Monday, September 15, 2008

Party's over.

I'm hungover today. No, I wasn't doing keg-stands or guzzling grain alcohol (college was a long, long time ago). I'm feeling the after-effects of throwing a party for baby's first birthday on Sunday. Our house was overrun by a swarm of infants and toddlers, not to mention a large portion of friends and family members. And Italians can eat!

Throwing a party as a single dude is easy. You stop at the package store. And that's that. Maybe, if those football bets panned out, you pick up a couple bags of chips. It's a tad different nowadays.

Basically, we spent the morning scrubbing and scouring the house (inside and out) and running around picking up last-minute essentials like balloons (made two trips, the first batch floated out over Long Island Sound and are currently steaming across the Atlantic after a mishap trying to tie them onto the deck. Be on the lookout, Portugal). Then you tend to the guests, explain the concept of sharing to crying toddlers who all want to play with the same game at the exact same time, eat a few scraps (if there's anything left) and spend the evening cleaning up. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled everyone was able to celebrate our son's big day with us. It's just an exhausting ordeal.

So this morning I hooked myself up to a coffee IV and listened in on the Big East conference call, which is about as exciting as cleaning wax out of your ears. Coaches don't like to give much up as it is. They are even more guarded on a national call. But here's a few tidbits that came out of the morning.
  • Donald Brown was the Big East offensive player of the week. No surprise. He's been the best running back in the country through three games.

  • UConn and Virginia are in talks to get another deal for more football in the future (probably not until at least 2014). It's a good matchup, though I'm still waiting for the UConn-Hawaii or UConn-UNLV series. Edsall also repeated the Huskies will play a Division I-AA opponent every season as long as the schedule is 12 games and it's allowed. But we knew that already.

  • Syracuse had Friday to celebrate a once-proud football tradition. There was a Hollywood-style premier of "The Express" (not to be confused with "The Pineapple Express") in the city. The movie is about the life of ex-Syracuse great Ernie Davis. Dennis Quaid and Rob Brown, stars of the film, were there as were school legends like Floyd Little, Art Monk and Jim Brown. A day later, it was back to reality and a grim reminder of a program that has fallen into the abyss of major college football. Penn State crushed the Orange, who fell to 7-31 since 2005 under coach Greg Robinson. A loss to Division I-AA Northeastern this weekend could very well mean G-Rob won't be extended the courtesy of finishing out the season.

  • Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza is likely done for the year. Brian Kelly says it'll be three weeks before his cast comes off, then several more before the bone is strong enough for him to play again.

  • Each coach on the call is asked to give an opening statement before reporters start asking questions. Most of these statements are brief: 20-30 seconds, tops. West Virginia coach Bill Stewart spoke for a good six minutes before anyone was able to ask him a specific question.

  • Aside from UConn and South Florida, the Big East has been awful so far. Aside from the aforementioned duo, the rest of the league is 1-9 against I-A opponents (and that one win is over Buffalo). Moreso, the league has been outscored 208-63 against BCS opponents. This week is a chance to get back on track. The conference has three games against the Big XII (UConn-Baylor, WVU-Colorado and Louisville-Kansas State) and one with the Big 10 (Pitt-Iowa). A clean sweep will go a long way toward restoring some respectability.
Catch you tomorrow. I have to scrub cake frosting off the ceiling.


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