Going Pro Early…In Volleyball?

July 3, 2008

Well, it appears that foregoing your remaining years of collegiate sporting eligibility for the money, luxury car, and that “MTV Cribs”-like mansion is no longer limited to just football and basketball players as Matt Anderson, a 6’10” giant who played a crtical role this past year on PSU’s men’s volleyball national title run, is ditching his senior season to play professionally in Korea.

Apparently, Matt’s already kind of a big deal over there according to what he’s told the Collegian:

“We were treated like royalty there, like rock stars,” Anderson said. “They had great accommodations, they set out a kitchen and cooked for us.”

Despite his David Beckham-like status however, Matt will still be hard-pressed to make volleyball as popular as Korea’s favorite past-time: Starcraft.

Best of luck, Matt… ^_^ keke

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These Three Things I KNOW Are True (Early April Boredom Edition)

April 2, 2008
  1. To those of you who believed this site was actually headed on a one-way train to blogger hell: APRIL FOOLS!!! While the updates will continue to be sporadic due to the insanely high shit-pile I’m dealing with in the real world, I still plan to be here for the long haul…Get used to it.
  2. With the famed chicken cosmo being wiped off of on-campus food menus everywhere, the next couple of days are going to be a mourning period for Penn Staters past and present (Unless of course, you’re a tree-hugging, emo-rock listening, latte-drinking, vegan). Yours Truly chowed down on his lion’s share (pun completely intended) of these things during his five years as a student and believe me when I say that with “Lean Cuisine” frozen dinners being a staple of my current diet, my mouth waters for just one more bite of these mysterious patties. In fact, I will handsomely reward somebody who can manage to sneak out a cosmo from one of the dining commons and ship it to me so I can re-live the good ol’ days one last time…Well, what are you waiting for? Hup to it!

R.I.P., chicken cosmo

3. With basketball star Stanley Pringle being accused of…uh…poor library etiquette, HHV feels this is a task too tall for Penn State police to handle. It’s going to take a special person, one who specializes in investigating such uh…incidents. I’m talking about the nation’s #1 public masturbation expert: Carl Monday.


We STILL Support People Who STILL Support Virginia Tech

December 15, 2007

You gotta love how the actions of the two dipshits who decided it would be cool to dress up as Virginia Tech shooting victims have led to PSU’s administration and students scrambling for damage control, as if the students who dressed up like Virginia Tech shooting victims for Halloween represent the general student body at PSU.

Even more ridiculous are the numerous students who have joined the facebook groups saying they STILL support Virginia Tech, as if buying Maroon&Orange shirts for the Blue-White game and raising $110,000 for Va Tech, half of which went to the Jeremy Herbstritt Memorial Fund wasn’t enough to show support. Do they realize that nobody within their right mind is going to look at them as a lesser person for not joining yet another meaningless facebook group that doesn’t do anything to directly help the victims’ families or the school itself? It reminds me of the South Park episode where everyone in America tries to bury their heads in sand to show the Muslim world they are not watching a controversial Family Guy episode showcasing a caricature of Muhammad: The actions of a few do not represent the collective whole.

Penn State students’ reactions to Halloween-gate

The only people who have any explaining to do are the two students who brought this upon themselves by choosing such controversial Halloween costumes and allowing them to be put up on Facebook where it was likely that somebody would see the photos and cry “foul.” Even if they only intended it as a joke amongst a small group of friends, they still should’ve realized they were playing with matches and that they ultimately ended up burning down the house as a result of doing so.

Earlier this week, one of the infamous costume wearers decided to come out and justify his actions to the media…I’d love to see him hum the same tune in a face-to-face meeting with the families of the 32 people who lost their lives last April.

Exhibit A on “How to dig yourself an even deeper hole than the one you’ve already dug yourself in 5 short minutes”


Big Ten Power Rankings (Season Finale)

November 25, 2007

Hard to believe, but we’re already down to the final edition of the 2007 Big Ten Power Rankings, where did this college football season go? I just want to thank everyone who has actually been reading these and giving me feedback on it, I truly appreciate it.

Before I get to the rankings though, I realize some of you may be wondering where my write-up is on PSU b-ball’s defeat to Rider in its second game of the Old Spice Classic. The truth is, I slept in and totally forgot about the 10:30 start. By the time I got up, and realized that we had tipped off a couple hours ago, I ran to the nearest TV and switched over to ESPN2 , only to see us down by three with a minute to play and Stanley Pringle forcing up a quick three-point shot that hit nothing but iron. Needless to say, that was the closest we would come to closing the gap, which I later found out was once a double-digit lead for us. That’s right, we were kicking Rider’s ass for a good portion of the first half but then in typical PSU fashion, we managed to blow that lead and allow Rider to go on a 16-0 run to take one-point halftime lead. We never recovered from the hangover and now face the grave possibility of a disastrous dead last finish in the OSC should we lose to Central Florida tomorrow in the 7th place game.

What’s frustrating about all of this is that we have a definite improvement in athleticism/talent this year(which was my main reason for not calling for Ed DeChellis’s head last year), particularly in the backcourt with Talor Battle/Stanley Pringle but we still seem to be making the same mistakes from previous years. From what I read about the Rider game, we still have a problem with players helping too much on defense, allowing opponents to hit wide open three-pointers at will and our offensive spacing continues to be piss poor with players standing around waiting for something to happen, kind of like the 76ers under Iverson. On top of that, some of Ed DeChellis’ substitution patterns seem baffling, what was he thinking pulling Mike Walker during the first half when he had the hot hand from three-point range? Why is Brandon Hassell seeing so much PT when it’s apparent he’s about as useful as an 8-track player? It’s safe to say, I’m really starting to sour on our coaching situation and it’s going to take a complete 180 performance-wise from this team to get me thinking otherwise.

Alright, enough with the rant, time for the rankings:

1. Ohio State (2) – Hold your roses Buckeye fans, thanks to LSU choking earlier than expected, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is simple: Root for Oklahoma.

2. Illinois (1) – Avoided the letdown from their toppling of the Buckeyes and beat Northwestern to pretty much assure themselves of a Capital One Bowl bid.

3. Wisconsin (3) – Struggled somewhat with Minnesota, but ultimately recovered and went on to retain Paul Bunyan’s Axe. They’re likely headed to either the Outback or Alamo Bowl. My money is on the Outback because even though they finished with a worse conference record than Michigan, they still have a better overall record and most importantly, beat the Wolverines head-to-head.

4. Michigan (4) – Remember the Harold and Kumar hang-glider reference I made in last week’s power rankings? Well, imagine if that hang-glider were to get stuck on some power lines…Hello, San Antonio!

5. Michigan State (7) – I’m putting them above PSU because quite frankly, any team that can pull a total role-reversal the way MSU did last week deserves a boost in the rankings. Enjoy your wonderful Detroit bowl holiday, Sparty.

Face it, you know that deep down you would rather play a bowl game in the Motor City…

6. Penn State (5) – Two positives from last week’s epic disaster: (1) We no longer have to display that piece of shit Land Grant Trophy in our trophy case, (2) We’re still headed to a warm climate for a bowl game, most likely the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

I would sooner win a blood drive than stare at this abomination of a trophy.

7. Indiana (10) – The Hoosiers couldn’t have picked a better time to end their 5-game losing streak against bitter rival Purdue, at 7-5 they are likely headed to a bowl game. It’s looking like either the Motor City (if for some odd reason, they don’t scoop up MSU first) or the Insight Bowl where they’ll be seen by the approximately 500 people in this country who get the NFL Network.

8. Purdue (8) – I would have dumped the Boilers further down in the rankings if not for…

9. Iowa (6) – See: Shitting the bed. All they had to do was beat Western Michigan at home on senior day and they would get their 7th overall win, practically assuring themselves a bowl bid. Instead, they found a way to choke on (insert disgusting animal fluid here) big time, and will likely be home for the holidays.

10. Northwestern (9) – If this were any other year in the Big Ten, 6-6 would likely have been enough for the Wild Puss ‘N Boots to go bowling. Unfortunately, this isn’t any other year in the Big Ten and 6 wins will not be enough, better luck next year, fellas.

11. Minnesota (11) – And Year 1 of the Tim Brewster dynasty ends on a high note: The Caddyshack Gophers actually led by a field goal halftime and were ahead by as many as 10 points in the first half.


Live Blog: Penn State-South Carolina

November 22, 2007

Ah yes, “the sweet music of college hoops” as the ESPN2 announcers just called it. And I’ve got the live blog running so if any of you are actually watching and have the internet on handy with you, keep refreshing my page from time to time. I must warn you though, this is my first time doing something like this so forgive me if I’m not exactly Bill Simmons’ running NBA diary or any of the numerous live blogs done on Awful Announcing.

FIRST HALF

12:01 PM – Announcers for today: Len Elmore and some unknown ginger kid to his right. Attendance at the “Milk House” in Walt Disney World’s Wide World Of Sports Complex is around a couple hundred people, including two folks dressed like the Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers…Okay, I was making that last part up.

In retrospect, perhaps Chip and Dale could’ve rescued our dismal shooting display

12:03 PM – PSU opens up in the MAN-TA-MAN! (homage to Bill Raftery) . How many times could you say that last year? On another note, I had no idea the dad from “ALF” was coaching South Carolina.

Starting lineup for PSU: Battle, Morrissey, Claxton, Brooks, and Hassell

12:07 PM – Devan Downey is South Carolina’s own Talor Battle. He’s 5’9″ but super-quick and he’s got all 4 of SC’s points, he had a sweet spin move for a jump shot at the foul line and then picked a PSU player’s pocket (which the ESPN2 cameras conveniently did not show who until it was too late) for a layup. Right now, the game is deadlocked at 4 with about 16 and a half minutes to play in the first half.

12:13 – And Devan Downey continues to be a one-man show for the Gamecocks, hitting a three pointer. 9-5 SC with 7 of those 9 points belonging to Downey

12:14 – And the good ol’ perimeter defense from last year is coming back for PSU. Another quick 3 for SC. 12-7 ‘Cocks after a quick Brandon Hassell layup to answer.

12:16 – And Ed DeChellis finally sends in reinforcements: Mike Walker enters the game, as does DJ Jackson

12:20 – Currently on the floor for PSU: Pringle, Walker, Claxton, Jackson, and Jones. 12-11 SC as we go to the commercial break.

12:21 – Has it become a little too cliche to show clips of bombs, guns, and destruction while playing “What A Wonderful World” as the background music? Just wondering…

12:25 – The game as officially become the “Devan Downey Show” 13 points for him. 22-16 SC. Andrew Jones has been a surprising positive for PSU as he’s been grabbing his share of offensive boards, including one that got him a nice putback and foul to complete a three-point play.

12:28 – BLOCK PARTY AT THE JONES RESIDENCE! That’s right Jones is getting it done on the defensive end now. The next couple offensive series for us include a trey from Battle and a dunk in transition by DJ. Only down by one going into the TV timeout.

12:30 – So, is this what Seth MacFarlane has been doing during the Writer Guild of America’s strike? Using his Family Guy characters in Subway commercials? Can we PLEASE a settlement soon?

12:36 – *Gasp* It’s a Thanksgiving miracle! Jamelle Cornley is in the game, his first game action since injuring himself in the Blue-White scrimmage. And he just showcased a prime example of how much this newfound depth is helping us, getting double teamed and instead of trying to force up a shot, dishes it to a wide-open Jones for the dunk. It’s 27-24 SC at the moment.

12:44 – The “Please God, Take Me Now” stat of the game thus far: 13 points off turnovers for SC, 1 for PSU. And the score is 30-26 SC. If we could just cut down on the turnovers, we could very much be winning this.

12:46 – And just as Len Elmore is singing Jamelle Cornley’s praises: Cornley air-balls a three. Unintentional humor at it’s finest…Cornley is still having a pretty good game though considering it’s his first true game action of the season.

12:51 – Whoa, what just happened? A second ago, it was only 32-30 SC but when I looked back up from my laptop, it was 37-30 and SC had stolen the in-bounds pass before handing it right back to Hassell who outlet passed it to Talor Battle, who was rejected for bringing some “weak tot action.” on his layup attempt.

And on that note: It’s halftime and the score remains 37-30 Cocks. Walker and Morrissey have also been non-existent from three point land. I don’t have a Game-tracker up at the moment so I can’t tell you just how bad the perimeter shooting has been for us, but let’s put it this way: if anyone gets hot from outside for us in the 2nd half, we can definitely come back and win this thing. Claxton also needs to step up in a big way, he’s been MIA. Devan Downey needs to be contained as well, along with our turnovers.

SECOND HALF

1:07 – Has anyone noticed that ESPN’s Gametracker abbreviates Andrew Jones’ name as A III? That is just flat-out badass…And I believe the nickname search is over for this guy.

1:10 – And Danny Morrissey has awoken from his 3-point shooting slump…couldn’t have picked a better time to do so either. He also had beautiful cut to the basket for a layup prior to hitting the three. 41-35 SC.

1:11 – And the perimeter showers are starting to pick up for us, as Claxton knocks down one from behind the arc. PSU only down by three once again.

1:17 – There’s nothing more embarrassing than air-balling a free throw on national TV with 100 fans watching you.

1:21 – Mis-timed pass by PSU leads to another turnover, superb rebounding is the one thing keeping us from getting killed. And Downey now has 25 points after a desperation three falls in. 47-42 SC.

1:24 – PSU turnover count: 14. And there’s still about 13 minutes to play. They should have some dude in the stands taping paper T’s along the railings like someone putting up K’s at a baseball game to signify all the turnovers we’ve had thus far.

1:31 – Back-to-back steals by Claxton and Pringle cut the defecit to 53-50. Still no signs of Cornley here in the 2nd half.

1:38 – Well, here’s the situation: SC is up 59-50 w/7:42 to play and we’ve suddenly gone ice-cold shooting the ball. There is some good news though…Jamelle Cornley is back in the game.

1:39 – Where are we at in society today? Are kids too wimpy to go Christmas carolling in the cold that they now resort to recording themselves with a digital camera and uploading it onto an ipod which they put on their neighbor’s doorstep?

1:47 – Well, the relatives showed up a bit earlier than expected so I had to help them bring suitcases out from the car and missed the last several minutes of action. I did get back in time though to see Battle miss his 20th three point attempt, and see a couple other putbacks rim out, only to have the ball knocked back to Pringle who gets called for a phantom backcourt violation. Seriously, who’s reffing this game? Cruella DeVille?

2:01 – So, after mingling with the relatives for a bit and letting my uncle check his email on the laptop, I’m back on…and this one is over. 70-63 SC with 32 seconds left. We had the defecit cut down to 3 and then started trapping with Pringle and Battle with less than 2 minutes to go and while we didn’t get a turnover out of it, we still forced them into some near-mistakes…why didn’t ED decide to do this sooner? It may have helped get us over the hump and perhaps tie or take the lead for once. But anyway, I’m cutting this thing off now, have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2007

In case any of you missed “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” last night, YouTube has come to your rescue.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

And if those videos suddenly leave you inspired: X-Entertainment has a nice step-by-step on how to re-create the famous Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal.

As for TV viewing: My focus is on basketball, as PSU prepares to take on South Carolina in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic down in Disney World. The game is at high noon on ESPN2, and potentially a live-blog may be in store for you, depending on how I feel.


Blue-White Roundtable: Regular Season Finale

November 22, 2007

I realize I have not answered the Blue-White Roundtable questions for the past couple weeks but rest assured, it wasn’t because one of the following bloggers I have linked below complained about it. I have simply been bogged down lately with school work, mainly a legal memorandum that required hours upon hours of research in the library and reading cases (I know, sounds like a blast doesn’t it?). Combine that with my growing apathy over this year’s team and my focus shifting more towards basketball, plus the fact that it takes me long enough to put together my Big Ten Power Rankings, which are all the rage amongst Iowa sports fans these days, and there’s no room for a roundtable.

However, since I’m now on my Thanksgiving break and thus have a little bit of free time on my hands and because it’s likely the last roundtable until the bowl game, I’m going to jump back on the bandwagon.

Before we move on though, I just want to thank the following bloggers for coming up with the questions this year for me to mooch from.

Run Up The Score

Black Shoe Diaries

The Nittany Line

There Is No Name On My Jersey

The Nittany Notebook

William Yurasko

Also thanks to RUTS for this week’s questions

1. It’ll be a week of criticism, so let’s at least start off on a positive note. Name three players who have vastly exceeded your pre-season expectations.

Evan Royster – Even though I had read/heard about how good this kid was, I figured he would see little to no PT with Austin Scott and Rodney Kinlaw getting all the carries, even when it became obvious he was a viable option tailback. However, after Scott’s little fallout, Royster made the most out of his golden opportunity to step up and be the man. Most importantly though, how could anybody have predicted at the beginning of the year that the name “Rodan Kinster” would enter into every PSU blogger’s vocabulary by the end of this year?

Jordan Norwood – Short, and not the most bulky of the receivers, but goddamn is he quick and has great hands. I’m trying to think of the last time I saw him drop a pass that was thrown within reasonable grasp.

The O-Line – I’m gonna be straight-up honest with you: When it comes to offensive and defensive lines I have an extremely hard time following who is in the game at which moments. I have to have a lineman’s number memorized in order to tell if he’s in the game or on the bench. So with that being said, here’s to all the O-linemen that helped bring life to what has long been our achilles’ heel!

2. At what point on Saturday did you think that Penn State might be in serious, serious trouble?

I was getting a little worried when they cut our lead down to 24-21, but figured that:

A. We had a solid ground game

B. They’re Michigan State

So, I wasn’t overtly concerned, especially when Brian Hoyer fumbled the snap that set up our scoring drive which put us up 31-21. However, when Kevin Kelly subsequently kicked off to MSU’s fullback who ended up returning the ball to our 40-yard line and MSU scored 4 short plays later to cut the lead back to 3 points, that’s when the thoughts of a choke job started to enter my mind.

3. What is your explanation for the four consecutive passes that effectively ended Penn State’s comeback attempt? What strategy do you think the coaches were going for?

I can’t even *think* of a viable explanation for this. Apparently, JayPa had some lame excuse along the lines of “We didn’t have enough time to keep running.” Are you serious? We had 1:50 left and 2 timeouts, that’s more than enough time to keep running the damn ball with Carter at least a couple more times, it didn’t seem as if Sparty was suddenly going to figure out how to shut him down.
4. What are your thoughts on a contract extension for Joe Paterno? His current contract expires after the 2008 season. Do you think he’ll head into that season with his contract status undetermined?

Personally, I feel 2008 should be JoePa’s long-overdue swan song, he should’ve been out after 2004, if not before then. 2005 was the best time for him to go out though, as a winner and on top of the Big Ten for once.

As for what will actually transpire: I’ve heard stories about how Spanier and Curley sat down with Rene Portland before last year’s women’s basketball season started and basically told her that it would be her last but that she would simply announce her resignation at the end of the season as if she voluntarily chose to do so. Granted, this will be very difficult to accomplish with Joe since he’s far more established than Rene and he’s not being accused of homophobia. However, I could see Spanier/Curley trying to work out some sort of under-the-table retirement deal.

 

Lightning Round

Which potential bowl opponents are the best and worst possible matchups for Penn State in the Alamo or Champs Sports Bowl?

I haven’t done much looking around regarding different sports site’s bowl predictions but according to RUTS it seems a good number of them have us going to the Champs Sports Bowl against Clemson or BC. Either opponent would mark a long night for the defense as both teams have QB/receiving corps that can light it up. The thought of a Paterno-Junior Bowden showdown does intrigue me though.

In terms of favorable matchups: I’d say Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. That way, there’d at least be a .000001 % of a chance that JoePa will come out during the post-game press conference and blurt out: “COME AFTER ME!!! I’M TWICE THE MAN COACH GUNDY IS, I’M 80!!!”

Who is going to sneak into the BCS Championship game?

I’m going to have some fun with this one: The SEC is such a rough conference with everyone beating up on each other. Don’t rule out Georgia pulling the upset over LSU in the SEC title game, paving the way for Missouri to climb into one of the Top 2 spots after beating Kansas this Saturday and then winning the grudge match against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. The only team left to stop West Virginia is UConn but Uconn has to travel to Morgantown so I don’t like their chances there, and Pitt will continue to be the Mountaineers’ whipping boys.

So to recap: Missouri v. West Virginia in the BCS Championship

Finally, which 2007 Penn State loss was the most difficult to swallow?

Ohio State was a difficult one to take, even though they were clearly the better team because we had never lost to the Buckeyes at home by more than a field goal, let alone by double figures. Illinois was fist-pounding-the-table frustrating because they seemed to give us the best possible starting field positions and we couldn’t do squat with it. Michigan State last week had me practically going ape shit as there was no excuse for blowing a 17-point lead to a team that had a reputation for doing so themselves.

However, I’m going to have to say Michigan was the toughest loss for me to watch. There was absolutely NO EXCUSE for losing that game. Michigan was a disgustingly mediocre team that was very vulnerable to teams that spread the field, and it seemed we had a gameplan devised to do just that or something similar when JoePa in all his glory, scrapped that plan and went back to the good ol’ gameplan that had lost him the previous 8 meetings. Barring a miracle next year, look for Michigan to make it 10 in a row against us at the Beav on homecoming weekend, sparking a whole new list of creative chants for Michigan fans to use against us.