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!!!!
During the game, I didn't get angry or frustrated. Instead, I had to force myself to pay attention to the game. Later in the game, I even tweeted that it was like a bad sermon that I was trying to listen to. Then on Sunday, I put it on my second TV as I watched the Bengals game. I didn't get that much more out of watching the game a second time. During the live game my mind wondered, I started having flashbacks to events from the Herd's past. I also started to think about one very poorly timed posting. Along those lines, here are the Ten Things I Think I Know After the Other Green Turned Mean (Flashback Edition):
I was working on portions of this blog before the season started. I didn't post it because I wasn't sure that I wanted to blog anymore. Looks like I am getting over that dilemma. I just got back from a trip that allowed me to spend 7 hours hanging out in airports yesterday. I'm not sure my ideas are fully developed yet, but here are the Ten Things I Think I Know About The Island of Misfit Toys in 2016:
I wouldn't advocate for readers to look at the glass half full or half empty...or other obvious halves. Instead, I am looking at it as two different Herd teams lead by a dramatically refocused staff in the second half. The second half Herd team was the one I expected to see out of the gate. The first half was the result of allowing the opposing team to set the tone of the game by having the first possession. I wish I had time to do an analysis of what happens in games when our offense gets the ball first as opposed to having to play catch up on our first possession. Anyway, I don't have time to do that, but I do have time to share Ten Things I Think I Know After Pitt:
1. Message to Harmrick: one thing I think we can all agree on is that Hamrick makes efforts to satisfy fans. He brought back Kelly Green and he brought back night games. There has been a lot of frustration expressed by fans over the Pitt loss. I hope that Mike doesn't interpret that as fans not wanting to play ACC caliber teams. We need to play teams like Pitt. I for one am very appreciative of Hamrick's efforts to get us into this series. The Herd didn't show up in the first half, but Mike did his part to get us into the stadium. Thank you.
2. Byrd Is The Word: as many of you know, Byrd is my favorite Senior this year. He had some good plays during the game on Saturday, but his biggest accomplishment was off the field. He's been named to the Campbell Trophy semi-finalist list. http://footballmatters.org/the-nff-announces-list-of-william-v-campbell-trophy-semi-finalists/ This is a big deal. Not only for Byrd himself, but for the program and the University. Thank you Mr. Byrd for your hard work on and off the field. In an age where there aren't many roll models, I think you are providing one for your teammates and younger people in the community.
3. Durant: he blew up their fake FG and it looked like he was throwing a ragdoll around on his TD saving tackle. Last week, I thought Hancock overshadowed Durant. Well this week, I noticed Mr. Fast and Furious making an impact.
4. Anderson: he could be the game changer that turns around the season. As noted below, Davis is looking like our primary RB. Anderson has the power and enough speed to get short yardage and make something happen when he breaks through to the second level. My only concern is that his showboating may get him in trouble. As much as I liked watching him high step during his mop up duty the UofL game, I have to wonder if he could give up some crucial yardage doing that in a competitive game. Similarly, I had some concern when he held the ball out on his TD run. That being said, he was a much needed breath of fresh air in the second half.
5. Time to Eat Crow (Again...): during the first half, I tweeted that Chase needed to throw the ball to someone who has played football recently....Well after 147 yards and an 83 yard TD, I guess Clark has played some football lately.
6. Davis: prior to the season, I posted a poll on who was going to get the most rushing TDs this season. I voted for Davis. I should have posted the poll who is going to be our most reliable RB. Prior to the season, I don't think I would have voted for Davis. It looks like he may be our most reliable RB at this point.
7. Curraj: for a kid that I thought would always just be a kickoff specialist, he is bringing it. With the help of Knight, that was one of the best on sides I have seen.
8. Doc: while a lot of people are very upset with Doc, I can't get mad or yell at the TV during games. You see, I named my cocker spaniel puppy after him, and if I yell at the TV like I did at Snyder, he pisses the floor (no really). Seriously, there is a lot of fodder out there for those who want to criticize Doc for player retention, schemes, being overly conservative, and the handling of both coordinators. I'm still in the camp of Doc growing as a coach. He and his coordinators obviously made significant adjustments in the second half. IMO, the second half looked like my definition of Marshall football. If I am correct that Doc is still growing as a HC, then I hope he gains some insight from the differences between the first and second halfs and starts out games trying to win them going forward.
9. Anger Management: please note that I have no high ground to preach from. I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, but I wish posters who I respect weren't exchanging un-pleasantries during games.
10. Home Gating: while watching friends check in at Primati Bros., I was busy setting up my TVs so that I could watch multiple games. While the first half was a bust, I did get one good half of FB in. After the game, I put the 2 TVs to a more productive use. I ran the actual debate off of my DVR on one screen and SNL's spoof on the other. Just like trying to figure out which Herd team is going to show up in which half, there were moments when I couldn't tell which was the spoof and which was the debate. Well, the out of conference schedule is done. WE ARE not happy, but WE ARE...MARSHALL. Go Herd!!!
Thundering in MD