Monday, October 17, 2005

Make yourself at home

My weekend was thoroughly miserable. However, my good friend, Dip (aka Jason), had a much better time than I did.

Dip offers strong opinions, making him a worthwhile person. Please allow me to present to you his guest entry, with my comments in parentheses:

College Football
On Saturday I watched college football from noon until the end of the 3:30 games almost non-stop (with a little laundry and doing the dishes mixed in) for the first time in what seems like years. Normally it just isn't worth it anymore; being married and owning a house usually keeps me plenty happy to pick one game and watch it. It just so happened that this Saturday Val had a work seminar and there were enough interesting matchups to keep my attention.

I decided to head out to The Blue Monkey (I'd give a link, but their site is garbage) with the hope that Glen (Someday, you should tell us about Glen's 80's hair. He looks a little like Steve Perry. --ed.) would be able to meet me there. I got there around 12:30 and although they have probably over 50 TV's, the Rutgers game was nowhere to be seen. (This is very aggravating to me as RU is the closest BCS school to the area...64 miles from bar to Rutgers Stadium, 181 miles from bar to State College, PA, but that's a rant that I could go on about for hours) (Are you suggesting that the poor residents of the Lehigh Valley should subject themselves to the football equivalent of The Chevy Chase Show?--ed.)

They were nice enough to put it on and I was able to watch RU beat up on Syracuse. As that game was ending the Minnesota/Wisconsin game came to a great ending (so long as you're not a Minnesota fan) and the PSU and ND fans started to pack the bar. Since Glen wasn't able to make it, and I'm not into drinking 35 beers in a day anymore (I remember those days. Good times.--ed.), I decided to get out and watch the late afternoon games at home.

Everyone that watched or heard about the PSU/Michigan & USC/ND matchups already knows how exciting those games turned out to be. It doesn't get much better than watching Rutgers beat up on Syracuse and then watching Joe Pa's team crumble at the end of a game and lose on the last play (Dude, you gotta get out more.--ed.). It's a good thing I wasn't still at the bar or I could have ended up getting the crap kicked out of me by the Penn St. fans.

It's that time of year again, when Rutgers' fans fool themselves into getting excited about whichever of the major sports teams (football) seems to have a good chance at a productive season (bowl game). At 4-2, 3-2 for bowl purposes, the team is 3 wins away from bowl eligibility. You'd have to think that after not making it to a bowl in almost 30 years, if they get to 6 D-1 wins, they're in.

The problem is, we've seen this before. Just last year they started the season strong only to lose 5 straight games to end the year. Does RU have a shot to make a bowl this year...sure, will they do it....OF COURSE NOT! This is fair warning to all inexperienced or overly-optimistic Rutgers fans: Don't get excited; you'll only end up really depressed in the end. Hey, there's always basketball season. (As if the basketball season won't be disappointing? I'd say their 14-year drought from the NCAA tournament is almost as pathetic as the football team's bowl drought. As Jeff Goldman would point out, even St. Bonaventure has made the tournament during that span.--ed.)

Golf (No one cares about golf. :-) --ed.)
There were 2 disqualifications (that I know about) this weekend in professional golf tournaments. One was very high profile and one I can't even find an article about. Michelle Wie was DQ'd from her first professional tournament for dropping a ball about a foot closer to the hole than her ball was in its unplayable lie (actually the DQ was for signing an incorrect scorecard, but it was because of the drop) and Kevin Stadler was DQ'd because his pitching wedge (which he had not used) had a bent shaft. I have problems with both of these, but for different reasons.

Wie was disqualified after a reporter told the tournament directors that he thought her drop was illegal. I also remember hearing about a couple instances last year where spectators or TV viewers contacted the tournaments to report similar issues. This type of thing just seems ridiculous to me. Who is a reporter or spectator to be able to cause a penalty to a professional athlete? Is there another sport in which a non-participant can call a penalty on a player? Her drop was illegal, and she should have been penalized 2 strokes...if she, her caddy, another player or caddy, a rules official, or a tournament director noticed it when it happened. That way she could have been notified of the situation to decide if she wanted to sign her scorecard--with or without the penalty--and go from there.

It is my understanding that Stadler did not even use the club that caused the problem (if someone thinks I'm wrong about this let me know). When he took it out of his bag he saw that it was bent and called over a rules official. The official knew what the rule was and made several calls to see if there was any way he could get out of having to DQ Stadler. That in itself is enough to realize how stupid the rule is. You're allowed 14 clubs, if one is illegal and you don't use it, it just means you have one less club to use. Every year they seem to get rid of some stupid rules like this (like not being able to use your hat to clean stuff off the green) and more just keep coming up. The game is hard enough as it is.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sun King

I never thought I'd be so excited to see my shadow.