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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Time out Saturday


This Saturday consisted of me being in College Football Jail. This time, the timeout was self-imposed and not Mrs. Tailgate initiated. Original plans called for a group of us to go to the Laney Junior college game and attempt to get ourselves on the Netflix series Last Chance U. Laney and their opponent are so bad this season that we opted to scrap those plans and call a homegating audible for Saturday. We of course would make a giant pot of chili with all the  trimmings and share it with friends  We did however get to attend one of the more exciting high school games I have seen in some time on Friday night. Our Monte Vista Mustangs sought and attained revenge against our cross-town rival San Ramon Valley by winning  on a field goal with four seconds left in the NCS playoffs. And yes, I did storm the field with the other kids. Next up for the Mustangs…….the #10 team in the country, the De La Salle Spartans.
Friday Night Lights in Danville, the Stangs celebrate the big win, Mrs. Tailgate storming the field and #3 cheering them on
Around the country – College Gameday traveled to Waco, TX for the battle of the Big 12 with one loss OU visiting the undefeated Baylor Bears. This game was also the ABC game of the week. Baylor Jumped all over OU from the opening bell all the way up until intermission, at one point leading by as many as 25 points. The score was 31-10 and Baylor dominated all facets of the game. Then the ghost of Bud Wilkinson must have entered the Sooner locker room at halftime and given them one helleuva speech. OU was a completely different team in the second half, having their way on offense and bottling up the Bear offense that was so fluid in the first set. The Sooners ran off 24 unanswered points to go up on Baylor and hold the lead for an improbable 34-31 come from way behind win.  Most likely these two teams will meet next month for the Big 12 championship. 
Jalen living the dream with my girl Maria Taylor
Elsewhere in the Big 12 Iowa State kicked a game ending field goal to make the Horns go down again. In the SEC, UGA traveled to the Plains to take on WAR Damn Eagle of Auburn. After taking a 21-0 lead, the Dawgs held on for a 21-14 win twice denying Auburn on potential game tying drives. In Stark Vegas, MS, the nation witnessed the final play of Tua’s career as the Bama QB dislocated his hip. In the Big Ten, undefeated Minnesota traveled to Iowa City still on a high from knocking off Penn State last week. Perhaps they left some of the emotion back in Minneapolis as the Hawkeyes were able to take the Gophers down severely damaging their chances of making the college football playoffs. In the ACC, Louisville continues to have an impressive season with a win over NC State making them bowl eligible. In the Pac 12 a resurgent Oregon State wins a squeaker over ASU in Corvallis 35-31. Navy suffered a bombardment in South Bend at the hands of the Irish dropping their second game of the year. Boise, Memphis and App State all notched victories keeping their New Years Six Bowl hopes alive as the top Group of Five teams. Last, my Alma mater, the Frostburg State Bobcats completed their inaugural season at the Division 2 level by going 8-3. This is after decades of playing at division III level of the NCAA.
The Bolt/Munding clan travel to Wco from Norman for the game of the week

Sammy G,out kicking the coverage at Cal, the Brothers Donnelly at West Point, Frostburg Classmates Billy Burton and Sandi Bodmer Almond

Bieber – Co-Biebers this week go to Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns and Colin Kaepernick, who is unemployed. By now, we have all seen what Garrett did Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a fit of rage, he ripped off the helmet of Steeler QB Mason Rudolph and then swung and connected with the top of Rudolph’s head. A melee ensued. Garrett has now been suspended for the rest of the season and perhaps more time off and possible criminal charges. Garrett is the Browns best player so this will hurt well beyond his own pocketbook. The other Ass Hat of the week, Colin “I want back in the NFL” Kaepernick begged for and was granted a workout by the NFL at the Atlanta Falcons facility this past Saturday. Apparently 28 teams were sending representatives to the workout. From the onset of the invite by the NFL, it was clear that Kaepernick and his camp had no interest in a legit tryout. The real reason was so Kaepernick could film another commercial for Nike. The NFL acquiesced to most of his demands all the way up until two hours before go time. This is when Camp Kaepernick decided  not go to the Falcons camp as designated by the NFL. Yet instead, he went to some high school in Atlanta and decided to YouTube his workout with people he chose to throw to. Oh, and his Nike people were there too.  Only eight teams ended up sending representatives. To make matters worse, he wore a shirt displaying the words Kunta Kinte insinuating he was a slave for the NFL. Steven A Smith of ESPN was so disgusted he said Kap’s stated desire of returning to the NFL is over. He wants to be a martyr, not a football player. Kaepernick has no interest in doing anything other than making misinformed public stances on issues he has does not have the full story on. This is not a political blog, so we will leave it there, but he screwed the pooch on his chances. So, both Mr. Garrett and Kaepernick may not be playing football anytime soon, but they will be marveling at their Bieber hardware.

Ginger - Colorado State running back Josh Griffin. Josh happens to be a 33 year-old active duty combat veteran in the Army. He has been assigned to Special Forces and Ranger units in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is attending Colorado State, completing a program within the confines of the ROTC department. While stationed at Fort Carson, CO, he was invited to a tryout at Colorado State University. It had been 13 years since he put the pads on as a high school senior. He was getting plenty of looks from colleges that year and then he tore his hamstring and was a forgotten man. After a year of attending college, he went to work for Uncle Sam. Through persistence, he joined the team last season as a practice squad player while sorting out his NCAA eligibility. This year, he is the senior statesmen on the team referred to as Pops by his teammates. Although he does not see much playing time, the kids look up to him and marvel at his physical condition. He is living his dream while also unselfishly serving his country. Sergeant Griffin, for your persistence and patriotism, you are a true badass and have the distinguished honor of being our Ginger awardee this week.

Next Week – I am heading to Lubbock, TX as the Kansas State Wildcats will be visiting the Texas Tech Red Raiders. This will be another first-time venue for me. I will be joined by daughter #2 and other relatives for the festivities

Happy Tailgating!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Ski U Mah!

The Minnesota Golden Gophers adopted the saying “Ski U Mah!” over 100 years ago. Legend has it that a Minnesota rugby team lost a canoe race to a group of American Indians. The Indians won the race and shouted out “Ski U Mah” in celebration. The ruggers inquired as to what it meant, and they said “victory”. So, the Minnesota rugby team adopted the slogan and it was not for another 20 years that the football squad started using it. Therefore, much like Alabama’s “Roll Tide Roll”, Penn State’s “We Are,” and Oklahoma’s “Boomer Sooner”, the Gophers have a saying of their own that most of the country outside of the Big Ten Conference probably weren’t aware of. So now  you know the rest of the story!

The # 4 ranked and undefeated Penn State Nittany Lions came to Minneapolis to take on the #17 ranked and undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers. I was quite perturbed last week that ESPN College Gameday did not pick this setting to attend. Minnesota is coached by PJ Fleck, now in his third year and recently signed to a seven-year contract extension. Fleck came from Western Michigan University where he took that program to a New Years’ Six bowl game before migrating to Minneapolis. He brought his own slogan of “row the boat” with him from Kalamazoo. Simply meaning, ”all oars in the water”. Minnesota has had several years of being decent but never great since 1941. Their greatest player was one Bronko Nagurski who was a warrior for them almost 100 years ago. The atmosphere in town, campus and stadium would be electric for this matchup.

I was joined by two of my close college friends and teammates, Jim Tubby Devine and Chip Shrek Hayden. The three of us have had many colorful memories together over the past 40 years. We did the customary familiarizing ourselves with local establishments Friday night and ensured that proper Benjamins were distributed to multiple houses of worship. The only knock I had was an Irish bar errrr church that ran out of Guinness at 7 PM on a Friday night. The Bieber committee is giving this one serious consideration.

With a kickoff of 11 AM local time, the Bronkos Boathouse Tailgate commenced libation pouring and chow line at 8 AM. For some reason though, we arrived a bit later than 8.  Dan Lusk and Geno, their wives and Dan’s daughter, Maria all made us feel very welcome and regaled us with stories of their tailgate and Minnesota football. Bronkos Boathouse is a Tailgate Connect® affiliate and their own slogan is “We have never lost a tailgate”. I would agree, as we most certainly left there feeling like winners. The bar they use was constructed to look like the front of a boat. There were many decorations around the 4 -tent spread with Bronko Nagurski pictures, boat oars and of course the Bronko Boathouse crest. Breakfast for us consisted mainly of spicy tomato juice with vegetables in a cup and some other light -colored liquid. We did a customary Viking toast “SKOL” of something resembling a blue dart that is their spirit of choice. Our tailgate hosts were instrumental in bringing back tailgating to the University of Minnesota as there was a time when it was outlawed. They were part of a group that petitioned the university and persuaded them to allow tailgating again. Not all heroes wear capes! We were treated to Army parachuters jumping into the stadium from the vantage point of the tailgate lot. After being re-awoken and fed, we made our way into the beautiful TCF Bank stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. TCF was built 10 years ago giving the Gophers their own facility for the first time in decades after sharing the old Metrodome with the NFL Minnesota Vikings. Capacity is about 55,000 but the seating is plenty spacious, and it could easily hold 15,000 more if they wanted to squeeze people in like some other stadiums who boast of having so many seats.

Bronkos Boathouse Tailgate

Rowing the boat!

From the onset of the game, the atmosphere was off the charts. Most of the fans were decked out in their Minnesota maroon with a smattering of Penn State white. There had not been this much anticipation for a football game in the state of Minnesota since the days of Fran Tarkenton when he played for the Vikings. Even with an early start, the fans had plenty of time to get primed for this marquee matchup. The Gophers scored on a 65-yard pass play just two and a half minutes into the game on a toss from QB Tanner Morgan to Rashod Batemen who would hook up repeatedly throughout the day. Penn State responded with a score of their own on a 45-yard run. Minnesota would score again, and hold serve for the next three quarters. Oh, and don’t worry, the Minnesotans are a hearty people and as such, ample beer was served in the stadium. On the final drive, PSU QB Sean Clifford was picked off for the third and final time of the game as the Nittany Lions were attempting a game winning touchdown. That interception secured a huge upset win for the Gophers and puts them in contention for the college football playoffs now. 

Larry, Moe and Curly

The majestic TCF Stadium
The students, along with thousands of other fans and two guys in their fifties hopped over the wall and stormed the field. The Gophers have not been this happy since that time when they escaped Carl from Caddyshack’s attempts to exterminate them from the Bushwood country club golf course. In the midst of it all, l ran into last week’s Ginger awardee, 5- time cancer survivor Casey O’Brien and slapped him on the shoulder pads congratulating him. We made our way off the field, out of the stadium to the Buffalo Wild Wings across the street for the Bama v LSU game.


Let the celebration begin!

Around the country – In what was being billed as the latest “game of the century”, the #2 LSU Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa to take on the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide. President Trump and our First Lady Melania even attended this monumental battle and were warmly cheered by the fans. Three weeks after having ankle surgery, All American Alabama QB 1 Tua Bangyourdrumslowly was back in action to lead the Tide. He would face current Heisman Front Runner Joe “Nuke Laloosh” Burrow and the explosive Tiger offense. LSU thoroughly dominated the first half of the game all the way through the middle of the third quarter. Then suddenly, Big Mo entered the stadium and its color was crimson. Tua and the Tide battled back valiantly only to fall short at the end. Final score LSU 46, Bama 41 and Epstein didn’t kill himself. 
Nuke Burrow?

The Big 12 had plenty of action as Baylor and OU both squeaked out wins to set the stage for the main event in Waco next Saturday night. Illinois came from 21 down in the fourth quarter to upset Michigan State. The Illini are now bowl eligible. In the Group of Five, Boise scored more points than Wyoming did on the blue smurf turf even without their star QB Hank Bachmeier who missed another game due to injury. Boise is now in the driver’s seat for the GoF New Years’ 6 bowl game. In the ACC, Wake Forest may have been looking ahead to next week’s match with Clemson and dropped their second game of the year to those Hokies up in Blacksburg, VA as they honored their longtime outgoing Defensive Coordinator, Bud Foster. In the PAC 12, USC soared into the Devils den in Tempe and forked them over by beating the hell out of ASU, and thus saving coach Clay HELLton from getting fired for now. Sun Devil coach Herm Edwards was heard screaming in Tillman’s Tunnel after the game “Hello, you play to win the game!!!”  In Service Academy news, Army rolled over UMASS (Please leave D1A, you are a horrible program). Yankee stadium was the scene of the top two undefeated Ivy League teams as Dartmouth came out on top of Princeton. This game was to celebrate Princeton as one of the two teams in the first college football game ever played 150 years ago last week. The winner of this year’s biggest little game in America between Williams and Amherst was Williams by a score of 31- 9.

The Koreivos in Austin

Alabama Al showing off his fashion sense.

Perennial Bieberite, neighbor John at the Colorado game.
Bieber –  A rare occasion, we have no acts egregious enough to be Bieber worthy this week. The Bieber award is taking a week off! Although we have some usual suspects such as PAC 12 refs, Ohio State cheating again, neighbor John just being himself and brother Brian going to another random game all by his lonesome. The Bieber committee thought it best not to cheapen the award with mild infractions or stainworthy behavior.

Ginger – Boston College “Eagle Tailgaters” stalwart, US Navy Veteran and friend Rick Gagne is sailing some stormy seas of life right now. He is battling the awful C word and has been put on the tailgating IR list for the season. Rick as an avid sailor and Navy Vet has certainly navigated many challenging waters in his life which has helped prepare him for this battle he is taking head on now. I have tailgated with Rick in many cities and he is just a one of kind great guy and one of the best tailgate chefs you will meet. He has prepared everything from lobster tails to prime rib at some of the games we have been at together  We have shared numerous stories over his favorite beer, Bud Light. Well Ricky, you are one badass in life and you will set your navigational beacon on beating the damn C word and getting back in action as soon as you can. You are this week’s Ginger recipient buddy!

Death Valley, SC
Rick on the right with Pops Leblanc and myself

Next Week – High School playoffs Friday night. Most likely will not be going to a college game on Saturday but instead doing some couch crunches and remote-control hand exercises while watching all the action on my big screen.
  
Happy Tailgating.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Mountain West Battle in the Silicon Valley

DFT Boise Tailgate Crew

The question was not “do you know the way to San Jose?” but rather how the hell am I getting home after tailgating and watching the game until after 11 PM?  Thank goodness for designated drivers with more common sense than me. The local DFT crew, Boise State chapter, set up another epic tailgate in Spartan Village outside of CEFCU Stadium in San Jose for the Boise/San Jose State game on Saturday. Several newcomers had their initial DFT experience joining many veterans. Beautiful weather in the high 70’s on another postcard perfect day complimented an already awesome setting. As is the case when we host a tailgate, we had a surfeit spread consisting of chili, chicken teriyaki bowls, tamales, meatballs, sausages, Asian noodles, cheddar jalapeno muffins, a wide variety of chips and cookies, brownies and of course ample amounts of adult beverages. The jet pack was fueled with more Deep Eddy Vodka flavored products, the shot ski had many Fireball runs and tailgate games and football were played.  Tailgate TV theater worked perfectly as we were able to watch multiple games while communing and harassing one another. We even had an exchange student from Spain who was enjoying his first college football game at our tailgate. After a good four hours of tailgating, it was time to break down and haul the gear to our trucks about a ¼ mile away to get into the stadium in time for kickoff.
Fireball ski runs
A visit from Buster and the Boise Cheerleaders humoring the old guys
My favorite Bronco, daughter #1
Drubaca sighting, Big O, our Queen for the day, Greg Vella, Buster and Dan, the kids and those silly phones.

Ollie and the Deep Eddy Jet pack

Hot mommas, SJSU Band & Cheer squad, the happy couple, sizing up the competition
Boise was ranked #21 in the nation after experiencing their first loss of the season two weeks ago to BYU. San Jose State is in the midst of their best season since the days of Coach McIntyre. They had high hopes of shocking the world by beating Boise as they have wins against Arkansas and Army already this year. Boise’s sensational Freshman QB1 Hank Bachmeier would be back after missing the BYU game with an injury. Young Hank is the best QB Boise has had since Kellen Moore. CEFCU stadium has commenced with its four-year renovation plan leaving the entire east side of the stadium without seating. In fact, a grass hill now sits where bleachers once stood. The crowd was fired up with an estimated attendance of 19,000 which is well above average for SJSU. Kickoff was set for 7:30 PM with much of the nation already tucked in for the night.

The barren field, the men and their ladies, Boise players leaving the field victorious, Dan & Bybee
The Spartans jumped out early and often on the Broncos who looked asleep to start the game. San Jose State QB Josh Love was having no problem picking apart the Bronco secondary with precision pass after pass gaining huge chunks of yardage. After falling behind 14-0, the Broncos got on the board with a score of their own on a 66-yard punt return. The teams would trade blows until halftime with the Spartans of San Jose holding a 24-17 lead. The second half was a different story as Bronco running back George Holani would run freely over the Spartans scoring three second half touchdowns in addition to one in the first half while gaining 126 yards on the night. Despite San Jose State’s QB Josh Love having a career night with 438 yards in the air along with 2 TDs, Boise State proved to be too strong in the end. In an offensive showcase of over 900 combined yards, the Broncos prevailed 52-42. We stayed until the Boise players left the field after slapping hands with all the Boise fans. Bieber considerations for all in our crew who left early! Prior to departing for home, a subset of our group met back at my truck for what looked like a feeding frenzy from The Walking Dead and a few more beverages. 

Around the country – ESPN Gameday made it’s first appearance in Memphis, TN, and oh what a scene it was on the world-famous Beale Street. By my estimate, it was the largest Gameday crowd I have seen. The Memphis Tigers were hosting the SMU Mustangs, who were the last undefeated Group of Five team. The nation was rewarded with an excellent game and a Tiger win by a score of 54-48. Out in the PAC 12, Utah had an exciting come from behind win over the Huskies of Washington in Seattle. In Big 12 action, Baylor remains undefeated by scoring 3 more than West Virginia Thursday night in Waco. Don’t look now, but Indiana (the basketball school) is 7-2 after dominating Northwestern 34-3. In the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party in Jacksonville, FL, the UGA Bulldawgs bested their rivals from the University of Florida 24-17. In the ACC, in a game that used to matter, Miami beat Florida State 27-10. The following day, FSU head coach Willie Taggart was fired and was paid out an obscene amount of money for essentially sucking at his job for less than two seasons. Notre Dame bounced back to edge Virginia Tech by one point on an Ian Book TD with less than 30 seconds left on the clock. In FCS action, Dartmouth scored on a last second “Hail Mary” bomb against Harvard, securing a win and a share of first place in the Ivy League. In local high school action, our Monte Vista Mustangs lost in double OT to cross town rivals San Ramon Valley. A few controversial calls are still being discussed, but credit goes to the victors for the win.

The battle of Danville
Bieber
 As happy as I was that ESPN Gameday went to South Dakota State and Memphis the past two weeks for something new, I am equally disappointed at their choice for next week. With the Minnesota Golden Gophers enjoying their best season since Bronko Nagurski graced the gridiron there, it was hoped that ESPN would choose Minneapolis for the first time ever. The gophers are 8-0 and ranked 13th in the nation. They will be hosting Penn State who is also 8-0 and ranked #5 in a classic Big Ten battle. Coach PJ Fleck even threw out a suggestion to ESPN last week to come to the twin cities for this game. But as predictable as a Pavlovian dog, ESPN chose for the 1,000th time to return to Tuscaloosa for the Bama v LSU game. No disrespect to either program as they are both having excellent seasons, but the nation has Bama fatigue and the Bama fans probably don’t care much that Gameday will be there. Why not go someplace new that would be excited about it and bring out huge crowds? I will go out on a limb and predict that this will be one of ESECPN’s smallest crowds of the year. So, ESPN as a consolation for your poor choice you get some shiny new Bieber hardware to put with your Emmys. Minnesota, as your consolation, you get me and a few of my Frostburg State cronies. We will be at Bronkos Boathaus Tailgate at 8 AM Saturday morning in the 18-degree weather preparing for the 11 AM kickoff.

Ginger – This week’s Ginger goes to the funniest coach in college football history. If you have never heard of Bob Green, legendary former coach of the Montana Tech Ore Diggers you will now. His quotes are simply badass and deserve proper recognition. Montana Tech plays in the NAIA division of college football. Green was their coach for 24 years and led them to a 140 -116-1 record. He was even a far better interview than Mike Leach and Mike Gundy combined who are entertaining to say the least.  Here is a brief snippet of some of his best quotes: https://youtu.be/JOwGB6jwawM

Historical note –This Wednesday marks the 150th anniversary of the first college football game ever played which pitted Rutgers against Princeton. The game was played in New Brunswick and the home team, Rutgers squad, won the match 6-4. It feels like to many Rutgers fans it has been 150 years since they had a relevant season! As such, I encourage you all on Wednesday between 5 PM and 8 PM Eastern to a hoist a beer in honor of the greatest game ever invented. The DFT crack research team is looking into the first documented tailgate ever. Stand by for results.

Next Week -  I will be freezing my gizzards off in Minnesota for the game with Penn State. When I thaw out, I will recap the weekend. As they say in Minnesota Ski U Mah!

Happy Tailgating!


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain...coming down


Outlined against a blue-gray October Sky of Ann Arbor, MI, in rode the eight horsemen of the apocalypse: Pestilence, Death, Famine, Destruction, Flatulence, Breath, fungus and Repulsion. Otherwise, this group is known as my gang from Seneca Valley high school, Class of 81 plus one. 
 
The 8 horseman of the apocalypse

This would be the 6th such year this group or part there of it have assembled for a weekend of college football, tailgating and rehashing old tales that are probably 20% accurate. Newcomer Garth AKA Death for the weekend, was on his inaugural trip with us and received adequate hazing despite his size. He once knocked out a Penn State Linebacker in Ocean City, Maryland with one punch. True Story, I was there and encouraged it.  I have known him the longest since we started elementary school together and played on every childhood sports team available to us. Alabama Al, Tennessee Tony, Maryland Mayer and Michigan McCabe, LTC Jonny Quest and Vegas Timmy also mustered for the occasion once again. The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame would be visiting the Big House of Michigan for the first time in several years. This has been a historical matchup dating back to when Christ was a Corporal. After varying modes of transportation and arrival times, all eight of us assembled Friday afternoon at The Little House, two blocks from The Big House via a Rent Like A Champion weekend rental.  A tight fit for eight grown men, some more grown than others but it made the event even ….shall we say more entertaining.

Friday night, we ritualistically consumed locally purchased beverages and health food from Toarmina’s Pizza watching the World Series and college football on TV. This is the first time we never actually made it into the houses of worship in a college town on a Friday night. Is age catching up with us?  After a night of being awoken by the continuous prostrate parade, as the john was connected to my room, we arose in time for College Gameday on TV. We were treated to another one of Chef Jonny’s masterpieces of a breakfast consisting of fully loaded egg pie, SOS, bacon and potatoes. 

Geezervile USA
After cleanup, we made the one- mile hike in the rain to our tailgate for the afternoon. Upon entering the tents, I was greeted by my nephews Tailgate Nate and ANTIFA Alan and his lovely wife Emily. We would be hosted by Spot 9 Official Tailgate via
Tailgate Connect®, run by the Mortiere family who threw out a polish style spread with the likes that I have never seen before: Pirogis, stuffed cabbage, fresh Kielbasa, meatballs and much more accompanied by a trash can of beer and a bar serving many spirits. The location was just off the south end of the golf course adjacent to the stadium. The torrential rain kept us inside the tents for the most part which were spacious enough but cozy. Toasts were made, shots were poured, anthems were sung, football was watched on TV, and good natured ribbing was directed at me, the lone Notre Dame fan at the tailgate.  Mike Keehan from Frostburg along with his son Kevin and brother Pat met up with us at the tailgate. After hours of brewfesting (as we called it back in high school) and stuffing our faces, two of us trekked over to the Big House for the game past the golf course, which doubles as a tailgate lot on game day. The other apocalyptians biebered back to the house to avoid rain drops and probably sip on some hot chocolate and watch Lifetime movies.

At an ANTIFA gathering with my Nephews and Emily.
The Spot 9 Tailgate. Even they believe in horns down. Flag that Tom Herman!

The Keehan boys on top, never too young to tailgate baby and the Rockville boys.

The Brothers Mortiere holding me upright while doing the horns down!
The Irish came into the game ranked #8 in the country with one loss and Michigan had just experienced it’s second loss of the year the previous weekend at Penn State and was ranked #16. Kickoff was at 7:30 PM Eastern which gave the fan base ample time to get in the spirt of things. With Coach Harbaugh of Michigan under fire for not winning big games, it was imperative that his squad show up on this ridiculously rainy and brisk evening. On the other side of the field stood coach Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish with hopes of still making the four-team college football playoff. The Big House as Michigan Stadium is called, was surprisingly packed despite the inclement conditions. Michigan and Notre Dame have two of the most storied programs in the history of college football and quite the rivalry dating back more than a century. From the opening kickoff until the final whistle, the Fighting Harboogians of Michigan completely dominated all facets of the game. Michigan QB1 Shea Patterson and a stable of running backs amassed over 300 yards on the ground. The Michigan defense limited the Irish to under 200 total yards of offense. Notre Dame’s MVP of the night goes to their Marching Band who had an outstanding halftime performance dominating Michigan’s Band. I hate to admit but a combination of the miserable weather, fatigue and a lackluster Notre Dame performance drove us to the exits shortly after halftime to return to the cozy confines of our rental house. Final score: Michigan 45, Notre Dame 14. I will be working on de-clogging my arteries after this weekend.
Most excellent Midwest football conditions

Around the country It was a bad overall day for me as not only did my beloved Irish get thrashed, Oklahoma was upset by Kansas State dropping their first game of the year and hurting their playoff chances. Additionally, Army lost to a resurgent San Jose State. My only saving grace was my Alma Mater Frostburg State who picked up their seventh win of the season and secured a spot in the D2 playoffs.  LSU held on to win over Auburn in a rare day game in Death Valley. In my view, LSU deserves to be #1 at this stage based on the quality of their wins.  Wisconsin has been eliminated from playoff talk by dropping their second game in a row to the Buckeyes of Columbus, OH. In the ACC, Louisville improved to 5-3 while dropping the Wahoos of UVA to the same record. I hear the tailgating by the Collision Course Crew was off the hook as usual. Oregon and Utah remain in the hunt for an outside shot at the playoff by both notching victories out west against Cal and Washington State. SMU remains unbeaten by gutting out a hard-fought win over Houston on Thursday night in Houston to lead the group of five schools. In fact, ESPN College Gameday will be at Memphis this Saturday when SMU comes to town.

Brady's Navy Tailgate. Nice "shants" the guy in the black jacket is wearing.
Ginger - Four-time cancer survivor Casey O’Brien on the University of Minnesota Gophers football team wins this week’s top honors. During his Freshman year of high school, Casey was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. He had multiple recurrences of this awful disease with 14 surgeries along with chemo, only to beat it each time. After his first bout in high school, he switched from QB to placekick holder, to minimize the potential for injury while still being part of a team for a game he loved. Two weekends ago against Rutgers University, he entered a game for the first time and held for not one but two successful PATs. His team mobbed him after the first kick. This is a real life Rudyesque story that will bring a tear to the hardest man’s eyes. He also visits the same hospital in Minneapolis where he spent over 300 nights for treatment. But this time his visits are to be an inspiration to young cancer patients. Damn proud of you for what you overcame and for being so darn badass!

Bieber – Hard for me to even write the words, so better to put the link here for you to read the brief story. Let’s just say that this week’s winner, University of New Mexico QB Sheriron Jones wasn’t just holding Bieber hardware! https://deadspin.com/new-mexico-quarterback-suspended-indefinitely-after-ind-1839309379

Next Week – The Danville DFT crew will be hosting a tailgate at San Jose State when the Boise State Broncos come to town this Saturday 11/2 Tailgate starts at 3, game is at 7:30. We will be in Spartan Village, spot 1. I still have 6 tickets for $80 total. Friday night will be the battle of Danville between our Monte Vista Mustangs squaring off against the San Ramon Valley Wolverines.

Happy Tailgating!