Nothing like killing 12 hours watching college football
Posted: Monday October 10, 2005 9:42PM; Updated: Tuesday October 11, 2005 9:25AM
Tailback Laurence Maroney is running to the top of the Golden Gophers' record books.
Now this was serendipitous timing. The forecast for last Saturday in New York City was nothing but rain, which, on a sports weekend as opulent as this, is a godsend. Early October is the VERY BEST TIME of year in Manhattan, meteorologically speaking, and you hate to spend the entire day inside if the sun's out.
But if you look outside and you see that the Upper West Side hasn't seen a deluge of rain like this since Panic Room, then you don't feel half so bad about staying indoors.
So I head over to the apartment of my good friend, SI college football writer-reporter Mark Beech. Understand, the Christian Bale doppelgänger has been my friend since he joined SI in 1997. But last week his name appeared on the cover of the magazine ("BAMA IS BACK"), and ever since he has become my "good friend".
Welcome to "Two Guys, No Girl and a Pizza Slice". Welcome to 12 hours at the MTV (Mark's TV) Beech House.
11:30 a.m.: Fascinating piece on College GameDay about how the Texas Tech wide receivers practice catching tennis balls shot at them at 60 mph. So now we know that Patches O'Houlihan ("If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball") is the receivers coach in Lubbock.
11:51 a.m.:Kirk Herbstreit likes Texas BIG over Oklahoma and thinks Northwestern can upset Wisconsin. Me too. Kirk and I think alike. Now, if Kirk and I looked alike, I wonder how my life would be different. Well, I probably wouldn't be cooped up alone inside all day with Mark Beech, I'll tell you that.
2:30 p.m.: We're watching Minnesota at Michigan and it looks as if they just called a face-mask penalty on the foot of a Wolverine. The Michigan defender got flipped upside down on a block and his cleat landed in a Golden Gopher's facemask.
Beech: "Is that a penalty?"
Me: "How do I know? Like I've ever seen a guy facemask a dude with his foot before."
2:40 p.m.: Beech plays Harpo to my Groucho. ABC runs a graphic showing that Minnesota's Laurence Maroney has just passed Marion Barber III for third on Minnesota's all-time rushing list.
Me: "Marion Barber the third is now Marion Barber the fourth."
Beech: "Honk! Honk!"
2:55 p.m.: I'm a LAST button on the remote kinda guy, whereas Beech is strictly a FAV button. "Just program your Favorites," Beech says, "and then you don't have to worry about what channel anything's on anymore."
How do I tell Beech that Mississippi State at Florida is not on my list of favorites?
3 p.m.: Beech is a West Point alum, so we are obligated to watch at least 10 plays of the Central Michigan-Army game from rainy Michie Stadium. Beech is also a horse-racing aficionado, by the way, and despite those dual interests my fervent attempt to saddle (!) him with the nickname "Man O' War" has never caught on.
Beech: "Army's lost nine in a row, but they're two-point favorites in this one."
Me: "Why can't Army and Temple play one another twice a season, in a home-and-home arrangement? Is that against the rules? Who wouldn't be happy about that?"
Beech: "Whichever teams get taken off Army's and Temple's schedule, that's who."
3:13 p.m.: Texas leads Oklahoma 24-6 with 5:50 left in the third quarter when a graphic appears on screen that reads: "Post-Game Report, Stay Tuned". "I guess ABC doesn't think the Sooners can come back, either," says Beech.