This poster says it all. Unfortunately, the makers of this poster are going to take this photo down after a protest from Wolverine fans.
Apparently they are going to boycott Maker's Mark after the ad. After the season Michigan had last year, this blog is frankly surprised Michigan fans aren't boycotting the team and hitting the booze. Then again, who am I to talk after the Zac Mills/Anthony Morelli days of the early 2000s - and the string of ever-painful losses to those who think it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine (or rather, those who did until 2007 and 2008!!).
Here's a video from probably the happiest moment of the 2007 season that Penn State fans had, Michigan fans. It was on the first game of the season. You were playing a bunch of guys from Appalachian State. You remember, right?
Oh, and this was the reaction in Happy Valley
I desperately needed hair dye (to repair a previous botched attempt at some highlights), toothpaste, laundry soap and laundry baskets, thank you cards that are big enough to fit a photograph in (these don't exist by the way) and veggies.
I started at Walmart to get the dye, toothpaste (which I forgot), laundry soap and baskets. Considering it is a Monday afternoon, the place is relatively quiet - which I am grateful for. I thought I would be in and out within 20 minutes. And I would have been if it were not for the lady running the till. Why is the shortest lineup always the one with the slowest cashier?
I'll tell you why - because most people stand in the lineup only long enough to realize she is one of "those" cashiers and go find a faster one. Unfortunately I thought I'd tough it out since I was only 3rd in line.
I really should have found another till.
It was painful to watcher her remove a garment from the conveyor belt. Remove the hanger from the garment. Put the hanger in the basket below the til. Fold the garment. Struggle with the plastic bags. Open a plastic bag. Stop entirely to listen to an announcement asking for Gurdeep Sandhu from sporting goods to call customer service (even though she is white with short, red, roller-set hair and is clearly not Gurdeep). Resume putting the garment in the plastic bag. And then repeat all over again with the next garment on the conveyor.
I thought I was going to lose my shit by the time she got to the fifth garment.
Out the door and over to the veggie market - where I was followed around by an elderly gentleman who's white hair had at one point been dyed brown but had since grown out considerably and never retouched. I'm not sure if he didn't know what veggies to buy so he just thought he would get the same items I was getting or if he was playing some kind of mind game with me but he would walk up and stand beside me and wait for me to fill my paper bag with mushrooms and then when I was done he would fill his paper bag with mushrooms, when I was picking out a nice head of broccoli he stood beside me and waited until I was done and then he picked out some broccoli. Cauliflower. Carrots. Brussel sprouts. And if it WAS a coincidence that we had the same taste in veggies, he maybe should have picked out his broccoli while I was getting my carrots.
I do realize that those isles are not the widest but still I don't think my ass is so wide he couldn't have gone around me and come back to the brussel sprouts later instead of standing and waiting for me to pick out mine.
Besides it being creepy and annoying - I'm funny about my personal space. Get lost.
Off to the dollar store to try to find some thank you cards that would fit a photograph inside. I could find nothing of the sort so I picked some nice cards that were just blank on the inside. I picked four of them and headed to the till...
Could somebody please fill me in on dollar store shopping - because admittedly I don't do a lot of it - but what the hell is with the mini, child-sized carts - with the 8 foot pole attached to them??? Why are they so small??? And what the hell is that pole for???
These are questions I was pondering as I was walking to the till and saw a woman unloading one of these carts at the till which was filled to the top with Easter candy. And then just as I got there, a woman who was probably as old as dirt, with bright red lipstick, horn rimmed glasses, a bouffant hairstyle, in a tight velour track suit with an ass as wide as Ontario wheeled her mini-cart-with-a-stripper-pole right in front of me and cut me off - even though she eyed me up and saw that I was holding just a couple of greeting cards in my hand and her cart was full to the brim. She then looked me in the eye and let out a big cigarette smoke sigh...
When I realized that Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum were trying to run the till together but making the process slower instead of faster and not opening up another till despite a line developing, I tossed the greeting cards aside and stormed out before someone got hurt. (I will improvise with thank you cards that I already have and use big envelopes that don't match.)
Sometimes it's not worth it to leave the house.
Deon Butler was one of those heroes at Penn State.
In his career at Penn State, Derrick Williams may have been the human highlight reel - but Butler was Mr Reliable. He put up three solid 600 yard seasons and one outstanding 800 yard season in his career, breaking the all-time reception record. Not bad, actually.
In the game against THAT USC defense in the Rose Bowl, Butler had four catches for 97 yards.
In his college career, he managed to make Darryl Clark and Michael Robinson both look like future NFL quarterbacks. Sadly, he didn't do the same for one Anthony Morelli, but that's another - and rather depressing - bunch of memories.
He impressed in the NFL Combine, running a 4.30 Forty.
And his highlights aren't that bad, either.
I had some pretty bad anxiety about it. I hate it when she cries. I hate it when she's sad. I didn't want her to feel pain and look at me and think I was the cause of it. I was afraid she'd be inconsolable. I was pretty sure I was going to break down and cry when it all went down.
Sitting in the waiting room at the health office, I could hear horrific baby screams periodically coming from behind different closed doors. I saw mom's carrying their babies out from those torture chambers and the babies faces were all red and wet and they looked bewildered and they were either whimpering or still crying.
When the nurse came out and called for Ruby I felt my heart speed up.
Ruby was sleeping when we got there and she stayed asleep when I undressed her chubby little thighs. The nurse warned me that she would cry - and cry harder with each needle (there were 3 in total). That bitch made me hold her leg out while she jabbed her with 3 different needles that I was pretty sure were going to skewer her legs.
Ruby woke up - looked at the nurse and said, "Lady, is that all you've got? Pfft! Please! Don't waste my time with this shit!", and then went back to sleep.
Ok, maybe she didn't say those words exactly - but she did wake up for the first needle, cry out, fall back asleep. Wake up for second and third needle, cry a little louder - and then fall right back to sleep. Slept for the 15 minutes we had to stay in the waiting room afterwards. Slept all the way home. Continued to sleep when we got home.
When she woke up about an hour later and fussed a little, I thought that I was going to be in for trouble then. But no, Ruby just wanted to lay on the floor and watch Ellen and giggle - she heard the Jonas Brothers were going to be on and she wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Here's proof of a happy Ruby after her needles
(please excuse my dorky baby talk voice) :
Last night I had a dream that they had a new album coming out and were coming back to play Deer Lake Park this August.
Then this morning I had a message on F.B. (I'm a fan there too) that they will be on Conan this Friday with some new material.
It's just weird.
While Pete Carroll can't guarantee you the latter, a fabled USC career will eventually make you pretty good money from an NFL team.
According to Pete Carroll’s website, there are currently 33 USC players in the NFL, which definitely gets the thumbs-up from this website in the ‘Go to USC, go to the NFL’ front.
We have seen what has happened to USCers in the NFL. Much is expected, but is everything hunky-dory in 'The Big-Time?'. The answer is no.
Take Heisman winner Matt Leinart for one. After a breathtakingly brilliant career at USC, his numbers have gone where no-one expected them: downwards. Not only has his starts diminished (11 games in 2006, five games in 2007, and absolutely none in 2008), but he’s become more famous for his off-the-field adventures than his ones on the field. And unless Kurt Warner breaks his leg in 2009, then he’ll continue to rot in the reserves.
Then there’s his formerly favourite target Dwayne Jarrett, who had a total of ten receptions in his second season in 2008 for just over 100 yards receiving. That’s not exactly payback for Carolina, who took him in the second round, is it?
Oh, and how about Mike Williams? Remember the college wide receiving superstar who made secondaries look silly in 2002 and 2003. Well, it was the NFL that made Williams look sillier, where he’s gone from ‘First Round pick’ to ‘Free Agent’ in a matter of three years. Maybe he should have played at quarterback.
That’s not to say that Mark Sanchez shouldn’t have gone in his junior year. Remember, the tall guy with the strong arm is a first round shoo-in and probably the best quarterback prospect in the NFL Draft. Not only that, but owners and coaches alike must have felt encouraged to start younger quarterbacks after the breathtaking performances of Mssrs. Flacco and Ryan, who have torn up the NFL in their rookie seasons.
The reason why? Because former USC Trojans have shown them the way.
There's that guy Troy Polamalu, who got two Super Bowl rings as a Pittsburgh Steeler. He's one of the best safeties in the game. Not a bad pick for the Steelers, who offered two lower-round picks for the chance to grab the long-haired one in the first round, not bad at all.
Reggie Bush has seemingly been on stunning form for the New Orleans Saints ever since he started his NFL career. If he keeps his nose clean, he’ll be a Hall of Fame shoo-in.
Matt Cassel, Carson Palmer’s backup at the Coliseum, was brilliant as a replacement for Tom Brady last season at the Patriots, and that Carson Palmer guy’s been pretty darned good himself in Cincinnati. Now, if only his coaches could do something about the defence.
And if Keith Rivers started his NFL career with 37 tackles as a rookie in Cincy, then his future potential is frightening.
And the future for former Caroll stars?
While we may well see Sanchez start next season, look for Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews to wreak havoc as NFL linebackers in 2009. God help us if one of them goes to either Baltimore or Pittsburgh (I’m hoping - for Penn State reasons – that none of the three goes to Carolina or Buffalo!).
Then there’s wide receiver Patrick Turner and safety Kevin Ellison – both of whom should shore up a team’s reserves on either side of the ball.
But to USC future NFLers: remember the ghost of Mike Williams. You might end up like him.
Ruby slept well last night, heh?
Me: *bleary eyed, exhausted, miserable, trying to hold on to the "nap" that I'm currently having while Ruby tosses and turns and talks in her sleep - and seething with irritation and rage for his complete ignorance*
NO. Ruby did NOT sleep well last night. But obviously you did.
It's hard to argue that home made soup is the best.
Trying to find the time to make home made soup, is difficult.
So yesterday, since it was Steve's day off - I had him entertain Ms. Ruby for an hour or two while I made some home made soup. (After which he required an hour long nap - he would never survive a day in my world).
I found a fantastic recipe for mushroom soup and took a chance on it even though it calls for apple. (I pride myself on my open mind).
So after chopping, measuring, sauteing, stirring - I made a masterpeice called Forest Mushroom Chowder.
Forest Mushroom Chowder:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup sliced (chopped) onions
1/2 cup diced carrots
3 cups sliced wild mushrooms (chanterelle, morel, chiitake, and/or oyster)
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup diced potatoes
1/4 cup frozen corn niblets
1/2 apple, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp sherry
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
In large saucepan, heat oil and saute garlic, onions, carrots and mushrooms. Do not brown.
Add stock and cream to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
Add potatoes, corn, apple, bay leaves, sherry and parsley to soup. Simmer about 1/2 hour. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Seriously. It's so good. And today I baked some tea biscuits to go with it. (the batter came from a package - just add milk, knead, cut out and bake!)
Sadly, it's so good that Steve pretty much polished it all off today on his lunch. Which kinda is annoying since I thought I would have it all week for my lunch. *sigh*
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who had us all fooled in 1998, hasn't admitted it.
And Roger Clemens, one of baseball's best-ever pitchers? He hasn't either.
In reality however, it never really worked for me.
First of all - I'm not great at napping. Hell, I'm not even great at sleeping during the night. I'm a terribly light sleeper and any little whisper of noise wakes me up. And while I have a brand new baby that I am completely responsible for, I am awake and alert at every little sigh she makes.
Secondly - There is SO MUCH that is not getting done anymore because I am caring for a baby. So when she falls asleep I start racing around the house to get as much done as I possibly can. Besides the usual household stuff like dishes and sweeping and picking up dirty underwear - there is also cleaning and sterilizing bottles, washing poopy baby clothes, pumping milk, eating, showering.
Thirdly - I do still feel the need to occasionally read emails, check facebook and blogs. Might not seem essential but to me it kinda is. I am inside this house most every hour of every day. I have to make special arrangements with Steve and plan ahead if I want to use the car to go anywhere (we only have one right now and he needs it for work). And it is like planning some sort of high tech military maneuver to get us all ready to leave the house at any given time. And so I am getting none to very little social interaction with other human beings - besides Ruby and Steve. And Ruby is not yet much of a conversationalist - and if there happens to be a hockey game or other sporting event on (darts anyone?), neither is Steve. So I do feel the need to check in on people via the internet once in a while as it is my only connection to the outside world sometimes. And some days those FB status updates are all that are keeping me sane.
And so, "Sleep when she sleeps" sounds really good in theory, but I've never really been able to follow this piece of advice that so many people have given me.
Now, Steve on the other hand... he really likes this advice and has no trouble following it at all:
Future NFL career. The stars watch your games. Oh, and there are song girls. Awesome song girls.
National Championships. Hot weather. An even hotter Erin Andrews. And of course, Tim Tebow.
In your next four years, you might be part of the team that actually wins a National Championship. Or not.
You'll know what it's like to play in front of the quietest 110,000 fans in Christendom. And lose in front of them. Unless, of course, it's against Penn State.
Where you can assured that everyone's going to 'real school' (apparently that's what they call it in Louisiana). And drive-through dacquiris aren't weird. Seriously.
Beautiful ladies? Check. No class? Check. Prison? Check.
University of Miami
Just a moment. Why wouldn't you want to play in Miami?
LSU came against the Devil known as former coach Nick Saban and topped ESPN's rankings, beating out USC, Texas and Ohio State for top spot - including the race for top wideout in the nation, Rueben Randle.
Here's a clip:
And 6 ft 3 wideout Justin Brown saw the light and chose Penn State over Rutgers. Which is great - even if it was a bit of a bummer that Jelani Jenkins is going to Gainsville instead of ''Linebacker U".
As for Penn State? No-one decommitted from the Nittany Lions - although there were worries that future defensive back Darrell Givens not signing up for four years of fun in Happy Valley.
It's the time when the 'blue chip recruits', after months of nagging, sign on the dotted line and commit to four (well, three) years of playing for the same team.
Tennessee fans still regret the time when Casey and Rick Clausen signed on the dotted line to play for the University of Tennessee, and Notre Dame fans will be praying that brother Jimmy can bring home the Holy Grail once in the next two years.
And as a Penn State fan, I'm just hoping Joe Paterno can bring home three decent wide receivers.
According to ESPN.com, Penn State are 15th-best in the country for recruiting.....even with its vote for best recruiter in Larry Johnson Sr.
That's great, because SI doesn't even have PSU in the top 25.
And what we forget is, while the recruiting might mean so much right now on a snowy Wednesday in the UK (where this blog's written from) or in the Northeastern United States (where apparently it's blizzarding), it doesn't really matter.
The key is WHEN the kid comes to the school. Will he be well coached? Will he get playing time? Will he live up to expectations? And more's the case, will he behave himself?
Having said that, the VFA will update you Wednesday/Thursday will all goings-on - because while it might not be important, it's a bit better than watching repeats of the 2009 Rose Bowl.
A game-ending fumble causer by someone from Michigan - while he was running over your offensive linesman?
Tears in my eyes?
Pennsylvania as 'SportsState USA' after two monster championships and one Stanley Cup attendance?
Super Bowl 43 couldn't have been any weirder. But on retrospect, it couldn't have happened any other way.
It's going to be difficult to get back to work on Monday. But at least I'll do it with a smile on my face.
Just a few points:
1) James Harrison, season MVP, and then made a Super Bowl MVP-like 100 yard run for an interception touchdown. Wow.
2) Levi Brown vs Lamar Woodley. I remember watching the Penn State vs Michigan game in Happy Valley, and Woodley had his way with Brown and the rest of the Penn State O-Line. While Brown's been pretty good, Woodley's made PSU's only representative in the Super Bowl this year look a little stupid at times. So no change there then....
3) Larry Fitzgerald not a factor until the closing part of the game.
4) Was shocked to see Troy Polamalu miss a couple of tackles. Was NOT shocked to see a) Ike Taylor miss one and b) the Steelers dropping an INT chance.
5) This game's going to go the wire. Can't wait for the second half
6) Oh, and the half-time show wasn't as good as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in Arizona. Sorry, Boss. I would have loved to have heard "Born in the USA" or my personal favorite "Secret Garden". Mind you, if Springsteen had played every single one of his hits we would have been there all night.
7) Oh, and Penn State basketball won at Michigan State in a monster upset in college basketball. No, I'm serious, it really did happen.
When the world watches the Super Bowl on Sunday night, people will love the celebrations, the fireworks, and the whirring towels.
They will forget that every Pittsburgh Steeler or Arizona Cardinal has one thing in common: they played high school football.
If it wasn't for high school football, there probably wouldn't be a Super Bowl. If there wasn't high school baseball, then you can kiss goodbye to a World Series. And if there wasn't high school basketball, then you can wave 'Au Revoir' to the NBA Finals.
Because if the economy gets any worse, then this could be a reality.
While Wisteria Lane is becoming No Hope Alley and the lines of people picking up welfare checks is getting higher, then the states are more focused on helping the jobless instead of helping the public schools.
But as the ‘trickle’ down effect happens—we've already seen public university Rutgers cut six programs as a cost-cutting initiative—the nation’s high school sports teams—the very reason why college programs exist and professional sports stars exist—are starting to feel the strain of the depression.
This writer was saddened and shocked to read the Mercury News from San Jose (after being 'tipped off' in an earlier article by Sports Illustrated), that said that East Side Union District was looking to eliminate athletic programs serving 11 schools and 25,000 students.
You probably wouldn’t know this, but East Side Union District has produced a Heisman Trophy winner (Jim Plunkett, who attended James Lick High School) and All-American and Morris Trophy-winning lineman George Achica (Andrew Hill High School), as well as NFLer Mervyn Fernandez (also Andrew Hill).
St.Lucie County in West Palm Beach, FL could do the same.
Now imagine what would happen if East Union DID cut sports—and every school district in the nation followed.
There would be no next Felix Jones (Booker T.Washington High School, Tulsa, OK), Adrian Peterson (Palestine High School, Palestine, TX) or LaDainian Tomlinson (University High School, Waco, TX) for the next few years. Great for current NFL rookies and veterans, but crappy if you're either an a) high school football fan or b) a college football fan. No high school athletics, no recruits.
It might seem like a joke, but if this depression gets worse, the threat will become a reality for the more desperate-for-cash high school districts.
This writer knows the pro-cuts argument. It saves millions of dollars in budgets. And more's the point, brains should come before brawn.
But while brains is fantastic, brawn still needs an outlet. An outlet for energy and for passion. This energy might not come in solving equations or writing great poems. This passion might not come in playing guitar like Clapton. This energy might come in a slam dunk, a monster hit, or a 90 mph fastball. This passion might come with yelling on the sidelines or getting involved with the school pep band or celebrating the win with your fellow cheerleaders.
High school sports isn’t just important: It’s the lifeblood of how schools operate. A high school can come together when a school's in a playoff run. High school sports spawns marching bands, pep rallies, pep squads, equipment managers, athletic directors, and coaches.
By cutting the athletics from a school, a district board will do the thing that it doesn't want to do: Disenfranchise the future.