Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What to Expect Come September 1st

It has been nearly nine months since we last witnessed a Fresno State football game at Bulldog Stadium. We have had long enough to spout off about what happened in 2006. We have had plenty of time to vent our frustrations about losing to the likes of San Jose State (yes I still believe they are an average football team at best) and Utah State. We have had three quarters of a year to put down Tom Brandstater, Pat Hill, and anyone else associated with the Bulldogs football program that has not pulled his weight. However, we have also had the past nine months to see the changes that have been made to the football program. No longer is this a Pat Hill led team that is overconfident. No longer do we have a Bulldog team that headlines the WAC. Instead in 2007 there are two top 25 teams and for the first time in as long as I can remember neither one is Fresno State. In other words we finally have the chance to start over on September 1st. I for one cannot wait for the first game this season. In year's past I have always thoroughly enjoyed the first full day of college football. However this season is going to be something different. Fresno State does not allow you to begin tailgating until four hours before the football game begins but I am here to tell you that Saturday September 1st my football day is going to start well before three pm. If everything goes to plan this is exactly how September 1st is going to go for a fan such as me.

9am - On college football Saturday I usually roll out of bed ready for any game that is being shown on television. I do not care if I am watching Southwestern Alabama A&M vs. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the point is college football is finally back. I will wake up and turn the TV on within ten seconds of my eyes opening. My g/f will let out a loud sigh because she realizes what that symbolizes for the next four months of my life. She will stare at me and say "So it begins". From there I will get up and go out to the living room to begin watching college football on the large flat screen HD TV that I paid far too much money for. But the greatest thing about September 1st is that the Bulldogs play their first game that night. I will get the Fresno Bee that day (the only day of the year I get it) and read the previews so I can get a feel for what others think about how the day will go against Sac State.

11am - By the time I am done reading my g/f will come out and ask me why I have not showered. If you are a college football fan you know the answer is because there is some irrelevant game that has my attention and I cannot shower until halftime or the game is over. From that point I will then get up and grab my DVDs of all past Bulldog games I have and begin watching them. I have to be able to see some great Bulldog moments so I can get ready for what I am about to see only eight hours later. The MPC Bowl will get me excited because I know the Bulldogs will be back to that level of play in the next few years.

1pm - By this time due to constant nagging I will have finally showered and my friends will have headed over to watch whatever game is on. We will all reminisce about the great moments in Bulldog past and begin to talk about the 2007 season. We will ask "Can Tommy do it this year for us? Will Devon Wylie be the impact player we hope him to be? Will our defense be the rock it once was for this team? Will Ryan Mathews get as much playing time as his skills warrant? Last but not least will Pat Hill regain control of this team the way he has in years past?" The 2007 season will begin in four hours so we will all finally head out to the Bark Board tailgate to meet up with Mario (MDG), Matt (Zagfan559) and everyone else who will be down there to celebrate the greatest day of the year.

3pm - The Bulldog tailgate will begin and each and everyone of us will now become giddy because there is nothing that makes us feel better in life than watching the Bulldogs play football. We will all begin to enter the white, blue, and red lots and notice how much red we see across the stadium. The Bulldog fans will have returned with hope and loyalty in their hearts as they want players like Brandstater to succeed. 2006 left us with a bad taste but it did not make all of asinine cynical fans. We still love the Bulldogs and we still hope that these players will perform as well as we know they can. That is what makes us great fans, we hold out hope for these guys regardless of what happens.

5pm - After drinking way too much when I first arrive I will finally decide its probably a good idea to stop acting like an idiot and to eat something so I don't miss half the game in the bathroom due to being sick. The game is now less than two hours away and I will think about how great of a Saturday this has been with all of my football friends. Football games should be events that all of us Bulldog fans will remember because we get to spend time with those that share the same hopes: That one day the Bulldogs will finish 12-0.

7pm - Finally the game will begin and the Bulldogs will have a chance to begin the season 1-0. We may be playing Sac State but a win is a win. We will sit in the stands and watch this team come together for the first time in over a season and a half. We will watch Devon Wylie and Clifton Smith scare the hell out of the Hornets kick return game. We will watch Tom Brandstater finally show some faith in himself and make the passes we all know he can. We will watch our defense rise to the occasion, and we will watch the Bulldogs walk away with a win. As I said it may be a win over Sac State but it will be a win that offers the Dogs promise. We will believe that there is that chance this team can pull together and upset A&M and Oregon the following two weeks. However, when all is said and done football Saturdays will have begun and regardless of what happens with the Dogs we will have eleven more games and three more months to watch our beloved Bulldogs play football. That is why September 1st is a great day and I hope all of you enjoy it just as much as I will.


Anonymous said...

Awesome blog!!

That sounds exactly like my typical Saturday morning during college football season!!

The only difference is I start pounding my screw-drivers about 10am!!


el_perro_chato said...

That's what I do also! I try to tivo as many games as I can all day Saturday. If the Dogs are on tv, I watch the game on Sunday morning before the Rams take the field. If the game was really good, I'll probably watch it again sometime during the week and and see the rest of my tivo'd games. For me football season, is party season and we don't travel unless it's to see the Dogs kick some ass. All this football talk makes me all giddy inside and wish the games started this weekend. I bet Devon Wylie runs back the opening kick off, Miller and Matthews go for over 100 yards a piece, TB throws for about 250 yards and the Dogs put about 45 points on the Hornets. That would conclude a good 1st day of college football. Then my wife would complain all week about me watching the game about 3-4 times until the Dogs take on th Aggies.

Eric said...

I won't make any predictions for the first game, outside of the 'Dogs winning. I enjoy your "precap" of the day. One more week, 'Dogs fans.
And, seriously, I have to ask, what is "drinking way too much"? It's CFB, and that's an excuse to drink yourself silly from Thursday through Monday for the first week!
I'm almost ashamed of the 'Dogs fans that couldn't help me finish a handle of bourbon in Baton Rogue last season...But, don't fret folks, I finished it!

I enjoy reading this blog from time to time, because there are a lot of similar feelings shared here that I possess as well. As my posting in the "talk back" section of the Bee outlined, there are way too many fickle fans around the FS football program. I hope each and every one of you can get out there each week (what the hell else are you gonna' do on Saturdays in the Valley? Play in the fog..?) and support the 'Dogs. I'll be doing my part from my house in South Carolina, and the games I make appearances at all over the south.

So, Go 'Dogs! And to all the fans, get out and have some fun! That's what it's about anyway...

I said I wouldn't make any predictions, but anyone remember the last home opener against a D1AA team? I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

hey dont forget you have to watch the band too!!! LOL!! go dogs only 7 more days!@

Anonymous said...

If the Dogs and Hill continue their losing ways with Brandstater, I plan on drinking heavily for next 3 months.

Harvey said...

You've got a nice blog. However, why can you only start tailgating 4 hours before the game? I live in Boise and we can start whenever we want to. Generally, some of the die hards and high rollers fire things up the evening before the game.

Anonymous said...

The last time we opened up against I-AA was 2 years ago against Weber State. We thrashed them but mind you in '04 we had trouble with I-AA Portland State and barely beat them at home. Don't forget we lost to lowly D-I Utah State last year. Keep all this in mind when we open up against I-AA Sac State this weekend.

I've been going to FS Football games both at home and on the road for the last 10 years. Yes, I went to games during PH's first two seasons when the team didn't have it's winning ways but was fun to watch. I've attended games in the valley heat, fog, cold, and rain and Night and day games. I've supported the team in San Jose, Los Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas, Seattle, Boise and Memphis. There's no way that can be considered fickle or fair weather but the last 1 1/2 seasons have compromised my loyatly.

From '97 up until last year I attended nearly all home games, work and family commitments permitting. I talked Bulldog football with a co-worker today and we complained about how this team can't even win the WAC. Then I reminised about the last ten seasons and how fun they were. To support the team at home and on the road and to see them play exciting football win or lose.

Well, since the latter part of '05 we've seen BAD bullsh** football.
The team has not played inspired Bulldog football since the USC game. They have not played like they have "wanted it" since. From my observations, it's like the players don't wanna be out there on the field. I noticed it from the halfass jogging, sprinting, blocking, running, passing, tackling, etc. The last year and a half has brought nothing but lifeless, predictable and pathetic football that cannot even be considered Bulldog Football.

It's like everyone forgot the fundamentals of the game and started to play like they were sedated or something. One thing is for sure: I'm not going to support a team that won't give it their all, win or lose.

I hate to say that this year I'm part of the show me/I hope I'm wrong/convince me otherwise crowd because my patience has become extremely thin. That is why I'm only going to a couple games this season. Hence, I won't be at the Sac State game this weekend. Yeah, what else is there to do in the valley? Yeah I've been hearing that for years. That's why I'll be outta town because I can find better things to do on my weekend off than watch a team play poorly.

Well, it is a new year but will it be the same story from the last two seasons? Will this team go yet another year without a conference title? That remains to be seen but in the meantime, as a loyal yet impatient fan, I'm asking you to show me.

Anonymous said...

That is what we Dogs fans have done for the last 10 years.
The burning desire to win at FS is gone from Pat Hill's eyes.
He tries hard to convince everyone that they will do better than last but I believe his days are numbered at Fresno State. His decision to stay with Brandstater is an indication of how he will end his run a FS, stubborn.
His arrogance has scared off 3 and 4 star valley recruits that have gone elsewhere where they feel wanted,losses that cannot be measured.
Hope you prove me wrong Mr.Hill, but I don't think so.
No WAC Champs in 10 years!!!
Let's get ready to weather another rainstorm of a season as the Dogs go 6-6. and Mr. Hill packs his bags. Put up the "HELP WANTED,INQUIRE WITHIN",sign we need a hungery coach.