Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Perro Non Grata

The BlogDog will be watching Thursday night's Air Force-TCU game on CSTV from the comforts of his couch at the BlogHouse.

This is a good thing for Norm. At Falcon Stadium, he'd be unwelcome - perro non grata - because for the first time in his illustrious career as a football prognosticator, Norm has picked against Troy Calhoun's Falcons.

(Note: For those who have just discovered The Gazette's Air Force blog and have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a quick refresher course: I am not allowed, as a beat writer, to predict the outcome of games. So my dog, Norm - aka the BlogDog, does it. Here's how: I have a mini-replica Air Force helmet and a mini-replica helmet of the opponent it is facing that week. Whichever one Norm goes to first - best three out of five times - is the one he thinks is going to win. If Norm picks the same helmet three times in a row, he’s thinking blowout. If he chooses one team three times and the other team once, he’s thinking the game will be decided by about seven to 10 points. If he chooses one team three times and the other one twice, he’s predicting a close game. Check out his previous picks in the archives.)

Anyway, here's how his pick unfolded this week. On his first choice, Norm walked over to the TCU helmet, but then put his nose to the Air Force helmet. A vote for the Falcons, and I figured Norm was thinking upset (odds makers have TCU as an 8.5-point favorite). But on his next three choices, Norm went - quite decisively - to the TCU helmet, grabbing it and throwing it.

Now, some might see that as a sign that Norm dislikes TCU. But whenever he gets a treat, he often picks it up and throws it. So consider that a fairly decisive vote for TCU.

My wife (the BlogWife) thinks Norm just likes the color purple. But this is the same woman that told me a few weeks ago that dogs are color blind. So there, BlogWife.

Norm's pick: TCU 33, Air Force 17
Norm's record: 2-0

Above: The BlogDog puts his bet where his mouth is.


Stats Dr said...

Cry havoc and release the dogs of war....

oh well...Norm obviously isn't a homer...I guess I have more respect for the blogdog, but I hope he's wrong.

Jake, do you know if Coach Calhoun sends game tape of our games to MWC folks to educate the officials the difference between a cut and chop block? Two penalties two weeks in a row...

Ben said...

So to test the theory of the BlogDog, I put those same helmets in front of my dog. She picked TCU twice, than Air Force twice, and then Air Force. Don't get me wrong, I respect the BlogDog, but I agree with stats dr and hope he's wrong. I'm sure that it'll be a good game tomorrow, and I hope tomorrow to say that Air Force is 3-0 instead of 2-1...

jake.schaller said...

Stats dr -

That's a very good question. The manner in which coach Calhoun answered questions about the chop block and the personal foul on Travis Dekker late in the Utah game (he just said he'd be happy to show reporters the tape) signaled he didn't quite agree with the calls.

The cut/chop block deal is interesting because there is a difference. This is something I'll look to explore in an article next week. Thanks for the idea!

Jim said...

Jake, I have a soft spot for dogs, and Norm is especially "fetching" in his latest snapshot, but I suspect BlogDog's score prediction is a bit off. TCU might win, but it will be much closer than Perro Non Grata thinks, 7 or 8 point spread max. I think the Falcons are very hungry this season. These seniors want to go out on a high note, and are ready to make the critics take notice of them. Although it's been a short week to get ready for this game, I think the cadets have the discipline and attitude they need to pull off an upset! GOOOO FALCONS!!!

Jim said...

By the way Jake, your article the other day, "Thomas sets tone for stingy Air Force defense" was a very nice gesture to the sophomore stand-out. While Drew Fowler had a particularly great game, I agree that Thomas' interception provided a certain spark that turned the game in the Falcons' favor in the long run. Thomas plays inspired football, and he will be fun to track throughout his collegiate career.

jake.schaller said...


Thanks for the comments. We're less than two hours from kickoff, so we'll find out soon. This should be a really good measuring stick game.

And on Thomas - he's going to be the best player on that defense really soon.

Thanks again for writing.