Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 7 CFB 2011 (2 Pigs on a spit!)

Faithful readers of this blog, I have created a new poll on the left hand side of the site that asks you to vote for your favorite team. I am trying to gauge from the viewership where your rooting interests are, so I can make sure your team gets a mention periodically when they deserve it. Please vote today so I can give your team props or abuse!

I have been revered in the circle of men who do not get the same allocation of hall passes for college football entertainment as I do (believe me there is a price to pay). I have been loathed by the wives of friends who I encourage to attend tailgates and games with me and blow off family and spousal responsibilities. Nonetheless I was taught as a kid no matter how good you are at something, there will always be someone better than you. And Friday night at the San Jose State tailgate, I met tailgate royalty, and I bow down in humility in his presence. I was introduced to the man who is hitting 30 games in 30 different stadiums this season! 15 stadiums already down with 15 to go. Several triple header weekends and double headers all accomplished over 15 weeks. We at the tailgate conferenced and decided one of three things: A - He is a multi millionaire with no financial worries, B – He has no job and this is what he does for kicks and hitchhikes around the country, mooches food at tailgates and sneaks into the stadiums. C – His wife has disowned him or shortly will, and he doesn’t care. Whatever the case, you have my utmost respect Mr. CFB Traveler! Send us an update as you hit each stadium and we will track your progress.

Tailgate update – Friday’s annual “Men of Laurelglen” San Jose State tailgate and game vs. Hawaii was pure EPICNESS (Is that even a word). My day started off with getting a prescription for muscle relaxers for upper back pain. I thought it was a great idea to pop of few of those prior to hitting the Tailgate. I have pictures from the rest of the day so I have been able to re-create the events as they are a bit fuzzy to me from 2 PM on! I highly recommend doing this, as I was purported to have a permanent smile on my face all day. In all seriousness, only professionals should do this, it is dangerous. Classic tailgate grub with Tailgate Tom’s brisket and ribs, I brought Sis’s beer brats, we also had kielbasa and chicken sausages, beans, potato salad and a keg of Fosters! Homecoming at SJSU is a must every year. The tailgate lot was rocking like never before. The weather was perfect, 80 degrees and blue skies. We were paid a visit by Meister Jaeger around 4 PM then all hell broke loose as usual! Next thing you know all the coeds are doing keg stands on our keg, I was goaded into playing cups with them again (And of course I still rule at the game), and we made new friends who I believe went by the names of Luscious, Gorgeous, Awesome, Delicious and Hotness. They even entertained us with a female wrestling match…way cool. The family across from us stuck two small pigs on a pole and hand cranked them over an open pit for 5+ hours, and the skin tasted great! We even had Random Guy number 2 hang in our camp and drink our beer and eat our food all day. I think he was taking a break from the occupy Wall Street protests. Several live bands were playing, San Jose’s finest were patrolling, and the cocktails were flowing and the food was sizzling. But clearly, meeting the guy who is Tailgate royalty was the highlight of my day.

The tradition of this annual event is that we all become rabid Spartan fans for this one game a year. And what a game it was. SJSU is much improved this year as Coach McIntyre is shaping things up in the South Bay. The stadium was rocking with their largest crowd in 4 seasons. A third of the crowd was adorned with Hawaii green. The SJSU student section was unusually large and vocal. 6 turnovers by each team kept this game more than interesting. Each offense racking up over 400 yards in production. A blocked extra kick returned for a 2 point score which turned out to be critical in the outcome of the game. With the Spartans down 5 points with 36 seconds left, they scored on a 37 yard TD pass to take the lead and hold on for victory. We had decided we were rushing the field with the students if they won…and we did. Classic moment was seeing my daughter’s friend on the field in the masses with a surprised expression on her face as if to say “Aren’t you a little old to be rushing the field with the student section?”. I plan on growing up when I hit fifty, I am clearly not ready for that commitment yet. For those that watched it, it was definitely the most exciting game of the weekend. I should know, I watched most of the other 50 games.

Around the rest of the country – We at the Tailgate would like to thank the following teams for participating in the BCS hunt for half a season after losing their first games: Michigan, Illinois and Georgia Tech. Better luck next year. LSU, Bama and OU solidified their grip on the top 3 spots. The next tier of undefeated teams all had impressive wins: Ok State, Boise, Wisconsin, Stanford, Clemson and Kansas State. Oh, and I must give props to Ohio State for finally playing Buckeye ball and pounding Illinois. AZ State went down in Eugene in a spirited attempt to knock off the juggernaut known as the quack attack without their two lead ducks on the field. Just good coaching Chipster. In the battle of the Glove State there was no “Hail to the Victors”, it was all Sparty as Mr. Shoelaces had his worst outing of the year. Big game again next week in East Lansing as the Badgers come knocking. Navy lost another close one to the Scarlet Nights in New Jersey. Question, is the “Honey Badger” Tyrann Matheiu of LSU the most exciting defensive player in CFB since Deion or Hugh Green? I am so impressed with this kid every time I watch him. I can’t wait for the LSU – Bama game on 11/5. This could be the game of the century.

Arizona’s Mike Stoops joins New Mexico’s Mike Locksley as the only coaches of major college football programs to be fired since this season started. Good thing your brother is in a position to take on a charity case! Just to go on record, this was predicted by the Tailgate several weeks ago. When the “desert swarm” became the desert mirage we knew his time in grade would be short. Who is next?

Hit of the week - Watch how this beast wraps up his target and drives him to the turf!

A get well to good friend Tailgate Terry Kernan who suffered a mild heart attack this week. Wishing you a speedy recovery bro! Terry has 2 sons currently playing college football. See pic of him above.

Gripe of the week – Players have forgotten how to tackle. As a kid in Rockville, MD playing youth football, one of the first things I was taught was how to wrap a player up with your arms, hit low and drive them into the ground. These days, thanks to Madden, players take the more spectacular and dangerous and ineffective route of launching themselves like missiles and trying to ram the ball carrier with their shoulder or helmet. The result is often an injured player and a ball carrier that is still upright and gaining yards. Who is teaching these kids? I remember my coach Perry in 8th grade was a former college football player for Arkansas State. He did not like the way we were hitting in practice. He proceeded to demonstrate by tackling every kid on the team with proper technique while in his street clothes. Most of us went home bruised, battered but with the knowledge of proper tackling techniques tucked away in our brains for life. This technique served me and my shoulders well during my collegiate rugby playing days. Of course nowadays, if Coach Perry tackled a player at practice there would be a slew of whiny parents with lawyers ready to lynch and sue!

Next week the Tailgate is heading back East to Join the three Brothers for the Navy- East Carolina game in Annapolis Md. The grub is going to be fantastic!

Happy Tailgating!