Wide Right: Scribbles -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
by Jeff Cockey, 1/1/04

OK, so I was having breakfast at 9am Saturday morning at a friend�s home. It turns out their mother/mother-in-law was visiting and she joined us for breakfast as well. She was wearing this sparkly silver shirt, as if she had been out clubbing all night and just wandered in this morning for some grub. For all I know this might have been the case. It is a sad commentary on my life when a friend�s mom goes out more than I.

So there I sat around the counter in my non-sparkly, I-did-nothing-fun-last-night shirt, and I found myself openly debating whether or not to write this column. Scribbles columns are fun to write, and hopefully to read, when the Hokies win the game, but Carter Warley and a defense that evidently didn�t make the trip to Arizona has ruined it for us all. So what do I do? I have already taken the time and effort to scribble the game as I saw it, so should I throw it out or type it up?

At this point Ms. Sparkly Shirt decided to tell me a little story. You know, one of those stories you used to get from your grandfather when you were having trouble in school with some bullies. He tells you about when he was in the Navy and single-handedly defeated the Germans. Somewhere in his twisted logic was a lesson that pertained to your problem. Or maybe there wasn�t, but either way it killed a good 30 minutes while you were forced to listen.

Well, the "party hound" started one of those. Maybe it was the fact that I had a little to drink the night before and oddly enough I was enjoying some eggs, a muffin, and the hair of the dog (Sierra Nevada I think it was. Yes, at 9 a.m.). Or maybe I was entranced by my friend who decided to start dancing in her kitchen like Elaine Bennis to pass the time (she was on her third Mimosa). Whatever the reason, I pretty much missed Sparkly�s entire diatribe. Save for the fact that I heard the word "ungulate," not once, but several times. Either way, it was her attempt to convince me to write the column. And so for better or worse, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly�

It�s about an hour before game time and like the rest of you I am home for the holidays. I find myself in my buddy Ross� place, and while we have the necessary beverages, we ain�t got no pizza. A situation quickly remedied with a quick phone call downstairs to the metrosexual bartender. (He enjoys telling patrons where to get the best manicure in town. It�s OK, he�s comfortable with it.) He works at the restaurant below the building, and pizza is only 30 minutes away.

To pass the time we pop in a TGR DVD. If you have never seen a TGR film, then you are missing out. Anyway, after slobbering over the sick lines of Jeremy Nobis we head to the pizza place to pick up the goods. Back at the apartment I�ve got a pepperoni and onion pie and more information than I�ve ever wanted to know about cuticles. (Evidently mine need to be pushed back or something.) So I sit down with a Sweet Water Tavern Christmas Ale in one hand and pizza so hot skin flaps are now hanging from the roof of my mouth, in the other. Why do we think that when something is extremely hot to the touch we should immediately put it in our mouths as if that will solve our temperature dilemma? And the game begins.

  • So we have Mark Malone and Mike Golic announcing. Not bad, I like Mike Golic. Or is it Bob that I like? I think it would be great to have that ex-football player from Saved By The Bell: The College Years in the booth. Loved that show.
  • Ok so the game has yet to start and we have had our third shot of the Cal cheerleaders. Do these camera guys get out much? Am I really complaining about this?
  • Carter Warley is set to kick off, and frankly I expect to lose tonight. This is a new feeling for me as a Hokie fan. I have always, always expected to win every game, but for some reason, not tonight.
  • And it�s Cal�s first series. Not bad to begin with a wide open pass play for 19 yards and a first down.
  • 2nd play and they get another 1st down, but D.Lo. just plowed through that receiver like a . . . well he just plain ran him over.
  • Excellent pass defense by Jimmy Williams but let�s not fear folks, there�s a hanky on the field and it�s on the Hokies. Yeah, we should probably give them another chance.
  • 3rd and 1 and Cal completes a dump pass for a 27 yard gain. Are you freakin� kidding me?
  • Cal�s next play is a reverse and I think it was #96 who took a fancy to Cal�s runner�s shoe after the tackle.
  • Looks like if they want to score they�ll have to throw it. Folks you just can never run on the Hokies, sometimes.
  • QB scrambled and � ooohhh � absolutely crushed at the goal line. What a solid hit. Bud Foster � mental note � let�s hit like that before they get the first down next time.
  • Those MAC refs were a little slow with the TD call for Cal.
  • OK, great. Now that we�ve got that let-them-march-down-the-field-and-score crap out of our system we can maybe play some (expletive) football please.
  • Amazing Mike Imoh. He will be a force next year. What a great 52 yd. kickoff return. I needed that.
  • Randall in the shotgun, pump fake, and sweet, Randall gives back 7 yards. His name is Jones, folks, let�s please use him.
  • Thank you. 14 yards to Jones on the screen pass. Yeah Stiney it works in the 1st quarter too.
  • And the announcers come up with a beaut when introducing our offensive line � "The Big Uglies are Big and Ugly." A twisted compliment if I�ve ever heard one but I�ll take it.
  • Did you see #9 for Cal? His hair? Like Michael Bolton in his prime (is that an oxymoron?). I don�t want to turn the ball over but there has got to be some way we could tackle that guy by his mane. He�s like Cro-Magnon man. "Your honor I am but a cave man. Your footballs and Hokie Birds frighten and confuse me." What a goof.
  • 2nd and 8. Shreve is open and Randall overthrows like it�s Yoa Ming out there. You know �cause Yoa�s really tall and Chris, well, not so tall. I like Shreve. Hope he has a big game.
  • Screen pass to Jones on 3rd and 8 and KJ pulls his usual David Copperfield impersonation for a first down. (How did that guy ever get Claudia Schiffer? He truly is magical.)
  • Vick on the quick pass and almost a TD. I like this look (Vick at receiver) and I totally agree with waiting until the very last game of the season to utilize our talent to the fullest. No sense in clueing everyone in on what we are capable of until now.
  • TD baby. Schweet.
  • Here�s a simple pleasure that has been bringing me joy most of the season, and it is the fact that our coverage team is really breaking down well in their lanes. Just solid football. And they did it again really gosh darn well.
  • 1st play of the drive for Cal and D.Lo makes a statement by standing up their wide-out. Hhhmmm . . . he�s playing like it�s his last game.
  • Ha � you can�t run on us tonight Golden Cubs. Seems we�ve decided to stop the run again boys.
  • Man that is a great name. I used to love Tshimanga Biakabutuka�s name but I think it has just been topped by Cal�s running back Adimchinobe Echemandu (God bless you). Now that�s a name. Am I really one to make fun of a person�s name?
  • I think we�ve settled down and are ready to put on a show. Cal punts, and sooo close to a block.
  • Oooh baby. Reverse to RJ and Wilford is wide open and we miss him? We miss him? Aaah crap.
  • Ok we just had a play where Randall was totally flat-footed for like five minutes. My buddy Ross yells at the TV like it�s his job � "run you (expletive)!" So, as he should, Randall takes off running but not before he pulls up and hits the Shreve-ster for a 500 yard gain. Just a nice play there folks.
  • Then Randall with a bullet to Keith Willis for a TD. The camera couldn�t even keep up with that pass. We needed that stupid Fox Network red line thing. The one that follows the puck in NHL games, to keep up with that pass.
  • Commercial time. Is anyone else in love with Liz from the Dodge Durango commercials? Just me? OK.
  • Did you see that screen pass that Cal just threw to #30? It�s 3rd and 13 and D.Lo. just scared the guy to the ground.
  • Hokie ball and . . . holy crap. Let me say that again in case you weren�t listening. Ho � ly Crap! Vick with a long bomb TD catch. Did you see that &%*$. To steal from Stuart Scott � I laughed, I cried, it moved me. QB controversy my butt, these guys are having fun.
  • Is Vick a wide receiver? Nah, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
  • There�s that fake reverse hand-off up the middle to Jones. I thought he was gone but they must have a 12th man hanging out on like the 5 yd. line in case Jones decides to, you know, be Jones.
  • I honestly did not expect to be doing this well this early. Frankly I didn�t expect to be doing this well until next year.
  • So we are already on their 20 yd line this drive and it is the all Kevin Jones show, featuring Kevin Jones as Kevin Jones.
  • Feet got tangled my butt. Watch the replay. That Cal defender looked at his legs right before their legs get "tangled" (I even did the air quote thing with my fingers for added emphasis.)
  • OK Warley you are allowed one miss and you just shanked your you-know-what off.
  • 205 yds. for the good guys and 77 yards for the bad guys. I don�t mind that stat at all.
  • So it�s 3rd down and we decide to be charitable and let their QB scramble for 20+ yards. I think it�s time to put them away for Pete�s sake.
  • I�m confused. Now they are running on us? Look, I know that all of the other Big East teams ran all over us but this is, you know, like a bunch of surfer dudes, long-haired, hippie people. And with that said, E. Green decided to take a seat and let Cal score a TD. Swell.
  • OK we�re still winning this game but I am about as comfortable with this lead as I am with Spurrier putting together a fantastic game plan for the Skins/Eagles debacle tomorrow.
  • Ross just flipped to Sex and the City � how much do we love Samantha?
  • Randall�s at wide receiver now and Vick is QB. I did not see that coming. Dare I say we will see more of that next year?
  • Now Richard Johnson with a great job keeping his knee off the ground for as big gain.
  • Randall hits Vick again for a first and goal. Why weren�t we doing this all season?
  • KJ on a sweet option for a TD. Where has this offense been baby?
  • American West airline commercial with a couple of Hockey players waiting for the puck to drop when they become extremely polite. "After you. Oh no, after you I insist." But the best part is when he skates up to the other guy and offers him a piece of bunt cake. Who thinks this stuff up?
  • Vincent Strang for Cal weighs 140 lbs. and D.Lo. has to face mask him to bring him down. Really?
  • Rece Davis just explained that in order for Cal to get back in this game they need to "bring their feet and arrive with bad intentions." I like that one Rece.
  • Cal is about to score again and I am trying to decide which is worse, our pass rush or the gas the pizza gave me.
  • Why oh why have we decided to make this interesting?
  • How sad is it that our last BCS bowl was the national championship? Short cry. Better now.
  • Actually let me extend that cry since we just let Cal score a TD with 30 seconds left in the half. That�s just freakin� retarded.
  • 30 seconds to go and Jones up the gut for umpteen yards.
  • Hhhmmm can we salvage a chance for Warley here?
  • Randall to RJ and we are in field goal range. Ok Warley redemption is so sweet. Make it happen.
  • Wow. Warley is kicking like he really wants to put that Residential Property Management major to work immediately after college.
  • Halftime and Marcus Vick has 3 receipts for 79 yards and a TD. Not bad. Now Golic is dribbling about Vick being a wide receiver next year. Don�t think so, buddy.
  • Look at Jones leading D1-A football with 21 rushing TDs. Impressive.
  • Jones is just money baby. He�s en fuego. He�s every SportsCenter highlight reel funny saying ever uttered. The kid is a "big bear with these freakin� claws and these teeth." He�s definitely not the PG-13 guy tonight.
  • Warley. Are you kidding me? Why were you even given another chance? What do you have on Beamer? Here�s you � "let me kick another." Here�s me "B-bye." What�s he got to do to get benched, Frank?
  • And thus it begins. Cal has started driving easily on us. The beginning of the end. Do we suck? No we are way past sucking. We suck fantastically. Hey, if you�re going to do something � do it well.
  • WooHoo 28-28! Rock-On.
  • Hey- Please take a moment and look around. Real quick please � everyone. Let me know if you see our defense. Thanks.
  • 8:35 in the 3rd and we run an option play where Easlik runs right by a block leaving Randall to get crushed for a loss.
  • Then we follow that up with a pass where Jones almost gets his legs broken on the hit.
  • And to top it off we get sacked for a 9yd. loss. Quite a series. I�m like a proud Poppa.
  • Come on Hokies. We have to win this game. These columns suck when we lose.
  • So my buddy Rossly is talking to my buddy Bog on the phone and he says "Oh great our defense is on the field." That was followed by a Cal completion for 850 yards and yet another to make it 1st and goal Cal.
  • TD Cal. I�m just going to route for them from now on.
  • Hey you know what? We haven�t fumbled yet. We still have that to look forward to.
  • Randall to Humes and it falls incomplete. Really? That wasn�t pass interference? Wow.
  • Hey, then Shreve dropped one.
  • Hey, then Randall scrambled for 4 yds and it�s time to punt. Awesome.
  • Trott�s in the game. He may have been in earlier but I just noticed him since I have been sipping from the nectar of life. He has to do something now since we�ve all been tooting his horn lately.
  • Say it with me like the count from Sesame Street � 1 . . . 2 . . . 3. Three straight touchdowns in the third quarter for the Bears. Ha Ha Ha.
  • All right people, this is Cal. Cal! You know, Berkeley! They haven�t been to a bowl game since you were driving your Iroc with the collar up on your pink Izod, blasting Heaven by Warrant, thinking you were Janie Lane. You can�t deny it. At one point or another we all were that guy.
  • OK so it�s the fourth quarter and I suggest we all grow a pair of pride please.
  • You know Jones is having a great night. I will miss that kid.
  • Randall just hit Willis for a TD, and folks that play just looked good.
  • With Warley safely on a plane back to Blacksburg, Pace just kicked an extra point that would have been good from 60 yards out.
  • As I am scribbling this dribble of a column a huge ball of fire fills the room. I turn and find Ross throwing random books off his shelf into the fireplace. "I�m outta wood." He tells me as he heaves the next paperback. We both saw the pile of wood in the corner, but this was way more therapeutic.
  • 12:51 in the 4th and correct me if I am wrong but I think I just saw our D swarming.
  • You know what? Jimmy Williams is going to be really special. He just looks good.
  • TD Cal. And I am sick of seeing Beamer�s face. You know the mouth open, jaw-dropped, look of astonishment. It�s been happening all year, how can this still astonish you Frank? How about you get a little fired up. Show some emotion. Slap a few helmets. Throw a chair onto the court. Do something please.
  • Not that it matters but, holy-moly, Wilford with an amazing catch to Cal�s 40 yd line.
  • Yeah Chris Shreve. TD baby. Are we back in this game?
  • 49-42 Cal. How ya feeling Carter?
  • Huge third and fifteen from the Cal 5 yd line. Huge.
  • SWEET STOP. Send everyone. Now is not the time to set up the return.
  • And so we set up the return . . . OH MY GOD! HOLY MOTHER OF CRAP. DEANGELO HALL WITH A PUNT RETURN FOR A TD. UN-FREAKIN�-BELIEVABLE. This is why I am not a coach.
  • Please defense. Please play like I know you can.
  • Oh OK, let�s kick it out of bounds. You know, to give them a fair shot at winning. AAAGGH.
  • I can�t even write. I am seeing shades of the Pitt drive here.
  • Time to Ice the kicker Frank.
  • And . . . we just plain suck.
  • Happy Holidays, everyone.

So here is the useless knowledge movie quote: "How�s an (expletive) like Bob get such a great kitchen?"

Folks, I am thinking of compiling a column of the best things about this year�s football season, whether it is a play or the way someone handled a certain situation. So please write in and let me know what you think the great things were that we can build from, and I will put it in the column. Thanks - [email protected].

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