Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nevada 12/4/10

I come into this game with a ton of emotion. Phillip Livas has a chance to break an NCAA record. Ross Jenkins is playing his last college game after the passing of his father. Matt is almost half way through his college career and this will be our last home game of the 2010 season. Hold it together College Football Dad this is what happens in Football Life! Why are things going so fast? Is this really fair? I am not even thinking about the possibilities for this team if we can somehow pull off a win over this high steppin' Nevada offense. Maybe I need to get into yoga and meditation. Can you imagine a fat guy doing yoga? I don't even want to think about it. As I get older I would hope that time would slow down so I could stop and smell something, but for some reason the conveyor belt of life keeps moving me faster than I want to go. I think I need to just sit in the corner with my box and get my mind right for Nevada. Nevada comes into Ruston with one loss and a stunner of a comeback win over Boise St. I wonder if they are spent emotionally and will looking past La Tech. I would hope that they would put their best players on the field and play the game since a share the WAC Championship is on the line. I guess I will have to wait until Saturday and see who shows up. Matt has been all over the place this week with excitement. Give him a tail and you could call him Tigger! I talked to Matt every day after practice and I am amazed at the possible play calls on all sides of the ball. If Nevada lines up this way we will do this, if Nevada lines up this way we will do this. I am not sure what to think about some of these possible play calls. I just hope that we pull everything out of the closet and put it in the play book this week. What do we have to lose? CF I don't care if you do not shave or do not wear socks with dress shoes, just grow a pair and bring it all to the field. Sorry about that, I had to say it. Now I feel better. Matt said he is really kicking the ball solid this week and his kickoffs have had good distance and hang time. His field goals have been spot on as well. I am so glad that he does not have dead leg towards the end of the season and that his leg is still fairly fresh. I just hope that CT can keep Matt from bouncing off of the walls. He is so ready to play the game and cannot wait to get on the field. I have decided to keep our last home tailgate rather simple. If the weather cooperates my menu of chili dogs and Frito pies my just be the ticket. We load up and head to Ruston early Friday morning. David (Janet's Uncle) is making the journey over with us. It should be fun! The dogs are dropped off and the Suburban is headed east to Ruston. We make our way into Ruston around noon. Matt wanted to go to Dowling’s Smokehouse. I was pretty excited about his selection. I was looking forward to eating a pulled rib meat sandwich on jalapeƱo cheese bread. I was not disappointed at all. I think this is my new favorite sandwich. Maybe Mr. Telford will open one in North Dallas someday so I don't have to drive so far to eat! HaHa! We spent a couple of hours with Matt before he had to make his way to the field house. They were going to be staying in Shreveport Friday night. We made our way over to the Fairfield Inn and got checked in. I still had a couple of hours of Travel Biz stuff to finish before the sun set. I was looking forward to dinner tonight. We were going to meet up with Mr. Harper. We went to Lee's Cajun Cafe and the company and the food was awesome. Mr. Harper is always such a blast to hang out with. Thanks Mr. Harper! We normally set up the tailgate stuff on Friday night, but decided to wait and set it up early Saturday morning. I must have been dreaming about touchdowns, because I woke up Saturday morning before I even went to bed. That was crazy! Now that I have consumed several cups of coffee I am wired. It is time to head to the stadium. The weather is perfect, the tents are set up, the grill is lit and the first Bloody Mary is poured. Cheers! Game Day is here and I am ready to put my pads on. HaHa! My oldest son Tyler is coming to the game and it will be good to throw back a couple of cold ones with him and the rest of the family before the game. The chili is hot, the dogs are cooked and the Frito's are waiting. You really cannot beat a chile dog with a cold craft beer! The food all went off without a hitch and many thanks to those who brought food for the tailgate. It has been an awesome day so far. We are at the 2 hour mark before kickoff and normally the team is here by now. Finally I can hear the sirens and the team is approaching. I am not sure why they are arriving at the 1 1/2 hour mark as this has not been the norm all year. Maybe CD has something up his sleeves. I get in line with the band and get to take a quick peek at Matt before he makes his way to the field house. He looks like he has his game face on as he passes by. No smile means game on! I made my way into the stadium right before the opening kickoff. Phillip takes the opening kickoff down to the 21 yard line and Ross marches the team down the field with and incredible pass to Eric Harper. Matt Nelson connects with the PAT. Hoo Ya! This is what we needed! We jump on the punting carrousel for several possessions until Colin Kaepernick leads Nevada for an early 2nd quarter score. This ties the score up 7 – 7 at the 12:52 mark. We take the kickoff and execute a 12 play series with a combo pack of runs and a few passes. Ross Jenkins pounds it in from a yard out and Matt Nelson puts the PAT through. I am very nervous! Matt kicks off into the end zone and Nevada brings it out to the 17. Nevada strings a 14 play series and scores on a Kaepernick 5 yard run. This makes the score 14 – 14 with 2:04 left in the game. The ball is kicked short to Phillip and he takes it 17 yards to the La Tech 33. We have to get points before the half. After a couple of runs and a couple of passes we are on the Nevada 49 with a 4th and 1. Don’t do it! You have to be kidding me! Remember we have nothing to lose and we punt the ball. Take you chance and get some points. We are not playing for the WAC championship. This is like throwing in the towel. WTH? Nevada gets the ball with 19 seconds left and thank goodness they run 2 plays and it is half. The score is tied at 14 – 14. I just do not understand! Conservative play calling is not for me. I thought we were bringing all of our guns loaded. Looks like we shot a blank on that one! Matt & Ryan come out to warm-up at the 9 minute mark before the 3rd quarter starts. The next thing I see is a La Tech promotion chick with a fake headset telling Matt and Allen they cannot kick. Are you kidding me! Does she know we are playing a football game? I would have booted her through the uprights. I have a feeling that CT will get that taken care of in the future. What a joke! Matt kicks off into the end zone again and Nevada brings it out to the 17. Our coverage team is putting a blanket on Nevada. Props to them! Kaepernick leads Nevada on another 12 play series and Nevada goes up 21 to 14. La Tech gets the ball back and rattles off 16 plays and settles for a 25 yard field goal by Matt Nelson. I am all for the points and now a touchdown will put us in the lead. We just need to hold Nevada on their next possession. Matt kicks off to the goal line and Nevada brings it out to the 27 yard line. The 3rd quarter comes to an end with Nevada up 21 – 17. We are still in this. The offense has to put the ball in the end zone or through the uprights and the defense has to stop their every move. It can be done! I am a believer! The 4th quarter does not start off good as Nevada scores very quick, making the score Nevada 28 -17. La Tech gets the ball back and goes 3 and out and we punt. Hey Mr. Coach in the press box! Is your gun loaded with bullets or did you forget to load it. Remember, WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE! Hello! Nevada proceeds with 6 plays and finds the end zone again. What are we doing? Nevada now leads 35 – 17 with 10:15 to go in the game. Nevada kicks off to Phillip and there he goes up the sideline. Can it be? Oh no! It is a saving tackle by the Nevada kicker. Phillip was so close to breaking it for the much needed TD and a NCAA record. Phillip, it was an awesome 60 yard kickoff return. La Tech has great field position. We run 5 plays and now are presented with a 4th and 6 at the Nevada 14. You are 3 scores down and you have to take the points. Kick the field goal and get within 2 scores. What do we do? We run call a QB run and we give the ball over on downs. I am speechless! What are these coaches thinking not taking the points? This has happened all year and has bit us in the butt all year long! We have to be the entire first chapter in the book “Coaches Bloopers & Blunders”. Nevada then plays keep away and comes away with a victory over La Tech. The score ends up Nevada 35 – 17. I am numb! I cannot believe the conservative play calling I have just witnessed. I am not sure how much time has passed away as I stare at the field, but the next thing I know is Matt is standing in front of me wanting to know what the hell I was doing. I had told him yesterday I wanted a picture with him after the game and I guess I was lost in Na Na land. I made my way up to the locker room area and took some pictures with Matt and the rest of the family. Matt was pretty upset that they lost. He thought it was one of his better games with his kickoffs. I asked him about the promotion chick and she told Matt it was a WAC rule that they cannot warm up until the 3 minute mark. Matt knew this was bogus and went back out to kick. Whoever the promotion chick reports to should tell her that we have a game to play and it is football, not the Papa John’s kissing cam! I am sure she has a difficult job, but leave the football players alone and worry about the fans in the stands! Enough of the promotion chick, she just got confused with the microphone on her head! Janet and I made our way back over to the tailgate space. The rest of the family was waiting. Matt made his way over and thanked everyone for coming to the game. We were not cooking this time after the game so we decided to go ahead and take down the tents and load up. David, thanks for helping us take everything down. Matt and several others were going to the basketball game. We will catch up with Matt before we head back to Dallas Sunday morning. What a season of ups and downs! I feel like a yo yo! I will save my comments on the season for my final blog of the 2010 season. I will wait until the bowl games are over before I post my thoughts. My shout outs go to all of the seniors who have played their last game at La Tech. I thank you for the experiences that you have given me. I wish you nothing but success in the future. I also have to give a shout out to the rest of the team that will be coming back next year. Many thanks for all of your efforts this year and I look forward to cheering you on to victory next year. Matt Nelson, as a College Football Dad I am so impressed with what you have accomplished in your college career so far. You have so much potential that is not even tapped yet. Your ability to kick the ball through the pipes is amazing. I have never seen so much heart and desire to accomplish someone’s goals on the field and the classroom that you have displayed to us all. I look forward to following you as you travel on your journey. As your father I am very proud of you and your accomplishments on and off the field. It probably does not get said enough, but, I Love You Man! Thank you for letting me be part of your life! Thanks for all of the football memories you have given us so far and look forward to many more. They are still memories even though I might sit in the closet during the games I cannot attend! HaHa! I have been pretty tough on the coaching staff this year. Some of it I feel like was deserved and some was just my own venting. I do have faith, but we need to win now, not in 3 years. I wish I had a team to pick on for our upcoming game, but our season has come to an end. I have met so many incredible people here at La Tech and I am so blessed and honored to have got to hang out with you. I want to thank all of our family members and friends for making all of the long journeys to come support Matt and The La Tech football team. Words cannot express our gratitude. I want to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday and may your stockings be filled with joy and happiness. Please be safe in your travels! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment and sometimes I get a little carried away. I don’t intend to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Everything I say comes from my heart! I am just a College Football Fan and I love football! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Tech Nation Radio every Tuesday night. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! If you know anyone who needs help with their travel plans just let me know. I would love to help. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

San Jose State 11/27/10

I am not sure I am going to be able to handle this bye week business. Do the people who make the schedules know that they are messing with my mind? When you are addicted to something they should not be able to take things away! Shame on you schedule makers for torturing me like this! One thing I know is that we will not have to mess with that monkey this week. He gets to spend Thanksgiving in New Mexico. HaHa! In all seriousness, 2 weeks without Tech football is probably good for the soul, but don't throw in a day of eating 2nds and 3rds! I already need to be on a diet. I spent the first part of the week trying to come up with a logo for Fantasy Cruise & Travel. I have a lot of ideas in my head, but they don't ever make it to the computer. Oh well, I will get one designed sometime soon I am sure. With New Mexico State in our rear view mirror, we now get to focus on the San Jose State Spartans. I have been looking for something on the Spartans and it is just not there. I know a Real Spartan is from Sparta, but how in the heck did they come up with this name for San Jose State. The web tells me they adopted the Spartan as their mascot in 1925. Why? What does it have to do with this teachers college? Prior to 1925 they had 5 different nicknames. The nicknames were the Daniels, the Teachers, the Pedagogues, the Normals and the Normalites. What the heck is Pedagogues? My dictionary tells me that it is a school teacher or educator who instructs in a pedantic or dogmatic manner. That is all just weird! Sammy Spartan, I hope all of your feathers fall out and you lose your shield! The team was going to practice for a few days and then CD was going to give them a couple of days off since they have a bye week. Matt said he had good practices and was kicking the ball well. He said he has not kicked as much this year, unlike last year and his leg really feels fresher towards the latter part of the season this year. Matt was going to spend his few days off with his Small Group from church. They were going to camp at Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton, AR. There is nothing wrong with some hiking and sharing each other’s ministry during some downtime from football. He said the scenery and views were incredible. He said his sleeping bag covered up everything except his nose. They had a team meal Sunday afternoon and then it was time to get his mind right for San Jose State. They watched a lot of film and had a few "Back Pocket" plays that the special teams worked on just in case the right opportunity presented itself. Matt has had several occasions where he and some of the players have given back to the community since he has been at La Tech. With this being Thanksgiving week the entire team was going to be out in the community giving back to those less fortunate. Matt said he went to a retirement center on Tuesday where he and several other team mates played bingo with most of the people who lived at the center. He said it was a blast and hopes they have more opportunities to visit and share with the community of Ruston. I think it is great that Coach Dykes and his staff encourage this with the players. I am very proud of this football team. Matt said the practices had gone well and he was making good movement through the ball. He said he liked hanging out with the sweet spot! HaHa! The team had an early morning practice on Thanksgiving Day and then a team dinner around noon. He said the turkey was pretty dry compared to the fried turkeys we normally make during the Thanksgiving. I guess that is what happens when you get spoiled to an injected bird fried in oil! The players were allowed to visit family or friends that afternoon as long as it was no further than 1 hour & 15 minutes away from campus and they had to let the coaching staff know where they were going and when they would be back. Matt spent the afternoon with Sutton Davison's family in Shreveport and ate some more and watched football. Thanks for having Matt over and making him feel like family. Matt made his way back to Ruston later that evening. The team left Monroe Friday afternoon and arrived San Jose 3 1/2 hours later. I talked to Matt after the team dinner and they were going to a movie and they will probably watch the end of the Boise - Nevada game when they got back to the hotel. I was going to watch the Boise - Nevada game. I had mixed emotions about this game! The only thing I will say about the game is that this was a true tale of two half's. As a parent of a college football player I felt like my heart was stabbed when I saw Kyle miss those two kicks. College Football is big business and don't let anyone tell you it is not! Kickers have to be so mentally focused to produce the product of a well executed kick! Life goes on, but the memories of that game will last a lifetime for the Boise faithful! Stay strong Kyle Brotzman, you are a good kicker! Game day is here and I am ready for some football! My drawers are in place and my box is being chilled. This is going to be difficult game for me! There will not be a visual of the game. Come on ESPN3 help us out here. Nope, not going to happen! I have decided to follow Patrick Walsh on the Game Day chat and listen to the game on All Access. Janet (wife) is setup in the bedroom and will be listening to the game broadcast with the San Jose State announcers. We cannot be in the same area. She paces and I normally move to a different area of the house and listen or watch from a far! We take the opening kickoff and in 3 plays Lennon Creer pounds it in from 40 yards out and Matt Nelson connects on the PAT! I have not even finished my first glass of wine! Wow! San Jose State takes the kickoff and in 2 plays they are in the end zone. No way! What just happened? Back and forth we go exchanging punts. We stay on the ground With Ray Holley and Lennon Creer and Lennon takes it in from the 1 yard line. Matt Nelson connects on the PAT! Hello, we need more of this! We exchange a few more punts and the Creer/Holley show is at it again and Ray Holley rams it in from 4 yards out and Matt puts the PAT through the uprights! Happy Dance and red wine in the glass! San Jose State starts the 2nd quarter with a 10 play drive and the score is 21 - 14 Tech. La Tech takes the kickoff and runs off 14 plays and Matt Nelson connects with a 33 yard field goal. That drive used up some time. After a San Jose State punt La Tech takes the ball down field and Lennon Creer is in again and Matt connects on the PAT. We throw an interception on our next possession and let San Jose State come back and score to end the half with Tech up 31 - 21. What are we doing? We cannot give up these easy scores. I think I need to take my box and go sit in the corner for halftime. San Jose State takes the kickoff and converts a FG. After the 4th exchange of back and forth punts Mr. Phillip "Saturday Night" Livas takes it to the house for an 88 yard scamper for a TD and Matt connects with another PAT. Phillip Livas has just tied an NCCA record. Happy Dance! Congratulations Phillip! The 3rd quarter comes to an end with Tech up 38 - 24. The 4th quarter starts off with the battle of the punts and then we let San Jose State run off 10 plays and score. This is not good! Why am I a nervous wreck? We take the kickoff and run off 15 plays and Ross Jenkins pounds it in from 6 yards out and Matt pushes the PAT through the uprights. I can now come out of the closet and sit by my computer! Woo Hoo! Wrong! We let SJS score and attempt and onside kick which we recover and then we have to punt. Thank You Chad Boyd as Chad intercepts the ball and the game comes to an end! Wow another road win, but I am exhausted! Way to hang on Dawgs! A road win good or ugly is still a road win! I hope we can figure out the pass coverage before we play Nevada. We gave up almost 500 yards of passing. We have so much talent on the defensive side of the ball. I wish I could put my finger on a fix! No matter what my game time thoughts are I am very proud of this team. We are coming home to play Nevada with a possible chance to get to 500 for the year and a possible bowl game invite. I had high expectations before the season started, but that was really not fair with a new coaching staff. The foundation is being laid and I can see that. My game shout outs go to Phillip Livas for the NCAA tying return record, Lennon Creer for 252 rushing yards and 3 TD's, Ryan Williams and Chad Boyd for key interceptions. Matt called before they had to get on the bus. He was pretty pumped up with the win. He said he was happy with most of his kicks. They had a couple of high snaps that Ross was able to get down. We did not talk very long before it was time for the team to head to the airport. I am breathing a little better now. That was very stressful! I hate non visual games. We have the high stepping Nevada Wolf Pack coming to Ruston on Saturday! I hope we show up in masses and rock Joe Aillet Stadium. Our team deserves it and our seniors really deserve it. I will be there loud and proud! Colin Kaepernick needs a Bulldog beat down and I have a good feeling that our defense is going the show him schemes he will never forget as he ends his senior year. Don't get me wrong Colin is an awesome QB, but he hit his home run against Boise State and Ross is on deck for his last at bat! I see a Ross Jenkins home run and a Phillip Livas record setting day! Safe travels to Ruston on Saturday and let's rock this joint! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson 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 hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Everything I say comes from my heart! I am just a College Football Fan and I love football! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Tech Nation Radio every week. The photo’s are courtesy of La Tech Athletics and the World Famous Tom Morris. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! If you know anyone who needs help with their travel plans just let me know. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!