Feb 152012

Posted by Steve Herring on February 15, 2012

I had kicked around the idea of having a blog for a few months last year and finally decided to go after it in July 2011. Honestly, I wanted to kill some newly found free time, explore the world of computer programming (of which I had zero knowledge or experience) and rant on about Notre Dame Football, Satuday Night Live, and anything else that popped into my haphazard thought process.

So there I was on Sunday viewing a message from Brady Quinn that he would be interested in coming on the radio show I’m now co-hosting. Yes THAT Brady Quinn had just contacted us at The New ND Nation in response to a little Twitter peer pressure. I am going to be on the air talking to #10 of the Blue & Gold about life at ND, his pro career, and what he’s going to do to prove my own assertions of his greatness right.

So back it up. The very first article I wrote on this site was titled “Give Him a Chance! (Why is Brady Quinn 3rd String while Kevin Kolb, Alex Smith and Others Prepare for Opening Day Starts?)“. I’m leaving it out there in all its unedited, poorly written, but decently researched glory. It’s sloppy to be frank, but it’s what an article from a first-time blogger with no background in printed media should look like. Shit, I even commented on the bottom “I need to organize these stats better.” But now? Who cares?!? I wrote that embarrassment to journalism and posted it 6 months ago and the topic of my first ever article is sending me messages agreeing to appear on a radio show with me!

The absurdity of this situation cannot be understated (well at least not by me). I wrote a moderately better article about Brady Quinn two short months after that original bit, and due to the heaviest online marketing campaign by yours truly in site history, it now stands alone as the most viewed post in HerringBoneSports.com’s brief archived annals. It’d serve the editor in all of us to peruse my examination of Brady Quinn’s career numbers to those of one (since dethroned) Mark Sanchez way back in early October. I feel pretty confident that I utilized stats to disprove the unjust perceptions around Brady Quinn and to a point the amount of undeserved praise being heaped onto Sanchez following his first two seasons in New York.

Again – I’m going to be interviewing the person I built part of my site around just 7 months after I hit “Publish” on my very first article. How crazy is this?!?

Quinn’s accepted offer actually sat in the middle of whirlwind 48 hours of activity by our booking agents at TNNDN Radio. If you missed, here’s yesterday’s press release of booked guests for the next few weeks on the show. Included with Quinn is the QB who took on the task of filling his massive shoes (Jimmy Clausen), a former ND School President (Father Edward “Monk” Molloy), and a current ESPN Sportscenter anchor and longtime sports personality/journalist (Hannah Storm). If you didn’t know – ALL of these people are Notre Dame alums and active in charities and philanthropy. One other major player has become a possibility, but I’m refraining from mentioning him/her at this time.


I took in an album debut party over the weekend. My Lady Friend’s best friend is dating the solo artist for whom the event was for and it turned out rather interesting. While indie-techno isn’t typically my scene, it was an entertaining event held in the press box at Boise State’s famous field. Why am I mentioning this in the Notre Dame section? Well we headed down for the “after party” at a downtown Boise bar and we happened upon a few Boise State Football players out for a few pops themselves. Both had some interesting ties to Notre Dame, but I won’t give out too much information because that’s really never going to be my style.

The first one I came across asked me one thing after I mentioned I’m a die-hard Irish fan – “What’s your feelings on Jimmy Clausen?” with quite a smirk on his face. If you didn’t know, I’m a Clausen defender and always will be. First of all – he was very good and his junior season statistically sits in a place in the record books that only Brady Quinn’s name also resides. Jimmy was banged up during that 2009 campaign and I don’t blame him the slightest for bolting to the NFL and it’s final year in the labor deal over learning a spread offense under a new head coach. I said this as such and he seemed mildly surprised, but claimed he was close with a player on the BSU team who played with Clausen in high school and felt the same way – Jimmy was misunderstood and at ND wildly underappreciated.

The second kid came into the bar later in the night and happened to play a at high school not far from the SoCal town where I prepped over a decade ago. I think the thing that most entertained me was our talk about current ND Freshman OLB Troy Niklas. He knows Troy’s older brother (and current Air Force Falcon) and he told me what many domers had read during 2011’s fall ball. His exact words were, “Troy Niklas is the most physically impressive human being I’ve ever seen in my entire life … and I’ve played games at Virginia Tech and Georgia.” He went on to say there is a difference between 6’6” and Troy Niklas’s 6’6”. Niklas’s massive frame drew headlines last August and he started one game, while playing in most. Let’s just say the half in the bag convo at 1:30 AM had me jacked up to see him back on the field.

I’m going to hammer it home all spring, summer, and during fall camp – the changes on offense by Brian Kelly this offseason are dictating that the QB competition is already down to Hendrix/Golson for starters with Kiel as the dark horse. There is no way Kelly can sacrifice the time and energy of two wildly different packages for an entire regular season the way he has for most of his current tenure. Much like a fearsome batter would prefer to go down swinging over looking, Brian Kelly knows he’s at a crossroads and will certainly prefer to go down on Saturdays using an offense he’s comfortable with. That, and attempting anything near what the 2011 offense became without Michael Floyd on the outside would be an experiment with unpredictable consequences. I’m backing Golson, and have since my first QB primer in August 2011. (Feel free to chuckle when I compared a Tommy Rees sequel to Transformers 2.)

For What It’s Worth – Fans/Writers/Bloggers spend most of the January/February writing period breaking down recruits and impact redshirts, with a likely dabble in projected depth charts. What is Tommy Rees doing this offseason to prepare for spring battle? We always hear about players who’ve bulked up or slimmed down in the offseason, but NOBODY is talking about what Rees might need to do to become a legitimate starter in a spread. Let’s be real – kid doesn’t fill out his shoulder pads or football pants and his flexibility seems below that of most interior linemen. Any chance Rees has been crushing the weight room, running endless speed drills, daily yoga/Pilates sessions, and one-legged squats until he can’t climb the dorm stairs over extra time in the film room?

If there was one way for me to consider Rees a challenger with Chuck Martin in tow as the new offensive coordinator it’d be this – he shows up in spring ball looking 15-20 lbs of muscle heavier, faster, and generally more confident athletically. We know he’s no Michael Vick or even a Quinn/Clausen, but his 6’2” frame could hold a lot more healthy weight and his range of motion could easily be improved. Then, Rees would need to spend the summer packing on an extra 10-15 lbs of mass before heading into fall camp unrecognizable in his pads to the kid who helmed the team most of 2012. For me, his dedication to the weights/flexibility would have been priority #1 on January 1st, 2012. No clue if he or the coaches feel the same, but it’s what I’d like to see out of #11 moving forward if he’s serious about challenging for playing time ever again. I still don’t think he stands a puncher’s chance moving forward, but I’d like to see him take the road less travelled by QBs to make it more interesting.

Uber-Athlete Davonte Neal seems set to decide between  Notre Dame, Arizona, and North Carolina next week. Like all recruiting sagas, some believe Notre Dame has emerged as a front-runner, while this site’s own “Featured Commenter Nudeman” has stayed firm that Neal will stay close to home with Wildcats. We all wanted that final recruiting surprise to swing in ND’s favor, so I’ll hold out hope that Neal can erase the bad feelings felt at the UND Fax Machine on February 1st.

Did I mention I’m going to be interviewing Brady freaking Quinn soon??

Saturday Night Live

Maya Rudolph is hosting this week and it will be interesting to see if Lorne Michaels and the SNL writers feel ready to use her Whitney Houston impression so close to her passing. Ironically, Rudolph was last seen at 30 Rock when she used just that impression during the Steve Buscemi show on December 3rd (not available online, which is not surprising). My gut says they do … and maybe Amy Winehouse is there to welcome her.

The Zooey Deschanel episode was surprising … in a “it was mostly awesome and a lesser-known musical guest was actually good” kind of way. In comparison to recent stints by Bon Iver and Lana Del Rey, Karmin blew their performance out of the water. Scratch that, I shouldn’t even include them her in that group – it was a wildly entertaining performance and musical revelation by the smoking hot Nebraskan.

It’s been a great episode when it’s too tough to pass out “Best Sketch of the Night” awards. The Clint Eastwood ads brought my house down, I’m a massive fan of Les Jeunes de Paris and the Jean Dujardin cameo crushed it, and Nicholas Cage appearing on Weekend Update was an unexpected mid-show treat. My favorite sketch had to go to (above) “Being Quirky with Zooey Deschanel”, mostly due to Taran Killam’s off the charts Michael Cera.

That’s it from the world of Herring Bone. Stay tuned as we await the finalized dates/times of our upcoming guests. The way things are going right now I’ll have my own show booked with Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, and Will Ferrell this time next week.



Steve Herring is the Editor-in-Chief of HerringBoneSports.com & Co-Host of The New ND Nation Radio Show.
Steve has worked in broadcasting at Madison Square Garden Media and the Arena Football League. You can find all his articles and radio show links on this site.
E-mail him questions/suggestions at HerringBoneSports@gmail.com

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  2 Responses to “This Blog Has Come A Long Way. Reminiscing Around NDFB, SNL & Album Debut Parties”

  1. Steve,

    You’ve come a long way in a short time. I look forward to your insight as it is fair, reasonable and fact based. When it’s an opinion you clearly state it.

    Bruce Feldman, the college football writer on CBSsports.com wrote about the top 10 red shirt freshman for 2012. His number 1 is EG. Below is what he said after speaking with BK after NSD.

    , Everett Golson, Notre Dame, QB: Brian Kelly’s biggest headache in 2011 was due to shaky quarterback play. ND had some very capable weapons in Michael Floyd, Tyler Eifert and Cierre Wood, but the Irish were inept in the Red Zone and prone to momentum-crushing mistakes at the worst possible times. Tommy Rees started most of the season at QB and is back. So is Andrew Hendrix, a more mobile option with a stronger arm. Touted freshman Gunner Kiel is already on campus, but don’t underestimate Golson, a 5-11, 185-pounder from South Carolina. When we had Kelly on our Signing Day Central show a few weeks ago and the Notre Dame coach gushed when I asked him about Golson. You heard a completely different vibe from Kelly just as he started to describe the young QB who had led his high school to state championships in both football and basketball. While Golson does not have prototype size, he has a quick release, a strong arm and wonderful footwork. He also apparently has that presence about him that coaches love.

    Keep it up and good luck on the BQ interview. Ask him his view of CW’s developing QB’s and BK’s….I am interested if he has an opinion on what DC lacked, or more appropriately what a coach means when they say “lack of production”. Is it a case of once branded always branded? Does he think his career has fallen under that shadow? Does Jeremy Lin’s story provide inspiration to a highly accomplished athlete like him? What’s family get together’s like with bro in law AJ Hawk hanging around?

  2. Thanks Don – appreciate the support on here. While I’m looking forward to the Quinn interview (which we haven’t set a date for) I must admit that my talk with former TE Oscar McBride tonight might have been more surreal. I worshipped the 1993 team and had an uncut sheet of the players cards hanging over my bed for most of my childhood. He was an awesome guest and his talk of the 1993 season, FSU game, playing under Holtz, and other topics was a true treat. Make sure you check it out – we’re available on iTunes now.

    Thanks for the Golson passalong – I read Feldman during the season but have tailed off my CFB reading since signing day. I have to agree that the hype surrounding him is half fair (based off HS film) and half the fan base dying for anything other than what we’ve seen recently. I truly think his skill set makes him so dangerous if he has even a decent grasp of the offense heading to Dublin. He just does things that nobody else on the roster seems capable of.

    I’ll keep your questions in mind as I prep for the Quinn interview. I have a million of my own, but I have to respect the nature of the show which probably will lean away from anything too aggressive so DC questions are likely out. I’m definitely interested in hearing his thoughts on Weis’s abilities and maybe can slide DC in there. The lack of production angle is also interesting and I already knew I’d ask about AJ Hawk.

    Thanks Don, always appreciate the support on here.

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