Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fresno St 10/21/09

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving! My motto is that it is only one day and you should be able to cheat, go back for seconds, lie on the couch, watch some football and go back for more. It works for me! Matt was able to make it home for a couple of days thanks to Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen. Dan hauled Matt to Dallas for a hand off to Janet's Uncle David who brought Matt down on Thanksgiving Day. Teamwork at it's best! It was really great spending some time with him and our oldest son Tyler. I tried to keep his calorie intake up so he could maintain his game weight. Matt's Thanksgiving meal consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, pumpkin pie and buttermilk pie. Matt is a very picky eater as there were many other items to choose from. All kidding aside, he pigged out this weekend. I delayed myself in writing about Fresno St. in honor of the bye week. If La Tech can have a bye week then College Football Dad can have a bye week! HaHa! My research on this week’s opponent will be a little strange since their mascot is also a bulldog. Who was first to have this mascot? In 1901, La Tech organized a football team and decided the team needed not only school colors, but a mascot. A unanimous decision was reached as the bulldog, the first hero of Tech, was given the honor. You need to read the full story about the "Legend of the Bulldog" and the "Spirit of 1988" It was on November 21, 1921, that the Morning Republican first referred to Fresno State as the "Bulldogs". The full story can be read here at "FSU History" Based on all of this, we were the first bulldog and should be the only bulldog in the WAC. What in the heck is this green "V" on their helmets? When Pat Hill became Fresno State's head coach prior to the 1997 season, he wanted to reinvigorate San Joaquin Valley pride in the Bulldogs. Because Fresno State is the only Division I football program in the Valley, a 250-mile stretch in California's midsection from Bakersfield to Modesto, Hill wanted to make the Bulldogs the "Green Bay Packers of college football." This representation of the San Joaquin Valley is displayed in the form of a green "V" on the back of the Bulldogs' helmets. The green in the "V" is a symbol to the agricultural community of the Central Valley. I guess you do whatever it takes, but in my book the green "V" is pretty goofy looking! Ok, that is enough research. My Biz week started off with a quick trip to Ft Lauderdale for my company’s national convention and a quick visit to the "Oasis of the Seas". OMG, this cruise ship not only is the world's largest, but the newest to hit the Caribbean. You can even zip line from one end of the ship to the other. Now that is just crazy. I want my football! Enough of this other stuff, let’s move on. Sunday started off with the stretch and stride and film breakdown. Matt said the film breakdown went ok and Coach Dooley will continue to push him and the special teams until they are perfect. In my opinion, even though you make three field goals at LSU and hit your numbers for some of your kickoffs, you win as a team, you lose as a team and there is always something that you can do better. I thought it was pretty funny when Matt told me that Thomas had asked Coach Dooley if they could practice kicks somewhere else besides the practice field and Coach Dooley said why in the heck would we change now when you have the #2 field goal kicker in the WAC? I have not really paid attention to the practice field, but I guess it has a pretty severe crown on it. They worked on the RR short and deep a lot during the week. Friday has arrived and the team will depart from Monroe and head to the valley of California. I spoke to Matt after they arrived at the team hotel and he said that Fresno had to be the graffiti capital of the world, along with the largest population of El Caminos he had ever seen. They had gone through their walk thru at a Junior College in the vicinity and the team was pretty excited about their chances against Fresno. Saturday was upon us and I was feeling pretty good about this game. I hate when the game is not on TV and there is no Internet stream of the game. I did find a station out of Fresno to listen to the game. Game time has arrived and I have no clue what his demeanor is. We receive the kickoff and just like that it is 7 - 0. This is cool! Fresno St scores two quick touchdowns and we once again with Mr. Dennis Morris and the first quarter come to an end with the score 14 - 14. I was not feeling good about Matt's first two kickoffs. The first one went out of bounds and from what I could tell from the announcers was the second one was sort of a low line drive. What sort of scheme are we doing this week? Both teams score another touchdown and we go into the half tied at 21. Mr. Dennis Morris has got to be one of the best tight ends in college football. Fresno St gets a field goal and we score another touchdown in the 3rd quarter making the score 28 - 24 as we start the 4th quarter. I am not sure that Matt is having a good kickoff showing this week. I just wish I could see them instead if listing to them. Fresno St would kick two more field goals in the fourth with one of them being a 35 yard game winner with no time on the clock. Fresno St. would win 30 - 28. I absolutely hate losing, but I am very proud of our team’s performance. The last 5 games we have had a chance and that is all I can ask for. We came so close in this one. I knew if Matt were to call that he was going to be pissed. Sure enough he called and yep, he was pissed. The whole team was very upset with this loss. During our conversation Matt said he rolled his ankle during warm-ups and only kicked off twice. WTH? The radio I was listening to kept saying that Nelson was kicking off during the whole game. I guess during warm-ups with his kickoffs that he rolled his plant foot ankle. It was pretty swollen and he thought he could work his way through it. I guess he never told anyone until he came off the field after the second kickoff and Coach Dooley wanted to know what was going on. Matt told him what had happened and Coach Dooley told him that you have got to let me know these things. I still would of let you kicked, but tell me about these things. Matt felt horrible as he thought he could just work through the pain. He told Coach that he could do PAT's and field goals, but would need to get his ankle taped. I had no clue that he was hurt, much less that he was not kicking off after the second kickoff. The Fresno announcers must not have known either. He knew that Coach Dooley was going to tear him a new one on the plane ride home and in their meetings. I told him that I was proud of him and the team and to be proud of this team and where it is headed. This will be another one of those lessons learned and he will grow stronger from it. As in life, business and football, communication is key and even as strong willed as Matt is he understands this. Sunday afternoon they started treatment on is ankle and with the bye week they tell him he will be 100% for the game against San Jose St. Matt said that in his meeting with Coach Dooley that he was a little pissed that he did not tell him before the game about his ankle. I think Matt has a full understanding of Coach Dooley’s expectations pertaining to an injury. This week’s practice consisted of fine tuning some things along with field goals. The team gets to leave for home to celebrate Thanksgiving Wednesday afternoon and has to report to a team meeting and dinner at 4:00 Sunday. San Jose St. is on the horizon and we will have a heard of family attending the game. Actually my sister and her family will be attending their first game along with family members who have been to several games prior. With this being a 1:00 CST kickoff this will probably only be a liquid tailgate and then dinner afterwards at the Log Cabin. I think I know what a Spartan is and will research it later this week. All I know is that I want us to finish strong and kick some Spartan butt! I hope everyone has a good week and I look forward to seeing the stands full as we send off our awesome seniors with a bulldog victory! If you want to buy some pictures of your favorite kicker check out some of the photos that Mr. Tom Morris took at the game by visiting LaTechSportsPix. There are some pretty incredible shots. Also don’t forget to listen to my friends at BleedTechBlue Radio every Tuesday night. They might be on Monday night this week due to a basketball game so you will need to check. It should be a great show as always. Good luck Bulldogs as you take on the Spartans on our field. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!