When my cell phone rang yesterday, I looked at the screen and immediately new it wasn’t going to be good. The call was from the doorman at the Club and since he never calls to alert me to meetings—he has developed a very elaborate sequence of signals, think The Old North Church and one-if-by-land-two-if-by-sea meets Deep Throat’s notes in Woodward’s copy of the New York Times—I knew the call had to be something I had no interest in hearing about like some multi-level, pyramid scheme product scam or the opportunity to buy timeshares in Terre Haute and I was right. He told me he was going to a new business symposium and needed me to go as his associate.
The event was nothing more than some guy trying to sell franchise territories for a new business venture and in the four seconds it took me to realize something called “The Shrimp Tent” was doomed to fail, the doorman was enthralled. He eagerly listened and took notes like a college student on their first day of an internship. The guy droned on about consumer research indicating positive reaction to the concept and the blue chip suppliers they had secured. He covered operational procedures, financial and cash flow models as well marketing support materials all that were unbelievably stupid and in many cases, illegal, and my friend wrote down every word he said. At the end of the meeting the doorman was ready to sign-up but he was $100 short and asked if I could make up the difference. I quickly gave him the money and rationalized my decision that I would have paid twice that not to go to the meeting in the first place so I was up a hundred bucks.
One he completed his transaction, I told him, “you owe me” and he granted me access to hide the microphones.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
By the way, if a “Shrimp Tent” opens in your neighborhood, run. Run far away.
Moderator: Gentlemen, welcome to this weeks session of The Opposing Quarterbacks Club. This is just the third meeting of the year and we’re quickly filling up with quarterbacks. I’ll call the roll so we can proceed. Joe Licata?
Moderator: And our two newest additions, Adam Dingwell and Quinn Kaehler from San Diego State.
Dingwell: We’re both here.
Licata: Hey Dingwell, looks like we have to change your name again. I’m thinking it’s now, Adam Didntgowell. What a pitiful performance.
Dingwell: Yea, I’m not even sure why I have to be here. I only played three series and Quinn played the rest of the game.
Moderator: That’s true Adam, but your three series were much, much more than “club-worthy”. They are in another stratosphere of suck. Your official stats were 0-5 passing with an interception. In the three series you played quarterback, you led the Aztecs to a total of 6 yards on offense. If you had kept up that pace and played all thirteen series you guys had in the game, you would have crossed mid-field about an hour ago. I’ve been around a long time and I’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks but your performance Saturday was truly unique. Today you become more than just a member of the OQbC, you are the new benchmark for horrible. For years to come, QB’s will always be able to judge their performance to yours. They’ll say, “I may not have played as well as I hoped to, but a least I didn’t go all Dingwell out there”. Congratulations, you’ve dropped the bar as low as it can go.
Dingwell: Really? Three bad series and I’m enshrined here?
Licata: Think of yourself as the William Henry Harrison of the Club. You weren’t around long, but you’re still a member.
Kaehler: So what does that make me?
Licata: You’ll be the John Tyler of the Club. And I think that title fits you perfectly. Tyler isn’t remembered as one of our great Presidents. His face isn’t on any currency or Mt. Rushmore. Banks are open and mail delivery happens on his birthday and never in history, when this country was faced with adversity like World Wars, the Depression, the Cuban Missile Crisis or today’s uncertainty in the world, have we asked, “hey, how would Tyler have handled this?” Your numbers were 22 of 36 for 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception and 2 fumbles. Very “Tyler-like” to me.
Moderator: And “Tyler-like” is more than good enough to get you a seat and a jacket here. Neither of you drew a lot of praise from your coach. After the game Rocky Long said, and I quote, “If the quarterbacks don't play well, guess what, they don't. We thought Adam wasn't playing very well so we put Quinn in and he played a little bit better. He completed a few passes and not to the other team.”
Licata: That’s something you can build on Quinn. Your coach basically said you weren’t completely awful.
Kaehler: I did get us a touchdown.
Licata: After you were behind by 42 points. Your TD really made it an exciting game.
Moderator: Other than Quinn’s TD, between the two of you, the Aztecs had 12 drives. Seven ended in punts. Two in interceptions, 2 on fumbles and one at the end of the first half. Those are the kind of numbers that bring tears to our eyes.
Dingwell: Because you were sad?
Moderator: No!! From crying. I can’t remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did watching the first part of your game Saturday.
Licata: If you guys had a pay-for-play scheme like Oklahoma State is being accused of, based on your performances, you’d each owe about $1,200.
Moderator: I believe we have exhausted the analysis of the SDSU game so now we turn our attention to this weeks’ guest. He is Jared Goff, the 6’4” 205 lb. Freshman quarterback from the University of California and his Bears host the Buckeyes this Saturday evening in Berkeley in a nationally televised game. Welcome to the Club, Jared. We appreciate you taking the time to join us.
Goff: All this is so new to me—the interviews with the media members and other obligations that go with being a starting quarterback—but I want to fulfill all my commitments--so I’m very happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
Dingwell: You have no idea what this place is all about, right?
Goff: No, but I’m really excited to be here. What do I do first?
Moderator: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, your season to date and your expectations for the game against Ohio State?
Goff: As you said, I’m a Freshman at Cal and was named the starting quarterback about a week before our first game. It was a real honor and I’ve worked very hard to get where I am. We’re entering a very key part of our schedule. We play Ohio State this week, then we have a week off and they travel to Oregon to play the Ducks. So two ranked teams in three weeks.
Moderator: I see from your bio, you’re a California kid and both your parents went to Cal. Your dad was an All-America baseball player for the Bears.
Goff: My Dad, Jerry Goff, played pro ball for several years and had a couple of cups of coffee in the big leagues with the Expos, Pirates and Astros.
Moderator: I’m showing my age here, but I remember your Dad playing. I think it was his last game in the Majors, he tied a record with six passed balls in a game. He also homered in that game. I’m sure he never felt his Major League career would end that way.
Licata: I hope that’s not an omen for your game Saturday.
Goff: To date—knock on wood—I’m very pleased with my performance and how the team has played. We know this is a huge opportunity for us—national TV, a top ranked team who we are familiar with and may be playing without their starting QB—to make a statement. I think we have a good chance of winning.
Kaehler: I think you have a better chance of a pink Unicorn with a huge bag of money showing up in your dorm room than you do beating Ohio State.
Goff: Not to toot my own horn but I have thrown for over 930 yards and 4 TD’s in just two games. Based on what I saw from Dingwell last week, it would take him about sixteen years to achieve those numbers.
Dingwell: Well we all have our pet names for it, but I’m sure your horn hasn’t been tooted by anyone other than you.
Licata: KA-BOOM!!!!! Dingwell, that’s the best effort you’ve had in two weeks.
Kaehler: Who have you guys played this season, the Little Sisters of the Poor?
Goff: We lost to Northwestern in the opener and then beat Portland State last week.
Kaehler: So your answer was yes?
Goff: Northwestern is ranked.
Kaehler: But Portland State is a FCS team. Was their mascot a small girl in tattered clothes begging for money?
Goff: You know all about FCS teams don’t you Quinn? Have you be able to wash away the stain from that beating Eastern Illinois put on you yet?
Kaehler: That was all Dingwell’s fault.
Licata: As I look at your stats, there are some that really stand out. You guys ran 95 plays against Portland State. I know it was Portland State, but getting off 95 plays against anyone is pretty impressive. What’s not impressive is your defense gave up 553 yards to Portland. 553 yards to a FCS team? What happened, did they go all Freeman Williams on you?
Goff: Who is Freeman Williams?
Licata: College basketball player who played at Portland State and once scored 81 points in a game in an era without the three-point shot, but that’s not the point. If they got over 500 yards against you, what chance to you have of keeping the Buckeyes from getting a couple thousand?
Moderator: Jared, you mentioned this is a rematch game as the Bears came to Columbus last year. That game featured a lot of big plays from your offense and special teams but in the end OSU came out on top. I’m sure you’ve watched a ton film from that game.
Goff: Definitely and we’ve seen a lot of the same defensive schemes from their games this year. We moved the ball and broke several big plays last year and I know guys like Brendan Bigelow are anxious to show last year was no fluke.
Licata: What about your O-line? You’ve been sacked nine times in two games. If they can’t block Portland State, what chance do they have against Ohio State?
Goff: The line is doing a nice job. Several of those sacks were on me because I left the pocket too early. We know we have a lot of stuff to work on and things we have to be better with put we’ll put in a good week of work and get the kinks out and we’ll be ready to go.
Dingwell: Get the kinks out? Does that mean you will practice with Lola, Sunny Afternoon and Come Dancing playing on the PA system or have Dave and Ray Davies been seeing game action for you guys and now you can replace them with better players?
Goff: It means we have to better in certain areas of the game and perform at a higher level to beat a team like the Bucks. I know Coach Dykes will have a few tricks up his sleeve for this week. His offense is a lot of fun to run.
Moderator: Has learning a new system been tough for the team?
Goff: Not really. Most of the guys have picked it up pretty quickly and I ran a similar offense in high school so the adjustment hasn’t been difficult for me. Lots of the same formations, just some changes in the terminology.
Kaehler: Of course the step from High School football to beating Portland State isn’t that big, but Ohio State is another story.
Goff: Our receivers are experienced and they have great hands. If I can get the ball to them, they’ll make the grab. I think we’ll force the Buckeyes to go nickel and dime a lot to cover guys like Treggs and Harper and as a result hamper their ability or willingness to blitz. Plus we get the ball moving quickly. Three step drops and try and get it in the seam. We’ve hit some big plays but they were not stand back there in the pocket and throw the bomb, it’s quick throws, make a guy miss and take it to the house. If we can really keep the game moving quickly, I know we’ll be able to wear them out. They have to travel across the country for the game and that is not easy.
Licata: You know they are going to fly right? It’s not as if they’ll load stagecoaches and ride across the country only to run into foul weather in the Sierra Nevada mountains and have to resort to eating the redshirts. You’re not playing the Donner party. The Buckeyes will show up, pardon the expression, loaded for bear.
Moderator: I think you have to give the Buckeyes credit. There are a lot of top teams—especially from a certain conference—that wouldn’t travel across the country to play a game like this. They’d be willing to play you in say Dallas, Atlanta or some other neutral site in the south, but to go to Berkeley, Los Angeles, Seattle, etc., to play a PAC 12 team, not on your life.
Licata: Goff, I have a feeling you’ll spend a lot of Saturday running for your life.
Goff: We’ll see. If there is one thing I learned here today, as long as I don’t pull a Dingwell, we’ve got a chance.
Moderator: Gentlemen, that is all the time we have for today. Good luck in your games this weekend and we’ll see you back here next week at the same time. We are officially adjourned.
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