Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You're Welcome!: Veteran's Days Edition

I would like to start this post with a few things unrelated to sports. Not often do I go beyond the realm of sports in my writings, but today is a special occasion.

I would like to thank Michigan State University for a very pleasant weekend in East Lansing. MSU fans were very gracious and eager to chat during the game about both teams. They made us feel welcome. They expected to win more games this year than they did, but in my opinion they acted like real champions. I cannot speak so highly of the Wolverine fans. More time seemed to be spent harassing guests of your school than watching the game. Of course it wasn't everyone but it was enough that I'm not sure I'll want to spend my hard earned money on another unpleasant afternoon next time. Until next year Spartans. Pride comes before the fall Michigan.

Not only today, Veteran's day but every day, I'd like to thank the men and women of the military for the great job they do. Having known a few servicemen in my time, I would like to thank them all. Jeff Sr. and Jeff Jr., father and brother of one of my good friends. Steve, a paratrooper, there at the opening campaign. Derrick, helicopter parts, came under attack during a downtime football game. And James, multiple deployments- 3 purple hearts. Lost friends and time with his family. Any gifts we sent, letters, food, toiletries meant so much to them and they appreciate everything. We've grown so close to him, his wife and 2 young children that we've declared ourselves Family. He is now a recruiter, helping to guide our future soldiers. And to everyone serving our country, thank you and stay safe until you all come home.

Now for some sports!

You're Welcome!

1. Navy Midshipman: Just two years ago you ended the longest and toughest losing streak any rival has ever endured. It was one of the best games I have ever seen, with an amazing flying sack by Ram Vella and the Overtime clincher of Navy stuffing ND short on a 2 point conversion. Sure, the Fighting Dames of Notre are much more talented now, but Navy still finds a way. I love watching the triple option, it won't win you National Championships but it is very hard to prepare for and gives Navy a "decisive schematic advantage" (take that Charlie!). Navy usually makes a bowl game and has a nice upset or two while playing a independent schedule. They held on to win by two but it was not that close. I love seeing military academies win and Notre Dame lose. How perfect!

2. Purdue Boilermakers: This weekend you came back and defeated Michigan making it the first time you have beaten Michigan twice in a row and at Ann Arbor since 1966 (Bob Griese Rose Bowl days, then his son went to Michigan, ironic) and defeated Ohio State and Michigan in the same season since 2000 with Drew Brees. In a season you were left for dead with a new coach, somehow you kept fighting lost a couple close games (Notre Dame being a painful memory for Purdue) and have an outside shot for a bowl. After having a tough few campaigns, this program could be moving back in the right direction. I love teams who show great effort and drive in the face of adversity with everything on the line.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Half of me wanted the Bucs to win a game this season (not against my Super Bowl pick Green Bay Packers of course), and not go 0-16 and feel the pain and frustration I felt. But half of me wanted to be let off the hook and have someone else be labeled the worst team ever. There were a lot of candidates this year (My Lions) Bucs, Rams, Browns and Chiefs. The Browns are awful and look to go in another direction again. They don't play for their coach and are one of the worst offensive teams ever. The Bucs, in their creamsicle uniforms, first start for a rookie QB and a winless rookie coach pulled out a win over the very disappointing Packers. Now, you're off the hook. Enjoy it now, because in a few weeks, when you drop some more games you'll feel as bad as you did before. Trust me.

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