Thursday, January 5

Live From Miami!

What's up everyone? Today is my last day in the sunshine state, and for some reason I woke up earlier than everyone else. Since there's no one to drink with yet I figured I might as well bring you all the full the write up of my week in Miami. I would like to preface this with a very hearty thank you to Caitlin and the entire Yerkes family. They housed and fed myself and up to 40 other Penn Staters with unrivaled kindness and hospitality. This week wouldn't have been the same staying in a hotel room, and I will remain eternally grateful.

So what do you want to know? I'm lounging poolside and will try to keep the focus of this article on the game and not on the extracurricular activities of the week. That being said, Miami is a fun town, and it is currently 80 degrees and sunny. By all accounts, the game was absolutely brutal. Our tickets were in the upper level, on the Penn State goal line. Thank God we weren't in the student section which insisted on standing up the entire game even though Dolphin Stadium is equipped with folding seats and not the benches we are all accustomed to in Happy Valley.

The game: Over 5 hours from kickoff to finally made chipshot field goal, 3 overtimes, 8 team time outs, 4 calls reviewed, an estimated 35 tv timeouts, 45 Fedex commercials (Fedex: Go air. Go ground. Go Football! more on this later too), 21 penalties for 172 yards, 1 7.00 dollar bloody, and not a single Tamba sack. Between all the commercials, the missed opportunities, the missed field goals, and a BCS record 3 overtimes, I was exhausted by the time Kicker Kevin Kelly finally got his "redemption."

Sponsorship: First of all, it's difficult to describe just how terrible the announcer was. I've never wanted a mute button more in my entire life. It was like he was Ron Burgundy and his teleprompter was on caps lock for the entire game. I've never heard anyone more excited to announce that "JEREMY KAPANOS IS BACK TO PUNT FOR THE NITTANY LIONS!!!" Unreal stuff and I think he was even more excited about the sponsors, "THE ORANGE BOWL WOULD LIKE TO THANK FEDEX, ABC SPORTS, AVMED CORPORATION, MILLER LITE, BELL SOUTH, THE CITY OF HOLLYWOOD, TOYOTA!!!" And countless others. Every time you got a commercial, we got that announcement along with a FedEx commercial on the jumbotron. Unfortunately not one of the companies sponsored an injury update, and the entire stadium was left to wonder why Tony Hunt wasn't playing, or how Paul Posluszny was doing down there (we kind of figured it out when we saw him on the golf cart.) I mean I knew there would be gratuitous sponsorship but they truly crossed a line. Multiple times the players were standing on the field, hands on hips, waiting for the announcer to shut the hell up. One time the announcer started talking while an official was making a call and we were left wondering what the call was. The announcer also kept us entertained with a constant stream of "FEDEX GAME FACTS! THE PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS AND THE FLORIDA STAE SEMINOLES EACH FEATURE POWERFUL GROUND AND AIR ATTACKS, JUST LIKE FEDEX, WHO HAS OVER 13,000 TOUCHDOWNS EVERYDAY! FEDEX! GO AIR! GO GROUND! GO FOOTBALL!!!" I wish I was exaggerating, but just remember we got 5 hours of this with the volume knob stuck on 11. But enough time in negative town. We won! And before the 5 hour FedEx defensive marathon, there was 10 hours of all important tailgating.

mmmmmm........Screwdriver by the pool

Tailgating: The parking lots opened at 11:00 and we were early. Our squad rolled deep to the tune of 7 cars, 40 people, 1 keg, one grill, and a copious amount of food and snacks. Penn State fans outnumbered Florida State fans by a conservative 25 to 1 estimate (all the FSU people in the stadium showed up right before game time.) Our keg was kicked before dark, and then came what we refer to as the Orange Bowl Miracle. A miracle keg of Yuengling showed up, as one of our party had apparently traded his extra ticket for it straight up. Amazing work. Also, two rows over was the KDR fraternity tailgate where some buddies of mine, some lady friends of mine, and about 300 other people had congregated. Their two kiddie pools filled with ice, beer, vodka, rum, juice, and assorted other beverages and their 50 foot buffet table put even our sizeable tailgate to shame. I lost track of how many wings I ate, but it was nice to have a few mixed drinks before the miracle keg showed up. Needless to say, an amazing time was had by all.

Signs and Chants: It's almost time for us to hit the beach, so I'll leave you with the best sign and chant seen and heard "before, during, and after the game."

Best Sign:

Forced
Sex
University

Best Chant: (obviously to the tune of their tomahawk chop)
NOOOOOOOOOOOO means NOOOOOOOOOOO, NOOOOOOOOOOOO means NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

That's all folks, I've gotta mix another drink and hit the beach. I'll be back north tomorrow evening and as always feel free to e-mail me at James@greenbleeder.com

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