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The Calvacade of Whimsey

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  • The Calvacade of Whimsey

    Fiu's Cavalcade of Whimsy
    a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances

    By Pete Fiutak    What's your beef? ... E-mail with your thoughts  

    If this column sucks, it’s not my fault … I thought I could simply show up and beat TCU.

    A mighty wind is blowing, it’s blowing you and me … Everyone feels bad about what has happened to New Orleans, Biloxi, and the people of the areas wiped off the map by Hurricane Katrina. As happily expected, everyone appears to be trying to do whatever they can (line about the speed of the federal government’s response deleted) to help the disastrous situation, and we all feel like we should be doing more. With that said, you don’t have to apologize for enjoying the first weekend of college football.

    No one with a heart or soul can read and watch what has been going on in Katrina’s aftermath and not feel for everyone suffering in the tragedy, but for many, watching a fun weekend of college football is an important escape from the problems of the real world. Yes, the sports world has to be mindful of the Katrina situation and give it its due reverence. Now, it’s up to all the commentators, announcers and sideline reporters to not go over the top to show that college football, or any other sport, is trivial by comparison. We all know this, but we’re watching because it’s trivial by comparison. It’s O.K. to enjoy the games.

    The inevitable backlash is coming with a boycott of all Katrina and the Waves music … There’s political correctness and then there’s just plain silly. Please, don’t bring up how Miami and Tulsa should change their nicknames just because of what happened last week (however, the hurricane siren that went off at times at the Minnesota – Tulsa game was a little creepy). There were killer hurricanes before Katrina, and there will be far more in the future with the intensity of storms increasing every year thanks to global warming. There’s no need to go overboard and suggest Miami and Tulsa are offending anyone. As long as there’s a pro sports team with the nickname Redskins, everyone else is fine.

    Yes, yes, for the love of God, yes. I can point my fingers and do the twist. Now leave me alone … Off the topic, in a bizarre coincidence, Walking on Sunshine ended the record-setting 68 day run of Wiggles music that was on constant 24-hour play in my mental jukebox. I’ve got to get my daughter to start liking Oakenfold or Garbage.

    And don’t get me started on the Gamecocks … In the spirit of those offended by the Hurricane nickname, here are five nicknames that I find a bit disturbing in my own warped way.
    5. Kansas State, Kentucky and Arizona Wildcats – The nickname reminds me of the Goldie Hawn football movie and the frighteningly unnecessary bath scene where Goldie shows off her Phil Mickelson-like boobs. There is such a thing as bad naked.
    4. Ole Miss Rebels – What are they rebelling against? Their parents? The scientific validity of biological cold fusion? Hmmmm, what could it be? (An interesting side note, it’s a good thing Mississippi doesn’t have its old nickname. Before 1936, the school’s nickname was Flood.)
    3. Duke Blue Devils and Arizona State Sun Devils. – Satan scares me, especially when he’s in Technicolor.
    2. Tennessee Volunteers – The nickname reminds me that I’m lazy and do absolutely nothing to help my fellow man. It makes me feel sad inside.
    1. Troy Trojans – After dropping the “State”, the school’s name reminds me of the top homoerotic movie of all-time, which just recently passed Top Gun, Finding Forrester, and Ernest Goes to Camp for the honor. Add in the nickname of Trojans, and I have a mental image that has me running for the remote to find a Tag Body Spray ad.

    This just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead … You couldn’t possibly bungle the timing of a big news story worse than ABC did on Saturday night. During the broadcasts of the primetime college football games, ABC cut in with a special report that Chief Justice William Rehnquist had died. It’s a big story and probably worthy of a cutaway from the football games, but ABC unnecessarily chose to run a three-minute retrospective on Rehnquist’s life. It might've been fine if they chose to do this during halftime or in the first quarter, but they cut in just as Clemson was starting its final dramatic drive against Texas A&M. Fortunately, ABC cut back just as Jad Dean hit his game-winning field goal, but the damage had been done to all the fans screaming at their TVs. For people who would’ve wanted to learn more about Rehnquist’s life from the ABC piece, they certainly wouldn’t have cared when they were missing Clemson’s drive. Word has it that Rehnquist, upon arriving at the Pearly Gates, asked Saint Peter how Clemson got into field goal range.

    Rehnquist would’ve kicked the extra point … Contrary to popular belief, Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione made the right decision not going for two, even if it didn’t work out in the end. For those of you who didn’t see the Texas A&M – Clemson game, A&M scored a fourth quarter touchdown to go up 23-22. “The Chart” would say to go for two points to try to go up by three, and as it turned out, Clemson ended up winning 25-24 on a field goal. With well over nine minutes to play, going for the extra point was still the right play because there were still several ways missing a two-point conversion could’ve come back to haunt the Aggies. You can’t assume a made two-point conversion; you have to think about what could happen if you miss. 

    But he doesn’t have the same hair … With Nick Saban off to the NFL, there was a deep void in the college football world for a coach who took things way too seriously. Charlie Weis, welcome to the college football world.

    Notre Dame fans, let me write that angry e-mail for you … 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21. 42-21

    First I kick, then I kiss ... Weis might be as fun as a Bud Light ad, but it's hard to remember seeing a better prepared team for week one of a college football season than Notre Dame was in the win over Pitt.

    Must hate dogs … Married white male with 20-month-old daughter seeks ripping hot college football sideline reporter, preferably named Sam Ryan, to satisfy freakishly bizarre desire to have the mundane details of life reported on as only a sideline reporter can do.

    “Brad and Bob, Fiu chose to go with the Lucky Charms this morning and the University of Missouri t-shirt. I asked him why he didn’t go with the normal combination bowl of Life and Kix, and he said he felt he needed to shake things up a bit.”

    Oh yeah, and NFL Films music is constantly playing in the background.

    It has both kinds of music: Country and Western  … It was so unnecessary for ESPN brass to have yet another pow-wow to figure out how to get me to stop watching their best-in-the-game pregame shows. If insulting football fans everywhere by suggesting Rush Limbaugh should be an NFL analyst wasn’t bad enough, the College GameDay show, which didn’t need tinkering in any way, adopted a country music song from something called Big & Rich (which I was hoping was a tasty new breakfast sandwich from BK) specifically to annoy the crap out of me. I know Chris Fowler has taste in music and has to throw up in his mouth a little bit when he hears “coming to your cit-tay” being yelled by Big Kenny, John Rich and Cowboy Troy.

    The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
    The top ten things I’m sick of this week …
    10. Ohio State’s TV camera angle.
    If you didn’t have vertigo before watching the Miami University – Ohio State game, you do now.
    9. Trev and Mark together.
    Separately, they’re really good. Trev Alberts is sometimes a bit off-the-wall, but he’s an interesting change of pace and isn't afraid to take some chances with his opinions. Mark May is outstanding when he's a lone analyst with Rece Davis. He suffers when he has to defend his positions every four seconds, which he has to do when paired up with Alberts.
    8. Nick Lachey.
    He really wasn’t all that bad on GameDay and his suit was an absolute killer, but why was he doing the profile piece on Devin Hester? Who is ESPN targeting by bringing Lachey aboard? Does it really hope to get a bigger share of the 14-year-old girl market?
    7. Comparing Brady Quinn to Tom Brady.
    Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Until Quinn leads his team to three national titles, gets on the cover of GQ, dates Tara Reid, and shows the stones to be able to make comeback after comeback in the most pressure packed situations, he’s still Brady Quinn.
    6. Oklahoma quarterbacks.
    O.K. Sooner fans, you win. Jason White was pretty good.
    5. Marcus Vick being related to Michael Vick.
    If you played the “how many times will the announcers make reference to, or show a shot of Michael Vick” drinking game during the Virginia Tech – NC State game, you’re probably dead or in the hospital.
    4. ESPNU host Mike Hall’s voice.
    If you get a sports job partially based on the standards of Stephen A. Smith and some chick from Road Rules, there has to be something wrong. Hall, the winner of ESPN’s Dream Job, isn’t a bad host, but ESPNU brass must be worried about when his voice is going to pull a Peter Brady. When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange, who you are and what you’re gonna be sha na na na na na na na na, sha na na na na.
    3. Cheezy motivational slogans.
    These only work if you’re one of those people inspired by the mind-numbing posters in corporate offices with innocuous photos and words like Success or Attitude. My two recent college football favorites are New Mexico’s “United we howl” and Northwestern’s “Not afraid to work overtime”.
    2. Recruiting.
    It’s the first weekend of college football. There’s no reason whatsoever to care or get excited about recruiting in any way, shape or form. That’s what January is for. Here’s a thought, instead of getting all jacked up about another overhyped prospect that'll turn out to be pretty good, how about actually caring about what’s happening on the field.
    1. The spread offense.
    Not everyone has to use it. Here’s the rule, if you’re Urban Meyer, Rich Rodriguez, or Randy Walker, you can use the spread offense. Everyone else has to either go to the wishbone, throw the ball more than seven yards down the field, or find some other offense that doesn’t get the quarterback pummeled. Look, if you don’t have a Reggie McNeal, Chris Leak or Brad Smith at quarterback, you can’t run the spread. That means you Syracuse.
    C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
    1) Overrated: Four minutes of your life … Underrated: College football instant replay 
    2) Overrated: Anthony, Murray and Jeff  ... Underrated: Captain Feathersword
    3) Overrated: Baseball hats … Underrated: Visors 
    4) Overrated: Starbucks  ... Underrated: Jamba Juice
    5) Overrated: A week of Starbucks and Jamba Juice ... Underrated: 1-800-HELP-NOW

    Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … … the NCAA wanted to ban my hostile and abusive nickname, but like it did with Utah, Central Michigan and Florida State, caved instantly after I was able to show my positive relationship with Florida International University.
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

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    3) Overrated: Baseball hats … Underrated: Visors
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