Game Day - Now or never boys, let's do it
Dec. 26: Game Day
The time has come. The nerves have set in. Game day is here.
The hotel is horrifically quiet. The sun has barely risen yet. The view in the distance is depressing... dark and foggy.
But then again, the hotel is quiet because it's 8 a.m. The sun has barely risen yet because I'm not facing the east. The view in the distance is depressing, dark and foggy... because it's winter in Detroit and there's some fog.
Who's Here? Who's Missing?
Last night, all alumni were accounted for. The Slowiaks and Silks arrived. I had a chance to talk with Mark Soto's parents, Ed Wertepney's mom, Nick Paris' mom and brother, David Matlock's mom, Chris Bonner's parents, Jeff VanCamp's family and Willie Rose's family. All are very nice and very excited about the game.
I also saw Eric Macintosh's parents in the lobby and heard that DiIvory Edcomb's parents are on their way.
Today, the DT will arrive, along with some fans that went through the travel agent and booked the trip with FAU. I haven't seen President Brogan yet, but did speak briefly with Craig Angelos.
Dexter LaMont arrived late last night. I think everyone is accounted for and safely arrived.
Oh wait.... except Dirty Mike. He still isn't here, and by the call I got about 45 minutes ago, may not get here at all. He texted me from Laguardia (spelling?) airport excited that he was on his way. Then he realized his departing airport was JFK...in 30 minutes. So he "hailed a cabby," made it to JFK, lost his debit card in the cab (possibly), and is on his way to Detroit. He just sent me another text message and said "there are Chipps on my plane." There's never a dull moment with the Dirtys.
Today, FAUALUM2005 from the OWLSNEST will be arriving. He called me yesterday and said the bus he was going to take from Chicago was two hours late. His parents live in Detroit, so he's staying there with his folks and some of his friends. He'll be at the events today.
Lawrence Lavender '04 now lives in Windsor, which is the city right across the Detroit River. He just completed his law degree at a school here in Detroit. Lavender ran with me, Brent Dell and Joel Gibbons for student government office in 2004. If any of you were around then, we were the K.E.G. Party (Knowledge. Entertainment. Government). Lavender is also the student who really got the ice hockey team moving. He was their executive director/club president for years. He has his former director of marketing, Mike, coming up for the game today as well. Mike will be landing today.
I appreciate this kind of stuff and enjoy listening to it, so thought I would share it with you. The Silk family (two brothers and their wives) are huge FAU fans and supporters. They go to all the away games that are within driving distance. Brian Silk lives in Pensacola, so there aren't many games they can get to other than Troy and the UL-hyphens.
They were at the Troy game last year --- the infamous game that clinched the Sun Belt Conference Title and the trip to the NO Bowl.
He told me that he watched the two bus loads of students come into Movie Gallery Stadium on the wrong side (they entered on the home side) of the stadium. Then, they had to walk in-between seats all the way around the stadium to their seats on the visiting side. So he said they did so, all 100 of them, in a single file line (they had to be single file because they were walking through rows of seats) and every so often, they'd stop, do a cheer, get booed by Troy fans, and then keep walking. Then they would stop, do a chant, get booed by Troy fans, and continue.
I love stories like that. That won't happen this trip because there aren't a lot of people here. But the people that are here are making the team feel loved and appreciated. And the players I've talked to said they feel the appreciation and understand it's a tough holiday for people to skip and come to a bowl game.
The team will be loading the moving truck around noon, and then checking out of the hotel. They will be in meetings most of the day and head to Ford Field around 5 p.m. Then, after the game, they will board a bus, go to the airport, and head home.
It's like a normal away game...
Detroit and Ford Field
I haven't ventured out much, but plan to do some of that today. Some of the players have told me that it's very desolate and that there are buildings with windows blown out. one of the players said "it's like a ghost town."
I haven't visited Ford Field yet, but according to one of the team assistants, the field has little to no decorations for the MCB. Last year at the NO Bowl, the stadium was wrapped on one side with a banner advertising the game, there were billboards on the highway for the game, etc.
And as one of the coaches said, "but New Orleans last year had two other bowl games besides ours. For Detroit, this is it."
Which then made me wonder... why wouldn't they go all out?
But regardless, I'm not the Detroit marketing guru. Maybe they didn't market the game in Detroit because they know no one was going to be in the dang city for Christmas!
p.s. It's past 7 a.m. so we can drink alcohol now.
TODAY'S FAN SCHEDULE
I'm heading to a casino this AM for sure. I gotta get out of this place. I have cabin fever.
Most fans will be heading to the MCB-organized pep rally at 2 p.m. at a hotel about a mile from here. Then, we'll race back for the team sendoff and for the FAUNAA pre-game party at 5 p.m.
And after the game, we'll be at the post-game party. It's just a matter of we'll be drinking champagne or jack and coke....
Couple of Pictures of the Volt Bar, where the FAUNAA party will be held.
For those of you that have my phone number, text me what ESPN says (if they say anything significant pre-game or during the game that would be worth me sharing with the fans).
Let's all throw up the Owl fingers, and sing the fight song loud and proud today.
This game is the future of our program, yet again. We win this game, and we silence the nay-sayers that have said over and over again that a 6 and 6 team shouldn't be in a bowl, and even if they should be, why Florida Atlantic from the Sun Belt?
It would do wonders for recruiting. It would bring our inexperienced guys to an all-time level of instant on-field experience heading in to Lincoln for next year's tussle with Nebraska.
Let's do it boys. It's now or never. Leave everything on the field. Hold nothing back. You can rest tomorrow. But tonight, .... tonight... , tonight is the night. Seize the opportunity. You've climbed the mountain, now get up to the top. Do something that no team has ever done. Continue to re-write history.
Now or never boys. Let's do it.
Edited by Francois Rioux
I added a couple of pictures above where the FAUNAA party will be held later tonight after the game. $mitty did mentioned that is was snowing up in Detroit at the time I posted these pictures for him.
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