Sunday, September 27, 2009

Clausen and Weis -- Can we believe?

Friends,First of all, I didn't save this year. You -- or, y'all -- did. If anything, the only thing I've done is getting my azz in gear. Pardon the French, s’il vous plait?

This is your league. I'm here to serve.

Secondly, in the spirit of encompassing all suggestions you gave me, reflection, rally, survival, etc., the word "perseverance" kept circling. We're going to go with that.

I couldn't sleep much last night. I think I might have logged in 40 minutes, if that -- all night. I had some worries with my daughters, but more than that, I was not sure I could give Clausen (QB for Notre Dame) my full respect -- yet. Why you ask?
It all started with a chick flick and some wine. Last night, after a one-sided (and not to my side) agreement with Mrs. Commish about TV rights, I was able to watch most of the end of the Notre Dame game. The pay-off to her, you ask? I had to watch a DVD with Matthew McConauhey. The picture is something about ghosts and girlfriends. Same drill. He's the guy all women want, but his heart belongs to one. The only positive in this movie is Michael Douglas has a part in it. He saves the movie, in a way. Anyhow, it was brutal. And I know Mssrs. Messer, Dean, Hopkins and others are LOLing as they read this. It's all right men. I know you do it, too.

I know a lot of you hate the Irish, but bear with me. Texas beat UTEP 64-7. Nothing remotely interesting to talk about there. Iowa won big at Penn State. Congrats to T-Bone and his alma mater! Tebow got hammered. Wow! Poor kid. There is a moral to this story.

So, again, the Irish are not winning as I turn to ESPN. Their foe? Purdue's Boilermakers, a moniker they've had to live with since 1891. They barely won the Michigan State game. They lost in the Big House. Their only convincing game was against Nevada, but that was expected. Them not winning 35-0 over Nevada would have been like the Cowboys losing their last game ever at Texas Stadium last season.

Oh wait...

I don't like -- and never have -- Clausen. I don't care how many state titles he won in California -- he would not be my choice. But, Coach Weis chose this kid. I mean, he's a good-looking kid, and his parents moved from the West Coast to South Bend to see their boy play, but still not my choice. C'mon coach! He's not Tom Brady or Brady Quinn!!!

So, for two long seasons I've been waiting for a reason to keep watching the Irish, my "closet attraction." I've been waiting for the magic, though last night was looking like a failed attempt. Clausen fell victim to Deion Sanders' namesake injury here in the Chicken Fried Nation-- turf toe. So, he was out a good part of the game.

I got my reason last night, sort of. The Irish were trailing 21-17 with less than four minutes on the clock. Coach Weis had been playing the backup QB, not wanting his golden boy to play in the second half. But, like many football movies and last-minute heroics we hear so many times, Clausen told Weis, "Put me in Coach!" At least, that's the way I'm going to imagine it. And, he did.

Clausen and the Irish drove down to the 4. But, something happened that kind of puts a damper on this Weis-Clausen love affair. The Irish had no time outs, and the clock had less than 30 tics. Instead of Purdue allowing the clock to keep ticking, hastily forcing the Irish to spike or make an offensive mistake, Purdue's head coach makes the mistake, one he won't soon forget.

He calls a time out.

This gives the Irish plenty of time to decide on a play. The men in the booth took this to the bank! "What's he doing?!" Apparently the time out was for personnel changes on defense, to insure the game.

Guess what?

The large-waist-never-played-no-football genius with the Notre Dame coach's polo shirt had extra seconds to plot with his boy. So, finally, Clausen, a-la-John Elway fires left, on a quick out. Irish score. Irish win.

Barely. Again.

I enjoyed the win. Don't get me wrong. I know a win is a win. But, I am still not sure without that time out on Purdue's behalf they would have won. I just don't know, and at this point never will.

Shistekovich! This is Bootleggers word, by the way.

Yours truly, and still doubting,