This is part four of five in an attempt to create a working compendium of Bull Run terms and dictionary entries in advance of the 2014 season. Catch parts one through three here:
AROB - Andy Robinson, while never a superstar for UB, was nevertheless a solid multi-year starter who earns a spot on the list because he is the perfect embodiment of the staunchly aggressive defending in ReggieBall. In Robinson, UB had a guy who could completely blanket the opposing point guard and ended up well up in the UB record books for steals.
TODD KRESS - Simply, Todd Kress is the former UB Volleyball coach, who was dismissed after the 2013 season. Less simply, Kress makes this list because his firing is pretty much the impetus for Bull Run's expanded efforts to cover all UB sports. Our coverage of the coaching change generated one of the most lively comment threads we've ever had and showed that there are a heck of a lot of people out there looking for more out of Bull Run.
CELLPHONES ON THE SIDELINE - A throwback to the Turner Gill era. For as much good as Turner Gill did in leading the program to winning heights, there's a reason we don't really talk too much about him nowadays. Perhaps the signature moment of the 2009 season came during a home game when players were seen on a TV broadcast checking their phones on the sidelines and talking to people in the crowd. Nowadays, CELLPHONES ON THE SIDELINE is a bit of a blanket term whenever we worry about discipline issues.
FUTURE FOOTBALL GAME AGAINST BC - Many moons ago, UB played a schedule that in a single season saw them travel to BC, Auburn, and Wisconsin, all of whom were ranked in the top 15. Whether it was a separate, one-for-one deal or a continuation of the same deal, UB and BC have on the books a home and home series remaining. Originally, these games were supposed to take place in 2011 and 2012, but were pushed back twice and now stand in 2015 and 2016. However, judging by each school's future schedules, neither has any real intention of playing the game, and are just playing chicken because whoever blinks first has to pay.
And in a question of who pays up between ADDW and a bunch of Jesuits.... who knows.
FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS / LEARNING DISABILITY - In the run up to the 2008 MAC Championship game, Ball State was the talk of the town, but wasn't in line for a BCS berth because another BSU - Boise State - was a few spots ahead of the Cardinals. A surprising amount of bluster started coming from Indiana, led by Ball State's most famous alum, David Letterman, and his mousy haircut.
Boise State offered to set up a BSU-on-BSU mid-major showdown for bowl season, but Ball State, in the most arrogant thing that has ever come out of the Hoosier State, shot that idea down.
Maybe Bob Knight is more arrogant? No, he could back it up.
We all know what happened next. UB took it to Ball State and owned the #12 ranked team in the country. The most incredible plays came on a pair of Nate Davis fumbles - one as he did his best John Elway impression*, and one as he completely forgot he was standing on a football field and let a snap bounce off his shins. This is where we come back to the present day: FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS / LEARNING DISABILITY.
*Nate Davis' best John Elway impression was pathetic and returned 99 yards for a defensive touchdown. Nate Davis is not a good QB.
UB won the game. Hooray. Instead of eating their crow and going quietly into that dark night like their football team, Ball State fans unleashed a new level of bluster: Nate Davis was sick and that explains everything. Ball State was still a far superior team to Buffalo, just not last night because, you see, Nate Davis was sick. Badda boom badda bing. Case closed. Go Ball State.
The rest of the world thought this was pretty silly, and also thought it was pretty funny watching that snap bounce off Nate Davis' shins over and over again. Turns out this was HIGHLY PROBLEMATIC, as in addition to suffering from the flu that fateful night, Nate Davis has overcome a learning disability. All further conversation surrounding the game hinged on the DEPRAVED IMMORALITY of UB fans celebrating their victory over poor Nate Davis. Don't you know, he never even learned the playbook. Just threw it to open guys like on the schoolyard.
Lesson learned: It doesn't matter how fun it is to watch the opposing QB spin like a top a full four feet off the ground at the one yard line. If he has dyslexia or some other condition that has NO BEARING ON HIS ABILITY TO RUN OR THROW A FOOTBALL you must always fawn praise on him, even when he looks like a total doofus and loses the game.
EVANS TO MOSS - Woof, that last one got away from me. Fortunately, this one pretty much speaks for itself, because it was totally sick and neither player suffers from a learning disability.
I am a huge, huge fan of Justin Moss, who just fills the stat sheet every time he steps on the floor.
UB2020 - You know the #NYBI, and how some people are unhappy about it? UB2020 is like the precursor to NYBI, back when people thought the University could actually make decisions for itself. Silly university.
UB2020 was a comprehensive plan for the entire school, not just athletics, that forecasted and provided for unprecedented growth and benefit to all of WNY in the next decade. Unfortunately, a key part of the proposal involved Buffalo getting a tiny smidgen of autonomy, and that was its undoing.
The other three doctoral-granting institutions (see FLAGSHIP) threw a flecking fit. A FIT. A CONNIPTION. I actually think people in Albany used the word 'tarnation'*
Basically, UB can't have nice things unless everyone can have nice things. Never mind that UB is bigger, has more money, and does more cool stuff than Bingo, Albany, and Stony Brook. Just, don't really worry about it anymore. UB2020 is dead and it is a damn shame.
*Fun fact: Danny White, being a southern guy who was at Ole Miss immediately prior to coming to UB, has singlehandedly revived the word 'tarnation' in the north. Word on the street is he has Yosemite Sam Looney Toons on repeat in his office 24/7. You should ask him about it.
CHARLIE - I'm not even going to try to be funny on this one. If you ever have, or ever will, watch more than a half-dozen MAC basketball games, you need to know who Charlie Coles is.
The man was a two-time All-MAC star for Miami in the sixties, and returned to coach his alma mater from 1996 until 2012. A memorably high-strung coach, Charlie survived a heart attack on the sideline in 1998 during a conference tournament game. He felt it important that the basketball coach contribute to campus life, so he taught a class on coaching theory and tactics. The world got dimmer when he retired after the 2012 season, and dimmer still when he died on June 7, 2013.
FREE THROWS TIL YOUR HANDS BLEED - Remember COVER A DAMN KICK? This is the same thing, but for basketball. UB hasn't really had an ace free throw shooter since Yassin Idbihi, although the team as a whole has improved each of the last two years.
WILLIE EVANS AND THE 1958 BULLS - Ah, this is another one you just need to know and that I can't do justice. I'm sure Conrad has written a great piece on the situation somewhere.
The greatest team in UB history is overshadowed by racial discrimination, but the legacy was reborn through the 2008 Buffalo Bulls.
Watch this, too:
HIGH SCHOOL GYMS - UB fans have a problem on their home turf. Despite being bigger, competing at a higher level, and enjoying a longer history, the basketball team is overshadowed by its immediate DI neighbors, Canisius and Niagara. Both of these teams have made it to the NCAA Tournament, and as private schools, didn't have their entire athletics programs shut down by a bunch of meddling kids in the early 70s. Plus, Anthony Masiello went to Canisius so whoop de do for them.
Anyway, for supposedly being soooooo superior to our Bulls, neither of these schools play in exactly five-star digs. HIGH SCHOOL GYMS refers to the relative benignity of the Koessler Center and the Gallagher Center. If we took all the signage out of both gyms, I am confident that you wouldn't be able to tell between the gyms of Canisius High School and Canisius College which was which. Meanwhile, Alumni Arena has a hanging video board from its roof.
BUFFALO'S IN CANADA - This one irritates me. A few years ago, when True Blue was just getting started, a rival student group was in peak form. The AK-Rowdies.
Remember in A Christmas Story how you can hear the venom dripping off Ralphie's lips when he talks about Scott Farkas? In The Sandlot, when Ham uses misogyny to insult that dorky rich kid, remember his face? That's how I feel about the AK-Rowdies.
For the most part, True Blue was able to counter the Rowdies, and games between Akron and Buffalo featured vocal cheering sections for both schools regardless of where the game was being played. Since Ian Tayek, the estimable man known on Twitter as @AK_BigChief, left Akron, it's sadly calmed down, but when it was going the AK-Rowdies had one sure-fire silver bullet.
Buffalo's in Canada.
It doesn't matter that it revealed a hilarious gaping hole in geography curricula all over Ohio. It doesn't matter that the Peace Bridge is a FULL FIFTEEN MILES from UB. It doesn't matter that it was wrong.
It matters that your first reaction when you hear it is a slight chuckle, because, yea, you've talked about our border with Canada with out of town friends as a source of pride. And then you realize, to some smart-mouthed 19 year old who made it out of the farms of Ohio to the ever-so-cosmopolitan Urb of Akron, Ohio, it's an insult, not a good thing about your city. It matters that, like the dopey kid the popular girl feels inevitably feels bad for, you didn't get the joke at first. And it hurts.
UB students have always tried to counter with 'Akron's in Ohio,' but that never does anything except demonstrate the superiority of NYS geography curricula.
FLAGSHIP - I hope you remember UB2020. It was, like, a half dozen words ago. You should also remember NYBI. Both of these things are necessary because UB is not the state flagship. Look at UB. Look at Bingo, Albany, and Stony Brook, then back at UB. UB sure frickin looks like a flagship, but it's not allowed to be because the powers that be in New York education (you're doing a great job guys!*) have decided that the highest level of stratification in the SUNY system is 'Doctoral-Granting Institution', and Buffalo, Binghamton, Albany, and Stony Brook will all grant Doctorates and share that highest mantle.
Never mind that UB has the most money, students, research capacity, alumni base, what have you. Never mind that they have across the board the superior athletic department. Nevermind that UB's dad could beat up your dad. UB will never be the flagship, and it holds us back.
Part Five will drop before the Duquesne game.