BCS National Title Game '11

BCS National Title Game '11
BCS National Championship 1/10/11 Oregon vs Auburn

Friday, June 29, 2012

College Football GameDay Experience #4 (South Bend)

Here is College GameDay Experience number four. So far we have had Iowa City (Iowa Hawkeyes) at ten, Madison (Wisconsin Badgers) at nine, Knoxville (Tennessee Volunteers) at eight, Lincoln (Nebraska Cornhuskers) at seven, Eugene (Oregon Ducks) at six, and Gainesville (Florida Gators) at five. Experience number four is college football. It's home of Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome. You hear the lyrics "Wake up the echoes cheering her name." This is Notre Dame and GameDay in South Bend.

4. GameDay in South Bend- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Notre Dame Stadium)

Notre Dame is one of those places you just have to go to as a college football fan. So many greats have played here and there is so much tradition at Notre Dame. I am well aware the Fighting Irish have not been as good recently, but they are improving. I mean Michigan will probably take them down again for a fourth year in a row, but whose counting? Coach Brian Kelly has them headed in the right direction. 

If you go to South Bend, you should be required to take a tour of the campus before the game. It is unlike any other campus in the country. We arrived to campus pretty early before game time. We parked farther away and took a bus to the campus. The first thing we checked out was Touchdown Jesus and the rectangular pool that reflects Touchdown Jesus. You obviously have to get a picture of yourself in front of Touchdown Jesus and Touchdown Jesus reflecting in the pool. We then made our way to the  Golden Dome. The coolest thing about the Golden Dome is looking at it on game day as the sun reflects off of the dome. The inside, from what I remember, is very cool as well.

We eventually made our way to the Grotto. My dad was telling me to get as close as I could to it, so I could get a picture of everyone putting their candles into it. I remember saying, "Dad, I can't get any closer to take a picture, can't you see they are on their knees praying?" It was a classic moment. All I could think about while looking at the Grotto was the part in the movie where Rudy is there. Very cool experience I would have to say. Right after that, we took a stroll by St. Mary's Lake.

 After we checked out the most famous landmarks on campus, we went over to the church and saw the players and coaches walking in to do their pre game prayer. This team happened to include Coach Charlie Weiss, Quarterback Brady Quinn, and Wide Receiver Jeff Samardzija. Obviously, this didn't help them very much that day, because my Wolverines absolutely demolished them.

Touchdown Jesus
Right before we entered the stadium, there were a lot of food venders outside of the stadium and the Notre Dame Marching Band was performing. Also, as we were walking around someone was playing Rudy music out of their apartment or dorm. That totally made my day as a college football fan. How fitting is it that someone would play that as we were wandering the University of Notre Dame campus.

Pre-game at Notre Dame Stadium is filled with tradition. The Notre Dame Marching band marches onto the field and performs The "Notre Dame Victory March", then the Irish take the field. 80,795 cheer as their Fighting Irish take the field. The most interesting thing about Notre Dame Stadium is that they still do not have a video scoreboard. Notre Dame Stadium screams old tradition. The student section is choreographed for games and the coolest chant they do is the "Celtic Chant."

Notre Dame Stadium is an absolute must for every college football fan. The fans are great and absolutely love their team, whether they are good or bad. Another thing I would like to mention is to check out the College Football Hall-Of-Fame. I believe in the next year it will be moved to Atlanta, GA. We happened to only be on the outside of it, because the game ended so late in the evening. Overall, I had a great experience in South Bend. The people were nice, the atmosphere was great, and the campus was amazing. By far one of the best weekends I have ever had.

Game Attended in South Bend:

9/16/2006   CFB   Michigan 47, Notre Dame 21

-Check out GameDay Experience number three next week as the countdown continues.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

College Football GameDay Experience #5 (Gainesville)

I am half way through my top ten College GameDay experiences. The countdown began with Iowa City (Iowa Hawkeyes) at ten, then Madison (Wisconsin Badgers) at nine, Knoxville (Tennessee Volunteers) at eight, Lincoln (Nebraska Cornhuskers) at seven, and Eugene (Oregon Ducks) at six. GameDay Experience number six takes us down to the SEC. The stadium is known as "The Swamp" and has the reputation of being one of the most hostile environments in college football. Welcome to Gaineville and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium where only Gators get out alive, according to the Gator introduction video before the Gators run out onto the field.

5. GameDay in Gainesville-Florida Gators (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)

The Florida Gators program is still very relevant even after the reign of the Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer era. Gator nation is still very optimistic about coach Will Muschamp and that he will lead them to prominence yet again. The Gator fans love their team and are the reason why Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is what it is today.

Gainesville in early September, when I went there, was so hot and humid. I guess it is part of the
experience of going to Gator game at "The Swamp." GameDay started off with ESPN College GameDay and Corso, of course, picking the Gators over the "The U" (Miami Hurricanes). All the Gator fans by noon were all tailgating. This is the only tailgating scene that is better than Iowa and Wisconsin. Florida fans sure can tailgate...and drink as well. There are also quite a few bars on campus that fans go to prior to kickoff.

After a full day of experiencing the tailgating scene and checking out the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, home of Florida basketball and volleyball, it was time to enter "The Swamp." I walked into the stadium and got chills. I realized I had just walked into one of the most hostile football environments in the country. I saw the names of the three Heisman Trophy Winners up in the stadium. They are, of course, Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, and Tim Tebow.

Pre-game at "The Swamp" is absolutely crazy. Before the Gators took the field, a man by the name of George Edmondson Jr. aka Mr. Two Bits, took the field and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium turned into quite the spectacle. He stood at midfield and started the chant: Two Bits! Four Bits! Six Bits! A Dollar! All for the Gators Stand up and holler! I heard that he retired from doing this though, so I am not sure what they do at Florida now. The video then appears on the scoreboard and you hear "Only Gators get out Alive." The video shows the players touching a Gator head as they are about to run out of the tunnel. When the Gators finally ran out of the tunnel it was deafening. I honestly have never been in a stadium as loud as that one. There were 90,000 fans screaming at the top of their lungs. I literally thought my head was going to explode. I realized at that moment why Florida is one of the toughest places to play, and that it truly is the loudest environment in College Football. 

During the game, there are many different chants the gator fans take part in. The Gator Chomp and Go Gators! chant are the most well-known. They also have a tradition after the third quarter like Wisconsin and Oregon. Everyone puts their arms over each other's shoulders and sing the song "We Are The Boys From Old Florida." Everyone is so calm during that song and after it's finished it's back to the same old loud and hostile environment. Going to "The Swamp" was an amazing experience. This is a real SEC environment for college football. The fans are crazy for their team and extremely knowledgable about the game of football. It may also have been amazing when I was there, because it was right after Tim Tebow had won his Heisman Trophy and the Gators were in the hunt of going to the National Championship.  

Game Attended in Gainesville:
9/06/2008   CFB   Miami (FL) 3, Florida 26   * ESPN College GameDay

ESPN College GameDay- Florida vs Miami
Pre-Game at "The Swamp"

Before Kickoff 
Tim Tebow

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

College Football GameDay Experience #6 (Eugene)

College Football GameDay Experience continues with number six. Game day experience started with Iowa City (Iowa Hawkeyes) at number ten. It continued with Madison (Wisconsin Badgers) at number nine, Knoxville (Tennessee Volunteers) at number eight, and Lincoln (Nebraska Cornhuskers) at number seven. Experience number six continues with an experience unlike any other in college football. This is a laid-back and scenic city in the pacific northwest. During this week it is quiet, but on Saturdays not a voice can be heard as 59,000 crazed fans cause a ruckus in this stadium known as "The Autzen Zoo." This is Oregon Duck football and this is game day at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.

6. GameDay in Eugene- Oregon Ducks (Autzen Stadium)

Coach Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks have been an unstoppable force for the past three years. They have won three conference championships and appeared in the Rose Bowl twice and a BCS National Championship. This year, the Ducks finally won there first Rose Bowl after 95 years against the Wisconsin Badgers. It's safe to say being a Duck has been fun as of late. The Ducks have been extremely successful at Autzen Stadium losing only two home games in the past four years. The Ducks have a current home sell-out streak of 79 games. This hostile crowd brings it for every Duck home game and it causes visiting teams to struggle tremendously because of how loud the noise gets in Autzen Stadium. Gameday in Eugene is not as crazy as it may seem though. Tailgating at Autzen Stadium is a different type of experience that you will not get anywhere else in the country. One of the coolest experiences is walking from the U of O campus and taking the path in Alton Baker Park to Autzen Stadium. Before you hit the path from campus, you walk on a bridge over the Willamette River. The path begins after the bridge, and about three minutes later you will see the Giant "O" and Autzen Stadium appear through the trees. It is such a cool experience as you get closer to the stadium and eventually cross over the famous foot bridge. It is a very scenic route to get to the stadium, so make sure you get dropped off on campus and walk to the stadium. You will not regret it. On campus make sure to check out Matt Knight Arena and historic Hayward Field. The tailgating is very laid-back compared to many other college football tailgating atmospheres. Many people take advantage of tailgating in the Moshofsky Center. The Moshofsky Center is where the indoor football practice field is. On game day, events and food places are set up on the field for fans. 

After tailgating, Duck fans make their way into Autzen Stadium. This is when the fans evolve into a bunch of crazy lunatics. Yes, I said it and they really do not care what comes out of their mouths either. I can't say that Duck fans are the most classy fans in the country. Prepare for some bad language and a lot of bullish*t chants during the game from the student section. Also, I have heard some rather questionable things while sitting in the student section. Things that made me cringe and made me want to tell that person to read a book on what a touchdown or a first down was. Besides that small issue at times, Oregon fans overall are very passionate about their Ducks.

Pre game consists of the Ducks warm up to "Joker and the Thief" by Wolfmother. Autzen begins to get crazy, but the place completely erupts as the Ducks take the field. After the Duck Vision intro video is over, the best mascot in college football, Puddles the Duck, takes the field by riding on the back of a Harley motorcycle. After the Ducks enter the field, the students begin the chant by yelling Go! The rest of fans chant back Ducks! Prior to kickoffs, fans put up the "O" sign with there hands and chant OOOHHH!!!!! as loud as possible.  Yes, I'm aware my soon to be Alma Mater has very original chants, but who cares. The student section does have the Chant for Chip Kelly "Big Balls Chip", which occurs after Chip Kelly goes for it on fourth down. Like Wisconsin, Oregon has their own tradition after the third quarter. The movie Animal House was filmed on the University Oregon campus, so it would only be fitting that the song "Shout" be played before every fourth quarter.

This place is loud and many well-respected coaches and players have even admitted to it being the loudest in the country. Head Coach Lloyd Carr said Autzen Stadium was the loudest stadium he had ever been in after the Ducks upset the Wolverines in 2003. College GameDay host Lee Corso said, "Per person Autzen Stadium is the loudest stadium that I have ever been in my entire life!" Lastly, Adrian Peterson quoted "It was like some sort of crazy torture in the movies. How do people do that so long without taking a breath? I think my ears are still ringing." This place in the quiet Pacific northwest literally becomes a zoo on game days. With the help of Phil Knight aka Uncle Phil, Oregon is becoming more and more nationally recognized because of Nike. Obviously the football uniforms have drawn the attention of many sports fans across the country, but Autzen is a special game day experience that you will not have at any other venue in the country. If you visit Autzen Stadium, remember this motto that is said prior to kickoff over the PA System, "It never rains in Autzen Stadium." So always expect it is not going to rain and don't bother wearing rain gear. Alright, I'm kind of joking... it rains sometimes. Stay tuned for game day experience number five, which will be coming out this week.

* Here is the link of quotes players, coaches, and the media have said about the environment of Autzen Stadium


Oregon vs Cal game day in 2007
      Oregon vs Cal in 2009
Oregon vs Washington in 2010
Oregon vs Arizona State in 2011
         Oregon vs Arizona in 2008

Games attended in Eugene:

9/29/2007 CFB Cal 31, Oregon 24 * ESPN College Gameday

10/11/2008 CFB Oregon 31, UCLA 24
11/08/2008 CFB Oregon 35, Stanford 28
11/15/2008 CFB Oregon 55, Arizona 45
9/26/2009 CFB Oregon 42, Cal 3
10/02/2010 CFB Oregon 52, Stanford 31 *ESPN College Gameday
10/21/2010 CFB Oregon 60, UCLA 13

11/06/2010 CFB Oregon 53, Washington 16
11/26/2010 CFB Oregon 48, Arizona 29
10/06/2011 CFB Oregon 43, Cal 15
10/15/2011 CFB Oregon 41, Arizona State 27 * ESPN College Gameday
10/29/2011 CFB Oregon 43, Washington State 28

11/19/2011 CFB USC 38, Oregon 35
11/26/2011 CFB Oregon 49, Oregon State 21
12/02/2011 CFB Oregon 49, UCLA 31 (Pac-12 Championship Game) Eugene, OR

9/15/2012 CFB Oregon 63, Tennessee Tech 14
9/22/2012 CFB Oregon 49, Arizona 0
10/06/12 CFB Oregon 52, Washington 21
10/27/12 CFB Oregon 70, Colorado 14

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

College Football GameDay Experience #7 (Lincoln)

College Football GameDay Experience continues. The first three game day experiences consisted of Iowa City (Iowa Hawkeyes) at ten, Madison (Wisconsin Badgers) at nine, and Knoxville (Tennessee Volunteers) at eight. Number seven is a team that you either love or hate. The fans eat, drink, sleep, and breathe for their team. The game day atmosphere is one that every college football fan should experience at least once in their life. Welcome to Memorial Stadium home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

7. GameDay in Lincoln-Nebraska Cornhuskers (Memorial Stadium)

Hello everyone and welcome to Hell...just kidding that was mean. Hello everyone and welcome to Lincoln, Nebraska home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers aka "Big Red." Memorial Stadium has one the longest sellout streaks in the country and is currently at a consecutive 318 games. The Huskers have been good as of recent, but have struggled to be a great team like they were in the 90's. The Huskers will look to contend for the Big Ten Championship this year. The game day experience in Lincoln is something that is so special to Husker Nation. These fans live for their team and die with them as well. Nebraska fans have been known to have some of the most respectful and knowledgable fans in the country. If your not a Nebraska fan, I know you disagree with the knowledgable statement.

Nebraska vs Kansas State in 2007
The University of Nebraska is situated near downtown Lincoln. Tailgating for Husker games is a whole day thing. People begin tailgating very early in the morning and it takes place everywhere around the Memorial Stadium area. Another place where many Husker fans go before the game is to the Haymarket area near the stadium. This is where most of the bars are situated. Whenever I have gone to Nebraska games, I have always ended up at Brewsky's. Brewsky's has a great pre-game atmosphere and has good food to go along with it. Unfortunately, it is always extremely packed and you are usually fighting to get a table. Tailgating is an important aspect to Nebraska GameDay, but you can't go to Nebraska without checking out the Osborne Athletic Complex. The Osborne Athletic Complex is located on the north side of Memorial Stadium and includes all the trophies, as well as the Nebraska Football Experience Room. The experience room, which I experienced right when it opened in 2010, consists of a large screen where they show a short movie pertaining to Husker football. You feel like you are running out on the field with the Huskers and as if you were in Memorial Stadium during a live football game. It also consists of the Heisman trophies of Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Eric Crouch. I'm pretty sure my friend made me watch the two Husker gameday experience movies four times.

The most important part of the Husker GameDay experience is when you finally enter the gates of Memorial Stadium and get to your seat. The pre-game experience is one of the coolest traditions in the country. On the giant Jumbotron scoreboard, they show an intense video consisting of their biggest moments in Husker history and soon after it happens. The famous Tunnel Walk begins.  The song "Sirius" comes on and Memorial Stadium becomes louder than ever. The players are seen on the Jumbotron, or on one of the other four scoreboards in the stadium walking through the tunnel and touching the lucky horseshoe. This tradition never gets old, whether you like or dislike the Huskers. I personally get goosebumps every time they do this even if I have been to Memorial Stadium multiple times. Memorial Stadium is definitely the most fun at night though. Two games where it was extremely loud was the USC game in 2007 and the Oklahoma game in 2009. Memorial Stadium was rocking and the fans were into the game for all four quarters. This is one thing about Nebraska fans, they stay for the whole game no matter what is going on in the game. One of the more recent traditions that Nebraska has done prior to kickoff is play "Can You Feel It.". The students start jumping up and down and everyone gets pumped for kickoff. The chants of Husker Power! and Gooo Big Red! can be heard throughout the game as well. Game day at Memorial Stadium is a must for every college football fan.

    Games Attended in Lincoln:

11/13/1999 CFB Kansas State 15, Nebraska 41
10/20/2001 CFB Texas Tech 31, Nebraska 41
10/02/2004 CFB   Kansas 8, Nebraska 14
10/30/2004 CFB   Missouri 3, Nebraska 24
10/01/2005 CFB   Iowa State 20, Nebraska 27
11/24/2006 CFB   Colorado 17, Nebraska 37
9/15/2007   CFB   USC 49, Nebraska 31   * ESPN College GameDay
10/13/2007 CFB   Oklahoma State 45, Nebraska 14
11/10/2007 CFB   Kansas State 31, Nebraska 73
8/30/2008   CFB   Western Michigan 24, Nebraska 47
11/28/2008 CFB  Colorado 31, Nebraska 40
9/05/2009   CFB  Florida Atlantic 3, Nebraska 49
10/17/2009 CFB  Texas Tech 31, Nebraska 10
10/24/2009 CFB  Iowa State 9, Nebraska 7
11/07/2009 CFB  Oklahoma 3, Nebraska 10
11/21/2009 CFB Kansas State 3, Nebraska 17
                           Spring Games in 2006,2008, and 2010

Nebraska vs USC in 2007

Nebraska vs Florida Atlantic in 2009

Nebraska vs Texas Tech in 2009

Nebraska vs Kansas State in 2009

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week Recap of Sports

After a week of finals and a computer problem that happened to deal with a bottle of water, I am good to go again and the blogging will go on. A lot has happened in sports this past week. It is hard to talk about just one thing. First, we have the Los Angeles Kings winning their first Stanley Cup. Just when everyone thought the Devils had a chance to get this series back to New Jersey for a game 7, the Kings went off and scored 3 goals on one power play in the 1st period. If there is anyone to blame for the New Jersey loss, just blame right winger Steve Bernier. Bernier received a ten minute misconduct penalty and a five minute major for boarding at the 10:10 mark of the 1st period. Honestly, that was just pathetic and I have no idea why a guy would put his team in that type of situation in a must win game like that. After this penalty was over and Los Angeles Kings had scored three goals, it was clear to say the Devils were done. The Kings ended up winning 6-1 in game 6. This happened to be one of the largest margins of victory for any deciding game in the Stanley Cup Finals according to my source of ESPN. 

After the Stanley Cup Finals, the match-up between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder needs to be discussed. Questions that will be answered in this series. Will LeBron James finally win a championship? So he can somewhat come through on his words of winning not just one...not two...not three...not four NBA Championships. Also, if LeBron wins a championship means that we will no longer have to listen to him be criticized on ESPN 24/7....Yea!!! I'm just kidding, I hope he doesn't win. Another question is Will Kevin Durant be able to contain LeBron and prove that he is one of the best to ever play this game? I'm not kidding, Durant is flat out amazing. Him winning a championship over the Heat could catapult him to being the best player in the NBA as of now. We shall see what is in store when the Heat travel to Oklahoma City for game 1 tonight. My prediction for this series, Thunder in six. 

Other news in sports, this week the final eight teams were finalized for the College World Series in Omaha. Unfortunately, Oregon lost to Kent State in a tough one in the bottom of the 9th inning yesterday in the Super Regional taking place at PK Park in Eugene, OR. The eight teams consist of two Pac-12 teams, Arizona and UCLA. Three SEC teams, Arkansas, Florida, and South Carolina. The last three are Florida State of the ACC,  and cinderella teams Kent State of the MAC and Stony Brook of the America East. I personally feel the Florida Gators will win the whole thing, because of the overall talent of their team. Another team to watch out for though are the Florida State Seminoles. This team absolutely crushed Stanford in their Super Regional 17-1 and 18-7. They have great pitching and are pretty good on offense as well. 

Lastly,  Rafael Nadal won the French Open over Novak Djokovic in a two day match due to rain on the clay surface. Maria Sharapova finally won her first French Open and has now won the French Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. Euro Cup has also started and is being hosted by Ukraine and Poland. I honestly like watching the Euro Cup. This type of soccer interests me because we have countries battling it out against each other. No, I am not talking about that literally as Russia and Poland fans decided to fight today outside of the stadium in Warsaw. That is some scary stuff. The Poland-Russia 1-1 draw was interesting to watch, as well as the Sweden-Ukraine match-up yesterday. Who knew it was possible to score three goals in a matter of ten minutes? Sweden scored in the 52nd minute and Ukraine came back and scored two goals in the 55th minute and 61st minute to win the match. 

-College Gameday Experiences six and seven will be up very soon. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

College Football GameDay Experience #8 (Knoxville)

The countdown continues for College GameDay experiences. At number ten it was Iowa City and at nine was Madison. I continue with an SEC Conference gem that is one of the biggest stadiums in the country. The well known fight song "Rocky Top" can be heard throughout the stadium and tailgating can take place by boat. At number eight, it's gameday in Knoxville at Tennessee's Neyland Stadium.

8. GameDay in Knoxville- Tennessee Volunteers (Neyland Stadium)

Volunteer football has been at best mediocre these past few years, but the Volunteer Nation aka "Big Orange" still lives and dies with their football team. The Knoxville Gameday experience was honestly one of the most pleasant experiences I have ever had. Especially being a visiting fan at the time. I'm not sure if the Volunteer fans are nicer these days, because they are not as good as they were in the 90's with Manning or early 2000s, but the fans were amazing. You would think going down to the south that fans would be arrogant and nasty. No, that's just LSU fans, who by the way are some of the dumbest and disrespectful fans I have ever met. The Southern hospitality was all I could have hoped for it to be. The fans were all so nice and wonderful to interact with. Near the end of the game when the Ducks were blowing the Vols out after that incredible 72 yard touchdown run by LaMichael James,  these very nice fans next to us, season ticket holders for years, offered to drive us back to our car. We  were randomly parked off of Neyland Drive and pretty far away from the stadium. This showed what class these Volunteer fans had. By the way, parking for Neyland Stadium was a nightmare. Get there early, because all the parking is for people with parking passes only. 

The tailgating experience at Tennessee is interesting. You are down by the Tennessee River where there are bars to go to such as Calhoun's, a restaurant I was not able to get into because it was so crowded. But it is recommended to everyone who goes to Knoxville. It is located on the Tennessee River near the stadium and is supposably a great place to go before a Vol game. One of the restaurants I strongly recommend that is a little out of the way is this little place called Litton's. I heard about it through Todd Blackledge's "Taste of the Town" on ESPN. The burger's were awesome, the pies were amazing, and the people who worked in there saw we were opposing fans and made sure we had the best experience possible. You need to check this place out if you ever visit Knoxville.

The tailgating and Knoxville GameDay experience continues with the Vol Navy, which consists of hundreds of boats that are parked by the stadium on the Tennessee River. This is one of the most interesting parts about gameday, the only other place I know of that does this is Washington. I was there this past year, Washington's tailgating by boat doesn't even hold a candle to Tennessee's. Lastly, one of the main hot spots for tailgating is Circle Park. That is where we tailgated at. Also, many tailgate very close next to the basketball arena Thompson-Bowling Arena. 

On the field

The traditions at Tennessee are a must see for every fan. First, make sure you see the Vol Walk. The Vol walk is when the players all enter Neyland Stadium. Fans are lined up on both sides as the players walk through. Second, you need to make sure you get there for the pregame so you can see the the marching band perform "Rocky Top" and the biggest tradition that you must see is when the players enter the field through the "T" formation. Neyland Stadium is rockin' at that point and that's when you realize just how loud 102,455 people can be.

Game Attended in Knoxville:
9/11/10  CFB Oregon 48, Tennessee 13
Ducks vs Vols

Vol Walk

Running through the "T" 

-Catch next weeks gameday experience when I announce College Gameday Experience number seven.