Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 15 - Championship Weekend

With all the conference championships taking place this weekend, the Tailgate chose to attend the PAC 12 Championship at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Okay the reality is that it chose me as it is in my backyard and we had complimentary tickets. I was accompanied by the Dons of Danville: Desimone and Gervolino and their hired muscle Kevin Duncan. We met up in Red Lot 1 at Levi with Tony from the Yard aka Pauley Walnuts and his Governor, Jo Yard. While the weather was inclement, it did not dampen our spirits or enthusiasm for the festivities of the P One Two Ship Night. Upon unloading the tailgate wagon and setting up camp, we incurred two back to back 15 yard penalties: The first was realizing we left the DFT banner behind at DFT HQ breaking Don Gervolino’s heart who is very fond of the sacred cloth. The second was having to move all of our gear from one end of the car to the other after we were fully set up complete with hot coals upon requests from the parking attendants to relocate. Nonetheless, we adapted, overcame and adjusted to the situation.
Kevin charring the protein.
Lou antagonizing the Vegan visitors.


The  menu consisted of Spinach dip on French bread, Sis’s grilled beer brats smothered in swiss cheese and kraut, chili infused hot dogs, baked beans and smoked sausage. We were on a health food kick. Meats were provided courtesy of the head Husker Jeff “Tebow” Millard. Don Desimone manned the bar and hung the party lights, Kevin helped me burn meat product and Don Gervolino provided the gas that was necessary for our tailgate and significantly reduced the liquid provisions that were brought. Capo Walnuts scored the tickets for all of us. He knows people. He did make us do the Bataan Death March to find the Will Call window just so we would fully appreciate his gift to us.
Our Motley Crew wrapping up the tailgate.

The moon rises over Levi.
Oregon led by top Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota represented the PAC 12 North and Arizona with all world LB Scooby Wright were holding the banner for the South. This was the first year the game was played at a neutral site which also doubles as the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. The triple whammy of bad planning occurred: Friday Night game, rain, and a plane ride away for both teams. This lead to a fairly low attendance, 46,000 paid, less than 40,000 showed. I would like to see this game on Saturday in the future for a more robust crowd, reflective of the PAC 12 fan base.
Fans dressed as empty seats
As far as the game goes, I am just glad that adult beverages were sold during the game. The Arizona offense must have missed their plane from Tucson because they were nowhere to be found on this rainy night in the Bay. Marcus Mariota on the other hand solidified his chances to win the Heisman by having a Houdini like night escaping from pressure repeatedly to perform miraculous plays.  Oregon's defense was noticeably stingy on this night shutting down the Rich Rod spread offensive juggernaut. With the score going into the 4th quarter at 44 -7, we opted to take our third yellow flag of the night and depart early. Final score Oregon 51, Arizona 13. As we now know, Oregon locked up a spot in the new four team playoff and will face the CirimiNoles on New Years’ day in the Rose Bowl.
A Bud Light commercial at Levi

Back at the HQ, the Dons get their Pic with the banner.
Around the Country: In the ACC, the aforementioned Florida State CrimiNoles squeaked by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for their 29th straight win and the ACC hardware. In the Georgia Dome for the SEC Cup, Alabama easily beat up Mizzou securing the top seed in the playoffs and a spot in the Sugar Bowl. In the most impressive win of the day, Ohio State behind their third string QB Cardale Jones completely byotch slapped the Weezconsin Baaadgers 59 - 0 at Lucas Oil Field in Indy for the BIG Ten crystal. The Buckeyes earned the right to face Bama in the Sugar Bowl for the other playoff game. In the Big 12 where there is no Championship game, Baylor beat Kansas State and TCU destroyed Iowa State. But apparently that didn’t matter to the committee of Elders as they felt Ohio State deserved a seat at the table more than they did. All the more reason for the omnipotent politburo to adopt my 8 team plan next year: 5 Power Five Conference Champs and 3 wildcards. We could fire half of the Walking Dead so called Experts on ESPN if we did so. Also in the Big 12, Choklahoma overlooked their in state rival OK State and coughed one up to them in Norman. Out on the blue in Boise, the Broncos took down the Gangstas from Fresno and won the Mountain West title and a shot in the Fiesta Bowl. It breaks my heart to see Fresno lose again. If you happened to watch the Thursday night game, UCF beat ECU on a last second 50 + yard Hail Mary pass for the most exciting finish of the week.
Dr. Pepper Larry finally gets his final four
Bieber Award

 – University of Alabama Birmingham President Ray Watts, the least bright Regent is this week’s winner. You see Mr. Watts, after “Analyzing Data" decided to shut down the UAB Blazers program. Robert Deniro was heard saying “Analyze This Watts”. UAB under their new coach just completed a turnaround season going 6-6 and becoming bowl eligible. Things were starting to look up for this Conference USA program. Mr. Watts decided to cancel the only program that generates revenue for the school instead of those sports that draw 20 – 30 fans in the stands and make no money. He claims the program would cost more coin than it brought in. However, he failed to meet with and discuss the issue with the program's biggest donors and boosters who all said they would have helped. He more or less unilaterally killed the program on his own. Rumor has it when he was in college he was chained to a light post on the campus quad in nothing but his skivvies at UAB when he matriculated through there in the 70s. He vowed to one day get back at those mean bullies, and so we have Revenge of the Nerds Part 3 played out in living color. Mr. Watts, you may no longer have a football program but please take comfort in the fact that you do now have a Bieber Award to add to your collection of Awards and honors.
President Watts and his mates during his college days.
The Tailgate’s next stop is Pasadena on New Year’s Day for the Rose Bowl/CFB Playoff game. The DFT banner will be at the Army Navy game in Baltimore next Saturday carried by the world’s oldest Army Captain, Lou Capezutto.

Happy tailgating!
Boise fans Storming the Blue after the big win.

Ben, Nick and the Boys taking in the action.
Mike Mullica wearing orange and red at Bedlam,