Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday notes: thank you, Mr. Starbucks coffee server guy.

My traditional trip to the local Starbucks in Woodbridge before the long drive to Storrs each Tuesday completely turned around what was shaping up to be a miserable day. Reading my email this morning, I got one of those "Is this guy for real?" emails in which you keep looking for a hint that the author is kidding, but it never comes. You know what I mean. One of those emails that slowly gets you more and more annoyed thinking about it as the day progresses until you want to put your head through your own windshield.

I got to Starbucks, and the situation only got worse. I was next in line, but waited well over 5 minutes because the only two clerks (I'll never call them baristas) taking walk-in orders were both inexplicably working to get the order of the guy in front of me...some sort of half-caffe, non-fat, extra hot carmel macchiato and one of those breakfast sandwiches that are delicious, but which I never order out of respect to the rest of the line because they take forever to prepare. The guy working the drive-thru could see I was silently stewing, because he took time to ask if anyone in line (there were at least five behind me) just wanted coffee. I raised my hand, he poured the coffee, declined my money and said. "Don't worry about it. I could sense you were trying hard to be patient." Made my day. Of course, Starbucks would probably take it out of his pay check if it ever found out, but very, very cool. Thanks again.

In a much better mood, here are some notes from the Tuesday press conference and luncheon (prime rib and gravy, mmmmmm).

  • Andre Dixon is still the starting tailback, but with Donald Brown back in the equation expect to see him in more. Edsall said the hot hand will get the bulk of the carries at tailback.

  • With Lou Allen out of the picture for the time being, Edsall hasn't decided who the third string tailback will be. Or, he's not ready to make any announcement. The most likely choice would be true freshman Robbie Frey, but it would take a disaster for Edsall to choose to burn his redshirt season at this point.

  • This is a long, rambling quote. But I transcribed (most of) it, so humor me and read it. If you want. Edsall, asked if he's disappointed in having to suspend Allen: "Yeah. Just like you would be as a parent when you have to discipline your own child is disappointing. Those are things you have to do. I think the thing everyone knows is we will be firm, we will be fair and we will be honest. Sometimes young adults, which these young men are, sometimes make some bad choices. The thing is, the kids, for most part, who make bad choices really understand it and get it and are very remorseful of the decision they made and they understand that we have things in place here to help them. In the long run it might make them better. As a coach, there has to be guidelines. There has to be a protocol in line for when things do happen, you have to take action regardless of who it is or what may have happened so you can maintain the discipline and culture to be successful. I think if kids do things inappropriately and they aren't disciplined for those actions, how will they ever know and learn what they did was wrong? There are 100 young men in the program, and you hope that everyone makes right decisions. ... We tell them time and time again they are in the spotlight and they have to make the right decisions all the time. If they don't, they are going to be exposed and everyone finds out about it. ... I don't think you're ever going to go through a year when you don't have anything. ... I love Lou Allen, I'll see him everyday. He understands he was wrong and understands why the decision was made, and he'll move forward."

  • Allen was spotted entering the Shenkman Center with what appeared to be a box containing leftovers. That's about as close to Woodward & Bernstein as I'm going with this. Lou seems to be a good guy, and has made some important contributions over the last three years (including saving the South Florida game two years ago), but he's had two carries in the last month, and none in three games. Maybe I just regret wasting 15 minutes transcribing that last quote. I think that's it.

  • Tyvon Branch was a track star in high school, winning the New York state 100 and 200 meters as a senior, with a winning time of 10.6 in the 100. He says the first time he ran a 100 since high school was during intramurals at UConn last spring. He clocked a 10.4. With no starting blocks. That's like not having picked up a baseball bat in four years, stepping into the box for fun and homering over the center field wall against Mariano Rivera.

  • Not really a shocking statement, but Edsall said this season's defense is faster and more athletic than the 2004 Motor City Bowl championship teams.

  • Edsall was asked how he got into coaching, and he talked about his athletic background. He said his love for football ranked third behind baseball and basketball (he was all-state in all three), but jumped at football because Syracuse was the first to offer him a scholarship. He nearly gave up football after his sophomore season to play for the golf team (a fall sport in Pennsylvania), yet stuck to the gridiron. Edsall also played outfield, which prompted the always subtle Wayne Norman to half-jokingly ask if he was a good field, no hit ballplayer. It took about a nanosecond for Edsall to shoot back "Oh, I could hit. I could field, too." Me too, coach. No, seriously.

  • Rob Lunn mentioned a few interesting tidbits. a). Edsall dressed as Don King for Halloween last year. 2). The team watched the movie "300" before the Pitt game (which gets 5 stars from the Runway blog...you need to see it) and adopted the saying "You either come back with your shield or on it," from the film. And d). Lunn has either been reading a lot of John Bartlett's "Familiar Quotations", or he really takes Edsall's speeches to heart. Lunn breaks out a lot of inspirational quotes in interviews, most coming (or recycled from) Edsall. "I'm slowly turning into him," Lunn said, referring to Edsall. "That's a scary thought."

  • It's got to be tough for the Huskies to ignore what's going on around them in the Big East. Should West Virginia stumble against Louisville Thursday night, the Huskies could take a gargantuan step towards clinching the Big East even before the Nov. 24 finale in Morgantown. But it seems the blinders are working. Asked if he'd be watching the big ESPN game on Thursday, quarterback Tyler Lorenzen said, in complete sincerity, "I guess so. I didn't even know they were playing."

  • Here's a sampling of alumnae from the University of Cincinnati...former U.S. President William Howard Taft; Cleveland Abbe, founder of the U.S. National Weather Service; Charles Dawes, former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peach Prize winner (he also won a Nobel Peace Prize); Albert Sabin, developer of polio vaccine. Not to mention sports greats Sandy Koufax, Oscar Robertson and Miller Huggins. Quite impressive. A little more distinctive than those listed in South Florida's media guide (which includes Gallagher, Kelly Ripa's husband, some chick from MTV's The Real World).

  • It's not all perfect on Cincinnati's campus. The baseball team plays in Marge Schott Stadium. How is there not a nightly protest about that?

  • EDIT: After reading the blog, UConn sports publicity man Leigh Torbin is now making an angry call to the Cincinnati sports information department demanding to know why Kevin Youkilis isn't listed in the media guide under noted athletes. Maybe it's Yook's lumberjack-wannabe beard. Or the way he humiliated himself, his family and the university by doing the tango with Jon Paplebon after every big Boston win. I hear the two of them will be on next's seasons "Dancing With the Stars" as the show's first male-male dance team. Stupid Red Sox.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stupid World Champion Red Sox.

November 07, 2007 8:21 AM 
Anonymous junglehusky said...

Mmmmmm.... Nobel Peach Prize. Juicy!

November 07, 2007 2:16 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Hey, your resume isn't worth jack until you've won a Nobel Peach Prize!

November 07, 2007 2:23 PM 
Anonymous JDE said...

Great stuff Chip, I look forward to it every week!!!

November 07, 2007 8:55 PM 

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