Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jay Cutler tribute song

Came across this video on the internet today from a disgruntled Chicago Bears fan. Very funny. Glad we are rid of Cutler!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

46 years later - the Broncos play a home game on Thanksgiving

This week the Broncos host the New York Giants at Invesco field. While Denver has played on Thanksgiving a few times over the years, this is their first Thanksgiving home game since 1963. The Broncos lost to the Oakland Raiders on that Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 1963) 26-10.

That game is more than just a statistic for me. It was my first Bronco game ever! I was 7 years old at the time. John F Kennedy had been assassinated the Friday before and the nation was in mourning. A friend of my Dad's gave him 3 50 yard line seats in the West Stands, and he took my brother and me to the game.

I don't remember much of the game, other than the Broncos having a running back with an unusual name ("Billy Joe"). A long time Bronco nemesis, Al Davis, was coaching the Raiders that day.

I have attended hundreds of Broncos home games since Thanksgiving Day 1963, but to this day those were the BEST seats I've ever had at a Bronco game. I was too young to appreciate the 50 yard line location!

As for this year's team, I've had fun comparing them to the 1977 Broncos. The last 4 weeks of losses have shown this is not a 77 rerun. Maybe my post before the Cincinnati game will turn out to be more accurate (I said if the Broncos defeated the Bengals they'd start out 4-0 and finish 8-8).

What concerns me about the 09 Broncos in recent weeks is how the defense has been dominated in the 4th quarter, unable to stop the run. This is not a good recipe for success against a power running team like the Giants.

Still I think the Broncos always have a chance of winning at home (forgetting for a minute last week's 32-3 debacle against the Chargers). The Giants have already complained about traveling cross country in a short week, and New York had lost four in a row this season, too, before winning last week against the Falcons.

Here's hoping the Broncos make their all time Thanksgiving home game record 1 win and 1 loss with a victory against the Giants!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Home games are fun at Air Force!

Yesterday I did something I haven't done in 43 years - attend a home Air Force Football game! Yes the last time I went to an Air Force game was in 1966 at age 10. I have always enjoyed following Air Force football over the years, just never attended games in person.

I was invited by a friend to participate in a pre-game tailgate party. Immediately I saw the difference between Bronco home games. The tailgating area is "First come/first served" with no parking charge. We arrived at 11 a.m. - well in advance of the 1:30 pm kickoff of the Air Force - Army game. We saw many cadets from both service academies doing their own tailgating outside the stadium.

We entered Falcom Stadium at 12:30 pm and quickly found our seats in the upper deck - bench style seats in the Northwest corner of the field. The cadets from both service academies were opposite us in the stands on the other side of the field.

Air Force has one of the best pregame shows I've seen anywhere. First came Air Force sky divers jumping from high over the stadium and maneuvering to land right on the 50 yard line.
The cadets then marched into the stadium by squadrons (shown above) for the National Anthem. Once the anthem was complete the cadets suddenly disbanded and made a mad dash for their seats! The contrast between the orderly cadet march into the stadium and free for all to the seats was amazing.

The highlight of the pregame show was a flyover by 2 F16 jets. I've never seen a flyover with the planes as low as these. They seemed to suck the air out of the lungs of everyone watching as they buzzed over the crowd. A large bomber followed the F16's - there was no shortage of military hardware to display.

Oh yes - and there was a game, too! The game was exciting with cheerleaders from both sides urging the cadets to yell their loudest. Army was the better team in the first half, yet only earned a 7-7 tie thanks to a long punt return td by Air Force.

Don't leave your seats at half time - otherwise you'll miss Air Force's signature "trained falcon" show. One of these special birds soared over the crowd and back to the cadet trainers on the field.

The football Falcons found their legs in the 2nd half to win the game going away, 35-7. Every time Air Force scored, a group of cadets did pushups in the end zone (one for each point)

Air Force football is an entertaining show - with many extras in addition to the football excitement. I don't think I'll wait 43 years to attend my next Falcon home game!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hawkins reminds me of Gerry Faust

I was thinking earlier today coach Hawkins tenure at the University of Colorado reminds me of the Gerry Faust era at Notre Dame. Tonight I checked out wikipedia on Faust and read this:

"It was his amazing record, sound ethics and the quality football players from Moeller who later played at Notre Dame, that led Notre Dame officials to take a calculated gamble and hire him when Dan Devine stepped down after the 1980 season. For Faust, a devout Roman Catholic, it was a dream come true. He had coveted the head coaching job at Notre Dame for years and said all along that he would never leave Moeller for anything else. Faust inherited a solid squad that included nine of his former players from Moeller. He switched the team's home jerseys from green back to blue, although initially it was a lighter Madonna blue shade than the navy blue that had been previously worn (and returned to in 1984), and kept the player's names on the backs. A self-proclaimed eternal optimist brimming with enthusiasm, Faust had visions of winning more games and national championships and coaching at Notre Dame longer than anyone else. Then when he saw Notre Dame's schedule, he was quoted as saying, "I hope my lifelong dream doesn't end in a nightmare." Sadly, it proved to be a prophetic statement and his era at Notre Dame, initially referred to as "The Bold Experiment"[1], fell far short of living up to expectations."

Faust's Notre Dame tenure started on a high note with a 27-9 victory over LSU in the 1981 season opener, one of the most widely anticipated games in school history. After top-ranked Michigan lost to Wisconsin on that same day, Notre Dame was voted #1 in the polls. The success was short-lived, however, as Michigan defeated Notre Dame the following week, 25-7. It was all downhill after that as the Irish finished 5-6 that year, their first losing season since 1963. Faust would end his stint at Notre Dame with a 30-26-1 record, never winning more than seven games in one season and never coming even close to contending for a national title. This included four consecutive losses against Air Force, whom the Irish had never lost to prior to 1982. Despite his mediocre record and growing discontent among Irish fans, Faust was allowed to remain at Notre Dame for the entire duration of his five-year contract."

Comparisons to Hawk:

eternal optimist in over his head as a division 1 football coach

Faust had 1 big win early in his tenure (LSU 81). Hawk had his big win over Oklahoma

Repeated losses to teams far less talented. I remember the Faust losses to air force in the 80's - notre dame was solidly outcoached each game. Hawk's losses to csu toledo, montana state and near loss to Eastern Washington last year are similar.

What happened to Faust? He was canned at Notre Dame, unsuccessful and eventually fired at Akron. Today "Faust lives in Fairlawn, Ohio, a suburb of Akron; he now works as a motivational speaker."

That's the job for Hawk - motivational speaker - not division 1 football coach.