Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Mexico St. 10/17/09

It's Aggie week. Actually it will be the beginning of the back to back with the Aggies. It's our first day game, home game sort of thing. You would think I would know the answer to this living in the state of Texas, but what the heck is an Aggie? What is the true definition? The only thing I can come up with is an Aggie is a term for someone who attends an agricultural college and is the topic for many "I am Stupid jokes" If you want the long definition click here! One quick Aggie Joke! Q: Why did the Aggies run out of ice on the sidelines? A: The trainer lost the recipe. Now that is stupid funny right there! My week started off good with a few bookings in the travel world. Hoo Ya! Matt was still pissed about the loss at Nevada when we spoke on Sunday. He and Coach Dooley had just finished breaking down film and were going to work on a few different things for the upcoming week. I personally hope they do not change anything, but maybe some work on his R to L kickoffs from an R to R approach. Matt kept telling me that this team is better than that. “We have to get past individual concerns and start playing for the person next to you! We have to take one game at a time and focus on our strengths. If we want to go to a bowl game, this is where it starts. There is no looking backwards and no looking forwards. Just deal with the game at hand, execute and good things will happen.” After I hung up the phone with Matt I was floored! I just got a motivational speech from the Head Coach! Does he not know that he is just a freshman? Wow! Monday morning started off on the wrong foot for Matt. Sometime during the night he got bit by a spider and had a nice little golf ball size swollen area on his left arm. After his first class he went to the trainers and got some medicine. They would evaluate it with the doctors after practice and determine if they needed to lance and drain the affected area. The doctors gave him a shot and prescribed some medicine and off he went. He felt better the next day and the swelling had started to come down. I believe I would be exterminating the apartment. Matt stated several times during the week that practice had gone really well on kickoffs and field goals. He continues to work on the 5 different kicking situations as he knows to always expect the unexpected. As Friday approached, Matt was super excited about the upcoming game. His older brother (Tyler) was coming and his best friend from high school was going to make the journey with his parents (Joe & Julie) from College Station to see the game. Jake & Matt have a very unique football relationship. Not only was Jake one of the top quarterbacks in Central Texas, he was Matt's ONLY holder on every one of his field goals and PAT's during high school. He knows Matt's game better than anyone. Jake is attending Texas A&M and has been accepted in their engineering program. I was going to stay in Dallas Friday night and head to Ruston at 5:30AM Saturday morning. As I was rolling into Dallas early Friday afternoon I got a call from Matt. “Dad, guess who I just got off of the phone with? Josh Scobee! He called me to wish me good luck in the game and we discussed the season so far. He told me not to worry about my weight and he was impressed with my technique and accuracy. Don't worry about your critics and just keep doing what you do! He also told me that he wanted me to call him at anytime and he would check in with me from time to time.” “Matt Stover was there for me while I was at Tech and it is my turn to pay the favor back.” Of course Matt said this in like 5 seconds. Earlier in the week Matt Stover and Chris Boniol had texted him good luck. All I can say is wow and what a mental high! Are NFL players really talking to Matt? Wow! Since the game was a 3:00PM the team eating schedule was a little different. Breakfast was optional at 8:30AM, chapel was at 10:40AM and the team dinner was at 11:30AM. This would leave Matt a little window at the hotel to visit with Jake, Joe and Julie. They were staying in Monroe and had driven up the night before. We hit Ruston around 9:45AM and would hook up with rest of the family who was attending the game. We had 12 in all and our small tailgate would start at 11:30AM in the C lot. Our tailgate would consist of Muffaletta’s from Johnny's Pizza, jalapeno/cheese deer sausage, potato salad, brownies and all of the beer, wine and water you could drink! I know it is simple and my cookin' buddies are going to wear me out again on this one. Special Bulletin! Thanks to Adam at LTAC, I was able to get a game day tailgate spot for the Boise St game. Tailgating spot 52 was calling my name. See, I just kicked the tailgating scene up a notch, so be kind to me for this week. It is about 15 minutes before the team is due to arrive and Mama (Janet) has to check his eyes out. She seems to be able to figure out what frame of mind he is in. Matt knows where we normally stand when he gets off the bus and so far we he has not looked our way. He just looks forward. This time was different. I think he did a quick no look and when he saw Jake and the rest of the family we finally got a grin and a smile. Mama knew it was going to be all right. Now back to the suburban for more adult beverages. Janet always goes in the stadium 30 minutes after the team arrives so she can see Matt's warm-ups. This time I am going to grab a few beers and go watch his warm-ups through the fence at the north end zone. So far all looks good. It's game time and the show is about to begin. I really think that we are going to do well this game. Matt said the team practiced well and with a lot of intensity and I think it will carry over in the field of play. Matt will start the game off and kick to NMS towards the south end zone. It did not take long and we would drive down and Matt would kick a 26 yard field goal to put the first points on the board. We would go on and score 6 straight touchdowns for a very punishing victory of 45 - 7 over NMS. This is Tech football! Only this year it has only been at home. How do we get them to play like this on the road? I am certain that Coach Dooley will use this win and carry over the momentum as they head to Utah St. My observations on Matt were his field goal’s were back on track, his PAT's were perfect and his kickoffs were good with good hang time. The pooch R to L had almost a 5 second hang time and we almost got there before the ball did. The last kickoff was R to L from the R to R approach. It did not fare too well as it ended up out of bounds. I am ok with this as it is still a learning process of directional kicking from a perceived approach. I am sure Coach Dooley and Matt will break things down, correct it and keep us all guessing as to which number Matt is going to kick to. Our whole group heads up to the locker room area to see Matt and as always take a few pictures with family. Matt took off his pads to show Jake. Man those things are small. It was pretty cool as he let his cousin put on his jesery. I finally got to meet Dawgpix after the game. Mr Morris it was my pleasure and thanks for all that you do. Traditionally we go to Chili's after the game, but this time we went to the Log Cabin. With a 90 minute wait, this gave us time to move our tailgate to the Log Cabin parking lot. When you have 14 people it takes a while to get a table set up and with it being homecoming weekend the place was hoppin'! The waitress (Stacie) was very accommodating to our group and what an awesome meal with family and friends. I have to give a special shout out to our waitress. Stacie from Corpus Christi, you rock. She was one of the best waitresses I have ever had anywhere and make sure you ask for her area next time you are at the Log Cabin. Sunday morning rolls around and Janet & I head over to take Matt a few things. Doak's parents also came in with a few things for Doak. The kitchen was sort of a mess, so Janet and Doak's mom took care of cleaning the kitchen up and picking a few other things up for them. Must be nice to still have your mom pickup after you! HaHa! What a fun filled weekend it has been. Great family, great friends and a Tech victory! We are not going to the Utah St game. It will have to be an ESPN 360 game for me. I hope the weather is not too bad and Matt can find some thin heat warmers for his cleats! HaHa! The adrenaline will keep you warm enough. I just want to thank again all of the family and especially Jake, Joe and Julie for making their first trip to Ruston. We know it takes time and money to make these trips and it is greatly appreciated. Let’s get ready to kick some more Aggie butt! Good luck this coming Saturday at Utah St. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!