- Green White Day: having moved my kid from Ohio to Maryland, Michigan, Colorado, and now Indiana, it was very interesting to see my daughter on campus. For me, it is a little weird seeing so many kids of people who I grew up with entering Marshall at the same time as my daughter (duh). Having grown up on campus, I am still shocked at how nice the facilities are now. Both of the prospective students were very impressed with how the University presented itself. President Gilbert really has a knack for connecting with the students (see the Selfie that he took with the crowd in the collage above). During his speech, he did a nice job of talking about how friendly the squirrels were on campus and then turned it into how friendly the people are on campus. That was something that both of the kids talked about during the trip. Both have been to several college recruiting meetings at their school (which I think Marshall needs to find the budget dollars to do) and several college visits. Both said that it is clear that Marshall University cares about helping students. We didn't get that at Miami of Ohio (well maybe they would have been nicer, if I wouldn't have wiped my feet on their seal during the tour). Seriously, Marshall has a lot to offer incoming students.
- Tip Off Club and Game: I went with my buddy to the Tip Off club and my family met me at the game. If you have the opportunity to join the Tip Off Club, I recommend it. There is a totally different vibe with the basketball program than the negativity that still lingers around the football program. Recognizing that the team lost to Morehead last night, I am very optimistic about the basketball program. I am impressed with the development of Penava. While Jon Elmore is clearly the star, the season my turn on Penava's play. I am also struck by how much quicker we are moving the ball, especially when Burks is in the game. While Elmore has clearly slimmed down for quickness, I will be interested to see how the season progresses as teams take shots at him physically. Finally, if you are still feeling irritated by the lack of respect that the Athletic Department and Doc showed for the fans by making no changes, give basketball a close look. It truly is a positive experience. Bring on the Herd!!!
- Lunch and Pre-Game Memorial Visits: on Saturday, I wanted to show the prospective student Huntington and set the tone for the memorial recognition at the game that evening. We started off by having lunch at Oscar's (very tasty wings), where they got to get a little flavor of Huntington. I was happy that all the people around us were wearing Herd gear and talking about Marshall Sports (warning: you can run into an Eerdiot at Oscar's and most other places in Huntington). After lunch, I took Harrison to the crash site memorial and to Spring Hill. When we pulled into Spring Hill, I was happy to see one of my Herdfan friends at the memorial. Having a prospective student with me who doesn't have any connection to Marshall, it was almost scripted to see Rick paying his respects. During our visit the WKU team arrived. While I thought it was nice, I didn't say anything to them. Instead, I walked Harrison over to the edge of the cemetery and showed him the view of the campus from that vantage. For me it was a little emotional, standing there looking at the Towers dorms which we had toured the day before. Even though it is something that we recognize each year, from that vantage point, I really started thinking about how nice it is that their final resting place overlooks the University, and moreover how truly tragic it was. I am also blessed to have so many supportive friends. On Saturday, I received a FB message from a friend who I haven't spoken to in person since high school. She offered to help set up a tour with her daughter of one the other dorms on campus which wasn't part of Green White Day. I don't know how anyone could have possibly scripted a more perfect weekend to show these two prospective students that there are people at and associated with Marshall University that truly care about them.
- Emotional Shutdown: once we got to the game, I was looking forward to seeing the Herd show some dominance over the WKU. I started off very frustrated. When we deferred, I thought "here we go again; did Doc not learn anything?" As they systematically drove down the field I tweeted "Pathetic." At that point, I just shut down. I sat there and watched, but I didn't really say much or cheer. It turned into more of a duty than a passion. Maybe my personal efforts to separate the football team from my definition of what Marshall University is, was just kicking in. Whatever the reason, I think I shocked my wife (and maybe concerned her a little) by remaining quiet. I did clap on the good plays, and Thunder Clap for each score, but it just wasn't the same. I kept thinking about how ironic it was that our helmets had more thought put into them than our offensive game plan. Real changes need to be made, I want to feel the same positive vibe that I get from the basketball program. No amount of spin from McGill et al. is going to change that. That being said, I hope that Doc can stay. Based on Hamrick's recent actions, I suspect that Legg will be back next year, and I will be able to enjoy even more room in the concourse and stands for years to come.
- Litton: while the kid is in a semi-slump, as a fan, I am very proud of him. Last year, I could not believe that he was not in the Joan for the WKU game. I respect the amount of growing up that he did in a relatively short amount of time. I hope he turns his game back around to the level he was at before his TD streak was broken. I still think that if we had a legitimate backup QB to spell him, the return to form would be quicker, but that is on Doc and not Litton.
- Johnson: during a weekend in which my focus was primarily on two kids looking at the opportunities that they could have at Marshall, it was awesome seeing a walk-on making the most of his opportunity. Kudos, and I assume that he won't be a walk-on much longer. Whether he is put on scholarship or not, I will always remember him as being the player who beat WKU.
- King and Davis: these guys are bringing two types of swagger the program desperately needs after last year. In addition to King being a tough runner, I loved it when he was dancing on the field during media time outs. In addition to being able to see how much fun he was having, it was also solid swagger that I think WKU needs to have rubbed in its face. The swagger that Davis continually provides is when he is still standing after they call the play dead.
- Yurachek needs to leave the taunting to Yulee: hopefully Doc puts the throat-slash on any future throat slashing gestures. Silly mistake by a great player. Anyway, I think Yulee's celebratory dancing on the sideline at the end of the game was more effective taunting of the Toppers. I think it is safe to say that some natural swagger has returned to the field.
- Rage: while the board is full of people saying they are cutting donations until real changes are made, I witnessed pure rage on Saturday. While the team and staff seem to have tuned out the usual fans in my section who yell continuously at our players, there was one guy who walked down to rail around the 50 to scream directly at Bill Legg. It was with an intensity that I really haven't seen at the Joan even during the end of Snyder's tenure. This level of rage was avoidable. It is really unfortunate that the kids on this team have to be exposed to that level of rage. While I may have gone in the opposite direction on emotions towards the football program, the players are still one of my favorite groups in recent memory.
- Introducing the NEW Miami of Ohio: every home game, I make a point to go up to visiting fans and tell them "thank you for coming to Huntington" or at least a simple welcome. I didn't do that on Saturday. There is one guy out there on Twitter who I would have made an effort to go see, other than that dude, I don't really want to interact with their fans. I am just glad they didn't have a good drive back to Bowling Green. Peace out Hilltoppers....for now. Go Herd!!!
I've spent most of my life with a connection to Marshall University. When I lived in Huntington, I want to more basketball games than football games. When I moved to Columbus after graduation, I went to one or two football games a year, and followed them at Alumni Association game watching parties at Rush Creek and through the box scores. When I moved to Maryland, I made a commitment to be at every home football game. I did that so that my daughter would have a strong connection to Huntington and my family and friends. This was during Byron's tenure. Things were great then. I fairly quickly amalgamated my personal identity from someone who loves the Tri-State and Marshall University with being a Herdfan. For the year that I lived in Colorado, I took great pride in flying in for each of the home games (I missed one that year). Moving to Indy, I got back into the region of the country that I consider home. I am back to being able to go to Reds and Bengals games. I see my family and friends more. I am not as dependent upon the success of our football program to define the identity that I wish to have. During WKU's beat down on us last year, I crashed. With my daughter's application process to Marshall University, I have gotten back to focusing on Marshall University as a separate entity from the sports programs. This past weekend, we brought another potential student from Indy to join my daughter at the office of recruitment's Green-White Day. I had the opportunity to show him my home town and how the alumni interact with the University and the Athletics Program. As I continue to work on separating the two, here are the Ten Things I Think I Know After Four Days in the Land of Milk and Honey:
Maybe I spent too much time standing at Keith's Key Market in 8th grade reading National Lampoon magazine with my buddy Kevin, but I like parodies. In a year in which people throw around the term "Fake News" like it is real news, I thought I would attempt a Fake News Parody. Just in case any of the readers don't watch politics, the term "Fake News" typically refers to propaganda that spreads misinformation or hoaxes. In 2016, it isn't always clear which news source or post on social media is real or fake. In this blog, the headline of each of my ten things is intended to be a parody. Everything after the colon is intended to be an actual observation. Anyway, this can't work out any worse than my WWII themed blog a couple years ago:
At the beginning of the year, I knew that my work schedule wasn't going to allow me to post a timely blog each week. I've also found it challenging to balance maximizing the time I have left before my daughter heads off to college next year. Here are the Ten Things I Think I Know About Being 6-2:
Since the Kent State game, I have been slammed with work. I went to that game and had a great time with my tailgate buddies and Big City. I even drafted half a blog about the kid in the white shirt who stole the show while dancing during that game. While I have been traveling and working, I've been thinking about the Herd and the general mood of Herdfans. I've also read everything written by Landon and Smock, and watched every down of Herd FB. As a moderator, I read the posts on the board to make sure they are compliant, but I have to confess that I was initially confused about the level of discontent. That level of discontent led me to thinking about Henry David Thoreau. While I was an undergraduate at Marshall, one of my favorite quotes was "f a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” I recognize that many of my Herdfan brethren are not happy even though we are 5-1. I am very content right now. I got that way be listening to a different drummer. In fact, I think it is safe to say that the 2017 team is my favorite team since Byron's senior year. Anyway, I am clearly hearing a different Thundering Herd hoof beat, and these are the Ten Things I Think I Know after being 5-1 (plus a thought about Kaepernick):
1. My Personal Benefit From Having Great Friends: after the WKU game last year, I didn't know how I could be a true believer in Doc and Hamrick's vision. In fact, I was personally struggling with how I was going to walk down to my seats in Section 216. Like many a Herdfan, I lost faith in the Vision Plan and Doc's ability to balance his recruiting strategy with the needs of the community and to win games. As I personally struggled, one of my buddies threw me a rope by having a Herd themed wedding the night before the Miami game. In addition to my tailgating buddies, he also invited my golf buddies from around the county. As silly as this may sound, I truly benefited by having so many of my friends around me on the eve of what was a personally challenging day for me. In sum, I think I understand why so many people are still upset after last year. I am just lucky to have a buddy who set up a situation which helped me get back into a positive place faster than some.
2. Even the Bengals Understand How a Scapegoat Works: I have a fear that some Herdfans are not going to be able to hear the different drummer and get back into the fold as quickly as I did. That is unfortunate because it was avoidable. Someone in the administration made a risk analysis decision that I don't think was correct. Specifically, someone decided that they did not need a scapegoat after a 3-9 season and that if we won in 2018 all would be forgiven. Yes, with the help of Nick and Angela, that worked out for me, but it clearly isn't working out for all the disgruntled or disillusioned Herdfans out there. A more prudent strategy would have been to find a scapegoat. There were multiple scapegoats available for the sacrifice. Justice identified Doc as the scapegoat, but Gilbert rejected that solution (and as a fan of Doc, I am glad that he did). The next logical scapegoat was Legg. Even though we were promised that changes would be made, when it came time to use intestinal fortitude, Hamrick and Doc chose to shuffle the sheep instead of sending one to the alter. Based on numerous conversations with Herdfans and people at tailgates this year, tagging Legg as the sacrificial lamb would have satisfied the masses. Seats would be filled on the East side and we wouldn't have as much room in the Big Green Room. BTW, this is where I think Landon gets off track. Chuck traces the current discontent to the reseating plan. I think we lost more boosters when Kopp prolonged the Snyder years. I do agree with Chuck that we lost some boosters during the reseating plan, but that isn't the issue we are seeing on the East side today. The problem we are facing now is 100% the result of hubris of the entire administration of not respecting the power of a scapegoat. In closing on this thing that I think I Know, do you really think Marvin Lewis would be able to carry on if Ken Zampese wasn't sent to the alter? Hopefully other Herdfan are able to ignore this and listen to the beat of a different drummer.
3. ESPN3 is Better than Plastics: I am very pleased with Mr. Hamrick's decision to broadcast some of our games on ESPN3. I am even more appreciative of the fact that Mr. Hamrick brought Keith Morehouse and Doug Chapman back into the fold. I had significant concerns when Hamrick was talking about being on Facebook and other non-ESPN-affiliate platforms was us getting ahead of the curve. While Plastics may have been the future in the Graduate, I think streaming is an excuse for not being marketable. I was very excited when MASN decided that we were marketable and opted to broadcast the UNCC game. I was even more excited to see that Mr. Hamrick moved us to ESPN3 instead of the C-USA TV product, which wasn't much more than cheap lip-stick on the old CSTV platform For those of you who were upset about the production quality of the ODU game on ESPN3, I personally request that you be patient. There are long term benefits to getting exposure on ESPN3 that we will never get on the C-USA TV product. I am also very positive about the future of Keith and Doug as they build their repertoire. In a year in which most Herdfans don't seem to be patient, I am respecting the memory of Keith and Sonny, but also recognizing that it took time for that chemistry to develop. Kudos Mr. Hamrick on this one!!!!
4. I have to give No. 4 to Juwon Young and the LB Corp: I have been waiting for game 5 since summer. My fear was that I was over-hyping the kid and was going to get disappointed. I haven't been disappointed with No. 4. In fact, I think he is icing on cake of one of the best LB corps that I can remember. With Hancock, Johnson, Hernandez and Yulee we had a pretty strong corp. But Young takes the unit over the top. I would welcome anyone refreshing my memory of a better LB corp than what we have now. I got back to the 2002-2004 time period when we had Rembert and Wilson.
5. Shout Out to Litton's Development: while I think many of us are pleasantly surprised about Litton's maturation, I wanted to give him a shout out for his development on the field also. In his first two years, he threw to one receiver primarily. In his freshman year, he threw almost exclusively to Reaves and to Clark his sophomore year. With the incredible talents of Brady, I fully expected the same thing from Chase this year. I am thrilled to see that Chase is going through his progressions more and spreading around the ball. The fact that he is getting the ball to Yurachek is huge...and it makes hanging out at the tailgate with my buddy Danny a little easier. Kudos Mr. Litton.
6. Herd Equipment: they have been taking some heat over the black pants and the amount of black in the uniform. Personally, I like the black pants especially when we are on the road. The problem with the white pants is that it doesn't look good with the black on the jersey sleeves. I think that Herd Equipment does a great job. My only request is that they consider the colors that the other team is wearing and the darkness of the field. During the UNCC game, the field was dark and it was hard to see the Herd in the black pants.
7. Update on My Search for a Mancini's Replacement: coming into Huntington for football and basketball games is the highlight of my year. In addition to seeing family and friends, I like having a spot to go eat and have a beer at that makes me feel like I am part of the community. While I love going to Fat Patty's and other establishments, I don't have a personal connection to those restaurants. My family did have a personal connection to Tony Mancini from the days when he was a student at Marshall. The first place I wanted to go to when I got into town was Tony's as I called it. As the season started, I wished Tony the best in his new endeavors and moved on to search for a new place that made me feel like I was at home. The top contender right now is Oscar's which is owned and operated by a fellow member of this board. The food is incredible, the place has a cool vibe, and the fact that Jason knows me and exchanges pleasantries is something that I appreciate. On my first trip there, I thought that I was discovering something new. It ends up my parents go there for breakfast and several of the tailgate buddies go there after the games. For the rest of the season, I am going to try to make it up to Oscar's to eat and then drop in Muther's Stats for a beer afterwards. I just wish someone made a Big Legurski.
8. G5 Friends: While I am giving shout outs to my friends, I want to give a shout out to David Valle-Schwenk, who is my buddy going back to the summer we spent study abroad in college. David and I have stayed in touch and go on a golf trip each year. I recently discovered that he too is a G5 football fan who has season tickets to San Jose State. The picture of him in the collage was from last week's game in Hawaii. Having lived in the heart of Big Ten football country for most of my post graduate life, it is nice to see that others don't ditch their loyalties fro the P5. Anyway, he is watching the Herd and I am watching San Jose State every time they are on ESPN3.
9. Colts Game Has Me Rethinking My Personal Position on Kaepernick: I belong to a civic organization that has a presentation of the colors and says the pledge of allegiance before every business meeting. When Kapernick started the taking the knee protest last year, I was fired up. I was even more fired up when I saw high school volleyball players taking a knee during the national anthem last year. I tweeted about this every time I witnessed it. At the Joan, I have spent the last two years looking to see if anyone takes a knee. Then I went to the Colts vs. Browns game at Lucas Oil Stadium. As I stood there with my hand over my heart literally looking down on the players taking a knee, I was taken aback by the fans who started to boo. While i understood that the intended target of their booing wasn't the flag, I was offended that people would boo while my nation's flag was on display. At that moment, I decided that I need to listen to a different drummer. I refuse to get caught up in the politicization that has occupied the field on this issue. The drummer to which I will listen may be far away, but I intend to put my hand over my heart and look at my nation's flag during the national anthem. I am going to ignore those who chose to take a knee and those who boo or oppose them. To be clear, I do not disagree with the underlying message of Mr. Kaepernick's campaign. Unfortunately, he chose a symbol that is very dear to most Americans instead of a lunch counter. If he could have found a 21st century equivalent to a lunch counter, I suspect he would be employed now, and more people would be able to support the underlying message of that campaign. Peace Out Everyone on this issue:
10. Most Surprising and Proudest Moment of 2017: during senior night for my daughter's volleyball season, it was announced that she intends to attend "Marshall University in Huntington WV, where she plans to study economics at the Lewis College of Business." I was not expecting that. I was one of the proudest moments I have had. If this all plays out, hopefully I will get to say hello to Jason and MUther more than just football weekends. GO HERD!!!
Throughout the game on Saturday, I kept thinking about "redemption" of the players, a certain sportscaster, Doc and even myself. Going into the game on Saturday, I didn't know what to expect. I spent a good part of game day running around trying to get my Apple TV set up to watch the game. Then I had to get everything set up for our friends who came over to watch the game. I was actually pretty nervous that the Herd was going to roll over and quit like they did last year. As with many of my blogs, I am going to try a theme in this one. I hope it works:
I really struggled with how I should feel before the opener, and why I was so apathetic. Luckily my buddy scheduled his wedding at the Foundation Hall the night before the game. Turning to the game, I wasn’t sure whether I would cheer or just sit there. I wanted to wake up on Friday morning and put my car flags on and drive down to Huntington listening to Thunderstruck over and over again like I did every other year. I didn’t. I got in my car and drove down to my buddy’s wedding, mostly pondering how I was going to act once I got to the Joan. Luckily for me my buddy Danny, who is a great Herdfan (and Yurachek’s No. 1 Fan) sat with me. We ended up yelling on third down just like we always do and cheering on good plays. It definitely isn’t the same as it was before last year, but hopefully we as a fan base will get past this awkwardness. Speaking of awkwardness, I’ve struggled with whether I am going to blog this year. Well, let’s let the real awkwardness begin:
For those of you who are not familiar with Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wifcyo64n-w) it is an American classic play about two bums, Estragon and Vladimer, waiting for a man named Godot. While they wait, they discuss philosophical matters in a manner that streetpersons would. I starting thinking about the first quote below when Moonshine Throwdown tweeted about fans being helpless last week. After looking at a few more quotes, I thought I would give a Beckett themed blog a try. This particular theme would probably not have been possible without the inspirations that I received from Drs. Milicia, Plybon and Sullivan. Let's give this a try, I hope it works:
Every week I post a link to the blog on Twitter and on the main board. Last week I mentioned in the thread on the board that I was trying to focus on positives. In response to that statement, Elginherd said that "[s]ometimes the truth IS negative; sometimes the truth is positive...just call 'em as you see 'em. I (we) might disagree, but you have a way of showing things in a light that I (probably us) have not considered. In any case, I am entertained...sometimes the truth isn't positive, and it was OK to write about that too." Elginherd's comment was a friendly challenge for me. As I discuss in No. 7, there is a reason that I have been trying to be positive. As many of you know, I like talking about and rethinking my position on issues. Elginherd really got me thinking whether being overly positive was appropriate for my ultimate goal, which is to support the Herd and not just the football team. During the drive back to INDY on Sunday, it occurred to me that one way to force myself not to spin the gameday in an overly positive manner would be to pick 10 of my tweets from gameday and address those. I typically type those in the heat of the moment without applying any filters (well not many). So here are the Ten Things I think I Know after UNCC (the Twitter Edition):
1. " Heading out to check out @biggreenarms and @HerdFansINFO set up:" the day wasn't totally destroyed by someone named Doc. Actually Doc the cocker spaniel woke me up at 6am, which inspired me to stop off at Tudor's on my way up to check out Big City and Big Green Arms pre-tailgating activities. It is one thing to hear that the guys are up there 12 hours before the game cooking, it is another thing to see it. It is not like they are just using a grill. This particular gameday they were only using the smaller smoker, but that is an impressive beast in its own right. After watching the guys cook up their breakfast on the propane grill, I wish that I wouldn't have gone to Tudor's. I left the guys with full intentions on returning to test their brisket and lollipop chicken, but my day got away from me. I did stop by Krogers long enough to tweet "My type of Grocery Store" after putting in some pretty cool Herd stuff for my new Herd Cave. I also picked up a 30 pack of beer for my buddies, and headed back to my parents house for a well deserved nap. When I got there I felt really lame loading up a cooler after watching how much hard work goes into the Herdfan's tailgate.
2. "When @HerdFB wins today...it is 100% because I wore the shirt:" while I was getting dressed for the game, I tweeted this about wearing my "Lucky Shirt." I felt really confident going into the Joan wearing my shirt, it didn't work out so well, as the picture of it in the collage shows. That being said, I didn't take W0lf up on his suggestion that I burn it. Fire and football games sounds too much like Eerdiot talk to me. I think it is pretty telling that I said "when @HerdFB wins today..." It really didn't occur to me that the Herd could lose. Looking at the schedule going forward, it isn't really occurring to me that they can win. Now that I've typed it, I hope I get proven wrong again.
3. "@pizzamancini phoned in the drawing too...Anyone coming? Bueller...Bueller...Bueller?:" one of the highlights of my trips to Huntington last year was checking out the awesome chalk drawings at Mancini's. When I went in there on Saturday to meet my buddy Danny, I was surprised that they didn't draw the opponent. The tweet was after we had lunch at Fat Patty's and got to chose our table...ON GAMEDAY!!! When was the last time, you didn't have to wait for a table at Fat Patty's. After lunch we walked through the empty West Lot to my buddy Debby's tailgate spot. While I enjoyed Vince's joke that "oh crap...he found us," I was a little troubled that there were so few people in the lot to enjoy it. The day got better when MarshallFanatic joined us, but it was still a weird day. Until we entered the Joan, I saw more UNCC fans in Mancini's and Fat Patty's than I did Herd fans. I get that people don't like to watch losing, but it still seams weird to me that people who own tickets don't show up. Especially those who paid for spots in the West Lot. To be honest, I care more about the drawing at Mancini than I do about who shows up in the West Lot. In the spirit of No. 6, "Tony needs to get that fixed!!!" But then again, he knows I will be there on gameday no matter what.
4. "Glad we don't know how to go under center:" I'm not sure the particular play that I tweeted this one, but there were multiple short yardage plays that I wish Legg was back coaching the offensive line, and someone else was calling the plays. Surely Chase ran plays under center in HS. I'm pretty sure he can do it now. But then again, I keep thinking it makes no sense to keep deferring. I'm sure running short yardage plays out of the shotgun is successful...for some other team.
5. "Thank you @Legg62 may we have another:" when you are watching something that deserves sarcasm, why not paraphrase Animal House? I am pretty sure this was after one of his really tricky first down play calls. I would tell you guys what that is, but you would be shocked!!! (It's Wednesday, maybe I should drop some of the sarcasm...or...)
6. "This is worse than Snyder...:" I was referring to the attendance, but I think it fair to say that it could applied across the board.
7. "When things are thin...we get Frickin Squatters....so why do we pay Big Green for these seats?:" I'm going to tackle a couple of my issues in this item. First I need to publicly eat some crow that was pointed out to me when I was playing golf with IM4HERD. IM4DHERD pointed out that when the points system was announced there wasn't a bigger complainer than me on the board, but I sure did an about face when I got my seats. On this point, I am totally guilty. When the program was announced, we were sitting pretty high in the chairbacks, where we would get squatters coming in each week. The best part about moving down to our new seats was that everyone around us is there every week. My tweet about "Frickin Squatters" was when two Herdfans who are there every week didn't return after half time. The two people that came in later asked whether "anyone was sitting there." Sorry, but that really irritates me. The part about this particular tweet that bothers me is the criticism of the Big Green. As I see this particular football season going down the commode, I have concerns that people are going to not be as engaged with the Big Green as they would if we were winning on the field. Maybe I drank too much Kelly Green Koolaid, but I really do believe that every donor counts. I really do believe that Hamrick has a plan that is working. Anyway, I hope that everyone who wants a baseball stadium doesn't let this mess on the field change their giving to the Big Green. The Big Green is much more than just the football program. It is also the players, and all the other sports.
8. "Isn't punting on 4th a form of resigning against UNCC?:" At that particular moment I was thinking that UNCC was playing chess, while Doc was playing checkers. I also tweeted that "@DOCMUFB Just quit on us."
9. "@Keion_davis is a good kid:" the guy behind me and I yelled in jest "keep your hat on" as he was on the sideline after his TD. He looked up at us and smiled and put his helmet back on. The crowd in my section was pretty loud about their displeasure with Doc and Legg. There are also some people that have been yelling inappropriately (IMO) of certain players for the last few games. As I noted in a previous blog, I was pretty proud of myself for acting like a middle schooler. Unlike prior games, I didn't even boo the refs when we got hosed on the incomplete pass call. I also didn't yell at Doc out of frustration. That being said, I just wish one of the team leaders acted like a middle schooler, and kept his mouth shut. Leaders don't yell at fans. Leaders block out the noise and lead their teams through adversity. But then again, maybe the real leader was jumping up and down with a towel like a kid on Saturday. Maybe both of the potential leaders are really just kids trying to grow up in a very public environment. Maybe one thinks he has already grown up. Maybe more of us need to take into account that they are just kids. I'm trying.
10. "Told Dad @DOCMUFB was playing for tie... #cupcakes:" Let's tackle the hashtag first. Yep, it looks like I don't buy the three 10 win seasons as being in the same class as Bobby's wins. I'm glad that we won with the schedules that we had, but I am more excited about actually playing some quality opponents this year and in upcoming years. If Doc can get ten wins with the upcoming schedules, then he may end up being in the same class as Bobby. If he doesn't, he still had three years of ten wins. Now onto the part about Doc playing for a tie. Whether he wins or not, NO ONE will ever say that Doc understood the game like Bobby did. When we punted in the fourth quarter I had a string of tweets related to us punting for a net of 30 yards, and playing for the tie. Maybe the shower of yellow flags had more to do with the loss, but at the time it seemed that Doc was playing for the tie. After the game, I had a guy on Twitter take issue with my tweet and by pointing out that we threw the ball twice on the final series. While I may have been wrong at the time, in the end Doc did go for the tie. After getting into it briefly with the fellow Twit, I tweeted "Going offline...sorry if I annoyed anyone." I always hope that I don't annoy anyone...even with raw blogs. GO HERD!!!
I missed the game this week because of a bad cough. While I don't like missing any games, I really hate that I missed Herd Piper; he and I go back to posting on the Vine, and I always look forward to talking to him at Homecoming. Hopefully next year Tom. While my thoughts may have been clouded by shots of Delsym, here are the Ten Things I Think I Know After FAU:
1. Hats Off to the Herd: while I am sincere that the Herd needed a win and got it, I can't help but point out that we did two really "interesting" things to almost lose the game. First I can understand the emotions that Davis (who had a good game) must have been feeling when he rushed into the endzone for the game lead. Yet I thought everyone knew that taking your helmet off after scoring a TD would be a 15 yard penalty. I also thought that it was common knowledge that 15 + 35 was 50. Maybe next time we will act like we have won before and keep our composure to avoid the 15 yard penalty, OR kick the ball in bounds and avoid the 35. Wasn't Curraj our kickoff specialist? Weird game...weird season.
2. FAU Deserves Some Respect: while a lot of fans were writing off the Owls, I just kept thinking about what their OL and RBs did the last time they were in the Joan. I am one of the worst to disrespect the former Sunbelt teams. Part of that comes from where I think our team should be at right not. In reality, we played them pretty even. I thought that Driskel had a pretty solid day, while he didn't have big numbers, he sure seemed to make some good throws when it counted. The Owls' OL pushed around the Herd for the first half, and it is hard to disrespect a line that resulted in two 100+ yard rushers. The Owls may be 1-6 now, but they have some respect from me.
3. Heater: the good news is that Heater has demonstrated he can make adjustments with his unit at the half. The bad news is that he doesn't seem to be able to get them ready to start the game. The first drive of the game was embarrassing. The rest of the first half wasn't that much better. Then came the second half and it looked like a different defensive unit. We gave up some big plays in the second half, but we also had some great plays.
4. Bee: while I may not know what the Herd is going to look like any given Saturday, I do know that Bee is going to bring it. Most weeks I keep an eye on Gary to see what play he is going to make. Lately, it seems that I keep getting distracted by Mr. Bee. Best part about it is that we have Mr. Bee for 2 more years.
5. Knight: kudos to Knight for the nice TD reception and the 2 point conversion.
6. Jackson: it has been a long time since I was that excited to see a kid get an INT. Unfortunately, he has taken on quite a bit of criticism from fans. I'm not really sure why. He's an 18 year old kid who has been put on the field because he is the best that we have. Most 18 year old CBs are backups at best. He's getting better as the season progresses. Looks like he is working hard, and it is paying off.
7. Synonyms Needed: I had to question whether I took too much Delsym when I saw 6 passes go to Byrd. I also started to feel pretty stupid pretty quickly. I always tweet "Byrd is the Word" after he makes a good play. In most games where Legg only includes him in 1 or 2 plays, that works. Hopefully, Legg keeps calling plays that allow Byrd to make some more plays. Unfortunately, there are only a couple other phrases in the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gc4QTqslN4 "Don't You Know About the Byrd"...."Everybody's talking about the Byrd"..."Everybody's HERD about the Byrd..."
8. Looking at Chase Differently: I'm not saying everyone should do this, but I looking at Chase as a victim of hype. When I got this year's jersey at Glenn's (also available at Hometown and the University Bookstore), I wondered why I was getting a Sophomore's jersey. Usually it is the best senior that year. If it was going to be anyone other than a Senior, I would have expected Yurachek, but we don't even throw to him so why hype him up. I'm not sure who decides which player is going to be on the jersey, but I wish they wouldn't have chosen a Sophomore. But then again, I'm guilty of buying into the hype (e.g. Chase is the next great QB...WE ARE...reloading...WE ARE...the Strongest Ever). Now I am trying to compare Chase to other Sophomore QBs in our conference (e.g. Driskel, whom Chase outplayed). On Saturday, I was rooting for Chase not just to win the game, but also to play well enough to get some people off his back. I'm not on the Chase bandwagon; I'm just looking at a kid who deserves some slack. As I noted last week, Chase maybe our future, and he may not be. That will be decided in the Spring. Right now he is our QB, and he won on Saturday. I'm pretty sure that Chase doesn't want anyone pitying him, and that is not what I am trying to say. I am rooting for him to be successful at a more realistic level than what was set by the hype. He had a good game on Saturday, I hope he has a great one against the 49ers.
9. Conference USA: while I wish we were in a position to get into the AAC, we are stinking up the field this year. So I am glad the Big XII isn't expanding. Plus, I am enjoying the conference. I spent all day Saturday watching C-USA games and looking up their scores. I still think it is an Island of Misfit Toys, but we seem to fit in this year.
10. Jam the Joan: while many of us were disappointed to see the 49ers on the schedule, at this point in the season it looks to be an excitingly competitive game. Well at least it will be competitive. So let's Jam the Joan. No matter how many show up, we all know they will at least claim there were 22,839 in attendance. I hope to see crowded tailgating around the stadium. After a week off, I can't wait to see what Big City and Big Green Arms have to serve. Go Herd!!!!
Thundering in MD