We seem to be at a point where talking about the games in any detail becomes an exercise in futility – inevitably one more variation on the ways of losing: poor quarterbacking and a second half collapse; poor quarterbacking, out-quicked up front, and a second half collapse; massive failure of nerve, and a last minute collapse; complete secondary breakdown, and a second half collapse; complete defensive meltdown and a second half collapse. In all these losses the crucial quarterback position has ranged from "better," to erratic, to poor. Depending on your nature as a fan, these losses are either like a bad TV series you're too lazy to quit watching, or something "real horrorshow" you can't keep from looking at… on the one hand, Jeff Bridges' classic L.A. "Dude," on the other, Malcolm McDowell's "Little Alex," strapped down in "the chair of torture, oh my BROthers," lid-locks clamped firmly in place.
Some of you have already surrendered… have quit making the trip to Pasadena… are staying home, watching the games on TV… or as much as you can stand before switching off and getting out of the house, back to something enjoyable. None but the heartiest can still take notes while actually watching a replay. But most of us locals still make the gameday trip, be it out of hope, curiosity, a sense of loyalty, or merely a seasonal ritual. Only the Bluest of optimists get up Saturday mornings without that familiar feeling of trepidation… that something's surely going to go wrong.
For me, this repetitive losing has become… boring, tiresome, enervating. Sunday afternoon, I painted just two walls of one small bedroom and felt exhausted… fell asleep before . Could this thing be making me ill?
We've had our fill of "death
spirals." So far, I've stuck it out, kept making the trip from the
At the very least, three things still engage all of us: the quarterback/offense question, DeWayne Walker's fading defense and, of course, KD's future.
The game in
We're all agreed Pat played his best game of the year: 329 yards in 40 attempts is not bad, though the two picks were very bad, as was that goal-line botch when he got anxious and couldn't wait on Brandon Breazell coming wide open in the endzone (a "quick release" is sometimes a mixed blessing). And I'm still not crazy about those mortar shots he throws up on long passses, though Marcus Everett could have caught that perfectly thrown ball in the endzone on which he was closely covered by Hughes.
I've never been a big fan of Chris Markey, but you had to admire his toughness in finishing his runs, then, when the Bears brought their safeties up on fourth down, finally breaking a long one to the house. He made one nice cut and was gone. Good for him. It must have been gratifying after it looked like Derrick Williams was going to eat into his carries. Poor Derrick got just two carries (besides taking a hellacious shot on a kickoff return) as KD decided to ride Markey. This guy can't catch a break.
If the somewhat improved
play-calling and game-planning was due in part to KD's input, then fine, and
good for him, too.
This was the third straight game
(fourth if you count
Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington St.,
and Cal all have potent passing attacks led by quality QBs, and the Irish and
Cal each have a legitimate All-American receiver who badly overmatched anyone in
the Bruin secondary. It's beginning to look as if
The second go-around with Matt Moore and the Beavers may not bring out a lot of Cranks, but it's sure high
stakes for KD, even considering the rumors that he's likely returning no matter
what. Of course, we heard similar talk last January, just before winter
practices, regarding Larry Kerr. But when it came time to face the reality of
one more Kerr defense, somebody thankfully got the trigger pulled. I doubt the
Bruins finish 4-8, but it is a reasonable possibility. They're slight ‘dogs at
home this week, and failing an impressive showing, should be ‘dogs next week in
"Sure, seven straight down the
drain, 26-23 overall… sure, bring him back! Sounds like a plan. So, uh… how do
you want to handle the routine rollover? Could we maybe not announce it? Or just
hope he refuses it again. Wow, twice in four years… I don't know about that.
Jeeze, T.J. will have fun with that one. I mean, we might have to set up a
barbed wire perimeter around the
If the very worst happens, I assume we'll hear endless talk about how next year is what it's all been building toward, how UCLA "owes it to the guy" for 10-2 last season. Must have meant something, right? Actually it did: consider that strange season in the context of 4-8 or 5-7 the following year. Shouldn't we, by now, be aware of the dreaded roller coaster effect and what it signifies? And, finally, don't you just love all this righteous, complacent talk about "he's not going anywhere. Just face it." As if the coach is like a big, steaming plate of broccoli or spinach, and we're all little kids again: Junior, you're not going anywhere until you eat it! It's good for you.