Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nicholls St. 9/19/09

The first home game is right here, right now! I have decided to go to the game. Hoo Ya! Travel is HOT right now! Well actually I had a ton of silent pressure to go to his first home game. I heard it loud and clear! Now that Matt has played 2 weeks in a row in his white uniform, it is time to bring the blue ones out. Then we get to see the red one after that against Hawaii. School, weights, practice and film work have gone well this week. Matt was convinced that he needed to chang his approach on his kickoffs. He and Coach Dooley had discussed this on the flight home from the Navy game. He spent a lot of the week working on his kickoffs. They want him to come more at an angle and push the ball to either corner at the number. This sounds like a big adjustment to me. I know I am not the coach, so I can only say what I feel. Nooooooo! Kickers are so unique and tweeking is ok, but no need for a tune up until after the season is over! They are married to Matt for the next 4 to 5 years and I can only watch and make comments to myself without getting in trouble. A quick funny! Matt and Coach Dooley had a drop kick competition on Tuesday. I LMAO when Matt told me this. They started out at the 15 yard line for a 25 yarder. They both missed their first 2 kicks and Coach Dooley made his on the third attempt and matt stepped up and made his. Coach said all is good until we meet again. What a way to end your night. My journey starts out Friday morning as I head to Liberty Hill to catch a ride with Mike & Melynda. (Mike is Janet's brother) This is Mikayla's (my niece) birthday weekend and she got to bring a friend (Holly) to the game. She is #33's biggest #1 fan. I promise she is. The first two games she watched on TV with her stop watch so she could chart Matt's hang times. See, I told you. We hit I-35 about 4:30 and are headed to Big D. We will all stay at Janet's aunt & uncles house. (David & Barbara) After a night of discussing football I was ready for the game to start. I could not sleep a lick. A shower and a cup of coffee were calling my name at 5:00AM. I did not dream about the game, so I am not sure what the heck the deal is. I guess it is my inner brain is doing all of this to me. We hit the road at eight and we should arrive Ruston around noon. Do I hear a Johnny's Pizza stop calling? Yes we do! Janet's mom and dad (Meggie & Papaw) would meet all the rest of us at Johnny's for lunch. The rest of our afternoon would consist of shopping at the bookstore and the Tech Team Shop. Next on the agenda was making sure that the beer and wine had the right amount of ice on it. Since we had multiple vehicles and only one parking pass we would all meet at the field house so we could see the team get off the bus. The football team never stays in Ruston the night before a game. They head to a hotel in another city, just like a road game. They have a team dinner, go to a movie and get a late night snack before lights out. The team has breakfast and meetings on Saturday morning. Then a team lunch before they head back to Ruston. They typically arrive to all stadiums about 2 hours before kickoff. I can hear the sirens for several minutes as the team is escorted to the stadium. My heart is racing and my doubled up pair of drawers are in place as the busses roll in. You see this stuff on TV, but not in person with your own son. Man that suit he had on looked like the bomb and his headphones were rocking! I sure was a proud dad as he passed us and we all got a small head nod. That is ok. I know he is focused. What an experience! I sure need beer! This was a special tailgate today. Beer, wine, sodas and cupcakes were on the menu. Cupcakes? It is all good, we are celebrating Mikayla's 12th birthday. Even though it was his first home game, we kept it simple so we could get the lay of the land and see what we could do for future games. I know, it is not like me, but all is ok! Tailgating will get exotic at future games. Another funny moment! I will get hit for this for sure! As Janet stood at the field house to see Matt get off the bus, she stood in an ant pile and now the ants were kicking in. They had created a serious ant's in the pants moment. She could not wait to get in the stadium to see Matt warm-ups. That is to funny that she had real ants in her pants. She has to know his temperature before game time. He really looked good in warm-ups. That is a good indicator as far as I am concerned. Its game time and my drawers are in place. La Tech will kick off first. Matt wants it this way every time. The crowd is intense and the new jumbotron is rocking and it even had a big picture of Matt and he introduced himself. Are you ready for some college football? I am so let go for a ride. His kickoff is good but not up to his liking. I think that the big adjustment to his steps this week has maybe screwed him up some. I know Matt too well and he will adjust and get things fixed. Once a perfectionist always a perfectionist! Matt would make a 24 yard field goal in the first quarter. He would also make a 44 yard field goal in the second quarter. I am concerned with the ball leaning forward too much on his PAT’s and field goals, but that is just what I see through my telescope. Matt would end up making 6 PAT's on top of the 2 field goals as La Tech would go on and beat Nicholls St 48 - 13. That makes Matt the leading scorer on the team with 21 points and he is perfect with 4 of 4 on field goals and 9 of 9 on PAT's after 3 games. Does he know that he is only 18 and just got out of high school? If I sound calm, I am not. I am just numb at what I am witnessing and that it is my son. I am still open to all drawer care packages. I will need many pairs during the future games. It was really cool after the game. We got to hang out by the locker room and visit with Matt. Sweaty uniform and it was all good. We took some family photos and watched as he signed autographs for his biggest fans. Matt seemed to be ok with his overall game, but was not happy with his kickoffs. He will get things fixed. We all know Matt to well. To keep with our Friday night high school football tradition, Matt wanted to go to Chili's and eat dinner. Just like the old days except we were missing Joe, Julie and Jake. (Jake was Matt's holder on every one of his PAT's and field goals during high school at Steele along with being one heck of quarterback and Joe and Julie are mom and dad) Matt would come to the hotel and have breakfast with us Sunday morning before we headed back to our hometowns. What a home opener it was. Matt, all I can tell you is thanks for all of these awesome memories you are giving us. The team will have 10 days to get ready for Hawaii as they come into Ruston for a Wednesday night ESPN2 game. I heard Lou Holtz and Mark May will be doing the game for ESPN2. I can't wait to see how they say Cibolo, TX. It should be a hoot! I will end Nicholls St week here. Hawaii is up next and is almost a must win game. My parents and some friends are driving up from Florida and David (Janet's uncle) is going to the game. Should be a blast and we hope that Hawaii “Lei’s” a goose egg. I want to wish a special birthday wish to Mikayla (AKA MT). I hope you have the best birthday ever! Thanks for letting me spend the weekend with you. Until our paths cross again please have a blessed week and a few days. College Football Dad!