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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?