Before I share with you one of the funniest e-mails I’ve ever received I have to tell you of my culinary efforts tonight. I love to cook (probably because I love to eat). Probably something I have inherited from my mom’s side of the family (maiden name: Siconolfi, you get the picture…yes, that makes me half-a-meatball). So there I was in my hours of “free” time, getting sucked into the vortex/black hole also known as “The Food Network.” Enter Tyler Florence (stage right). Oh, Tyler, how your boyish charm and culinary intuition make me swoon like the proverbial school-girl. This week’s episode: Tyler’s Ultimate Fried Chicken.
Fried? Chicken? Overused hyperbole (maybe adjective)? I was sold. So today the girlfriend and I went to Big Y, picked up the ingredients and I invited some of my teammates over to feast. (I immediately donned my all white suit and bowtie and began channeling the spirit of Colonel Sanders). Cornbread and green beans were handled by the girlfriend (and turned out excellent). I was in charge of the meat (like any real man), and promptly proceeded to under- and overcook 4lbs of legs and thighs (or chicken-torso as Tony “Pre-Med” Ciaravino so eloquently put it). Couldn’t get the oil temperature right (oh, that’s 200 degrees Celsius, so it’s too hot…actually approaching molten lava…yeah, that’s it, off the burner. Now please.). Too heavy on the batter. Eyes glued to the kitchen timer. I’d say out of 25 total pieces, 4 came out truly edible. Which is not to say than any went unfinished. Between myself (FWG), my girlfriend, Steve Brouse (TE), Desi Cullen (P), Tony Ciaravino (K), and Steve’s girlfriend, we finished it all. I’m sure sometime tomorrow during “Inside Run” period, I’ll pay for all this fried animal I’ve ingested, but how could I turn down my first foray into the cooking styles of a TV show host who made my mouth water and a man that I so very often confused with Phil Jackson? (That’s right, I couldn’t.) So where is all this free time coming from you might ask? Oh, we’re on a “bye week.” Possibly the greatest myth in the history of the NCAA. (It’s between that and the benefits of the ice tub. God I hate the ice tub.) More on that to come, but first, please enjoy the e-mail I received this afternoon from none other than our resident cripple, Hop-a-long Harry, Steve “Tiny Tim” Brouse:
Hey there roomie–Just ate a milk sandwich (Steve is lactose intolerant)and I will crutch into your room and fart on your pillows tonight (If I contract pink eye you’ll know why). I’m extremely bored so I’m going to give you a list of possible things to write about in your precious little blog. It will save me from doing real school work. Remember… if you don’t use any of them I won’t be offended… but I will soil your linens. On a side note, I’m sitting next to (OG) Gary Bardzak in the computer lab taking music requests and his song of choice was Warren Zevon (yes the Warren Zevon)- “Werewolves in London.” He doesn’t know I’m looking at him but he’s got the biggest smile on his face…. kid really loves Warren Zevon.(I mean, who doesnt?)
Somewhere later on in the e-mail Steve asked me to detail what a “bye-week” really means to the thousands of college football players across the country that have to suffer through this week of supposed rest and relaxation.
The Bye Week:
For most casual fans (or at least those who never played college football at any level) the bye week is a week where they are without their beloved varsity team (guess we’ll have to watch NASCAR). I’m sure most people think that the bye week means we get to recover from our injuries, catch up on sleep, and maybe sip Mai-Tai’s by the cold tubs. In reality, in a sport that values focus and consistency the bye week is a real pain in the ass.
It interrupts all momentum that we build up and gives us a gracious opportunity to lose focus. And while it does help injured players recover from injury (exhibit A: FWG), it is not a treat getting to double up on 20 minute stints in 50 degree water.
For a team coming off a loss (thanks Tarheels), it’s a toss up as to whether it helps or not. It depends on the individual. Myself? I’d like to get going on the next game as soon as possible. Nothing washes off the shame of defeat like focusing on your next victim (that, and Axe body wash).
Some might argue that a bye week is a perfect time for a team to refocus, especially one that might be struggling to get a foot hold on the beginning of a season. For these teams (one of which I’ve been a part, UConn Football 2006), it’s like training camp has re-opened in the middle of fall. Long practices, drilling the basics of college football (good, ’cause I forgot how to tackle). Unfortunately it also brings all the aches, pains, and frustrations that go along with training camp (see Out Of Shape Lumberjack for further details). Only this time add in trying to worry about your GPA.
If it were up to me (it’s not….yet), the Big East would follow the lead of some other BCS conferences: start early, play 12 weeks straight, and be home in time for Thanksgiving (mmm stuffing).
So this week, it’s back to the grind. Light on the film, heavy on the physical exhaustion.
Werewolves in London; what a good song.
Once you go mack, you never go back. We’ll see.