The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
In the spirit of the holiday week, the doorman at the club contacted me and extended an invitation to stop by prior to the meeting and he’d make sure I was able to hide the microphones. He said he was thankful for all I’d done for him this year—which was next to nothing—so I feigned appreciation and accepted his offer.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Moderator: Gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to this week’s meeting of The Opposing Quarterbacks Club. We’ve reached the final week of the regular season and what a week this will be. It’s rivalry week and here at the OQbC that means we get to welcome back a very special guest from the University of Michigan. We also get to induct one new member and recognize another “year 2” member for their dismal performances last Saturday. Our membership at this point of the season matches our projections with Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld from Indiana bringing our total to fifteen for 2013. Our forecast calls for three more members—one from Michigan, one from the Big Ten Championship game, which we now can confirm will be Michigan State, and the Buckeyes bowl game opponent. We planned for 18 and nothing that has happened so far this year indicates we’ll be at any less than that number. We love it when a plan comes together. Let me call the roll and we’ll jump right into the discussion for today. Joe Licata?
Licata: I’m here.
Moderator: Adam Dingwell, Quinn Kaehler, Joel Goff and Damien Fleming?
Fleming: We’re all here.
Moderator: And the Big Ten boys, starting with Stave, Colter Siemian and Rudock?
Siemian: All here.
Moderator: Hackenberg, Ferguson, Etling and Scheelhaase?
Etling: All here, sir.
Moderator: And finally, welcome back Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld.
Moderator: Tre and Nate, I’m not sure there’s much to say about your performance last Saturday against the Bucks other than to point out we knew a couple of Hoosiers would make this year’s roster.
Fleming: I watched the game tape last night and had a tough time deciding which was worse, they way you guys played or the weather, but after watching a lot of your plays several times and going back and forth in my mind I ultimately determined that as bad as the weather was, you guys were worse.
Sudfeld: You’re from Florida, what do you know about bad weather?
Licata: Meteorology may not be his thing but he knows a bad quarterback when he sees one and he sees one everyday when he looks in the mirror.
Kaehler: When you go 3-9 in FCS and these are your stats—106 of 201 for just over 1,000 yards with 6 TD’s and 13 interceptions—you’re an expert on bad QB play. Plus, due to a foot injury he didn’t play in the Rattlers 29-10 loss to Bethune-Cookman on Saturday but he watched his back-up, Carson Royal go 3-19 for 17 yards. So when he says you were worse than the weather, he’s right.
Stave: When Dingwell says your effort was poor, he’s being unkind, but when Fleming calls you out it’s like Archimedes talking buoyant force and displacement. Take it to the bank.
Roberson: I said last week, I wouldn’t make any excuses and I stand by that statement. We sucked.
Goff: That is so refreshing to hear, a simple, honest evaluation of one’s effort. We need more of that around here.
Moderator: Nate, in addition to not having a great game, you took several big hits on Saturday.
Colter: No kidding. You took more hits than a DeadHead at Woodstock.
Sudfeld: They really beat us at the point of attack. I’m not sure if it was Bennett or Shazier but one of them got me and all I remember was sort of waving in the direction of our bench to tell them to send Tre in.
Moderator: Your line had been giving you good protection. You’d only been sacked 14 times in 10 games and the Bucks got you 4 times Saturday.
Sudfeld: They were too strong and too quick. We’ve seen some good fronts but these guys really came after us.
Roberson: Plus their DB’s played great coverage so we weren’t able to get our throws off as quickly as we had in the other games.
Sudfeld: If your O-line can’t block, you’re in trouble against the Bucks.
Moderator: I’ll try and remember that to share with our guest from Michigan.
Roberson: We’ll move on from this game. It’s disappointing we won’t get to six wins and become bowl eligible but we have our rivalry game this week against Etling and the Boilermakers and we’ll be ready. We want the Bucket back.
Scheelhaase: Playing for a bucket. How can you get excited about playing for an old oaken bucket?
Sudfeld: I think it’s better than playing for a stupid wooden turtle.
Moderator: There are lots of rivalry games this weekend but none is bigger than Ohio State versus Michigan and we’ll get to that in a minute but first we need to induct Tre Roberson as a new member and recognize Nate Sudfeld as a Year 2 honoree. Gentlemen, your efforts may be deemed as less than stellar by many, but here at The Opposing Quarterbacks Club you embody the basic tenants of our core principles and as a result we salute you. Tre, here is your jacket and Nate here is your Year 2 pin. We hope you’ll wear them with pride and the understanding that at least for one day, on the field against Ohio State, you gave it your all and your all was nowhere near good enough. Congratulations and welcome aboard.
Roberson: I’m not sure I can put into words how little this means to me.
Licata: And it means about a thousand times less to us.
Dingwell: I…can’t…help it…(sobbing) This gets me…every time…
Rudock: Why does he always cry?
Kaehler: It think it’s because he was pulled so quickly from our game with the Buckeyes he didn’t get the chance to show how bad he could be.
Etling: I’d say missing your first 5 passes and never playing again the rest of the year is the ultimate definition of bad.
Stave: Indeed. Cheer up Dingwell, you’re the Sultan of suck; the Arch Duke of awful; the Prince of pathetic; the Lord of lousy; the Commander of crummy; the Earl of embarrassment and ultimately, Highest Majesty of miserable.
Kaehler: See Adam, they’ve got your back.
Moderator: As I mentioned earlier, this is rivalry week and our guest this week is no stranger to either the tradition of Ohio State –Michigan or the OQbC. Devin Gardner, the quarterback from the University of Michigan, has returned to join us this week in preparation for the big game on Saturday. Devin, welcome back. It’s nice to see you again.
Moderator: You know Devin, last year you were only here twice—once prior to your game and then after to be inducted-- because the Buckeyes closed their season following their victory over Michigan--but this year we’re confident we’ll be seeing more of you as the Buckeyes will play two more game after Saturday.
Gardner: And what is that confidence based on?
Hackenberg: Oh, I don’t know, maybe your performance the past 5 or 6 weeks?
Ferguson: Yep. You guys are in full reverse mode. One hand on the steering wheel, the other on the back of the passenger seat, with your head and shoulders turned and both eyes focused on the rear window to make sure you don’t run into anything as you back into the parking spot of mediocrity known as a 7-5 season.
Etling: Actually, I disagree with that description. It’s not as if they are looking good backing up, they just threw it into reverse, stomped on the gas pedal and have no idea where they’ll end up. This is more demolition derby mode than a sixteen year-old trying to nail the parallel parking portion of his driver’s exam.
Fleming: With the exception of the Northwestern game in which you Keystone Copped your way into a last second field goal to send it to overtime, reverse throttle has been the Wolverines offensive M.O.
Stave: Is it true that as you guys ran on the field to attempt the last second FG the Northwestern band played “Yakety Sax”? If Coach Hoke had gray hair it would have looked like Benny Hill was running the show the last 15 seconds of that game.
Licata: Your offense has been going in the wrong direction so much the past few weeks, I fully expect you guys to run backwards out of the tunnel on Saturday.
Gardner: We’ve had our issues recently, but Saturday is a big game and we know what is at stake. We’ll be ready to play out best game of the year.
Scheelhasse: So you won’t rush 25 times for 24 yards?
Colter: And your receivers won’t drop every ball you throw their way?
Goff: And you won’t stand in the pocket like a statue?
Siemian: Or fumble as you scramble for your life?
Gardner: That’s the plan.
Fleming: So this has all been carefully choreographed leading up to the OSU game? You guys are working the old “make them think we stink and get them over-confident” scheme, huh?
Rudock: You can’t lull the Buckeyes into a false sense of security. Coach Meyer won’t allow it. He doesn’t care if you’re the best team he’s ever faced—and your not—or a struggling rival, which you are, his goal is simple and consistent. Let’s try and score a hundred on these bastards.
Scheelhaase: The fact that you’re their biggest rival and you suck only makes it more fun for him.
Hackenberg: Just as you don’t expect to perform as poorly as you have in recent weeks, the OSU teams you’ve watched the past several games won’t be the one that shows up Saturday. They won’t be all Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde and the power game this weekend. It will be the full arsenal of playmakers unleashed all over the field. Oh sure, you’ll prep to stop Miller and Hyde; have a plan to keep Wilson off the field; not let Philly Brown or Smith beat you deep, but then how are you going to account for guys like Spencer and the tight ends?
Ferguson: Your defense has been playing better that past few weeks but you haven’t played anyone with the weapons the Buckeyes have. If Akron and UConn gave you trouble, how in the world will stop Ohio State?
Hackenberg: We beat you guys with basically three options on offense. Belton or Zwinak running the ball or throwing it to Robinson. I’d kill to have another option or two and Miller has about five more.
Stave: Look at Rudock and Iowa, I’m not sure they could be more one-dimensional than they are and they beat you.
Gardner: You don’t understand the depth of this rivalry. Michigan has a tradition of crushing Buckeye dreams and we’re proud of that tradition. Big plays like punt returns, long TD throws and backs running free all afternoon are part of Wolverine lore in beating Ohio. Players like Harmon, Howard, Woodson and Biakabutuka are famous for their performances against the Bucks and Saturday will be no different.
Etling: Unfortunately, none of those guys will be playing and Gardner, Funchess, Toussiant & Gallon won’t get it done.
Scheelhaase: Plus your offensive line can’t block anybody. They’ve been leading pass rushers to your backside like ushers at a wedding. Hello, are you a friend of the bride or the groom? Excellent, follow me. Spence, Bennett and Bosa would be a handful any day for your line and I know the Bucks will dial up the pressure on Saturday.
Gardner: We’ll have some things they haven’t seen from us this year too. It’s rivalry week. The playbook is wide open, the records are thrown out the window and it’s time to “man up” and on Saturday, a Michigan Man will emerge as the victor. It’s what we do. It’s in our blood. It’s our legacy.
Etling: This game is going to play out like the old story about the Michigan fan who was a duck hunter and his encounter with an Ohio State fan who owned a large track of land near the woods. The Michigan fan hadn’t gotten a duck all season and on the last day, it was getting late and finally a flock flew overhead and he takes aim, fires and a duck drops down from the sky. Eureka!! He exclaims, finally got one. He runs to retrieve the duck, only to find that it has landed inside the fenced-in property of a palatial estate with a large OSU flag waving in the wind. The Michigan fan looks around, says “what the heck” and jumps the fence to get his duck. In an instant, the OSU fan flies out the back door and grabs the duck a second before the Michigan fan can. “Hey, that’s my duck” the Michigan fan says. “My yard, my duck” replies the OSU fan. “You don’t understand”, says the Michigan fan and he begins to tell his hard-luck ducking-hunting story. “My yard, my duck”, reiterates the Ohio State fan. “Please”, implored the Michigan fan, “can’t I have just this one duck? I’ll do anything to keep it”. The OSU fan thinks for a moment and says, “OK, we’ll settle this rivalry style”. “What’s that?”, the Michigan fan asks. “We’ll take turns kicking each other in the groin and whoever quits first loses”, explained the OSU fan. The Michigan fan reluctantly agrees and says “I’ll go first”. The OSU fan replies, “My yard, I go first”. The Michigan fan musters the courage to accept and braces himself for the onslaught. The OSU fan gets a running start and BOOM!!!! lands his foot squarely in the Michigan fan’s crotch so hard it actually lifts him off the ground. The Michigan fan screams, falls the ground, vomits and writhes in pain for almost ten minutes then struggles to his feet, looks at the OSU fan and says, “OK, it’s my turn.” The OSU fan shrugs and says, “Naw, I quit. You can keep the duck”.
Moderator: That’s all the time we have for today. Good luck in your games this week and we’ll see each of you back here at the same time next week. We are officially adjourned.