’t) that his chances are now gone forever.
- Of course, we know what’s coming: as the shadow of the Finale begins to creep across the show, she’ll crawl back to him, but by then he’ll have realized he’d be better off sticking his dick in the hot tub intake valve.
Needless to say, he was almost invisible in this episode.

The Rack
- I’m betting they’re fake, which wouldn’t be a Real World first (Tanya had ‘em, the slutty Columbian on the Boston show I think did and half the Hawaii chicks probably did too), but these would be the biggest.
- Not exactly hiding it with the ear-length bob-haircut and BabyGap Ts.
- The only one with a brain
- Slightly older than freak girl and Southern Hottie.
- Slightly heavier than Freak girl and Southern Hottie, which is not at all a negative comment, just a reflection that the other two MIGHT be 90 lbs each.
- CLEAR winner of the undeclared hot tub bikini contest, yet the boys don’t come calling. Why? Cuz she has a brain and they’re intimidated, that’s why.
- Having passed or been past over – depending on your take – for Night 1 Hook-ups, now is the ‘voice of reason’ (from the Confessional: “I think (Frat Guy) wants to be faithful to his girlfriend. But like a typical frat guy, I don’t think he can be.”)
- The only one on the show we have any chance of liking by the end of February.

Her Debut highlights: on the first night, they all try an early evening toast, and the others try to cheese it up with poignancy they don’t feel and couldn’t convey if they did. She busts out with: “to staying single, seeing double and sleeping triple.” Later, when Freak Girl passes out in her own puke after the hot tub (thanks, MTV!), she arrives, still in bikini, foam cup in hand, and – genius at work – wakes up Freak Girl, throws her in the shower and makes her drink water. Decisive!

What’s REALLY going to be good is in about 2 episodes when the Rack decides she DESPISES Frat Guy and starts a Dean-like-insurgency for the future of Southern Girl’s soul. There’s always one sublimated-sexual conflict between two upper-tier cast members over the loyalty of a lower-tier cast member. In Paris it was the Battle for Ace. This may be the war for Clemson.

So the next episode is slated to be the annual ‘Everybody Goes Out Partying Together’ Episode – and you know what that means: trainwreck. They might as well call the first two episodes of every season “Ground War” and “Occupation.” Its that predictable.

Time keeping In Kansas State-Ohio State

Much was made - by Bill Snyder, by ABC's booth team and by the KState fans in the bar I watched the game at - of the 10-15 seconds the ACC crew cost the Wildcats in the final minutes with poor clock discipline, starting the gameclock after first-downs when the chains weren't set.
Yet no one said a word when the refs gave away almost 30 precious seconds 2 minutes earlier as Ohio State tried to run out the clock.
That, or i'm really dumb. Can you tell me?
Here's what I saw - please follow me through Ohio State’s last possession:
- They got the ball with the clock stopped at 2:47.
- Clock starts on the snap, run up the middle (Joe) for no gain.
- Gameclock keeps ticking, since it was a running play.
- Krenzel wisely drains the playclock to :01, which coincides with exactly 2:00 on the game clock (broken down: 17 seconds for the first-down play and the spot, 25 seconds of playclock, all very reasonable times)
- At :01 on the playclock, an OSU lineman jumps, for an offsides penalty.

Here’s where the refs blew it and KSU let the game slip away by not noticing or I'm an idiot.

- Refs assess the penalty (5 yards) for a new 2nd-down spot, reset and restart a new 25 second playclock and START THE GAMECLOCK.

Huh? That can’t be right, can it?

- Krenzel AGAIN smartly drains that playclock to :01, with the gameclock running, then hands-off for a dive for no gain, and KSU immediately calls time-out – at 1:26.
- So if that dive play and getting the TO took 4 seconds, that means OSU snapped the ball with 1:30 to go – 77 seconds of gametime since the previous snap, which included a penalty. What?

Check the play-by-play on and you’ll see the key downs and times.

On the next play – 3rd down – Ross rushed out of bounds to stop the clock, and OSU punted, but Roberson - missing 30 vital seconds, plus the 10 or so they stole on the chain move, didn’t have enough time to comeback.

Is it me? Is that rule correct and I’m the only one who didn’t get it? Do you crank the gameclock after a penalty on the offense?
Because if you could, then Ohio State played it dumb – they could have run that second play clock down to :01 and the gameclock to 1:05, then jumped offsides AGAIN for still ANOTHER new playclock, ran that one down to the :40 second mark, and then do it two more times to end the game without so much as a snap.

Am I nuts?


ps - here's the play-by-play from Ohio State's website

O 1-10 K36 OHIO STATE drive start at 02:47 (4th).
O 1-10 K36 Joe,Brandon rush for no gain to the KSU36 (Lavender, Louis;Sims, Ted).
O 2-10 K36 PENALTY OSU false start 5 yards to the KSU41.
O 2-15 K41 Joe,Brandon rush for loss of 1 yard to the KSU42 (Hickman, Bryan;Tetuan,
O 3-16 K42 Timeout Kansas State, clock 01:26.
O 3-16 K42 Ross,Lydell rush for 7 yards to the KSU35, out-of-bounds (Sims, Ted).
O 4-9 K35 PENALTY OSU delay of game 5 yards to the KSU40.
O 4-14 K40 J. Sander,B punt 30 yards to the KSU10, Sproles, Darren return 0 yards to
the KSU10 (Allen,Will).
--------------- 3 plays, minus 4 yards, TOP 01:35

We're No.1?

With as much as has been said, it seems there couldn’t possibly be anything left to say about the BCS results – the debacle of the system, the uncertainty of the outcome – yet, I think, impossibly, the three most obvious and vital oints remain unmentioned. So here they are:

1 – FRIENDLY CONFINES. Both teams that won, in solid but not at all overwhelming style, did so in defacto home games. Why has no one mentioned this? The crowds were overwhelmingly on their side and, maybe more important, the players from SC and LSU didn’t have to travel anywhere, could drive back to campus at night (or to get a CD or whatever), and didn’t have to worry about a single family member or friend springing for airfare. That’s a HUGE advantage in preperation. And I think you’d have to award both crowds at least a touchdown worth of advantage, the Sugar Bowl crowd probably a lot more. In fact, on an honestly neutral field – and certainly in, say, Dallas - OU would still be a favorite.
So there’s that.
2 – NO MATTER WHAT, NEVER USE THE ‘C’ WORD. As DeNiro put it in Ronin, if there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt. Well, if there’s any doubt, there’s no ‘Champion.’ A “champion” is a singular word - it’s one of those ‘by definition’ things. You have a Rose Bowl champ and a Sugar Bowl champ (and a Humanitarian Bowl champ) and two teams ‘voted number one.’ Why ABC appears terrified to call this spade a spade boggles me – do they think one less person would watch if they were LESS cynical and LESS hypocritical? The on-air consistency of ABC’s entire staff using no other words but “national champion” – even in sentences actively referring to two teams – has been GOP-like in its message discipline. Still, it’s incorrect. Throw ‘national champion’ this year on the pile of ‘Words and Concepts I’d never put under my byline if I still had one’ (along with any mention ever of announced attendence figures or coverage of the Heisman).
(did anybody catch the forehead-slapper news that – NO WAY!- this was the largest Sugar Bowl crowd ever?!?!??! Can you BELIEVE IT?!?!?!)
3 – ONE MORE GAME? HOW ABOUT 8? Oklahoma and Michigan, in their respective 4th quarters, both faced 4th downs in their opponent’s redzone with a chance to tie (OU) or pull within a score (UM). In both cases, they threw a pass into their opponent’s endzone that was both tipped and bounced off the hands of a receiver. So that’s two damn-near-catches away from two entirely different games. NO WAY such games can be described as decisive or convincing – which is great, right? I do not think any team in America would beat USC (shutter Lienhart AND score on that defense AND win the special teams? Not likely), but I have less evidence now to support that claim than I did a week ago. Since it remains a ‘vote’ and not a competition, to eliminate OU, Michigan or, for that matter, KSU (who also threw into their opponent’s endzone late looking for a tie), from discussion of who is the nation’s ‘best’ team is absurd (though we can safely scrap the dreadful efforts put up by Miami and Florida State – yuck).
In short – nobody knows.
I mean, if you’re uncertain of the uncertainty here, consider: ANYONE want a piece of Cal tomorrow?

Here’s what we Know:
SC’s unbeaten women’s volleyball team won the “National Championship.”
SC’s football team won the Rose Bowl.
amazing audio clip.

anyone who followed the BBC-Vs-Blair fight knows what
happened: the BBC nailed, in a way the US media did
not, its national leader to the wall for vastly,
cyncially, intentionally overstating and over-hyping
the threat of Iraq and utterly discarding its own
experts on the subject.
there is no doubt or debate on that point.
however, one BBC guy, on one report on one morning,
got a little loose with his reporting and said blair
'sexed-up' the intel. the specific claim of the
report was uncontroversial - that Iraw did NOT have a
45 minute respose window. duh.
But using 'sexed-up,' and the suicided of the source
of the report (exposed by Blair's government), Blair
rode the BBC into last week's hutton report.
Lord hutton said: The BBC was right about
everything, but that claim was a bit over top.
Blair said: GOTCHA! Told ya we didn't lie! Que
the Band!
the BBC, which had been the only English-speaking
media outlet with backbone in a year, then,
astonishingly, said: Sorry. we were totally wrong.
even though they weren't, at all, and nothing they
reported has been proven false (while almost
everything Blair said has).
yet 2 top-level BBC guys resigned.

and here is the meat of this email.

to replace the guys who quit in disgust, in came a
Blair-lackey at the top of the BBC, a weasel
determined only to put out the fire at any cost to the
BBC. And he has spent the last week acting like a
scalded dog in front of cameras. the entire BBC staff
is nearly in revolt, but blair is riding around like a
vindicated man.


so a BBC interviewer got ahold of this new BBC guy,
after his umpteenth round of apologies, and asked him:
"what are we sorry about?"

Harry Shearer's LeShow has the interview. skip ahead
to 45 minutes into the show. its at under
the Feb 1 show, and here's the direct link to the

remember, 45 minutes in. astounding.