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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.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Hi, I'm Joe Paterno, and I'm a PC

Here's the writing sample the FWG did for NESN. Acronyms aside, Looks like even the FWG can be wrong:


(3) The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). There are only two things in life that are guaranteed: taxes and JoePa's contract extension. Don't let the report of "Arrested Nittany Lions" scare you. The man who "is Penn State," according to Pennsylvania native Steve Brouse, has more job security than God. The Nittany Lions have been on a steady roll since 2005 (after having fallen short of bowl eligibility in 2003 and 2004). Safe to say that Butkus Award winner Paul Posluszny restored "linebacker U" to the prestige of teams past. 2008 is apparently the new 1994. This year's team (at mid-season) is looking to duplicate its most recent (undefeated) National Championship squad. Has there been controversy this year? Absolutely, but what's a
few felonies between friends? Nothing in State College, Pennsylvania, apparently, but I am glad that coaches are not flinching in the face of national media scrutiny. Too often do we see these situations mishandled (cough, Al Groh, cough), and I am glad the coaching staff, administration, and players were able to evaluate the situation before uniformly dismissing the "accused." Having taken an unofficial recruiting trip to Penn State I can say two things: 1) JoePa's office is more sports museum than functional space. While he does have a personal computer (Hi, I'm Joe Paterno, and I'm a PC), it's large enough to hold the original computer. 2) Recruiting the top talent in Pennsylvania is paying off. Just look at last week's 47-17 dismantling of Michigan (Oh, Rich-Rod, country roads, take you home...). Homegrown Jordan Norwood is lighting up the stat board this season (405 yds, 5TDs). Kudos to JoePa in playing freshman and spicing up the offense (the wing T was sooo 1976). At the halfway mark of this National Championship marathon, Penn State looks to be a lock to finish in the Top 5 and is eyeing that #1 ranking every week. This coming week they face Jim Tressel (and Jim Tressel's sweater vest...all power is derived from the vest) at Ohio State. So best wishes to the Nittany Lions (unless they ever play UConn).

(5) The University of Florida Gators. Urban Meyer: thanks to you, I no longer believe that Florida is where people go to die (miss you, Grandma...). Besides Gator Farms and Gatorade, the actual "Gators" are perennial Top 25-ers. This year is no different, and the University of Florida is looking more like the NFL's version of the
NBADL, thanks to Tim Tebow (I hear his tears cure AIDS). With targets like Aaron Hernandez, Riley Cooper, and Deonte Thompson (yes, Deonte), the offense is simply electric (boogy-woogie-woogie). Through superior coaching (oh, and a Heisman Trophy winner) the land of heat stroke is more like a swampy piece of heaven midway through the season. Can the gators finish out a tough SEC schedule? We'll see. Make sure this Saturday afternoon includes checking out the score of the Florida-Kentucky game. (My prediction for this fight? Pain.) One slip up by Texas or Penn State, and the national title may lay its weary head to rest in Gainesville, once again.

(1)University of Colt McCoy, ahem, Texas. Mack Brown. Sounds like he should be singing on Soul Train, not coaching University of Texas football. Colt McCoy? Named Colt, you were destined for only one thing: to be the starting QB for the Longhorns. While McCoy does slightly resemble a Furby,
…his numbers are anything but a passing fad (pun intended). He went 29 for 32, for 337 yards and two touchdowns, oh...and he legged in two as well. I don't want to say that Colt might be half man/half God, but when the blood tests come back, I will say I told you so. As for Mack Brown? I can see him being the Clark Kent of college football, winning games as an unassuming coach by day, saving orphaned children by night. Not to mention an offensive line with such depth and talent that they can rotate their starters with no drop-off (shout out to the Big-Uglies up front). The Longhorns are poised to make their stay at #1 a lengthy one. Though the rest of their schedule features Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Texas Tech, I wouldn't worry. Having already tackled defying gravity and mortality, Mack and McCoy should dismantle these teams with relative ease.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Judge, The NCAA, Obama (one of these things is not like the others)

Ahh, just behind the curve of the national media, the FWG decides to comment on the election results. (Do you like how I now narrate my own entrances?)

So Obama wins (Obama wins, Ooooobama wins!--Yankees fans take heed), McCain loses, and the world waits to see what happens next. Personally, I think this is a monumental moment for our society and proof that the American dream is alive and thriving (as if a Starbucks on every corner left any doubt). Yes, I voted for McCain (as previously noted), but a vote for McCain is certainly not the same as a vote for Buchanan was in the early 90's. He simply wasn't just the "Republican" choice to make a stand for "Republicans." I think that either McCain or Obama could have done (and now will do) a good job leading our nation. But while this was the election on the minds and hearts (and stomachs...FWG) of the American electorate, another election weighed heavily on MY mind (no, not whether Warren Sapp can pull it off).

Tuesday also marked the race for the New York State Supreme court, which my Dad, "The Judge" was running for. Unfortunately, the big guy came up a bit short, losing the election to two other candidates (who are qualified to perform their new duties, no doubt). I have to say that while he is my Dad, he's also a supremely competent jurist. The real people who lost in this race are the citizens of the eight counties that my old man served. They have lost a hardworking, ethical, and deeply motivated (not to mention cute) man. My high school Spanish teacher once referred to him as a "silver fox," but that’s neither here nor there.
Excuse me if I wax sentimental for a moment, but my Dad gave up a life in the private sector making mucho dinero to serve his community as well as his family. Working for the state afforded him the opportunity to come to my football (and hockey, and lacrosse) games (which he never once missed). My dad is truly a man with his priorities in line. I wish that voters had made a better choice, but this election was truly an uninformed voters’ forum. People turned out in record numbers voting straight Democratic tickets, ignoring the fact that Judge Lunn was endorsed by every association (Teachers, African-American Bar, Police Union to name a few). I feel bad because for the first time in my life, I'm the one doling out the advice about "God's plan" and the "24 hour rule" (celebrating/mourning a victory/loss for no more than 24 hours then moving on). Perhaps the Judge lost due to his poor fiscal/economic policy ($2/week allowance for 8 years? This isn't Reaganomics; adjust accordingly, please). So what’s in store next for the Judge? I suggested he take up base jumping or parasailing (maybe even knitting) but I'm thinking he'll go back into private practice (or maybe Dancing with the Stars needs an alternate?). How many people from upstate New York read this? Probably not many (until 'Cuse week). But for what it’s worth I want everyone to know what an amazing Judge (and father) he was (and is). So now that I'm all fired up, time to talk about the NCAA.

So, the fine folks in our compliance office (it takes a special person to do that kind of work…) contacted me letting me know about a few NCAA violations on the blog (no, poor comedic timing isn't one of them). Remember the West Virginia post? I made reference to Pat White, punning (is punning a word?), punning the "How many UConn football players does it take to catch him? The world may never know"-- an obvious play off that old Tootsie-Pop commercial ("How many licks...the world may never know."). According to the NCAA this is an "implied endorsement" of a product/or service (see below):
12.5.3 Media Activities.
(a) During the Playing Season. During the playing season, a student-athlete may appear on radio and television programs (e.g., coaches' shows) or engage in writing projects when the student-athlete's appearance or participation is related in any way to athletics ability or prestige, provided the student-athlete does not receive any remuneration for the appearance or participation in the activity. The student-athlete shall not make any endorsement, expressed or implied, of any commercial product or service. The student-athlete may, however, receive actual and necessary expenses directly related to the appearance or participation in the activity. A student-athlete participating in media activities during the playing season may not miss class, except for class time missed in conjunction with away-from-home competition or to participate in a conference-sponsored media day. (Revised: 1/16/93, 1/14/97, 1/9/06, 4/27/06)

Really? And my bald head is an endorsement of Rogaine and Hair-Club for Men. Where do these rules come from? (There has to be a Monty Python skit on this somewhere.) And I don’t blame our compliance office one bit; they are looking out for my best interest. But when does common sense come into play? So I decided to consult my legal team (thanks, Dad) and they concurred that "implied" is in the eye of the beholder. I guess I can’t endorse pork products either? (cue music...) But you can't hold a whole blog responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted bloggers. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole blog system? And if the whole Blog system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, NCAA -- isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

NCAA/Animal House comparison; my life is complete. Time for some...

My sister submits this one. I'm informing Homeland Security.

Okay, so don’t judge me, but don't you think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kind of looks like an Iranian McDreamy?

As old and mature (yeah right) as I get, grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup will be one of the best things ever. Way better when served by a mustachioed, hairnet-wearing, woman with mole creasing her upper lip (oh, high school), but delicious all the same.

Keep the questions coming...I've received some GREAT ones so far; more are welcome.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Post Coming!

I have a lot to catch you up on; expect a post to be up by later today.
I need to break down the election results (Recount!...kidding).
Also "The Judge" did not fare so well, so I want to touch on that.
We will talk about the NCAA and how I need to edit all my posts because I can't be endorsing products on this blog (sorry Rogaine, it's a no-go).

BUT, before the weekend comes, I want to open it up again to...


Again, I'll take the Top 10 questions and answer them for you on this blog. It can be anything from my thoughts on college football (or any sport), to cooking, even what color underwear I'm wearing (trick question-- none).


Back Later,

I'd like to issue an apology to anyone who was offended by the Goodfella's clip. I guess it was a little racy. Please excuse my poor judgment (I was blinded by the light).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Remember What I Said About Marginal Good Looks...

Find the Halloween post to understand this one:

A short recap, Halloween party, costumed college kids, dim light source = best possible situation for a bigger guy (read FWG), to find a female of his liking. Like the majesty (and rarity) of a Solar eclipse (minus the retina searing UV Rays!) the fates have aligned to bestow a beautiful baby that might actually be interested in you.
I now offer up some empirical evidence:
(You're welcome, Scott)
(Thanks, Noonan)

Monday, November 3, 2008

FWG Gets Political

I normally like to stay away from discussing politics in public, except for the occasional Judge Lunn plug (c'mon, he's my father). There was an article in the Hartford Courant which has shown which way I will be voting. So my Dad's a Judge, I'm a Political Science major and it's a presidential election year. The FWG must weigh in (as goes FWG, so goes the nation).

I must say I wish there were someone running on the Meathead platform ("I promise Creatine, Protein, and Powerbars for all. No more refined sugars or processed foods!"). Alas there is not, so I'll be forced to vote for McCain-Palin. Not that I don't like Obama, but I simply think it comes down to foreign policy views and experience (Alaska is the new Russia, haven't ya heard??).

Mainly John McCain's service to America throughout his life (that and any Top Gun fan has to vote for him...hello...nickname = MAVERICK, he's got the need for speed).

I will say that I am SURE there are a lot of "undecided voters." Probably not a lot reading this blog. But if there are, read the article and take it for what it's worth (you know you can't trust bloggers...don't you?). But read, think, discuss. But most importantly...VOTE.

To the Undecided Voter

"If you’re an undecided voter in this presidential election the least you owe your country is to try to base your final choice on some substantive facts. No, I don’t have all the facts here … but I have enough of them to perhaps convince you that voting one particular way on November 4th might not be the most brilliant move you’ve ever made. . . . Never [in 10 elections] can I remember choices so stark and possible outcomes so perilous..." (read on HERE)


I am asking for some prayers to go out to Darius Butler. Darius (D-But) is a captain, friend, leader, and all around outstanding individual. He tore up his knee trying to get a W against WVU. I'll never understand why bad things happen to good people, but there is no one less-deserving of this injury than Darius. He will bounce back and be a superstar again, no doubt in my mind. Please send good thoughts and prayers to D-But.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

West Virginia...almost hell.

Alright, I'll stop with the West Virginia digs. But it's especially hard considering we lost and all the "fan mail" (I don't have fans, I have "followers"). So all the "follower mail" that had some incredibly inappropriate (and funny) West Virginia jokes. While I'd love to share with you how you can tell brothers and sisters are from West Virginia and the difference between a kindergartener and a resident of the great state of West Virginia, I simply won't. No I won't lower myself to that. I need to give them due credit.

But first, I need to issue a memo to all those offended by the Cincinnati (victory) post.
Dear Cincinnati fans,
Sorry I'm not sorry. It is time to learn how to laugh. At the very least, be happy that if nothing, you hurt my shoulder (sorry, "upper extremity") during the game. But alas, it didn't affect my typing (or sense of humor). And that one game shouldn't affect you either. Chin up kids, chin up.

Truly (and victoriously) yours,


West Virginia:
You know, if games were 30 minutes long, we'd have been all set. But there are four quarters, not two, and to beat a championship-caliber team you need to play a complete game. That's something we didn't do on Saturday. I said in an earlier post that Pat White makes every play a scoring opportunity. Well, 3rd and 24, they should have settled for a field goal. Instead, he scrambles and was harder to (here's an analogy for our friends south of the Mason-Dixon) catch than a greased pig (Squeal-Pigggyyyy!!!!). I mean seriously, how did he walk in for that touchdown from 30 yards out?

How many UConn Football players does it take to catch a Pat White? The world may never know.

I would love to bash West-V but the truth is they played a complete game and we didn't. They adjusted at the half, not schematically but mentally, and that's something that we didn't do. We failed to come out of the locker room with the same Rock-em-Sock-em mentality we had going into the game. We had them dead to rights and couldn't seal the deal. Noel Devine running and cutting so fast all we could see was the flash off his gold-grill and he was gone again (is he the Leprechaun of the gridiron?). Sneaky Irish lads aside, the speed, agility, and scoring threat is unparalleled and very real. Their offensive line was nasty, definitely no lack of mean-streak in them (or gentle-giant syndrome). But I will pay them a compliment (see Final Thoughts below).

I'd like to marginalize the importance of the WVU defense. But with all turnovers and field position they created for their offense I have to give due credit and say that they are probably the reason for the win (yes that, and Pat White's legs...and Devine's gold frontz). Scooter Berry (insert Scooter Berry joke here) is a real asset to their D, and along with mainstays such as Morty Ivy, I was impressed.

It's cold outside. Not bitter, wrap-yourself-up cold (this isn't Rochester, people), but cold enough for me to think, "Hey, maybe shorts and flip-flops were a bad idea" and "I really shouldn't be eating ice-cream in this weather should I?". It's also a bye week before Syracuse, so lots of blog posts this week. But now, it's that time again. (What time is it?) Time for some...


Halloween was a great success (see below):

We celebrated ours a week early and then lost power during our party. Complete blackout. Four hours without power and a house full of (oversized) college kids. The celebration continued. "But how??" you ask. It just confirmed my theory that people between the ages of 18 and 24 will find any excuse to dress up and party. Seriously, four hours by the light of cell phones? Truth be told, it was the perfect night for any marginally good looking gentleman to find a beautiful baby to bunk up with for the night (take note: the haze of glowing cell-phone and Halloween mischief are working in your favor, young men).

Halloween in Rochester (where I was born and raised) is snowed out with great regularity. How emotionally crippling for a child (this blog is proof). I was a ninja for like 8 years. Well beyond the age that it was acceptable for me to want to be a ninja. (You can't get your license and be a ninja in the same year. Lesson learned. Lesson learned.)

The WVU O-Line. I only played one play against them. (Upper extremity injury. Thanks, Cincy.) But I will say that being the hard noses that they are, they are a classy group of individuals at the end of the day. I enjoyed battling Mike Dent (center) all last year and we spoke briefly after the game. He said he missed me (I miss your musk), but he was glad not to see me out there, that it made his day a little easier. I don't know about that, but I appreciate the ego stroke, Mike.

Being injured makes you feel completely useless. Torn between trying to play and not being able to go 100%. You try to weigh the decision from what's best for your team and what's best for you. It's a terrible dichotomy. They say you don't know what you got until it's gone. Standing on the sidelines with the thrill of the gridiron happening in front of you is torture. I can't wait to get out there against 'Cuse.

I saw my girlfriend and her mother on the Jumbo-Tron. I wish I had a picture to link or embed. You can't fully appreciate it unless you saw it. What's that expression though? They say if you wanna know what your girlfriend will grow up to look like, see her mom. (Yeah, I'll be just fine.)