Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello From Buffalo

I haven't said anything in awhile, and its been for many reasons but mostly because I've moved halfway across the country again. I'm back now and ready to get some things off of my here goes.

First and foremost, let me come clean...after the USF loss I was ready throw int he towell and thought that 7-5 was our destiny. After the Louisville game I was sure of it. However, the Cincy game showed me something and since then the team has played much better than I expected. This team is not as talented as ones from the past. Sure we have some great athletes, but the O line has yet to perform well and our d line lacks any kind of depth. The wins against Pitt and Rutgers and basically beating Cincy has made me really want to say some of the things I said about the coach. He has coached with a chip on his shoulder since USF and his team has played like it. Uconn, Pitt, and Rutgers were hard fought wins against teams that were every bit as good as WVU if not better and that is testament to Bill Stewart and staff.

Lots of talk about Playoffs and such by the talking heads and I'm sure Albom and his boys will be screaming for UC and TCU. One one fucing player on UC and TCU. I know WVU fans can name players for UC, but can you casual fans name one TCU player without looking it up real quick? I don't think so. And I don't think Albom or any of those other guys can either. In the sweet 16 we all love the cinderella but we want UK and UNC in the chapionship game with UCLA and Kansas as their final four counterparts, and everyone wants to shill for TCU but they really don't want to see them play bama. Lastly, lets not forget that these are the same people who say Notre Dame being good is great for college football. They're all uninformed starfuckers who should stick to the NFL and pro baseball and leave my sport, god's sport alone the way it is.

Peace..........and the dude continues to abide as the snow falls in Buffalo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Game 5: Syracuse

I'm not handing out grades or anything on this one because it was just silly. We played a team that is not that talented and has QB that did not play football for four years. They are a joke and yet again instead beating the living shit out of them we just politely pounded them for 2 quarters and then just hung out on the field for the second half. Its getting old. Every now and then you need a good angry beat down. Its been almost two years since I have had one.....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Game 4: The big 12 refs come back for more

For the second time this season the Big 12 refs came to Morgantown to ref a game and for the second job I thought they did a piss poor job. I was actually at this one and got to watch what I wanted to watch instead of having it dictated by the espn camera. I have to be honest...I have been forced to watch Chick Flicks with less holding than that game. There were a couple of times that Josh Taylor's jersey was practically being ripped off by an offensive lineman and there was no call. In the end it was a win on national TV, but the lack of calls and all the fumbles in the first half left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

QB: JB had his worst game on Thursday. His decisions were solid I guess, but the consecutive pair of sacks he took at the start of the third really puzzled me. That's just pocket presence I guess. The worst thing about it was how he missed a wide open Tavon Austin on the play before the sacks. Would have made the game much differently, but I guess that's the six points we gave back from the missed field goals. No interceptions however...that is a good thing. Grade C.

RB: I really think that little Daddy has his best games at night and he really likes Thursday nights. He's doing better at following the blocks and getting up field. The line is also doing better at blocking for him. Ryan Clarke and Mark Rodgers ran well too. Grade A.

WR: By far the worst day of the year for the wideouts. No drops but two fumbles in Colordao territory cost the team at least 6 points and maybe more. I would have liked to have seen Arnett and Tavon lay out on Brown's over throws too.

TE: Wow where has Tyler Urban gone? I guess we are using more FB and more 4 wide sets, but Urban has been quiet the last two weeks. Grade C.

OL: Expect more zero blitzes because its obvious from the Auburn game that Jarrett does not throw the screen well and our line does not pick up the blitz well. I know that eventually we will make some teams pay dearly for it, but as of this point both Auburn and CU accomplished the goal when they blitzed Jarrett with everyone. Grade B-.

DL: Not having scooter hurts for sure. Julian Miller got there just a little too late a bunch of times, but close only counts....well you know. Still need to get more pressure on this team. Grade C-.

LB: Reed played a great game defending at least 5 passes to the TE. He got beat a few too, but he won more than he lost. JT's fumble was a massive bummer, and I think the run defense had trouble with Stewart until they hurt him in the second half. Grade B+.

DB: Tandy and Hogan had tough days defending fade routes, comebacks and in routes or whatever McKnight was running. Good thing Hawkins isn't more accurate. And what kind of defense was that by Hogan on the run to the outside. I guess we now know why WVU doesn't play more man. Glover had some tough balls too where I thought he was in good enough position to defend them and he couldn't come down with the pick. I thought Pat Miller looked OK and maybe we should consider putting him in on 3rd and long situations....then again all of this would help if we had a pass rush however at times we did and still let them complete balls. Fact is the two work off of each other and if you can't cover for two seconds it doesn't' matter if you have the New York Giants D line.

I'm not stoked but for the third straight game we turned it over a bunch and still won. People that want blow outs should know that we will never blow a team out when we play defense like we do and turn the ball over that much. Once they learn how to put a complete game together someone will find the back end of the woodshed. Lets hope its soon.

Game 3: Auburn

I'm not going to write much about this one since it took place about a month ago and I really don't want to think about it. WVU totally let it slip away and everyone is to blame. Would have been a great win too for the conference. Oh well!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Game 2: 16 vs. 11 and we still won.

I didn't sleep well on Friday night, I won't lie. I really thought this was going to be a tough one for us. After one quarter it appeared that I was going to be right and I was not too happy even at the half. However, in the end, WVU pretty much dominated these guys. They only scored when we gave them a short field and the Big 12 refs did all they could to keep them in the game. I'm not into blaming officials on things, but this one had some blatantly bad calls, and its why I titled this one 16 vs. 11 because, at times, it appeared that we were playing against the ECU 11 plus 5 officials.

QB-Jarrett's play was a landmark...really. For the first time since Marc Bulger was here, we were a passing team. And for the first time in 11 years, teams are going to think twice about loading the box on us in order to stop Noel. I can't say how important the pass to Arnett was. In the face of pressure and off of his back foot Jarrett hit his man in stride for a TD. It was an Oh shit moment for ECU to, but they didn't learn their lesson. Jarret would burn them later on a big pass to Starks that was underthrown but still effective and yet again on a beautiful bomb to Tavon. He still runs with the ball too loosely and trusts his arm a little too much sometimes, but I can handle that. Overall I would have to give him an would be an A but the two turnovers on ECU's side of the 50 dock his grade.

RB-Noel hit the hole better but still danced a little too much. Notice all the plays out of the pistol? I did. I think its a good wrinkle, and I said before that Noel runs better out of the I. Granted its not the I, but he can still line up deep and have a little more time to pick his hole. We are still left side dominant with our running game and even then there were not many wide open holes. I would have liked to have run a little better, but the new regime wants to take what the defense gives ya and if that's 50 yard bombs so be it. Overall grade B-.

WR-In the pro's players tend to do a littler better in their contract years. Chance to get big money so you might watch a little more film, run a few more sprints, etc. Jock Sanders was close to being kicked off the team for his little run in with the law, and he appears to be out to prove something this year. In two games, he has not dropped an easy pass like last year and he is always open. Not only that lil daddy can thank him for an extra 5 yards or so on his longest run of the day because it was jock that was lighting up a corner to help him get the final five yards. Arnett's lack of production is still puzzling. Starks is emerging as a viable 3rd down target. Wes Lyons is back on the ER and I have to think that he can twist an ankle if someone says injury report. Tavon as a slot receiver just adds yet another hell athlete out on the field and makes us even better.. Overall grade A-.

OL-Jarrett saw some defenders in his face and either got rid of it or made them look silly. Some blocks were totally missed on blitzes but that is to be expected. We are still left side dominant and teams know it. So does Noel and he looks for the cut back when running to that side since teams tend to overload against us to that side. We were honestly a few nifty moves away from seeing about a 4 sack day on Jarrett. But it always seems to go that way. We burnt them for it and that is why we won. In the end I still think it could have been better and will have to improve to keep the southern Alabama dirt off of Jarrett. Overall grade is a C.

TE-Nothing other than one TD catch by Johnson. Urban was un heard of. I think he was left to block more often than not because of the blitzes, but I honestly didn't watch that much. Hell he might not have even been in there or he could have been running routes all day long. I just know they didn't throw his way that much. Overall grade C.

DL-With Scooter going down soon and a guy I didn't even know was on the team playing the nose I thought they did ok. Julian Miller will have to be double teamed by most linemen and if we don't develop some sort of third down package that has either Lazear and/or Golbourne coming off the edge than Casteel is seeing something I'm not. We had 5 sacks and could have had about 10 had we been one second sooner. They stopped the run game pretty well, but the added athleticism really is a positive. Overall grade B.

LB-WE still have trouble with short passes and reacting off of play action. JT is a monster. Golbourne, and Goode played in well in relief and showed that our LB depth is not just a facade. I'm still looking for that classic Reed Williams pick this season where he takes the deep drop and stretches all of that 20" vertical to catch a TE bound pass. Hopefully we can see one at Auburn. Overall grade B-.

DB-Man there were a few passes where I thought they had it. Hogan almost got beat a few times and the pass in the endzone that they reviewed forever was a TD I would say. Lucky catch despite it, Hogan got his hand on it. Sands is doing a better job this year at rolling to the coverage. Overall grade B.

ST-If its not one thing its another. For the first time since RR was here we figure out how to cover a we can't field a punt. And there is nothing worse than stopping a team and then fumbling the punt. Its like getting a hot chica in the sack and being too drunk to get it up. Good thing the redzone D came through. Overall grade D.

Like I said above, if someone told me that we would fumble two punts inside our twenty, spot them an easy TD off a punt return, and have over 100 yards of penalties I would be thinking loss. I don't care how bad they are, but we played like shit and still won easily. That says something. The O line needs to play better and the LB's need to get more aggressive against screens and such for Auburn.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One other thing about the game that I forgot to mention about the game. I had to watch it from home and the camera quality was a little bit better than most of the vintage porns I have had the pleasure of watching. You think we could get something better than that at least.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Game 1: Give me Liberty and Give me death.......

My apologies to Patrick Henry for butchering his quote.

Lets face it folks. Yesterday was ugly, ugly as can be. I was hoping for easy running room coupled with play action bombs, and I all but knew our defense would dominate. Instead we dinked and dunked our way into the red zone until our drives stalled and then settled for field goals. Our defense, despite all the pre season accolades, could not get any pressure, could not cover, and had way too many penalties. I have a great number of things that I want to talk about so here goes.

Passing offense-I thought Jarrett did ok. He kept his head up while scrambling never through a dumb pass, and was pretty accurate. There was a lot of dinking and dunking though and I'm not sure if there were open guys down field or not, but most of my guys that were there say that there were. I guess Arnett was running those routes since he didn't even show up the rest of the day. I thought the post pass to Jock in the second half was a great call and some of the passes to Urban down the seam will definitely keep teams from leaving the deep middle open like they have in the past. I thought Jock caught the ball really well, but Urban had two drops that should have been catches. However, JB definitely got less accurate as the game wore on, and he missed at least two of the third downs that lead to field goals. Thats the difference between blowing this team out and looking so so...or one of them. He checked down too early a couple of times and got Devine totally flattened once. Also, he holds the ball way too loosely when he runs with it and that will cost him with faster defenders knocking it out from behind. Overall I would give JB's performance a B -

Offensive Line- The push was good as it should be...its Liberty and I will discuss this more when I talk about the running game but we sure as hell didn't get any help from number 7. Blitz pickup would be my biggest concern. Seemed like some of the guys were blocking air on the middle blitzes...JB made them miss but I wouldn't expect it to happen all the time. This is a correctable mistake though. Barclay had the most mental errors, but after watching some of the other games this week I think our young Oline did much better than many of the other teams. (Bob Stoops is probably running some of his linemen today for all of their false starts.) At first I thought the left side did a much better job, but I just think that Noel has more confidence on that side and gave them more chances to get their blocks down. We can't be a once sided team though. Capers might have had the best day of all of them. He could very well play on Sundays I think they did well and would give them a B+

Running Game-This was not one of little Daddy's best games. Hist first three plays he bounced outside when there was at least some hole. Sure he got the yardage but you have to press the hole like Rene said. It almost cost us on our first third and short and it did cost us on the last run of the half where he had a hole and bounced it out for a loss. He got much better in the second half and accumulated most of his yards. He really is powerful and hard to bring down and on the TD run he was patient, didnt dance, and exploded through the hole much like his first TD against OU in the Fiesta. Overall grade would be C-

Receivers and TE's- Jock had a great game and was pretty much open all game. The only thing he did wrong was go backwards to get more yards and effectively take the first down away on the second possession in the second half. Urban might have had the worst game missing two was behind him on third down and would have kept the drive alive before we kicked the long field goal. Its still much better than last season and it shows how good of a coach Galloway is. Overall grade would be B+

Defensive Line-Did Scooter Berry even play? How about Neild? For a unit that gets lots of pre season hype they looked like they were just going through the motions. Julian Miller has a motor and might be our best DE we have had here since Dingle or even before that. Overall grade D

Linebackers-Wow is JT Thomas good. The helmet to helmet collision ting will be a much debated topic in Athens and other towns today and I don't think JT's hit was dirty at all. He was definitely the player of the game on defense. Overall grade A-

DB's-Boogie got out of position at times and totally wiffed on a bubble screen that someone in the press box was calling before the snap. E. Smith played pretty good and had the coverage that led to Sand's interception. Sands played great except for his personal foul...his pick was nice but really that ball was thrown high because Smith had such good coverage on the Mike Brown. Speaking of Mike Brown....I think number 10 on their team could play for our team and contend for PT against Jock. He is that good. Hogan was OK but he got burnt a few times. Overall grade B-

Special Teams-The kickoff team is still terrible. No push, no emotion, no effort. Gillyard would have ran one of those back on us again. Something has to change here and Stew has to swallow his pride and let someone else take care of it. Josh Lider had some terrible kicks too only hurt the situation. Rodgers is our best return man so far. Tavon wanted to Dance more than get up field. (I bet he and Devine are hell at the club). The one bright spot was Tyler. He kicked the ball well for his first game, had good height and distance on all his field goals and of course they were accurate. Overall I would have to give Tyler an A, but the rest of the kicking units get an F-.

Overall I think the defense played without emotion and had no fire. It didn't help that we were not blitzing and such, but I would expect that since they hadn't played in nine months they would want to kick some ass. They let Liberty stay on the field way too long either by penalty or by missed tackle way too many times. The offense failed to produce really any big plays and looked more mechanical than methodical. Noel runs as if he is a band apart at times and I'm not sure if its his desire to make a big run every time or distrust in his line. Lets hope that gets corrected.

I talked about expectations last week and how they really influence your reaction. If we do the same thing against ECU I will be as happy as shit, but we will have to play better than this or WVU will get pounded by the pirates again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Success is all about expectations and some folks RR should thank

In 2002 WVU came off of a very piss poor year in 2001 and most people were skeptical. We had Miami, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin on the schedule and a new QB. By the second week it looked as though we were in line for another losing season after Wisconsin completely dismantled us, but something happened. In the third game, Dolomiteclay, his daddy and two brothers went to a WVU game in Cincinnati. The game was a good one that went to the end with Cincy missing a game tying field goal that would have tied it. The win kept the team from getting a losing record but more importantly was the catalyst for the power spread. The team, behind power running and zone reads finished second in the BE with a 9-4 record. By all accounts, despite being dismantled by UVA in a bowl and Scotty McBrien and Maryland the next week the season was a success. Last year we went to the same bowl, finished tied for second in the same league, and had the same record as 2002, but because we won the Fiesta Bowl the year before we were supposed to keep it rolling and beat everyone by 10, 000 points. Now I know that I'm simplifying things, but you can't deny that your success is almost always determined by the expectations you have on the team.

I don't do season predictions because its too hard to do that, but I will do game week predictions. I don't have much to say about this one. We should beat the shit out of this team. What do I want to see...good question because I want to tell you. We need to dominate this team. Last year against 1AA cupcake we started with we threw it around like we were turning into texas tech or something. I turned to the folks in the stands and asked if we would be like Oregon of 07...ECU man handled us the next week and we looked more like Temple. If you want something to watch for the game I suggest watching the center and right guard. They are the most in experienced linemen we have and if they can dominate these guys it will serve well for their confidence. If not, get ready to see lots of passes and hope our defense is more like 96 than 98. Our defense will dominate until the third and second string comes in and we should win by a score of like 35-10 and JB goes for 300.

RR's sagas lately have been well chronicled and such, and I'm not getting into it. I would rather walk into Bagdhad with a shirt of Alla fellating Uncle Same than discuss this any longer. I will, however, say that I think that life always even things out in everything you do and he is paying now for a few lucky breaks he got while he was here. I know he is not nearly as wealthy as he once was, but if he decides to send out Christmas cards to folks this year here are 5 that he might want to add to his list. I didn't include players, because that is too obvious, instead I'm listing some guys that because of things they did or said or had done, they indirectly lead to Rich's success.

5. Elvis Dummervill-I'm not sure about this one, but I think he was the one that caught Adam Bednarick from behind and twisted his knee and injured him against Louisville in 05'. This led to Pat coming in, the comeback, the dream season, etc. Amazing that until he had to play him, he had him on the fucking bench half the game. Effing Genius.

4. The kicker from Cincinnati that missed that kick mentioned above. We miss that kick and I think the season falls into the shitter. RR gets run and well...that is all.

3. Rick Trickett-By far the best o line coach in the country. This guy could turn me into an offensive lineman.

2. Don Nehlen-Mylan Puskar is his house. He built it, and mad it what it was. Love him or not, but Don is a true mountaineer who recruited Quincy, Big Oak, James Davis, Rasheed, and Avon to WVU....these were guys that RR won with ya know.

1. The ACC-The raid left things open. How many conference titles would have Don won had he not had Miami, BC, and the good VT on his schedule? I'm not sure, but it would have been a few.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The beauty of the thing is its simplicity.......

This was line from my favorite movie The Big Lebowski. For those poor souls who have such busy lives that they can't take the hour and a half to watch the movie, the context of the line is basically summing up a plan to overtake some bandits who have something "The Dude" wants.

I bring this quote up because it reminds me of the offensive line at WVU and how the line used to be and how it is now. Last years much maligned unit was in a transition phase, that was getting used to their third coach in three years and a whole new system. Their lofty pre-season ranking was never lived up to and many consider them to be the biggest disappointment from last year. This was the first time since 2004 that the line was not among the nations elite and the first time that WVU did not zone block almost exclusively. Last year, under new offensive line coach Dave Johnson, WVU tried their hand at a more traditional, Nehlen like approach. Now the simplest thing to do would be to ask why a team that had so much success would go from a scheme that was working to one that wasn't. I agree, since the guys that were on the line last year had only known zone blocking, but for the future.....I think a change was needed. You see the zone blocking spread option was made for guys like Pat, Owen, and Steve. Two speedsters and a battering ram to run through the hole with either the ball or on a mission to absolutely kill the guy in front of him. Either way, you probably don't want to be that guy that met him first. That was great but we only had one piece of that puzzle last year and the offense looked much more like it did in 03 and 04 than o5-07 because of it. The roadgrading blocking with the occassional zone scheme is much more conducive to being a balanced team. Just look at what started to happen in 07....athletic defense like Pitt and South Florida simply ignored the threat of the forward pass and played "sick em" D. These are the growing pains WVU will have to suffer in order to transition. The thing that gets me are the same people who used to sit up in the stands and complain about us never throwing down field are now bitching about how WVU has changed something that worked so well. You can't have both

Something else that gets on my nerves is when people bring up that WVU is the winningest program to never have a national championship. This is nothing to boast about IMO, and its kind of like bragging about winning the shortest pecker contest.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

With Benefits

So Coach Stew is currently up on a podium lamenting over his lads and how much they strained today and how good so and so is. Of course I can't listen to it because I live on the prairie now. Before you say, I know that I can listen to it, but I sure as shit don't want to. James McMurtry once stated in one of his live albums that you can turn an good ole boy into an intellectual, but you can't turn an intellectual into a good ole boy. Don't get me wrong, I like Andy Griffith and fried chicken, but not as my football coach. With that being said, I hope he does great here and kicks some ass this season. With the goons we play it really shouldn't be that hard. Now could someone pass the green beans?

Even our ultra conservative, super moral, glass more than half empty but mouth always half opened head coach had to buck his system when it came to Jock Sanders and his troubles. He was able to return to practice today "with benefits". Lets just face it folks, this whole no tolerance system that is in place at about every school in the BCS is totally stupid and flat out coach speak puffery to the highest degree. I know Tim Tebow does nothing but pray, pass, and wipe flys away from the eyes of unfortunate babies in countries that hover around the equator. However, lets pretend for a moment and invision TT out at the bar on a late night teammate intervention when a beer suddenly and miraculously escapes the grasps of a sure handed flanker and finds its way into the mouth of Tim. Lets continue to imagine him getting arrested by an officer that was either an FSU fan or suffering from a severe momentary lapse of reason. After a good month long of press conferences where he would lament about his disbelief and disappointment in the actions of his starting QB, what do you think the NEW ball coach would do? (And for those that don't get it that is a play on Steve Spurrier who is more Matlock than Andy Griffith, but still as corny and All-American as a star-spangled banner playing apple pie on a window sill at farm house in Iowa.) I can tell you what he would do, he would allow him to practice, talk about how much he makes TT run, and then suspend him for the first game of the year against slap dick state or whoever it is they play. Now if Tim wasn't on the two deep roster....well that would be different and yes Howard Schnellenberger at Florida Atlantic has a home for you.

The newspapers are always interviewing players this time of year and it never fails that if there is a young inexperienced unit on the team they will ask them something like this

"How do you (the players) feel about the experts (soon to be unemployed journalists like me) saying you are the weak link on the team and the success of the year depends on your improvement."

Every freaking time the player comes back with something about the unit gelling, inexperienced but talented, and of course, stepping it up. I hate to be critical when I can't offer anything that would be much better to say, but maybe a "wait and see" or a simple "they're wrong" would suffice? Over promise is generally coupled with under-performance and they ride down the mediocrity parkway to losing seasons all the time. (Sorry Charley Weiss keep taking those top 10 recruiting classes to 6-6 seasons.) Josh Jenkins did this about a month ago when he said all the cliches about the Oline and how they will surprise people. I'll believe it when I see it, but I really think they are going to have a tough time making holes big enough for Little Daddy. One good thing this year is that with JB back there we can at least hope that he will lay a few linebackers out when Little Daddy decides to reverse his field. We might even make it back to the line of scrimmage. Then again we are only one block away from having Coley White at QB....lets just hope he is a gamer like his big bro.

I'm out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Say it out loud and don't blink

I’m going to apologize right now for the long blog, but I have some things I need to talk about.

The biggest thing related to the old gold and blue that is on my mind are the recent recruits that have verballed. Jeremy Johnson, who is the 9th rated dual threat quarterback signed with us out Texas. We were not finished there, Stew and crew also ventured down into Memphis to nab the 1st rated dual threat hurler who is named Barry Brunetti. I’m excited and most of the mountaineer nation is excited from what I can tell, but its early. This time last year we had Tajh Boyd and he committed to about every school on the east coast before it was done. This staff really has it together, and WVU has some serious momentum on the recruiting trail. However, I just can’t get all that excited about a kid from Texas and a kid from Memphis coming to WVU. Not that they won’t , but it’s a long season, and folks Morgantown is a whole lot different than Texas or Memphis. Lastly, we now have three premiere QB recruits over the last two years, and Stew has said they will all get their shots after JB is done. QB is a glamour position, and I don’t know any of these kids, but I can imagine their ego’s aren’t small. Two of them will have to prepare for their egos to be bruised and be asked to sit the bench for the first times in the lives.

Colin Cowherd, an ESPN radio network talk show host, and I have a serious love-hate relationship. He really pisses me off sometimes, but he does make some great points. I like his show a lot better in the summer because he’s not polishing Belecheck’s and Charlie Weiss’s helmets and he tends to get a little slightly off topic. A guy called in asking some ridiculous NBA question, and Colin simply told him to say what he was thinking out loud, and if it makes sense once you hear the words come out of your mouth, it is probably safe to say that it will make sense if you try to argue the point to others. A little while later, I started to think about Pat White and WVU and how there could possibly be a snag in getting his number retired. Shit, even god himself, made it snow in Morgantown for his last game just to show us mortals how much even the creator enjoys watching Pat play. I’m not a religious man, but even an agnostic cat like myself can see that act was something even more Devine than No. 7. (Ok, maybe I’m getting a little carried away, but to say Pat’s career at WVU was anything less than storied would be a equivalent to comparing George Bush’s intellect to anything better than stupid). So, apparently you have to either win a national championship, be a unanimous All-American, or blow Ed Pastilong to have that honor. Pat, although deserving of two of three honors, never got to that award. I just want all of the six mountaineer fans that read this blog to step away from the mouse right now, and with all of the blue and gold fervor in their hearts say the following words. Pat White’s number Five should be honored at Mountaineer Field and never be worn again by another WVU player”. Now doesn’t that make sense once you have said it out loud?

Speaking of Cowherd, a few days ago he was discussing A-Rod and how Alex’s chest was not as full as before. Despite the homoerotic insinuations in this bit, he somehow incorporated his man-crush into an informative and enlightening piece about a book he had just read titled Blink. This novel, about the first little thoughts that come to your head when you first receive a slice of information, and how, more often that not, they are closer to the truth than our well thought out plans. For instance, if you think she’s cheating on you, she probably is. As soon as he said this, my mind didn’t race to all the times I had thought a girl was cheating and chose to ignore it, nor did I revel on all of those times that I was fooled by a well-crafted but skeptical lie. A little while later, I started to think about jocks and DUI’s , the Fulmer Cup, and the way College athletes act and how some folks are very quick to throw the first stone without doing some administrative looking back. Every year during the Summer, ESPN has a special about all of these kids getting in trouble and how certain programs recruit less savory kids than others. (Shocking I know, but Vanderbilt tends to have fewer student athletes with off-season issues than Florida.) I’m not promoting DUI’s, drunk and disorderly conducts, or possessions, but I think we can all remember what we were like in college and what we did. Lets face it…you have good times in college and this why, when you are on your death bed, you tend to look back on those college years as the best and not those years pushing papers behind a desk and trying to dodge a boss you despise. You laugh, you drink, you drive fast, you chase women/men, …its all part of it when you are 20. I was an uptight science major, and I had a good time. I can’t even imagine what the summers are like for the athletes. I’m not saying the media needs to turn a blind eye to bad jocks, but I think that most of them are just doing things that most college kids do. If a kid gets busted with some grass, is it really that big of a deal? How many other kids get busted with grass everyday on Campuses across the country? Hell, a poor kid from FSU the other day, got a felony for removing a tire boot from his car. Now we all know how hard parking is on college campuses, and I’m sure many of us have had car trouble in college as well. Turns out this kid’s motorcycle wouldn’t run and he had to leave it, they booted it, and he removed it. Now he is being treated like he was dealing or something and people made a big deal about on ESPN how Bowden has lost control of his program. No big deal right? Not sure how I was going to relate all of this back to my original point about Blink, but I’m pretty sure that upon hearing my argument, that initial reaction of any person that possess reasonable intelligence will agree with me that the “mother ship” known as ESPN and the media in general (that’s you Mitch Vingle) judge our athletes a little too harshly at times and forget that they are just kids. How about the next time these guys hear about a free safety jay walking they should say it out loud first before they write it , or try not to think about it too much.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A stranger on the Prarie

I live in Oklahoma now, and I have to say that the general public has a different opinion of me than they did 4 years ago. You see 4 years ago, Pat, Owen, Steve, Darius, and Noel etc were not well known. There was no Sugar Bowl and the immaculate comeback against Louisville was much over-shadowed by other nail biting games that took place on that Mid-October night. We Mountaineer fans know pain...and the worst is getting our asses handed to us when we think that a game will be a simple walk in the park. I won't mention the game that shall not be mentioned, but we all (and so does the rest of the country) know the circumstances and the events that took place afterwards. The friends of Tom Joad knew this t00, and they flocked westward down 1-40 and then down I10 to their little party in the desert. However, as quickly as the football gods rained on our parade and left us with that soul-crushing feeling of defeat and loss of our leader we awarded with an unexpected and dominant victory against an opponent that everyone expected to handle us easily.

After work and on the weekends I pretty much only wear T-Shirts that profess my love for WVU or the Theatrical masterpiece known as The Big Lebowski. (And yes if you are wondering this Dude does, always has, and will continue to abide.) The weather here is hot and dry and it is not conducive to someone of Belgian decent like me. In order to combat the heat I thought a white t-shirt would be perfect. I didn't realize, until I made it out on in public, that it was the shirt I bought after the Fiesta Bowl. For the most part Oklahoma Fans and Okies are the nicest people I have ever lived around and every comment was nice. I did get some dirty looks and one lady in a gas station asked if was from WV. She carded me too so it kind of confirmed it and then told me that she has a cousin in Richmond. I quickly responded that I have an uncle in Dallas.

On Saturdays on Pennsylvania Avenue in OKC, folks stand out on the corners with signs and solicit money from people stopped at the lights. I was feeling good and generally humanitarian and decided to give the guy a dollar. He approached slowly and commented on my WVU license plate on the front of my car; he then noticed my shirt told me I was brave for wearing that in OK. What a difference one game makes. The OU fans, who rightfully consider themselves one of college football's elite, once considered us a cute little team who did well every now and then. Now after one game, they look at us as a maybe not an equal but at least a worthy adversary. (Much like the man in the black pajamas...sorry Walter).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Money, The Draft, and a thought on the National Championship

A few weeks ago the the Charleston "Daily Mail" put out an article about coaches salaries and more importantly about WVU coaches salaries. The story focused on WVU's running back's coach, Chris Beatty, and how much or how little he makes relatively. Now before I start, lets just get it out of the way, Chris Beatty makes 175K/year and its more than I make and just about anyone else I know. His job security is better than any bank and his future is very bright due to his performance. So many might question this article that tries to argue that Coach Beatty is under- compensated. I argue that if you are reading this blog and have ever gotten misty eyed when you hear Appalachian Spring in an elevator, you should be a fan of coach Beatty and should support him getting a raise. Its probably the right time for me to say that coach Beatty has never asked for a raise publicly. What Coach Beatty has done is bring some great athletes to come play football at WVU. Now I know that WVU is a University and coach Beatty makes more than most professors. Also, I'm academic as they come, but there is not a person that can argue the revenue and exposure that WVU has over the last few years from their winning ways in the cage and on the field. I won't argue that the folks that are most responsible for that are the guys like Pat White, Kevin Pittsnoggle, Steve Slaton, etc. But shouldn't the guy who convinces these guys to come to the little town in the hills of northern WV, which is so far from home, get more credit and compensation. IMO....if you are good at what you do and make someone else lots of money you should be compensated for it.

I'm going to watch the draft like I always do. Its really NFL party that they invite us college football guys to. Its very nice to see who goes where, but after awhile Mel Kiper's hair starts to get on my nerves. I'll be Mowing my grass by noon. (But it only takes 20 minutes).

Quick....someone asked me the other day who won the National Championship in1997. I thought for a second and answered it was split between Michigan and Nebraska...which was correct. (However, I'm a college football dork and remember these things). I got to thinking about it though, and I thought that many National Championships are like many women I have dated. You remember some because every minute was hell but you stay with it because you want to see what happens next. This would be the great teams you love to hate like Miami in 03, Nebraska in 95, and USC in 2004. The other category would be the teams that capture your heart and you follow them like a young private does a general in the heat of battle. These are fewer far between in football but some that come to mind are OSU in 03, BYU in 84, Texas 05' and Alabama in 1992. I've left a whole lot of years out because, in my mind, they fall into the day to day relationship category. We had a two loss team win it a few years ago and a team that lost to a team that was unranked last season. I guess its the day to day stuff that keeps you going.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The 8 row hiatus

I have not written in a long while, and it may seem like I'm one of those guys who only likes football except when their team is doing well in the tournament. Nothing can be further from the truth. I loved watching the progress of the team this year, and there were many times I wanted to share my thoughts but I just did not do it. Oh well.....

As it turns out about the time football season and Pat was capping off his career with a memorable performance in the tire bowl, I started hearing rumors of another kind. In late February, I got the bad news that I will no longer be employed in WV and I would have to once again move to Oklahoma City. We could see the writing on the wall, but the news has made my life a little hectic. Yesterday i signed a lease for a place in OKC, and I will probably be there by May. I will not be able to see things at Mountaineer field from 8 rows away. As much as it pains me, I have to consider myself lucky that I was able to watch guys like Pat White, Steve Slaton, Owen Schmitt, and Noel Devine in such close proximity. I'm still a fan though........and I will continue 8 rows of eers from 1200 miles away from the mother ship.

The end of the basketball season ended in such a bummer, and I can't really explain how bad it hurt to go out like that. One thing for sure, you can't expect to go to the sweet sixteen every year and upsets happen to every team. The theory about the team being tired is total BS in my opinion, but I have a slight connection with the whole thing and I do want to share.

I stated above that I will be going to OKC and on the days before the tournament, I was there in the land of red dirt and high winds looking for a house. Getting there was a task since Charleston was covered in fog and we had to wait in a small terminal for 8 hours. Turns out the chartered plane from Miami Air needed sercurity and we had to go through the commercial security and such. Coming back we were delayed once again while a military plane slowly boarded. This airline is the same service that was late getting to Morgantown and barely got Huggs and the crew to Minneapolis on time. Needless to say, I could feel their pain when I heard of the whole fiasco and had to wonder if our delays kept them from getting there on time. I would have gladly taken a commercial flight in order to avoid an upset like that one. As the stranger says in the Big Lebowski, "Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you."