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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Going Canadian...

We left Storrs at 7 am, which means I rolled out of bed at 6:30 am.

Anywhere else in the college universe this is Christmas break, so by those standards (like dog years) it was basically too early.

I’ll skip the details on breakfast, the bus to charter, and even the “color coding” system we’ve worked out for luggage.

We chartered a Miami Air jet, to fly to Canada. I’m hoping this irony isn’t lost on anyone. That sense of humor wasn’t lost on our pilot, who got on the intercom and informed us, “We’ve just landed in Buffalo. Local temperature is a balmy 5 below zero…enjoy your stay.”

From Buffalo we made our way (by bus) to the Canadian border. I had been warned about the horrors of Canadian Customs. Apparently people still smuggle “pelts” into (and out of) Canada. I wish I was lying. I’d also like to meet a “pelt smuggler” and promptly inform him that this isn’t 1845. The pelt trade is dead. Anyway, we get to our custom's holding point. A Canadian official boarded the bus, smiled and gave us this little speech,

“So, UConn Eh? Great. Well-enjoy your stay, have a good match. What is this Hockey…or Rugby? Be safe, enjoy Canada. Good weather today eh?”

I wish I was making that up. I heard Mo Petrus and Martin Bedard (our team Canadians) groan, as this guy had just set their people back about 25 years, undoing all that Joe Canada had done during the 90's.

(See Below)

Anyway, Toronto is a great cityso far, (we’ll see how tonight goes). I’m yet to see a moose or igloo, but I’m hopeful.

Also, Scott Lutrus is my roommate again this year. If anyone remembers last year's bowl blog..tune in for more of the same. He's currently showering.....

Check back soon:


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Player Profile

A little self-promotion. Thanks to a big FWG fan, Chris, for sending this to me:
Click To Enjoy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tales From a YMCA Lockerroom

Here's a fresh piece of wanting to end my life.
Why is it every time I'm home and I decide to workout at the "Y," one of two things happens?

I pick the empty locker, sit down to tie my shoes (fresh Nikes of course), and immediately I am ambushed by two old men wearing nothing but water socks. Literally, nothing but water socks...teal, which groan out an obligatory "SQUISH" each time these two poster children for euthanasia step towards me. They finally decide to take mercy on me (no more feasting on this eye candy for FWG), sit down on the bench as their "back flaps" and "man moles" graze my sides ever so slightly. A tingle of shear horror crawls up my spine. Just when I think it can't get any worse, apparently it's time to dry off. I can only describe it as how your golden retriever might shake off a quick dip in the lake.
It was like a car crash. You don't wanna look, but somehow it's always in your line of sight. All that friction. Too much naked. Gross.

I settle in to do my workout. In and out (after 5 years with Coach Martin, there's no other way to do it). And, of course, there's some hair-gelled, cut-off sporting, fitted-hat-wearing bro-ski doing 10 sets of bench (really wailin' on the pecs...keep the body guessin'). All I want to do is get one set in, but this guy has his iPod Nano all tuned up with techno, so he's bumpin' and I can't get a word in edgewise. Of course, he's with his four buddies, all clones of the aforementioned description, so its 5% workout, 95% talk about last night. I'd be lying if I said the conversation didn't meander its way to Jaeger Bombs and Skanks at least two times. This whole encounter left me a little upset at the direction of my town. I did get on the NYS Thruway didn't I? Or did I make a left and end up on the Jersey shore? I was one glowstick and IRoc sighting away from launching a full scale investigation.

Some Final Thoughts:

I met Coach Edsall's brother-in-law today at the Y. See, everyone has roots in Upstate. It's God's country. (West Virginia was a close second...)

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Husky Transfering...

Everyone enters college football with the same goal. Win as many games as possible, get a great education, and have a wildly successful career. Unfortunately it's not that easy (for most). There are adjustments to make, and different paths to be taken. Over the past five seasons I've said goodbye to a lot of my teammates, for varying reasons. Some were cancers that had to be removed for the good of the team. Others suffered injuries and decided that college football simply wasn't in their best interest. And still others decided that UConn wasn't the best fit for them.
Today, I had to say goodbye to another teammate, which was especially difficult for me. I was conflicted on whether to post this, but in the end I decided it might be a fitting tribute to a person that I feel will be wildly successful in any and all that he does. It was just one of those cases where UConn wasn't the right fit for his goals and aspirations any longer.
My good friend C.J. Marck is transferring. I wish him nothing but the best luck. He comes from an outstanding family and has a tremendous work ethic and love for the game. I hope that the fans of UConn Football understand that he hasn't given up on UConn nor the "game." Again, it is simply a case of what is best for him right now and in the big picture. C.J. was the kind of guy that brought a positive attitude to the locker room and brought a passion to all things football. I wish him nothing but the best.

Going Home For Christmas

Hit Play Before Reading:

Ahh, it's Christmas time in Storrs (and the Nike socks were hung in the lockers with care...with hope that St. Randy soon would be there). One last practice (meetings starting in about 20 minutes), then it's a 5-hour drive to Upstate New York. Leaving the frosty tundra of Storrs for the...frosty tundra of Rochester, New York. Nothing like getting on the New York State Thruway, and 350 miles later you've seen so much snow your retina's are seared and each barn is more dilapidated than the next.

It's been a great week of practice (monotony aside). It kind of had a feel somewhere between training camp and spring ball. The intensity was a lot higher than a normal practice (indicated by a few swinging fists and extra jawing by the interior linemen).

Anyway, I'm off to practice, but not before some...

Final Thoughts:
I just finished reading "Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham. Unbelievable read. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good book, character driven. (Uh oh, NCAA...did I just endorse something?).

Please Check out Apparently I am not the only athlete out there in the blogosphere. Extra Incentive: FWG may be writing for them starting January 4th (hint, hint).

Huskies are making going bowling a tradition. Tune in for some live blogs and guest blogging on other sites. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Desi Cullen: Kicker, Lover,...Appendectomist?

Desi Cullen. Man. Kicker. Hair Model. And now...out-patient.

That's right people, Desi Cullen had his appendix removed. This procedure is referred to as an appendectomy. Don't worry, Desi is alright and recovering nicely.

The question was posed, how did this happen? I'll tell you how it didn't happen: from hitting, running, or over exertion: These are all things the "Kick Squad" avoids at all costs. No, while the rest of us are sweating it out, these young man grace our sidelines(sans helmets), telling jokes, and occasionally swinging their legs. So while we keep Desi in our prayers for a speedy recovery, we also need to remind people that, no, this didn't happen during inside run.

Helmets are an unwelcome accessory to our members of "The Kick Squad." Like a designer purse or handbag, these items are less function and more style.

Friday, December 19, 2008

FWG Puts 'Cuse in His Crosshairs

Here at Thoughts From a Fat White Guy we (the proverbial we...the royal "we") are always trying to provide you with the freshest content possible. Not too long ago I took a shot at the 'Cuse women's hoops team for dropping one to the Alaska-Anchorage Seadogs. I'm thinking of starting a weekly feature highlighting the ridiculousness that comes out of Central New York. This week I bring you:

Jim Boeheim Fights a Microphone
(please observe the 38 second mark, when Boeheim shoots a suspicious look at the sound guy)

After losing to Cleveland State...could it get any worse?
You just know he's thinking, "Damn..where's Carmelo?"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Donny Brown: All-American

Finally DDB gets a little of the credit he deserved.
An outstanding running back, who carried be ball 30+ times a game, defenses loaded the box and he still imposed his will. Enjoy:

Final Thoughts:
Check back for a new post on the monotony of bowl preparation:

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Early Look at Buffalo

Bowl game preparation is underway. Bittersweet for many reasons (but then again, too few to mention).
But here is an early look at Buffalo:

This isn't your grandmother's Buffalo team - Joe D'Ambrosio

Dynamite quote Joe (Dy-no-mite). Actually, he's right.
Remember those UConn v. Buffalo games of past? (ahh the good ol' days). Yes, remember back to a time when NCAA 2004 listed Buffalo as our "rivalry" game. We had a good chuckle (I laughed about it again later that night). Rivalry? What are you talkin' 'bout rivalry? (Practice? what you talkin' 'bout practice!?)

Those games were blowouts.
(cue music...or just press here:

That simply isn't the case anymore. Last year my good friend on the University of Buffalo team, Chris Callahan, (Big Tom Callahan's son...) told me that the guys were coming together. He said that they were literally one or two big plays or big moments away from turning the corner. I talked to him briefly this past summer, and he said they were committed to the cause.
Their commitment shows. First bowl game in school history.

They have an athletic (and ruthless) offensive line. Guys were offered by UConn and went to Buffalo (sacriligious, I know). They also are numbers guys. I've never been one to rely on simple stats, but when you have a couple of 300+lb guys running sub five second 40s. They are doing something right.
Behind the big uglies is Drew Willy (insert Free Willy joke here) who was 19-of-28 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns against Ball State (Well done, Willy).
When not throwing touchdowns (and enjoying walks on the beach) Drew likes to spend his time handing off to prolific runner (and all around good-guy) James Starks. Starks is hard-nosed and can break tackles (and hearts! Watch out ladies!).

Their defense is built around capitalizing on turnovers (Ball State must have missed the memo). In order for us to win this game we will have to minimize our turnovers on offense, and create opportunities on defense.

I would say this to all fans of UConn football (or college football in general) who are thinking of dismissing this game. It was not so long ago that a little team from Storrs made its way to Detroit during the winter of '04. UConn has turned the corner from "maybe-program" to "Big East title contender." Take note: Buffalo is NOT far behind.

Some Final Thoughts:

I can't find the remote to my TV. It's driving me nuts. Imagine having to get up and change the channel every time I want to watch something new. I'm practically living Amish.

Its official. FWG will be doing some writing for NESN and then in March I will be playing overseas in Austria. I've already ordered my lederhosen and brushed up on my "Sound of Music" fit in with the locals.

Ich werde hinter sein. Ich bin Dick.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears...

Heres a hot-steaming pile of ridiculous:
Donny Brown unseats Pat White from his two-year reign as Big East Offensive Player of the Year (heavy is the crown Pat, heavy is the crown). Donny was the leading rusher in the nation all year. Donny is the most stand up human being of all time (Donny was a good man, he surfed the beaches of San Pismo...). He is given this honor, which he most deserved. Then makes SECOND TEAM All-America (Put your boots on. Careful not to step in the bull-sh*t).

But, what else can we expect?

Some Final Thoughts:
Having no finals during finals week? Priceless. Some time off to visit family.

...and apparently explore my metro-sexuality. Seriously. The things we do for love (I know I'm just providing great material for my teammates here). My Aunt (who owns a salon) thought it would be a good idea to wax my eyebrows (why would anyone ever do that more than once?).

I took the girlfriend to see "Mamma-Mia" (the music of ABBA set to a story line...).
And you know what? I'm not gonna say I hated it. I wish I could sit here and entertain you with how I checked my timepiece every 5 minutes. I didn't. In fact, I may have been caught singing Dancing Queen more than once (It's really not my fault. Do you have any idea how catchy those songs are?...MAMA-MIA...HERE I GO AGAIN).

Just cause I'm a fat meathead does NOT mean I cannot enjoy the finer things
(I'm all cultured now).

I graduate tomorrow (Sunday)...yes me, the FWG, is done with his "book-lern-'n." Follow your dreams, you can achieve your goals...I'm living proof.
" The game quits everybody eventually -- you want to hang on to it as long as you can."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Red Sox Logo and Uniforms...

According to the Boston Herald, there's gonna be a few changes around old Fenway:

Purists, beware: Thursday, the Red Sox have plans to unveil “changes to the ballclub’s logos” and “select uniforms.” Manny Delcarmen, Jim Rice, Jerry Remy and other club officials will be on hand for the announcement/unveiling.
It’s likely the team will reveal a new “alternate uniform,” to either replace or supplement the red tops the team often wears for Sunday home games.
There’s no word yet on what the new logo will look like, or whether it will replace the existing one, which dates back decades.

I'm not too worried. As long as it isn't pinstripes we should be okay. Then again, if they come out with some fashion-foward design Carl Yastrzemski will probably haunt the dreams of Theo Epstein. I'm just hoping the uniforms don't fall anywhere in the same ball park (pun intended) as those Eagles throwbacks:Yuck.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pitt Game Breakdown (FWG Breaks Down)

We lost. My final home game at Rentschler field will be a memory of Dave Wanndstedt's mustache dripping with celebratory Gatorade. The jaws of life couldn't pry that image from my brain. I was caught several times in tears at the game (and in the days leading up to it). The Tuesday media luncheon forced me to consider a truth that, until that moment, I had done a good job of denying: that I was about to play my last home game, and that my days as a college football player were up. I wrote in an earlier post that my career would end without celebration or notoriety. In the depths of my soul, the days that I allow myself to dream, I wished that wouldn't be true. That a crowd of 40,000 would rise to their feet and unanimously decide that UConn football simply could not go on without Rob Lunn. But that is the beauty and tragedy of college football. Every week is a new battle (12 one-game seasons), and every season a crop of younger, better athletes. I whispered in Coach Edsall's ear, "thank you for giving me this opportunity..." I have often felt so blessed to share the field with great athletes and to participate at the pinnacle of my sport. And while I have run through that tunnel, made tackles, and sacked quarterbacks, part of me has always felt on those fall afternoons, with the sun hanging in the sky and the smell of brisk New England air that maybe I didn't belong. I am not a great athlete (there is stark difference between the athletic prowess of myself and Cody Brown) and I have caught breaks that gave me my opportunity to play. I have enjoyed every minute on the field, whether in Morgantown or Piscatway and now my playing days are over (well, almost). No one wants to play their last game, but I find a little comfort in knowing that at least I got to play mine. Corny and cliche, but we are the lucky ones. God gave me two legs (however uncoordinated) and the ability to use them on Saturdays. Basketball players can always play hoops, and swimmers can always swim. There will be beer-leagues for everything from hockey to baseball to bocce. But never again will I find 10 other guys that want to strap it up and terrorize opposing running backs and offensive linemen all day. My life is about to make a major shift. In the last five years I've read more offenses than books, I got my education on a field and not in a classroom. The lessons I've learned sweating and bleeding and crying with brothers (and I do consider them my brothers) are the most important ones to me.

These lessons were instilled by a man of such high moral and ethical caliber that it can be more than frustrating at times. I've called him a boy scout and a saint (in the most sarcastic of ways) and while I didn't always understand it, at this point in my life I strive to be it. To hold accountability above all else. To do it is maddeningly simple: Just do right things, every day. Take that as why I came to his defense in the Jeff Jacobs article. I found that Jacobs didn't have a reference point to make such sweeping (and inaccurate) allegations. Sentimentality aside, no one on the outside will understand the bond or commitment we have at this level.
I've been told that the same theory applies to the "teams" I'll be a part of in the future (look out McDonald's). No one in corporate America will ever be as unified in a cause as the 2008 Huskies were. True. Very true (I'd like to see the guys at GM running those stadium steps). In 25 years I'm sure we'll all be All-Americans and Heisman winners in the stories to our grand kids, because those superlatives will be the only way to mildly convey the sentimentality of our playing days; the moments we spent on the field we felt simply the best. Almost immortal, like nothing could touch us. Except, that which touches all things, eventually did: time. And with it, change. 5 years, 47 games, and eventually the end of my career.

Again. Tears in my eyes. But this time also a smile linked to the fondness with which I recall it

(prepare for a switch in tone)

Well done Donny "DDB" Brown. When is ESPN going to recognize and give due credit to this young man (he's one year younger than me...and built like an action figure for those who were curious.). Another 150+ yard rushing game? He can't be stopped (pay attention Buffalo).

There has been talk about the Defense continually bailing out the Offense. True? False? Doesn't matter. Games aren't about one unit or another unit, it's about both performing well enough to win. If the offense has 5 picks, then it should be up to the defense to get 6 and make scores of their own. Tyler and the offense certainly did enough to help us (the defense) out during the Baylor game. Least we could do was return the favor. It's a team sport (don't like it? Go watch swimming. I love you Michael Phelps).
Do I wish we had won? I'd be in the wrong business if I didn't. But I simply won't play the blame game. That would be too easy. All I can say is that we will strap it up again one more time, and get a W for the seniors, the fans, and anyone else that should care to believe in UConn Football (I won't hold my breath for you, Lou Holtz).

Final Thoughts:

Who else saw the best looking defensive tackle in the nation on NESN this week? (No, not Tony Siragusa.) Am I the only one who didn't? Seriously, how do I miss these things. I'll post the link when I find it.
Nice Mullet, Tony. I'd rank it with the greatest mullets of our generation (that's right, you're up there with there with Billy Ray Cyrus, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan).
Does this post really contain references to both Tony Siragusa and The Hacksaw? Yes it does (we call that the double threat).
This just in: Tim Tebow may actually be Superman. I'm just sayin'.
In later news: Bob Stoops arrested in Tijuana after a full cavity search revealed the Oklahoma Sooners coach smuggled 7oz of Kryptonite.
University of Buffalo in the International Bowl. Early match-up analysis coming soon.

Until next time,

Going Bowling...

The Huskies are going bowling (you're out of your element, Donny).

Heading to the great white north, thats right: the home of hockey, whale blubber, and Doug Flutie. You guessed it...CANADA

Did you know: 91% of Canadians live in igloos, and subsist on a strict diet of fallen snow and Hockey Night in Canada?

Alright, enough with the Canada jokes (eh?).

To the International Bowl we go. All reports indicate that we will be playing the University of Buffalo on January 3, 2009 in Toronto (a practical home game for the FWG...yes Rochester (Penfield) is basically southern Canada).
Much more to come later.
Check back soon.
(FWG drove home 6 hours to Rochester with the girlfriend today. Exhausted from an emotional weekend.....break down on the PITT game coming soon, as well as an early look at the University of Buffalo, and of course the experience driving 6 hours in the snow...with your the snow. Hilarity ensues.)
One Final Thought:
FWG met the "Define Shortly Guy" (aka SocJimmy) Saturday night.. Tremendous individual. A small victory for a day that was short on them.

Goodnight Canada.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Keeps Getting Better...The Triple Threat

The Life:

"The Turltle-neck, the perm, and the mustache...we call that the triple threat"
The American Mustache Institute

The Death:

"We can only hope that Giambi's late-lip-sweater is in a better place...every time a mustache is shaved, and Angel in heaven dies and falls to Earth..."
The American Mustache Institute

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pitt Week A.K.A. Wannstedt Mustache Appreciation Week

"It takes a brave man to wake up one morning and decide it's a good day to shave his entire face -- save the upper lip. This mustache hair cultivation is, without a doubt, a heroic effort..."

Every school has their traditions. Texas A&M has Yell Practice. Notre Dame has the Helmet Painting. Pitt has Dave Wannstedt's Moustache. Much like Giambi, this year Wannstedt has taken tacky upper lip fur to new heights (as high as #17 this year). Big Dave and Big Dave's powerful caterpillar lip defy the odds year after year, and continually have a top 25 recruiting class. Well, it appears as though this year it's finally paid off, with “the little running back that could," LeSean "Shady" McCoy.

It should provide a tremendous challenge for our defense: Stopping the inside run (driven by McCoy and Stephens-Howling) as well as trying not to admire Wannstedt's face fur (circa 1986). It's hard not to get comical about the 'stache, but at the same time Pitt is a tremendously talented team with a lot of heart (see Derek Kinder).

Structurally the team hasn't changed much since last season, but taking out WVU the final week of the season (FWG watched with delight) provided the necessary momentum to carry through for a productive off season and in turn an improvement playing football.

Up front, Pitt is comprised of some experienced veterans but also a few converted D-Tackles (which means they are obviously more athletic). Ask Downtown Donny Brown, any good running back is nothing without his big uglies up front. Pitt is no different. Taking nothing away from McCoy or Stephens-Howling (they possess the need...the need for speed!) but again, it all starts with good blocking. Also indicative of the heart of this offense is the grit that receiver Derek Kinder has shown returning from a torn ACL. Not only is Kinder a fellow "Upstater" (instant street cred and FWG respect), but also a fine human being (though the bar hasn't been set very attention Plaxico).

Losing HB Blades means losing the second meanest name in all of linebacking (First? Takeo Spikes). However, Scott McKillop seems to have taken over as emotional leader of a stout defense (my utmost respect to any defense that can contain Pat White and Noel Devine). MiKillop is simply a tackling machine. Seriously. A ma-chine. Rated something like the No. 1 linebacker in the nation by ESPN (pre-season). Trust me, the tape shows it too.


"Giambi's significant first-half production as well as his powerful lip fur -- indicating great intellect and good looks...' - American Mustache Institute. Well said. Great intellect and good looks. One major flaw: playing for the Yankees.

The FWG is a huge Buffalo Bills fan. That being said, it is the prediction of the FWG that much like the Yankees, the Bill's post-season plans include an early off-season.

I can't grow the ultimate sign of power (and 80's adult films). I can grow chops, and chin hair, but the upper lip evades me.

Every time I think about Coach Wannstedt I picture him in that gross teal (aqua) and orange Dolphin's Starter jacket. The one that every kid my age wore as a winter coat from 1992-1998.

Are you all mustache'd out yet?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse...

FWG is starting to broaden his horizons. We're taking a hiatus from UConn Football (Pitt preview tomorrow). Which brings us to this week's sign of the apocalypse:

The once proud tradition of Syracuse Athletics took another step towards irrelevance this week:
The SU Women's basketball team lost to (brace yourselves) Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. Who? Exactly. The good news is that Greg Robinson might not be so lonely in his departure from the Dome this year (You're gonna live with me now...Yeah. I'm gonna take care of ya. C'ause I love ya). Quentin Hillsman (who was voted Big East Coach of the Year) dropped a nail-biter to the Seawolves. Only problem is, it's the freaking Seawolves! A Division II school. And they're from Alaska. And they're named the Seawolves. What is a Seawolf? (See the creature to the right.) There is something wrong with the athletic universe. Notre Dame loses to 'Cuse in football. 'Cuse drops one to the Seawolves. And the FWG is under 275lbs. If we are to find even a shred of excellence or dignity in this entire situation, it is the intelligent and well thought-out remarks of Quentin Hillsman regarding the ladies' loss to Alaska-Anchorage:
"If I had a do-over, I'd do the whole game over and then I could win the game."
Well done, Q. Well done. I hope the ladies-Orange can go on and dominate the rest of their schedule. That way I never have to write about the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves ( does kinda roll off the tongue, now doesn't it?).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey and Tom Selleck....

Great Thanksgiving. GREAT THANKSGIVING. I ate way too much (ladies and gentleman, please keep your hands and feet away from the chewing apparatus). However, the most interesting part of my Thanksgiving was not getting together with my family or watching football (C'mon Lions!).

Before I go on, I should say that my family never ceases to provide me with comedic material. Whether it is my grandpa who farts with reckless abandon without regard to anyone around him, or my sister who drives like the shoulder is another lane (Pacino in Scent of a Woman did better...yah he was blind). So for this to make the FWG Blog, it had to be able to top old man flatulence and poor driving etiquette.
Sure enough, my Aunt Cecelia did just that and raised the bar to new heights.

Being good Italian-Catholics her house is adorned with crosses in every room, but most importantly (especially to us Italians), the kitchen has its own little shrine (the patron saint of meatballs!).
The Blessed Mother:
St. Michael:

Angels: I mean....

St. Tom:

So just to clarify: my Aunt has a shrine to Virgin Mary, St. Michael, an Angel, and Magnum P.I.
I can't make this up. Seriously. Look:

Not only that, I duped my Aunts into posing for a picture in front of it (under the guise of holiday cheer):

The best (worst?) part about this is that that picture has been there since about 1984. It's yellowed over time. Which means Big Tom has looked over close to 25 Thanksgivings, about 10,000 dinners, and who knows how many latenight snacks. All with his knowing grin and dignified upper lip fur. Well done, Mr. Selleck. Instead of another religious picture or photos of friends and family, my Aunt has your picture. Which means you're on the same level as Jesus (anyone that saw Three Men and a Baby should understand).

So now, the question begs to be answered:
What was a bigger star-turn for Selleck; my Aunt's kitchen, or Playgirl?

You be the judge:

My family is awesome.
And I'm not sure the 80's were kinder to another man.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back in Upstate for the Turkey Break...

It's always good to go home. Every time I return I feel like a rock star
(yes, channeling my inner Keith Richards--FWG goes heroin-chic)
....but more importantly it makes me appreciate the opportunity I am afforded being a college football player. No, not the free education (who needs that?) but the experiences that go along with the game. Traveling from city to city, playing on ESPN, gaining 50 lbs over the course of your career (these things happen).
I met up with a bunch of my high school buddies and we had a few beers (only water for the FWG...I swear) and it's refreshing to know that no matter how big my head gets (it's tough being a blogger) nothing is off limits to my friends.
Top comments for the night: "Jesus, Rob! You're bald!" (thanks, Tim) " look less fat than the last time I saw you." But I wish everyone could have those "keep you grounded" moments.

The other part about being home is that my friends are no longer in college (apparently the 5-year plan has eluded them), which is a painful, if not all too real reminder that my college days (college football days) are rapidly coming to an end. The FWG will save all his sappy college memoirs for a later post, but it's a reminder to keep livin' this dream 'til it's done.
Alright enough of this before I get all choked up.
(I'm a bit verklempt)

Some Final Thoughts:

I hate to write an FWG disseration on individuals who dramatically use the word "DAMN" but I'm going to. So here is my open letter to these people:

Dear purveyors of the pseudo-urban vernacular: Please refrain from ever using the word "DAMN" in my presence to exclaim shock or amazement. ("Damn! Thats a huge cucumber.") Enough is enough. Even worse still, when you decide to up the syllable ante, thereby taking "damn" and bastardizing it into "DAYYYYUMMMMM." It makes you neither more intelligent nor trendy. In fact, recent studies have shown that "DAYUMM" didn't even have its fifteen minutes of fame, but rather entered into the general speech like a wayward gene mutating an entire gene pool. If the rules of Darwinism have taught us anything, it's time for "DAYUMM" to go the way of the Apodiformes (perhaps you're more comfortable with a Dodo analogy?). Extinct birds aside, take this letter as a warning that the backside of my hand and further blog bashing awaits any and all who use this word incorrectly in their daily speech.
(I will now get off my soap box, and return to eating my emotions.)

I got sucked into watching Dancing with the Stars tonight. Didn't hate it. However, I can't tell whether I was more impressed with Warren Sapp's dance moves or his outfit (Ruffles? Really, Warren?). I imagine the attraction to watching this is the same reason people go see the leaning tower of Pisa: Anticipating its fall. Only it isn't a well regarded piece of architectural engineering. It's a 300-lb black man parading around a dance floor in a too-small-not-to-hurt outfit....anticipating his fall.

That's all for now; with all the calories to be consumed this week, rest assured I'll be checking in often.

Monday, November 24, 2008

UConn Loses to USF ...(FWG Overeats)

Arrival on campus: 5:05am.

It's now two o'clock in the afternoon and I feel like a tiny gnome is swinging a pick-ax in my skull. Probably the combination of the flight, Tylenol-PM, and 5am McDonalds (2 egg McMuffins and a McSkillet burrito... mmm, cholesterol). I probably should stop talking about my late night (early morning?) dining experiences and address the loss to USF.

This is a first for the FWG, but I won't break down the game by offense, defense, and special teams. I simply want to point out that in a game between two similarly talented teams, the team that makes the least mistakes will usually win. On Sunday night in Tampa, that team was South Florida. We battled it out in all phases but came up short.
The post-game locker room was a weird place. There was a thick "we-coulda-won-this" hanging in the air. When you play a game badly and lose, you get upset because you know that it wasn't "your best game" and that you "can play better." But there is something entirely different when you leave it all out on the field, and come up short. The game being decided by a few penalties, big plays, or a turnover.
Letting games get away from you that you should have won (cough-Rutgers-cough) is different from battling it out until the final seconds and coming up short. Of course the end result is the same and the truth is I'm not sure which one hurts less. Losing sucks (how articulate). But all we can do now is enjoy some Turkey (perhaps a Tur-duck-en?), get healthy, and come out swinging against PITT. Coach Orlando said it best, "We are truly a small margin away from making the turn from a "great defense" to an "elite one." Thats all, now some:

Final Thoughts:

"Respect-a-bull" campaign featuring Jim Levitt? Is their fan base really so bad they need a seminar on good sportsmanship during every TV timeout? In later news, Michael Jackson is now the spokesperson for the Ronald McDonald House.

I don't want to sound bitter (but I'm going to sound bitter), but the USF fan base was on par with the turnout for Temple game.

That being said, I need to give props to their dedicated student section. Love their enthusiasm (and body paint).

The Grand Hyatt is the greatest hotel I've ever stayed at (sorry, Days Inn). Food, service, and people all outstanding.

The residents of Florida have finally had enough of toothlessness and lung disease (I know this from the terrible commercials every 5 minutes). Join the crusade at or fight the cause at (the FWG does not endorse either...take THAT NCAA).

Never thought I'd hear this while trying to block a field goal: "Hey 65!...LOVE YOUR BLOG." Gave me the warm fuzzies all over.

FWG T-Shirts...coming soon!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Your Feel Good Moment of the Day...

A passionate FWG fan sent this to me. Thanks, Barry.

(Watch this story on "Outside the Lines" on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN)

n 1958, the University of Buffalo football team won eight of nine regular-season games and was awarded the Lambert Cup as the best small-school program in the eastern United States. Team co-captains Nick Bottini and Lou Reale received the trophy during a Sunday night broadcast of "The Ed Sullivan Show" and dined that evening in Manhattan's famous Toots Shor's Restaurant.

Days later, the Bulls were invited to face Florida State in the 13th annual Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla. -- still the school's only bowl bid in 102 years of football.

In anticipation of their trip south, players were measured for new sport coats at The Kleinhans Company in downtown Buffalo. But before fabric for the coats ever was cut, the university learned that the team's two African-American players, starting halfback Willie Evans and reserve defensive end Mike Wilson, were not welcome in Orlando.....

(Continued CLICK-HERE)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SOUTH FLORIDA...(not just where people go to die)

The Huskies prepare to take a trip down South, to the land of swamps, retirees, and the 4 pm early-bird special. Apparently there will also be some football played on Sunday. Let's take a look:

South Florida has come on strong since joining the Big East (ranked as high as #2 last year). They've struggled as of late, but I'm the last person to sleep on any team (check out the Syracuse post). Don't let some hiccups in their schedule fool you, South Florida is a force to be reckoned with (insert South Florida hurricane analogy here).

One Word. Actually, two words....and three syllables. Matt Grothe (I'll take, Does this Grothe look normal to you, Doctor? for 500, Alex). Clever puns aside, Grothe is a dual threat quarterback. Dare I compare him to Robert Griffin (oh I dare, yes...I dare). Griffin has the NCAA clocked speed but Grothe can burn. Point in case, Barwin from Cincy had him dead to rights on the USF ten yard line, 3rd and 14, and Grothe rips a 48 yarder making Barwin look less "great white hope" and more "great white joke." I respect Grothe's grit too, telling the media, "I'd play on one leg if I had to." (As much chance as a one-legged man in an...never mind). Truth is Grothe and his stable of running backs are all moving behind the steam-rolling capabilities of their talented offensive line. On film their big-uglies are looking like two parts wrecking crew one part impenetrable wall (YOU! SHALL! NOT! PASS!). Anchored by the self described "biggest talker" Ryan Schmidt:

Apparently Ry (do you mind if I call you Ry?) Ry, has not only the gift of gab but also a mean streak that has "proved invaluable to the Bulls." (He's also in the running for FWG of the week). Expect a slug fest in the trenches.

Selvie, Selvie, Selvie (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!). Emotional leader Moffitt gone, sack-master (haha) Selvie steps it up in a big way. While he does have some catching up to do with Cody Brown in sack totals this year, George Selvie is a major threat in a big way off the edge. Probably one of the best match ups in college football this year will be to see how OT Will Beatty battles Selvie in the pass game (that and how Dave Wandstat's mustache holds up to the frigid cold in Cincinnati. Brrrrr).

Can DDB (Downtown Donny Brown--for the new comers) continue his streak of road-rashing (word?) opponents? This week will be an even greater test.
South Florida is a hot-bed of talented skill players. Their team represents a cross section of some of the finest. The height and speed of their receivers will present a tremendous challenge to our secondary (Reggie can't help he's only 4'6).

Its getting late (not post-time). Time for some...

Final Thoughts:

I've received some mixed reviews to my take on the Jeff Jacobs article in the Hartford Courant which called Coach Edsall "Coach Pinocchio." Bottom line is this: It is exactly how I felt, about Coach and about the article. However, that being said, the picture comparing Jacobs to Vigo from Ghostbusters was out of line (I don't wanna say sleezy, cause that's not the word, but maybe...a tad irresponsible?-Wedding Crashers) The FWG is not about personal attacks, so my heartfelt apologies to Jeff.

As a corollary, go out and rent yourself Ghostbusters II, cinematic gold.

The FWG will be graduating in December and needs your help (no not on figuring out what size cap and gown to buy....XXXL). Email me some suggestions on trips you've taken that you liked: Emphasis on abroad and backpacking.

I need to give a shout out to some of my teammates who have felt left out on the blog. Bret Manning-- a transfer from Springfield College (alma mater of the Henry "Uncle Hank" Hughes). B-Manning is a real spark plug and an inspiration to everyone in the weight room (nice delts).

Second is Nate Sherr. Despite the fact that Nate shamelessly hits on my girlfriend in front of me, he is an outstanding individual. One of the un-sung heroes on our team that grinds it out on scout team and is making a case to be a starting long-snapper. Again, a great guy. Just don't ask him to say "car" or "Harvard" me on this. (Pahhhhk the Cahhhh in the Hahhhhvad Yahhhhd). God, it's annoying.

On May 16th my cousin, Christopher, will be receiving his confirmation. Despite the voices of reason he has asked me to be his sponsor. FWG: The Patron Saint of Pork Products. Can't wait.

Speaking of which, I need a new "Headliner Graphic" so please send pictures or photo montages or anything else to I also need a slogan. The current front runner:
Where porkchops live.

Got something better?
Email me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coach Pinocchio...(The Ends Justify the Means)

I need to address the article in the Hartford Courant that calls Coach Edsall a liar, or more poignantly, “Coach Pinocchio.” Of course this was a reference to Coach hiding (from the media) the fact that Tyler Lorenzen would be our starting quarterback instead of Cody Endres or Zach Frazer. I’ll save the details of the article for you to read HERE, but in summary, Jeff Jacobs said that Coach Edsall could not be trusted to tell the truth nor be honest in any situation. He also said that Coach Edsall was wrong for using “misinformation” and that in doing so he cheated not only the fans of UConn football, but also the buyers/readers of the Hartford Courant who pay to “read the truth.”

First and foremost, let me say that Coach Edsall may be a state employee but he is hardly an elected official and therefore not endowed with the public trust. He doesn’t have a duty to anyone, except perhaps his players and his boss, athletic director Jeff Hathaway. College football at the Division I level is a competitive sport, where advantages and edges are gained through even the smallest of details.

I personally (as well as our defensive staff) have combed through hours of tape to try and find a glimpse of an opposing offense's signals that might give the slightest advantage come game time. So why, in the name of all things relevant or sane, would Coach Edsall divulge that our injured starting quarterback was back from his injury and would start against Syracuse? This would present a major adjustment in game plan for an opposing team and certainly gave us an edge.

An unnamed source inside the Syracuse program confirms it: “Yeah, Tyler wasn’t even on our scouting report.” And yet Jacobs takes a personal shot at Edsall for being dishonest? Welcome to major college football, Jeff. I am sorry that your personal sensibilities were harmed by Coach Edsall not releasing that Tyler would be our starting quarterback. But whose interest would that serve? You claim that the fans of UConn football were done a disservice. I disagree completely.

If anything, it will make fans more adamant followers of UConn and college football in general. I personally think it makes the game more exciting. “Who will play this week? What will happen that wasn’t released in a press statement?” And yet you call Coach Edsall a liar.

I consider him the most honest man in college football. And that is from a point of view that matters most: one of his players. Whether I liked it or not, I have always known exactly where I stood with Coach, and I have also known exactly what he expected of me and so have my teammates.

Because Coach left out certain information (he didn’t lie) only upsets you because it affects your byline. There is no rule that insists on an injury report in the Big East so maybe your quarrel should have been an open letter to Mike Tranghese, but not a direct attack on Edsall.

I hardly read what the media has to say about UConn football (unless it's on Runway Ramblings), but someone forwarded me the article and I got upset. Coach Edsall has done a tremendous job transitioning UConn football and building it into a power. If that comes at the expense of a little misdirection, then guess what? So be it. In this case, Edsall is the Machiavelli of the college football landscape. So YES, Jeff. The ends DO justify the means.

I now offer this:


ahhh tremendous.

South Florida post will be up shortly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Squeeze the Juice...(Originality Not Intended)

Returned from the bitter cold and awful temperatures of Upstate New York, and back to the...bitter cold and awful temperatures of Eastern Connecticut (Welcome to UConn...the Arctic Campus). While my life as a football player (apparently north of the Arctic Circle) is approaching its conclusion, I cannot be distracted from my duties as a blogger. So, here's the break down:

The 'Cuse Game:
There is something to be said for going back home and winning. I personally had about 45 friends and family there (my own personal FWG cheering section). I also couldn't be happier for our coaching staff (particularly the Syracuse alumni).


Greg Robinson was apparently still trying to "find his groove" (news flash, Greggy, if you haven't found it after four years, it ain't happenin'), rotating quarterbacks and running backs and trying to shove the football down our throats. The only problem with this "smash mouth" football is that if you concentrate so heavily on the run, all a defense has to do is win first down (forcing second and third and longs) and force a run-heavy team to pass. I'd say we did a pretty good job of this (3 picks).
I honestly felt bad for the Syracuse offensive line. They are some heavily recruited, talented seniors, who have known nothing but losing (something like 35 losses in 4 years). This may sound cliche, but when our defense got rolling (and roll it did), you could see it in their eyes, the look of "Not this, again." Keep your chins up seniors, you're the ones in the arena, the glory belongs to you.
UConn: If you haven't heard by now, Tyler Lorenzen was/is our starting quarterback. A little deception by Coach Edsall never hurt anyone (but more on that later). Tyler knows how to win better than anyone I know, and he has some serious intangibles (no not that chiseled jaw, ladies). You can't teach competitiveness and Ty has that in spades. And then there is Downtown Donny Brown (DDB). DDB had another 100+ yard day on the ground (132 yards on 31 carries...yah that just happened). Add that to our offensive line that was blocking and protecting solid all day and it's a winning combination.

My many friends on Syracuse's defense couldn't find an answer for our running QB/RB threat. They forced a few bad decisions but nothing that wasn't overcome by poise in the pocket.
UConn: I don't know what more I can say about Cody Brown. He better be a lock for Big East Defensive player of the year (sorry Selvie). The kid will block your passes, sack your QB, tackle your running back, and do your laundry. Robert "Reggie" McClain takes another "pick-to-the-crib" (did you notice his Fat-White escort down the field?). Jasper "Jazz" Howard with another pick at the end of the game to seal the win; not the perfect game, but definitely firing on all cylinders.

Special Teams:
We got a punt blocked, we blocked one of theirs. I wont dwell (yes, I will).
In bigger news, Dave Teggart was named Big East Player of the Week. He is also currently tied for the school record in consecutive kicks (9 for 9); all I need to do is put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated and I will have successfully jinxed him. Good luck, Dave!

Some Final Thoughts:

After routing 'Cuse like that, my Dad came up to me and said "Aren't you glad you weren't good enough to play for Syracuse"? (A little background: I grew up an hour away, I was offered, then un-offered, then offered again). I guess the answer is, Yes. I made the right choice with UConn (and you can too!). I want that program (Syracuse) to come back and become a big rivalry for UConn. Or at the very least for Jim Brown to get a new hat (bring your green hat...we're going streaking!!). But I will carry the memory of winning in the Dome forever. I will also carry the memory of Coach Edsall tearing me a new one for the defensive holding call...

Defensive holding: What a load of crap. Toughen up offense (you just know it was some complaining O-Coordinator who initiated the rule change). O-Linemen have been doing this since the beginning of time. Seriously. I had a word with the official who threw the flag (who by the way, is an outstanding individual) and the exchange went something like this:
FWG: Come on', was it at least close?
REF: Yeah, but I had to throw it, your other boys been doing it all game.
FWG: Yeah, I guess every good crook eventually gets caught.
REF: (laughter) Yes.... Just ask O.J.
FWG: Wow, Sir. Well played, well played.

Today the real champs at my future employer came to see me-- no not Chippendales or McDonalds (good-bye dollar menu). That's right, the fine folks from New England Sports Network (NESN). Look for a Fat White Guy Feature tomorrow night on NESN.
Speaking of Chippendales:

Also tune in shortly, as I address this article in the Hartford Courant:

End Doesn't Justify Means SYRACUSE, N.Y. — He plays the state media like some bumbling high school defense and makes no apologies for it. Randy Edsall uses deception, misdirection and, if all else fails, lies.
(to read the rest, Click Here)

Shortly: Short-ly (Sh-ore-teh-lee): in the near future, when I have time to write, edit, publish and insert multimedia into my posts.

Why are you over my shoulder?
Isn't it about time Chandler (not bing)
did his close on this piece? Seriously.
It's time to go. Please. Please. ...Please

Monday, November 17, 2008

To tide you over...

'Cuse post will be up shortly.
To tide you over...
(Your afternoon laugh)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The FWG Apologizes.....LET'S GET IT: 'CUSE WEEK

(Please excuse spelling and grammar errors, in my haste I have had no time to edit.)

Ahhh its 'Cuse week, that magical time of year when the fates align, the Big East trembles, and Jim Brown's little hat gets a little greener. My sincerest apologies for not getting this out earlier in the week, but FWG has commitments (more on that in Final Thoughts).

So let’s break it down:


The Syracuse offense was a victim of its own creativity early on in the season, running too much, too soon, and not well enough. However, two things should be noted when evaluating their offensive production as well as what they’ve shown in terms of wins and losses:

  1. Their strength of schedule (something like the 7th hardest in college football)
  2. New offensive coordinator

However, in recent weeks they’ve seemed to figure it out: Take your Hall-of-Fame heritage QB, your tremendously talented running back, and the five big boys up front, and start playing smash-mouth football. Guess what? It worked. A big program win over Louisville and a narrow loss to Rutgers and I’ll be the first to say it, “Syracuse may be back on track” (Greg Robinson’s ReMax agent mourns).


Syracuse has always had a tradition of hard-nosed defenses and talented defensive players (maybe it’s all the snow?). Freeney, Green, and now a senior who has melted the weight away, Nick Santiago. Nick is a close friend of the FWG (we played in the NY vs. NJ All-Star game together) he’s also another guy from “The-U”.

(Upstate New York). I won’t say that Nick is the heart and soul of that defense (he’s not), but he lost 40lbs in the off-season (FWG tear) and I think that is indicative of the mentality of ‘Cuse. They haven’t given up, and they are willing do whatever it takes to win (including shedding a few lb’s before beach season). You watch the tape and realize that these guys play hard-nosed football for 60 minutes, regardless of the score.

Point in case, the Penn State game, down 28 nothing with 10:12 remaining in the second, ‘Cuse did not pack it away, they fought to the bitter end.

Special Teams:

Not a lot to say (insert kicker joke), but their punter is ranked 5th nationally in net punt average, and he’s got a real hammer for a leg. He’s no Kentucky Hammer (UConn fans will get that one), but still the kid can kick and he is a tremendous weapon for the Orange (the artist formally known as Orangemen).

Maybe it’s because I grew up a huge ‘Cuse fan, I have 3 or 4 good friends that play there, or because our coaching staff is chalk full of ‘Cuse alum. But the FWG has a tremendous amount of respect for everything Syracuse, and not just on the hardwood (sorry, Jim).

The bottom line is this: do not let their record fool you, this will be a hard fought, tough football game. This team has nothing to lose, and that makes them very dangerous people.

Time for some…


The FWG is finally healthy again; he wishes the same speedy recover to his quarterback (Tyler Lornenzen) and tight end (Steve Brouse).

So this week I went to a charity auction for the girlfriend. Throw away thoughts of country club bidding and proper “auction etiquette”; this was a “meat market” at a campus bar, bidding off dates with beautiful women for the highest dollar. Of course my girlfriend was on the auction block (remember the part about beautiful women). After a short pep talk before the event that went something like, “Hey don’t worry, the highest bid we’ve ever had is, like, $45” (cue crack of thunder in the background). The bidding starts at $5 dollars and shout “twenty!” everyone laughs and smiles because let's be honest, it’s cute when the boyfriend is bidding for something he’s already got. Not expecting to be outbid, I relax knowing that this night will only cost me a twenty-spot and I’ve made the girlfriend happy. “Thirty!”, only it wasn’t me yelling, it was a man of near miniature stature to my right. I laugh, give an awkward smile and say “forty-five”, which is promptly chopped down with a “fifty-five”. Okay this isn’t funny anymore, stop driving up the price little man…I look at the girlfriend, who shoots a “save me” look from up on her pedestal. I then shout “Seventy!”--no laughter, no smiles, just looks of wonder to see if my pint- sized pal dare outbid me again. Going once, going twice, Sold! to the fat white guy in the front. Tremendous, I just bought my own girlfriend for $70.00 (and worth every penny).

There is a moral somewhere in that story, perhaps it was that you shouldn't be put into force-awkward situations where someone has the ability to put a price on how important someone is to you. Yeah, maybe that's it. Maybe karma was screwing with me.

In the past week I have received some of the best emails, from fans, old friends, and even my nursery school teacher. That might be the biggest perk of this gig.

A little belated, but a big FWG Happy 5th Birthday to Matt Peronace! Probably my favorite fan of all time (and YES, I remember you!)

Check in after 'Cuse

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Meaning of Life...and more...

The Meaning of Life...and more...

1) Is Cheerleading a sport?

Am I really going to open up this Pandora’s Box? Yes. Yes, I am. There was many a night spent around the Lunn family dinner table discussing this very issue. (Read: Sister who was a cheerleader). Now, while my views may have changed (more on that in a bit) it was the inflammatory opinion of this blogger to unequivocally say “No! Cheerleading is not a sport.” This was probably 10% ignorance, 90% wanting to incite riot (the post-dinner apocalypse!).

Alright, so “sports” are defined by competition, and “games” (or “matches”--relax, tennis fans). Cheerleaders don’t compete at “games,” but having dated my share of cheerleaders (or dancers) I have attended many competitions (which are like slow, overcaffeinated smiling death sentences). So while I may doubt that the athleticism needed to be a cheerleader is equal to college football (it is not), I will finally concede in this public forum that yes, cheerleading is a sport. (Dancing however, is not). The funny part is that unlike every other sport, turning pro in dancing means that you are actually LESS of an athlete. Let's face it (sorry Ryann) the Patriot cheerleaders are less “Cheertastic” dance-savvy girls and more “eye-candy”(see below) for the drunk superfan.


2) What are the craziest superstitions?

Well for me personally, it’s drinking the same color Gatorades, in the same order, at every football-related meal. But I know guys who throw up before games (You kidding me? It’s a great way to shed a few pounds before a big show), and I also know guys who don’t change their underwear for an entire road trip (coincidentally, these guys are also very lonely on Saturday nights). The truth about superstitions is that they are only “crazy” to those who don’t believe in them. Except for maybe rubbing chicken bones on your baseball bat--that’s actually crazy-fit-for-a-straight-jacket-crazy.

3) What have you done that (at the time) annoyed the coaching staff, but now, looking back, is viewed by everyone as being funny? (Or you can substitute “Judge” for coaching staff)

Oh, I like to think that I always annoy the coaching staff. Does this blog count? I’d say this blog. Yes the blog is funny AND annoying to my coaches (but their wives love it). As for the Judge, he probably found it annoying that as a child I tackled everything that moved (cats, dogs, unsuspecting house guests), and while they say that animal cruelty is a sign of future serial killer tendencies, I’d say this little habit paid off, (eventually trading the family dog for opposing quarterbacks) to the tune of say, a free education.

4) Who are the redshirt players that you would expect to contribute to next year's team?

You might be expecting me to single out all of the great defensive players we’ve recruited and how these future starters will ensure championships to come. The truth is I don’t see these guys on a regular basis, but I do get to go against the Scout-Offense (chock full of redshirts). I’ll leave the skill guys to the skill guys, but I’ll say to expect some big things from our future offensive linemen. My chubby brothers-in-arms are more athletic than the ghosts of linemen past. So let me become a name dropper: Kuracea, Bennett, Chapman. Write that down. Don’t have a pen? Well, remember it then.

5) Who is your favorite NFL player?

Two way tie, of the current freak-athlete killer NFL…Takeo Spikes. His name means “Warrior” in Japanese. No, seriously.

Of the old school scotch-at-halftime NFL, of course it’s Art Donovan:

6) Why did you decide to come to UConn?

I had offers from a few other D-1 schools, and I pretty much ran the table on every D-1AA school. It came down to how I felt about the coaching staff and what kind of education I could get, and of course Coach Edsall’s great haircuts (what a grooming standard!). Syracuse was too close and their coaching situation was too unstable (some things never change). Wake Forest was too last minute, and then there was UConn, right alongside me the entire time. I was sold from the moment I ran out onto Rentschler field (now a recruiting violation). There have been ups and downs, and I’ve gained a few pounds, but being here has has given me the best memories and equipped me for the rest of my life.

7) What exactly did Popeye and Brutus [sic] see in Olive Oil [sic] that made her so "attractive" to them?

I’d like to give my dissertation on how Bluto was all wrapped up that such a tall drink of water had a food-related name, but I’ll save that for another time. I don’t think either of them really wanted Olive Oyl, they were both just so consumed with hate for each other, and neither wanted to see Olive Oyl with the other. Insert a possible manifestation of homoerotic tendencies in self loathing self destructive behavior; Popeye eats his feelings (spinach), Bluto an obvious steroid user (poor self-image), ahh but I digress. Psychobabble aside, I’d say that Olive Oyl was the hottest babe in a possibly babe-barren environment (The Shipyard…so you come here often?). Did I really just spend that much brain effort dissecting that? I’m afraid so.

8) Steroid use has always been a problem in the wonderful sport of football.
Do you think the NCAA and NFL have cracked down on ‘roids well enough? I was also wondering if you think the penalties for using these substances are harsh enough? – Your FAVORITE cousin, Morgan

I’d say the NCAA has done a good job of policing steroid use, but is there room for improvement? Sure. I have personally been tested 12 times since I have been at UConn, which is impressive to say the least. These pee tests give new meaning to the phrase "stage fright." My close friends in the NFL have said, “You can’t fake a test, you either pass or you don’t.” I hope that is conclusive enough for you. I am not a fan of the “you are totally responsible” for what goes into your body, because labels are often not descriptive or honest. The FDA hardly regulates the supplement industry, the weak link in the chain is NOT the athlete who reads a label and assumes a product is safe, but rather the FDA who does not demand more stringent regulations for this billion-dollar-a-year industry. I am all for an athlete’s personal responsibility, but I see this as a major flaw.

9) What do you do to “prepare” for a game?

Besides the endless hours of tape (and my rejuvenating cucumber mask…thanks, Scott), loading on carbs (Atkins be damned!) and the pre-game shower, that’s about it.

10) If you had to be stranded on a remote island with only one other person for 10 years with no other contact with the outside world or other items, which:

a) teammate would you choose to be that one other person?

Probably Cody Brown or Dan Ryan. Cody ‘cause he doesn’t snore, and that’s a nice quality. Dan because he’s so tall, he could easily pick coconuts and distract the natives.

b) coach would you choose to be that one other person?

Probably Hank Hughes (D-Line Coach). Spend five minutes with the man and you’ll understand. Never had the opportunity? Pregame speeches that meander their way through “Atilla the Hun” to “Sasquatch” to Michael Vick and end somewhere between Ronnie Lott and the entire Steelers organization.

(and maybe a certain law school student named Colleen)

c) which person (anybody, no limitations) would you choose to be that one other person?

Survival expert Bear Grylls. That accent? Priceless.

You should devote most of your blog to hosting ideas for ideas of how New Jersey could better serve America.

…this wasn’t a question, but man, did I want to respond. Aside from nuclear device testing field, I’d say maybe seceding from the Union? Although this might drive hair gel, glowsticks, and IROC sales way down, it’s still probably for the best.

Syracuse this week, also we're gonna take a look around the Big East.