Posts Tagged ‘Special guest bloggers

16
Oct
09

A Maryland-Virginia football preview from celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain-Anthony-3College Park, Maryland.   The crown jewel of PG County may not be much to look at, but if you take the time to immerse yourself in its culture, you find it has a special life rhythm, a unique pre-revitalizational splendor all its own. 

So when my producers told me a visit to College Park was imminent, my response was simple, and immediate:  where do I sign.  When College Park comes calling, my friends, you have no choice but to accept the charges.

The deal was only sweetened for me when I was informed, as we all clambored into that late-model Mercedes SUV, that the weekend in question was, in fact, homecoming weekend

Homecoming weekend. It’s a time-honored tradition in this part of the world.  Friends and family come from far and wide to pay visits to a favorite son, niece, or buddy who, with any luck, is working toward his or her diploma, that ticket to the real world that comes rushing at you like a Pamplona silverback stoned on Vivarin and Fundador.  Revelers of all stripes eat and drink as if the world might end, and above all, they root.  Root root.  For the home team. Throw Midnight Madness in there, and you have the makings of a weekend for the record books, especially as they pertain to the local jail population.

Being from New York City, I admit to some uncertainty over the homecoming phenomenon.  Fortunately for me, College Park offers the perfect initiation.  The street food — hamburgers and hot dogs grilled in the open air, Thermonuclear hot wings, doughy Ratsie’s pizza — provides a veritable culinary rainbow for a humble, road-weary New York City traveler like myself.  After a bite to eat and a drink or five, we head to Lot 4.  And that’s where I see it for the first time.  A father and son, both members of the same fraternity, wearing matching Under Armour shirts just a touch too small, weaving arm-in-arm through the crowd, vomiting on shoes, calling everyone gay.  That’s when I finally understood.  Though I hadn’t known it when I’d first set out, this was what I had come to see.

Oh, and I have also come for a football game.  A football game between two teams bad enough that an ersatz rivalry was in order for the locals, and their football heroes, to give a crap. Maryland linebacker Alex Wujciak derided Virginia students as essentially a group of preppy snobs. Virginia coach Al Groh said that had he known about standout Terp receiver and Virginia native Torrey Smith, Smith would be playing for the Cavs right now.  I suppose there is, after all, some legitimacy to this rivalry. As Ralph Friedgen points out, these campuses are relatively close, and a lot of the players know one another.  Nevertheless, talk of this being some sort of blood feud rings as hollow to me as my road-weary footsteps on the lonely midnight pavement of New York City, where I grew up.

Even as the schools are close, so too are their teams. Virginia has rebounded from a winless start (which included, you’ll recall, a loss to William and Mary) to marshal a 2-3 record, nearly equalling Maryland’s illustrious 2-4.   Star Cavs running back Mikell Simpson is doubtful for the game, which could put the pressure on big fullback and alleged felon Rashawn Jackson.  Maryland, again, is in a similar boat. With their ground game gaining only 62 yards last week without Da’rel Scott, QB Chris Turner now may wish to seek out Torrey Smith, who is no doubt looking to show UVA what they missed.  The aerial attack may be the Terps’ best chance, but it will face a UVA defense ranked third in the ACC against the pass and led by reining ACC Defensive Back of the Week Ras-I Dowling.  You may remember that he picked off a pass in last year’s 31-0 Virginia romp over the Terps.

And there’s my segue. I’m from New York City, so I don’t know much about the state of Maryland. But in doing this show, I now know the state of Maryland football.  They want revenge for last year’s butt-kicking, but frankly speaking, the signs are not encouraging. The predicted bad weather could turn this into trench warfare — not a strong suit for the Terps. We’ll see if Davin Meggett and the linemen are up to the task. My belief is they are not. Field goals will soar through the rain-soaked air like the mortar shells thumped over the treetops of Bastogne. And in the end, the Cavaliers will prevail. And the revelry in College Park will take a turn for the worse. But you know something? That’s my kind of party.

Prediction: Virginia 19, Maryland 9

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09
Oct
09

A Maryland-Wake Forest preview from comedian Larry David

Directors Guild

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Hey there. How ya doin? What is this. A, uhhhh, like a blog? Bloggers? You bloggin it up? I like that. Pretty good. Pret-ty, pret-ty good.

Pre-tyyyyyyyyyy, PRE-TYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOD.

Where was I. Oh my God, did you just see that guy? I think he just drove off without paying for that gas. Wait…was that Steven Spielberg? I think it was!! OMG, I think Steven Spielberg just drove off without paying for his gas. Mr. Big Shot. Like he can’t afford it. I’m calling the cops. I’ll testify against that guy. There’s no way this will backfire on me.

So this weekend. Biiiiiig, big weekend. Got a lotta big plans. Big plans. Oh, you don’t think I have plans? I have plans, buddy boy. I’m going back to the old alma mater. How do you pronounce that anyway? Is it like MAH-ter, or is it like MAIT-er. Alma Mater. I think I felt her up once at summer camp. What’s my old alma mater? Why, the University of Maryland. You didn’t know that? Oh, yeah. Go Terps. I’m a big Terp. Love the Terps. Sports keeps you young. Virile. None of that Viagra for me. Just give me a good old smashmouth football game. Give me the old slobberknocker. That’s right.

So what do we got on tap for the Terps this weekend? Wake? Like in the morning? Oh, Wake Forest. I gotcha. They’re the, uhhhh, wolves, the den, no the Wolf Pack! Demon Deacons? Same difference. Let me just consult my notes here. Don’t think I don’t know Wake. Well, Wake’s pretty easy to scout. It begins and ends with quarterback Riley Skinner. He’s a senior and he holds a lot of records down there. He’s gonna test our secondary, that’s for sure. Hey, did I remember to give Anthony Wiseman the wrong directions? I hope so. Don’t tell anybody, but I rerouted him to the Jersey Shore.

Skinner’s the key, but Wake is looking to get the running game going this Saturday as well. Senior Kevin Harris is hurt, so Josh Adams and Brandon Pendergrass are gonna get the calls. Skinner will be involved even in this, because they’re gonna dink and dunk it a lot. So that’ll be exciting. Dink and dunk. It’s like the two guys you don’t want to end up talking to at the party. It just screams barnburner. Am I right?

But hey, I’m a Terp fan. I shouldn’t talk about running games. We’ve got Da’rel Scott out, and in his place is this nice Dim Sum of crap. I’m just kidding. I’m sure Davin Meggett and Gary Douglas and D.J. Adams are fine people. But with them and with Bruce Campbell definitely out, it’s a problem.

Defensively, I think Maryland is rounding into form. I’m just not sure that Cameron Chism is enough to stem the tide against this Wake aerial attack. They’re like F-22s. F-a millions. Maybe our line can hold up enough to let the linebackers make plays on the receivers. Wake’s just OK on the defensive side, I think. They’re 7th in the ACC in total defense. Feh. They’re like an overripe apple. They’re all mealy.

Basically, this is a fulcrum game for Maryland. They win, and the headline is “they’ve righted the ship.” They lose, and they’re cellar dwellars. Let the roller coaster ride continue. Maryland is 6-2 against Wake recently, but Skinner and the O is gonna be too much. They have at least one big strength. Maryland may be improving, but as of now, they have none.

Oh hey, Anthony! I can’t believe it, I gave you the wrong directions by accident! Don’t hit me, this is all a big misunderstanding. I need to get a ride out of here. Steven! Steven, is that you? Gimme a ride, no it wasn’t me that called the cops! Why are you talking crazy?!?! Steve! Baby! Anthony! crap.

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Prediction: Maryland 10, Wake Forest 21

02
Oct
09

A Maryland-Clemson preview by The Hot Seat

burningchairfe1-300x246

What up.  It’s The Hot Seat, fool.  You know, I’m a lot like life insurance, or Santa Claus.  People don’t really think about me until it’s time to think about me.  But when it’s time, it’s motherfraggin’ time. Nothing else will do. Know what I mean?

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.

No one’s learning that lesson any better than Ralph Friedgen.  Because I’m back in the CP, and I’m grabbin ALLLLLL the headlines. Ralph’s sitting on me for the first time in his career, and I am burning his a$$ like I was grilling a Chateaubriand.  From my perspective, better this year than last, I suppose.  You know. Because of the weight loss. But still…it ain’t pleasant for either of us.  But what other choice is there?  It’s program uncertainty this, and contract buyout that. Even The Bethany Beach Wave is piling on. And those beach people usually don’t get upset about anything. I should know. I vomited in a crib there once, and they didn’t even kick me out. They were just like, cool, have another margarita.

Okay, that last part never actually happened. I don’t get out much. I’m just a seat. Whatever, dude.

So back to the Fridge. What’s a fan base to do?  I’ll tell you what they do. They call me.  I’m like the Wolf.  I solve coaching problems.  I’m in my Acura, and BOOM, I was at Bentley’s in, like, 2.4 minutes.

And I’m cookin. I’m tellin you, man, I’m on overdrive. But it’s not working. Because Ralph’s contract ends after 2011. To get him out before then, it’s gonna cost $4.5 million. As we all know, the athletic department — hell, the university — just doesn’t have that kind of scratch. So basically, he’d have to quit. For him to leave that money on the table, I would have to get hotter than the blazes of Hell itself. Hotter than a Meagan Fox sandwich on Bar Refaeli with a side of Michele Trachtenberg. I don’t even know if that’s possible. Plus, it would just mean you’d get James Franklin that much earlier. Oh, you want to set him down on Yours Truly as well? Blow it up and start fresh? That’s another cool $1 million.

Man. I wouldn’t want to be you right now.

So now to the game. You know, honestly, I don’t know that much about football. I just show up, get the coach fired, and leave. I do my job, I get my glory, I go home. But from my perspective, both these teams are pretty mediocre. Clemson is ALWAYS mediocre. Dig up Bear Bryant to coach them and they’re STILL mediocre. To me, that’s just how Clemson rolls. But you know what? Maryland is worse than mediocre right now. They suck. They just plain suck. We could go through and be like matchups this, and “players to watch for” that, but what’s the point? That would imply that there are leverage points in this game…areas to be exploited. Until Maryland’s offense stops turning it over four times a game, and Maryland’s defense stops surrendering 72 points per game, isn’t it all just kind of a superfluous exercise? Not to get all political, but it’s like breaking down Iraq’s chances against the U.S. military. “Well, if the Republican Guard can just hole up in some key buildings, and the IUDs catch some Humvee tires…” No. That’s bull crap and you know it’s bull crap. It’s gonna be a butt-whoopin, period. Maryland is gonna get worked in every game until further notice. Or until Yours Truly — one way or another — rides out of College Park. Metaphorically, of course. I don’t really ride anywhere. Again. I’m just a seat.

Prediction: Maryland 13, Clemson 30

P.S., if you liked my guest post here, throw these guys a vote for Best Terps Blog in the Mobbie Awards. It takes two seconds, buddy. I know you can do it. Sheeeeeeeeit.

25
Sep
09

A Rutgers-Maryland preview from the late Michael Jackson

michael_jackson_031605Hello.  I’m Michael Jackson.  The entertainer?   I recently passed away very quietly after a long bout with vampirism and hospital-grade anesthesia.  What?  Is that weird?  I don’t think so.  I think dying is very sweet.  Very charming.  And now I’m back!  To spread a message of hope. And to handicap the Rutgers-Maryland game.

You didn’t know I was a football fan?  I love football; it makes you wish, and dream.  It provides a break from reality…sometimes I really needed that. Can’t you just picture me on a Saturday afternoon, lounging on my $750,000 rainbow-colored hippopotamus couch, a plate of corn dogs in one hand, ice cold glass of bat milk in the other?  That’s a good lunch for me.

For the Maryland-Rutgers game, lots of weird parallels. It’s like Maryland holds up their hand in the mirror, and there’s Rutgers, and they’re waving, but at the same time, and they’re perfectly aligned!  You know?  No?  Shamon over here and I’ll show you. First of all, both teams lost big in their openers–Rutgers lost to Cincinnati 47-15, and we all know about the Terps. Hee hee! But Rutgers is 2-1 now, while Maryland is 1-2. Both teams gamble with blitz-happy defenses, but the Rutgers defense locked down after its loss, surrendering just 22 points to Howard and FIU, while the Terps have surrendered approximately 822 points.   Both have a two-headed RB monster — Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks for Rutgers, Scott and Meggett for the Terps. Rutgers starts an unproven freshman at QB (although he might be injured), and Maryland starts an unproven senior (just kidding Chris — a-HEE HEE!).

Even their stadium situations are eerily similar in an Opposite Day kind of way (Yaaay! I LOVE, I mean, I HATE Opposite Day!). Maryland’s ticket problems in its newly expanded stadium are well documented, but meanwhile Rutgers is packing its newly expanded stadium.  It’s cra-zee!  Almost as crazy as that Bubbles thing. Want to know a secret?  There was no such thing as Bubbles. He wasn’t real!  It was just some chimpanzee that I was having intercourse with. Sexual intercourse.

Bottom line:  it’s a broken record for the Terps — and I should know about breaking records. If Maryland can get its O-line and running game working, they have a chance. If Torrey Smith can light up star CB Devon McCoury like a jheri curl on a Pepsi shoot, they have a chance. If Bruce Campbell returns at left tackle and can help slow down pass rush specialist Jonathan Freeny (Dwight’s second cousin), they have a chance.  If they can play mistake-free, they have a chance.

But as with Billie Jean’s paternity suit, there are many ifs. And I don’t see that Maryland’s home field advantage is as strong as in years past. I would rank it behind the home field advantage I enjoyed at Neverland, although I had wine and special locks and Ferris wheels and wishing trees and hospital-grade anesthesia. As previously mentioned. Wheeee! Sorry, Terps, but I love my Scarlet Knights. But do not be melancholy.  I love you all forever.

Love always,
Michael.

Prediction:  Rutgers 27, Maryland 16

18
Sep
09

A Maryland-MTSU preview from President Barack Obama

obama-superman Good afternoon. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. You know, just yesterday I had a chance to visit with a few folks out at the Comcast Center.  Doin’ a great job over there. And while I’m here in Terp country, I wanted to talk for a moment about the true cornerstone of my presidency: sports predictions. So.  Let me take this opportunity — to — share some thoughts — on tomorrow’s — game.

Look.  You may recall that Middle Tennessee State upset the Terps last year in Murfreesboro — a city in which — I imagine — I am not welcome.

But I don’t wish to discuss the divisive politics of the past.  I wish to discuss Dwight Dasher, the MTSU quarterback — who does it all.  Literally.  He accounts for 80 percent of the offense and more than half of their all-purpose yards. Philip Tanner, their running back, is out for this game.  But no matter.  Because Dasher leads the team in rushing yards with 193, along with 435 passing yards. I’m sure that if Dasher could throw the football — to himself — he would also — lead the team — in — receiving.

Now.  Make no mistake. Maryland is experiencing some adversity.  Instead of left tackle Bruce Campbell, who is a mountain of a man, we have Paul Pinegar, whose last name — rhymes — with “vinegar.”  Instead of safety Jamari McCulloch, we have Eric Franklin. Instead of cornerback Nolan Carroll, who is — the team’s — fourth-leading tackler — we have Cameron Chism.  At least Nolan will be tossing the coin to start the game. In a similarly empty gesture of conciliation, I have asked my staff to consider Nolan as the nation’s first Czar of Tibular Health. He will be the first person to ever hold this office. No one — no one –will ever be able to take that away from him.

Look. It is all going to come down, once again, to the lines for this Maryland team. No one in this country should ever have to be embarrassed on television just because they cannot hold a block or wrap up a running back. And if they don’t come together as one, I fear that the Terps — could be ripe — for another — embarrassing — day.  But in the end, MTSU will be susceptible to the Terps’ attack. Under Chris Turner’s leadership, these Terps have always risen — off the mat — in times of need.

So. With all due respect to the Blue Raiders, I will select the Terrapins for the victory today. And this is despite my trepidation. I would not be the first president to witness a Middle Tennessee State victory over the Terps, but with any luck — I will be the last. Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the Terrapins of the University of Maryland.

Prediction: Maryland 24, MTSU 16

04
Sep
09

A Maryland-Cal preview from special guest Kate Gosselin

kate-gosselin-wedding-dressOK, guys. Listen up!  Are you listening?  I need complete silence from you guys right now, OK?  Mommy’s about to do some blogging. I know, honey…yes, it’s for the losers.  I know.  But remember last week, when Mommy’s head spun around in a full circle, and her eyes got all white?  Yes, very good Mady…that was Scary Mommy. If you don’t want to see Scary Mommy again, please be quiet. Mommy appreciates it. I’m supposedly getting twelve dollars for this.  Eat your Kentucky Grilled Chicken, OK?

OK, sorry, hi, blog reader out there.  “Sports fan.”   What, are you pouting because John Summeralls isn’t here instead?   Well, let me tell you one thing, bucko.  We’re doing this my way?  Or you can hit the highway.  Because I don’t want to hear it from you.  Don’t like it?  Look, I’m packing you a bag.  See?  It’s full of soiled diapers, FDS and Altoids Gum.  That should get you to Allentown, right?  Or maybe you just want to sit back down.

Pussy.

So is there football starting tomorrow or are you just happy to see me? Probably a little of both.  Conjuring up The Orange Bikini Shot?  Got a little Gosselin burn-in, do you?  I don’t blame you.  You see this?   No telling where the stretch marks end and the lipo scars begin.  It’s like a scarway to heaven, ahahahaha!  So you just keep on daydreaming, buddy boy.  That is, unless your last name is “Clooney” or “Philbin.”  Is it?  It’s not?  Oh, okay.  Back to your Doritos then, desk jockey.  Don’t strain yourself there.

As we all know, Maryland upset Cal last year when the Bears were ranked #23.  But this year, the Bears are ranked #12.  Whereas Maryland lost 30 players after last season, the Bears return 17 starters.  You do the math.  The biggest star for either team is Heisman Trophy Candidate Jahvid Best. He’s a finesse guy, and he’s on the home Astroturf this time around. You know what that means.  Track meet.  Best ran for 1,580 yards in 2008, 916 of which came at home — and he missed one of those games.  Yeah, Maryland held him to a season-low 25 yards last year, but who’s gonna make Jahvid Best puke on Saturday?  Ahh, Kevin Barnes — now THERE was a man. Not like you guys; no offense.  But you know what I mean, you know?  Plus, apparently Jahvid is out for blood this year.  And I can relate.  I have also developed a taste for blood.  But Jon was all like, “stop cutting me open in the middle of the night,” and “we can’t raise children just to harvest their blood,” and yadda yadda yadda.  It was always about him, his needs.

But it’s not just about Best for Cal. They’re returning eight starters on a defense that ranked 26th nationally last year. Their defensive line is particularly strong, anchored by senior Tyson Alualu.  Wow — a West Coast team with a big Polynesian guy on defense.  Shocking.  But still, I guess he might be a problem for Da’rel Scott and the Terp runner guys, which could translate to a big test for Torrey Smith, Adrian Cannon, LaQuan Williams, and the rest of those young buck receivers if the runner guys stall. Yoo-hoo, young bucks!  Ever seen a cougar before?  Look, I’m on the “prowl” right now.  Rawr!

Oh, paparazzi!  How did you put yourselves in my speed dial?

Oh, paparazzi! How did you put yourselves in my speed dial?

One more thing about the game.  Maryland’s big weakness — the lines — may not be such a big deal against Cal, who aren’t exactly known for their smashmouth football.

ALEXIS!  Stay out of there!  You know Daddy’s room is off limits while Mommy turns it into a wine bar.   Eat your Kentucky Grilled Chicken.  Good stuff, right, Lexi?  All you moms out there know what I’m talking about.  Or anyone who’s ever respected a mom.  Go check out Kentucky Grilled Chicken!   It’s really been my strength lately.  My stability.

Bottom line.  Let me try to break it to you gently. I think Cal’s gonna kick your heinies. They want revenge, they’re at home, they’ve got more horses and more experience. (Maryland’s still gonna cover that ridiculous 22-point spread, though.)  Now before you start whining at me — I can’t STAND it when a man whines — you need to understand that I think Maryland will win some games this year.  Okay?  Just not this one.

Prediction:  Maryland 12 (no successful extra points), Cal 30

05
May
09

A Cinco de Mayo Vasquez update from the Dos Equis guy

most_interesting_manAyyy. Muy bien. Buenos dias, and a very, very happy Cinco de Mayo to you. Full of felicidades, senor. Y cervezas! Ay.

As you know, I do no drink much beer. Not like you, who must drink to forget about your trabajo and about the women of more attractive men. So I beg you, you must drink Dos Equis, my friend. No this Corona. Corona es como orina for caballeros.  So drink Dos Equis.   It is at your supermercado.  Just go.

Si. On this the beautiful day of Mejico’s independencia, or whatever it is, I want to give to you this Spanglish update on the localidad of senor Grevis Vasquez. We know he is testing las aguas de la NBA.  He has until June 15 to decide to stay or to return.  But ah!  What does he feel in his corazon? Only a man like myself can see for sure.

It is no the same team he left, that is for certain. Braxton Dupree, Steve Goins, y Grande Dave Neal son terminados with the Terps. And now perhaps Jerome Burney will leave too? Ay, it is a problema with his foot that makes Jerome go. Very sad. I weep many tears for him.  I give besos of sadness to his feets.  For if he leaves, it is not for lack of passion. It is not like Braxton, el cabron.  Donde esta his passion?  I spit on him! PTOO!

And now my keyboard is sticky.  Aye, diablos de mi boca.  Que mala suerte.

So these four men, they go. Jordan Williams, and James Padgett — Los Infantes — they come.  That gives extra scholarships, senor. Maybe we sign juco players. I guess we will be see, as we see with all things. Like we see who does the killings of the young girls of the maquiladoras of Santa Teresa. Creo que es la policia.

But that is another matter for another day, my friend. Vasquez has said, he desires un championship. But then, he also say, he must earn los dollares for his familia en Venezuela. Una dilemma, for sure. But I tell you this…I tell you right now….he will come back.   Bet your fishing boat, your car — your CASA — that it is true. 

Because if he stays in, he will no be drafted. Have you heard about what he has done at the pre-draft camps? No? There is a reason for that, senorita. Un razon. He is not playing in the camps. He did not play in the Portsmouth Invitational.  Si, there are others coming, but the Portsmouth, that is a big one my friend.  Did he think he was too grande for Portsmouth? Es posible. But many mock drafts — like this one, and this one — do not see him being drafted. Garet Siler of Augusta State, si. Vladimir Dasic of Montenegro, si. Greivis Vasquez of Maryland, no. So why he does no go to Portsmouth, when he needs the ayuda for his draft posicion?  This question, even I cannot answer.

There is good glimmers for his NBA, as well.  But even it comes also with bad glimmers, amigo. This mock draft has him being drafted late second round to los Celticos. But on the same Web site, they cruelly mock him, saying here that “he doesn’t show many of the key elements NBA teams look for in a backup point guard—mainly the ability to limit turnovers, play solid defense and make shots efficiently from the perimeter.”  That is no good, senor.

So he has low draft prospects, he missed a grande pre-draft camp, and he has no hired an agent. Plus his Terps — his beloved Tortugas, the manzana de his ojos — might be better with las grandes nuevas, but will still need his guard play mucho. Starting cinco 2009: Eric Hayes. Landon Milbourne. James Padgett. Jordan Williams. Y the one, the only, Greivis Vasquez. Mark it down. Muy bien. I bet my house. Felicidades de Cinco de Mayo. And stay thirsty, my friend.

And for now, let us watch.  Greivis, on this Cinco de Mayo, you have the floor.

(Update: So Portsmouth is for seniors only evidently. Ay, lo siento. I still hear no stories of him lighting it up. He will come back, my friends. Stay thirsty.)




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