College Football Seasonal Depression

November 17, 2008

 sleep2

For the past several years, I’ve gotten really excited at the beginning of college football season and then really depressed once November rolls around.  This season is no exception.  I don’t know if it’s the cold weather, the time change, or the fact that certain Seminoles can’t be bothered to show up to class or not get into a fight during something as mundane as “flea market Wednesdays in the Student Union” but these past three weeks make me want to pull the covers over my head and emerge sometime well into January.  Oh and the fact that I’m sure somewhere in Gainesville another round of “National Champions” T-shirts are being printed isn’t helping.

Some notes:

  • Anytime your team stages a Blackout and Kirk Herbstreit is on the scene, calling the game, run, don’t walk out of the stadium immediately.  I feel like a broken record, because I’m spoken ill of the Blackout for years.  It’s almost like I’m playing the role of Cassandra in the Iliad.  “Oh look, it’s a Trojan Horse filled with black uniforms?  Hurry, let’s drag it inside Doak Campbell Stadium!”
  • Steve Spurrier’s facial expressions will never get old to me.  I know he doesn’t want to end up as a “figurehead” so I suggest he take his talents on the road and teach Method at The Actor’s Studio.  Seriously, Steve is 95% more expressive than any actor or actress over 38 working in Hollywood today.  Plus, he’s also good with the tears.  I can just see him coaching Nicole Kidman: “Nic, just think that you’re out there on the sidelines.  Imagine your team is up by 28 points in the Fourth Quarter.  Then your quarterback takes some late hits and your opponents rally to tie you at 31.  Go with it!”
  • The Gators can be up by 1,000 points and Tim Tebowwill most likely still be in the game.  Okay, I know he eventually came out, but still.  As I said to anyone that would listen during my Patriots’ Bandwagon Season last year, I don’t care if you run up the score by 200 points, just as long as you don’t have your first stringers in there.  Besides, I would like to see Tebow multitask on the sidelines by adopting orphans and/or bailing out General Motors.
  • I sat up late last night going through every possible scenario for the ACC Championship game.  Oh to be in the SEC where the teams were determined earlier in the month and the outcome has already been decided.
  • I watched President-Elect Obama on 60 Minutes discussing the importance of a College Football Playoff System.  Sadly, if it needed to, I’m sure that would clear Congress with the requisite amount of votes while the fate of our auto industry lingers on.
  • At least I’m not a Michigan Fan.

My long, Penn State, National Nightmare is over

November 10, 2008
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On Saturday, November 1st, I entered into a self-imposed NCAA football exile that lasted until 3:30 pm on Saturday, November 8th.  The crushing FSU defeat was just too much for me.  I couldn’t handle the ESPN coverage, the twelve emails I get from the Official Seminoles website and the Facebook status updates.  It was all too much, so I stopped watching Gameday, didn’t read any sports articles and I had to learn by word of mouth about Phil Fulmer.  Luckily for me, the Election and Susan Lucci getting voted off of Dancing with the Stars proved to be huge distractions.

Of course, the Seminoles were able to pull off a win against Clemson in the first non-Bowden bowl in years.  I’ll be honest: I’ve always hated the Bowden Bowl so I’m not really crying in my pillow at night about the it.  With that being said, I’m extremely happy that the running game has returned, we beat Clemson at home and Bobby pulled out a win on his birthday. 

I thought it was really sweet of Iowa to give Bobby Bowden a one-win advance on Joe Paterno’s lead.  Hopefully Joe Pa will give me a Christmas present and retire in January.

Of course Penn State’s loss is Florida’s gain as the Gators beat up my one time hope, Vandy.  Remember how strong Vandy was out of the gate?  It reminded me of how I was so certain that Rudy Giuliani was going to be the Republican nominee and then he wasted all of his campaign time and money in Florida and we ended up with McCain and a Neiman Marcus shopper who can see Russia from her house.  So now everyone I know is planning SEC Championship tailgates and I’m hoping that we win out and Wake Forest loses again. 

What’s up with USC? How can I continue to make fun of them if they only outscore their opponent by 14 points?  For people living in Los Angeles, they’re not making a very impressive showing for November Sweeps.  Seriously, Pete Carroll’s evil twin should show up or Sanchez should show up on Gameday with Teri Hatcher on his arm.  Something.  Come on guys, you’re losing in ratings to the Big XII.  A conference lacking any kind of discernible defense.  That’s another thing.  I’m getting confused (and a little bored) with all the Texas and Oklahoma teams.  Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, etc.  Since the defenses don’t show up, why don’t they just settle the conference title game by having on of those carnival booths where all the quarterbacks can just throw the football into a hole?  That would be like a good, thirty second clip tailor made for SportsCenter.


Colt, Jorts, and Jack-O-Lanterns

October 31, 2008

Last week was a fantastic day in college football…for me at least, maybe not for Kentucky, Phil Fulmer, or the Virginia Tech Hokies, but I had an awesome time.  I went back to Tallahassee, took pictures in front of every statue at the stadium (seriously, Florida State and the city of Tallahassee-at large are crazy about the statues), saw W., ate Mexican two nights in a row and saw my beloved Seminoles win again.  True confession: I’ve never attended a football game where the team I was rooting for lost.  Therefore, I would like to announce that I will be attending the Florida State game this Saturday at Georgia Tech (which automatically makes me better off than Corey Surrancy*).  Look for me on the Visitor’s Side, I’ll be the little girl bundled up in a faux-fur coat and Bill Belichick-style headband.

*So I was thinking that between the players getting suspended left and right, the winning streak, and knocking quarterbacks out of games, this 2008 Seminole Team reminds me somewhat of the ones in the mid to late Nineties.  Although it’s not the same without a tearful Steve Spurrier throwing his visor in disgust, but I’ll take it.

Moving on, it’s time for the annual Floria/Georgia game.  (Of course I will be at another game between a Florida team and a Georgia team but we’ve covered that).  So there’s all this talk about the bad blood between the teams, how Florida thinks Georgia is crass and cocky for celebrating on the field and how Tim Tebow has the highest quarterback rating in performing circumcisions.  I’m calling this one for Florida because a) I want them to win every game until November 29, b) my brother goes to Florida, c) karma points and d) Tim Tebow Hot Wings.

Each week I pray that Penn State will lose.  To be perfectly honest, that’s the only thing I pray about which is probably why it hasn’t happened…yet.  Anyway, since they’re off this weekend I am going to concentrate all my energy on Texas losing to Texas Tech just because I love an upset.  Of course, I’ll come back here on Sunday and they’ll still be ranked Number 1, but I can dream.

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Going back to Tally

October 24, 2008

Just call me Chris Farley auditioning for Chippendales because I am working for the weekend.  Honestly, this week was intense.  Here’s what’s been going on:

a) I have to worry that I’m going to be stuck at voting precinct for hours on election day because I’m too busy to take off for early voting,

b) I’m concerned that any donations I make to my political party are being spent at Saks Fifth Avenue and other stores that I can’t afford to shop at,

c) No matter how many times the kindly announcers at ABC remind me, I always forget that Life on Mars is new every Thursday,

and

d) I’ve been sitting in my cold apartment afraid to turn the heat on because I’m afraid OPEC will raise the price of oil (I’ve been reading Fox News online too much).

So here it is, Thursday night and I remembered that I’m supposed to go to Tallahassee on Saturday and watch a football game.  Honestly, I’m just excited to go somewhere warm.  I’m confident that we can pull off a win so that I can celebrate by eating Guthries Golden Fried Chicken Fingers.  If not, I’m drowning my sorrows in Guthries Golden Fried Chicken Fingers.

There are some pretty good games this week: Florida hosts Kentucky for Homecoming, so you know the Gators must not think too highly of them.  Also, it’s an early game so you’ve got drunken alumni waking up from their stupors in their old frat houses so they can load up on Tim Tebow Hot Wings.  I don’t understand the concept of the early Homecoming game.  Let me tell you something, as an alumni, we just can’t stay out late till all hours of the morning watching The Steve Miller Band at Gator Growl and then recover in time for a Noon Thirty game.  We’re old.  That’s why 3:30 games are perfect.  Night games are nice but we’re too old to be up that late.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I keep missing Life on Mars.

Also exciting is Duke at Vanderbilt.  Ha!  I’m totally lying. 

The top three BCS teams are playing this week and while they all should pull out a win, how awesome would it be if they all lost (especially Penn State)?  I mean, that would give the Sports Media something to talk about for days, eclipsing any and all stories about Tony Romo and his pinkie.  Would one of the Big 3 losing count as an October Surprise?  Won’t you be glad when it’s November 5th and I stop relating everything to politics and just go back to making inappropriate connections with film and television?  By the way, what’s up with all those quasi-sports but really more tabloid gossip-stories about who’s going to get to the alter first? Giselle and Tom or Jessica and Tony?  Let me just say right now that I firmly believe Romo will never marry Jessica.  He saw Newlyweds; he’s obviously met her father.  Not going to happen.  Never ever.

Oh and I’m really serious about getting a sideline press pass. I’m a legitimate Sports Writer.  I’ll ask the hard questions that Erin Andrews won’t, such as “Mickey Andrews, what’s up with the pirate-striped polo shirts you all sport on the road?”

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The BCS is always bigger in Texas

October 20, 2008
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First things first: I still dislike Thursday night games, even though this last one worked out well for me.  I just don’t need to be that anxious about anything non-work related during the week.  Secondly, since the Noles played during the week and the Gators had a bye, I really didn’t know what to do with myself.  I went and got my oil changed where I met a Georgia fan who told me to “make sure that they (the Seminoles) beat the Gators” even though the Bulldogs will meet Florida first; went to a drug store where I was chased by a crazy old lady; and spent a good half hour contemplating whether or not I should take my nemesis, Kirk Herbstreit’s advice and order a bacon-wrapped sirloin from Outback Steakhouse to go (I passed).

I also watched a lot of football.  Games I was happy about: Tech beating Clemson (don’t ask me why), Maryland shutting out Wake Forest (honestly it was time) and BC beating Virginia Tech.  On paper this looks pretty dismal for the ACC, but you know what?  I don’t care because the Seminoles are back in the Top 25 and hopefully this time they’ll stay there longer than 6 days.  Games that upset me: Penn State wining over Michigan (the Bowden/Paterno feud lives on), LSU beating South Carolina (I’m tired of them and I enjoy Spurrier when he’s not in the blue and orange) and Texas dominating Missouri (I wanted another upset).

So the first BCS standings came out and I can’t say that I’m really shocked by the Top 4.  I’m not happy about them, but I’m not surprised.  It’s every team that comes after that’s kind of crazy.

 There’s just something about this Texas team that makes me feel like they’re not going to go the distance.  As much as I enjoy saying the words “Colt” and “McCoy” I just can’t see them staying at Number 1.  Plus Texas had the big Rose Bowl victory a few years back and the comeback stories of Alabama and Penn State are more media friendly.  Plus if Penn State wins the National Championship maybe Joe Paterno will retire, Bobby will get the record back and then I can live peacefully.  Speaking of which, while forcing myself to watch the Penn State game, I noticed that Joe Paterno was sitting in the booth while basically every member of the FSU coaching staff (including “Coach in Waiting” Jimbo Fisher) roams the sidelines.  There’s more coaches on the FSU sidelines than cougar groupies at a Bon Jovi concert.  I momentarily wondered what it would be like if Bobby sat up in the booth but then I remebered I wouldn’t get to see my two favorite people: Bobby’s State Trooper Billy and that young man who always walks beside him carrying his headset, so I erased the thought from my mind.

So the BCS has USC at 5 while the AP Poll has them at 6.  I mean, USC scored like a thousand points yesterday!  Yes, granted they have one loss but I think they should be given a higher BCS ranking just because they can shut out teams while wearing uniforms that resemble ketchup and mustard. Is it just me or does anyone else want to eat hotdogs while watching them?

Further down in the polls, we have Florida.  While they are ranked at 5 in the AP Poll (ahead of the Greatest Team of All Time) they are only number 10 in the BCS, behind Georgia (at number 7!!!).  What’s that all about?  Did the BCS have some bad Tim Tebow hot wings or something? Suddenly the Florida/Georgia game just got more interesting.  It’s not just drunks in Halloween costumes mixing it up in Jacksonville, it’s SEC East dominance and a chance to jump up in the BCS standings.  To add further insult to injury, Ohio State is ahead of Florida.  Ohio State!  Seriously BCS, why not just add insult to injury and put South Florida and John McCain ahead of them too?

While on the subject, I feel that South Florida is like the Miley Cyrus of College Football.  Young, came out of nowhere, expoded onto the scene, cocky and then inevitably they’ll fall into an awkward stage where no one cares about them anymore.  For Miley, the young kids will turn on her and begin to worship Selena Gomez and she’ll end up on VH1 Where Are The Now?  while USF will lose a few more games and realize that they’re not the dominant team in the state they thought they were.

In other “can you believe this?” news, I drove past the Georgia Tech campus today and realized I was looking at the Number 18 team in the nation.  I felt like Mugatu, because I, too, wondered if I was taking crazy pills.

Hallucinations aside, next week I’ll be in Tallahassee watching the Noles host Virginia Tech and trying to hustle a press pass since after all, I am a Sports Writer.

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Who needs Thursdays?

October 16, 2008

I’m just going to come out and say it: I hate Thursday night games.  I mean, they’re right up there with Blackouts and Oregon’s uniforms on the list of things I don’t get about College Football.  Since I’ve already touched on why blackouts are a bad idea (see Georgia) and I don’t have the bandwith to write about Oregon’s crimes against fashion, I’ve decided to stick to weeknight games.  It’s just not Thursday games anymore, college football is on more often than Seinfeld reruns: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays.  What’s the deal?

Why so much hate for Weeknight Games, you might ask?  It’s totally unnecessary.  I know there are like three hundred teams now but do we really need to cut into weeknights?  Thankfully, when I was in college (I’m dating myself) we didn’t have to worry about Thursday night games (nor did we have to worry about losing but that’s for another blog).  We woke up Saturday, adjusted our days contingent upon kickoff time, went to the game and once we’d sufficiently run up the score, left and went out to the bars.  I couldn’t imagine going to class all day and then dragging myself to the stadium for a night game.  But it’s not just about the kids.  As an alumni, I don’t want to have to leave work early on Thursday, drive all the way to Tallahassee, watch the game, go to sleep (I’m old y’all) and then recover the next day which I’ve also had to take time off for.  Needless to say, I am not attending tomorrow’s game (it’s in North Carolina) but I’ll be watching which means that I’ll have to postpone watching The Office and other assorted shows tomorrow night.  I know, what a sacrifice.  Except that I have to go to work on Friday and win or lose I’m going to be tired (although if we lose I’m going to be tired and cranky).

Another reason that I don’t like Thursday games is all the upsets.  I can’t take all that on a weeknight.  I work all week; I’m tired.  I don’t want Pete Carroll’s disappointed face appearing in my nightmares.  Seriously, what’s up with all the upsets on Thursdays?  USC lost.  USF lost.  Clemson lost and their coach was fired.  (Okay, I don’t think the Clemson lost was an upset, but they could have won their game.  Also, as my dad pointed out, Tommy lost to Wake Forest and got the boot, while Bobby has lost games to them for the past three years (including at least one humiliating defeat) and Jeff is the one that gets his contract bought out.  Does Wake Forest have some goal to break all the Bowdens?  I smell a conspiracy.  I’ll get Oliver Stone on the phone about this.  He can call this movie W…F.

Lastly, I sincerely hope that FSU decides to bring the band tomorrow.  Do you remember two years ago (also on a Thursday) when they neglected to bring the band, instead bringing along some crazy high school rent-a-band?  Bad omen, FSU.  Believe me, that was in one of my Letters of Truth.

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Alas, poor Vandy, I knew the well

October 13, 2008
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As it was my birthday weekend, I decided to give myself a bye and took the week off.  Then all my hopes for the future were crushed when Vandy lost, so I had to get back to the computer.  I mean, this was supposed to be a stress-free weekend for me; the Seminoles were off and I was going to eat delicious Thai food with some friends.  Then Vandy goes and loses to Mississippi State of all teams.  I’m telling you that cow bell must have been in overdrive.  I really wanted Vady to go the distance; I wanted them to run the table and have Verne Lundquist shout out “do you believe in miracles?” as Vandy won the SEC Championship.  Now all I’m left with is a failed promise and leftover Thai noodles.

Moving on, I’m so glad that someone woke up Pete Carroll and the Trojans and reminded them that they’re supposed to be the most dominant team in College Football.  Or the most dominant team in any sport.  Or in any competition.  I mean, if given the chance, they could probably give Michael Phelps a run for his money.  They could solve the banking crisis and probably win all of California’s Electoral Votes.  I know, I’m getting ahead of myself, they’re currently sitting in Sixth and all, but I think the Media will eat up their comeback story.  Look at Britney Spears, she was driving up and down Sunset Boulevard, popping into ever odd Rite Aid for months, dating married photographers, and abandoning Mercedes on the side of the road for months.  Now everyone’s excited that she combs her hair and is releasing a new single.  Take note, Pete Carroll, everyone loves the Comeback Kid.

Speaking of comebacks, in a move that ensures that a good majority of my friends and my brother will continue to speak to me, Florida destroyed LSU and then leaped ahead of the Trojans in the polls.  I would like to point out that after my aforementioned birthday dinner, my friends and I ended up a bar to watch this game, but unbeknownst to all of us, we ended up at THE  Gator Alumni bar.  When I told my Dad the story this morning he sighed “Oh God” like I was Barbara Streisand crashing a Republican Fundraiser or something.  Contrary to popular belief, I can behave myself in public, especially since I picked UF to win (even though secretly I wanted them to lose…I find I win either way).  Also, you’ll be happy to know that this bar served such fare as “Tim Tebow Wings”.  You know, I don’t care what establishment I’m at, but I’m going to refer to all Buffalo wings as Tim Tebow Wings from now on. You should to. 

Of course, the big story is Texas beating Oklahoma which I kind of suspected would happen.  I don’t think we’re going to see a team that can stay #1 for a significant amount of time this year…especially since the Longhorns haven’t received the memo that it’s all about the Gators and the Trojans.  The Longhorns shouldn’t be too upset though; I’m sure Matthew McConaughey will grill out for them on the patio of his Airstream Trailer.

Lastly, I’d like to say how disappointed I am in Clemson for blowing the Thursday night game.  Now, I hate Thursday night games, something you will learn more about later in the week when I right about the upcoming FSU/NC State game, but I really wanted the Tigers to pull this out.  Make no mistake, I don’t harbor any love for Clemson, I just need Wake Forest to lose multiple times.  Of course, Wake Forest continues to only have one non-conference loss (to FSU, naturally) and Tommy Bowden is poised to be on the hot seat again.  Now I know it seems like Tommy is proverbially on the hot seat but I worry about the Tigers coming to Tallahassee next month.  Irregardless, if nothing else, maybe Vandy will rebound, win out the rest of their Conference schedule and then beat Wake.  Wow, I know I just totally shut down a team in my own Division, but I don’t even care.  You all should know by now that I’m totally arbitrary with who I pick to win anyways.

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