|September 16th- Teams Announced for Cork Bowl 15
September 30th - Garrard to Miss Cork Bowl 15
October 18th - Hoalt Replaces Garrard for Mongeese
October 27th - Tomlinson Predicting MVP Performance
November 1st - Snow in the Forecast for Cork Bowl 15
November 8th - Willy Truitt Suspended by the Earwigs for Conduct Detrimental to the Team
November 12th - Rueth Set to Announce Cork Bowl 15
November 21st - Newell, Cork Taking Heat for Child Birth Comments
November 30th - Wittich to Join Rueth in Booth For Cork Bowl 15
December 2nd - Willy Truitt Embarrassed by Suspension - Announces Retirement
December 6th - New Overtime Rules Announced
September 16th – The teams for Cork Bowl 15 were announced today in a news conference at Corklestick Park. The teams will be virtually identical to those in last year's thrilling win by the Dingoes. "To overhaul the two rosters after that magnificent game we had last year just wouldn't make much sense," announced Commissioner Patrick Cork. "That was as competitive a game as we have had in a long time and we wanted to set up what will basically be a rematch for this year's huge affair." For the eighth year in a row, the Cork brothers, Chris and Patrick, will find themselves playing on the same team. They are 5-2 since joining forces for Cork Bowl 8 and will lead the Mongeese this winter. Joining the Cork brothers at quarterback will be their dad, Tony. The Old Coach set Cork Bowl records last season for completion percentage (70%) as well as touchdown passes (19). He will have his whole team back which includes reigning co-MVP Greg Howard, Kevin Ryan and Brian Garrard. Garrard was used almost exclusively as a defensive replacement last winter, but may see more time at receiver this year.
The Earwigs will have just one change on their roster as Robert Trimble replaces Jake Hoalt. Trimble was a shining star in his only full game in Cork Bowl 13 as the defensive replacement for the Grisons. Kirby Newell will have a tough act to follow after obliterating several passing records in last year's game. Newell completed 62 of 92 passes in his team's loss in Cork Bowl 14. Newell will lead his team once again at the quarterback spot with brothers Reggie and Willy Truitt, Brooks Wilson, Ryan Tomlinson and Trimble joining him. "We had a great shot to win last year's game," commented Kirby Newell. "I think the addition of Trimby will be a slight upgrade for us and may be enough to put us over the top."
Although no official word has been given regarding a pregame celebration honoring the league's 15th anniversary game, the league is working on several scenarios. Cork Bowl 15 will take place at Corklestick Park on Saturday, December 10th. The ceremonial coin toss is tentatively scheduled to be held at 11:15 a.m.
September 30th – After a successful return to the field last year from an 11 year absence, Brian Garrard will be back on the sidelines for Cork Bowl 15. The Mongeese were informed of the shocking news by Garrard's agent late last night. "To say we are upset and disappointed is a gross understatement," remarked team captain Chris Cork. "Garrard was the heart and soul of our team last year. One of us is going to have to step up and fill that emotional hole that has been left behind. Today is a dark day for the Mongeese."
Although official word was not relayed to the team as to the reason for Garrard's inability to play, rumors have it that Garrard suffered a torn hamstring while working out last week. "We've heard conflicting reports, but right now we are under the impression that "G" was going through some back-pedaling drills getting ready to shut Wilson down at corner and the hamstring popped," commented Patrick Cork. "We haven't had a chance to talk with Brian directly yet so that's all speculation, but we've heard that story more than once so that appears to be the case."
The Mongeese are trying to track down Jake Hoalt to be Garrard's replacement. Hoalt filled in admirably last year for the Parameciums as mostly a defensive specialist.
October 18th – With Brian Garrard out for Cork Bowl 15, Jake Hoalt will fill in for the injured veteran. The Mongeese are hoping Hoalt will be able to fill in admirably. "What we have lost in leadership and experience we are making up for in youth and energy," commented Patrick Cork. "Whether that results in a win or not we'll find out soon. You can't expect Jake to do all the little things that Brian does, but after the way he played last year we are excited about what he can do this year."
Hoalt was a pleasant surprise last year in his first full action. The former cameraman started as a defensive replacement for the Zo'ril and finished the game with 14 tackles. However, Hoalt also filled in at times on the offensive side of the ball adding 7 receptions. "I think we will definitely use him on both sides of the ball," added QB Tony Cork. "It will be nice to have a solid 5th receiver in waiting in case we need for one of our other guys to take a few plays off."
October 27th – After nearly a decade of mediocrity, Ryan Tomlinson's resurgence last year in Cork Bowl 14 has given him a renewed confidence and the thought of bigger and better things. "I see no reason why I can't win MVP this year," boasted a confident Tomlinson. "Kirby and I have a unique connection from that year that I lived with him in Flat Rock and that showed last year on the field. With last year under our belts, I'm thinking 15-18 catches is a definite possibility."
Tomlinson's 10 catch, 2 touchdown performance last year didn't impress everyone though. "I think Kirby threw him the ball about 20 times and he caught half of them," remarked MVP Greg Howard. "Why Kirby threw to him that much is confusing to say the least, but the fact that he only caught about 50% of the balls thrown his way isn't exactly eye-opening."
Last year's matchup was a favorable one for Tomlinson as he was guarded most of the day by Brian Garrard who was returning after 11 years away from the game. Garrard will miss this year's game and is being replaced by Jake Hoalt. "Brian took a while to get comfortable last year and that led to a number of early receptions by R.T.," added Chris Cork. "I don't think Jake will have any problem shutting him down this year. However, if Kirby wants to throw him the ball 20 times again this year he is more than welcome to do so."
November 1st – With the first day of November finally here, the official Cork Bowl weather predictor - the Old Farmer's Almanac's long-term forecast for December - was released. The news is good for those who are fond of winter weather. For the week December 8-13, the almanac is predicting cold temperatures with snow showers for the Ohio Valley region. "I'm hoping it does snow because otherwise the field is going to be like asphalt," commented Mongeese receiver Patrick Cork. "The last time the field was as hard as it's going to be this year (CB 12), it wasn't a good thing for me."
The only Cork Bowl where snow was a factor was the Snow Bowl of Cork Bowl 5. That year the Wombats massacred the Big Horned Sheep 130-77 on a snow-covered turf. Extremely cold weather would likely benefit the Earwigs knowing the poor hand and foot circulation that haunts Mongeese QB Tony Cork. "If it's cold, he's going to have a hard time putting touch on his passes," added Chris Cork. "Since touch is his best attribute, that could cause problems. We have had him some hand warmers and special gloves just in case the last couple of years though so hopefully it won't be an issue. I'd be more concerned about Kirby shriveling up and refusing to take his coat off on the sidelines if it gets too cold."
November 8th – After a recent tirade directed at his teammates and Cork Bowl in general, the Earwigs have suspended star receiver Willy Truitt for conduct detrimental to the team. "It was a tough decision considering he's my brother and everything, but the team felt we had to do something," described Reggie Truitt. "We took a team vote and it was unanimous that we had to sit him down at least for a little while to get his priorities straightened out."
Truitt, who last week talked about "going through the motions" and said his team, "doesn't have a chance," was also overheard saying that if Tony Cork was his team's quarterback the past two years he would have two more Cork Bowl championship rings on his mantle. Truitt was more than a little displeased when informed of the suspension. "When you have your right to speak out against things you don't agree with taken away from you, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth to say the least," replied Truitt while doing sit-ups and arm curls in his driveway. "I'm too important to this league to be treated like this. I'll be on the phone with Michael Irvin in about an hour because he seems to be the only person around that understands where I'm coming from."
Although the length of the suspension is officially listed as indefinite, the Earwigs will likely reinstate Truitt after 1-2 weeks. "We desperately need Willy on board if we're going to win this game," added Kirby Newell. "Hopefully the time away from the team will allow him to clear his head and get focused on the task at hand."
November 12th – In a somewhat surprising move, the Cork Bowl league office announced on Saturday that Dave Rueth will call the action for Cork Bowl 15 in one month. Rueth, a Chair Baseball veteran and long-time fan of the game, was chosen for the job after the league ran into some conflicts with veteran announcers Jay Jared and Eric Dean. Jared is scheduled to be a guest announcer for the Green Bay Packers radio network the day after Cork Bowl and was unable to call both games. "Jay's loyalty to the Packers is awfully strong," remarked Commissioner Patrick Cork. "I think if it was anything other than calling a game at Lambeau he'd be here." Dean, on the other hand, will be inducted into the Amateur Football Media Hall of Fame on the same weekend as Cork Bowl and was unable to accept the assignment as well. Dean is also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for his past work with Cork Bowl. "It's ironic that I will miss Cork Bowl to receive an honor for my work with Cork Bowl, but it seems to be a scheduling quirk that the AFMHOF didn't realize until it was too late."
Rueth is excited and nervous to be calling the action for such a monumental game. "To have your first announcing job come in a game of this magnitude is a little overwhelming," stated Rueth. "I've been around Corklestick quite a bit the past few years and have gained quite an appreciation for what goes on there. To be asked to announce the 15th anniversary game is more than I could have ever dreamed. My only hope is that it isn't 20 degrees and snowing."
Joining Rueth in the booth will be Evan Woodard who will be filming the game for the second consecutive year. "Evan provided some expert analysis last year and we expect nothing less again this year. For only being around the game for one year, he has a great grasp of everything that goes on. He and Dave will make a great team."
November 21st – Two of Cork Bowl's most popular stars are receiving an enormous amount of heat for comments made during a joint interview for Sports Illustrated for an upcoming issue. The comments, which were made by Patrick Cork and applauded by Kirby Newell, had to do with the recent births of their children last spring. When asked about how painful and difficult it is to play 100 minutes in Cork Bowl each year, Cork reportedly compared the Cork Bowl experience with a woman going through labor. Newell follwed Cork's comment by adding, "And we're sore for as many days as they are afterwards too."
The comments, which Newell and Cork claim were taken out of context, have drawn heavy criticism from Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's Organizations. Burk's organization is currently planning a protest at this year's milestone 15th anniversary game. "I think it's appalling to compare a football game with the birth of a child," stated Burk. "It's yet another example of men thinking they are better than women. We'll take down Cork Bowl and Augusta National at the same time."
"If you read what was actually said, and the way the question was asked, you would see this whole thing has gotten out of hand," responded Cork. "We were asked how difficult it is to play this game and I said there's no way to describe the pain we go through each year - just like women can't describe the pain they go through during childbirth. Not once did I say that the two are comparable. This whole ordeal is laughable. Why would I say what they report I said just 6 months after my child was born? It's ludicrous."
Cork Bowl is standing by their stars and is considering the issue a simple miscommunication. Both players will be on the field for the game in three weeks - with or without picket signs. "If they want to show up and protest that's fine with me," added Newell. "The more fans we have the better. Plus, it would give the women a chance to get out of the kitchen for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon."
November 30th – For the first time in Cork Bowl history, there will be a full-time color commentator in the announcer's booth for Cork Bowl 15. The league office released today that Indianapolis resident, and native Canadian, Steve Wittich will be joining fellow Butler University grad Dave Rueth in the booth for the game. "I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," commented Wittich in a recent conference call. "I love a good game of football and I'm a big fan of tradition. When you combine football and tradition, most people immediately think of Cork Bowl. To be asked to be a part of this event is a great accomplishment."
Wittich is hoping for a cold, blustery day to remind him of his early days growing up in Canada. "I was planning on wearing a t-shirt and shorts until I saw the temperature may drop into the 20's. I'll probably go with a long sleeve shirt now." Despite the enormity of the 15th anniversary game, Cork Bowl has chosen a pair of rookies to call the action. However, the league has little doubt that the duo will put on a memorable performance. "These two know football in and out and they'll do a great job feeding off each other throughout the game," replied Commissioner Patrick Cork. "We may be onto something for future years. With no rookies in the game, I think it's only fitting to have a pair of rookies calling the action."
December 2nd – The Willy Truitt camp has been quiet since his recent suspension, and he now looks to be reinstated by his team, the Earwigs, before what is to be his final Corkbowl as a player.
If Truitt is not reinstated, then Corkbowl 14 will have been his final game. It’s not a scenario Truitt likes, but he understands the reality of the situation.
“There’s not much to say, I spoke my mind and the powers that be didn’t like it,” said the 10-year veteran. “If I’m allowed to suit up, then I’ll be out there trying to do one thing, and that is to win. I can guarantee that. That is how I want to go out, with a win.”
Truitt finally puts an end to the speculation about his Corkbowl future. His career spanned two decades, and included many priceless moments. His Corkbowl resume features: five wins, including four straight (CB 9-12), over 100 passing TD’s, and one co-MVP award. What you won’t find on a stat sheet is his contributions off the field. Truitt played an integral part in the Corkbowl Marketing departments early ad campaigns, allowing the sport to reach the masses and help the league land pivotal deals, such as the current Dr. Pepper sponsorship.
Unfortunately, like so many professional athletes these days, the end of Truitt’s career will be tarnished by controversy. Controversy over his will to win, selfishness, and poor media decisions.
Truitt defends his actions, “I was trying to fire the squad up, and it got turned upside down on me. Hopefully they will see past that, and see what I offer to the team. I’ll forfeit all personal accolades just to play, just to have a chance to go out as a winner.”
He also wanted to make clear that the recent controversy did not affect his retirement decision. “This is something that has been looming, but it’s so hard to pull the plug. We’ve had so much fun with this thing over the years, and how do you walk away from that?” commented Truitt. “As a veteran, I can tell you this, the names and faces of Corkbowl may change over the years, but the game will always remain the same. And, that’s what is so great about it. It’s the purest form of sport out there.”
December 6 - For the first time in Cork Bowl history, official rules of overtime have been announced. In previous years, the unofficial overtime rules consisted of rules similar to the college game - with each team getting possession starting from the opponents' first down line and getting four downs to score. However, with the emergence of several newborns into the Cork Bowl family, those rules have been changed.
For Cork Bowl 15, if overtime is needed, there will be a wrestling match between Caleb Cork (6 months old) and Elena Newell (7 months old). The winner of the bout's father's team will be awarded the Cork Bowl trophy. "Needless to say, we are the only league that has anything remotely close to this in place for overtime rules," responded Commissioner Patrick Cork. "With all of us getting older, the last thing we need is for the game to be extended - even if it is just for a possession or two. We'll have the young bodies here that day, so why not put them to good use? I'm sure Kirby won't like this news because it may catch him off-guard. On the other hand, I've been working with Caleb for nearly 2 months and he'll be ready to go. It should be a good time."