Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Belly of the Beast Call-In Show

Week two of the “call-in” show, albeit a little late, but there. This means it’s lasted one week longer than I thought it would. On to our first caller…

Bodhi from Venice Beach, CA: What’s up with SC when they go to the Pacific Northwest? Is it the rainy climate? Clouds? The seemingly never-ending sea of white people? If they want the ultimate thrill, they’ve gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price.

Gray: I knew you survived that giant wave in Australia. But as for your question, the Trojans appear to be allergic to whatever’s in the air in the Pacific Northwest. They’ve now lost in that area of the country in 2009, 2008 (Oregon State), 2007 (Oregon) and 2006 (Oregon State), all of which were loses to inferior teams. They seem to have no problem plundering and pillaging the rest of the Pac-10, but fall to pieces when they go were the sun is behind the clouds 300 days of the year. I’m not sure why that happens, but I do have some ideas to fix this problem for next year.

1) Did you see the ESPN segment last week about all the USC players singing “Lean on Me” during a team meeting? Yes? Well scratch that feel good crap. Start singing something with inner angst and rage. I recommend something out of the Nirvana catalog. Perhaps something like “In Bloom” would set the mood right.

2) Since every day in Southern California is like 80 degrees and sunny, practice at night in the desert and have some of those “cool zone” machines used for hot weather spray a constant, cold mist over the field. This will give a more accurate feel for the weather one will experience there.

3) Throw cultural diversity out the window. Invite every white person in Los Angeles to practice. This will help simulate the thousands of all-white faces that will be staring at the team when they play up there next year.

Do that and your fortunes should improve. Next caller…

Dale from Omaha: How painful was Nebraska’s last minute collapse against Virginia Tech on Saturday?

Gray: Well, as an Ole Miss fan, I’ve been through more awful loses than I can remember. Eventually the pain dulls and everything runs together so you sort of lose track of all the misery. But as for your loss on Saturday, it was particularly brutal. You were in control for virtually most of the game and limited Virginia Tech’s hapless offense no almost nothing through the air. You also continued to show the country that despite what talking heads constantly say, Tyrod Taylor is an absolutely horrible quarterback.

And then you blew up. I didn’t really care who won the game, but as I watched Taylor scramble around on third down and not pursued by defensive linemen, I was reminded of Matt Jones’ performance in the seven overtime game (yes, SEVEN OVERTIMES) against Ole Miss. And like you, we lost. Bill Simmons has spent many words coming up with a levels of losing scale and I think this one might create its own level. And to make it even worse, if you had won, the country wouldn’t have to watch an average Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl this year. Thanks for nothing, jackasses.

Next caller…

Luther from Coral Gables, FL: Is the U back?

Gray: Is this Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew fame? I feel honored to be talking with someone who was once a blight on the Miami program for the admitted cash payments and favors for players, yet continues to be a visible presence in the program. Surely you’ve reformed by now and participate in no such activities because that’s the only explanation as to why you’d still be allowed around there right?

Luther: Answer the mother *$%&#@$ question, whitey.

Gray: Indeed I will, good sir. It’s hard to say. On one hand, they’ve handled the mediocre ACC teams that have come their way with an outstanding pass offense, which I never thought I’d be able to say about a Miami team again, and a defense that is suspect against the pass, but has performed well against the run. On the other hand, they’re one accurate Christian Ponder pass away from being 1-1 and unranked and as mentioned, not very good against the pass.

I’m interested in seeing Jacory Harris have to make some throws where he doesn’t have eight seconds to look over the defense before throwing. Credit his offensive line and the play calling for some of that, but I think some of that was the result of playing some bad defenses. Hopefully, Virginia Tech’s defense will show up and we’ll have a more definitive answer this weekend. If not, we’ll have to wait another week when Oklahoma comes to Miami. And if Miami continues this onslaught of offense against these two teams, I’ll admit the U is on their way back. Defensively, I think they’re too shaky right now to have them be all the way back.

One more caller…

Josh from Nashville, TN: If a Big 10 game were held in your backyard, would you watch?

Gray: My first answer would be no, absolutely not. I really have no desire to watch players with the speed of refrigerators, washers and dryers run around in such a big area. However, I am reminded of a Simpsons episode where they give away their old washer and dryer to Moe’s Tavern, and the drunks there race the two against each other. They looked like they were having fun yelling for the washer to win. So perhaps I might.

Until next week.

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