Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Navy 9/18/10

I have been waiting for the Navy game to happen since the 2010 schedule was released. I thought this game would be a good gauge of where our team was at. Navy is a good football team and with Dobb's at the helm they are going to be a good challenge for us. I did not get to attend the game last year at Navy so I am looking forward to seeing the Dawgs play the Midshipmen! Navy has a ton of football tradition and they have gone to 7 straight bowl games. That should tell us how good they are! When we play a team I try to find out something unique about the program or the school. While I was researching I found out that there is someone who is responsible for shining the ships bell and the ships whistle. You will not believe who has these responsibilities. An old Navy tradition has it that the ship's cook shines the ship's bell and the ship's bugler shines the ship's whistle. This tradition may still be observed in some of the ships of the modern Navy. However, in normal practice, the ship's bell is maintained by a man of the ships' division charged with the upkeep of that part of the ship where the bell is located. I am not sure how many ships practice this process, but the cook always has greasy hands and just because the bugler blows his bugle why does he get to blow (clean) the whistle as well? I guess that is why they say "What happens on the ship stays on the ship" HaHa! All kidding aside, I am very thankful for what these young men represent and what they do for our country. Without them we would not be able to do the things we do! Matt has had a great week of practice. He said he has been making solid contact all week and his plant foot is about 102%. Once we get it to 110% and Keith has released/blessed his leg, Matt should be ready for kickoffs in the upcoming weeks. I have been asking Matt all week how his golf game is going. He just laughs at me! I (College Football Dad) am not a football kicker anymore, but I am a true believer that as a kicker you need to follow golf theory with your head and leg. There is no need to look up. The crowd will tell you if it is good and the defender will let you know if he is too close to you! Of course you have to have good leg speed and a smooth follow through. Matt lost a bet to Coach Tommerdahl during the week of the A&M game. I bet coach Tommerdahl that it was only 2 hours from San Antonio to College Station and Coach said 3 hours. According to Google it was 3 hours 11 minutes. So Matt lost the bet and had to pay it off after practice this week. He had to do 100 yards of up downs in front of Coach Tommerdahl and Coach Dykes. I guess it could have been worse. Our travel to Ruston started out on Thursday morning. My parents (John & Carol) have been staying with us in Dallas for a few days while visiting from The Villages in Florida and would make the journey over with us. They have not seen Matt for a while and wanted to visit with him before the team took off to the team hotel on Friday. On the way over we stopped at Maxwell's Market in Shreveport. If you have not been to Maxwell's Market you are missing out on Food Heaven! Ross happened to be there when we arrived around 12:30 PM. We got to visit for a little bit before we stocked up for our tailgate on Saturday. Ross had everything we needed and then some. We got some fresh salmon for our alder plank grilled salmon tacos, pork tenderloins for our pork slider’s after the game, peach smoked andouille sausage, black oak smoked sausage and some bacon wrapped shrimp skewers seasoned with a Creole seasoning. Ross treated us to some andouille, sun dried tomato and cream cheese stuffed mushrooms, homemade boudin and stuffed jalapeños with cream cheese and a turd all wrapped with bacon to try on the grill. Did anyone tell me I am cooking too much food besides what everyone else is bringing? I am a firm believer that you should always have more than you need. You never know who might stop by. After an awesome visit with Ross we make our way into Ruston. We are staying at the Fairfield Inn this week. After everything is unloaded and I mean more bags than anyone should travel with we head over and watch practice. I am not talking about my bags! My dad knows who I am talking about! HaHa! It was really cool sitting up in the stands watching the last practice as they prepare for Navy. The team did look really good at practice. The offense and the defense were working over the scout teams pretty good. The special teams units looked good as well. Saw some interesting plays run that could be used in the game if the right scenarios presented themselves. All in all I was pretty impressed with the practice. We caught up with Matt at the field house after practice. He looked good and was in real good spirits. He had to go take an ice bath and would catch up with us at the hotel later. This gave us time to enjoy a few adult beverages before Matt got there. Matt finally made his way to the hotel and we got to visit for a bit before heading over to Kasie's (Matt's girlfriend) house to meet Matt and Kasie's dog Bear! Bear sort of looks like Benji, but much cuter! Should I be saying that word? We then made our way to Ponchatoulas. Matt has always talked about this place and this was my first time to eat here. Chad Boyd and his girlfriend came while we were waiting for a table. I had the fried shrimp and onion rings and it was fantastic. I am sure I will make a return trip to Ponchatoulas. It had been a long day and I knew there was a bed calling my name. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Friday morning was kind of lazy! We visited the new bookstore in the old location and bought a few new items. Matt had a little time so he met us for lunch at Dowling's Smokehouse. This was another first for me. I have heard so many good things about this place and I had to try the "Scatterload" on jalapeño cheese bread. Man was that good. I did not even look at the menu. I had heard that this was what you need to order and I was not disappointed. I did look at the menu after I had ordered and saw that there was a pulled rib meat sandwich. That sounds amazing as well. I did not get to meet Mr. Telford, but I hope to one day! Matt had some things that he needed to do before he had to be at the field house by 3:00. We said our good-byes and wished him and the team good luck. We pretty much chilled the rest of the afternoon, sipped on a few adult beverages and visited Johnny's Pizza for dinner. There pizza was awesome as usual! We spent the rest of the evening watching the 2nd half of the Southern Miss game and the Nevada game. Those two teams are pretty stout. We will need our A+++++ game on when we face them. Game Day has arrived, the Waffle House is on our way and my tailgate spot is waiting for me. We pull in the parking lot at 8:45 AM and start setting everything up. Everything is good to go by 9:30. My first beer was an Abita IPA! It was not too bad! The chairs, tables, ice chest, grill; games along with my parents are all in place for the big day! We had a lot of family coming for the game. Meggie & Papaw (Janet's Parents), Mike, Melynda and Mikayla (Janet's brother, sister -n- law and niece) David (Janet's Uncle) Tyler (my oldest son) and his roommate Kyle. They all came in from Houston, Dallas and Austin. As the day went on I got to visit with so many neat people. I am so glad we are part of the La Tech family. Everyone makes you feel like family. Some of the ones I got to meet and spent time with were Mr. Ross Harper, John Hamm, Bryan Moore, Dusty McGehee, Bobby & Julie Cockrell (Tailgate Neighbors), Dave & Jane Matthiesen, Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen, Don Garland, Adam McGuirt, Andrew (Tailgate Neighbor) Ross Barclay, Michael Quarles and Jonathan Ford. Many thanks to Bryan Moore & Dusty McGehee for letting me test drive their fried catfish and gator! They are in tailgate spot 48 - 50. I am not sure of their tailgate name! It was awesome! I also finally got to Meet Mr. Woody Rust and his family. What an awesome group of folks I got to spend time with! As I stated earlier everyone makes you feel like part of the family. Just awesome! As the afternoon wears on the food is grilling, adult beverages are disappearing, family is getting restless and it is hot as heck! The alder planked grilled salmon tacos, bacon wrapped shrimp, and fresh andouille sausage, stuffed mushrooms, and these atomic turd poppers were amazing! Before I know it I hear the sirens and the team is approaching the stadium. This will be the first time that they are dropped off by the pavilion and they will walk through tailgate alley down into the stadium and then up to the field house. I got a chance to see Matt and I got a head nod! That is all I can ask for! It's time to pick up some and get ready to head to the stadium. Where else in college football can you go from your tailgate spot to inside the stadium in less than 5 minutes? Nowhere but La Tech! I got to watch Matt kick a few and he looked pretty pumped up. The new tunnel looked pretty cool. I am not sold on the flower patch yet. Maybe it will grow on me! HaHa! Navy comes out with two American flags as they make their way on to the field. The Bulldogs are hidden in the tunnel and then the smoke starts bellowing and here comes the Dawgs! It was quite spectacular. The B52 flyover and the parachute jumpers were amazing as well. I sit right next to the tuba players and the stands were rockin'! We take the opening kickoff, get a couple of first downs and have to punt the ball away to Navy. Navy takes the ball down the field and puts up 7 points. La Tech gets the ball back on the 30 yard line and stalls at the Navy 8 yard line where Matt would make a 25 yard FG! This was not what La Tech wanted, but for Matt this is just what he needed to wash away the missed PAT at A&M. I knew Matt would be mentally prepared for this game and his golf game would be spot on! The Tech defense holds Navy on its next possession and we get the ball back. Colby marches the Dawgs down to the Navy 19 where Matt will kick a 36 yard FG. He is back! We hold Navy to 4 and out on their next possession. Colby marches Tech back down the field and hands off to Lyle Fitte for a 2 yard TD. Matt makes the PAT and we are on a roll. Navy scores, but misses the PAT and we are tied at 13. Tech goes down the field and stalls at the Navy 26. Matt lines up for a 43 yard FG and he kicked the crap out of the ball. It would have been good from 55+. Wow! 3 FG's in the first half so far. I think Matt has his swagger back! Navy marches down field and makes a 37 yard FG. We get the ball back and score on an 8 yard pass to Ikharo. Matt converts the PAT and we go into half with a 23 - 16 lead. Defense looks good and the offense is gelling! I am sort of speechless and numb! I like what I see. After the band played Matt came out to take a few warm-up kicks. It was pretty funny watching him and the Navy kicker kick FG's in the same direction! The 2nd half would be a nightmare! Navy scores 21 points and we barely are on the field the entire 2nd half. We had two killer turnovers and Navy wins 37 to 23. I have just witnessed Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde, the tale of the two sisters or polar opposites. Whatever you want to call it I saw 2 different teams during this game. It looked like we made no corrections in the 2nd half on either side of the ball. If we did make corrections then they were not the right ones! What are we doing? We had Navy by the throats and we did not come out and keep our foot down on them. We need some leaders (Team Police) on both sides of the ball to get in some faces! No one should win in our house! No one! I have a couple of shout outs to Chad Boyd and Dusty Rust. Chad your one handed interception was awesome and Dusty your wicked hit on Dobb's will stick with me forever! I thought it was pretty cool that the Navy team stood next to our team why we played the school song. Very First Class in my book! We made our way over to the field house to visit with Matt after the game. I caught him as he came out, gave him a hug and told him congrats on his golf game. I knew he was pissed as he had his mean eyes shooting flames agian! He thought they had a real good chance against Navy, but tonight was not the night. I was not sure where Matt was headed next, but he told me to hang on for a minute. The next thing I know he is shaking hands with John Walker a sophomore kicker from C.E Byrd High School in the Shreveport area. Matt had worked with him at Josh Scobee's football camp and John and Matt have stayed in touch since then. Matt visited with John and his family and took some pictures before he visited with his family. I was truly touched to see Matt put all of his efforts into making John and his family feel welcomed at La Tech! Did Matt learn all of this from me? I made my way back to the tailgate spot to get the grill fired back up! We decided to grill some pork tenderloins for some pork sliders and some dogs. We decided to do this instead of going out to eat and waiting in line. Matt would make his way to the tailgate and visit with family, the Matthiesen's and take many pictures. I have to give a special shout out to my Niece Mikayla. She is Matt's biggest fan and she was celebrating her 13th birthday while attending the game. Happy Birthday Mikayla! I think everyone enjoyed the food and company after the game. I am sure we will do this again! Tyler, many thanks for helping Grandpa get from point A to B and then to C!Wow what a day! Way too many highs and way too many lows! I am ready for the roller coaster ride to be over. I want to see this high octane offense to speed down the drag strip! I am ready to see the ball to get thrown above the receiver’s knees and I am super ready to see 4 quarters of consistent football! To all of the coaching staff, I 100% support what you all bring to the table and I know it will take time to merge your schemes with the current players! I know there are curves in the in the road, but it is time to turn the corner! Thanks to everyone for bringing food/goodies and for hanging out with us! It was a blast! I am not very happy with this loss, but it is time to move on as we have to get ready for Southern Miss! Bring on Southern Miss and let's go kick some yellow buzzard butt! Southern Miss is not going to be an easy game! They took care of business against Kansas last week. After our loss to Navy, I think Coach Dykes will have this team ready for all 4 quarters. What the heck is a Yellow Buzzard? The Yellow Buzzard is the mascot for Southern Miss! Its name is Seymour! What kind of name is Seymour for a school mascot? Actually its real name is Seymour d'Campus! What the heck is that? I am told they stole the name from the mascot of the 1984 World’s Fair. That mascots name was Seymour d'Fair! Are you kidding me? That is enough on the stupid Yellow Buzzard! I will end my Navy experience here. Good luck Bulldogs as we take on the Yellow Buzzards form Southern Miss! It will be a Red Out game so get your Red on! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. I write from my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I don’t intend to upset anyone, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Bleed Tech Blue Radio every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. It should be a great show as always. If you want a picture of your favorite player make sure and visit Tom Morris at La Tech Sports Pix! May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! If you need help with your Travel Plans just let me know! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!