Tuesday, January 11, 2005
OK, I lied about editing that last post and making it proper (i.e. long). Sorry. I'm trying to adjust to this semester's schedule, and it isn't pretty. 6 hours of studios Monday-Thursday, with night lectures on Tuesday and Thursday is most decidedly not pleasant.
Goodbye, Derek Lowe. We all knew this was coming. DLowe was indeed the first pitcher ever to pitch all three clinching games of a postseason: the final ALDS game against the Angels (thusly sweeping the Rally Monkey), the final ALCS game against the Yankees (thusly completing the GREATEST CHOKE IN BASEBALL HISTORY), and the final game of the World Series against the Cardinals (thusly making the 2004 BOSTON RED SOX WORLD CHAMPIONS). And he's been on the team for a long time, since 1997-- he came over in the same trade that netted us Jason Varitek-- so he's been practically a franchise player.
Despite all that, it's hard to forget what he did to us in the regular season this year. The 5.42 ERA (which would've been even higher without the run support he got from our bats), the weekly use of the Derek Lowe face (bright red, cheeks puffed out, lips a-tremble, eyes swimming in barely unshed tears and aimed blurrily up at the heavens), the sinkers that didn't actually sink... it wasn't pretty. It wasn't pretty to the extent that I was reduced to writing bad poetry about it back in September, and it takes a special kind of bad to send me that low.
Derek Lowe was not even supposed to be a starting pitcher in the postseason. He went into the postseason with the firm and incontrovertible knowledge that the team did not want him to start in the postseason. He knew that management did not trust him, the fans did not believe in him, and who knows what his teammates thought. To go out and pitch like he did with all of that hanging over him... well, that takes some proverbial balls. It would be a huge thing for any pitcher, but for DLowe, for someone whom we all knew as a sensitive crumbler who would let his mistakes accumulate until he had to break out the previously mentioned Derek Lowe face, it was truly remarkable.
This is the same guy who once said, "When Pedro or Schill has a bad game, they have a bad game. I have a bad game and I'm some kind of... a mental gidget," in an angrily tearful voice, to a delighted passel of reporters after another regular season meltdown on the mound.
Of course, this is also the same Derek Lowe who was clutch in the postseason in '03 (to no ultimate avail, but you can't have everything-- see, I can be much more sanguine about that loss now), and who tugged at the crotchular area of his baseball pants in such an emphatic way, in the direction of the Athletic's dugout, that Miguel Tejada was, as Surviving Grady says, driven to tears.
We'll miss him, both the good and bad. I'll miss getting to force otherwise Sox-apathetic Michigan residents to talk Boston baseball with me by touting DLowe as a huge Tigers fan and product of Dearborn (now I only have Jason Varitek, product of Rochester MI and actual, honest-to-gosh Lions fan, to wave like a banner out here). Best of luck in Dodgerland, Derek*.
I have some random notes sitting on my harddrive from this weekend's football playoff kickoff. I don't really feel like reliving it all, as every team I wanted to win actually lost, so I'll just repost these, all disjointed-like.
Well, that was pretty emphatically pathetic. Mike Shanahan [ed. note: head coach of the Denver Broncos] looked like he was holding back tears the entire first half. His face was a weird shade of red, but I guess that could have been reflected light from his horrible bright orange sweatshirt, or oversaturation from the CBS broadcast.
In the postgame onfield interview, Peyton Manning is asked about the upcoming game with the Patriots. He laughs a little and says he’s looking for it to be a good game, that the Pats have, “had a great season… one loss… great season.” Hrmph. “Two losses, Peyton,” I growl at the TV. I’m angry at him for making me issue the correction, as though it’s his fault we’ve got the two losses instead of one or none. It’s not his fault, and if I should be angry at anyone it ought to be Roethlisberger (who I AM angry at; I’m perpetually angry at anything Steeler-related these days) or AJ Feeley (who gets an emotional free-pass from me, as the QB of my number three team and due to the fact that that game didn’t completely tank our season). But right now, before we’ve even played him in the postseason, it’s Manning I’m poisonously mad at.
It’s, somehow, his fault that his arch-nemesis Ty Law is out for the year. It’s his fault that the Lions were embarrassed on national TV and it’s his fault that I had to describe that Thanksgiving break with a caveat: Sure, it was great, but--. It’s his fault that I have to watch Jared from Subway, decked out in a Colts away jersey, giving sandwiches to the postgame show guys in the studio. It’s his fault that all week I’m going to be worrying about the weekend, when what I should be worrying about is how to stay awake in night lecture or how to keep my sewing machine from going berserk and eating the world in fibers class (I don't trust it).
Leslie Visser, in Lambeau, looks frozen. She also has to yell to be heard over the crowd, which is numerous and insane. I hope Randy Moss’ leg freezes and falls off. Joe Buck (fond memories of poorly-announced baseball games), Troy Aikman (his eyes matching his blue jacket to almost eerie perfection), and Cris Collinsworth (who?) are FOX’s dubious announcing team.
Lambeau is dead silent for Reggie White, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it like that. Of course, it doesn’t last long—after what literally is ‘a moment’ some people in the crowd start cheering—but on the sideline Brett Favre is still standing solemnly, his eyes downcast and serious. If Manning is flashy and ostentatious in his offense, Favre is workmanlike and solid. I want him to win for those reasons, and of course because the Viqueens don’t deserve to be here in the first place. And I hate the Pepperhead [ed. note: Daunte Culpepper]. And Randy Moss. And Mike Tice, with his tiny face concentrated in one small portion of his enormous head.
8 and a half minutes into the first quarter it’s 14-0 Vikings and they’ve just intercepted a Favre pass, and all the reasons I hate these guys are freshly and emphatically reaffirmed. I can’t imagine what Lambeau is like right now, but it ain’t pretty in my dorm room. And I’m not even a real Cheesehead.
Randy Moss took out his braids for this game, so his head is topped by a massive quantity of irregularly trimmed afro. When Ben Wallace wears a ‘fro people shy away in awe, but when Moss wears one, with his gangly build and high purple socks, people giggle. The TV camera focuses in on him on the bench, yelling something at the Lambeau crowd, pointing viciously at the scoreboard (17-0, 5 minutes left in the first quarter). The crowd was probably heckling him, and you can’t tell exactly what he’s saying but it looks a little something like, “Scoreboard! Look at that scoreboard, an’ then you come on back and we can talk.”
After one of his touchdowns, Randy Moss ran up to the goal post, turned around so that his back was to the endzone-seated crowd, bent over, and pretended to pull down his pants. The message was clear: “I expose mine buttocks in a metaphorical fashion to all yon green and yellow fans. Observe ye well my shiny ass. I hath whupped thy team in a moste violent fashion.” Joe Buck seemed to think that Moss had actually mooned the crowd, and was nearly apoplectic with horror and apology (“I’m so sorry that was even on live TV”).
Oh, and a new Three Chicks Talk About Football installment is up. Check it out. It's a bit old-- I think this was the the one that stretched over Christmas. Playoff installment(s) will be posted in short order. Read read. Good things from smart ladies (as usual, I just supply the sophomoric fodder).
ESPN just ran a little feature on the upcoming Patriots/Colts game, and Mike Vanderjagt's comments pertaining to it. He said that he thinks the Patriots are now "ripe for the picking", "not as good as [at] the beginning of the year", "not as good as last year", and "beatable". This is the same Mike Vanderjagt who turned to the Patriots' bench in the last game, right before a field goal attempt, and rubbed his fingers together to indicate that he was 'money'. He then missed the kick.
Tom Brady, picking his words with a delicate mixture of amusement and distaste, manfully attempting to repress a smile, said, "He's just talking, you know? It's a kicker talking."
Tedy Bruschi, never known for delicacy in his playing or his words, was more amusing and blunt: "You're asking me to comment on what a kicker said? *pause, his brown eyes dancing with laughter (not kidding, I just saw the clip, and this is the only way to describe it)* It doesn't concern me."
Rodney Harrison was a little more vehement: "He has to be a jerk, Vanderjerk, if he sits there and criticizes Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy, one of the best quarterbacks in the game and one of the best coaches in the game. And then for him to put his foot in his mouth again just shows what type of character he has."
Vanderjerk. Beautiful. Thank you, Rodney.
I admit that this little comic interlude was quite a welcome respite from the nail-biting I've been doing in anticipation of this matchup. Urgh. Back to the nail-biting.
In fairness to those who don't care about baseball or football, a few Real Life Notes-- i.e. I tell you about my new classes this semester.
Drawing looks like it's going to be pretty good this time around. I've got Nick Tobier as my teacher, and he's one of the most amazing people I've ever met. Not only is he funny, enthusiastic, and a good teacher, he has the most amazing memory I've ever come across (he memorized the names of everyone in his 150-person lecture within two weeks, and still remembers them all a full year later). He's one of those people who can hold a conversation with anyone in the world, because he's lived everywhere (seemingly) and is so well-versed on so many varied subjects. The only thing I can say against him is that he's a Yankees fan, but he's not a very hardcore one, so I'll live.
The kids in the class with me are also a good group, which will make things better. There are a lot of people I knew already, and not a lot of the sorority/fraternity art school crowd. This always raises the tone of any class.
My CFC class is a weird group of people. It's almost all girls, and I don't know most of them. I'm reserving judgement here, because we haven't really gotten into the projects yet, so it's hard to tell how this will fall out.
Fibers has been OK. I don't really know what the hell I'm doing (at all), and I don't trust the sewing machine at all, but the teacher's been really helpful and she seems nice. The word in the halls is that she's very blunt (i.e. if she thinks your project sucks she'll tell you so), but as of right now I like her quite a bit. We'll see how that stands when grades start coming in. I'm excited to learn some resist dyeing techniques later in the semester, though.
Painting is pretty fun, although also a bit odd, if only because my class is almost wholly freshman. It's a class I should have taken already, but didn't due to the dual-degree screwing up my schedule. But the freshman in there seem pretty cool, and I really like the professor. He's another blunt one, but he's funny and! Before he became a painter, HE WAS A FOOTBALL PLAYER! He was an Iowa Hawkeye in college, and then he played pro football for the Canadian Football League (the Toronto Argonauts and the Montreal Alouettes). Oh man. So awesome.
The lectures all suck. As usual. At least my GSI is good (so far).
When we came out of lecture tonight, around 9 pm, there was a gentleman wandering the art school halls with a small chihuahua running after him. No leash, just this tan little dog darting around with an air of doggy cheerfulness. It was glorious. Chihuahua! In the art school! More of this sort of thing.
That's all for now, as I really need to get to sleep if I want the smallest chance of remaining awake in CFC tomorrow morning. RantBlog coming soon, I promise. It's harder to write that stuff than this stuff (especially since a lot of that football business was prewritten).
Sleep tight, kids. If you aren't good little girls and boys and go to bed on time, the big nasty Randy Johnson will eat you.
*If LA is where he's actually going. He's flying out there to have a physical, he thinks. Maybe. He's not really sure. And with the Dodgers this offseason, who knows. I won't believe it 'till it's inked and dried. But he's going somewhere, so this is as appropriate a goodbye as any, I guess.