Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Football, Good Food, and a Female

Thank God for extended weekends. I took Friday off from work to make my holiday weekend even longer. I can't even remember what I did on Friday, but I can assure you of this: I enjoyed it. Sometimes being lazy is so fulfilling, especially when it's well-earned.

Saturday was awesome, as it marked the return of college football, which means I'll be seeing my good friend, and the foremost expert on football outside of John Madden, Randolph, quite often. He came over and we went to Chapel Hill for the UNC vs. James Madison game. The game wasn't until 6 PM, but we arrived in Chapel Hill around lunch time to soak in the atmosphere Butch Davis has created in promising the return of big time college football to Chapel Hill. Following the departure of Mack Brown in 1997, Carolina fans suffered through 9 seasons of mostly sub-par, mediocre-at-best, football. Butch Davis has been tapped as the savior to turn that all-around, and after game 1, so far so good. I'll get to that in a minute.

Let me first address the giant killer Appalachain State Mountaineers. For those of you who live in a cave and have yet to see the highlights, or hear a second-hand account of the events, the Mountaineers went into The Big House in Ann-Arbor, Michigan this past Saturday to face the fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines. No one in their right mind with any knowledge of college football even expected this game to be close, yet some how Ap. State came away with a narrow 2 point victory in one of the most bizarre endings I've ever seen in a football game. After somehow denying inevibility for 55 minutes of football, the Mountaineers gave up the go-ahead score to Michigan with about 4 minutes left in the game. At that point, you had to think to yourself, well they played better than anyone expected, they should be proud of themselves even though they're going to lose. That thought was further solidified when with about 3 minutes left Ap State threw an interception deep in their own territory. Hold on. "Not so fast my friend!", as Lee Corso would say on ESPN College Gameday. After a quick 3 and out, the Mountaineers proceeded to block a Michigan field goal, and with just under 2 minutes left, somehow still had a small glimmer of hope that they could drive the length of the field and win this game. Sure, the chance was dire at best, but still possible. Then it became reality. After several plays for huge yardage gains, there were the Mountaineers, on the Michigan 5 yard line with a chance to kick a field goal and win this thing with 20 seconds to play. The snap was good, the hold was good, and the kick was good. Michigan fans stood stunned and shocked - all 100,000+ of them. Ap. State proceeded to celebrate like they just won the BCS Championship. But again, not so fast my friend. With one last gasp of desperation, Michigan ran a hail mary play to perfection, and suddenly they were on the 20 yard line of the Mountaineers with another chance to escape an upset of tremendous proportions. with 5 seconds left, they set up for a 37 yard field goal to seal the win. The snap was good, the hold was good, the kick was good. Or at least it would have been, if a Mountaineer lineman hadn't blown through the line untouched and swatted the ball out of the air. Ap. State had won, but that wasn't enough. The same guy that blocked the kick proceeded to scoop up the ball and attempt to take it to the house for 6. And he would have proceeded, had he not cramped up just a few yards shy of the goal line. But it didn't matter, the greatest upset in college football history had just occured. Are the Mountaineers the best team in the state of North Carolina right now? I think so.

Now back to Butch. It was apparent that big time football had returned to Chapel Hill before the opening kickoff ever occured. A capacity crowd filled Kenan Stadium a full hour before game time, whereas in the past, the less than capacity crowd that came to games would show up late and leave early. But not this time. Anticipation was in the air. When the redshirt freshman quarterback read the defense perfectly and threw a 65 yard touchdown pass on the third play from scrimmage, it was evident Butch knew what he was doing. Am I expecting a BCS season? NO. This is a young team, and it's going to take time to get to that level. But the first game couldn't have been more promising. Flashes of brilliance and signs of improvement abound. As if the fireworks and having the game ball brought in via paratrooper from 14,000 feet weren't enough. Nice touches Butch. Of course none of that matters as much as the win column, but it was still fun.

I apologize for my misleading post title alluding to food and females. I don't have time to get to those stories right now, but I promise I'll get to them later today. I'll also give my review of the new Kanye West album I had a chance to get two weeks bfore it's release date. First impression? It's hot.

Be patient folks, it's coming.

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