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Saturday Spring Game Details

easter egg

Get your Easter Egg on with Charlie Cardinal at halftime.

In case you were unaware (not possible if you read this site or listen to the OTPcast) the Spring Game for the Fighting Football Cardinals is Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

Who: You and up to 22,500 of your closest friends

What: The conclusion of the spring practice season with the Spring Game!

When: Saturday April 19, 2pm (doors at 1:30

Where: Scheumann Stadium in the booming metropolis of Muncie, IN just off the campus of The Ball State University

The Format: The format for this year’s Spring Game is an offense vs. defense scrimmage with special teams drills in between quarters.  On all fourth downs, the offense will either punt or kick a field goal.  There will be five series per quarter, and a unique scoring system will be used.

Drive Stop = 1 point
Three and Out = 3 points
Takeaway = 5 points
Touchdown = 6 points
PAT = 1 point

First Down = 1 point
Field Goal = 3 points
Touchdown = 6 points
PAT = 1 point
2-point Conversion = 2 points

There is a ton of stuff to do outside of meticulously poring over the Ball State offense and some critical things to look out for. Yes, we’ll have you covered in that regard as the week goes on with your storylines to watch out for and what to look for in the play on Saturday. In addition to that, there will be 500 free hot dogs distributed to fans, courtesy of Fishers Meats, and an Easter egg hunt will take place with Charlie Cardinal at the north end of the stadium at halftime. At the conclusion of the game, fans are welcome to enter the game field for photos and autographs with Ball State players and coaches. Choose wisely for your Christmas cards, boys and girls.

Though there is no age limit listed for the egg hunt, so if that’s truly the case, then Steve Bell has to be the odds on favorite to get as many eggs as he wants, right? If there is some sort of BIG EGG oversight and an age limit is employed, all bets are off.

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OTPcast 5.27

OTP Cast Logo200Hey Cards fan, there’s an OTPcast to re-discover.
Hey Cards fan, know the water’s sweet but blood is thicker.
Oh if the MAC comes falling down, for you,
there’s nothing in this world we wouldn’t do.

Hey Cards fan, do you still believe in one another?
Hey Cards fan, do you still believe in Charlie I wonder?
Oh if the MAC comes falling down, for you,
there’s nothing in this world we wouldn’t do.

Jason and Alan are back after taking a week off to give you all you need for BSU football. Pete Lembo’s new contract, the Texas A&M game, a brewing QB battle in spring practice and spring game prep are all on the table. The guys also look at UMass leaving the MAC, Northwestern trying to unionize, and Michigan playing a night Big Ten game at the Big House. They close it out with some info on America’s fittest and fattest cities, and they see how much Jason knows about both. Tune it in, turn it up, and enjoy the show!

Couple of different ways to hear this puppy. Viewing OTP in a feedreader? Then visit the site or download the mp3 from iTunes by clicking here. Enjoy…


Cards Halfway Done with Spring Practice Friday, Coaches Named for Spring Game

The scene at my house Sunday-Wednesday

The scene at my house Sunday-Wednesday

Remember that time that you were running a BSU football blog and for like four days you had a wicked bad stomach flu that made you miss work, miss blogging, and basically lay in bed and long for the sweet death that was hopefully right around the corner while subsisting only on ginger ale and Ritz crackers with the hope you’d see neither out of either end in short order? No? Guess that’s just been my week, then.

It’s been agony. It’s been terrible. I have new-found respect for stay at home parents of younger children who I have to believe spend a good majority of their time cleaning up vomit and taking care of other bodily messes that may arise. You people are heroes. As for me, I couldn’t even pull myself together enough to enjoy Price is Right, which is ultimately the only good thing about a sick day, whether you’re six or sixty. The good news? Vomitor the regurgitation God has finally had mercy on me and allowed me to get back to business around these parts. That’s good or bad depending on your evaluation of the Pylon. Here’s what we’ve missed, and therefore, you:

NewsNotesLogo The football Cards wrapped up practice 6 of the spring season yesterday and will get it cracking on practice 7 Friday. In true Indiana fashion there’s been some shifts and schedule adjustments to account for the Indiana weather, which of course opens up the Pandora’s box of an indoor training facility and the need for one. That issue will be raised around these parts in the coming weeks given who we have slated for an upcoming OTPcast, so get an opinion ready for that one.

NewsNotesLogo Speaking of spring practice, the spring game is a mere 16 days away, slated for April 19th at 2pm. That’s a Saturday so you really have no excuse not to be there. We’ll be watching for some very specific things from the spring game and sharing those with you as we get closer. The honorary coaches were announced today as Mike Lecklider and Art Yaroch. I’ll just assume CPL had misplaced my number.

NewsNotesLogo If you haven’t been over at the BSUSports mothership lately, you should give it a once-over. They’ve got some great videos about spring ball and more importantly, some videos to meet the new coaches that are joining the Cards for the 2014 season. There’s a video introducing you to Nick Siatras, the new defensive line coach for the Cards, and I’d advise you watch it. Assuming you can get it to load on your computer (which took me three Flash updates and a browser change. A First World Problem to be sure, but get it together, BSU). It’s funny, there are certain coaches who are just intimidating when you see them. Brady Hoke. Mike Gundy. Randy Edsall. Aaron Wellman. The kind that you are never quite sure what’s going to set them off, but if it does, look out. I wouldn’t qualify Pete Lembo as that. I would with Nick Siatras. Unless he’s not ok with it. Then I wouldn’t. Don’t kill me.

NewsNotesLogo Your 19-10 Baseball Cardinals are at home beginning Friday for a weekend series with EMU. If you’re looking for a good option for some family entertainment, that’s it, boys and girls. Games are free and it’s officially baseball season. Enjoy our national pastime!

NewsNotesLogo If you’re more of a softball fan, those Cardinals are in action this weekend as well. Friday is a home doubleheader against BG, and then this weekend is home games against Toledo. The Cards are 18-12 currently and have had two straight MAC doubleheaders rained out. If you can’t make it out, at least do a little non-rain dance.

NewsNotesLogo The men’s volleyball Cardinals are currently ranked 12th and looking to get back in the win column after dropping two contests to #11 Lewis and #1 Loyola. They take on Grand Canyon Friday and Saturday. I would think the Cardinals have a good shot as large holes in the ground I would assume are not all that good at jumping up and blocking or serving. What’s that? Grand Canyon is a college? Oh. I was hoping this was the first in a series of winnable matches against Big Ben, the Rock of Gibraltar, and Niagara Falls, who has a wicked dig specialist.

Go Cards!

Read the Spring Prospectus to Get Yourself Ready for Spring Ball

BSULogoThough I am not in the 765 today, I have to believe folks are bouncing around the Fisher Football Complex with a little extra pep in their step. The sun probably looks a little brighter (the windows have been cleaned), the field turf may look a little greener (fresh coat of paint perhaps?), and the optimism is probably bubbling over. Why? Because we are 24 hours from the start of spring practice in Muncie.

Tuesday marks Practice One and Press Conference One of the 2014 season. Coach Pete Lembo will take the microphone in the opening press conference at noon. You can catch a stream of it from the Ball State Sports mothership here. If you feel like you didn’t waste enough of your employer’s time on Thursday and Friday of last week, you might as well take some time today to check out the Spring Prospectus (pdf).

It’s the first chance you have to check out the way-too-early depth chart and roster as well as an interesting Q+A with CPL. The athletics staff that conducted the interview point to the first thing I noticed in the prospectus: the youth on the coaching staff. It cannot be understated what a benefit (I presume) that is on the recruiting trail. The ability to have a high energy staff that can connect with prospective students is worth its weight in gold.

As we told you in the OTPcast, Spring Game is April 19th at 2pm. I’d go ahead and plan ahead to be there for that one.

Ball State to Play at Texas A&M in 2015

Mark your calendars, Cardinals fans because the chirpers from Muncie are heading to SEC country to take on the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station, TX on September 19, 2015. The same Texas A&M Aggies who laud Kyle Field as one of the best home environments in all of college football. The same Texas A&M who gave us Johnny Football. That Texas A&M. Are you excited? I’m excited. I’m so excited… I’m so excited…. I’m so…. scared.

so-excited-so-scared-j-spano_o_GIFSoup.comThings I’m loving about this? The chance to see a game at a great stadium. The chance to take the OTP Circus to a new locale. The opportunity to introduce thunderous MACtion to a sorority population desperate for it. Bill Scholl is excited also, because the Aggies will be dropping $1.2 million for the Cards to roll in to College Station. That’s what we call “budget-making” money. However, if CPL and the Cards can pull off a W, then I hope they just sign over the big cardboard check to him directly. That is how they pay for these things, right? The lobbying machine for BIG OVERSIZED CHECK is a strong one.

If you miss the Cards in Texas, you can catch them in Chicago on September 26, 2015 as the Cards will travel to a road date with Northwestern. You’ve got a year and a half, folks. Work on your vacation requests, come up with an excuse, or plan on quitting your job. You’re not going to want to miss when the CPL Experience takes its show on the road. Chirp chirp indeed.

To give credit where credit is due, The Star Press threw this out as a blind item this afternoon but A&M officially announced it about an hour ago. Congrats to the boys from TSP for scooping OTP on something. Finally. Good job, good effort, boys. You didn’t get us on the Parrish firing, Lembo hiring, Hoke to SDSU story, or a whole host of other things, but with stick-to-it-iveness like this the print media business is sure to make a comeback.

Pete Lembo Signs Extension, Gets New Title, Gets Paid

logo200Well hey there, boys and girls? How was your Thursday? What’s that? There was basketball on? Oh damn. That tournament thing started yesterday, didn’t it? Anything good happen? I’ll just go ahead and assume the powerhouses of Ohio State and Cincinnati advanced quite easily over whatever small schools they were playing. Those Buckeyes and Bearcats have just the moxy a team needs to make a deep tourney run. Too bad, Ugandan children who wanted cast off Buckeye National Champs tshirts. You’ll just have to wait until football season.

Regardless of whether your Thursday was better or worse than Ugandan children or Brutus the Buckeye, let me tell you who had a better Day After Hump Day than you did: Pete Lembo. Or should I say, the new Associate Athletics Director in addition to head football coach Pete Lembo. With more titles on the business card comes more zeros on the check, as the great Tom Davis reports CPL now has a salary of $475,000 (a boost of $79,000 from last season) and a contract that is good until 2019. I imagine CPL running through the halls of the Fisher Football Complex looking something like this:

The naysayers were quick to point out on Twitter that a buyout of $475k (if CPL leaves before the season is completed) isn’t enough to scare away the biggest of the big boys, but it at least should keep the minnows out of the pond of potential CPL poaching. Which would at least mean the theory floated last winter of Arkansas State being a potential destination officially laughable.

This is what I try to tell my students all the time. Win consistently, do things the right way, tweet Winston Churchill quotes semi-regularly, and you too can be on the receiving end of a half a million dollar contract for five more years and awesome twitter hashtags like #Lemboner or #BaldSoHard. And really, if that’s not your definition of success, you’re doing it wrong.

Congrats to Coach Lembo and thank you to AD Bill Scholl for getting this done.

OTPcast 5.26

OTP Cast Logo200It might seem crazy what we’re about to say
Because BSU is wrapping up spring break
Chirps on the rise like they could go to space
With the air like I don’t care, baby, by the way

Because I’m chirpy…
Come along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m chirpy…
Chirp along if you feel like chirpin’ is the truth
Because I’m chirpy…
Chirp along if you know what chirpin’ means to you
Because I’m chirpy…
Chirp along if you feel like that’s what you want to do

Jason and Alan are back this week to get you ready for Ball State’s spring game, the QB battle, and how one national pundit calls BSU the hottest football team in the country. The guys also cruise through the proposed changes to targeting and defensive substitutions and who their way too early national championship picks are. Finally, they wrap it up with a survey on American home life and The Bachelor finale. All that and more in this week’s OTPcast!

Couple of different ways to hear this puppy. Viewing OTP in a feedreader? Then visit the site or download the mp3 from iTunes by clicking here. Enjoy…

OTP’s Offseason Guide to Chirptastic Living

OTP Offseason Guide Logo 200It’s the offseason in BSU football land, spring athletics are just now firing up, and winter sports are still a bit away from their post season. As such, it’s time to pass on your OTP leadership’s recommendations on things you shouldn’t be living without. Between the folks that run this here site, our tastes and likes run the gamut. We pass that diversity in entertaining pursuits on to you in a little thing we like to call OTP’s Offseason Guide to Chirptastic Living, where you can take our word on things that you should promptly put in your possession. Enjoy…

Movie of the Week
Inside Llewyn Davis AmazonInside Llewyn Davis
Coen Brothers movies are admittedly not for everyone. For me, it gets no better as they were the driving forces behind such classics as O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, and Raising Arizona. They even gave Muncie a shout out in The Hudsucker Proxy. All great flicks, all for different reasons. The Coen’s latest creation, Inside Llewyn Davis is THE film to check out if you enjoy movies that have killer music, a not so sappy happy ending, a tremendous study in characters, and a cinematic adventure that at the conclusion leaves you thinking about a whole host of different things depending on how you interpret the last couple hours that you just invested. The cliché of Hollywood about a character who is troubled or ill-fortuned coming to a point of reckoning can often times be hokey or even ridiculous. Not this time. Not this character. At its base, it is a few days in the life of a struggling musician attempting to make it on the East Coast folk scene in the 1960s with a cast of characters he meets (Bonus for the ladies: Justin Timberlake!). That attention to character is what made it so well received at the Cannes Film Festival last year and what won it the Grand Prix. Normally, I’m cautious of a movie that receives rave critical reviews as, for the most part, film critics love what I hate and vice versa, but they have finally got something right with Llewyn Davis.

Book of the Week
No Asshole Rule AmazonThe No Asshole Rule
Odds are if you have ever worked in an office, you’ve had colleagues and coworkers who were the epitome of everything you hated. Perhaps they were annoying. Perhaps they talked to much. Perhaps they didn’t talk enough. Maybe they were doing bong rips in the bathroom and pissing all over the toilet seat. There really isn’t a finite list of things that could encapsulate all the behaviors that would qualify someone as a royal pain the ass at your workplace. I can say in my career more than a few times I’ve wondered how many of my officemates even got themselves dressed without Velcro shoes. Suffice to say, Robert Sutton’s No Asshole Rule was sorely needed. Business self-help psychology books are at base root sort of elementary. This however at least finds a humorous way to pass on some coping strategies for the incompetent momos you surround yourself with or the things you’re doing without realizing that are making your coworkers want to brain you with a three-hole punch. Which, if you feel like these things don’t apply to you and all your coworkers exist in harmonious joy, either you have not had a real job or you, in fact, are said asshole. I would advise you to stop leaving pictures of body parts on the copier and please put on some damn pants.

Game of the Week
Apples to Apples AmazonApples to Apples
We recommended Cards Against Humanity a few weeks ago in our Offseason Guide to Chirptastic Living and classified it as an adult version of Apples to Apples. For those who aren’t adults, like to play games with non-adults, or have delicate sensibilities that may be a bit easier wronged on the offensive scale, nothing beats the original. Believe me when I say, this game could not be easier. Or more family friendly if that’s important to you. One person draws a source card, the other players lay down descriptive words and phrases from their hand, and the person who’s turn it is picks a winner. The person who laid the winning card gets a point, once you hit a certain point total, you win. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. For example, let’s say Edge, Bababrewey, RV and myself are playing. I draw a card that says Modern Day Love Story. Edge throws down his “Di and Charles” card, Bababrewey throws down a “Sports fan” card, and RV throws down “Justin Bieber”. I don’t know who threw which, because they are subsequently mixed up. I just pick whatever card I deem the funniest/wittiest/most inappropriate/etc. There is no rhyme and reason and fun ensues. For the record I would pick Bieber. ALWAYS PICK BIEBER.

Gadget of the Week
Blue Yeti AmazonBlue Yeti USB microphone
One of the questions we get most often at the Pylon other than age/sex/location? is how we get such a clear sound on the OTPcast. Part of that comes from Jason being a great producer, part of it comes from the equipment we use to record it, as it’s hard to run the Kentucky Derby on a donkey. Without getting too technical, largely because I am too ignorant to do so, it is difficult to achieve premium sound from two remote locations connected by Skype, yet the OTPcast is recorded with one of us in Indianapolis and the other in central Kentucky. The reason it sounds so clear is because of the mics we use, the Yeti Blue USB microphone. I could dazzle you with terms like latency, gain control, and audio pattern selection, but I don’t know what they mean and neither do you. What you need to know is it sounds boss and it makes your recordings sound bosser. What’s that? You don’t record a podcast? Good. Because we have that on lockdown anyway. But odds are you do use your mic more than you think. Any kind of audio or video production? Need a mic. Skype with relatives? Need a mic. Want to try your hand at some voice overs or recording music? Need a mic. Hell, even going to Chatroulette and playing around until someone shows up taking a dump is best with a mic. So trust us, get this and wow your Skype friends with your silky smooth sounds.

For each of the above, you’ll notice that we’ve also included a purchase link to Amazon.com, a site where OTP is an affiliate. By purchasing through our links, you’ll give a small little kickback to the Pylon and help keep the site afloat. If you’d like to help the site in a free way, you should check out an Amazon Prime 30 Day Free Trial by clicking here. It’s a great opportunity for streaming video, free express shipping, and all sorts of other goodies.

Spring Game Set for Ball State Football

logo200Just when you thought you would get no news about the Fighting Football Cardinals given that it’s only March and the NCAA basketball tournament is right around the corner, Pete Lembo lets a nugget trickle out about spring ball at the Scheu and the 2014 Ball State football agenda. Mark your calendars boys and girls, because April 19 you’re going to want to be in Muncie to see the first version of the Cardinals AW (After Wenning).

The details of the spring game and whether it will be a full out scrimmage, a series of drills, or sort of a situational game with modified scoring have yet to be announced, but this is one that no matter the format will have a ton of information that you’re going to want to keep an eye on:

  • Who do the Cards turn to under center? Milas, Mann, Kamman, and Morrison all have a viable ability to step up for the cardinal and white, but who will do so will remain a mystery likely until the opening offensive series against Colgate in the fall. The spring game should, however, give you a glimpse into how stacked the stable really is.
  • Who becomes WR1 for the Cardinals? With Willie Snead attempting to make a go of it in the NFL Draft and the departure of Jamill Smith and Connor Ryan mean that the wide receiving crew is in dire need of a playmaker. Early money goes on Jordan Williams, but KeVonn Mabon shouldn’t be forgotten either.
  • How does the defensive line look? In what may be considered the biggest question after QB, three of four defensive linemen have moved on (Cox, Newsome, Ollie) and only Nick Miles remains. When coupled with the fact that Chad Wilt departed and Nick Siatras was a late arrival, the defensive line has me concerned. Unlike previous years, there isn’t a sure-fire offense waiting to bail them out if things get dicey.

We’ll have more on the spring game, what to expect, what to look for, and how to be a part of some OTP shenanigans as we get closer. For now, just be glad we have a date. April 19… see you there!

OTP’s Offseason Guide to Chirptastic Living

OTP Offseason Guide Logo 200It’s the offseason in BSU football land, spring athletics are just now firing up, and winter sports are still a bit away from their post season. As such, it’s time to pass on your OTP leadership’s recommendations on things you shouldn’t be living without. Between the folks that run this here site, our tastes and likes run the gamut. We pass that diversity in entertaining pursuits on to you in a little thing we like to call OTP’s Offseason Guide to Chirptastic Living, where you can take our word on things that you should promptly put in your possession. Enjoy…

Movie of the Week
The Wolf of Wall Street AmazonThe Wolf Wall Street
This past weekend saw the Hollywood elite rub shoulders, take selfies, and eat pizza a the annual Self Importance Olympics known as The Oscars. I’m sure the forces fighting for Ukraine to remain an independent country were thrilled to hear that Matthew McConaughey’s hero is himself ten years into the future just as much as a starving child in Ethiopia was totally stoked to see Ellen order $200 worth of free pizza for millionaires. I can only imagine how hungry they got having their ego stroked, and let’s be honest, those goody bags won’t carry themselves! That’s why you have the help. But don’t take my cynicism of award season to mean I am anti-Hollywood. In fact, quite the opposite. I am pro-Hollywood because it is one of the few things that can allow you to release from reality for a short time frame and just enjoy the hell out of something. That’s where this week’s movie of the week comes in. The Wolf of Wall Street is exactly what it is and nothing that it isn’t. It’s not a moralistic message passer on. It’s just good old fashioned fun. Put a great actor (DiCaprio), a halfway decent actor (Hill), and a legend (Scorcese) together and you get something that is meant to entertain without making you feel like a scumbag who does nothing for humanity in the process because you haven’t adopted Malawi children or started a club for AIDS medicine. Cynics will tell you they liked this movie better when it was called “Boiler Room”. Those people are assholes.

Book of the Week
Sycamore Row AmazonSycamore Row
I have come to the conclusion as I move through life that there are ultimately two kinds of people in the world: those that read and those that don’t. For the non-readers, there is nothing I could possible recommend here that you’d enjoy. If you think you’re in that camp then perhaps you should stick to the movies, gadgets, and games your OTP staff share with you. If you are a reader though, usually you fall in to one of two camps: those that love John Grisham and those that think he’s a hack. Self disclosure time boys and girls. I love John Grisham. I’ve probably read most every book he’s released. People that are either anti-legal book or just depressing elitist douchebags will say his writing style is too formulaic, paint by number, and predictable to count as something to celebrate. Those people are the absolute worst. My way of thinking is you find something you’re good at it, and you do it. Or in the case of the reader, you find something you enjoy and just enjoy it. Sycamore Row is just another good read in a long line of good reads. There’s enough intrigue to keep you guessing, enough non-law stuff to keep even non-counselors vested, and a quick enough pace that it’s one of those books you start in on and before you know it you’re finished with the book, you’ve grown a beard, and you’ve missed three days of work. Don’t be that guy. That guy gets fired.

Game of the Week
Settlers of Catan AmazonSettlers of Catan
When I first came across Settlers of Catan, some friends of DemonEx introduced us to it. Admittedly, their explanation along with the general nerdery left me concerned about my ability to enjoy this. I figured it was closer to Magic the Gathering than Madden, but I gave it at least an opportunity to impress, and that it did. Explaining it is actually harder to do than playing it is, but at base root, it’s a dice-based board game centered around resources and cornering the market for certain things to advance your standing among your competitors. At its most basic, it’s a bastard love child of Monopoly and Risk with resources like brick, ore, grain, lumber, and wool. Your goal is to accumulate ten victory points quicker than others from the resources you have. It’s been one of the best-selling games in the US and Germany for a while now, and it’s exceptionally easy to see once you play it. Trust me. There’s a bunch of expansion packs and add-on type things but don’t worry about those. Really, the only thing you need to enjoy this like a boss is the expansion pack that lets up to six people play. Much like RV in a hot tub, playing with three other people is enjoyable, but playing with 4 other people is where it’s at, lawya.

Gadget of the Week
GoPro Hero 3+ AmazonGoPro Hero 3+
I decided to reach out to Jason (aka Bababrewey) since his Gadget of the Week last week was our most popular. His recommendation this week may not be as economical as ice spheres, but it may just be cooler. The GoPro movement has been gaining steam all over the place, and odds are you know at least one someone who has it. If you don’t, then you need to expand your circle to people like mountain bikers, skydivers, surfers, dog owners, etc. all of whom seem to be tailor-made for the GoPro. This is high-resolution high frame rate filming that’s able to be mounted damn near anywhere, even on a helmet. According to Jason, “The GoPro Hero 3+ is perfect for everything from tailgating for the Cardinals to home movies with the kids! The GoPro Hero 3+ can do it all. Document every win for the Cardinals this year in blazing HD from your vantage point.” As a brief aside, even if you don’t have kids you can use this for home movies. You know… home movies. You know.

For each of the above, you’ll notice that we’ve also included a purchase link to Amazon.com, a site where OTP is an affiliate. By purchasing through our links, you’ll give a small little kickback to the Pylon and help keep the site afloat. If you’d like to help the site in a free way, you should check out an Amazon Prime 30 Day Free Trial by clicking here. It’s a great opportunity for streaming video, free express shipping, and all sorts of other goodies.


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