Monday, November 26, 2012

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Tailgate Update – Aloha! I am tan, rested and ready to tackle the home stretch of the 2012 season. Although I was on vacation (provided by your generous subscription fees, donations, bequeathments and general hand outs for reading my blog) this past week, I did get a chance to visit and tour the venerable Aloha Stadium, home to the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football and the annual Aloha Bowl. Such greats as Colt “45” Brennan, Timmy Chang, Golden Richards, Mark Tuinei, Jason Elam, Dana McClemore, Ashley Lelie, Al Noga, Davone Bess and coach June Jones graced this gridiron. The stadium was not high on my list as it is off campus, artificial turf and used for multiple events and activities including a weekly flea market. However, it exceeded my expectations which were minimal at best. The seats are actually real seats with seat backs. That is a plus. The parking lot is quite ample which means good tailgating. Can you imagine the aromas of all the spam, pig, mahi mahi and poi being qued up on gameday? Paired with a fine mai tai or two you could be shaka cool brau in no time.
Dan on vacation?

A special shout out to Rowdy Randy for filling in for me last week and abandoning his family for an 18 hour marathon of college football last Saturday. Well played my friend!

Every now and then we all meet someone we look up to and admire and hold in high regard and even idolize. Mother Theresa, Ronald Regan, Gahndi, Winnie Churchill, George Patton, Ted Williams, Colonel Sanders, Stewie Griffin just to name a few of the obvious ones . For me this just occurred several weeks ago. While perusing for books on the subject of college football, I came across a book called Tales From The Tailgate. For obvious reasons I was drawn to this title and clicked the description button and then proceeded to checkout. It turns out the author, Steve Koreivo has seen all 124 D1 A FBS Teams play live. Not only has he accomplished this feat, he has attended over 400 college football games of all Divisions. Hardly a weekend in the fall goes by without Steve attending a game. His motto is “Get off the couch and go to a game”. These are truly the wisest words I have ever heard man utter. His wife is as understanding about his obsession as my Mrs. Tailgate is. I reached out to Steve via e-mail and we have been corresponding back and forth. In fact, he attended a Navy game last week and I arranged a meet up with my Brother Brian AKA Radio. I am hoping to catch up with Steve at the Army Navy game this year and meet the man we should all look up to and admire. Both Steve and I have promised to send our families to Cancun in February while we undergo our offseason deprogramming therapy at Betty Ford. See you never know where your hobbies/addictions will take you. Please check out his web site. I will keep a permanent link to it on my sidebar.

Now on to the Tailgate Update. After arriving home from the Islands on Friday (yes I left the family there and it was Mrs. Tailgates 26th birthday, and yes I am in the major Tailgate doghouse again). I unpacked and repacked my bag and was picked up at O dark thirty Saturday morning by Mike “The Situation” Iorio, his wife Ashley “Snookie” Iorio and Fritz “Foster Brooks “ Scharff hizself to make the 400 mile Trek down to South Central LA to watch the Irish take on the Men of Troy in the Death Star itself, the LA Coliseum.

Mike and Ashley

This would be the Tailgate’s first visit to this historic venue. Host of 2 different Olympics (1932 and 1984), 2 NFL franchises (Rams and Raiders) and even the LA Dodgers at one point and of course the USC Trojans. The stadium is right across the street from the main entrance to the beautiful SC campus. This would be considered enemy territory for any Notre Dame fan. However the real SC fans were quite hospitable and gracious. There was the occasional yahoo who has just decided to become a football fan that would say something rude, but they were far and few between. I was not beaten to a pulp for wearing the wrong colors as was feared. ESPN College Gameday broadcasted from the Stadium prior to our arrival. The tailgating crowd was enormous and the atmosphere was electric, the weather was 85 and sunny! SC in my opinion has the best gameday experience on the West Coast. Real tradition with real fans and a team with real history. Really? (See previous rant on that word) It is as close to the SEC and Big 10 experience as you will get. Yeah I know, what is a Notre Dame fan doing giving out props to the opposite party? Hey the Tailgate just calls it like it is.

Planting the Irish flag on enemy soil

We were hosted by Major Mark Rodrick, USMC Retired, USC alum. His group of tailgaters included a legendary fan named Trojan AL, USC class of 60 who has more good stories on SC football than Lane Kiffin has in deflated balls. Ample beverages, grilled brats and sausages were served. Lots of tents, TV’s and parties as far as the eye could see.

Tailgating under enemy colors
Major Mark flashing his gang sign in LA


Ashley and Frtitz,  loyal Irish fans
Dan, Trojan Al and Top Gun Joel

This was a game I have wanted to see since watching the 1974 game where Anthony Davis ran roughshod over the Irish for 4 touchdowns and several miles of rushing yards! Watching those beautiful USC cheerleaders/Song Girls as a curious child only enhanced my desire to attend this one in person. The game was close, not pretty but a great energy was circulating in the cathedral. I learned they serve Jamesons and Coke at the Coliseum. Must be an LA thing. Notre Dame wins by 9 and completed an improbable undefeated regular season after starting the season unranked. The Irish will be playing the winner of the Bama –UGA game on January 7th in South Beach for the National Championship. The Tailgate is seeking tickets but not willing to pay $1500. See something, say something…if the price is right.

ND video - Modern Day Rockne stuff

Inflitrating enemy camp
Major is a true believer and a good sport!

In other PAC 12 news the Stanford Tree were “rooted” on to victory in the Rose Bowl against the baby bears in a dress rehearsal for the real game this Friday on the Farm in Palo Alto for the PAC 12 ship. In the Civil War, the Ducks flew by the Beavers in Corvallis by 2 X points. The Ducks will surely be eating Tostitos in January in Phoenix.

In the SEC – ACC – Showdown weekend, The SEC goes 4-0, silencing critics such as myself on the SEC being overhyped. Gators chomped down on the chopping Noles, Ole Ball Coach took the fight out of the Tigers in Death Valley SC, Vandy beats Wake in Academic Jeopardy and the Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech never got their engine going against UGA. A&M and Johnny Football showed Mizzou which new entrant really belongs in the SEC. Bama helped accelerate the exit strategy of Gene Chizik after a 49 -0 drubbing of War Eagle in the Iron Bowl. Gene gets the last laugh as he sings to War Eagle nations “ Don’t cry for me oh Auburn and Toomers Tree. My monthly severance s is 200 k plus three !”

Does anyone else think that Johnny Football looks like Beaver Clever?

Jeepers Wally!

Big 12 - In the Bedlam game in Norman, Ok the Belldozer proves to be the big hero sending the game into overtime and helping the Sooners to a 51 -48 win over Cowboy Curt (my Father in law) and Mrs. Tailgate’s alma matter. And how about TCU going to deep in the heart of Texas and making coach Mac B look like he is ready to “spend more time with his family.”

Big 10 – Ohio State wins their unofficial championship by going 12-0 and knocking off the not so A maize ing and Blue. Were those tattoos really worth it guys? Job well done by coach OB at Penn State by beating Wisconsin in their final game of the year and ending with an 8 -4 record. And how about Northwestern playing 4 quarters and spanking the Illini?

A local shout out to coach Macintyre and the Spartans of San Jose State for notching their 10th win of the season beating LA Tech and cracking the BCS top 25 for the first time ever. Sparty is going bowling!!! Is coach Mac moving on to a bigger stage?

Coaching Carousel – In the SEC, Geno joins John L and the Joker and of course Coach Dooley Junior. Coach Dooley was hanging his head down low today as he will now be using his EBT card at mini marts for a bumper of beer, chips and a lottery card. And the Kingston Trio were brought into Knoxville to give Coach Dooley a proper send off by singing their hit song: “Hang down your head Coach Dooley. Hang down your head and cry. Hang down your head Coach Dooley, Poor boy you’re bound to die.”Other coaching changes are taking place at CAL, BC, NC State, Purdue, Colorado and UTEP. Stand by as there will be more.

Gripe of the week provided by Les Miles:


Hit of the week – Coach Tubberville one ups Mike Leach’s antics at Texas Tech

Special tailgate Prayers to tailgate loyalist Alabama Al who is undergoing health issues. Also prayers to the family Mr. O'malley after his unexpected passing.

The Tailgate is looking to disappoint family and friends this weekend and blow off obligations for either the PAC 12 Championship game or the Boise-Nevada game.

Foster Brooks living up to his name!

Happy Tailgating!

Monday, November 19, 2012

One is the loneliest number; two can be as bad as one since it’s the loneliest number since the number one.

This week’s blog was written by Rowdy Randy Haberl While Dan is on vacation. Randy is a Bay Area native and father of a Boise State graduate and an all around college football junky like the rest of us. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Blog owner.....but they are pretty darn close...Enjoy!

Who would have thought that Three Dog Night knew they were writing the theme song for the Nov. 17th, 2012 college football weekend? I’m now starting to think Dec. 21st may be for real.

Tailgate Update: When the King of Tailgate, the master of the College Football blog succumbs to pressure from his significant other and the rest of the family, and visits the tourist trap of Hawaii, we can only hope he is sporting a beautiful sunburn for the rest of us low lifes. He wasn’t quite smart enough however to plan the trip around a college football game. Denied he was, to be exposed to the unrecognized powerhouse of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Wait….. are they still the Rainbow Warriors? Or just Warriors? Here is a brief history I’m sure prompted by some in California.

Prior to the year 2000, the University of Hawaii's men's teams were all referred to as the Rainbow Warriors, complemented by an athletics logo featuring a rainbow. However, in a controversial marketing strategy over which many at the University and throughout Hawaii have misgivings, the school changed its athletics logo to a stylized "H" and allowed each team to pick its own team name. This has led to the current situation, where the basketball, swimming, diving, and tennis teams have retained the team name of "Rainbow Warriors"; the baseball team adopted the name "Rainbows"; and the football, golf, and volleyball teams have adopted the name "Warriors". No wonder they haven’t put a good team together in some time. The mighty team visited the confines of Air Force’s Falcon Stadium in another close 21-7 loss.

Anyway, let’s let Dan enjoy this history making trip while I try and put some sense to blogging and substitute for him. There is no way Danville Rowdy Randy can compete with his writing skills and observations. The questions is, do I do the blog from my home away from home down at Elliott’s Bar, established in 1906, or from the cold and rainy confines of my family room with the family all away. Either way, a great weekend to be by myself enjoying some uninterrupted time watching college Gameday. The pressure of these tasks has left me home alone. A crowd would have thrown me off my game.

Around the Country: The day started with the anticipation to see if the WSU (Washington State) flag is at Gameday. I got up early to tune in and sure enough, even on a very early rainy Saturday in Eugene, the flag was flying high. Wherever Game Day goes, so does the Flag. Someone out there is very dedicated to a hopefully soon to be contender.

The talk this week was the Pac-8, I mean 10, ok Pac-12, and the Big-12 with its 10 teams, and a bit of the Irish. Not so much drama for the rest of the country. What a nice change for those of us on the West Coast. As the day progressed, the feeling of fall was in the air, literally. On a night when the forecaster predicted the sky to drop a large amount of duck points and pile up on the limbs of the Stanford tree making them break, it actually became a hunter’s dream corralling the fleet of feathers for a late night rare delicacy of duck steamed in its own pond. Coach Shaw predicting they have a chance against all other odds makers, finally figured out a Defense to minimize the ducks fast paced attack. When was the last time Oregon was outdone in every category except turnovers where Stanford even minimized the consequences of fumbles and an interception?

And when the prudent didn’t see any obstacles in K-State’s way, there is Baylor who tried to simulate some RG3 moments and stunned the Wildcats with some darts in their side. K-State was totally outplayed right from the start. State proclaimed Heisman Bound higher being was brought back to mortality and is once again just another very good football player. This is why I love College Football where every week seems to baffle the so called experts of ESPN and others.

The luck of the Irish will now be the mythical #1, they’re in the national Championship again and all the little Leprechaun’s are dancing all over South Bend and their large following. Nothing can get in their way can it? Maybe a quarterbackless USC is doable now and Miami reservations can be made.

As the self proclaimed pro league SEC all seem to be playing their late regular season “Let’s don’t hurt our Ranking’s” second tier teams, we will ignore them. I mean no disrespect to Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, Wofford or Alabama A&M. I know many of us enjoy these games also, and they are often very entertaining. When the SEC romps over these small schools playing for the money, Mark May and others drool on the statistics put upon these dynamic challengers. Some day College Football Live will give some Kudos to the rest of the country and recruiting will be spread out past the confederacy and to the rest of deserving teams.

Ok I can’t ignore the fact that the SEC fairies sprinkled doomsday dust over Eugene and Waco, and we will most likely have another SEC team joining in on the National Championship. The ESPN execs must have slept much better last night. The conspiracy folks believe those fairies paid Coach Chip Kelly buckets of duck feed since he was so calm on the sideline during the lack luster performance his team was displaying. Only once being flagged for complaining to the referee’s.

In other news, Ohio State and Penn State both win and lead the Legends Division of the Big-10, teams that will always be reminded of their appropriately named legacy division. So a 4-3 Wisconsin will represent against the socially awkward and beep-able Bo Pelini lead Huskers from the Leaders Division in another coincidentally named division. Way to go Big-10 Execs. Oklahoma defense must not be very good as they squeak out a nail biter against West Virginia 50-49, and Boise State rolls over Colorado State with only Nevada in their way for being tri-champion of the Mountain West. But Nevada always proposes a challenge to the Broncos.

Coaching news includes the firing of Tennessee’s Dooley, and a talk at Cal with Tedford and the AD after a close loss to Oregon State 62-14 and their 3-9 record. News from Bezerkley should radiate out shortly.

And how could we go this far without the change of Ownership in L.A.? UK-LA romps the Trojans right from the start. Building a big lead and holding off the USC late game efforts. QB Barkley being taken out of the game with a shoulder injury late may have ruined his last hurrah at the coliseum next week. I’m sure he is still thrilled he stayed another year and about his ego ran press conference last year announcing it so. No championship, no Heisman and probably didn’t get lucky last night. Could it be Stanford and UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship? Stanford has to win against them this weekend to force a second game and winner to Rose Bowl. I would like to meet anyone who predicted this one.

Barkley leaving in a sling after getting smacked by UCLA

Talking Heisman, Johnny Football is predicted to lead the way this week with lack-luster performances from Oregon and K-State. Manti Te'o and Braxton Miller are the only one’s left that I can see. Maybe we need to look past a major contender and consider some other great candidates.

Tradition of the Week: Pre-game hype is a wonderful tradition as the bands and the mascots arouse the crowd by displaying their powers and smash the thought that the visiting team has a chance against us. This week the tradition is being challenged as UCLA has told the mighty Trojans that they can’t stab the uck-La logo with a sword in the middle of the field as they do at every game. The threat is that if the Trojans go ahead and do this degrading deed, the band will not be able to play at halftime. Let me take a moment and think which I would rather see as a fan. A blog vote may be needed to decide this one. Makes me think for a moment, does anyone recall what a Trojan warrior does on a turf field? I know the smurf turf gods would display some recourse if they ever visit the landmark.

Gripe of the week: Spending much of my youth growing up down the road from Stanford, they too used to stab the turf with the Indian Chief doing his war dance before the game and spearing the sacred ground. But, the politically correct forced the Stanford Indians to a color and a tree. My color is better than your color, so take that Rainbow Warriors. So why do we still have the Seminoles and Chippewa’s let alone the Redskins and Braves? Please let tradition reign on some things in this glorious country of ours. And lastly, Oregon shouldn’t drop far if there is any reality in the BCS process. They lose a close game while K-State is thrashed. Alabama lost to a lower ranked team and they only dropped 3 spots.

So my feeble attempt to cover for Dan ends, and thank God I hear from everyone he returns to his rightful duties next week.

Thanks to all.

College Football Rules !

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beavers and Ducks and Bears, Oh My!

Tailgate Update - After already deciding to go to the Cal – Oregon game in Bezerkley, The Tailgate, following the National movement of the week called an audible Saturday and did a student body LEFT and headed over the Bay to the Farm in Palo Alto for the Stanford – Oregon State game. Oh don’t worry, we also did the original game later that night for a double header day. The Tailgate was joined by TG Veterans, Dru “no” Manors, Mike “No D” Rabago, Dave “Wannstedt” Quilici,

Quilici looking befuddled
Craig “Buckeye- Wolverine – Illini” Castelein, “Good time” Reinke, Illini Taggert and newcomers former Chico State Linebacker Kenny “Doc Holiday” King, Chris “Dead Head” Desimone, “Sweet Lou” Girvolino and his son “Slinging” Sammy. Pre and post game tailgate in the Grove consisted of Hillshire farm sausages, Sis’s, Johnsonville beer brats and links that were hotz, Monica’s killer mac n cheese and potato salad Calabreeze. Plenty of beverages were on ice and bloody mary’s were nice. We had no green eggs and ham said Dan I am. Tailgate games were assembled and played, tables were cleared, and cups were flipped. We actually got the flat screen TV to work and caught several epic games on it. Great time was had by all. Oh yeah, a killer F-18 fly over to honor Veterans Day made the hair on my neck stand up. Perfect Segue for the Tailgate to give a shout out and proper salute to all of our Nation’s Veterans. Job well done ladies and gentleman!

In the Grove at Stanford Pre Game witht the Tailgate crew

The boyz enjoying modern technology

Stanford ended up winning on a come from behind touchdown pass from Gonzaga Prep product of Washington D.C., Kevin Hogan to local Danvillian Zach Ertz, the Nation’s best Tight End. Did you know they serve rum and coke at Stanford stadium? During the game while many of us were actually in the stadium watching a great game, Dru, Taggert and Reinke held down the fort and befriended about 20, twenty something mooches who drained our beverage supply and trashed my toys. All because of a cute smile and a nice pair of boots! 

Flip cup with the mooches, clearly they cheated
Table cleared for flip cup and other action


After a 2 hour post game tailgate, the crew packed up and half of us headed north to the Peoples Republic of Bezerkley, home of the unwashed and gentle people with flowers in their hair. I am pretty sure cannabis is legal in this city as it smelled like Amsterdam at night. I believe they were still celebrating Tuesday night’s election or something like that. On a cold California night, in a town that was infiltrated with yellow and green Ducks and the Kenyon Barn Burners from the North, the atmosphere was electric. The Bears hung tough for two and a half quarters before the Quack Attack started dive bombing all over the Bears. We lasted a little longer than the Bears did and then beat feet to the warmth of our own bear dens at home. One word of warning to all tailgaters: when your wife gives you a hall pass to pull off an all day double header, make sure you say goodbye to her when you leave. I have learned now that this would have been sage advice. I have also learned that the Oregon fans are the “Nuevo Riche” of college football. Meaning that they have found recent success but don’t present themselves in a sophisticated manner as teams with a tradition of success do. I had an inebriated Duck Fan tell me my Boise State winter cap was the ugliest hat in the stadium and that eating unspeakable matter is advised. Classy. I will now root against the Ducks in PAC 12 play.

Around The Country

Pac 12 – Other than the Bay Area action, the Bruins knocked off U of A for their 8th win this year. That is as many wins as Slick Rick Neuhisel had in his last 2 years combined! USC also responds with a win after last week’s Duck thrashing. More importantly Lame Kitten and his daddy were not caught deflating balls and blaming kids for the prank. Listen to Lame’s splaning :

This guy has learned all the little tricks from Cheaty boy Carroll. Cheaty boy just got away with more. Such morals. I actually feel bad for SC fans that they are stuck with this guy. Pat Haden would do the school well by bringing in a man of integrity and brains and whose daddy was not his DC!

SEC - A Legend was born in Tuscaloosa last night as Johnny Football and the Sumlin Aggies shocked Tide Nation and the world with a huge upset win of number 1 Alabama. I am currently on the Tailgate hotline talking my ole friend Alabama Al down off that ledge. Local reporters captured the video of the incident:

The Gator Nation survived an attack from the Swamp People from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. The Gator Special teams chomped down on the Cajun Punter to escape the grasp of the Gator hunters with a win.

Rajin Cajuns trying to elimiate the Gators. Shoot em Liisbeth!

The Bayou Bengals responded with a somber all business like win over Mississippi State in Baton Rouge.

Big 10 -Northwestern can’t hold a 4th quarter lead any better than Romney can as they fall again after leading late to the Dennardless Wolverines. Third loss this year for the Childcats, all in the same fashion of blowing a lead in the 4th quarter. The Corn boyz from Lincoln showered touchdowns (oops, bad choice of words here) on Penn State for an impressive come from behind victory. Okay none of that sounded right.

Big 12 -Colin Klein and the “Little Apple” Wildcats continued to be perfect for the season after clawing their way to a 23 -10 win in the newly remolded Amon Carter stadium in Fort Worth. 2 more wins and we will see them in the BCS championship in South Beach. The Cowpokes from Stillwater gave their ex- OC Dana “Hair Club for Men” Holgersen a rude welcome home by thrashing his moonshiners from Almost Heaven. The Sooner Nation made its loyalists content with an 8 point win over the clawless Bears from Waco. The Longhorns paid tribute to their legendary former coach Darrel Royal who passed away this week by lining up in his trademark wishbone formation on their first offensive play. The Horns completed their Salute to Coach Royal by crushing the Cyclones 33 -7.

ACC- Poor Frank Beamer looked like he wanted to choke his Gobblers on Thursday night after surrendering a game winning TD to the Noles at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. Not a good time of the year for Turkeys to be Tomahawk chopped! This team lacks the leadership of the likes of former Hokie great and animal rights activist Michael “Pitbull” Vick. Ahh how they long for the good old days of winning games and watching dawg fights.

Could it be that the Wahoos from Charlottesville could make a bowl this year? Two improbable wins in a row for the Hoos after knocking off the Sugar Canes yesterday. Local UVA beat writer and high school buddy, Jeff “The Deer Hunter White” was quoted “ One shot, I try to tell people that but they don’t listen”.

Here is the rest of his story:

Clemson crushed the Twerps and the Fighting Irish win unimpressively against a lame duck led BC team. I hope either the echoes wake em up or Brian Kelly’s screaming wake up the Irish before they travel to LA in 2 weeks for the big showdown with SC.

Elsewhere, Boise traveled to Hawaii and did their own Haka dance on the Rainbow Warriors and Lei’d 45 PTS’s on the U of H. The Munchie Legeaux led Cincinnati Bearcats scraped up another win and the Cuze knock the Cardinals from their perch of the undefeated. All 3 service academies suffered losses this weekend. We still thank them for their duty to their country.

Tradition of the week – The Beaver Buzz Saw. When you attend an Oregon State game in Corvallis, Oregon as I did early in the season, you will hear what sounds like a buzz saw cutting through wood played over the PA system throughout the game when the Beavers do something good. The sound is supposed to imitate a Beaver chewing through a tree. After hearing it a few times you will wait in anticipation to hear it again. This drives the opposing team nuts!

Gripe of the week Contributed by Craig Castelein, Tailgate Veteran. Nothing is better than attending a college football game on a beautiful fall afternoon. There is energy and anticipation in the air, as you along with 45,000 plus like minded fans watch high caliber collegiate athletes try their very best! The offense is scheming to find every extra yard while the defense tries their absolute best to anticipate their opponent’s next move. And the energy continues to build until it all comes to a screeching halt because of ill placed.......TV TIME OUTS! Are you kidding me? I get up early on Saturday, coordinate with good friends to travel to the stadium, make other friends there, sometimes even clearing a table for them, pay for my ticket and then have all of that interrupted because some fat-ass sitting at home who didn’t pay for crap needs to be explained to as to what beer he should drink or pizza he should eat. Let me tell you something, if you don’t know the answer to those 2 questions without someone on TV telling you than you are an (insert your favorite derogatory comment here and say it loudly!). This actually reminds me of a very similar theme we are seeing across the country, but I will save that rant for a different time and different blog. Ok, I do recognize that there is the business behind publicizing these games and we are often the beneficiaries as it is impossible to attend every game you want to watch in person. However, the timing of when these TV timeouts occur is a real issue. Yes, at the quarter and half breaks and even after scores and change of possession. I get it. But in the middle of a drive and it is 3rd and 2 or when we see an incredible shift in momentum, and then we need to take a TV Timeout because the network needs to catch up on its commercial advertisement schedule.

GIVE ME A BREAK!! GRTPIF. (Ghost Rider the pattern is full!)

Gripe writer Casty and Dan at halftime of Stanford -OSU game

The Tailgate will be on vacation next week taking some well needed time with the family on the Hawaiian Islands. After Thanksgiving, we will be traveling to the Campus of USC for the Notre Dame/USC game. Hope everyone in Tailgate land has a great Thanksgiving. In the words of the great surfer dude Jeff Spicoli "Aloha Mr. Hand!"

Tailgater Dan Spicoli in Hawaii

  Happy Tailgating

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hi my name is Dan, and I am obsessed with College Football..."Hi Dan"!

The Tailgate was deployed to the city of Sacramento for a youth soccer tournament for the weekend. Prior to the convoy up Interstate 80, I did catch the cross town High School Football rivalry Friday night between Monte Vista (our school) and San Ramon Valley of Danville, CA. SRV won by the way. They cheated. Upon check in at the hotel later Friday night in Sac Town, I learned that the Sacramento State Hornets Stadium D1 AA (FCS) happened to be across the street from the hotel and had a 4 PM game Saturday versus Montana State. Sweet!! Could this be serendipity at its finest? After texting one of my friends about this development, he told me his wife said I have serious issues. I said as long as I don’t go to meetings and admit it, I will be fine. However, it turns out I never made it to Sac State due to the Notre Dame/Pitt game going over by 90 minutes and the upcoming Bama/LSU game. Tough decision, but clearly the right one.

Attending the wedding after the party left for their honeymoon!

As it is, I boycotted a mandatory team/family dinner at Bucca di Beppo to watch all the evening action on the TV. When one of my friends at the dinner was informed of my whereabouts, he was quoted as saying “what the hell, friends are forever, there will always be another football game to watch!” But I beg to disagree, oh unnamed friend of mine! There may never be another game as exciting as the classic Bama – LSU Matchup, or the Oregon – USC track meet, or the Kansas State Juggernaut taking on Oklahoma State University. Additionally, there was a Mel’s diner (think American Graffiti folks) across the parking lot that was preparing a tailgate picnic for me. The reality of it is, I probably looked like a pathetic loner knocking back adult beverages, gorging myself with a high caloric intake and flipping channels all by my lonesome in a hotel room.

Around the Country – Before I do the recap of the best weekend games, something has been on mind lately and I want your opinion: who has the cooler name – Munchie Legeaux (QB for Cincy) or Barkevious Mingo (LB for LSU) ? I would recruit both kids on name alone.

Munchie Legeaux
Barkevious Mingo

Okay now to the weekend action: Johnny football and the Aggie Nation acted like they brought their 12th man (see tradition of the week below) to Starkville as Johnny ran the football down the throats of the stunned Mississippi State Bulldogs. This kid is good. Really good. But let’s see how good he will fare in Tuscaloosa next Saturday. Will he be singing “Oh Susanna (that’s his girl friend’s name…seriously), don’t you cry for me, cuz I’ve been to Alabama and got crushed by their D! Speaking of Alabama, if you did not see this game (you pathetic loser), you missed the game of the year. LSU’s young QB played his best game yet as the Tigers really took it to Bama in the 2nd half. Death Valley was rocking. 93,000 + Bayou Bengal fans fresh off a 12 hour tailgate with bellies full of crawfish boil and hurricane cocktails were screaming with excitement as LSU held a 3 point lead with under 2 minutes to go. The Tide’s steady Eddie QB AJ McCarron simply led the Tide down the field on a game winning drive capped off by a completion to freshman sensation T.J. Yeldon who burst 40 yards down the field for the winning TD. The State of Louisiana went from noise being measured on a Richter scale to Helen Keller silent within a nanosecond. AJ McCarron cried his eyes out in a moment of sheer emotion looking like Carrie at the Prom at the game’s end with tears and eye black streaming down his face, and Coach Saban was heard in prayer after the game chanting silently:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;

Thy assistants and thy staff, they corral me.

Thou preparest a game plan before me in the presence of mine enemies;

Thou annointest my head with Tiger grass from the valley of death; My PBR runneth over.

Surely goodness and victory shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the House of Bear Bryant forever.

AJ Mc Carrie after the LSU game

For the main afternoon game, parents from my daughter’s youth soccer team assembled in the hotel lobby to watch Notre Dame take on Pitt. Many haters out in CFB football think the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are lucky. If it was any other team they would not be saying the same thing. Was it lucky that Les Miles called 2 idiotic plays for LSU and Bama won Saturday night? The answer is NO! Bama won because the score said so. Sometimes you have to be good to be lucky. I do not disagree that ND played a stinker of a game until the 4th quarter against Pitt on Saturday. But good teams always find a way to win when they should win. People seem to forget that Pitt “got lucky” in OT when Ciera Wood fumbled diving into the end zone. Of course Pitt was “unlucky” that their kicker missed the potential game winning kick in the 3rd OT. Notre Dame was just good enough to win the game in the 3rd overtime. Get over it haters. Next up for the Irish, BC at The Heights in Beantown.

In other action, Kansas State took out Mrs. Tailgate’s OSU Cowboys. Coach Snyder will not tell us if Heisman Leader Colin Klein is hurt since he does not talk about injuries. Kenyon Barner and the Quack attack put 62 duck droppings (I stepped in a few of those by a duck pond on the soccer pitch this weekend) on the Trojans in the LA Coliseum in the best track meet there since Carl Lewis beat that “furriner” in the 84 Olympics. The Cornholers (the tailgate game, now settle down this is not a derogatory term…not allowed at the Tailgate) from Lincoln, NE took out Sparty in East Lansing, MI. In the race for the Commander in Chief trophy, Army shells Air Force at Michie Stadium. Navy sails past FAU 24 -17 Mr. Bob, Navy Al and Brother Radio from the Tailgate were holding court and Q-ing up some tailgate grub and cheering the Midshipmen on to victory in Annapolis. San Jose State beats Idaho at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, ID to become Bowl eligible for the first time in six years. Tailgate loyalist “Big O” was in attendance to cheer on his former team and his daughter’s current school.

The Kibbie dome, University of Idaho

West Point Wiggins and his crew donned the bright mean green colors and went to cheer on the university of North Texas squaring off against “Auburnt’s” next head coach Gus Malzahn. Gus won.

Go Mean Green!

No Gripe of the week, instead this is a great article featuring one of our own from the Tailgate, Pops Leblanc of BC fame. We are not on speaking terms until after the ND- BC game next week.

Hit of the week:

Tradition of the week – The Texas A&M 12th Man. Courtesy of  Nissimov, Ron (September 16, 2001), "A Salute to 125 Years: A&M celebrates Corps of Cadets", Houston Chronicle. (This means I did not write this part folks, so don’t accuse of me of plagiarism like Mr. Shea did in 8th grade English (it was the kid sitting next to me, I swear!)

Aggie football fans call themselves the 12th Man, meaning they are there to support the 11 players on the field. To further symbolize their "readiness, desire, and enthusiasm," the entire student body stands throughout the game. In a further show of respect, the students step "off the wood" (step off of the bleachers onto the concrete) whenever a player is injured or when the band plays the Aggie War Hymn or The Spirit of Aggieland. At the end of the Aggie War Hymn, fans sway back and forth, causing the upper deck of the stadium to move. The Aggie War Hymn was named the No. 1 college fight song by USA Today in 1997.

The 12th Man tradition began in Dallas on January 2, 1922, at the Dixie Classic, the forerunner of the Cotton Bowl Classic. A&M played defending national champion Centre College in the first post-season game in the southwest. In this hard fought game, which produced national publicity, an underdog Aggie team was slowly defeating a team which had allowed fewer than 6 points per game. The first half produced so many injuries for A&M that Coach D. X. Bible feared he wouldn’t have enough men to finish the game. At that moment, he called into the Aggie section of the stands for E. King Gill, a student who had left football after the regular season to play basketball. Gill, who was spotting players for a Waco newspaper and was not in football uniform, donned the uniform of injured player Heine Weir and stood on the sidelines to await his turn. Although he did not actually play in the game, his readiness to play symbolized the willingness of all Aggies to support their team to the point of actually entering the game. When the game ended in a 22-14 Aggie victory, Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for the Aggies. Gill later said, "I wish I could say that I went in and ran for the winning touchdown, but I did not. I simply stood by in case my team needed me." A statue of E. King Gill stands to the north of Kyle Field to remind Aggies of their constant obligation to preserve the spirit of the 12th Man.

Texas A&M 12th Man

Next Week – The Tailgate revisits the People’s Republic of Bezerkeley as the Ducks invade Strawberry Canyon. Tailgate will be grandiose, will last about half of the game and end up in a pub for the other CFB action. I am still looking for someone to take over the blog the weekend of 11/17. Please step up!!!

Happy Tailgating!