Archive for August, 2013

Carpenter

A smudge of pine tar rests on the batting helmet of the wiry second basemen as he enters the batter’s box.  No obnoxious gold medallion gaudily hangs from his neck.  A country song can be heard playing from the stadium PA as he digs in and grinds the bat with his bare hands.  He’ll take the first few pitches to get a good feel.  His ability to make contact with two strikes is uncanny.  Finally, on a 3-2 count – Crack!!!  The roar of the Busch Stadium crowd becomes deafening.  He comes flying out of the box like Secretariat, not hesitating to round first – it’s another double for the Cardinal leadoff man.

There is something to be said about the way Matt Carpenter, of the St. Louis Cardinals, approaches every baseball game in which he plays.  To say the man is as old school as Jesus might not be that egregious of an overstatement – simply offensive to the religious zealots.  The man is the persona of an old school baseball player and the way baseball should still be played (take some notes Puig).  There’s no better way to pay homage to the Cardinal greats like Sutter, Gibby, and Stan, then to play the game like Matt Carpenter.

He is the perfect mix of god-given talent and work ethic.  He may not have had his entire ability gift wrapped like so many other MLB players, but Carpenter wielded what ability he was given into the perfect baseball specimen.  In fact, give me a field full of players with Carpenter’s dedication and I will give you World Championships.

Carpenter and the Cardinals will look to improve on their modest two-game winning streak tonight when they again take on the suddenly slumping Braves.

-Andrew Murky, MBA

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Many are writing Illinois off as the worst team in the Big 10 (by a substantial margin). However, this team could end up turning some heads if they achieve the lofty goal of qualifying for a bowl game. With the most challenging schedule in the Big 10, it won’t be an easy task for Timmy Becks and company, but a task the second year coach out of Toledo should strive for. Let’s take a closer look at the matchups and see how Illinois can get to 6:

Week 1 vs. SIU – this is a MUST win, and not just a must win but a must blowout. Illini needs to get off to a good start against the Salukis while experimenting with different packages to help prepare for stiffer competition. Prediction: Illini-35 SIU-14 (Record after week 1: 1-0)

Week 2 vs Cincinnati – Again, I see this as a must win for the Orange and Blue. Cincinnati is not the BCS powerhouse they were a couple of years ago. Ever since this team talked shit about the Illini national champion runner-up basketball team, Illinois has kicked their ass in everything! Prediction: Illini-31 Cincinnati-28 (Record after week 2: 2-0)

Week 3 vs Washington – Illini nation needs to pack Soldier Field for this Chicago homecoming. I believe this will be one of the most exciting games of the year, and a pivotal game for the Illini and their bowl chances. Prediction: Illini-24 Washington-21 (Record after week 3: 3-0)

Week 4-bye

Week 5 vs Miami(Ohio) – This game should scare the Illini. The team will come in riding a three game winning streak and may look past a lesser opponent. However, the Illini will prevail in this trap game. Prediction: Illini-27 M(H)-24 (Record after week 5: 4-0)

Week 6 @ Nebraska – Umm no. Illinois should look to get out of this game healthy while trying to stay somewhat competitive. Prediction: Illini-17 Nebraska-35 (Record after week 6: 4-1)

Week 7-bye

Week 8 vs Wisconsin – Wisconsin has had Illinois’s number as of late. Although they have a new coaching staff I still believe the Badgers will be too much for Illinois. Prediction: Illini-21 Whiskey-35 (Record after week 8: 4-2)

Week 9 vs MSU – Mark this as the do not miss game for the Illini! MSU stumbled to a bowl berth last year, and this could potentially be a very winnable game that will help propel the Illini to 6. Prediction: Illini-31 MSU-28 (Record after week 9: 5-2)

Week 10 @ Penn State – Although PSU has perhaps the worst mascot in college they still looked very good last season. However, they have lost their quarterback, and lets not forget that the offense turned it over 4 times last year. Look for Illini to eliminate their mistakes under Bill Cubit and upset the Lions. Prediction: Illini-31 PSU-28 (Record after week 10: 6-2)
That’s right folks; I’m predicting bowl eligibility for the Illini with three games to go!!!

Week 11 @ Indiana – Indiana, still reeling from that Tyler Griffey layup will lose this game to the orange and blue. Prediction: Illini-24 IU-21 (Record after week 11: 7-2)

Week 12 vs OSU – Although Illini seem to always play OSU tough, the Buckeyes will keep the Illinibuck for one more year. Prediction: Illini-10 OSU-31 (Record after week 12: 7-3)

Week 13 @ Purdue – I truly believe this game is a pickem, but a great opportunity for the Illini to pick up their third road victory of the year. Boiler Down!!! Prediction: Illini-21 Purdue-20 (Record after week 13: 8-3)

Week 14 vs NW – Our State, Our Team. Great opportunity for Illini to get redemption and prove they are superior to NW. Prediction: Illini-28 NW-20 (Final record: 9-3)

Capital One Bowl Bound!
Illini might not win all 9 of these games, but the games outlined above are very winnable, and the Illini need to win 6 of the 9 to get back to a bowl game. The most important thing for Illinois is to take each game at a time and not look ahead (much like I have in this article).

-Andrew Murky, MBA

kiwane

Prior to reading this article you should know that no real research was performed and everything in this article is based off hearsay.  That being said, I personally believe everything stated below.

Kurt Kittner – Currently doing color commentary for Illini football.  Although we all wish Kurt was still hurling the pigskin, it’s great to see this former star still involved with the program.

Dee Brown – Tours the country looking to be the marshal of local parades.

Jerry Hester – Also doing color commentary but for the basketball team.

Kiwane Garris – Moved to Canada to pursue a life in big game hunting.

Frank Williams – Working as a prison guard or in prison (can’t remember).

Scott Spezio – At the bar.

Derek Dimke – Does voice over work for Morgan Freeman.  When Morgan Freeman was asked he said, “He’s the only guy who sounds more like Morgan Freeman than Morgan Freeman.”

Sean Pruitt – SP! What?  SP currently writes erotic children’s novels.

Jamar Smith – I believe Jar Jar is redshirting and will be playing for the orange and blue next year.

Jack Ingrahm – Current starter for the Lakers.

Jereme Richmond – See Frank Williams post above.

Kevin Turner – Drums.

Corey  Bradford – Doing exactly what he’s always been doing…. Making it rain!

Did we miss any of your favorites?  Post the names below if there was anyone you wanted to see.

The heavily anticipated Muppet Bowl is finally gaining some traction and will be played in early 2014, sources report.  Lylle Breier, current GM for Muppet Studios, confirmed that the football game will finally take place.  Breier, who initially resisted the idea of a Muppet based football game, finally decided to back the project.

“You have these Muppets working their butts off!  I see them in the weight room, daily, constantly improving.  I was scared the media would make this a spectacle, say things like ‘Muppets don’t have brains’ and ‘They are controlled by humans’ and ‘You’ve lost your mind, Lylle.’ Well who’s retarded now?”

Rizzo the Rat, who plans to be on special teams thinks it’s a great opportunity to showcase his talent.  “I may not be fast, or the biggest guy out here, but I’m a hell of a lot better than that fatass pig.” Fozzy Bear had this to say when asked about the game: “What’s brown and sticky? A stick! Waka Waka!”

It’s hard to predict if the game will be a success or not.  Most likely it will go unnoticed, but this is one sports writer who applauds the Muppets courageousness.   Until next time.

Andrew Murky, MBA