So, not sure if any of you remember, but a long long long long long long time ago yesterday the big story surrounding Notre Dame football was Coach Kelly's brief flirtation with the NFL before coming back into the fold in South Bend. I know, I know, some of you might not remember the olden days of yesterday. As usual, feel free to ask the old guy with the eyepatch at your local VFW what the world was like way back on Tuesday.
Anyway, we made an episode about that. As for that other story (you know, the one that's bigger than the Kennedy Assassination and the Beatles combined), well, we've already released our official statement, and we stand by it.
Look, I'm normally all for elaborate scams cribbed from Dickens novels...
We'll keep you updated on our capital improvements over the offseason once the dust settles, but needless to say the puppets are going to be in fighting trim come next season. We're really touched by the outpouring of support, and by how well this crowdfunding approach has gone. We're going to sort of treat this like Muppet Public Radio from here on out, working hard to produce some entertaining content for you fine people free of charge and advertisement-free and rely on the selfless kindness of our viewers to pitch into the tip jar now and again to keep our basic operating costs covered.
Programming note: we'll be on hiatus through the holiday season and on lockdown for the title game, gnawing our fingers and toes down to stubs in anxiety. After a week of R&R post-championship game, we'll bring you the season finale, which will consist largely of the lines you submitted in the donation drive. So, if you donated $25 or more and have not e-mailed your line to houserockbuilt-at-gmail-dot-com, be sure to send that over by let's say the Saturday after the championship game. Remember, there was some kind of error in the form, so if you typed your line into the box on the donation form, it did not get to us.
And with that, puppets:
What? Oh, no, this? This is for... nutrition. Yeah.
Now for the real stuff. Gang, fightinamish here. I'm loath to do this, because I'm sure you're all being bombarded on all sides by friends and acquaintances looking to take advantage of your inflated feelings of brotherhood and goodwill toward men in this holiday season and beg you for money for their non-profit, charity, bail, or tattoo removal. Nevertheless, we're opening up shop for the first ever HRB/Stuffing the Passer pledge drive to help keep delivering idiosyncratic sui generis entertainment to you fine folks. Between now and the title game, we're hoping to raise funds to keep this bird flying at our fundraising site: http://rally.org/stuffingthepasser
Many of you have enjoyed four jam-packed seasons of nearly-weekly Stuffing the Passer episodes, and some of you have even been around long enough to know that the House Rock Built has been blogging at varying degrees of torrid enthusiasm for seven and a half years now, wriggling its gasping protoplasmic corpus onto the sandy shores of the blogosphere in 2005 after a late-night realization that Purdue's coaching staff had an incredible and unholy arsenal of mustaches and GOD DAMMIT SOMEONE HAD TO ALERT THE WORLD.
Since then I, along with the priceless if maybe sometimes elusive help of my loyal co-defendant irishoutsider, have taken so much joy out of lobbing our brain farts in your general direction and seeing our weird brand of humor resonate with some kindred spirits out in internet world. You may have noticed that in those seven and a half years, there has never been any advertising on this page (or any updates to the design -- urk! Sorry! Going to fix that this offseason), save for a few months when I tried out Google Ads, which I took down after I realized that I wasn't in this for the dollar a month I netted in royalties at the expense of mangling the layout of the page. The thrill was in making content, connecting with readers, and the cool cachet of amateurism that makes this whole subculture awesome.
But now looking forward to next season, we've come to the realization that we need to make some capital upgrades if we're going to keep delivering the puppet fun that we feel you all richly deserve. Our camera records on honest-to-god video cassette tape (younger viewers, ask your grandfather or the old guy with the eypatch at the VFW what those are) and now squeaks like a bastard thanks to a worn out servo or whatnot. Also, our creative ambition and vision has overtaken our current editing software capability. I'd rather not tell you what a tragically pointless Herculean labor it was to create this split-screen effect in a ten-second gag on free pre-bundled editing software, but it was insanity. Our viewers deserved that joke, though, so I soldiered through. But, in the interest of delivering that in the future, we need to go semi-professional for our software needs.
Beyond that, we're hoping to get a basic green screen so we can actually have episodes in places other than bedrooms and bathrooms, and if there's any money left, an extra puppet or two wouldn't hurt. Anyway, I know it's a hassle, but we wouldn't be asking if we didn't think it was worth it to make sure we're giving you the very best we have to offer. Anything you have to offer is appreciated: a dollar, a penny, a rotting crate of Kalishnikovs, anything. We'll make good use of any of the lawyers, guns, or money you send our way. Thanks for sharing these seven years with us, go Irish, and HEY WAIT WHAT HAPPENED WE'RE GOING TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!
It's been a long week, gang. We've mostly been freebasing pixie sticks since the fourth quarter of the USC game, so things are a little fuzzy right now. We'll spare you some reading and get right down to the puppets.
On a related note, the Stuffing the Passer Annual Fund will begin its pledge drive next week. Keep your eyes peeled and we'll let you know our business plans (sneak preview: better editing software, a green screen, more puppets, and drugs... precious, precious drugs) and the magnificent gifts in store for you if you choose to be a sponsor.
At some point in my childhood, my father came home with an enormous box. Barely able to conceal his delight, he informed me that he held in his arms a small chunk of the future - 26 pounds of the sacred covenant of the sustenance, sufficiency, joy, and leisure that was promised us by this new era of technology. It was a Laserdisc player. I'm not sure how the age demographics skew on this blog (exit polling is an inexact science), but you are entirely forgiven if you have no idea what a Laserdisc is if you didn't happen to own a karaoke bar in the 1990's. See, kids, it was one of the gruesome victims of the format wars, and now currently resides in a shallow grave alongside the SCSI cable, the Betamax, and wide-gauge railroad ties.
The thing is, in many ways these historical losers were superior to the foes that vanquished them (except for Laserdiscs. God, those sucked in every possible way). Often, the winning format just won the "ground game" through relentless PR campaigns or, more often than not, some INSANE PSYCHOPATH ELECTROCUTING ELEPHANTS (although, ultimately, Edison's victories were short-lived and now your whole house runs on Nikola Tesla's pachydermicidal alternating current).
What I'm getting at is that while the old Notre Dame Betamax cassette might be big, drab, clunky, and uglier than a rhincerous' ass, there are some very compelling numbers that indicate maybe it's the rational, if not the sexiest, contendor for format war champ. What I'm trying to say is that OREGON AND KANSAS STATE MURDER ELEPHANTS WITH ALTERNATING CURRENT AND SHOULD BE BANNED FROM FOOTBALL FOREVER. Hopefully I made that clear.
Lies from the pit of Beelzebub propagated to deprive us of our glory...
Well, the results are in. After 24 hours of voting, six federal lawsuits, one surprisingly uneventful duel, and ten thousand ballots "accidentally" dumped into Lake Michigan by an unregistered stealth bomber, we are prepared to make a call in the 2012 Stuffing the Passer election. Hey, it only took 24 hours to certify the results, that's like 84,000 times better than godforsaken Florida -- so, a minor success.
Okay, it wasn't perfect (the Carter Center's concluding report was one word long: "Mobutu-esque". None of us are exactly sure what that means. Pending a thorough googling, we're going to assume it's a good thing?) We have an I-Report that our election correspondent Sockface had to stand in line for 23 hours to vote, only to discover that he was standing behind a row of mannequins at a Petite Sophisticate store at the mall. Hey, democracy is messy, people.
Anyway, with 100% of precincts reporting, The House Rock Built is ready to declare that Puppet Everett Golson has been elected QB1. The results are clear, the mandate is broad, and his two closest runners-up (Sockface and touchdowns) have called to concede and extend their heartfelt congratulations.
So, without further ado, the results:
Digging a little deeper, we found some very interesting things from the exit polls. To whit:
Everett captured 100% of the crucial Objectivist vote (sample size: 1), probably because of his cold and heartless refusal to "spread the ball around".
Voters whose main concern was Touchdown Inequality were evenly split among the top four candidates (Tommy, Everett, Sockface, and touchdowns), but broke by a commanding 75% in preferring to have a beer with Everett Golson. Probably because he's the most likely of the lot to pick up the tab, AMIRITE??!
Everybody, and I mean everybody, wants to rob an OTB with Sockface. I'm not even sure why we bothered to ask that question.
No major surprises in the age demographics. Pretty much what I have intuitively felt was the demographic makeup of House Rock Built readers.
Thanks again for everyone who came out to rock the vote. Also, thanks for voting in the real election, too. If exit polling is accurate, over 98% of voters in the Stuffing the Passer election also took a minute out of their day to choose the leader of the dag-blasted free world. Heroes, the lot of you.
Alas, the fun of the election is over, and now comes the hope- and soul-crushing reality of touchdown governance. Best of luck, Everett!
So, to reiterate once again: log onto the Twitters and tweet your vote to @stuffingthepass. Your three nominees are #voteEverett, #voteTommy, and #voteSockface, although write-ins are certainly welcome too. Remember, all voters get a special sticker so they can let the world know they voted - we'll tweet you the link upon receipt of a complete ballot.
If you have the spare time, please do swing by our exit polling station and answer a few quick questions. Your information will not be used for any purposes other than entertainment (and selling to the United Nations so they can put mind control nanobots in your children's vaccines so you can't homeschool them). Afterwards, maybe go out and vote in the other election please? Much obliged.
We are looking forward to an orderly election which will eliminate the need for a violent bloodbath.
Puppet Michael Floyd Makes a Game-Changing Endorsement in the StP Election
The 2012 Stuffing the passer campaign is entering its critical final days. Early results have shown the election is still too close to call. However, in a true November surprise, puppet emeritus Michael Floyd has come out with a game-changing endorsement in a New York Times op-ed. Could this tilt the entire election? Only time will tell.
Remember, get out the vote. On November 6th, tweet your vote (#voteEverett, #voteTommy, #voteSockface, or your preferred write-in vote) to @stuffingthepass (AFTER you've completed your civic duty and voted in the other major election that day). The stakes have never been higher.
One Puppet's Endorsement for the 2012 Stuffing the Passer Elections
Mo Udall, the silver-tongued Sequoia of a congressman from Arizona, was never one to mince words. When harangued by the commentariat about being drafted (or perhaps more accurately impressed, which sounds better than the vulgarly anachronistic, yet more vividly descriptive term Shanghai-ed) to seek the presidential nomination in 1984, he curtly quipped: "If nominated, I shall run to Mexico. If elected, I shall fight extradition."
The candidates in this year's Stuffing the Passer election would be wise to heed the words that Big Mo (the loving sobriquet that I gave him during our many pick-up basketball games, which I won every single one of. Sure, he was technically a former professional basketball player, inasmuch as the Denver Nuggets were technically a professional basketball team) spoke, echoing and modifying the sentiments expressed by General William Tecumesh Sherman a century before, particularly the #voteTommy campaign.
To whit, it seems abundantly clear that Sherman, daunted as he was by the prospect, faced an easier task in whipping up votes in the charred cinders of Atlanta than Tommy Rees currently faces in gaining popular support in many segments of Notre Dame fandom. After all, Sherman took some nominal steps to ensure that only military and government installations and some private residences and businesses were incinerated following the conquest of Atlanta, whereas Tommy's bouts with pyromania throughout his campaign have been substantially less targeted and substantially more comprehensive.
In this election, there is one's objective vote, one's subjective vote, and one's ironic vote. Subjectively, #voteEverett has called the enemy by its name (viz., touchdown deflation) and shown the resolve to dance with the devil, and thus deserves re-election. Objectively, the highwire horror show that Irish fans have been subjected to in the pursuit of touchdown growth should inspire voters to opt out of the cocaine-and-Red-Bull-frappuccino histrionics of this offense and opt for the soothing Valium smoothie of #voteTommy. The ironic votes go to #voteSockface, a mad dog chasing cars who wouldn't know what he would do if he caught one. Perhaps he does deserve to live out his worst private nightmare and be called upon to report for duty.
Alas, this is an endorsement column, so endorse I must. As you are well aware, I have always been an unconventional puppet who has done unconventional things to achieve surprising results. So here is my unconventional endorsement: I, muppet Michael Floyd, wholly and unequivocally endorse touchdowns. Touchdowns are in charge of the Notre Dame recovery, and that is who I am endorsing. This revolution is not about one man or one puppet, but about the transformational power of touchdowns. On Tuesday, when you pull the tweet-lever, I urge you to vote for the one and true savior of Notre Dame football: the touchdown.
Puppet Michael Floyd is a senior fellow at The National Touchdown Strategy and Development Forum, a non-partisan think tank that focuses on sustainable and transformative touchdown growth.
Ah, November of 1820. That must have been a hell of a time to be alive. Picture, my friends, plunking yourself down in front of the televisionradio crudely mimeographed pornographic periodical without being assaulted to death with political advertisements. That's because it was the Era of Good Feelings, a magical time in American history.
See, a surprisingly mild growing season led to a bumper crop of prime hashish on James Monroe's Virginia plantation, and everyone in the country just kind of chilled for a couple of electoral cycles. Nothing got to us then, dude. Looming specter of slavery threatening to tear the union apart? No worries, mon, let's just have a make a friendly compromise. Rampant speculation leads to a financial panic? No big deal-- change your identity and grab a six-shooter and a mule and head out west and find your fortune (and by "fortune" I obviously mean typhoid and and a rapid, jarring death)!
That's how we ended up with this lovely aquamarine electoral map, with only one elector having the foresight to break the unanimous result to save face with future generations. Those days are dead and buried, mon frer. Shortly after 1820, we realized that slavery was actually kind of a big deal and went back to, you know, beating the shit out of each other with canes on the floor of the Senate. Sic transit gloria mundi, and thus it has been ever since.
In fact, this wave of political antagonism has even spread to our beloved puppets, who are locked in a heated battleground race for Quarterback For Forever. The fate of the world is in your hands, friends, so get on down to the StP Twitter feed at @stuffingthepass and make your voice heard! Oh and also vote in the real election, too. Seriously.
This is usually where I do some brusque free-associating and lead the delightful readers of the House Rock Built on a strange and unsettling trip through my hyperassociative subconscious until I feel they have been sufficiently punished to deserve a few minutes of puppet videos that irishoutsider and I invest an unhealthy amount of time into.
Things kind of flew off the rails this week, though. Here I sit in front of my keyboard trying to get the ol' creativity machine pumping, but my weak and fragile mind simply cannot overcome infinite distraction of YouTube covers of Neutral Milk Hotel's seminal indie rock classic "Two Headed Boy". Now I have a number of opinions about music that, through hard work and prayer, I have been able to vigorously suppress in hopes that I will not become the most insufferable jackhole to walk the face of the planet. You're welcome, America. But allow me to drop my guard for one instant and say that if it were not for the unavoidable necessities of bathing, defecating, consuming food and water, socializing with my wife, and earning money, I guarantee you I would spend my entire waking life watching YouTube covers of "Two Headed Boy". It's such an important and, well, vocally taxing song that every amateur cover opens up an infinite expanse of possibilities. Some are shockingly decent, some weave drunkenly on the borderline of brilliance and horror, some are 8 bit videogame masterpieces, and many are just obscene and fascinating shipwrecks -- but none of them are boring.
Sadly, there just aren't enough lifetimes to do that, so I'll just leave you with puppets now while I tackle page 385, which features an overweight man in a dress playing a ukulele with a broken string while a Jack Russel terrier yowls in the background (Verdict: a little pitchy in the chorus, but still a surprisingly capable cover.)
There's nothing quite like having ESPN's College Gameday on campus. I for one like the whole concept of not settling for just having a big, important, and exciting football game -- why not just go for broke and bring the whole freaking circus along for the ride?
Of course, the Gameday that we're used to watching today with its crowds, sarcastic signs, and weird mascot head rituals is just a faint shadow of what it used to be, back in the glory days. Of course, I'm talking about the 1920s, when ESPN was just a tin can in New York and one in LA with a 2,700 mile long stretch of twine connecting them.
Yep, back then Fibber McGee and Buster Keaton would sound out rollicking telegraphs from a plywood stage built outside of the stadium where the game of the week was playing, which was actually not very entertaining for anyone. In fact, it has never been confirmed that anyone actually ever received or deciphered their transmissions. Recent scholarship has shown that during the course of the show they almost never actually sent any telegraphs -- most of their time was spent getting staggering drunk and punching immigrants. It was amazing.
Of course, then vaudeville came around and nobody wanted to decode morse code transmissions from outside of football stadiums anymore when they had the option of watching a bawdy puppet show or human cannonball or whatever the hell the kids are into these days. Not surprisingly, the entire world has gone to shit since then.
Sometime in the 80's, some TV show did something somewhat meta, breaking down the "fourth wall" and winking at the whole culture-wide mass delusion we've accepted about our entertainment living in its own separate world, divided from us by a transparent yet entirely impregnable1 barrier. Those were such innocent times that David Foster Wallace's head exploded when he saw such brazen defiance of our most treasured national myth, leading him to rip off a small novella encapsulating the true meaning of art, the gaze, the other, life, the universe, and everything within like ten minutes (probably).
It's funny because today we're so deeply steeped in this concept that it almost doesn't make sense that there was any point in time where this was something novel, noteworthy, and fosterwallace-able. Meta is just like the air around us -- these days I don't even get out of bed except as an aprés-garde post-post-neopostmodern satire on the concept of mocking the idea of bed-exiting. And that's on a good day.
Anyway, enjoy the video. It features an uncommon2 appearance by the Wildcat, and a friendly reminder to your filmmakers why his appearances are so rare -- he is a dreadful actor3. Animals I guess are immune to the paralyzing notion of being on the wrong side of the voyeuristic gaze of the camera, which is dreadful when you need them to actually perform a certain task on screen rather than some meandering cinema verité reflection on the life of a cat when nobody is watching.
I have offers to be Hamlet and Richard III - in the same production!
1. Hey what in the hell is wrong with the world "impregnable"? Shouldn't it mean the exact opposite of what it actually means... i.e., impregnate-able? But, no... if something is "impregnate-able", you would say it is "pregnable", which opens up another can of worms, because then wouldn't that mean that the opposite of "impregnate" should be "pregnate" (e.g., "Even after months of expensive fertility treatments, I've sadly been able to do nothing more than pregnate my wife.")
S2E4 - Modern Chemistry Coach Kelly tries to curb his anger issues with pharmaceuticals, but flies a bit too close to the sun. My god, it's full of stars!
S2E5 - A Word from Our Sponsors The gang films a commercial for the new Adidas jerseys, asphyxiation ensues. On the plus side, the jerseys are now 100% halal!
S2E6 - Halftime Assessment Halftime is a good time to take stock of your situation, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and make adjustments to your strategy for the decisive frame. Also, it's a good time to vent.
S2E7 - A Day in the Life Nearly every hour of Brian Kelly's day is apparently accounted for doing things that don't quite seem to have anything to do with winning or losing a football game.
S2E8 - Rear Window Muppet Dayne tore his ACL, but fortunately he lives in a pretty exciting neighborhood.
S2E9 - Card Study The gang's hand signals were compromised, so they're switching over to calling plays with cue cards. Unfortunately, there's a steep learning curve. Thank god for the electrical college.
S2E14 - El Narcocorrido de Brian "El Churro" Kelly The poncho-wearing, gatorskin boot-wearing exploits of Brian Kelly have reached the barrios of Chihuahua, and an inevitable slew of Narcocorridos praising his nefarious exploits have hit the airwaves and filled up the cantinas of la frontera.
S2E15 - Campus Tour The lads have been tasked with giving the new recruits campus tours in the dead of winter. Hilariousness and Proust ensues.
S1E1 - Presser Time! Our first introduction to muppet Charlie Weis and his slightly-concussed pal Jimmy. Who's my quarterback?
S1E2 - Access Hollywood There's a technical snafu with the broadcast of the game. Hijinks ensue. Someone throw a flag!
Georgia Sports Blog A Dawg blog about Dawg sports written by (you guessed it) a man named Dawg.
Dawg Sports T. Kyle King serves up an extra large helping of Dawg sports. We are obligated to inform you that he may be a lawyer. Proceed with caution.
MGoBlog Ann Arbor's grumpy nextdoor neighbor who won't let you jump his fence to retrieve your baseball.
The M Zone Sure, they're Michigan fans, but this site cracks my shit up. Besides, what divides us is less significant than what unites us: we're brothers-in-arms in the war against the dastardly, plagarizing ESPN network.
Maize & Brew The hardest-drinking college football blog on the internet not named House Rock Built.
Those Other Conferences and Independents
Burnt Orange Nation Comprehensive coverage on our beloved Longhorns and free tutoring for the Wonderlic test.
Bruins Nation Yet another college football team in Los Angeles? Insanity. Excellent blog for those of you who bleed powder blue.
Football Generalia, Snark, and Miscellaneous
Deadspin The shimmering, all-knowing hearbeat of sports blogs. Edgy, punchy, and most likely half-drunk.
Fire Mark May A bizarre insight into the behind-the-scenes world in Bristol, CT.