Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Haters Gonna Hate: Mustaches

My affinity for mustaches and mustache culture is no secret; I love everything about them. There are so many different styles and emotions that jolt through the body like the Hammer of Thor when in contact with a mustache. Mustaches are not only funny, they are functional. Although I have been known to use performance enhancing drugs (I dye my 'stache "Dark Mahogany" Brown using only the finest $3 Revlon products), one thing has become blatantly obvious to me when I am sporting a mustache: men want them and women love them. That is just simple physics in its purest form. Think about it, every great man in the history of the world has rocked a flavor saver at one point in their life.

My mustache journey began at a young age, I remember it like it was yesterday. In all of my 5 or 6 years of life I only knew the best dad in the world, a mustachioed Ken Ballinger. One weekend we were on a camping trip with some family friends, I was minding my own business playing Cowboys and Native Americans with all of my imaginary friends.  Out of nowhere my dad walked up to me to see how things were going sans mustache. My dad's upper lip was as white as the loin clothe of Zeus due to the extreme lack of sunlight. I immediately forgot about the task at hand of saving the world and asked where he put his mustache. He gave a hearty laugh and said "I put it in my pocket." I spent the rest of the trip begging him to put his mouth brow back on. I'm probably one of the few people in this world who have actually cried over a mustache. If you have a problem with that, name the time and place.

Personally, I like to sport a womb broom at least twice a year. Once during Movember to raise prostate cancer awareness and once whenever I feel it is necessary. I will tell you it is not easy to wear a mustache in this day in age. There are haters literally everywhere you go (I don't want to name any names but known haters include, but are not limited to: Nick Mondek, Barrett Seratto, Ryan Bridges, and every boyfriend everywhere). They say it looks stupid. Oh yeah? Do four MySpace friend requests look stupid to you? Didn't think so tough guy.

Here is a list of my top 5 mustaches in the history of men.
5. Sam Elliott
Also known as the Cowboy/narrator from the Big Lebowski. Not only does he have a great 'stache, he gives off great words of wisdom to a man in need.

4. Burt Reynolds

Smokey and the Bandit. Enough Said.

3. Rollie Fingers
Pitcher for the Brewers 1981-1985. Fingers has one of the all time great baseball names and even greater dedication to his mustache. His curled style may not be for everyone, but it should be.

2. Larry Bird

  Greatest basketball player to ever lace up the Cons. His hustle was second to none and his mustache only fueled the fire.

1. Ken Ballinger

  Mustache aside, this man has done more for me than I will ever know. A selfless man who has never asked for anything but has given everything. Mustache inside, how is this guy not on the cover of every issue of GQ?

Great Mustache Honorable Mentions:
- Tom Selleck
-Lando Calrissian
-Lanny McDonald
-Richard Petty
-Brian Dawson

You may be asking yourself, what do mustaches have to do with long snapping? Everything.
3 Days! Beat Middle!

If you or anybody you know is suffering from mustache discrimination, please visit the following website:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Camp And Back To School Week

We wrapped up camp a last week and have been on our regular season practice schedule for a week now and I feel like now is a great time to talk about some things.
First off, camp was a blast. We not only got better as a team, I learned more about my teammates than I ever cared to know. Camp can turn the cleanest and well kept humans into some of the most disgusting neanderthals that walk this earth. If you don't brush your teeth and wear the same shorts for the two week duration, you are probably among the top 10 cleanest guys in the team meeting room.
Keeping your sanity is crucial to getting yourself through camp. One way we (Joe Holland, Carson Wiggs, Cody Webster and a reluctant Kurt Lichtenberg) passed time was Mario Kart 64. To all of the guys I played with; I am sorry for stomping on all of your racing dreams with my boy Bowser, but we are just too good for you. Camp also does a great job of making the outside world seem like a complete wonderland full of possibilities and Falcor, the flying luck dragon. For example, did anybody know there were girls on this campus? The first couple of times a football player lays eyes on a female outside of football, it might as well be Christmas morning 1992.
Which brings me to my next talking point, the first week of school. As a seasoned vet, I have mastered the first week of school, mostly because I've had 5 of them. I know what you are thinking, "Hey Kevin (or Booty, whatever you prefer), how in the hail (see what I did there?) does somebody go about doing that?" Here are a few lesson's I've learned the hard way...
  1. It is going to be hot so don't try to be a hero and wear a shirt that shows any sweat, even if it is a sweet new Ed Hardy dragon tee. I would recommend a nice black or white shirt, just make sure that white shirt isn't already yellow in the pits. You can even go v-neck as long has the v doesn't pass the nipple line.
  2. Sit in the front row. It looks like you are there to learn and that you care, even if you aren't and don't. The professor never calls on the front row because they are under the impression that you are one of those kids who try hard and already know everything. It's the perfect crime. 
  3. Sit by the actual smart kids. Get into their groups for group projects. Should go without saying.
  4. Try not to wear all of the new fashions on the first day. A fresh snap back, plastic neon sunglasses, paired with a tank top and high tops Nikes might sound good but make no mistake, it's not.
  5. Go to some call outs and eat the free pizza. What else are you going to do, get ahead on your math studies? Yeah right. While we are on the subject, a lot of area food establishments have great deals for students the first couple of weeks; I know for a fact nobody is above a half off burrito. Nobody. Not even Tom "Iceman" Kazanski.
Today We had our meet and greet with the fans, it was a great turn out and we were excited to see all of the fans come out and show their support, young and old! But seriously nothing is more awkward when somebody asks you to sign their poster and you already have. I double signed at least 10 posters today just to avoid that painfully awkward moment. 
Just seven short days until kickoff against Middle Tennessee State! Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you out at Ross-Ade Stadium next Saturday, Hail Purdue and Boiler Up and stuff!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Strength and Speed Testing

Recently the team partook in our yearly strength and speed which is a series of tests used at the NFL combine and what pro scouts look at in terms of stats off of the field for potential draft picks and free agent pick ups, of which I am neither. I am, however, part of the team so I was voluntarily required to participate. Our team has been working with a great staff headed by the very over qualified, Coach Carlisle. So after three months of hard, arduous work, it all came to a head with two weeks of testing. Here is how it went…

Pro Agility: (line up perpendicular to the 5 yard line, run 5 yards to the right, ten yards to the left and finally 5 yards through the original starting line) Sounds easy enough right? I turned in a time that Pre-Subway Jared would have been ashamed of. I knew my running tests were going to be the worst so I just made a joke about it, lied to some people and told them I didn’t care, and went on with my day.

3 Cone: (run 5 yards and touch with your right hand, turn around run 5 yards and touch with your right hand, run the same 5 yards you’ve already run twice and make a 90 degree turn and run 5 more yards, run around a cone as fast as possible, run back towards the 90 degree turn, make the turn and run the original 5 yards for the 4th time.) After my first two attempts I decided my clothes were obviously to blame and had to get the boot. Before I lined up for the 3rd attempt I shed my shirt and my shorts to run in only my compression shorts and to cut down on wind resistance. Wouldn’t you know it, I ran my fastest time. From that point on I knew that if I was going to perform, it was going to be without the unnecessary shirt and shorts weighing me down.

40: (run 40 yards) Let me preface by saying, if long snappers were supposed to be fast then I wouldn’t have made it this far. Honestly though, if we need me to run a fast 40 then we have bigger problems. This is how I look at it because it makes me feel better. But running a 40 is a weird thing, no matter how slow you run it, you feel fast. For those 5.3 seconds I might as well have been Bruce Jenner. You get tunnel vision, you cant hear anything, all you can focus is on is the finish line and how stupid you look wearing only compression shorts and the finish line being 10 yards away from the women’s soccer team practicing.

Broad Jump: (jump out as far as you can off of two feet) This one is confusing, you watch other people do it and think, “Hey that looks easy.” But then you get up to the line and its like, “Hey this isn’t easy.” The only time I would ever use this motion in a game is in a potential Easter-Themed touchdown dance in which case, we should practice it more often.

Vertical Jump: (jump as high as you can off of two feet) Pretty sure I didn’t even touch 10 feet. Stupid. Don’t need it. Moving on.

1 Rep Max Bench Press: I blacked out and was fortunate enough to, theoretically, press a large offensive lineman off of my chest. My roommates and I were able to press a combined 1,115 lbs (Dan Barry at an impressive 395, Spencer Dawson 375, which leaves me with benching something around one billion pounds); not bad for 3 walk-ons.

Hang Clean: The weight for a hang clean is measured in kilograms and if I learned anything in history class it is that the only people who use kilograms to measure weight are communists; ergo, if you did well you = a red. I’m sorry, that’s not me, that’s science.

Squat: After seeing our kicker Carson Wiggs do 405 lbs I knew I couldn’t get anything less. So I put 405 on the bar, squatted down, took about 30 seconds to stand up, racked the weight and called it a day.

225 Rep Max: The goal is simple; push 225 lbs off of your chest as many times as possible. Turns out, I can’t do it very many times (I did it more than 12 but less than 14 times) but I was super good at cheering on the rest of the team during their rep max tests. MVP probably.

Moral of the story, I didn’t need to test to know I was slow and weak, I could have just asked my mother. Or as Tommy Callahan put it, “I could get a good look at a t-bone by sticking my head up a butcher’s ass, but I’d rather take the bull’s word for it.”

Just short 33 days until Middle Tennessee! BTFU!

*other notable dates coming up
-145 days until Christmas --
-337 days until 4th of July