The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
RUN-AWAY, RUN-AWAY, RUN-AWAY DIXIELAND
Thankfully, the goon-squad, stand-in security guard was gone and the regular doorman was back at the Club this week. We exchanged pleasantries, I asked him where he was last week, and he started in on a story about his high school reunion he attended. I listened uncomfortably for several minutes as he bragged about his reconnection with Trixie—or was it “Tricks-ie”—but when I told him I’d love to see the reunion pictures he went to his car to get them. As soon as he disappeared around the corner, I headed in and hid the microphones.
Here’s the transcript from the meeting.
Moderator: Gentlemen, welcome to this week’s meeting of the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. We’re three for three to date this season, we thank you for coming today, and we’ll begin with the roll call. Dysert?
Bortles: Present and accounted for sir.
Moderator: And finally, Sack, oops, sorry, I mean Zach Maynard?
Maynard: Yeah, I’m here.
Bortles: Hey Zach, sign this for me.
Maynard: What is this?
Bortles: It’s a licensing agreement. Here look. See? That’s Bradley Roby taking you down; there’s Sabino, there’s Shazier…
I’ve got great photos of all of them. I’m still trying to decide if I should call them the “six pack of Zach sacks”, or “Zach’s six pack of sacks” or the “six sack Zach pack”, but whatever the name, I’m going to make them into a collage and OSU fans will buy these like crazy on eBay.
Maynard: I’m not signing anything. Mr. Moderator, do I have to come back here every week and put up with this stuff?
Moderator: Taking the questions in the order you asked them, yes and yes.
Maynard: But with all of today’s technology, it seems silly to come all the way here to meet. What about video-conferencing or some sort of webcast to make it easier?
Moderator: Zach, we’re not as “tech savvy” as you may like, but that’s by choice. We don’t Twype or Skitter. FaceLink and Booked-in are not part of our culture. We’re “old school” as the kids say. We like meeting man-to-man and as the season progresses, I think you’ll come to appreciate that.
Maynard: I don’t get it, I led my team to the most yards against Ohio State since 2005; we hit big plays up and down the field; took the crowd out of the game, dominated the stat sheet and this is my reward?
Dysert: Don’t bitch at us Zach. If you’ve got complaints, take them up with your kicker. I’m guessing the QB for Minneha-ha who put up all those yards in’05 didn’t win either and he probably hangs on the wall somewhere in this place.
Moderator: He didn’t and he does.
Dysert: Look on the bright side Zach. Think of all the frequent fliers miles you’ll get coming to the meetings this year. And you play OSU again next year so in 2013, you’ll be able to make those trips FREE!!!
Moderator: Zach, you did play well and don’t think of this as some sort of penalty for losing. The Club is all about giving. Each week a new Quarterback visits and the previous QB’s give him advice on how to succeed. Over the next several weeks, you’ll give and give and give. You took a few big hits on Saturday, how are you feeling?
Maynard: Great. I took a few shots, but stood tall and kept coming back. I think I earned their respect.
Bortles: Had John Simon followed through on his first hit and landed on top of you, it would have been a Humpty Dumpty moment. You know, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Maynard back together again.
Maynard: I have to admit, my vision was a little blurry after that one.
Dysert: I thought he knocked your eyeballs out.
Bortles: Your big tackle, Rigsbee? He had a rough day.
Dysert: Pass blocked more like Cathy Rigby.
Maynard: They made some plays but we had their defense on their heels all day. If we eliminate a mistake or two, we win. If you look at the stat sheet, you’d have to believe we won.
Dysert: I think there is a “Stat Sheet Winners Club” but I don’t know where or when they meet. Do you want me to look into that for you? Mr. Moderator, do you have any insight on that?
Moderator (chuckling): “Stat Sheet Winners Club”, that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. On a serious note, it’s time to introduce our guest this week. Jonathon Perry, a 6’2” 210 lb. Junior is the quarterback for the University of Alabama Birmingham and he’ll lead the Blazers into Ohio Stadium this Saturday. So far this season Jonathon is completing 52% of his passes, & he’s passed for more that 525 yards and 2 TD’s. He’s also run for a touchdown.
Dysert: The Blazers? What kind of team name is that? What’s your mascot a sports coat? And in developing the name did you eliminate things like The Khaki Pants and The Blue Oxford Shirts?
Perry: No, we’re the Blazers and our mascot is a fire-breathing dragon.
Dysert: Oh, now it makes PERFECT sense. Never mind.
Moderator: While Jonathon and his Blazers are looking for their first win, I’m sure they are excited to play the Buckeyes and will be building on the momentum they’ve developed in their first two games.
Maynard: Who did you play in your first two games?
Perry: Troy and South Carolina.
Dysert: Here we go again. Troy and South Carolina? That’s not two football teams, that’s a man’s name and a vacation destination. That’s like playing Doug and Tahiti.
Perry: I don’t know any dudes named Troy.
Maynard: Really? What about this guy? (In a dead-on Phil Hartman voice), Hi. I’m actor Troy McClure. You may remember me from movies like “Beach Blanket Grannies” and “Millard Fillmore, the Man, the Myth and the Musician” or educational films such as “Going, Going, Gonorrhea” and “Colonoscopies are for Assholes”.
Bortles: Nice one Zach. See how easy this can be?
Perry: South Carolina was ranked 8th last week when we played them.
Dysert: That’s because the media has a love affair with the “Ol Ball Coach”. They love his aw-shucks-let’s-drink-a-few-beers-and-play-a-round-of-golf-and-swap-funny-stories-while-wearing-a-visor shtick. They rank him in the Top 10 early every year and when season’s over, the Gamecocks and their twin sister Clemson, are America’s favorite 7-4 teams trying to wedge their way into bowl game sponsored by a pizza company or a garden tool.
Perry: Playing Ohio State allows us to make a statement and there will be a lot of things we can take away from a game like this.
Bortles: Here’s what you’re going to take away—a lot of pain and a nice check for your Athletics Department. It’s games like these that fund other team sports at UAB and as I look at your web site I see, wait, what’s this? You have a Sand Volleyball team? Sand Volleyball? Do you have “Pick Up Sticks”, “Connect Four”, “Taboo” and “Scattergories” teams too? Are you sure you’re not an online school?
Moderator: Actually Blake, UAB is a member of Conference USA, the same conference as you. In fact, I see you two are scheduled to play each other November 24th.
Bortles: Um, well, Coach O’Leary is always talking about “taking things one game at a time” so I haven’t had a chance to look at our schedule.
Moderator: Jonathon, do you have any questions for these guys in preparation for your game against the Bucks?
Perry: What’s your opinion of their D? I thought it would be better than it is. As I watch film, I see great opportunities with things like Bubble Screens, Curls over the Middle and deep throws. I think their weaknesses play right into my strengths.
Maynard: Good points. I also think they are a little slow to make adjustments and didn’t rotate as many players as we expected. If you go up-tempo a lot I think you can tire them out. Your O-line is going to have to have a great day because when they want to dial up the pressure, they can get after you.
Perry: And I’ve noticed when they blitz, they don’t have great one-on-one cover guys so I’m going to try and get them to bite on a couple of fakes and see if that doesn’t give us openings on the outside and down the field.
Maynard: Again, just make sure the OSU D-linemen don’t have openings on the inside or you’ll be carted off the field.
Dysert: It’s interesting the discussion always focuses on the Ohio State defense, but through the first three games, it’s their offense that has carried them. Braxton Miller is a special player and he’s broken a few defenders ankles so far this year.
Bortles: Seriously. Maynard, what was your cornerback’s name, Harper? Miller juked him and left him looking like my grandfather crawling around searching for his glasses in a dark room.
Perry: Offensively and defensively we’ve made some changes and we closed practice on Tuesday so we could work on a few new looks.
Bortles: Who were you trying to keep out by closing practice? A couple dozen fans? Scouts? I can’t believe the Birmingham media would be swarming around your practice facility. I’d think their mentality would be more like, “hey, do you think we should go over and cover UAB’s practice or should we just sit here and see if a car drives through the window of the donut shop across the street”?
Dysert: In that scenario, the donut store is a much, much better story.
Perry: We’ll come into the game with a couple of surprises.
Maynard: And we’ll be surprised if you lose by less than three touchdowns.
Moderator: Gentlemen, that’s all the time we have for today. We are officially adjourned.