Monday, October 19, 2015

Las Cosas Que Vi Este Fin De Semana: Week 7

It’s early Sunday morning as I write this and through a hazy fog of whiskey remnants I’m still not quite certain I have emotionally recovered from the final ten seconds of Michigan’s loss.
***

My earliest memory of College Football is one New Year’s Day at my Aunt and Uncle’s place, watching the Rose Bowl. I don’t recall who was playing in that game, but it was the early 80’s so it was Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois or Iowa verses UCLA, USC or Washington. What I do recall is a very emotionally invested uncle, glued to the television as his feet combed through the green shag carpeting.

We’re an Italian family so loud outbursts of emotion are commonplace during family gatherings. When gathered at the dinner table, and you want to make a point, you simply talk louder than any other person talking at that moment. There isn’t a lot of listening happening, it’s more a group of people talking at each other. At some point it sounds as if people are shouting at one another and emotions are at a peak, but really we’re just talking.

Which is why that game stands out in my mind. My Uncle’s yelling wasn’t simply talking over someone else, it was something more.
***

At halftime of the Michigan/Michigan State game my nine-year old step-son asked me if college football was more important than the NFL.  He and his younger brother both play football, basketball and baseball, so sports are a thing at our house and he’s at an age where he’s paying more attention to games on TV. Which is great because it’s given me an avenue to connect with them, something I know is often the biggest challenge for a step-parent.

His question seemed odd to me at first. He knows that the NFL is the pros and the best players from college move up to the pros. So I asked him what he meant.

Being the astute observer that all kids that age are he says, “Well, it seems like people who watch college get way more crazy than people watching NFL. Like they yell more or they cheer more, I don’t know.”

He’s right. I mean he’s seen me watch Michigan games for that past three years. He knows that Sundays are chore days. He’s been to two college games this year at Oregon and at Arizona and he’s seen how people are more emotional about college than they are NFL.

After a good minute and a half I said, “You know I think it’s because in college the players are playing for pride, for their school, for each other. And in the pros it’s their job.”

Now I know that’s a Pollyanna view of college sports but on a certain level there is truth to it. At least that is how it is for me. I am a Steelers fan but if I had Sophie’s Choice, Roethlisberger is the daughter and Jake Rudock is the son.

There is just something about college sports that takes an emotional hold on you. I have never quite been able to understand or explain it, that just the way it is. And I’ve accepted it.

So here I sit early Sunday morning and as the rest of the family sleeps I am dealing with the soreness from the gigantic gut punch that was yesterday’s Michigan game.

Will it be okay? Of course. I understand it’s only a game at the end of the day.

That doesn’t change the fact that, emotionally, I’m still a little tender.

Pongamonos en marcha!

Week 7

Memphis
The Tigers keep rolling and showed us once again that we as a collective group over-hype the SEC.

Utah State
The Aggies took full advantage of six Boise State turnovers, taking control of the Mountain West from the Broncos in the process.

Tom Hermann
With three jobs already available at Power 5 schools there is really no chance he’s at Houston next season. Here’s hoping he doesn’t take an offer from one of the B1G schools.

B1G officiating
Holy hell that crew doing the Michigan/Michigan State game was atrocious. Now before you go all “quit whining” I had this cued up regardless of the outcome. Not only was the on-field crew awful, the review booth was equally bad. The targeting penalty on LB Joe Bolden should have been overturned by the replay official. And the three touchdown review sequences made the field crew look incompetent.

Shout Outs
Sparty – They came to play. They looked the best they have all season.

Bob Stoops – The guy does not lose back-to-back games. And a shut-out on the road in Manhattan, where the Wildcats had not gone scoreless since 1991, to boot. Nice job coach.

Alan Burbridge and Jourdan Lewis – Watching the MSU receiver and Mich cornerback battle each other all game yesterday was an absolute treat. These two will be playing on Sundays in the future.

Bet of the week: 
Georgia State

Georgia State went on the road and stole one from Ball State paying bettors a nice +450.

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