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The Big House is Overrated, and Pirates Don't Say Arrgh



College football storylines were coursing through the Redskins locker room yesterday. Like this weekend's Va. Tech-LSU game, for which fellow safeties Pierson Prioleau and LaRon Landry have competing interests. Prioleau was asked whether he might place a wager with Landry.

"I'll tell you what, man, he's got a lot of stuff that he just got in his pocket that I'm gonna try to get out of it," Prioleau said, referring to Landry's contract. But he was just joking. "We'll keep it gentlemen," he said. "I'm pretty sure he's excited about being in the NFL; I don't want to make his whole week worrying what LSU gets done by Virginia Tech this weekend. I'd like him to focus more on Miami, and then maybe Monday I'll talk about how bad Virginia Tech beat LSU."

Incidentally, Prioleau was pleased to see that the Hokies are massive underdogs this weekend; "that's right where we want them," he said. "That's exactly where Frank Beamer wants 'em. That's the kind of football where we play our best....I'm telling you, we'll get on that plane and they're going to play their best game. I'm not guaranteeing victory or anything, but you're going to see a good ball game down in Louisiana."

While Prioleau discussed last week's East Carolina game and the emotion that had been on display, the AP's Joseph White--apparently an ECU grad--pointed out that the Pirates could have won.

"You must be an ex-Pirate," Prioleau said. "Only an ex-Pirate would say 'Arrgh,' and stuff like that."

I hadn't heard anyone say "Arrgh," and I said as much. But then Prioleau told us that he had gone to Broadway at the Beach--Where Myrtle Beach Comes to Life!--this summer, and had seen an exhibit on Pirates, where he learned, among other things, that "Pirates don't even say 'Arrgh'--that's a myth."

"They don't say 'Arrgh?' " a stunned Jason La Canfora asked. "I just took my daughter on a pirate cruise out at Old Town Alexandria the other day. That pirate said 'Arrgh.' He made us scream 'Arrgh!' at everybody. Every time someone walked by our boat we had 30 of us going 'Arrgh!' "

Having gotten my fill of discussing Pirate linguistics and putting a tape recorder in front of JLC's face, I wandered over to Big 10 Alley, a stretch of the locker room where Jon Jansen (Michigan), Matt Sinclair (Ilinois) and Shawn Springs (Ohio State) sit in close proximity. Earlier, Jansen--who has the Michigan "M" tattooed on his upper arm--had discussed the Appalachian State fiasco.

"You're expected to be the best," he said of the Wolverines. "When you stumble, when you fall like that, obviously everyone wants to jump [off] the bandwagon. That's what everybody's doing. But I have no doubt that Lloyd and the guys will come back this week and the rest of the year and play hard. There's still a lot to play for.

"You know, I got a chance to talk to some of the guys and just kind of relate some of the things that we went through. We won the national championship in '97; then we came out and lost our first two games to Syracuse and Notre Dame. Obviously it's a little different than Appalachian State, but the expectations were still the same. And I think even this team had higher expectations than we did in '98. So it's hard; it's a hard fall, and it's tough to take, but hey, that's why they make next week."

Anyhow, now I found Springs, and asked whether, as a Buckeye, he'd had any words for Jansen this week.

"Nah man, I didn't get on him about that," Springs said. "The program is in turmoil right now. I have to wait a couple weeks before that....You know what, I like to see Michigan lose, but they embarrassed the whole Big 10 when they lost that game. They embarrassed our conference. I think he's feeling the pain. I'll let him slide for now. I can't rub nothing like that in. When you take the worst [drubbing] in history?"

Sinclair was listening from a few lockers down, and he figured now would be a good time to say that he always found the Big House to be overrated. Really?

"Oh yeah, very much so," he said. "I played there my true freshman year and then my junior year. My freshman year I expected it to be a lot more intimidating than it was. Underwhelming."

Well, when the residents of Boone are painting rocks and windows and creating fast food signs that say "Michigan Who?" I guess you can also expect a couple raps on the head from Illinois grads.


By Dan Steinberg  |  September 6, 2007; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  College Football , Redskins  
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