Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Holding Out for a Hero (or 25)   Leave a comment

“I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight” -Bonnie Tyler

About eleven months ago, our world entered an apocalyptic age.  Since the triggering event very early on the morning of November 3, 2016, the following things have happened:

  • Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States
  • A series of four earthquakes hit central Italy, killing thirty-four
  • A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit China, killing twenty-five
  • Hurricane Harvey hit the Caribbean, Texas and Louisiana, killing seventy-five
  • A pair of earthquakes hit Mexico, killing 457.
  • Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and Florida, killing 124
  • Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean, most notably Puerto Rico, killing at least sixty-eight
  • Tens of thousands of acres in the western U.S. have burned in wildfires
  • The United States is on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea

It might seem that humanity’s headlong rush toward the end times is irreversible, but alas, there is hope.  The number of men who can reverse humanity’s course is few, and their window of opportunity is short, but it is possible.  Between October 3 and November 1, there are 225 men, amassed in groups of twenty-five throughout nine major U.S. cities, who have a chance to accomplish the seemingly impossible task.  They are based in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Houston, Washington, Boston, Phoenix, New York, Denver and Minneapolis.

If you are from one of these cities, you may already be partial to one of these groups of men.  If not, then please adopt one of them as your own.  Cheer for them, pray for them, wear their colors to show your support.  If one of these groups is actually able to accomplish the task, they should be hailed worldwide as heroes, but if we all wake up on November 2 and none of them have been able to succeed, then God help us all.

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Posted October 1, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Baseball, Sports

The Worst Play Call in the History of Football   Leave a comment

On October 31, 2010, when Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly had his backup quarterback throw a fade route while trailing Tulsa by one point at their 19-yard line with 45 seconds left and an excellent kicker waiting to kick the game-winning field goal, I thought I had seen the worst play call in the history of football.  The risk far, far outweighed the reward to the point that the call seemed incomprehensible.

In Super Bowl XLIX, Seattle’s Pete Carroll called for a pass play while trailing 28-24, facing 2nd and goal from the New England 1 with 26 seconds left and one timeout remaining.  From a purely risk/reward standpoint, this was not a worse play call than Brian Kelly’s, but given the context that this was a Super Bowl and not just a regular season college game, it was arguably a worse play call.

Last night, the Atlanta Falcons managed to top them both.  With 3:56 left, facing 2nd and 11 at the New England 23 yard line, holding a 28-20 lead, all Atlanta had to do was run the ball two more times, even if for no gain, force New England to burn two of their three timeouts, and then attempt a 40-yard field goal that their kicker is going to make about 90 percent of the time to give Atlanta a 31-20 lead, leaving New England needing two scores in roughly 3:45 and only one timeout.

Of course what Atlanta did was call a pass play, which resulted in a sack, followed by another pass play which resulted in a holding penalty which knocked Atlanta entirely out of field goal range.  You can say it’s easy to second-guess given the results, but it was pretty clear at the time that making sure to get at least 3 points on the board was the best option.

Any other horrible play calls I’m missing?

Posted February 6, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, NFL, Sports

You Are an Embarrassment to My Alma Mater   Leave a comment

Yes, Brian Kelly, you are an embarrassment to my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.  I didn’t put myself about $100,000 into debt to go to a university with an excellent football program.  I didn’t put myself that far into debt to go to an university with a reputation for academic excellence and for integrity.  I put myself that far into debt to go to a very unique university that was both.

Brian Kelly has managed to turn a university that excels at football and operates with integrity to one that does neither.  However, this has gotten well beyond Brian Kelly, and that is why the title of this post starts with “You” instead of with “Brian Kelly.”

John B. “Jack” Swarbrick, you are also an embarrassment to my alma mater.  You continue to stand firmly behind a coach who has brought nothing but negative attention to the university both on and off the field.  Even if you decide to fire Brian Kelly within the next week, it has gone on too long.  You’ve allowed Notre Dame to become a place that just isn’t that special anymore.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, you are also an embarrassment to my alma mater.  Under your tenure, you have allowed an athletic director and a football coach to turn Notre Dame into a place that I’m no longer proud of.  I used to be very proud to tell people that I’m not just a Notre Dame fan, now I just brag that I’m married to an Ivy Tech grad.

There are a few more people who are an embarrassment to my alma mater:

  • John J. Brennan
  • John F. Affleck-Graves
  • Rev. José E. Ahumada F., C.S.C.
  • Carlos J. Betancourt
  • Stephen J. Brogan
  • Thomas G. Burish
  • Monique Y. Caron
  • Katie Washington Cole
  • Rev. Austin I. Collins, C.S.C.
  • Robert Costa
  • Scott S. Cowen
  • Robert J. Cronin, Jr.
  • Thomas J. Crotty, Jr.
  • Karen McCartan DeSantis
  • James J. Dunne III
  • James F. Flaherty III
  • Celeste Volz Ford
  • Stephanie A. Gallo
  • William M. Goodyear
  • Nancy M. Haegel
  • Enrique Hernandez, Jr.
  • Carol Hank Hoffmann
  • Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
  • Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., D.D.
  • John W. Jordan II
  • Diana Lewis
  • Thomas G. Maheras
  • Andrew J. McKenna, Jr.
  • Fergal Naughton
  • Richard C. Notebaert
  • Richard A. Nussbaum II
  • Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C.
  • Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C.
  • Cindy K. Parseghian
  • J. Christopher Reyes
  • Kenneth Ricci
  • Clare Stack Richer
  • Martin W. Rodgers
  • James E. Rohr
  • Shayla Keough Rumely
  • Rev. John J. Ryan, C.S.C.
  • Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C.
  • Byron O. Spruell
  • Phyllis W. Stone
  • Timothy F. Sutherland
  • Anne E. Thompson
  • Sara Martinez Tucker
  • Roderick K. West
  • Ann C. Williams

These are the members of the Board of Trustees.  Thanks to them, the Notre Dame I loved and paid dearly to attend is a thing of the past.  I feel robbed, both emotionally and financially.  I would ask for my money back, but if I gave them my phone number I’d just get dozens of calls from them asking me for money.  If you are one of the people on this list and do manage to read this, I’d be happy to hear why you don’t think you are an embarrassment to my alma mater, just so long as you don’t ask me for money in the process.

 

Posted November 26, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, Sports

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How NOT to Fill Out Your Brackets   Leave a comment

Disclaimer: This is my 33rd year filling out brackets.  I’ve never won a pool of any kind, not even a free one that’s just for bragging rights.  So if your picks look anything like mine, it’s not too late to change yours.

andybrackets2015

Posted March 17, 2015 by Andrew Cabiness in College Basketball, Sports

Tim Brown and Jerome Bettis, HOF   Leave a comment

As is tradition, the new class of Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame is announced the day before the Super Bowl.  Two Notre Dame players with outstanding NFL careers finally received that honor yesterday, after waiting far longer than they should have.

There is very little argument with Bettis.  He racked up elite rushing totals while playing most of his career for a very popular and successful franchise.  At least in Indiana, there is quite a bit of noise that Marvin Harrison deserved to go in the HOF as a receiver ahead of Tim Brown.  If you are entirely ignorant of the history of the NFL before Peyton Manning arrived in Indianapolis, it’s a pretty easy argument to buy into.  Harrison benefited from playing in a much more pass-freindly era, and benefited from playing with arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time.

Tim Brown played in a much less pass-friendly era, with a whole bunch of less pass-friendly quarterbacks.  It’s pretty easy to see that there are a lot of reasons other than the respective value of each receiver as to why Harrison was able to rack up much better career numbers than Brown.  On top of that, Tim Brown put his body on the line to return punts and kickoffs 375 times.  Marvin Harrison put his body on the line to return punts and kickoffs 21 times.

Tim Brown played for 16 years in Oakland with Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Rich Gannon and Rick Mirer as his quarterbacks and he’s still in the HOF.  If Marvin Harrison had to play 16 years with those quarterbacks, you’d have forgotten who he is by now.

TimBrown

Posted February 1, 2015 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, Indiana, NFL, Notre Dame

Courage, Character and Commitment   Leave a comment

October 24, 2003, Carey Jones, Casey Miller and Chad Beeson were killed by a drunk driver coming home from a playoff game. The 3 volunteer coaches showed Courage, Character and Commitment throughout their lives. In their honor, we remember the 3 C’s.

 Carey Jones, Casey Miller and Chad Beeson were all graduates of Bremen High School.  Chad was a classmate of mine, the other two were several years before me.  All three were volunteering as advance scouts for the Bremen High School football team.  Their job on Friday nights was to go watch the game of a potential future opponent and return with a scouting report.  As someone who enjoys both travel and watching football, it’s something I’ve often thought I might do someday.

 There are dozens of people who were much closer to the three of them than I was, so I can’t do any of them justice by talking about their value to their families and their community.  I also had been living out of the area for seven years when this tragedy occurred, so I didn’t suffer from the impact the way those still in the area did.  I do remember my dad calling me early Saturday morning, which was not normal.  They were all former students of his and he was pretty torn up about it.

 A bunch of really fantastic people have done some wonderful things in memory of “The 3 C’s.”  A very nice memorial rock sits on the grounds of Bremen High School.  A scholarship fund was established in their names, and you can find the fund’s website here and Facebook page here.

 I know not everybody can give money, but there is one thing we all can do.  Please do a little bit to help reduce drunk driving.  Call somebody a cab.  Take their keys away.  Call the police.

3c's

Posted October 24, 2014 by Andrew Cabiness in HS Sports, Sports

I’d Do Anything for a National Championship (But I Won’t Do That)   Leave a comment

Sixteen years after his only previous Top 20 hit, Meat Loaf scored his biggest hit, going all the way to #1 in November of 1993.  Notre Dame had been in the Top 20 plenty of times during the Lou Holtz era, including #1 several times, but the November 1993 #2 vs. #1 showdown with Florida State got billed as “The Game of the Century.”  If you need a reminder, this is how it ended.

Fast forward to tomorrow, and while #2 vs. #5 is not quite the same, the game is evoking comparisons to that 1993 contest both on and off the field.  Don’t forget that back in 1993, FSU stood for “Free Shoes University,” while in 2014 FSU has too many Jameis Winston problems to keep track of.

Now, while Notre Dame has been historically known for conducting their athletic programs with integrity (and telling everybody about it), there have been some blurred lines during the Kelly era.  Still, the university has demonstrated they they are in charge of the football program and not the other way around by sidelining five players for academic misconduct that would get swept under the rug at most places.  On the other hand, Jameis Winston has been accused of four different things, yet has only missed one game.

While I still don’t know what Meat Loaf was talking about when he said he wouldn’t do “that,” I do know what exactly Notre Dame won’t do in pursuit of a National Championship.

Go Irish!

31to24

Posted October 17, 2014 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, Notre Dame, Sports

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