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!