Monday, August 31, 2009

Tale of the Tape: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Syracuse Orange

Yes it is that time of the year. The ToT! SU will start the season off vs Minnesota. To win, we must know our enemy, and in this case our enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit, ever. They're like the Viet Cong, Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. The winner of this battle will receive a special victory Tattoo. This season Nancy Cantor has volunteered to receive the Tattoos won by SU. This week the teams will be playing for Orange Twins:

Lets get to it!

Born on Date
Minn: 1851 vs SU: 1870
Ottos Edge: Minn... their first students didnt attend until 1867 due to financial issues

GPS (Location)
Minn: Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) vs SU: Syracuse
Ottos Edge: Minn... two is better than one

State Fair
Minn: in St Paul vs SU: in Syracuse
Ottos Edge: Minn... because of heavy traffic from the fair, classes do not start at Minn until after the fair is over. I wish we did that with our FB games so people would show up.

Minn: Saint Paul Winter Carnival (famous for ice castles and sculptures) vs SU: May Fest
Ottos Edge: SU... I rather celebrate the warmth than the cold.

Minn: Mall of America vs SU: Destiny USA
Ottos Edge: Minn... destiny seems destined to be a dream

Canal on
Minn: Mississippi vs SU: Erie
Ottos Edge: SU... not only did it help NYC become a power, it caused the conservation of Adirondack Park.

Minn: 61st (US News) vs SU: 58th
Ottos Edge: SU... but we have been steadily falling

Minn: 4th largest 51K (29 under, 22 grad) vs SU: 19k
Ottos Edge: Minn... while having a lot of students sucks, the university police have a free escort service since the 1980s. Wait that isnt the type of escorts I am thinking, is it? Uff da!

Students live in
Minn: Dinkytown vs SU: South Campus
Ottos Edge: SU... Dinkytown is just north of campus. The area has small businesses, restaurants, bars, and apartments that house mostly students.

Getting around campus
Minn: through The Gopher Way (tunnels) or on buses vs SU: walking between snow banks
Ottos Edge: Minn... in 1992 Minn created a busway but in the first 5 years there were many accidents. So they used a new invention called stop signs to alleviate the problem.

School Paper
Minn: The Minnesota Daily (est 1900) vs SU: Daily Orange (1903)
Ottos Edge: SU... we are better. They print their paper M-Th and have an online only version on F.

School Colors
Minn: Maroon and Gold vs SU: Orange
Ottos Edge: SU... maroon and gold equals awful

Team Name
Minn: Golden Gophers vs SU: Orange
Ottos Edge: Minn... we should be the OrangeMEN

Minn: Goldy the Gopher vs SU: Otto the Orange
Ottos Edge: SU... Goldy? Did Flavor Flav name him?

Fight Song
Minn: Minnesota Rouser vs SU: Down, Down the Field
Ottos Edge: SU... no one likes a trouble maker

Minn: Ski-U-Mah vs SU: Lets Go Orange
Ottos Edge: SU... Ski is a Sioux battle cry and U Mah is for U of M

No one, and I mean no one, comes into our house and pushes us around (Home Field)
Minn: TCF (Twin City Financial) Bank Stadium (almost 51k) vs SU: Carrier Dome
Ottos Edge: SU... TCF is designed for expansion to 80k. But they have NO BEER! TCF is paying $35 million over 25 years for the naming rights.

Before then Minn played in a....

Minn: Metrodome vs SU: Carrier
Ottos Edge: SU... if the Metrodome were so great they wouldnt have left.

Other Past Stadiums
Minn: Northrop Field (1899-1923), Memorial (known as Brick House, 1924-1981) vs SU: Archbold Stadium
Ottos Edge: Minn... they had greater success in theirs

1st year of FB
Minn: 1882 vs SU: 1889
Ottos Edge: Minn... they have been around longer

All Time Ws
Minn: 635 vs SU: 674
Ottos Edge: SU... their 10 W season in 2003 was their first since 1905. However...

National Champs
Minn: 6 vs SU: 1
Ottos Edge: Minn... they won 3 straight titles from 1934-1936, the last D1A team to do so. During that time they had an unbeaten streak of 28 straight, with a string of 21 straight Ws. They also won back to back in 1940-1941, with an 18 game W streak. Their last title was 1960 in which they lost to Wash in the Rose (polls ended before Bowls back then).

Minn: B11 vs SU: BE
Ottos Edge: Minn... we can win ours which says a lot of the quality

Speaking of which...

Conf Champs
Minn: 18 vs SU: 4
Ottos Edge : Minn... they havent won the B11 since 1967 and havent been to the Rose since 1961

Staying with Bowls...

Bowl Games
Minn: 5-8 vs SU: 12-9-1
Ottos Edge: SU... too bad for both schools that there were not 500 Bowl games years ago or our numbers would be much higher

Head to Head
Minn: 1 W vs SU: 1 W
Ottos Edge: Push... this will be for the lead

Rivalry Trophies
Minn: Paul Bunyans Axe (Wisc 1948), Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa 1935), Governors Victory Bell (PSU 1993), Little Brown Jug (Mich 1903) vs SU: Schwartzwalder Trophy (WV)
Ottos Edge: Minn... their rivalry with Wisc is the most played game in D1A. Since 1890 they have played 117 times (1906 only missed meeting). Before the Axe they played for the Slab of Bacon, a piece of wood with an M or W depending on how you held it. The trophy was lost in 1943. The schools also partake in the Border Battle, a year long competition in each sport, in which 40 points are allocated in each sport. The 40 points divided by each match in that sport, so 40 points to the FB winner, 20 for each game in BBall, and so on.

Best HC
Minn: Bernie Bierman (16 years, 93-35-6 record, 6 B11s, 5 National Titles, 5 undefeated seasons) vs SU: Schwartzwalder
Ottos Edge: Minn... hard to argue with that

But you can argue with...

HC fired after bad Bowl performance
Minn: Mason (blew 38-7 3rd Q lead vs Texas Tech) vs SU: P (blown out by GT)
Ottos Edge: Push... they are no winners when you fire a HC that late in a season

HC Alumn
Minn: Bud Grant vs SU: HCRE
Ottos Edge: Minn... he is in the HoF

Speaking of which...

Minn: 6 (Bobby Bell, Carl Eller, Bud Grant, Bronko Nagurski, Leo Nomellini, Charlie Sanders) vs SU: 6
Ottos Edge: SU... since Floyd Little has a shot this year

Minn: 21 vs SU: 14
Ottos Edge: Minn... even though most of their guys were before the modern era

Heisman Halfback
Minn: Bruce Boo Smith (1941) vs SU: Ernie Davis
Ottos Edge: SU... he had a movie about him

Sticking with hardware...

CFB Award
Minn: Bronko Nagurski Trophy (D MVP) vs SU: Mackey Trophy (TE)
Ottos Edge: Minn... more important award

Awards are given to greats...

Denver Bronco Greats
Minn: Karl Macklenburg vs SU: Floyd Little
Ottos Edge: SU... although they got more bang for the buck with the 12th round 310th pick, Mecklenburg

Boston Patriot Greats
Minn: Gino Cappelletti vs SU: Jim Nance
Ottos Edge: Minn... he is the AFLs all time leading scorer (mostly as a K) and a Top 10 WR. He also played DB and returned kicks.

Something not so great...

Helped Michael Vick come back to NFL
Minn: Dungy (alumn) vs SU: McNabb
Ottos Edge: Push... Vick should have been kicked to the curb

Staying with kicking...

Minn: Chip Lohmiller vs SU: Gary Anderson, Olinda Mare
Ottos Edge: SU... Anderson was one of the best

Minn: Carl Eller vs SU: Freeney
Ottos Edge: Minn... win goes to the Purple People Eater, for now

Speaking of eating...

Let's put the women and children to bed and go lookin' for dinner (Food)
Minn: Walleye (state fish), Lutefisk (Scandinavian fish dish) vs SU: Dino BBQ
Ottos Edge: SU... I will take ribs over fish any day

Minn: Haralson, Honeycrisp (both developed U Minn) vs SU: Cortland, Empire, Northern Spy
Ottos Edge: SU... as NY is the 2nd biggest apple producing state

You can get apple products at the...

Minn: Target vs SU: Wegmans
Ottos Edge: SU... I could use one of their subs right now. Robert Ulrich of Target is a Minn alumn.

The Target Center is home to the...

Minn: ex GM McHale (UM alumn) vs SU: Jonny Flynn
Ottos Edge: SU... unlike Kev, Jonny will bring join to their fans

Sticking with BBall...

3pt sharp shooter
Minn: Trent Tucker vs SU: GMac
Ottos Edge: Minn... he was able to hit a shot with only 0.1 secs (Trent Tucker Rule).

Former Pro Franchises
Minn: Lakers, NorthStars vs SU: Nationals (76ers)
Ottos Edge: Minn... they at least got replacements back in the Wolves and Wild.

Some say this is a sport...

Pro Wrestling
Minn: Ric Flair, Brock Lesnar vs SU: Mike Rotunda
Ottos Edge: Minn... Woooo!

Sticking with wrassling...

State actually elected
Minn: Jesse Ventura, Al Franken vs SU: Hillary Clinton
Ottos Edge: Push... there are no winners here

Other Politicians
Minn: Eugene McCarthy, Tim Pawlenty vs SU: Al D'Amato, Donna Shalala
Ottos Edge: SU... I miss Al. He was always entertaining.

Both schools produced...

Minn: Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale vs SU: Biden
Ottos Edge: Minn... well they had 2

Biden is VP to the first African American POTUS. Other AA firsts...

African History
Minn: Bobby Marshall 1st black Big 9 player and along with Frtiz Pollard first black NFL player vs SU: Ernie Davis first black Heisman winner
Ottos Edge: Push... all where winners here

Davis was also good at...

Minn: Paul Molitor, Terry Steinbach, Dave Winfield vs SU: Syracuse has a minor league team
Ottos Edge: Minn... Big Dave was my favorite player growing up

Other sports known for
Minn: Hockey, Wrestling vs SU: Lax
Ottos Edge: Minn... only because we cut our wrestling team. Their hockey team has won 5 titles and made 19 Frozen Fours. Herb Brooks and 9 members of the 1980 US team were from U of Minn. In a interesting side note the mens hockey team plays in Mariucci Arena, while the women have their own arena, Ridder Arena (the first dedicated womens hockey arena, cap 3400). The wrestling team has been around for 92 seasons and produced over 800 wins.

Other Athlete
Minn: Tom Lehman vs SU: Myer Prinstein (Gold medalist 1900 triple jump and 1904 triple and long jumps)
Ottos Edge: SU... golf isnt a sport

Which reminds me of the big dance back in St. Olaf to kick off Pretzel Week. It was covered by the local...

Minn: Aaron Brown vs SU: Ted Koppel and many others
Ottos Edge: SU... I hated Aaron Brown

On the radio besides media they play...

Minn: Yanni, Bob Dylan vs SU: Lou Reed
Ottos Edge: SU... Yanni seals the deal

On TV they have...

Minn: Loni Anderson, Henry Fonda, Ron Perlman, Robert Vaughn vs SU: Vanessa Williams, Peter Falk, Lexington Steele, Jerry Stiller
Ottos Edge: SU... plus we have more on top of that

Which brings us to the Category of the Week...

Competitive Eater
Minn: Richard Dean Anderson (Minneapolis native) vs SU: Doug Marrone
Ottos Edge: SU... not even MacGyver can hang with Marrone. BTW who knew MacGyvers first name was Angus? Hmmm beef.

And the winner of the Tattoo is.....

The Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former player, now, about to become a winning head coach. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! SU will defeat Minnesota and send them back to Lake Wobegon.

(Yes I did give TWO a tramp stamp)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What will our D look like?

As the season approaches we have to wonder what will we see from a D that has been a failure the last 7 years. And what is this Okie everyone keeps talking about? Well after checking into Shafers background, I have come up with guess as to what we will see.

The Okie D is a 3-4 D with 3-3-5 personnel. So there will be 3 DLmen, 3 LBs, a S acting as a 4th LB (Okie), 2 CBs, and 2 Ss. It isnt the base D that Shafer will use. It is a D he will use in passing situations (3rd and 7+) or against Spread teams. It is an attacking D so speed will be important. Out of this D he could bring anyone on a blitz. But for the most part it will be someone from the front 7. In fact it could be the entire front 7. If he decides to play man coverage, you will see all 7 players come. If he decides to play zone coverage it will be 5 players coming.

So who will be in this Okie package? At NT it will be Art Jones. Ideally you want a guy who would be a DE in a normal 3-4. Bigger than a 4-3 DE but still quick enough to put on a pass rush. Kind of a DT/DE hybrid. Jones isnt the physical ideal but he is such a great talent he will get the call here. Next season I would expect Lewis as the guy. At DE you want a pass rusher. Ideally a guy who is an OLB in a typical 3-4. An DE/LB hybrid. I think Marinovich is a perfect fit and will be one DE. The other DE is a question. Sharpe and Battles seem to be physical fits. But they dont have much experience. Which leaves Chandler Jones, Kimmel, and Ball. We dont know a lot about Ball so I would think it is down to the first two. And from that it seems like Chandler is more athletic and will get call. Kimmel though should be the DE when we go 4-3, over Marinovich.

The LBs shouldnt be hard to figure out. The Mike is Smith. The Sam will play like an ILB in a 4-3. While Hogue is the starter in the 4-3, I could see Stenclik possibly at the Sam in the Okie. For the OLBs you want a LB/SS hybrid type. So the Will could be Holmes or a Thomas. But since our DBs have little experience, I think the winner of Carter or Gillum will stay at Will in both the 4-3 and Okie. Hines would have been a great fit here. As to the Okie backer you have to think it is Suter. At SS you want good coverage skills. That is said to be Suters weak spot. So he may be better off at the Okie.

So who will be the SS? This is where Graham would have been. I think he will be a much bigger loss than we all realized. I am gonna guess that it is Phillip Thomas here, but could be Shamarko or McKinnon. The rest of the DBs should all be the same (Scotts at DB and Holmes at FS).

How does this D work? Well we will see 7 guys at the LOS, all showing blitz. The NT will be on the C and put pressure on him. With a guy like Art Jones this will make the Cs job extremely difficult as he wont have help. Should a G give help, it will leave the Mike or Sam a clear path to the QB. Arts job wont be as much to get a sack as to push the C back into the QB and make the QB move. Also it will be important for him to watch for a RB screen. The DEs will be outside the Ts and could speed rush off the edge or could come inside the T.

The Sam and Mike could do a whole lot of things. They will be over the Gs and could blitz through that gap. Or they could do a twist where one LB and the NT slant and the other LB comes around replacing the original LBs gap. Or they could drop back into coverage taking away the slants. In this case they could also come on a blitz should the G block the NT leaving the gap open. Or one will blitz and the other will fall back into a middle zone.

The Okie and Will will have similar responsibilities but the Okie will be on the front side. Both could come off the edge. In this case should the RB come out for a swing pass or screen, they must follow the RB as their responsibility. Should Shafer blitz 7, one of these guys will be unblocked. Should Shafer call a zone blitz, one of these guys will drop into a curl/flat zone.

The DBs need to be able to cover. Shafer from time to time will bring a S or the backside CB on a blitz but his main blitzes these guys are in coverage. If we have man coverage these guys will be all alone. Since we will be blitzing, they wont have to cover for a long time. But they cant be easily beat or we will see a lot of big plays. If we are in zone, you will see the CBs playing deep 1/3. One S will be middle 1/3 (ideally Holmes) and the other S will play curl/flat opposite the Okie/Will dropping back.

So where are the problem areas with the D? Well in man coverage we need good play from the DBs. They cant get beat one on one. Also they need to be able to tackle. On a slant the Ss need to come up and make a tackle or it is 7 points for the O. The good thing is the Sam or Mike could be dropping back on the play making it 7 our way. The flats should be open for the O. However as long as we come up and make the tackle, it will be short of the first down and lead to a punt. In both man and zone, we will have to be careful for screens. If we dont recognize them or if they are blocked well, we can be hurt for a big play.

In Zone the S/OLB covering the curl/flat has to protect against the seem pass. They need to make a seem route alter its course before covering the curl/flat. Should they try and jump the curl/flat, it will leave the seem wide open for a big play. Since we may have true freshman playing here (Carter or either Thomas), it is easier for mistakes to happen. Also should the SS have middle 1/3, it will likely be one of the Thomas boys. They need to play a smart CF and not make a frosh mistake. Another possible issue is if the O sends 4 deep, we only have 3 guys in deep zone to cover them. If the QB can get the pass off, we are out numbered.

Trips will also cause some issues against a zone because of numbers. A pass to the flat or a WR screen will put pressure on the cover guys to make a tackle. Also having trips with one WR going deep and another on a corner should find a hole down the field. If I were going up against SU, I would try and attack the Wills side as we should have a Frosh (Carter) there. Also should a Thomas be at S the same side as Carter, I would attack that. Try and see if you can get a Freshman mistake out of them. The only problem for the O is that this should be the short side of the field.

This should be an exciting, attacking D. We should see a lot of sacks and a lot of TOs. And even some D scores! Which will be the opposite of what we saw with GRobs Ds. If we can cover and we can tackle, we will make huge strides this year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cuse Cast X

In a very special 10th Cuse Cast a studio audience listens into the discussion. KingOtto and Cuseman tackle the Marrone online interviews and the D depth chart. The show ends with a prize give away to a lucky winner from the studio audience. The prize is a trip with the Cuse Casters to PSU in an RV, a $4800 cash value. The lucky winner Steve (aka Paula and Clam fan) is a big SU fan despite being from NJ and currently attending RU. We guess he wont be going to the Howard game.

Length about 19:30

Monday, August 24, 2009

Minn Practice Thoughts

I watched the Minn practice on the BTN and here are my thoughts...

Nice looking stadium. Interesting that it is only 50k. Not that they need more but for a B11 team that is the second smallest (only NW smaller, 250 less than #9 Indiana) and quite a bit less than #8 (Purdue 12.5k more).

Their O wasnt very impressive. Now it was a bland scrimmage so you cant take too much but talent wise Decker seems like the only threat (a big one at that). I think as he goes, so does Minn. Good news is that Shafer did stop him last year. Mich held Decker to one catch for -3 yards. And Minn was held to 6 points, 8 1st downs, and under 200 yards. Not bad for a Mich team on a 5 game losing streak and playing on the road. That being said we dont have the talent that Mich does.

Also Minn has a new OC so it wont be the same for Shafer. It is interesting that Brewster chose to go from Spread to Pro Style. It is the opposite of what everyone else is doing. I wonder if the NFL coach in him prefers the pro set. Also I wonder if moving from a dome to an outdoor stadium in a cold environment had something to do with that. It is also interesting that he chose to pick a young OC with zero experience. Jedd Fisch is only 33 years old. He has been around some good O minds but even if he is the next great thing, he will make rookie mistakes. Which of course is great news for us as it will be his first game.

Last year Minn was last in the B11 in rushing and nothing from this scrimmage makes me think that will change. The first team O couldnt run the ball on the second team D. Not good. I also noticed that the OL was a bit further off the LOS than normal. Didnt matter if it was a run or a pass. Their 3 pt stance was well behind the C and even the TE was closer to the LOS. That helps with passes but has to hurt running. Which could explain why they cant run. They have a new OL coach I wonder if this is new. It should play right into Shafers hands as he wants to push the LOS back on every play.

As to the play calling it was bland. Now this was a no frill scrimmage but that could be their O if they indeed are going pro style. It reminded me of Pariani. Runs that went nowhere, short passes, a few reverses, and even a screen. I hope this analogy holds true. They did take a few deep shots though. But going back to the screens I would definitely gameplan against that. NFL guys love screens and Shafer is an aggressive DC. I would be a little worried about that.

Weber threw 3 INTs against a base 2nd team D. Last year he only threw 8 INTs. But the year before he threw 19. I wonder if going under C again will hurt him. And what will happen with some pressure? Their other QB Gray was unimpressive as a passer. He has a weird motion and threw a wobbly pass. But I am sure they will have him in a few times in a wildcat set.

It is hard to tell what their D will be since they were pretty base. And they have a new DC. Last year they forced a bunch of TOs. Was that luck? Scheme? Talent? And how will the new DC effect that number? They did get 3 INTs on Weber so maybe things wont change.

Special teams provided some good tape for Casullo to dissect. They had some real nice returns but how much of that was the returner vs the coverage? On the PRs they made the first guy miss and then there was no one else near. Now you have to give the guy credit for making the first guy miss. Did he make it look easy or was it easy? After that it was just bad coverage. Also it was interesting that there were 3 fumbles on returns. Stoudermire seems dangerous but the rest of the STs seemed very sloppy, which could be an opportunity.

You cant really take too much from the scrimmage schemewise but besides Decker I wasnt all that impressed with the athletes. We could beat this team.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cuse Cast IX

King Otto and Cuseman (yes he is finally back) talk about the Meadowlands games, players leaving the program, and the O depth chart.

Length about 25 mins

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Daily Directive

It appears SU will be playing 3 games in the new Meadowlands Stadium. I like the idea of playing there, and not just because it is an easy trip. It is good for recruiting, program exposure, and help keep alumni active in following FB. However I do not like the proposed deals. If it were 2-1-1 with USC and 3-1-2 with ND I would be 100% behind it. But having zero true home games is small time. We are not UConn or RU. Also it will cost SU money. No way ND lets SU have the whole gate. Not only is SU losing a sold out home game with these two, they are also losing season ticket sales.

Carry on

King Otto III

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cuse Cast VIII

Included are my questions for Doug Marrone and my thoughts on his answers.

Length about 12 mins 30 secs
Download (file is MP3 so should play on WMP)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Pilgrimage to Media Day

This all started with a dream. A dream to have Doug Marrone on the Cuse Cast. It seemed like a crazy idea, and a long shot at that. But Coach Marrone had been going all around on speaking tours (none in NJ BTW, thanks) so I figured what the hell, might as well ask. What would it hurt? So I pulled a few strings to get some street cred and was told that I could speak with Coach Marrone, if I could make the Big East Media Day or the SU one. I would have loved to have gone to the BE one but my schedule didnt permit it. But the SU one I could make. Here is my story.

Since Coach Marrone is from NYC, I wanted to bring something with me. How could I come all the way up and not? Also being Italian, I knew that the best way to put an Italian guy in a good mood is through his stomach. That way I could get a good interview. So I wanted to bring some fresh mozz and cannoli. Now for me it would be easiest to go to Hoboken and then drive up to SYR. But it wouldnt mean as much since he isnt from there. It needed to be from Little Italy in the Bronx. Then I thought thats a lot of driving around for one day, I would be exhausted on the way home. Then it hit me. How great a story would it be to take public transportation (subways, bus to SYR) and Tweet my story along the way? And that is what I did.



Pre Bus Audio Log

I started the day off at 5:20am as my clock radio went off playing Nirvanas Come as You Are. Normally for work I get up at 6:45 so this was foreign to me. I figured I should look somewhat professional so I planned on wearing blacks pants and a white button down shirt with blue stripes. And I would roll up the sleeves since it was gonna be a hot day. I thought it would be a safe outfit (it more than was as most people had polo shirts and shorts). After taking out Otto, my dog, I left at 6:20 which is still earlier than I am up most days.

So I took the PATH to NYC and then took the D train from 33rd to 188th in the Bronx. Now before I left I took out my debit and credit cards as well as my large bills from my wallet and kept them in my pocket. That way should I be mugged I only lose small bills, my metro card, and my license (all easily replaceable). Hey being a white guy in the Bronx I dont exactly fit in. While on the D train I had a guy sitting across from me that looked Eastern European. He was sitting in a fem way with his legs crossed and his hands on his knees. He kept looking toward me. I wasnt sure if it was my watch or if he was eyeing me. Either way it made me uncomfortable. I finally reached the BX at about 7:30am. I now had just over a 10 min walk to Little Italy on Arthur Ave. About halfway there I realized I really stood out. Not only am I white, I am wearing dress clothes which could attract attention. I shoulda dressed down and then changed when I got off the bus in SYR. Not much I could do now. But I did take off my watch and put it in my pocket. Having a $1200 Movado watch on was not likely safe.

I get to Arthur Ave fine and head over to the retail market. There I went to Mikes Deli to get myself a roast beef w/fresh mozz sandwhich for the trip and Coach Marrone some fresh mozz. I was a little disappointed that there werent Italians behind the counter but Latinos instead. I then went next door to get some cannolis for Coach Marrone at Madonia Bros Bakery. I didnt get myself any as it was a little early. They fill the cannoli right in front of you so I hoped this would keep them from getting too soggy by the time they were eaten. But again to my disappointment no Italians behind the counter but two Russian ladies instead. Oh well. I now had the goods and left for the Port Authority around 8am.

When I got to the gate for the bus, there was a huge line there. The schedule was for NYC, Binghamton, SYR, Rochester, Buffalo, Toronto. I worried that they may change the sched and I wouldnt make it to the Cuse in time. But they ended up making two buses which is insane. Why were so many people going to these places on a Monday in August? I get on the bus and behind me sits an unkempt white guy with a fro. He was coughing in my ear the whole trip. But next to me all is clear. I was hoping I would have the seat open. My experiences on the bus have been weird. Sometimes people sit next to me right away and sometimes not at all. Which to me doesnt make sense. For instance a guy with a red bushy goatee and a camoflage hat had a black girl sit next to him before me. Finally a skinny kid sat next to me. As long as it wasnt a fat person it was cool. It also reminded me of a time where a small asian guy (looked a little like guy from Oceans 11) sat next to me on a bus and curled into a ball, like a cat. He slept the whole way like that on the seat next to me. I still to this day dont know how he did it.

The bus driver turned out to be the same guy on my last bus trip, the Northeastern game. The guy looks like Dan Aykroyd but with gray hair. And he seemed a little odd. Come to think of it maybe it is Dan. Has anyone seen him latley?

And he sounds like this

But hey the guy makes good time as he made it to the SYR bus terminal (near the mall) in only 4:25 which is good for a bus with traffic and having to stop off in Binghamton to let people off. BTW please people dont ever say it takes more than 4 hours normally ever again. The traffic was on I80 in NJ for rock blasting. They were not blasting at the time but the right lane was closed. In Binghamton, to my joy, both the guy next to me and the cougher behind me got off. I hadnt eaten much all day. I had the sandwich not long after the bus left NYC (1030ish) and finished it not long after the Binghamton stop. It was a great sandwhich. I was tempted to take a cannoli the rest of the trip but was able to hold off.

I finally got to SYR and went out for a cab. There was one there but no driver. Then an Asian guy sitting on the bench says it is his cab and away we go. The whole ride he is complaining about his stomach hurting all day, "Aw man my stomach hurt. I dunno why it hurt." I dont care buddy. I finally arrive on campus a little after 3pm and head over to the Ernie Davis statue for my first interview.

Since he wouldnt give me a comment I headed inside to the Dome. When I got there I picked up a media guide and sat down waiting for Marrones presser. It was like a sauna in there. I was dripping of sweat. Finally Marrone came out and spoke for about 15 mins and fielded some questions, one of which was mine. You can hear that on the next Cuse Cast. Just when Marrone started, it begn to storm. Thunder was rumbling and lightening made it seem like cameras where going off. And the rain hitting the roof made it sound like we were at Niagra falls. During his presser Marrone mentioned that Stewart, Tucker, and Dan Collier were no longer with the team. One can only specualte why they left. But I think it is safe to say we wont use the FB much this year since we only have one on roster. Sorry Cali. The other two were DEs. Not a huge loss since we still have 5 guys there. He also said Anderson had some clearing house issues and was not here yet.

Finally the players came out and all the reporters ran over to Paulus. You couldnt even see him with the mob surrounding him. I took this opporunity to walk over to Marrone and ask him some of my questions. I first gave him the fresh mozz and cannolis and he was excited. He made sure to have someone put it in the fridge. With the questions, I think I did ok but fumbled one really badly. I will make sure to edit that out of the Cuse Cast :). The interview can be heared when the Cuse Cast is up.

I then had time to think of questions to ask the players and coaches. The players were lined up on the yards lines, and I wasnt sure if there was any order to it. I had trouble finding soem guys. I started with McKinnon and his super strength. Then I went to Hogue and asked about going against his ex RB mates in practice. Next was Shafer on his D. Followed by Hines and his views on playing LB. Finally I got the RBs and asked about the new system. DC3 and Collier answered the questions. The recordings were a little choppy, first time using that recorder. So the beginning intro, and ending thanks were missed. Also missed was Collier saying no when I asked if I could get a question in with the RBs. And you can kinda hear the waterfall in the back ground.

As to Hines I think he is the type of kid that Shafer is looking for. When I interviewed a Mich fan last year he said this:

Yet I think his best nickel package at Michigan became his 4-2 front. Especially against spread teams.

That tells me Hines is a good fit for that LB/SS guy that Suter kinda played at times last year. I also wanted to ask Spence about his Clemson team goin from #6 in sacks allowed to #100. And if the OC can control that or if it is just talent. But he kinda kept to himself and I didnt make it over to him. I then wanted to ask Adkins the same question since Tenn went from #1 to being very poor last year. But by then it was time for the team to go change for practice. I also want to point out Derrell Smith passes the look test. And Lemon is a nice kid. I dropped a piece of paper while walking around and he picked it up for me. So if his dads reads this be proud.

TGD was there but I couldnt think of a question to ask him. During practice he sat up with the local media hamming it up. Which was interesting since the media seemed to pay no attention to practice. Why even stay?

The team came out for practice and started stretching. Mike Williams had to be told to go all the way as he was doing it half assed. Hopefully that isnt a habit in games as IMO he did the same during the Spring game. Most of team then did a punting drill. While the QBS and RBs worked with some OL with snaps. We only have 4 RBs on roster which is a little worrisome. But we had 5 QBs. Not sure who the 5th guy there was (#16). I took a look at Paulus and he was wearing those new style helmets. I hate those. During punting drills I noticed Kimmel on the punt team. Not sure if it was 1st or 2nd team but either way I think it is a good sign that his knee is fine. Fielding the punts were Davis, Henderson, and Phillips. Not sure if anything can be read by that. Off to the side was the OL. Tiller is huge. He looked like he was wearing 1970s bulky pads, except there were no pads on. He looks more suited for G than T.

Final Audio Update

They kicked us out around 5:30 and luckily the rain had stopped. I made it down to Marhsall St where a bunch of cabs were standing around with nothing to do. My cabbie was telling me that the construction on I81 was about to stop so they can have the State Fair and then would start up again after it is done. Not sure if true or just a cabbie conspiracy. Then he got a call about the electric going out a home. Poor guy. I then got off at the SYR bus terminal and bought a ticket for the 7:45 bus home. While waiting I began to flip through the media guide. Some observations:

-Meldrum is form Idaho

-Phillips from Montana

-Hicks has his family photo at the weight room

-Arob has the 2nd and 3rd best passing yard games in SU history and 5th best season

-Brohm threw for 555 yards the game we won @UL

-Wireless internet is in the Dome. Which means I may be able to bring my PSP and connect to my home TV at game to watch replays. I forgot to test it at Media day.

Because of rain and contruction it took forever to get to NYC. We finally pulled in at 12:30, but did make a stop in Binghamton and a 2nd stop for food/bathroom. The trip home the bus was pretty empty. But the ride sucked. The bus was noisy and shakey. On top of that it was hot as hell. I was sweating away and smelly by the end of the trip. And the seats were far from comfy. I tried hard to sleep the whole way but could never get more than a few mins. I even tried the cat technique but to no avail.

I got off the bus and a bunch of cabbies were outside their cars looking for customers. That time of night on a Monday there isnt much going on. Usually a cab to Jerey City for me costs at least $50, as the cabbies wont go for less. Eventhough it is a quick ride. Well last night they were offering $35 plus tolls which was a good deal. But then I thought, I came all this way, dont take the easy way out now. So I pushed on toward the PATH, even though I felt sleep drunk. By the time I got to the PATH I kinda woke up some. I then waited a good 15 mins for the next train, which was tourture. I wished I took that cab instead.

As the train pulled in I noticed a girl who stood about 5'11 in her heals. She was mid to late twenties with drak hair and a nice body. When we got onto the train I ended up sitting right next to her. I thought about not sitting as I knew I had to smell atleast a little. I put deoderant on at 6am, had been at the sweaty Dome, on a sweaty bus ride, and it was now 1:15am. But I did sit anyways since I was too tired to stand. As I sat there I thought what is a girl like this doing out this time of night? Was she coming home from work? Or a night out with friends? The whole way she was giving me the vibe like she wanted to talk. Could a hook up be instore? What a day that would be! But besides being stinky, I also had to use the bathroom at that point. And not the kind you do on the side of a building when drunk. I would have loved to have gotten off in Hoboken with her for a drink. Our maybe worked my way back to her place for a night cap. But it wasnt in the cards. Besides I was exhausted. And even if I did go back with her I would have to use the bathroom. First that is awkward and second she may have passed out by the time I was done. Oh well.

I finally got home and threw off my clothes. I then passed out around 2am. My over 20 hour journey had ended.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Yes King Otto has gone Twitter. Why? Well I have a Cuse adventure that I am about to embark on. And you will want to be kept up to date.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cuse Cast VII

Its baaack. The Cuse Cast returns after a summer vacay. King Otto lays out the gameplan going forward and then talks tailgating with TexanMark.

Length about 11 mins

Marks sites
-Fine Mess

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