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!