Archive for October, 2008

Pittsburgh. November 1, 2008

October 30, 2008

Welcome back to another Anti-Preview from The Subway Domer. The Irish are back home to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in their second to last game at home for the 2008 season. Notre Dame can become bowl eligible with a win and they can also earn a little bit more respect with the voters with a nice victory over an opponent with a winning record. So here we go…

Pittsburgh. Pitt limps into South Bend with a similar 5-2 record and they are coming off of a 20 point loss to Rutgers at home. In that game, Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel threw for 351 yards and 6 TD’s as they put up 54 points ( the highest point total Pitt has allowed since a 60-6 loss to the Fighting Irish in 1996) on a supposedly good Pitt defense. Pitt may be without starting quarterback Bill Stull after he suffered a neck injury in the Rutgers game. It’s looking more likely that Stull will play as he has practiced in full pads this week but if he is not able to play, Pat Bostick will get the nod. Pitt has a dynamic running back in LeSean McCoy and the Irish have trouble with those types of backs.

What should you be drinking? Someone mentioned in an e-mail a few weeks ago that Steel Reserve would be a good choice for the Pitt game. I begged to differ, because I find it almost undrinkable. Fucking nasty. There is another Pennsylvania treat that has been a good friend to The Subway Domer for as long as I can remember drinking- Rolling Rock. Sadly, Rolling Rock was bought out by Anheuser-Busch and the brewery was moved to New Jersey.
How about a fall classic then that is simple and addictive? Apple Cider and Morgans. OOHHHH! How do I make it Subway Domer? Simply. That’s how. Any moron can make this concoction:
  • Take one bottle of Captain Morgan (750 ml)
  • Take one gallon of Apple Cider.
  • Mix it all up.
  • Enjoy!
  • You may also warm this up in a pot and add some cinnamon sticks if you are straight up gay.

This would also be a good week to imbibe in a blue collar beer such as Pabst Blue Ribbon. A personal favorite, or any of these family of beers.

What should I be eating? Lots of solids if you choose the Pabst. Seriously though, make yourself a chowder. I like a good shrimp and corn chowder. You can make this right at your tailgate if you do just a little prep work at home and brink along some kind of big ass pot and a tripod. Here is a video of yet another variation of this classic. They use crab instead. Still sounds fucking tasty. (BTW- Do yourself a favor and have some cornbread ready to serve with the chowder).

What should you be wearing? The forecast calls for great weather (especially for a November game in South Bend) on Saturday. This will be a great game for a t-shirt ( I always recommend these) and a pair of jeans. Plus if you want to celebrate the great mustaches in the world, stop shaving or get a fake one and let Dave know what you think of his porn star image. But, there is something that would top it off and make it complete. I want one of those Golden Dome Hard Hats with Mary on top. Where can I get one? Anyone? I can’t even find a good picture of them on the internet anywhere. Those things need to be worn by about 40,ooo fans inside the stadium. It would be too sweet. So if you know where to get them, shoot me an e-mail or just leave a comment below. I want one!

What freshman will make the biggest impact? I have been putting Michael Floyd in a different category for a few weeks now, and that is stopping right now. Mike Floyd will make the biggest impact. I really don’t have to explain why. He kicks ass and dominates his competition. need proof? Here ya go (I swear I hear Jimmy say “Pink Floyd” before the ball is snapped)…

What offensive player needs to step it up? Armando Allen. Irish fans are starting to forget that Allen is the main option at running back for Notre Dame. That should be a hard thing to do considering that Allen is the Fighting Irish’s all-purpose yardage leader. But, after a couple of good performances, fans are screaming for more Aldridge. “I gotta have more Aldridge baby!” But Allen is the option that the Fighting Irish need to go to more often than not. Not only has he kept improving as a runner with better vision and a spectacular burst, but his receiving out of the backfield has proved to be very dangerous and a nice option for Clausen as the last check down. The Irish offense is becoming more and more potent as more weapons emerge from the freshman and sophomores, but the mainstay should be Allen. I’m calling for a HUGE game for Armando. 130+ yards rushing and 60+ yards receiving with a couple of touchdowns. Mark it down.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Brian Smith. Brian is coming off of a game against Washington where he suffered a mild concussion. I’m surprised that he didn’t have a full blown concussion after a few of the hits that he had on the Huskies. Pittsburgh has a fantastic tailback in LeSean McCoy and the Irish are going to need to slow him down as much as possible to get the Panthers off of the field and get Jimmy and the scoring machine back on to it. Brian Smith will be the key to this formula. he has the speed and the strength to get to McCoy and drag his ass down… hard. A forced fumble or two would certainly be nice from Smith, but mostly the Fighting Irish just need Smith to be a McCoy Death Ray and destroy him play after play.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Golden Tate. Tate watches highlights of the Rocket every week to study how one of the greatest players in college football history played the game. The Rocket not only had great speed, but he had a knack for finding the seam and making a move on a guy and then exploding for daylight. Golden has the chance to become a fierce weapon like Ismail, but he needs a few more touches. Those extra touches can come on a punt return or a kickoff return. I would love to finally see a return for 6 (who was the last Irish player to return a kickoff for 6, Julius Jones?) but even if that isn’t the case, a good return to set the offense up with a short field is equally important. If Tate somehow manages a score on a return Saturday, he will really begin to cement his own legend and follow in one of his heroes footsteps.
Who’s gonna win? As long as the Irish defense can dictate the play selection from Pitt, i think they can slow them down and turn them into a one dimensional team. That of course would also be the case if the Irish offense puts a lot of points up early. I think that they can do both. I’m looking for a big victory that puts the Irish in a bowl game. 44-20 Irish. Clausen returns to form and makes Wannstache look like a fluffer instead of a star.

Irish Blogger Gathering: Michael Myers Is My Uncle

October 29, 2008
This weeks IBG post is brought to you by those guys over at Charlie’s Nasties. They are REALLY confident Weis is sticking around for a long time. Seeing as Halloween is approaching this week, Pops is getting festive with the Trick-or-Treat post.
So without further delay, here is my massacre for the week…
1. A loss to Washington would have been spooky, but we were able to pull it out. What was your favorite part of the victory?
A lot of guys got significant playing time for the first time this season. Most of these guys already saw a little bit of action this year but it was nice to have that large of a lead to let Sharpley come in and take a few snaps as well as having Jonas Gray run all over the place in mop up duty. Gray passed the eyeball test. It was also encouraging to see Ray Herring get so much playing time. He lead the team in tackles. This is a big deal. Weis was criticized for not just playing underclassmen last year, but for having so many upperclassmen with little or no experience. This will pay huge dividends in the future.

The fact that this kid has parents- is what is really scary.

2. Charlie’s Nasties does a Duds and Studs segment to reflect on every game. Name one player/coach that could have done better against the Huskies and one player/coach that stepped it up.

The player that could have done better: Mike Anello. You’re outraged, I know. Mean-spirited? Never, but it is drawing close to Halloween and Mike Anello was impersonating a cornerback at the end of the game. He had his hand on the ball before the Washington receiver caught it for the touchdown. Come on Mike, save the shutout! Look, everyone knows that Jimmy didn’t have his best game and he should get this honor, but I’m sure it will be pointed out a few more times. Mike is what I like to call a “football player”, he should have made the play.

How about James Aldridge stepping up his game!? Aldridge had 13 carries for 84 yards (6.5 avg) and two touchdowns. He is starting to really assert himself as the go to guy on short yardage and the coaches are giving him the opportunity to do so. His cuts looks better than they did in 2007, he has a lot more explosion, and he is breaking a few more tackles as well. His play has been very encouraging this year.

“I’m still the best gunner in college football!”

3. Halloween involves people abandoning reality for awhile to dress up and imitate something that they are not. Pick one Halloween costume with traits you would like to see from the Notre Dame football team the rest of the season.

A vampire. Simply stated: we need to go for the throat and suck the life out of our victims when the chance presents itself. Weis has the tendency to sit on a 14 point lead. Fuck that- pile it on and gain more strength.

4. When trick-or-treating as a kid, there always seemed to be at least one house that handed out apples. What aspect of the football team this year is the biggest apple in your candy bag (aka biggest disappointment)?

Probably the sack numbers. I have been a pretty strong defender of the no sack producing blitzes that the Irish have been running this year, but I still am a little disappointed. I find that we are getting a lot of good pressure, but just aren’t getting the quarterback on his ass enough times. There is much more speed on this defense than there has been in a long time, but that has been at the expense of a little size as well. I can’t help but wonder if the defensive ends were a little more stout and Harrison Smith as well, that they might break through more blocks.

I like the pressure and most of the results- I just wish they laid out the QB a few more time. (Washington, of course, was the exception).

5. This year, October 31st is coincidentally also the opener for ND’s Mens Basketball team (preseason against Briar Cliff). Say a few words about one player that will make have the biggest impact on the success of the team this season (apologies to non-bball fans, but I couldn’t resist).

I am in full football mode and do not wish to even think about basketball right now, but… I’ll give it a whirl. I’ll say Kyle McAlarney. His leadership and ability to not only shoot the rock from outside but also to distribute it to the guys underneath. Harangody made huge strides last year, but I think the team will rest on Kyle’s shoulders and shooting touch.

Join The Crowd…

October 29, 2008

Here’s your chance Irish fans, and in particular- Subway Alumni. The Subway Domer is making the trip up to South Bend for the game Saturday versus Pittsburgh. I usually make it to about 3-5 games a year, but due to circumstances that I only wish I could control- I am making this trip my one and only to the Mecca of College Football this year.

So join me, in decimating the population of liquid bread that has over run this country. You can find me stumbling along almost anywhere on campus whether it be White Field, Joyce parking lot, or even inside the stadium- wherever. The Subway Domer crew will be decked out in only the finest Internet-made game gear to make it easier for you to find, and since they are t-shirts, it should be that much easier on a 50 degree day.
Join the crowd and purchase your own Subway Domer t-shirts at the Subway Domer Store. Here are a few of the finest examples of too much time on my hands and not enough alcohol…
I mean, if that’s what you’re in to…

Blogpoll Final Ballot Week 9

October 29, 2008
Rank Team Delta
1 Texas
2 Penn State
3 Alabama
4 Texas Tech 1
5 Oklahoma 4
6 Florida 6
7 Southern Cal 3
8 Georgia 5
9 Oklahoma State 5
10 Tulsa 4
11 Utah 4
12 Boise State 4
13 Ball State 1
14 TCU 3
15 Ohio State 4
16 Minnesota 1
17 Florida State 4
18 Brigham Young 5
19 Maryland 6
20 Michigan State 6
21 North Carolina 5
22 South Florida 4
23 Brigham Young
24 Missouri 2
25 Notre Dame 1

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#16), Boston College (#18), Pittsburgh (#19), Cincinnati (#20), LSU (#22), Arizona (#24).

The Washington Hangover… Gone Generic

October 27, 2008

It feels good to be disappointed again. Notre Dame battled against a far inferior opponent, but despite a 33-7 victory- I can’t help but think that it should have been 57-0. I never thought I would feel that way for another year or two, here we are at 5-2 and I want more. It feels good.

So here are just a few thoughts from the game. I have some other stuff going on outside of blogging, so I will make this brief and a little generic. This is the Washington Huskies Ty Willingham Post- generic as Flavorite.

  • Clausen was off his game. I was worried that the bye week and having to travel across the country might do this to a few of the younger players, but I thought that Jimmy would have been able to overcome. It’s not like he played rotten- just not the same as we have seen in the first 6 games of the season. He’ll shake it off and get back to form this week. I have no doubts about it.
  • Mike Floyd is just sick. He had another good game with 4 receptions for 107 yards and a TD. The TD catch was different than the other scores Floyd has this year, because it was a catch and run for 51 yards. It is nice to see that kind of playmaking ability that close to the line of scrimmage by a wide receiver- not named Golden. Floyd should of had one or 2 more TD’s, but Jimmy’s lack of accuracy that night didn’t help. Regardless, he had a good night and especially good for a freshman coming off of a bad play the game prior.
  • It was nice to see Harrison Smith finally getting rewarded for getting his nuts crushed every week. I always see Smith go up in the air on the blitz and get an opposing lineman’s helmet stuffed right in his jock. Smith came away with 2 sacks and once again he proved to be a decent running back as well. Smith took a fake punt 35 yards. This was the second time this year that Harrison got a carry off of a fake punt. Both times he was successful as he got the first down and then some.
  • I wanted that shutout. I WANTED IT BAD!!! Oh well. The Fighting Irish have not shutout an opponent since Rutgers in 2002 42-0. The lone touchdown was scored on our third teamers and walk-ons. BTW- 2002 saw another shutout as well when the Irish blanked Maryland in the season opener 22-0. It’s ironic that the 2002 team was a Ty coached, Davie built defensive team. Weird.
  • Speaking of Davie… I thought he did a very good job in the booth. His counterpart was Mark Jones, and that ass clown tried more than a few times to slam ND. Davie backed Weis and the University up time after time. It was just very surreal. Just imagine if Holtz showed up. You can tell it is close to Halloween.
  • Notre Dame suffered last year in some part to the lack of experience as much as the relative youth of the team. The Fighting Irish have had too many close games this year, to really get some real playing time for the second teamers and freshman. One that stood out was Jonas Gray. Gray came in for mop up duty and ran the ball 9 times for 61 yards. He passed the eyeball test. Also, Flemming got the start at Jack LB over Mo Crum. It wasn’t planned according to Weis, but it says a lot about what they think about Flemming.
  • The defense was fucking good. But, Washington is just as awful. It is very encouraging, however, that the defense only allowed like 78 yards before the TD “drive” by Washington late in the 4th quarter. Brian Smith was hitting players as hard as a fat girl hits the open buffet at Golden Corral. Some interesting things from our defense came about Saturday: Herring was the leading tackler for the game after being almost non-existent for most of the season. As stated before, Flemming starting over Crum. The Irish had no takeaways. I’m not sure what happened , so let me know- where’s Gary Gray? Is he hurt? Anyways, the defense played great and just destroyed any hopes for Washington early in the game.

That’s about it for me. I apologize if this was a little too generic, but like I said… I got some things going on and haven’t the time to type out all of my thoughts.

You don’t want to go there anyways.

BTW- James Aldridge is catching on fire with another good performance. 13 carries for 84 yards and 2 TDs. He looks happy.

Blogpoll Ballot Week 9 DRAFT

October 27, 2008
Rank Team Delta
1 Texas
2 Penn State
3 Alabama
4 Texas Tech 1
5 Oklahoma 4
6 Tulsa
7 Utah
8 Boise State
9 Oklahoma State 5
10 Southern Cal
11 Florida 1
12 Georgia 1
13 Ball State 1
14 TCU 3
15 Ohio State 4
16 Minnesota 1
17 Florida State 4
18 Brigham Young 5
19 Maryland 6
20 Michigan State 6
21 North Carolina 5
22 South Florida 4
23 LSU 1
24 Missouri 2
25 Notre Dame 1

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#16), Boston College (#18), Pittsburgh (#19), Cincinnati (#20), Arizona (#24).
I’m not going to provide much commentary for my draft ballot. I needed to get one in, so I whipped this together. However, I will have a revised version that will be submitted before the Wednesday deadline.
Let me know what you think. I know most of you are going to give me shit for having ND at #25, but I really don’t care. It’s #25 and the only 2 losses for ND were on the road to the #20 and #21 teams. So, whatever.

Bagpipe Monday… Just Waking Up

October 27, 2008

Alright, so this is a little late. I swear I had a good excuse, but I don’t quite remember it now…

Last week’s poll question asked “What does Ty Mold?” Here are your answers:

  • 53% said Losing programs
  • 30% said Press conference answers that turn you stupid
  • 15% said a great round of golf
  • 2% said men.

2% of my readers are douche bags.

Don’t forget to vote in this weeks poll question, and enjoy the pipes.

Fighting Irish @ Washington LIVE Blog

October 24, 2008

Crum Has Class

October 24, 2008

Lowe’s is sponsoring an award that recognizes Senior players with the 4 C’s: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.

Classroom:Maurice Crum Jr. followed in the footsteps of 98.7 percent of football players at Notre Dame since 1962 and became another scholarship player to earn his degree. Crum graduated in four years in good academic standing with a degree in sociology and is currently enrolled in the graduate studies program at Notre Dame. Crum was in good academic standing all four years of his undergraduate career and chose to enter the graduate studies program at Notre Dame and return for his fifth year as opposed to enter the NFL draft and begin his professional career.

Character:The character of Maurice Crum Jr. can best be quantified by the fact he was elected team captain of the Notre Dame football team as a senior and again as a fifth-year senior. Crum became just the 17th two-time captain in the 120-year history of Fighting Irish football. As one of just three fifth-year seniors on the team, it was virtually a given that Crum would be selected team captain for the second straight season. Perhaps the bigger honor came in 2007 when he was one of five captains on the football team but the only captain who was not a fifth-year senior.
Community:From June 10th-18th, Maurice Crum Jr. traveled with eight other people to Ghana to help establish a new computer lab and library at an orphanage in the town of Koforidua about 2.5 hours outside the capital city of Accra. He was part of the team that helped deliver 14 computers, two printers and an LCD projector into an air-conditioned computer lab with seating for 24 students. The group also presented the orphanage with approximately 2,000 donated books in the new library that had seating for 16 students.
Competition:On the field, Maurice Crum Jr. has won three monograms and enters the 2008 season with 241 career tackles, needing 54 stops to enter Notre Dame’s top-ten list for career tackles. He is on pace to pass former teammate Tom Zbikowski who sits eighth all-time with 300 career tackles. He has started every game during his career and holds the team’s longest active streak for both consecutive games played and started at 37. Crum was named an honorable mention All-American in the 2008 preseason by The Sporting News and was selected to the preseason watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award and Lott Trophy.

Follow this LINK and vote for Maurice.

Washington. October 25, 2008

October 23, 2008

Light the couch on fire and rock out to some Soundgarden, Subway Domer is back for another Anti-Preview. This week the Fighting Irish travel out west to take on the Washington Huskies.

BTW- Some guy named Willingham is coaching for Washington and a guy named Davie is calling the game for ESPN.

Washington. Ouch. The Huskies are 0-6 and have lost their best player and starting quarterback, Jake Locker. They haven’t showed much life since they lost a game they should have won against BYU. Their pass defense is awful and they have been just awful overall. They have lost all of their games with an average score of 40-17. If you take their best game out of the equation (BYU 28-27 L) the average score is 43-15. If you take their worst game out of the equation (Oklahoma 55-14 L) the average score is 37-18. You get the picture.

What should you be drinking? Check out a local brew that has gone nationwide- Red Hook Beer. This beer and brewery is based in Washington and is just a 20 minute drive from Seattle in Woodinville. The flagship beer from Red Hook is their ESB brew (Extra Special Bitter) and is crafted after the U.K style pub beer. This review was published at Beer Advocate:

We highly recommend allowing this beer to warm-up as much as you can handle,
like more than usual, otherwise most of its nuances are completely lost and the
malt profile will seem rather week. Aside from that, this is a very decent,
balanced, malty, drinkable brew, and a good entry beer into more flavorful

What should I be eating? Well, you are in Seattle and Seattle is known for Starbucks. I’m not saying that you should go to Starbucks and get a scone, I’m just saying that coffee is big there. So big, that a Coffee Steak was introduced. I’ve had it once before and i have to say that the result was masterful. I have never been so buzzed after eating something that weren’t considered a hallucinogen. The place to go in Seattle is Rippe’s Steakhouse. They were the first and I’m told the best. If you can’t make it to Rippe’s to grab a steak, here is their recipe. Here is a “how to video” for yet another recipe for coffee steak (Grilled Chocolate Coffee Steak)… get some:

What should I be wearing? You are in the birth place of the Grunge movement, so duh… go grunge. Grab yourself some old torn up blue jeans, dye your hair another color, and grab a flannel shirt – a real flannel shirt from Sears or K-Mart. Put the AE and A&F down, unless they are from 1995. Speaking of the 90’s, get into your music library and dig up all of your classic 90’s music. If you need a quick hit, check out the video below of one of the greatest recording sessions of all time. Alice In Chains Unplugged (1996).

What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd)? Ethan Johnson. Johnson returns to the northwest, battle tested and ready to rock. He has seen quite a bit of action for the Irish defense this year as a freshman and the playing time will probably increase as the season gets older. Johnson has played as a traditional defensive end and as a defensive tackle for the Fighting Irish this year. The Irish are going against a more traditional pocket passer in Ronnie Fouch as opposed to Jake Locker, so pressure from the down lineman is critical. I expect Ethan to do just that and help a defense that has put pressure on a lot of offenses, but without a lot of sacks.

What offensive player needs to step it up? How about Duval Kamara. With David Grimes being doubtful for the game Saturday, Kamara will likely be the main substitution in Grimes’ absence. Duval had a very good game against North Carolina, but for the season he has only 9 receptions for 103 yards and 1 TD. He needs to take this opportunity for more playing time and turn it into something special. Washington will probably do anything it can to stop Floyd and Tate (and I’m not sure that they can) so Kamara could see more one on one matchups and a decent amount of open green. With Duval’s size, he could emerge as a huge threat for the Husky defense. Look for a lot more balls thrown his way and at least one TD.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Kerry Neal. Mike Frank made a great point on Power Hour this week when he stated that Kerry Neal was getting engulfed by the opposing offensive line. It has been a shaky transition for Neal from the defense ND ran last year to the one they are running now. He has moved from primarily playing at OLB to more of a DE. However. His athleticism and hard work are his keystones and if he can figure out a way to create a little more havoc rushing the passer, he would become a great asset to a defense that is looks like it is just a half step away from grabbing a lot of sacks. On Saturday night, keep a close eye on #56 as he works his ass off to do his job. I think the hard work pays off this week and he has a big game. Maybe a couple sacks, maybe a big forced fumble- something that will make you stand up and yell your fucking head off.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Brandon Walker of course. As much as I would love to say Golden Tate and the return game, the most important part of special teams is making points on the opportunity. Brandon Walker represents those points. Whether they are the PAT’s or a field goal, those are points that that should not be left on the field. He needs to keep his head together and do what he does in practice… drain ’em. And he should have a little more motivation this week. David Ruffer is making the trip. Ruffer is a walk-on that just walked on less than a week ago. He is a tranfer student from William & Mary. Didn’t Holtz coach at W & M? Hmmmm.

Who’s gonna win? I just see no way that ND loses this game- I don’t. With that said, the Irish a battling a public image battle right now and are in a “no win” situation anyways. If they would lose- the nightmare is too gruesome to imagine. If they win by a close margin, than the media is still going to harp and harp on them. The Fighting Irish need a big win in a small game. The biggest thing that bothers me is if this young team can keep the momentum moving forward after a bye week. A veteran filled team could, but we will have to wait and see if this team will be able shake off the week rust and shine from the first whistle all the way to the last. I think they get it and we may see Clausen break a few records along the way. IRISH 47-17.

(Irish Illustrated’s McStug)