Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reviewing the Big Ten Bowls

The Big Ten football season has come to a disappointing close, which is bad news for a conference on the ropes in desperate need of some redemption, but good news for those who enjoy watching conference rivals humiliated by vastly superior out of conference competition in the manner of a rakish Duke absconding with the conference's marriageable daughters and spices from the Orient.

This is to therefore give you all notice, reptiles,
scoundrels, ragamuffins, poltroons, lank-jaw'd
herring-gutted plebians, that if you, or any of
you, set foot in my boats, or any part of my
property, I will send my myrmidons, like Tritons,
who shall assail you in the deep or plunge you into
the great abyss known as Aul'shole.

Wisconsin got the ball rolling particularly poorly with a 42-13 drubbing at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles. The Badgers' play in this game resembled the Bucky Badger kept at Madison zoo: listless, complacent, engorged on ground-dwelling rodents. Incidentally, badger baiting was made illegal in Britain in 1835, although the game of "drawing the badger" became immensely popular, where a dog was unleashed into a simluated badger den and the badger and dog become locked in a festive biting exhibition. The owner of the dog then pulled the dog out of the den, with its jaws hopefully clamped on the badger's tale, and owners attempted to see how many times the dog could draw the badger in a minute. A capital sport for a more civilized age.

According to this drawing, a standard badger-bait included either biting the dog's
tail or inflating it like a kiddie pool while a top-hatted henchman stood in the
corner simulating the illusion of forward movement

Thoughts on this game have already been noted at great length, so let's pull an ESPN and show a gratuitous picture of Chase Daniel's family.

Chase Daniel's great-great-great-great-great grandfather
signs a letter of intent to enter His Majesty's Service in the
Hindu Kush.

Kansas clobbered Minnesota in the last season of Gopher football in the Metrodome. I'm going to miss the Hubert Horatio Humprey Metrodome for Minnesota football, and I think the Gophers will as well, since it will be difficult for the Brewster-led spread offense to function in November without a full complement of Sherpa guides and because they'll lose the noise advantage of several thousand Minnesotans spelling the state name at the end of the Minnsesota Rouser as the O continues to linger in the dome for weeks at a time. I will miss the Hubert Horatio Humprey Metrodome not only because it was home to two of the greatest plays in Northwestern history (Victory Right and the crazy Brendan Smith interception-touchdown from this year) but also because Humphrey is forever linked in my mind with the 1972 presidential election and Hunter S. Thompson's claim that Edmund Sixtus Muskie was hooked on Ibogaine. Incidentally, googling the terms muskie hunter led to this unexpected result.

Errant google search for the terms Muskie Hunter
inadvertently provides video trolling excitement

Michigan State managed to keep Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford in check for the first half, but was unable to contain him in the second half. Georgia also did a pretty good job of bottling up Javon Ringer, who only rushed for 47 yards. This game failed to be a good enough effort to bolster the conference's flagging reputation or a spectacular enough failure to make this guy take to the airwaves in a display of berserker rage. I've always been disappointed that State is in East Lansing rather than Sparta, Michigan, which eschews the ancient city-state's ethos of militarism and helot slavery, instead boasting on its website that "The Village of Sparta is nestled near the big city lights which contain the entertainment districts and shopping venues of Grand Rapids, yet is tucked into the traditional way of life with friendly neighborhoods and traditional community values." This is Sparta.

An East Lancing

Laugh it up, Iowa. You're the only Big Ten team to win a bowl game this year, stomping on Steve Spurrier's South Carolina juggernaut 31-10. Iowans also traveled in droves to the game, as their traditional hunting and forage routes took them to Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County area. The last thing we need is a resurgent Iowa football program, not with Drago's development of the largest corn head in the world. Joe Bollig, the DragoTec director of marketing, claims Iowans "are turning to Drago to reduce ear bounce, butt-shelling and overall shelling loss."

An Iowa fan enjoys the Hawkeyes'
butt-shelling of South Carolina

Another Rose Bowl, another clobbering at the hands of USC. This time, it was Penn State who lost 38-24. Similar one-sided results have resulted in the end of football at the Rose Bowl. In 1902, Michigan beat Stanford 49-0, resulting in the replacement of football with chariot racing. This Sports Illustrated article from 1968 chronicles the development of chariot racing in the Tournament of Roses. My favorite character is the sublimely named Ed Off, whom SI describes as "chariot racing's Man of La Mancha." Of course, any article that has a sentence start with the phrase "When his rampaging horses finally were brought under control" is worth reading. I suggest, therefore, that the Tournment of Roses bring back chariot racing. Since the Big Ten can no longer compete with USC, they should allow two current players to fling themselves around the Rose Bowl with bull penis whips and those spikes that come out of wheels in gladiator movies. This year, for example, it could have been Penn State DE Aaron Maybin versus USC's Rey Maualuga. Or, they could have let JoePa take on Pete Caroll, with JoePa negating Caroll's youth and fully functioning hips with his first-hand knowledge of chariot combat. I would pay to see this, although USC would probably still win every year.


Another "moral victory" for the Big Ten as Ohio State hung with the Longhorns until a heartbreaking touchdown with sixteen seconds left sealed the victory. Ohio State could not handle the Horns' hurry-up offense, short passing game, and inspired mullet dancing, and lost their third BCS game in a row. Texas, is, of course, led by Colt McCoy, who has been largely celebrated for his astonishingly Texan name, a name so good that he forced Jevean Snead out of Austin. Yet, in my opinion, Colt's teammate Lamarr Houston has him beat with a name celebrating Republic of Texas presidents Sam Houston and Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar.

Lamar's middle namesake loses at Risk to his
archenemy Bill S. Preston, esq.

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was president of the nascent Republic, which, by 1840, was in dire financial straits. Houston, Lamar's predecessor and rival, pushed for the passage of the Franco-Texian Bill, which would have granted the French rights to colonize and develop parts of Texas while maintaining a military garrison. The problem lay with the self-proclaimed Comte de Saligny, a French diplomat who took up residence in the French Legation in Austin. De Saligny took exception to a neighbor's pigs who ran rampant through the legation grounds, and the legation nearly became the site of a violent altercation between De Saligny's butler and the neighbor. Needless to say, the pig grazing quickly became an international incident. Eventually, de Saligny took his poofy wigs and toher French finery with him and went home, which led to the halting of diplomatic relations between Texas and France for a year as part of the Austin Pig War, one of two Pig Wars in the U.S. in the nineteenth century, proving that pigs cause more wars than Jenkins' body parts.

1 comment:

Bob Dettman said...

This may be the best sports blog I have read, bar none!