Thursday, December 18, 2014

How I Got to Memphis...I Mean Shreveport

So, let's get this out of the way...I lifted the title for this post from the series finale of The Newsroom that aired over this past weekend.

"How I Got to Memphis" is the name of a country western tune by Bobby Bare. 'Memphis', it is pointed out to Jeff Daniels' character, doesn't actually mean Memphis the city. It could be any place. The name of the song really is just a way of saying "how I got to where I am right now".

I enjoyed that part of the episode. As an aside, Aaron Sorkin is completely self indulgent, has zero idea how to write women (probably because he has no idea how to maintain a relationship with one) and has, at best, a flawed understanding of the 1st Amendment...which in light of the Sony hack, I have realized a lot of people on my Facebook share with him.

However, he does know how to turn a phrase (kind of like Al Golden, right?)

So, how did we get to Shreveport for the fucking Duck Commander Bowl?

How did we take a roster with the ACC's top rated QB, a finalist for the John Mackey Award, the runner up for the Dick Butkus Award, and the program's all time leader in rushing yardsand all purpose yards and go 6-6. In other words, how did we take a roster with a lot of elite talent and turn in a perfectly mediocre result?

The reason is systemic failure, starting with the Board of Trustees and trickling all the way down to the locker room.

In the weeks since the season ended, I have thought about that. I have read all the quality analyses by dudes on my message board and at Sebatian's Pub (Vish ain't never lied).

I have hoped for Al Golden to be fired, and then to resign, and then when it became clear neither of those two things were happening, to get snatched away by Nebraska or Wisconsin.

I have watched The U Part 2 and gotten fired up about the possibility of the unemployed, readily available for pennies on the dollar Butch Davis returning.

Turns out none of those things are happening.

So now it is time to square with some facts before the bowl game.

This program is in a dangerous limbo right now.

Al Golden does not deserve to be the coach any longer if the information is based on football. However, the administration has clearly decided to keep him for non-football reasons...which means that any conversation about his failings on the football field or in a recruit's living room are completely fruitless.

We will probably lose to South Carolina, but even if we win, what does that mean? We went 7-6, with our biggest wins being an October victory over a decent, albeit unranked Duke team and a bowl win over an equally mediocre, disinterested South Carolina team that plays no semblance of defense? Whoopty fuckin doo.

The reality is, and I have written this before, that we the fans are hostages at this point. We have no say so...the administration has made that abundantly clear. This is a money game, and quite frankly even pooled together we don't have the money to make our voice heard.

So instead, I am going to watch one more Canes game on the 27th, nursing my recently surgerized shoulder.

I am going to savor one last look at Duke Johnson and Denzel Perryman and Phil Dorsett and all those guys.

I am going to think about how awesome next season might be with an older Brad Kaaya, a rejuvenated Stacey Coley, a faster defense, etc.

I will try my best to block out my frustration with the coaching staff for a few hours, because at the end of the day football is supposed to be fun.

And then after the game, I am going to actively try to take a step back for a few months. Not check the message boards so much, not get so hung up on recruiting, etc.

I know that I will probably fail, but hey, I am going to try. I need to refresh. This has been a frustrating season, and the reality is that my college football team shouldn't cause me this much stress, especially when there isn't an actual game to watch.

Maybe I will take my dad's approach and just wait until August to pick the team back up. Not worry about practice standouts...wait until the games come on and trust my eyes.

Either way, cheers to you few folks who read this. Despite the crappiness of our team, college football season is always fun because of the people it brings together. And even a crappy college football Saturday is one of the 15 or so best days of the year.

-- -- --

Finally, there will be no South Carolina Hate. Know why? I don't really hate them. Fact is, I LOVE Steve Spurrier. The Ol Ball Coach is one of the few dudes who embraces the absurdity of college football as just that: absurd.

This man is the king of the trolls. Take this seemingly innocuous quote immediately following his team accepting their bowl bid:

"Miami is another team that almost beat FSU this year. Gotta be what? Seven or eight of those that almost beat FSU."

Take in the beauty. In one line, Spurrier not only jabs FSU, but also belittles the accomplishments of Clemson (his arch rival for in state recruits) and Miami (whom he hates going back to his days as a QB at UiF).

Playa hatin' at its finest, y'all. And THAT is the beauty of Steve Spurrier, national treasure.

With that in mind, instead of manufacturing some shit to make fun of them for (I mean...their nickname is the Cocks...), I leave y'all with this tribute to Ball Coach, the King of Throwin' Shade, Master of the College Football Universe.

Repurposed from SBNation.

On South Carolina's 52-7 win over the Razorbacks: "I do feel badly for Arkansas. That's no fun getting your butt beat at home, homecoming and all that."
On the Gamecocks' matchup at Tennessee "Will be the 14th time I've coached in Neyland Stadium. ... I've coached there more than some of their head coaches."
On his age: "The Pope is 77 years old and he's in charge of a billion people. All I have to do is put 11 on the field."

Georgia

On playing Georgia early: "I don't know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended."

On Georgia recruiting: "Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don't understand that. What happens to them?"

Tennessee

On the Vols missing out on the Sugar Bowl during his Florida years: "You can't spell Citrus without U-T."
On Peyton Manning: "I know why Peyton came back for his senior year. He wanted to be a three-time star of the Citrus Bowl."

Alabama

On recruiting: "In 12 years at Florida, I don't think we ever signed a kid from the state of Alabama ... Of course, we found out later that the scholarships they were giving out at Alabama were worth a whole lot more than ours."

Florida State

On scandal in Tallahassee: "You know what FSU stands for, don't you? Free Shoes University."
On illegal hits against Danny Wuerffel: "He's like a New Testament person. He gets slapped up side the face, and turns the other cheek and says, 'Lord, forgive them for they know not what they're doing.' I'm probably more of an Old Testament guy. You spear our guy in the earhole, we think we're supposed to spear you in the earhole. That's kind of where we're a little different."

Auburn

On a fire at the football dorm that destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored yet."

Clemson

On the Death Valley nickname: "Most of our guys have never been to Death Valley. (LSU's stadium) is the Death Valley, isn't it? Or is there another one? There's two of them. That's right. There's two Death Valleys."
On the state of the South Carolina program (widely attributed, but probably not an original): "We aren't LSU and we aren't Alabama. But we sure ain't Clemson."
On Dabo Swinney's anger over the above quote: "I said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do? I didn't say it.' Smart people don't believe everything they read, and they don't believe hearsay. ... I guess Dabo believed it."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pitt Hate Week

Former GE CEO Jack Welch once said “change before you have to”.

Welp, too late for that shit.

What we saw last Saturday night was the culmination of everything we the fans have come to resent about the Miami Hurricanes and all saw coming as soon as Al Golden failed to get the open Penn State job last winter.
All the classic elements of an Al Golden game were there.

Team improperly motivated? Check.

Completely out-schemed by a half-wit coach? Check.

Team quitting when the adversity mounted? Check.

Lack of quality depth glaring through at the worst possible moments? Check.

Look, every loss this season up to this point had some sort of believable mitigating circumstance.
This one had nothing. We thought this program had turned the corner. We thought that the days of the bend-but-don’t-break, passive mentality were gone. We thought the young studs had finally been let off the leash.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

So, I post on a Canes message board A LOT. It is my own little corner of the internet. It is one of the funniest places in the world, and alternatively one of the most frustrating. But ultimately I keep going back in times like this because there is a select handful of fans that post there that I consider to be like me: smart, passionate fans of the TEAM. One of my favorite posters wrote this after the loss, and it should be read by all. Forgive me, because this is a little long, but do yourself a favor and stick with it.


In early 2012, I had a conversation with a former Miami staffer who landed at Alabama. I congratulated him on Alabama's championship and told him that it must be nice to coach so many studs. He looked at me and said, "Miami's good players are better than Alabama's good players." 
I couldn't believe it. Alabama was the national champion. Miami was 6-6 and coming off an embarrassing home loss to BC. Alabama had multiple projected first round picks. Miami had a few mid and late-round guys. But he was insistent. 
"Lamar Miller is better than Trent Richardson. Olivier Vernon is better than Courtney Upshaw. And Seantrel Henderson is better than any lineman we've got. Watch them in the pros." 
Now that we've seen those guys in the NFL, we know he was dead-on. Why were the programs so far apart on the field? The coach said it came down to football infrastructure (training table, strength and conditioning, medical staff) and depth. He left out coaching, for obvious reasons, but you can assume that's another factor. Once those guys get to the NFL, he said, all the external things will become equal and raw talent will prevail.
Golden has done a better job than Shannon in terms of player development; specifically, strength and conditioning. Perryman, Dorsett, Walford and Duke all got bigger and stronger without losing their speed. But why is a team with so many elite players struggling in a talentless Coastal division? 
Coaching is an obvious factor that is being addressed in every other thread on this board. The other factor is depth. In my view, there are three reasons depth is not where it needs to be: 
1- We cannot identify undervalued South Florida talent. We are the anti-Louisville in this regard. These South Florida three-stars should be the main source of depth for this team, along with blue-chip young players.
2- The camp has produced nothing. I've discussed this before, but it bears repeating: the camp is the biggest indictment of the Temple crew's talent evaluation skills. If Paul "Delaware" Williams offers a kid at the camp, I just assume it's a wasted scholarship.
3- The Temple coaches have a Northeastern, Parcells approach that does not work here. This relates to numbers 1 and 2. Golden says that you support the star players with "coal shovelers." His idea of a coal shoveler is a low-rated, low-maintenance guy who has ideal measurables to develop. That's crap. 
The meat of this program should be South Florida ballers who may lack a measurable or two. The guys that go to Louisville and talk **** to our five-stars. Football players, not projects with good attitudes. If we had been stacking these guys for four years, this team would look much, much different.
Right now, our best players are better than anybody's best players. Anybody. Watch Perryman, Dorsett, Flowers, Duke and Walford in the pros. No other Power Five school can match those upperclassmen. Four years later, Miami is still undefeated on Sunday and .500 on Saturday.

There is nothing I could write that sums it all up better than that. And so, it is time to make a change. Miami had a chance to do this before they had to, and passed, and now it is time to pick up the pieces again.
__ __
This is by far the fastest I can ever remember a season going by. Seems like literally yesterday that I was having people over for a Labor Day BBQ and kicking them all out at 4 so I could be left alone for an hour before the game started.

Think about where this team was at the beginning of the season.

We had no clue if Brad Kaaya would be any good or not. Turns out he is the most promising thing to happen to this program in YEARS.

We thought Clive Walford was an inconsistent head case. We thought Phillip Dorsett was a one trick pony. We thought Stacey Coley was going to be the next big thing. We thought Duke Johnson was a really good back that couldn’t quiiittteee carry the full time load. We thought Denzel Perryman was a Butkus Award Contender.

Well, Walford is now statistically the best tight end in the history of “Tight End U”. Dorsett is all of a sudden one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. Stacey Coley had an AWFUL sophomore slump. Duke Johnson became arguably the greatest player in the history of the program. And Denzel Perryman…well, we were right on that one.

I am going to, for the first time in a long time, legitimately miss this year’s senior class.

I do not feel like these guys were talent blockers…and it isn’t just the ones above.

Anthony Chickillo, Thurston Armbrister, LaDarius Gunter, Jon Feliciano, Shane McDermott…these are all guys that made major contributions to this team. They weren’t just the oldest guy at their position; they made shit happen, and more often than not were a credit to the program.

Senior Night sees them face off with Pitt.

I hate Pitt. Ever since I was young I remember playing them with their ugly ass uniforms and “historic legacy”. The most vocal part of that legacy is Mark May, so to that I say *armpit fart*.\
Really the most memorable Pitt moment of my lifetime is when they had Larry Fitzgerald, one of the all time greatest wide receivers, coming into the game with a twenty-something game streak having caught a touchdown.

Miami stuck their attack dog, Antrel Rolle, on him, and he didn’t register so much as a peep until late in the 4th quarter. Miami had pulled most of their starters and Fitz predictably caught a touchdown…and Pitt celebrated like they had just won the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup at the same time.
F Pitt and f their “historic legacy”.

Here is how this game is gonna go. Their stud running back, James Conner, is going to run like 50 times for like 4.5 yard per carry. That doesn’t sound effective, but it means they will get a 1st down every 3rd time he touches the ball.

They will occasionally throw to their stud receiver, Tyler Boyd, and he is going to catch a couple of balls over our defensive backs who have not been trained to turn their head around and look for the ball. I know this is counter-intuitive, but that actually makes it harder to get an interception. Who knew?

Anyway, Pitt will probably win because Miami looks checked out for the season. Maybe Miami wins to preserve a 7-5 record and the Yankee Pinstripe Bowl instead of the Beef-a-roni Bowl. Either way Al Golden will say it was a tough game because…oh horror of horrors…the game was played at night. And we just played the always physically toll-taking Virginia Cavaliers. And blah blah blah blah.

I hope that the seniors get sent off with a win. And then I hope the administration does the thing that anyone with balls would surely do.

Fire Al Golden. He is a good dude, and I think he legitimately cares. I wish he would have worked out, because there are a lot of things about him I really enjoy.

But it has become clear that we have to change.


It is the only way to make sure that the NEXT group of seniors doesn’t get wasted like this one did.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Virginia Hate Week

I have spent the week opening and closing Microsoft Word, trying to write this.

Sure, I hate Virginia.

They are the annoying frat guy of the ACC. They get way too dressed up for football, especially when you factor in the part where they are a trash program.

They always have a QB1 named something like “Rocco”.

Their biggest rivals are Virginia Tech and North Carolina and they pretty consistently lose to both.
The Barber brothers went there.

And, last but not least, they ruined a part of my soul when they blew Miami out in the last game ever played at the Orange Bowl.

I hope Miami wins this game by 75 points, and yet I know they won’t because we always save our D- game for these guys, and they are coming off of a hugely emotional let down.  So be ready for a total shit fest.

So close.
Speaking of that hugely emotional let down.

Miami should have won that game. They had it. They were literally one big play away.

If Brad Kaaya is not 1/10th of a second off on a deep ball to Stacey Coley early in the 3rd Quarter, that could have been the game.

If Standish Dobard, on the biggest drive of the game late in the 3rd Quarter, doesn’t fumble the ball to FSU…it very likely could have been the game.

If on the final drive Joe Yearby isn’t tripped by his shoelace on a PERFECTLY executed draw, it could have been the winning touchdown.

The list literally goes on and on.

And I don’t really have anything more to say other than that it sucks.

The rest of the season consists of games against your annoying older brother, Virginia, and overweight drunk uncle, Pitt.

I’ll be here, watching, waiting for something awesome to happen.


Letting the hate flow through me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

FSU Hate Week


I one time wrote that Miami and FSU are brothers, and that this is a rivalry of siblings. I no longer feel that way.

Look, I was young and na├»ve…now I am older and cynical and wizened to the shitty ways of the world. The good guys don’t always win…in fact, they rarely do.

Life delivers you gut punch after gut punch, and the only thing that separates the wheat from the chaff is how well you deal with it. There is no room in this world for any non-sense about faux brotherhood.

FSU is an enemy and in college football, you cannot harbor the enemy in any capacity…especially during Hate Week.

FSU is a bunch of knuckle draggers and the campus should be erased from the Earth. I hate them and everything they stand for. Presented below are just a few of my thoughts, presented alphabetically.
And yes, I have been working on this since August.

ACC – Miami and FSU both are members of this dumpster fire conference. For some reason, some Canes fans think that gives them a reason to root for FSU occasionally. Those people are WRONG.

Bowden – God I hated this guy. He’s kind of like the human Foghorn Leghorn. I always loved when he would build up whatever cupcake FSU just played to be some great team that they were lucky to beat, because he knew people voting in the polls didn’t actually know anything. I used to hate when one of his guys would get arrested for something and Bowden’s punishment would be to make them run bleacher steps and sit the 1st Quarter. At this point I have become cynical and see that he' was just doing what he needed to win. Still...f this guy.

Chris Rix – Career record against the ‘Canes? 0-5. Didn’t stop me from being told how much potential this guy had for 4 years. F this guy too.

“Does things the right way.” – Heard that said about Jimbo Fisher recently. Not enough bourbon in the world to make me forget it, ESPN. F Jimbo Fisher with a fly fishing reel.

Empty Wasteland – A term I could use to describe FSU twitter. This is the group that has convinced themselves that ESPN, whose talking heads occasionally have the audacity to mention that Jameis Winston might have raped someone and then had it covered up by the university and the police department in between taking turns blowing him for his ability to block out “external noise**”, has an anti-FSU bias. Want an interesting five minutes? Read @TomahawkNation’s timeline on your lunch break. 

There are persecution complexes and then there are PERSECUTION complexes. This group has the latter.

** - Another “E” word!!

Free Shoes University – God bless you, Spurrier. Long live The Ol’ Ball Coach.

Gluttons – This school has won 20 straight ball games, is defending national champion, and their starting backfield has collectively avoided rape and assault and battery charges under the shadiest possible circumstances…and the fan base is complaining that ESPN isn’t giving them enough attention. Cry me a river.

Hoobastank – Still selling out shows in Tallahassee, probably.

ISIS – As in you would probably have to join ISIS in order to get kicked off this team.

Jameis Fucking Winston – What more needs to be said? F this guy.

Karlos Williams – Starting running back, assaulted his pregnant girlfriend (she dropped the charges, presumably after having a chat with the renowned Tallahassee PD). F this guy,

Lobotomy – That is what talking to an FSU fan feels like.

Mikey McGee – All time favorite FSU athlete. Played outfield and pitcher for their baseball team. In the middle of a game my friend John yelled at him “Anniston or Cox”. In the middle of a play he yelled back “Anniston, BRO”. Legend.

This isn’t really a hateful entry…really I just wanted to tell that story again because it makes me laugh to myself.

Nos and vodka – Preferred going out drink of FSU bros….really accents the roofies.

Obnoxious – The casually racist Florida State fans are the definition of the word. My Indian friend Shiv and I were at a fucking COLLEGE BASEBALL game one time and some dude not only wanted to fight us, but kept referring to Shiv as “Osama”. The worst part: his wife started a slow clap. True story.

And don’t even get me started on the god damned Tomahawk Chop. Literally the most annoying chant in all of sports.

Pizza Deliveryman – The future profession of most dudes in Tallahassee. Close second for this slot was “Porn”, which is the only profession most of the women at this school are suited for upon graduation.

Qatar – Host of the 2022 World Cup. Recently declared a slave state. Still less corrupt than Tallahassee.

Rape – This university colludes with the local police department to cover up accusations of this crime. In case you forgot.

“Scrong” – The only thing of value Jameis Winston every contributed to society. Just to reiterate: This kid is the standard bearer for their program and CAN’T FUCKING SPEAK ENGLISH. Actually leads us nicely in to my next point.

Third Grade – The reading level that learning specialist Brenda Monk testified, before a grand jury, that some FSU player in the late-aughts read at. This lead to FSU president T.K. Wheterell labeling Ms. Monk as a “rogue tutor”. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction…and dibs on “The Rogue Tutors” as my SKA band name.

And yes I know it is really 2nd Grade but “S” was already taken. I improvised. For any FSU fans reading that, “improvise” means to create and execute a new plan spontaneously. 

Sorry…”spontaneously” means without preparation. Oftentimes “spontaneous acts” result in teen pregnancies. As I am SURE you are familiar with.

Unconquered – This is the school’s tagline. Some crap about how the Seminole Indian tribe they have nicknamed themselves after never surrendered to the U.S. military, instead dispersing in to the swamp.

First of all, there might not be a treaty, but those dudes were conquered. It was awful and none of us agree with it, but let’s not confuse things.

Second, you want to talk about racists? The iconic image of this program is a dude dressing up in Red Face before every game, riding a horse to mid-field and then planting a flaming spear in to the 50 yard line. Well, that is second to Bobby Bowden’s “he missed it again?!?!?!?!?!” desperation face on the sideline, but whatever.

The yokels go nuts for this whole charade every single time. Meanwhile, every single one of them would have voted for Andrew Jackson.

Venereal Disease – Lookin’ at you, FSU sorority girls. There is stuff being passed around that town that doesn’t exist in other places. Your typical frat bro at this school is an Affliction t-shirt wearing Patient X, and he doesn’t even know it.

Weinke, Chris – 28 year old man who happened to be on a super-talented roster and won a Heisman Trophy for it. Every year in the Little League World Series there is a kid you KNOW is 16 years old from Taiwan and you think to yourself “this kid’s parents are effing pathetic for making him do this”. Same way I always felt about Weinke... And I was 13. F this guy.

Xavier Beitia – X sucks. Beitia missed a key field goal against us that would have won the game and ended our championship march. Sound familiar? 

F this guy.

“Yes” – The opposite of what that girl said when Jameis date raped her. ALSO my answer to anyone asking if I think Miami can beat Florida State.

Look, it is going to take a WHALE of an effort. The defense will have to stay aggressive and unpredictable. The reality is that FSU is going to move the ball at times, and they are going to hit some big plays. Their defense is fast and will force some punts and bad plays. That is reality. But you can limit the damage by moving Jameis off his mark and forcing him to throw before he wants to…Louisville did it for a half, and so did NC State.

I think FSU is going to load up against the run and try to make Kaaya prove he can beat them. The kid is going to have to be smart with the ball, and Clive Walford is going to be a major key to the game. FSU proved they are susceptible to the deep ball against Louisville, so the receivers have to catch it when they get a chance.

Essentially Miami has to take advantage of the home atmosphere and play a nearly perfect game. But something feels right about this team ever since the time they spent with Carter Hucks.

Call me a sap, call me a moron, call me a hypocrite, but never say I don’t call it like I see it. And the way I see it, Miami is either going to win the game or make FSU earn every single yard in a loss.

Zero – The number of snaps Jameis Winston missed while UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR RAPE.

Look, people have been waiting a year for karma to catch up with FSU. Here’s the reality: there is no Karma Cavalry coming over the hill. Only the ‘Canes.

We ain’t anywhere close to as good as we used to be. I still think we are a slightly better than mediocre football team.

But maybe, just maybe, Miami can be the vengeful sword that balances the college football universe this Saturday night.

I know I’m excited.

Monday, October 27, 2014

UNC Hate Week

Let me tell you the story of Devon Ramsay.

Devon Ramsay played fullback at UNC. When UNC went through its Academic Scandal back in 2011 and started holding players out, Devon Ramsay was one of the guys they suspended indefinitely.

UNC at the time was engaging in a practice of enrolling players in Independent Study “Paper Classes”, which essentially is a nice way of saying they were putting their kids in no-show classes that automatically rewarded them with A’s or B’s. It is a pretty well-known way of keeping kids eligible, and quite frankly I don’t really care too much about it.

(The NCAA, by the way, investigated and despite mountains of proof found no wrongdoing with this at the time, but then again that isn’t surprising.)

So, when UNC got busted for this back in the summer of 2011, the administration decided it had to cover its ass until they scandal blew over. One of the fall guys? Devon Ramsay.

He was tarnished as a liar and a cheat.

Only here’s the thing. Devon Ramsay never cheated.

He was a high school Honor Student who was one of the few guys on the team that was both a good player AND a decent student. He was in the business school and actually gave a shit about his grades, despite the drastic time restrictions placed upon student athletes at the NCAA level.

 He never participated in Paper Classes.

He worked with an academic liaison, or specialist, provided by the university. When he emailed a paper for a freshman sociology class to a tutor for editing, he didn’t think anything about it.

2 years later, he was pulled out of a practice, seemingly at random, and interviewed by the head of compliance.

To make a long story short, Devon couldn’t produce the paper in question (a 3 pager for a freshman lecture class) any longer, and no record of it existed with the professor either…because why fucking would it?

To make the whole situation even sillier, the head of compliance at UNC sent the case off to the NCAA Headquarters, where a bureaucrat decided that what was deemed an “inconsequential” amount of editing (in conjunction with a school supplied academic tutor) by a former North Carolina State Supreme Court Justice…who also taught classes at UNC Law School…was indeed academic fraud.

The “plagiarism” was so insiginifcant that the Student Honor Court, which hears such manners at UNC, didn’t even find enough standing for there to be a hearing, much less a disciplinary finding.

And yet, he was charged, tried and convicted, all in one day, all without representation, and suspended indefinitely. All because the university administration got caught doing something that was necessitated by their conscious decision to become competitive in football, and then once caught, decided they needed to make an example of someone. 

Instead of resigning and using THEMSELVES as the example, they sacrificed Devon Ramsay.

They didn’t strip away any of their cherished basketball championship banners, despite 2 of their championship rosters being filled with guys that participated in Paper Classes.

Those banners still hang and probably always will.

They didn’t fire the decision-makers.

They scape-goated one of the few kids in the athletic department that was actually doing it the right way, and then dragged his name through the mud for good measure.

Ramsay never got reinstated until Bob Orr, the former justice I mentioned above, took up his cause and helped him fight back.

But, as well all know, that doesn’t come close to making up for what happened.

Listen, I love winning. I am willing to turn my head and look the other way for a LOT of stuff. When Al Quadin Muhammad beat the shit out of his roommate, or Eddie Johnson puts a kid in the hospital after a fist fight at a party, or Gabe Terry gets caught dealing drugs, I honestly do not care. I get mad when the university kicks them out. Boys will be boys as far as I’m concerned when it comes to shit like that.

Even I think this was a sleaze ball thing for UNC to do.

And if a university is capable of that, then I think it is safe to say some pretty hateful things about them.

Fortunately, I don’t have to.

What happened to Devon Ramsay sums it up nicely for me.
--
I am going to be in town for homecoming this weekend, and I expect to see UNC put up about 40 on our defense. The only question is whether we can keep to the blueprint we used so well against VTech:

Establish the run with Duke, Yearby and Edwards, and use the playaction game with Kaaya to keep the defense honest and steal a few big plays.


I have no idea because I have given up on figuring out this team week to week. I just want it to be a fun game.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Virginia Tech Hate Week

I hate Virginia Tech so much.

I’ve gone on and one and on about the things I despise about them:

Their awful uniforms.

Their coach who looks like he has another coach growing off his neck.

Their alcoholic defensive coordinator who OWNS us.

The stupid ass turkey bugle call they play a million times during every game.

Coming in to the stadium to Enter Sandman…actually that’s pretty cool.

The fact that they win one big game every year and I am jealous of that fact.

Blacksburg, Virginia.

“Beamer- Ball”.

The Vick brothers.

But you know what I really hate?

I hate that we are, at least in some way, responsible for it.

Virginia Tech used to be known as VPI and they were AWFUL.

They hired Frank Beamer who got them to play respectable football with his mix of good defense, ball control offense and dynamic special teams. But, again, they were respectable…nothing more, nothing less.

Then Miami got hit with sanctions in the Mid-90s. Virginia Tech started beating us during this period, which I guess we can call the “Second Dark Age” of Miami football. They beat us a lot. 5 straight times from 1995-1999.

That legitimized their program. It empowered them in the talent-laden “Tidewater” region of Virginia, allowing them to go in and get an athlete named Michael Vick, whom they previously would have had no shot at.

Since 1995, they have been a major pain in the ass. In fact, even in 2001 and 2002, when Miami possessed maybe the greatest compilation of talent in the history of college football, the Canes only won their 2 games against the Hokies by a total of 13 points.

Since 2003, VT has won 8 of 10 in the series. They OWN the Canes, particularly in Blacksburg, which is Miami’s little house of horrors.

Last year, when Miami played them at home in “special” gray uniforms (/throws up), they were 7-1. 

A win against VT would have essentially wrapped up a birth in the ACC Title Game for the Canes.

VT came in with a tight end playing quarterback who had CLEARLY regressed from his junior year, when Miami had beat VT handily. It was the worst Hokies team in several years.

So what happened? Miami got blown out 42-24. AT HOME, IN PRIMETIME.

Of course they did.

Ugh.
It was a comedy of errors, maybe none more poignant then a play in the 3rd quarter (I think it was the 3rd quarter, that feels about right) when VT had 3rd and forever and Miami somehow managed to miss 4 tackles on a dump off screen pass and give up a touchdown.

But hey, Al Golden wears a tie and we have special uniforms so it’s all good.

Anyway, right now the ACC Coastal is in full meltdown mode. Everyone is losing to everyone else.
Virginia Tech looked really good in beating Ohio State on the road at the beginning of the season.
Since then, they have lost to East Carolina, Georgia Tech (who has lost 2 straight) and Pittsburgh (who has lost to Iowa, Akron and Virginia).

So yeah, Virginia Tech blows. Their quarterback, Michael Brewer, plays the game like he is constantly concussed. Their best receiver is a true freshman. Their best linebacker is Gregg Wiliams’ son (so he will be dirty and concuss a few of our guys). There is ANOTHER Fuller brother at corner, this one maybe the best of the whole Cot Damn bunch.

What does all of this mean?

We are going to go to their place, in primetime, with no other games on, and probably lose to this crapass team.

Because in order to have hope, you have to think that this Miami team will buck the trend under Golden, which means you have to be beholden to something other than cold hard science, which means you must think there is a Football God of some sort, which is CLEARLY not the case based on that FSU team continuing to win.

There is no Football God. There is no hope. There are only trends and numbers. And those state that once again, Miami is about to get stomach punched by a team with a much lower talent level.
Just keep in mind that, while it happens, we have ourselves to blame for it.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Cincy Hate Week

This was supposed to be Cincinatti hate week.

Instead, this is all I can muster:

Cincinnati is a slightly-below-mediocre football team coached by a once-almost-great mind, Tommy Tuberville, that the game may have passed by.

They are playing without their record setting quarterback and are coming off a thrashing at the hands of Memphis. Wait, that can’t be right. Memphis?

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Yep, they got blown out by Memphis.

Cincinnati is, and I may be wrong here, from the  Italian for “Crack Den”. This is a city with a major identity crisis…they have all the Midwestern provincialism combined with all the Southern racism. Border states, y’all.

Also, it is impossible to spell Cincinnati.

And while we are here, super F Skyline chili. Looks like cholera, tastes like cholera, is served on spaghetti. Mmmmmmmm.

Annnnnnd that’s all I got.

-- --
Know what I really want to write about?

I hate watching our games these days.

I hate that our coaching staff can’t figure out how to stop a team from running the same god damned 3 plays for the entire game.

I hate that we take one step forward, 8 steps back.

I hate that we are trying our ass off to become 1980s Penn State because that’s when our coaching staff was getting mad drunk at frat parties and playing slightly above average football and jammin’ out to Motley C rue on the Shore.

Let me tell you something about 1980s Penn State. They played in a shit conference and got real lucky one time and stole a national championship from a team that paper-cutted itself to death. Other than that it was a bunch of slow, mediocre white dudes running around spouting the gospel of Joe Paterno, who in hindsight was just another sleaze ball head football coach who also dabbled in covering up child molestation within his program so that he could get just one more 10-2 record under his belt.

I honestly never thought I would see it come to this. We play cared football, and our coaching staff refuses to change, and meanwhile we fans are stupid enough to let it effect our lives.
We have literally become hostages on this train ride in to nothing.

And let’s be clear, the fans are the ones who lose the most here.

The fans don’t have a choice in anything. We can fly banners or not purchase tickets or whatever, but ultimately we don’t have a choice at all. We have no say at all, even though we care more than anyone.

So we sit here and continue to support this team, accepting whatever shit they choose to shovel down our throats, listening to shitty press conferences that insult our intelligence, hoping that next week will be the week that this team finally clicks.

Newsflash: it isn’t happening.

We will continue to suck on defense because our leadership has installed a culture in which making a mistake is only ok if it is within a certain structure, because making the mistake within the structure allows the coaches to scapegoat the player.

We will continue to waste the talents of Duke Johnson, who is on pace to break the school’s all time yardage record in roughly 2.5 seasons, which is the kind of crazy that you never even think is possible.

We will eventually fire Al Golden, and because our administration was stupid enough to give him a massive extension, we will have no choice when they cry poor and hire another unproven coach because that is all they can afford after paying a $10 million buyout.

Our administration talks a lot about wanting to win and yet has done nothing to support it. We talk about competing with FSU and UiF yet refuse to go up to the level which is necessary to actually do it.

And it is us, the fans, who suffer. I feel bad for the players, but right now I feel worse for myself, and my girlfriend, and my dad, and my friends Frank and Trent and Steve and everyone else who watches this team every weekend. We put so much of ourselves in to this freakin’ team, planning our weekends around watching the games, planning our bathroom breaks around the play of the team, wasting money one ever-increasing amounts of beer in order to cope with the performances we are watching, and get nothing back.

I am defeated. I will continue to hate other teams, and love ours, and write about it because I enjoy the exercise every week. But after 10 years of mediocrity, this past Saturday night has broken me. 

The specific moment was early in the 4th quarter. Down one score, we had them in 3rd and 16. A triple option team was going to be forced to pass, and everyone knew it. There was even a TV timeout before the play. EVERYONE knew what was coming. And what happened? 

Exactly what you think. Their Pop Warner quarterback floated a shitty pass to a 5'7" running back 17 yards down the field, and we had a slow linebacker covering him, and of course that didn't work, and they got the first down, and eventually scored, and we all knew it was over.

The worst part? I expected every ounce of it.

I have become a cynic about college football.


Thanks, Al.