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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Eurythmics in Mudville

If you despise college football, or just are 'meh' about it, this post is probably not for you. It's mainly about me (ego trip!), but fair warning.

I don't know what it says about me that I know omens (or 'almon(d)s as Dad calls them) are all in my head, but I still go there when circumstances suitable to their perception arise. but I do.

As Dad and I approached the gate for the first home game of the ferocious Furman Paladins (wait...are Paladins ferocious?), promised and much dreaded rain began to fall. At first we took shelter beneath the concrete and steel of the stadium seats and our meager rain gear. But as the rain intensified it became obvious that the stadium was not built to be waterproof, and we crowded with others under an awning where someone was usually selling something (still not sure if anyone was at that moment).

It wasn't until the combination of even heavier rain and wind plus the splashing from the rain and water leaking through the stadium began soaking into the left (outward facing) side of my shorts, as well as both socks and my left shoe, that I began to wonder that the turnover plagued first loss the previous week at Sanford [but not Son] was about to be repeated.

(Yes, that's a tortured sentence(?). welcome to my blog [and brain].)

The kickoff was delayed until rain, wind, and lightning had cleared the area.  Then occured the joyous first kickoff of the home portion of the season. Followed five minutes later by the culmination of the first frustrating long touchdown-drive-given-up. (facepalm)

Over the next twenty-five minutes the Paladins and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (yes the state of South Carolina has two teams whose mascots are male chickens) would combine for a blistering nine points, leading to Furman facing a 10-6 deficit, and injured starting quarterback, at the half. That score would hold up until Furman had a brilliant and crowd rousing defensive stand late in the third quarter. At which point they would muff the punt (double facepalm) on their own 12 yard line and give up a touchdown, leading to a crowd silencing 17-6 score with under eighteen minutes left in the ball game. Sigh!

It's the fourth quarter. Here comes the rain again. Falling on my head like a tragedy. My shorts and socks had just gotten dry too! And as the rain intensified, and Furman's offense struggled thorough the mud; it became clear that my hat-and-hood-on-the-head, rain-coat-on-torso, and poncho-on-legs not only did not protect my socks and short's seat from dripping, but had a hole somewhere as my shirt became soaked on the left side as well. [Maybe that's why the left side is the sinister side] {Quiet, you! No vocabulary observations!} [::pout::]

Midway through the fourth quarter the rain began to slacken. To my right appeared a double rainbow (sadly no picture, even if my phone wouldn't have gotten wet it takes only 320x240 pics) [And you call yourself a nerd, sir!], and to my left...a Furman touchdown! And setting up for a two point conversion to cut the lead to three with half a quarter still to go! And the pass IS THROWN AND...promptly intercepted and returned for two points for Coastal, followed by a sixty yard kickoff return and field goal that puts the Chanticleers up 22-12 with 4:12 on the clock and Furman having used all its time outs. (triple facepalm) [You can't do that; you only have two {SHUT UP, DUDE!}...sorry, sorry]

And then it all became a blur...the rain stopping...the desperate drive down the field to the endzone...the heartbreaking reversal of a blocked extra point leaving the Paladins still down four...the shockingly well executed onside kick!...the determined Furman offense, behind a true freshman quarterback striking for SEVEN FREAKING POINTS...a squib kickoff stranding Coastal at their own 35 yard line, down three points, with :35 on the clock...the soaked, stalwart, crowd roaring!!! As a stupid, @#$%!*&^%, PREVENT defense gives up 40+ yards on 2 plays setting up the tying field goal as time expires! (double facepalm, double footpalm...any comments?) [errr...no]

Breathe.

Overtime #1:
Furman sacks Coastal's QB on first down, pushing them out of field goal range! On second down, they give up a touchdown pass.

Furman strikes for a touchdown on it's first play, a 25 yard pass to Will King! (Side note: to the blond in the Will King jersey in Section 3 Row L: I don't know if you're family or his girlfriend...but DAMN!)

Overtime #2:
Furman rumbles for 25 yards and a TD on first down.

Coastal throws for 25 yards and a TD on its first down.

Overtime #3:
Coastal scores a TD. At least it takes two plays. By rule, after the second overtime, you must go for two after a touchdown. Coastal calls time out. Analyzes the Furman defensive tendencies. Calls a reverse; Furman overpursues -- a valiant defender charges across the field and dives at the five yard line, but just misses the runner.

Furman runs the ball three times, blasting into the endzone. Calls time out. Calls a  fade to the left side of the endzone.

Somewhere people are laughing,
Somewhere the sun is out,
But there is no joy in Greenville (SC),
The mighty Paladins just crapped out.

The pass is too long.

Coastal 47, Furman 45. :(

Damn, I think we've found a quarterback. :)

Up next: #12 Clemson University, 84,00 seat stadium, 20 more scholarships, offensive juggernaut, the return of All American WR Sammie Watkins. :``(

(For the record, I'm also a Tiger fan, but I do not look forward to what's probably going to occur next week. Furman has problems getting its defensive calls in against normal offenses. And Clemson runs plays as fast as humanly possible. With three mistakes by Ball State this weekend, the Tigers put up 28 points in less than four and a half minutes. ::Shiver::)



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