Saturday, October 15, 2011

Idaho 10/8/11

Where do I begin? This is 2 years in a row that we have been lei-ed by a bunch of guys wearing hula skirts. This like a bad black and white movie. We were ready, we were prepared and we let them color us green on our red out! You know you are going to win some and you are going to lose some, but I would much rather have a big ole smiling W pasted on my forehead that a lonely L. I am very proud of our effort on the field don't get me wrong. We need our play makers to come to the forefront and let's kick some booty. This is a good team and we have had a few breaks go the wrong way. It's time to go forward. As Matt always tells me, you only have one day to dwell on the past as the next day your next opponent is staring you in the face! Sometimes I get stuck in these left hand turns and keep going in a circle! Sorry about that! Let's pickup the pieces and go peel some potatoes!
Moscow, Idaho here we come! Anyway you like it we will be prepared to slice it, dice it, bake it and serve these potato heads on a silver plate. I bet our coaching staff has one heck of a game plan and our players are very hungry! Before I move forward I have to comment on this so called football stadium that we are going to play in. It sort of looks like an airplane hanger except only a remote control airplane would fit in it. It is named after a brand of dog food (Kibble & Bits), the stands are setup like a high school gymnasium and the goal posts are attached to the wall. It is one of the weirdest stadiums I have ever seen. Matt seemed in good spirits most of the week. He was a little down from the Hawaii game and I understand! I think everyone was. He said he blew out his kicking cleat and was going to go old school and go back to his cleats from his freshman year.
He had a score to settle in Idaho and he was going with his all Black cleats. Even though he has a couple of other sets of cleats already fitted that these black cleats just felt like the right pair to wear. He said they are still kicking a lot as they practice on timing. In my opinion only, there has got to be a set amount of kicks a week someone can kick otherwise you are going to have a dead leg before the season is up. Who knows! I am just an observer, but I think it would be true! He said his kicks with the team and with CT have been pretty much money. CL and TB have been doing awesome on snaps and the holds. He said the team is ready for the road trip and the game plan is solid. I know he is licking his chops for an opportunity to put a dagger in the Vandals! One thing about Matt is if he misses a kick in a game, (ie, the 56 yard FG in the 2009 game against Idaho with no time on the clock) he will keep the distance,
stadium and hash locked in his head until he has mastered that spot. My brother (Donnie), his wife (Annie) and my nephew (Brycen) will making the journey over to the Kibble & Bits Dome from Portland. This will be the 2nd time Donnie & Annie have seen Matt play and it will be the first time for Brycen. They are going to stay at the team hotel in Lewiston. They will have a small window to visit with Matt on Friday evening and then again on Saturday morning. I know Matt will excited to have some family to visit with and help occupy the time. I have been in Richmond, VA all week and returned to North Dallas late Friday evening. I was not exactly how my game day Saturday would go, but I know I will be ready for anything and everything. Saturday morning comes early for me. I should be setting up tents and cranking up the grill in Ruston. It sort of feels weird to be honest.
This weekend in Dallas is the Texas/OU game and Janet informs me we are going to find a sports bar to go watch the game. I am in, no problem! We made are way to Dodie's Place in Allen around 10:45AM. This place was hoppin and the beer was flowing. This just like having the tailgate spot except the wrong colors were all around me and it was so loud! $2.00 pints, $2.50 glasses of wine and some good tailgate grub (appetizers) and we were set. Is it ok to drink this early in the morning at a bar? I guess so, everyone else is doing it! We were wearing our La Tech gear sitting in a sea of burnt orange and red! This is going to be fun! The game has started and this place is loud! I cannot even hear my self think. After a back and forth 1st quarter we had a FG fest and OU leads the Horn 6 - 3. Between quarters a couple of young ladies in black leather hot pants came by offering samples of Fire Fly Sweet Tea Vodka
served skinny style. We said ok and they were not too bad! Opps! I mean it was not too bad! It sort of had a sweet tea taste. You know I am all about the skinny drinks! HaHa! The 2nd quarter was not a pretty site as OU rolls of 4 TD's to the Horn's 1 TD and this game for the most part is over! We decided to pack it up and start our own tailgate at home. We had ordered the game via the Idaho website which I think is a crock! Just put it on ESPN 3 and everyone will be happy. We hooked up the computer to the wide screen and we were set. With an IPA in hand and the game getting ready to start I was primed in my big brown chair and plenty of extra drawers by my side! Oh my gosh! These Idaho broadcasters are not real smart and they leave the mike on when they go to a break! This is going to be comical! I knew this was going to happen when Matt got to Idaho. We saw a tweet by PW that after Matt warmed up he went to the exact spot
where he missed the 56 yard FG in 2009 and nailed it down the middle with plenty to spare. I just knew he would not forget. Now if he can get an opportunity like that in a game! The 1st quarter is underway and Matt kicks off with good hang time down to the 3 yard line. Back and forth we go and RA is on point so far. Some amazing punts pinning Idaho back deep. Tech mounts a 15 play attack down to the 4 yard line and the 1st quarter comes to an end. It is time for me to take my usual at when Matt kicks position behind the couch where I can just barely see the TV. It is 4th down and 2 at the Idaho 4 and Matt comes in and boots the 23 yard FG down the middle. I can breath now! Matt kicks off and we hold Idaho to a punt except they pin us down at the 1 yard line. Both punters are spot on so far! On the 2nd play Idaho tackles LC in the end zone for a safety. This is not good! We have a baseball score.
Matt kicks off to Idaho again and we hold them to a punt. Tech takes back over and drives down to the Idaho 34 where it is 3 and 10 and we take a sack back to the Idaho 39. We were in perfect position for a 51 yard FG if we did nothing but run or throw the ball away while the pressure was on. One of these days this young man will get to pop the 50 yard plus FG. The leg is there, you just have to be given the opportunity. Tech punts the ball and pins Idaho at the 7 yard line. RA, you are the man! Idaho takes over at their 7 yard line and after 7 plays JD intercepts the ball and takes it to the house! Matt boots the PAT and Tech is up on the spuds 10 - 2. Happy dance! Matt kicks off and it is a boomer! I will take a touch back every time! Idaho marches down the field and Tech holds Idaho to a 43 yard FG. Tech still leads 10 - 5. We trade a few punts and the 1st half comes to an end with Tech still up 10 - 5.
I am not sure what to think of this score. Some of our play calling is ok and some is very questionable. Our defense is playing tight! The 3rd quarter starts off with a punt fest and no one is going anywhere. High Octane Offense? JJ intercepts the ball and the HL show is just beginning as NI hits DG for a TD and after the PAT is nailed Tech now leads 17 - 5. More punts are exchanged and Tech scores with a NI 1 yard run while taking the snap under center. Did I just say he took the snap from under center? the PAT is good and Tech is rolling with a 24 -5 lead. We need to finish and keep our foot on their throats. The 3rd quarter comes to an end. The 4th quarter continues with more punt exchanges. I think both punters have punted to ball 10 times. Idaho has the ball and QG intercepts the ball at the Idaho 35. Let's take this game to the house! We get down to the Idaho 28 and go for it on 4th down and we do not convert.
What? Can you tell me why you do this except if you make it you can run more time off of the clock? You are well within MN's range and you don't take the points. Are we afraid to run up the score? You have to be kidding me. You are up by 19 and you don't try to get to 22 points ahead? Just a joke on the play calling! When we win on a consistent basis then we can attempt to play the stall game! The punt fest continues and with 4:38 left in the game Idaho takes the punt return back 81 yards for a TD. The 2 point conversion is no good! What are we doing? This team should not be able to run the ball back on us with a scent of a W in the air. Tech takes the ball and HL continues his show as the game comes to an end with Tech winning 24 - 11. A win is a win and I will take a W at anytime. We just need some more leaded fuel in our so called high octane offense. Our play calling has got to improve in my opinion. Congrats to RA for a heck of a punting performance, HL for one heck of a game and the defense was lights out. Our offense is hungry and our coaches need to take the leash off! Where is my red wine? I need someone to talk to. My dogs already think I am crazy standing behind the couch every time that Matt kicks the ball.  My brother called after the game and said it was so loud in the Kibble & Bits dome.
He said Matt was kicking the ball with so much power during warm ups and at half. The last time he had seen Matt play was his first game a Auburn and he was very impressed with his leg strength and accuracy. He sat next the the HL family and had good conversation with them. He said they were pleased with HL's decision to come to Tech! I talked to Matt before he boarded the bus. I asked him about going back to the spot from 2009 and he said it was very true. He said he nailed it with plenty of extra room! If I miss anywhere I am going to master that kick anytime I return to that stadium. He said the ref who handed him the ball for the kickoff that they moved up because of the personal foul penalty asked him if he was going to kick it through the uprights. Matt said no even though I would like to! I have to kick it slightly left because that is what my coach called and if I miss my mark I get points deducted when we watch film and go over the game. He said the ref told him that you have to be kidding me. Matt said nope it is true!
I know better than to ask Matt why they did not attempt the FG in the 4th quarter. His answer to me would of been the following: "Dad, my goal is to be ready at anytime the coaches call upon me and execute what they present me" All I can say is the he is very mentally sound! By the way, keep the old school Black Cleats going! They preformed well! Time for me to move on to the BYE WEEK! I am proud of the guys and as I stated earlier a W is a W no matter how we achieve it. We had a lot of injuries this week and the bye week will hopefully help us recover for our 2 week showdown with the Blue Aggies. I think they are confused with their name as the real Aggies are in College Station! Maybe they are like the blue santa! They have a true freshman QB just as Tech does and the games I have seen him play in he has been pretty darn good. It will be a tough test for us, but if we can somehow come away with a win I think we will be well on our way to a possible bowl game. I need to have positive thoughts. I hope everyone has a good "bye week" weekend and can catch up on whatever you are behind on! All I can say is let's get some rest this week, get our injured healed and go kick some blue aggie butt!
It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I might not say the right things, but I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are during the week and during the game. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football. My opinions about the coaches and their decisions are only mine and no one else's. Many thanks to Donnie, Annie and Brycen for making their way over from Portland to root the Dawgs on! Thanks to Mr. Morris for letting me use a few of his photos. You can order prints of your favorite Bulldog a La Tech Sports Pix. Don't forget to listen to J Ford with Bleed Tech Blue on ESPN 97.7 FM every Tuesday night at 6:00PM. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!

Hawaii 10/1/11

As I sit here and reflect on our game against Redneck U, I cannot help but wonder "What If"? How can a team that has more goats and stumps get the "W"? Up until the bitter end we had these rednecks right where we wanted them. We have got to learn to be smart with the ball and we must achieve the F-Word! "Finish!" I guess it is time to leave this game alone! It still hurts though! The Red Out is upon us! The ladies with the hula skirts will be making their way over to Ruston
this week. I am not sure what the obsession is with wearing these leaves made into skirts, but it has no place in football. They even attempt a crazy dance/chant called the Haka! Sounds like a new word for spitting! The Haka has various actions that are employed in the course of a performance, including facial contortions such as showing the whites of the eyes and poking out the tongue, and a wide variety of vigorous
body actions such as slapping the hands against the body and stamping of the feet. As well as a variety of cries and grunts are used! This sounds like to me that someone has had 4 too many! All kidding aside if we can confuse this QB like we did the pussycats from Hobby Airport we have a real good chance of sending these ladies back to their island. Matt called me several times during the week. They spent a ton of time on the snaps.
It is so critical that the timing and accuracy from CL and TB is spot on. Slower delivery times and a missed spot can be devastating for putting points on the board. He said the team has practiced hard and that the special teams unit has really spent a lot of time working on timing. He said they still continued to work on specialty kicks. I personally hope they do not have to use any of them. Kick it deep please! Matt said the team is focused
and the coaches have presented  them a good game plan. With a new deep snapper in place he kicked a lot more than normal. He said his back has been a little stiff, but a few ice baths during the week would take care of that! My oldest son (Tyler) and his good friend William would be making the trip over from Austin. It will be great to hang out with them over the weekend! We made our way over from North Dallas late Friday afternoon.
My parents were making their way up from The Villages in Florida and Janet's parents were coming over from Houston along with her Uncle from North Dallas! Once we hit Shreveport we had to stop at my favorite place, Maxwell's Market. I had talked to Ross earlier in the week and had a few things ordered for our tailgate along with a special brew called LA 31. Ross was there and we got to visit for a few minutes before we made our way to Ruston.
Tyler, William and my parents already had the tents setup before we arrived. Thank You! It sure makes it easy for arrival. On the way between Shreveport and Ruston Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen had sent us a message that one of our tents had blown away and Adam McGuirt had to put it back for us. The tent did have some wounds but was still standing. Many thanks to Adam and Dan for helping us out with our runaway tent! Once we arrived Ruston we made our way over to
the TAC for the pep rally. There were actually more people there than I thought there would be. The team made there way in and they looked loose but focused. MB and QP spoke to the fans in attendance. After the team left and the pep rally was over they handed out Red Out shirts as we exited. Thank you Community Trust Bank! When we got back to tailgate spot #52 Meggie & Papaw (Janet's parents) and Tyler and William were already enjoying adult beverages!
Now it is my turn! Even thought I prefer red wine in the evening time I like just about any kind of IPA. William had brought me an early Christmas Present and presented me with about 18 different bottles of some of the finest IPA's in the states. I can tell you I was stoked! Many thanks William for your kindness. I can tell you they will be opened with great care and swirled in a glass before each sip!
Pontchatoula's would be our dining choice this wonderful Friday night. As normal it was a great meal with great family and friends! Our evening ended with my dad opening a nice bottle of red wine at the hotel and then it was lights out. We arrived at our tailgate spot at 8:00AM and unloaded all of the totes and set the tables and grills up. Breakfast tacos would be our morning meal along with several Bloody Mary's.
I brought my old school diner flat top with me again. Sausage, hash browns, eggs, cheese and the world famous Julio's salsa would make the perfect breakfast taco. Mr. Harper joined our crew for breakfast as well this morning! Many thanks to Papaw for manning the flat top. After the food was gone and clean up was complete it was time to kick back and enjoy this amazing weather. Mr. Smoothie King (Bradly Walker) stopped by to say hello.
He was also selling the La Tech Power Bands. They were very sharp/cool looking and several of us bought one. Mr Hamm stopped by for a visit as well this wonderful morning.  As the morning wore on it was time to get a chopping. On our lunch menu was Chopped Beef Sammie's, Sausage, Pineapple, Green Pepper and Red Onion Shish-Ka-Bob's along with Meggie's Cole Slaw, Maxwell's Market Buffalo Turds and
Barbara's Potato Salad! Meggie, Carol (my mom), Tyler and William made an assembly line and put these babies on their poles. Many thanks for all of their help! I think today is going to be a food fest! Our tailgate neighbors are serving up gourmet food this week. Bradley and his team are serving up coffee spice rubbed pork tenderloins. Maxwell's Market (Ross) was serving pork loins and smoked sausage. Mr. Cockrell was making
his world famous chicken, sausage and shrimp jambalaya. I got to meet Adam (JAB) for the very first time. They were serving SPAM Sliders with swiss cheese and a homemade mustard sauce on a Hawaiian roll. The best thing about all of these great people is that everyone wants to share their food. It is always cool when we do a food swap and the surprise of the day came when Mr. McGehee (Dusty) let me sample some of his fresh
kill form this morning. With bow season opening this morning the hunt was on. It was amazing! My wife and Uncle David (Happy Birthday) made there way over to watch the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Congratulations to all of those who were inducted and a very special congratulations to Matt Stover. What a great Bulldog, an inspiration to MN #33 and what a great NFL career he had. We are very proud of you! The chopped beef is hot, the turds
are ready and the shish-ka-bob's are grilled to perfection! Let the food games begin! This was amazing! It really hit the spot. As always we had amazing people stop by to visit. Mr. Harper, Mr. Barclay, Mr. Hamm (Became a member of the 32 club today), Mr. & Mrs. Matthiesen, Mr. Rust, Mr. & Mrs. Garland and Dan "The Equipment Man" styling and profiling in his red pants! When Mr. & Mrs. Garland stopped by they had a blue La Tech cowbell.
They showed it to me and it had a Tech logo on one side and on the other it had #33. They said it is for you! I could not believe it! This was so cool! I cannot thank you enough! I am going to put it in my camera bag and sneak this baby in! The team has arrived and we made our way down to see Matt. I did get a head nod so that was all I needed. Today was Uncle David's birthday so we sang a little song and devoured some of Meggie's brownies.
Happy Birthday David! After downing a few more adult beverages it was time to head into the stadium.There they were, red jerseys and all! Let this Red Out game begin. With my cowbell in hand I was ready to make some noise and get this thing started. The kickoff is away and it is down to the 3 yard line with nice hang time. Hawaii takes the opening possession and after 5 plays Tech holds and the punt is away. Tech runs 13 plays with a 2 yard pass to QP for a Tech score.
The PAT is blocked! What? Why? How? We very rarely have a PAT blocked! Seriously, what just happened? I took a look at the picture I just took and it looks like we had an opening on the left side. I am not happy about this as we need all of the points we can against these hula skirts. Hawaii comes back and scores on a 27 yard pass and the PAT is missed by Hawaii left. This is crazy!
After a few trade outs of the ball Hawaii scores at the end of the 1st quarter and leads 13 - 6. We start the 2nd quarter with the ball and punt to Hawaii. TF, your play calling is looking mighty fine! Hawaii takes the ball and rattles off 4 plays and punts the ball. Then all hell breaks loose. For some reason the refs need to look at something with the replay official and this goes on and on. 22 minutes later we are going to get the ball where Hawaii punted from. They got 5 downs and that
is a referee no no for letting that happen. Then the Hawaii coach said he called time out before one of those plays and it should not have counted as a down. Then the refs agreed with the Hawaii coach and now we have the ball where we had it 20 plus minutes ago. What the heck is going on here? Are these refs and the replay official for real? Tech sputters the rest of the 2nd quarter and Hawaii scores to make the halftime score 20 - 6 Hawaii. I would of never imagined that we would be behind at half. While Matt was warming up during the half
Matt Stover came over and spoke with Matt before the 3rd quarter started. That was really cool! The 3rd quarter is about to begin and Matt is going to kickoff again! What is going on? We kicked off to start the game and this cannot be so. The refs let him kick and I am not sure why. This surly cannot be right! Hawaii punts and Tech scores on 3 quick plays and the PAT is good. Ok guys let's do this. Hawaii scores on their next possession and the score is now Hawaii 27 - 13. We take the kickoff and fumble. Hawaii recovers and runs it in for a TD. We throw and interception and Hawaii runs it in for a score. No this cannot be happening! What are we doing?
Tech runs 3 quick plays and scores and the PAT is good. Matt sets up for an on-sides kick and it had great height, but we did not come down with it and it goes out of bounds. Hawaii scores on a 30 yard FG and the 3rd quarter comes to an end with Hawaii leading 44 -20. Where is my adult beverage when I need one? Tech would score in the 4th quarter and the 2 point attempt was no good. The game ends with a final score of 44 - 26 Hawaii. This is going to be a tough one to swallow. I thought for sure that this was going to be our night. We looked lost at times and we looked brilliant at times. We made our way up to the field house to visit with Matt for a few minutes. When he came he just shook his head. He said he thought they really had a great chance to get a win tonight. I know he hates to visit with family when they lose, but he said hello to everyone and then got dressed. He came over to the tailgate spot for a little bit and visited with those who were still there.
It is hard to come up with what to say to him in these situations. I am better off just leaving him alone until the next day. This way he can digest everything, watch film and get ready for the next opponent. I am so numb right now. I am just not going to say anything else about the game, the dumb ass officials or the coaching staff about this game. I would probably not have any finger tips left when I got done typing. It is now off to the hotel for a nice bottle of wine or two. Matt, William, Tyler and Janet's parents met us at the tailgate spot to help load everything up and take it back to Matt's house. I asked Matt why he had to kickoff at the beginning of the game and again at the start of the 3rd quarter and he said it happen with the coin toss and the ref did not inform our captains that you cannot just pick a goal to defend. I am sure an official reason will be released. I also asked him about his conversation with Matt Stover and he told him he was kicking the ball great and to call him in the next couple of days. He wanted to discuss some things to do during warm-ups. That sounds pretty cool to me. We put everything in to the storage shed, said our good byes and headed back to North Dallas. I am going to be traveling to Richmond this week so I will get plenty of time to run these plays and piss poor officiating around in my head. Idaho is our next opponent! After I get these bad Hawaii thoughts out of my mind I need to get my mind right for the Vandals. Who in their right mind would ever want to play in the Kibble & Bits Dome.
The place looks like a bomb shelter over a basketball stadium. I know Matt has a bad taste in his mouth from this place from their game in 2009. I bet he has a little revenge on his mind. I am not going to this game, but my brother and his family will be making there way over to the game from Portland. I know they will have a great time and my nephew will as well. All I can say is let's kick some Vandal butt! It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I might not say the right things, but I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are during the week and during the game. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football. My opinions about the coaches and their decisions are only mine and no one else's. Don't forget to listen to J Ford with Bleed Tech Blue on ESPN 97.7 FM every Tuesday night at 6:00PM. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!