Nevadatude

I can’t believe I forgot to mention the single dumbest thing I heard in my entire trip to Reno.

At the game, they played this football theme song called “Nevadatude”. Which, essentially amounts to a horrific country song, with lyrics filled with Nevada football references. I have never heard something so bad in my life. Honestly. I can’t even rationally discuss it.

Have you ever heard something that was so bad, it made you uncomfortable to listen to? Like you are incredibly embarrassed for those involved? That was this song. Exceedingly cringeworthy.

After a quick google search, this whole thing was apparently head coach Chris Ault’s idea. Hey coach… how about we worry about the product on the field and not your program’s theme song, hmmm? It is quite obvious you have MUCH bigger problems than this song.

As it stands, I guess “Nevadatude” is defined as completely rolling over for the biggest game of the season, displaying no heart at all, letting 8,000 rival fans dominate your building or simply having your stadium 70% empty.

Gee, if that is “Nevadatude”, count me out.

BCS or Bust – What it all means

Here is the remainder of the weekend. (Part 1 Here – BCS or Bust)

First off, I do have to say that the enormity of what had happened didn’t really hit me after the game. I think I was so nervous heading in that I felt more relieved than anything. I didn’t jump up and down or scream or anything (not that that is really my style anyway). I think as I watched the blue and orange sea on the field, I just stood there with a bemused look on my face. Taking it in without it sinking in.

Thusly, the rest of the night kinda went the same way. No drunken revelry. We had a good dinner a another local brew pub (the Italian Sausage Ravioli were great) and watched the first half of the Notre Dame v. USC game. This place was a little out of the way, and there were no other Broncos in the joint (at least in the bar). We talked to a few Reno guys in there and they were gracious in defeat. I did have to tell them that its not all bad, since they’re still going to a bowl game and Boise State just cut them a check for $750,000. (Each team in the conference splits some of the BCS booty). Can’t argue with that too much. They were cool, and we just had a low key dinner.

After, we headed back down to the casinos to find a place to watch the Trojans finish off the Irish and the first little bit of the Purdue @ Hawaii game. We actually packed it in early due to the fact we were driving home the next day.

We woke up early to bust out of there. I set the alarm on my cell phone but somehow calculated the time wrong (it was still on Boise local time) and instead of setting the alarm for 6:30, I set it for 4:30. The lesson, as always, is I’m a dumbass. I should have just woken everyone up then since I was pretty much wide awake and ready to go, but instead I laid there for 2 hours before getting up.

On our way out of what really appeared to be a ghost town… there was NO traffic on the roads at all… we stopped at a local Starbucks. Now, we were the only 3 people in the building except for the two girls behind the counter. For some reason, they had to be sure to ask all of us our names so they could write them on the cups. Uh… I don’t think we’ll get them confused girls… But we made it on the road without incident.

Just like the way down, we were in the middle of a Bronco caravan. We drove Jess’ car down since her’s is the newest and it ended up getting us some strange looks. See, she is a Vandal, tried and true, and came along just because I asked. And, being a Vandal, her car has the University of Idaho sticker in the back window and the Vandal license plates. We did, however, have the dual Bronco car flags flying high. It was quite amusing to pass another bronco car and watching in the mirror as the passenger points at us and says something to the driver, or vice versa. This must have happened half a dozen times that I saw, who knows how many more times that I didn’t. To quote Peter Venkman, “Dogs and cats living together… Mass hysteria!”

Honestly, I think it took me until Tuesday for it all to really set in. Life is a funny thing. In what has undoubtedly been the hardest year I have ever lived through (a close second was the year in college when I worked full time, school full time, and had a part time internship, but thats another post), the only team I follow with an absolute passion had its greatest season ever. Especially ironic when you know that every single Boise State memory I have from the past 4 years is intertwined with memories of my ex and ex-laws. Who knows… maybe this was supposed to happen. It might be egotistical for me to think that some higher power set up the Bronco run to make it up to me for being shit on… I don’t know. All I know is that I love the Broncos. What does it tell you that I want to be successful in life, make a bunch of money, but not for me… but because I want to be able to give big chunks to Boise State. That’s just not normal.

I listened to KBOI’s archive of Paul J’s call of the game on Saturday, and I would be lying if I didn’t get chills. When they were talking about where this team has been and where its going, I think my eyes welled a little. Again, stuff like this shouldn’t happen. Paul J’s voice can at once make me feel both like a grown man listening to a BCS team on the verge, and a 7 year old kid following the Broncos the only way one could back in the day, on the radio. He may not be the greatest announcer who ever lived, but he is the very soul of Boise State to me. I can hear his voice and it sounds like home. When he gets excited, my blood pressure jumps 30 points. He is one of the rocks this program has been built on. I think KBOI & Boise State should market a DVD of the greatest BSU moments and the accompanying Paul J. calls. As it is, I watch the Bronco season commemorative DVD’s I have weekly.

Saturday’s game at Reno will be one of those events that improves in my memory with age. Like the Idaho game in ’94 or the Fresno game in ’02. That image of the fans on the field will stick with me for a long long time.

Phoenix, here we come.

BCS or Bust

BoiseStateThat was the theme for the recent road trip weekend. Boise State was facing one game for all the marbles at University of Nevada Reno. Outright WAC championship (fifth consecutive), undefeated regular season, and BCS bowl birth with the big exposure and big pay day. Here’s the story.

Friday, November 24th. My birthday was spent mainly driving from Boise to Reno. Roughly 7 hours of some of the most boring driving this side of the great plains. I will concede that driving across North Dakota (sorry to my relatives back there) may be, in fact, the most boring place on the planet to drive. Take a peek at a road map for the state, and you will see I-94 slicing a straight line directly across the state. Yawn… At least the road to Reno does change direction, however, you end up with about 350 miles of the exact same landscape. It does look nice enough, but when you stare at it for 14 hours in 3 days, it definitely gets a little old. You find yourself begging for some trees or something to at least break the monotony.

Hotel DoorWe arrived in Reno and check into the hotel. Since we were making this trip on the cheap, I booked us into a Super 8 motel that was about 300 yards from the stadium. Savvy planning on my part, I thought. Unfortunately, this place wasn’t exactly the Ritz. You will notice in the picture that the door is completely closed, yet there is about an 1/4 inch gap around the whole thing. Yes, we left the heat on the entire time.

After a little rest, we hit the downtown area of the “Biggest Little City in the World”. I’ve always liked casinos even though I’m not a huge gambler. Go figure. And the casinos this night were absolutely swarming withReno blue and orange clad fans. It was terrific. Everywhere you turned, you saw another group. I will admit though that the random “BOISE…. STATE…” chants were a little much. I’m as big a fan as you know, but even I have my limits. There was an interesting phenomenon at play here. Usually, when you’re traveling to an away game and you see someone in your colors, you usually make a comment to that person like “Go Broncos!” or something. Well, in Reno, there were SO many Bronco fans that you don’t feel the need to make those comments. It was like we were the ‘home’ team or something. The occasional Nevada fan might say something to you, but since they were outnumbered in the casinos about 200-1, there wasn’t many of them around.

After being incommunicado for the whole day on the road, I really enjoyed sitting in the sports book of the Silver Legacy to catch up on the day’s college football action… Who upset who, who was favored by what, etc. Plus, Fresno State and La. Tech were playing on TV and the announcers spent half the time talking about Saturday’s Boise State v. Reno matchup. Good times! The book had Boise State favored by only 3 points in the game. I thought about putting a bet down on the game, but I figured, I’ve already got way too much wrapped up in the outcome of this game, there is no need to add a financial aspect as well. Although, hindsight being 20/20 and all, I probably should have bet $1000 on the game, so if we won, my trip to Phoenix was paid for, and if we lose we’d stay home and play in the local MPC Computers bowl anyway and I wouldn’t have to travel with the team. Damn…

One observation of the casino scene in Reno. We were heading back to the car that was parked in the Circus Circus parking garage. First of all, I hate Circus Circus. I hate clowns and I hate the circus. But, as we were heading out at after 11pm, the sheer number of kids running around was astounding! That place was absolutely LOUSY with kids. First of all, for the life of me I can’t understand why you would ever bring your kids on a ‘vacation’ to a casino in the first place. Second, why in blue blazes are these kids still running around this ‘midway’ in Circus Circus at almost midnight? At least the actual casino floors are still kid-less sanctuaries. Just one more reason to loathe the Circus Circus.

Game Day

After an exceptionally craptacular breakfast (how in the hell do you fuck up biscuits and gravy anyway?!) it was time to get into game mode. As I had told everyone, I was nervous about this game. Nevada came into this game on an absolute roll. Five wins in a row, including two 42-0 routs in a row. We were favored by a mere 3 points (or one point underdogs in the Sagarin ratings). Even Kirk Herbstriet on ESPN picked Nevada to win. Everything was piling on and I wasn’t feeling great.

Broncos Take the Field Opening Kickoff

It was quite a chilly morning, so we layered up and headed into the stadium. Two weeks ago when I went to purchase tickets, Boise State told me that their allotment of 5000 tickets was long gone. So, I went directly to the Wolfpack athletics website as was able to purchase tickets directly from them. As you can see, I got damn near 50 yard line seats. It is safe to say you wouldn’t be able to get tickets like that at Bronco Stadium.

Sitting in the upper deck in the sun, we QUICKLY warmed up and started stripping off layers. Eventually getting down to our shirtsleeves. Unbelievable. It was so warm, it felt like September. Just a gorgeous day. Continue reading BCS or Bust

Boise State’s Next Big Thing?

Bronco fans have enjoyed a long string of terrific quarterbacks throughout the years. Beginning with Tony Hilde (personal issues aside, he is still BSU’s total offense career leader), to Bart Hendricks who led us into D1. Followed by Ryan Dinwiddie, who owns the NCAA record for career quarterback rating, up to Jared Zabransky who despite a tough year last year, is still 31-5 as a starter and just set the school record for single game completion percentage.

We have a couple of freshmen kids in the program who might be the next thing, including ex-NFL quarterback Neil Lomax’s son Nick Lomax as well as a phenom from California named Michael Coughlin. We just missed out on ex-head coach Dan Hawkins’ son Cody Hawkins when Coach Hawk defected to Colorado.

Those two guys might need to be ready to be future back-ups compared to our most recent quarterback signing.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Kellen Moore. Mr. Moore is a senior this year at Prosser high school in Washington state and has signed a letter of intent with Boise State. He has, what are possibly the sickest numbers I have ever seen. I thought Cody was prolific at the local high school Bishop Kelly. Well, Moore’s numbers make Cody’s look like a turd.

How’s this? In 2005 as a junior, Moore had 317 completions for 4,600 yards and 66 touchdowns. SIXTY-SIX! This season, he has his team 12-0 with possibly two more games to play and his stats are equally bonkers: 269-362 (74.3% completion) 3,969 yards, and 62 touchdowns. Oh yeah, he only has 5 interceptions. Personally, I was disappointed we didn’t keep Cody, but his senior year numbers (146-for-204 for 2,783 yards and 42 touchdowns, 5 picks) while impressive, frankly pale in comparison.

This is the end result of playing all those games on ESPN at strange times. That and a lot of hard work by the coaching staff. I know one thing, even with Boise State losing 22 seniors this year, the cupboard is far from bare!

Who else is excited for the future?

“If I did it, here’s how” Wait… what?!

Fox finally came to their senses before I had a chance to write about this, but I’m still going to.

I’m sure you all heard about OJ Simpson’s book and TV Special (two parts, no less) where the premise was, “I didn’t kill my wife, but, if I had, here is how I did it”. My reaction to this? Stunned silence. I couldn’t even form a rational thought. On what planet would this come across as a good idea? Seriously. How, in good conscience, could Fox both publish a book and show a two part TV special about this so-called hypothetical situation? Did they somehow forget that 2 people were brutally murdered? I was flabbergasted.

Thankfully, the sheer volume of bad press Fox had received for this ill-conceived idea convinced them that, “uh… maybe giving millions of dollars and two hours of prime time air to a murderer isn’t such a good business plan after all.” Yes, I said it. There is simply no question anymore that OJ is guilty. Looking back, you have to marvel at just how he got off.

Such a thing would not happen today. With the glut of CSI’s and Law and Order’s that are multiplying across our TV screens, is there anyone who doesn’t understand DNA evidence anymore? Of course not. However, 11 years ago, the prosecution had to spend weeks explaining it all with all the pizazz of a high school biology lecture. I mean, they found OJ’s DNA at the scene of the crime, and found the victims DNA at his house, in his car, on his clothes, etc. Try this case on our current prime time shows and it’s as ‘slam dunk’ as you can get. They have OJ convicted before the first commercial break. But back then, after the trial was over, one juror was quoted as saying he didn’t understand the DNA stuff at all, and didn’t consider it in his deliberations. Wow…

Even better was the defense his lawyers concocted. They didn’t even bother to try to defend OJ (what does that tell you?), instead their case was this. On one hand they were saying that the LA Police, within minutes of finding two people brutally murdered, they decided who was guilty and set in motion an elaborate frame up of an african-american man involving hundreds of officers and dozens of pieces of evidence, all of which had to be coordinated executed flawlessly. All without even knowing if he was even in the country at the time. Yet, at the VERY SAME TIME they were arguing that the LA Police were so incompetent that all of the evidence they collected was contaminated and every procedure of evidence handling was violated. Well, which is it? Thus, the Chewbacca Defense was born.

Anyway, this all brings us back to this whole “If I Did It” thing. I wonder who’s idea this was, exactly. The remarkable thing is that this whole thing would not even be subject to the Son of Sam laws preventing people from profiting from their crimes. Apparently, speaking in hypotheticals is a loophole no one thought of before. I wonder if Berkowitz were to write a new book titled, “I swear I didn’t shoot all those people or hear the neighbors dog telling me to do it, but if I had, it might have gone something like this” could he then get paid for that?

Of course, this is all a moot point now since those people that were involved are now running for cover. Thank god. I simply cannot believe that there was someone, anyone, involved in this project who thought that this was a good idea. I’m all for making money, but this was a sick and disgusting way to do it.

I will not, however, give Fox any credit at all for canceling this abortion. They approved it in the first place and are now just trying to save some face. You are already guilty for having greenlit this in the first place. Canceling it now does not make you good people.

Hope you can sleep at night.

I’m guessing there is a special layer of hell reserved for the Juice.

I can talk about it now

BoiseStateI know some of you have been waiting for my reaction to the closest of close calls last Saturday. Frankly, I haven’t been able to talk about it until now.

We escaped. We needed to buckle down and pull out a miracle 4th quarter. I’ll tell you one thing, I was not enjoying that game at all. And frankly, I’m not very fun to be around when we play a game like that. I actually got in trouble once (2 years ago, from the ex) for brooding and not being happy and chatty when Boise State had a hellish game the LAST time down at San Jose State. Yes, I know I have WAY too much invested in these games that I have no control over. I know this. Can I do anything about it? Absolutely not. I am, however, realistic.

I listen and read to national sports media all the time. With Rutgers being undefeated and a long shot at getting into the national championship game, there is a lot of debate about who deserves the chance to get there. We know the winner of Ohio State/Michigan will be there, so all of the rest of it is debate on who #2 will be. There are a lot of one loss teams out there who are clamoring to be the one. What I don’t understand is this. Before Louisville lost, and Rutgers now, their fan bases are up in arms that they might go undefeated and not make the championship game. Thus, citing their weak strength of schedule, the national media guys are slamming them saying they don’t deserve it. But somehow, Boise State keeps getting wrapped up in those slams as a team whose fans are delusional. Let me say this loud and clear… THERE ARE NO BOISE STATE FANS OR LOCAL MEDIA HERE WHO ARE SAYING WE DESERVE A SHOT AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Period. End of story. Yet somehow, we keep getting tossed in that discussion and are being killed for it. We know we are not national championship caliber. We are not crazy. We’ve only been D-1 for 10 years for pete’s sake.

However, we do think if we run the table we at least deserve a shot at a BCS game. I think that is only fair. Which brings me back to Saturdays game. There was A LOT riding on it. I want to go to Phoenix in January. I want to see us play a big time school, even if we lose. I just want to be there. I want to have the national media talking about Boise State football in a positive way for a month leading up to the game. I want another game like we played against Louisville in the Liberty Bowl. Everyone was in agreement that that was a terrific game. Obviously, I would love to win, but all things being equal, it is great just to be at the party.

I would also like to point out, that this season will be the first season where I have seen double digit Boise State football games live. Which ever bowl game we make it to will put me at 10 for the year, meaning I still have three more games to watch (tomorrow vs. Utah State, next week @ Reno and the bowl game, wherever that may be). For someone who hasn’t missed a home game in… well this season will make it 15 straight years, that was the next big hill to climb. Of course, the only pinnacle from here would be to hit EVERY game in a season. Maybe someday I can pull that one off. Hopefully, I won’t pick a year where we have to play at Louisiana Tech.

On the Borat Bandwagon

I admit it. I was not excited for this movie much leading up to its release. I had seen a few clips of Sasha Baron Cohen’s character online and really wasn’t sure what the appeal was. Amusing, I suppose, but I guess I just wasn’t down.

Well, as you probably know, the movie was released last weekend. As the reviews starting coming in, something strange happened… It was good! According to RottenTomatoes.com, Borat is one of the highest rated movies of the entire year at 94% fresh! That means that of the 146 reviews of the movie (from professional reviewers) only 8 gave it a negative review. Unbelievable. This movie is reviewed better than The Departed (92%), which is to date the best movie I’ve seen this year.

So, wanting to see what all the buzz was about, Jess and I went to see the movie on Monday (since Monday Night Football was such a dog). I will say this… I have not laughed like that in a LONG time! I can’t remember seeing a movie that made me belly laugh so long and so hard. Quite possibly, this is the funniest movie I have ever seen start to finish. Brilliant use of the naive and inappropriate angles to create genuine humor. Tremendous.

That being said, it is most assuredly not for everyone. In our relatively sparse crowd Monday night, we had a total of 8 people walk out. Mom, don’t go to this movie. Kim, you could probably skip it too. Chris, Chris and George, go immediately! Have a drink or two before you go and enjoy the ride. I am not going to discuss any of what happens in the movie because there is no way I could do it justice. So I won’t even try. When I left I had tears running down my face and my diaphragm was sore as hell.

Well worth it, if I do say so myself.

Boise State @ Reno

Here is something I never thought would happen… Boise State, for a change, refused to bow to ESPN’s wishes to move a game!

Here is the story. Boise State is at Reno Saturday, November 25th, Thanksgiving weekend. ESPN, in their desire to fill time, requested to move the game to Friday night. Well, Boise State usually brings 5,000-7,000 fans to Reno. Being a holiday weekend, and only a few weeks notice, it would be tough for some of those people trying to juggle family events for the holiday and still make it to the game. Hotels and airline nightmares.

Instead, Gene Blaymeier chose to side with the fans, rather than get the additional TV exposure. In order to up the ante, ESPN threatened to not televise this weekend’s game with San Jose State. Which, of course, seems to border on blackmail to me, but what do I know? Instead of buckling, Blaymeier simply said, “fine”.

Bravo, Gene. Well done. I love playing on ESPN as much as the next guy, but at some point you have to draw the line.

Read a good account here.

In other Boise State news, this is interesting. ESPN.com has a couple analysts predicting which teams will be in which bowls. Granted, this is simply all gross speculation, and we really shouldn’t read anything into it, but still. It is fun to read about.

Read it here.

You’ll notice the 2 matchups they have for Boise State (whom both are assuming will be in the BCS in the Fiesta Bowl. First, a matchup with defending national champion Texas Longhorns. Wow, what a game that would be. We would probably be beaten, but on any given day, you never know.

The other matchup is even more intriguing. Boise State vs. Notre Dame. How cool would that be!? Unbelievable! I’ve watched a lot of Notre Dame this year, and I think the matchup would be very very good. They have a great passing game and our pass defense has been challenged this year. Their defense is a little suspect and our offense is very efficient. Boy, I can’t tell you how bad I would like all of the pieces to come together to make that game happen…

Here’s to dreaming.

Sporting Week Conclusion

Ok, so I dropped the ball blogging about the sports weekend. Here is your conclusion.

Idaho Steelheads vs. Utah Grizzlies – Friday

Opening night for the Steelheads. I absolutely love hockey (yet still can’t get a single NHL game on TV). There is nothing better than a live hockey game, well, except for a live Boise State football game, but I had already had one of those this week.

Being opening night and the ten year anniversary season for the Steelheads, they had a little pre-game on ice celebration. Ol’ JR Simplot was there as he was instrumental in getting the arena built and getting the team there in the first place. Plus, he lives right upstairs, so it was an easy commute for him. Boy, he is OLD. Tough old bastard. Great man, but he certainly looks like a walking skeleton.

Of course, the Governor was there. Risch, in an attempt to appear as ‘one of the people’ was out there in skates and a hockey jersey. Well, isn’t that cute. Until, that is, you realize that he is actually wearing figure skates. Doh. The people in our section got a good laugh when I pointed that out. What a typical politician putz move.

The Steelheads also debuted their new mascot. Aparently, the old mascot Bonk (click ‘what about bonk’) had to go since he looked like the old logo and we can’t have that now, can we? So, they roll out this thing that looks like Yogi Bear. A bear with a stupid looking grin on his face, wearing fishing gear and tackle. Horrible horrible mascot. I’m not an expert, but since our mascot is an ocean going rainbow trout that swims thousands of miles upstream to spawn, do we really want our mascot to be a creature that kills and eats hundreds if not thousands of those animals every year? Really? You guys really thought this through, didn’t you? Why didn’t you just make the new mascot spinning hydroelectric turbine blades and be done with it?

I will say the new logo, uniforms and colors really do look terrific!

All that being said, the game itself was terrific. Tight the whole time. A little extra-curricular activity after the whistle. A fight. Plus, we won on an overtime shootout. One of the most exciting moments in sports. Good time was had by all.

Boise State Basketball vs. Cascade College – Saturday

The final exhibition game of the Broncos was with another powerhouse program from Oregon. Where the previous team at least looked like a college basketball team, these guys looked like my high school team. As a matter of fact, they probably played like my high school team… if not worse.

The final score was 103-51. This team had less than 20 points on the board with 17 minutes to go in the game. I think the score at that point was something like 70-19. Unbelievable. I don’t know if you can learn anything about yourself when you play a high school junior varsity team like that. Hell, we looked like the friggin Harlem Globetrotters. Only without the bucket of confetti.

Well, perhaps we did not look exactly like the Globetrotters… you see, we had a number of breakaways in this game. On at least three separate occasions, dunks were attempted, and failed miserably. It was quite embarrassing. When you’re all alone on a fast break, you try to throw it down and get stuffed by the rim, that is a bad thing. In fact, one guy, the freshman Anthony Thomas got rim-checked TWICE. Coach, do your team a bit of a favor… set aside some practice time for some dunk training. These guys need it.

Steelehads vs Grizzlies – Sunday

Sunday finished off with a 4pm face off with the Steelies. This game didn’t have much in the way of physicality and was played really clean. Idaho had the lead after scoring in the second period and had the shutout until about 4 minutes left in the game. The goalie Silverthorn played really well, and saved our bacon more than once. Idaho won with a final of 4-1 and finished off a clean sweep of the visiting Utah Grizzlies.

They also polished off a perfect 5-0 for the home teams in my sporting weekend. Three total blow outs (one really fun, 2 not so much). An overtime shootout win and a solid domination to wrap it up. You might be thinking that I might be a little burnt out on sports. Of course, you would be wrong. All I can think is why can’t all weeks be like that?

Game on!