Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Coach Osborne to a man named Suh. My memories of the Huskers.

Today's post in my Football Week 2011 series is guest written by friend and fellow blogger, J.R. Reed, of Sex & the Single Dad fame! And here we go ...

Now I just say things like, “Bob Stoops may be the actual Anti-Christ.”

Some of my earliest memories include Nebraska football. I had no clue what a Cornhusker was, but I didn’t care. I was a husker. Whatever that was. My posse has its roots in the Cornhusker State. My parents met, conceived and bore myself and, three years later, my brother, in the state of Nebraska. I lived there until I was three, then we blazed a trail for sunny So. Cal.

I remember being four or five years old and spending Saturday afternoons out in the garage or driveway with my dad. What we did varied from week to week, but if it was the fall, my dad had his portable AM radio tuned to “The Game”. That, of course, was the Nebraska football game. I remember the broadcasts were sponsored by some group named Californians for Nebraska. I remember the name because my dad had their bumper sticker on the back of his panel Oldsmobile station wagon. And his Nebraska jacket had the same logo emblazoned on the front.

I don’t know why, but I remember the reverence my dad showed when he spoke of “Coach Osborne”. He told me that Coach Osborne studied under Coach Devaney, and that the young coach showed a lot of promise. “He’s going to win a lot of games,” my dad said. As I grew older, my dad kept saying that. And he was right. Tom Osborne ended his coaching career with a record of 255-49-3. Let me save you from doing the math. He won 83.5% of the games he coached in his 25-year coaching career. Holy shit that’s a lot of games.

My brother has more memories of Tom Osborne than I do. How? He played for Coach Osborne in 1987 as a kicker for the Huskers. Eventually my brother figured he would come back to California and try out for the NFL after training on his own. Somehow that dream faded and the boy who once held the CIF (California’s governing body for high school sports) record for longest field goal ended his football career after a season at Nebraska. I believe his record was 61 yards. I know the first number was a 6, I just cant remember the second digit. But I’m pretty sure it was a 1. Maybe a 2.

The day after Thanksgiving has always been a special day for me. As far back as I can remember that day was for watching Nebraska vs. Oklahoma. What the hell was this Black Friday crap? That day was for wearing red and watching what was always a damn good football game. Why? Mainly because during the Tom Osborne vs. Barry Switzer era, both teams were almost always in the Top 10. For us it was like Good going in to whip Evil’s ass.

I remember one Friday when I was probably in middle school. The TV dude announced the arrival of the University of Oklahoma Sooners, but no one emerged from the tunnel. I turned to my dad (thinking I was very funny), and said, “Sooner or later they’re gonna have to come out and get their butts kicked.” It’s like NEBRASKA FOOTBALL FAN was somehow imprinted in my genes. I was dissin the Oakies from way back in the day. Now I just say things like, “Bob Stoops may be the actual Anti-Christ.”

There were some great games over the years. Coach Osborne was voted ESPN’s Coach of the Decade for the 1990’s and he won his third National Championship in 1997 and ended his coaching career on top. As Devaney begat Osborne, so Osborne begat Solich. Frank Solich played for Coach Devaney and coached under Osborne for 19 seasons. Osborne named Solich his successor, and he remained as head coach for six seasons.

To be brutally honest, there wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about from that point, until a boy named Suh arrived. He was a boy in age, but a man in stature. Dude is immense and scary as hell. If you don’t know who Ndamukong Suh is, please take a moment to peruse some of his highlight reel career. Oh…around the 1:28 point, Suh rag dolls Colt McCoy. He did it again at 3:07. This one was way better than the first.

Hook that on your horn and blow it. Wow. That was really stupid. It sounded so much better in my head than it did on paper. My most sincere apologies. Let me rephrase that. Nah. I meant what I said the first time. Sucked to be you that day Colt McCoy.

Is that dude wicked awesome or what? In case you didn’t catch on, those were highlights from ONE GAME. Not a season. A game. One. Freakin. Game.

These are my memories of the past, but there is a new future for the Huskers in a new conference and with new rivalries. I’m not so sure I like this new dealio. My two favorite teams in college football are Nebraska and Wisconsin. Guess who play Oct. 1 in Nebraska’s first Big 10 Conference matchup? Yeah. I’m so not loving this bullshit.

I know I droned on and on about how much I love the Huskers, but I also have a thing for Wisconsin. I’m not totally sure why, but I have for many, many years. I’m a Badger, yo. I saw them play hockey in the Bradley Center in Milwaukee during two different conference tournaments. I watch them play on TV whenever I can. And I always have them going too far in my Tournament brackets. If that weren’t enough, Drama Queen could recognize Bucky the Badger at a young age.

I’ve thought long and hard about how I want this game to end up. After hours upon hours of soul searching, I have finally come to peace with my decision. Here’s how I want it to go. I want this to be a close game. Hard fought by both teams. I want it close and I want it intense. At the end, someone will come in with a huge last second play and win the game. As long as the game is as I described, I don’t care who wins. Seriously. Both teams will be good. One pre-season poll has Nebraska 10 and Wisconsin 11, while the other poll flips the two schools. You wanna know who rolls in at number one? Oklahoma. Remember what I told you. Bob Stoops may be the actual Anti-Christ.

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by J.R.'s blog at Sex & The Single Dad, or follow him on Twitter at @SxNSingleDad


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Concussion Crisis

I am going to interrupt the joyous frivolity of Football Week 2011 to jump on my soap box for just a second to talk about concussions and football (and hockey).

I know that both football and hockey are fast, very physical sports, but if both of these leagues do not get a serious handle on head injuries, there will be more and more tragedies, of which we have seen too many already.

(Photo from The New Yorker article, How different are Dogfighting and Football? Full story here.)

But even before we can address concussions in the NFL and the NHL, it has to be addressed in the pee wee football and youth hockey leagues. The only way to truly protect these players in the long run is to change the culture from the very beginning.

As an avid Notre Dame and Blues fan, the head injury issue has hit very close to home. First, the tragic death of Dave Duerson early this year. According to reports from ESPN (full story here), " ... Mr. Duerson's family has agreed to donate his brain to the CSTE at BU School of Medicine," Nowinski said in an e-mail. The CSTE, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a collaborative venture between Boston University's Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute, who are addressing what it calls the "concussion crisis" in sports. The group has been at the forefront of head trauma in sports research and has received a $1 million gift from the NFL, which it has pushed for better treatment of concussions.

Fast forward to August of this year, and yet another member of the Notre Dame family has an incident related back to football head injuries. Former Notre Dame defensive coach Corwin Brown was removed from his house with a self-inflicted gun shot wound, after a seven-hour police standoff. ESPN reports quoted the family as saying (full story here), "... they believe he may suffer from the same type of brain trauma as Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears star who committed suicide in February."

Now, take the Blues hockey player, David Perron. As reported by Norm Sanders of the Belleville News-Democrat (full story here), Perron is still not cleared to practice. The St. Louis Blues are scheduled to begin training camp on September 16th, and at this point Perron is not even on the radar screen. Blues GM Doug Armstrong reports, "He's making progress, but he's not symptom-free -- and until he gets to that point and can get into his training, we're still with the status quo. He hasn't done any weightlifting or maintenance of his muscle mass for his upper or lower body. He's gone almost eight or nine months without training, so when the concussion symptoms subside he's going to have to get back into conditioning and strength training." (You can catch Norm on Twitter at @NormSanders)

And as if all of this wasn't enough ... Sidney Crosby may not start for the Penguins until Christmas, and rumors are flying that Peyton Manning's "neck injury" is really a concussion/brain injury ... and nothing to do with any sort of neck surgery/injury.

How many life altering injuries must these players suffer before someone takes notice?

I know that football (and hockey) is a fast and physical game, but if these players, their coaches, agents and team owners do not start making a serious effort towards protecting their immediate and long term health, there will be even more needless tragedies. I'm not exactly sure what the fix is, but there are plenty of suggestions out there. Some of the ideas I've seen kicked around include: make the helmets and the protection better, eliminate head shots during games and when head shots do happen, enforce them better with stricter penalties. And how about starting at the beginning, educate parents and athletes better as to the dangers of head injuries and the dire implications to their future health.

I spoke with Lou Korac this week, to get his point of view on the concussion crisis, and he brings up some very valid points as well. "Truthfully, athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. In a contact sport like hockey/football, these bigger/stronger bodies making an impact with the opponent have done more damage to that upper-body area because as your mid and lower bodies get bigger, the head/neck is one area that will always be vulnerable. You are seeing safer equipment being made, more padding in helmets to help alleviate the impact/soften the blows. That is a good first step. And most importantly, players simply have to respect their opponent when in comes to vulnerable contact areas. While hockey (and football) is a contact sport, there's no rhyme nor reason for someone to go in high and hard on a vulnerable opponent. Until that gets cleaned up, you're going to see more David Perron/Marc Savard type injuries." (You can catch Lou Korac on Twitter at @lkorac10, or on the web at

Okay, well I guess that's enough of my soap box. Unfortunately, I cannot fix this, and there really is no overnight to fix for this either. I just hope that someone sees the urgency of this situation, and makes some positive changes for the sake of the players and their health.

Stay tuned ... tomorrow's Football Week 2011 post will be written by my friend and fellow blogger, JR Reed, from Sex & the Single Dad!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Under the Lights

We are t-minus five days from the kickoff of Notre Dame Football, and without further ado, let Football Week 2011 begin!!

In the immortal words of my friend Kevin ...

"Half my life ago I attended a very memorable Notre Dame game. It was September 15, 1990 ... the last NIGHT game to be played in The House That Rockne Built, and Rick Mirer's first start. We won against Michigan 28-24."

Under the lights is significant to Notre Dame this year for two reasons. The first of which is, we play Michigan under the lights, AT The Big House this year. On September 10, 2011, Notre Dame and Michigan will meet in the Big House for their first prime time meeting since the previously mentioned September 15, 1990 game. Wait, did I also mention it's the first night game in the Big House in it's 85-year history? First. Night. Game. Ever.

This game looks to be a big win for the Irish coming off a season opener win against the South Florida Bulls, and no, I'm not overlooking the Bulls in week one either. I think the Irish are more than focused enough to take care of South Florida in week one, and not be already looking ahead to Michigan. The Irish have not lost three straight games to the Wolverines since their streak in 1898-1899-1900 ... yes, over 100 years ago! If the Irish lose to the Wolverines this year, it would be the first three game streak (win or loss) in the series since the Irish won four in a row in the late 80's. So keep this game on your radar for sure. Big game, big rivalry, under the lights, big Irish win.

The second reason why under the lights is significant this year for the Irish is because the first night game AT Notre Dame stadium since the 1990 Michigan-Notre Dame meeting is also occurring this year. The University of Spoiled Children ... I mean USC, are coming to South Bend on Saturday, October 22, to face the Irish in the first night game in more than 20 years. Coming fresh off a buy week, the anticipation of a long awaited night game will bring a fired up Irish squad to the field, to continue the winning streak they started at the Coliseum last year.

In case missed my 2011 Notre Dame Football preview, you can catch my August 5th preview here!

Okay, and that kicks off Football Week 2011.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Football Week 2011

It's hard to believe, but the college football season is almost upon us ... woo hoo!! If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember my blog posts counting down to the football season last year. Well, it's here once again. So, as of Monday, August 29, Football Week 2011 will begin. This year it will be a little less Notre Dame, and a little more football in general, and I will also have two guest writers posting with me.

My first guest blogger is a dear friend, and fellow Californian (and KROQ lover) J.R. Reed, creator of the awesome blog Sex & The Single Dad. If you have not checked out his blog before, by all means do! There is some great stuff over there! You can also follow him on twitter at @SxNSingleDad

My second guest blogger is one of my partners in crime, Miss Susan, Twitter Hockey Maven and sports blogger for She is actively writing college football and shortly hockey blog posts for If you want to be in the know in regards to college football, she's your girl! You can also follow her on Twitter at @RuffStough

If you missed football week last year, follow the links below and get caught up!

Seven We're now just seven days from the kick off of Notre Dame's 2010 campaign with Purdue, and I'm going to count down the season with football blogs! Blog "Seven" will be memories of the best Notre Dame football game I ever attended.

Six Yesterday's blog was the best Notre Dame football game I've ever seen. Today's blog is going to be the most painful Notre Dame game I've ever seen.

Five Here they are, the roots of my love of football, in particular Notre Dame football.

Four Today's countdown to football blog post (Four) includes a few tales of some of the people we’ve seen, and/or met, along the way!

Three Today's blog post ... in the countdown to football with blog posts, three days to go ... is about player interactions. (I'm posting this one a few hours early ... I just can't wait!)

Two For today's blog post ... in the countdown to football with blog posts ... Girls Who Love Football.

One Today's blog is about the old timers.
One of the best parts of being a female alum of Notre Dame ... is listening to the "old timers" tell stories about what Notre Dame was like before the women got there. I love hearing the stories, and let me tell you, they love telling them!


Blue Sky Mine

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the band Midnight Oil and the song "Blue Sky Mine."

Midnight Oil is yet another band (along with Til Tuesday's Aimee Mann) that played at that first Pointfest Music festival sponsored by 105.7 The Point back in the early 1990's. I always loved the band, but fell even more in love with them when I moved to St. Louis and fell in love with the music of 105.7 The Point.

Midnight Oil, informally known to it's fans as "The Oils," was an Australian rock band hailing from Sydney, originally performing under the name Farm beginning in 1972. The band consisted of: drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie. Vocalist Peter Garrett was studying at Australian National University in Canberra when he answered an advertisement for a spot in the band Farm, and by the year 1975 the band was touring the east coast. Garrett moved to Sydney in late 1976 to complete his law degree, and the band wanted to change their name, but could not come to a consensus ... so they changed from Farm to Midnight Oil by drawing the name out of a hat!

The Midnight Oil albums which finished in the Top Ten in Australia include: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Red Sails in the Sunset, Species Deceases, Diesel and Dust, Blue Sky Mining, Scream in Blue (Live), Earth and Sun and Moon, Breathe, 20,000 Watt R.S.L., Redneck Wonderland, The Real Thing, Capricornia and Flat Chat. The singles that reached the Australian Top Ten include "Power and the Passion", "The Dead Heart", "Beds Are Burning" and "Blue Sky Mine". Both "Power and the Passion" and "Beds Are Burning" were also included in 2001 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) on the list of Top 30 best Australian songs of all time.

The band popped into my head this week as I've been reminiscing about the original day of the Pointfest Music festival, and also because my husband has been in Australia for the past 8 days! I just really love Midnight Oil's punk/hard rock sound which has the perfect "pub rock" feel to it!

My two favorite Midnight Oil albums are Diesel and Dust and Blue Sky Mining. The album Diesel and Dust focused on the need for recognition by white Australia of past injustices involving the Aboriginal nation and the need for reconciliation. Diesel and Dust topped the Australian albums chart at No. 1 for six weeks, and the song "Beds Are Burning" was their biggest international hit single which peaked at No. 6 in Australia, and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Blue Sky Mining was released in March of 1990 and it topped the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts at No. 1. It stayed at No. 1 for two weeks in Australia and also had Top 5 chart success in Sweden, Switzerland and Norway. The album was even more defiant and outspoken than Diesel and Dust, and the single "Blue Sky Mine" describes asbestos exposure in the Wittenoom mine tragedy.

Okay ... here's a little Blue Sky Mine for your listening pleasure!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't Crash The Car Tonight

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band Mary's Danish, and the song Don't Crash The Car Tonight.

I know this is kind of an obscure band, that most of you will not know, but I loved, loved, LOVED Mary's Danish back in the 80's. It may very well have been a California thing, but here we go!

The alternative rock band Mary's Danish was formed in Los Angeles, California in the late 1980s and released a series of albums until 1992. The band's sound was a creative blend of rock, funk, country and soul elements.

Mary's Danish was led by two female lead singers, Gretchen Seager and Julie Ritter. David Archbold King and Louis Gutierrez {of Louis & Clark and the Three O'Clock} played guitar, with Christopher Scott "Wag" Wagner on the bass, and Nick Zeigler on drums, who was later replaced by James Oliver Bradley Jr.

The band released four albums, the first being There Goes the Wondertruck, which was released in 1989. It featured the single Don't Crash the Car Tonight which gained the band an initial following.

The band had some success from the start, and was chosen by Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times as one of 1989's brightest newcomers. That same year they were also listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of their "Top Five New Faces." Hollywood Reporter referred to the band in a review as having "spirited anarchy and rocksolid musicianship."

Their 1992 cover of I Fought the Law was featured in the film "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" (1992), and was also on the accompanying soundtrack release "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Soundtrack".

Don't Crash the Car Tonight was the perfect teenage angst song ... full of relationship drama and the typical self destructing bad boy. I can remember driving home from some where ... a club, or a football game, or a live show ... and singing this song at the top of our lungs. I wish we had seen this band live. I'm sure they would have been amazing in concert, but we certainly enjoyed them in our car tape decks!

And believe it or not, I found a video for this song on YouTube! Oh yeah! So here's a little Mary's Danish, Don't Crash the Car Tonight, for your listening pleasure! Rock on!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Eating Great Food & Making New Friends

There's nothing better than a day that consists of eating great food and making new friends ... and that's exactly how I spent my day last Friday!

It all started with lunch at Dewey's Pizza in University City for the BATTL lunch, Bring A Tweep To Lunch, hosted by Todd Jordan, aka @tojosan on Twitter. How I did not hear about these lunches sooner, I have no idea! Apparently, Todd hosts these lunches every Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, to give people a forum to get to know new people and do a little Twitter networking in real life! It was a great lunch, filled with some people I knew, and some people I did not, and some fantastic food at Dewey's pizza. The lunch crew consisted of: @nanna_j, @tojosan, @elmayuga, @gotarchoptions, and @deweyspizza ... and @gotarchoptions and I shared a Wild Mushroom Pizza and a Strawberry Macadamia Nut salad that were to die for!!

Wild Mushroom Pizza

Strawberry Macadamia Nut Salad

My next stop was to the Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar on Locust for dinner with the St. Louis Food Bloggers Meetup! This group is a conglomeration of folks who write about food, St. Louis restaurants to be exact, via a blog or some other form of digital communication! The guest list included: @offeatenpathstl, @MilliGFunk, @gotarchoptions, @stllegend, @misseinstein007, @tojosan and @nanna_j. It was a bittersweet gathering, as our gracious hostess @MilliGFunk is moving to Colorado Springs in just over a week, but it was wonderful to catch up with old friends and make some new ones as well!

I had never been to Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar before and was very impressed with it's great atmosphere, unique menu, and extensive wine & beer list. My brew master Father would definitely approve of this establishment! (Mental note: bring Dad here soon!)

I must say I was very tempted by the Mac & Cheese item on the menu, I resisted temptation and ordered the Chilled Beef Tenderloin Salad instead ... which was simply a-ma-zing!! And to accompany it I ordered a 4 ounce glass of the Irish Cider, which was the perfect touch to the salad. Unfortunately, it was too dark in the restaurant for me to snap a photo, but you'll have to trust me on this one, it was another mouth watering meal! I will definitely go back there again for a repeat of that meal for sure!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, as if this meal wasn't wonderful enough already, before our dinners were served, they brought out this warm vegan bread and oil which truly was just about the best bread I have ever had. They say to reach a guy is through his stomach ... I think that pretty much works for girls, too!

Hmmm ... now I wonder if I can do a rerun of last Friday, this Friday too? Sounds like a plan to me!


Friday, August 12, 2011

I Should've Known

This week's edition of Retro Friday features Aimee Mann and the song "I Should've Known."

Aimee Mann was born and raised in Bon Air, Virginia, graduated from Open High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1978 and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but decided to drop out to sing with her first punk rock band, the Young Snakes. The band released the album Bark Along with the Young Snakes in 1982, and a compilation album was issued in 2004.

In 1983, she moved on to co-found the new wave band 'Til Tuesday with Berklee classmate and boyfriend Michael Hausman. The band achieved it's first success in 1985 with its first album, Voices Carry. The title song is rumored to have been inspired by Hausman and Mann's breakup. The video became an MTV staple, winning the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. Mann went on to write the songs for two more 'Til Tuesday albums, Welcome Home and Everything's Different Now. After Welcome Home was released, Mann told a writer for Nine-O-One Network Magazine that she was much more pleased with it than Voices Carry, as she felt it made more of a personal statement about her life. The band broke up in 1990 when Mann left to start her solo career.

During my first post-college summer in St. Louis, I got addicted to this local radio station called The Point. It was hauntingly similar to my adored KROQ in Los Angeles, and I was absolutely thrilled to finally have a decent radio station, after four years of blah college radio. That summer of 1993 The Point hosted their first Lolopaloosa-esque music festival called Pointfest, and the headlining bands were: Matthew Sweet, They Might Be Giants, Hothouse Flowers, Aimee Mann, Midnight Oil, and Dramarama.

I don't even remember who I went to the concert with, but I do remember being so very excited about seeing They Might Be Giants, Hothouse Flowers, Midnight Oil, and Aimee Mann!! I had absolutely fallen in love with her song "I Should've Known" after a particularly bad breakup Senior Year, and it was awesome to have a rocking night out in my new city of St. Louis. The Point will never quite have the luster and shine that KROQ still has for me, but sometimes you just have to work with what you've got. And thank goodness for the internet and being able to listen to KROQ online!!

Okay ... here's a little Aimee Mann and "I Should've Known" for your listening pleasure!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Music Week 2011: Walk

Early in 2010 I met this guy on Twitter who had this awesome blog, Sex & the Single Dad. As we got to know each other we figured out that not only do we share a love for the sport of hockey, but we also realized that we grew up near each other and listened to the same radio station, KROQ, as youth.

He has become one of the biggest fans of my Retro Friday posts, and has asked me to write a post for his 2011 Music week! I am honored to be one of the chosen few that he asked to write for Music Week 2011, and I hope you enjoy my post! Here is Walk!


Friday, August 5, 2011

2011 Notre Dame Football Preview

Okay, here it is, my much awaited 2011 Notre Dame Football Preview!

September 3, South Florida
Notre Dame welcomes Skip Holtz and the South Florida Bulls as their home opener game of the 2011 football season. Though I do not think South Florida will be a walk in the park, I do not think they will be as difficult the first game of the season, as they would be if we were facing them in the middle of the season. The Bulls have several rookie players on the offensive line, and at tight end, and I'm more than confident that a well prepared, Diaco defense will be able to nicely handle USF. One must always be wary of a season opener upset, but I think the Irish will roll over the Bulls and win comfortably. (WIN)

September 10, at Michigan
Notre Dame and Michigan meet in the Big House for their first prime time meeting since September of 1990 when Rick Mirer made his first start and beat the Wolverines at home 28-24. Oh, and did I mention it's the first night game in the Big House in it's 85-year history? The Irish haven’t lost three straight to the Wolverines since their streak in 1898-1899-1900 ... yes, over 100 years ago! If the Irish lose to the Wolverines this year, it would be the first three game streak (win or loss) in the series since the Irish won four in a row in the late 80's. I still think the hiring of a new head coach in Brady Hoke will mean that the Wolverines will still be an in-transition team early in September, learning new game plans and strategies, and will be ripe for the picking by the Irish. Don't get me wrong, it will still be a tough game, It's AT Michigan, under the lights, and QB Denard Robinson is a multiple threat, but I still predict and Irish win. (WIN)

September 17, vs. Michigan State
Michigan State ... ahhhhh, the Spartans. If there is one team that I always like the Irish to beat, the Spartans are pretty high on my list, following the flag planting years. Behind Stanford, this game is one of my most worrisome game of this season. The Spartans will arrive in South Bend well rested with a few cupcakes under their belt, after the Irish have already faced two decent teams in USF and Michigan. This game will be the second meeting of Dantonio/Kelly, with Dantonio taking the first in the series thanks to the infamous “Little Giants” play-call and faked field goal touchdown that shook Notre Dame’s season, and became a Top 10 highlight reel of the 2010 college football year. I have a bad feeling about this match-up, especially if the Irish have managed an upset over Michigan the week before. As much as I hate to say it ... (LOSS)

September 24, at Pittsburgh
The Panthers are not a huge threat on my radar this year. They have a new coach, new game plan, new offensive strategy, and I don't expect them to be a cohesive unit when we face them in September. They may be a different team by the end of 2011, but not when we face them early in the season. (WIN)

October 1, at Purdue
I'm not overly worried about Purdue this year. Though they do have a significant number of veterans returning, and the game is AT West Lafayette, however they are still not quite a top tier team in my mind. Notre Dame seems to be able to handle Purdue quite nicely in recent years, and I do not expect this year to be any different. (WIN)

October 8, Air Force
Air Force is coming off two 9 game winning seasons, and a routing of the Irish last year. This, once again, will prove to be a tough game for the Irish. The Irish always seem to have a tough time defending the option attack that is brought by the military academies, and unfortunately this week the Irish will probably already be looking ahead to USC. This game worries me quite a lot, and I'm afraid this will be the upset no one expects. (LOSS)

October 22 vs. USC
While USC has plenty of talent this year in it's ranks, it is my prediction that they will leave South Bend empty handed. Finally, Notre Dame has figured out how to use the schedule to it's advantage, and has a bye week scheduled the week before USC heads to town. Both teams seem to be very closely matched, but I still think Notre Dame will dominate USC at the line, and set up a dominating run and passing game just like they did last year. This will be quite a show down, viewed by a sold out crowd, but I still give the advantage to the Irish! (WIN)

October 29, vs. Navy
Navy will come to Notre Dame fairly rested after facing Troy at home the weekend prior, and the week after Notre Dame entertains a visit from USC. I believe that after a big win against USC, Notre Dame will be able to take advantage of that winning momentum, and dish up some revenge to the Midshipmen in return for the embarrassing loss that Navy delivered to them last season. (WIN)

November 5, at Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons finished 3-9 last season, beating Vanderbilt in the season-finale after losing nine straight, eight of them by double digits. After a run of success, Wake Forest was a poor team last season, the worst of the last five years under head coach Jim Grobe. To make matters worse for them, Wake Forest has to face rival Clemson the week after they face the Irish, so most likely they will already be looking ahead to that game and not focusing on the Irish. This game is a no brainer in my mind. (WIN)

November 12, vs. Maryland
Maryland, who finished 9-4 last season, enters this year with a nice combination of returning veterans and youthful talent. The game will be played at a neutral site (Maryland's FedEx Field), and Notre Dame will wear it's home uniforms. Athlon ranks Maryland as the #33 team in the nation, and The Sporting news places them second in their division behind Florida State. The Maryland program is currently a developing program, but they are close to being a team who wins 8-9 games per season. This is the second overall meeting of the two teams. They met first in 2002, with the Irish under the helm of Tyrone Willingham, and I think once again Notre Dame will have no problem taking care of the Terrapins. (WIN)

November 19, vs. Boston College
For the first time since the mid-90s, Notre Dame takes a series winning streak into its meeting with the Boston College Eagles. This game should be one highly laced in emotion with the history of this match-up, and it being the last home game, as well as Senior Day. I still think this year's Boston College team is not as good a past year's teams, and the Irish should have no problem taking care of the Eagles at home, PROVIDED they are not already looking ahead to Stanford. Focus on THIS game will be key to a win, and maybe a review of the 1993 Senior Day debacle can keep the fire burning. The current team may not remember the 1993 stunner, but as fans, we sure do! (WIN)

November 26, at Stanford
Of all the games, this one probably worries me the most. Stanford is currently ranked #13 according to Athlon, and they are definitely a top notch program. Even with the loss of head coach Jim Harbaugh, they still have Andrew Luck and an amazing supporting cast returning. The Cardinals pretty much man-handled the Irish on both sides of the ball last year, and this year we have to face them not only on the road, but on their Senior Day as well. If we have a six game winning streak going into this game, there is always a chance we can upset this Stanford squad, but don't hold your breath. (LOSS)

Okay ... bring on your comments. I know you have them! :)

Cheers & GO IRISH!

Nothing Lasts For Long

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band The Samples, and the song Nothing Lasts for Long.

The Samples ... geesh, I love this band!! The Samples were a band formed in Boulder, Colorado (home of the University of Colorado, otherwise known as CU) in early 1987. The band's name came from the members' early survival on food samples from the local King Soopers grocery store. Their music has been described as "reggae influenced rock/pop," with a sound that is a cross between The Police and the Grateful Dead. The founding members were Sean Kelly (Guitar/Vocals), Charles Hambleton (Guitar), Andy Sheldon (Bass/Vocals), Jeep MacNichol (Drums/Vocals), and Al Laughlin (Keyboards/Vocals).

The band, yes "the band" that we stalked in college, played this song at most of their shows. They were actually the ones who introduced us to The Samples, and Nothing Lasts For Long was definitely one of their main stays. As we got close to graduation, it kind of became one of our anthems. I have a scrapbook that consists only of photos and memorabilia from the week between finals and graduation, and the front page of the scrapbook contains the lyrics to this song!

As we are now less than two weeks from the start of school, this song once again comes to mind. It is truly hard for me to believe that I no longer have any children in Elementary School. My oldest child is moving up to High School, and my youngest child is moving up to Middle School ... how DID that happen?! And while I am absolutely thrilled for them, it once again reinforces with me that, yes, nothing lasts for long.

Okay, enough of the mushy Mom crap!

Here's a little of The Samples for your listening pleasure (and the lyrics are below as well) ... Nothing Lasts For Long.

Nothing Lasts For Long

Take my hand and walk with me
and tell me who you love
Make a wish if you can see
the first star from above

Ya ever feel so deep and lost
somewhere in the past?
Is it wrong to not hold on
if nothing ever lasts?

Maybe nothing lasts forever
not the mountain or the sea
But the times we had together
they will always be with me

The sun is down and the wind is calm
as it gently fades away
I wonder then and I think of you
and how nothing ever stays

Take my hand and walk with me
and tell me who you love
Make a wish if you can see
the first star from above

Nothing lasts for long
Take my hand and walk with me
and tell me who you love
Make a wish if you can see
the first star from above

Ya ever feel so deep and lost
somewhere in the past?
Is it wrong to not hold on
if nothing ever lasts?

Maybe nothing lasts forever
not the mountain or the sea
But the times we had together
they will always be with me

The sun is down and the wind is calm
as it gently fades away
I wonder then and I think of you
and how nothing ever stays

Take my hand and walk with me
and tell me who you love
Make a wish if you can see
the first star from above

Nothing lasts for long


Oh, and I just read, a biopic documentary about the band is in the works titled "The Best Band You've Never Heard". It is being produced by Besame films and is due to be released in 2011 ... how great is that?!