Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Virginia - 9/29/12

Where do I go from here? We just took the wind out of the windy city. Well, we were close to the windy city. What is this team going to do next? It is hard for me to concentrate wondering what journey this team is going to take me on in the future. Our offense is on fire, our special teams units are containing the returns and our defense is improving every week. The college football world has got to like the smell of a possible BCS Buster! I need to bottle this stuff up and sell it as a new fragrance. Matt tells me all of the time we take one game at a time, he takes one kick at a time and I need to focus on only that game they are getting ready to play. Do you know how hard that is to do? I am trying really hard! I am excited about the Virginia game. Janet and I are going to make the trip to Charlottesville. We are going to Baltimore for a couple of days and will catch the Ravens game on Thursday night and the Orioles game on Friday night. Then it
will be an early morning drive to Charlottesville. It should be a blast. I have watched Virginia play a few times on TV but I really don't know that much about them. They play in the ACC and they are in a town that Charlotte's Web originated in. I know they have a hard time figuring out what to call themselves. Sometimes they go by the Cavaliers, the Wahoos, the Hoos, the V-men, the Virginians or the Old Dominion. What is this all about? Come on man, figure it out! How can you call yourself the Hoos? They even call their jumbo-tron the Hoo Vision. Really? Is this where Horton Hears a Hoo is from? My favorite quote from Horton Hears a Hoo is "In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies." You gotta love it! I talked to Matt a couple of times early in the week. He was super excited that we were coming to the Virginia game. He was kicking the ball really well and the team was practicing really well. He thinks they have a real good game plan and that they can beat Virginia. CT still wants him play the pin the tail on the donkey in the left corner.
I guess I understand, but I really don't. They worked on their specialty kicks as they were not sure what schemes they would show on kickoffs. Just kick the ball! Tuesday afternoon as I was finishing up work projects I got a call from Janet. It was the phone call that you never want to get. Janet informed me that her Grandmother (Nino) had just passed away. Oh no! How Janet going to handle this? How were we going to tell Matt and Tyler? How would this affect Matt while he is preparing for Virginia? They were both very close to her in their own way. Nino was a huge fan of La Tech football. She never attended a game and watched very few of the games on TV, but she did have a lot of pictures of Matt that she would show everybody who came to visit her. I talked to both boys and though they were very sad they handled the call very well. Matt had talked to CT and CD and they wanted him to attend the funeral if it was on Thursday. If not they wanted him to fly out with the team on Friday and we were ok with that. Janet's mom and uncle were able to get everything set up and the funeral would be late Thursday afternoon. Matt let the coaches know and they told him to head to Dallas Thursday morning and to be back early Friday
morning. They felt it was important for him to have closure and then prepare himself for the game on Saturday. They know he is mentally strong and with his faith it will carry him through. Tyler came in Wednesday afternoon and Matt made it over around noon on Thursday. This was going to be a very tough day, but this family is strong and we will make it through it. Visitation was at 3 PM and the funeral was at 4 PM. It was a beautiful service as we celebrated the awesome life of Nino. The Pastor stated in his message that Nino liked and talked about two things and that was the Bible & Louisiana Tech Football. All of those at the service got a chucke out of that. Nino we love you and you will be missed. We know you are in heaven watching down on all of us. We said our goodbyes to Tyler & Matt as they would not be going to the cemetery. We felt it was best for them to have as much time to get back to Ruston and Austin and not have to worry about being in a rush. I know Matt & Tyler will be strong. We felt it was best to cancel the rest of our trip to the Virginia game. It would have been an awesome trip, but family during these times are far more important. We had a lot of family (Meggie, Papaw, Mike, Melynda, Mikayla, John, Janet, David, Barbara and the 4 dogs Roxie, Cubby, Abe and McCoy) together for the game and we were going to have a big party watching the Dawgs take on the Hoo's. We all hung out at Janet's aunt & uncle's (David & Barbara) house Saturday as we awaited the 2:30 kickoff. The snacks were out, the beer was flowing, the red wine was flowing and even the vodka was flowing as
we all got our game faces on. Janet's brother (Mike) had his computer already hooked up on the wide screen as this game was on ESPN3. David had chairs set up everywhere. This way we had a front row and a back row. The only problem is that no one wanted the front row. We have a lot of nervous watchers who can't sit still like me. It's game time! Matt kicks off and we stop them at their 22 yard line. Virginia runs 5 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over at our 11 yard line and we run 3 plays and punt. I think each team is testing each other out. Virginia takes over at our 36 yard line and runs 2 plays and scores a TD. Tech starts at our 28 yard line and run 8 plays as Matt Nelson comes in and drills a 31 yard FG. Now that's what I am talking about. As usual I have to go in the other room as he kicks and wait for the family to say woo hoo or it is good. Virginia now leads 7 - 3. Matt kicks off and we stop Virginia at their 22 yard line. Virginia runs 9 plays
and scores another touchdown. Really? What are we doing? Tech starts on our 39 yard line and run 8 plays as CC hits PRS for a 3 yard strike. Matt connects on the PAT and Virginia leads 14 - 10. Matt kicks off and we stop Virginia at the 10 yard line. Virginia runs 3 plays as the 1st quarter comes to an end. The 2nd quarter starts with Virginia running 2 plays and scores another TD. Virginia is now up 21 - 10. What are we doing guys? Tech takes the ball on our 16 yard line and we run 3 plays and punt. What? Virginia takes over at their 41 yard line and runs 13 plays and connects on a 35 yard FG. This is not looking good! Virginia kicks off and DJB runs it back 94 yards to the Virginia 3 yard line. That was sweet. Tech runs 4 plays and cannot get the ball as we go for it on 4th down. We had the ball on the one foot line. When you don't go under center in this position you are at a huge disadvantage from the get go. Go under center! Come on man! Never give up the points! You have to kick the FG here! Virginia takes over on
downs and runs 6 plays as QG intercepts the ball and is tackled at the Virginia 25. Tech runs 2 plays and RH scores from 16 yards out. Matt connects on the PAT and Virginia now leads 24 - 17. Let's go! Matt kicks off to the end zone and Virginia brings it out to the 20 yard line. Virginia runs 3 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over at our 40 yard line and runs 10 plays and Matt Nelson comes in and drills a 40 yard FG as the family told me it was good. Just awesome Matt! Man, I hope I don't need a drawer change after this game. I did not bring any extras! We kick off and the 2nd quarter come to an end with Virginia leading 24 - 20. Wow! We need to come out fast and furious in the 3rd quarter. Tech starts the 3rd quarter at our 27 yard line. We run 14 plays as RH scoots in from 11 yards out. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech now leads 27 - 24. I like this. Let's keep this up. Matt kicks off and we stop Virginia at their 10 yard line. Virginia runs 3 plays and punts. Tech takes over at the Virginia 50 yard line and runs 4 plays as RA comes into punt. Virginia starts at
their 35 yard line and runs 4 plays as DC intercepts the ball and returns it to the Virginia 43 yard line. Happy Dance! Tech runs  4 plays as CC runs it in from 14 yards out. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is up 34 - 24. Way to go guys! Matt kicks off and we stop Virginia at their 20 yard line. Virginia runs 2 plays and CH intercepts the ball and takes it to the house for a touchdown! Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is now up 41 - 24! Are you kidding me? Someone please pinch me! Matt kicks off for a touch back. Virginia runs 10 plays and attempts a 39 yard FG and it is no good. Tech takes over at our 22 yard line and runs 3 plays as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. Just incredible! It's time defense! Tech runs 5 plays and it is 3rd and 14 at the Virginia 28 and Matt comes in and drills a 45 yard FG as the family gave me the signal from the other room. Oh my, I am about to have a problem! Way to go Matt! Tech is now up 44 - 24. We can do this! Matt kicks off and Virginia returns it to their 30 yard line.
 Virginia runs 14 plays and scores a TD. Tech takes over at 25 yard line and runs 5 plays and RA comes on to punt. I have faith! Virginia takes over at their 12 yard line and runs 7 plays and scores another TD. Are you kidding me? What are we doing? Tech takes the kick off and we start at our 26 yard line. We run 3 plays as Virginia uses all 3 of their time outs and it is 4th down and we send out our punt team and let the clock run down and we call time out. We then send our offense back in like we are going to go for it and Virginia has a penalty called on them for 12 players on the field. Are you kidding me? This gives us a 1st down and we can run the clock out! Holy Cow! Tech Wins! Tech Wins! I am in shock and I am in need of a glass of red wine! We are 4 - 0! Hugs and high fives are going on right now as everyone is celebrating. I bet David & Barbara's neighbors are wondering what is going on. I am out of breath! I am so happy for this team and all of the fans. The college football world knows who we are now. Matt called as they were waiting to board the bus.
You could tell he was excited. He said this was a huge win for this team. They would enjoy this win tonight and then start getting ready for UNLV on Sunday. He said his 40 yard FG was closer than he wanted it to be. He said he nailed the 45 yard FG and he said he almost lost it after that kick as he knew that Nino was watching down on him. That about did it for me as we had shed enough tears already this week. We talked a little bit more as we had him on the speaker so everyone could say their congrats. Matt said CT gave him a big hug after the game and told him his Great Grandmother would be very proud of him. We said our goodbyes and started our victory celebration. Then I get this tweet from Matt while he was on the bus. "It's cool to know that my Great Grandma got to see me kick today! I know she was watching over me. RIPNino!" Don't do this to me. Now I have really lost it. Matt you amaze me more every day. Actually both Matt & Tyler amaze me more every day. Their mom has done an awesome job raising these two fine young men. More tears! Our celebration meal was about to get started and the pork tenderloins were on the grill.
It was time for some more pork tenderloin sliders on these awesome pretzel rolls all topped with a homemade white queso with hatch green chiles! Red wine was a flowing! Janet's mom (Meggie) was the dog whisper after the game. She had all 3 on the couch  the dogs did not want to make Meggie mad while she had her glass of red wine! :) We celebrated the rest of the evening and then sung Happy Birthday to Uncle David and ate snicker doodle cupcakes. His birthday is actually on Monday. Happy Birthday David! Then it was time for our goodbyes. What an awesome day! Our time together today with family during this time was truly needed! We celebrated Nino's life and we celebrated another Tech victory. To the Graves and Stiles family I am truly sorry for your loss. Nino was an awesome lady and she will never be forgotten. She is in heaven now getting everything organized. Love you all! I will leave the Virginia game here. A truly spectacular performance today by this awesome team! I can't wait to see where you take us next. Matt hates when I bring these things up but I think they are awesome. After the 14 points he scored today I am told he moved into 2nd on career points scored by a kicker behind Josh Scobee and 4th career all-time scoring at La Tech. We also received notice that Matt is a Semifinalist for the William V Campbell Trophy this week. I am just amazed. UNLV is up next. They are 1 - 4 and return to Ruston for the first time since 1993. I know they are from Sin City, but that is about it.
There mascot is named Hey Reb (Rebecca). What is up with that? It has a cool mustache. At one time they used to have an awesome basketball team. They call themselves the Runnin Rebels. I bet they will be running their Rebel ass back to the Sin City when we get done with them! I feel good about this game and I feel like Tech will score a ton of points on UNLV. It's time to get my tailgate on. See ya in Ruston! A special thanks to Donny Crowe and Louisiana Tech University for the use of the photos in this blog. They are awesome photos. What a blast it was and we are so blessed to have the honor to watch Matt and this team. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. I can't wait to share my thoughts with everyone as the season goes on. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog team. I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time and sometimes I get a little carried away. I am very passionate about La Tech Football! I am just a College Football Fan and I Love College Football! Until our paths cross again have a blessed week! College Football Dad! RIP Nino!