Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, November 18, 2005 at 11:48 AM

Weekend Warrior - Rivalry Weekend Edition!!!!

Well, here you have it folks, not only is it rivalry week we are staring at what may very well be the last weekend warrior post for the year. Let’s face it, after this weekend college games become spotty at best and there is little left to root for as far as our NFL team here is concerned in the “D”. So without further adieu I give you the (possibly!) final installment in the all knowing of know nothings, the wacky, zany and clinically insane prophet known as the Weekend Warrior!

Northwestern at Illinois

Ron Zook is just finishing up his first full season at Illinois and it has been anything but pretty. After enjoy life in sunny Florida for a few seasons he has come to see not only how tough the Big Ten is but just how cold the weather is up here as well. The season couldn’t be over fast enough for him as he contemplates not only how the hell is he going to stay warm but why in the hell he came here in the first place.

Northwestern 47, Illinois 19

Minnesota at Iowa

Both teams are bowl eligible so the bottom line here is who gets the better bowl and who gets the worst. The season has been historic for both programs with Minnesota winning the Little Brown Jug for the first time since Christopher Columbus set sail and Iowa losing its first home came since 1776. Iowa has the edge in the passing game, Minnesota in the running game and both have the inside track for the best bowl game not going to Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin or Michigan.

Iowa 24, Minnesota 21

Purdue at Indiana

Well, this game comes down to one simple thing… NOTHING!!!! Both teams are ineligible for a bowl game and both are just now “playing for pride” I suppose. This one is a snoozer at best and I think it is safe to say that, if it is on TV, go rake leaves or something.

Purdue 17, Indiana 10

Penn State at Michigan State

There is so much riding on this game I think really there is no room for jokes. By the time this game starts the “BIG” game in Ann Arbor should be well into the fourth quarter and the need for this game should be either monumental or diminished. If U of M wins to the Spartans try and give it a full effort knowing full well their victory all but gives U of M the Big Ten’s BCS berth? Do they want to win it for themselves, regardless of what it means in Ann Arbor, or do they just want to get the season over with? Do they believe in John L. as a coach or do they just tank for him in hopes of getting him fired? Do they even care anymore, do they want to at least get some bowl game and salvage what was once a promising season. Look, maybe I am being a slappy here, maybe I am just hoping for the best and that U of M will win and the Spartans will win, but strange things have happened in this rivalry over the past couple of seasons. I think the Spartans will ignore Ann Arbor all together and instead play for themselves and play the way they did early in the season. Yes, I am picking the upset here for folks, again not because I want MSU to help us, but rather I think MSU wants to help themselves. Yes I am being sincere darn it, so get over it!

MSU 35, PSU 31

Ohio State University at Michigan

First I am going to say this, all bets are off in a rivalry game and because this game means so much to me I am not going to make a score prediction at the end here. Maybe I don’t want to jinx it, maybe I am just uncertain, maybe it really is a combination of both, but I am not going to do it! I will say this; I hope that in payback for last years embarrassing and unnecessary “dog sniffing” incident at OSU that the Wolverines pipe their fight song into the OSU locker room. I also hope that they employ a ban on anyone and everyone that wishes to wear a sweater vest at the game, all but forcing Tressel to actually not dress like a dweeb for once. This game will come down to the intangibles as always and I give the offensive edge to the Wolverines, I give the defensive edge to Buckeyes and special teams are dead even if you ask me. Both teams have dangerous return men and both teams have shaky kicking games, they are about as even as you get. U of M is much deeper at tailback and I think the change of pace between Hart and Grady will be punishing for the OSU defense, but those damn LB’s I am sure will take it. All in all I think this game will come down to the fourth quarter, be much closer than last year and I will say this – thank God it is in Ann Arbor!

Michigan and OSU – may the dog fight begin!!!!

Well, here it is again, quite frankly for what could be the last time this season, the totally and completely off the wall feature to save all features, the:


Duke at North Carolina

That’s right folks, two of the nation’s elite programs going head to head at the tail end of the season. The battle of North Carolina, two schools so close that they are literally right down the road from one another fighting it out on the basketball court. Last years National Champion against this seasons #1 ranked school, a true dog fight in its purest form. What’s that you say this is a football game and not a basketball game? Darn it, I guess no one really cares then, but I liked the basketball angle better.

North Carolina 3, Duke 2

UPSET SPECIALS OF THE WEEK – I am taking Virginia over Virginia Tech, Auburn over Alabama and the above mentioned MSU over PSU.


Detroit at Dallas

Remember when we were looking for a coach and Parcells was available and stuff and remember how we never even looked at him? Remember that? Yeah, not that I really think that “The Tuna” would have considered coming to this mess, he does have a reputation to uphold, but I still think it should be brought up. Does Joey deserve the start? Yes he does and he should continue to start until he goes back to old Joey, but that is just my opinion. The problem is that Mooch continues to defy logic and who the hell knows what he is thinking nowadays, let alone why the hell he is thinking it! Lastly I would like to add that regardless of who is starting the Lions are destined to lose this game, they really are just not that good and way too banged up on defense.

Dallas 27, Detroit 13

Well, that is all I got for now, I am off to church to start begging for forgiveness and to pray for a good old fashioned ass kicking to be put on the sweater vest this weekend. GO BLUE, GO GREEN and do it safely, I really want everyone to come back next week. Later – the sports dude.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 10:15 AM

A Love Letter to Sparty.

Dear Sparty –

First I just wanted to write and offer my condolences and remorse for what has been a tragic season for you. I know it is not easy being on the top suddenly, especially when no one expected it, and then suddenly you fall from grace faster than a ton of bricks. We here in Ann Arbor are used to success, we are used to being at the top, that is why we feel for your pain right now, we can understand what it must be like for you. I mean, come on, you have to admit it tasted sweet, didn’t it? The media hype, being the media darlings, being the offense no one could stop, even your QB was suddenly on the Heisman Watch List! In fact you were even favored going into our rivalry game that October 1st afternoon, something that had not happened in that rivalry since the advent of the light bulb! Do you remember how it felt, how it tasted, how the air felt so much crisper to breathe? Go on, close your eyes for a second and reminisce, grab hold of that feeling and try to bring it to the field with you this Saturday because you need it now more than ever. You can feel that way once again, your season will again have meaning, all it takes is one simple victory this Saturday and you will be bowl eligible, you will be the talk of the Big Ten and yes you, not us Wolverines, will again be the most popular team in Michigan Collegiate Football.

See, we here in Ann Arbor are about to do you a favor, so we need you to do us one in return. See, it was not us that ruined your season; it was those hated Buckeyes that flattened your tires this year! Remember, it was you who were dominating that game earlier in the year against OSU, you owned them in the first half, easily forgetting about the loss to us and focusing your anger on the Buckeyes. Then it happened – the blocked field goal that was returned for a TD, essentially sucking all the life out of not only you in that game, but apparently for the season as well. See, it is OSU that is to blame for your 4-1 start turning into a 1-4 finish to this point and that is where our favor to you comes into play here Sparty. See, as always is our fashion here in Ann Arbor, we close out the season against the Neanderthals that are more commonly known as Buckeyes this Saturday and we would like to repay them for ruining your season. Just so you know, contrary to popular belief, there is really only one game we want you Spartans to lose every year and that is obviously when you play us. I mean, no offense, I hope you understand, but we truly want you to win the rest of your games! That is why, as a token of gratitude and sportsmanship, we extend to you the favor of ripping the Buckeyes a new “buckeye” this weekend, if you get my drift, all we ask in return is one small simple favor from you – beat the Nittany out of those damn Lions! Or beat the happy out of the valley, which ever you choose, just please beat something out of them!

You see, remember how I spoke to you in the opening paragraph, about wanting to be the most popular College Football Team in Michigan again, you can do that, all you need to do is beat Penn State. Do that and not only will your fans be celebrating but Wolverine fans everywhere will also join in and burn couches, side by side, with their fellow Spartans. It will be a perfect “Nirvana” for everyone, unity and peace and tranquility and again you will feel like you were on top of the world! Just like you did on October 1st, just like you did when you were the darlings of ESPN and just like you did when Stanton was the poster boy for the Heisman! Furthermore, with the victory, not only will you bring about said “Nirvana” to the state of Michigan, you will also receive (as a nice consolation prize!) the opportunity to represent your fine University in the Motor City Bowl at Ford Field. I know, you may think that the M.C.B. is a slap in the face, but let me put it to you this way, there has been no real “home team” there all season, and you would be the first and by far the most exciting! Just think of it, the first actual “home team” to play a game in Ford Field, the Lions have yet to show up yet since it has opened. For sure, anyway, you would be the most impressive offensive “home team” that Ford Field has ever seen, maybe you could even teach the Lions a thing or two… or 3 or 4 or 5… you get the point! But I don’t think that favor is too much to ask, do you?

If all those other things don’t work, how about this – you beat Wisconsin last year for us, why not Penn State this year? I mean, it can’t be personal, we beat you last year and you did us a favor, so you can’t use that as an excuse! Think it over, let me know, and you better hold up your end of the bargain because our game is played before yours. So we expect you, after we come thru with our promise, to keep up your end of the stick.

Thanks in advance and here is to the long awaited coming of “Nirvana”,

Sincerely – the sports dude.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 at 11:24 AM

Monday Morning QB - showdown in Ann Arbor Edition!

Get off of my case all right, you all know that typically my “Monday Morning QB” is posted on Tuesdays, aren’t you all used to it by now? Especially this week, the sports dude had a huge test yesterday at the old college (yes, they let me in, they will take just about anyone’s money you know!) and an even bigger test looming tomorrow. So, no offense to my 1.5 fellow readers, but all my extra time has been devoted to studying. That being said, I did find a few moments to type this up, so here you have it!

First I just want to “toot my own horn” because the old sports dude had a really nice week in the upset specials department going three for four. Don’t bring up that Northwestern/Ohio State game that I kept referencing to it was not in the finally tally. All things considered I got the South Carolina over Florida, Iowa over Wisconsin and LSU over Alabama picks right. My lone misstep was picking Cal over USC and I have now decided that enough is enough, USC will never lose again as long as the sun continues to shine in California!

First let me talk about the U of M front here for a moment if you will. I am not yet ready to give my pick, I still need to talk to the spirits, consult my magic eight ball and go into a deep trance and channel the worlds energy into my soul to make an accurate choice. All right, actually all I do is drink a few beers and eat a burrito, but that counts as spirits right? Anyway, no matter what happens this Saturday this season truly ended up being one of the most memorable and special to me. Just a few weeks ago I looked at a devastated, injury ravaged and just emotionally beaten down 3-3 team that lost to Minnesota (for the first time in 1,000 years!) on a last second field goal. Not only was it a last second field goal, but it was created by a back up running back gaining 60 some yards down the sideline when all he was really trying to do was not fumble and run out the clock! That was it, I said, I love my boys, but the wheels have come off and the spirit is now broken. I looked at the schedule and I said “Hmmm… Penn State next, followed by a scary trip to Iowa, then Northwestern and Ohio State still. The only “gimme” is against Indiana! Shit, 3-3 could easily be 5-6!” Well, I tell you what, even if this team loses to OSU they showed a lot of heart, a lot of poise and a lot of “intestinal fortitude” by sticking together and vowing not to break. There are a lot of teams out there that would not have been able to suddenly start second stringers because of injuries, there would have been plenty of teams that would have cashed it in, but they persevered and really turned a down year into a special year.

Speaking of “cashing it in”, I guess that is a perfect way to lead into the Spartans who have had one of the most amazing turnarounds (in the opposite direction that is!) that I have ever seen. After the U of M game they stood at 4-1, still a nice standing and plenty of reason to finish out the season strong. But then in one instant, in one stupid fuck up by the coaching staff, all the air got sucked out of MSU football with a blocked field goal right before the half against OSU. That block, which was returned for a TD by OSU literally changed the momentum of not only that game for the Spartans it seems to have literally crushed them and ruined what once looked like a pretty darn good season. They have gone completely 360 from the 4-1 start to a 1-4 finish with one game left on the horizon, against Penn State at home this Saturday and at 5-5 a victory gets them a bowl. The trick is, Spartanville, do you want to win, do you want that bowl, because if you do (and assuming U of M takes care of business against OSU, I said assuming, get over it!) then it means you victory gives the BCS bid to the Wolverines, it gives them a share of the Big Ten Title and it gives you simply a trip to the Motor City Bowl. Or do you just forget everything and tank it so that the season is over and you officially are labeled one of the biggest choker schools of all time? That is a lot of weight on one game there Spartyville, what are you going to do about it? Me personally, in order to help you make you decision, have spent a lot of money on chocolates and flowers this week, sending it all too any Spartan football player I could find. Oh, and did I forget to mention that if you win I will be holding a “kegger” at my house afterwards in your honor? Yeah, I thought that might work better than the flowers and stuff, but I sometimes wonder about you Spartans so I am never too sure what to do.

Lastly I would like to talk about the Lions, my beloved Lions how they love to torture me so, and the soap opera that continues to be yet just another season in Detroit Pro Football. There is a local radio station down here that carries Mooches Monday press conferences and let me say this, that cat truly hates Joey Harrington. I am not just talking a dislike or distrust, I am talking 100% full and total hatred of him as a QB and I am starting to think as a person as well. Just listening to him say that “Joey played good” and the tone in his voice when he said it you would think someone had a gun to his head and was threatening his family in the background, this guy just can not give Joey any love at all. Was it a great game, no, but I think we all know that there are not too many “great” QB’s in the NFL these days. But come on, at least say he had a good game and pretend that you mean it for Christ sakes! I understand the predicament that Mooch is in, he knows if this season continues to head into the crapper that his job is gone, so I can not blame him for favoring his boy in Garcia, I really can’t, but at least say something nice and sincere about Joey for a change. In fact, I almost see Millen getting rid of Mooch and Garcia at the end of the year but giving Joey a fourth “last chance” with a new coach next year. Millen is playing Mooch like a puppet right now, you want to save your job fine, do whatever the hell you want, but it better get me to the playoffs buster or else! That is what is at stake here and Mooch knows it, Millen is playing it, and all us fans are left puking our brains out and scratching our heads. Oh yeah, one last thing, when everyone and their momma calls you a “diva” and you score a TD, don’t go and strike a pose like a bikini model in the end zone there Roy Williams, it only makes things worse! Man I miss Barry Sanders, he had the best TD celebration of all time, you know, just handing the ball to the nearest rest. He didn’t need any dancing to prove he just beat you, the broken ankles and skid marks he left on defenders was enough for him. I hate all this “celebration” shit; it really is just silly if you ask me.

Well, that is all I got today, off to talk to the spirits, eat me a burrito and get some beer, there is a big day of college football Saturday and I have got to be ready for it. Well, I got that stupid test tomorrow first, but after that my thoughts will only be about that damn sweater vest and how the hell the Wolverines are going to beat them on Saturday. Later – the sports dude.

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