I'm writing this from Fallujah. Or at least San Francisco's version of same. I'm being buzzed by the Blue Angels, who are doing practice runs over my pad for Fleet Week.
My place is about 25 yards from the ocean and FA-18 Hornets are screaming over me, spinning wildly, and firing imaginary Sidewinders at Coit Tower. I just went up and on my roof deck and had a plane pass so close that I actually called out, "Americaaaaaah! Fuck Yeahhhhhh!"
I'm so juiced with patriotism right now I'm considering downloading a Toby Keith song. Please stop me.
Quick Fleet Week story:
I'm driving through North Beach a couple of years ago and there are quite a few sailors, mostly in civilian clothes, enjoying their time away from sea - gawking at San Francisco's beauty, drinking, and contracting diseases from various Asian prostitutes. Good times and I'm happy that our boys are getting a break from the prison of sea life.
While I chat idly on my cell phone at a stoplight, I gaze down a sidestreet and I see a uniformed enlisted sailor walking down the street and he's literally boucing with joy at each step. Literally skipping with elation. I'm thinking, ah, cool this kid just hooked up with some chick and now he's walking to meet his buddies and tell them about it. As I look closer, I realize that his sailor outfit has a small twist: the entire ass section has been removed and his naked buttocks are gloriously revealed to all passers by. That's not a sailor, I quickly conclude. Though my father, former Army man, would argue that this confirmed that he was a sailor, probably an admiral, and likely an Annapolis graduate. Rum, sodomy, lash.
What a glorious slate of games this week.
We've got crisp autumn weather in most of the country, the conference races begin in earnest, and the scent of upset lingers over the college football landscape like Eva Peron on an Argentine general.
If you care to contrast the difference between the NFL and college football, consider that there are a dozen games Thursday/Saturday that I'm keenly interested in while there isn't a single NFL game this weekend that demands watching beyond pulling for various Fantasy Football statlines. Let's wade in, because the fun starts early:
9:00 PM ET No. 21 Nebraska at No. 24 Missouri ESPN
I'm jacked for this game. The Big 12 North race will be decided here - yes, even KU's hopes are pinned on this game in some fashion. A third consecutive Missouri win over Nebraska absolutely crushes every ounce of momentum Pelini has built in Lincoln and I expect Nebraska to play with real desperation. The rainy weather in Columbia provides an interesting X factor. This game is all about which young QB gets it done. Here's what my most favoritest blogger thinks. Atomic Teeth says Blackshirt, Smackshirt.
12:00 PM ET No. 17 Auburn at Arkansas ESPN
As a football purist, this is a game you have to look forward to seeing and a good example of why the SEC is the premier conference - league depth. An Auburn win pushes them into my Top 10 and I'm not being overly dramatic when I offer that Arkansas' entire season rests on this outcome. Check their upcoming schedule if you disagree. Petrino vs. Malzahn on O. Good stuff.
12:21 PM ET Georgia at Tennessee ESPN 360/Gameplan
Desperation games are fun. If Georgia loses, things start to get uncomfortable for Richt. He won't be on the hot seat, but the natives will be gathering kindling. That has implications for us, obviously. Kiffin needs a home win. Fans will forgive road losses under a new regime, but when a Tennessean ponies up all of their personal injury settlement money for tickets at Neyland, you better win a game or two. Kiffin is 1-2 at Neyland (a W over W Kentucky) and 1-3 would be received with bad humor. You also get to watch Jonathan Crompton and Joe Cox play QB, which is always good for laughs.
12:30 PM ET No. 15 Oklahoma State at Texas A&M
I have a scouting interest, what can I say? Very curious to see how A&M rebounds from humiliation and how Gundy handles an offense without Dez Bryant. Why wouldn't A&M overload the box and dare OSU to beat them? And what about the loss of Bryant as a field flipper in punt returns? You really want to give A&M 5.5 points in this one? If the Aggies can't solve this gift wrapped offering, the Aggies need to think about basketball season.
3:30 PM ET No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Mississippi CBS
It's all shaking out in the SEC this weekend, isn't it? Ole Miss can play defense and that's their only real hope. Jevan Snead has been terrible so far.
3:30 PM ET Baylor at No. 19 Oklahoma ABC
Oklahoma is fantastic at home and as for Baylor: no Griffin, no chance. Does Bradford play? Does he shut it down for the year? I'm curious.
7:00 PM ET Stanford at Oregon State This will tell me a great deal about Stanford and if they have a legit dark horse shot at a Pac 10 title, which would be glorious. Winning in Corvallis is not easy and Oregon State is pretty respectable. Great RB duel between Jacquizz and Toby Gerhart.
7:15 PM ET Colorado at No. 2 Texas ESPN Gotta watch the Horns obviously, but set that TIVO so you can flip back and forth with...
8:00 PM ET No. 1 Florida at No. 4 LSU CBS Death Valley. Night Game. Uncertain Tebow status. Florida's first real test of the season. LSU will be good for a dozen major mental mistakes. Les Miles will fake punt on 4th and 21 from his own 9 yard line. Florida will try to convert 3rd and 2 without Tebow by running halfback option passes. This game will be ugly, intense, fun, and entirely riveting.
What games are must-see for you?