Wednesday, March 24, 2004

St. Patrick's Day at ND - The Week in Review

by Dave Schmitt - KankaNation Special Guest Columnist

For Kanka’s sake (and anyone else who missed portions of the St. Patty’s Day Bengal Bouts Extravaganza), here is a special Trip in Review (I keep forgetting – and by forgetting I mean I’m too lazy - to keep a running diary of these things). I will include the amount of beer drank and the number of people Ellen saw that she truly loves. Anyway….

My dad, sister, Ellen, and I arrived in the Bend a little after 1 on Wednesday. No beer yet. While my dad got the rental car, I called Cronk to arrange lunch. After hanging up, I told Ellen that Jon Byrer would be coming as well. “I love him,” she says. Headed to C.J.’s, met Cronk and Byrer, discussed wedding, band, burgers. Drank decent amount of green beer. Halfway through lunch, I heard “OOOOOHHHHH!!!” as Ellen jumped off her chair and ran to the door. Yes, the Crazy Alaskan whom Ellen loves was in the house.

After C.J.’s, we went to campus, as my brother said we needed to get there right away to see him before he took a pre-fight nap. Leaving Stanford, we ran into Nick & Jessica (oops, I mean Mike and Meg). Mike, Meg, Klondike, Ellen and I then chilled at the Huddle for a bit. Subway was eaten by the newlyweds. Jeff Goett popped by for a surprise visit. Ellen loves him. Mike, Meg, and Klondike then went to visit Meg’s grandmother. Something tells me she was granted some of the Klondikian wisdom, as are all family members who meet him for the first time. I called John Bradley, hoping to go drink in his room before the fights started. He was at College Park, drunk to the point of incomprehension. I promised to call him again at 7 to remind him to stumble over to the fight. Ellen and I then made the obligatory Grotto trip, and then ran into Little Friend Caitlin on North Quad. Ellen then called Molly (small manager, law school at ND, noted to Kanka the first time he’d ever seen her sober was working at Reckers) and she picked us up on her way home.

Everyone else who lives at Molly’s house is doing 5th year accounting, hence it is known as the Accounting House. This means Toby and Chad. Ellen reeeeeaaaaalllllly loves Chad. Chad, like usual, was being That Guy, working on his Page 3 site and wearing his Ivan Cartelo jersey in anticipation of the big Timmermans-Cartelo matchup that night. He also showed us the prototype of the Timmermans “1,000 nicknames” poster. It’s pretty sweet. Toby supplied me with a Guinness, and Ellen drank some bizarre concoction. Mike and Meg picked us up there, along with Klondike, around 7:15 to head over to the JACC. At the JACC, we saw my dad and sister, sitting ringside, and we set up a posse at the top corner of some bleachers. John Bradley showed up to lead the posse a little before 8, thankfully more sober than earlier. He pointed out that he’d have to bail right after the fight, because he can’t deal with my parents seeing him drunk. Ellen loves him.

Typically, Mike had headphones to get the score of the NIT game going on about 100 feet away. I’m pretty sure Meg ranted about this for a while. They introduced Michael “Soldier” Schmitt, and we went nuts. [ I’m really bored at work right now, by the way. ] Michael clearly took round 1, but the other kid got some good shots to probably take round 2. We were definitely the loudest group in the whole place. In round 3, the other kid hit him hard at first but lost his will after Michael started fighting back. He just ran for cover as Michael kept hitting him until the bell rang. Unanimous victory for the new 135-pound champion! Good stuff. He walked out of the ring and down the side aisle, and was assaulted by a huge posse. Very cool scene.

After hanging out for a little while longer at the fights, we went to Corby’s for more green beer. Yes, Kanka, the hot bartender is still there. Marcus Barlowe and Pete McCall were not, however. Kinda disappointing. A good time was had by all, and I even offered up a toast to our missing friend Kanka. Following Corby’s we went to the Architecture House for more revelry and drinking of Harp, Guiness, and Miller Lite (Ellen, from Danny’s stash). There, we saw many archies and assorted other people, including the John Doyle (who is quite a “playa” now, I might say) and Danny’s girlfriend Adrian (Ellen loves her). Klondike told some stories, and archie pothead Dixie told some rather unfortunate “dead baby” jokes. Meg’s contacts started buggin’ out a little after midnight, and since she was driving, a good decision was made to get on the road as soon as possible. The newlyweds exited, along with the Alaskan.

Thursday, I demanded lunch at South Dining Hall. I love the dining hall, and miss it dearly. No, I’m not joking. We ate with Little Friend Caitlin and my brother, and then headed for the airport. From there, it just gets ugly. Delayed flight, missed flight, later flight into LaGuardia instead of Newark. Dahhh. Of course, Ellen’s mom had baked goods in the car when they picked us up. And thus ends a very successful trip to ND.

The other night, I got the call I’ve been waiting for. A girl from ND called to see if I’d donate money. I kinda choked, and didn’t rant and rave like I promised myself I would, but it’s not like it was Bill Diedrick calling me personally. I told her I was not donating money to the University this year, since I am disappointed in the administration. If I see that progress is being made in replacing some officials who are attempting to turn ND into something it is not, I will donate next year. (I’m already in the football ticket lottery from last year’s donation, anyway.) My dream list of changes: Fr. Scully as President, and Fr. Bill Seetch as the Joyce to Scully’s Hesburgh. Am I crazy, or would this almost guarantee kegs back on campus, voluntary classes on St. Patty’s Day, “Talking Irish” as required reading in all first-year Theology courses, and Jon Gruden as our next coach?

March Madness has been ok this year. No memorable buzzer-beating moments yet, but still some good games. I now remember UAB as the team Dumber always used to play as on NCAA Football 2000 because he liked their green uniforms. Squeaky Johnson is a tremendous name, and he gives a hell of a post-game interview (on the radio). Highest of high comedy. GO IRISH BEAT DUCKS!

Thank you, Dave. Now I suppose I'll do some of my own writing. After all, it is my site and I haven't writting jack squat here recently...

Ramblings from the Last Week of Basketball

  • My buddy Matt is a Purdue alum, so it only makes sense that we'd watch the game together at one of the local dives. Unfortunately, this particular local dive tries to pass itself off as a legitimate eatery, so the place was crawling with parents getting smashed while their 8 year olds ran all over the place. Good, good.

  • Tom Timmermans guarding Ivan Kartelo. How did this not end up in fight?

  • I should've kept a running diary on this one. It wasn't even a minute into the game when Matt made the first Gene Keady combover joke.

  • Following the ND-Purdue game on ESPN, they showed the 2003 McDonald's high school dunk/3 point/"hot shot" competition, "live" from the old gym at Cleveland State (Cleveland isn't a state). Highlights: LeBron mailing it in and still finishing second in the dunk contest, Charlie Villanueva listing his college of choice as Illinois (LeBron was listed as "undecided", a girl who's a freshman at Duke barely missing two dunks in the dunk competition only because her hands were too small. Oh yeah, the judges for the dunk competition? DuJuan Wagner, Carlos Boozer, Darius Miles, Michael Vick (wait a minute, he doesn't play for the Cavs), Cav great Larry Nance (won the '86 dunk competition by dunking one ball with each hand), DeSagana Diop (I was disappointed that his dunk reactions weren't quite Dikembe-esque), a token Cleveland Rocker, and two AAU-type scouts. Very entertaining.
  • My routine for the ND women's basketball games: keep ESPN on mute while I listen to the opponent's Internet radio and check the NCAASports gametracker. Why the opponent's radio station? Because they're often free, while's are pay.

  • Lindsey Whalen of Minnesota (who enjoys watching Old School and playing Madden) has officially replaced Iowa alum Cara Consuegra as my favorite non-ND women's basketball player.

  • Monday night would've been great for a running diary - sitting in the living room watching the first Indians spring training broadcast of the year while listening to the ND men on ESPN950 Internet radio. The only problem? I spent the entire game just trying to get the radio to come in. It seems that when someone posts the link on NDNation, the server gets a little busy. Good good.

  • I can only win two more games for the rest of the tournament, both Pitt games. Yeah, there goes second place.

  • Note to self: if you're not sure if a team will make it out of the first round, don't make them an Elite 8 team. Seton Hall escaped the first round, but there was no way of knowing they were going to beat Arizona in the first round.

  • Our office pool (not that we have one, they're illegal) involves 32 people having a 1-8 seed and a 9-16 seed picked for them. If one of your teams makes the Final Four or later, you win (but not money, that's illegal). I overheard this the other day: "When I first saw my one team, I thought it was a typo." "What is it?" "Um... Murray Street." "You mean Murray STATE." (Of course, Murray isn't a state.)

  • My favorite part of ESPN's women's NCAA coverage on Tuesday: Four games, two channels. ESPN would have either Penn State/VPI or ND/MTSU. ESPN2 would have the Duke game or another. ESPN showed solely Penn State/VPI. When ESPN went to updates, they only showed updates of the Duke game, while the whole country could see the entire Duke game on ESPN2. Brilliant! Only, not brilliant.

  • Next up for the women: vs. #1 Penn State at Hartford, CT. Next up for the men: home(?) vs. Oregon March 25.

  • Well, I probably had more ramblings, but I probably should start writing them down.

Transaction Wire

Raiders sign Warren Sapp. I don't think I could have put up with listening to Sapp two more times a year before Browns-Bengals games.
Packers un-retire Eric Crouch as a DB. He finally realized the whole "throwing the ball" thing wasn't working out.
Seahawks sign Bobby Taylor. Just keeping you up to date with the ND alumni.
Spurs signed Matt Carroll to a 10 day contract on March 8. Right now, he's on the Spurs' "injured list," which has basically become a combination of a AAA team and a practice squad. Carroll had been playing in the NBDL. His only action this season is 13 points in 13 games for Portland.
ND football pulls a reverse Urban Meyer and names Steven Wilks its DB coach. Info on Wilks, who was Bowling Green's DB coach (Bowling Green is not a state), can be found here.

Remember, the draft ends tomorrow, then check your email for roster signing information. Coming up for Kanka's Sports Page: a new message board, an essay on Greatness, and an in-depth look at ND football seniors and the NFL draft.