Inside the Notre Dame Golden Dome (Basilica Videos)

notre-dame-golden-dome

If there’s one fight song that non-college football songs know, it would be Notre Dame‘s “Victory March,” likewise for their Alma Mater song “Notre Dame, Our Mother.” You don’t have to be “Rudy” or someone sharing his prodigious passion for ND football to appreciate this video shot by my friend Stephanie Kuzydym inside the Golden Dome on gameday.

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Notre Dame taking on Kentucky in SEC/Big East Invitational

notre dame cheerleader

Notre Dame men’s basketball team is scheduled to meet Kentucky at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 8 as part of the 2010 DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational.  The Irish will be making their first-ever appearance in the major college basketball event.

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Notre Dame grads will disown this music Video

jesus notre dame

By Paul M. Banks

I hope, for Notre Dame‘s sake, that their application for the Big Ten distances themselves as far as possible from the “We are ND” music video. It’s so bad that the unintentional comedy scale is through the roof. Aside from the singing, attempts at rapping, beat, melody and lyrics, the song is pretty good.

It’s sooooooooooooooooo bad that I won’t watch it a second time, even though it’s filled with cheerleaders. You know something is awful when even numerous gratuitous cheerleader shots can’t make it viewable. I think Brian Kelly and Mike Golic should somehow digitize themselves out of this.

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Northwestern-Notre Dame Private School Battle for Chicago’s Heart

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By Paul M. Banks

Welcome to the Chicago Invitational Challenge Live blog day one. It’s both an invitational and a challenge. Not just an invitational, nor merely a challenge, or tournament. But a challenge and an invitational. The fun started at noon today with the mid-majors going at it, but the action ramps up with Iowa St. vs. Saint Louis. Where it’s currently 30-27 ISU.

This is actually a pretty good undercard bout as the Cyclones boast two players who have a very high chance of going in the first round of the NBA Draft: forwards Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap. And SLU has former ESPN analyst and coaching legend Rick Majerus at the helm. He’s spent most of the first half here at the UIC pavilion pacing back and forth in front of me. And at approximately 7:30 we’ll move on to the main event, the title fight, Notre Dame-Northwestern, the battle between two of Chicago’s most beloved private schools. Never mind the fact that ND is a longer drive from the Second City than Champaign, and in another state and time zone from Chicago, this will truly be a match-up between two Chicago teams. Here at the “Chicago Invitational Challenge”

In the words of the Black Eyed Peas, “Let’s get it started in here! Let’s get it started in HAAAHHHHH!”

ISU-SLU 41-31 14 min left.

Attendance here is…a bit sparse. As are pretty much all holiday tournaments. Mostly because everyone plays on an out of town neutral court, so it’s harder to get people to travel. But  that’s truly a shame, as some of the basketball that’s played at these things is about as good as you’ll find all season. It’s still early, I’m guessing more people will come for the battle between “the two schools full of private snobs, and elitists,” or whatever people say to deride these two schools with a very high tuition. After my experience at the Bears game earlier this month, and at every Cubs game I’ve ever attended, I think elitist and snob is a complement. Pro sports, or at least the people who ended up sitting next to me at Cubs and Bears games, could learn a thing or two from the “snobs” and “elitists”. Maybe that’s why I like college sports so much better than the pros, less people on parole (or will be someday) in the stands next to you.

Or simply Bears fans are utterly disgusting sometimes…then again you heard what a Notre Dame fan did to Jimmy Clausen. And from what I hear, Clausen provoked him. Gives a new meaning to the term “Fighting Irish.”

JimmyClausen_h_h2

notre-dame-logo

If I knew how to photoshop, I would put Clausen’s head on the leprecaun, with two black eyes, and have him lying on his back.

alright enough with the distractions, Iowa St. has opened a bigger lead on the Billikens now, and they’re threatening to turn this into a route. Both teams are undefeated and unranked currently, but the ‘Clones are the only team that looks like they should be ranked right now. Reigning Big 12 player of the week Craig Brackins leads the way with 15 pts so far, ISU 56-SLU 43, 4 min to go.

Iowa St. Head Coach Greg McDermott sums up the last game perfectly, “we found a way to win an ugly game, we finally got our offense in rhythm during the 2nd half.” Exactly ISU wins the 65-54. After falling behind in the 2nd half, the Cyclones stopped the Billikens on 9/10 offensive series.

Craig Brackins was a fun interview subject, one of the reporters asked him about his Tweets today. I hyperlinked his Twitter if you want to follow him, but he has to approve each and every one of his followers. If I were him, or in his situation, I would do the same. A lot of weirdoes out there, especially on online.

I have to admit I like the ND band. They play more original music, like Jimmy Buffett “Fins” and Styx “Come Sail Away”.

ND owns the series over NU 63-23-1. and this is their first meeting since 1984, which the Irish won by about 20.

harangody

I hope this game moves at a much higher tempo than the last one. So far, not so much. ND leads 5-4 with 16:10 left in 1st half. So far they seem to be owning the paint on both ends. Stats would not exactly confirm that, but they’re using the superior size and more athletic bigs to intimidate the Cats from getting down low. I think that’s why Bill Carmody started Kyle Rowley tonight. He’s the biggest guy on the roster, even though he’s…well he’s far from leading the team in minutes per game for a good reason.

Northwestern takes their first lead on a Juice Thompson field goal, 9-8 with 13 min left in half. Now that Minnesota has knocked off Butler, NU’s lone loss this season looks a bit worse than it did before Wednesday. That said, they can redeem themselves here by giving #23 Notre Dame their first loss of the season. Good defense in this game so far, and bad shooting at both ends.

TSB readers know what I think of Tyler Hansbrough, well tonight I get to watch his little brother Ben, a two guard for the Irish. A good excuse to put my all time favorite Tyler H. pic. even though I loved Beeker from the muppets, so I hate doing that to Beeker.

tylerhansbrough

Duke N Carolina Basketball

Shooting getting uglier, but Northwestern takes a 16-10 advantage with just udner 8 min left in half. 6 pts in a game like this is…15 I guess. And what I mean by that is if you lose a game 90-82. that’s a much closer game and a lot better effort than say a 58-50 game. Seriously, the margin is the same, but it makes a difference trust me. We need a scale for this. we need a stat to measure this.

When NU forward/center Luka Mirkovic took and missed a turnaround baseline jumper, I heard someone on the NU coaching staff say “what the hell”? classic.

Even better than Rick Majerus tell one of his players “you gotta watch the f–king press” right in front of me last game.

At another timeout I hear that the new coach at Notre Dame, football I mean this time, will be Bob Stoops. seriously. And of course, every time you mention Charlie Weiss, a fat joke must follow. But I’m a professional, so I’ll let people in the comment threads handle that…if they so desire.

25 all with a min left in half. low-scoring like soccer here tonight.

John Shurna hits a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng three as time expires to give NU a 30-27 advantage heading to the break. Shurna is starting to maybe come into his own this year. His time spent playing with the under 19 national team is paying off. He’s made a big leap from his freshman year.

When Shurna was at the podium last year, his soft-spoken, quiet nervousness reminded me of Paulie Bleeker (the guy played by Michael Cera) in the indie smash “Juno”. They kind of look alike too. I think at least.

PAULIEBLEEKERSHURNA

So when the All-American team decided to have a “white-out,” naming 3/5 Caucasian players to the first team, for no inexplicable reason, Luke Harangody received more votes than any other player in the nation. The nation? are you serious? the nation’s best player? as Duke Vitale, whoops I meant to say Dick Vitale would say ARE YOUUU SERRIOUSSSSSSSS??!!!!

I just don’t see it. I know this hasn’t exactly been Harangody’s best half ever, as he’s 3-9 shooting for 7 pts so far. Shurna leads the game with 14 pts on 5-10 from the floor. Still I don’t see what all the Harangody hullabalooza is all about.

On the strength of two Juice Thompson 3 pt FGs, NU leads 41-38 with 15:27 to go. You knew the Juice would start hitting those sometime, and that time is now.

I still love the ND band, their 80s music choices are killer. Just heard the “A Team” theme after some “867-5309 Jenny”

46-38 Northwestern now with 13:55 left. A big Jeremy Nash 3 pointer right after a Juice Thompson drive to the hole. The Juice is indeed loose.

juicy

juicefilm

If you believe in “halftime adjustments” and I sure do, then Carmody really has made some great adjsutments in the locker room. Cats lead 50-38 with 11:42 left. Upset alert?

Yes, very much upset alert. The Irish can’t seem to find a way to consistently solve NU’s smothering defense.

Hi drama here as NU’s lead gets all the more slimmer. 57-51 just over 5 minutes to play.

Usually a coach should be happy when one of his players makes a 3. But on Alex Marcotullio’s last 3 bomb, which he made. Carmody looked about as dejected and frustrated as a coach can look.

61-56 Cats 1 min to go. The upset is a brewing, remember in 1995 when no one gave NU a chance to beat ND in football, and they won 17-15 sending shockwaves throughout the sports nerd world? Some dude here has a shirt with that score on it today, and they showed him on the jumbotron!

College Football Live Blog, Afternoon and Night Games

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Welcome to the afternoon game edition…Since I know HJB is here live blogging and getting ready for the big UM-ND big I figure I’d lead with this picture, which I’m sure he’ll love. –PMB

24-10 Northwestern, 12:20 left in game by the way

DIRECTIONAL MICHIGAN is giving the big ten problems, central michigan, eastern michigan, and western michigan are all giving NU, MSU, and Indiana all they can handle. one posession games in the final minutes all around. good thing. there’s no northern michigan and southern michigan to ad to the stress and strife.

–PMB

NU wins on last final seconds 49 yard field goal

WOOO!!! WHO IS READY FOR SOME MICHIGAN FOOTBALL???

So, um, anyone catch the score of the Central Michigan-Michigan State game?
-HJB-

By the way, why on earth is Matt Millen on this game? Or on any game for that matter? Can I just mute him?
-HJB-

Me on Charlie Weis: “He looks like he just ate a baby.”
My dad’s friend: “He looks like he’s having a baby.”

And that tackling is giving me bad flashbacks of last season.
-HJB-

Michigan 0, Notre Dame 0 (9:16 left in first quarter)
Two drives and Notre Dame moved the ball much better than Michigan. That missed field goal looked like my tee shot (yeah, I borrowed that line from the play by play guy) but I’ll take it.
-HJB-

Michigan 7, Notre Dame 0 (4:12 left in the 1st quarter)
It’s always a great feeling to strike first. Especially when Notre Dame missed out on its one chance in the red zone thus far.
-HJB-

Michigan 14, Notre Dame 3 (46 seconds left in 1st quarter)
Special teams! Special teams! Special teams!
-HJB-

Michigan 14, Notre Dame 3 (End of 1st quarter)
There is still plenty of game left but man this feels good. That’s what happens when you come off a 3-9 season. Just a good quarter makes you giddy.

-HJB-

univmichcheerleaders

Notre Dame 17, Michigan 14 (6:50 left in the half)
Urgh. I had every right to be giddy with Michigan in the lead. Now I have every right to be mopey. I wish I had a sad Badger face to cheer me up.

In seriousness though, if the Fighting Irish play their A-game, Michigan doesn’t have a chance. I’m willing to admit it. Sigh. This might be a long afternoon.
-HJB-

Notre Dame 20 , Michigan 14 (2:41 left in the half)
What frustrates me about this game:

1. Clausen has enough time to cook a damn roast behind the line of scrimmage. I could find open receivers with that much time.

2. I could drive a GM truck through some of the holes the ND line is opening up. UJnfortunately the truck would probably break down before I got to the line of scrimmage.

3. Matt Millen is being paid to offer his football advice.
-HJB-

Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17 (halftime)

The field goal leaves a good taste in my mouth going into the half.

When Holly Rowe interviewed Rich Rodriguez at the half, part of me wanted him to say “We need to practice more. We clearly haven’t practiced enough. If these guys lose today, no way they go home tonight. We’ll stay at Schembechler all night if we have to.”

Alas I’ll settle for crappy commercials and UCLA-Tennessee until the second half. I’m not sure which one is worse.
-HJB-
michigan_cheerleader
Gratuitous? Yes. Necessary after the first half? Absolutely.

Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17 (11:28 left in 3rd quarter)
Michigan just missed a field goal after fumbling a snap two plays earlier and committing a holding penalty. Those kinds of mistakes will drive me to drink.

But I’m more upset about the idiocy of Matt Millen. The Wolverines, wisely, took a delay of game penalty to get a better angle on the field goal. Then Millen offers his bright advice: “They should decline it.”

Um, what? Since when can a defense decline a delay of game penalty Mr. Millen?

Sigh
-HJB-

Michigan 24, Notre Dame 20 (7:55 left in the 3rd quarter)
Just when I lose hope, those sons of guns drag me right back to the cusp of joy. A forced fumble and recovery followed by a march down a short field for the lead? Thaaaaaaaaaaaank you very much.
-HJB-

Oh, nice job on that return boys.

I need a cheerleader photo.
cheerleader

Michigan 24, Notre Dame 20 (end of 3rd quarter)
I’m still alive but barely breathing. This will be a difficult 4th quarter.
-HJB-

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 20 (14:16 left in the game)
I just might lose my voice and I’m just sitting in my living room. Tate Forcier has pretty much locked up the top spot on the quarterback depth chart. That’s not a stretch to make, but we’ll see less and less of Denard Robinson behind center. If I’m Rodriguez, I think of ways to get the ball in Robinson’s hands without putting him behind center the rest of the year.
-HJB-

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 20 (12:14 left)
Cissoko is going to need a hug after this game. He might actually want to spend the night and all of Sunday inside Schembechler Hall.
-HJB-

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 26 (9:46 left)
Again, Cissoko is going to need a big hug after this game. He won’t get it from me, but he’ll need one.

At least they stopped the 2-point conversion try. Now, let’s not go three and out her, OK?

By the way, I can’t get enough of the Playboy Guitar Hero commercial. The folks at Guitar Hero know how to appeal to its demographic: lonely, lonely, lonely men.
-HJB-
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Illinois, Illinois St, 20 minutes til game time.
The Illinois State band kind of sucks, but that’s not the biggest travesty of the day so far…it’s that you have to pay for the food in the press box, drinks included!!  Seriously!  I’m not exactly pleased about this development because A) they didn’t tell ANYONE this was going to be the case, and B) they only take cash.  Which, that’s fine, but because they didn’t tell anyone, I DIDN’T BRING ANY CASH!!!  What a freaking joke.  After last week’s debacle in St. Louis they should be paying us to be here and eat.

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 26 (6:22 left)
That Forcier interception killed me a little bit inside. Not going to lie.
-HJB-

NO FREE FOOD IN THE ILLINI PRESS BOX?? Are you serious? That’s terrible! The spread they had last year was SOOOOOOO Good and better than other teams. Wow! I really became less interested in coming down I-57 this fall. –PBIllinois 7, Illinois St. 0
I was coming in here to post about the fact that not only didn’t Martez Wilson start at middle linebacker, but on the first drive of the game.  The box, however, just announced that Wilson is doubtful for the game because of a sprained neck.  OUCH.

Juice Williams set up that first TD with a long, 49 yard run down the sideline on a fake option pitch, but he stumbled and fell near the goal line.  Unfortunately the reason that he fell was there was a little hitch in his giddyup and he pulled something, either a quad or his groin.  He’s currently being worked on on the table and Eddie McGee is warming up.  Maybe it was just a tweak, hard to say. PS

Illinois 7, Illinois St. 0
Juice Williams didn’t come out for this drive, and Eddie McGee just through and awful interception that was well overthrown and nowhere near intended receiver Chris Duvalt.  So much so that I didn’t know Duvalt was the intended receiver.  Things have taken a bad turn here in Champaign as Illinois State has completed a couple of passes.  If they hang around and gain confidence I may have to pay attention to the whole game.

To make everyone feel better, here’s a great pic of my Twitter buddy, @Red_Grange. redPS

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34 (game, set, match)
OK, so I got the craziness out of my system in the comment. But that was the greatest/most nerve wracking/worst/scariest/most joyful/craziest game I’ve ever watched from the comfort of my own home.

Michigan is going to be a force this season. No, not a National Championship force but a “we’re-going-to-a-bowl-game” force. Considering the next two games they should win, the Wolverines could probably win at least two more games to get bowl eligible.

That probably means a Big Ten season with more ups and downs than I care to make an analogy for.

I’m emotionally exhausted from this game. That doesn’t mean i can’t be snarky for the Ohio State game though.

Bwhahahahahaha.
-HJB-Illinois 21, Illinois St. 0 (12:01 left 2Q)
Bosch ate my last post, which is more than I’ve had for dinner…and yes, PB, no drinks either.  No fireworks either, so apparently the economy IS that bad….

There are a ton of seats that look empty around the stadium for the game, but they actually aren’t.  It’s people in uniform, I can’t tell if it’s Army men or Boy Scouts….and yes I’m being serious.  Roughly 3 or 400 of them in the upper deck.

Nice pass from McGee to a wide-open Chris Duvalt, though McGee nearly overthrew him again. Illinois is, to some extent, having its way with the Redbirds on offense, but the defense is still having some troubles. The drive stayed alive on a roughing the kicker penalty as the Redbird punt team absolutely creamed Anthony Santella, and HE got up limping afterwards…no word on if he was actually hurt or just not used to getting hit. –PS

Illinois 21, Illinois St 0 (8:51 remaining 2Q)
Nice tip from Corey Liguet to Doug Pilcher, and he rumbled and stumbled 43 yards on the interception return.

HUUUGE hit on Eddie McGee on the front-side rush…something he needed to see coming.  He didn’t fumble surprisingly enough, because it was a huge hit.

Nice  FG by Matt Eller, my favorite Illini, to make it Illinois 24, Illinois St. 0 — 7:44 remaining. -PS


Ohio State   USC

Lou Holtz just said this is the most important game for OSU since 1951. Surprised he can still talk after ND’s national title hopes were dashed this afternoon. I just saw the buckeye band dot the eye for the first time. Pretty impressive, whoever choreographed that should draw up plays for the offense. OSU has lost its last five games against top five opponents. The start is key, if they can stay within striking distance in the first half, they’ve got a chance. I wish i could hear Tressel’s pre-game speech. Thank God i missed Lou’s pep talk. Anyway, here we go. Time to get some respect boys!

-Jake Fowler

USC  7  OSU  0

USC tried to take it easy on OSU giving them the ball first. T. Pryor said no thanks i want you guys to have it and threw a wounded duck interception that was returned to the five yard line.  Huuuuuge early moment that could have saved the game, fourth and goal from the one…..touchdown USC. I can’t believe they handed it off on fourth down. Probably the worst start the buckeyes could have hoped for. If they come back from a start like this it’s going to say a lot about the young team. -JF



Illinois 24, Illinois St. 0 (halftime)
I’m somewhat unimpressed by the Illini thusfar…I just feel like they should be killing this team, one that is predicted to finish eighth in the nine-team Missouri Valley Conference ahead of only Indiana State, a school that has the longest losing streak in all of Division I football….

Juice Williams officially has a quad injury and is questionable to return, but speculation from the S.I.D.’s was that Juice could see some second half action to get some reps. –PS

mi

Illinois 31, Illinois St. 0
Great drive to start the second half and the Illini picked apart the Redbird defense.  They look lamer than Fredbird, I tell ya!

I wouldn’t have bothered to update the score, because this is pretty much over, but Daniel Dufrene just burst through a small hole for a 24-yard touchdown scamper. Showed some great breakaway speed.  He NEEDS to be the starting Illini tailback. –PS

Illinois 31, Illinois St. 7 (8:42 3Q)
Here come the Redbirds!!  Terrible D all around from the Illini, from Ian Thomas missing a coverage assignment, Donsay Hardeman again showing his complete inability to make an open field tackle, and Tavon Wilson getting absolutely schooled in the corner of the endzone by a D-1AA wide receiver.

Also, Bowling Green is beating Missouri 13-6 IN Columbia.  This has not been an entertaining evening of football. –PS

OSU  10   USC  7

Beautiful response by Pryor and co. A 56-yard pass and run to the USC 5 followed by a nice blast off tackle by Boom Herron got the crowd back in the game. After a defensive stand, Pryor lofts a gorgeous touch pass down the middle to Posey. Fourth and goal for OSU… and Tressel decides to kick the field goal. Bold strategy cotton, we’llsee if it pays off for them. Earlier in the drive,  USC safety Taylor Mays seems to have hurt his knee, obviously a terrible sign for the Trojans. Pryor’s inconsistency is going to drive OSU fans crazy but the flashes of brilliance seems to outweigh the ducks .  -JF

James Madison 35, Maryland 35 (going into OT)
Yeah, I’m going Div. I-AA (FCS) on you guys. I’m currently living in Harrisonburg, Va., home of James Madison University. Should the Dukes pull off this upset, the ACC is officially the worst conference in the nation. A win would make the Colonial Athletic Conference (an FCS conference) 3-1 against the ACC. As a Big Ten fan, you should be rooting for this win.
-HJB-

Maryland 38, James Madison 35
Congrats on barely saving your crappy conference Maryland. Anyone who says the Big Ten sucks should look at the ACC. Seriously, weak.
-HJB-

Georgia 31, South Carolina 23 (second half begins)
Oh yeah, this game is going on right now. I didn’t see any of the first half, but I assume it’s been exciting. And Mike Patrick is calling the game, which means we’ll probably hear a Britney Spears reference at some point.

Oh yeah, Georgia cheerleaders.
-HJB-
georgiacheerleader

Georgia 31, South Carolina 26 (5:30 left in the 3rd)
Jake McCormick via twitter:the other usc makes be wonder whether steve spurrier is really all that and a bag of Wavy Lays with French onion dip.

I think he’s more like pork grinds at this point in his career.
-HJB-

Ohio State 10, Southern Cal 10 (start of the second half)
Here’s another tweet from Mr. McCormick: kind of surprised ohio state is playing better than usc at this point. hopefully barkley is learning a thing or two about cfb.

Yeah, like how to run for your life effectively. That and that he’s making way more money at USC over OSU.
-HJB-

Illinois 45, Illinois State 17 (final)
Well, the Illini regained some of their manhood but I don’t think they’ll fully redeem themselves until they win some Big Ten games.
-HJB-

Georgia 38, South Carolina 28 (end of the third)
The game no one is talking about should have a thrilling end. Fortunately for me I have picture in picture.
-HJB-

Ohio State 12, Southern Cal 10
This might be the first time I’ve ever seen the Trojans look rattled. That safety was killer.
-HJB-

More Jake McCormick gold via twitter: good thing kirk herbsrteit is doing the osu/usc game. he has to choose btwn his current stroking of matt barkley and lifetime humping of osu.

I think I saw something like that in a movie before.

Georgia 38, South Carolina 37 (4th quarter)

I Don’t know the time and I’m not even sure how it happened, but this game is officially worth watching of OSU/USC right now.
-HJB-

If Georgia’s starting quarterback can just remember his name, that’s a victory. Man that was a vicious hit.
-HJB-

I know William & Mary won at Virginia, but what was the other Colonial Athletic victory over the ACC? Oh yeah Richmond over Duke. But Maryland held on to win…bummer I guess it’s 2-2 in the CAA-ACC Challenge. and yes as a Big Ten fan I’m all for that. Too bad UNC came alive late and rallied against UConn

Just saw this on Yahoo!

Cowboys crash

Case Keenum and Houston torched No. 5 Oklahoma State’s defense for the 45-35 upset

Case Keenum?? who, I would love to hear Gundy at that presser. THAT’S GARBAGE!!!! AND WHOEVER DEFENDED TODAY IS GARBAGE..I’M A MAN

–PBIllinois 45, Illinois St. 17 (Final)
Well, it wasn’t the most inspiring effort, though Ron Zook and the rest of the coaches and players seem to disagree.  I personally think any time a team passes for 354 yards against you, that’s a bad sign.  Add in the fact that this was a 1-AA team that did it this week, starting their backup QB, and…well, again, let’s just leave it at it wasn’t an inspiring effort for the Illinois secondary.

Juice could have played in the second half, said the team doctor, but Zook asked him for his professional opinion whether or not he could make the injury worse, and the doc said, ‘Well, yeah, he could,’ and that was that.  Eddie McGee was…above average, and played more in this game than he ever had in a college game, so given that, he was to be commended.  I felt as though he could have made some better reads on the field than he did, but then again it isn’t like he even knew he was going to be playing today.

This was the first time in 26 straight games that Arrelious Benn was held without a catch.  I believe that that is every game of his college career, which is impressibe.  It also goes to show that he really still wasn’t quite right today.  Jarred Fayson picked up the slack today (and might be the best route runner on the team), but Benn needs to be healthy, along with Juice and Martez Wilson, for the Illini to hvae a chance in the Horsehoe in two weeks.

And so starts the odd third week bye for the Illini, prior to starting the early Big Ten season.  My guess is they will be worked VERY hard this week to try and get some kind of emotional uplift heading into Columbus in two weeks. –PS

Ohio State 15, USC 10 (4:10 left 4Q)
Well, it took literally the entire game here in Champaign, and then another hour on top of it, but we finally have on USC/tOSU in the press box.

USC is currently driving, and attempting to drive a stake through the heart of the Big Ten, but it would appear that, even if the score, the Buckeyes will get another shot. –PS

USC 18, Ohio State 15 (1:05 left in the 4Q)
Just an incredibly methodical drive by the Trojans to get downfield and score there.  And how the Bucks didn’t key on Joe McKnight on the 2-point conversion I’ll never know, but they didn’t.

McKnight has absolutely been a MAN on this drive, and has completely carried the Trojans late in this game, completely taking any pressure off of Matt Barkley to do anything of consequence.  He deserves all the credit in the world if they win this game, and is finally the beast that the Trojans recruited.

My earlier assessment that the Bucks would have time may have been premature, as they have a scant 65 seconds to win this.  Can they? -PS

Here’s a drinking game for watching any sport Herbstreit announces. take a drink every times he says “____ must step up”

you’ll be wasted in no time

–PB

USC DBs breaks up final 4th down pass OSU…it’s over now

–PB

USC 18, OSU 15 FINAL

It’s a shame the Buckeyes blew their lead..but at least they didn’t get owned like last season. maybe the b10 isn’t so bad after all.

I’m signing off for the day

–PB

Oh yeah one last thing..as we now must endure ESPN’s non-stop whoring of USC…the Ohio State Cheerleaders

osucheerleader

A Wildcat Experience at The Cell

By Rikki Greenberg

The environment at U.S. Cellular Field was electric and it wasn’t because the White Sox were in town.
This game was all about sporting purple and white or blue and gold while heading to the park to pledge your allegiance to either Northwestern or Notre Dame.

Northwestern senior Tony Vercelli’s two home runs in the 5-1 defeat over Notre Dame was the added bonus to the Wildcat’s big league experience at The Cell last Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (9-23) came out roaring early with a 1-0 lead at the top of the first inning when sophomore third baseman Chris Lashmet hit a double to left field and brought in freshman second baseman Trevor Stevens for a run.

Northwestern hit a dry spell in the fourth inning and continued until the top of the seventh when Vercelli hit a solo home run, his fifth of the season, and extended the lead to 3-0 over the Fighting Irish (20-13).
Vercelli continued his home run hitting streak in the top of the ninth when he scored a two-run homer and dashed any hopes of a Notre Dame comeback with a 5-1 lead.

“If you hit a home run, it’s like a dream come true,” said Vercelli. “But if you hit two, it’s like a fantasy.”
The event was hosted by the White Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA). Northwestern Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips was the driving force in making this event a reality for the Wildcats program.

“He [Jim Phillips] does not know the word no,” said Northwestern Head Coach Paul Stevens. “He will go out and try to give you the best opportunity to show case your program and this was a great venue for that.”
Stevens also expressed gratitude over Phillips “pushing the envelope” for the athletic programs at Northwestern and his ability to provide them with “world class experiences,” such as the most recent occurrence with the Chicago White Sox.

The 2,101 fans in attendance were able to take advantage of open concessions (fresh off the grill polish sausages, hearty hot dogs and cheese fries were just some of the tasty menu options) while taking in a collegiate ball game with a dedicated fan following.
Northwestern fans were not without the trademark Wildcat roar, which blared over the PA system any time a Wildcat player scored a run or made a big hit. RAR RAR RAR!

The enjoyment from an evening spent at U.S. Cellular continued long after the game was over.
All proceeds from the event went to Chicago White Sox charities, such as the Inner City Youth baseball league, the White Sox Amateur City Elite and the RBI program (run through the Chicago Park District).

Douchbracket National Champion Notre Dame Fans with no School Affiliation

The Paul M. Banks Regional Champions cut down the nets in the Inaugural dbag bracket Final Four

In the douchebracket, as well as in the NCAA tournament, sometimes it’s all about match-ups. How far your team goes or doesn’t go depends on who you draw in your bracket. And in the inaugural douchebracket “Notre Dame fans with no connection to the school” reached that “one shining moment” partially because they got lucky with match-up advantages. It also doesn’t hurt that St. Patrick’s Day coincides with the douchebracket and March Madness.

And this year was an extra special year for Notre Dame on the court as the Irish won the NIT (or so I’ve been told, I can’t say for sure, cuz I really don’t care about the NIT) and 50+ inebriated idiots on Chicago’s South Side acted like drunk buffoons and thugs to the point that they had to be arrested and in consequence frustrating the city into ending the 31 year old institution that was the South Side Irish parade. And you know many of those morons committing those acts were rocking ND colors despite no connection at all to the school.

Footlocker.com

It wasn’t an easy road for the ND fans- they had a very tough bracket in the Paul M. Banks Regional, and faced the winner of what was considered the strongest bracket, the Peter Christian regional. That was essentially the true national championship game. Their dramatic come from behind victory over Alex Rodriguez was by the slimmest of margins and wasn’t secured until the closing seconds- it was reminiscent of Illinois’ OT thrilling come from behind win over Arizona in the 2005 Elite 8. This spring, it was hard to imagine anyone beating A-Roid, with his constant stream of negative press, but as Pete pointed out, A-Fraud always crumbles in the clutch. As close as that game was, the title game was the opposite: a rout, a laugher, an 84-16% landslide over Rachel Nichols, the David K. Regional champion, who ran roughshod over her entire bracket and dominated Ronnie Woo Woo in her Final Four game. No one expected her to run out of gas on the biggest stage after owning the competition for so long. Perhaps she should look into blinking once in awhile. Maybe her eyes weren’t sufficiently hydrated and that kept from performing at the highest level.

In closing, I just want to thank everyone who voted for the ND Fans in my bracket, as well as everyone who commented on all articles posted within the inaugural bracket of sports douchitude. This was a big success and I look forward to doing it again next year. (I call Digger Phelps, Nick Saban, and Sports bars with bathroom attendants)  This is a nice little complement to my Michigan State Spartans reaching the National Title game and my procuring the 3rd and final “in-the-money” position in my pool. (Of course, gambling is illegal, and that’s for novelty purposes only) With the exception of 2000 (MSU wins national title) and 2005 (Illinois, MSU reach Final Four) this has been the best March Madness ever! Thank you and we’ll see you in the 2010 Douchebracket!

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Dbag Bracket Finals, Vote Early Vote Often

Rachel Nichols vs. Notre Dame Fans with no connection to the school

It’s the final countdown! This is Chicago so vote early, vote often for the national championship of the inaugural douchebracket. POLLS CLOSE ON SUNDAY APRIL 5TH 10:30 CT!!!!

Our two previous Final Four games were as different as night and day. Rachel Nichols was up by as many as 50 points before the final score was tallied. She more than doubled Ronnie Woo Woo’s percentage- winning 67-33%.

Alex Rodriguez was up by as many 10 for most of the contest, but whittled down the stretch as the non-academically affiliated Notre Dame fans chipped away at the double digit deficit and emerged victorious in final minutes by the SLIMMEST of margins 51-49% The final game should be equally exciting!

Vote in the Dbag Bracket Final Four

Here we go! Polls close at 11pm central on Thursday night. Soon after the title game poll will open. Vote as many times as you like

DBag Bracket Banks Regional Champion

By Paul M. Banks

Welcome to the d-bag bracket, a tournament deciding the most insufferable douchebags in all of sports. Please feel free to vote early and vote often for your choice in the Final Four.

Regional Champion: Non-Academically affiliated Notre Dame Fans.

It’s not every year the city of Chicago cancels a long-running parade. And when that rare event coincided with the inaugural year of the douchebracket- ND fans got their ticket punched to the Final 4. The large group of drunk morons engaging in stupid and illegal behavior at the Southside Irish parade (and you know many of them were repping the Golden Dome despite having no actual legitimate connection to the school) clinched it. The one ND alum currently in my social circle, Jim the CF on my rec. league softball team, is a pretty cool guy and a couple weeks ago he read the site and felt compelled to tell me how much he can’t stand these people. It’s similar to how I feel about the central Illinois townies and thuggish ruggish uneducated Chicagoans who think they know as much about/love the Illini as much as I do.

This regional’s #3 seed are the most egregious offenders within a special kind of douchebag classification- white trash idiots aligning themselves with front-runner schools (despite the fact the Fighting Irish haven’t won anything important in either sport for 20+ years) because….1.) Maybe their brother or cousin or somebody attended the school and they’ve been wasted in South Bend a couple times 2.) They’re Irish-American and they ignore this fact pointed out by commenter “Zoo” in round one:

“#3 should take this bracket hands down. Just because you’re Irish shouldn’t make you a Notre Dame fan…Why are they the Fighting Irish anyway? Notre Dame is French.”

I’m guessing these people have never been to the cathedral on Paris’ river Seine! So how did they rout #13 University of Michigan fans in the elite 8 game and squeeze past #2 Roger Clemens in the sweet 16?

It was a very tall order considering that Clemens is a guy who:

1.) Lived a big lie long after everyone stopped believing it

2.) Cheated on his wife with a teenager.

3.) Threw his wife under the bus to try and save his own ass

4.) Had no concept of “team” and made his own selfish rules and double standards during the last few years of his career

5.) Threw a bat at Mike Piazza in a fit of World Series roid rage

6.) I’ll stop here because this could go on for a thousand words, point being that this was a classic douchebracket battle.

The Regional final game against UM fans is reminiscent of when the two football teams each year on the third Saturday in September. When that stadium is filled each autumn, it is to me………well, remember when hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he “wanted Israel wiped off the map”?

All these bandwagon unaffiliated Fighting Irish fans are more evil and dangerous than the Taliban because their existence

-Validates the hypocritical holier-than-thou attitude the school has at every level; from the gelatinous Charlie Weiss to the horribly unprofessional press relations department.

-Creates the inflated consumer demand equilibrium that yielded a special college football television contract no other team has and this stupid notion they should be regularly covered by the Chicago sports media. South Bend is in a different state and time zone from the second city. They are NOT and never have been our home team!

Douchebracket Banks Regional Semifinals

Welcome to the d-bag bracket, a tournament deciding the most insufferable douchebags in all of sports. Please feel free to comment as much as possible  because your feedback will help determine who advances to the Final Four.

By Paul M. Banks

Regional Semi Final #2 Roger Clemens vs. #3 Notre Dame fans with no connection to the school

I think this game could be a national semifinal, not just a regional semifinal as many bracketologists across the country have picked these guys to be their national champions. It’s a lying cheater who threw his wife and close friends under the bus versus people who (for no valid reason) support a team that everyone hates, a team that doesn’t even have the luxury of being hated because they’re good.


How non-academically affiliated Notre Dame fans got here:
this was undoubtedly the stronger portion of the bracket. The #6 People who think Chris Berman is funny destroyed #11 ESPN’s Tim Tebow coverage but fell to ND fans by just one point after leading for 59 minutes of the game. ND had a tough first round opponent in Tyler Hansbrough, who gets more irritating every time he pumps his effete, short T-Rex like arms in celebration, but Psycho T. the man with the worst nickname in all of sports was no match for this group on St. Patrick’s Day when these douchebags are all out in full force. And remember, Chicago has two parades and essentially celebrates the Irish drinking holiday on three separate days each year.

But NOT anymore! After 31 years the city of Chicago suspended the South side Irish parade due to the drunken tomfoolery and rowdiness of inebriated by 10 am hooligans. 54 people were arrested! More than the night Chicago people turned over cars to “celebrate” the Bulls title. You know those morons were probably wearing shamrock beeds, those plastic green hats called…I don’t know those dorky hats that homoerotic dancing men wear and diddley-boppers on their heads. What else were these likely non-high school educated people wearing? Probably plenty of Notre Dame merchandise. And good riddance to the South Side Irish parade. I grew up about 20 minutes from where it takes place, lived in the Chicago area most of my life, and been to it a grand total of one time. And one time too many!

How Roger Clemens got here: by being Roger Clemens and routing Illini fans complaining about the refs in round one. That was the most lopsided game in the tourney so far. Supporters of a fellow juicehead, Barry Bonds, met Clemens in the second round after the seven seed cruised past Peyton Manning’s incessant commercials. These 10 over 7 mild upsets can sometimes be easy to predict. Clemens cheated on his wife with a washed-up drug addicted country singer when she was barely legal meaning he deserved a victory over a group of people who (like followers of Intelligent Design) are too stupid or pig-headed to believe in simple science. But Bonds today is too much of a pariah to see his acolytes advance further in this bracket.

Regional Semi Final  #8 Pro Chief Illiniwek Zealots vs. #13 University of Michigan Fans

A lot of office pools had broken brackets in this side of the regional. While seedings held in the lower part of the bracket, chaos ruled in the upper portion. But consider that II got hate mail from Chief Illiniwek fans just this past week, and a Michigan fan (who didn’t attend the school by the way) actually de-friended me on Facebook for talking trash after Illini won their meeting in the Big Ten tournament. Seriously, you (and you know who you are) started the smack talk but can’t handle the response- LAME! These two groups of irritating Big Ten backers found their way into the Sweet Sixteen.

How the Pro-Chief people got here: First they survived a 6 overtime thriller with the anti-Chief zealots because I had trouble deciding which group was truly the bigger collection of losers besmirching the reputation of my alma mater. In round two I realized that “The General” hasn’t been that relevant as a coach in ages and some of his work on ESPN isn’t half bad. And since he hasn’t choked anyone, attacked any kids simply because they greeted him or laid his convoluted and regressive world views on us lately, he was ripe for a shocking upset in round two. He was also likely tired from his round one slugfest with the drunken and baseball illiterate subset of Cubs fans. That contest came down to a buzzer beater that’s still under review.

How U of M fans got here:
The #4 seed Over-commercialization of Sportscenter was a sleeper pick in many tournament pick’em games, so this might have been the upset of the tourney so far. But Sportscenter still at least has some stats and charts wedged in there with all the self-promotion, cross promotion and segments starring Rick Reilly that appeal to the brain-dead. Once again #12 upset #5 as the annoyance of Chase Daniel is much more fresh in my mind than that of the Back-stabbing Judas, Eric Gordon. Besides Kelvin Sampson was the real enemy and douchebag of that situation and he’s seeded in Peter Christian’s regional. UM fans had no problem dismissing Chase Daniel’s douchitude as he will now descend into obscurity for the rest of his life.