Say it ain’t so, Joe!

by Ben Goldfarb on September 22, 2012

in Penn State Scandal

°The title hanging above isn’t some kind of veiled, sardonic allusion to the late. lamented Penn State head coach in some kind of comparison to Shoeless Joe Jackson, of Chicago Black Sox fame. Instead, it was the first thing that came to mind when I read the news that Amazon.com would be charging sales tax on purchases delivered to California, now and henceforth. Amazon.com currently already collects sales taxes on purchases in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Washington. Future plans call for the same to happen in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, and South Carolina.The days of untaxed Internet purchases are sadly drawing to a close. When the market leader pulls the trigger, you start hearing the smaller guys locking and loading, for surely they will follow.

This means we have to be looking much more carefully at the bottom line for our Amazon Prime purchases and subscriptions. It is too late to Californians to order a 55-gallon drum of coffee beans and a lifetime supply of toilet paper, and besides, it is no longer a safe assumption that you’re getting a rock-bottom price at Amazon.com, sales tax or not. The sales tax exacerbates any prices that are drifting upward to start.

What does this have to do with Penn State football? About as much as it has to do with Geocaching. But it was something that was getting on my nerves and I was destined to share it with you.

Oh, and one more semi-topical thing. Before we get to the game, let’s take a quick look at famous Temple University alumni. Yeah, yeah. The Cos’ is the first one to pop into everyone’s mind. But lots of others have worn the cherry and white. The one I chose was one of the most beautiful female creatures to have ever walked the face of this ugly old Earth, an actress, a Philadelphian, and eventually, a Princess of the tiny principality of Monaco for 26 years until her untimely death in 1982, Princess Grace, the former actress Grace Kelly. I wouldn’t mind dwelling on Grace for a while, but I’ll reluctantly restart my engine.

Grace Kelly with Frank Sinatra

Grace Kelly with Frank Sinatra in “High Society.”

So, let’s now move on to the subject at hand, the hands, of course, being clasped in prayer, for after all, it is Temple. So, you kids throw out your gum and shut up when the rabbi comes in. And pronounce all the words. Don’t fake the Hebrew!

What a demented lead-in! I should have just said that the Hooters would be coming. The well rested Temple Owls (1-1) are coming off a bye week, while Penn State (1-2) beat up on Old Navy last week, as you know. The hope on offense has to be that the improvements in the passing game will continue. which always happens when the ball sails toward Allen Robinson, while on the ground, there is at least some semblance of a game, given all the injuries to running backs. Depending on which version of Temple’s defense shows up, and whether Belton and Day are healthy, Penn State might or might not have their mettle tested. And if there weren’t no Tower of Babel, we would all be speaking Aramaic today.

I don’t think it matters at all whether it is Belton or Zordich carrying the ball for Penn State, as yards will be there to be gained. SHAME ON YOU, Temple for allowing 212 rushing yards to OMG Villanova! No, boys, take what’s there for you and rejoice.

Temple’s quarterback Chris Coyer makes a good show of it, being a competent runner along with a fair-ta-middlin passer. Don’t be preparing to be all that impressed, but what should be impressive is how the Penn State defensive front seven approach the task of taking Coyer’s legs away. Penetration, such as we saw last week, is key, but this week there won’t be the trickiness of a triple option to deal with, causing our fast punchbuggies to overcommit in several cases as they did last week. However, tiny-ass Matt Brown, at 5’5″ is a dangerous running back with slipperilly elusive moves and “now you see him, no you don’t” speed. Worse yet, he can single-handedly beat special teams’ defenses with his return speed. This is a guy who will be a novelty in the NFL, but possibly one who makes a trip or two to Hawaii.

Against the pass, Temple pretty much sucks. Maryland, with one of the poorest passing attacks in the in the NCAA Boosters & Pell Grants subdivision was held to a mere 190 yards. This Turkey thinks that Monsieur McGloin should see some pretty wide open territory out there — lot of green, just like the Emerald Isle of days of yore for the McGloin family. Slainte!

Coyer isn’t a bad passer, but he ain’t no Aaron Rogers, either. That’s good, because the Penn State defensive secondary is still not up to snuff. I don’t think snuff is reachable from this low performance anti-pinnacle. Coyer is what one might dub a careful passer. You know, a guy who tries to stay away from trouble. But the good news is that Temple ranks 118th in the FBS division, just one notch higher than Maryland. This here Turkey thinks the PSU pass defense, such as it is, will be adequate to contain the lads from Philly.

But there’s another issue with that secondary and it’s mighty Brown, indeed. Should Mr. PeeWee Brown squeak his tiny ass through the front seven into the secondary, the afterburners kick in, and to invoke Howard Cosell’s famous, supposedly racist faux pas, “LOOK AT THAT LITTLE MONKEY RUN!!” I believe we’ll be seeing Mr. Brown break a couple of long runs, at least one for a touchdown. And there won’t be a damn thing the Penn State secondary can do about it. Furthermore, forget about corner or safety blitzes, Lions! Stick with the linebackers. Someone’s got to watch Brown. But there are depth issues for Brown, who will have to be breathing hard out there without his backup Montel Harris to spell him once in a while. So, between our punishing front seven and a few good break-away runs to exhaust him, Pee Wee might just be done by the middle of the third quarter.

[Turning on reverb and speaking in stentorian tones...]

Whoooo SAID IT?

And now, here’s our Nittany Turkey trivia question of the week, which emanated out of last week’s drunken Navy vs. PSU confab at Mike’s Garage, whence I pontificated the following relevant football quote with erroneous attribution:

“Three things can happen when you pass and two of ‘em are bad.”

There ain’t no AFLAC ducks around Mike’s Garage. This foul fowl was the only representation for the feathered puzzlemeister subgenus. However, the Turkey spoketh wrong, attributing the above pearl of wisdom to Buddy Ryan,  the guess of whom, based on the jeers I received from the peanut gallery, was way the hell off the mark. They started giving me crap about it being Vince Lombardi, but I knew that was wrong. We know that Brent Musberger has spoken the quote about a million times, but I don’t remember ever hearing the name of the football philosopher who intoned it. That’s probably because I can listen to Brent’s superlative spewing only so long before becoming catatonic. I’ll give you a hint. This person’s quotable quote spewing was so prolific that he has his own web page full of mostly his quotes. One more hint: Special K.

I’d let you sweat it out, possibly providing the answer with my game recap post, but that’s no fun because I would probably forget about it by the time I’m ready to write that post and you’d just go look it up in frustration. I don’t want to make you work that hard, but I want you to give it some thought. It’s the honor system here. Feel free to brag in the comments if you got it right without cheating.

Back to the game, already.

I saw a halfway decent performance by the Nittany Lions last week, and I expect to see more improvements now. There are lots of good things going for the Lions. It’s not a noon start. They’re getting more comfortable with the new playbook, and it shows. However, on this first day of fall, the weather is potentially sucky, partly cloudy with a high of 71°F (22°C) and a good chance of thunderstorms. (In Danville, that would be partly cloddy, but I digress.)

The one thing I haven’t mentioned as yet is the elephant in the room during close games, and that would be the kicking game. ‘Nuff said. I don’t want to talk about it. BSD had an Onion rip-off sort of parody about Penn State signing a new kicker and it turned out to be a mule. Ha-ha. Let us not make so fucking much fucking fun of fucking ficken — fuckin-A! It’s a damn tragedy.

What I’m hoping for here is a clean game. None of these stupid Paterno/McQueary/Jay/Galen delay penalties, please. No gratuitous dropped passes by guys at so-called skill positions. If they are skilled, they better show it. The big defensive keys in my mind are: 1) Don’t let Brown get into the seondary, 2) keep pressure on Coyer, and 3) force turnovers. Big deal. You don’t have to be a genius to come up with those three. It’s like saying that the keys to staying out of the hospital for that idiot at the Bronx Zoo monorail were to 1) not jump into the tiger enclosure, 2) not piss the tiger off, and 3) not be made of meat. I’ll give you a movie title to run up the flagpole: “Crouching Tiger; Falling Asshole.”

Now that I’m on my hypomania schedule, a direct benefit of getting off Effexor, I’m wrapping this up at 6:15 AM. No, I haven’t been to bed yet. Too much interesting shit going on at night like that whole garage out there, waiting to be organized for the fourth time this week, and like delving into the latest Sandusky issues. That one is serious, although just how credible it is will come out in the wash. I’ll just give you this heads-up and will see what additional information I can get later. I don’t know much about Bucceroni, other than he has generated a lot of Twitterants since the Sandusky matter broke, and lots of conspiracy theorists are hoping that he is credible, as it would satisfy their dreams of implicating some people in high Pennsylvania places, and I don’t mean Mount Nittany.

Now, it is time, my friends. Time for you to prick up your ears and listen to the sound of one turkey toenail typing; yes, it is time for the Official Turkey Poop Prediction for Temple vs. Penn State. The bettors and bettettes in Las Vegas seem to want to favor Penn State at home by a touchdown, and they’ve established an over/under of 43. Through the wonder of modern non-linear differential equations and complex variables, this suggests an outcome of damn near 25-18. Here’s the thing. I believe that the Penn State defense will contain Matt Brown during the first half, but they will convince themselves—as they always seem to do of late—that they can let up in the second half. Big mistake if my reckoning of what Brown can do for the Hooters  is accurate. I think he scores two TDs in the second half, after PSU grows comfortable sitting on a 20-3 halftime lead. Three touchdowns and a missed extra point in the first half, comfort zone, uh oh, what’s that fifth grader doing on the field. Hey, what’s that fire under my ass?!?! In a why can’t they play four quarters special, Penn State once again does not cover the spread, winning it 26-20 on a late, tie-breaking score by virtue of a McGloin bootleg as the clock runs out and the F-word misses another PAT. Take the over.

******

 Our quotable quotester of the day is the ever loquatious Darrel K Royal, who made the utterance at halftime of the 1964 Cotton Bowl.  Royal coached the Texas Longhorns for 20 glorious years from 1957 to 1976. Penn State fans who were around during that time won’t soon forget the Cotton Bowls of the 1969-1972 period, or President Richard Nixon presenting Royal with a plaque proclaiming Texas #1. Penn State whipped their longhorned asses 30-6 in the 1972 instance of the game.

 

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