We Have A New Address

December 19, 2008

It is my great pleasure to announce that I am now master of my domain at happyhourvalley.com

Please update your bookmarks accordingly.

Happy B-Day JoePa!

December 19, 2008


I was recently asked by Sports Media Challenge if I was interested in participating in a virtual birthday party for JoePa’s upcoming 82nd birthday this Sunday by sharing some stories, pictures, or videos of the legend himself.

Sadly,  I’ve never had any close-quarters contact with Joe nor do I have any special moments captured via pictures or video, so it’s really difficult to share any personal memories.

I suppose the closest thing to a “story” would be gathering with my 3rd grade class along with the rest of my elementary school in our school’s  library for a special video presentation. We were all expecting some lame cartoon that tried to encourage young children to read but lo and behold, the video was of Joe and his wife, Sue, extolling the virtues of reading.

It was around this time as a 3rd grader that I was just starting to get into PSU football..it was also around the same time that my parents were constantly harping on me to “read, read, read” even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of curling up with a book and to do so at our age back then was considered rather “nerdy” (you know, before bands like Weezer made nerds acceptable in our society).

However, when somebody else say…the coach of your favorite sports team starts telling you the same thing, you damn well start listening.  After watching the video, I made a more concerted effort to read more often as a youth, something that I feel contributed to my writing abilities over the years and may very well be the reason why this blog even exists to begin with.

So, in retrospect: Thank you JoePa, for making reading look cool.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Got Him…

December 16, 2008

Kevin Newsome is ours!

Kevin Newsome doesnt do bicep curls, biceps curl in fear at the sight of Kevin Newsome...

Kevin Newsome doesn't do bicep curls, biceps curl in fear at the sight of Kevin Newsome...

Did I also mention he’s enrolling in January? Suddenly, there’s a reason to show up for the Blue-White game besides shaking off the tailgating rust…

Additionally, JoePa has signed himself an 3-year extension, causing Seminoles fans everywhere to cringe and  Oops Pow Surprise to celebrate as if Shonn Greene had won the Heisman Trophy.

I can barely contain my excitement at this point..it’s like Christmas came 9 days early…Time for a drunken “Goo Punch” dance party!

I Got Rose Bowl Tickets And I Ji$$ed In My Pants…

December 15, 2008

That’s right, thanks to knowing friends who have other friends in high places, Yours Truly has managed to snag himself a ticket to Pasadena.  Not sure yet where I’ll be sitting, but that doesn’t matter so much as just being there, period.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’ll finally be able to scratch off my ‘bucket list.’

Speaking of climaxes:  Kevin Newsome will announce his college decision tomorrow and his final three schools are down to Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. Additionally, there’s been a lot of jibber-jabber on the message boards and blogs about insider info claiming Newsome is a PSU lean, especially now that Pat Devlin is dearly departed.

Now, I’m not one who prematurely celebrates over rumors on the internets but I found one particular post from a Black Shoe Diaries poster that was quite encouraging:

As I said earlier today, all my VT coworkers came in to work mad at me today. They’ve all heard over the weekend that Newsome has swung our way with Devlin’s transfer. And some of these people are the type with subscription info.

Cross those fingers…Hopefully this time tomorrow evening, the message boards will for once be full of anything but “the sky is falling!” posts.

Two Cents On Pat Devlin

December 11, 2008

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past 24 hours, you’re well aware by now of Pat Devlin’s decision to transfer.  At this point, it looks like he is headed to Delaware, an FCS school where he will be eligible to play immediately next fall instead of having to sit a year out.

I can’t blame Pat one bit for his decision, Daryll Clark had established himself as “the man” at QB and Pat could see the writing on the wall: that he wouldn’t be the full-time starter until 2010, his final year of eligibility.  This became even more evident when Devlin did not see a single minute of action against Iowa despite the fact Clark showed played as if he was still suffering the after-effects of his concussion.

Rather than go down the path of Mike McQueary (who waited four long years, including two under Wally Richardson who many times frustrated the fans enough to call for his benching in favor of McQueary), Pat decided he’d rather have two years of solid PT in order to impress the NFL scouts and raise his draft stock high enough to become the next Joe Flacco.

Normally, a transfer such as this wouldn’t sting too badly but given our coaching staff’s ineptness as far as recruiting QB’s go (no QBs drafted in the past two years, *cough* JAY *cough*), this is a huge blow unless we land ourselves Kevin Newsome or Tajh Boyd so now is the time to light those candles and say a  few prayers, Nittany Nation.

This Ain’t Your Ordinary Basketball Game…

December 10, 2008


Army’s “Black Knight” is in town to take on the Fighting DeChellises in an honor du-el to the death.  Apparently, he’s pissed at the fact that somebody on the team was flirting with his “trophy wench.”  Unfortunately, our best jouster on the team is Stanley Pringle and he happens to be doubtful for tonight after an ankle injury against Temple.

As a result, the line on this duel has gone from (-10) in favor of PSU to (+5).  Let’s hope that Talor Battle is honing his jousting/swordplay skills as I type this because we’re gonna need it.

Tipoff is at 7 PM ET tonight on ESPNU for the 100 or so people in the country that actually receive the channel.

Well, It’s Official…

December 8, 2008

Everybody who’s watching the Rose Bowl at home this year will snag themselves some major “eye candy.”

Also, stay tuned in the coming weeks for Yours Truly’s annual bowl extravaganza preview. This time, I’ll try and cover all 34 games in a way that doesn’t involve me going clinically insane…

Talk About “S**tting The Bed”

December 6, 2008


How best to describe the Fighting DeChellises’ inexplicable letdown against Temple? As Dr. Cosby himself would put it, it was a bunch of filth, flarn, flarn, filth.

I should’ve known better than to have faith in this team being able to turn the corner coming off of a big road win. This one falls on ED as well as the players for coming into this game unprepared and out of sync in front of a crowd expecting big things. If you think these type of craptastic performances are going to go away when the Big Ten slate hits us, then I’ve got Eskimo villages in New York City to sell to you…

There’s barely a semblance of an inside game, particularly on the defensive end, and the backcourt becomes a hell of a lot weaker without Stanley Pringle in there.  Danny Morrissey is a streaky shooter whose performance depends on how many wide open looks he get, and tonight he got zero because Temple’s strategy involved locking down on him and rendering him useless.

This brings me to my next question, why is ED so reluctant to go to his bench when the situation is dire?  Could Woodyard and Babb done any worse out there?  If he’s actually relying on a 7-man rotation to carry him through the season then we’re in deeper shit than initially thought.

Garbage like this has become an all-too-familiar sight under ED and today’s game was yet another painful, glaring, piece of evidence as to why he’s not the man to take PSU basketball to the next level.

“Bill Cosby U” Invades the Jordan Center

December 6, 2008

Today’s Formidable Opponent: Temple University (3-3)

Location, Location, Location: The Bryce Jordan Center

Time: 6 PM ET

Television: The Big Ten Network.

Weather: Indoors

Brief Synopsis: Temple’s been off to a rough start, losing to two MAC teams (including a 16-point loss at home to Miami of Ohio) and certainly does not look like the team that ran the table in the Atlantic 10 tournament last year to clinch an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

Dionte Christmas leads the charge with his 21.8 ppg and 7.5 rpg.  He’s Temple’s “do-everything” type of player and perhaps part of Temple’s problem is they rely on him a little too much, despite the fact two other players Ryan Brooks and Sergio Olmos are currently averaging 12 ppg.  Olmos is 7 feet tall but somehow only pulls down 3.5 rebounds a game, sounds a lot like the many 7-footers that have graced the PSU starting lineup in the past, look for him to get abused by Cornley and DJ down low.

Looking at tempo-free stats provided by Crispin and Cream, We’re a better rebounding team, hang onto the ball much better, and are more efficient offensively and defensively given the average number of possessions each team has had in a game this season.  Did I also mention that Temple can’t shoot free throws either?  That’s right, they’re currently putting up a paltry 68% as a team. Combine all this with the fact that the game is at home in the BJC and PSU is coming off a critical, momentum-boosting win at Georgia Tech and you would have to consider a Temple victory to be an “upset.”

Oddsmakers seem to feel the same way, as PSU appears to be about a 6.5 point favorite. Crispin and Cream is predicting a thorough whooping by the Fighting DeChellises of the double-digit variety (16 points). Yours Truly also likes the good guys to cover the spread.  As for my buddy John, we’re still awaiting word from him but will have it up soon. John texted his prediction to me a while back and is following suit with C&C and I in picking PSU to cover the spread.

As far as “Contest” results go: Yours Truly is once again the sole possessor of first place, thanks to predicting PSU to beat the spread against Georgia Tech.  John has also vaulted into a tie with C&C due to following my lead.

HHV 4-1

C&C 3-2

John 3-2

HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings (Season Finale)

December 6, 2008

Apologies for not getting these up sooner but hey, better late than never, right?

It’s hard to believe that another college football regular season is about to pass us by and that I’m about to close the books on my second annual power rankings.  It sure seems like yesterday that I debuted my very first set of rankings, not sure whether I would make it a recurring segment or if I would just let it rot like a lot of other “segments” this blog has had over the past year or so.  I’ve had a blast putting them together and even more so have enjoyed reading the comments (no matter inflammatory some may have been) that you, the readers posted every week in response to them.

I’d also like to take this moment to announce that come January, HHV will debut its power rankings for the Big Ten basketball season.  If it’s anything like the football rankings, then it too will be a recurring segment.  Time will tell, of course…

Anyway, here’s the final set of rankings for you until next year.  To the fans of the bowl-eligible teams:  Congratulations, I’ll be rooting for your respective teams to reverse the recent trend of Big Ten bowl struggles.  If your team didn’t make it, well, better luck next year…

1. Penn State (11-1, 7-1) – Guess how many media pundits projected the Nittany Lions to be sitting in this position at the end of the year?  Put your hand down, Phil Grosz

2. Ohio State (10-2, 7-1) – In light of recent events, I can promise you one thing: I don’t give a damn what the rules say, you will never, EVER, see me declare PSU “Big Ten Champs” if the team that we lost head-to-head against has the same conference record as us.

I will also go ape shit if I ever see the following displayed on the Beaver Stadium scoreboard if we end up in a situation like OSU’s.


(Image courtesy of There Is No Name On My Jersey)

3. Iowa (8-4, 5-3) – I know what you MSU fans have to say: But, but, we BEAT Iowa! Actually, you beat a Hawkeye team that had yet to discover its offense which would end up complimenting their already kickass defense.  If the two teams were to meet right now, I would put all my money down on the Hawkeyes knocking off Sparty.  Ricky Stanzi is a better QB than Brian Hoyer, Shonn Greene is a better tailback than Javon Ringer, and Mark Dantonio only wishes he had the same caliber of defense as Iowa’s.  Plus, remind me how Michigan State fared against undoubtedly the best two teams in the Big Ten…

Quick, whats the shortest path to the Downtown Athletic Club?

Quick, what's the shortest path to the Downtown Athletic Club?

4. Michigan State (9-3, 6-2) – As impressed as I am with how quickly Mark Dantonio has turned things around in East Lansing, I lost a ton of respect for him after those back-to-back timeouts that he called with 9 seconds left and the game long since in the bag while the freezing fans were anxiously awaiting the presentation of the Big Ten Championship trophy.  There was no need to put a damper effect on the celebration of a hard-earned and well-deserved title.

Even more disgusting was the stuff I read from MSU fans on message boards arguing that Dantonio was giving PSU a little payback for running up the score by throwing the ball in the 4th quarter.  What the hell did you expect PSU to do, take a knee on every play and put in the towel boys on defense so MSU could launch another comeback and make a semi-interesting game out of a thorough domination?

If you stuff 8 or 9 guys in the box to try to stop the run and continue to play as if the game is still within reach, then the other team will do whatever they can to counter it…It’s called taking your medicine like a man.

Need to clear out the massive amount of guests at your party?  Hire Mark Dantonio

Need to clear a massive amount of guests from your party in a hurry? Hire Mark Dantonio

5. Northwestern (9-3, 5-3) – Imagine, if NU hadn’t inexplicably choked at Indiana, they would be sitting pretty with a 10-2 record, raise your hands if you saw that coming…That’s what I thought.

6. Wisconsin (7-5, 3-5) – Dear Bret Bielema: You owe a Christmas card to Cal Poly’s kicker because without his multiple botched extra points, your team would be inexplicably staying home for the holidays, much like Ron Zook’s crew.

7. Minnesota (7-5, 3-5) – It’s amazing what one giant FAIL in the final seconds can do a team’s fortunes…The Gophers have reverted to their 2007 selves ever since their Miracle at the Meadowlands-style disaster against Northwestern, losing four straight games, including closing out the Metrodome (i.e. “Kinnick North”) with a bang by being on the losing end of a 55-0 pasting against Iowa.

The Caddyshack Gophers are now limping into their bowl game and desperately need a win in order to build some off-season momentum and straighten the tailspin they’re currently mired in.

8. Illinois (5-7, 3-5) – The advertisements for the season finale of Illinois Football: The Journey have all the makings of “A Very Special Episode” on a sitcom.  Expect plenty of tears to be jerked as the Illini lament on their lost season that was once full of hope.  And please, stay away from gangs, they’re bad news…

9. Purdue (4-8, 2-6) – Nothing like a 52-point pasting of your bitter rival to send out a coach who revolutionized Big Ten football over a decade ago.  It’s a shame that Joe Tiller won’t get to experience one final bowl game before he retires to Wyoming, particularly since bowl games for Purdue were about as frequent as Star Wars geeks getting laid before he arrived.  Nonetheless, Yours Truly wishes Coach Tiller a happy retirement and thanks him for being a class act and representative of the Big Ten.

Assistant coach (and Tiller look-alike) Danny Hope takes over, and the biggest question now is whether he can get Purdue back to the winning ways that fans had become accustomed to under Tiller.

Sporting the Tiller stache already gets you halfway there as a worthy successor.

Sporting the "Tiller 'stache" already gets you halfway there as a worthy successor at Purdue. Well done, young grasshopper!

10. Michigan (3-9, 2-6) – Year One of the Dick Rod era is in the books.  It was the worst season in the long, rich, history of Michigan Wolverine football.  However, it’s hard to believe how one can worry about something so meaningless with all the bloody starvation happening in the world…Get a life.

Dick Rod is to biting towels as Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" is to biting soap.

Dick Rod is to biting towels as Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" is to biting soap.

11. Indiana (3-9, 1-7) – Look, I realize it was Joe Tiller’s last game as head coach and that emotions were running high at West Lafayette, but that’s no excuse for your team to not even show up for its annual rivalry game.  The Hoosiers looked like a team that had long ago thrown in the towel and that falls on Bill Lynch and the coaching staff. It only makes one wonder where this program would be right now if Terry Hoeppner were still alive and well, because I can tell you for sure that you wouldn’t have seen this team put together as pathetic of a performance as they put on against their rivals if Hoeppner was still the coach, nor would you have seen such a collapse from the previous year occur.

Look for Lynch to be squarely on the hot seat going into 2009 and if IU doesn’t show significant improvement from this year’s fall back to the basement, then there will be a new sherriff in Bloomington for 2010.  Something tells me though that 2007’s success was “lightning in a bottle.”