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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 6 - I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend



Well, I promised to not blog on weekends when I did not go to a new stadium, however I must say a few words about this weekend. First of all it was great to have a weekend when real on field action was happening in multiple venues across the Promised Land.  Starting Thursday night with Oregon losing to Zona and Friday with BYU tanking it, and on to Saturday where four more top ten teams (Bama, Oklahoma, TA&M and UCLA) all went down in upsets. In addition to the marquis games there was incredible action all over the college football landscape including the three late Pac 12 games.  In the Cal/Wazoo game, Connor Halliday the ginger Wazoo QB threw for an FBS record 734 yards only to lose because his kicker was paid off by the Mob to miss a chip shot.

Guest Blog from the DFT crew in the Ole Miss Grove:
The Italian Stallions (Chris & Tim Desimone, Lou & Sam Gervolino, and Dave Quilici) descended into Oxford, Mississippi to attend the Alabama/Ole Miss game. Despite weather and mechanical delays we managed to all make it to Oxford on Friday night. First stop was for fortification and the second stop was focused on becoming fortified. Once hydrated, it was time for the Italians to take on The Square in Oxford, which we did, until “sometime” in the morning. All that walking and non-stop football talk makes a fella thirsty. The Square was packed, with mostly Alabama fans. As we walked the square we were met with “Roll Tide” after “Roll Tide.”  Nevertheless we persevered, but that was just a warm up for the real show on Saturday which came way too early. At 7 AM, the helicopters and planes began circling The Grove; College Game Day had come to Mississippi for the first time ever. 
 
Hotty Toddy in The Grove
We were hosted by Dr. Brian Wilkinson and his lovely wife Francie along with their many friends at their tailgate. The kindness of everyone we ran into in The Grove is unmatched anywhere in the country. Feasting on pulled pork, cornbread, smoked bacon and an abundance of other delicacies, we almost forgot to go see Game Day. Walking The Grove was no easy task but we made it in time to see the crew and “hear” Katy Perry upstage Lou Corso by picking Mississippi to beat Alabama, little did we know…..We headed back to our home base tailgate, there was still a football game to be played. 
 
Those are homemade helmet cakes at the good doctor's tailgate
At the tailgate, several people came up to me asking if we were the “California Bloggers.” Unknowingly, we had been given this moniker from our last year trek to the LSU game. Well, good enough, we are the California Bloggers! There was one more tradition to experience and that was the Walk of Champions, a tradition of the players walking through the Grove to their locker room. This is a wonderful experience for the fans and players - high fiving, cheering a cacophony encouragement from everywhere. As the players passed, our Italian crew was equally caught up in the moment. Lou shouted to one player “are you ready” and that player turned around and with intense stare, shouts back, “are YOU ready?” Yea, I was ready to run like hell. All of this hoopla was merely a lead in to the main course - the football game. 

The boyz representing!
Leopard skin ladies are an endangered species
The banner crowd surfing through the game day masses
 Our seats were on the 50 yard line, the crowd was loud and the game was well played and tight in the first half until Mississippi fumbled right before half. Alabama 14 Mississippi 3, the score seemed daunting. However, with Bo Wallace throwing pin point passes in the second half and stout Mississippi defense, the game turned into one spectacular comeback and ended on a phenomenal interception. Number 11 Mississippi had defeated number 3 Alabama 23-17. 


The stadium erupted for what is arguably the biggest win for Mississippi in a generation. The fans spilled out onto the field, the drinks spilled everywhere, and the celebration had begun back in The Grove. As for us, we made it to several post- game tailgates, between live bands, the Elvis impersonator (who was actually pretty good), dancing and simply high fiving anyone walking by, all I can say is, “Hotty Toddy!”  As we wound down the day / night we walked back into the square for dinner for some Southern Fried Chicken, a great way to finish the day in Oxford. All in all, the Italian team represented Dan from the Tailgate as well as anyone could. And Katy Perry, she is now a folk hero in Mississippi………….


The ladies of The Grove will talk to just about anyone!
Bieber Award – Although I myself was in strong consideration for the Bieber honors for missing the Ole Miss weekend, the nation voted otherwise:  For the entire month of September, every time a college football show was on TV, we had to endure the prognosticators predict the future. What sez me you ask? Let’s start first with every talking head Savant that was trying to act like they knew who the four teams were that would make up the new college playoff. We also already heard who the most Heisman worthy players were so early in the season. The problem is, September mostly amounts to College Football’s version of a pre-season. With very few marquis or conference games, why do these self-anointed omnipotent stalwarts continue to play the role of college football’s version of Nostradamus?  My suggestion would be that there should be no polls or Heisman discussion until after the first week of October. It is ridiculous to have a poll after the strong have beaten up on the weak and to strike the Heisman pose when the good players rack up gaudy stats against the bad. Ninety percent of what they say is inaccurate. This band of brothers includes but is not limited to empty suits such as the wise Mark May, Paul Finebald, Collin Cowturd, Jesse Palmer, Danny Kanell, David Pollack, Kirk Herbstreet and Tom Luginbill. If we went to an eight team playoff with the conference winners of the Power Five and three wild cards, we could put these hot air balloons out of commission. They wouldn’t have anything to pontificate about or enlighten us with. Collectively, everyone on TV who opened their pie hole making predictions so far this season win this week’s prestigious, coveted, unrivaled Bieber Award.

Next Saturday, the Tailgate will make the trek through the Caldecott tunnel to Bezerkely to watch the Cal Bears take on the Washington Huskies. As an added bonus, the Blue Angles will be flying over the Bay that afternoon. Also possibly looking at the Friday night game at Stanford against Wazoo. The DFT flag will be in Starkeville, MS for ESPN Gameday in the custody of Dr. Matt Sheffield, a War Eagle by marriage.

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er 30, 2014
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