Friday, I got an email as we were working out the details for the trip up to Lawrence for the KU / Texas Tech game, and one thing in it stood out.
"It's gonna be just like old times".
He had no idea how right he was ...
* Left at 9am-ish for the trip up. After an uneventful drive, we once again managed to score primo free parking on 9th Street at Ohio. (Meaning I didn't need the inhaler for the walk in. Whew).
* I figure to be on a first name basis with the hippy dude at Jensen Liquors by the end of this season at the rate things are going. On the other hand, anytime you see a hippy dude working a counter, I can only think of one thing ...
(peter griffin) hey, don't I know you from somewhere?
(hippy guy) uuh, no.
(peter griffin) did you go to North Providence High?
(hippy guy) no.
(peter griffin) are you friends with Gary down at the dry cleaners?
(hippy guy) no!
(peter griffin) are you Jesus Christ?
I might have to break that one out next week ...
* (student section voice) Char-les Gor-don! (clap clap clap clap clap!) Chuckles was signing autographs at the AT&T deal.
* Upgrade 2.0 (aka the next step in being a Hawk Football season ticket holder): we need a tailgating tent on the Hill. Cracking open a beer on the corner of 9th and Ohio just ain't the same as having a friggin tent on the Hill. Someone win the lottery and get on that. Or at least convince Jayhawk Illustrated to bring back the free tailgate for its subscribers, I miss the free Boulevard Pale Ale and brats in the pregame ...
* speaking of which, on the walk in at about 10th and Mississippi, 9:30 in the morning, this bombed KU fan, college kid, is working his way through a 30 pack of the High Life, and asks if we'll help him finish off the 30 pack. If it had been Coors Light, I might not have made kickoff. But High Life? Uuh, no thanks pal.
* The Danny Darrell ticket taking theory worked like a charm. The guy just shook his head seeing the "youth" ticket, laughed ... and scanned me in.
* Got our usual spot, row in the high 20s, section 20 on a aisle. Right next to "the step". No matter how bad things get on the field, at least you can laugh as unsuspecting students continuously trip over the awkward step up as the aisles come together. Although sadly, noone dropped a pretzel or nachos again this week and left them for the section to enjoy.
* Both Gregg and I questioned the red jerseys when KU took the field for warmups. Uuh, fellas? We're playing the "Red" Raiders, might want to avoid giving them even 1/1000th of a reason of motivation to feel like they're being slighted.
* I have said it before, and I will say it again: college girls are so much hotter now than they were when I was in school a decade ago. Holy Lord. What I wouldn't give to be 21 and an undergrad again for just a weekend ...
* No Mangino PSA, no "ribbons" encouraging the new kickoff chant. Thank God. Again, free speech nazis on the west side of the field? Its a fad. It will fade. If you just ignore it. You keep drawing attention to it, its only going to keep growing in noise.
* Flyover during the National Anthem. I continue to stand behind my claim that there is no bigger waste of taxpayer dollars than a flyover. But if Barry wins in 9 days, I'm sure he'll find something to spend our money on that's more wasteful than that.
* The first play of the game, was a pass that lost 8 yards to Kerry Meier. Here's what I don't get. If you see three defenders coming at you, and your QB is attempting a dumpoff to you that deep in the backfield, why do you catch the pass? Just knock it down! 2nd and 10 is better than 2nd and 18, right? I guess I just think things through too much.
* The first Texas Tech touchdown was just a thing of beauty. And a textbook example in how NOT to play cover 3 defense. There was no safety help on that play at all, despite 3 safeties being in the defensive backfield.
* Solid answer by KU after the first two Tech TDs to tie the game at 14 after the 1st quarter. I liked our offensive gameplan, move the chains, nothing deep, just safe middle range stuff to keep their offense off the field. For 17 1/2 minutes, it worked.
* On the other hand ... what the hell was our defensive gameplan yesterday? We defended everything at the line by playing 4 down lineman every down. We defended everything deep by dropping either 3 safeties or 2 safeties and Mike Rivera into cover 3 zone on nearly every down. And left the middle of the field WIDE, WIDE open every damned down! Graham Harrell just abused us with the screen pass, the quick slant, everything 5-20 yards downfield was completely uncovered all day long. It was pathetic.
* Speaking of Graham Harrell ... (steve getting fired up) ... what an arrogant friggin prick. I have no problems with QBs trying to draw penalties. But he was whining to the official after every play, regardless of whether he was hit or not. What a friggin baby.
And his "celebrations" after every play, especially touchdowns. Just irritating as hell. He acted like a friggin 5 year old out there. Show some class dude. You're up 49-14, you just snuck it in from the 1, good for you. Don't showboat. Act like you've been there before. Because you had at least 7 times already that game alone.
(In case you can't tell, I hate Graham Harrell with a passion. I dropped the "its time to take a personal foul for the good of the team, guys" blast about 15 times yesterday. Although the guy next to me screaming "take out his f*cking knees!" would have worked just as well).
* the moment I knew we were in trouble: down 28-14, Reesing hit, turns around, trips over a fallen Hawks lineman, fumbles, recovery Texas Tech. We needed a touchdown on that possession to get it within 7 at the half, and we were driving. Instead, Tech punches it in a couple minutes later, leads 35-14 at the half, with the ball. Uh oh.
* The only 3rd down Texas Tech failed to convert in the first 3 quarters yesterday ... was a 3rd and 25 running out the clock at halftime. And they still got 23 on the play. Call me crazy, but when you convert 10 of 11 3rd downs, you're probably going to win.
* Old guy with the baton at halftime! Nice to see old as dirt alumni still able to be active on Homecoming.
* I still think the biggest non-personnel mistake of the Carl Peterson years is dumping "Sweet Child of Mine" from player intros. We've never recovered as a franchise from that decision. A mistake highlighted by "The Pride of Kansas"' awesome rendition of it at halftime.
* No White Owl sighting yesterday. Hope all is well there, a KU game just isn't the same without that guy in the stands.
* Tech's opening drive of the 3rd quarter was just a thing of beauty. If you love the game of football, love teams that execute the little things that can be the margin between victory and defeat, that drive was just awesome to watch. Simple precision passing. Running back stopping for a split second after the handoff to identify the bigger hole. QB waiting until the last possible second to execute the screen, to maximize the gap between defenders pursuing it.
I like Mike Leach, always have. But I never really realized just how fundamentally sound that team is until yesterday. They don't screw up. That offense is not a "playground, draw it up in the dirt" gimmick. That thing is just awesome to watch when it executes like it did yesterday.
* Todd Reesing attempted 4 passes in the 3rd quarter yesterday. One fell incomplete. The other three were caught by Darcel McBath. Unfortunately, Mr. McBath plays for Texas Tech.
* like I noted above, it was an "Old School Saturday". Just me and Gregg. 3rd quarter shuffle underway early in the 2nd half. Our offense shooting itself in the foot. Our defense unable to stop anyone. Empty liquor bottles everywhere in the student section. As was noted to me late in the 3rd quarter, "this is the KU Football I know and love!"
* you know its ugly when you begin entertaining yourself with random "Family Guy" references. Which Gregg and I did for a solid 10 minutes before we left the game, and for the entire walk back to the car.
* on the bright side, we're still just one win away from bowl eligibility, and the only defense worse than ours right now rolls into Lawrence on Saturday. On the down side, our margin for error if we want the mizzou game to be for the North title is now zero. We can lose to Texas, but noone else. Which means we have to beat our arch rivals from the farm this week, and win in Lincoln for the first time since the Johnson Administration. I'm not liking our chances, based on yesterday ...