Tuesday, May 30, 2006

That's Some Good Cornholin'

Here's a quick heads-up for all the readers in the Cincinnati area. If you've got nothing better to do on June 17, why not spend the afternoon with Carson Palmer's cornhole? While this event will surely attract the best and the brightest worldwide in the art of cornholing, the money line's odds-on favorites will be pretty hard to unseat.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Big, Big House

As if it wasn't already the best place on the face of the earth to ever catch a college football game, Michigan has pulled out the stops and approved a $283743980749378 renovation plan to turn the hallowed grounds of Michigan Stadium into the snazziest monument to architectural excess this side of Las Vegas. The plan calls for upgraded restrooms and concessions, an endless array of very expensive luxury boxes, a 500-foot statue of Lloyd Carr (complete with animatronic waving arm and a pyrotechnic blast of fire from his nostrils after every Michigan first down), and a special throne for Charlie Weis to sit on and render judgment on the fate of the athletes on the field.

We dispatched our two most fearless reporters to investigate the new digs, and they filed this dilligent report on what we can expect gameday in Ann Arbor to be like in the coming years:

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another South Bend Commitment

The hits keep on coming. While most of us spent the month of May downing daiquiris, drunk-dialing ex-girlfriends, and sobbing uncontrollably into the phone while lying in a gutter with my pants around my ankles, Charlie Weis has been pounding the pavement and locking up the first quarter of what will arguably be the most important recruiting class in his tenure at Notre Dame. The hustle paid off yet again today, when western Pennsylvania multipurpose athlete and consonant-laden Steve Paskorz pledged allegiance to the Irish. In addition to having a phenomenal Notre Dame last name, Paskorz is a member of the oh-so-elite Rivals 100, is also toting offers from Michigan, Ohio State, and Pittsburgh.

Word on the street is that he will see time at Linebacker in South Bend, where he will be able to use his size (6'1, 210) and speed (4.4 or 4.6, depending on who you ask) to terrorize the opposition from the outside. Check out what the critics are saying:

Member of the elite Rivals 100.

Four-Star Linebacker.

The House Rock Built Recruiting Database Prospectometrics
8.23 Angry Vikings

"Spank Over Zest"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Movin' On Up

My apologies to the loyal House Rock Built readers out there for the lack of posting. The staff is currently in the process of moving, so the official HRB supercomputer is packed up and the Internet has been disconnected. Suffice to say, updates will be a bit patchy until the new pad is set up. Those of you who are desperate for a fix can always check up on the status of the move here:

304 miles to go at Grueling pace. So far, no typhus.

Again, I apologize for the delay. Well, I've got to run and get some lunch. Wish me luck on carrying it all back.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Voice of Notre Dame Fired

A press release came from Westwood One was released this afternoon announcing that the legendary "Voice of Notre Dame" since 1980 Tony Roberts has been axed. While there's not a lot of information about the circumstances of this unexpected change, it seems like there's some bad blood involved, as Tony's statement to the Chicago Tribune indicates:

"They fired me," Roberts said. "For no cause."

"It was a great run and I'm sorry it's over," said Roberts, who started broadcasting Irish games in 1980. "I always wanted to walk away from it under my terms."
It looks like there's a lot to this story that we aren't being told. It's disappointing because Tony's voice is permanently associated in my mind with the Irish, and it's going to be strange having a new announcer (the very capable and qualified Don Criqui) for the first time in my lifetime. We wish Tony the best of luck, and we'll be keeping an eye on this to see if any sordid details emerge.

In the meantime, you might want to shoot an e-mail to the contact at Westwood One listed on the press release and show some support for a Notre Dame legend. If you're like me, you probably feel like a stalwart for over a quarter century deserves slightly better treatment at the end of his career.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there (particularly the ones of my illegitimate children)! While you're giving mama a call and sending out flowers, you can thank former Notre Dame football coach Francis E. Hering, who, believe it or not, invented Mother's Day! Have a read and go ahead and file it under "you learn something new every day". Whudathunkit?

Mr. T wanted me to make sure you all called your mama. I don't intend to disappoint him.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Duval Kamara is Irish

Another day, another prized elite recruit announces his intention to play ball for the Irish. Yawn. This time, it's lanky superathlete Duval Kamara. Kamara, at 6'5", 209 lbs. is an imposing physical specimen and has all the natural skills to be a gamebreaker at Wide Receiver. It's never a bad thing to have another enormous target for Brady Quinn's successor to lob jump-balls toward.

Also, Duval is a really awesome name. As far as I'm concerned, if he's even half as big a badass as Robert Duvall, we're set. Especially if he's willing to pull a Tom Hagen in The Godfather and cut off Traveler's head for Pete Carroll to discover in his bed the next morning:

Courtesy of Drink That Drink.

For those of you keeping track, this is the third top-tier offensive recruit that Notre Dame has landed in head-to-head battles with USC (amid a myriad of other suitors), all of them coming in the usually sleepy recruiting days of spring. Something big is afoot in South Bend, friends.

He's wearing a cloak. Got anything to say about that, tough guy?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Yes, Drill Sergeant!

Mr. A from Pitch Right had a pow-wow with me about Navy's chances of pulling off an upset against the Irish in this lifetime. You can read his post about it here, where he argues that 2007 is Navy's best chance to pull off a shocker in South Bend, due to the fact that there will be a shuffling of the deck for a lot of skill positions on the Irish. I agree that, if Navy wants to get off the schneid, they had better do it soon, because it won't be getting any easier now that professionals are in charge.

Then he made me drop and give him 20.

Toughest interview I've ever had.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, Elmer Layden

Elmer Laden, the bruising undersized Notre Dame fullback of Four Horseman fame, celebrates his birthday today. The big fella would have been 103 years old. In addition to being a member of one of the most fearsome backfields in college football history, Layden also coached the Irish, guiding the squad to an impressive 47-13-3 record in the years leading up to the hiring of Frank Leahy.

Incidentally, it's also my birthday today. I'm not much of a horseman myself, although I have been known to ride a mean donkey.

Your Horoscope for May 4, 2006
IF IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY: With both Jupiter and Uranus strong on your birthday you must dare to be different over the coming 12 months. There is more to life than merely existing or making money, so find time to think about the mysteries of your existence. Why are you here? What does it all mean? You'll have a lot of fun searching for the answers.

And with that, I'm taking the rest of the day off of blogging to take advantage of Uranus being strong on my birthday. Let's hope it's all that it's advertised.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Special Guest Columnist!

H. Mervin Longfellows
Oil Tycoon and Nefarious Booster

That's it, I'm Quitting the Boosting Business!

After 38 years of dedicated service to the craft, I've finally had it. This whole business has gone to hell, and I for one will not stand and take it. Congratulations, assholes, you've just forced out the best College Football Booster that ever lived.

I remember when I first got into the business as a fresh-faced, ambitious young millionaire with pockets full of cash and crazy dreams of buying several mythical national championships. A lobster dinner here, a $50 handshake there, and the next thing you know, the big-time recruits are rolling into campus! Those were some great times. We were active, involved, and, most importantly, people showed some damn appreciation. When you swing by your star tailback's dorm room and drop off a new Rock-'em Sock-'em Robots game and the hottest new single on 45, their little eyes lit up with delight. That's why I got into this business... to make people happy.

Nowadays, you can just forget about the courtesy and respect. You wouldn't believe what these ungrateful youngsters say if you have the audacity to try to slip them 200 bucks. "Two hundred bucks, old man? That won't even get me a new pair of sneakers!" Well, excuse me, Mister Hot Shit Who Can't Even Grow Facial Hair Yet, but it ain't my fault that your pimpled ass doesn't understand the value of a dollar! I made my first million when your mama was still in diapers, so don't lecture me on my understanding of finance, you ungracious shithead.

You know who's really at fault for these spoiled brats? All these young dot-com billionaires who throw around their money at these kids. These bastards show up on the scene and think they can start making the rules, all the while shitting all over us vetran boosters who have been doing it by the rules for 40 damn years! They've ruined the whole game. You can't buy a football player a stereo system anymore, you have to get him a fucking Lexus. You want to buy the quarterback a free trip for spring break? Forget it! He ain't answering the phone unless there's a $750,000 beach house involved.

So that's it, I'm out for good. Until you shits learn some appreciation for time-honored boostering, you can cram your Lexuses and beach houses up your asses. You should be ashamed of what you've become.


Martial Law Has Been Declared.

These are times that try men's souls. Suffice to say, all of you have at this point been exposed to the frightening monstrosity that is the unauthorized MBA tailgate video, a scandalous clip of footage that undermines, betrays, and debases the unimpeachable nature of a Notre Dame tailgate. I came across this last week on NDNation, and spent several anxious days hoping against hope that this powder keg would not explode into full-fledged Internet ubiquity, politely wishing it to quietly espouse itself with a deep, dark hole for perpetuity, guarded vigilantly by the surges of Neptune himself like the great Titans of mythology.

Alas, the cat is out of the bag, and much like the dreaded monster in a B-movie, no amount of pounding it with a shovel will cause it to wither up and die. First, EDSBS got on board, and like a rabid hemorrhigic retrovirus propagated through foaming monkey saliva, it spread to Deadspin, MGo, bounced off some French and Soviet sattelites, and is well on its way on its journey through the expansive realms of outer space, seeking out unsuspecting alien civilizations who regrettably have the technology to capture and decode the soul-crushing transmission.

As the unofficial and largely self-appointed arbiter of the Notre Dame fanbase consciousness in the blogsphere, this development was a heavy burden to fall unrequested into my lap. It's damage control time, boys and girls. Before we start losing blue-chip recruits, television deals, and our independent status as a result of this abomination, we need to be reactive and take control of the situation. Times like these call for men of vision, steadfastness, and unfathomable cruelty. Men like myself.

It is in light of these considerations, and with a heavy heart, that I have declared Martial Law at tailgates in South Bend, effective immediately. Under my supreme command, I have enlisted a powerful cadre of Gauchos on Donkeyback who will be on patrol in all tailgating regions and delegated the utmost of discrescion to disrupt, break up, or cease by any means necessary any behavior that will cause further damage to Notre Dame tailgating. The Knighthood of Gauchos on Donkeyback will, under their authority, detain, prosecute, and punish however they deem fit anyone who is observed or suspected of partaking in any of these behaviors:
  • Wearing Jorts. This should be a no-brainer. The fact that this has to be a law is indicative of the sad state of savagery we have fallen into in lieu of strong leadership.
  • Participating in Organized Public Dancing. What you do in the privacy of your own home, the seedy corners of your favorite local drinking establishment, or as an individual on your own volition are no concern of mine. However, when scores of fans participate in a group line dance at a Notre Dame tailgate (and film it, no less), it becomes the State's problem. Severe punishments will be meted out on the site for this behavior. You will not be given an opportunity to have a speedy trial.
  • Reading Poetry Over a Loudspeaker. Pay attention to this one. Not only is it expressly forbidden to read poetry, but anyone caught or suspected of listening to poetry, cheering for poetry, or tacitly approving of poetry through inaction will be punished swiftly and severely.
  • Wearing any Paraphenlia that says "I Heart Ty". This video was made in 2004, so the usage in the video will not be punished (but be certain you understand that does not mean it is approved of).
  • Any Other Action, or Suspicion of any other action, which the Knighthood of Gauchos on Donkeyback finds objectionable, subversive, or unflattering to the legacy of Notre Dame tailgating.

Break the rules, and this will be the last thing you see.

My friends and fellow fans, I do this only out of love. Love for my University, love for tailgating, and love for all that is good and right about college football. I do this not for my own glory, but out of slavelike devotion to my true lover, the majesterial and invisible fate of Notre Dame tailgating, a love so rapacious and all-consuming that I shall ne'er again feel the touch of a woman: the base, vile, carnal delights which fail to compare to the love I feel for Her.

Join me on this journey to restore Notre Dame tailgating to what it once was, and always shall be. These are quarrelsome times, but on the might of a fanbase and its devotion, we shall overcome this darkest of hours.

Notre Dame prevails.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The House Rock Built is Hung Over

Shh. The House Rock Built is hung over. We've got some good material in the production phase, but things have been pushed back due to some important detoxification. NB: The clinical term for hangover is "veisalgia", from the Norwegian word kveis (uneasiness following debauchery... check) and algia, the Greek suffix for "the pain, my God the fucking pain".

The House Rock Built, circa 5:30 AM.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dink & Dunk: Cheer Up Edition

The hits just keep coming for Southern Cal, who have faced an improbable string of scandalous stories of varying levels of credibility that have shaken the Trojan faithful to the core. Now, it's tactless and, let's be serious, a little bit premature to gloat about this, but I think a lot of people saw USC's incredible run as being a tiny bit too good to be true. It seems like the success in turn went to everybody's head and left the whole institution a bit lax on the behavior that has led to this untimely splattering.

There probably won't be much discusscion of Bush-gate and Sanchez-gate and the fresh piling on of Leinart-Jarrett-gate on this blog, especially while all of these stories are more or less in their wild-ass rumor phase right now. Once the facts come out and an earnest analysis can be done, that's when we'll make our judgments and chime in. The most important thing you can do right now is keep an eye out on the Trojan fans in your life that you care about, because chances are they are in desperate need of a good cheering up.

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