Friday, October 22, 2010

Idaho 10/16/10

I am not sure I am going to be able to contain myself this week. I am still on cloud 9, high or whatever you want to call it. I am not sure what being high feels like so I will stick with being on cloud 9. HaHa! Now that I have said this, what does the heck does being on cloud nine really mean? I have used the expression before, but I really do not know. Research tells me that this expression for a feeling of euphoric exultation (extreme happiness) comes from U.S. Weather Bureau terminology. Clouds are divided into classes, with each class further divided into nine types. No. 9 is the cumulonimbus, the towering kind often seen building up on hot summer afternoons. It may reach 40,000 feet (12,000 meters), so if you're on Cloud Nine, you're high indeed. Wow! I did learn something new today! You know, you have to start somewhere with a win to have a winning streak and ours started by kicking the Blue Aggies down the trail back to Utah! I don't know that much about Idaho except that they have a strong passing attack. Enderele has thrown for 1411 yards and 10 touchdowns so far this year. They are ranked the #5 passing offense in the nation. Didn't we just play the #1 team in passing offense a few weeks ago? I hope our defense is ready! We gave the game away last year in the Kibbles & Bits dome and I would like nothing better than to make a few potato pancakes this coming Saturday. Can I say 2 wins in a row? I really like our chances being at home and that the game is at 3:00 and it should be pretty warm for the spuds! I need to uncover some dirt on these potato people! What is a Vandal? They say don’t use your dictionary to find Idaho’s definition of a Vandal. No, Idaho’s student-athletes go by a name earned nearly a century ago by a basketball team coached by Hec Edmundson, whose teams played defense with such intensity and ferocity that sports writers said they “vandalized” their opponents. Now that's funny right there! We are the ones who are going to cause damage and destruction! You will feel vandalized when you leave Ruston. That nickname needs to go back in the ground and grow a little more! HaHa! I spoke to Matt everyday this week and he said practice was intense and everyone had a little more pep in their step. It is amazing what a win can do! You wake up a little earlier in the morning, you can't wait to get to class, and you practice with emotions knowing that you can smell that next win! What a great recipe! Matt said the special teams meetings have gone well and there could be some magic in the air. They are working on a few new wrinkles that need to be ironed out. HaHa! Matt said he is still making good contact with the ball and his leg feels good. After they broke down film on the blocked FG against Utah St, Matt said the placement of the ball could change from time to time depending on what the defense was showing. Matt said he talked to Josh Scobee early in the week and congratulated him on his perfect game with 5 FG's. Josh sure is mentally focused this year. Keep doing what you do Josh! I am still waiting for Matt to tell me what this word is that he, Ross and Vince are going to submit to Merriam Webster. He has been kind of secretive about it. I think they are still working on the definition! Since this was the last home game in October we decided to go with an Oktoberfest theme. Well sort of! We were going to have a baked potato bar, country style ribs, soft baked pretzels and several different craft beers before the game and then cook several types of sausage and let them bathe in beer after the game. Meggie (wife's mom) was bringing a funky pasta salad and a German Chocolate cake. We are set with the menu! My parents (John & Carol) are making the drive to Ruston from The Villages on Thursday. I think this is game # 4 for my dad. They hit Ruston around 7:00 PM after their 12 hour drive. They met Matt and Kasie (Matt's girlfriend) at Portico for dinner. It was good that Matt got to spend some time with them before the rest of the crew headed over on Friday. After Matt's morning class he took them out to Squire Creek to show them what a real golf course is! HaHa! They were both impressed with Squire Creek and they do have some good courses in The Villages as well! Our journey to Ruston started out very early on Friday. I still cannot figure out why I bring so much stuff. I am about to run out of room in the suburban. This is crazy! We hit Shreveport around 11:30 AM and made our way over to Maxwell's Market to pick up a few things for the tailgate. Ross was there so we got to visit with him for a little bit before making our way over to Ruston. Matt had a 12:30 class and had to be at the field house by 2:30. We had just a small window to grab a quick lunch with him and my mom. He was in good humor and was really excited about the game with Idaho. He said the team was jacked and Thursday's practice had gone well. He said the team dinner was at the Log Cabin again and then off to the pep rally at the stadium before heading to Monroe. He said the movie they were going to watch was JA 3D. That should be interesting! After we checked into the Fairfield Inn I had some work to attend to. It sure is nice when you have free Wi-Fi! My dad had gone to Shreveport to win some money and made it back to the hotel just in time to make a small adult beverage to head over to the pep rally. There were plenty of people at the pep rally, but I thought there would have been more with it being homecoming weekend. I thought Teresa Weatherspoon's message to the team and fans was awesome! She is a great speaker. I thought maybe CD would have spoke to the students, but he did not. The team’s buses were on the east side so we got to visit with Matt for a few seconds before they loaded up. Next it was off to tailgate spot 52 to setup. One of these days I am going to learn to pack the tents last so I don't have to take everything out to get to them. We set 3 tents up along with the grill and tables. There were several others setting up nearby as well. We opened a bottle of wine and sat under the stars at the stadium while we watched Idaho walk the field. They look pretty big! Popeye’s fried chicken and another glass of wine would finish my evening! My bed was calling and tomorrow was going to start early. The bodies are loaded, flags are flying, coolers are iced down and Mc Donald’s sausage Mc Muffins are in the sack! Joe Aillet here we come. We hit spot 52 at 8:30 and the rest of the setup began. After about 30 minutes, myself, Janet (wife) and my mom & dad had everything in place! It was time for bloody mary's and screwdrivers! It's not too early, we deserved them! Most of my tailgate neighbors had started rolling in. Andrew had setup the night before with his trailer. Bryan, Bradley, Matt, Dusty (showed up late - hunting) and their team were setting up, Bobby was unloading and Ross (MarketDawg) was waiting for his tents to show up. The next thing I know Mr. Harper pulls up and drops off an ice chest full of water and then hands me a package. What is this? Christmas is still down the road. I open it up and I was in shock! It was a chef’s jacket with the Tech logo, my name and the words Super Tailgate Chef on it! I was truly speechless. It was so awesome and Mr. Harper I will never forget it. Thanks so much! Can you believe it? You have to see it! I don't know if I can even cook today! Wow! I hung it up under the tent next to the grill so it would be ready when I cranked up the fire. I have got to talk about the Smoothie King Group. They are doing a breakfast tailgate with bloody mary's, mimosas, coffee cakes, sausage balls and 2 egg omelets in a zip lock baggie! What was that last part? 2 egg omelets in a zip lock baggie? Seriously, are you kidding? I kid you not, I witnessed this and it was true. They put 2 eggs, cheese, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and bacon in a zip lock bag. They whisk it up with a fork and seal it. Then they drop it in boiling water for 13 minutes and out comes this amazing omelet. I about fell out! It was really, really good! I am going to have to try this at home and then try it at the tailgate. Thanks for introducing me to a new cooking technique. Mr. Harper joined us again and Mr. Hamm stopped by as well. Chef Bobby had his grill lit and these amazing pork tenderloins stuffed with crawfish boudin (minus the casing) were staring at me! They looked so good! They need to be on the cover of Food & Wine magazine. Someone has made that Butt Naked cocktail again! I really need to find out whose recipe that is so I can give them credit! Ha Ha! David's wife made this incredible shrimp dip as well! I need to go hide next to my baked potato bar. There is gourmet food everywhere. Ross (Marketdawg) has filet mignons on the grill and Andrew has giant chickens on the smoker. I am surrounded by so many great chefs! You need to come check these guys out. They are worth every penny of your game ticket just to pull up a chair and watch! The sirens were off in the distance and that meant the team was close by. Decked out in my new chef jacket I headed down tailgate alley so I could see Matt and get a few photos. He looked focused and the rest of the team did as well! My grilled/baked potatoes were done, pretzels were hot and the country style ribs had taken on just the right character. Keeping butter and sour cream chilled in the October heat wave was a chore. Pretzels and CS ribs were awesome as well! I sampled several craft beers during our Oktoberfest celebration. I had a Full Sails, Bear Republic Racer 5, Real Ale Devil's Backbone and a MOA Noir. All of these were incredible! Mr. Rust came by and was carrying a 32 oz Miller High Life in a brown paper bag. What is this? Then Dan the President of the 32 Crew comes by and asks if I would like to be a member of the 32 Crew. I said ok, what do I need to do? He said you have to drink a 32 oz Miller High Life in a brown paper bag and then you are a member. Dan left for a few minutes and then presented me with my very own 32oz can to drink. It had been a long time since I drank a beer out of a brown paper bag and it was worth every sip. Thanks for letting me part of the crew! Game time is here and my seat is waiting for me. This was the latest that I arrived into the stadium. I hit my seat at 2:30. I did not get to see Matt warm-up, but many family members did so I could get an update. Trace Adkins, Kix Brooks and sky divers oh my! The best start to a game ever! Wow, this sun is bright and it is hot! October, you are not doing us right! Just a little cooler please! Matt is kicking off to start the game! Matt strikes the ball well and Idaho knee's it in the end-zone for a touch back. What a great kick to start the game! Idaho rolls through 14 plays including a bogus roughing the punter penalty and a missed field goal. La Tech takes over and we pass, we run and we score. PAT is good! What a great combination! Matt kicks off again and puts the ball in the end-zone. Idaho runs it out and they are busted at the 17. Idaho drives down the field and the first quarter ends tied 7 - 7. Matt connects with a 31 yard field goal to start the 2nd quarter. After a Tech turnover, Idaho scores quick and now leads 14 - 10. Tech ran the 2 minute drill to perfection with a series of passes with the last one connecting with Paige for a 32 yard score. PAT is good and the half comes to an end with Tech up 17 - 14. Matt missed a 38 yard field goal attempt in the 2nd quarter. He will not be a happy camper after the game. I know there will be some steam under that helmet! I am feeling pretty good about our chances. I like what we are doing on offense. Tech would own the 3rd quarter with 3 TD's and would go into the 4th quarter with a 38 - 21 lead. Our defense held Idaho to only one touchdown. Where has this mixture of plays been? I love it! Can the 4th quarter hurry up and end? Idaho scored pretty quickly! I don't like the way this is starting out. Matt connects with a pretty 39 yard field goal. Our defense holds Idaho on their next possession and then it is the Creer run fest. Creer runs 4 straight plays and scores. The PAT is good and Tech goes on to win 48 - 35! Wow! Where has this team been? Ross you lead this team down the field like the field general you are! Great game! Lennon, keep running down the field! Great game! Great performance by everyone! I am on my knees with my hands on the floor bowing to the coaching staff. We might just have turned the corner! I have been pretty hard on CF for his play calling, but today I give praise to CF. The whole entire game plan was awesome by all of the coaches. I can't believe it! We are on a winning streak! I did not make it over to see Matt after the game. I had a grill to get lit and Oktoberfest needed to continue! Sausages were on the grill and the beers were flowing! Matt made his way over to the tailgate area. He was super pumped with the win. He said it was a blast out on the field. The team played with great emotion. I know it probably was not the right time to ask, but I asked Matt about his missed FG. He said it was his best kick of the night! It just went straight! The snap was good, the hold was good and the ball went straight. Normally I have a little hook on the ball. I knew he was disappointed and would correct whatever needed corrected. He had a good game and it was a great team win! I’m Happy! Dinner is served! What a long day it has been, but it has been a great day! Family, Friends and a Tech win! Just awesome! My shout out goes to the Entire Team! You played one heck of a game! Our defensive backfield got picked on a bit, but when you are playing the #5 passing team in the nation stuff is going to happen. You all should be proud of your efforts and take those positive emotions into Boise! I do want to give a special shout out to the entire coaching staff. You put together an awesome game plan and everything came together. My prior comments have been harsh and I have been told by some that as a player’s parent I should not say things like that about the coaches. I am sorry if I offend some, but I am a college football fan as well and it is not always a rosy picture. My hat goes off to the coaching staff for a job well done! I hope that you continue to bring mystery to the future games. It is always fun to see the opposing team and coaches scratching their heads! Our night comes to an end. I think there‘s bed and a glass of wine calling my name. I want to thank all of the family members who made their way to the game this week. Thanks for all of the miles you drive! We appreciate all of the support and the time we get to spend together! Sunday morning comes way too early again! We load the tents and grill. Matt stopped by and visited for a few minutes before he headed to church. He was still excited with the win and was anxious to breakdown film and put Idaho to bed! Off to Dallas we go! What a weekend! I think I need to sleep another night before I try to put a rope around Boise St. This is going to be a true test for this team. I hope the coaches have the right game plan and they keep the team's emotions running high. Boise St. is going to be tough. The weather could be brutal! They are ranked #3 in the BCS poll and have one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Kellen Moore is the top rated quarterback in the nation and they average 14.8 yards per pass play! They play on the smurf turf which is a joke in its self. They should be required to wear all white at their home games including their helmets and cleats. This camouflage crap is for the birds. I am not totally sure, but I read somewhere that Brokeback Mountain was filmed in Boise. I wonder if Boise St. supplied any of the extras. Bronco Bustin' at its finest! HaHa! I don't think Boise St. is going to get what they see on film from us! I bet there will be a few tricks up our sleeves! Halloween is right around the corner and my treat will be a La Tech victory! ESPN are you ready? The Dawgs are coming to Boise! Give us some love! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I don’t intend to upset or hurt anyone, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! I am just a College Football Fan! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Tech Nation Radio every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. It should be a great show as always! 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!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Utah St. 10/9/10

Wow! Where does time go? It seems just like yesterday that I was up way past my bedtime watching the Haka, drinking red wine out of a bottle and then out of a box! My head still hurts! What are they thinking when they schedule all of these games back to back? We (the fans) show up at the stadium 6 plus hours prior to kickoff so we can mentally prepare for the game. We watch the game in all sorts of crazy weather and give it our all from the first whistle to the last whistle. Then we spend several more hours decompressing and going over the game film in our minds after the game. We all know how to coach and what plays should have been called. On top of that we sampled many adult beverages during the day. I think the fans need a bye week to recover every now and then. Even though we do not get to step on the field, we work and coach hard out there! HaHa! We have met so many amazing people and I would not trade my game day process for anything! I am not sure what to think about Utah St. yet! They hung tough with Oklahoma and they blow away BYU. This is going to be a tough game, but it is one we must win if we have any hope of post season play. Borel is an outstanding quarterback and he runs as well as he passes. Coming into his senior year he already has six Utah St. records in his pocket. I hope our defense takes him out of his game this week. I am sure CS will have the defense playing with mean eyes! I always like to uncover some skinny about the team we are getting ready to play, but this week when reading about the Utah St. mascot "Big Blue" I decided to leave the team alone. Originally Big Blue was a real white bull painted blue before each game. When the Spectrum (basketball stadium) was first built there was concern that Big Blue would scuff up the new basketball court, so Big Blue was donned with red rubber boots; this was a disaster. Because of the damage done to the football field and the basketball court Big Blue was discontinued and sent to the packer. Why in the heck do you paint a bull blue, strap on some red boots and bring them to a basketball game? I can see a football game, but come on, red boots? Which frat house was in charge of painting the bull blue? There had to be alcohol involved! HaHa! In 1987 Big Blue got a second chance when they bought a blue bull costume and put real horns on the mascot head. What are these Blue Aggies thinking, real horns? It is just a mascot uniform! Only in Utah does this happen! Matt said practice has been much more focused this week. The team has worked extremely hard and things are clicking. There will be some new wrinkles in the offense and the defense has a few new things up their sleeve as well. Matt said he was making good contact with the ball on FG's and PAT's. The timing between Josh and Ross has been spot on and they have developed between the three of them incredible snap to kick speed. Some of the times Matt tells me are mind boggling! He said his kickoffs have good hang time and as long as he explodes through the ball after the kick, he was getting the distance he wanted. Kicking off is like hitting a driver on the golf course. When the big stick comes out, you want a swing smooth, a good follow through with your head down and finish. The key in my book is the finish! A good finish equals a good delivery of the ball on the field and in the fairway. Matt also told me that during study hall that he and Vince Cano were playing around with the word Perfect and Per-fect. It is spelled the same and has a similar definition. Matt was trying to explain to me the difference between a homonym and a cognitive synonym. I am not going to lie, but I had no clue what he was talking about. Matt with the help of Missy submitted their questions to Merriam Webster and they responded some crazy dictionary jargon answer. Matt talked with Josh Scobee during the week. Josh made a 59 yard game winning field goal against Indy and is perfect for the year so far. That is a long kick in a game situation and it is every kickers dream to kick a game winning field goal! Congrats Josh! Keep making the Bulldog Nation proud! My dad surprised me and flew in from The Villages, FL. This will be his 3rd game to attend this year and it was quite a shocker when he showed up. Our trip to Ruston started early Friday morning from Dallas. We made a stop at Maxwell's Market in Shreveport to pick up a couple of items we needed to complete our menu for our tailgate. We made our way into Ruston around 1:00 PM and met Matt at Johnny's Pizza for some amazing grub. Matt always gets Pepperoni and Bacon pizza and I lost count on how many pieces he ate. Matt said the team was ready and he had a different feeling about this game. He was in a good mood, but you could tell he was extremely focused. He had to be at the field house at 3:00 for special team meetings and then a walk through. Then it was off to a team dinner at the Log Cabin and a movie before heading to the team hotel. Matt said he was going to see Secretariat. I bet it is a good movie! We said our goodbyes and wished Matt the best of luck against Utah St. We headed to the bookstore to see if there was something we really needed and then checked into the Fairfield Inn. It was time for an adult beverage! I think I need to get mentally focused for tomorrow’s game! If Matt can, I can as well. We made our way over to tailgate spot #52 around 7:30 PM so we could setup our tents, grill and tables. I think it is awesome that the La Tech police keep a watch on the tailgate area at night so you can setup early. We setup a couple of chairs and imbibed on a couple of adult beverages and just took in the surroundings. This university and town are amazing. Why would you not want to go to school here? We ended up at Portico Bar & Grill for dinner. We had a few appetizers and the food was pretty good. The place was packed as well. During dinner Matt sent me a text that he, Ross Jenkins and Vince Cano had come up with a new word and he was going to submit it to Merriam Webster to see if they could get it added to the dictionary. They told CD and he thought the word was hilarious and might just work. It was all based on the answer that Matt got back from them earlier on the word Perfect and Per-Fect. Once I am given permission I will let you know the new word and what the definition is. Morning arrived before I knew it! After a couple of cups of coffee I was in game mode and was ready to head to the stadium. We arrived around 8:15 AM and got the rest of the gear unloaded. It was a beautiful morning! My dad was craving a Bloody Mary, so we had to jump start the morning with one. Bradley Walker was setting up early as well. (Tailgate spot 47 & 48) He had to get the satellite and TV setup and their TV expert was not going to make this game. It was a Bloody Mary for Bradley as well so he and Bryan could focus on the satellite setup. Jambalaya was on their menu today! We got to visit with Andrew and his group as well. (Tailgate spots 54 & 55) They we going to fry everything! They had fish, shrimp, hush puppies, biscuits, pickles and Oreo's. I am going to be close by for sure! JFord, Ms. Toni (Dawgmatic) and Mr. Harper (TechsasDawg) came by and we got to visit and talk about Tech football. The Guillot's (son is #19) stopped by as well. They are all amazing people! It's grill time! We had decided to low key things before the game and them pickup the cookin' after the game. Our pre-game grill grub consisted of pork poppers, bacon wrapped shrimp and the all mighty atomic turd poppers. I guess I should have said I was cookin' bacon. HaHa! As the grill is heating up Bobby & Julie Cockrell pull in to their tailgate spot. (#53) I kid you not; I am surrounded by so many awesome cooks. This is a dream come true! Bobby was cookin' his World Famous Teriyaki Beef. This is something that their family has made for some time and Chef Bobby has perfected it. I am sure if you stop by, Bobby will share his recipe with you. You need to bring pen and paper. There are a lot of ingredients. HaHa! Tailgating at La Tech is an awesome thing! Dusty McGehee and his wife Rachel made some incredible Jambalaya and a fried crayfish beignet that we got to sample. Dusty made the traditional spicy Jambalaya and Rachel made an awesome black eye pea Jambalaya. Thanks for sharing! It was awesome! Chef Bobby and his sous chefs David & Michael continued to cook the teriyaki beef and I finally got to sample it. It was amazing and I was in heaven! Chef Bobby also made this incredible Maque Choux. I sure love all of this food. I also got introduced to my first "Butt Naked" concoction. You start with a big drink dispenser and you add a big can of pink lemonade concentrate, 1/2 bottle of vodka and 6 to 8 cans of cheap beer. You shake it up and serve over ice. I was told that after many of these you will run "Butt Naked" anywhere! I must admit, it was pretty tasty! No, I did not streak down tailgate alley! HaHa! After all of this awesome food and adult beverages I am a stuffed duck. I hear the sirens and the team have arrived. We make our way over to watch the players make the walk through our awesome band. I see Matt and he is lookin' straight forward and I know he is focused. I am ok with him not looking at me. I know his game face is on. His Mom (Janet) wants to see eyes! I was very disappointed when I saw CF peel off and go to the field house around the west side of the stadium and not walk with the team down the field. What message does this give this team? If your a team player then walk with the team! I can tell you I do not like the message! After a couple of more adult beverages I am game ready. We normally sit next to the tuba players, but this time we sat in the upper level right behind the band. I liked these seats. I feel good about this game! Here we go! Matt kicks off and the height was good but the distance was so so. There was some wind, but we were able to stop Utah St. at the 25. Utah St. ran 14 plays and attempted a 40 yard field goal. No good, wide left. Here we go! Ross, Lennon and Tim all take their snaps at QB. Wow! This is different! 12 plays later and Ross connects with Tim! Matt makes the PAT and I am smiling. Back and forth we go in the 2nd quarter and we score again. Who is calling these plays? I like what I am seeing! Matt kicks a 38 yard field goal and Utah St. connects with a 40 yard field goal and the first half comes to an end with Tech leading 17 to 3. Holy Moly! I am first half satisfied and like what I am seeing. The play calls on offense are crazy good and the defense is playing lights out. Where has all of this been? The 3rd quarter goes by pretty quick and Utah St. gets a 22 yard field goal. Our defense is rockin'! The start of the 4th quarter we run one play and Matt lines up for a 45 yard field goal and I watch Matt from my lens and I hear block! I have pictures, but I did not see it. Was it a good snap, was it a good hold, was the line pushed back, did Matt get a low kick off? I just don't know! This was Matt's first block in his kicking career. Whatever the problem was Matt will say it was on him. That is just the way Matt is. I am ok with this and the film and pictures will tell. Matt will still take all of the blame and that is ok. That is what makes Matt, Matt! I know Matt will beat himself up over this and he will be better because of it. Tech gets the ball back at the 9:38 mark and they march down and score with Lennon running for a 10 yard score. Tech goes up 24 - 6 and this would be the final score. I am not sure what happen in practice or in the locker room this week, but we need to try to duplicate the same intensity. It feels so good to get a win! Way to go Dawgs! I make my way back over to the tailgate area while the rest of the family goes over to the field house to see Matt. I would see him later as he and some of the players were going to come over and get some food and visit for a bit. The grill is lit and ready to cook. We are cookin' pork tenderloins for some pork sliders, sausage for some sausage wraps, pork poppers, and some more of those famous Maxwell's Markets atomic turd poppers. The family made its way back over and said Matt was pretty pissed that he had a block. He goes into all FG's and PAT's going 1 for 1 and that did not happen. We all know Matt and he will grow from this experience! Mr. Harper, Ms. Toni, John Sr., Janet, Mr. Rust, Matt, Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen, JFord (Pop Corn Man), Kasie (Matt's girlfriend) and David & Barbara (Janet's Aunt & Uncle) all made their way over and were starving! Food was served and great football conversation was happening. What a great day it has been. I talked to Matt some and he was not sure exactly what happened except the defense got tremendous penetration. He was upset for the special teams and knew they would grow and learn from it. Dan I know you will get your double real soon! There is nothing wrong with a single as long as you have several of them! HaHa! I love ya Dan! With the early start of the game many of our tailgate neighbors cooked after the game. This was really cool and I wished many more on tailgate alley would have done the same! There was even a Dancing with the Stars competition. I think Dusty was the Big Winner, but I must state "What happens in Ruston stays in Ruston! Dusty is going to kill me on this one! Our night comes to an end! Wow, I am tired, stiff and I am in need of a bed! I was so impressed with the whole team! They played as one unit! Maybe it was the players. Maybe it was the coaches, but whatever it was, it worked. My first shout out goes to the entire team and the coaching staff, it was a job well done by all. A win makes everything good. I hope we continue with a similar game plan against Idaho. My next shout out goes to Missy Farrar, she is the academic advisor for the football team and she does not get enough credit for everything she does for this team. She works behinds the scenes and keeps these athletes in check with their school work and study hall. I appreciate everything you do for the team and for keeping Matt in line with his grades. La Tech is very blessed to have such a wonderful person like you! Sunday morning comes way too early! We take the tents down and re-load the suburban. Then it is off to the Waffle House to meet Matt and Dan for a quick breakfast. Matt was anxious to go watch film and see what he needs to start working on for the Idaho game. What a weekend and I hope the La Tech supporters will show up in masses for the Idaho game. We need everyone to be in attendance. I will end my Utah St. experience here! This is going to be a busy week for me. It is the World's Largest Cruise Event week and I hope to be super busy as I share my passion in travel. It is time for me to get my mind right for Idaho. Idaho is 3 - 2 on the season and is coming off of a great season last year. It is going to be a tough game for us, but one I feel like we can win. We had them last year and let them come back and beat us. Matt missed a 56 yard game winning field goal last year wide left. I can tell you that Matt thinks about that kick every day and wants revenge on Idaho this year. Idaho potatoes need to be put back in the ground! They are not ready for La Tech this year. I know it is cold in Idaho during the fall, but why do you have a dome? Who came up with this Kibble & Bits dome concept? You would think that you would want your opponents to have to play in the elements. Is that why you are the Vandals? Are you a person who deliberately causes damage or destruction to personal or property in public view? No wonder why you have to hide in your Kibble & Bits dome! Bring your Vandal butt’s to Ruston! We are ready for you spuds! I have to give another shout out to Josh Scobee! He made 5 field goals and 3 PAT’s on Sunday. Josh is on fire this year. My fantasy team loves all of the points! Congrats again Josh. The Bulldog Nation is pulling for you! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I don’t intend to upset or hurt anyone, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Tech Nation Radio every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. It should be a great show as always! 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!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hawaii 10/2/10

The time is here! The time is now. It is Hawaii 5 0 week. I mean Hawaii at 5:30 Island time week! Hawaii? Are you kidding me? I want to go! What an experience for those who have not been to Hawaii. I don't know much about the Hawaii team except that they are the #1 passing offense in the nation. I think what they do is get teams to travel 10's of hours, get them leied, cook them a whole pig and then perform some sort of hula voodoo on them before the game. Is that even fair? No wonder their passing game is #1, they hypnotize you before the game! HaHa! Hawaii is an awesome place to visit on vacation, but it is a long ways to travel from Ruston to Honolulu, especially when you have a game the week before and the week after. What scheduling genius did this, Benson and his monkeys? Come on CUSA please call our name! We are ready! Even though I am in the travel business, Matt has not ventured away from home too much until he started playing football for La Tech. This will be an awesome experience for him if he can sit still for the 8 hour plane ride from Dallas to Honolulu. Matt, it is time to chill, read a book, watch a movie and before you know it you will be getting leied in Hawaii. I have made the flight from Dallas to Honolulu and it always seems like it takes forever. I am not an upright sleeper, so I have to find something else to occupy my time. Looking at the Hawaii team from the outside they have some horses at wide receiver. Salas #1 and Pilares #21 look like to go to guys for Moniz. Both receivers are good size and they have amazing stats so far this year. It is going to be tough to win in Hawaii, but I hope our coaching staff has our team prepared for this all pass team. Here is a little history on Hawaii football. In 1909 The College of Hawaii “Fighting Deans” played and won its first game against McKinley High School 6 - 5. Because of limited travel opportunities, Hawaii only played local high schools, military and club teams for its first eight seasons. In 1920 The College of Hawaii becomes the University of Hawaii and the football team plays its first intercollegiate game against Nevada. They won 14 - 0. In 1923 a rainbow appears over the football field after UH upset Oregon State, 7-0, at Moiliili Field. Reporters begin calling UH teams the “Rainbows.” In 1946 after taking a four-year hiatus due to World War II, UH returns to the gridiron as a member institution of the NCAA. Hawaii played in the "TERMITE PALACE" Nicknamed for its deteriorating facade, Honolulu Stadium was home to Hawaii football from 1926-74. In 1975 Aloha Stadium made its debut and all Hawaii games are still played here. Currently UH has 19 players playing in the NFL. That is an amazing stat by its self. This is enough of Hawaiian Haka football lore. Matt said it was going to be a tough week for him. He had to get all of his school work taken care of in advance and get himself mentally prepared before they took off on Thursday to Hawaii. He said practice had gone well. The ball is still popping off of his foot well. His FG's with team and by himself have been pretty spot on. His kickoffs are getting deeper and his hang times have been all over 4.0. He said he had a few over 4.3 seconds. I would think our coverage team should be able to get down field and pin them within the 20 yard line with 4 plus hang time. One thing that Matt has done this year is limit the amount of kicks he is doing during the week. I feel like this will keep him from getting dead leg at the end of the season along with keeping him fresher for game time. Matt said the team looked good and the intensity on the field was high. Matt has his daily special teams meetings he attends and has been attending the offensive team meetings as well. He feels like this gives him a better grasp of the total offensive scheme. Thursday they have an early light practice before they bus to Shreveport to catch flight #1 to Dallas. The team arrived in Honolulu on flight #2 around 4:30 PM Hawaiian time. They checked into the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort and they had free time the rest of the evening. Matt, Ryan Allen & Chandler Spence went to PF Chang's on the beach and had dinner. Matt said eating with a view of Waikiki Beach was awesome. They got to walk around the beach some Thursday evening as well. Friday morning the team went to Aloha Stadium and did a walk through. He kicked few kickoffs and field goals. He said the wind was weird because of the stadium configuration. Next they were off to Pearl Harbor. I think this is awesome that the team gets to do this. I hope Matt enjoys the experience. Going to Pearl Harbor is one of those things in life that you need to do. Friday night they have a team dinner and Saturday is meetings, mental walk thru and then it is game time. This will be my first game to not see Matt play in person this year. It is a little sad and all will be ok. My weekend would start off by sampling a few beers from my Pumpkin Pack! I know it is pretty stupid, but I made my own six-pack from Oktoberfest, autumn and Pumpkin themed beers. Some were good and some were not so good. Pumpkin Pie with a fizz is a little strange. My favorite was Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown Ale and my least favorite was Shiner Oktoberfest. Our lunch on Saturday consisted of Sushi in honor of playing Hawaii. I am good with real sushi, but Janet (wife) is not a fan. I convinced her that she could get some rolls with cooked stuff inside and she trusted me. HaHa! It is true; you can rolls for the non adventurous people. We found 3 rolls that she committed to order and she was surprised how good they were. If you run into her in the tailgate area ask her about her sushi experience. I know she would love to share! We watched the LSU - Tennessee game and I about fell out on the floor when the announcers made the comment when Tennessee did not send out their replacement (Palardy) true freshman kicker to kick a 46 yard FG. Lincoln had a sore hamstring so he was not playing. They said Dooley would not send out a true freshman to make that long of a kick. History tells me that they sent Matt out for a 58 yard FG against Hawaii last year. CBS needs to do their homework! Janet's parents (Meggie & Papaw) were in town and came over in the early evening. We pigged out on wings from the Wing Stop and consumed just enough Red Wine to be roasty toasty before the 10:30 PM CST kickoff. I sure am glad we have to watch only one game this late this year. We ordered the video stream from the UH athletic site. Janet (wife) had a cable that went from her computer to the TV so we could watch it on a larger screen. This was really cool. Last year I did not know what to expect watching games on TV. I wore multiple pairs of drawers and stood in the kitchen and watched. It will be interesting to see how I handle myself, but I am going to start out with only one pair of drawers this year. Well it is game time, my cheeks are rosy (red wine kickin' in), the radio is on in one room and the game is on in the bedroom. Well it is late and Janet (wife) needs to lie down to watch the game. As she gets older it is harder for her to stay up past midnight! HaHa! La Tech kicks off and Matt kicks it 5 yards deep for a touch back. Great kick Matt! Hawaii pulls off a FG after 14 plays and I am numb, but ok with them only getting 3 points. La Tech gets the ball and on no, it is 3 and out on our first series. CF is this how it was designed in the first series? We hold Hawaii to a punt and here we go again with another 3 and out. WTH is going on? Hawaii gets the ball back and continues to pick our safeties apart. I just don't understand! We are now down 24 - 0 and I do not have enough red wine in the house. I am watching in one room and listening in the other. Nothing I am doing is helping the team. With a little more than 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter we make another QB change. If I were a QB, I would be afraid to start! You know you are going to get pulled! This is the craziest offensive scheme I have ever seen. Instead of High Octane we are watching the Sound of Music! This Musical Chair's game is not a football process. We have made full circle with our QB's and Ross is now in the game! About time we get some senior leadership in for this team. Before I go any further I need a definition of Musical Chairs! Musical chairs is a popular adult’s game throughout the world. Whether you play the traditional version or one of its variations, adults of all ages will have good time trying to impress the coaches and grab a spot at quarterback in this game of speed, hitting the receiver’s hands and agility. Ok, I feel better! We are playing the game correctly! Ross leads the team down the field in 10 plays and we score a touchdown. Where has this been? The play calling looks awesome and the execution looked awesome. Even though we are still down in the game I liked what I just witnessed. The first half would end at 24 -7. We take the opening kickoff in the 3rd quarter, cruise down the field and Ray Holley punches the ball in for a score. Maybe we have found our pieces to the puzzle! We would score one more TD and Hawaii would score 2 more TD's and a FG. Hawaii would defeat La Tech 41 -21. I hate to lose and even though Matt made all 3 of his PAT's and Ross came in and led the team to 3 scores I still question the coaching in this game. We have to get everyone on the same page. Coaches need to call plays that work with our current players and the players need to execute the plays that are called. This is D1 football. It is time to step up and finish this season strong. We need to protect our house and go get the road games we are supposed to win. Ross I am proud of what you came in and did. I saw a leader emerge and the team embraced you. I would love to see the same thing happen on the defensive side of the ball. I hope the CF & CD have a little more patience at the QB position. Putting in a new QB every other set of downs is not working. On the defensive side we have to quit giving up so much open space to the receivers. We should not get picked apart like that. If we can win the game at the line of scrimmage we will finish the season strong! We have to protect our QB and we must get penetration on their QB. With all of this being said, I did see some positives come from the game. I love this team and university and want to win as much as everyone else does. I say things that might upset people, but I say what I feel. I want to give a shout out to Richie Casey, Tim Molton & Ray Holley. Great touchdowns! I also want to give a shout out to the equipment staff and the training staff. Jeff Springer and Keith Bunch do not get enough credit for what they have to pull off at these away games. A special thanks to one of the hardest behind the scenes guys goes to Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen! Thanks for all you do Dan! Utah St., are you ready for us? I don't think so. You are going to see a team that you never expected to see. We play three Aggie teams this year. That is just crazy! What is a Blue Aggie? Do you have an all male cheer leading squad as well? What the heck is your Beno Club? I know what Beno is at the drug store! The definition given by the Blue Aggie web site is stupid. The term Beno came from some Salt Lake City students, while still in high school, had approached their principal at West High about starting a club. The principal's response was that there would "be no" clubs. The experience stayed with the young men, and when they came north to attend Utah St. the name stuck with them.Today one can become a "Beno Club Member" by receiving a kiss on the "A" (statue) under a full moon at midnight by somebody who already is a "Beno Club Member," or on Homecoming or A-Day by somebody who is not. This True Blue Aggie tradition is run by the Student Alumni Association and Beno Club members. I will end my Hawaii experience here! Bring it on Blue Aggies! You are going to get your ears thumped in Ruston! Go kick some butt on Saturday Dawgs! I will be there cheering as hard as I can! If you are out and about before are after the game stop by tailgate spot 52. We have cold beverages and something to nibble on. Matt will be there after the game as well! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt and this awesome group of young men! I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I don’t intend to upset or hurt anyone, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at La Tech Nation Radio every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. I was not there to take any pictures and I want to thank Woody Rust, Hawaii Sports, Dan Matthiesen and Gantt Graham for letting me use their awesome photography in my blog. 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!