Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 13 CFB Recap (Anniversary Weekend)

And then depressions sets in… with only 1 more week of the regular season and conference championships…what will I do with my free time?

Tailgate Update - with perhaps the last live Tailgate of the season (Bowl depending), the Tailgate crossed the bay and set up camp in the Grove on the Stanford Campus for the annual match up with the Fighting Irish. But before the caravan could begin we loaded up the Tailgate wagon for several hours, packing every square inch of the vehicle. Then, we shoe-horned 7 Tailgaters into the Family Truckster, adjusted the mirrors, turned the key and then click… click…. click…. click… click….click! Battery dead from leaving the back hatch open all morning. No problem, we called an audible and jumped the vehicle and away we went. We linked up with team Iorio- Scharff and friends. The weather was outstanding with sunny skies and high 60’s. We set up camp, put up the new Notre Dame canopy, fired up the grills and had the feast of all feasts on this Autumn Saturday. Kielbasa, Tri Tip, BBQ ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad, potato salad, grilled asparagus, baked beans, deviled eggs, cheeses, chips and dips, and ample beverages. The soirĂ©e was chaperoned and presided over by grand tailgater and rabid Irish fan Fritz Scharff. All the tailgate games were hauled out to be played. In an epic beat down of cornhole (Still sounds wrong to me), team Donnelly/Iorio skunked team Panovich/Keuster 21-0. After checking the record books this is reported as the first recorded shutout ever in the game of cornhole. G-Man Keuster totally redeemed himself by learning the finer points of flip cup and joining up with Team Donnelly/Iorio/Brooks and winning the world series 4 games to 1 over team Majello Painovich/Rob “chug n cheat” Nowacek (genius move btw), Boaz and the Craig dude. Of course all this took place as the wives and children were off on a family friendly campus tour. The kids played every kind of imaginable game that did not involve alcohol and had a great tailgate experience.

The game did not live up to the expectations of the 15,000 Irish fans that showed up. Caveman Luck and his fellow Trees were in control in the first half as Tommy “BK’s Byotch” Reese could get nothing going. New life was found in the second half as young Irish QB Andrew Hendricks was inserted and ran a triple option O that created some problems for the Cardinal. Nonetheless the Cardinal were too strong on this night and prevailed 28 -14. By the way, they do allow flasks into Stanford Stadium, so I am told.

Around the country - And the Big Least Champion also BCS AQ, non-top 25 team is….? Wait until next week for the result please, as it is too confusing which mediocre team will get the auto bid this year. With all the conference realignments taking place we may have seen the last of several traditional rivalries: Texas takes down A&M on Turkey day with a game winning field goal. The backyard brawl had WVU taking down Pitt for perhaps the last time as well. San Jose State continues its impressive turnaround under Coach Mac and takes a bite out of the Dawgs down in Fresno. In other games of merit around the country our boy shoelaces and Coach “Norm from Cheers” claw their way to a big win over the arch enemy known in Ann Arbor as The Ohio State Buckeyes. First win in 8 years over the Buckeyes for the maize and blue. Does Boise deserve a shot at a BCS game with another impressive win over a much improved Wyoming team? I would like to think so, but they will need a few teams ahead of them, and Houston to lose next weekend. No toilet paper in the trees at Toomers corner in Auburn. My Boy Alabama Al was in attendance reporting in from enemy territory at the Iron Bowl. He said the Tiger fans were well behaved as they did not expect to win this year. Should LSU win the SEC ship against Georgia next week, we will have a rematch of the Game of The Century for the BCS Title. The Apple Cup had the Huskies barking out a victory over the Cooooooooougs. And in the Civil War, the Quack Attack was back and they chewed up and spit out the Beavers with no problem. Lame Kitten pulled his best Cheat Carrol impersonation by running up the score and stats for Matt Barkley in an attempt to hand him a Heisman over the Pac 12 South Champion UCLA. Will Barkley return for his senior season? Did the Tortoises forget to pace themselves against the rabbits from Raleigh yesterday? Seriously, blowing a 27 point 2nd half lead and losing by 16! Bring back the Fridge. Jimbo Fischer officially welcomed Will Muschamp to the state of Florida with a proper Seminole slap down. Ruh ruh roof roof roof roof roof!!!!! The Dawgs are back as they stung the crap out of the Yellow jackets in the battle of Georgia on My Mind. Good luck next week against the Tigers. RG III continued his late season charge for the Heisman with a big win over the Tubberville Red Raiders. Was Craig James son anywhere to be found? Perhaps he was still in the equipment shed where he belongs. And the city of Lubbock would love to thank you Craig for all you did for them you pompous schmuck! The Bielema Badgers sending Penn State back to a Not So Happy Valley for the last time this year and landing a spot in the first ever Big 10 championship match against Sparty. OU sets up nicely for the Bedlam game by doing what the Cowboys could not do last week; beating Iowa State. The Gamecocks were victorious in the Palmetto State rivalry over the falling Clemson Dabos. Case Keenum and the Houston Juggernaut racking up another impressive victory over Tulsa. The BC Eagles making a strong end of year push sending the Hurricanes back out to sea for a looooooonggg off season. Maybe Nevin Shapiro can pay for another “Love Boat’ cruise for the whole team. And yes of course the Huskers said if you build it we will come and they did and knocked down the corn fields in Iowa for a solid big 10 win.

There were Help Wanted Ads taken out in the local papers in Columbus, OH, Champagne, IL, Tempe AZ, Crappy valley, PA and Pasadena, CA. The position calls for someone who can win at all costs, cheat, lie and steal better than the competition and bring some more Benjamins into the school coffers. Camps from Team Meyer, Leach and Wannstedt were seen tidying up their resumes and responding to those ads. Good luck to all.

Gripe of the week – Schools that still don’t know how to handle big crowds. It was evident yesterday that Stanford still does not have it down yet when in comes to being a top contender. Bathroom ques were a mile long as some heads were closed and others were not trough equipped for the men. Concession stands were sparse and the lines were uninviting. Program guides were sold out by the start of the game. And, if you had a desire to leave the parking lot after the game, think again. We stuck around and re-tailgaited for almost two hours as the traffic eventually subsided. Stanford is not the only school where this has happened to me. They are just the most recent example.

Next Week the Tailgate will take a break from live tailgating and will celebrate at home for the final weekend of the regular season (Army –Navy game withstanding).

Happy Tailgating!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 12 CFB 2011 (Weekend of Chaos)


Simply put, one of the most amazing, crazy weeks of college football that I can ever recall. So many games to mention so many upsets, so much impact. However first, I would like to extend my prayers for those that were killed and injured at the Yale Tailgate yesterday by some moron who drove through the crowd with a U-Haul filled with kegs.

Tailgate update – Fellow Tailgater and Brother Brian flew in from Maryland to take on some West Coast Tailgating over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We ventured down to San Jose on Saturday for the Navy – SJSU battle. A fantastic day for Tailgating. The menu was unusual and off the grid. Here is a brief video of our Tailgate as we enjoyed Tacos, because I like Tacos:

Okay, so we also had some other outstanding grilled meats, Sweet chicken Italian and hot chicken Italian hand rolled sausages, Tony Roma’s ribs, charred pepper bacon and macaroni salad accompanied by an assortment of beverages. We were joined by “Drink in my hand” Dru and “Good Time “ Reinke and his son and Brett Favre’s twin “Too Tall” Taggert. A clear crisp fall day that offered up the perfect environment for college football. Many Navy encampments dropped anchor in the SJSU lots to enjoy the festivities of California Tailgating. Cheerleaders and marching bands roamed the lots for added entertainment value. Two Navy F-18’s did a low level amazing flyover to kick the game off. Outstanding game as Navy came back from two separate deficits to take the lead. In the end, SJSU’s defense was able to stop the naval armada on a crucial 4th down with less than three minutes left. SJSU ran the clock out for a three point victory over a young Navy squad. We did not feel compelled to rush the field this time. I believe I am finally maturing. I had to talk Brian (Navy season ticket holder) down off the roof of the stadium as he felt as despondent as I did last weekend in Boise. I serenaded him with a little diddy to save his life. Here is the video of that event:

Around the Country – Okay, as I said it was a crazy weekend kicked off by the Ambush in Ames on Friday night as Choklahoma State ruined their perfect season and shot at the title by either overlooking this game or simply being outplayed. I must be careful here as I am married to Cowboy royalty but it was an exciting game that ended with Iowa State pulling off their biggest win ever. The evening concluded as thousands of fans stormed the field reminding us once again why college football rocks! However the most ominous moment of the weekend occurred off the field as The ESPN College Gameday crew were making their picks for the day and it was Lee Corso’s turn to share his thoughts. Take a listen as this is vintage Corso (AKA Mel Brooks):

Staying with Choklahoma Schools, OU ruined its chances of getting to the National Championship as well by losing to a fired up Baylor Bears squad in what will now be known as The Mistako in Waco. This was possibly the most exciting game of the weekend with RG III throwing for the go ahead score with 8 seconds left. Bob stoops blamed the loss and bad Karma on Brother Mike as they have now lost 2 games with him “advising” the Sooners. Dabo Swinney for the first time in his life was speechless after the Wolfpack annihilated the Orange clad Tigers. No BCS for you! And Chipper K, did you forget that SC had speed too? Remember speed kills and you just killed your BCS hopes. In the battle for the Vatican Cup, Monsignor BK and the Fighting Irish eked one out over the Holy Order of BC in South bend. BK, we are counting on a Rockneesque speech from you next week as you take on Stanford out here on the farm. Caveman Luck and the boyz of Palo Alto pulled another one out against Cal in the annual Big Game. Penn State rebounded from the Slimedusky scandal to put a beat down on the Buckeyes in the Shoe. Nebraska forgot to prepare for Shoelaces and the Big House as they were embarrassed in Ann Arbor. The SEC essentially took the weekend off as all the front runners played lesser opponents. Georgia continued it's improbable run by clinching the SEC East with a win over Kentucky and locking up a spot in the SEC ship in 2 weeks. Guest Tailgate reporter Gary “Gas Man” Ricco visited the hallowed grounds of tailgating idolatry that is known to mankind as “The Grove” on the Ole Miss Campus. Gary reported that this was a religious experience for him as this is a Mecca for those in the Tailgate nation. As they say in Oxford we may lose the game but we always win the party! (See pictures of the Grove and the Grand Tailgater trophy to which I aspire to achieve one day)

As far as the Heisman race goes, it is becoming like the Republican primary extravaganza with a new chic pick on top each week. Who knows, I think Erin Andrews should win it personally for her amazing season of looking good every Saturday! She might also make a great President as she passes the eye test (see her pic above).

Gripe – Late hits out of bounds – How many times do we have to watch some idiot inspired by Madden EA drill an opponent who is already out of bounds? Not only does this happen frequently but the impact of these penalties is often game changing. A nice 15 yard penalty to extend drives and improve field goal position often changes the outcome of the game. In many cases the result can even have an impact on a team’s season. Is it really worth it? A simple drill in practice reinforced by a threat of being benched might do the trick. Knock it off lads!

Next week for the first time, the whole Donnelly clan will experience the Tailgating rituals together at the Notre Dame - Stanford game.

Happy Tailgating

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 11 CFB 2011 (Where are my damned frog legs?)

At this point we are all over saturated with the tragic news coming out of “Not So Happy Valley”, PA, so there is not a lot more I can add that will provide further insight. However, I will say that this story is going to get incredibly worse when all the details come out. There is far more complicity than is even being reported (read my mid week post). Slimedusky is a monster, and there will be more than 9 incidents. If Joe Pa is Penn State, than he had a responsibility to do something about this back in the 90’s when rumors surfaced. And we all ask ourselves if we were Coach McQueary happening upon the despicable shower scene, what would you have done? Personally, I am going into that shower (Slimedusky’s personal house of horrors), knocking Slimedusky out, taking that child to safety and calling the cops. Especially after he tells Joe Pa and nothing happens. This is the most disturbing incident in sports that I can ever recall. There is no rationalizing or defending anyone’s actions that knew and should have done more. If Boise State loses scholarships for future players sleeping on current players couches during the summer, “State Penn” deserves extreme sanctions as this was criminal in nature beyond belief. I feel bad for the current players being caught in the middle, but nowhere near as bad as I feel for the victims of this horror. If I were a parent thinking about sending my kid to Penn State, I would have to reconsider my decision.

Tailgate update – First, a shout out to all my loyal followers for sending my blog to your friends. Weekly viewership has more than doubled in the past few weeks! I appreciate all the positive feedback and suggestions and guest reporting you all send as well. If you want your school represented more, make sure you vote on the polls on the left side for schools, games & players.

Okay a huge weekend for the Tailgate. We flew north to Boise for the weekend for the BSU -TCU game and a well organized pre planned Tailgate extraordinaire. And most important of all we got to spend time with or beautiful daughter Rachel from the Tailgate. A big thank you to our friends the Griffins (well really just Terry and Ben as Kevin was nowhere to be found during the preparation phase), the Ricarts (Lynne, Octavio and Nick) and Boss Amy for helping pull together all the necessary items for an outstanding Tailgate. We set up camp in Dale’s tailgate lot near thestadium. Great location and atmosphere as it was a mere 200 yards from the stadium. The menu consisted of grilled Morton’s of Omaha tri tip sandwiches, “Fowl Thing” chicken teriyaki sandwiches, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, vegetable platter, chips & dips, cookies , brownies, bloody marys, mimosas, wine, tequila and of course a full keg. KG, finally stepped up to bartend and managed to break a cork screw in a wine bottle and pulled his pliers out and continued the job. I had ordered frog legs in honor of our opponents that day, however, they never arrived due to some mix-up, like incompetency! So instead, I bought a bag of fully cooked wings and told everyone they were frog legs. While sampling the “frog legs”, most claimed to like them, and said that they sort of tasted like chicken. Their expressions were priceless when they found out the truth! The party swelled to about 30 people with parents, college kids, and their friends. The food and beverages were outstanding, but the company was even better. Many new bff’s were made, Rachel’s friends Morgan, Bailey and Emily OMG, OMG, SHUT UP, LOL, HAHA! The Ayres family from Newport Beach and Ben’s friends Sei who now knows how to chug a beer, Ethan, Jackson, Jeff and Don. I was introduced to the “Shots Ski” and taught the college boyz how to properly down a 16 oz beer in 2 seconds flat. We also witnessed the Collegians doing their keg stand rituals. So I guess the adults taught the college kids a few things and the college kids taught us as well! With 15 minutes of tailgating to go, Boise’s Finest instructed us to get rid of all open cups or be ticketed. Again, we are law abiding tailgaters and follow instructions well.

The game was an epic matchup of two great rivals. The stadium was electric as this was the biggest home game since Oregon played on the Blue 2 years ago in the now infamous “Punch Bowl”. The score was back and forth with each team seeming to have their way offensively. TCU’s young quarterback Casey Pachall had a better day than Hesiman Candidate Kellen Moore (who also played great) by throwing for close to 500 yards. With two and a half minutes left, Boise’s third string tailback fumbled the ball with a seven point lead, and the game apparently in hand on the TCU 20 yard line. The Horny frogs promptly drove down the field, scored, and in "the gutsiest move I ever saw Maverick", they went for two and converted. The Broncos had one minute and a final chance to regain the lead. It all came down to a 39 yard field goal attempt by freshman kicker Dan “not so Goodall”. Not even close, as I saw later on the replay. Something tells me I have lived through this before recently. There was only one person in the 208 area code who was heard shouting for joy when the kick went right. I believe his name was BROTZMAN? I am actively training my daughter to try out as the kicker for next season. Oh well, had Boise been able to stop TCU’s passing game, the finish would not have come down to a FG attempt. I said earlier in the year two things about Boise to be concerned with: eventually they will need to rely on a kicker to win a game and that their pass defense was porous. I don’t claim to be Nostrildanus, but I can be observant periodically. Final score TCU 36 – Boise 35. The TCU fans were great as we mixed with them in the post game chill out/tablegate back at the hotel watching the Oregon beat down of Stanford. Overall a great weekend, disappointing outcome. But the good news is, I still have 2 more regular season tailgates to attend!

Around the country - Another offensive explosion in the Glass Bowl in Toledo on a Tuesday night! 66 -63 win for the Rockets over WMU 1440 total yards. Wow more offense and scoring than last week’s game in the same venue! It was good to see that the Penn State and Nebraska players in a show of class held a group prayer at the beginning of the game to pray for the victims of the now well known travesty. The Huskers pull out a solid 17 -14 win in the first game in 46 seasons without Joe Pa coaching PSU. With ESPN College Gameday in Palo Alto for the first time ever, the other Spotlight was on Stanford this weekend. Not only did they not deliver, they have no chance of playing in the BCS Championship game, and at best are an outside shot to go to any BCS Bowl. Additionally, Andrew “It’s so easy even a Caveman can do it” Luck had a sub-par game that will now make the Heisman race more interesting. Oregon deserves all the credit as Chipper K clearly out coached Mr. Shaw. How about Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and the Galloping Gundys of Oklahoma State? They are firmly entrenched as the nation’s # 2 team with really only the Bedlam game left to challenge them. Since this is my wife’s and Father in – law’s (“Cowboy Curt Peters”), Alma Matter, we will be pulling for you to make it the Ship. My new friends in Boston College were ecstatic as they pulled out another win against NC State and former Coach Tom O’Brien. I was told the gang did a special Irish jig at the Heights of Chestnut Hill after the game. Northwestern continues it’s late season push to become bowl eligible again with another solid win. Ohio State going back in the wrong direction again in their roller coaster season. Can you say Coach Urban Meyer, Ohio State Buckeye? The Fighting Irish sporting those shall we say “interesting” helmets running over the Turtles at FedEx Field. Brady Hoke and the boys from Ann Arbor clawing their way to a victory over the now deflated Illini. Is that Zookies head they are calling for in Champagne? The Crimson Tide in an uninspired win over the MSU bulldogs after last week’s heartbreaking loss. Georgia Bulldogs making a serious run for the SEC crown with a resounding win over Auburn. Payback is a bitch Mr Chizick! UCLA’s hopes of getting to the PAC 12 final were dampened with a lackluster loss to those damned Utes. And yes of course to my USC friends, they had a resounding win over UW but probably cheated or stole some secrets to gain the W. Do you think Petey Boy Carrol is wishing he could come back next season when the boat is upright and afloat again? Usually rats do return to the ship. I miss you Petey boy!

Gripe – no gripe this week since we have discussed the Penn State issue already

Next week the Tailgate will be hosting brother Brian and friends as Navy makes the trek out west to play San Jose State. SJSU Tailgaters, you know where to find us!

Happy Tailgating!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No excuse Penn State!!

Jo Pa and Spanier are out and deservedly so. There is no defending not doing something a long time ago. We will find out that this is worse than what we know now. Joe Pa has no legacy in my book. This is a stain on not only Penn State but College Football. Shame on all who knew and did nothing, sorrow for the children that were harmed. Stand by as this will get uglier.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

State Penn and Joe Pa

The events surrounding the child molestation case in “Not So Happy Valley” are so troublesome to me that I felt I needed to do a midweek update. Regardless of whether you revere Joe Pa, hate him or are indifferent, the fact that he most likely knew things as early as 1998 and again in 2002 and did not report this to the Police, makes him complicit in this case. Bottom line, he needs to resign immediately. Shame has been brought on this institution that many a parents have entrusted to take care of their children. Even though he reported this to the Athletic Director, when it did not reach the police both he and the assistant coach who witnessed the disgusting act should have escalated this. Isn’t that what you would do? This is not the first time that Joe Pa has turned the other way. So long as Joe was getting his way, he would not report any transgressions. Joe, you lacked institutional control a long time ago. Your reputation and legacy are tarnished forever. You were still letting Slimedusky around your program as late as last week.

Isn’t it interesting that this broke one week after Joe Pa achieves the pinnacle of college coaching by becoming the all time winningest coach in NCAA history? This doesn’t stop just with Joe Pa, this will rattle the foundation of the State of Pennsylvania. The cover up will sting the University far worse than the crime. And let’s not forget that we are talking about 9 little boys who were violated in the most despicable way. All administrators at the school who knew had a responsibility to report this to the police. Does it stop at the school alone? No way, otherwise this would have broken a long time ago. There are those in the State Government and judicial system who had knowledge. This is absolutely disgusting all the way around.

Coach Slimedusky, you will make some nice new friends in prison. I hope you get what you gave. This is not a rush to judgment. This is a pattern just like those priests who got away with these actions and were shielded by the Church. You deserve the absolute worst scumbag!