Monday, October 31, 2005

Sox on the Clock

Quick hits: Sox wisely pick up option for 2006 with Cliff Politte, decline club option on Carl Everett. As expected, Frank Thomas exercised the player option in his contract for next season. The Sox now have five days to reciprocate or buy out his contract for $3.5 million. Stay tuned...


Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Curtain Descends...

Well, the Ticker-Tape has been swept off LaSalle Street, Halloween is right around the corner, Indiana has done it's last funky "daylight-savings-time-but-without-any-actual-time-change" thing, NFL teams are gearing up for the second half, and the buzz now is surrounding how can the Sox re-sign Paul Konerko?

That's right, the 2005 edition of White Sox coverage here at Sox-Irish is officially in the books. AND WHAT A SEASON IT WAS! The cherry on top came when I opened today's special section of the Tribune (and you know what team the Trib owns) and what to my wondering eyes should appear but: The Wrigley Field sign, with its famous "Home of Chicago Cubs" grammar, flashing a "Congratulations" to the White Sox. Game, set, and match, Southsiders.

That's all for Sox-Irish's coverage of your WORLD CHAMPIONS for this season. But we'll be back next year with wall-to-wall coverage as the Sox begin a truly foreign idea to Chicagoans: a baseball championship defense.

In other news, Charlie Weis is now set to be the highest-paid coach in all of football, locked up at ND through 2015 in an attempt to quiet those "Weis is heading back to the pros after one season" rumors. He is currently preparing the Irish to face the reeling Tennessee Volunteers this weekend...

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Day After...

A really cool thing happened this morning: I woke up, and it wasn't all a dream.

THE SOX ARE THE CHAMPS. Championship parade set for tomorrow in the heart of the Loop...

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Messages from the Fans...

Sox fans are a tight bunch. Cubs fans like to mock that the Sox are a franchise only rejects and ghetto thugs could love, but the Silver and Black run deep through families of every stripe, race, creed, and economic bracket in the city of Chicago. Too long we've been waiting, and this season, especially in the last two weeks of September when all appeared to be lost and a certain idiot columnist referred to the Sox as "Choke-Job Theater", we united as one.

And tonight, we celebrate as champions...

A few words from fellow Sox fans...

From Zippy @ South Carolina...

"This is for Shoeless Joe, for Minnie Minoso, for Luis Aparicio, for Carlton Fisk, for Frank Thomas. Ozzie Guillen, Harold Baines, Joey Cora, Harold Baines, Greg Walker. This is for the South Side of Chicago, for the team that's been the bastard stepchild of Major League Baseball and the forgotten team in it's own city for too long. Scott Podsednik, Aaron Rowand, Jermaine Dye. Tadahito Iguchi, Juan Uribe, Joe Crede, Paul Konerko, AJ Pierzynski. Orlando Hernandez, Mark Buerhle, Jon Garland, Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia, Neal Cotts, Dustin Hermanson, Damaso Marte, Cliff Politte, Luis Vizcaino, Bobby Jenks. Geoff Blum, Willie Harris, Pablo Ozuna, Carl Everett, Chris Widger, Timo Perez.

This is White Sox baseball.
2005 World Champions


From Jarred @ Purdue...

"I'm so fucking happy right now."

From Terry Heidkamp, My Father...

"I never thought I'd see the day."

From Paul Sigfusson @ Indiana...

"Go Cubs."

Haha...okay Paul, we'll keep an eye out for a Red-Line Series in 2006. How sweet would that be? MAYBE as sweet as tonight.

Crack open a cold one Chicago White Sox fans...the sweetest swig of championship glory after the longest drought of our lives!!!

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We're with you all the way
You're always in there fighting and you do your best
We're glad to have you out here in the middle west

We're gonna root root root root White Sox
And cheer you on to victory
When we're in the stands we'll make those rafters ring
All through the season you will hear us sing

Let's go, Go-Go White Sox
Chicago is proud of you

White Sox
White Sox
Go, go White Sox

Root root root for the White Sox
We'll cheer you on to victory
When we're in the stands we'll make those rafters ring
All through the season you will hear us sing

Let's go, Go-Go White Sox
Chicago is proud of you

White Sox
White Sox
Go, go White Sox

Let's go, Go-Go White Sox
Chicago is proud of you





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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


The following sentence has not been written in 88 years:


Think of all the great players who have donned the pale hose: Luis Aparicio. Nellie Fox. Minnie Minoso. Chico Carrasquel. Dick Allen. Robin Ventura. Bo Jackson. Carlton Fisk. Harold Baines. Billy Pierce. Luke Appling. Wilbur Wood. Goose Gossage. And, think even of Shoeless Joe and Buck Weaver.

The Sox have tradition. They just, unlike their Northside brethren, refuse to allow the notion that it is cursing them from beyond the grave. Year after year of Sox failure has been explained by the actual rationale of any sane baseball player and fan: "We simply don't have what it takes." Unlike Wrigley and Fenway, the population of Comiskey has no belief that they are simply meant to suffer. They recognize a terrible team when it walks up and introduces itself.

And more often than not, the Sox have over the past 88 years been a terrible team. The bright flashes of '59, '83, '93, 2000. Snuffed out by one cold dose of reality after another. Not a hex or a fluke fan deflection of foul ball, just reality.

And now, in October of 2005, the White Sox are ONE WIN AWAY from a whole new era of Chicago baseball. A CHAMPIONSHIP era.

Oh, by the way...Sox win tonight 7-5 in 14 innings, the longest game in World Series history at 5+ hours. Woo hoo.

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We're Halfway There...


Seriously, we ND students love our Bon Jovi.

And the White Sox are halfway to heaven, up 2-0 in the World Series. Jon Garland vs. Roy Oswalt tonight in the best overall pitching matchup of the Series. I still think Houston's pitching is too strong for them to go quietly, so I look for the Astros to get the Series back to the Southside, which is where Mark Buehrle pitches a perfect game to deliver a Game 6 victory for the Sox and a championship for the first time in nearly nine decades.

OK, "perfect game" might be shooting a little high, but with your team TWO wins away from the title for the first time in your life, your father's life, AND your grandfather's life, a little optimism goes a long way.

Brady Quinn solidly alone in 4th place in the ESPN Heisman Watch. Not like he has a chance at winning, but it's nice to see him getting some publication.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005


Another knock-down, drag-out on the Southside goes to the Pale Hose, this time by a score of 7-6, thanks to a confusing "hit by pitch" call on Jermaine Dye, a Paul Konerko slam, a Bobby Jenks let-down, an off-line throw to the plate, and finally.............

America's new "Mr. October", Scott Podsednik, with his 2nd homer of the postseason to walk off with a White Sox winner. This after a grand total of NO home runs in the first 162 games.


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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Rolling Along

In the words of Darth Vader, "All too easy."

OK, fine, 'easy' is the wrong word, but the Irish pull away from the BYU Cougars thanks to a sick SIX touchdown throws from Brady Quinn. He is getting very close to locking up an invite to New York for the Heisman Presentation.

AND THE SOX...well, they chase the Rocket early and grind out a couple of runs to defeat the Astros 5-3 in Game One. Joe Crede comes up big not only with a tie-breaking homer but also with several key defensive plays. Sox up 1-zip with Buehrle going to the hill tomorrow night...

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Friday, October 21, 2005


Hm, what's going on today...

Oh, wait, THE WHITE SOX ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!!!! WOO-HOO! Game 1 pits two former Yankees, Clemens & Contreras, in a battle to see who can make The Boss feel more miserable. Tomorrow at 7:00 on Fox. Do it, ChiSox.

Charlie Weis has spent all week talking about BYU as the "home opener" of the second season. Well played, CW, well played.

The final word on ND-SC: a really kickass highlight video of the game can be downloaded here. It's a little bit slanted in ND's favor (I mean, the guy DID morph Darth Vader's helmet onto Pete Carroll's body), but no matter which team you were rooting for last Saturday, you will enjoy it. The music is John Williams' main theme from Episode III, "Battle of the Heroes". Couldn't have done it better myself.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


One team now stands in the way of the White Sox and the end of 88 years of frustration, and their name is the Houston Astros.

On paper, a slight edge WOULD go to the Astros thanks to their pitching. But that was before the White Sox starters decided "Bullpen? We don't need no stinking bullpen!!!" and held the Angels to 11 runs over 5 games while pitching all but 2/3 of the innings in the ALCS.

It's a tossup. But I'm a White Sox fan and I think we have a slightly stronger offense. Pale Hose in six. LET THE NON-STOP GLOATING OVER CUBS FANS BEGIN IN (HOPEFULLY) 10 DAYS!!!!

Tales from the Campus Bizarre (not to be confused with the Bazaar): Getting locked out of your own room and having to sleep in the Dillon Lounge before finding a cleaning lady to open your door at 8 the next morning is lots of fun. No, really, it is.

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18 Minutes..

That's how long it took for all the White Sox World Series tickets to sell out. I never had a chance. I've got a couple thin hopes via eBay, but I'm not holding my breath.

You get a better view on TV anyway...riiiiiiigggghht.

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Monday, October 17, 2005


Brad Lidge was ONE STRIKE away from delivering the Astros to their first World Series ever. One strike. He allows a single to David Eckstein. Still one out away. Then he walks Jim Edmonds. Getting a little nervous now, I mean, let's face it, Albert Pujols is up next.

And what does he do?

HITS A FREAKIN' 3-RUN HOMER TO GIVE THE CARDS A 5-4 LEAD. Can they hang on? You hope for Lidge's sake they don't, but what an NLCS this could yet become.

Updated 10:49 -- Cards close it out. Don't bring down Busch just yet.

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Cocky, a bit?

Some USC fans piss me off. As a former USC student who went through the looking glass and has appreciation for both schools, I still cannot escape my feeling that USC's fan base right now is the most cocky and arrogant fanbase since the Miami Hurricane faithful of the 1980s. And that's putting Notre Dame's fanbase right up there -- at any time, ND's fans deserve to be ranked in the top 5 of arrogant and cocky fanbases. At the moment though, USC's takes the pole position in this race to overconfidence.

USC fans who dropped by our Water Polo food stand mused about how they would be "stunned" to see the game be closer than two touchdowns. Members of USC's band, which I had felt was full of nice people, kept chanting "31!" as they walked through the library lot tailgates. I bit my tongue and smiled at one Trojan who bought a bratwurst from us at the Polo stand and predicted Leinart would toss for 6 touchdowns. At the USC page of, the Trojan beat writer joked that "Charlie Weis has made Notre Dame better, which is why they will only lose by 28."

The taker of the cake in this regard for me though, has to be the blogger Becky

A sampling of her jewels of wisdom from Saturday's game (paraphrased):

The win feels like stealing candy from a baby, because the Irish played their greatest game and the Trojans were lackluster and SCstill won.

Because she's apparently clairvoyant, she felt doubly bad for the Irish fans because she predicted the loss with 2 minutes to play. As evidence of this fortune-telling ability, she remembers predicting how "Aaron Boon" would hit a home run to win the World Series for the Yankees in 2003. She apparently said, "He's the Cinderella".

I want to interject here with three point: one, his name is Aaron BOONE. Secondly, he did NOT win the World Series, his home run won the ALCS over the Red Sox. And third, seeing as how Boone hit that home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the 11th inning, she must've seen this coming during Fox's commercial break that night.

Tom Zbikowski made a terrible, cheap hit on Reggie Bush at the end of his 3rd-Quarter touchdown run.

I'll let ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski take the lead on this one:

It takes arrogance to do what Bush did during that same drive: bolting through the line, sprinting into the open field, grandly gesturing with one hand as he neared the end zone, and then slowing down just as he crossed the goal line. That's when Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski, who never gave up on the play, popped Bush with a hit the USC tailback so richly deserved.

"That was my fault," said a contrite Bush. "That was my way of showing off. Completely bad leadership on my behalf."

Who needs Reggie Bush to tell us what happened when we've got Becky?

I mean really, it seemed like Becky's objective here was to see how many backhanded compliments she could squeeze into one post. The trick for her was to figure out how condescending could she be and still sound nice. Why do Trojans and their fans find it so hard to believe that we were playing at USC'S level, rather than USC playing "down" to ours? USC reminds me of the Soviet Hockey Team circa 1980, totally dismissive of the idea that any team could actually DESERVE to win a game against them. It's going to happen, and it very well could have happened on Saturday and not because USC played like crap or because the officials gave the Irish a few early Christmas presents or because of "luck of the Irish" bounces. Our team played their friggin' minds out and all some USC fans want to talk about is how USC played sloppy and let the Irish toy with the idea that they could win.

Here's Becky's "crown jewel" though: The Trojans can play better. Notre Dame cannot.

Not that I want to delve into whiny-ND-student mode, because in the words of Tyler Palko "I am so f**kin proud of this team!", but the Irish had a far from perfect game. Had they played perfect, they would have won, and won somewhat easily. Playing perfect would have entailed:

-- Fasano NOT fumbling inside the 20 and taking away a likely score.

-- Quinn NOT overthrowing Samardzija after Jeff had his man beat, resulting in Jeff's landing out of bounds and the Irish settling for a field goal.

-- Quinn NOT overthrowing a wide-open Asaph Schwapp in the 4th quarter, cutting short a possible touchdown drive and leading directly to a MISSED field goal from DJ Fitzpatrick.

-- Derek Landri NOT committing a stupid personal foul call which allowed USC to face, rather than 3rd and 10 from the 19, a first and goal from the 9.

-- Maurice Stovall NOT having two dropped passes on third down.

-- Ambrose Wooden NOT playing soft coverage on third down twice during USC's drive for the score which made it 28-24.

I've got more, but you get the picture. BOTH teams played less than 100% error-free football. This lyricism and hero-worship about how USC is soooooooo gooooood, it was simply their destiny to overcome their own incompetence and defeat an Irish squad which played much better than their talent should have allowed does nothing except cheapen the game and insult the Irish. I was there too, and what I saw was two GREAT football teams, not an overachieving average team and an underachieving great team.

In some respects I hope USC doesn't lose, because head-up-where-the-sun-don't-shine fans like Becky literally will not know how to handle it.


Sunday, October 16, 2005



Unbelievable. This feels so damn good, the perfect antidote to yesterday's "ecstacy-to-agony-in-seven-seconds-flat" feeling.

The White Sox are in the World Series for the first time in 46 years, leaving the Cubs alone in their infamy as the only team to go more than 4 decades without a pennant.

They have a full week to prepare for their opponent, likely to be the Houston Astros but don't write off the St. Louis Cardinals just yet, even if they are down 3-1.

The quest for tickets begins, and it's gonna be an uphill climb for sure...haven't found a site offering for less than $1000 a pop. Wish me luck.

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Escobar-Crede, Round Two

...and it goes to Crede again.

Crede finishes the job this time and gets the pitch over the left-field wall. Tie game, 3-3 in the seventh.

El Duque warms in the bullpen.

UPDATED at 10:05 -- CREDE DOES IT AGAIN, poking a grounder up the middle, deep enough that Adam Kennedy can't make a strong throw to the plate. Aaron Rowand scores, 4-3 Sox. SIX OUTS TO GO. Chicago has been here before. DO IT, CHISOX.


The Agony of Defeat

I joked a week ago to my water polo teammates that there was one reason I was kinda-sorta hoping for Notre Dame to lose to USC. If the Irish pulled the upset, I would be stuck in the WVFI broadcast booth and been unable to participate in the inevitable field rush. Oh, I would've gotten there eventually, trust me, but it wouldn't have been the same thrill as watching the final seconds and then running to the field with all my fellow Domers.

And in the aftermath of the 34-31 loss, I have another reason to be dissapointed in being chained to WVFI's booth during the game - I wasn't there to comiserate with my friends at the end. That is what makes Notre Dame far and away the greatest school football school in the country, win, lose, or draw. No other school in the universe is going to get 50,000 people to come to a PEP RALLY, even if it does feature incredibly stupid skits from Morrissey. (In their defense, it's Morrissey - the same dorm which STILL doesn't understand that their slogan and song, "Fight On", comes from USC. So what do you expect?) Here at ND, we are all in this together, cheering, clawing, living, dying, as one.

I heard the words of a thousand different emotions float through the air as I exited the WVFI booth and walked the stadium concourse, cutting through the student section, across the field and towards the interview room to tape Coach Weis' post-game comments. Some were crying. Many held their heads in their hands, like the Irish players, unwilling to believe -- unwilling to accept -- that it was in fact over. Many refused to go quietly, heckling USC as the Trojans gloated their way off the field. Maybe gloat was the wrong word, but the Trojans sure seemed to soak up a mid-field celebratory huddle and then held up "#1" and "V for Victory" signs as they exited through a human tunnel of ND students who had rushed the field just a little too early. They joked and smiled with each other, which was totally within their rights considering what they'd just done, but maybe they should've recognized the fact that the end of the stadium they were leaving was 95% Notre Dame fans. New chants of "Over-rated" and "Off our field" picked up; ND students who weren't joining in them were trying to shut them down. LenDale White didn't exactly claim the high ground either as he exited, stopping to verbally spar with one fan, though he didn't stray far from repeating, rather spitefully, "Y'all LOST! Y'all LOST!". One female ND student gave the finger to a Trojan who pointed at the scoreboard. So maybe I was fortunate to be in the booth for this game - I was a mad-man on the air as it was (though I did not curse), so I can't fathom what might have come over me had I been this close to the center of the emotional vortex for the whole game.

As Charlie Weis said, "You are what you are", and this loss is what it is. A 34-31 thriller of a game in which both teams played their guts out. Somebody had to win. It says a lot of how far Notre Dame's offense has come that Pete Carroll allowed Leinart to risk getting stopped on a QB sneak rather than kicking the field goal. He wanted no part of an Irish offense in overtime after his defense had already spent 40 minutes on the field. The days of 31-point blowouts in this series are over.

Like I said already, the best morphine for this would be a White Sox clincher tonight in Anaheim. But even that wouldn't dull the pain. It hurts like nothing else to come so close, to see it, to TASTE it practically, for a few moments before having it taken away.


Was it a Penalty?

The NCAA rulebook for football clearly states that no player can "grasp, pull, lift, or charge into [the ballcarrier] to assist him in forward progress."

Matt Leinart did not get into the endzone on his initial QB sneak. He spun to the outside, which was the point at which Reggie Bush, in his own words, "shoved [Matt] in there as hard as I could"

That's a penalty.

In fairness, I have to say it's a penalty I've never seen called. I've heard of it, but I've seen dozens of short-yardage and goalline pileups and blockers who try to nudge a ballcarrier forward, and I can not recall this particular foul ever getting called. That doesn't change the fact that Reggie Bush helped USC get into the endzone on what was, according to the RULEBOOK and not just the angry bitterness of an ND student, an illegal move. And it doesn't make the loss hurt any less.



How intense was Saturday's game?

Even Lee Corso needed to take a breath by the time it was over.

Corso, by the way, now predicts a perfect 5-0 finish for the Irish, this shortly after his prediction of a 1-5 start. Lee's always been one to talk out of both sides of his mouth, so it's good to see some things never change.


52-10 the record of the 62 teams who have taken a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven postseason baseball series. Of the 10 teams to have blown that comfortable, one-win-away margin, the latest and most infamous was...wait for it...the CHICAGO CUBS.

The White Sox are all too familiar with the fate of their Northside brethren in 2003, thanks to the media deluge on Steve Bartman and the fact that Ozzie Guille was third-base coach for the eventual World Series champion Marlins. Ozzie's line after the game was, "Don't let the monster wake up." Uh...right.

Hyperbole aside, Ozzie's looking to put his foot down on the throat of the Angels and send the Southside into bedlam for their first Series in 46 years.

Game 5 - Jose Contreras v. Paul Byrd, 6:30 PM tonight.


One of the greatest; Sox on the brink

Talk about taking the bitter with the sweet.

This could have been one of the all-time greatest weekends as a White Sox/Irish fan. It certainly will be one of the most memorable.

Good news first: the Sox starters continue to make the Angels look silly in the ALCS. Saturday was Freddy Garcia's turn to go the distance in an 8-2 victory. Say whatever you want about the quality of the umpire's calls, but the White Sox deserve to be where they are right now, up 3-1 and one win away from the...dare I say it...WORLD SERIES. Jose Contreras goes tonight and I like our chances.

What else? Oh, uh...there was some kind of football game played in South Bend this weekend. Not quite sure what happened. Alright, that was a cheap joke. But at a time like this, words fail me.

It was something that the entire ND student body was ready for. We'd been waiting for 12 years for something of this magnitude to happen, something to put our stamp on the legacy of Notre Dame football. It was, finally, about to be "OUR" time once again.

And then it wasn't.

For those of you who missed it, Matt Leinart executed an absolutely brilliant play on 4th and 9, audibiling a perfect fade route to Dwayne Jarret, who is unfortunately a half-foot taller than Ambrose Wooden. Ambrose was playing his coverage perfectly, the pass was just, literally, perfectly placed a half-inch above his grasp and Jarret sprinted to the 13.

Three plays later, Leinart attempted a John Elway-style helicopter spin into the endzone only to be stopped short - and to have Tom Zbikowski jar the ball free. Unfortunately it rolled out of bounds. There was some question as to whether Leinart had stepped out of bounds at the 4-yard line, and then a lot of controversy when the clock ticked all the way down to :00, prompting a pre-mature rush of the field by the ND student section. They quickly collected themselves in time for the last play.

Which was a QB sneak by Leinart - just like Miami 17 years ago to the day, the #1 team was gonna play for all the marbles rather than safely go for the tie. Snap...Leinart dives...STOPPED! He spins around and falls...INTO THE ENDZONE. Trojan TD. Now it was USC's turn to rush the field before the game was over, earning as 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and missing the extra point. 34-31. Notre Dame had one last chance to attempt their own version of the Stanford band play, managing a couple laterals on the kickoff return before being tackled to end the game.

An amazing football game. Lou Holtz didn't hesitate to call it the "greatest in this rivalry" and maybe the greatest ever. For sheer entertainment value and "down-to-the-wire" finish, it has no equal amidst this storied rivalry, which is really saying something. The 1999 game which featured a 21-point second half comeback by the Irish might be up there, but both teams were under .500 and WAY less was at stake then. This was a slugfest, two heavyweights going back and forth, neither able to knock the other out. Greatest ever, period? We may need to wait a few years before saying that. Certainly I would be more ready to say it if the Irish had won.

Other quick thoughts:

- Of the 4 Heisman contenders on the field, only Reggie Bush truly distinguished himself - and boy, did he EVER. The Irish bottled him up in the return game, but he still reeled off 160 yards and 3 TDs on just 15 carries. Brady Quinn and Leinart had very average games considering the standards they have already set for themselves (take out the 61-yarder to Jarret and Leinart was 16 of 32 for 240 yards with 2 interceptions; Quinn was 19 of 35 for 264 yards on the day) , but they both were absolute money on their team's respective final drives, showcasing that mental moxie and "heart of a champion" stuff the Heisman voters love. Bush would be the winner if the vote were held today.

- Everybody talked after the debacle of the '02 Boston College game that the fabled ND Green Jerseys should be burned to a crisp and never worn again. Not only did Charlie Weis break out the green, he proved that the color of the jersey has jack-squat to do with how the team plays. The bonehead decisions about how to use the green - Gerry Faust putting them on at halftime when the Irish were UP by 24 points? Bob Davie using them in the Gator Bowl against GEORGIA TECH? Ty Willingham pulling 'em out for BOSTON COLLEGE? - have left many with a jaded view of a special piece of Notre Dame tradition. The green jerseys belong as part of Notre Dame lore, and bringing them out for a truly monumental occasion is a cool thing to do. Had the Irish held on for the win, everybody would be calling for a permanent shift to green.

- Following up on that, the sports director for KSCR, USC's student radio station that was in the booth next to us, came by before the game to ask if there was any chance of the green today. We all said, rather emphatically, no, that the green jersey stunt had come and gone. He surmised that if Notre Dame were to try such a thing, SC's players would be rather offended...offended by what, I'm not sure. But Charlie's decision to wear the green and the subsequent game were simply further proof that no matter what the media says and what the fans think, the color of the uniform is meaningless next to how the game is played, and both teams played it exceptionally well.

- Notre Dame's defense performed about where they had all season, surrendering a lot of yards - 472. But against an offense that averaged 640 yards through its first five games, there is something admirable to be said for how they performed. Leinart and Bush looked to be having their way early, but the defense tightened up and forced 6 punts from Tom Malone, two interceptions by Leinart and pretty much ended the Heisman chances of LenDale White (21 yards on 10 carries). USC had already been behind at the half twice this season and used their overwhelming power of White and Bush to wear teams into the ground. Notre Dame refused to let that happen and for that alone they deserve credit. Now, about that 4th down play...

- Both teams committed a couple of dumb mistakes and were subsequently penalized for it - each had a personal foul call which kept an eventual touchdown drive alive for their opponent. On the whole, it was a well-refereed game and the players decided it, which is always a nice bonus. The Irish were in the game fair and square, getting no help from the miraculous bounces and phantom fouls everybody said they would need to stay with the Trojans.

- And on that last point: Notre Dame proved today, once and for all, that the "talent gap" is a myth purported by people who still want to believe that the Irish gave their former coach a raw deal. In Charlie Weis Notre Dame has one of the best overall game-planners at any level of football. USC is certainly more talented and deeper overall, but the idea that Notre Dame does not have the horses to play with the best is total bullshit. They proved it by going toe-to-toe with the two-time national champs. They are two or three plays away from being a perfect 6-0 at this point. They belong. Even Sean Salisbury, noted SC alum, said it before Saturday's game, "Charlie's gonna win a national championship while he's here, I guarantee it".

I need a drink. GO WHITE SOX!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

24 Hours Away

Notre Dame v. Southern California, for all the marbles that might possibly be up for grabs on Saturday in mid-October.

The players have been talking about it all week. This is the game that brings them to Notre Dame, a chance to take down the #1 team in the country on their home turf in front of 80,000 screaming disciples to the Church of Notre Dame Football.

2:30 PM, Notre Dame Stadium, the Trojan War begins. Winner takes all.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

ND-SC Buildup

Only 52 and a half hours before kickoff. The library lawn has basically been conquered by ESPN, which has set up for Cold Pizza on Friday and GameDay on...well, on gameday.

ESPN is even televising the pep rally from ND Stadium. Is this overkill? You betcha. Do I love it? You betcha. Although I must say, this is a bit much for a school as irrelevant as Notre Dame, right Alan Grant?

Rumors continue that Bruce Springsteen or even Bon Jovi (hey, go for the gold - why not both?) may make a special cameo appearence at the rally as a display of Jersey solidarity with Coach Weis. Stay tuned.

At practice - Rhema McKnight in pads running drills at full speed. It's all hands on deck for Saturday.

SIDE NOTE - Notre Dame water polo climbed to 11th in the CWPA rankings, yet somehow #2 Michigan State and #6 Michigan (who have both lost to us) retain their spots. Be serious.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Chicago Controversy

Was it a clean catch? You be the judge.

It's not a hard call to make. It was a catch, Josh Paul pulled Escobar's pitch into the webbing of his glove. The umpire ought to be able to recognize this.

Still, four things are important to recognize in this situation before we all jump on the "TAR & FEATHER THE UMP" bandwagon:

1) There were still two outs with a runner on first. Everybody in the stadium, everybody watching on television, and even Fox's absent-minded professor Lou Piniella knew the White Sox were going to put the steal on with pinch runner Pablo Ozuna. He went into second without as much as a throw. If he's held at first, that long drive from Crede MAYBE scores him, and certainly gives the Angels a shot at beating him to the plate. Is Ozuna's steal the umpire's fault as well?

2) Josh Paul might be certain that he caught it, but when the ball's tailing toward the dirt like that and Pierzynski takes off toward first, he could've ended the whole thing by gingerly tossing to first. Even if he had that foresight, Darin Erstad was already jogging toward the dugout. Never assume in sports, and Paul and Erstad ought to know that. Is that the umpire's fault too?

3) Like I said, there's still two outs in the inning. Escobar's been throwing straight nasty, so why the heck does Mike Sciocsia waste nearly 10 minutes in a fruitless attempt to get the call overturned? You're icing your own pitcher when all he needs to do is to retire Joe ".255 Career Hitter" Crede. Is that the umpire's fault too?

4) Both teams had numerous chances to take control of the game, and neither did. You cannot point to that one call as the reason the Angels lost. Was the umpire also the reason Vlad Guerrero, Benji Molina (what the hell is he doing batting cleanup anyway) and Garrett Anderson went 0 for 11 with 4 left on base?

Sciocsia, to his credit, took the high road and refused to blame the umpire for his team's inability to execute against Mark Buehrle (who is, by the way, friggin' SUPERMAN). Ozzie excitedly blatherd something in Spanglish and then continued slapping everybody on the back.

Go West, my Sox, and Conquer. Game 3 at 7 on Friday, Jon Garland vs. John Lackey.



Mark Buehrle has been sensational tonight and it still might not be enough.

Aaron Rowand's ill-timed decision to stretch an errant thrown into an inside-the-park home run looms huge right now as the Sox head to the bottom of the ninth tied 1-1.

Buehrle's line: 9 innings, 5 hits, 4 strikeouts, no walks, 1 run.



A Good Start

Sox take advantage of a huge brain cramp by Angels starter Jarrod Washburn, who lollie-pops an easy throw over Darin Erstad's head for a two-base error. A well-executed Iguchi bunt and a Dye groundout later, Scotty P. scores for a 1-0 lead.

Konerko just singled.



Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Which team? Certainly not the Angels, who squeak past the Sox 3-2 on the strength of Paul Byrd's pitching.

Jose Contreras again rewards the faith Ozzie placed in him with a stellar start, 8 strong innings. His one true mistake, a second inning cookie which Garret Anderson drove for a homer, cost him the game. Little things get very big in the postseason.

Game 2 tomorrow, and the Sox would be well served to go to Anaheim tied given their horrendous track record at the Happiest Place on does 4-10 in Anaheim since 2002 sound? Not so good, especially when you consider one of those defeats was by a score of 19-0.

Also, Game 3 starter Jon Garland hasn't seen game action in two weeks and already has two losses to the Halos this year. So once again, the pressure is on Mark Buehrle. Good thing he doesn't let it get to him.


Monday, October 10, 2005

It's the Angels

The Disneyland Nine are coming to the Southside. Game 1 will pit Paul Byrd against the newest ChiSox ace, Jose Contreras.


Game 1 - Tuesday 7 PM

We really don't care if the opponent will be playing their third game in 48 hours. This is pro sports - buck up, rookies!!!

Angels have the upper hand right now in Game 5, leading 5-2 in the top of the fifth. Bartolo Colon lasted just one inning due to shoulder pain, but the Yankees have Randy Johnson on in relief of Mussina at this point.

Five days to go until SC-Notre Dame. Beat USC flyers have begun to be posted all over campus, carrying images of the rivalry throughout the years. My favorite is the one of Ray Zellars stiff-arming a Trojan tackler.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

So It Begins...

College football lies on the edge of it's seat now, as USC-Notre Dame is just six fateful days away. The excitement is building to what will be the most anticipated game of this series since the #1 vs. #2 battle which proved the exclaimation point on ND's last championship season, 1988.

One other trivia bit: the last time Notre Dame played the #1 team on October 15th was 17 years ago, also in 1988, against Miami. Not quite sure how that one worked out...


Friday, October 07, 2005


El Duque has reason to be happy. His masterpiece from the bullpen has the Sox in the ALCS for the first time in 12 years.

Bases loaded, NOBODY OUT, the White Sox nursing a 1-run lead. Enter the Duke, and bring down the curtain on Boston's championship reign.


Game 3

Boston's best chance: PRAY FOR RAIN.

No, but seriously, the pitching matchup tilts in the Sox favor: Freddy Garcia is 10-3 on the road this season and is a seasoned playoff vet, and while Tim Wakefield has come up huge again and again for the BoSox in his playoff career, he still lives and dies by his knuckleball.

Prediction: Sox win it 6-4, and rest Jon Garland for Game 1 of the ALCS at Comiskey (damn right, I called it Comiskey).

Also: 8 days until ND-USC, a game that became A LOT more interesting than people said at the beginning of the year. We'll have preview articles all next week.

Stay tuned for updates on Round 3 of the Battle of the Sox...

UPDATED 4:45 PM -- Freddy dodges a HUUUGE bullet with two men on, getting David Ortiz to fly deep to Rowand for the third out of the fifth. Into the sixth, still tied 2-2.

UPDATED 5:01 PM -- KONERKO!!! PAUL-EE! PAUL-EE! Paulie connects for a two-run homer and the Sox lead 4-2.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fear the Gooch

The situation: 4-2 Boston, bottom of the fifth, Iguchi at the plate, Crede on third, and Juan Uribe at first after a horrific miscue by ex-White Sox Tony Graffanino. David Wells pitching, and...

HOOOOOOME RUN!!!! As Kenny Mayne would say. 5-4 Sox in a thriller on the Southside. Onto Ye Olde Ballpark on Friday afternoon where Freddy Garcia goes for the kill and the White Sox' first postseason series win since 1917.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005


...and the Sox hit paydirt with five homers -- including one by Scott Podsednik, of all people -- in a 14-2 romp.

Game 2 tomorrow at 6 PM, Mark Buehrle vs. David Wells.


8-2 Sox

Uribe finishes off Matt Clement with a two-run dinger, putting the White Sox up 8-2 in the bottom of the 4th. Red Sox are already in their bullpen before 4 full innings. Beautiful.



A.J. digs the defending champs into a HUGE early hole with a three-run bomb!

5-0 ChiSox and still in the bottom of the first. The way Contreras has been pitching in the season and how he handled the top of this innig (whiffing David Ortiz on a nasty 2-2 pitch), this is four runs more than he needs.



Ozzieball Strikes Early

Podsednik takes advantage of getting plunked and swipes 3rd, allowing the Sox to score on Konerko's first out.

Manufacturing runs, manufacturing wins.

Bottom 1st: Sox 1, Boston 0


T-Minus 2 Hours

Playoff baseball returns to the Southside for the first time in 5 years. I am pumped, big time.

The key to the series for the White Sox will be quality outings from their starters. If they can scratch out 2 or 3 runs off of the Boston staff (which is not exactly the '95 Braves) and get the games into their bullpen with a multi-run lead, they have a solid chance of taking 3 of 5 and notching a postseason series win for the first time since 1917.

Notre Dame begins the two-week simmer of anticipation as the matchup with Southern Cal approaches. Charlie Weis has basically locked himself into the video room at the Gug.

In other ND news, CW and staff hooked a REAL big fish on Monday with the commitment of the nation's top defensive back, Pittsburgh-area corner Darrin Walls. That brings the Irish total to 19 verbals in early October, with a few other big names like Matt Carufel, Konrad Reuland & Jason Kates still out there.

Check back for in-game blogs on the Battle of the Sox, beginning at 3 PM CT.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Irish Steamroll Purdue; Battle of the Sox Looms


In five games under Charlie Weis, Notre Dame has scored 40+ points four times. In 37 games under Tyrone Willingham, they did that...twice.

This just in: Urban Meyer's offense has found its kryptonite. Its called speed on the opposing defense. Florida goes without a touchdown for the first time in 13 years in getting whacked by Alabama 31-3. Roll Tide, indeed.

The season in the books, and the White Sox finish an incredible 99-63, far beyond anybody's expectations. Just for fun, they swept the Indians this weekend in Cleveland, ending the Tribe's playoff dreams despite a spirited second half.

And now the real season begins.

WHITE SOX - RED SOX, Game 1 @ Comiskey (damn right I said it, Comiskey) 3:00 PM.