Sunday, September 30, 2012

Smelling the ROSES (Random Observations from a Saturday Embroiled in Sports

Another Saturday spent perusing the plays performed at Paladin Stadium.  Furman's game with the Western Carolina Catamounts (aka When Purples Clash) was supposed to be yet another soggy Saturday. so laden with rain gear we entered the stadium.

It was the usual late arriving crowd. Though when the BoBBs* came through I did mind the constant occupation of the aisle quite as much.  The crowd was thrilled as the Paladins took the opening kick off and drove the length of the field. and horrified when running back Jerrodius Williams had the ball punched away at the threshold of the end zone. The ball skittered through and out the back, giving the ball to the Catamounts on their own 20 yard line.  (momentary pause while I bang my head on the metal seat back in front of me.) Western Carolina drove inside the Furman red zone, but was held to just a field goal.

Williams redeemed himself but returning the subsequent kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.  This was the first of 28 consecutive Paladin points.  The crowds mood was deflated somewhat by a Catamount touchdown with 45 seconds left.  Never give a team hope going into halftime (see also Clemson vs Auburn 2010).  But the crowd was overjoyed by a quick Furman drive that resulted in field goal as time expired.

The late arriving crowd began filtering out. Welcome to the Furman fandom. Sigh. (For the record, my family has been a 'stay to the end' crew. Notable exception: Freak snow storm in a 1990 playoff game.)

The second half was most notable by the greatest of all home field advantages.  The Mighty Furman Turf Monster grabbed a Western Carolina receiver just as the ball was thrown.  The pass settled into the hands of the Paladin defensive back behind him and returned for a touchdown.  Furman would go on to a 45-24 victory.

Thoughts for the day:
  • Blaring canned music (stadium rock) really doesn't fit the collegiate football experience. It seems more like a pro thing.  College football music should be played solely by the band.
  • For some reason Furman has taken to playing the Alma Mater after the game.  The crowd that has stayed is filing out and the players and coaches are leaving the field.  It needs to go back to the pregame.
  • Ye olde thin plastic stadium cushions + metal bench seat + 40 year old rear end = sore tailbone by the end of the third quarter.
  • The Catamounts ran a no huddle offense. They appeared to want to use the Oregon system of play calling utilizing large boards with four disparate pictures on it.  What they actually did can at best be considered a homage. Rather than multiple combinations of images, they had one big poster board with a fixed set of images on each side. I only ever saw them show one side.
  • Great football names from the Catamounts: Ace and Rock.
  • Not so great football name from BC in the Boston college-Clemson game: Spiffy
(As a 'name' aside, during the week I met a man named Friday Jackson. He wore sunglasses and had a thick mustache that went down each side of his mouth to his chin.  Why this man is not in action movies I'll never know.)

Rant one of the day:  To all radio broadcasters -- tell us the damn score! Once upon a time holding back made sense, maybe lure people to listen longer. But in the Internet Age, the people who just want the score either go on the Web to begin with, or tune you out and go on the Web if you don't give the score after a minute or two of listening.  The folks who want/have to listen on the radio are, you ain't gettin the rest.

Rant two of the day: Analysts -- quit saying offenses that run lots of plays put defenses at a disadvantage.  If the defenses get stops and make opponents punt they will not get worn out.  And high scoring offenses help defenses that get stops by making the opponent have to run lower percentage plays trying to catch up with the scoring. A bad defense cannot be saved by any offense. A methodical offensive team with bad D will lose a low scoring game; a fast paced offensive team with bad D will lose a high scoring game.  But the defense controls its own destiny.

*BoBB: Bevy of Bodacious Beauties

The acronyms in this post were brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.

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