7 weeks old

Ruby is 7 weeks old today. I know that's not any major milestone but I do celebrate just a little every Saturday when she's one week older. Sometimes I'm even "lucky" enough to be awake at the exact time she was born (3:48am).

She got her first piece of mail the other day. Addressed to her. I took a picture of her little hands holding on to the envelope - because I'm sentimental that way. I'd post it but then you'd know my address and you might come stalking my super cute baby.

But here are some pictures you can see of my 7 week old girl:




How to piss off a sleep deprived woman

The fastest way to piss off a sleep deprived woman off who has a 7 week old baby?

Have a member of the construction crew who is putting in a new water main on her street, bang on her door at 7:25am because you are about to tear up the street immediately at the end of her driveway and you thought you'd be courteous and suggest that her car be moved out of the driveway so that it does not get blocked in. EVEN THOUGH, you have been working on the street for over a week now and maybe could maybe have anticipated that the driveway would be blocked on this day and perhaps advised her of this... oh, I don't know, sometime in the afternoon of the day before???? You know, when she is awake and maybe watching Ellen instead of asleep in bed after being up in the night with a baby with eyes as wide as saucers???? And then make sure that there is no hope of her getting back to sleep because 1)You've now disturbed the baby's sleep and she is restless, and 2) YOU ARE RIPPING UP PAVEMENT OUTSIDE OF HER BEDROOM WINDOW!!!


Footnote: Lucky for said construction worker, the woman's husband was home and is substantially more forgiving and good natured than she is (probably because he isn't nearly as fucking sleep deprived!!!) and the husband was able to answer the door and move the car without tearing anyone's head off. Lives were saved here, people. I swear....

Overheard at my house this morning:

Tarable: *sigh* well I guess I won't have a shower this morning.

Steve: Why not??

Tarable: I don't have time! We have to leave the house in two hours!

How dinner has changed:

In my 'Previous Life':
For tonight's dinner I would have spent the afternoon browsing through recipe books for a good chicken recipe for the boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I took out of the freezer this morning. I would have then gone and got myself a lowfat, caramel latte and meandered through the grocery store, picking up the ingredients I needed (and anything else that may have caught my eye). While I was there I would have picked up some fresh veggies and a few nice, red potatoes. Later, at home I would have delicately steamed the veggies and drizzled them with lemon juice. I would have baked the potatoes, and topped them with fresh chopped chives and sour cream.

I would have spent the afternoon cooking this meal and making sure it was fabulous.

In my 'Current Life':
The chicken is getting slopped with the Franks Red Hot Sauce that I found on the door of my fridge. The 'veggies' are courtesy of my pantry and Heinz - canned pork and beans (veggie, right?). And in place of the baked red potatoes that I do not have on hand, I found some freezer burnt perogies that I chipped out of the 6 inches of frost at the back of my freezer. I will attempt to bring back to life with a frying pan and butter.

I will spend as little time, energy and TLC on this meal as I can possibly spare - because time, energy and TLC are precious commodities these days.

Bon Appetit!

Trouble

It's noon.

I am still in my pyjamas.

I have not brushed my hair or my teeth.

I haven't had a chance to eat yet today.

Ruby has been awake since 4am which means that I... have been awake since 4am.

It's time for her to eat and all I want is to do is feed her so she will go to sleep so I can have a nap. But she has only drank a little of her bottle and spits it out and won't drink anymore.

Just when I think I will never make it through the day... she looks up and me and does this:




Clever little devil.


Someone at PSU's staying: One Larry Johnson Sr

Was Larry Johnson Sr offered a monster salary hike for him to stay at Penn State instead of going to sudden Big Ten rival Illinois? Apparently not, according to some newspaper reports.

Was Larry Johnson Sr told that if he doesn't die of old age before Joe Paterno actually retires, he'll get either the defensive coordinator's, or even the head coach's job in Happy Valley? Apparently not, according to the same newspaper reports.

""I made a decision not based on monetary gain or status," Johnson told the Patriot-News. "The overriding factors were my loyalty to Penn State, my love for my players and my loyalty to their families that are already committed to me.

"I owe it to them to make a good decision, and I think I made the best one I could have made at this juncture in my career," he added.

Or does he simply love Penn State that much that he couldn't possibly go to the Big Ten competition?

People in Happy Valley love Larry Johnson Sr. He's the father of one of the best running backs ever to have to have touched the hallowed turf of Beaver Stadium and perhaps one of the best running backs the NFL has ever seen (bar his 2008 year, when he had, ahem, other things to worry about). He's one of the best recruiters in the Big Ten - and perhaps in college football. He's an exceptional defensive line coach - and perhaps the future defensive coordinator if a certain Mr Bradley - who frankly deserves a statue outside Beaver Stadium alongside Joe Paterno's - moves up to head coach. And he's a decent guy, too.

As a person who's seen a lot of people asked for a job and given a financial offer they couldn't refuse, I should think it was a mixture of everything. But frankly, I don't know. And even MORE frankly, it's none of my business. But thanks for staying, Larry Johnson Sr. In this financial climate, it could have been so much easier to walk.

Here's a highlight of one of your proudest moments - when your son got to 2,000 yards in front of a packed house in Happy Valley.

Maurice Evans: Why are you going?

A quick note to Maurice Evans:

Why on earth have you chosen to go to the NFL?

I'm sure that the lure of cash is too much for you, but seriously - your 2008 season wasn't exactly glittering, was it?

You had three sacks all season long for Penn State in a season that was probably more memorable for you being charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana than it was for you getting an All-American place like your colleague, Aaron Maybin.

Let's throw this one out there: the last I looked, the NFL weren't too happy with drafting players who have 'character issues'. There are many people I know in Happy Valley that think you're a gentle giant, but with a cannabis charge, do you think that NFL GMs care?

And while Aaron Maybin's been thought of a future top 10 draft pick, you're not in the first round.

Now people may look to your sensational 2007 season, when you had 12.5 sacks in what was a rather disappointing season for Penn State. You could be sensational (read: Top 10, and more money!) in 2010.

I'll just send out the message from the guys from Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman:



You made a big mistake, huge.

Dreams

When you only sleep in 2 hour (maximum) increments, you never truly fall into a deep sleep. And because of this I am constantly in that state of sleep in which you dream.

In the past few days I have dreamed:

- That I was riding around in the back seat of The Queen's SUV and her toddler was in the front passenger seat. Toddler was still a toddler but had an adult voice and swore like a sailor.

- That I was eating my cereal - not with regular skim milk like I normally would - but with breastmilk. And it was really salty and gross.

- That during Steve's turn to feed the baby at 1am, he was secretly feeding her chocolate milk - despite the stockpile of breastmilk I have on hand in the fridge. He thought there was nothing wrong with this and couldn't understand why I was so upset. (Also, I didn't even know we had any chocolate milk in the fridge).

- That I was pregnant again. Right now. Dear God, no. This is so wrong. And soooo not even possible for multiple reasons.

One Month

It has officially been one month (and one day) since I gave birth to my little jewel, Ruby.

Yesterday was her one month birthday. When you measure your life in weeks, it really does seem to fly by. (Not unlike when you measure your nights in 2 hour sleeping increments, the hours also fly by).

Here are pictures from Ruby's "one month old" photoshoot:


Please note - the pants are not rolled up. My daughter has long legs... which she did NOT inherit from me or my side of the family. Lucky girl.


We wanted to include Quincy in some pictures so we had something to compare size to as she grows. Quincy is none too pleased about the whole Ruby thing and I think that shines through in this picture:


It's hard work being a supermodel:

It's official: Aaron Maybin's off to the NFL

Goodbye, Aaron Maybin.

After just one season of being the Nittany Lions' full-time starting defensive end, Aaron Maybin decided he wanted "green out" rather than "white out" and is skipping his final year for the riches of the NFL.

In his closing speech, he used the usual clap-trap about "difficult decisions" and "opportunity".

He was absolutely brilliant in almost every game he played for Penn State last season, and we can only wish him well.

However, the VFA's confident that someone else will simply jump in Maybin's place - Tom Bradley's that good a defensive co-ordinator.

Remember, this is the start to Maybin's new life - but not an end to Penn State's chances of winning the Big Ten in 2009.

We'll leave you with one of Penn State's best defensive memories of last year:



Oh, and Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech's going too. He's a certain first round pick - and likely top 10. He thinks he might be good enough to go Top 5.

Here's one of his highlight reels:



And THIS one from 2008 (not that it's been overplayed at all)

CBC, infomercials, bottle cleaners and dog poo

It takes a special kind of creative to be able to write good blog posts while you are at home on maternity leave, tending to a newborn baby, running on almost no sleep, while barely able to feed and bathe your own self, and without a vehicle to get out and see the world.

I apparently do not possess that special kind of creative. Here's why:

I have thought about writing a post about how depending on feeding time, I sometimes watch Steven and Chris or sometimes I watch George Strombo in the wee hours of the morning and how one day during the sunlight hours I actually saw George on Steven and Chris' show and how I found that very entertaining.

And I was also going to write a post once about the Superstars of Country infomercial, hosted by Kenny Rogers in the wee hours of the morning. And that there is a reason why those infomercials are on at that time of night and it is because people like me who are in a weakened mental state due to sleep deprivation will seriously consider ordering Superstars of Country because, you know, you can't buy it in stores. And it's only three easy payments on your credit card.

Or I might write about my new bottle cleaner that Steve bought me yesterday - and how fricken excited and happy I was about it. Hey - it even came with a little mini nipple cleaner! (FYI - not for my nipples, for the bottle nipples. Just in case you were confused). And now it's easier to clean my bottles and nipples and oh how that just makes my day.

And then I had contemplated writing a post about people who walk their dogs when it's snowy outside and why they think that the snow exonerates them from picking up their dog shit - because eventually the snow melts and there's dog shit all over the sidewalks and then it gets all mushed into my stroller wheels - which I am just learning to use. (There is a technique to be learned - I didn't realize this!) But then I got home and I wheeled around to our back door and guess what I just about rolled in? Yes, so I guess people who live in glass houses... shouldn't blog about other people's dog shit.

And that my friends, is what my life looks like right now. 3am television, infomercials, bottle cleaners and learning to dodge dog shit whilst also learning to wheel a stroller around.

That's all I've got.

Goodbye, Campus Clicks

No Hail Marys.

Campus Clicks is to be no more.

SI.com's utterly fantastic daily college sports email is to be no more, writer Mallory Rubin announced on the last issue of Campus Clicks. She's off to run SI's college football page.

"On an unrelated note, we've got some news: This is the final edition of Campus Clicks," she said. "It's admittedly a sad day, but wipe those tears from your eyes, because everything's going to be OK. I'm moving on to run SI.com's college football page, and SIOC will be incorporated into the Extra Mustard page. Before you ask, yes, Cheerleader of the Week will live on. Jimmy Traina, who runs EM and writes Hot Clicks, will take good care of you all. We know you'll like Jimmy, because he's tight with Erin Andrews and posts pictures of scantily clad women every single day. He's a Yankees fan, but hey, no one's perfect. So, thanks to the SIOC team and to all you readers and bloggers for making these last seven months so great. Life will be a little emptier without daily discussions about Facebook, USC Song Girls and Tim Tebow's eye black."

In other words: the guy is off to run someone else's college football page/ has been fired/ made redundant/ resigned/ so I've been promoted. Since Time Warner aren't hiring anybody (it's a recession you see!), I can't do two people's jobs. You, dear reader, are screwed.

But hey! You'll be able to see CC updated on the Extra Mustard page - which might be/certainly isn't as good as ESPN's Page 2.

But the good news? Apparently Cheerleader of the Week lives on. Yaaaaaaaay!

50 College Football Predictions for 2009

We haven’t even reached recruiting day, yet the View From North America is making its predictions for the fall of 2009…..

50) It won’t be a good year to wear bright orange because…

49) Tennessee will be third or fourth in the SEC East

48) Syracuse will continue to be the joke of the Big East

47) Auburn won’t be a factor in the SEC West…..

46)…and Clemson ain’t gonna set the ACC on fire.

45) Unless you’re wearing burnt orange, and then you’ve got Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley coming back – and ESPN’s already talking about you being a potential No.1.

44) Or orange and blue, and then you – as a Florida Gator fan, will be celebrating a National Championship and probably the return of….

43) Tim Tebow. He’s Superman, right?

42) That’s quite scary that Tebow’s coming back. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford should do, too – both aren’t ready for the big-time just yet.

41) And quickly back to bright orange: Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s new coach, struggles early, then expect the screams for his resignation start yet again.

40) But if you think Swinney’s got problems, then spare a thought for Auburn coach Gene Chizik. Suddenly everyone’s calling for his head….and he hasn’t even coached a game yet!

39) And if the Auburn job goes at the end of the 2009 season, then will anyone start talking about Texas’ defensive co-ordinator Will Muschamp taking a head coaching spot?

38) Speaking of head coaches taking up head coaching spots, didn’t Bo Pellini do well in his first year at Nebraska? Expect them to be a contender for the Big XII North title this year. The blackshirts are back!!

37) On the subject of ‘back’, expect a BCS bowl for Notre Dame. They might be hated by everyone but their own fans (that includes senior members of The Vatican, boys and girls!) but with Washington and Washington State on the schedule – as well as Nevada- we can expect at least a 9-3 season.

36) Why 9-3? Because we think that they’ll lose to USC, Boston College and Purdue and/or Pittsburgh.

35) You’ll also talk about the return of Floridian superpowers Miami and Florida State, who have recruited brilliantly. Randy Shannon recruited well in 2008 and with a good amount of returning players this year. Bobby Bowden has done the same.

34) Here’s my big prediction (1): Florida State vs Miami in the ACC Title game.

33) Although Georgia Tech could well spoil the party. Seen that running game in 2008? It’s back in 2009, too (if you’d just forget the LSU game, where they were whomped)

32) How ‘bout ‘dem Tigers? After ripping the wings off the Yellow Jackets, some might expect LSU to challenge for the SEC title. Here’s my thought: Challenge? Yes. Win division? No.

31) That’s because my prediction is that the SEC West title will go to Alabama. If they can recover from their shellacking against Utah, the departure of quarterback John Parker Wilson, and the walking of giant left tackle Andre Smith – who’s going to play in the NFL. Not great news about Glen Coffee, though….

30) So that leaves the SEC East. Let’s assume that Georgia QB Matt Stafford leaves for the riches of the NFL, and Florida’s Tim Tebow does not. On the basis of that – and the recruiting of both teams – then you’d have to make Florida a favourite for the division. We can’t wait for Hallowe’en, which will see Georgia and Florida get together at the Cocktail Party.

29) Although the prospect of the game’s become a lot less exciting now Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno have declared for the NFL.

28) Prediction (2): Florida and Alabama will get together AGAIN for the SEC Title.

27) There are some monster non-conference games out there. We’ll start with Georgia going to Oklahoma State at the start of the year. Or Alabama vs Virginia Tech.

26) Then we’ve got Oklahoma going to a revamped Miami.

25) And speaking of pressure, it’s going to be the battle of the two of the most under-pressure head coaches in football: Charlie Weis (Notre Dame) vs Rich Rodriguez (Michigan) in Ann Arbor.

24) On Week 3, it’s USC vs Ohio State in the game of the season – maybe the decade. USC won’t have played in an atmosphere like this for years. Notre Dame in 2005 doesn’t count, I’m afraid. The fans in Columbus are a cross between mental and deranged.

23) Then we’ve got the in-conference schedules. Take your pick of the SEC/ Big XII South games and have fun watching.

22) Speaking of Big XII South, we’re predicting the Big XII committee is going to change its tiebreaker after last year’s almighty screw-up. You know why?

21) Because it may well happen again – particularly if Bradford comes back like Texas’ Colt McCoy is. Don’t rule out Texas Tech with that man Michael Crabtree and his new quarterback – whoever that might be. Oh and Zac Robinson’s coming back at Oklahoma State, too.

20) That’s if Michael Crabtree comes back – but Mike Leach has still got a heck of a lot of firepower.

20) One conference game we’re looking forward to is the OU vs Texas game at the Cotton Bowl. Expect fireworks.

19) Speaking of fireworks, 2009 won’t be a year to give a damn about Michigan.

18) Or Kentucky.

17) But it’ll still be great to be a Florida Gator.

16) If the Gators and the SEC are strong, how weak was the Big Ten in bowl games? Only Iowa made the Big Ten Commish smile.

15) And it’s probably going to get weaker now some of the big name running backs – Iowa’s Shonn Greene, Ohio State’s Beanie Wells, and Wisconsin’s PJ Hill have all said that the time is right that to take the next stop forward in their career (or words to that effect).

16) Don’t expect all of them to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, though.

15) But expect Moreno to be a mid-first round pick. After the incredible success of undersized running back Darren Sproles (I mean, did no-one see how good the guy was at Kansas State?), Moreno could set GM’s tongues wagging.

14) Unless its Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen. He kinda needs a quarterback.

13) Millen won’t get a quarterback from the Big Ten. There’s no-one good enough to master a NFL offense – although peg down Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor for the future. Speaking of the Big Ten, Ohio State (despite losing some of the best players) will continue to lead the Big Ten…

12) Although don’t be surprised if they share a title with Penn State, who’s defense is so good that they may not miss defensive end Aaron Maybin, who apparently’s going to walk after just one season as an every down player. Linebacker Shaun Lee’s going to back. I’m still pretty excited….

11) If the Lions can get a wide receiver or two who come close to outgoing seniors Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood.

10) Despite losing a majority of their brilliant, brilliant defense, USC has got so much damned talent that they probably win the Pac-10 this year, especially if Mark Sanchez comes back. He’s certainly a better alternative for them that Mitch Mustain (sorry, the Mich Mustain fan club!).
9) Utah and Boise State will again compete for the BCS spot – although both won’t be unbeaten. Unless the Utes can beat Oregon in that quiet stadium called Autzen.

8) Speaking of Autzen, what’s louder? That place, The Swamp or Happy Valley in a big-time night game. Or Tiger Stadium? We can’t wait to rekindle the debate later this summer, especially when people start talking about the future again (it’s not easy to see ahead to the summer months when it’s snowy outside, is it?).

7) We know this – Penn State’s trip to Michigan’s going to be pretty darned loud, too. So’s Ohio State’s to Happy Valley. And Tiger Stadium will be rocking with the arrival of Florida and Auburn…two teams who fans in Baton Rouge really don’t like.

6) Let’s hope that by then LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee’s learned to find his own player. Or he might be sitting on the bench looking at Jordan Jefferson play. Jefferson threw for 142 yards and a TD in the bowl win against Florida.

5) While talking about Florida, I thought it’s also important to think about college football’s worst in 2008. Will Washington and Washington State combine for more than 1 win this year? Will Army finally beat Air Force and Navy? And will Syracuse make me eat my words and actually compete?

4) Probably not. But with former USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and defensive guru Nick Holt at the the helm, the Huskies will be much improved.

3) So will Big XII defenses. Expect less 640 point games this year. The Big XII South will still be a lot of fun – so here’s the VFA’s big prediction: Texas vs Nebraska for the Big XII title…..in the cold.

2) But Texas won’t care about the cold. Especially if that victory gets them a National Championship spot….

1) Against USC.


Can’t wait until September!

It's good to be a Florida Gator!

That's not to say this writer remotely likes the Florida Gators, but you can't help but be pleased for Tim Tebow, who's probably one of the most decent men in college football.

Tebow was superb in the fourth quarter of the National Championship Game last night, outperforming Heisman winner Sam Bradford.

In fact, he could have engineered a great comeback - in front of a practically home crowd in Miami - had Bradford and his offense been able to take advantage of TWO touchdown-scoring opportunities when practically at Florida's goalline.

Sure, Tebow was interecepted a couple of times. Sure, Oklahoma disproved comments that Big XII South defenses are completely overrated. But sure, when it came to the clutch, Tebow ran and threw with perfection.

It wasn't pretty - but Tim Tebow has a second National Championship with the Florida Gators. What are the odds that he's going to be around for a third?

What's behind the speech of the outgoing junior?

Ever tried to imagine what the college football star was thinking before making the dive in the NFL? The View From North America has it all.

"Thank you, everybody, for making it here today.

I have a lot of great memories from this great college [where I did absolutely no work/ got arrested/ drank myself into a stupor/ was worshipped like God Himself] and I’m pleased to have called myself an alumni. I’ll hopefully [yeah, right!] come back here to complete my degree.

However, I have decided to leave for the NFL. The decision was totally [my family’s/ my buddies back home who wouldn’t know ‘college’ if it hit him in the head/my agent’s] mine and I can’t wait for an NFL career [unless I have an NFL career like that of Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones or Michael Vick/ am not drafted].

The NFL will help me to support my family [and give me a mansion in a suburb as well as 400 cars, a couple of nice watches, and enough female scenery to make the Playboy Party seem like an everyday event].

I wish my coach all the best for the forthcoming season [He’ll need it, because I carried the offense last year!]."
National Championship Preview

The biggest game of the week is NOT in Pittsburgh, New York, Carolina or Tennessee. It’s in Miami for college football’s BCS National Championship game. Alex Ferguson gives you a preview of Florida vs Oklahoma.


FIRST, A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND….

The Bowl Championship Series is one of the most hated formula in all of US sports. Basically, a computer decides who will be the top team in the nation and who will face off against them using a number of human and non-human factors. Many say that Oklahoma shouldn’t be in the National Title game, thanks to the fact that they lost to Texas in an intradivisional game midway through the season. There could have been the same question about Florida after they coughed it up to Ole Miss at home, but Florida have stomped on the likes of Georgia, LSU and beaten Alabama that pretty much cemented expectations.
There are rivalries all over the field on Thursday night. Why? Florida and Oklahoma have already called each other overrated (and that’s putting it nicely), so we can’t wait to see if Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is less good than Heisman winner Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy, Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell, or Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson. And we also can’t wait to see if Oklahoma’s juggernaut offense can shut up Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, who frankly thinks they suck.

WHY FLORIDA WILL WIN

Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow. If you haven’t seen this guy, then you must have been on another planet in 2008. Not only is he a committed missionary in prisons and the Phillipines, but Tebow has been on a mission all season long: Florida Gator football. After the Gators lost at home to Ole Miss, Tebow assured the press that no-one would play harder than him for the rest of the year. And he wasn’t lying.
The thing that will also help Tebow and Florida to win their second National Championship in three years is their speedy backfield – Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey and a returning Percy Harvin will cause too many problems for Oklahoma’s defense. Oh, and the special teams – which were a problem for the Sooners all season long – will continue to put a knife into the Sooners National Title hopes.

X-Factor: The crowd. Florida are playing in a home game. They only have to travel down the road to go this one, while for Oklahoma fans, it’s quite a haul. With the current financial situation, I’m calling for the crowd to 60%-40% in the Gators fans – some of the loudest in the business.

Here's a moment that shut up the Gators fans early on in the season:



WHY OKLAHOMA WILL WIN

First of all, the Sooners are dying to break the curse of losing big BCS bowls – which they’ve done to Boise State and West Virginia. They’ve got a 2-4 record so far, and they’ll be eager not to make it 2-5.
But thirst aside, Sooner fans will be really happy about the offense that carries their hopes. Led by Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, the Sooners have been scoring points for fun. Heck, they even scored 35 in a losing effort. Sure, Big XII defenses aren’t exactly the Baltimores or Pittsburghs of college football, but scoring 700 in a season? That’s pretty darned good.
Things will be made a little harder for Bradford by the injury to star running back DeMarco Murray, but Chris Brown is arguably one heck of a replacement. Juaquin Iglesias and Manny Johnson are two superb wide receivers – and Jermaine Gresham, the big tight end, is definitely going to play on Sundays.
And although people have made comments about Big XII defenses this week, we’d like to throw this one out there: Oklahoma’s defense is still a pretty good one. It’s opportunistic, it’s fast, and it can produce turnovers (32 of them in the regular season).

X-FACTOR: The respect card. There are a lot of people – including this writer – who have argued that Oklahoma should not have been afforded the chance to go to the National Championship Game due to the fact that they only won their divisional tiebreaker thanks to their BCS ranking – not the voters. The 45-35 loss to Texas still rankles with Sooner fans.

Here's a moment that Oklahoma fans will want to forget this season:



FOR THE NEUTRAL: Try and decide what’s more annoying: Florida’s ‘Gator Chomp’ or the cry of “Boomer! Sooner!” that erupts anytime you’re near Oklahoma Sooners fans. Pick the one that annoys you less.

THE VERDICT: This one’s going down to the wire. Florida by seven.

What I learned today #14

Today I learned that when Steve says this: "When the baby falls asleep I want you to go lay down and have a nap.", I shouldn't be fooled into thinking that he really does recognize just how tired and sleep deprived I am because what he really means is this: "When the baby closes her eyes for 5 seconds I want you to take her out of the room and maybe nap or maybe don't, but most importantly let me lay down so I can nap for an hour or two while you fuss with the baby that you've already been fussing with all night - which did disturb my sleep for all of about 30 minutes."

Because you know, it's REALLY important for HIM to get some rest.

Ohio State must hate Arizona: Texas wins Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State must hate the state of Arizona.

In 2007 the Buckeyes went to the University of Phoenix Stadium in a BCS Game (the National Championship Game), and were trashed by the Florida Gators.

In 2009, the Buckeyes again went to University of Phoenix Stadium in a BCS Game. This time, it was a lot closer. The defense stepped up. Terrelle Pryor frightened the life out of the Texas Longhorns defense with his legs. But after 60 minutes, it was the same outcome. Ohio State lost again - this time in a 24-21 classic.

Forget everything you thought you knew about the Big Ten after this game. People can call Big Ten football as "slow" and "undersized" as they want - but Ohio State were certainly neither. The Buckeyes did themselves credit.

Beanie Wells ran roughshod on Texas' poor running 'D', going for 106 yards. A concussion at the start of the second half ended his challenge. Pryor had 66 of this own.

But, like their conference rivals Penn State had done against USC, penalties killed the Big Ten. Their seven 'penalties' may have gone for 67 yards - but a helmet-to-helmet penalty (a debatable one at that) on Thaddeus Gibson - proved to be key. The shot led to a Longhorns touchdown, putting them up 17-6.

Oh, and the Buckeyes also had to come up against Colt McCoy.

McCoy- who threw for 414 yards and two touchdowns - including the winning 78 yard drive in under two minutes - was simply fantastic, repeatedly exploiting OSU's secondary.

And with McCoy - and roommate/favorite target Jordan Shipley coming back - Longhorns fans should be excited about 2009, too.

And just one point about Boeckman, Laurinitis et al who are going to the NFL. Would Ohio State Buckeyes fans say that this group is the most successful in Ohio State history, or the biggest letdown.

Why?

1) Ohio State has won two Big Ten titles since 2005.
2) And gone to two National Championships.
3) And four BCS Bowls
4) And just won ONE out of those four...and that was against Notre Dame!

Here's the moment that broke the Buckeyes' hearts for the third straight year:

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, You Just Got Beat, Alabama

Suddenly, the gods of college football are happy again.

After watching on as favourite after favourite won games during the regular season, they shone brightly on 12-0 Utah, who completed an unbeaten season after upending favoured Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

They didn't just beat the Crimson Tide. They outplayed them too. They tackled better, they passed better, and they hardly turned the ball over. They outgained the Tide's offense 349 - 208, and made its vaunted running game look silly, letting it pick up just 31 yards.

Contrast that to Alabama, who, in the first quarter, looked like they were playing in the no contact league and John Parker Wilson, the Tide's quarterback, was playing in the 'no completion' league. The Utes went up 21-0, and never looked back.

Sure, Alabama mounted a furious counterattack. But it wasn't to be. Leigh Tiffin, Alabama's kicker, missed two long-range kicks, and only once did Wilson help his team into the end-zone with a short pass to Glenn Coffee.

Now, Utah has created college football a problem. They are 13-0. Do they not deserve to be in the conversation about a National Championship? After all, the only unbeaten team in the country isn't in Southern California, Oklahoma or Florida. It's in Utah.

Red Raiders Raided: Ole Miss stomps on Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl

I'll throw this one out there - I truly thought that Ole Miss was going to get its butt handed it to it by one of the nation's best offenses. For me, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree were no-brainers against Jevon Snead and his rag-tag Ole Miss offense.

But in the end, the butts who were sore were those wearing black, as the Rebels crushed the once-National Title hopefuls 47-34.

Of course, I forgot about one person - Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss' wide receiver-come-running back for the day. McCluster was unbelievable in this game, running through the Red Raiders defense with ease in a 97 yard, 1 touchdown performance - on 11 carries. It was quite incredible. Oh, and he also had six catches for 83 yards.

Don't get me wrong though - this one was an absolute classic. Both sides decided that conventional defense was not going to be their strongest point pretty early on, giving up 469 (Ole Miss) and 515 (Tech) yards in a game that you simply couldn't take your eyes off. Snead was excellent, throwing for 292 yards and 3 TDs in a superb performance, while Harrell had 364 yards and 3 TDs.

But while Snead only had the one interception, Harrell had two - and both of those proved fatal to the Raiders' hopes of winning the bowl game.

Ole Miss' very attacking defense was possibly the star of the show, taking two Harrell interceptions back to the house from 45 and 65 yards out in front of a packed house in Dallas as well as crushing the vaunted quarterback for a game-ending safety.

In his celebration, Houston Nutt should make a call to former head coach Ed Orgeron, who recruited McCluster. Both of them should celebrate giant offensive linesman Michael Oher, who's going to the NFL - possibly as the top pick. Harrell will also be drafted - and how about Snead and McCluster for the future? Don't bet against it.

One word for the Rose Bowl experience: Ouch

On January 1st 2009, the Granddaddy of Them All made Nittany Lion Nation its red-headed stepchild.

During the first half - which saw the Trojans put up 31 points, it seemed that all that my fears had come true.

I feared that USC might kick the crap out of Penn State.

I feared that USC's oversized receivers might rip Lydell Sergeant, AJ Wallace and Anthony Scirotto apart.

I feared that USC's defense would be far too good for Penn State's offense.

With the half-time score of USC 31, Penn State 7 in the Rose Bowl - I was right.

Truth be told, though, it wasn't all about USC. Penn State could shoulder a lot of the blame - particularly in THAT second quarter - when the Trojans put up 24 unanswered points after being held 7-7 in the first quarter.

Here are just some of the mistakes:

Early on in the first quarter, Aaron Maybin forced USC quarterback Mark Sanchez to fumble. It was brought back for offside - on Maybin.

Darryl Clark had a 49 yard completion - and it was pulled back for illegal movement by the receiver, Deon Butler. Clark's night was capped right at the end by a desperation pass with a second on the clock that flew into the end-zone and was intercepted.

Far too many penalties? Check. Derrick Williams not a factor? Check. Darryl Clark not moving out of the pocket? Check. USC's defense getting through and Penn State looking desperately undersized? Check.

Oh, and things were made a lot worse by Evan Royster spraining his knee, leaving everything up to Stephfron Green.

At the end of the second quarter, Green looked as though he might take the ball to the house - and then fumbled it.

But Penn State never gave up - unlike two other Big Ten teams who played USC in 2008.

And in fact, the second half was all about Penn State football. The defense stepped up. The hits continued to come, and so did a turnover from CJ Gable.

On the other side of the ball, the 'Darryl Clark roll left' move caused problems for USC, and Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood both caught touchdowns. Too little, too late? Maybe. But at least Penn State didn't lie down and die.

Speaking of Norwood - did anyone see Taylor Mays' hit on him? It still makes me quiver. Personally, I think that Mays should have been ejected for the challenge.



Anyway, the season's over. USC won 38 - 24, and the adoration of a nation is theirs once again. This team SHOULD be in the National Championship Game. They're better than either Florida or Oklahoma.


P.S. Thanks for a great season, Nittany Lions.

Well, at least we won't have to face Shonn Greene next year....

Iowa running back Shonn Greene, about the only Big Ten player who has shown up so far this Bowl season, isn't coming back to college football.

He's off to the NFL, where he'll no doubt take advantage of the millions of dollars agents are going to offer him. Can't wait to see the nice new watch, Shonn.

So why does this involve Penn State football? We won't have to face him at Beaver Stadium at the end of September.

Rose Bowl first half report: As bad as feared....

I feared that USC might kick the crap out of Penn State.

I feared that USC's oversized receivers might rip Lydell Sergeant, AJ Wallace and Anthony Scirotto apart.

I feared that USC's defense would be far too good for Penn State's offense.

With the half-time score of USC 31, Penn State 7 in the Rose Bowl - it's as bad as feared.

And if I'm honest, a lot of the errors are Penn State's doing.

Early on in the first quarter, Aaron Maybin forced USC quarterback Mark Sanchez to fumble. It was brought back for offside.

Darryl Clark had a 49 yard completion - and it was pulled back for illegal movement by the receiver, Deon Butler.

Far too many penalties (7)? Check. Derrick Williams not a factor? Check. Darryl Clark not moving out of the pocket? Check. USC's defense getting through and Penn State looking desperately undersized? Check.

At the end of the second quarter, his replacement Stephfon Green looked as though he would take the ball to the house..and then he fumbled it. By the way, the only person causing the Trojans any problems at all on the offense was Stephfon Green.

Oh, and things were made a lot worse by Evan Royster spraining his knee.

Brent Musberger when USC's put up their fourth touchdown of the game: " USC has dropped the hammer! We've seen this before folks!"

Urghh......I'm just glad that I didn't fly out for the game.

Happy New Year

For the first time since I can remember, I am sad to see the year end. 2008 was the most fabulous year and I cannot imagine ever topping it.

My baby Ruby was conceived in the first part of 2008 - after years of trying. It wasn't without heartache, heartbreak, a huge financial debt and a lot of blood, sweat, tears - literally. She grew in my tummy entirely during the year of 2008 and was born just before the year was out, in time to give me the best Christmas gift I'll ever receive.

2009 would have to be pretty spectacular to top that.

Last night Steve, Ruby and myself stepped out on the town... (sorta). Some friends had a little New Years Eve gathering at their house and the 3 of us were invited. I was a little nervous about the whole idea but wanted to give it a shot, and I am glad I did. Ruby acted like the perfect baby. She made me look like she was my 10th baby and not my first. I looked like a total pro. We only stayed for a couple of hours but it was great to get out and have a little visit and see some of the outside world - which I haven't done since she was born.

Here's Ruby dressed up for her first New Year's Eve:




I can only hope that 2009 is as fantastic as 2008 was.