Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 5 - Aww Shucks!

We won $1 million dollars so we headed to Nebraska to collect

Let’s face it, the State of Nebraska was made famous by Spencer Tracey in Boys Town and the recent movies Nebraska with Bruce Dern and Heaven is For Real with Greg Kinnear. Who can forget Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels driving through the Cornhusker State thinking they were in Colorado and accusing John Denver of false advertising in Dumb and Dumber? And it was a cold Nebraska night that Michael Martin Murphey wrote about in his song Wildfire.  Warren Buffet and Omaha Steaks make the townies proud when their names are mentioned.  All those are good but Nebraska really hit the big-time when we all saw Ty Webb and Danny Noonan beat Judge Schmaels and Doctor Beeper in match play at Bushwood Country club back in 1980. So they got that going for them, which is nice! Oh yeah, they have a pretty rich football tradition here too.

These two put Nebraska on the map

Since 1962, Nebraska has sold out 333 straight games at the Venerable Memorial Stadium which honors those fallen from the State of Nebraska in every War the U.S. has fought in. Built in 1923 with an original capacity of 31,000 seats the old girl has had many facelifts and add-ons since its inception. Today’s version seats over 91,000 rabid red Husker fans. I must say, it is one of the most stunning facilities you will ever see. Rich with tradition, yet saddled with modern comforts. Nebraska claims five National Championships, thirty plus conference championships and three Heisman trophy winners.  When I was a wee lad of eight years old, I recall watching what was hailed as the game of the century between Nebraska and Oklahoma in Norman, Ok. The “Awesome One” Johnny Rogers was the Huskers Mr. Everything and Jerry Tagee was their star QB. Each year after that I looked forward to watching that rivalry game on TV around Thanksgiving weekend and saw many of them in Nebraska’s home stadium. It has always been on my bucket list.

The beautiful cathedral in all its glory's
 I was joined on this adventure with DFT Veterans Tailgate Tommy Byom and Drubaca, Rookie Terry “Hank Breaking Bad” Walsh and DFT Wannabe Wisconsin Gary.  Our sixth man, Alan “Forty Year Old Virgin” Campbell tapped out due to the Chicago airport shutting down on Friday and did not make the journey. People kept saying it was kind of hard to tell us all apart for some reason. 

Five pack of light bulbs

We hit the ground running with a Friday night recon of Lincoln which included Moscow Mules, Irish Car bombs, bars that were underground, on top of roofs and even one that was tilted. Needless to say we skipped the complimentary Pilates class Saturday morning at the hotel.

Gary and the Husker Mascot
Our lodgings for the Nebraska Game were a Cory McElroy five iron shot from the stadium. By early afternoon Saturday the pre gaming began with “Five Pepper Bloody Marys”. We all grew hair and awoke from our collective fog. Our hotel sponsored a tailgate party out back in the Dock bar with live music and complimentary libations.  
Clearly a charity picture

From that point our road march took us to tailgate lots on campus and the famous Viaduct area for what will now be referred to as Moochgating. Yeah, our Wisconsin boys made sport of popping into tents and telling the hosts that they were part of the DFT blog crew and got us all fed and watered. Included in this venture were Nebraska diehards Justin and Andrew who could not have been more accommodating. Justin stated that he has not missed a Nebraska home game in over twenty years. Our chow consisted of burgers, ribs, pulled pork, shrimp and plenty of frosties. We even participated in a new first by drinking a concoction out of an IV while lying on an ambulance gurney at the Code Red Tailgate. I ask, who needs a parking spot and grill anymore after this experience? The viaduct was a great tailgating venue with plenty of music, noise, passion and original vehicles to enjoy.

The Mooch in action

The Huskers are dead serious about their opponents

The boy will try anything once

In the Viaduct lot

Who doesn't like free beer?

Our hosts Justin, Andrew and the chef
Once satisfied that we had our fill of goodness, we made our way into the stadium. The Huskers were taking on Big Ten rival Illinois. The stadium was electric with anticipation as the Huskers led by Heisman hopeful Running Back Ameer Abdullah and their defense known as “The Black Shirts” would be taking on the Orange Slush from Champagne. Nebraska entered the game with a 4-0 record and ranked 21st nationally. Illinois though improved is sadly still Illinois. Throughout the night, the Husker student section would start certain chants, waves and unfurl the Black Shirts flag. The marching Band was top notch and put on a first class halftime show. The cheerleaders wore retro outfits reminiscent of a more innocent time. 

My seat was in the new upper deck (level 6) in the stadium. I was air dropped in safely as I have never been that high since I scaled Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. 
My seat view
 My seat mates were die hard Husker fans: Erlene, Julie and John. They introduced me to a local goodie called a Runza. A Runza is a big roll stuffed with meat, cabbage and onion. Simply awesome.

The first quarter had Illinois give the Huskers all they could handle as the Illini (Named after a Native American Indian tribe) had the Huskers tied at 7 for most of the first set. Then we found out why the locals say “Fear Ameer” as the talented running back took over the game ripping off impressive run after run. His style reminded this blogger very much of a guy who played for Oklahoma State and won the Heisman in 1988…Barry something or other. Between Ameer’s stellar 200 plus yard night and the Black Shirts lock down defense, the Huskers notched their fifth victory of the season with a 45-14 win.This is a must see venue for all true college football fans. The history, traditions and the friendly people made this a memorable DFT weekend experience.

Around the Country
College Gameday was in Columbia, SC for the battle of Columbias’ with Mizzou and SC. DFT ally Steve Koreivo was representing for us as his daughter is a senior at SC. A Mizzou team that just lost to lowly Indiana pulled off the mild upset over an overrated Gamecock team. Okay, just because your conference says SEC does not mean you deserve a top 25 ranking. All conferences have quality teams, mediocre teams and bad teams. SC, UGA, LSU, ARK and Mizzou are Mediocre. Bama and Auburn are in an elite class with A&M and the Mississippi schools somewhere in between.  So you pollsters, if you want to avoid me giving you the Bieber award, stop acting like Paul Finebaum.  In other meaningful SEC action The Chokeansas Pot Bellied Pigs gave one away to Kenny Football and the Aggies in Jerry World as did the Volunteers of Tennessee to UGA between the Hedges in Athens, GA.

In PAC 12 action, the UCLA baby bears awoke from their slumber and put a helluva beating on the Sun Devils in Tempe Thursday night. Cal wins in a gun slinger shootout 59 -56 over the CU Buffs. The significance of that game was it was the first time each opposing QB threw for seven touchdowns in the same game. USC and Stanford both pulled off expected wins and the old Pirate of the Palouse Mike Leach and the Wazoo Cougs pulled off an upset over the Utes.

In the Big Ten, the misery continued for Brady Hoke and Big Blue as the Wolverines surrendered the coveted “Little Brown Jug” to Carl Spackler’s Gophers. Wisconsin and their talented tailback Melvin Gordon put a licking on USF. The resurgent Northwestern Wildcats pulled off an upset over Penn State and Sparty Lassoed the Wyoming Cowboys. The Buckeyes gunned down Gunner Kiel and the Bearcats from Cincinnati.

In ACC Action Jameis the Clown and the #1 Noles almost lost one in Raleigh. 
The Golden Domers bested the Carrier Domers at Met Life stadium. In the Big 12 Oklahoma State had a nice win Thursday night with backup QB Daxx Garman throwing for 370 yards over TTU. Baylor rolled the Cyclones and DFT favorite Charlie Weiss got fired again after Kansas was blanked by Texas. I guess the sideline buffet was not such a hit with your superiors. TCU trounced a simply pitiful SMU squad that has scored only one offensive touchdown all season.

Bieber award
Goes to this guy for running on the field in his inebriated state at the Horseshoe in Columbus, OH during the Buckeye – Bearcat battle. Not only did he achieve stain status for being that guy to do such a foolish thing, but how does he save face with his buddies and girlfriend after his run abruptly ended? Let’s go to the videotape:

Next week the West Coast Italian Mafia contingent of DFT will make its way to the Grove and ESPN Gameday in Oxford, MS. Mrs. Tailgate has put me in timeout for the weekend so I had to cancel my participation. Look for the DFT flag at Gameday nonetheless.

Happy Tailgating!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 4

Important message for the DFT Nation: I will only be doing full write ups after going to a venue that I have not previously written about. This means if I don’t go to a game, or I go to a school I have already covered, I will probably not be blogging that week. I may still do the Bieber award if we have obvious candidates and post my Tweets on the blog page. That being said, I hope you all caught some of the great action yesterday as there were many great games with epic finishes.

Bieber Award, This week it was a close race. The first candidate being the Arkansas State Administration for forcing the team to remove crosses from their helmets to honor two fallen teammates. This was political correctness and moral stupidity run amok. Ultimately, through pressure from the public (and some of you readers), they relented and allowed the team to wear the crosses. However, the second, DFT Bieber fave, Jameass Winturd takes the honors again. The 6’5’’ Heisman Trophy winner stood on a table in the Student Union and shouted sexual obscenities at a female student and thought no one would notice him. Need I say more? The one good thing that came out of this is we can all be comforted with the knowledge that Jameass actually knows where the Student Union is. Maybe the library will be next?

Next week the Tailgate will be traveling to Lincoln, NE to watch the Cornhuskers take on the Fighting Illini.

Happy Tailgating!

Twitter activity: