Crowley Sullivan

Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: Week 2

Crowley Sullivan is a 20-year sports-media veteran having spent ten years at ESPN as a producer, programmer, content creator, business developer, and brand manager.  He now serves a EVP, Planning/GM, Sports for MandtVR, a content creation platform that emphasizes Virtual Reality initiatives.

Bother Crowley at @CrowleySullivan

Thoughts & Prayers: Week 1

Here are two sure-fire ways to avoid losing a game on a Hail Mary pass with no time left:

  • On your own 4th down opportunity to run out the clock, hand the ball off in a manner that will allow the clock to expire due to its own inertia.
  • If the above fails to secure the victory and the opponent somehow gains possession of the ball and is presented with the opportunity to heave a Hail Mary towards the end zone, make sure your defense defends the play by either knocking the ball down or by tackling any ball carrier prior to that ball carrier reaching the end zone.

Mike Gundy is a man.  He’s quite a few years over the age of 40.

He showed impressive maturity in the aftermath of his team’s loss by acknowledging that he might have made a better decision on his own team’s 4th down.

Were the officials responsible for a colossal screw up?  Yes.  But if you’re Central Michigan, you have to complete the Hail Mary and somehow get the ball into the end zone.  And if you’re Oklahoma State, you have to keep Central Michigan out of the end zone.  The rest is noise.

Unfinished business from last week

– The unique way in which gumbo is served at Lambeau Field – it comes in Popsicle form.

– Pat Narduzzi knows how to treat a rivalry game.  It’s no surprise that Pitt treated the game the way they did.  It’s no surprise that they set a school record for attendance.  It’s no surprise that Narduzzi has packed passion and pride back into a once-proud football program.  Early call – JFrank won’t get the chance to get back at Penn State’s non-rival next season.

– Speaking of Happy Valley – honoring Joe Paterno for the 50th anniversary of his career having started?  Is this really still happening?  Do these people think that Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon was staged on an undisclosed Hollywood set?

With OJ unavailable, are they searching for the true killers?  Do they think that Myra Breckinridge was a good motion picture? Do they understand that Waiting For Guffman is a fictional work?

– I got a peek of a recently prepared list of candidates to replace JFrank if that time comes and a few of the names were L. Paul Bremer, Montgomery Burns, Jack Tripper, and Art Briles.  Costanza is a well-adjusted, mentally stable, honest and true-to-the-core man when compared to this bunch.

– Maybe Bret Bielema is a father figure to the people of Arkansas, after all.  Nice victory there – and achieved with guts and gusto.  The post game celebration between Coach Bielema and his bride should make for good, clean fun on the SEC Network’s “Being Bret Bielema.”  Of course, capturing Coach Bielema nourish himself with a post victory plate of liverwurst would make for good, somewhat clean fun, too.

– Phi Slamma Jamma will not lose a game on its regular season schedule.  This will be repeated until it cannot be repeated (which will happen when Phi Slamma Jamma loses a game on its 2017 or 2018 regular season schedule).  If Greg Ward, Jr is not ready to go, Larry Micheaux will be ready to roll under center against Cincinnati.

– So Dabo and company thought that the Troy Trojans were Pete Carroll’s 2004 edition of Southern California.  I can see how that would happen.  No reason for Clemson fans to worry.  The truth is that Clemson is in the rarified air now and winning really is all that matters.  If the Tigers have an unblemished record on the morning of October 29th, nobody will care what happened on September 10th.

– If you are a South Carolina Gamecock and you’re truly excited about The Boom Muschamp Era, please let me know.  And please let me know why.

– Tennessee seems to have reclaimed its rightful place among New Powers of College Football with the victory at the racetrack.

Congratulations to all of the folks who put that whole party together.

156,000+ people had a great experience and it all looked like fun.  Stompin’ Gator knows that if Butch and his Vols lose to Florida for the 12th straight time, everyone will look back on it in the way I look back on the party my son went to when the jumpy castle collapsed as the father of the birthday boy had a little spat with his wife due to some misunderstandings related to nine or sixteen too many beers being consumed by the father during the 8-year old son’s party.

The party favor still sits on my son’s shelf – it’s a mini #1 USC foam finger –  and when I see it, I don’t get wistful about what a great day that was.

– I must admit, I didn’t check every single score across the landscape prior to hitting the hay.  When I awoke Sunday morning to a text with a screen grab of a particular final score, I didn’t know if it was someone fashioning a joke through the miracle of technology or if it as real.

Illinois State – 9
Northwestern – 7

Did the people who actually attended this game get some sort of comfort prize?  How about a phone call from the head coaches?  A free sandwich?

Where to go from here?

– North Carolina State loses to East Carolina.  Quick – name North Carolina State’s head coach.

– Are we allowed to critique Duke Football even though David Cutcliffe is some sort of modern day miracle worker who coaches football at a school that we’re all supposed to genuflect in deference to any time it’s mentioned?  When your football team gets beaten down at home by Wake Forest, you open yourself up for commentary that suggests that you’re mortal – even if you’re starting a new quarterback.

– Come on – there really is no way that THAT is The World’s Largest Drum. I think Pat Flanagan and I built a roller coaster with legos in my playroom that was bigger than this drum.  Purdue – you need to rattle off some wins, because, soon, someone will build a bigger drum just to mess with you.

– My files tell me that Mike Leach is the most candid and straightforward coach who’s given it a run in our current age of enlightenment.  He says his team has “the atmosphere of a JC softball team.”  I actually think he’s being generous.  Some of us are pulling hard for you, Pirate.

– Kentucky is an SEC football program.  You don’t get to pretend like they’re not in the conference, folks.

– The only thing more exciting than this weekend’s slate of college football games is the temptation to daydream about the Chicago National League Ball Club doing … it.

On deck

Ohio State at Oklahoma

Forget for a moment that these are two of the most successful programs in the history of the sport.  Big Game Bob is fighting for his life here and a loss/bad loss would really make things uncomfortable in Norman.  Obviously, if the Sooners can get it done, they’re right back in the mix.  Also obviously, Ohio State could play a game this coming Sunday against five or six NFL teams and look Super Bowl ready.

Florida State at Louisvlle

Coach Petrino really has that Harley humming.  And Lamar Jackson is the real deal.  Coach Pitino has even called ahead to reserve his favorite table at his favorite Louisville restaurant where he’ll take in the game with an intimate group of friends.  Karma is a female canine, however. Coaches Petrino and Pitino will recover with a nice, long bike ride together on Sunday – great way to clear the mind.

Michigan State at Notre Dame

Finebaum – take your Egg Bowl and scramble it.  This might be the most underappreciated rivalry in all of college football.  These schools have been at it since 1897 and they do it without any fanfare from the folks with Godluvem southern drawls.  Duffy/Ara/10-10, ’66.  Immaculate Deflection, ’90.  FlagPlant, ’05.  Monsoon, ’06.  Little Giants, ’10.  Boom – five games that belong in any list of the fifty greatest games played in the last fifty years.

The marching bands will share the field as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of that 1966 Game of the Century.  The fans will go at each other as hard as the teams will.  And it’ll all be done with Respectful Hate.  The winner of this classic any time it’s played?  The Great Midwest.

USC at Stanford

Whatever honeymoon Clay Helton was supposed to have, it’s about to end the way the life of a gigantic banana split ends when it’s placed right in front of Aretha Franklin.

Oregon at Nebraska

The winning prize?  You’re on the radar.  If Nebraska is the winner of that prize – and it says here that Nebraska will, indeed, be the winner of that prize – The Mike Riley Era will have begun.