Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 7 - Fifty Shades of Frostburg

The author Thomas Wolfe once wrote… “You can’t go home again.” Well what the hell does he know?  This past weekend I defied Mr. Wolfe and returned to my Alma Matter of Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD for Homecoming. Frostburg is a small hard scrabble town in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains in Western Maryland about 3 hours from Washington DC. During the school year the town population almost doubles. Frostburg to me is a magical place that provided the foundation for what I have done in life since graduating 29 years ago. This would be my first Homecoming since 1988. Friday night was the private party dubbed “Fifty Shades of Frostburg” at the watering hole called Gladstones (AKA the Tap Room) I tended bar there in 1984. This is the same place after returning from summer break, I sat down with the owners over a beer to discuss my work schedule for the upcoming semester. They chuckled and then Vito the male owner said “well Dan you delivered on your promise of increasing the patronage of the college students and going through more kegs, but dammit to hell we lost money on the nights you worked!” Not really sure how that happened nor would I ever admit to it. I felt I had done an admirable job bringing Townies and College Kids together over a common interest; beer. The Toy Factory Band, named after my Rugby house at 118 Maple Street and led by old roommate George Harvey, played throughout the evening. During the course of the night, I was able to catch up with many old friends, acquaintances, and people I can’t even remember. You see, I was very active in College attending Mass on Sunday’s, being the Captain of the Rugby Team, doing the Fraternity thing (KZX), soldiering in ROTC, holding the position of President of the International Relations Club, writing for the school newspaper all why maintaining my  stellar 2.3 GPA. Dean Wormer would be proud. Contrary to popular belief, I was only a student there for half a decade not a full one. Therefore, it was mandatory that I have a few clinks of the glass with many of these former classmates from these circles to reminisce about the good ole days. Saturday morning we arose to attend the traditional Bloody Mary bash at the Frostburg Inn (Formerly Al’s Motel).  After getting properly warmed up, we made our way to the Tailgate lot at Bobcat Stadium for the big homecoming matchup against the College of New Jersey.

The best part of waking up is a Bloody in a cup!
That was then....

.....this is now, 29 years later same three peeps.

                                         Who says you can't go home again?

Frostburg has been playing NCAA football since 1961. Bob Maddox and Moise Fokou are the only Bobcats to go on to play in the NFL. During the Strike season of 1987, FSU grad Sean McEnerny led the NFL in sacks during the strike period while on the Bears scab team. However, many of my old KZX Fraternity Brothers and Rugby teammates were standouts and several are even in the Bobcat Hall of Fame: Greg Shockey, Rich Prather, Marcus Wooley are HOFers. Bo Bo Grega, Killer Johnson, Tank Reeder, Guido Voso, Horsey Van Orden, Bibbles Schreiber, Bird Canaday, Nutso Stultz, Sluggo Johnstone, Eric Jenkins all suited up for the mighty Bobcats. Bobcat Stadium is a typical Division III field surrounded by a tartan track with the large home bleachers on one side and the visiting team on the other. I once won the midnight, barefoot, “beer in hand” Olympics on that same track during my senior week. So I digress. The last time I Tailgated here was at Homecoming 86 one week prior to my departure to go work full time for Uncle Sugar. I think I had a pretty good time from what I am told. Frostburg State was also home to the Redskins summer camp for a few years before they landed at their new home.

Bobcat Stadium


Due to the fact that our Tailgate in the 35 degree weather with occasional snow was so much fun, I only made it into the game for the second quarter. As the great philosopher Carl Spackler from Caddyshack liked to say, “I was unavoidably detained”.  Frostburg dominated the action throughout the afternoon with a stout Defense limiting TCNJ to a mere field goal. The Cats scored two touchdowns and booted two field goals of their own handily winning 19-3. With the victory, Frostburg improves to 5-1 on the year in the midst of one of their finest seasons in decades.

The Brothers of Kappa Tailgate
Benny Hill and the ladies.
HOFer Greg Shockey
Why is it snowing in October?

This guy should be taking a nap
The men of Kappa
Mrs. Turner is rooting for the wrong team.

Try sneaking that flask in the game.

Around the Country – A lot of changes and activity this week in the World of CFB. The Tailgate says so long to the Ole Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier and his visor as he shocked Cock Nation by retiring on Monday. Maryland really did get an Edsol as they finally said adios to the lemon that is Randy Edsall after three and a half years of underperforming. However, he still does have good hair. In fact he should run for Congress. Do ya’ll miss Ralph Friedgen yet? North Texas gave walking papers to Head Coach Dan MacCarney after a pathetic start this year concluding with a 62-7 waxing at the hands of FCS school Portland State last weekend. The biggest news of the week of course is our boy Cutty Sark who is no longer surfing the beaches or fraternity houses in LA. More on that below. We also saw Florida Gator starting QB Will Grier suspended for a year for “roiding up”. Didn’t anyone notice he was out benching the O lineman during team workouts? Lastly, former Texas A&M five star wide receiver Thomas Johnson got bored and knifed an innocent jogger to death in Dallas for no reason. These are surely the signs of End of Times as predicted.

On Thursday night the nation witnessed the coming out party for its newest superstar Easy Ed McCafffery of Stanford. McCaffery put on a one man rodeo against UCLA as the Cardinal pounded the UCLA Bruins for a 56-35 triumph. In one of the best rivalries in the history of College football it was the USC Trojans turn to travel across country and face their arch rival the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, IN. After a week of turmoil in Troy Nation, the Trojans were fired up and refocused to take on the mighty men of South Bend. After falling behind 31-24 in the second half, the Irish scored 17 unanswered points pulling away for a 41-31 victory. All you USC fans that bet me, I expect payments to be rendered immediately. I know some people. The Oklahoma Sooners rebounded from their disappointing loss last week by de-clawing the K State Wildcats double nickels to zippo. Iowa remains perfect at 7-0 with a resounding beat down of the injury riddled Northwestern Wildcats. The top 5 teams in the Nation all won by wide margins on Saturday (Ohio State, Baylor, TCU, Utah and Clemson). All five remain undefeated at this point in the season. Down in Death Valley Baton Rouge. Leonard “Man Child” Fournette and the Bayou Bengals hold on for a 35-28 win over the Florida Gators. Alabama traveled to Bryant College Station, Texas and sucked the air out of the refurbished Kyle Field by taking down the Aggies 41-23. Ole Miss’s season appears to be spiraling out of control as the surprising Memphis Tigers defeated the Ole Miss Rebels with a 13 point margin of victory. In the much anticipated battle of the State of Michigan, we all saw perhaps one of the craziest plays to end a game in recent memory. Michigan protecting a 3 point lead with ten seconds left elected to punt the ball away from their own 38 yard line. The Michigan punter Blake O’Neil mishandled the snap and scooped the ball up and in Garo Yepremian fashion pitched the ball to a Spartan player who raced in for the game winning score. The Big House fell deathly silent. The DFT Council of Elders is now recommending any Kicker or Punter that loses games for their teams should have their schollys revoked.

One lucky guy!

Tailgate Brian and Laurie at Shepard College game

Tulane AAD Roger Dunaway gave us a tour of Yulman Stadium on Wednesday

 Bieber– Pat Hayden and Steve "Cutty Sark" Sarkisian – get to share the honors this week. Let’s start with the Rhode Scholar and his awful comb over first. He was brought in to clean up the sleazy mess that Mike Garrett and Cheat Carroll had left behind (Lordy do I miss Cheaty boy). Many of the things Hayden has done shows a lack of class and maturity. For starters, the manner in which he fired Stain Kiffin was bush league.  Then the disrespecting of Ed Orgeron when he did a great job as the interim coach by not considering him for the permanent job. Hiring a mediocre Steve Sarkisian from conference rival Washington was his next blooper. Then who can forget last year when he won Bieber honors for storming down onto the field at Stanford to dispute a call with the referee when he was beckoned by a potentially inebriated Coach Sark to do so? Now the latest appears to be his lack of institutional control by turning a blind eye to Sark’s addiction issues. Addiction is no laughing matter, being the son of an Alcoholic I get that, but it must have been part comical and quizzical to the players watching him show up or not for games, practices, flights, speeches like he himself was John Belushi in Animal House. Apparently Mrs. Sark was not too keen with his chasing of the lovely Song Girls or for that matter anything sporting a hemline. She was last heard saying in Eddie Murphy’s voice “I want HALF Stevey!!!!!”The preseason slap on the wrist for his drunk presser is laughable at best as we see now how bad the situation really is in LA LA Land. In order, I hope SC gives Hayden his walking papers as he gets off a plane, Sends Sark to Betty Ford now that he has ample time on his hands, and place the New Bieber trophies where the vacated National Championship and Heisman trophies used to sit. Congrats, you earned it.

No more Sark attacks in SoCal.
Next Week – The Tailgate will make its way to Tucson, AZ for the first time for a conference Cat fight between the Wildcats and Cougars from Wazoo. This will be my final PAC 12 school where I have attended a game. It will be the first D1A conference that I have completed. Joining me on the journey will be Jerry “Buck” Hampton of Frostburg State fame.

Wazoo Cougs
UoA Wildcats

Happy Tailgating!