Monday, October 01, 2007

Let's go spanning the globe...

That phrase is one that I miss about not being in New York. I’m sure New Yorkers are over Len Berman’s monthly sports fluff piece of sports bloopers, but I don’t care. I always enjoyed it.

What a wild, wacky weekend across our nations fields of friendly strife. As the Braves cleaned out their lockers for fall/winter vacation for the second year in a row, Tom Glavine was asking if he could borrow some baking soda to deodorize his cubby too. Wow. A seven game slide in two weeks, that is truly brutal. The Jets, my hapless favorite NY football team just can’t seem to get it together either losing to the equally hapless Bills. At least the Giants won (my wife was actually yelling at the TV which is usually my job). The Giants look like they may be solidifying as a team and I’m beginning to have my faith restored in Eli abilities a bit.

But the real story this weekend was college football folks. Seven of the top thirteen teams were upset and I was there for one of them. Number three ranked Oklahoma lost to an “also ran” Colorado University in the biggest upset next to Michigan losing to Div 1AA Appalachian State in their season opener. ESPN points out that, in the last 5 meetings, OU won all 5 and outscored CU 156-44. That’s big time.

I had picked Clemson to win on my card and was prepared to cheer them on against Georgia Tech Saturday, but as a walked to the stadium chugging my roadie beers, I observed Clemson fans attempting to pick fights with the far more geeky and helpless GT students, I had a change of heart.

I just don’t the GT football team. They are the definitive hot/cold team of the ACC, but their defense was most certainly on fire Saturday. They just shut Clemson down and allowed them nothing in the air or on the ground. It was a great game and I now feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of the new stratospheric ticket pricing changes GT rolled out on us this year. Porkchop, you missed the game of the season my friend. Tashard Choice running out of the tunnel with a sledge hammer on his shoulder was quite prophetic and inspiring.

The Maryland Terrapins upset number ten ranked Rutgers in New Jersey which was an equal shock to the football system. I’ve adopted the Scarlet Knights, but had to root for my homies from College Park even though I didn’t pick them on my card. GT goes the Byrd Stadium across from my old dorm room in Ellicott Hall to take on the reinvigorated Terps next week. I wish it was in the budget to go to that one since both teams are looking to validate their new found positions.

Most surprising of all and far from gleam of top ranked teams, the Black Knights of the Hudson put up a win against the Temple Owls at Michie Stadium in front of a sell out homecoming crowd. It was great to see the stands filled to witness such a rare Army victory. Included in the crowd was USMA’s most distinguished class of 1962 attending the games as part of their 45th reunion festivities. My father and mother had a great time from what they’ve told me. Best quote comes from my mother who said: “Man, are those people getting old…”. Dad quoted the Superintendent at their luncheon as claiming, “I think we’ve turned the corner with the football program…”. Yeah, and we found WMD in a bunker in Baghdad.

To all those who have not fully jumped onto the bandwagon of the greatest sport ever that is college football, I’ll leave you with this quote from one noted scholarly individual: “…So all of you out there sittin’ on fence, get off your ass and get down here”.


At 11:34 PM, October 01, 2007, Blogger Jackson said...

I won't say much about the NFL as I'm saving it all for my own post on the subject.

An Army win is truly special. Army has prepared me for a life as a Jet fan.

Well prepared for losing.

I never felt the way you do about the Terps and UofM, and I was hanging out there a lot longer. I just don't have that 'alma mater' vibe about that place.

"Get a one Coke, go Spring Lake"

There will no more routing for Clempson - we're clear on that at least.

Your Folks, the Honorable Dave and Sharon are forever young, and I'm sure they had a time at The Point regardless of the state of some of their peers.

Go Army, Beat Navy!

At 11:57 AM, October 02, 2007, Blogger Tony Alva said...

There's a connection to UM for me because it was something I really wanted. I really wanted to attend UM. It was a reward for getting my shit together and choosing not to become a loser degenerate burden on society. Of course, I blew it once I got there, but I really liked UM and if the namelessness factor in the classroom didn't overwhelm me academically, I would have certainly wanted to stay. Remember, the idea and likelihood of ever actually going to college was at one time for me like wanting to be an astronaut or something.

Having said that, I think the other half of my love of the Terps comes from my overall zeal for the game of college football in general and my emersion in the NCAA Div 1A conference, BCS, and weekly ranking systems. Moving down here to the south you almost have to study it to follow all the rivalry and interplay. The Terps play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC has a reserved spot in a BCS bowl game and can, assuming the conference champ is ranked high enough, play for a Nat'l title.

The Terps have many fellow conference opponents local to here. GT, NCST, Duke, UNC, Wake, FSU, etc... Lots of people here in Atlanta are alum from these schools so the smack talking is abundant when they come to play GT. Until BC joined the conference a couple of years ago, UM was the most northern of all teams in the ACC. Given the dominance of southern state football, and the lack of respect they have historically given to teams and conferences points north of the Mason/Dixon line also appeals to me supporting the Terps.

There are HUGE conference rivalries too. The Southeast Conference (SEC) is a football factory powerhouse and is the Dallas Cowboys of college football as far as I’m concerned. Their blatant recruiting cheating is notorious and highest of all conferences and their academic standards are amongst the lowest. Yes, I know they ALL cheat (except for Army, Navy and AF of course), but it’s still a factor in my hate rationale.

It’s a fun game. I totally understand why it’s not such a big thing in the NE since there's just not the same density of Div. 1A programs in the area. Here, there’s one on every block. I love the kids, the mascots, the trash talking, the loyalties, the intricacies, the four year player eligibility that keeps things fresh, and there are an abundance of underdogs to route for.

Come on in the water’s fine…

At 2:32 PM, October 02, 2007, Blogger Mother Goldstein said...

I also will not comment on pro football, as I have turned my back on the league.

College ball! Ohio state sure made fools out of the hapless Minnesota Gophers.

Wait.... this just in 10-4-07 marks the start of My Minnesota Wild's 08 season! We will be hosting Chicago -


At 3:40 PM, October 02, 2007, Blogger Tony Alva said...


I'll give you an OH HELLS YEAH!!!

My new job puts me in front of vendors again so hockey tickets could be back in play. Can't wait.

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