Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grambling 9/4/10

Game Day is here! Game 1 of the 2010 season against our neighbor to the west is right here, right now! I feel like I should be in the tunnel jumping up and down ready to run out on the field! Now I am out of breath! I am not exactly sure of the reason why the two teams have never played before. I think it will be a good thing for the community if the match-up could happen again. Matt had a good week of practice before the Grambling game. They have been working on different scenarios that could happen based on what the defensive penetration shows on film. I am not too worried as the timing from the Josh to Ross is pretty quick and Matt gets the ball up so quick! He was super stoked for the season to start. He has been working hard to maintain the same consistent leg swing through the ball on all kicks. When Matt talked to Josh Scobee during the summer he related the golf swing to the leg swing and told Matt to just do it smooth, consistent and slow down. When you try to swing too hard or quick that opens your hips up and your ball will not stay on its correct path. You can use this formula in football and in golf. Sounds like a no brainier to me, but I do not have 275lb + defensive players coming after me. I would be very quick and getting the hell out of the way! HaHa! Oh, I forgot my kicking career is over! Our game morning would start pretty early from Dallas. My wife and I along with David & Barbara (Janet's Aunt & Uncle) are the only one's going to this game. The Suburban is loaded with adult beverages, our La Tech tent and a few tailgate goodies. I am not cooking this time. I will pull out the cooking equipment at the Navy game. I purchased one of the tailgate spots in the white lot. I have never been to a game at the Independence Bowl, but I have heard horror stories about it. How bad can it be? On our drive over Matt called and wanted us to stop by the hotel and visit for a bit. They already had their team breakfast and special teams meeting and he had some time to kill before the team lunch and chapel. It was good to spend some time with Matt before the game. He seemed like he was in good spirits. It's tailgate time. We make our way to Popeye's for some grub to add to our other goodies and make our way to the stadium. I must admit that getting to the white lot is a cluster. I have never seen so much confusion. After about 20 minutes of a confused parking staff we make our way to the white lot. It is pretty cool how they have it set up where you get two spaces. This way you have room for the suburban and the tent. This was the first time we had set the tent up. We got it at the end of the year when the Tech Team Shop had their 50% off sale. It was a real sweet deal. After reading the instructions and my wife leading the directions we had a perfectly set up tent! From first observation Grambling had way more spots than La Tech folks. As the afternoon went on more people for La Tech showed up. All of the Grambling fans we met were very kind and loved their Grambling football. We got to spend some time with Mr. Ross Harper and Mr. Dave Matthiesen. It is always good to talk football with two of the most dedicated La Tech alumni I have had the good fortune to spend time with. As game time approaches we slam a few more brews and chow on our Popeye's spicy fried chicken. I knew the team would arrive the stadium at 4:30 and I wanted to be in the stands around 5:00 so I could watch Matt warm up. We loaded everything back into the suburban and headed to the stadium. Once we got to our seats I got to see the new blue pants in person. When they were first announced as part of the uniforms this year I did not like them, but after seeing them in person I sort of like them. I sure wish we were the home team. The visitors side is going to be hot and lots of sun! Matt looked good in warm-ups by himself and with Ross holding. I am very excited to see what the new offensive is going to look like. It's game time and I am ready. Our first two drive look good. I think we need to throw the ball down the field some. The defense is stacking up on the line and our short passes are not getting us much yardage. Matt's first field goal attempt was good from 39 yards on the right hash. He looked like he got a good leg swing on it. Before the half was over we get down to the 1yard line and go for it on 4th down and do not make it and we get down to the 8 yard line and attempt a 27 yard field goal. The 27 yard field goal is called wide left, but from my vantage point it looked like it was good. That is what happens when you have Midget height goal posts with college referees IMO! The goal post are college width but they are cut in half in height. It looked like to me that Matt got a little quick and his hips opened up. He will not be a happy camper at half. I was pretty impressed with some of the Grambling players and was surprised that they held us to 17 points. For the most part I was happy with the defense as we held them to only one field goal in the first half. I was looking forward to watching the Grambling band at half. I had seen them on TV before and now I got to see them in person. They did not disappoint. I knew Matt would be chomping at the bit to get back out there and kick some more field goals at the 27 yard make before the 2nd half started. I am sure that the Grambling fans did not appreciate it, but it was pretty funny to see Matt out there warming up while the band was still playing. That is what amazes me about Matt is when he has a miss that he returns to that distance until he perfects it. I just hope he gets another opportunity during the game. The second half did not go as I expected. Where was this high octane offense? Something is not clicking! Grambling would connect on another field goal in the 3rd quarter. We made a QB change at the beginning of the 4th quarter and it looked like we were able to move the ball down the field a little deeper. Colby marched the team down the field late in the 4th quarter and would set up a 45 yard field goal at the 2:08 mark. Matt made a smooth leg swing and down the middle it went. I was so glad he got another attempt. Matt lives for this and he would of been a bear to deal with this week. He needed that confidence boost heading into the Texas A&M game. I want to give a shout out to Vince Cano. This 45 yard field goal was his first time to get into a game at right guard. I look forward to seeing Vince play many more games! The game would end up at 20 to 6. A victory is a victory, but I wanted more! We should of hammered this team! We waited for Matt after the game. He had to go to the media room with Coach Dykes, Colby and Matt Broha. Here is a link to Coach Dykes and the players interviews after the game. Port City Classic Interviews! Matt finally made it out of the locker room. He was in good spirits, but he was still ruffled with the referees call on the 27 yard field goal. This is the kind of stuff that drives Matt and he will be just fine! While visiting with Matt we got to meet Ray Holley and Patrick Walsh. Ray is going to be a stud running back and is a super nice young man. I was very impressed with the way he ran the ball north & south. We also got to visit with Coach Harrington and Coach Thomas Graham. They are just great people! It is time for Matt to head to the bus. We make our way back to the tailgate area and sip on a couple of brews and visit with some of the remaining Grambling fans. All in all I am happy with the win, but I want to see more! I don't know if we were holding our cards close prior to the A&M game or not. We are going into a very hostile tradition rich stadium next week and we need to pick up the pace. I know this is early in the season, but we have some awesome athletes and great a great coaching staff! The time is now to move this team forward! Sorry for my soap box! With Texas A&M coming up this Saturday we need really be prepared! I don't feel liked getting Gigged by the Aggies! What the heck does Gig 'em mean anyway? After research this is what I came up with. Rather than end a conversation with "goodbye," many conversations between Aggies end with "gig 'em," usually accompanied by a hand signal in which the hand is fisted and the thumb extends upwards in a Thumbs up. This tradition began at a 1930 Midnight Yell Practice held before the football game against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. In an attempt to excite the crowd, Pinky Downs, a 1906 Texas A&M graduate and member of the school's Board of Regents, asked "What are we going to do to those Horned Frogs?" Using a term for frog hunting, he answered his own question, "Gig 'em, Aggies!" We are looking forward to the A&M game. With most of our family in Texas and some coming over from Florida the Nelson clan will be in full force. We bought 24 tickets from the Tech ticket office. Wow this is a lot of family. Our good friends from Cibolo (Sib-a-low) Joe & Julie Trevino have been kind enough to bring their RV and have a RV tailgate spot in Lot 50. We will be in space 26 if anyone is in that area. The 12th Man Shuttle runs to the stadium from Lot 50 3 hours prior to the game and up to 1 hour after the game. Everyone who is traveling to the game please have a safe trip. I hope everyone has a good week. I look forward to meeting more La Tech fans at the A&M game. If you want to buy some pictures of your favorite players make sure and visit La Tech Sports Pix. There are some pretty incredible shots from the Grambling game. Also don’t forget to listen to my friends at BleedTechBlueRadio every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. It should be a great show as always. Good luck Bulldogs as you take on the Aggies! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. I write from my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! If you need help with any of your travel plans just let me know! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!