Thursday, August 30, 2007

Irish Set to Host Yellow Jackets in Season Opener | by Brian

(Brian may be popping in from time to time this season with his take on the upcoming game. His first dispatch follows. -ed.)

With the bitter taste from a two-game losing streak lingering lo these many months, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame enter the 2007 season set to fact the Yellow Jackets of the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) this Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. This offseason did not feature the likes of minor league baseball from Jeff Samardzija, nor fisticuffsmanship from Tom Zbikowski. Instead, the Irish have been all business as they have prepared for the matchup with GIT.


After much rigorous analysis, this reporter has uncovered the identity of the starting quarterback that head footbawl coach Charlie Weis will send out to face GIT Defensive Coordinator Jon Tenuta's stout defense. In determining who would replace fromer ND starter QB Browns (tip of the keyboard to Tecmo Super Bowl), one need only look at the nickname: every two-bit hack sports "journalist" displayed a rapier wit in referring to the former starter as "The Mighty Quinn", the classic song by Bob Dylan (and considerably less-classic cover by Manfred Mann). With that in mind, the new Notre Dame starter will be the player whose name immediately suggests the best song-based nickname. Here are the contenders:

Top Jimmy, he's the King
---Jimmy Clausen: Top Jimmy, by Van Halen, off of their legendary album 1984

---Evan Sharpley: Sharp Dressed Man, by ZedZed Top

---Demetrius Jones: Mr. Jones, by Counting Crows. (A tough break for Demetrius.)

Clearly, one name and one song rise above the rest. I hereby announce, in a WORLD EXCLUSIVE, that Notre Dame's starting quarterback will be Jimmy Clausen. And if you don't know that then you don't know jack Peace.

Of course, Clausen's tenure as starter could be short-lived, since the Headline Writer's Dream will be arriving on campus next year: Crist Almighty (alternate nickname: Great Dayne).

After helping to save the world
by closing up the Hellmouth,
Giles relaxed with a robust
cup of Taster's Choice
Overview of the GIT Players

The Yellow Jackets no longer feature all-world GIT receiver Calvin Johnson, nor former GIT quarterback Reggie Ball, who must have been pretty special because he was a four-year starter. Ball will be replaced by Taylor Bennett as the GIT quarterback. Also picking up some of the offensive slack will be returning GIT running back Tashard "Taster's" Choice.

The GIT defense can be summed up in one word: Wheeleriffic! GIT linebacker and All-American candidate Philip Wheeler returns to unleash his unique brand of athleticism and blatant cheapshottery.

A Chan For All Seasons

The straw that stirs the drink for the GIT program remains GIT head footbawl coach Chan Gailey. Many volumes have and will be written about this great man; here, we list just a few of his accolades and accomplishments:

--- He coached the aforementioned Calvin Johnson all the way to the number two pick in the NFL draft, and Reggie Ball all the way to Parts Unknown (hometown of such greats as The Ultimate Warrior).

--- He successfully negotiated the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years War.

--- He drove the Golden Spike, completing the Transcontinental Railroad.

--- He caused Jerry Jones's face to permanently freeze in this position:

--- He survived an assassin's bullet in Prague in 1973.

--- He led GIT to nine wins and a Gator Bowl berth in 2006.

ND/GIT Series History

There is a rich history to the Notre Dame/GIT rivalry. Here are a few highlights:

1975: The Jamie O'Hara Game. In a game which lives in infamy among GIT fans, a seemingly benign Irish victory turned into one of the most egregious displays of poor sportsmanship ever witnessed in American sport. Notre Dame halfback Jamie O'Hara, whose career was something of a disappointment, came off the bench to see some playing time late in the final home game of his senior year. With the Irish comfortably in front in the final minute, O'Hara, ignoring the called play, threw a halfback option pass for a touchdown, obtaining some ill-gained personal glory. He summed up his entire sorry career there in one play.

Jamie O'Hara, walkin' around like he thinks he owns the place

If you're reading
this, Elizabeth,
I'm single and frisky.
Since leaving Notre Dame, O'Hara has had a successful career as a motion picture actor. He can next be seen opposite Elizabeth Banks in a sexy Mrs. Claus costume in the holiday release Fred Claus.

1997: The Dawning of the Age of Awquarius. In 1997, the Bob Davie Era began, as the Irish defeated the Yellow Jackets in the rededication of Notre Dame Stadium. I don't recall what happened after that, but no doubt Davie went on to have a stellar career under the Dome, before retiring to become one of America's great footbawl commentators.

2006: QB Browns Effectively Eliminates Himself From Heisman's Trophy Contention. Last year, the two teams opened the season in a primetime game in Atlanta, with the aforementioned Bob Davie, presumably retired after a legendary coaching career, on color commentary. The game featured robust defensive efforts from both sides, with the Irish coming out on top by a score of 14-10. Although QB Browns had perhaps the best game of any quarterback all season against the GIT defense, the glitterati at ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPN on ABC declared his candidacy for Heisman's Trophy all but over.

Game Prediction from the Oracle

For an official prediction for Saturday's game, we turn to a man with his finger on the pulse, and his brain in the infinite vastness, of the college football universe, the Blind Oracle at Bristol, as he enters his trance-like state:

"Beware the coming scourge. From the South, a swarm invades---by air and ground, for theirs is the right Choice. Tenuta amazes and confounds, not with an accordion, but with his tricky schemes. Death and despair, a week-long darkness. Bottom line, the Irish lack the team speed to keep up with the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech beats Notre Dame 35-10."