Posts Tagged ‘uncle crappy


disaster narrowly averted.

By now, making the eggless sausage breakfast casseroles should be second nature to me. As Mrs. Crappy explained a day ago, it’s something of a standard dish for us.

And yet, I can’t seem to make them without screwing something up.

Thankfully, it’s a pretty forgiving recipe, and I can get away with making mistakes without you guys ever noticing. Like, say, two seasons ago when we were talking in the kitchen while I was preparing the food — and I realized that I forgot to brown the sausage before mixing it with the potatoes, peppers and all the other delicious stuff. No biggie, though — the sausage was cooked when I baked the casseroles the following morning.

On Friday night, I was dead tired when I started the prep work — but I at least remembered to get out the skillets to brown the meat while we watched Michigan State and Boise State. I diced all the veggies without losing a finger and popped them in the oven so we would only have to heat them in the morning. Dad and Mrs. Crappy both tasted the final product, announced they were pleased and we all went to bed to get ready for a very early start on Saturday.

It was when I was collecting food for the coolers on Saturday morning that I noticed the two bags of shredded cheddar in the fridge. Unopened.

Yep. I forgot to add the cheese.

Fortune continued to smile on me and my breakfast casseroles, though. I had just put them in the oven to get them warm; I got them out, buried the tops of each one with a cup of cheddar, and put them back in to heat. The finished product? The cheese browned beautifully, crusty in some places, melty in others.

Yes, we ran this picture yesterday. BUT JUST LOOK AT THAT CHEESE.

My ass was saved once again.

So when I make these next year, someone remind me to not only put the cheese in the casseroles but to put some on top as well. And to brown the sausage. And to not cut off my fingers.



We’ve talked a lot about traditions here at Killer Nuts Tailgating. There are unshakeable traditions involved with our parties every week, and I have a few of my own — the buckeye in my pocket or the recently discussed necklace, to name a couple.

There is another. And for reasons I don’t quite understand myself, I’m going to ask for your help with it this season.

I’m not an overly superstitious guy. I don’t have lucky jerseys, and I don’t freak out if I’m sitting on a different seat cushion from one week to the next.

And I’m not sure if this is really a superstition or just a tradition, but here it is: I pick one pair of boxers and wear them for every game for the entire season.

Yes. I wash them. Don’t be gross.

I went up into the attic tonight, to bring down some shirts that have been stored since the completion of the 2011 season. I’m starting to get stuff organized for our trip to Columbus Friday morning, and I want to be pretty much packed tomorrow.

I have just about everything ready. But I don’t know which boxers will be the game boxers for this fall.

And that’s where you’re going to help.

I’m about 90-percent sure that these have all been football boxers in previous seasons; I couldn’t for the life of me begin to recall when I wore which ones though. In my eyes, they’re all equal — until this Saturday morning.

Here’s a look at your choices:

One: Sort of a Block O pattern.

Two: Hooboy bright.

Three: Sort of a classic.

Four: Almost matches the stripes on the helmets.

Here’s what we’ll do. After I load the truck early Saturday — I’ll be done around 6:30, if I’m on schedule — I’ll open the blog and take a look at the results of the poll below. All have all four with me, and the leader at that point will be the boxers for the 2012 season.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this pressing matter.


a quick check on athens.

As this is an Ohio State football tailgating blog, I’m a little hesitant to spend much time here on my other college football team. But seeing as how my other blogging outlet is taking a rest, I don’t really have anywhere else to mention that there’s at least one national publication that’s thinking my OU Bobcats could run the table this season.

Yes. Really.

As Holly Anderson points out, the conference schedule is filled with teams that couldn’t break .500 a year ago, and the non-conference schedule, with one exception, isn’t exactly frightening either. More than half of the team’s 2011 starters return, and that includes quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who set records in his first year as a starter.

I think we’ll know all we need to know about the Bobcats by 3 p.m. Saturday; by then, they’ll have finished their opening game, against Penn State in Happy Valley. MAC teams don’t beat Big Ten teams on the road very often, but it does happen once in a while — right, Ann Arbor? And if the Nittany Lions aren’t focused on Saturday — something that would be completely understandable — that game is an upset waiting to happen.

Whaddaya say, Frank? Ready to play in a BCS game again?


sticking my neck out.

I had other buckeye necklaces before this one, but they were usually pretty simple ones, maybe a single buckeye strung on a piece of suede cord. Prior to the start of the 2002 season — yes, THAT season — I decided I wanted more. I went to a bead store and found a couple things that seemed like they would work. I also grabbed some buckeyes from the tree back home, drilled them out with my old yankee drill and put it together.

And Ohio State proceeded to have a pretty good decade — not to mention the national title the team won while I wore that necklace in Tempe.

Fairly early in his tenure, Jim Tressel made it clear that unlike his predecessor, he understood that the Michigan game was different. He did things differently for the final game of the season, and he made sure that everyone — the team and the fans in particular — knew that the Team Up North required a special effort from everyone.

Happy with this change from the Cooper era — when I had come to dread the Michigan game, for obvious reasons — I thought I’d make a special TUN-only necklace, to be worn on just one day every year. That was 2003, when I was still giddy both from the title the year before and two straight wins against the rival.

And then we lost that year.

I stuck with it, though, and it’s paid off. That buckeye necklace is 7-2* so far, and it’s not going anywhere.

And then came The Unpleasantness.

And prior to the start of the 2011 season, I knew there had to be a new necklace. The original had a great run, but I felt the need for a clean break from the bad stuff that left Ohio State with a new coach and a slew of players who had to sit out significant portions of the season while they contemplated their new tattoos.

I came up with this one, a combination of new buckeyes, some beads I found at a shop on Bethel Road and a few old ones I had in my bead bag.

To be honest: I’m not sure whether it was the season itself or something about the combination of beads, but the 2011 necklace never felt quite right. And once last fall’s Michigan game was complete — and once Ohio State hired Urban Meyer — I knew immediately I would assemble a new necklace for this new era.

Unlike the others, though, this one isn’t all new. The buckeyes and most of the beads return from last year’s model, and that’s OK. I view 2011 as a transition; Luke Fickell is still on the staff, and we saw glimmers — Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall, Ryan Shazier, for example — of what could be down the road.

We saw a lot of ugly football. We had more than our share of rough Saturdays. But we also saw reasons to hope.

So — I have a “new” necklace. We’ve broken from the previous era, we’ve acknowledged the sweeping changes of a year ago — and we’re ready for 2012 and what it will bring.

*Yes, I’m counting 2010. Bite me.


out of control.

As I said at the beginning of the week, I’m not going to get myself to wound up over what will or won’t happen on the field for Ohio State. We play who we play, and we end up with the record we deserve. It may not be especially happy, but learning now will make for much better football later.

I’ve having a hard time maintaining a similarly rosy outlook over the continued presence of The Unpleasantness, however. It poked its head around the corner earlier this week, when we hear that Posey, Herron and a couple others were being suspended for getting paid for no-w0rk jobs over the summer. The Unpleasantness did more than tiptoe around in the background today, though — it stomped on Posey, who got himself another five games off the field because of his “employment” this summer.

And I don’t care what the experts say — this looks like “failure to monitor” or, worse, “lack of institutional control” to me. And given that the NCAA has yet to rule on Ohio State’s previous problems with memorabilia and tattoos and the rest of that fun stuff, I can’t help but think that this is bad. Very, very bad.

Think about it. Just a couple months after the starting quarterback, starting left tackle, starting tailback and staring wide receiver were suspended because of Tatgate, two of those players — and two others — apparently thought it was OK to take some cash from a shady booster over the summer.


And then add to that the other three players who took money from the same shady booster to attend a charity outing. They were suspended as well.

I’ve never been so hot with math, but: five players suspended because of Tatgate. Three because of the charity thing. Another four — including two WHO WERE ALREADY ON SUSPENSION — for their summer “jobs.” Twelve suspensions for ten players.

We’ve been told by AD Gene Smith and university President Gordon Gee this week that Ohio State doesn’t have compliance problems. Gee even said OSU is the poster child for NCAA compliance.

Ohio State is the poster child for something, yes, but I don’t think the rest of the country shares Gee’s view. I know I don’t.

After some consideration, I was willing to give the Tat Five the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they were unaware of the rules. Perhaps economic circumstances made the sales of Gold Pants, jerseys, helmets and trophies necessary. I get it, and because we’re talking about 19 and 20 year-old-guys, I’m willing to write off one of these things as a mistake, albeit a costly one.

But given the attention — the scrutiny — that the university was under from the conclusion of the Sugar Bowl on, I’m not sure that we can gloss over another seven suspensions. I’m certain we can’t do so in the cases of Herron and Posey, who definitely should have known better than to put themselves in this position a second time. And — AND — given that the head coach was fired and the quarterback left school — I don’t think it’s a stretch that the university itself should be expected to make an extra to ensure the program stays clean, at least until after the NCAA makes a decision.

Did it? Is OSU the poster child for NCAA compliance? I know the university has self-reported more violations than any other DI school in the last decade. At this point, I’d be willing to bet we have more suspended players on the roster than any other DI program at the moment as well.

And if this is a concern to me, I’d have to think the members of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions might also have noticed.

Here’s what we do. Herron and Posey should be dismissed from the program. They were on suspension and took shady money from a shady businessman anyway. Once is a mistake. Twice is a problem, one that effects not only them, but the program as a whole.

The administration’s claim that Jim Tressel was solely responsible for the initial issues is … possible. More importantly, the NCAA seemed to accept that explanation. Will the members of its infractions committee continue to believe that athletics department administrators — and I’m thinking specifically of Smith here — still had no knowledge of problems now that there have been another seven suspensions since Tressel left Ohio State? At a minimum, Gene Smith needs to go as well.

I was happy a few weeks back, when the NCAA said that it appeared — at that point — that failure to monitor or lack of institutional control penalties weren’t necessary at Ohio State, because the university had managed to place the blame for its problems exclusively on Tressel.

Look at everything that’s happened since Tressel was fired. Think the NCAA might be having second thoughts?


back away from the ledge.

UPDATE: No Posey, no Herron and (surprise!) no Marcus Hall against Nebraska.

On the Friday before the opener against Akron, I met my dad, James Bond and Fred at the Varsity Club, for a kickoff lunch and the renewal of a high-stakes bet based on our predicted records for the season.

I don’t recall everyone’s predictions, but I think that at 9-3, I was the pessimist of the group.

And after Saturday, I think 9-3 would feel pretty good.

Because it’s not all that hard to imagine Ohio State not winning again until it plays Indiana. In November. Ouch.

But I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. There could be another five losses on the schedule — but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. This isn’t going to be a championship season — and it’s not even going to be close, boys and girls — but things aren’t as bad as they felt at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Look:

The defense is what we’re used to seeing at Ohio State. After Saturday’s game, our Buckeyes still had the 10th best scoring defense in the country. It’s easy to lose sight of this after a loss, but holding a senior quarterback and his very good offense to 10 points is a great day.

Help’s on the way. Returning to the field on Saturday: left tackle Mike Adams. He may or may not be joined by tailback Boom Herron and receiver DeVier Posey (it sounds like we’ll find out more about that this afternoon). The return of the skill players is important (Posey in particular — we’re already seeing injuries among the receivers and having an all-conference guy back can do nothing but help the confidence of whoever’s playing under center) but getting Adams back will be the biggest deal. The offensive line has struggled; having its anchor back in the huddle — and moving the other guys back to positions that more naturally suit them — is going to help.

It’s all in their heads. In 2008, there was a crushing road loss at USC and a devastating loss to Penn State at home; the team improved after both losses and won a bid to a BCS game. I’m not seeing a BCS berth at the end of this season, but we will see improvement. I’m not ready to make any predictions about wins and losses, but I guarantee we’re going to see a better team on the field against Wisconsin than we did against Michigan State. The current seniors were here for that 2008 season; they know what it takes to recover mentally, and they will bring the other guys along.

Youth movement. Think about it — four seniors, all starters, all among the better players at their positions in the country — and all gone for the first five games this year. Could we realistically expect the same kind of performance from replacements who A) had been perpetual backups or B) are true freshmen? Not if we’re being honest with ourselves, no. Think back to 2008 again. We saw occasional brilliance from that season’s freshman quarterback — but more often, we saw him play like he was a freshman quarterback. Braxton Miller’s in the same boat. We’ve seen great plays from him already, and I think he has a greater upside than did his predecessor. But if Ohio State is going to realize that potential for the next two or three years, we’re going to have to endure some mistakes now.

(Caveat to the above: We need to play Miller. Joe Bauserman’s performance against Akron had less to do with his ability than it had to do with what Akron lacked. It’s going to be better all the way around to suffer through Miller’s mistakes while he improves than to hope for a decent season from a mediocre caretaker — and have to go through Miller’s learning process next year.)

We’re going to be fine, boys and girls. We have the same talent on this team as we’ve had in the last decade. We have a ton of young guys — not to mention a young coach — and they’re not going to react like veterans when things get tough.

But later this season, they will. And they’re going to need us behind them when they’re ready.

Photo credit: The Ozone.


you get what you ask for.

As we approached the start of the 2011 season, I spent an entire post griping about the heat we were to experience during the Akron game.

And I was right, sort of. The temps didn’t peak that day in the upper 80s; they got close to 100 instead.

I know we’re always going to have some warm-weather games early in the season, but that doesn’t stop me from hoping for some actual football weather as soon as we can get it.

Even if that means we’re getting November on Oct. 1:

National Weather Service:

The Weather Channel:


I wanted football weather, and I’m going to get it tomorrow morning. Y’all dress appropriately, and we’ll see you there.


stand down.

As we discussed back in July, Ohio State will once again participate in Nike’s Moneygrab Alternate Uniform Freakout* program in 2011, and as I mentioned back then, I had some concerns about the leaked picture that purported to show this year’s version, shown below:

I wondered about the wisdom of wearing all-black unis for a night game — Nike is dressing the Bucks for this year’s home game against Wisconsin — and these seemed to astray from the other two versions in that they didn’t at least attempt to mimic a uniform of the past.

When I’ve come across these leaked pix in the past, they’ve turned out to be accurate. This time? Not so much.

Nike and the university released pictures of the 2011 unis on Tuesday, and they are indeed throwbacks, this time to the undefeated 1961 team:

Wow. Rod Smith's gotta be happy that his number is being used in the Nike promos.

I’m good with these. I still have doubts about the necessity of Ohio State’s participation in the program — with a climbing number of schools boast about having dozens of potential uniform combinations, I’m still happy to see that Ohio State has only two — but if we’re going to participate, a continued emphasis on honoring teams of the past is the right way to go for us.

Unless we Nike proposes a uniform based on the Ohio state flag. How cool would that be?

(Insert eyeroll here.)

*You may also know this program as the Nike Pro Combat uniform.


two weeks, one weak.

It was supposed to be like this anyway...

We’re two weeks into the season. The tailgates have been good, the parking has been ideal and the football … well, I’m not sure about the football yet. Here’s a rundown:

The Parking: Hooboy, this has been the best part about the season so far. you’ll recall that we felt pretty good about getting back to our usual lot before the season started, and so far, that’s worked perfectly. We have shade, we don’t have crowds and we have nearly all of the things — with the possible exception of grass — that we’ve enjoyed in the past. It could be that no one has questioned us about being there because no one has noticed us, but with each week, I’m feeling better about the prospects of us just being able to stay there.

The parties: As is often the case attendance was a little light the first week, but we recovered nicely on Saturday. The noon games are tough — tough on me, because I’m up at 5 a.m., and tough on the rest of y’all, because there just isn’t a whole lot of tailgate party to work with before it’s time to pack up and go inside. I am hopeful we won’t have many more noon starts for the rest of the year.

And did we eat well? Yes we did. Bud volunteered to make his breakfast hash for the first week; we’ve covered that recipe here before, and in spite of some technical difficulties with the propane skillet, it was as good as it always was.

I did the Groundhog-standard eggless breakfast casseroles on Saturday, and they were apparently popular. The basic recipe is here, but of course, I made some changes. One was simple — the base, but I substituted two pounds of bacon for the two pounds of sausage. The other was tweaked a little more. I used a pound of regular ground sausage and a pound of spicy; I also added a couple diced jalapenos to the mix, enough for flavor but not so much that it would blow anyone’s head off.

And it was good.

The pigskin: Damn, we looked good against Akron. Bauserman had the kind of day I didn’t know he was capable of, the receivers were sharp — THREE TOUCHDOWN CATCHES BY A TIGHT END WHAT? — and we didn’t appear to miss the suspended starters a whole bunch. It was the kind of game that made you feel good — but you realize that the opponent was good enough that you learned a whole lot about what to expect from your team later on.

And then there was Toledo.

I’m hoping that the near-upset was because of a couple of things: the fact that the Rockets are really good (we’ll find out more about that this weekend, when they host Boise State), and the attention of the Buckeyes was focused more on Miami this week than the game last week. Whether or not that’s the case, here’s one thing that’s certain — if Toledo hadn’t racked up the penalties they had, we would have lost that game. To an in-state team. For the first time since 1921.


I don’t think a lack of focus will be a problem this weekend, but hooboy the competition gets a lot better. We don’t know if the NCAA will let us have the Charity Three — as opposed to the Tat Four — back for the game against the Hurricanes, but their guys who were suspended in Week One, including quarterback Jacory Harris, will be back on the field, ┬áif they don’t crash any more Jet Skis into yachts in the interim.

How good is Ohio State? I think we’ll know the answer to that question by about 11 Saturday night.


old faithful.

It seems to happen every year. A picture of Nike’s planned alternate uniform for Ohio State leaks, and I freak out.

While I am happy to have something to write about besides the unpleasantness, I am so not happy about this year’s apparent choice. As has been the case in the past, this is a leaked photo, and there are no guarantees that this is how Nike will actually dress the team.

(But I should also point out — in both of the previous years, the leaked pix were accurate.)

With that background, boys and girls, I give you this, the 2011 Ohio State Football Nike Pro Combat Uniform (as posted on No Two-Minute Warning, via my friend Kelly):

OK. Let’s take a second and point out a couple things:

1) The uniforms are black.

2) They will be worn for the Oct. 29 game, when Ohio State hosts Wisconsin. At night.

3) Someone at Nike thinks it’s a good idea to wear all-black uniforms during a night game.

4) That person needs to be smacked in the head with something heavy. Like maybe one of those black helmets.

I’m at the point where I know this is going to happen every year. Fine. Nike shows off the latest in football uniform design and technology, and Ohio State makes a shit-ton of money selling replica jerseys. Woo, everyone’s happy.

If this is in fact OSU’s design for 2011, it will be the first time, though, that the Pro Combat unis might be a detriment to the team when it’s on the field. And I’m not OK with that.

2017 schedule

Aug. 31: vs. at Indiana, 8 p.m.
Sept. 9: Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Army, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: UNLV
Sept. 30: at Rutgers
Oct. 4: at Maryland
Oct. 7: Maryland
Oct. 14: at Nebraska
Oct. 28: Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Iowa
Nov. 11: Michigan State
Nov. 18: Illinois
Nov. 22: Indiana
Nov. 25: at Team Up North, noon
Dec. 2: B1G Championship, 8 p.m.

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