“The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert.” — Vince Lombardi
Here’s to walking the tightrope, and the control I will exert. Thanks Vinnie.
This week we are going to preview The Game of the Year. Forget last weeks scrum in Tuscaloosa. 9-6 is not a football game, it’s a hockey score with fireworks. Oregon traveling to sunny Palo Alto and chopping up some Cardinal lumber will be the true GOTY. Bring on RollingTide Overtime.
ESPN Gameday is for the lemmings. At the RollingTide we say what Herbstreit, Desmond, and Corso are contractually bound to ignore. Gameday delivers USA Today cheesepuff stories, sorry Herbie you know it’s true. At RollingTide Overtime we dig and aren’t afraid of what we uncover. With correspondents from the Mission District of San Francisco to the CME and banks of Lake Michigan, and all the way to Southie, Mass, we just tell it like it is. In our debut plunge we uncovered something of NFL Tuck Rule controversy. An assertion directly related to this weeks game. Our theory: The GOD that is Andrew Luck will NOT live up to any and all expectations. Not even close. He will be marginal, good at best.
I see your head just exploded, so I’ll allow you a minute to pick up the pieces, just grant me a minute of your time. The Andrew Luck Experiment resembles a possible remake of The Godfather. It can not be good, it can not be great, it must be absolutely and completely spellbinding. Luck has already been dubbed the greatest draft treasure in the last quarter century. You are rewarding this 22 year old no room for error, and will judge Him (caps because apparently Andrew Luck is God) more critically than any American Idol contestant the second He steps on the gridiron. There’s talk that teams will actually throw games for a shot at Him, hence the Suck for Luck Campaign. This is NFL Chernobyl. To channel John Cougar Mellancamp – “The dice was loaded from the start.” I actually think the Luckster will have a pretty solid career. But solid is salmon, and the NFL is expecting lobster tail. Damn, I miss Maine. Anyways, Luck does have all the tangibles, but you are asking the Kid to start on the worst team in the NFL, with seemingly marginal talent, and to produce immediately. Webster needs to define a word for ridiculously unfair pressure and expectations. Screw it, I’ll do it. The new word is Ridonklosurations. Play that number in Words With Friends, Gage. Eleventy Billion Points.
Now back to my original point. Sorry but He is out in four and coaching QBs at Stanford, or a Matt Schaub prototype at best. Take a number, see me in 2015, and bring me a jelly doughnut because deep down you know I’m right.
In fact, if you’ve seen the movie A Few Good Men, I’ll paraphrase a speech by Colonel Nathan R. Jessep that mirrors my sentiment: ”You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. My opinion, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to anyone who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide.”
I concur Colonel, I don’t need to explain myself, onto the preview.
ROLLINGTIDE OVERTIME PREVIEW – THE BURNER ON THE FARM
I’m going to use a recent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode now to conduct my RollingTide Overtime Preview . The episode involves Jerry talking to Larry about the usage of the term, “Now, having said that…” Which basically means you negated everything you just said, and are now going to make a totally conflicting statement.
Andrew Luck will have limited success in the NFL……Now having said that, he will absolutely tear apart my Ducks. And this makes me sad.
I will never bet against the Ducks, but if ever a weekend, this may be the one. The Guy could potentially shred my Duckers. I’m not fearful, I’m just pondering how we could go from the Rose Bowl or National Championship to…..wait for it……The Alamo Bowl. With a loss in this puppy, the Natty is gone and we could fall all the way down to Davy Crockett Demise Territory. San Antonio is not where I want Swoosh U over the holidays.
Now, having said that, Andrew Luck alone can not beat Oregon.
What will ultimately define this game is the run defense. If you watched De’Anthony Thomas in Seattle last week, you know the Ducks are lethal with speed and ultra fast-paced efficiency. Stanford, however, represents the other side of the coin. Constant, consistent, smash-mouth, up the gut running. 4.5 yards per carry over 60 minutes will wear down even the best D. This is where I see problems for the Ducks. You need to keep the ball out of Luck’s hands, which is tough to do when you run a hurry up offense. That’s why I see Chip Kelly alter his fast pace a bit and slow it down, to ensure his defense still has wheels in the fourth quarter. That key decision, and 2 excellent quarterbacks who can manage and control a game, means the Ducks prevail.
I think all you need to do is look at the box score and compare total running yards and you’ll find your winner. Whoever controls the running game wins the chess match. Oregon has so many weapons on offense to utilize that I don’t think Stanford can keep up. Plus, they have the advantage of game tape in last weeks Oregon State Stanford game, where the Beavers found numerous ways to shut down Luck. Oregon will follow suit and stack the box with relentless pressure on Luck, and they have enough talent at cornerback to eliminate the deep threat. Oregon wins in a tight one, and that ridiculous mascot’s smile will do a 180.
Either way, you’re going to witness an absolute barn burner on the Farm. With the winner having an inside track to either the Rose Bowl or the National Championship. Needless to say, this one is going to get testy. 2 years ago, running back Toby Gierhart derailed the Ducks perfect season. This year De’Anthony Thomas returns the favor.
Oregon wins 34-28