Monday, August 21, 2006

Entry #4: More TC preseason success

Whoa. It’s been a long day here in Washington and my chicken fingers came out a little cold so let’s get right to it.

As Skinheads know from previous postings, Todd Collins is a scholar. Academic All-American, proficient in Pan Flutes, fluent in 6 languages, accidentally writing “Tubthumping” while getting drunk in a bar with Danbert Nobacon from Chumbawamba, ability to recite all states in alphabetical order in under 30 seconds…and the list goes on. DC seemed like such a natural fit for this diversified political science major from Massachusetts. However, due to the busy schedule of an NFL QB, I haven’t had the time to usurp all that DC has to offer. Blessed with an off day, I had an opportunity to strap on my fanny pack, grab my digital camera and wander this great city. There were plenty of highlights, and some lowlights that maybe I’ll get through the course of the year.

Ok, back to on the field action. We’ve played two games since we last blogged one another. After leading us to 3 points in week 1, I was ready to show the home crowd that I was ready to do more. First of all, what a rush it was to run out in front of the home crowd for the first time and being saluted by thousands upon thousands of Skinheads. I just know this is going to be an exciting year. After falling behind 27-7, Coach Gibbs and Saunders had enough of our inept offense lead by those other two – combined 9 for 19 with an interception, and another week of benching was in-store. After the Jets scored points 21 through 27, Papa Al came to me and said, “Todd, you got some magic in you today?” So I was ready to go and pull a Frank Reich for Skinhead nation. I run into the huddle, ready to call my own plays as always, and I’m shocked to see my receivers are Jimmy Farris and Buck Ortega, it was obvious that coach was challenging me once again. However, I brought out the sparkle in these kids. Three completions and 70 yards later and a TD for Lil’ Buck and we’re back in the game. Let’s recap – three quarters of the other two QB’s for 7 points, three passes for Todd Collins and 7 points. I start the next drive on our own 2. Remembering what happened last game, coach decides to pull Jon and Chris for some other linemen…bold move. It pays off and my arm is afire as I march us down into New York territory. I don’t see the need to talk about the interception since I haven’t thrown one in a regular season game since 1997 and at U of M set a school record with a 2.81% interception percentage! (DVR + poor route running = make your own conclusion). Well there you have it, another team loss and Todd Collins victory, but TC is a team player and will shoulder 0.5% of the responsibility for this one since our roster is still pretty big and I played well. In one quarter, I led us to half our points, threw more completions than the other two, and nearly as many yards …I’m sure coach will take this in consideration.

Feeling like I proved something in week 2, I was ready to show my family, Walpole Rebels teammates, coaches, faculty and Boston Cheesecake Factory hostesses that I was worth the price of admission (TC only gets so many complimentary tickets). It’s always exciting to be back home and play in New England where my protégé, Scott Driesbach’s protégé, Brian Griese’s protégé, Tom Brady, from the U of M has been doing quite well for himself. Tom called me other day and said my knowledge trickled down to him and thanked me for that. I’m always willing to help out a fellow Wolverine, especially one playing for my childhood team. Knowing that this would be an emotional homecoming for me, Coach Gibbs and Coach Saunders talked to me about giving Marcy and Jasmine a little more time to play today and just allowing me soak it all in, since the last time I played at home was 1997. It had been a busy Friday night for me and I was invited to speak at Walpole in front of an eager group of students. Some of the cheerleaders were so eager that they wanted to show me the new bleachers at 2am, which I thought was quite odd. After their generous offer, I had to courteously invite them to my hot tub after the game. Well, the game didn’t have much action and without my on the field presence, we lost 41-0, but I wasn’t too sad, I knew that we were holding the horses back and I still hold a place in my heart for the Patriots. After Marcy got benched for a 3rd straight week, Coach decided to let me run on the field and give me a heroes welcome in front of my hometown. One pass, 11 yards and a 100% completion percentage later I ran off the field victoriously. Jasmine then got shut out in the 4th quarter. As usual, I’m a team player, so I’ll shoulder .02% of this one since I only threw one pass, but our roster size has decreased also – proving once again that I am a scholar.

So weeks 2 and 3 have been good ones for Todd Collins but it would be nice to get a W for the team. Meanwhile, I’ve been drinking a few STs tonight and have had two cheesecakes, so I’m spent. I’ll be talking to you soon

Todd Collins
# 15

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Entry #3: Early Preseason Update

Sorry Skinheads for it has been awhile, but between these summer practices, the first preseason game, hot tub adventures, four course dinners, and sightseeing, there is only so much time that a man has for blogging. But there’s so much to catch up on, so I requested a round table here at The Cheesecake Factory and am awaiting my first ST (Shirley Temple).

Let’s start with the obvious. The cheerleader tryouts have been dwindling down and Chris Cooley and I have been scouting some prospects for the post-game hot tubs. You might not know, but I’ve got a thing for nurses, so Rachel, 22, from California is in my top 3 by default, plus she gets bonus points for her hair matching our uniforms. I also appreciate that Kimberly, 28, is from Guam…during my three years away from the NFL and studying the Andean culture, I escaped to Guam for a little bit to pursue boating and deep sea fishing. However, Kimberly does not make my top 3 and will only be a substitute for the hot tub. Second in the hot tub is Alexandra, 18 from Virginia. Alexandra is an easy choice for me because she innocently reminds me of those sweet sweet nights back in Ann Arbor where Timmy Biakabatuka and I used to play hide the salami in the shower with a few Tri-Delts every Friday night. Plus, she says her perfect date would be “one that is full of surprises,” and I can assure you that there were plenty of surprises in those showers. Finally, I’m going to bring Katie, 23 from Maryland in to tub. Plain and simple, I love Katie’s dancing. Furthermore, Katie’s favorite player is Ladell Betts so she loves backups and says her favorite music is the 80s, which reminds me of going under the bleachers with high school cheerleaders as an 8th grader at Walpole Middle School. There you have it…Rachel, Alexandra and Katie will be mentioned in many upcoming stories.

Practice has been quite exciting leading up to our first preseason showdown. Even though I am confident that I will be named the starter when the season begins, Mark and Jason have been getting the bulk of snaps with the first team. Todd Collins is a fierce competitor and much like some of the great heroes of our day, Michael Jordan, John Elway, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky and Jeff Garcia, wants a ball in his hands at all times. I brought this up with Big Al, who has mentored me so well in the past. Al said the time will come when my number would be called, so I’m going to stick it out and see if my throws in practice increase. So I asked Andrea to cut down on the corn beef hash which I thought might be slowing me down, wore a thinner hair gel and decreased my hot tub time to three hours a day with only five or six lady friends. Needless to say, my game is at an all time high. Last week alone, I hit Clinton on a screen pass that went for 45 yards, threw a six yard slant to Santana in which he broke 5 tackles and went for a TD, and threw a ball in the flat to Antwaan and watched him sprint down the sideline. I’m convinced I’m doing my job and I can see Mark looking over his shoulder.

With my excitement sky high, I took the field with my new teammates in front of a roaring Cincinnati Bengals crowd on national TV. Man, what a rush. First of all, Mark got benched early for nearly murdering Clinton to which Joe was quite upset, but Al seemed confident knowing that his protégé was getting loose. Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I am a scholar, and I’m going to talk to Clinton about an attempted murder case against Mark. Being #1b on the depth chart, I was ready to go. Now, Skinheads, I know you’re going to talk about how my first pass was intercepted. But let me just tell you that Todd Collins does not throw interceptions, in fact my last one was in 1997, that’s 9 years without throwing an interception! Therefore, before you put this one on me, I’m going to ask you to watch your DVR’s and make your own judgments. So I held my head high and got back out there with the ball on our 2 yard line. After my first completion as a Redskin to a Redskin, we were facing 3rd down from our own 5. Jon and Chris are usually pretty steady on the line, but they missed their blocks and BAM, a safety before I could do anything. Overall, I’m pleased with my performance, especially hitting Espy for a 19 yard pass, I mean, he isn’t even any good and I can get him to catch a 19 yard pass, imagine if I had Santana in there? Ponder that. I also hit Thrashy for 22 yards to put us in scoring range, and we’re not talking about Thrashy from 2001 – I’m making these guys look good. Plus, I led our only scoring drive. “19-3” would be “19-0” without me out there. Those 3 points are going to keep the media off of Joe and Big Al for a least a few more weeks.

So, a team defeat, and of course Todd Collins is a team player. Back at Walpole High, after winning a tight game against the Worcester Walloping Warriors, Coach Gary Mueller offered me a scholarship to Michigan. It was the sixth best day of my life to that point and I wanted to share it with my teammates. As a standard present for signing a scholarship at Michigan, Coach Mueller gave me a Ford Bronco and $10,000, so I gathered up the offensive line and took them to a local Ponderosa and bought them all steaks.

It’s been 3 ST’s, an order of bruschetta, French onion soup and a chocolate chip cheesecake since I started writing today, so it’s time to get up, go home, then pay my waitress. I’ll see you all later in the preseason!

Your 2006 QB,

Todd Collins

# 15

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