Friday, December 9, 2011

New Mexico State 11/26/11

I don't know where to begin! I feel like I just won the College Football lottery with this win over the snakes from Reno. I am so glad we came back and shoved that cream pie right in their face! We send them to the MWC with their tails between their legs and a new streak at home. I am not sure what it is really like to be high, but this winning high is one I want to stay on. I keep wanting to sing I Gotta Felling by Black Eyed Peas! Tyler & Matt are going to shoot me for listening to them, but I like the song! It's going to be a great week! Please, just hurry up and get here! I am a little concerned about this game with another one of these Aggie want-a-be's. I am not sure it that is a real word but it sounds right. There is only one Aggie team and it is from College Station! We have everything to gain with a win and they have nothing to lose except a keg of booze! I kid you not!
I was reading some the words to their fight song and I about fell over. "And when we win this game, We'll buy a keg of booze, And we’ll drink it to the Aggies ‘till we wobble in our shoes!" Some drunk admin must of wrote that after one of their field hockey wins! I guess that is what they do in the hills sitting on their letter "A" This is going to be an exciting week for our family! We are headed to Ruston on Wednesday afternoon. My oldest son (Tyler) is driving over Wednesday night from Austin, my parents (John & Carol) and my Aunt Donna are coming over from Florida Wednesday afternoon, and my sister (Cathy) and her family (Wes, Parker & Peyton) are coming over Thursday morning from Houston. This will be the first time we have celebrated Thanksgiving in Ruston with Matt.
We cannot wait for the festivities to get started. Then on Friday our good friends Joe, Julie & Jake Trevino from Cibolo will be coming to Ruston from College Station after the Aggie/Longhorn game. Jake was the QB for Steele HS and was Matt's only holder during HS. He attends Texas A&M now. Then to add more excitement Meggie & Papaw (Janet's parents), David & Barbara (Janet's Aunt & Uncle) and Curtis (Janet's boss) and son Pate will be coming on Saturday. As you can tell our family & friends love their Bulldogs! I talked to Matt a couple of times early in the week. You talk about someone who is pumped up! He is jacked with excitement! He said he is kicking the ball really well. The early forecast has some rain predicted so he is a little concerned with that. NMS has one of the top kick returners in the nation so they are going to working on all sorts of weird kicks. He said it could be like target practice so don't get pissed if I don't kick anything deep. Great!
Just what I need is another reason to watch the kickoff from my camera lens. Oh well! A few more adult beverages before kickoff will help keep me grounded. We met Matt at his house after practice on Wednesday. I had to drop off the ingredients for the chicken & sausage gumbo that we would be serving at our tailgate on Saturday. Matt's refrigerator made it easy to keep things chilled for a few days. Matt had a hankering for a two for one burger special at Portico's, so we headed up there and also met Kasie (Matt's GF) and Jonathan Bale (Tech's #1 golfer) for some grub. We had to get just the right amount of people so we could do the two for one burger thing. The burgers were good, but most of all the company was awesome! We said our goodbyes and then it was off to the Fairfield for a nice bottle of red wine and a comfy bed. Tomorrow morning would actually be a morning I might sleep in a few extra minutes.
Not! As usual I am up early and downstairs on the computer with a coffee in hand.Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you get to eat everything you want, lay on the couch and go back for more! Matt had practice Thanksgiving morning and then the team had a team meal before they were dismissed until Friday. We had a few items to still get for the gumbo and a couple of other errands to run so the morning went by quite fast. Tyler who can work remote had to work from 10AM to 6PM so we were not going to have Thanksgiving dinner until he got off of work. My sister and family made it over to Matt's and we hung out and watched football until Tyler got off of work. I know I am going to catch a bunch of crud for this but we headed to the Cracker Barrel in West Monroe for our Thanksgiving dinner. Besides our family we had Kasie, Jonathan and Hannah go with us as well. Thanksgiving is for sharing and everybody is family to us.
The food was good and the servers who had been serving all day were friendly, but they ran out of stuffing! I was so bummed as stuffing is a must at Thanksgiving! I bet during Christmas I eat more than my share to make up what I missed. All in all it was a great time with family and friends. We made our way back to the Fairfield where we took over the downstairs and watched what will probably be the last meeting between the Aggies/Longhorns for a long time. Man it was a great game as JT boots a 40 yard FG as the Aggies fall short. I need a night cap and then it will be lights out. Friday morning comes slowly and about mid morning some of us make our way over to Matt's house. I have gumbo for 30 plus to make and Janet & Peyton have #33 cookies to make.
I have the roux done, the trinity cooking away along with 7lbs of sausage and 3 rotisserie chickens all swimming in this 24 quart pot. I am not sure Matt's stove can hold this thing. This gumbo smells awesome and the cookies baking in the oven add to the food explosion in my nose. After a family meal at Johnny's and our goodbyes to Matt it was off to get the tailgate spot setup. We were having a Friday night tailgate party with family and friends. Burgers on the grill and a few adult beverages would be on tap. With a chill in the air the heat from the ole Weber it felt like we were camping. The burgers were awesome! The company was awesome and I was ready for some football. Saturday sometime the rain and the cold front would be moving in. It was not a matter of if it was when. From all indications it would hit around noon. This meant I would be serving gumbo around 11:00AM so I could batten down the hatches when the rain started. As Saturday morning arrived I was pretty relaxed.
I am not sure why as I so badly want this team to win and I am normally pretty nervous before the game. Janet and I arrived to the tailgate spot at 7:45Am with all of the food in tow. We got things setup and ready to go. Everything was done and we actually had a few moments to sit and reflect on the season before family and friends started trickling in. The Bloody Mary's were flowing and the good time were about to roll. I had already started heating up the gumbo slowly. I would worry about the water for the rice later. We had some family who left Dallas early AM and gave us rain updates as they made their way to Ruston. We had a real good idea that we were still on track for a noon watering. We so had many visitors stop by the tailgate. Mr. Harper, Mr. Hamm, Mr. Rust, Mr. McGehee (Brought his new son by) and Mr. Garland (Just returned from Korea Friday afternoon) to name a few.
We are so blessed with all of the great people we have met since we have joined the La Tech family! Before I forget, I want to thank the Matthiesen's and the Garlands who helped with extra tickets for our family. You guys are awesome! The adult beverages are flowing, the french bread is on the grill and the gumbo is ready to be served. I have to admit this gumbo rocks! I hope I can remember everything I did so I can duplicate this recipe. Just about everyone has had a bowl or two and now it was on to the brownies and #33 cookies. We could see in the distance and smell in the air that the watering would be soon. We started putting most things back in totes and back in the Suburban. We moved the tables in the center of the tents and all of the chairs around them. Then it hit! Let the soaking begin.
I had already moved the cooker with the gumbo and rice inside of the tents so we were still good for anyone who wanted 3rds. The team did not come in where they normally do so we actually did not know they had arrived. I walked over to the gate and watch Matt warm up some through the fence. He looked like he was making good contact, but he was not kicking with a snapper and a holder. I am sure the ball is going to be slick! After a few more adult beverages I made my way into the stadium. I wanted to be there when the Seniors were announced. I know it is a special time for them to get the recognition that they deserve. It's wet and the kickoff is upon us. The team looks jacked and I gotta a feeling! Matt is going to kickoff and it is down to the 7 yard line and we stop him at the 17. Now that is what I am talking about! Tech forces NMS to punt and we run 12 plays and Matt comes in for a 33 yard FG and it is good.
I was worried about how slick the ball would be and it looks like CL snap to TB was good. Boy I wish the rain would let up some. Matt kicks off with a line drive bullet that NMS had no clue was coming. One of these days our coverage is going to recover one of these funny kicks on the ground. Tech holds them and NMS punts again. Tech runs 10 plays and CC throws a 7 yard TD strike ti TI. Matt comes in for the PAT. The snap is away and it is high and TB has a hard time controlling it and the flying saucer misses left. Looking through my lens the ball never got on the ground and it was on its side when Matt's foot struck the ball. I had a feeling that the ball would become slick in this rain at some point. We exchange a couple of series and the first quarter comes to an end with Tech up 9 - 0. I am ok with this but with this rain I sure would like a bigger lead. Our first series we punt in the 2nd quarter and then CB intercepts NMS. Tech takes the ball and runs off 11 plays as HL scores from 1 yard out.
Matt comes in and the PAT is good. I think it is rain dripping off of my head, but I was sweating bullets. Matt kicks off with another screamer that hit one of the front line and is on the ground again for our taking. Our coverage team is getting closer. NMS throws down field and AC intercepts and takes it to the house for a TD. Matt connects with the PAT and the 2 quarter comes to an end with Tech up 23 - 0. I've gotta feeling! We take the ball in the 3rd quarter and run off 9 plays with a HL 6 yard score. Matt connects with the PAT and Tech is up 30 -0. Are you kidding me? There is no stopping us now. I smell a WAC Championship! Matt kicks off with a high sky right and we really should of recovered this one. It was placed where no one was. Oh, it was so close! We hold NMS on a 4th and 1 and take possession where we turn the ball back over on an interception. Oh no!
Not good! Tech holds them to a punt and CJ takes it 82 yards for another TD. Matt connects on the PAT and we are up 37 - 0. There is no stopping us now! Matt sends another bullet down field. It is pretty funny watching the NMS players duck. They have no clue where he is kicking it. I am not a fan of this style of kicking, but in these weather conditions I will live with it. We hold them and they punt. Tech takes over and runs off 11 plays and HL scores on a 7 yard run. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is up 44 - 0. Hoo Ya! Can the game end now? Matt sends a low liner down field and NMS takes the ball as the 4th quarter comes to an end. We play ball control the 4th quarter and the game comes to an end with Tech winning 44 - 0. We are Champions! Can you believe? The players and coaches are going nuts on the field. I was so touched when RH & AG came on to the field holding the WAC Champions poster! They are my hero's! We were told there would be a special presentation after the game.
After the game the NMS players shook hands with the Tech players. Then they made there way to the North end zone where they watched Tech receive their WAC Championship trophy and accept an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego! This is so cool! At first I thought they were doing it out of respect to Tech, but after I thought about and watched the head coaches finger pointing, I soon realized that this was a learning lesson. You want to be in that position and celebrate like they are then you have to come to play every day and every time you take the field. You want to experience this? Then work your ass off in the off season and come to Spring football with a fire in your belly! Now get to the locker room! That would be my 2 cents as to what was going on. After NMS cleared the field we were allowed on the field.
We finally found Matt and what a celebration it was. I was so proud of him and this entire team. I even got to give Ms. Toni a big hug! Watching them individually hold the WAC trophy was a very special moment. I can't tell you how many tears of joy I shed, but I am sure glad it was raining. It is sometimes hard for a grown man to admit to tears. I sure let them out. We told as many players as we could congrats and took several pictures with Matt. It was so very special that my oldest son (Tyler) was there so we could celebrate this special moment together as a family! This is so awesome and we get to sit back and wait for our opponent in the Poinsettia Bowl. San Diego is going to be rocking on the 21st. I know we will have many family members in attendance. I gave Matt one final hug and he headed to the locker room. To all players and coaches: We are very proud of each and everyone of you! You rock!
I knew I had a mess at the tailgate area, but I really did not care. It could wait until Sunday. When I got back over there Mr. Rust was there and a big hug was in store. Nothing funny going on! Just 2 very proud parents. We celebrated with the rest of the family and friends with a couple of adult beverages. High Fives and Hugs everywhere! Since we had so many members with our group we decided to go get dry clothes on and bring the party to the Fairfield. We ordered pizza and brought the adult beverages in and celebrated this awesome victory. It is so hard for me to explain my feelings. I am really over whelmed and so very proud of this team. They never gave up! After we consumed 5 Big Daddy's from Foxes Pizza and several adult beverages it was time to find a dry bed! What a complete day spent with so many great people. I hope our players enjoy this win and then get back to business. I am sure our coaching staff will keep them reeled in as we still have some unfinished business to attend to in San Diego!
I wish I knew who our opponent was so I could start preparing, but I guess I have to wait until after next weeks games to unfold. They say we have possibilities with Boise State, TCU, Wyoming, San Diego State and a long shot with Air Force. I think a lot of this will have to wait and see what U of H does in the CUSA Championship. A special thanks to Andrew (tailgate neighbor) who saved our tents Saturday night as the winds blew through! Matt we are so proud of you! My words can not express how you have helped me grow as a person! You have so much composure and focus in everything that you do! From football to your degree, you have a goal every step of the way! Your mental toughness will take you places you have never dreamed of. Your passion for your craft shows more and more every time we see you! Thanks so much for letting me live out my dreams through your eyes! I love you man! Oh what a great season it has been! I know we have one more game to take care of business in, but I wanted to thank all of our family and many friends for all of their support this year!
Words will never say enough as to our sincere thanks! We are so blessed in so many ways and give praise to the lord for everything that has happened! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! San Diego here we come! You had better be ready for some Dawgs to come into town standing tall! I can't wait! See you all then! Make sure and watch ESPN December 8th and cheer on RA as he is up for the Ray Guy Award! Best of luck RA! 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 on the coaches and their coaching abilities are only mine and no one else's. Thank you so much to Mr. Tom Morris with La Tech Sports Pix for allowing me to use some of his photos for this blog. Don't forget to listen to J Ford and Chris Keagle with Bleed Tech Blue on ESPN 97.7 FM every Tuesday night at 6:00 PM. 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!