Nard Dog, Champagne, Jacory, Picks, and Modern Family

Spent a good deal of time at home yesterday watching a half-dozen college football games – along with a couple of baseball games, Modern Family and the third episode of Boardwalk Episode – and here are some thoughts on the day.

* Michigan’s Denard Robinson still has a Heisman edge due to some Herculian numbers, but his margin disappeared yesterday afternoon in Ann Arbor. Sorry, those 200/200 games are nice, but on national TV. Nard Dog threw three picks and his team was punked. Given the fact that there are probably three more losses on that schedule, Nard Dog better adopt a guard dog to make sure Taylor Martinez doesn’t break into his home and steal that Heisman. That folks, is not a Hispanic joke. (Martinez is the real deal and it makes you wonder why he wasn’t playing last year when the Huskers couldn’t move the ball.)

I swear this is not a Yankee critique from last night, but is instead a long-held belief worth sharing this morning. Following yesterday’s sweep, the Yankees broke out the Moet and Chandon in the clubhouse. To that I ask …. Is there any lamer tradition in baseball than popping champagne after a team wins its divisional series? Yes, the AJ Burnett “pie in the face during the post-game interview” is worse but that is just one lame guy doing something ridiculously lame. Pie aside, the champagne pop after the divisional series has always struck me as a manufactured charade. First off, most teams busted out the Veuve Clicquot after they clinched a playoff berth and certainly there is some Tattinger being iced for after the League Championship …. So why waste the bubbly on what amounts to winning a quarterfinal?  Do you honestly think Kobe or Brady or Crosby would be raising bottles with two more rounds to go? Forget the champagne, it is the tradition itself that should be put on ice.

* I think I am now a Rangers fan and am hoping Tommy Hunter wraps things up today. The last thing I want to see is this series go five and the Yanks missing Cliff Lee (or David Price) until game three.    

  * That signature Ohio State win – over Miami – isn’t looking so hot this morning after the Canes got prison raped last night. The Bucks are still set up well to make it to the BCS game but OSU fans can no longer tout that Miami win as something of significance.

* Oregon and Ohio State have a ways to go yet but are we looking at a rematch of the 2010 Rose Bowl for the title this year? With Bama losing yesterday and now in jeopardy of missing the SEC Final, it certainly looks like we could get a Pac-10/Big 10 final. The big hurdle for the Ducks … Nov 13 at Cal.  The Bucks, meanwhile, seem to have two big ones left … next week in Madison and a November 20th trip to Iowa City.

* Remember late last year when people were talking Miami’s Jacory Harris up for the 2010 Heisman?  Fast forward ten months and those touts look about as good as my April claim that Josh Beckett would win 16 games for the 2010 Red Sox. Harris has been AWFUL! He was awful against Ohio State. He was awful last week against Clemson. And he was doubly awful last night against Florida State. In those three games, Harris is 54-119 with seven picks. Jacory may pick things up in coming weeks against some easy ACC marks, but the fact of the matter is, he has spit the bit in meaningful games.  

35-0 and 35-7. Those are the two losses that UCLA suffered against the Bay Area this season. People, neither game was that close. Here is what this Bruin alum was heartened to see yesterday …. UCLA’s QB Kevin Prince had 39 plays show up on yesterday’s boxscore. That includes passes, sacks and runs. The total yardage on those plays …. 67. With all due respect to Drew Olsen, UCLA now going on its 12th straight year of playing without a real QB.

* I didn’t get to see it but Andrew Luck seemingly carved up SC last night. 20-24 for almost 300 yards and three scores makes you wonder why he was kept on such a low pitch count. Maybe it’s just me, but when my QB is slicing up the D, I would gladly trade five yard runs for eleven yard passes.

* With Arizona’s Derek Anderson benched and out of the picture, will there be a worse QB matchup this year than Claussen and Todd Collins?  

* My three darts came up with these three games today …. New Orleans laying seven, the Pack laying 2.5 and the Broncs getting 7.5. I usually would love that Indy games as the Colts have traditionally pounded KC into the ground when the Chiefs travel East but something about that Colts D seems awfully sketchy to me.

* Brett Favre and his pud turn 41 today. Other birthday boys for October 10th include Troy Tulowitski, Pat the Bat, two-time Survivor runner-up Russell Hartz and Saved by the Bell’s AC Slater. Happy Birthday guys.  

* I’ve now given Modern Family four tries. FOUR. Yes, I know I promised to bag it after the third pass – this season’s debut – was a disaster, but it somehow was on my DVR so I gave it one last chance yesterday.  Suffice to say, this week’s episode was another horror show as I counted 32 attempted jokes and just one hit. And to be quite honest, that hit was generously scored. So I ask … how in the frigging world did this show win an Emmy for Best Comedy last season? I realize the competition is far from stiff, but handing this show as Emmy is like handing a league MVP trophy to a guy who slugged .320.

* Meanwhile, Boardwalk Empire is DEFINITLEY worth a follow. And that isn’t just because it has Omar from The Wire, who three hours into the series, has graced us with four lines. No, BE has some interesting characters, at least three good story arcs, and the best opening credits on TV since Freaks & Geeks. I haven’t really got into any of the HBO period pieces (Rome, Deadwood) but this one is a solid B+ through three hours.

Off to a one-year old’s birthday party. Be back for the second half of the one o’clockers …..



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5 responses to “Nard Dog, Champagne, Jacory, Picks, and Modern Family

  1. Mister Snitch!

    “Brett Favre and his pud turn 41 today.”

    Hey, he swears he has the winkie of a teenager.

    “Boardwalk Empire is DEFINITLEY worth a follow”

    For period sets, costumes, and cultural mores. (Mad Men, same thing, but that series has hit its stride this season. Empire has not, as yet.)

    • Mad Men is in my rotation. Excellent episode last night. Draper’s attempt to mix things up last with the NYT ad seems like a game changer. Also interested to see whether a white knight comes to Sterling Coopers defense next week.

  2. Mister Snitch!

    Draper’s move was genius. Naturally, the rest of the execs cannot see it and their resentment is plain. But it’s not just a resentment of what Draper did “without their permission”. (Had he sought their permission, of course the ad would not have happened.) It’s a resentment of Draper’s perceived status as the ‘driving force’ defining and empowering the agency. Naturally, ALL of them to some degree think they are the indispensable ones.

    What did Draper say about his place in the agency last night? Something along the lines of ‘what we [creatives] do is the most important, and the least important, thing’. This is a brilliant and (I think) accurate insight into that mysterious, elusive spark that emerges from time to time in the form of an Einstein, Edison, Ford, Carnegie or a Steve Jobs. Try as you might, you cannot produce such visionaries. The best you can hope for is to produce a culture in which they might possibly reveal themselves (and save us all from sinking into mediocrity or worse) from era to era.

    • I was talking to my GF about this very subject this morning. My thought was … advertizing was probably pretty “un-creative” in 1965. Lots of “here is the product and you can find it at your local store.” Very little selling, at least as far as we are now accustomed to seeing through the Nikes and Apples and Autos of the world.

      But I suspect that some of that was about to change in 1965. And creativity would start invading that industry. Draper’s move was a metaphor for this change. “No longer are we going to do it the old way. I am going to blow things up. Some advertisers will run the other way. But others will see it. And we want those guys as clients.”

      I can’t help but think this move will be rewarded next week. Sure, the old stodgy advertisers won’t be ready for Don. So your Proctors and Kelloggs are probably out. But it only takes one or two forward-thinkers to make Sterling Cooper fly and that is what I expect to see in the finale.

  3. Mister Snitch!

    “I can’t help but think this move will be rewarded next week.”

    Yes. New business from unexpected sources will save them from the brink of doom. (I especially liked the portrayal of Draper’s inspiration from the pit of his despair – the notebook scene – and the way the inspiration was foreshadowed/triggered by Peggy. She had repeated Don’s own words to him: “Change the conversation.”) The writing this year is inspired.

    As is the case in the ad business, politics, and life generally, Draper’s success will turn out to have many fathers, just as his perceived failure was his burden alone.

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