Friday, September 29, 2006

Off to the Purdue Game!

Last post before I hit the road for South Bend. The gang's mental state? Comfortably optimistic, with the tiniest nagging doubt. We'll know by the end of the first quarter if this is going to be a spread-covering slap-around or a goofily-close gagfest. Either way, we'll be drunk and violent and maybe a little bit wet.

For all you newcomers who swung by to check out my Valenti rant (and, sheesh, there are a whole hell of a lot of you), welcome to the site. Read around a little bit, and if you like what you see, you're invited to come back over the course of the season, no matter what your personal team affiliation is. We'll laugh, we'll cry, and we'll get fighting drunk and watch some football. God bless America.

One last Purdue-related note... it looks like Joe Tiller has issued an ultimatum at his latest press conference. I'm not sure if this qualifies as trash-talking or "bulletin board material", but it's pretty scary no matter what.

Catch you cats when I'm back in town!

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The Classic Battle of Age Versus Youth

I think football history is going to be made tomorrow. Now, I'm no statistician, but tomorrow's Northwestern - Penn State game must feature the greatest age disparity in head coaches in college football history. On one sideline, Joe Paterno, the oldest (right? He's 3 years older than Bobby Bowden) coach in college football. On the other sideline, Pat Fitzgerald, the youngest coach in college football.

Going by the numbers, Paterno is 48 years older than Fitzgerald. Do you realize what 48 years is? It's one Alec Baldwin. That is a fucking lot.



HT: IrishOutsider for knowing Alec Baldwin's age off the top of his head. Creepy, but impressive.


Friday Night Lites - Purdue and Andy French!

We farm out our labor overseas and have Brian from mgoblog break down Purdue for us. The verdict: they're not terribly good. We also have a phenomenal entry for the Andy French cup during the closing song. You will love it. While Valenti stole a lot of the Andy French thunder, there are some quality home-grown breakdowns that are worth checking out.

Today's highlights:

  • I curse Brian and his team for eternity.
  • I play a clip I recorded seconds after the conclusion of the game. It's hard to understand, but that's me and my section (including known blogger Sean from Kelly Green declaring that "There is a God!"
  • I'm a degenerate who gambles on high school sports. That asswipe kicker from Oaks Christian cost me $500 on my OCHS (-31) teaser.
  • The end of the podcast is recorded after I got quite drunk while watching and liveblogging the OCHS-Venice tilt over at the Fanhouse. (Quarters 3 and 4 are here).
  • No lightning round, Brian has already done it (and stunk it up).

Here's your first Andy French Cup entry:

John L. Smith Deserves a Shitkicking

Submitted By:
An anonymous Spartan fan with a suburban Chicago area code.
John L. Smith
Alcohol Ingested:
It's an angry drunk, so I'm guessing cheap beer. Since it doesn't sound like our caller was concussed, I'm guessing he was drinking from a can, which is much safer to smash against your forehead in horrified disgust than a bottle.
Reason For Call:
Hilariously awful meltdown. Decades of pent-up aggression from seing Michigan State do this over and over and over.

MP3 File

And here's your prodcast. Prost!

MP3 File

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Site Updates

I just put this week's Friday Night Lites in the can, which will be posted and updated soon.

If you're bored and have absolutely no life, you can swing over to the AOL Fanhouse, where I'm liveblogging the Oaks Christian - Venice game and watching Jimmy Clausen shred them up. Venice's nickname is the Gondoliers, and their mascot looks like Chef Boy-ar-dee. That makes me crave mini-ravioli.

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Take it Easy, Wang, It's a Parking Lot

I really hope we beat Purdue this weekend, and not only for the normal reasons. As heartbreaking as it was to see Michigan State plant their flag last year, I can't even begin to describe how devastated I would be if Purdue planted this bad boy at midfield of Notre Dame Stadium.

So that's what happened to Joe Tiller's manhood after last year's game.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

MSU Radio Host Melts Fucking Down On the Air

Hello, everyone. The week leading up to the Notre Dame-Michigan State game is always a special one here at the House Rock Built, because we get a nice little spike in traffic from everyone who wants to re-live this majesty. Enjoy, it's great. I'm going to listen to it again right now. Hey, though, while you're here, why don't you check out what we've been up to recently -- we've been making a college-football themed YouTube series featuring insane puppets called Stuffing the Passer. Okay, on to the goodness! -fightinamish

There are normal wins. You jump up and down a little bit, high five your buddies, and do a few celebratory shots. There are epic, legendary wins, where you sprint around campus in East Lansing yelling and screaming, hugging and humping every stranger you pass wearing a Notre Dame jersey. There are normal losses, where you crack open your poison of choice and drink away your sorrows.

And then, there are soul-crushing, ball-busting agonizingly excruciating losses that plunge you through the looking glass into a deep, dark spot in your sportsfan soul that is frightening to even think about. Trust me, I've been there before. This week, Sparty was on the receiving end of one of these, and the results... were not so pretty.

Enter a sports radio program on AM 1270 in Michigan called The Sports Inferno, which featured, live on the air, the most heinous, depraved descent into that mirky blackness captured by our modern recording equipment. For fifteen glorious minutes, our valiant host slides down that spiral slide into the abysmal nothingness of grief and hatred for all the world to hear. Frightening? Yes. A guilty pleasure knowing you pushed him to that depravity? Don't tell anyone, but yes.

Anyway, have a listen. I can't build it up anymore, because the full clip is so priceless and unique that you absolutely absolutely must listen to it and experience it for yourself. It's... amazing. Crazy amazing. Cramazing. Holy hell, stop reading this and just listen to it. In one of his more lucid moments, he demands the coaching staff be replaced by Teddy Ruxpin and HR Pufnstuf. Then, he starts saying some really weird shit.

(Click to listen) or download

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Hmmm... TV Guide Knows Something We Don't

Check out the listing on TV Guide for this week's Oaks Christian game on ESPN (Thursday at 9 Central, set your TiVo's).

USC-bound Jimmy Clausen? Boy, you'd think he'd tell Rivals or Scout or, I dunno, Tom Lemming before he made a massive decision change. Or maybe TV Guide has their heads in their asses. I report, you decide.

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Some Quick Purdue Highlights

  • As I mentioned before, there are no Purdue bloggers. This will make it tricky for my standard Q&A and Friday Night Lites, so I might just have to pull in a random Big 10 expert. Shame on you, Purdue, and shame on your indifferent fans. You'd think with all those engineers there would be one pasty dork with way too much free time to carry the torch. Sigh.

  • In my first ever post on this blog, I broke down the overwhelming mustachitude of Purdue's coaching staff. Well, turnover is a bitch, and this year's staff is a very clean-shaven bunch, with all of the mustaches purged except for Tiller and my personal favorite Brock Spack. New Defensive Line Coach Terrell Williams does sport a 'stache, but it's an underwhelming little ditty that looks like it was drawn on with an eyeliner pencil. Weak.

  • The 2005 game in West Lafayette was the most beautiful game I have witnessed in person. I think we all remember very vividly the infamous Ron Franklin quote:

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Dink & Dunk: Oops, I Crapped My Pants Edition

Wink Dinkins and Buck Dunkowitz have been in the bathroom for the last two days. They apologize for the delay.

  • Now that we've confirmed he survived the ordeal, I think it's okay to make fun of Joe Paterno and his loose bowels during Saturday's contest, which forced him off the field and into a fresh pair of pants for the second half of the game.
    When asked if he has trouble with his regularity, Paterno commented, "My body works like clockwork. Every morning at 7, I urinate, and at 8:30 I have a healthy bowel movement. The problem is, I don't get up until 10."

    Caught wearing a low-flow garmet on a high-flow day. We've all been there

  • This week, there's going to be a lot of ball-busting about the Irish's upcoming opponent Purdue. The big stupid drum, the mustaches, and their craptastic fans. But allow to put a sober, well-reasoned argument about how bad Purdue is. There are no Purdue bloggers. Zero. Go ahead, do a Google Search. Blogging interest is so low that AOL can't even pay somebody to be a Purdue blogger at the Fanhouse.
    Even Colorado, tailspin and all, has more vigilant representation in the blogsphere.

  • I guess Georgia has a quarterback controversy. Wait, not controversy. What's the word you use when you're forced to choose between a handfull of individuals who are equally incompotent?
    • A presidential election? (zing!)
    • The Big East Championship? (double zing!)
    • The Miami - Florida State game? (ba-zing!)
    • Shit, I'm out of material.
  • Here's a game I'd like to see: combine Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan and have them play against the combined forces of North Texas, Rice, and Sam Houston State (yes, that's Texas' September schedule) in a battle-royale to determine which state has the worst Division 1 football in the world.
    The traveling trophy can be the "Gilded Cupcake".

    Now that's some bling.

  • Ole Miss should be renamed to the "Gateway to the bottom of the Top 25". Both Rutgers and Missouri have made it to the Top 25 on the virtue of a "big win over a BCS conference school" as both of them handled The Orgeron at home.
    Getting national acclaim for beating up on the Rebels is kind of like getting a college scholarship for beating my six year-old niece in Candyland.

  • Troy and Rice win the "Have Bodybag, Will Travel" award for fearlessly taking on a full-slate of non-conference drubbings from top 25 teams.
    A big thanks goes to Florida State, who graciously sacrificed their time to take on both of these teams. They were even nice enough to let Troy lead for three and a half quarters. Such a philanthropist, that Bobby Bowden.

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Absolutely Required Reading on Gary Gray

There's a lengthy article today in the hometown newspaper of Irish recruit Gary Gray that is completely and utterly mandatory reading. It kind of needs to be seen in its entirity to get the full context, so I shall refrain from blockquoting it here.

All in all, there's a lot to be learned about the high-stakes world of high school athletes and their recruitment, the tangible effect that psychopaths on Internet message boards can have on recruiting, and the triumph of a high school kid from humble roots to overcome outrageous pressure and follow his heart. No matter what happens with Gray's football career under the dome, I for one will always be a big fan of his.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Avast! Blogpoll Number Four!

For entertainment purposes only:

1 Ohio State --
2 Auburn --
3 Oregon --
4 Southern Cal --
5 Michigan --
6 Florida --
7 Louisville 1
8 Georgia 1
9 Iowa 1
10 Tennessee 3
11 Boise State 1
12 Notre Dame 2
13 Cal 13
14 TCU 7
15 Louisiana State --
16 Texas --
17 Clemson 2
18 West Virginia 11
19 Virginia Tech 1
20 Georgia Tech 6
21 Oklahoma 1
22 Arizona State 11
23 Boston College 6
24 Rutgers 1
25 Wake Forest 1

Dropped Out: Navy (#18), Michigan State (#23), Florida State (#24).

Okay, 1 through 6 are the same. I don't really believe in dissecting the exact quality of wins, and all of these teams played and beat mid-range-ish conference teams without anything too exceptional happening. Auburn played some cannon fodder, but they are riding on a good resume of BCS victories, so they're cool.

Cal shooting up 13 places after a win seems a bit excessive, but it was more of a correction for my ranking of them last week. With their blowout loss and a week three game against some unnamed bitch school, I got vengeful and banished Cal from my rankings. After beating Arizona State, and convincingly, they have a wins over two solid BCS schools, which is more than can be said for almost all of the teams ranked below them. So there.

Texas continues to get "hated upon", I guess. I'm sure that Texas is a fine football squad, but they only have one real win against a middling conference team. If they start rolling through conference play, they'll shoot up the polls, but for now their resume is crap.

West Virginia plummets because I finally got sick of looking at their schedule. I was fine to let them slide by, as everyone was feasting on cupcakes, but the season is a third over and I became very wrathful when I saw Marshall, unnamed Bitch, Maryland, and East Carolina on the resume. Let's talk when you've played a football team.

24 and 25 are my vanity picks for surprising underdogs who have stirred up some noise.


Big Thumbs Up for Michigan State

Back in my collich days, the Michigan State band had a bunch of insanely overweight women in one-piece bathing suits twirling flags and feebly attempting to do leg kicks and the like.

I noticed at Saturday's game that they have hence replaced them with dudes in traditional band uniforms.

Good idea.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37

Head, meet explode.

Taken seconds after the final gun sounded.

I am so cold and wet and probably have pneumonia and just got home at 5:30AM and I'm cold and freezing and wet but happy, so happy, oh so happy. What ridiculously idiotically stupidly heart-breakingly moronically crappy depressingly insanely phenomenally irritatingly outstanding and awesome and terrific game. Hallelujah, holy shit. Rack me.

Orson Swindle, per the official Calvinball rules of the blogsphere, I hereby dock you ten points and demand that you sing the "Very Sorry Song" for your ill-timed and premature comment. Hencewith, you must jump on one foot until you find the secret bonus box. If you do not comply with these demands within 48 hours, I will challenge you to shots from fifteen paces as a matter of principle and honor.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Adios, Amigos

Off to East Lansing. Wish me luck. I will be pissy like nobody's business if I have to sit through the rain to watch a bad game. Please, Irish, do it for America, for Touchdown Jesus, and for all that is good in the world.

Bonus Liveblogging: Wisconsin has an interesting strategy against Michigan called "Don't spot them 24 points on idiotic turnovers". I know, it sounds crazy. Let's see if it works. They're up 7-0 right now.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Let's Celebrate!

I'm getting ready to head out to East Lansing to support the lads in, arguably, the most critical juncture of the season. While my main goal will be surviving through the bitter rain, I'm going to try and fight through it and do some serious tailgating. And what's a tailgate party without dancing... sweet, glorious dancing.

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O Canadabama

Big thanks to the House Rock Built's consiglieri Captain Eclectic, who reminded us on today's Friday Night Lites that if there were no auto industry, Michigan would have been annexed by Canada and would subsequently be Canada's shamefully redneck southern state. Ergo, henceforth my affectionate nickname for the state of Michigan will be "Canadabama". Learn it and love it, then buy a shirt expressing your love:

O, Canadabama, our home and native land.

UPDATE: Now available in women's, cause we all know how much the ladies hate Michigan.

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Friday Night Lites - Bringing the Hate

On a very touching Friday Night Lites, we preview the Michigan State game by having a chat with The Enlightened Spartan, then wrap things up with a chat with the House Rock Built's consiglieri Captain Eclectic, who gives a personal account of the life of a tortured Domer hailing from that awful, awful state of Michigan. You want highlights? Here's some highlights:

  • We answer the timeless question... after you have sex with a girl, is it impolite to plant a flag in the middle of her bedroom? (Answer: hell no!)
  • For some reason, there is some mention of dead fetuses. What the hell is this show coming to?
  • We test the education the Enlightened Spartan received at his Agricultural College. The results are less than impressive (he doesn't even know how many gallons of milk the average dairy cow produces in a day).
  • We do John L. Smith impersonations. These players are working their backsides off, but the goddamn coaching staff is screwing it all up!
  • Speaking of John L. Smith, we found his love parents:

    Dick Vitale


    Sling Blade


    John L. Smith

And updated Lightning Round stats. Two big hitters today:

Lightning Round Leaderboard
The Enlightened Spartan
Captain Eclectic
Brian (mgoblog)
Yost (The M Zone)
Mike (Fire Mark May)
Jay (Blue-Gray Sky)
Orson (EDSBS)

Enjoy, you savages!

MP3 File

(subscribe to Friday Night Lites via iTunes)

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blogpoll Roundtable 2.3

Maize n Brew Dave is hosting the third blogpoll of the year, and since I helped myself to about half a brewery worth of beer at his tailgate on Saturday, I suppose the least I can do is answer a little survey put together by a fellow Chicagoan.

1. It's only the third week of the season and we've already seen some highly ranked favorites drop out of national championship contention. Preseason favorite Cal dropped to #21 after a loss and a pair of underwhelming victories. Who's your pick as the next NC contender to take a fall?

Well, with three SEC teams at the top of the rankings (Georgia, Auburn, and Florida), it goes without saying that something has to give when it comes to conference play. All three squads have looked very solid this year, and it's tough to tell if any of them are head and shoulders above the rest. Going by the history of the SEC, I get the feeling that all three of these teams will split their head-to-head matchups, effectively eliminating all from the hunt for the MNC, since that's the cruel irony of down-south football.

Louisville, ever the darkhorse, is in for a rough go of things with big injuries. They've been resilient and have a pretty easy slate, but I don't think any team is good enough to lose two Heisman hopefuls and laugh it off.

2. By that same token there are several schools hanging around without a loss that all of a sudden look like surprise contenders. There are also a few one loss teams with a legit shot at getting back into it. Looking at the rankings who's the team no one's talking about with the best shot at crashing the party ?

Well, a lot of people (and fans alike) wrote off Notre Dame after that thing that happened last week with the thing, but I don't think all hope is lost. The Irish should be favored in every game they play up to USC, so if they can take care of business and rebound psychologically, a showdown at the Colosseum could propel the Irish back into the scene, particularly with the "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?" mentality of pollsters.

My soul... it burns at the sight.

Oregon didn't get much preseason love, but it looks like they've reverted to their ball-flinging Pac 10 scorefest that got them tantalizingly close to the title a few years ago. That Dixon kid is pretty entertaining to watch, and seeing them hang a huge number of points (admittedly, some of them ill-gotten) on a supposedly indomitable Oklahoma defense makes me wonder. Good home field advantage, good coach, athletic squad, horrifyingly ugly uniforms, and soft Pac 10 defenses to shred through all bode well for the Ducks.

3. Every team has their quicksand away game. You know. That place you should win but somehow find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or at least scare the &*%^ out of you every year. Did you know that over the last 21 years Kentucky hasn't won once in Knoxville? Where is your team's yearly sandtrap?

Ugh. This upcoming Saturday against a man in a skirt with an humorously oversized head. And that's just John L. Smith. Sons of bitches play like it's the super bowl every year against the Irish, then find away to piss away the rest of their season in an act of defiance.

4. Now that you've looked into the darkest place in your football soul, free Escalades aside, turn and look into your crystal ball. Conference play is either just starting or a single game in. Based on what you've seen so far, give the order of finish in your conference, and if you've got a Conference Championship game tell us who the winner will be. Independents must predict the remainder of their schedule. The results your predictions will be held against you at the end of the season.

1. Notre Dame
2. Navy
3. Army
4. Temple

Stone. You can quote me on that.

Right, so the independent fork of the question, I'm predicting 50 point blowout wins for every game except USC, which will be a 100 point blowout win. Okay, 86 points, since the refs will probably give the Trojans two free onside kicks at the end.

5. In keeping with the spirit of Maize n Brew, name your beverage of choice on game days and why. It need not be alcoholic, as there are some of us who choose not to imbibe on game day. Further, it need not be limited to a single brand/type/category. If you enjoy drinking PBR and Kraft Turkey Gravy at the same time (which I have personally witnessed), please, elaborate. Finally, if you should feel so inclined, and this is not a requirement, add an anecdote involving said beverage choice.

Miller Lite goes in your right hand. Every time it gets below 30% full, you immediately find a replacement. This, naturally, gives a constant trickle of alcohol to the bloodstream so you don't ever lose your drunken velocity. Your left hand? That's your personal choice. This weekend, I happened upon a bottle of Anejo Tequila and Johnny Walker Blue (the bluest of the blue liquors), which served me quite handsomely.

For those early hours, it can't hurt to slug back a few Sparks, since a good caffeine rush is sometimes needed to motivate you to binge drink at 8AM, particularly when you're probably rocking a hangover from the night before. Be careful, though, because too much Sparks has a devastating effect on the body. Best case scenario, you'll tumble ass-over-tea kettle down the aisle stairs in the stadium like a certain blogger I know did. Worst case scenario? You miss the second half because you have to drive to the desert to bury a dead hooker.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blogpoll Week 3

For your amusement:

1 Ohio State --
2 Auburn 1
3 Oregon 2
4 Southern Cal --
5 Michigan 4
6 Florida 4
7 West Virginia 8
8 Louisville 13
9 Georgia 2
10 Iowa 12
11 Arizona State 9
12 Boise State 4
13 Tennessee 7
14 Notre Dame 12
15 Louisiana State 2
16 Texas 8
17 Boston College 4
18 Navy 6
19 Florida State 7
20 Virginia Tech 1
21 TCU 5
22 Clemson 4
23 Oklahoma 12
24 Michigan State 2
25 Rutgers --

Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (#14), Miami (Florida) (#18), UCLA (#23).

Swing? You betcha. Again, teams that haven't had a signature win yet (Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia Tech, to name a few) are riding the pine in the lower half of the rankings. Louisville jumps up in the polls after beating, admittedly, an unranked team, but that's because they've looked awesome as hell up to this point and I was waiting for a convincing reason to move them up. I was accused in the week 2 wrapup of being a hater on the 'ville, but I can honestly say I was just waiting for them to play an actual football team. The results are in, and they're positive. Everything else is self-explanatory. Navy is fucking metal.

Games Watched: West Virginia-Maryland, Notre Dame - somebody I can't really remember, bits of BYU-BC. Pretty slow week for gamewatching, what with the soul-searing depression and all.