Anyway, it's almost in the books. Correct anything you need to correct, because after tonight you're on the record. THIS SHIT IS ABOUT TO BE HISTORY. And when historians look back, they'll see that I was leading my own contest when the year came to an end. That's right, babies.
Hot Potato standings, 12/31:
Congrats to Dick K, who hit the nail on the head with Nolan's 26 points. I took the lead from Dylan with a guess of 25, while Carrie and Marion are hot on my heels. Then again, if I were on my heels, I'd be hot too.*
*Pick-up lines that don't quite make sense.
Since this is the last post before Sunday, I'll also be taking Hot Potato picks for Sunday's ACC game against Miami. The Hot Potato will be:
Make your picks below before Sunday's game. God, I am so excited for ACC play to start, even if the whole conference besides Duke is in tatters.
It'll be a quick post today. I recommend reading yesterday's drama, which took like 8 years to format but takes about 10 seconds to read. Kinda like 2010 itself, actually. Required a lot of planning, over in a heartbeat.
Some quick things I want to touch on:
1) Butch Davis needs to be fired. Not for the suspensions, which are bad enough, but for his game coaching. Yesterday's win was one of the ugliest I've ever seen. After an entire game of poor decisions and costly penalties by a team with absolutely no discipline, the final drive happened. First, UNC got lucky when a Tennessee back led with his helmet. That took them past the 50 with no timeouts and less than 40 seconds remaining. As you might know, the clock in the NCAA stops after a first down. Which means, logically, that Butch should not have been running plays under 10 yards unless they were designed to go out of bounds.
So the first thing he did was run a quick slant. That would have taken the clock down to about 10 seconds, but the refs had blown the whistle to review the previous play. After that break, do you think Butch learned? No way. He ran ANOTHER quick slant, and it was incredibly lucky that the receiver broke a tackle and got the first down. That took the clock to 14 seconds. Again, no timeouts. UNC lined up to run a last play, and I literally screamed at Butch, on the tv, not to throw another short pass. Instead, he did one better: he ran the ball. Un-fucking-believable. Everyone saw what happened next. The clock nearly ran out, as it is wont to do in the NCAA, and as every coach in his right mind should know. They got extremely lucky to spike the ball, and after Barth's field goal they won in overtime.
But I really wish I'd documented all the horrible coaching from Davis in that game. The lack of preparation, the poor play calling, and the awful clock management were truly astounding. The final drive was only the most glaring example of his incompetence, but the thread of it ran through the entire game. Fire this idiot now.
I'm not sure what this picture means, but it's perfect nonetheless:
2) Syracuse-Kansas State in Yankee Stadium was a fantastic game marred by a sad finish. After a back-and-forth battle featuring lots of offense and no defense, Kansas State drove down for the tying score. They were down 8, so they'd have to get the touchdown and a conversion to send the game into overtime. Adrian Hilburn, a Wildcat receiver, made a great catch and slipped a tackle to score the touchdown. In the back of the end zone, he gave a simple salute.
And of course, some referee who wanted to make himself the story threw a flag. Personal foul. Excessive celebration. Excessive celebration for the least excessive celebration of the year. Kansas State had to attempt the conversion from the 18 instead of the 3, and they failed. Game over. The flag cost them their chance.
Don't get me wrong; I'm thrilled that Syracuse won. But for a referee to make himself the centerpiece of the story, and ruin the end of an excellent game, is a huge shame. I really can't fathom what kind of person would find it necessary to throw that kind of flag. A total egomaniac, for sure. The kid did NOTHING out of the ordinary. It would have been a harsh flag under ordinary circumstances, but at the end of a close bowl game? Inexcusable. It actually makes me angry. WHO THE HELL ARE THESE REFEREES? He should be hung in public. I'd like to stage a fight with that ref, if he'll accept my challenge. Fisticuffs in Berlin.
Okey doke. If there's a better way to end 2010 than advocating for a referee's execution, I don't want to know about it. Thank you very much for reading. It's been great getting to know everyone, truly, and I hope you'll all continue to hang around. Have a great night tonight. As for me, I'll be checking out a 2001 Chevy Malibu with 125,000 miles on it in Vermont this afternoon. After that, I'll be celebrating the changing of the calendar in upstate New York at my grandparent's house. Will it be wild? Oh, you best believe. We will be straight rockin.'