World Series, Pats-Colts & other stuff

World Series: Boston in 6. By the time the Rockies wake up from their 8 day slumber, they’ll be down 2-0. Saux clinch it in Fenway in Game 6 after winning one in Denver. Beckett will win two for Boston. Wally’s rooting interest: the Rockies. Any time the low-payroll, “come from nowhere team”, underdog can win, the game is better off. It gives all those other fans hope.

Patriots vs Colts on Nov 4: Colts win 24-21. Homefield advantage and Colts ball control on offense will frustrate Tom & Randy. Pats haven’t played a defense this good yet. Vinatieri turns the tables at the end. Winner goes to the Super Bowl. Wally’s rooting interest: the Colts. My aunts live in Indy, plus I’m practically a Hoosier, so what can I say? And … I’ve hated the Pats ever since Brady’s tuck rule shenanigans vs the Raiders sent them to that first Super Bowl.

Other stuff: Despite their pathetic performance on the field this year, Notre Dame’s performance off the field and on the recruiting trail has been … somehow … wonderful. As of today, ND has 21 verbal commitments from mostly 4 and 5 star players ready to sign the ol’ letter of intent in February. This class currently sits firmly at #1 in the country. The challenge for Weiss & Co will be to combat the expected negative recruiting from others and keep these players truly committed. To that end, two of the new blue-chippers surprisingly committed after the USC debacle. For the most part, these H.S. seniors must feel that the young talent on this team (current frosh and sophs were from Top 10 classes) is enough to turn this thing around in a year or two. For those not familiar, Ty Willingham really left the cupboard bare at ND … there are only 25 players in the junior and senior classes combined, and those classes were ranked about 40th give or take.

I’ve been chiding Weiss for not getting it done on game days this year. Although the schedule through 8 games was certainly one of the toughest in the country and the team is “young”, it still seems that a former NFL “offensive genius” should be able to get his troops to muster more than 150 yards and 8 points per game. To his credit, CW has admitted making tactical mistakes in the summer leading up to the opener and, in fact, is still learning on the job. But he and his staff have hung together and nobody is outworking them when it comes to recruiting. So … if CW can pick up a few tricks from his college peers while keeping all these blue-chippers engaged, 2009 and beyond could be banner years for the Irish.

On the eve of starting yet another NBA season, can anyone unseat the Spurs? My guess is, yes, given that the Spurs history has been to win it all, then lose hunger and focus for a season or two before claiming the title again. Of course, they better not lose it for too many seasons, cuz Tim Duncan isn’t getting any younger. Same can be said for Steve Nash of the Suns … it’s getting to be do-or-die for Phoenix. Will there be a younger team that finally emerges, like the Bulls? Or will it be a “chemistry experiment team”, like the Celtics? Or will it be the NBA’s perpetual underachievers … the Dallas Mavwrecks?

Enjoy the Series … hope it’s competitive.

Wally

Super Bowl Saturday

Okay … here’s the deal. If I’m in any way interested in the Notre Dame football program “being all it can be”, then this Saturday’s tilt vs long-time rival USC is my Super Bowl this season. We’re 1-6 right now, and of our 6 losses, none have been nail-biters. We shot ourselves in the foot (again!) against #3 Boston College last week in what could have been a winnable game. Aside from UCLA, we’ve fallen behind in every game by 2 or 3 TDs in the first half. All this nonsense needs to stop Saturday vs the Trojans!!!! And it should … here’s why:

1) if I’m an older player, I’m really tired of getting my nose rubbed in it at home games and by USC. This may be my last game against our best rival and I’d like to go out on top … I NEED TO WIN ONE OF THESE!!!

2) if I’m a younger player, this is a huge opportunity to show the coaches that you belong on the field for the “rest of your career” as this will be the last impression you leave them for 2 solid weeks. Next week, Oct 27, is an off-week, which by the way is at least 2 weeks overdue, but that’s another issue.

3) Next week is an off-week … so there’s no reason that every player and every coach should not leave it all out there this Saturday. Every player should be bustin’ his tail all week and twice as hard on Saturday. We expect to see INTENSITY FOR 60 MINS, particularly this week. If we don’t, this is a failure.

4) If I’m a ND coach, Charlie or otherwise, this is a huge opportunity to show everyone, including recruits and your AD, that you still know what you’re doing and there’s good reason to believe this team will be consistent Top 10 caliber by 2009. And everyone will be watching to see if you can motivate and focus your troops so they come out and compete right from the opening kick for a change.

5) And now, the fans and supporters We know all this (1-4 above), and so we expect a good game vs the Trojans. THERE’S NO REASON WE SHOULDN’T COMPETE FOR ALL 60 MINUTES ON SATURDAY, again for the reasons already stated. Plus, USC is coming in with their reputation a little tattered, they have tons of injuries and everyone has seen them struggle mightily the last two weeks against weak opponents, including a loss to Stanford at home.

As a fan, I do not want to see us fall behind 14-0 or 21-0 at halftime. It’s simply not acceptable anymore. This is the week it should change … our freshman are practically sophs now … this is, afterall, the 8th game of the season! I know we’re something like 17 point ‘dogs and, no, I don’t expect to win the game. BUT I DO EXPECT NOTRE DAME TO COMPETE FROM OPENING WHISTLE TO FINAL GUN on Saturday vs USC. We may lose, but it better be close at half, close after 3 qtrs, close at the end. We need to FIGHT FOR 60 MINUTES!!! Hey, we might even win if we do this. So … Charlie … we’ll be watching very closely this week … as will your AD and all those recruits who want to believe that you and your staff have the right stuff to turn ND around. Don’t screw it up … it is, afterall, SUPER BOWL SATURDAY!!!

Good luck Irish!

Do or Die for the BoSox

Well … the Saux have certainly been here before … facing a seemingly insurmountable deficit in the ALCS against a very capable opponent. Can they come back again … like they did to the Yankmees back in ’04? Or will they wilt and die as against the ChiSox in ’05? (Had to get that in there just to make myself feel good … pretty obvious I know).

What say you Saux fans? Wally says that Beckett pitches like … well … Beckett always seems to do in the playoffs and the Saux win a squeaker in Game 5. Then … things will get very interesting back in Boston as they usually do when the Saux get confident and smell blood in their home park. I think it goes 7.

Hey, we need some drama!!! We really haven’t had any since the Rockies beat the Padres in that one game playoff … which seems like a month ago.

Speaking of the Rockies … er … Rolling Stones as they’ve come to be known since being on the INCREDIBLE ROLL of winning 21 out of their last 22, what a story!!! Score one … no … score 2 points for them. One for being another low payroll team doing well, and a second point for doing it with essentially their own kids. I love that Tulowitzki kid … what a comlplete ballplayer!!! And ya gotta love the fact that steady eddy Todd Helton has a chance to win a ring. Problem is … I think the 8 day layoff will end up killing them and the AL rep will win the World Series. And that’s why I’m rooting for Cleveland … a city starved for a champ since 1948. I think the Rockies will be back and have another chance very soon.

Enjoy the games ….

Wally