Better late than never…or something…right?
Anyways, this week has been rather brutal. Thankfully I got some time to unwind at last night’s Rangers game, but once I returned I too damn sleepy to think of anything to write. I made an executive decision to punt the Roundup to this evening, likely making Biscuit’s head explode that I put baseball as a higher priority than football writings.
Either way, the delay actually gave me something to write in this intro which is the delay itself. Writer’s block solved, I guess.
Oh well, you’re here for the links and beer anyways right? Let’s get to it.
This might be the most Southern Cal thing ever. Dr. Dre has made a donation to Southern Cal. For Academics. Seriously. Making this even more hilarious is the juxtaposition of this news release the very next day.
Johnny Baseball? So here’s one advantage to delaying the Roundup. I am able to include Johnny Manziel’s antics from the Padres game last night, including his recreation of his Alabama game-winning pass.
It’s nice when stats work out in your favor. Check out this preview from one of the minds at Football Outsiders. Spoiler Alert: Notre Dame is still damn good.
USF is apparently excited about Aaron Lynch. However, I’d be slightly concerned with
his weight loss not working out during his year off if I were them. But, hey, hopefully the attitude change his coach sees is true because the kid has loads of talent that shouldn’t be wasted.
A look into the college football future. I don’t know about y’all, but all I read in this piece was that ND makes a lot of title games.
And now, your moment of STOP USING PHOTOSHOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. This week’s entry, Preston Pehrson of Georgia Tech.
Before we start, I’d like to make a quick note about this section. Mostly because Slate wrote something mind-numbingly dumb on the topic.
You see, I’m not trying to “beer snob” it up in this section. Nor am I picking beers because OMG HOPS Y’ALL. I’m more in line with several of the opinions noted here.
Those that have read a fair share of Roundups know that I have suggested some “mainstream” beers either tongue-in-cheek or simply because I was in the mood to that week. My whole goal here is to either:
- Be funny (rare)
- Share a good beer I’ve discovered/liked/consumed liberally
- Ask readers for beer suggestions
Because quite frankly beer is good and expanding horizons on said beverage is equally awesome. It’s really hard to go wrong here.
With all that being said, this week I am making good on my promise to go back into the craft beers. Hilariously enough, I had planned on “easing” back into it with a rather simple local lager before I even read the Slate insanity.
That brew would be Rahr’s Blonde Lager from Ft. Worth, Texas.
Admittedly, the distribution is quite limited (but I’m sure you can find similar in the same style), but if you are ever in DFW or at a Rangers game you’ll be able to find this rather easily.
Yes, my baseball team actually serves legit local craft beer (looking at you, Yankees).
So Brady Hoke had a luncheon in Grand Rapids and decided to voice his displeasure over Notre Dame cancelling the Michigan series. More precisely, he claimed the Irish were “chickening out” of the series, much to the delight of the audience.
Hoke’s insertion of his foot into his mouth is simply begging for
analysis ridicule as is this entire article, so let’s just get to it.
Brady Hoke has long trumpeted Michigan’s three primary rivalries against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Hoke is now entering his third season as the Skunkbears’ head coach. How does one “long trumpet” anything when they haven’t even eclipsed Ty Willingham’s tenure at ND?
If two years is a long period of time for Michigan, I think I understand why some rather obvious history is soon to be forgotten.
But now he’s losing one of them, at least for a time. And he’s clearly not happy about it.
“The Notre Dame game, that rivalry, which they’re chickening out of,” Hoke said Monday during the West Michigan Sports Commission Annual Luncheon at the J.W. Marriott in Grand Rapids.
The remark drew thunderous applause from the crowd.
Ok, fair enough, he’s angry, playing to a home crowd. Let’s see how he justifies this…
“They’re still gonna play Michigan State, they’re gonna play Purdue, but they don’t want to play Michigan”
Well, yeah, we are trying to, but that isn’t exactly certain right now.
You see, Hoke, your B1G commissioner decided to do this whole nine conference game thing that is kinda screwing up everyone’s schedule. Combine that with ND’s new ACC scheduling agreement and, surprise, there are some issues.
Want to know why we are trying to work around that with Sparty and Purdue? Some history for you, long trumpeter: Notre Dame and Michigan State have played 75 times, and only took 1995 and 1996 off since 1948. Notre Dame and Purdue have played 84 times, uninterrupted since 1946.
But Michigan? Oh, we’ll get to that in a bit.
Spoiler alert: Michigan has been a pain in the ass.
“I don’t know how they made that decision…
I don’t either, there is totally no history behind why we might decide to give Michigan the finger. NOPE, NONE AT ALL.
… I really do …
Hoke had to have done a shot mid-sentence or something. Or no one has the complete quote…you know what, I like my first idea better. Go home, Hoke, you’re drunk.
But anyway, that’s a great national rivalry game. It’s a great game.”
I’d argue it’s a regional rivalry, and really, I have a hard time saying it’s a rivalry because, let’s be honest, we both hate each other and each consider another school a bigger rival.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of just what this series means to you and why all of us under the Dome are running away scared. I’m sure your beat writer will help you out…
Michigan has played Notre Dame 40 times, including every season since 2002.
..or maybe he’ll prove my point for me.
Michigan has treated us to three separate gaps in the past. After the 1909 game, we didn’t play Michigan again until 1942. After 1943, we didn’t face off again until 1978. Finally, we had a smaller two year gap between the 1999 and 2002 contests.
That’s 70 years total of scheduling gaps if you are keeping score at home. Or, to put it another way, Michigan has avoided playing Notre Dame for 56% of our 125 year football existence.
But man, uninterrupted since 2002 after these Michigan scheduling disruptions. How dare we.
But the Irish last year cancelled their games against Michigan from 2015-17, as they make the move to a scheduling alliance with the ACC.
ND, the dastardly villain, ditching the history of the Michigan series, chickening out for their new ACC friends.
The rivalry already was scheduled to take a two-year hiatus in 2018-19.
Small addendum: Michigan did that. That brings to the total to four different occasions in which Michigan, not Notre Dame, messed with the scheduling of the series.
Here’s the kicker: all Notre Dame has done so far is cancel two games — the exact same amount that Michigan already canned. But yeah, go ahead and blame us for chickening out on the whole thing. Solid logic there.
So, Michigan will host Notre Dame for the final time — at least, for the foreseeable future…
Now we’ve entered WWE-style promotion/hyberbole: “THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN…”
“…UNTIL IT HAPPENS AGAIN!”
– in prime time this year, then conclude the series next year in South Bend.
Notre Dame: chickening out…three years in the future.
The teams had been operating under a three-year rolling contract — meaning, either program could cancel the series with three games’ notice. Notre Dame served Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon with that notice in the moments leading up to kickoff of last year’s game at Notre Dame Stadium.
You mean to tell me Swarbrick did something within the terms of the contract? Man, we are truly awful.
Michigan State and Purdue are scheduled to continue their rivalries with Notre Dame, at least for now. Although, the Big Ten’s new nine-game schedule, and Notre Dame’s ties to the ACC, could also make those games more difficult to play.
And we’ve now come full circle. The B1G and ACC scheduling restrictions could make the MSU and Purdue series difficult to continue.
But the Michigan series? NOPE NO POSSIBLE ISSUES, CHICKENING OUT.
In conclusion, to Hoke and any other Michigan fan pissed off about this:
When we shared the news of Asaph Schwapp’s death, the Notre Dame family, as expected, was asking if there was anything additional we could do. Today, thanks to the Notre Dame Football Facebook page, we have learned that there is indeed ways we can help.
Firstly, memorial services have been announced for tomorrow at the Cameron Funeral Home in Hartford Connecticut. Visitation begins at 9am with his service starting at 11am (all times ET). According to the Facebook post, the service will also be streamed online. There is also an online guestbook at the same site to share your condolences.
Donations can also be made in Ace’s honor to two different charities:
Asaph D. Schwapp Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Windsor Federal Savings
250 Broad St.
Windsor, CT 06095
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Connecticut Chapter
372 Danbury Rd. Suite 200
Wilton, CT 06897
HLS will certainty be involved in some fashion, but I am going to brainstorm a bit with the rest of our staff first. We will announce our plans soon.
Ah, the jumbotron — that offseason topic that fires up the Notre Dame fanbase like no other. The outrage and hot takes ranks somewhere right above Shamrock Series uniforms and right below re-gilding the Dome with platinum*. Bayou gave his thoughts earlier this week and I’ve made my thoughts on tradition and change well known in the past.
This Roundup will not re-hash those thoughts. Instead, I wanted to pass along some sage advice my pastor gave to myself and my future bride last weekend:
The only thing that I need to do this wedding are the two of you, myself, and a marriage license. Everything else is just extra. You’ll have other people give you all kinds of opinions on what they think your wedding should look like, but never forget, all of that is just the gravy added on.
And really a potential addition of a jumbotron**, an installation of field turf, new helmets, piped-in music, or the Halloween costumes that are the Shamrock Series uniforms is just that — it’s all gravy. The meat and potatoes of a football game is simply two teams facing off against each other with a ball, some coaches to lead the men into battle, and some officials to make sure it doesn’t turn into the Roman Coliseum.
Notre Dame Football, however, is far more special than that. There is a dessert that follows this football meal that we like to call “The Forty Year Decision”, a specialty that the majority of the top college football powerhouses simply don’t offer. Many thought that entire meal couldn’t be served at Notre Dame anymore. We felt as if Notre Dame Football turned into the “let them eat cake” of the college football world. That’s why 2012 was such a big deal and Kelly went as far to call it “Faith Restored”.
#1 in the BCS and #1 in GSR should have been one of the biggest stories in college football and should be a huge focal point in this offseason, but it wasn’t and still isn’t.
Because the focus is on the damned gravy.
Every time these arguments surface, it becomes much like arguments in wedding planning. Everyone has their idea, their vision, for the Notre Dame Football Experience®. If you can’t see eye-to-eye, then there just must be something wrong with you and your understanding of tradition, Rockne, technology, or Notre Dame itself. The arguments and anger over the ancillary rise to a fever pitch and the true heart of the entire event is lost in the fire.
“But, Tex” you say, “how are you so blind? Don’t you see that when Notre Dame tries new things they fall on their face? Just look at the first attempts at piped-in music and Shamrock Series Helmets. These things matter!“
Want to know why both of those occasions were such disasters? It wasn’t just horrid execution (make no mistake, both were terrible). It was because the surrounding games left a lot to be desired.
Against Southern Cal, we were beaten over the head by more than just “Crazy Train”. Notre Dame stumbled out of the gate, trailing 17-10 at the half, and just when it looked like the Irish had a chance to tie it up, Crist fumbled a snap and it went 80 yards in the other direction. Everyone was already in a sour mood because the game itself was ruined and a “Seven Nation Army” couldn’t hold back the anger of the end result.
To put it another way: no amount of gravy in the world is going to fix a crappy steak.
For the first two quarters we were pissed that our steak first came out raw, then as jerky. In the third, it we saw that perfectly cooked steak coming our way only to have the waiter trip over himself and dropping it, completely ruining that one as well. Finally, we get one more serving of charred mess and we’ve had it by that point. We try to wash it down with the gravy just so we can eat something, but even that is sour.
End result: we hate everything and everything sucks.
While the Maryland game was a decisive victory, the game itself was a bore. Toss in a sub-par opponent that we really didn’t care about, mix in scoring lulls against said sub-par team and you are left with plenty of time to focus on bad helmets and mismatched greens on the uniform.
Compare that to the Miami game which had uniforms sporting helmets that were far worse than anything Adidas could’ve dreamed of the year prior. The Irish defense dominated and the rushing game obliterated the Hurricanes in the second half. Oh, and it helped that this happened against Miami, a team universally hated by Irish fans.
Sure, the gravy might have been mysteriously two-toned and ugly as sin, but the main course was so tasty that you could happily ignore it and move it to the side.
“Well, Tex,” the other side now says, “thanks for proving our point!” As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast!” (No, not that other famous Corso quote).
Just as no amount of gravy will save a piss-poor entree, far too much of it can smother and ruin it. Not only that, if too much focus is given to the sauce, you can likely expect the quality of your main dish to suffer as well. In short, there needs to be some form of balance.
To circle this back around to the original wedding analogy, I could easily ruin my own wedding by focusing on all the ancillary junk that really doesn’t matter. I could also go the opposite direction, completely bare-bones removing all the “gravy” as my pastor put it, but that would be a rather boring wedding. Adding a reception, family and friends, an open bar, and some music will certainly make the night more enjoyable for all and won’t completely overshadow the entire event of actually being wed.
And that’s pretty much where I’m at with anything added to ND Stadium or any future enhancements of the gameday experience. I’m fine with adding things as long as it doesn’t completely overrun the heart of Notre Dame Football.
By all accounts, ND gets that. The piped-in music has been reeled in and better thought out, complemented by mics amplifying the band (P.S. stop playing “Rumor Has It” for the love of all that is holy). Crazy uniforms have been relegated to one game a season, a game which isn’t even played in front of Touchdown Jesus. “Crazy Train” has turned into a punchline/actual thing that makes fans cheer despite its initial overuse.
But through it all, the heart of Notre Dame Football still remains: the quest for and expectation of excellence on and off the field. Until I actually see that change…well…it’s all gravy.
*I may or may not have totally made this up to properly equate said outrage
And when I talk about smothering with gravy, I give you Wyoming. While certainly not the worst of the field turf design offenders (hey, it’s at least green), going with mountains on this design is just a bit much.
I hope all of these go on Iowa’s jumbotron. I had no idea who Damon Bullock was before this week, but I now know he’s is absolutely hilarious.
Big Game Bob takes aim at the SEC. Oh man, I wish I had listened to Finebaum after these comments. Related, what in the hell happened to Stoop’s face?
The College Football Hall of Fame finally rights a major wrong. Tommie Frazier is finally in. Now let’s fix that whole Rocket not being in because seriously.
Want a look at the all-time wins race? Texas’ SBN presence, Barking Carnival, gives a mostly Texas-centric look; however, Notre Dame fans will be please to know just how close we are to surpassing Texas in this race.
So we’re making a little bit of our own gravy. Ok, that sounded completely wrong; however, we are dipping our toes into the merch pool with some #HLSRecap themed offerings. Yes, you can customize these with your Twitter handle if you so choose. Check them out, let us know what you think.
I have, admittedly been slacking on really finding some unique brews. I will remedy this soon; however, I think it’s fitting that this week I go in a different direction.
As I mentioned before, I have a wedding in my future and it will occur one year from now on this exact date. With that in mind, I remembered that the first drink I ever bought my future wife was, in fact, a beer:
Yeah, I pulled out all the stops on this one didn’t I? In my defense, this was what she wanted. DON’T JUDGE!
Loyal Readers, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Asaph Schwapp, former Notre Dame Fullback and 2010 graduate, has passed away after a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 26. Schwapp was diagnosed with this cancer last year, and his former coach, Charlie Weis informed Twitter this morning that things weren’t looking good:
One of the first young men I ever recruited to ND, Asaph Schwapp is gravely ill. Please share with me in praying for Ace and his family.
— Coach Charlie Weis (@CoachWeisKansas) May 8, 2013
Just after 3pm EST, multiple players and media outlets confirmed that Schwapp had passed on via Twitter.
It is unreal to think that a man just two years my junior is no longer with us.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I saw a beast of a freshman walk into fall camp when I was a student manager. I don’t have too many personal stories about “Ace” from those days, but he was definitely a great guy and well loved by his teammates.
But really, there isn’t too much that needs to be added. Notre Dame has lost one of her loyal sons way too soon.
Update: Below, some of Asaph’s former teammates, media, and Weis bid their farewells.
RIP Ace. You will be greatly missed. Taught me so much w his words and actions. Very sad day. Prayers for him and his family.
— John Goodman (@jgoodman81) May 8, 2013
Lost a good friend and an even better man today in Asaph Schwapp. Keep his family in mind today #ND
— Jake Golic (@JGolic88) May 8, 2013
Sad news! Ace has passed on! A fine young man! May his soul rest peacefully in Heaven. Please pray for Ace and his family. Breaks my heart.
— Coach Charlie Weis (@CoachWeisKansas) May 8, 2013
Forever in OUR hearts Asaph Schwapp.
— MichaelFloyd (@MichaelMFloyd) May 8, 2013
Tough to hear news of Asaph Schwapp passing away today. An incredibly strong and kind human being. R.I.P.
— Dan Murphy (@BGI_DanMurphy) May 8, 2013
Big Ace #RIP
— Jimmy Clausen (@JimmyClausen) May 8, 2013
So sad to hear about the passing of former #NotreDame FB Asaph Schwapp, 26. Guy was just a total champ, plain and simple. Rest in peace.
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) May 8, 2013
Asaph told me last July he’d just benched 400 lbs & squatted 500 — roughly 5 mos. after getting a lymphoma diagnosis. Like I said, a champ.
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) May 8, 2013
#RIP Ace Schwapp. Such a sad day, the world lost one of the greatest guys I ever knew. Love you brother, keep looking after us up in heaven.
— Danny Wenger (@DWeng56) May 8, 2013
ND grad and former ND FB player Asaph Schwapp passed away today at 26 from lymphoma, as sincere a person as I have ever met gone to soon.RIP
— Mike Golic (@espngolic) May 8, 2013
— Brian Smith (@BCSmith58) May 8, 2013
I can’t believe we lost Ace today… Damn. RIP bud
— Eric Olsen (@EOlsen69) May 8, 2013
My friend and former ND teammate Asaph Schwapp passed away after a battle with cancer. To say Ace was one of the most upbeat, caring, and
— Kyle McCarthy (@KMcCarthy28) May 8, 2013
strongest people I know would be a drastic understatement. I want everyone to know how good of a man the world lost today. Love you buddy.
— Kyle McCarthy (@KMcCarthy28) May 8, 2013
Looking for the words and cant find them. it just hurts. Ace was one of the absolute best guys I’ve ever known.Gone way too soon.
— Mike Golic Jr (@MGolicJR57) May 8, 2013
— Brian Smith (@BCSmith58) May 8, 2013
As just a young freshman at ND – a senior showed me the ropes and took me under his wing. Ace, I’ll… instagram.com/p/ZEFDursqMM/
— Joseph Fauria (@BigJoeFauria) May 8, 2013
I remember i was a freshman on scout team at ND and we would go run show team for the offense and big ace was full back and I always hated
— Kapron Lewis-Moore (@KLM_89) May 8, 2013
Going against them bc ace would come either lead blocking or something and would just knock anyone or anything in the way out!! #ripbigace
— Kapron Lewis-Moore (@KLM_89) May 8, 2013
Sad news today. One of my all time favorites passed. Asaph was a fan of our team and a friend to my children. God bless him.
— Deanna Gumpf (@NDcoachGumpf) May 8, 2013
Only interviewed Ace a few times, but that was enough to learn what a class act he was. Prayers to his family. #RIPAce
— Jack Nolan (@NDJackNolan) May 8, 2013