The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
Buffalo Visits The Club and it’s A Load of Bull
I’ve always found it interesting that August is the only month of the year with no special days. No holidays. No National-Insert-Any-Kind-of-Person-Here day. No days signifying historical moments or national heroes. Nothing to commemorate famous people born in August, whether they be Leos or Virgos. All August has been known for is “back to school” which isn’t something anyone going back to school is really interested in celebrating and which is, at best, a decent retail sales period. But these days late August does have something to get excited about—the start of the college football season!!
You betcha, the Buckeyes open their 2013 campaign by hosting the University of Buffalo Bulls at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, August 31st and a certain someone tipped me off that the quarterback from Buffalo was in town at the Opposing Quarterbacks Club.
It appears that two strong traditions still exist at the OQbC. The first is the over-valuing of their importance and the second is the belief their employees buy into the first tradition. My friend the doorman is back again this year and just as I figured, a Duck Dynasty Season 1 DVD was all I needed to gain access to the club and hide the microphones.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Joe Licata: Hello?
Moderator: Hello Joe Licata. Very nice to meet you. Please come in. Welcome to the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. It is within these walls that you will learn all you need to know about playing the Buckeyes in your first game this year.
Licata: So you’re going to tell me what I need to do to win the game?
Moderator: Oh God, you have no chance of winning the game. According to our scouting reports from your practices, even if the Buckeyes didn’t take the field for your first series, you’d go three and out. No, what you’ll learn here today is the knowledge and insight you’ll need to pass on to the other QB’s on the Buckeyes schedule as they visit us each week.
Licata: You mean I have to come here every week for the rest of the year?
Moderator: That is our expectation. It’s like the TV show Kung Fu where Master Po told Kwai Chang, “Grasshopper, when you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave”, but there are no pebble snatchers here. The pebble is a victory over Ohio State. We’ll give you the insight, the training, and the wisdom to help, but if you can’t achieve victory, then you must return. For years we have conducted this simple test and the pebble stays in my hand. Week after week, QB after QB, their hand is empty and mine has the pebble. Would you like to try?
Licata: Yes, indeed.
Moderator: OK, try and snatch the pebble from my hand.
<Licata totally whiffs>
Licata: Damn!! Not even close.
Moderator: That was truly awful. My ninety-seven year-old Grandmother who is blind in one eye and has severe arthritis in her hand did better than you. Clear your schedule Grasshopper, you’re going to be here all year.
Licata: So why is it you’re giving us no chance to win on Saturday?
Moderator: Simple. First you’re a MAC school and Ohio State is 29 and 1 versus schools from the MAC and two, the Buckeyes have played more than 1,200 games in their history and they have lost 3-one-hundreths of a percent –that’s zero point zero three percent—of their games to schools named for cities and one of those was to Wooster back in the 1890 season. That year the Buckeyes opened with a victory over Ohio Wesleyan on May 3rd and then lost their second game to Wooster on November 1st. Ohio State historians believe the 26-week layoff between games hurt the Buckeyes. Additionally, Ohio State has won 34 straight home-openers and Head Coach Urban Meyer is 11-0 in season openers. Need more?
Licata: No I get it. We know it’s a long shot but this game is a huge opportunity for us to make a major statement and you know what they say, “on any given day…”. We’ll learn a lot our team in this game.
Moderator: Well, you’ve already learned that being a MAC team and named for a city isn’t a good start. So tell me a little about yourself. I see from your bio, you’re a 6’2” 215 lb Sophomore and you grew up in Western New York. You chose to stay close to home so you could play in front of your family and friends. What’s your major?
Licata: At this point I’d say it’s general studies.
Moderator: Interesting, I’ll go off-topic here. Better General, Schwarzkopf or Lee?
Licata: Excuse me?
Moderator: Who was the better General, Norman Schwarzkopf from the Gulf War or Robert E. Lee from the Civil War?
Licata: I don’t study Generals, I’m in general studies. You know, a little math, some English and writing, a little science, some history.
Moderator: Oh, I see. When I was younger we called that Junior High. Anyway, tell me about your experience and your team.
Licata: Well we’ve played in big games before. Last year we opened with Georgia and more than held our own.
Moderator: Probably held some of their guys too, right?
Licata: We played Pitt last year and they only beat us by 14.
Moderator: Pitt has a rich history with Ohio State. I don’t remember the score from the last time they played, but I know who will. Let me make a call here. (Dials the phone). It’s ringing.
Voice on the phone: Hello?
Moderator: Mark May, this is the Moderator from the Opposing Quarterbacks Club, and I was wondering, do you remember the score of the game the last time Pitt played Ohio State?
<Phone slams on the other end!!!>
Moderator: Hello? Helllllooooooo? I guess he had to take another call. Anyway, as I recall the final score was 72-0 so using Pitt as a gauge for your performance versus the Buckeyes might not be the best example. It’s a bit like auditioning for Master Chef by heating a can of soup. I can hear Gordon Ramsey now, “are you #%&@n’ serious?” And speaking of food, we’re quite proud of our culinary offerings here at the OQbC and our special today is Buffalo Wings.
Licata: Really?!?!? From the Anchor Bar or Duff’s?
Moderator: No, ours are from actual buffalos. Look at the size of those puppies.
Licata: As I was saying, I was the starting quarterback for our final four games last year and we won three of those games. I completed over 53% of my passes, threw for more than 1,000 yards with 7 TD’s. I had a strong spring camp and Coach Quinn named me the starter for 2013.
Moderator: I watched a video clip of Coach Quinn after your first scrimmage and he talked about you seeing the field quite well, he said you had a very nice accurate throw and I quote, "a touch to his balls". I'm assuming he was still talking about your passing ability and not that you got the school mascot tattooed on the boys, right?
Licata: To continue, we’ve been really sharp in practice, the offense is running on all cylinders and I think I have what it takes to lead my team to a victory in one of the greatest venues in all of college football.
Moderator: Pardon me for being a bit skeptical, but as Ron White would say, “I don’t think so scooter”. I’ve seen plenty of quarterbacks come in here and think they have what it takes to win, but the only common thread among most of them is a loss and their time here. This will be your 5th straight start at quarterback, not exactly Brett Favre territory.
<There is a huge crashing sound and John Madden comes through the wall a la his old Miller Lite commercials>
John Madden: Did someone say Brett Favre? I love Brett Favre and when you talk about Brett Favre you’re talking about the very best. In fact, Brett Favre is the yardstick for all greatness. If someone asked me to describe Einstein, I’d say he was the Brett Favre of physics. The Brett Favre of baroque music is Bach, but Mozart is the Brett Favre of all classical music. You gotta say the Beatles are the Brett Favre of rock and roll; the Brett Favre of country music was George Jones; Hawaii is the Bret Favre of vacation destinations; I would say Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the Co-Brett Favres of technology if indeed you could have Co-Brett Farves and I think Co-Brett Favres would be pretty cool because there would be two Brett Favres and two Brett Favres have to be better than just one Brett Favre and you know my good friend Pat Summerall was the Bret Favre of broadcasting. Any group you can come up with has a Brett Favre. I mean Michael Phelps is the Brett Favre of swimming; Lincoln was the Brett Favre of Presidents; and you know, the Brett Favre of some things aren’t who you think they are. Take Ponzi schemes, they were named for Charles Ponzi, but he’s not the Brett Favre of Ponzi schemes, Bernie Madoff is the Brett Favre of Ponzi schemes so maybe they ought to change the name of those things to Madoff schemes; the good ol’ U.S of A, is the Brett Favre of countries and when it comes to quarterbacks, the Brett Favre of quarterbacks is well, Brett Favre. Hey look at the size of those buffalo wings over there……
<Madden rushes over to the buffet and starts stuffing wings in his mouth>
Madden(with his mouth full): Fmese wings are terrifimic. MMMM. Ghmotta say dese are the Brett Favre of pbuffaloph wings….
Moderator: So Joe, what’s your game plan for beating the Bucks?
Licata: We know they are a talented team and we’ll have to play our best and hope they don’t, but we do have a few plans to attack them. Their secondary is strong—even without Roby in this game—but we see a lot of youth in the front seven. We’re hoping we can keep switching our blocking assignments and run some misdirection plays to keep them off balance. I know Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington will be licking their chops to come after me so I plan on changing the snap counts and my cadence to try and get them to jump offside. If we can do that, hit a few balls underneath and move the chains, I think we’ll be successful.
Moderator: I know the defense is the strength of your team.
Licata: Correct, with Khalil Mack upfront, we can pose some real problems for the OSU offense. We have a ton of experience on the defensive side of the ball and I think we’ll surprise them with our speed. We have a couple of guys who can really motor. If we can keep their offense off the field and control the time of possession, I like our chances in the game.
Moderator: I’m sure Braxton Miller will always look to see where #46, Mack is lined up. And it wouldn’t surprise me if you guys did win the time of possession statistic because I don’t think it will take long for the Bucks to score. You may have the ball for 45 minutes and not score at all and they’ll have it for 15 minutes and score 300 points. I think they’ll come out fast, put the pedal to the metal and never take their foot of the gas.
Licata: (laughing) Of course a ton of rain on Saturday might help slow them down. Do you know what the weather is supposed to be like?
Moderator: The only forecast I have is a Buckeyes victory and another chance to chat with you next week.
Licata: Like I told you, “on any given day”. Coach Quinn showed us the film of the Appalachian State-Michigan game from a few years back for motivation and as a reminder of what can be done.
Moderator: We love that movie around here. We watch it all the time. Hysterical. Like Caddyshack or Stripes. When they block that field goal and the Michigan guys are running after them and then they cut to the cheerleaders and the fans in the stands and they look like they are watching their houses burn down, that’s gold Joe. Comedy gold.
Licata: I guess you could say it’s the Brett Favre of funny movies.
Moderator: Well done, Grasshopper, very well done. That’s all the time we have for today. Good luck on Saturday and I’m sure we’ll see you here next week at the same time. We are officially adjourned.