Category Archives: Pac-10

An Absurdly Premature Assessment of SMQ’s Absurdly Premature Assessment of my Absurdly Premature Assessment of SMQ’s Absurdly Premature Assessment of UCLA, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Recursion in Post Titles

If SMQ decides to respond to this post by adding onto the title, the internets and their series of pipes shant never be the same again.

So. This is the Absurdly Premature Assessment of SMQ’s Absurdly Premature Assessment of my Absurdly Premature Assessment of SMQ’s Absurdly Premature Assessment of UCLA. That’s a whole lotta absurdity. Unfortunately, only SMQ seems to be doing any assessin’.

Warning! What follows is pure masturbatory quotage and self-referential referencing. Likely the only two people interested in the next few paragraphs will be SMQ and myself, and I’m not even that sure about SMQ. To the pain!

First, a big thanks to SMQ for his awww-shucks praise of your’s truly. He goes so far as to equate me with Our Dumb Century, a book so hilarious pretty much my only memories of junior year high school lunches revolve around reading the book and laughing. And the blow. Oh, the blow. It’s hard to forget enough cocaine to kill a pachyderm.

SMQ moves on, though:

Maybe it’s to be expected, but in his absurdly premature assessment of SMQ’s Absurdly Premature Assessment of UCLA, Tu falls into a similar trap of perspective – in this case, he agrees with SMQ’s predictions for the Bruins (7-6, meh) but substitutes many of his own biases as catalysts for this conclusion.


Per that rule [“losing is your team’s fault” -Ed.], Tu’s premature assessment of SMQ’s premature assessment makes two fundamental flaws of allegorical appropriation: it paradoxically refers to UCLA as “a friend” of USC (to be beaten to death, a fate he bizarrely deems appropriate only at the hands of a friend) and, second, equates USC with the popular character Rocky, the “anthropomorphic embodiment of all that is good in America,” where UCLA is his indefatigable nemesis, Ivan Drago, “a force to be reckoned with.” In fact, those roles could not be more mismatched: it is USC, not UCLA, which is often considered “unbeatable,” like the film’s Drago, “the Soviet-bloc produced superman whose punching power, Achilles physique, psychotic single-mindedness…[and] vaguely steppes-ish Valkyrie bride” render him seemingly invincible. When USC crushed UCLA for more than 650 yards and 66 points in 2005, it effectively scowled of the Bruin defense, “If it dies, it dies,” a performance so thorough in its unrelenting cruelty, so reeking of hubris, that UCLA’s stunning revenge last December stands as perhaps the preeminent “Rocky” moment of the decade. Outside of USC, it was the Trojans who “killed” UCLA, in the most literal fashion provided within the limits of football, and only a USC partisan could see the analogy otherwise. Or mix up the entire analogy by inserting elements of Ghostbusters.


Beating UCLA becomes not only a means to an end – securing a Pac Ten or mythical championship – or even a heated but ultimately good-natured competition among geographic rivals, but a moral imperative to set right specific injustices of the universe. In his mind, a world where such a result is possible is evidence of “mass hysteria,” and UCLA must not only be defeated, but actually destroyed for its perceived insubordination of the natural order, cast into “utter ruination.” The rhetoric becomes nearly religious in tone.


Moreover, UCLA is, to quote Tu, “meh.” Its status is more akin to Don Flamenco, the well-tanned, good-but-not-great champion of Spain in “Mike Tyson’s Punchout!!” who is usually ripe for defeat, but occasionally knocks your championship-bound Little Mac/USC out in weaker (or drunker) moments. Still, you will always have another chance for retribution following a shocking loss. Flamenco, like UCLA, is also much tougher when you have to beat him later on to reach the peak, the World Circuit championship, where his defense is much improved. But LA is by no means the killer Drago.

What SMQ probably doesn’t know, however, is that I proposed my own UCLA-as-Don Flamenco analogy a full two and a half moons ago:

I’m not sure if there’s one overarching theme to the Rose Bowl. Despite the increasingly confusing loss to UCLA most everyone agrees that USC is still Punch-Out!! Mike Tyson-ish, except the ‘06 Trojans had a tendency to drop a game or two to Piston Honda (or maybe Don Flamenco). Still, “scary” is probably the word I’m looking for. The final score was kind of surprising but, as many have probably pointed out already, it’s Southern California.

Besides that, SMQ is as usual right on. He uses words like “biases”, “fundamental flaws”, “paradoxically”, “partisan”, “the rhetoric becomes nearly religious in tone” and “to be beaten to death, a fate he bizarrely deems appropriate only at the hands of a friend”. All of that describes me perfectly. In fact, my inbox will soon be flooded by emails from my best friends wondering if I have a new best friend who is also familiar with my “tough love” version of friendship, aka, physical attacks. And that biased partisanship stuff is also pretty right on.

I must point out two of SMQ’s own fundamental flaws, however. Firstly, I penned this:

I know there’s danger in mixing Ghostbusters and Rocky IV, and even more danger in comparing UCLA football to Ivan Drago and implying that USC is an underdog. Which USC is not. But if I didn’t do any of that it would mean that statistical analysis would be needed, and no one wants that.

… which ought to have foreseen his own confusion about UCLA-as-Drago and USC-as-Rocky. And that last sentence in particular does a swell job of summing my existence up.

Secondly, this paragraph of SMQ’s:

More disturbing is Tu’s treatment of the character Apollo Creed, who in this equation is reduced from an actual dramatic personage – a champion, at that – to a mere representation of the ambition of his “friend,” in this case, the “BCS title hopes” of the nominal protagonist, USC/Rocky, which have been subsequently “killed” by the rival, Drago/UCLA. This, from Tu, especially in light of recent controversy surrounding the racial environment of USC football, is a rather shocking minimization of the African-American role model from equal to accomplice in the eventual success of the white hero. Creed’s actuality is reduced to a form of deus ex machina in order to facilitate the contrived dramatic triumph of “the underdog,” which, as demonstrated above, is already a fundamental partisan misappropriation.

… is totally, like, mine! The confused jumble of deconstructionalist post-modernism buzz words, the random Latin, the race baiting… these techniques are copyrighted for a reason! I insist that SMQ cease and desist his reprehensible use of said above lest I invoke habeus corpus via nunc pro tunc forthwith up to and including all contractual obligations, or, as the Romantics would’ve put it: “Hey! Stop that.”

/Pure masturbatory quotage and self-referential referencing.

Anyway, I hope all one of you enjoyed reading that. I’m tired of all this non-fake stuff. Next post is going to be something both premature and absurd, but thoroughly lacking in assessment – or, as the late, great Hunter S. Thompson once said, “[Gonzo Journalism] is a style of ‘reporting’ based on William Faulkner’s idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism – and the best journalists have always known this.”

Or something like that.


Filed under Pac-10, USC

An Absurdly Premature Assessment of SMQ’s Absurdly Premature Assessment of UCLA

Sunday Morning Quarterback of Sunday Morning Quarterback fame is famous for several things: Sunday Morning Quarterback, jealousy inspiring prose, fakedness so pleasurable it makes you forget that the “f” is in fact not an “n” preceding the words “involving Jessica Alba“… and, of course, his ridiculous, awe-ful, humbling Old Testament Jehovah-style obliteration of all concerns for logistics or commensurate return on effort otherwise known as SMQ’s breakdown of all 119 Division I-A teams. I’m not joking about the Jehovah thing: at one point last season Louisiana-Monroe got turned into a pillar of salt for daring to glance back at Murfreesboro. Am I saying SMQ is God? No. Not the Judeo-Christian big-G, anyway. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find that SMQ’s mama was once finnegaled into dinner and dancing by Zeus of the Thunders.

In other words: SMQ’s kind of a big deal.

His most recent pre-season assessment centers on UCLA. I recently wrote a long-ish diatribe on the Bruins involving Cthulhu, Hillary Clinton (not the same as Cthulhu no matter what Tucker Carlson is advocating), Kodos and Kang, cheese eating surrender monkeys and the muppet alert system. SMQ decided to use, like, numbers and analysis. I clearly also went the route of logic.

We both were bearish on the Bruins. (Pun! I am so smart, I am so smart, s-m-r-t.) Where SMQ uses numbers, season by season comparison and analysis, I use Rocky IV. If you’ve never seen Rocky IV, let me explain two things: feel free to go ahead and skip directly from Rocky to Rocky IV, ignoring II, III and then eventually V and VI; Ivan Drago.

“Please to be speakink rawr, comrade.”

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Filed under Pac-10, USC

Equilibrium? Balance? A fan craves not these things

The introduction you do not need to read.

I am a fan of dualism. I dig mind/body, I am sweet on starkly evil vs. purest good, I liked the Jedi and the Sith. Every tattoo I’ve gotten has been in twos, neverminding that I currently have five. Like the waxing moon my hamburger’s gradual crescent shaped disintegration is heralded by the cyclical appearance and disappearance of french fries the color of the sun. I enjoy good prose, but write bad prose. I’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I maybe even understood the parts about torque.

But I also didn’t like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s not really a narrative. It’s a collection of half crazed and poorly organized philosophical ramblings that may be valid and crucial to our understanding of Western thought, but they are boring. The book’s basic message is don’t be just a scientist or artist: be both. Well, that’s nice. And boring.

You know what else is theoretically nice? College football balance. You know what’s not boring? USC football dominating everything in its path, cruelly crushing the life from all those who would recruit from the Golden State, acknowledging few, yielding to none, laughing the way any good villain ought to laugh, deep and assured and terrifying and impossible not to admire, and definitely not like the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s really hoping makes it happen. I want USC to be like the guy in the rated R movie. You know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from.

“I’ll have a scotch on the rocks, please. Any scotch will do, as long as it’s not a blend, of course. Uh, single malt. Glenlivet, Glenfiddich perhaps. Maybe a Glengow… Any Glen.”

So I will admit that as much as I enjoy dualism, harmonious balance and the universal forces of natural equilibrium, I do not want them in my city. Where am I going with this?

Where is he going with this?

UCLA recruiting has finally caught up to the fact that it takes place in Los Angeles, epicenter of one of the nation’s most fertile high school football scenes. Sometime in the past few weeks the Bruins took a look around their environs and realized, “Hey, we’re kinda in the middle of something nice. Maybe we should, like, recruit here? And competently?”

This is unacceptable. Why is this happening? Who leaked the memo? Goddamn shitfuck, Scooter Libby. This isn’t the CIA. This shit is actually important.

In which the author gets his shit together. And stops using profanity.

So in the span of a few days UCLA gathered eight verbal commitments from the Los Angeles area, with seven of them coming in one 24 hour period. At least two of those players – Datone Jones and Rahim Moore – had offers from USC. Another is E.J. Woods, who’s kind of a big deal. Moore and Woods are members of the 100 to Watch list (Moore is also a member of a similar list on I would’ve been quite happy to get any and all of the three. The rest are, to me at least, unknowns. General consensus holds that they are solid prospects but that the players whom USC was interested in are four to five star guys; in other words, out of eight commits the Bruins landed three proto-elite players.

(At this stage of recruiting there are very few high schoolers who are past the proto-elite stage. Former Moorpark and current St. Bonaventure RB Darrell Scott is one of those. More on him later.)

Now, let’s say you were a not very objective observer. You have already beaten me by several magnitudes in objectivity. Anyway, let’s just assume you were not objective but objective enough because you were… say… an alien bent on world domination. You are interested in all human matters insofar as they pertain to military defense, industrial infrastructure, atmospheric suitability, the raw number and mass of natural resources you could drain, how many valuable-as-chattel humans would survive the first harsh months of slavery, etc. You know. Normal alien thoughts.

Football recruiting is important, sure, but in terms of world domination concerns it must rank somewhere in the 12th to 13th percentile, right behind our capacity for higher thought. So what I’m saying is picture yourself as that alien. And while we’re at it toss in a friend to help balance out your green skinned objectivity.

Ready? Go.

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Filed under Pac-10, Recruiting, USC

Seasonal Haiku: Spring doldrums

Unseasoned, but strong
My armor knows but one kink:
Good hair gel’s pricey.

-Jimmy Clausen

Time returns, wounds heal…
Hah! Next year, your kick returns?
Filed in triplicate.

-Myles Brand

Even four three five
Won’t help you with chloroform
I shall come at night.

-Chan Gailey

QBs turn diamond
Underneath my pressured gaze
Know a good ice guy?

-Dennis Erickson

I bring discipline
Honor, pride and success, too
Plus, army fatigues.

-Randy Shannon

Hail, Persephone!
Thy feet herald our spring game
P.S., I may run.

-Pat White

Late frost burns the bloom
Would a fool not let Springdale
Go fuck its damn self?

-Houston Nutt*

*if you can recognize the haiku this is based on, Mitch Mustain will transfer to your school


Filed under ACC, Big East, Notre Dame, Pac-10, Seasonal Haiku, SEC

Ask Mike Bellotti: The Global War on Terrorism

By Mike Bellotti


I’ve been reading and hearing about the probability of a nuclear bomb being smuggled into America and detonated in one of our bigger cities. Normally that kind of stuff doesn’t worry me since it’s always been conspiracy crack-pot theorists who take it seriously, but more and more “legitimate” people are talking about this very real possibility. How likely is a nuclear attack, and is there anything we can do about it?

Seriously Thinking ‘Round A Nagging/Growing Emotion Like Opaquely Veiled Entropic-terror

That’s a tough question, STRANGELOVE. Great movie, by the way.

Detecting radioactivity is not an easy thing, especially on ocean freighters which are in my opinion the biggest risk in terms of weapons smuggling. Detection measures require relatively close quarters which mean that, logistically speaking, the tonnage that comes through a port like Los Angeles or New York cannot be seriously screened on a consistent basis. That means we have to look at different methods of prevention, like non-proliferation and increased intelligence. Those two things are our best bets.

Still, I think a nuclear attack is a serious possibility. Our biggest cities are huge targets that cannot be absolutely defended, but that doesn’t mean you have to live your life in fear. That’s why I recommend the Nike GroundMax Fallout Shelter. It’s revolutionary Pro-Tek radiation shielding is designed for speed and comfort for when the revolution finally comes. It’s also pretty sharp looking. Never before has a last ditch ancillary protective measure sealed in lead and containing three to nine months worth of supplies been so beautifully designed. Trust me: once you try Nike’s new GroundMax Fallout Shelter, you won’t go back. Or out.

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Filed under Ask Mike Bellotti, Big XII, Pac-10

College Football Voices: Anna Nicole Smith posthumous fiasco

This is a direct lifting of The Onion’s American Voices feature, of which I am a big fan.

Anna Nicole Smith posthumous fiasco

The former model, actress and all-around celebrity’s death has not stopped any of the controversy that plagued her in life: following her mysterious passing her will has been contested, a paternity suit involving Smith’s 5-month-old daughter has been brought forth and her burial site is being argued over. Even the judge presiding over her daughter’s case couldn’t hold back tears at the trial. What do they think?

Dennis Erickson
Arizona State University head coach
“Her marriage to that old millionaire was shameful. What kind of a person would attach themselves to another being simply for the prospect of a big payoff after the termination of their relationship?”

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Filed under College Football Voices, Notre Dame, Pac-10, SEC, USC

Stanford football’s suicide letter criticized for bibliography

PALO ALTO, CA – The suicide letter left by Stanford football has been criticized by the literary community for its “poorly cited” bibliography, prompting a series of back and forths between several journalists, literature publications and even members of Stanford’s own English department. Though there have been no outright accusations of plagiarism, the issue has nonetheless spawned an international outcry coming on the heels of the letter being shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.

An image from the jacket of Stanford Football: Deconstructing 116 Years of Grotesquerie and the Fabulism of Crowds (Stanford University Press, 2007)

“It’s ridiculous,” said Ramon Saldivar, chair of the Stanford English department and author of The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary (2006).

“The bibliography is fine. I’ll tell you exactly what this is: cultural backlash. Six years of anti-Americanism has manifested itself in European disdain for the kind of revolutionary research represented by Stanford football’s suicide letter. They haven’t directly said ‘plagiarism’ but we all know what’s at stake here, what they’re insinuating. I stand by the football department and their work. It’s daring stuff. It’s the kind of writing that made this country the locus of late twentieth century literature at the expense of continental Europe, and they know it.”

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Filed under Fake news, Pac-10

Jeff Tedford, World’s Greatest Lover: Valentine’s Day

By Jeff Tedford

Gentlemen. You know what tomorrow is. This coaching staff has spent far too many hours bombarding you with information about tomorrow; they’ve spent twice that many hours thinking about that same information, about how to get it to you, how to package it so you’ll understand the urgency of what just 24 hours will bring, about how to distill its essence, to – if you will – market tomorrow to you, today.

You know the importance. I don’t have to stress that, and I’ve never been one for speeches. Tomorrow is big enough by itself to get you motivated. There is nothing I can say or do to get you more mentally and spiritually ready for what you’re about to face. Instead, I simply want to reiterate what we’ve gone through. Not for your sake, gentlemen, but for my own. Because tomorrow you’ll go out and play your hearts out without a care in the world. I miss that. I’d give anything to be out there with you, fighting a common foe with my hands and my heart. No, tomorrow I’ll be on the sideline, and I’m the one who’ll need reminders about what needs to be done. By “sidelines” I mean special guest expert on Good Morning America, Oprah and the Colbert Report, but you know just as well as I do that they all mean the same thing anyway: I’m gonna be the guy who looks like he knows what he’s doing so other people can get the doing done. So I’m gonna remind myself right here in front of you, on the eve of battle, and you’re gonna listen and tell me what I’ve missed.

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Filed under Jeff Tedford, World's Greatest Lover, Pac-10

Seasonal Haiku: Post-bowl, pre-NLOI Day

I’m not the first to do a college football related haiku. There have been many, many others. I’m just the worst.


It’s easy as pie
Ma Teresa would leave, too
I’m gonna get paid
Adrian Peterson

Barely beat Wofford
And Augusta still no-go
Time for new visor?
Steve Spurrier

Hot damn, beat ‘SC
It’s contract extension time
Cue seven more L’s
Karl Dorrell

Good season, Satan
Planning almost completed
Last thing: Jade Monkey
Myles Brand

RoJo to Gainesville?
The ledge is cold but soothing
Go Big Blue swan dive!
My Michigan friend


Filed under Big Ten, Big XII, NCAA, Pac-10, Seasonal Haiku, SEC, USC

Ask Mike Bellotti: New Year’s Resolutions

By Mike Bellotti


I’m a thirty-one year old female legal secretary. I’ve had weight problems all my life, but last year I finally followed through with my New Year’s Resolution to diet and drop some pounds. I went from a size seven to a size five. The problem now is that I just don’t feel like my old self; sure, I’m thinner, but my energy is gone and I really don’t enjoy watching every single thing I eat. I want to keep this weight but I don’t want another year of miserable calorie counting. Is surgery the right answer?

Missing All those Doughnuts

We all wish we looked better, MAD. The problem for you isn’t so much the dieting, it’s your self-image. I get letters like this all the time and I tell them all the same thing: forget about the diets, the surgery, the carbs and the counting and just go out and get the shiniest new uniform you can find. I like bright yellow myself, but anything neon will work. Think in diametrically opposed color schemes: orange and blue, red and green, etc. Remember to accessorize. Nike has a new pair of football cleats coming out called the Nike VELOCITY ’07. We’ll get them in a hunter green and goldenrod combination, which would do wonders for you if you’re into the grey business suit look most legal secretaries sport. VELOCITY ’07s will give you height and really set off a skirt.


I swore off smoking in January. I’ve been a lifelong smoker but my kids finally convinced me to do it after one of their best friends’ dad died of lung cancer last year. I love my family and I’m normally a pretty strong willed guy, but I smoked three days ago and it felt so good and bad at the same time. I’m afraid I’m going to let my kids down. What can I do?

Still Moping Outside Greensborough

Quitting cigarettes isn’t easy, SMOG. Why do you think the tobacco companies are still turning profits? There’s no simple trick to doing it, except to wear a moustache. I had one and as soon as I shaved it off I got back on heroin after fourteen years off the smack. If you love your kids, SMOG, you’ll grow a ‘stache. And soon.


So it’s the Colts and the Bears. Who do you have winning the Super Bowl? Just to make this New Year’s themed, my resolution was to stop gambling.

Looking For A Tip

Peyton Manning finally got over the conference championship hump. Look for him to have a big game on sport’s biggest stage. I also love that marauding Bears defense, especially the front seven. If I had to pick a team, though, I’d say neither. Their uniforms are too plain. A horseshoe and a big “C”? What’s that? That’s simplicity, and that’s never a formula for success. Look for the Bengals to take it all.


I’m coming off an ugly divorce. It took three years to settle everything and I’m still bitter about the way it turned out. My best friends all want me to move on and I agreed, so I promised myself I would start dating. Unfortunately I’ve been “off the market” for so long I don’t know how to go about the whole process anymore. I’ve been on one date so far. It was the worst night of my life: the woman was incredibly boring, but I found myself pretending to be interested. She wasn’t even that pretty. I’m not a supermodel or anything but I think I deserve someone pretty good. How do I find that person, and, more importantly, what do I do on the first couple of dates to not screw everything up? I’m a charming guy with a good job and a lot of positives in my life; I just don’t know how to get that across during a dinner and a movie.

Super Hesitant in Yonkers

SHY, have you given any thought to different colors for your home and away helmets? If not, do so. There’s nothing sexier or more sophisticated. Not even Axe.


Filed under Ask Mike Bellotti, Pac-10