The Situational: Rested and Ready

By Ramzy Nasrallah on October 16, 2013 at 11:15a

The last time The Situational graced these hallowed pages we were busy celebrating Ohio State's victory over Michigan and the unblemished conclusion of Urban Meyer's first season in Columbus. A lot has happened since those elated and confusing days.

Most notably, the corpse of necropresidential narco-trafficker-in-chief Warren G. Harding made his triumphant return to 11W's dedicated gambling entertainment offering, thus relegating The Situational back to the sidelines after its fill-in season.

There was never any controversy over The Situational's position in the Eleven Warriors infotainment arsenal: It's our Kenny Guiton. Like Kenny G, The Situational is ready, willing and fiercely dedicated to over-delivering on value to justify your 11W premium subscription.

Marion's wagering zombie commandante isn't going anywhere, but the Ohio State schedule incorporating two bye weeks in 2013 gives us an opportunity to do something the Buckeye football program has teased but not yet dared to do: Put Warren G. and Kenny G. on the same field together.

So here we are. Welcome back to a wagering-free 2013 bye week hangover edition of The Situational.

Anyway, by now you've seen the Michigan Man pictured above getting a macial in Happy Valley. We've decided to name this now-legendary Wolverine Maceo Baston. You kids too young to appreciate Michigan's probationiest era can simply call him Jabrill Pepperspray. Both are acceptable.

It's so good to be back, if only for a week. ONTO THE SITUATIONAL!


Ohio State gets Iowa this week, a state that has contributed one United States president since it was granted entry into our union: Herbert Clark Hoover.

Hoover arrived into the world (West Branch, specifically) in 1874 and would eventually become the first POTUS born west of the Mississippi. His ascent in life was hampered from the outset, as both of his parents were dead prior to his tenth birthday - and he never set a foot in high school.

Regardless, the Iowa orphan became a member of Stanford’s first class, where he studied Geology before moving to Australia to work as an engineer for a gold mining company. He married the first woman to enroll at Stanford (also a Geology major) and by 1901 he was the father of two boys and a partner in the company.

BACK UP IN YOUR ASS WITH THE RESURRECTIONHerbert Hoover: Same gangster lean as Warren G.

Eventually Hoover sold his shares and opened up operations all over the world, becoming what was enviably known at the turn of the century as an international mining magnate. When the first World War began, Woodrow Wilson tapped him to lead what would eventually become the FDA (there was no D yet) where he managed the supply chain of food to soldiers in battle as well as to Americans at home, who were encouraged to eat less so troops could eat more. It worked.

His work in WWI caused his political star to explode and both parties heavily recruited him, including Wilson’s Democrats. But Hoover felt that the Republicans had a better shot of winning a national election, so he stuck with the GOP and endorsed future necropresidential narco-trafficker and 11W honorary staff member Harding, who won his party’s nomination and eventually the presidency.

Harding rewarded Hoover by making him Commerce Secretary, a job he held through both Harding’s tragically brief reign and Calvin Coolidge’s. Once Coolidge opted not to run for a second term, Hoover immediately became the GOP favorite and he won the election with 58% of the vote, becoming the only president in history to be elected without having won anything else or having held any significant military rank.

During his campaign Hoover promised to eradicate poverty from America. The stock market then crashed, and Hoover became the face of the Great Depression. Iowa’s only POTUS subsequently lost his reelection bid to Franklin D. Roosevelt in the most lopsided loss by an incumbent in election history.

He won six states, none of which were big electoral scores. Metaphorically speaking, Hoover was Iowa’s conservative offense before Iowa’s conservative offense was Iowa’s conservative offense.

And since the golden era for public employees from Iowa getting giant contract extensions for underwhelming results was still several decades away, it’s evident Hoover was a decent man who was simply born too soon.



Ohio State just experienced its first of two byes, so with no other distractions this past weekend I took in the great city of Seattle. What you see above was my vantage point at Washington Husky Stadium for the big game with Oregon.

Coming to Washington from the Eastern seaboard to experience a full college football Saturday operating on the Pacific Daylight Time was exhausting. To wit, ESPN College Gameday was in town and began broadcasting from its on-campus set at the ungodly weekend hour of 5am.

I met several fans who had never watched college football's flagship pregame show before due to it coming on so early. For their committed early risers, television programming simply interferes with Seattle's robust tailgating scene: Washington's game day madness is an impressive display of comradery and debauchery. Sorry, Corso.

The Huskies carried all of my support for the afternoon, both because it was the polite play as a visitor but moreso on account of the significant aid an Oregon loss would give Ohio State in the finicky BCS math. I packed a black Ohio State pullover, allowing me blend in with the rest of the stadium "blackout."

After scalping a single ticket at a 100% markup - i.e. the face-value cost of the Ohio State-Wisconsin game - I made my way to the section pictured above and was startled to find myself in a row with fans wearing black Auburn shirts. They looked at my Ohio State pullover with approval, which was equally startling.

“That Rose Bowl was awesome, bro,” one of the fans said. “Chip Kelly was Tressel’s bitch.”

It turns out they were wearing Auburn BCS title game shirts that displayed the winning score against Oregon because, as the same guy put it, “they’re black which works for today and we might hate the Ducks more than we love the Huskies.” It was, to put it mildly, trolltastic.

QUACK QUACK OH NO NOT PEE AGAINHusky Stadium urinals warmly welcomed Oregon.

The game might have ended better for Washington had it been able to sustain drives and exploit the middle of Oregon’s defense more effectively. From my vantage point in the end zone a steady dose of El Guapo would have been enough to open things up, however NCAA leading rusher Bishop Sankey still had a typically formidable day.

His style, however, just plays into Oregon's speed advantage. Nothing was attempted to wear the Ducks down.

The hate for the visitors from the south was palpable throughout the day. It was also peeable: There were little ducks placed in the urinals on which Husky fans could relieve their frustrations.

But those ducks were waterproof - and appropriately, their collegiate namesake remained cleaned as the game concluded. Stanford, however derpy against Utah, should be able to keep the Oregon offense on the sideline while faring better in that trench battle it’s constructed to win.

Final note: Tomahawk chops are lame, even if thousands of arms harmoniously moving looks kind of neat - but Washington’s two-armed tomahawk-like Husky Mush ritual prior to kickoffs is exceptional. Close your eyes and it feels like you're competing in a Pilsner-scented Iditarod.

Then you open those eyes and you’re sitting next to unhappy bros in Auburn a Washington-Oregon game. College football is confusing.


There is a bourbon for every situation. Sometimes the spirits and the events overlap, which means that where bourbon is concerned there can be more than one worthy choice.

Johnny Drum is one of those unique bourbons that’s significantly better on rocks than neat. It’s a nice trick-bourbon for your neighborhood whiskey snob predisposed to falsely believe all ice is lame. Lots of ice is generally ill-advised, but a couple of cubes in a rocks glass of Johnny is sublime.

Panty melter. You're welcome.You're the lead singer. Johnny is on the drum. #letsrock

Your snob friend who denies the presence of all ice should be loudly mocked at and labeled a fraud before you explain that his drink poured neat is puckered up tighter than a nun watching Cinemax. The optimal serving method here is gently rock'd. You’ve got to set Johnny Drum free for it to truly spread its wings.

JD is also useful as a bridge bourbon for poaching scotch drinkers to commit to becoming more ‘Merican, which means it’s not terribly sweet or candy-flavored like some mass-produced bourbons (Makers) but not too spicy either (Knob).

Your noble chore in nationalism is aided by its comforting name, which is reminiscent of but has no relation to Johnny Walker, a blended scotch that despite being adored by approximately 1.2 billion Indians and having taken up residence in my liquor cabinet for several years pre-bourbon enlightenment is...decidedly mediocre. Americans should be better than Johnny Walker, and Johnny Drum is here to help.

[Among those Scottish Johnnys, only Blue Label is worthy. However, it should be only acquired 1) in duty free shops at 50% off while traveling abroad, 2) as a gift with your name monogrammed on it, or 3) stolen off the back of a truck. Preferably the second option. More preferably: Drink Johnny Drum instead. Your mouth and wallet will prefer it.]

So situationally and practically, this Johnny is a teaching bourbon. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your mastery to the uninformed both by way of ice acceptance and scotch rejection, which if you really think about it - is tantamount to liquid patriotism. You're either with us or against Johnny Drum, which pits you against America's burgeoning whiskey trade.

Besides, if you’re going to convert yet another hipster to bourbon, get them chasing this harder-to-find stuff instead of Pappy. That's an annoying trend that the committed are desperate to end. Thanks, Johnny Drum.


Long-time readers of The Situational loyal and bored enough to navigate all the way down to The Play-Off know that this cultural sliver of 11W is a staunch proponent of the mashup sciences; more specifically the research that goes into combining two songs that have absolutely no business being combined - for pleasing effect.

In the spirit of that research, we live in an amazing time for mashups. Not only is there a third Beatles/Beasties album - Ill Submarine - now available for free download, you can elevate your party with over an hour of wholesome Walt Disney classics intertwined with explicit hip hop lyrics, née Walt Diznizzle.

You may think current music sucks, but you're fortunate to be alive for this musical era if only for the mashups.

If you're new to or unfamiliar with this genre, you may want to sample a passed appetizer before you commit to the entire meal. Here's LL Cool J fronting 80s one-hit wonderists Dexy's Midnight Runners:

Knock Out Eileen, which only sounds like it is advocating violence against women, is a lesson in abandoning preconceived notions. Love knows no color or creed, and mashups require only creativity and determination.

If an Irish sing-a-long from a gentleman caller groveling for sex can be so seamlessly intertwined with Ladies Love Cool James' anthem celebrating his maternal mandate for concussion proliferation, literally anything anything is possible. Anything.

Michigan could repeatedly unleash mindless and stupid football plays. Herbert Hoover could actually become the president. Auburn shirts could appear at Washington/Oregon games. Johnny Drum could convert a scotch drinker to bourbon.

And you could survive two Buckeye bye weeks within a single month. We're halfway there. Go Buckeyes - beat Iowa.


Comments Show All Comments

WC Buckeye's picture

Pure gold, Ramzy - great work, as always. As a committed whiskey fan of all kinds, I look forward to giving Johnny Drum a try. On the rocks, natch. I also get to witness lots of Oregon hate out here on the west coast, and was lucky enough to see and understand why at the Rose Bowl; their fans are some of the worst I've seen!

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

jrich612's picture

I need to learn more about bourbon :( 

BUCKtuckian's picture

No, you don't ! Your wallet will hate you. Chasing the mythical Bigfoot Pappy will net your wallet exploding into flames...
That being said, it will be interesting to see if there is any discernable difference in taste between the Stitzel-Weller distillery and the Buffalo Trace blended 20yr barrels of Pappy? This yr will be the first 20yr Pappy Van Winkle that is 100% Buffalo Trace.. 

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

Jason Gruber's picture

Are you sitting down? Click here if you are

"You win with people." Woody Hayes

"If winning isn't everything, why do we keep score?" Vince Lombardi

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯" Joey Bosa

Earle's picture

Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
And Knockout Eileen is simply sublime.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

Oyster's picture

Didn't need no welfare state.
(you knew I would be the first to get that, didn't you)

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

TheShookster's picture

everybody pulled his weight...

He ain't even stretch doe!!

Earle's picture

What we really need is a mash-up that involves Archie and Edith singing this.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Ducks in the urinals, that IS funny.  The mashup is horrible.  A bad hip hop singer and a cheesy group from the eighties singing an old timey ballad ... yikes ... I'm going to go listen to some Rage Against the Machine or some Porcupine Tree to try to flush that sound out of my brain LOL.  Maybe a shot of Johnny Drum will help.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

1MechEng's picture

SiG01 -
Your definition of "bad hip hop singer" also happens to coincide with "multiple award winning (2 Grammy's, 1 MTV, 1 Billboard) singer/songwriter/actor/businessman". This is a guy who significantly helped to popularize the hip hop genre back in the mid to late 80's. This is an artist with more hits than I have fingers, and has been officially nominated for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Besides, how can you hate on someone who beat the crap out of (read: seriously injured) an armed intruder who was burglarizing his house? (Mama said Knock You Out!)

ScarletNGrey01's picture

I've seen LL a couple of times on one of the NCIS shows (don't watch the series regularly) and he does seem like a pretty cool guy indeed and looks like he is in great shape.  I like some of the hip hop out there and was into some of the rap back in the day.  I don't care how many awards someone has received (Hollywood and the music industry love to crank out the awards and pat themselves on the back) I go by my ears.  I stand by what I posted, tried to convey it in a humorous way, I can live with the down votes.  Guess I should have just stuck with didn't care for the mashup, don't really know LL Cool J's body of work that well.  Regardless, Ramzy is a very talented writer, love his articles.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Boxley's picture

I got half way through it and it was not my cup of tea. Creativity - no, valuable insightful  lyrics in todays world - no.
Then again I like Pavarotti and Queen, so what do I know.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

1MechEng's picture

FWIW - I didn't downvote you for your opinion, to which you are freely entitled. You post was not taken as mean-spirited, either. I just thought I'd present the "other side of the story" w.r.t. LL Cool J.  Hopefully I wasn't too harsh in my response.
I find we have some common ground though - I agree with you that Ramzy's stuff on 11W is pure gold.

Oyster's picture

Why is a Hip Hop guy being considered for the Rock and Roll HOF?  Can't they get their own HOF?
(sorry, I'm a traditionalist)

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Seattle Linga's picture

Man - this guy sure is getting a lot of FACE TIME!

albinomosquito's picture

YES!! Words cannot describe my excitement for the return, albeit brief, of The Situational..  I used to plan my Thursdays around these last year..

BucksfanXC's picture

That was glorious. Top to bottom glorious.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Ethos's picture

haha you guys really like that picture

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

jeremytwoface's picture

My favorite mashups are of the Beatles variety.
Problem is, there are so many out there that it's hard to sift through the crap.
Actually, the best Beatles mashups IMO are the ones that are done with other Beatles songs. I went to Vegas in 2008 and saw LOVE which is a Cirque show there. George Martin went back and spliced together a bunch of Beatles songs to serve as the soundtrack. If you haven't heard it, you need to.

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.


I wonder if the custodians at Ohio Stadium can find little plastic wolverines to put in the urinals next November (or any day for that matter).

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

tennbuckeye19's picture

The Situational Lives!
Consider my panties officially melted.

Earle's picture

I'd rather not, thank you.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

Yeah, you probably shouldn't. Singed hair and burn marks aren't a good look for me...

Earle's picture

Perhaps you'd be interested in a straight razor.  I happen to know where you can get one honed.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

InHartWeTrust's picture

You're not an American man until you are well versed and well tasted in the land of Bourbons, my friend.
A close second is loving bacon, but everyone loves bacon.

harleymanjax's picture

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

hodge's picture

It's about damn time.  Welcome back, Situational.
One note on Johnnie Walker Blue: while I've never tried it, I refuse to pay the ungodly sum asked of it due to the fact that the whisky is cut with pure grain alcohol.  They take this incredible blend of 30+ year old scotches, blend it to perfection, and then dilute it with tasteless grain alcohol.
To use a tequila phrase, it's a "mixto," albeit a very good one.
Johnny Walker Green runs about $60 I think, and it's what you'd call a "vatted malt."  It's a pure blend of single-malts; nothing more, nothing less -- no grain alcohol required.

balbak buck's picture

Why would you drink a blend of single-malts when you can get a great single malt for the same price?? La froige or any of the glen brothers would be fine.

The Buck Guy's picture

Great Situational, Ramzy (as always).  So glad to see you also appreciate Johnny Drum! I'd also highly recommend you try Blanton's Single Barrel (lightly rocked as well). However, I am a single malt lover too. Nothing beats the Macallan 25 year sherry oak to relax with in front of a fire on a cold night.
The mashup was a blast. Well made and kind of funny. But the mashup I can never get enough of is the Dead Schembechlers mix:

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

Paulillo's picture

Dexys Midnight Runners are known as one hit wonders in the US, but are actually well respected in the UK. If you like "Come on Eileen" (which is undeniably great) you should check out the greatest hits they put out back in 2003 - "Let's Make This Precious: The Best of Dexys Midnight Runners." It's quite good. Even the tastemakers at Pitchfork liked it.

KevinJ's picture

Damn it!
I went to the liqueur store one day to soon!

vitaminB's picture

I'm glad my new adopted home city treated you well, Ramzy.  I must say I've fallen in love with the place. 
I'm going to stick to scotch, though. 

el duderino's picture

Didn't get to read all of this till now-- stupid work. But, it was well worth the wait. Thank you, Ramzy!
And, I'd like to think I played a small role in this happening. I mean, the post-hoc argument is always iron-clad, right?

"This is a very complicated case: a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous."