Tuesday, November 27, 2007


How to deal with a wildcat fan

you're bound to encounter one this week, so here's a few handy tips on how to respond to soe red/blue clad sissyboy from Tucson.

1) They will call you a "scummie." It's short for the beautifully inventive scumdevil, the kittycat moniker for all things Sparky.

Your response: call them a pussy. Do so loudly, as it's true on a number of levels. If you don't want to use such language in front of children there's always the alternative. You know what the difference is between a toddler and a comb? You don't need a runing start to kick the teeth out of a comb. Teach 'em to fear ASU at an early age.

2) They will use scare tactics, noting UA football to be "on the rise," "turning the corner," and everyone's favorite "closing the gap" that exists between ASU's and UA's respective programs.

Your response: Obviously none of these are true, so technically you don't need to do anything mre than laugh at such idiocy. One fun comeback is to point out that Bill Clinton was almost halfway through his second term the last time Wilbur went to a bowl game. George Bush has been president for a long time, y'all.

3) The all time series is in Arizona's favor at 44-36-1.

Your response: It's true, and kudos to you as those were some mighty impressive wins against Tempe Normal School back in the pre-depression days. ASU has only been a university since 1958 and in that time holds a 27-21-1 advantage when the schools held equal academic standing, not to mention winning two in a row, four of the last five, and six of the last eight.

4) We beat Oregon they were #2 they beat you so we're better than you we're on a roll BYAAAAH!!!

Your response: No you didn't, you beat Brady Leaf. Dennis Dixon ran all over you in the 1st quarter with an already torn ACL. You can thank Omar Bolden for that one, and thanks to you for keeping us in the Rose Bowl hunt. What, you don't know what a Rose Bowl is? Let me explain...

5) Becoming frustrated, a true wildcat always makes reference to the lopsided nature of the
basketball rivalry.

Your response: Point out the irrelevance of such an argument and make reference to our new coach and highly rated recruiting class. Then note how ASU hoops is turning the corner, closing the gap, etc. Apply heavy sarcasm and watch the kitty squirm.

A few helpful zingers to squeeze in:

Arizona has not bee to a bowl game since the 1998 Holiday Bowl.
Arizona has only been to 12 bowl games EVER.
Arizona has never produced an NFL quarterback.
Arizona has not won an outright conference championship since 1941. (Border Conference)
Mike Stoops has never had a winning season as a head coach.
Willie Tuitama has started two games against ASU and has not won or finished either of them.

Fuck 'em.

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May hate week COMMENSE

We're going for three in a row, but so much more is at stake. The first ten-win season for the Sun Devils, Keeping the kitties from becoming bowl eligible again, and there is still a mathematical possibility of a Rose Bowl if UCLA plays as manic-depressive as they have all year and can upset USC again.

I'll be arriving in Tempe late Wednesday night so send emails to houseofheat of the gmail variety if you care to buy me a beer, invite me to your tailgate, etc. On Saturday our crew will be in section 38 next to the band, the same place we sat when we witnessed this:

Weather could throw a huge wrench into all of this as the experts are forecasting a 40% chance of t-showers on saturday. One has to think this works more to Sparky's favor than it does to the vaunted Air-izona pass happy offense. Squatty guys like Keegan Herring and Dmitri Nance ought to have a field day eluding defenders in soggy conditions.

It's concussion time, motherfuckers.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Well that sucked.

So we lost. The sting isn't as bad as it was immediately following the game, but the BCS is looking like a streatch barring a complete catastrophe, not that the 2007 college football season hasn't been without the unbelievable. More on that in a moment, but what the hell happened?

We got beat by a better team but I think Oregon fans will admit that Saturday's game wasn't their best performance. There were several dropped passes by the Ducks, they were without superman Dennis Dixon for the fourth quarter, and the Oregon pass D was less than spectacular. While many doors were left open for ASU throughout the night, the Sun Devils couldn't seem to walk through any of them. Here's my list of gripes:

1) Red zone efficiency. I don't think it's been that bad inside the 20 since 2004, having 1st and goal inside the 5 and settling for three. There were four field goal attempts on the night, one of which was directly caused by poor clock management. ASU had gained momentum for the first time in the game and with a touchdown on the last drive of the 1st half the Devils could have been within one, carrying a positive attitude into the locker room knowing they get the ball to start the second half wiith an opportunity to take the lead. Instead they settle for a missed field goal and momentum swings back to Oregon.

2) ASU play calling. WTF? The ghost of Dirk Koetter haunted Autzen last night, going pass, pass, pass starting midway through the third quarter. When ASU did run, it was only in the most obvious situations. On the first posession the Devils ran between the tackles on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and goal before kicking a three-pointer. Halfway through the 3rd quarter on 4th and goal as ASU was mounting a comeback, everyone knew the play that was coming once Dmitri Nance lined up in the backfield. Handoff, left side of the line. It burned Washington and Cal for first downs but Oregon had seen the tape and were ready. A quote from Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, taken from the Arizona Republic:
"On fourth and 1, they always like to run (a certain) play," Aliotti said, "so I said we're going to blitz those linebackers through that gap. We're going to hit it and take a shot. And if they do something else, then maybe we're in trouble, but we blitzed the backers, and it worked."
Loss of two, Duck ball. Oregon inserted that scheme on Saturday morning, hours before kickoff.

After that drive the run-based game plan was completely abandoned. Once Oregon realized we were going all pass, the defense pinned their ears back and blitzed to the tune of six second-half sacks.

3) Luck runs out. How many fumbles has ASU lost this season? What's the Sun Devils' 4th down conversion rate on the season? How many field goals have been missed on the year? What's the red zone conversion rate? Shit happens, and Weber, Thompson, et. al. all picked an extremely bad time to start. As much as I would have loved to lynch those two diuring the game, you really can't blame them as it was a team loss, from coaching on down. All of these errors coupled with playing the early-deficit game finally burned ASU. One can credit Oregon's defense and home-field advantage, but as both Rudy Carpenter and Mike Pollak noted in post game interviews, it all came down to a lack of execution on ASU's part.

4) Oregon is really, really good. Hats off to this Duck team, as Dennis Dixon was everything advdrtised and BOTH Jaison Williams and Jonathan Stewart are the most underrated players at their respective positions in the nation. The defense has it's holes in the secondary, but they stop the run well and they step up as a unit when they have to. The Ducks play focused, smart football; they are confident without being boastful. I heard Dixon say several times this week, including post-game, that everyone on this team "plays within themselves." Keep doing what you do without letting your heads get too big and a trip to New Orleans is probably in your future. Congratulations on your victory, Ducks.

So what's the deal on the big picture? Keep remembering, Devil fans, that the Rose Bowl is still well within reach. Oregon still has to play at Arizona next Thursday night in a game where the punters might as well stay home, then they travel to the Rose Bowl to battle the most bipolar team in college football history, and then they host a bitch of a rivalry game against Oregon State in the annual Civil War clash. If ASU takes care of business and wins out, one can hope the Ducks have a hiccup. I honestly don't want it to go down that way, but I'll take it. A conference championship is a conference championship.

It comes without a ring, but a more honorable way to visit Pasadena in January would be for Oregon to win out and qualify for the national championship game in New Orleans. (they should have jumped LSU in the rankings today, that's total whoreshit but I digress) ASU also wins out and receives an at-large BCS bid, Pac-10 pride holla! the problem is that the BCS hates the Pac-10 more than Les Miles does, and the conference of champions has not put two teams into the BCS since the evil system formed in 1998. There will be stiff competition as there are only two at-large spots available, and here's a quick snapshot of each conference.

The SEC: the eastern division seems to be taking care of itself by knocking each other off in cannibalistic fashion, but a Georgia loss would be nice at some point. We reeeeeeally need LSU to drop a game before the SEC championship game but the schedule is mighty soft. Help us Darren McFadden, you're our only hope. LSU will still get an at-large bid if they lose the SECCG, so they definitely need to win that one. If Oregon didn't skip them after beating the BCS #4, they won't do it for the rest of the year.

The Big Televen: Help a brother out, Zooker. Illinois goes to the horseshoe this Saturday to face Ohio State, and it's the last chance to knock OSU out of the top spot without any reprecussions. If Ohio State loses to Michigan the Buckeyes may still garner an at large bid in the shadow of Michigan's automatic bid, even though strength of schedule is heavily in ASU's favor. Remember that they play near the east coast and ASU desn't have anybody like Brent Musberger campaigning for them. I can't say it enough, the whole world hates the Pac-10.

The Big East: God help us all of the Big East put two teams into the BCS, but luckily it looks impossible. West Virginia has the best case for an at-large bid if UConn wins out but the two face each other on November 24 in an elimination game. No conference championship game to worry about, only eight Big East teams field football squads.

The ACC: Boston College is still ranked ahead of ASU even though THEY LOST AT HOME TO AN UNRANKED TEAM and ASU lost on the road to the hottest team in the country. Whatever. They'll apparently have to lose to another team for ASU to pass them in to an at-large bid, and I'm sure Virginia Tech would love some sweet revenge after deflating at home to BC last Thursday. Not too many worries here, since Tech will have a tough case as a two loss team, even though they have the best case of any two loss team.

The Big XII: ...and here lies the problem. Kansas is undefeated, Missourah has one loss to a badass Oklahoma team, and Oklahoma has one loss but is in the driver's seat in the south. The Sooners have had rough times in their Bedlam Series with Okie State, and this year looks to be no different with the Pokes' offensive firepower. Kansas faces their biggest test so far this week at Okie State, and there will be an elimination game between the Jayhawks and Mizzou on Thanksgiving weekend. If neither team stumbles before Turkey day, the best case scenario for Devil fans will be for Mizzou to win and then lose to Oklahoma. I'm expecting OU to roll in the CG, and even with a weak SOS the Jayhawks could make a strong case for a bid with only one loss to a good Sooner squad. If Kansas wins out, Oklahoma's other loss was early enough that most will forget about it and they won't get dropped too far, probably leaving them neck-and-neck with ASU for the last BCS spot.

Cowboy Pete, Sparky's new friend.

It'll be a bitch, but anything can happen this year. A team that lost to Appalachian State could still go to the Rose Bowl for chrissakes.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007


Open thread v. Oregon

And so, the time is near.
The fuel of the native land grants them courage, no fear.
It's here now, they're ready, they kneel at sunset's gate.
In the sun-drenched desert, the Devils' gridiron awaits.
Sun Devil football starts NOW.

Unless of course you're in the espn broadcasting area, because here's a suckass Big Televen game running long. I hope you got the sports pack with your cable, because you'll need FCS Central (Comcast 724) to se the start of the big game.

In case you've ever wondered what's up with that little speel they run before the sparky bus-crushing intro video, many of the lines are taken from ASU's alma mater, a song fewer than thre percent of ASU students/alumni actually know.

Where The Bold Saguaros
Raise Their Arms On High
Praying Strength For Brave Tomorrows
From The Western Sky
Where Eternal Mountains
Kneel At Sunset's Gate
Here We Hail Thee, Alma Mater
Arizona State!


Thursday, November 01, 2007


Game of the century of the week

First off, here's the google ad for an email I received regarding the game:

"rubber ducky baby shower"- I can't write shit like that.

That's cute and all, but everything else going on has been all about the mystery of Rudy's thumb. The Republic is playing tricks on all of us, with mismatching headlines on consecutice days. Notice:

Monday: Carpenter's Thumb in Question. Aaaaaaghnooooo!
Tuesday: Carpenter Expected to Play at Oregon. Hooray!
Wednesday: Sprain Limiting Carpenter. Arrrgh F@($*@^K!
Thursday: Carpenter Throws Well in Practice. Yippee!

Seems to me that Rudy is probable for Saturday and it will be a game time decision. If his sprained thumb is anything like the sprained thumb I sustained last spring, he'll barely be able to hold a beer. Granted, he had 186-pound Keegan Herring run full-force into it and I had 300 pounds of drunken fury fall on it while chasing a whiffleball. Yeah I got an injury playing whiffleball. Shut up.

It's not like we haven't seen this hand/thumb business before. Sam Keller (remember when he played at ASU?) bruised his thumb on a USC player's helmet in 2005 and then tried to stiff-arm Oregon's Haloti Ngata the following week. He played through pain to lose to USC, Oregon, and Stanford in consecutive weeks before Carpenter took over in the 4th quarter against Stanford. Rudy broke his throwing hand in ptractice just days before making the trip to Colorado last year but beat the Buffs 21-3. The following week his non-throwing hand was stepped on and broken in Berkeley against Cal, and the Devils dropped three in a row on the two broken hands of Carpenter. Slumpbuster Stanford came to town to stop the slide, thank goodness.

It could be the news about the thumb and it might just be the partiality of fans, but ASU is getting their asses handed to them in AZSportsHub's poll of who will win the clash of conference titans this Saturday. As of 8:00 EST Thursday it's looking all too much like last year's game, so go be a Terry Richardson and vote now.

The Sun Devil bandwagon has arrived at the station. All aboard!

* Chris Fowler likes the defensive end tandem of Luis Vasquez and Dexter Davis to use their athletic ability and help contain Duck QB Dennis Dixon. Fowler also feels that there will be moe defense in Eugene than most are expecting.

* Mark May listed Thomas Weber as one of three players nationally to be in the rarified air of "On the Mark." He also likes LB Travis Goethel, despite mispronouncing his name.

* Lou Holtz likes our chances because it's hard for a team to get up for a huge game two weeks in a row, citing Oregon's win over USC a week ago. May kindly reminded him that ASU-Cal was of decent size as well.

* Every single media outlet is slurping Dennis Erickson like a Shane's World film, including this one.

* There's still some room on the wagon though, as Lou Holtz gave his weekly pep talk to a Navy team that faces Notre Dame this weekend. Unless you spent time afloat or you're Catholic, I don't see how this game matters. I'm quite confident that the protestant, atheist, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist, Jianist, Zoroastrian, and Jewish communities will be paying more attention to the ASU-Oregon game. Just a hunch, though.

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