Mr. Bucknuts Bucket of Bullets

Mr. Bucknuts checks in live from Arizona with some thoughts on the game and more. What was it like in the desert this year as opposed to last year?

THE BUCKET

Notes from the Odds and End Zones after spending too much time (and money) in Phoenix and after watching the other pseudo-important bowls over the last couple of days...

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The Purple Reign...Tempe was abuzz about the Wildcat fans. No, nothing about Roberson's Hefner-esque adventures or the spirit of the Purple Horde. Mostly just about how little their fans spent. It is funny to watch a school that is - more or less - just developing traditions that we take for granted at OSU. Weird little chants and band routines that seem, well...awkward. Once these KSU guys get to big bowls on a more consistent basis, maybe the fans will know how to act. And maybe the players will, also...

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Thrown Up to the Wolves...I tried. God knows I tried. I am a Big Ten fan, after all. I thought I should root for the Michiganders to beat those prima donnas from Southern California. It lasted about 20 seconds. As soon as I heard "Hail to the Victors", I wanted to hurl, and I switched my allegiance on the spot. That is really an easy program to hate...

Incidentally, with six minutes to go in the third quarter, Michigan had no points even thought they had double the possession time of the Trojans. Hey - we could have done that well! As to USC: Great offense, terrific defense, fabulous cheerleaders and unreal athletes. What else could you want in a football team? They were scary good and it was hard to remember how we were manhandled just five weeks ago by a team that was manhandled on January first. A very impressive team. And I think we will hear from them again next year, as well...

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D'uh Dantonio...Wait until Dantonio finds out how different the talent level with the Bearcats next year. I mean, here's a coach with so much talent on the Buckeye defense that he could turn it on and off whenever he wanted. Get the other team back in the game just for a challenge? No problem. We will just go away from everything we are doing and let them catch up! Need to shut them down again? Oooh, small problem...Soft defenses give up quick points and Coach D proved that in the Fiesta Bowl. It was hard to bring KSU back into the game, but we were able to pull it off. Then Coach D shut the door just before he walked through it. We will miss ya, guy...

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Dr. Krenzel and Mr. Hyde...We will never see again a QB who can be both as good and as bad as Craig Krenzel. Paricularly all in one game. He is frustrating to watch, has bizarre mechanics, has a blind spot in his judgment mirror this year and - did I mention this? - is an outright winner. Two years. 25 wins. I will defend the guy forever but he's got people chewing antacids and Lipitor worldwide. It ain't pretty but it's been working oh so well. We will miss ya, guy...

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Same Time Last Year...I know it's fatuous to compare last year's Trip of a Lifetime to this year's Just Another Bowl but...Last Year, they were scalping end zone tickets at the end of the first quarter for $600 apiece. This year, there were end zone seats still available at game time. Last year, there was a slightly inebriated, unusually well-endowed Miami "coed" sitting by the Phoenician pool, who had more top(s) than she had swimming suit. The guys had a great time getting her to signal "touchdown Miami!" and watch her struggle to keep her receivers covered. We were raising money to convince her to play water volleyball. This year, we got to watch a large bearded Wildcat fan with more tatoos than swimming suit. Women were raising money to keep him out of the pool. Last year, we ate breakfast next to Lee Corso. Kids were coming over to get his autograph. This year, we ate dinner next to a bunch of Purple People. Waiters were coming over to ask them to remove their caps. Last year, fans were deliriously screaming out "OH" at wonderfully inappropriate times. This year, scarlet would nod at gray and just move along. Last year, we played basketball in the pool with Cal Ripken. This year, a kid who looked like Spanky from Little Rascals - in a purple T-shirt - kept doing cannonballs into the hot tub. Last year, it was 68 degrees and it seemed beautiful. This year, it was 66 degrees and it seemed cold. Last year, the concierge at the Phoenician said that Buckeye fans spent lavishly and partied hard. This year, it just wasn't the same...

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If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own...Or the downside of celebrity bashing. Last year, Maurice Clarett was a focal point when he left Youngstown - after his friend had been shot - but then decided that OSU should send him back for the funeral. As MC distractions went, it was only a "6" on a "10 scale" but control-freak Tressel was vexed nonetheless. This year, model citizen Ell Roberson was accused of some "unwanted sex" at three in the morning before the day of the game. Control freak coach Bill Snyder had to be apoplectic. Here's a coach that made his team leave an NFL game the week before in the middle of the third quarter so that they could get back for curfew! And how did he repond to this modest distraction? Hey - how many ways can you spell "hypocrite"?...

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And speaking of anti-climactic...The FSU-Miami game for the championship of part of the state of Florida is about the best argument yet for playoffs. As if we need more. These two teams are going to meet three times in eleven months and that's how they played. One field goal in the second half? Give me a break...

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There are no lousy games, only lousy stadiums...And Sun Devil Stadium is the worst. The worst venue I've ever been in (now twice...) for a major event of any magnitude. And the Arizona NFL Cardinals play here, too! 73,000 people and two exits. Restrooms that would be an embarrassment in Calcutta. Food that people in Calcutta wouldn't eat. Terrible field conditions (an NFL game just 5 days before!). Awful scoreboards with no stats. And seats so hard that they make America West look good. In 2007, they are building a new Fiesta venue in Glendale. I's about 20 years too late...

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Calling Coach Capra...What a wonderful game (did I forget to mention that?). And what a wonderful team of over-achievers we've been privileged to watch these past two years (did I forget that as well?). Since there won't be a consensus champ this year, that makes Ohio State the defending "consensus champion". And with all the talk about "consensus" or even "consensual" this week, let's not lose site of the fact that we are 25-2 in the last two seasons and finished better than Michigan both times. Hey - you won't find me trafficking in Roberson jokes (well, he did look a little stiff; and the center was nervous when they weren't in the shotgun; and he did seem spent, etc...). No, I would rather go out in a classy way by saluting the spirit of the Buckeyes.

And next year?

I can hardly wait...

E-mail Mr. Bucknuts at mrbucknuts@yahoo.com


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