Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 13 Recap

Week 13 is college football fan’s dream weekend with many games on Friday and Saturday doubling the pleasure and doubling the fun. The Tailgate ventured up to Reno for the greatest game that city has ever witnessed. After scoring two choice tickets off of craigslist we loaded up the tailgate necessities and made the 4 hour trek over the snow covered Donner Pass (no we didn’t stop for a bite) and into the Reno Basin. We set up shop on the north side of campus and grilled up beer brats, bockwurst, corn on the cob and swilled cold MGD. The charcoal grill doubled as our homeless heater as temperatures were below freezing. The parking lots were littered with many Boise and Wolfpack fans. We chatted with Boise fans who made the trip down from Idaho. There was a certain energy in the air as Reno was bracing itself for the most important game it ever played. The stadium was rocking with fans from both teams chanting for their squads. It is one of the few college stadiums on campus that stills serve beer which may have added to the raucousness in the Wolfpack cathedral known as Mackay Stadium. Temperatures dropped to mid 20’s with a wind chill dropping it even lower.We all know now the outcome of the game and these were two excellent teams going toe to toe taking each other’s best shot. Nevada is no “little sisters of the poor”. They are a darn good team with one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the country in Colin Kapernick. In the end despite Brotzman’s best Ray Finkle impersonation missing the 26 year chip shot to win the game, Nevada was the better team that night and deserved to win. The loss strips away any chance of making the pilgrimage to Glendale this year let alone any BCS destination. It also damages Kellen Moore’s Heisman hopes even though he had a strong game and put his team in position to win the game. The fans in our section were courteous and respectful and grateful for the win. However there were a number of yahoos that I will address later. Nonetheless we left Reno with our spirits dampened but knowing this is what college football is all about.

The rest of the weekend provided us with some memorable games. The echoes are awoken and the Irish finally took down the Trojans after 8 straight losses to the men of Troy. I just wish Cheat Carroll was around to witness! Cam Newton secured his grip on the Heisman with an unbelievable come from behind victory over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Oregon left no doubt in Eugene as to whom the #1 team in the country is this week. Bedlam in Stillwater was exactly that. If you did not watch the last few minutes of the game you missed some amazing football. The Cowboys again became Choklahoma State or the Cow Chokes (You choose) and bowed down to the superior Sooners again. The Big 12 is all knotted up at the top with three teams with one loss each. Of Course we will do the only logical thing and let the BCS decide which one ends up first and makes the trip to Pasadena. Jim Harbaugh coached his last game in Palo Alto in front of 25,000 empty seats. The Big House can guarantee Jim 110, 000 filled seats wearing maize and blue…and they will appreciate you. Coach Rich Rod is done holding the bag for you and will be moving on. Stanford fans that was despicable. You have the now # 3 or 4 team in the country and you show little interest! Michigan needs a Michigan Man, time to come home Captain Comeback. We say goodbye to Cal’s Memorial stadium as we know it as it begins its transformation into a more modern facility over the next 2 years with real bathrooms in case someone really needs to go while attending a game. Florida State chomped down on the Gators as they are now the kings of the sunshine state. Randy Shannon, it’s a shame that cleaning up an out of control program, graduating kids and having a winning record was not enough for the Miami fans…all 100 of them that showed up for your final game. You will be an asset to some other program. Did anyone notice Mack Brown asking the president to be pardoned on Thanksgiving Day before the A&M game? Does anyone care that the Big Least (BCS AQ)might be sending UConn with 4 losses to a BCS game? I am sure that game will have great TV ratings. I guess the turf in Little Rock did not taste so good to Les Miles on Saturday? And last to my Maryland friends, the Turtles were to be feared on Saturday with a convincing win over NC State at Byrd Stadium.

Gripe of the week – The classless and uniformed fans – I take this opportunity to call out two types of fans that I classify as Stains on the sheets of life. The first is the classless fan who has probably had more beer than the 2 they can handle, and probably does not even follow football closely but yet feels compelled to yell derogatory things at the opposing fans such as %&$#ing Boise you eat %$#@ your team sucks! Or the vertically challenged moron who taunted the dejected Boise defensive end on the field at the game by jumping up and down and screaming at him. I was hoping to see that scene turn into King Kong swatting away pesky little agitators. And then there is the uniformed fan who knows nothing of College football but feels compelled to send me text messages stating that my team sucks. You know who you are and you are coward who was probably out enjoying a day of black Friday shopping with the gals instead of manning up and attending a real football game. This is not indicative of the fans at Nevada, most were great. This kind of fan is at every game I have ever gone to. USC at last year’s Emerald Bowl had perhaps some of the worst fans. If you see this kind of fan, call him out, test his knowledge for the game, and then proceed to humiliate him in front of his friends, family children, etc..and expose him for the fraud that he is.

The Tailgate will be home bound next weekend in preparation for the big trip the following weekend to the Army Navy game in Philadelphia. It has been a great season so far and wouldn’t be fun if we had playoffs to look forward to? Did you say Playoffs? Playoffs! Are we talking about playoffs?Yes Jim Mora, we are talking playoffs.

Happy Tailgating!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 12 recap (The wet & cold weekend)

It was a wild weekend with many games decided in the final minutes, and we’ll talk about them in a few minutes. But first we must address the controversial issue of the Tailgate’s planned trifecta weekend. As fans all over the world now know and the blogosphere is abuzz, the trifecta became a deuce as the Tailgate was flagged for failing to convert for the three. After two night games in the great wet & cold Northwest, the executive committee of the Tailgate thought it more prudent to not take on the third game of the weekend in Provo, UT with a forecasted winter wonderland looming there. I come to you my readers on bended knee, humbled an begging for forgiveness for not being able to complete the feat. And if you can’t find it in your heart to forgive me..then the hell with you…at least I went to 2 games this weekend!

Game 1 was Thursday night in Seattle as the Washington Huskies took on UCLA in their Senior night in a stadium “Black Out”. Ever since the days when Don James paid for the best talent to come to UW I have been fascinated with their stadium. It is only 1 of 2 College Football Stadiums in the country where you can take the ferry to as it sits on Lake Washington. With the setting of boats moored outside the south end zone and Mt. Rainier looming in the background, it is perhaps one of the most beautiful settings in America for the world’s greatest game. But, being that it was a night game and in the rain, my visual sensories were limited to the confines of the interior of Husky Stadium. Although open ended and adorned with a track, it is perhaps one of the loudest stadiums I have been too. Great energy in the crowd which was aided by the Huskies thrashing the Bruins in a game where the referees had more yardage attributed to them then the Bruin Noffense. Final score UW 24 -7. No tailgating before the game as we were rushed to get to the game by kickoff. Tablegating after the game took place at Roasters Sports Bar in Burien, WA.

Game 2 took place Friday night in Boise, ID for the WAC rivalry of the BSU Broncos and the Fresno Bulldogs. Although the weather was foul, the Tailgate was game for a late afternoon of trunkgating and lot wandering. I rediscovered a true Mark May Fan Club sign (See above) and a Pig who never saw it coming (also see above). The fans were fired up for this rivalry game. Despite the weather, the game was sold out with a loud and thunderous fan base watching a dominating performance by the mighty Broncos. It was not only the 51 points they submitted to the scoreboard, it was the stifling defense that limited the Dogs to less than 150 total yards and no points. The Bronco’s were attired in a new all orange getup that seemed to work out well for them. The game was intended to be an orange out but with the temperature dropping to the 30’s it became a snuggie fest of all colors. The Tailgate was accompanied on the trip by brother “Radio” (He likes football) and Tailgate Tony from the Yard. As Tony summed it up best with 9 minutes left and the score 44 -0 and his toes and nose blackened with frost bite “Hey Dan, are you ready to go”? He relayed to me later that he was met with a cold stare as we remained to the bitter end (Pun intended). It was also great to see my daughter again and visit my favorite haunts in Boise.

Around the Diamond…I mean horn as 2 games were played in the cozy confines of Wrigley and the House that The Boss built. Illinois ran one way aplenty against a High IQ Northwestern squad that could not solve for Mr. Leshoure as he racked up 317 one way yards. The Irish out maneuvered a game Army Team and put up an in impenetrable front that Army could not breach. In other games, Oklahoma State and OU both won in convincing fashion as they gear up for the Bedlam showdown at T- Boone Stadium next weekend. College Gameday will be in Stillwater for that big showdown. Bo “The Nose” Pelini not only lost the game in College Station but lost his composure doing his best Bobby Knight impersonation and is being reprimanded by Dean Wormer. Stanford Axed the Golden Bears in a blowout in the Canyon. For the third time in a row, the Mighty Trojans fell in Corvallis to a fired up Beaver squad. Les Miles, you have lived your ninth life for the last time escaping with a win over a poor Ole Miss Squad led by Felonomious Masoli. The Mullets of Arkansas pulled a tight one out over the MSU Bulldogs. VA Tech has won 9 straight after the disastrous start to the season and have captured the ACC Coastal division crown with its beat down of the U! The Noles did not fear The Turtle and Shell lacked (hahaha) them in College park. The Big Ten is still all knotted up at the top as MSU and OSU escaped with wins at the end of the game and Wisconsin put up big numbers in The Big House. Nevada routed NMSU in a tune up for the big showdown with Boise next weekend. The Tailgate will be in attendance in Reno Friday night for the big battle.

Gripe of the week – I have been waiting for this one all season but with the Notre Dame/USC game next weekend the time is upon me to blast the biggest weasel to ever coach college football – I am speaking of one Cheat Carroll, AKA Pete the Weasel or Hollywood Pete formerly of USC. Yes Pete Carroll, you who benefited from Reggie Bush and all the other highly compensated players to grace the SC campus over the last decade. Yes the same Pete Carroll who claimed not to know that the hammer was about to fall and ran like a rat out of glue trap before he was stuck in it. You can blame Mike Garret, and there is some truth there, but your legacy is tarnished forever because you were the CEO of the mighty Trojan Juggernaut of the first decade of the 2000’s that turned out to be to good to be true. In my world, a real man will go down with his ship and be the last one off the battlefield. In your weasly world you were the first to run and now your program is headed for 40 years of wandering in the desert. You left your Joshua in charge, who is an easy target for the Tailgate based on his past transgressions. But none of Boy Lane’s activities compare to what you have done to a storied program. You are a weasel, a coward, a wuss, Pop from Rice Krispies, and a person that would run from battle. I would not want you backing me up in a bar room brawl because you would be hiding under a table in your skirt sipping your umbrella drink. I could never see someone like a Joe Pa, Bobby Bowden or Bear Bryant run like you did Forrest Carroll. I hope the Seattle fans ultimately see through your disguise and kick you to the curb Cheaty Boy!

RIP Rob Lytle, star RB of the Michigan Wolverines in the 70’s who passed away last night.

Next weekend the tailgate will make the drive up to Reno for the Boise – Nevada showdown. Should Boise win, there is no doubt they will pass TCU in the BCS. I also predict that Auburn will fall to Bama in the Iron Bowl.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Tailgating!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 11 Recap

Scam NewtonShould we be surprised that this amazing talent rises like the phoenix out of nowhere in the South? Or as a wise man or inebriated friend once told me, “nothing is ever as it seems to be”. I am not taking a position on the events and clouds accumulating around our boy Scam, as I still believe he is the most exciting player in CFB and a rare talent that does not come along every year. But character issues seem to always come back to haunt those labeled as such. Randy Moss, Pacman Jones, Ben Roethlisberger to name a few. In this case, can a tiger really change his stripes? Time will tell, but enjoy watching him this year as he will surely now be playing for more than $180k next year on Sunday’s. That being said, I can’t remember a player so singularly dominant in college football in my lifetime. Yes, there have been many greats but not one like Scam who can take over a game all by himself. Newton’s Laws of Physics tell us that a man 6 ft 6, 235 lb’s should not have the speed, grace and skill of the one they call Scam. And to think it only cost the CFB Gods $180 large. What a bargain, they should do this more often. He has the chance to change the QB position at the next level and turn his million dollar smile into $ millions in dough.

Around the horn – Thank you Notre Dame for finally beating a ranked team and doing so in dominating fashion. This win does not bode well for TCU as Utah was its signature win…and now that signature is somewhat illegible. If Notre Dame can beat Army at Yankee stadium they will be bowl eligible…wake up the echoes!! They say that there is no such thing as a moral victory and there is no column that counts MV’s, but Cal did a number on Oregon last night that was nothing short of amazing. Holding Oregon to one offensive touchdown and losing by 2 because your kicker crop dusted before his kick and moved away from it to avoid the pungent odor and was called for illegal motion? The defensive scheme used by the bears is a blueprint for the Ducks upcoming opponents. In the other big games of the afternoon both Penn State and Georgia forgot that you actually have to play two half’s to win a game. Wisconsin, what did Indiana do to deserve you rolling up 83 on them? You were still passing for scores when you were up 40…Really? Fear the Turtle Wahoo’s from Virginia…the Fridge is back. TCU, you need to stop celebrating your Utah win and realize you still had a game to play. I think the events of this weekend will cost you in the polls. Don’t look now but VA Tech has reeled off 8 straight wins and sits atop the ACC. Will the urban lovers please finally take Florida out of the top 25…the Ole Ball Coach “pitched it around a bit” and took a major gator bite out of your hide in Gainesville. Has anyone located the Texas Longhorn team that played in last year’s National Championship game? Mike Gundy, who is a man and is at least FORTY!! could not find them in Austin as the Cowboy Orange corralled the Longhorn Orange and finally got that monkey off their back. Brandon Weedon, OSU’s QB has the tools to play at the next level as he is leading the nation in TD tosses and is also almost Forty!!!. Our boy Vontaze Burfect was at it again ringing up another game changing unsportsmanlike penalty for ASU resulting in another loss. For those of you still watching late at night, Nevada beat Fresno in a thriller out in the San Joaquin Valley. Does anyone else think that Coach Pat Hill actually looks like Fresno’s Mascot? All three Service Academies’ are bowl eligible for the first time since 96. Navy and Army had wins over MAC conference foes building each team up for the big game in December. I salute you!

The Tailgate was parked at home on Saturday in advance of the big hall pass for next weekend. Nonetheless, I was able to visit the new University of Minnesota Football stadium during my travels on Tuesday. Quite impressive, now they just need a product to match the facility. Radio and my sister and brother n law contributed a tailgate pic form the Navy CMU game (See above).

Gripe of The Week - The BCS (Barely Credible System or Buncha Crap System or Big Cheat System..I could do this all day but will stop). When we look at all other College sports including football in the lower divisions, they all have a postseason playoff system. This allows many teams to be in the hunt for the National Title after the regular season. Here we are on November 13TH rendering 118 out of the 120 D-1 A schools irrelevant for the rest of the season. If the top two BCS teams win out then no other undefeated or 1 loss teams have a season that is worth anything. We are allowing a flawed system to remain because of tradition and conference money. I would argue that by holding a 16 team playoff during the month of December that more money would be generated than all the BCS bowls combined. And the commitment of the fan base would be much more than the loyal throngs of the 2 teams who are anointed by this flawed system. The greatest post season set up is NCAA hoops tournament. The whole country is tuned in for the better part of the tournament. College football has a great build up throughout the season but always ends with a whimper in December as most teams play in irrelevant bowls and two teams alone play for the gold. Perhaps we could emulate a Tea Party movement and invoke change in the way the CFB is governed!

Next week I will embark on my fourth “Trifecta College Football Weekend”. We will start in Seattle on Thursday night as UCLA visits the University of Washington. A quick trip over to Boise for the Friday night game against Fresneck State. The Tailgate Concludes the trifecta on Saturday in Provo Utah to watch New Mexico take on the Cougars. Can I buy beer in Utah? We will work in some tailgating at each location!

Happy tailgating!