Between the last-second, game-deciding shenanigans in the desert, the brouhaha in the Minnesota media over Jerry Kill's epilepsy and an ill-advised column thereabout, Michigan's near-disaster against the MAC flavor of the week, Nebraska's minor defensive lapses against UCLA, and Penn State's surprisingly bad defensive performance, the theme for a lot of us this week is Let's Just Forget. Luckily, we have the perfect honorees, and with the late post (apologies), you'll only have to think about it a bit longer before fresh football erases it from your minds.
In what we hope will be a well-placed parting shot to last week, this week's honorees are...
The PAC-12 officiating crew from Wisconsin-ASU.
Sure, Kenny Guiton was masterful in his role as substitute teacher of the Buckeye offense, and we saw nice performances from Nate Sudfeld, Mark Weisman, Connor Cook, and Zach Zwinak as well. But let's be real: none of those individual players had as profound and decisive an impact as the zebras who watched as one, then three, ASU players committed delay of game penalties. Then, in the highest of high-pressure situations, they delayed Wisconsin from snapping the ball as the game's last few precious second tumbled through the hourglass. Finally, in a great display of sportsmanship, the officials quickly got off the field to allow the Badgers to quietly reflect on what had just happened to them in front of 75,000 people. Clutch.
To be sure, it was a horrific loss to endure for Wisconsin, and one of this week's most-cited facts has to be that Wisconsin's last 11 losses have all been by a touchdown or less. Rough, man. But to simultaneously honor the steely, metallic resolve of the victorious officials and recommend something to take Badger fans' minds off the sting of defeat, Off Tackle Empire proudly presents your beer of the week (thankfully, it's almost over already):
Steel Reserve 211, by Steel Brewing Company of California. This distinguished brew, with its distinct and...alloyed...taste, represents the finest craft the West Coast has to offer. Like its officiating crews, you can count on this Pacific product to do its freaking job in crunch time. Bravo for a virtuoso performance, noble referees, and to our despondent Badger brethren: drink up and soon this will just be a bitter, tinny memory.