Steelhead returns from sabatical refreshed, but still pissed

Moments after the White Sox season officially came to a close, I booked a plane ticket for Chicago.  My intentions were to visit the old stomping ground, and spend a week doing the only thing I remain sober and alert for, bowhunting monster whitetail deer that inhabit the Midwest.  The relaxing vacation helped ease the pain, but here I am again forced to deal with the reality of three things:

1. Notre Dame blew their shot at being a legitimate college football team, losing to North Carolina on Saturday

2. Da Bears blew their shot at distancing themselves as top dog in the NFC Central, losing a heartbreaker to the frisky Dirty Birds

3. The Blackhawks are light years away from reviving the famed “Cold Steel on Ice” moniker and attitude of the late 80’s and early 90’s

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Spending quiet hours in a treestand on crisp October mornings gives a man an abundance of time to think about his past, reflect upon it, and speculate on his future.  Savoring these moments in the great outdoors has prevented countless nervous breakdowns, for it is an experience that is quite therapeutic, providing order in an otherwise chaotic universe.    Although only a short amount of said time was spent pondering something as frivolous as our beloved sports teams, some random thoughts did bubble to the surface, mostly recollections of the glory days.  Perhaps another day I will share these in a post, but for now, let’s look at the weekend:

Why can’t the Irish’s explosive offense put up points in the 2nd half of games?

With the exception of the Purdue game, Notre Dame has not been a second half point monger by any means.  The numbers have been quite misleading.  Jimmy Clausen threw for an astounding 383 yards on Saturday, but his teammates only broke the plane once in the last 30 minutes.  If the Irish plan on making any kind of noise in the 2nd half of their season, consistently finding the end zone for 4 quarters is a must.  The only way this can happen is by establishing a more consistent running game.  Right now, the offense is one dimensional, and will continue to sputter late in games until better results happen from the backfield.   

Did shitty play calling help seal Notre Dame’s fate Saturday?

I could go on and on here, but I’ll give it to you as short and sweet as possible:  Let your players decide the outcome of the game by giving them opportunities to win the game.  DO NOT try to reinvent the wheel with minutes to go in a close game, especially when your offense is comprised of young players still learning on the job.  Trust your players, the system that obviously works, and good things will happen.  P.S. Don’t throw a 3 yard pass to a guy that can’t break tackles on 4th and 7. Thanks….

Will the Irish spend their week off practicing tackling drills on defense and fine tuning the potent offense?

The defense showed glimmers of hope, but the tackling was piss poor at best against the ‘Heels.  Too many YAC were gained in the middle of the field, and the linebackers need to toughen up considerably.  Things are looking grim if teams are running at you at 3rd and 5.  The young offense simply needs to continue their progression, and focus on the fundamentals.  With 6 games in the books, scoring touchdowns in the red zone is not a bonus, it’s now expected.

How did the Bears piss Sunday’s game away?

I’m at a loss for words:  A failed 4th and goal from the 1.  A miraculous “game-winning” touchdown with 11 seconds left.  Possibly the worst kickoff in NFL history. An inexcusable 26 yard reception.  A 48 yard field goal at the buzzer.  Wait, it’s pretty obvious how they pissed it away….

What now for the Middie Monsters?

The way this team has gone up and down, anything’s possible.  Orton is playing with the poise of a grizzled veteran, and the defense is still productive enough to win games by themselves.  At 3-3, the next two games will determine the rest of 2008.  Wins against division rivals Minnesota and Detroit at Soldier Field should give this insecure bunch the confidence they need to make a playoff push, but losses will crush the apparently shaky team psyche so bad the damage will be irreparable.  Welcome to being a Bears fan!!!

Will the ‘Hawks make the playoffs in ’08?

After an 0-2 start, mustering two goals a game obviously isn’t enough.  The Blackhawks are talented enough to score more, and will have to in order for a post-season appearance. Young guns Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews need to spearhead the offensive attack with the help of veteran Martin Havlat, goalies Cristobal Huet & Nikolai Khabibulin need to protect the net with more authority than has been displayed thus far, and highly touted defenseman Brian Campbell needs to make the netminders job easier.  Hell, the Sox weren’t picked to make the playoffs, so here’s to the ‘Hawks breaking their playoff skid in 2008.

One last question……

Did Steelhead bag a deer last week?

The true thrill of hunting is being in a land void of electronic devices and other luxury items, and watching nature wake up and come to life below you……..hell no I didn’t.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by DiaperDandy on October 17, 2008 4:32 pm

    Steel,
    Please provide your thoughts on the lightning fast axe given to Savvy. Nothing kills 10 months of excitement like firing a coach the players loved who happened to be one of the best to ever don the Indian Head Sweater (I look to the #18 in the rafters and wipe away a tear).
    Also, stop drinking.

  2. Comment by nippleo de pigo on October 25, 2008 12:12 am

    By luck, I happened to come across some rare footage of Ol’ Steelhead showing his bow hunting skills….check it out……..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDrT9tgk4wM

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