Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 15 - American Soldier

This weekend the Governor (AKA Mrs. Tailgate) and I met in Baltimore for the 117th rendition of the Army Navy game and the accompanying festivities. I have written about this game every year now for nine seasons so I will keep it short and sweet this time with a slideshow for your enjoyment. The game would be played at M&T stadium, the home of the NFL Baltimore Ravens. The tailgate was once again hosted by the Cliffside Park, NJ Crime Family (lots of guys whose last name end in I or O and have nicknames like Jimmy the eyebrow, Johnny gotta large trunk and Joey double tap) and attended by many of our friends from Frostburg, the Army and other places of notable ill repute. All told, our tailgate hosted over 120 people in the brisk but sunny Baltimore afternoon.  A great assortment of chow and refreshments were provided by many: Terry Kernan’s grilled oysters with bacon, cheese and peppers, Hoss Van Orden’s cheese steak sandwiches, Ray Carlucci’s homemade chicken noodle soup, Slicky the gimp’s sausage and peppers, Brian Donnelly’s old bay chicken wings, multiple breakfast egg and meat sandwiches, Dino Manzoni’s deer meat chili, Long Island Vinny Ammirato’s 30 lbs. of kielbasa, slow cooked spare ribs, cannoli’s, Rat’s bloody Mary bar, Jameson, fireball and other lesser sprits and libations. If you are going to attend only one college football game in your life, this is the one. Although neither team will win a National Championship this year or perhaps any year going forward, I dare you to find two teams that will play any harder against one another. The history, the pageantry, the patriotism, and the sacrifice these young men will endure in the future make this the most meaningful game each year.  In addition to the traditional pre game pageantry, President Elect Trump attended the spectacle. It was also the venerable Verne Lundquist’s last broadcast ever.  Last and most importantly, Army finally beat Navy after a 14 year drought! After falling behind in the 4th quarter, Army put together a game winning drive spearheaded by QB Ahmad Bradshaw to pull out the win 21-17. Enjoy the brief slide show:

Around the Nation- Congratulations are in order to Lamar Jackson for winning this year’s Heisman Trophy but losing the runway fashion show all at the same time. Five time defending champion North Dakota State will face James Madison and Eastern Washington will host Youngstown State in the FCS semifinals next week. In the first time forever, neither Mount Union nor Wisconsin Whitewater will be in the Division III championship game as both have been eliminated from the playoffs. Mary Hardin Baylor will be facing Wisconsin Osh Kosh by gosh in the Championship. In the DII Championship next weekend, North Alabama will face Northwest Missouri State. In the NAIA St. Francis IN will face off against Baker, KS in the finale next weekend.

Bieber – The Playoff committee. I need your help in generating a groundswell to expand to 8 teams. Mainly so I don’t have to listen the wrong sided ESPN blow hards pontificate all year about who will be in the final four. My plan as laid out last week is simple, logical, fair and oh yeah, it will generate a whole lot more money than a bunch of meaningless Bowls (however, please continue with those):

  •  Automatic bids for the 5 power five champions (must have conference championship games)
  • ·Top rated non-power 5 school (Group of 5) that wins their conference
  •  The two highest rated wild cards.

I know the 4 team playoff is a step in the right direction, but it is like performing heart surgery and leaving two vessels blocked while opening up only two. We need to take this all the way, so please help me spread the gospel. Until then, the Playoff committee gets to share some righteous Bieber hardware.

Next UP – We will be attending the Foster Farm Bowl in Santa Clara, CA on 12/28 between Indiana and Utah. This will afford me the opportunity to wear my bodacious Wisconsin red and white striped coveralls again. We will follow that up with the Granddaddy of them all on 1/2/17 to witness Penn State take on USC. Please send me your Bowl pictures and I will try to post them. There will be no write up until after the Foster Farm Bowl for a mid- Bowl season update.

Happy Tailgating!