The Japanese hibachi-style restaurant a half mile from my office runs a lunch special that I’ve eaten probably 200 times. For $5.50, including tax, you get a couple scoops of fried rice, a scoop of sweet carrots, and a couple scoops of zucchini/onion and the meat/veggie special of the day, PLUS you get all the water, sweet tea, or regular non-garbage unsweet tea you can drink. The fact I’ve only gone 200 times in the five years I’ve worked at my current location shows the level of superhuman willpower and restraint I possess.
About a week ago, I was driving (yeah yeah, it’s only a half mile but I’m a lazy ass who doesn’t want to spend 20 minutes around lunch walking to and from my meal, plus it’s so hot here in the summer and I always have to wear pants and dress clothes and I’m a lazy ass) to the Japanese restaurant and saw a woman kneeling in the middle of the driving lane for the strip mall parking lot in which this amazing lunch-special-having restaurant resides, digging through a purse the size of a dog that’s riiiiiight on the line between “that dog’s too small” and “I don’t like big dogs.” When I first saw her, from probably half a block a away, she snapped her head around over her left shoulder, saw me coming, and scurried away onto the sidewalk. As I drove past her, she pointed at me. Weird, right?
I parked near the Japanese place and walked toward the front door. As I approached, I noticed a pair of shoes at the corner of the knee-level brick wall that winds throughout the sidewalks serving the strip mall. After passing the final brick column before the entrance, I saw the road-kneeling woman seated at one of the outdoor metal tables, pulling literal garbage out of her purse, and could have sworn I heard her shout something like “you can just take my shoes I don’t want them” in my general direction.
In I went and the cashier lady, seeing me walk in, said “lunch special for here, [beez]?” Like I said, 200 times in five years. I place my order (the meat/veggie combo today was the weakest they offer—teriyaki chicken and broccoli), grab my unsweetened-as-Alanis-Morrisette-intended tea, and sit at a table probably 15 feet from the side door (the one leading to the patio where our antagonist was seated).
Being a lunchtime loner, I pull out my phone and begin to read the internet while I eat. After a few minutes, the woman opens the door, pokes her head in, and says (to me), “You need to turn your phone off while you’re here. I know what you’re doing.” I didn’t say anything, barely looked up, and started to feel weird.
Probably five minutes later, the woman comes back in, walks over to the cashier and asks to borrow their phone. “Can I use your phone to make a call? Mine won’t work because SOMEBODY is using his phone to block me and track me.” She walks back out with a sweet, sweet cordless landline phone and glares at me as she backs through the door. Being a little concerned, I start keeping an eye on her while trying not to look like I’m obviously staring. She tries to make a phone call, looks like she gets mad, and starts pulling old receipts, CDs without their protective cases, and other trash out of her purse.
A minute later, she walks back in with the phone. When she walks in, she shouts to the cashier “I’m just going to walk away and use my cell phone. I can’t get a signal here because HE (pointing at me) is tracking me and blocking my service. (Turning to me): I know what you’re doing! I told you to shut off your phone, and I’ve been watching you. You know, you guys do this all the time and, well, let me ask you this: How many kids do you have? One? Two? Three? You want to take mine? The government already did!”
“What, are you here to take more of my kids?!?” she shouted at me as she pulled her shirt up and showed me her stomach.
She walks back out the door and now I’m not even pretending like I’m not staring directly at her. I see her pulling more stuff out of her purse and throwing it as hard as she can at the windows of the restaurant, into the bushes, onto the ground. Everywhere. I keep an eye on her because now, although I haven’t said a word or done anything except sit there the whole time, I’m worried she’s got a knife or is going to come in and throw stuff at me or try to attack me. “If she comes at me, is there a way I can stop her and safely get her to the ground?” I wonder. Because she is obviously ill, and I can’t think of any way to actually help her or engage with her in any meaningful way.
I finish eating and sit at my table until I notice someone else leaving, thinking I can use him for cover, and duck out the door. I think I’ve made it away from her successfully until I hear her shout, “Hey give me your license plate so I can report you!” As I’ve done all along, I ignore her, get in my car, and drive away. In my rear view mirror, as I’m puttering away at 5 mph or whatever the safe speed for a busy parking lot with a million speed bumps is, I see her SPRINT out into the road with a pen and piece of paper and begin writing. I haven’t heard from the authorities yet...
Friday is the best day to go. Hibachi shrimp and broccoli, in the same quantities as awful teriyaki chicken day, and for the same amount. Can’t wait for visit 201.
If your team’s favorite player isn’t chosen as a Player of the Week, one of three things happened: (1) It involved a player not involved in Wisconsin’s most recent game; (2) your favorite team’s writer didn’t submit the player for POTW honors; or (3) you favorite team’s player really wasn’t as awesome as you thought.
Sometimes a player will get picked because of the awesome raw stats; sometimes he’ll get picked because of good stats plus situational significance; sometimes he’ll get picked because he did pretty well and plays for Wisconsin; and most of the time he just won’t get picked. Leave your complaints in the comments.
Programming Note: It is REALLY hard to find jifs or short clips of players/plays to add to this column. As such, I’m dropping the “Actual Good Play of the Week” section and adding a far sadder section.
Defensive Player of the Week
Chase Young - DE - Ohio State - Co-Big Ten DPOTW
6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 passes defended, 2 QB hurries
The McSorley Destroyer lived up to his name, in that Chase Young both chased Trace McSorely all over the damn place and is, um, young...
Look, I told you up front I didn’t watch any of the games. I coachspeak my way through a lot of these paragraphs during weeks where I watch 3+ B1G games, so you can only imagine how Paul Chryst-y some of the sentences are going to be today.
Young’s stat line is something you might expect to see from an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, but he put up those stats from the DE position (at least, according to his ESPN.com bio). Even more impressively, I read/made up that McSorely tore Ohio State up with his feet throughout the game, yet Young managed to secure a negative or zero play against him at least four times. For one of the few times this year, you can legitimately argue that the OTE DPOTW earned/saved a win for his team.
How did Clayton Thorson survive the game? Defensive Players of Week 5
Chase Winovich - DL - Michigan - 9 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack - Co-Big Ten DPOTW
Kwity Paye - DL - Michigan - 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks
Josh Uche - LB - Michigan - 2 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks
Justin Layne - CB - Michigan State - 9 tackles, 1 Int
Special Teams Player of the Week
Drue Chrisman - P - Ohio State
9 punts, 47.9 yard average, 58 long
Drue Chrisman shone brightest during a week where punters ruled the special teams players’ kingdom. I don’t really have anything else to add, except that it’s a bit surprising to scout a box score like his and not see any punts inside the 20. Never punting in a situation where getting it in the 20 (say, from closer than the opponent’s 45-yard line) is a foregone conclusion is pretty un-B1G...
Actually, looking at all the box scores, it appears no B1G team played a game in which any punts were inside the 20. Huh.
Edit: It appears ESPN.com’s box scores somehow posted 0 punts inside the 20 for all the punters, when in fact some of them managed to punt inside the 20. I’m not changing what I wrote already, because I can’t think of anything else to say re: punters.
More punting goodness Special Teams Players of Week 4
Will Hart - P - Michigan - 6 punts, 51 average, 56 long
Rutgers Sure Punts A Lot And We Should Recognize Workhorse Punters Punter of Week 4
Chrisman punted the most times of any B1G punter this week, but his in-game counterpart wasn’t far behind:
Blake Gillikin - P - Penn State - 8 punts, 39.0 avg, 53 long
Offensive Player of the Week
JD Spielman - WR - Nebraska
10 receptions, 135 yards, 2 TD
Deal with it.
JD Spielman had a big, if ultimately unsuccessful, game for Nebraska this weekend, he’s a wide receiver (which we all know I love!), and he performed exceptionally well and reliably at the primary function of his position.
Other Offensive Players of Week 4
Trace McSorely - QB - PSU - 50% completion rate, 55.8 QBR, 2 TDs,; 25 carries, 175 yards
David Blough - QB - Purdue - 25/42, 328 yards, 1 TDs, 0 turnovers; 7 carries, 38 yards, 1 TD
KJ Hamler - WR - Penn State - 4 receptions, 138 yards, 1 TD - Big Ten FOTW
Freshman of the Week
KJ Hamler - WR - Penn State - Big Ten FOTW
4 receptions, 138 yards, 1 TD
With Rondale Moore only having a “pretty good” day for Purdue, Stevie Scott doing...poorly, and Wisconsin not playing, I honestly didn’t expect to fill this category this week. As luck would have it, box score surfing paid off! KJ Hamler caught one loooooong and demoralizing-at-the-time pass. And also caught a few other passes. Plus, his ESPN.com bio says he’s a freshman which is all the fact checking I require for this category! He accounted for almost 1⁄3 of his QB’s passing yards, so McSorely should probably thank him by shaving his goatee and finding a celebration that sucks juuuuuust a little less hard.
Rondale Moore still played well Honorable Mention FOTW
Rondale Moore - WR - Purdue - 8 recs, 85 yards
Honorary Purdue Boner of the Week
James Franklin today:— Jeff (BPredict) (@BPredict) September 30, 2018
✔️Two punts inside Ohio State's 40
✔️A third punt on 4th & 1 from OSU's 49
✔️FG on 4th & 3 in the red zone
✔️Forgot to go for 2 when up by 5 in the 4th
✔️Burned two timeouts to make a 4th & 5 a must-convert play, then called a draw out of shotgun.
James Franklin had a heated exchange with a Penn State fan, who like many of you blowing up my mentions wasn’t happy with the 4th down call. pic.twitter.com/PWzTyaDSNJ— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) September 30, 2018
Purdue, keep this “winning games you’re supposed to win” thing up, and I’ll be FORCED to change the name of this award. Unless you beat Wisconsin later this year, of course, in which case I’ll patent, copyright, and trademark this award, run for President, and issue an executive order proclaiming that this award be so named and so awarded in perpetuity.
Oh, Jesus, God, No! Crappy Thing of the Week
Michigan State receiver Cody White suffered a broken hand during this week’s game against Central Michigan (sideways frowny face emoji). He’ll have to sit out for several weeks, but hopefully we’ll see him again before the season is over. I want MSU to lose every game by 100 and for every MSU OTE commentor to be miserable because of their team’s failures, but none of us ever want to see a good and exciting player like White miss time. Hurry back, mang!
This poll is closed