Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 10 CFB 2011 (Eagle Up and Beer Pong Rain Delay)

Tailgate Update – A big weekend for the Tailgate! First stop was Chestnut Hill, MA for the Thursday night ESPN game featuring the Boston College Eagles hosting the Seminoles from Florida State. I was invited to tailgate BC style with legendary BC fan and athletic department supporter, “Bob “Pops” Leblanc. I was instructed to wear a bright yellow T- shirt with the words “BC Super Fan” maroon lettered on the front. I follow instructions well, and did what I was told. Bob is a friend of my sister Patsy and brother in law Barney. I learned that night, that Bob is on another level as far as loyal fans go. A 1971 graduate of BC who now lives in North Carolina, yet still goes to all BC home games as well as all the away games. It's not just the game for Bob and his crew, consisting of his wife Peggy and friends Nick Nickerson and Rick & Cilla Gagne, its living the Tailgate dream in style! It’s experiencing all the accoutrements that make Division 1 college football so enjoyable (Read my earlier posts from week 4) Bob and his crew epitomize all that is right with college football. Their Tailgate has the most choice spot in "The Heights" reserved for each home game just a few short steps from the north entrance to the stadium. They treated me to a tailgate like none other: cold beer, bacon wrapped scallops, and bacon wrapped beef, kielbasa, hand carved prime rib sandwiches and the coup de gras, lobster tails grilled in garlic butter! This crew has the program down to a T with each person performing the same job each week for 13 -14 weekends during the college football season. I am told that the menu varies from week to week but it never drops in quality or quantity. Having never met the BC gang before that night, they could not have been more hospitable to this outsider. They were beyond awesome as they treated me as if I had been doing this for the past 40 years with them. 30 minutes before kickoff I participated in their ritual called “Eagle Up” where all participants grab a flavored shot of their choice (I believe mine was Lemoncello) and raise a toast to the mighty BC Eagles. I look forward to repaying the ritual to you all when you are on my turf in the future. I believe I will see you all in 2013 at the USC game in LA and the Clemson game in South Carolina.

The BC campus was beautiful, decked out in classic East Coast style college architecture. I took pictures for my 16 year old daughter as she is interested in the school. Anyone in Boston want to adopt her? She is self sufficient and was raised on college football. The stadium (Alumni Stadium)was awesome and decent sized as they have recently completed the closing in of the North end zone. My seat was on the 42 yard line 20 rows up from the field. I couldn't ask for much better. Although BC is having a down year, the fans were loyal, knowledgeable and respectful (Unlike some poser institutions I have been to). Clearly this is a school with a loyal following and great tradition. The only downer were the obnoxious FSU fans (About 5,000) doing the damned tomahawk chop! Although BC’s defense was stout, it’s offense did them no favors starting with a turnover on their own 3 yard line early in the first quarter. This resulted in the first of 4 touchdowns in the first half. The offense struggled to get going forcing their D to spend more time on the field than they would have liked. A change in QB’s brought new life into the game for BC as they drove down the field to the FSU 1 yard line only to fumble with 40 seconds left in the first half. The second half was more evenly matched nonetheless, the final score, FSU 38 – BC 7. I will be back!

Back at Tailgate HQ on Saturday for the game of the century ("GOTC") we were joined by veteran Tailgate members the Casteleins (C2 fresh off his Big House/Horseshoe double header last weekend) and Tailgate newcomers (but old friends the Whites). Tailgate Amy (my lovely wife) whipped up some mean chili and baked potatoes as the main course, coupled with plenty of draft beer and good wine. Would the game live up to all the hype that has been building up for almost 2 months? Remember, I had an offer to go to this game live with Alabama Al but had to decline and get my card stamped for more events in the future. I know this is hard for most of you that are envious of my seemingly countless supply of hall passes. However, contrary to popular opinion, Amy owns my ass! Speaking of Alabama Al, he was kind enough to ship me the Beautiful T shirt that Says College Gameday live from Alabama on it (See picture of me). He did not like to hear that I owned a “Geaux Tigers” purple and gold T shirt and insisted that I wear the proper colors for this game. So anyone out there that is not sure what to get me for Christmas I wear XXL and I pretty much look damned good in all your school colors. Hey what, you think I write this blog for free? This is your payment for the annual subscription. To kick off the festivities prior to the “GOTC” we participated in the Tailgate Olympics at Dan's bar & grill (DB&G) AKA my man cave, gals vs. guys. 5 events all involving beer, the girls won the soccer kick, the boyz won the bean bag toss, the girls won the balls on a string toss (quite fitting) and the boyz won the flip cup relay. Beer Pong was postponed due to rain. We will have a makeup day for that to decide the battle of the sexes. I still rule at flip cup! The big game lived up to its billing in some regards as these two defenses are far superior to any other defenses in the country. I am not surprised that the combined point total was 15. Neither QB looked great but that will happen when you are matched up against the athletes that each team possess on the other side of the ball. In my view, the difference in the game was clearly the play where the LSU DB wrestled the ball away from the Alabama receiver as he was falling to the ground on the 1 yard line. Bama would have had 4 cracks at putting the ball in the zone but it was not to be. I still think that these two 2 teams may very well meet again in the BCS Ship if certain scenarios play out.

Around the rest of the country: NIU over Toledo 63 -60 on Tuesday night! 17 Touchdowns, are you kidding me. This game was a great start to an outstanding 5 days of CFB! Brother Billy, you drinking that lite beer yesterday was the second unmanly thing you did this week. What was the first unmanly thing you did, you ask? Shall I let your brothers tell you? Do you need one of my hall passes? The Tribe has voted, you are out!!! Congrats to Kellen Moore for setting the all time wins record for a starting QB at 46 and Case Keenum for setting the record for Yards and TD’s for a QB. Outstanding achievements for two outstanding young men! Both Boise and Houston had decisive wins to go along with the records to stay perfect on the year. Perhaps the best game of the day was televised head to head with the “GOTC” and probably had a fraction of the viewers. However, those that did watch it saw a game go down to the wire with OK State pulling out a 52 -45 win over an inspired Bill Snyder K State Wildcat team. OK State now sits solidly in the 2nd slot for the BCS with their destiny controlled by themselves. The Bedlam game this year will have dual national championship implications. I believe my boy Shoelaces has a flat tire, as he appears to be running out of air again for the Wolverines. Iowa, seriously? Sparty gets another win but in ugly fashion. My nephew, Nate, was just accepted to attend MSU next fall. Your favorite Uncle will be there to check on you, in the Fall of course! The fighting Brian Kelly’s eked one out in Winston, Salem against the Demon Deacons. Hey Brian, how are Charlie's boys working out for you now? And a “Not so fast my friend” out to Northwestern for plucking the Cornhuskers out of their home turf and discarding them. I know Arkansas taught the Ole Ball Coach a lesson yesterday but I still don’t think the “Backs” are all that. Grunt grunt, snort snort, soooooheeeee! And just when we thought little Ricky was down and out in Beverly Hills, he has UCLA in contention for the PAC 12 South title slot after knocking out the Vontaze Burficts from Tempe. Hail to the Falcons for capturing the CIC trophy by beating Army yesterday and having dispatched the Middies earlier in the year. And last but not least, all is right in the Dan From The Tailgate world again as I rooted against USC Friday night and they still won. I know all my faithful SC fan readers would be worried if I didn’t take a jab at them each week! Love your passion but someone has to be my enemy. "Boulder" Bo was in attendance as a plant for the Tailgate to report back on enemy activity. See pic of him and his daughter with Ralphie the Buffalo during pre game festivities.

Football History lesson – The Big House and Hail to the victors!

Gripe of The Week - Poor commentary – Specifically I am going to single out Brent “Day late dollar short” Musberger. You see, ole Brent was calling NFL games on CBS when I was a wee lad, and he was already middle aged back then. I am no longer a wee lad, through deductive reasoning that makes him no longer middle aged. Apparently he has not heard about the mandatory retirement age yet (I think it is 85 for announcers). He is no ageless Keith Jackson. His comments are usually wrong, they are typically late (Like 10 seconds after a play) and they always lack merit or cred. His side kick Kirk Herbstreet is pretty good. He would be even better with a partner who could actually see the game and know what the hell to say. Sometimes I think BM (Nice initials by the way, quite fitting) is texting people during the game or doing a crossword puzzle and periodically looks at the field and makes a dumb comment. Brent, you are like Brett Favre or an aging heavy weight boxer now hanging on way past your prime (not sure you ever really had one by the way) and making a fool of yourself. Hang it up Huckleberry Hound Head! Yes you do have a face for radio but a personality for solitaire. I am not sure why ESPN/ABC gives you the prime spot every week. David Pollack or Chris Fowler would be better suited for the role. Thank you for your service to the sports world, now run along little doggy! What was that Coach Bennett? No Brent won’t play like a dawg…MEowwwwwwww!

Next Week the Tailgate is heading to Boise for the big match up with TCU. Tailgating starts bright and early since it is a 1:30 PM Mountain kickoff. We will be joined by fellow Danville Boise Parents the Griffins and Ricarts. And of course my lovely daughter Rachel will be my guest of honor! I believe Bloody Marys and breakfast tailgate food will be on the menu.

Happy Tailgating!