There was a change in venue this year. The Big Easy, a popular Boise nightclub just a drunken stagger away from the Ha' Penny, played host to over 350 enthusiastic women who just happen to love BSU football and a good fashion show. (Note to venue: Let us in! We don't care if the vendors aren't ready and the waitresses' skirts aren't on straight – we got money to spend on a good spritzer!)
The night started with Hawk's introduction of the coaching staff, including two new grad assistants, Wes Nurse and Klayton Adams (if you don't remember them, you need to put on your high heels and get down to the next Clinic), and the 2005 players in attendance. The first event of the evening was the Blue & Orange fashion show, hosted by Maggie O'Meara of KTVB and our very own CAPZ (we love you, Travis!). The models – including Coach Vili, the Dancing Bear, were outfitted by Pro Image and Macy's. Note to BroncoForLife: Remember to stop at the downtown Macy's store on your way home from work to get that jacket you liked so much!
The most-favorite part of the evening was the player Q & A session. This year we had Legadu Naanee, Korey Hall, Drison James, Jared Zabransky (wait till you see his guns – he's been lifting), Colt Brooks, Gerald Alexander, Jeff Carpenter and Daryn Colledge up on the stage for about 30 minutes answering our questions. Of note; Gerald claims to be the team comedian, Carp puts his uniform on exactly the same way for every game, Daryn wears the same t-shirt before every game along with the prior year's championship ring to remind him of what their goal is (sounds like a "zen" answer to me!) and everyone talks to their mom almost every day. Coach Hawk pointed out that if you want to play for the Broncos, you need to be a momma's boy! Actually, we think it reflects the character of the kind of player this coaching staff recruits. These guys know what's truly important and that's your family. When asked the question about their concerns with playing bigger and stronger teams (like Georgia) Legadu's response summed it up nicely "We've gotten bigger in size too, but more importantly than that we play with more than just size - we've gotten bigger in the way that we play".
O-Line coach Strausser was next up, telling us what he looks for when reviewing the performance after each game. He's mostly concerned with whether or not his guys block like they should in order to make the play work (jump set, boys, jump set!). He then had 5 ladies join him on stage (our own BroncoBooger was selected to be the Right Guard!) and explained what the assignment was for each position. Ryan Keating dumbed it down for Booger and told her to block the guy in the white shirt.
Coach Collins quizzed us on a few football terms and then had 5 ladies join him on stage to demonstrate how to "strip" the football. Turnover ratio will be one key to our success. The team intends to have "fun" on "D" this year, with the intention of scoring on each series. That's the D, not the O!!
Coach Peterson gave his annual Vandal update and slide show. It seems this year we are copying the Vandals – Pete prepared a slide with a BALD Hawkins. It wasn't pretty.
Coach Petersen proved to us once again why he is the master at offensive play calling. He and Z went through the whole process of signaling in a play and running it. We have a newfound respect for Z – he has to correctly interpret the signals from the sideline, tell the line who to block while at the line of scrimmage, change the cadence, calculate the circumference of the nose tackle, tell the cheerleaders to be quiet and make his reads after the snap. We asked Pete if he was ever concerned about opponents figuring out what the signals mean and he explained that football plays are almost like a foreign language. Unless you've studied it a great deal, it's really hard to understand. Which brought to mind a question of his feelings about last year's game against Fresno State when a Fresno defensive player ripped the wristband off Z and threw it to the Fresno sidelines. Coach Pete said it was really hard to concentrate for about a quarter but he knew they would be ok because the plays are complex and you just can't look at them and figure out what they mean.
Coach Hawkins gave us a demonstration of the kind of conversations he and the other coaches have with Coach Pete during the game.
: "Shift right, blue 32"
Hawk: "Ok, shift right, blue 32"
Pete: "Wait a minute, I wanted the ball on the left hash mark!"
Hawk: "You didn't say anything about left or right hash mark."
Pete: "Why isn't the ball on the left hash mark!!!"
Hawk: "I was just telling you…"
Pete: "Shut up Hawk!!, I'm trying to think!!!"
Hawk: "The play will still work."
Pete: "What is going on down there!!!!"
Hawk sent us off with a few words to get us all geeked up about the upcoming season: We're not bad, and we're fixin'to get a whole lot better. We're not gonna let people run the ball on us. We will win games by stopping the run, winning the turnover battle and running the ball on opponents.
All in all, the evening was a great success! Good food, great friends and getting a chance to mingle with the most awesome college football coaching staff in the nation made for very happy Bronco fans at the end of the night!
Last Year's Group... back for more in 2005.