Students are counting down the days until graduation. I'm counting down the days until football season (113, by the way). We Will Always Have Tempe is counting the days since their Buckeyes lost a football game to Michigan. The count? 2000. That's right. Michigan last beat Herr Sweatervest in 2003. I had no idea the streak was that long. I guess that's because I don't get the Big Ten Network, and therefore miss out on the most legendary Big Ten matchups of the last half decade. What a pity. At any rate, WWAHT brought home to me that Tressel's dominance of Meeechigan these past 5 years has been exactly what you'd expect from him: neat, efficient, devoid of flash, sprinkled with a few mistakes, but ultimately as vividly real as any nightmare Wolverines fans are likely to experience.
Speaking of college football programs in a state of self-imposed ineptitude, you've probably heard by now that former Duke basketball player and 5 star quarterback recruit Greg Paulus is transferring to Syracuse to play quarterback (and attend graduate school. But mostly to play quarterback). No one seems to be giving Paulus much chance of contributing to the Orange football team.
And as much as I would like to be a contrarian (seriously, we celebrate that kind of thing around here) I cannot disagree with that prevailing opinion. Playing quarterback at the Division I level is not an easy thing. It's a fulltime commitment, A multiyear commitment. Paulus is going to have roughly three months to get into football shape, learn the Orange offense (an oxymoron?) and get used to having the crap knocked out of him 15-20 times a game. Heck, I'm betting that the first time Paulus gets leveled by a blitzing defensive end he'll look at the nearest official and ask "Where's the foul ?!?".
Speaking of defensive ends, one who I really believe has a shot at a big year in 2009 is Cornelius Washington. He's always had the quickness to be an effective edge rusher, but now he's put on enough weight to be an every down contributor if he stays healthy. But that's really the story with every one of our defensive ends isn't it?
And speaking of people who now get to prove themselves, here's one for the graduates among you. I'm pleased to present Drew Magary's graduation speech, 2009 edition. Like so much of Drew's work at Kissing Suzy Kolber and Deadspin, it's not safe for work. Or most other places, frankly. But you'll probably learn a lot more from him than you will from Kathie Lee Gifford or Larry King giving an actual graduation speech. Seriously, like any of you are going to spend your lives making cruise ship commercials anyway. Spoiler alert: he's absolutely right about the people at Sherwin-Williams. I don't know why they enjoy my pain so much.
Graduation is certain to bring up all sorts of conflicting emotions for you young whippersnappers. Much like this version of the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. Sung by the Oak Ridge Boys. Yes, those Oak Ridge Boys. Be sure to leave your graduation advice in the comments, along with your guess on which of the Oak Ridge Boys' facial hair is real on this album cover. I'm guessing all of 'em. But maybe I just overestimate the machismo of the Oak Ridge Boys.
Until later . . .