Holy Gordon “Good Golly” Gee! Boise Meets the Dreamtwister
Cinderella Program Finally Gets Their Signature Loss
Michigan Adds to the Rodriguez’ Buckeye Legacy
By Joe Bodolai © 2010, All rights reserved
I was standing in line hitting the Black Friday deals at the 99-Cent Store (Mexican “udder cream” was marked down to just 98 cents!) and missed some of the action in Auburn’s Camback Victory. Frustratingly, even today I only got to see Internet recaps of the services for the late Rich Rodriguez coaching career, which was laid to rest in Ohio Stadium. It was a touching, somber ceremony as his speedy Big Eastly Wolverines spread offense saw their vital signs drop to merely seven (7) points against Ohio State in what attendants said was a “lack of a will to live”. Rodriguez’s passing will be much lamented in Ohio, as he and his “spread defense” loyally rewarded Buckeye fans with another ignominious 37-7 Michigan loss, cementing his place in the Ohio State Football Hall of Fame. Rodriguez is said to be considering waiting a year in purgatory and working as an ESPN expert analyst along with other celebrated coaching legends such as Bob Davie before he would even listen to an offer to descend to hell in a program such as Buffalo, Akron or American Samoa A&M.
On Friday night, I did get to see the plucky Boise State Broncos suffer a “wide right” and “wide left” dream-crushing loss to the underrated Nevada Wolfpack, 34-31 in overtime. The loss provided the upstart Idaho commuter college’s impressive football program with the long-awaited cheerleader-crying, university president spit-taking dreamtwist sackshot that all major college football programs have long known. Not only is their chance to play in the so-called National Championship Game gone, but likely a major BCS bowl bid as well. They now actually face the prospect of playing in something called The Humanitarian (sic) Bowl, which is held in… you guessed it, their home stadium. They have blue turf! Don’t worry, they’ll remind you.
For the Tater Tots, it must seem like it was for me when Ohio State lost to TSUN way back in ’97. Or for Saul Bellow when he found out that the University of Chicago was not only no longer in the Big Ten, but actually gave up football! For some, not having a football team might seem better than enduring such a loss. Black Friday indeed it will forever be known in Boise.
For Nevada, it will be perceived as a vindication of their football team, just as Boise’s wins over Oklahoma and even Oregon and Virginia Tech were for them. Simply, this was a case of a previously unheralded team getting more herald than the angels could sing. They, like Boise, will live off that for several years. They will challenge the “old conference powers” to play “anytime, anywhere. Nevada coach Chris Ault called it the “greatest win the university’s ever had.”
For Boise State, however, it became their “signature loss”. They’ve now suffered the pain that comes as an upset, the kind of losses they might have pinned on other big schools had those games mattered this much for those schools. Boise’s loss is the the kind that hurts. Really really hurts They now know what it is like to feel the pain from the dark side of the big win that was not to be. The pain and lost opportunity and unfulfilled dreams that exist for college athletes (and even fans) in that fleeting three step drop called a “career”.
It is a loss that will haunt them, perhaps not as much as the several classes of Michigan players who went through their entire four years without ever beating Ohio State, but it will hurt. Kicker Kyle Brotzman will be as popular in Idaho as mayonnaise on pastrami at a Hillel luncheon. The two short field goals he missed (one to win with one second left, the second miss cementing the loss in OT) may perhaps turn his surname into a verb. “Don’t Brotzman that joint” or “He Brotzmanned all over her,” or “ I gotta drop a Brotzman” are just some of the possibilities the future Kyle Smith may overhear. Scott North (nee Norwood) will now have company in Player Legacy Hell, just one level above Bill Buckner.
I know it will seem impossible to believe Boise fans, but someday you will see what I mean. And you will know it if you have a real rivalry. Bedlam, The Game, The Iron Bowl, Ohio State – Michigan. 60 Minutes that last 365 days. You will realize how enduring dream-killing pain may one day make a big victory, the realization of your dreams, so much sweeter and fulfilling. I wish you luck. Yours just ran out this year. I do know where you can get a deal on “udder cream” though.
So now next time you’re in a big game, you’ll actually have a storyline that includes pathos, real ups and downs, not just some exciting upset wins with quarterback-proposing-to-cheerleader trick plays.
And Happy Thanksgiving Ohio State President Gordon “Block O” Gee. Your fogeyish comments about Boise and TCU as “Little Sisters of the Poor” weren’t boomeranged into your face like a steaming hot dog cannon incident. And BCS? You’ve got a lot to be grateful for too. One non-automatic qualifier down. TCU, as of this writing, kickoff is near and even if you open up a can, it may not matter. It matters not how much ass you whoop, it’s whose ass is the whoopee, and do your fans travel to bowl games.
P.S. I am personally grateful to the legions of sportswriters on whose shoulders I stand for the wonderful clichés and irrelevant puns with which I regularly season and baste my bloggish dish of pigskin punditry and pointless purple prose. And you too Microsoft! Word!
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