My 12 picks: Stanford, Northwestern, Army, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Schauer, New Mexico, Michigan, Texas, UCLA and UTEP

Devon Cajuste at Lytton Plaza, August, 2014: a serious baller, curious about the congo drummers downtown, hoping to build on his 5 touchdowns and record 22.9 yards per catch and go pro, don't we all have such dreams?

Devon Cajuste at Lytton Plaza, August, 2014: a serious baller, curious about the congo drummers downtown, hoping to build on his 5 touchdowns and record 22.9 yards per catch and go pro, don’t we all have such dreams?

I am not actually a gambler nor do I advocate such. I picked 11 teams plus the Democratic challenger for the gubernatorial seat of Michigan, Mark Schauer just as an experiment. It is more like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern picking a coin flip 10 times straight* for surrealist effect than Jimmy the Greek with a tout.

I am trying hard to appreciate football this fall, as an escape from my ordinary obsessions.
(And let me interject with a shout out to Butch “Make it Look Easy” Veazey who led the 1972 Mississippi Rebels with 8 touchdown receptions, most of which from Norris Weese my distant cousin. He is in his 23rd year coaching high school and Baptist football players in the Southern Theatre of conflict).

Stanford home at USC, Stanford favored by 4. I am still recalling Mr. Howard Evans, father of my 5th grade buddy Brian “Bubba” Evans driving a bunch of us to games in the old family wagon. Thanks, Mr. Evans! I saw Bub the other night at our Fantasy Football league draft, as well as former Fremont Hills playground legends Todd Kjos and Noel Kidd. I met Zlotnick in the fifth grade, at Beth Am, but did not play with or against him until 8th grade flag football where Sturiale to Zlotnick on a post and go was a big winner. I ought to be able to hear if Hogan’s Heroes find pay dirt, but doubt I will find the time or bandwidth to take in the game, either at Terry’s, the Oak Creek common room or knot-holing from here on Ramona, outside the Old Pro. (I am taping for future not-viewing). One of these days I will surprise myself and sneak into a game. I realized that I may never have the joy of pulling up to the fields outside and Eucalyptus groves with a payload of lads. Oh, well. I briefly thought of rousing my own Pops from his blissful weekend rest; we may still make it to an A’s game this year. Maybe 9/18 Rangers or 9/24 Angels, both matinees). I did meet Devon Dejuste at Lytton Plaza, both of us taking conga lessons from “Mike the Drummer”. Will try to post that.

Northwestern home over Northern Illinois. I’m from Chicago, plus I visited Noah Metz there in 2009; we had Himalayan cuisine and watched a bike race. Noah is a decent piano player and took some notes on John Ellis’ then-unpublished cd, the one recorded in Brooklyn that ended up on Hyena. I can probably post some photos of that campus visit.

(I didn’t pick anyone in Purdue versus Central Michigan yet caught one play on tv, a CM guy returning a pick six; Purdue features a Gunn grad as a walk-on, Sean Lydster).

Army over Buffalo. Patriotic fervor over animal rights. I should try to catch a minute of this in case I do make it to Stanford hosting Cadets next week.

Missouri over home Toledo. My cousin Laurie Blumfield married Greg Moats a big Mizzou fan and their son — also my cousin — Ryan RyMo Moats was a walk-on at Mizzou but didn’t last too long. On field. In classroom he has an engineering degree and works in construction development in St. Louis. So I tend to root for the Tigers and dream of visiting Columbia someday in the family motor home traveling tailgate machine.

And in fact Ryan’s sister, also my cousin, Jenny Moats was a Vandy cheerleader so I do lean in sometimes to their games and therefore pick Vanderbilt plus the 20 points at LP Field (where? %) against Ole Miss, despite my weird deep south knowledge of Weese-to-Veazey — it was mentioned in my first year of receiving Sports Illy, when I was 8.(Missouri wins 49-24 – W)

Michigan State Spartans plus 12 at Oregon. Since having met the scrappy Democratic challenger and Albion College grad Mark “Rhymes with shower” Schauer I have been channeling a lot of Great Lakes State stuff. So despite having sat thru a fun first half of Gunn game last night with Cubberley 1979 and Gunn parent Brent Baird, who was wearing a Duck jersey and cap, I am going with the Lansing gang. Gunn by the way had a player named Forrest Bubba Larson, which reminds me and probably others of Bubba Smith, the Spartan (and later Colts) legend. I also have my David Raynor Cooker Perkins story, about watching MSU at Old Old Pro (on Pepper) with the then-fiance of the future NFL kicker. And it turns out that Rob Lederer pka Rob Craig and Number Nine (or Numba Nine) actually featured at Cubberley circa 1998 Dayna Stephens the 35 year old sax player who was only 16 at the time and doubled on Rob’s vocals, he and I just deduced the other day, while hanging at the Oakland Museum. God speed to Dayna in his upcoming procedure. (Oregon covers, 46-27 L)
Schauer Headshot Web (1)Dayna also gave me the skinny on his recent trip to Detroit Jazz festival and Red Sea Festival in Elat, Israel. Apparently Miles Davis recorded a 1949 song called “Israel”. Or am I out of bounds? I think one foot college style is better than two feet NFL style but overall I am about women’s college lacrosse where you can go past the sidelines as long as the defense is still pursuing, I have adapted as a literary style. Any body?

And this is a good a place as any to amend in my head and now here the dispatch I sent to Keith Peters last night about the excellent Gunn 20 San Mateo 27 tilt. I said Gunn was not so much out-played as out-archetyped, in that our “Riggins 1983 Super Bowl” run was matched by their “Steve Young versus Vikings” run plus a Larry Csonka or really Bronko Nagurski. When I paraphrased Shinichi Hirano as saying Gunn failed to execute I meant in both figurative sense of clearly touching down the ball in end zone for a winning score and in the sense of more literal and perhaps too explicit “kill shot”. They had the Bearcats on the ropes, so to speak, but could not knock them out. It was 18 or 17 versus 45 so it was pretty close to a draw. And I was worried about my friend Sam Rothstein playing linebacker at 5’11” 195 going up against Watson Filikitonga (rhymes with Csonka) who is 6’2″ 230. He did pull down that load a couple times as well as a td-saving near-horse-collar drag down of either Austin Perez or maybe Line Latu. Sam dislocated a finger on very first play but got close to his normal minutes nonetheless. If his brother Michael reaches 140 pounds by his sophomore year – if he goes to Gunn, he is now at Jordan — the hand of Saturn will reach out and Titanize him for Gunn grids. I recall Michael at age 5 (and 60 pounds) wanting to 1 v. 1 one me in soccer in his family’s yard, me at about 200 and clumsy. Noah Riley of Gunn at 5’9 145 had quite a command of the troops, so to speak. Baird told me that there is a family of coaches in his tree. And,not to digress, he said that Bob Melvin’s cousin went to Cub and is an NFL assistant coach, latched to Andy Reid via their mutual SF State days. I believe that, close enough for Plastic Alto and upon further review in the suss-injuns. (Central Michigans are Chippewa I learn, speaking of the how and howl).

Great segue and I am by the way wearing my Cody Sanderson Navaho Silver cuff today to New Mexico and 25 versus Arizona State. Wish I was there — I am four years late for a meeting with Jody Naranjo my partner in Pueblo Girls rock band. (ASU covers 58-23, L)

Michigan where my mom matriculated in 1951 and 5 at Notre Dame — the Michigan theme here is to help Mark Schauer take back that state from the evil right-winger Snyder.(Their mother but not mine spanked them but not me, 31-0 so that’s another L on my forehead, and a reminder to visit my mother)

Texas over BYU, even though Gunn current parent Sweat has a boy there, perhaps also a former Titan gridiron stalwart. And am enjoying Stone Parker Broadway soundtrack if that fits here and is not offensive.(BYU rolls 41-7, as Austinites have another round at the Continental, listening to Jon Dee Graham, L)

UCLA hard to cover over Memphis, because it is my tax dollars at work and in respect of Dr. Lorrie Frankel their former center and father of Gunn stalwart (and onetime Dartmouth rugby ringer) Eli Frankel. Lorrie told me of his days playing behind Dave Dalby the eventual Super Bowl champ with Raiders. They were centers. He is now a retired Stanford pediatrician but still working, in SF. He is most probably at the game (the Stanford game, I meant — meanwhile UCLA won 42-35 but probably an L for failing to cover).

UTEP and 20 hosting Texas Tech Red Raiders. Someday in El Paso to practice my Spanish, eat enchiladas and “song-catch” stories about the Bear, my teammates coach Don X and Kent Lockhart, who is down under but probably aware of “gridiron” as he now calls it. Football was Kent’s first love but when the 7th graders of Wilbur beat the 8th graders, in 1977, he knew his fate was rounder ball not spheroid and that has made all the difference, and very much like a Stoppard or Sam Shepherd story, directed by Baz Luhrman.(Texas Tech eeks it out or slides by like an eel as the spellchecker suggests but 30-26 helps anyone who actually bet on the game with a bookie, and for me a humble W)

Also: go see “When the Game was Tall” which I hope to take it, again, with the Rothsteins. Did I mention my recent stroll on Bellarmine campus and only recalling the grotto? The Sam Liccardo Center.

Did I mention Chris Strausser at Washington assistant coach for offense and o-line, moving over from Boise State with Chris Peterson? Chris was 3rd team all SCVAL at quarterback when Jim Harbaugh was 1st team, in 1981 season. Baird somehow knew that a family friendship with John Ralston somehow catalyzed the Strausser path.

My buddy since 7th grade but never actually a Titan teammate, Chris Strausser, our answer to Jim Harbaugh at QB, now a coach in Pac-12 with Washington, on tv, in Hawaii.

My buddy since 7th grade but never actually a Titan teammate, Chris Strausser, our answer to Jim Harbaugh at QB, now a coach in Pac-12 with Washington, on tv, in Hawaii.

Speaking of Michigan but not very football: good on you, Lessa Bouchard of Detroit and your show upcoming at Dragon Theatre in Redwood City, which I hope to check out and maybe eat before or after with friends at Helena Sol’s Quinto Sol. Will update with the actual name of her production. A Moment Unbound.

Lessa Bouchard, yard sale Downtown North, Labor Day, 2014: Michigan's gift to Palo Alto arts scene

Lessa Bouchard, yard sale Downtown North, Labor Day, 2014: Michigan’s gift to Palo Alto arts scene

where did photo of devon cajuste go?

also: add photo of mark schauer from his website and link

*in Tom Stoppard’s 1966 play, Rosencrantz correctly picks heads 92 straight times: if I pick all 12 here, vote for me, and Schauer. If I pick 92 straight, head for the hills! Coin, coincide. The more people view an event, the more real it becomes?!

& LP Field is in Nashville, home of Tennessee Titans and today’s Vandy Ole Miss clash; LP is Louisiana Pacific building supplies — think wood, lumber — formerly of Portland Oregon moved to Nashville and actually came out of breakup of GP Georgia Pacific in the 1970s, although do think “long playing” music not football if you read enough Plastic Alto, or know the guy from Shellac.

Former Earthwise intern and analyst Noah Metz (Gunn, Northwestern) Evanston, 2009

Former Earthwise intern and analyst Noah Metz (Gunn, Northwestern) Evanston, 2009

edit to add the next day: Good luck, Noah on your new house! Smaller than LP field but bigger than my man-cave, so Law’s gain is music’s loss. I got 3 W’s at most and 8 L’s which I guess is a good thing for a jazz manager, sports writer and politician in waiting. But don’t take my word on Mark Schauer for Governor of Michigan, check out his website for yourself, or fly out to Detroit on Halloween for about $600 on Southwest if you are super-curious or psyched.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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