Friday, September 03, 2004

Post-Game Wrap-Up

Couldn't have asked for a nicer night to watch some football. Temperature at kick-off was a breezy 83 degrees. The game was broadcast on ESPN (which I still say sounds like the call letters for a Univision station) and so the cameras were set up. One just to the right of where I sit, blocking most of my view of the South end-zone. Grrr. But it was interesting watching the cameraman work. Having run the camera for the wedding of Mrs. A's niece, I have a greater appreciation for just how hard it is to do it well.

The band came out before the game and played a couple of songs. I just don't get why band directors pick guitar-heavy pop/rock songs (as opposed to Pop Rocks songs - which are mostly percussion and can't be heard further than a couple of seats away) that are arranged for brass-heavy bands. If you're going to pick a pop/rock song that's been arranged for bands, at least take one from folks like Chicago, Gloria Estefan, or Earth, Wind & Fire who have a lot of brass (take that how you will) in their songs already. Instead, we got an arrangement of Journey's Any Way You Want It. Bleah. And I don't know how many years now they've played a jazz arrangement of Deep In The Heart Of Texas, but it's too many. Just because the Assistant Band Director is the one who arranged it, doesn't REQUIRE it be played. Every. Stinking. Year.

Played the Alma Mater (ONE song that I do know the words to, Jordana!) and then we had the invocation. There's a new Minister to the University this year, but the invocation was the same treacly mustn't-offend-anyone-ever community/faith/comradeship/brotherhood/unity mush that's been doled out for years. (I half expect to be told that we should take a minute, turn to the person sitting next to us and talk about our feeeeeeelings. Gah!) I don't know who or what was being invoked as there didn't seem to be a Deity involved. It just goes to show you that when you water everything down to not offend you still do 'cause I'M offended. It's Texas CHRISTIAN University. Is it too much to ask that Christ is actually referenced every so often? Evidently.

The Big Dog showed up right as the Star Spangled Banner was beginning (another song I know the words to), so he had to wait until that was over before making his way to his seat. TCU's mascot (SuperFrog - this is what he used to look like) made it on camera, and this year's incarnation has him showing a lot of teeth in some sort of grimace. I think they're trying to make him look tougher, but the Big Dog and I agreed it looked more like he was suffering from gastritis or trying to pass a kidney stone. (or maybe one too many bowls of Super Colon Blow)

The Frogs took on the Northwestern University Wildcats (although, with a name like Northwestern I'd expect them to be, you know, from the ACTUAL Northwest, but who am I to question?) and it was a pretty good game with some big plays on both sides. The first half saw three kicks (a PAT for the Frogs and two FGAs for the Wildcats) hit the goal posts and fall back. Can't remember ever seeing that many in one game before. I thought the Wildcats played well and TCU played ... well enough. They had moments of brilliance and moments of ineptitude and never really seemed to take control of the game, even when they were up 28-14 early on.

TCU wound up winning in 2OT, but I didn't see it. Or hear it. I decided I'd leave at 11 PM (still the 3rd quarter) so I could at least get SOME sleep. I don't think the game ended until close to 1 AM. In my ever-so-humble opinion, it shouldn't have been nearly as close, but it's hard to overcome the disadvantage we had in the 2nd and 3rd quarters when Northwestern played 17 men to our 11. At least it seemed like those guys in stripes were playing for Northwestern. I understand officials making mistakes (I don't like it, but I understand) because those things happen. (Me? I never make mistakes **cough**cough**) It's when there are a series of mistakes that only seem to go in ONE direction that I begin to get irritated. There were five big calls (actually three calls and two non-calls) that tipped the scales in Northwestern's favor to the tune of about 24 points.

First call was a pass interference call in the end-zone against a Frogs DB - the contact wasn't blatant and the ball was knocked away by the safety in front of the play, so whatever contact there was didn't affect the outcome of the play at all. Led to a Wildcat TD.

First non-call was on a Frog pass play where the Wildcat DB tackled the receiver before the ball even got close. The ref ruled that the ball was uncatchable so there was no foul. It didn't look exceptionally high from where I was sitting or from the replay on the scoreboard. And, yeah the ball is going to go over the receiver's head when he's on his back when it gets there. Led to a TCU punt.

Second call was a roughing-the-passer penalty against TCU, negating an interception that would have left TCU with a 1st and goal on about the 7 yard line. The contact was made just as the ball was released and it wasn't a vicious hit. I'm still scratching my head over that one. Led to a Wildcat FG. (I count that as a 10 point swing)

Second non-call was again a Frog pass play where the receiver was taken to the ground before the ball got there. Again it was ruled uncatchable. Led to a TCU punt.

Third call was as I was on my way out. I was passing close to the end-zone and had a great view of the play. Again there was incidental contact by a TCU DB on a Wildcat pass. I saw the pass go at least 8 feet over the receiver's head. Surely that would be ruled uncatchable too? Not a chance. 15 yards against the Frogs. The Wildcats scored a TD on the next play.

(I understand I'm partisan about the Frogs, but I started to think maybe there were two sets of rules the refs were using - one for the Wildcats and one for us. It was almost like the Wildcats were Democrats and the Frogs Republicans...)

When I got home, I had to laugh. The kids had (horrors!) put themselves to bed. Which means that all of the things Mrs. A and I do to "put the house to bed" didn't get done. The light in the kitchen, the computer, two lamps in the living room and the light in my bathroom had all been left on. I guess it never occurred to them to turn anything off when they went to bed.

And no, I don't think it's because they were scared, I think it's because they're teenagers and as a result are naturally a little brain dead. It's no accident that their nicknames used to be "Oops" and "I forgot".


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