Hip-hop storytime, kids. I've been looking forward to this one for a while..
I'm not sure why I was listening to a random track off of a Joe Budden mixtape, especially since I'd heard a lot of the Slaughterhouse stuff and wasn't too down with it. But, well, I was.
I probably could've seen this coming. No chorus on this track, so, you know there's an emphasis on lyricism over sounding cool, and it's seven minutes long, so people are going in. And Joell Ortiz, even though he literally gets no mainstream respect, is a clever-ass dude.
But I wasn't expecting greatness out of this track, so I kind of had a false sense of security.
So it hit me.
I'm sick and tired of n*ggas lyin'...
y'all be makin up stories that them little kids be buyin
I do everything my pen state like a Nittany Lion
YOU ARE NOT AS SMART AS THIS MAN. I AM NOT AS SMART AS THIS MAN.
I do everything my pen state. In case you need me to unpack it, it's a ridiculous double entendre. He does everything his pen states - like, you know, everything he says in his rhymes. Like a Nittany Lion. Because, you know, pen state = Penn State.
The greatest thing a rapper can do is make me go "HA!" when they hit a punch line. It doesn't happen that often - it's probably happened less than 100 times in my rap listening experiences, but, this line did it. What really impresses me about this line isn't just the pun - it's the fact that Joell fits it in so seamlessly. He doesn't change topic, doesn't change rhyme scheme, he just keeps going, and this friggin gem of a line is just tucked away. I never actually heard the rest of the track for a few listens after this, because I kept replaying Joell's verse to hear this line.
Hip-hop is a special thing when its put in the hands of the proper people. Hope you can appreciate it when done well.
When we got the ball: I'd throw out even a mildly concussed Dan Persa against a Penn State team that has the second-least sacks in the conference. Yeah, I know that NU might have discovered something looking like a running game, and that's great. That's a facet of NU's offense we can definitely use. However, I feel that even though that's great - and sho' nuff, it is cool having a dependable option to run with - I do feel like NU got in some difficult to convert situations -3rd and longs - that we hadn't when our offense was Dan Persa running the Dan Persa show. Let's get back to the Dan Persa show.
Semi-under the radar player to watch: Demetrius Fields. We've been seeing disturbing amounts of Jeremy Ebert - understandable, because he's really good at wide receiver - but soon, we're going to see defenses keying in on him more and more. I would say Sid Stewart would be the other option, but, he had a case of the dropsy last week, and just hasn't been as awesome as I'd think he could be. Meanwhile, Fields was making one-handed catches and making everybody feel really cool. Demetrius Fields it is as the second option. (Although Stewart has been, you know, the actual second option.)
When they got the ball: Not sure who Penn State's quarterback will be tomorrow, so, all I can say is, ha! They don't have a starting quarterback yet! I'd still be worried about Evan Royster, though.
Semi-under the radar player to watch: Nate Williams. Good running backs. Our team's best tackler. Boosh. Holding Evan Royster to under 6 yards a carry would be a good thing.
Spread: NU +6. Not really a surprising line - people overrate Penn State, people underrate Northwestern.
My pick against the spread: Gotta be Northwestern.Even Penn State fans have to acknowledge giving
My pick five months ago and a jokey five-word summary: Penn State, and "Unhappy Valley", because I'm not very funny.
and my pick today...
Northwestern, 28, Penn State, 24. NU's defense isn't good. But it's the best defense Penn State and their semi-quarterbacks have had to face since their whole problem there. And Penn State is just arguably a worse team than Northwestern, when you actually look at the stats, strength of opponents, and all that stuff. I'm probably wrong because I'm stupid.