The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
Acrimonious Acronyms—FAMU, FUBU, HULU & the ACLU
When the doorman contacted me about this week’s meeting, he was all excited. He told me the price of admission this week would be higher than usual because “Johnny Football” was the QB visiting the Club. Knowing that the doorman’s football acumen is akin to my understanding of the UNIX operating system, I played along and asked how he discovered who was this week’s guest. He said he’d heard the Club’s Board of Directors talking about “getting everything ready for the A&M quarterback” and he told me I’d really have to pay up to gain access to the meeting. I asked what he thought would be a fair exchange and he told me tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert in November would be a good start.
I acknowledged that would be an acceptable offer if indeed the quarterback from TexasA&M was the visitor, but actually this week’s guest was the quarterback from Florida A&M and due to his 800 mile geographical goof, the barter was going from Justin Timberlake concert tickets to a coloring book featuring that classic little wooden family from Highlights for Children, The Timbertoes.
"Touché", was the only response he could muster so we finished our transaction and he let me hide the microphones.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Moderator: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this week’s meeting of The Opposing Quarterbacks Club. It was an exciting week in college football and we have a lot to discuss today so I’ll being this session with the roll call. From the University of Buffalo, Joe Licata?
Moderator: Adam Dingwell and Quinn Kaehler from San Diego State?
Kaehler: Both here.
Moderator: The newest member of the class of 2013-2014, Jared Goff?
Goff: I’m here.
Moderator: Jared, your performance last Saturday night was very impressive. For a young quarterback you displayed a lot of confidence, you seemed very comfortable with your offense and you didn’t shy away from the spotlight of a primetime, nationally televised game. There are a lot of positives you can take away from that game.
Licata: And one negative. You didn’t win, and that’s why you’re back.
Goff: We wanted to maintain a frenetic pace make Ohio State play 60 minutes of football.
Dingwell: It’s too bad the game was over in about 6 minutes.
Kaehler: Technically, five minutes and fifty seconds. Before the game clock hit the nine-minute mark, the Buckeyes had run 10 plays and scored three TD’s.
Goff: We outscored them the rest of the way, 34-31.
Licata: That’s like America claiming victory over Britain in the Battle of New Orleans in 1814. Do you know what made the accomplishment significant?
Goff: No, what?
Licata: It occurred two weeks after the War of 1812 officially ended. I’ll bet if the British had an Opposing Generals Club, Andrew Jackson would have made several visits.
Moderator: Very nice Joe. It appears you’re putting your General Studies major to work.
Goff: All I know is that we really moved the ball and scored a ton of points. We hit them with big plays, converted several third and long situations and even got them with a fake punt to pick up a first down. I think we dominated their defense.
Kaehler: How many missed tackles did the Buckeyes have, about eleventy-seven?
Dingwell: That sounds about right. And Goff, if you look up dominated in the football dictionary, the definition is “scoring 21 points on 10 plays in less than 6 minutes”.
Goff: I’m guessing you didn’t see the game.
Dingwell: We were off this week so I was able to watch it and there were two things that really stood out. First, you have no defense, and second, you have no fans. OSU took over your stadium like pageant moms at the Lil’ Miss Berkeley Beauty Contest. The stadium was a sea of red and between the O-H-I-O cheers and the band playing, it looked like a home for the Buckeyes. Do you typically play in a half empty stadium or are your fans so loyal that only top-dollar ticket scalping can keep them away?
Goff: Coach Dykes did a great job of keeping us focused on what we wanted to do and he told us to concentrate on playing our game. We went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the country. We can hold our heads high.
Kaehler: I have to admit, you displayed a lot more toughness that I expected from you. When I first saw you here last week, you looked like an 8th grader. If fact, I mentioned to Adam, that you looked like you belonged in junior high and he suggested that the other kids in your class would have voted you “most likely to be killed by a chicken”, but you took your lumps, hung in there and played a nice game.
Goff: Coach Meyer said in his postgame comments he was glad they played me now because I was going to be a good one and that meant a lot to me. I think I earned their respect.
Moderator: And you certainly earned a place here. Statistics are nice, but like so many others before you, a victory was unobtainable so you are now formally a member of the OQbC. Here’s your jacket. We made this especially for you. It’s gold with a lot of scarlet to remind you of how your stadium looked Saturday night. Congratulations Jared, we’re glad to have you with us.
Goff: So what does this mean?
Licata: It means you’ll be back every week just like us to commiserate and help prep the remaining quarterbacks on OSU’s schedule.
Moderator: Thank you for the perfect segue Joe. It is time to meet this week’s guest. He is Damien Fleming a 6’3” 180 lb. Junior from Florida A&M University. Damien is the quarterback for the Rattlers and he’ll lead his team into the Horseshoe for a game on Saturday with the Buckeyes. Welcome Damien.
Moderator: Gentlemen, Damien and his Rattlers are 1-2 on the season, dropped a tough 27-20 decision to Samford last week and head to Columbus for their initial meeting with OSU.
Dingwell: You only lost by 7 to Stanford? That’s pretty impressive.
Fleming: Not Stanford. Samford. We’re FCS.
Dingwell: Then Ohio State will beat you by 700 points.
Fleming: We know what we’re up against, but with OSU coming off a big road game at Cal and Wisconsin scheduled next week, perhaps they’ll fall into our little Rattlesnake trap.
Licata: Nice idea, but your chances of beating Ohio State are the same as Dingwell’s winning the Heisman Trophy.
Kaehler: So you guys are the Rattlers. Let’s see if I can construct your biological classification. Your Kingdom would be College Football; your Phylum would be FCS; your Subphylum would be the MEAC; your Class would be one of the worst teams in the MEAC and your Order would be to pick up a check from Ohio State to fund seven men’s and women’s sports at FAMU for the next year. Does that sound about right?
Fleming: All I know is we will be ready and I think we’ll pose some challenges for the Buckeyes. I have experience—I’ve been the starter since mid-season of my freshman year—and I was named 2nd Team All MEAC last year.
Goff: 2nd team All-MEAC? That’s like the Hyatt Regency boasting about being the second tallest building in Albuquerque. Who cares?!?!
Moderator: Statistically, Damien is 31-64 for 383 yards, with 2 TD’s and 5 interceptions. Last week, FAMU had 219 yards in total offense against Samford.
Dingwell: 219 yards in total offense for the game? Ohio State had that in the first quarter against Goff and his Bears on Saturday.
Licata: Plus there is the possibility that Braxton Miller returns this week, and even if he doesn’t Kenny Guiton will prove to be no match for your defense. And if that weren’t enough, Carlos Hyde will see his first action of the year and something tells me he’ll be more than a little juiced to run the ball and keep the chains moving. Carlos will want to make a statement and that statement will be, “I’m baaaaaaacck”.
Fleming: Turnovers really hurt us last week. I had three interceptions. One was on me, but the other two came on tipped balls. The timing between the receivers and me was off and we’ll spend this week working to correct those kinds of mistakes. We know we’ll have to play close to perfect to have a chance to win but that is the type of challenge I want to take on. Coach Holmes talks about getting better everyday and regardless of the outcome Saturday, we’ll be a better football team.
Kaehler: I look at your roster and your stats and there is no way you guys can match-up with Ohio State. They’re bigger, they’re faster, they’re quicker and your offense isn’t going to keep them back on their heels. Through three games you only have 685 yards in total offense. That’s only 77 more yards than Ohio State had in Saturday’s game alone!!! You’ve turned the ball over 9 times in three games and you’re averaging about 4 yards per play. Dingwell, what does this match-up look like to you?
Dingwell: Like scarecrows carrying boxes of twigs and cans of gasoline walking across the Halema’uma’u Crater lava flow at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Kaehler: That’s not going to end well.
Fleming: I know the talent scale may not look balanced but it’s still football. A hat on a hat every play and you hope you win your share of those battles. I think we’ll surprise the Buckeyes on defense. Our defensive coordinator is Levon Kirkland who played with the Steelers and he’s working on a few defensive schemes that the Bucks won’t have seen before. Coach Kirkland isn’t all that impressed with the edge of the their offensive line and he thinks we can bring pressure and collapse the pocket. We’ll blitz a lot and try to disrupt the timing of their offense.
Goff: Here’s the timing you have to deal with when you play the Bucks. The QB claps, the ball is snapped and they score. It’s one-thousand one, one-thousand two, one-thousa-touchdown! This is big boy football.
Fleming: FCS teams have won a lot of games against D-1 teams this season. Eastern Illinois beat Dingwell and Kaehler a couple of weeks ago.
Licata: I don’t think you guys are as good as any directional Illinois team and Dingwell and Kaehler demonstrated they aren’t anywhere near the same level as Ohio State, so while you may think it’s just a hat on a hat, the hats you’ll play against Saturday will be unlike any hats you’ve seen.
Fleming: We’ve played in big games before. We went to Norman last year and played the Sooners.
Goff: How did that turn out?
Fleming: We lost 69-13 but we learned a lot about our team and what we need to do to compete with the top teams.
Licata: What you’ll learn Saturday is that the Oklahoma game last year will seem like you spent all day lounging in a hammock sipping cool drinks and listening to Enya CD’s
Fleming; We’ve got experience and after three games we’re 88%, seven of eight, in Red Zone scores this year. If we can move the ball, we’ll score.
Licata: The key words there are “if we can move the ball”. I’m guessing you’ll reach the red zone about the time most Americans start carving pumpkins.
Kaehler: One concern I’d have if I were you is that OSU might very well be an angry team on Saturday. As I said earlier, they missed a ton of tackles in the game against Cal and I’m guessing that’s an issue Coach Meyer will want to address and correct immediately.
Dingwell: And I suspect the first time Ryan Shazier hits you, you’ll look like Eminem during his interview with Brent Musburger. You know, blank stare, mouth agape. You might want to practice that look in front of the mirror so when the team trainer comes out to check on you, he’ll see that face and know exactly what happened.
Licata: Football on live TV can freak you out.
Fleming: Fellas, I appreciate your words of wisdom, but we’re representing FCS teams, our FAMU fans and the MEAC. We’ll develop a winning formula for success and prove it on the field Saturday.
Goff: Here’s the only formula you’ll need to remember—FAMU > OSU = NFW.
Moderator: Guys, that’s all the time we have for today. I wish each of you the best of luck in your games this weekend we’ll see you back here at the same time next week. We are officially adjourned.