Wednesday, November 09, 2005


November 9, 2005

College Park, MD—Senior quarterback Robert Kluge threw for two scores and completed seven passes to five different receivers this afternoon as the SAM Out-of-Hosers ripped the rival SAM In-House Binmen 21-0 in a heavily anticipated, but thoroughly one-sided affair.

Underneath a soaring Chapel spire and slowly expiring daylight, with the sounds of the Maryland Marching Band stirring the crisp autumn air, the Hosers' Terrible Triumvirate of Kluge, Dan Powers, and Jeff Fischer ran roughshod over an disorganized and frustrated Binmen defense.

"I don't count the bodies," Fischer said when asked to name the defensive back he leaped over—and then squashed on the way down—while making an acrobatic late touchdown grab.

It was probably better for the Binmen that he didn't, because the toll would have been too high.

"Every time I dropped back I knew we'd complete a pass, I knew someone would be open, " Rob Kluge said.

Kluge set the tone on the first drive of the game, deflecting away Binmen quarterback Kristian Rivera's first pass and wrapping up receiver Andy Sitomer after a third down catch for a short gain. The Hoser defense whooped and hooted while Marc Premselaar punted on fourth down.

After a touchback, Kluge went back to work, this time under center and behind a stout line of Jon Karlik, Dan Metzger, and Heath Shyman. Following an incomplete pass on first down, Kluge hit Adam "Raspberry Sauce" Yoslowitz down the left sideline for a 30-yard gain over hobbled cornerback Jake "the Jake" Kimmelman. Two plays later the Hosers were in the end zone, courtesy of a short pass from Kluge to Dan Powers.

Powers, a senior—or is it junior?—H-Back, caught the pass with his back to the goal line and rolled like a booted pumpkin into the end zone before leaping blindly toward no one in particular. As the most flamboyantly dressed player on the field, Powers set an upsetting standard for uniform style. At one point he seemed to be prancing the field in a "Slutty Football Player" Halloween costume.

"Is that spandex?" one fan asked.

"I think I'm going to be sick," wretched another.

Back on the field, the Binmen offense continued to bumble. Rivera would finish the game 5-14 on pass attempts with no touchdowns, and was repeatedly chased from the pocket when his offensive line faltered.

Unwilling to abandon the deep passing game despite routinely facing five-man defensive backfields, the Binmen never established a flow on offense, and were down two scores before notching a first down.

"Jake ["the Jake" Kimmelman] was saying their end zone was too small. Well, yeah, it seems small when there are like nine guys back there," Innie assistant coach Evan Kline sniped after the game. "We should've thrown the ball short but no one could agree on anything."

"No one listened to me," Brian Banschick, the losing side's head coach said earlier, " I have no comment."

Banschick, described by his team as a "player's coach" in the mold of a pre-USC Pete Carroll, lost his grip early. Facing fourth-and-long on just their second possession, Banschick, perhaps overwhelmed by the gravity of the game, begged his team to "Go for it!" He was ignored, and left to watch impotently as the Binmen unraveled.

If the In-House team went to battle with a downright Rumsfeldian plan for victory, then the Out-of-House brothers appeared to have spent months in preparation for the tilt. Shuffling personnel with a swift and flawless precision, the Hosers routinely exploited favorable match ups from the line of scrimmage on out into the secondary.

"Fuck them," Jeff Fischer noted.

Up two scores late, and with the late afternoon's sunlight bled into a faint red afterglow, Kluge cut loose the short passing game that he had so methodically executed all day—completing passes to Fischer, Powers, Yoslowitz, Jess Bellissimo, and Michael "the Flying Nipple" Bender—and aired one out to Bellissimo down the right sideline.

Two plays later Fischer was in the end zone with his second score of the game and the outcome had been settled. The young upstarts had been turned back and turned home, without scoring a single point.

Notes and Quotes…

Jay Rosen, before the game, on his role: "Takin' a shit on the field."

He excelled in it.

Rosen did his best Tony Mandarich for the two snaps he played at left tackle.

The major pre-game brouhaha involved Christopher "C-Wood" Wood's eligibility as an Binman. Wood has lived out-of-4607 Knox since the first week of school.

Playing for the In-House boys anyway, Wood was repeatedly left to waste away on the O-line (to block, uhh, Metzger?) despite looking like Jim Brown and Jackie Joyner Kersee's love child on his three rush attempts.

Andy Sitomer, better suited to a third-down back role, got the early carries, and played well on both sides of the ball. A bright spot for his club.

Michael "The Flying Nipple" Bender delivered a vicious "truck-stick" shoulder into Sitomer's craw. Bender ran him over, but he was slowed enough that Rivera could come across for the tackle on a key third down.

Kristian Rivera goes sideline-to-sideline like Jon Vilma. He lined up over the left tackle to start one goal line defensive play and ended it by stacking up Big Dan Powers at the right pylon.

Josh Dean, on his expectation as a spectator: "I just wanna see somebody get laid out, anybody really. Maybe Cherry."

"Dan Powers looks like a…?"

"…fat black prostitute with her gut hanging out of her shirt,"

- Josh Cohen

Possession By Possession:
BINMEN 0 0 0 0 0 0
HOSERS 7 0 7 0 7 0


Kluge, 7-13, 2 TD
Fischer, 2 carries, First Down, TD
Kluge, 2 carries
Powers, 2 carries
Bellissimo, 1 carry

Yoslowitz, 2 recepts, First Down
Bender, 2 recepts
Fischer, 1 recept, TD
Powers, 1 recept, TD
Bellissimo, 1 recept, First Down


Rivera, 5-14
Sitomer, 0-1

Wood, 3 carries, First Down
Sitomer, 2 carries
Rivera, 1 carry, First Down

Wood, 2 recepts
Sitomer, 2 recepts
Premselaar, 1 recept




In religion, there are sub-divisions within the larger faith that denote the level of dedication and adherence to doctrine that followers are expected to display. Jewish people, for example, generally can be broken down into three major categories.

First, there are Reform Jews. These guys play fast and loose with religion. “Are we going to temple tomorrow morning?” they ask. “Well, we’ll see how the weather is.” At the other end of the spectrum are the Orthodox, no-nonsense Jews. When they enter a house of worship, men and women are made to separate and anyone who dares break the silent communal bond of prayer is removed, by force if necessary, from the premises. When it comes to God, the Orthodox mean business.

Somewhere in the middle, in a gray space only colored by the comings and goings of transitory souls, lie the Conservatives. Three days each year-- two for Rosh Hashonuh, one for Yom Kippur-- a Conservative will do and say all the things an Orthodox Jew might. The other 363 are less certain. If things are going good and maybe the Rabbi’s really been stroking his sermons lately, they’ll be in temple every weekend. When he’s been drinking too much scotch and slurs his tropes, they’ll stay home and read The Da Vinci Code.

Sports fans adhere to a similar code, and if the analogy hasn’t already begun to take shape in your head, I will herein seek to craft it out.

Like being Jewish, following or rooting for a team in any one of America’s four major professional sports (that includes hockey, you hater) is an act that instructs the most basic definition of “who you are.” Because lists are simple, in contrast to the skillful abstractions above, we’ll do this that way…

Reform fans are the scourge of all true believers. Reform and Conservative fans enjoy a relationship, from an ideological standpoint, along the lines of the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. It’s unkind.

You know this guy, you can smell him from miles away. When the team’s losing, he won’t watch the games. Or read the articles. But he will know what’s going on with his bets… Because he’s checking other scores when “his” team’s in the process of engineering a 4th quarter comeback.
Also, the Reform fan gets drunk during the game. Now, unless the game is being played in sub-zero temperatures (or it’s one of those rare, impact games, when it would be unhealthy to watch without some angle of sedation), there is no viable excuse for drinking heavily during your team’s contest. If the ebb and flow of the action isn’t entertainment enough, then you don’t really care. Stop pretending. Infidel.

Conservative fans...
This is most people. It should be all parents and people over 40 years old. Unless you’re over 40 and live with your parents. Then you’d belong in the next group...but this first.

Healthy is the way most would describe the Conservative fan. Roots for his team when they’re playing, goes to work when they aren’t. Win or lose, he reads the articles the day after the game, though not necessarily all the off-day, feature pieces. Friends like him and co-workers respect him.

It’s a swell scenario. You might think, “Hey, that’s me, that’s what I am, well-balanced, a sportsman in the truest sense. I only own jerseys for my teams.” And you might be right, for now. But no one stays Conservative forever. It is fleeting and anyone who says otherwise is probably a spy or deviant or both. In the course of a life, most fans will float between this and one of the two other distinctions, though rarely will one person run the gamut.

That’s because Orthodox fans are the sickest of the bunch. Mostly they’re comprised of 12-year-olds and the unemployed--a larger segment of society than one might imagine. Orthodox fans are physically affected by the games. So the team lost? Day’s ruined. That simple.
It can be a burden, but it’s the life they choose, a life of strict adherence. The Orthodox own only t-shirts, hats, and jerseys with the home club’s logo. No exceptions. Game’s on TV? Like the religious equivalent, women must be separated.

You know all the people discussed on this page. They live amongst us, visibly normal, decent citizens. I am one, though I won’t specify. What are you?

Monday, November 07, 2005



Someone in the Armed Forces public relations office announced on Monday that the 2000th American soldier had been killed in Iraq. It was treated as breaking news on CNN that morning when “Daybreak” anchor Carol Costello got the information in her earpiece.

It wasn’t, obviously, really a “breaking” story in the technical sense though, as the death of the 1,995th soldier days earlier served as a bold foreshadowing. The news upset me, but as I went through my day-- sleeping till three, deciding not to go to my one class, and then drinking cheap vodka until I passed out around 2 a.m.-- it also got me to thinking.
Now, before we progress here, a quick disclaimer. I’m an anit-war guy, and I might even own a Buck Fush t-shirt or some clever stuff like that. I’ve even protested and engaged in assorted messes of impotent dissent. But my theme here is universal and simple, free from the astounding complexities that surround this war and terrorism.

So I have some questions for you. Yeah, you. Put down the Chick-Filet you fat slob and read.

When you heard the news, about the dead soldiers, if you heard it all, how did you feel? I don’t care if you support The War or not; if you’re a vegan pacifist or a smug College Republican.

Did it hurt you?

Did it ruin your meal or upset your stomach?

Did it burn like when you got drunk at lunch and fell asleep in the sun last Spring Break? Like when there was no amount of aloe that could cool your skin and you started to sweat and shiver?

When you read the newspaper that morning (The Washington Post or Times, not the Diamondback, because, naturally, dead American teenagers is not a “campus issue”) did you notice the average age of the dead soldiers? If you’re a junior or senior, how did you feel when you saw that you were older than most of them?

If you are a supporter of the war, if you think that a nascent democracy in the middle east will serve as a catalyst for peace in the region, were you, like, vaguely embarrassed that you were in College Park and not Basra.

Were you ashamed that some kid like you, more than 1,000 of them more accurately, will never again get to do whatever it is you do? He can’t get stoned and giggle and watch Chappelle, or sleep with an ugly girl and then laugh about with his friends in the morning.

How did that feel? Did it feel like anything?