Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 1 Carolina and Georgia on My Mind

In my quest to attend a game at all 128 D1 stadiums I have a craving to seek out the best the country has to offer. There may be a debate outside of the SEC as to whether or not they have the best on field product, but there is little debate on their supremacy of pre game festivities. Each SEC school I have attended a game at truly takes pride in their own unique traditions, rituals, passion, foods and celebration before that first whistle blows. And so I planned on starting the season with two of the best: I have been enamored with views of South Carolina’s William Brice stadium’s curly fry staircases and stories of cockaboose gating since I first saw them on TV years ago. I have also pined away for a game “between the hedges” in Sanford Stadium on the beautiful campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. Heck I even brought UGA the mascot a dft chew toy. However, it was not to be. Even the hardiest souls have to tap out of commitments periodically for health reasons. I incurred a bout of wicked vertigo that lasted most of the week, so I had to cut my business trip short and head back to DFT world HQ. Thus, I am temporarily known as Dan From the Couch. Instead of humming “Nothing could be finer” or “Georgia on my mind,” the song Dizzy “My head is spinning” drummed in my gray matter all weekend. My apologies to fellow tailgaters Kevin OC, Steve O and Guido for standing you all up. 

And so my season began with a whimper. It was described to me by one unnamed batchelor who is an aficionado of burlesques clubs: You watch the lady dance on stage all night, she finally comes down to talk to you and you got nothing!” Okay maybe a little abstract but you get the picture. It had been nearly 8 months since I sat in the Rose Bowl witnessing Famous Jameis and the Noles take The Crystal home. I have been anticipating this opening weekend like a 5 year old does the arrival of Santa each 12/25.  Perhaps I will need to consider paring down my ambitious travel schedule somewhat for this season and do a few more local games?

Around the Country:

The first FCS game was played on the red inferno of Eastern Washington 9 days ago where the Eagles outgunned Sam Houston State double nickels to 35. Thus officially began the 2014 season.  

Wednesday night, 200 people in the Georgia Dome watched FBS School Georgia State end their 15 game losing streak over FCS School Texas Abilene Christian. Thursday night, the nation witnessed the birth of “Kenny Football” as Texas A&M and new QB Kenny Hill delivered a big serving of “Shut the hell up” to the Ole Ball Coach and the Cock nation of South Carolina. 

Perhaps the joke is on the Cleveland Browns and the real talent is A&M’s coach Kevin Sumlin. Before Johnny Football, he coached Sam Bradford at OU to a Heisman and Case Keenum at Houston to a record setting career. The Browns will get used to Tebow - Manziel just fine. Heck, he can always rap with Drake if tossin the pigskin does not work out for him. 

A perennially Bieber favorite
The other Thursday game of note saw Boise go down to Ole Miss in the Georgia Dome. It was as hard a hitting game by both teams through 3 quarters as I have witnessed with Ole Miss hanging on to a 7-6 lead going into the final set. In Q4, Bo “Sunshine” Wallace’s (picture) medically prescribed buzz wore off and he finally started connecting his tosses to the right color Jersey.
Sunshine Wallace
Ole Miss dominated the 4th and won 35 -13.  Boise will have a tougher time recruiting talent these days as a member of a non-power conference. We may have seen their best days end when Kellen Moore left.  In a late night game that I did not watch, Rutgers beat Wazoo in Double OT.

On the big stage of Saturday #1, we saw four of the top five ranked teams struggle mightily against opponents that were touted as mere tune ups:

Navy gave “The” Ohio State a heckuva battle for 55 minutes on the field that Edgar Allen Poe built in Baltimore before waving the white flag in the end.  UCLA and Heisman hopeful Hundley and the Baby Bears of Westwood had to skip breakfast and play the Wahoos of UVA in Thomas Jefferson’s meadow. As your Mommas have all told you, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day, without it you got nothing.” Such truth in those words as UCLA played the game at 9 AM their time and barely got out of Charlottesville with the W. Bama started a linebacker at QB (At least he looks like one, did you see his guns?) against WVU  (who’s QB kissed nasty Nicks daughter and bragged about it) in the Georgia Dome. The Tide did not roll. In fact there was a collective groan from the State of Alabama as the Tide Struggled and their neighbor to the South East ran War Eagle all over the Hogs from Fayetteville.  Bama escaped with a hard fought 10 point victory. In perhaps the game of the day, Famous Jameis and the #1 Noles from Tallahassee cruised into Dallas to play under-matched Oklahoma State in Jerry World. After streaking to a quick 10 point lead, this match appeared to be over. Oh wait, the Pokes have a brilliant Coach who is a man and is nearing 50 now.

The Pokes made this more than competitive. They had multiple chances to win this thing. A few crucial mistakes and FSU easily could be sitting at 0-1. Nonetheless they won by 6 and celebrated with free crab legs or so Jameis said they were free.

Come on fellas eat up!!
In other action, LSU had an amazing comeback against the Badgers and secured their first win of the season in the stadium that houses the Houston Texans. We all want to know why Wisconsin did not feed their beast Melvin Gordon, perhaps the best back in the nation in the fourth quarter? In the game I was supposed to attend, Todd Gurley played very manly and almost single handedly destroyed Clemson in the second half at Sanford stadium. 

Notre Dame welcomed back their QB from his “study abroad” hiatus as they steam rolled Rice in a solid opening day win. PSU vs UCF and their coach George O’Leary came close again to coaching for the Irish in the Croke Park Classic played in Dublin Ireland. This time he was not unceremoniously evicted for lying about his resume, but that Ficken Kicker came through for PSU and denied O’Leary his Irish celebration. You may recall this is the same Sam Ficken who missed five kickens 2 years ago against UVA and was the goat.  DFT daughter #2 attended her first game as a Sooner and witnessed an OU trouncing of Terry Bradshaw’s Louisiana Tech. I issued her a yellow card when I learned she left at halftime. Whose kid is this? 
The objective of watching a game is to face the field and stay until the end!
Congratulations to FCS power North Dakota State for their 5th straight win over an FBS opponent with their drubbing of Iowa State in Ames. The USC Sarkasians applied a thorough beatdown of the bangers from Fresno. Old dudes were spotted at the BC -UMASS "Battle of The Bay State" terrorizing the cheerleaders:
Please Sirs, remove your paws from us!

Bieber Award – Man what a tough decision this week with many candidates to choose from: Me for backing out of my Tailgate commitments, Notre Dame’s silly suspended studious scholars (Say that fast daffy duck), UNC’s bully brigade, Paul Finebaum just because, Anthony Brown of USC for calling Sark a racist and treating him like a slave, David Pollack for watching the Ole Miss game with his SEC objective glasses. None of those however top the antics of our newest Superhero, Josh Shaw of USC. You see, our caped crusader purportedly leapt from a second floor balcony to save a drowning child. In the process, he trashed both ankles. As much as it pained me to give accolades to a Trojan, I was so impressed with this young man that he so unselfishly risked his pending NFL career to do the right thing. This is very unusual in the new world of the “Me” generation. But as Lee Corso sez “Not so fast my friend”. It turns out Shaw was committing some nefarious act on his girlfriend and leapt out of her apartment to avoid facing the Po Po that she called on him. It was reported that Manti Teo’s girlfriend supports Shaw’s version of the story.

Assuming I get my boys club card back, I will be in Eugene Saturday for the Michigan State – Oregon game. Get a Twitter account and follow me @dantailgater as I will post live pics from the games and Tailgates I am at. ESPN College Gameday will be in Eugene, so that means the DFT crew will be kicking it with Corso, Herbie and the boys.

Some of my Twitter activity from the weekend:


Happy Tailgating!