It all started out so well
Hoo boy. Well, that was special, wasn't it? It's tough to find words to accurately describe what happened this week, but damnit I'm gonna try. Pictures should help too. Sorry there aren't pictures of the game. It's hard to take pictures when your head is buried in your hands for three and a half hours.
I was feeling really good about this game. And the events leading up to the game were promising. My week was going great, my flight to Boise actually arrives 20 minutes early, my friend Torsten and I headed over to Bronco Stadium to visit with band friends in the Boise State Band. After meeting up with four other friends who drove in (the "white people" car) we headed to dinner at Smoky Mountain Pizza, where our waitress was, a Duck fan! Outstanding start to the trip! We were waiting for the last two members of the group (the "asian" car) to get into town, so we made a stop for a football, which was on sale. And what's across the street from the sporting goods store? Hooters!!! What better way to end Boise State Eve then with PBR and wings? Needless to say, I slept comfortably. We were gonna win!
Gameday: Easily the Most Confusing Day This Week
In hindsight, I should have seen it coming. Little things started going wrong. It started the day before, with a parking ticket. Torsten and I failed to see a 30 minute parking sign, and we got flagged for it. But considering the rest of the day, I wrote it off as a fluke. First thing Thursday morning, my phone started wigging out. I was having trouble making calls, I couldn't get on the Internet, and my text messages would come every 90 minutes, all at once, three or four at a time. We went to make a grocery store stop, but when we pulled into the parking lot, we saw that the store had closed down. It was only like a 10 minute detour, but still. We got to the stadium and met up with Boise State band friends. Now, let me take you back to last year.
When Boise State came to Autzen, members of their band came and hung out with us. Naturally we couldn't have them in orange and blue in our section, both for their safety and our reputation as being assholes to opposing fans, so we decked them head to toe in Duck gear. So, true to form, they returned the favor.
I found myself in an orange polo shirt and hat. I figured, small price to pay for a free game ticket, and I'm still gonna cheer for the Ducks, no matter how ridiculous it looks. And we had fun with it, since we looked like "bros" and played the part to the best of our abilities, popping collers and yelling "Jager Bomb Chief!!" at anyone who looked at us funny. It got us free reign of the stadium and the field with no ticket, and a third row seat for "The Biggest Event in Boise History!"
I'm not even kidding about that bee tee dubs, that's what they were calling it.
The Boise State student section, while I thought they were fairly loud, had some pretty awful chants. I only heard "Fuck the Ducks" once. They were more partial to the simple "Fuck You" instead. The funniest one was "Pac-10 Rejects! clap-clap-clapclapclap". I wasn't aware we got kicked out of the Pac-10 last year. What conference are we in? I didn't get it at the time. We ended up playing like Pac-10 rejects, so maybe I should be calling them prophets. And for good measure, they threw in a "BCS!" chant in the fourth quarter. Now, I want to be clear about this because they are the class of their conference - the USC of the WAC, if you will - but...
IT'S THE FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON!!!
Holy Jesus Titties! That's presuming a hell of a lot of your team. I don't doubt that the Broncos can't get it done, but karma likes messing with student sections that chant "BCS!" with ten games left in the year. Back to the action...
The first thing that made me nervous was pregame warmups. Every position group that ran out on the field antagonized the crowd, be it through running next to the seats or doing that, jump up and down and wave your arms like you're trying to harness the power of flight, move. I hate that move. Receivers were making one-handed catches, no one was moving with a sense of urgency. The only player not acting like this was Jeremiah Masoli, who looked like he'd just seen a ghost. He wasn't moving very well, and his pregame throws were all over the place. This was about the time when my excitedness started turning into nervousness.
The first half played out like a game of Madden where the CPU is clearly cheating and not letting you play offense. There were no running lanes, throws were bad. I won't even discuss the safety. All I'll say is this.
A SAFETY?!?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
That's all I'll say.
I thought our defense was encouraging. BSU was moving the ball, but they only had one first half touchdown drive. Going into halftime, we were still in the game. I was almost confident! If we can make halftime adjustments, we can win this game by a couple scores!
SIDENOTE: TAKIMOTO IS JESUS
I TOTALLY called BSU missing the first field goal! As they were lining up, I leaned over and said, "first kick of the year, he could miss." Score after the kick: ME 3, BSU 0. The second one wasn't me. That was just him missing a 47 yarder. That happens. 29 yarders though? Pretty sure I'm a little bit awesome.
TJ WARD: NOOOOOOOOOO!
The second half started, and I was about as good as you can feel without a first down. Then TJ Ward got hurt. Great, now I'm not feeling good win or lose because I'm pretty sure TJ can't put any weight on his ankle. Awesome.
The Second Half: Steaming Poo Still Looks Like Steaming Poo On Blue Turf
Overall, the second half was maybe the worst combined half of football I've seen in my life, and I watched Cal-Rutgers in 2001. I might be misremembering a little bit, but I'm pretty sure there were sixty-eight turnovers in the second half, and it was a veritable smorgasbord. Interceptions directly into defender's chests, fumbled snaps, fumbles due to hard hits, fumbles due to a certain quarterback thinking he's Madden 2001 Michael Vick, and the best one of the night, Kellen Moore doing his best David Copperfield impersonation and throwing a pass with an invisible ball. In the fourth quarter I actually applauded a BSU first down because it was a well-executed play, and I was so starved for watching good execution I didn't care what team it was for. Gross. I was almost relieved when it was over. Honestly, by the end of that game the Ducks were just wasting everybody's time. They looked beaten, and they were down 11! That's what disappointed me the most. It looked like we quit.
No one in Bronco Stadium should have noticed the Punch. It was lightning quick, very few people were paying that close attention to the field and have eyesight good enough to actually see what happened. However, the Boise State University Department of Running the Video Board (BSUDRVB for short) is missing a little thing called common sense. As soon as the replay hit the video board, and began repeating over and over again, the stadium went apeshit. Duck fans stopped to watch the replay, then looked around and moved quickly for the exits. Thank goodness no one rushed the field. If the student section rushes the field, I think it turns into both teams trying to keep two thousand students off Blount. There is no excuse for putting the punch up on the board. No excuse.
Aftermath: Humiliation, Pain, and the Boise Airport
For safety purposes, we kept our BSU band polo shirts on for the walk home, and were subjected to the worst form of punishment ever: having to say "Go Broncos!" to passing fans. Ugh. I just wanted to get back home and shotgun Keystones. And I did.
This morning, everyone left town around noon. Except my flight left the Boise Airport at 6:40. So I spent the day at the Boise Airport today. I commented about the McDonald's in the airport having Dr. Pepper. They were out of Dr. Pepper today. I wish I was kidding.
I had nothing better to do in the airport but check AtQ every 30 seconds, so I did something I hadn't done in 2 years: played online poker. I stopped because I was losing money, but I was really bored today and had just deposited a paycheck. So I deposit $100 and go to work, up as much as $60 at one point playing a $1/$2 no-limit hold 'em table. One hand, I'm holding 7-8, flop comes 4-5-6. I'm working this guy for pretty much the most money I can, playing the hand pretty close to perfect. He goes all in after a J turn and another 4 on the river. There's like $175 in the post, I have like $30 left, so I call. Fucker flips over pocket 4's. I just got bent over by quad 4's. There was nothing left to do, but get on the plane, order a Heineken, and write a FanPost.
So there you have it. I left for Boise a confident man. I came back broken, disappointed, and $100 in the hole. Bring on Purdue. I guess.