5:13 p.m. MT 1/1/2007
Happy New Year my fellow Bronco fans! Game time fast approaches and Zagco has decided to try his best to write a real-time diary of his thoughts, words, and actions in the moments leading up to, during, and shortly after the 2007 Fiesta Bowl matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Boise State Broncos.
Anyhoo, right now, with USC
putting the hurt on
It's dark outside. The Broncos just took the field together as a team. Zagco does not see anything different about our uniforms. There was a rumor spread by a certain regular Bronco poster that there was going to be a surprise about our uniforms—it sounded like maybe orange shoes or something like that. Zagco is beginning to think these rumors about surprises happening in the near future are doomed to inaccuracy. How many times has this happened? If we're not dreaming about new uniforms or a new stadium, we keep hearing things about HUGE donations. It's amazing how so many well-placed sources—and Zagco means that with respect—keep misfiring on these rumors! It's almost as if some kind of high-fallutin disinformation campaign is being conducted from the deepest bowels of Bronco Country!
Guess all the whiners about
Zagco feels lightheaded. He has not been able to eat much today. Plus, he was painting with some high gloss polyurethane in a non-ventilated room. Oh man, now they have brought on Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the celebrity analysts. Wow. This feels like the real deal! Where's Augusto? Where's Caves?
Does anyone else feel kinda antsy? Zagco cannot really sit still. He tried playing some Warcraft during the Rose Bowl, but that was a joke. Seriously, Zagco is worried that he is not breathing out, which is precursor to hyperventilation. Must concentrate….
Now 32-11 Trojans.
FOX just turned the field blue! Zagco did not know that you could do that on live television. It was Houdini-esque.
Zagco also just learned that Ian Johnson has a cat named Biff. Nice. Zagco has a cat named Jasmine, and she is a real princess.
There is just no question that
Zagco is feeling very, very anxious. However,
it's different than the way Zagco felt before the
Jimmy Johnson has incredibly thick hair!
Does anyone else get the feeling
that Jimmy Johnson would like to smack Barry Switzer?
Zagco has always believed that bad blood existed between the two, going
all the way back to the days when Barry was coaching
Stomach feels sick. Having trouble speaking out loud to the wife.
Zagco's keys to the game:
(1) We must give up fewer
than 7 turnovers; (2) our players must be properly hydrated, lest they suffer
full body cramps; and (3) we must not allow
Trojans won 32-18, with the last
Wow. Just learned that in
that fabled 1987 Fiesta Bowl between
The anxiety is damn near unbearable. Zagco is unable to move out of his recliner at this point. His wife refuses to bring him his dinner plate. She loves tormenting poor Zagco at times like this. DAMN HER!!!!
OHMYGOD! Was that flag big or what? MEMO TO SIMPLOT: Your flag sucks!
For some reason, Zagco sort of feels like crying.
Zagco's trembling, with tears
streaming down his cheeks, as the Broncos take the field.
Lyle Smith looks so good for being 90!
What a roar! What a sea of
orange in that huge stadium.
It's so re-assuring to see
Pete's bodyguard standing right behind him.
You cannot trust people from
There is nothing different about our uniforms. Zagco anxiously waits to hear how that rumor got started by someone professing inside information….
We won the toss. Zagco has no doubt that this is breaking news on the Mistakesman's website.
First Quarter: 6:52 p.m.
Zagco's dinner is cold, and his wife is showing absolutely no willingness to serve her husband his meal. Typical.
Kickoff! Rather uneventful. Thank God!
Reverse. Fun call by the Sooners. Nice way to get everyone loosened up. They also call a somewhat misdirection-style flair pass. Interesting…. Stuffed ‘em.
Zagco needs to eat….
Hey, what happened to "Noonay?" Now it's "Naw-NAY." You never know with these television guys.
Personally, Zagco believes that Shouman did NOT get a first down on the initial bobble and catch, but when he came back with his body, it looked very close, as though the nose of the ball might have been on the first down line. Zagco believes the referees will move the ball back from its current spot.
Zagco was apparently wrong, for the first time in his life.
OMG!!!!! WOW!!!!! He
was wide freakin' open!!!! Drisan James! Zagco has liked his game a
Right now, as Zagco types, his wife is in the kitchen standing right next to Zagco's plate of food, but she once again blithely refuses to bring it in to Zagco so he can eat from the comfort of his leather recliner. What is it with women and their petty torments?
Anyhoo, Zagco is going to take a break from typing for a bit. He'll get back to the diary soon….
HOLY CRAP!!!! NOT YET!!!!! FUMBLE!!!!!!! WE GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TOUCHDOWN!!!!!! Aren't we supposed to have size and strength issues? WOW!
Now it's breaktime!
Well, there goes the shutout! 14-7 Broncos after one quarter of play.
Clearly, the Sooners intend to
pick on Kyle Wilson's size. That
is understandable, but Zagco believes Mr. Wilson is a playmaker who will
eventually make them pay for it. It
is, however, a smart strategy by
Also, OU's deal with calling pass plays from the sideline is interesting. Why do they feel the need to do that? Seems rather unconventional and, thus, potentially disruptive to their conventional style.
Zagco does not think that Adrian Peterson looks like he can make a cut. He really just doesn't look like he can make any quick cut, whether its his recovering leg or the funky turf.
Zagco also thinks our defensive front looks strong. Again, that drive should have ended on one of two should-have-been interceptions.
Legadu! He's the most impressive physical specimen on the field tonight. Zagco hopes he get a chance to go one-on-one with a Sooner DB. That time, he was surrounded by 5 defenders.
Nice little catch and scamper by Peretta. We have not heard much from him lately.
Zagco still wonders what that crazy formation was all about back when Stoops challenged the first down call in the first quarter. That was KRAZY! We've seen something like it before, but Zagco wishes he knew what it was all about…. MEMO TO HARSIN: What was that going to be?
Sooner ball. Throw back against the grain. They seem to be going a lot to their right side with passes. We have not shown much in the way of pressure since that first quarter sack and fumble recovery.
Nice run by Peterson. He looked fast, but it was a fairly straight ahead run, albeit angled left.
Another pass to the right, with Mr. Wilson making the tackle. Zagco thinks they are going to do this all night long.
Scandrick makes his obligatory, once-per-game bonehead play. That's okay.
PICK TADMAN! There's the play we needed! Tadman with his patented center field play. He sits back there, sandbagging the opposition, all the time. Then, just like clockwork, the opponent gets suckered into tossing up a pop fly, apparently thinking they can out jump him or something. He's such a schemer! Nice….
So far, this game is like a great lightsaber duel. Wow!
Back to the action.
Ian Johnson just lost his footing. Zagco believes the turf has terrible footing. Ian is going to have to be a bit less juke-oriented.
Well, sadly, FOX did not show a decent angle on that catch by Drisan James, so it's impossible to tell whether he got underneath the ball. Zagco hates that crap. How come sometimes they get an angle and other times they don't? Anyhoo, good punt and a good return, so we're back again with the Sooners near midfield. Our offense needs to get its groove back—get back in the driver's seat instead of always being one play behind itself.
Defensively, we've looked good so far, keeping the game in front of us. Let's go!
Great run by Patrick!
Very, very nice. We had NO
ONE on the right side of the field. No
one. There are some little openings
up front for OU. Our offense really
needs to do something. Our defense
is tired, although playing well. Giving
up only a field goal is not half bad. OU
has had one big play so far. We've
had a few, but we also have failed to capitalize a few times as well.
We must capitalize—this is not
Offensively, Zagco feels like we've gotten ourselves into a funk. Our first down calls have been going nowhere, putting the team in a hole for the rest of the series. Smarter play on first down is critical for us.
Quinton Jones just does not look anywhere near as fast as he did last year. He looks lumbering, as if he's Larry Csonka returning kicks.
Z damn near tossed a killer
pick. Number 5 for
Hey, smart play by Z to get that ball snapped when OU was offsides! Nice job Z!
OU has some HOT cheerleaders.
Zagco is going to be blunt: He does NOT like our playcalling. Do something Harsin! Thankfully, Z took the sack on that crappy play! I am puzzled by why our offense seems to have gone into a rather predictable mode of pass plays. Where is Ian? Where is the misdirection? Where are the multiple shifts? Where is the mojo? We look somewhat hesitant and uninspired.
Another pass to the RIGHT SIDE. If Zagco was in the box with Wilcox, he'd tell him that OU seems to be going right with their pass game.
Okay, a timeout. Third and ten from the original line of scrimmage. Zagco thinks OU is going to go for broke on this play—a bomb on a post route or something big like that. Zagco also wishes really, really bad that we could get a sack….
NICE JOB! That was basically a sack. Nice job. WAIT!!!!!!!! OMG! FLAG!!!!! It looks like a personal foul.
Baiting? Is this the La Tech crew? Zagco did not know that it was against the rules to smack talk. How lame. OU's player headbuts O for smack talking him. What a baby. What a scawed wittle bunny wabbit.
Rabb! Wow! Wide open. Nice. Let's do that play again! The wide open play!!!!
Meanwhile, during this timeout with about a minute left in the first half, Zagco would like to say that he also thinks our cheerleaders have gotten to be pretty dang hot too.
Man, Legadu was open on that route! I like those middle range routes. Our guys seem open. Great run by Z! Another open receiver! There are some BIG holes in OU's pass coverage. Interesting….
Petersen looks pissed on that substitution call. That's the first time I've seen us get that call in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time.
WOW! What a play! What a run! What a beautiful, beautiful play!!!!! That's Bronco football! That's Bronco offense right there!!!!!! WOW!!
Twenty-five seconds left in the half. Wow. What a half of football. Truly, it is a lightsaber duel for the ages, along the lines of the mythic battle between Mace Windu and Darth Sidious, before the traitorous Anakin Skywalker intervened, saving the Sith Lord from sure death at the hands of one of Jedi-doms greatest swordsmen.
Zagco's had no luck getting his wife to feed him. Now, his tortellini soup is cold, and all the women folk in the Zagco household have scurried off to tend to their girly things.
Well, now it's a face off. She's not getting me my soup, and Zagco'll be damned if he get it for himself at this point!!!!
Anyhoo, as Zagco sits here listening to KBOI and watching FOX, he can't help but think of the poor bastards on the Vandal message board—all 10 of them! They are so pathetic.
Is it too early to discuss where
The bottom line:
8:50 p.m.: Third Quarter
Once again, we blow it on first down. Zagco just does not care for our first down playcalling or execution. We get ourselves into holes too often, and our psyche seems to have great difficultly recovering from a bad first down. Zagco is much more comfortable if we make a nice first down play and blow the second down play.
Zagco wonders what OU thinks
about us now? We'll see how Adrian
Peterson looks in the second half, but Zagco really feels that he has not been
much help for the Sooners. Patrick
looks better. Moreover, what did
Petersen is tap dancing on the corner. Bad footing.
Here's that weird playcalling technique, where they call passes from the sideline—get it, THEY CALL PASSES WHEN THE DO THIS. DUH……..
And here's an INTERCEPTION! Once again, OU thinks their size and athleticism will allow them to throw up pop flies and challenge our DBs to jump higher. Well, when you get proper position on a pop fly, you really don't need to jump higher. OU looks frustrated to Zagco. There you go.
Okay, let's see what Harsin has in his bag of tricks on THIS first down. I want to see something solid—a bread and butter run for Ian or something in the middle range route to Noonay or Mr. Rabb. It's opportunities like this we cannot let get away….
Decent run. Nice bread and butter play over Woody's side—good call. However, that second down call—the delayed handoff—sucks. I don't think delayed handoffs work with OU.
That personal foul on Shouman was fairly unimpressive, especially when you consider that Shouman's been known to get up in people's grills. Perhaps it was the leg whip. It really did not look like much—he seemed to be trying to make a block as the play develop, that's all.
Tit for tat, though—OU gets a foul on the punt return, putting them deep in their own territory. We need ANOTHER stop.
These refs need to put their freakin' flags away. Incidental face mask my butt. Give me a break. OU needs help.
For anyone not a Bronco fan still reading this stream of conscious rant,
Zagco has always been a HUGE Marty Tadman fan, ever since he met his cool
parents at a Bronco Country tailgate three years ago.
Plus, Zagco has always considered Marty to be the real breakthrough
How does this sound:
Wnyhoo, back to the game. OU gets out a jam by throwing another pass to the right side. Does anyone see a pattern here? Two plays later, they do it again, but this time the throw is long. Nice hit by Kyle Wilson! But, yet ANOTHER throw to the right side. Holy crap! If Quinton Jones was more of a gambler, he might have picked that quick toss to the left side!!!!
Okay, BIG punt! DISASTER!!!!!
WOW! We have been BEGGING OU
to score in this game. If it
wasn't for our own mistakes, we'd be up by 6 touchdowns!
Okay, BIG punt! DISASTER!!!!! WOW! We have been BEGGING OU to score in this game. If it wasn't for our own mistakes, we'd be up by 6 touchdowns!
Zagco would just like to say: What
was the dude thinking? Why stand
there? You have GOT to be aware of
what is going on!
Zagco would just like to say: What was the dude thinking? Why stand there? You have GOT to be aware of what is going on!
Touchdown OU. That one's on us. That was like in basketball when you try to rebound a ball, but instead you tip it in the basket for the opponent. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Zagco cannot believe we would make a mistake like that in a game like this! Zagco continues to be troubled by peculiar breakdowns in an otherwise solid special teams punt return game.
Once again, Quinton Jones looks SLOW on his return. MEMO TO ANYONE WHO KNOWS: What happened to the speedy, krazy Quinton Jones—the weapon?
Okay, folks, that was a HUGE mistake by Z. We are breaking down. Zagco is just massively disappointed in what is going on right now. So sudden. So terrible. So—shall we say it—Georgia-esque!!!
Now, just when things looked up, Mr. Rabb—a wide open Mr. Rabb, drops a nice pass from Z. So we punt, and once again OU has good field position.
Man, Zagco sure wishes he was on the sidelines, because if he was he'd be yelling and screaming and stomping all over the place! We have GOT to get our heads back on top of our bodies instead of up our butts. Alas, instead we give up a wide freakin' open pass to Julio Iglasias. As it stands, OU is driving for a score that would put them right back in the game, ONLY because of our own ineptitude!!! Patrick runs right up the middle—HUGE hole! Zagco's telling you guys, we are hurting!!! This is shaping up to be a meltdown that could be even more catastrophic to the gentle psyches of Bronco Nation!!!!!
Alas, we fight back!
A sack! Can you believe it?!?
A freakin' sack. Reminds
Zagco of the
Crap! Zagco still has not eaten a damn thing. The good news, though, is that his pants feel looser, which is always a great feeling!
9:35: Fourth Quarter
Three stories in the game so
far: (1) Drisan James' play; (2)
Marty Tadman's play; and (3)
I liked that run by Ian.
Seems like Ian has been quite for awhile.
We've really been throwing the ball a lot.
Ian breaks another one! Wow!
Our FIRST first down in the second half!
That tells another story:
Oh God! They are talking about Ian crocheting. Well, at least they've moved on from constantly talking about Z being a potato farmer.
Well, that was an AWESOME tackle by Rufus Alexander. Normally, Z seems to at least get to the side of his tackler, but that hit was square on and showed no uncertainty or hesitancy whatsoever. Mr. Rufus Alexander is the real deal.
Now, we have OU backed up on their 5 yard line. Zagco hates to say it, but our defense is going to have to once again bail out our offense, which again screwed up a decent looking series with a silly lateral pass that lost yardage. Who called that? Crappy call. Boo.
Seriously, listen to this: The wife made some popcorn, and the girls are eating it but will NOT bring Zagco a bowl….
Nice defense by GA! Here's that weird playcalling thing…. It fails. Did anyone notice how our defensive lineman stayed in a line until late in the play, as if to hide their scheme….
Good job! Nice tackle and little return by Marty Tadman, and great tackle by OU.
Alright, for like the fourth time or something: HERE IS OUR OPPORTUNITY. Will we screw it up again?
Update: Zagco's youngest daughter just brought him a bowl of popcorn. It's always the young ones that come through for you. The ladies get so jaded when they get older….
Nice run by Ian! Nice run again! Nice run again!!! "What a delightful kid Ian Johnson is," said the television announcer. "Delightful." Nice.
CRAP! Fumble! That one has been coming. He does not go down easy, and Rufus Alexander is a playmaker who exploits one of Ian's strengths, like a Judo master. Truth be told, Zagco's been worried about that very thing happening for awhile. It's not Ian's fault—it was a great play. However, Ian is going to have to always be aware that his ability to stay on his feet could be exploited by great players like Rufus Alexander. You're still the man, Ian!
In addition to throwing a lot to the right side, Zagco has noticed that OU has done a lot of throwing to the flat, or a screen, to the right. They try a deep one to the left on a post route—another thing Zagco thinks will happen again. OU throws right and goes deep left to the post.
Finally, we get a break on a punt, having it roll into the endzone! Zagco was beginning to think that punts could hit in the middle of the field at the half yard line and then bounce directly to the sideline or directly into an unaware Bronco player. Seriously. Sometimes weird crap happens all the time.
Once again, having failed again and again to take advantage of opportunities to ice the game, we find ourselves with the ball on our 20 yard line with an 8 point lead against the mighty Sooners and about 6 minutes left, i.e., another opportunity.
The television guys made a great point: In our last series, we were snapping the ball well before the 25 second clock wound down. That's a good observation. However, there is a counter argument to playing aggressive.
Zagco is somewhat puzzled by our failure to go back to those medium passing routes.
Why did Mr. Rabb just back out of bounds? He could have had a first down and kept the clock running by falling forward? Did he lose his balance? It looked like he just forgot what he was doing. We CANNOT MAKE MENTAL ERRORS! We've made enough already.
Alright, Ian finally broke one. Zagco told you so. He'll do it again if he gets 4 or 5 more carries. He's that good. Plus, if he gets an angle, he's gone. The TV guys say he's got 95 yards.
For the record, the KBOI radio feed is slightly ahead of the television. Zagco cannot listen to it, because to hear it before you see it is just WRONG. It's like going faster than the speed of light.
WOW! What just happened with OU's timeout? Did their DC call it? That assistant looks pretty dang embarrassed, and before cutting to commercial, Stoops looks confused and angry. Oh, I see: Stoops was trying to call a penalty on his own team! HAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA! That's like something the Vandals would do!
Z loses his footing. See, you CANNOT make funky cuts on that turf. Bad call. Dumb call. We should have run Ian to the right side.
Apparently, given that sack, we do not have anyone open. Seems like Z has been flummoxed by OU's pass coverage in the second half. He goes back, has good time, but over and over again in the second half cannot seem to find anyone in the medium range, which is where he has been looking.
OU is in hustle mode. All they need is a TD and conversion to tie it up. Sloppy tackling by our DBs. Two of our guys are limping. It's crazy! Scandrick looks like he's done. Frankly, Zagco believes that turf is really coming apart in the middle of the field. The thing is, we need to make a play, and playing a soft, prevent defense will only prevent us from winning the game.
Damn Julio Iglasias! 16 freakin' yard gain. We either have to pressure the quarterback or play tighter coverage. OU's quarterback is not exactly the most pinpoint passer—we just need to put ourselves in position to make a play!!! That's all!! COME ON GUYS!!
Unreal! Touchdown OU after we tipped it and nearly picked it off. The whole season comes down to this play! Stop it and we probably win. Fail and OU has ALL THE MOMENTUM going into overtime.
Tie game. We're screwed. We did it to ourselves. We have no one to blame but our own mistakes.
Now, we mope into kick return formation, having to field the ball properly and then run time out so we can get into overtime. Wow. How disappointing. We've had SO MANY chances in this game to ice it.
That damn Julio Iglasias!
Wow. Z just threw the pick 6.
It's all over.
What was that? Who was he throwing too? Okay, now Zagco sees it—but why throw that ball? It makes no sense to come across his body and the entire field to make that shallow throw—what does it get you even if it is caught? It's a serious brain fart at the worst possible time.
At one point not long ago, we were up 28-10 with an opportunity to basically ice the game. OU has scored 25 straight points. We are screwing ourselves….
Whatever happened to our kickoff return game? Remember when we were so dangerous? Now, it's like we don't WANT to return kicks. We go right up the gut and then slide into second base, which is usually right around the 20. Zagco does not get it, and he does not like it. Having a kickoff return game adds such a huge dimension to a team. Zagco is troubled by the turn our kickoff return game has taken this year. We need to fix that next year.
ZAGCO HAS NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE!!!! TAKE THAT WORLD! TAKE THAT MAN!!!!!!! For all the unreal mistakes we made all game long, the football gods bestow upon us some deserved good fortune!!!!!
Folks, this could go down in history as the GREATEST GAME OF ALL TIME AT ANY LEVEL OF FOOTBALL.
10:35 p.m.: Overtime
We win the toss again! Zagco likes the college style of overtime. It is far, far more interesting than the NFL style, which almost always results in the team that gets the first possession winning the game. The NFL needs to change that system. It sucks.
Here we are in overtime. Zagco
still maintains that
Yikes! Now Adrian Peterson finds his footing. Touchdown OU. Not good. Man. This sucks. OU keeps pulling rabbits out of its butt, when we're not doing it for them. Given our offensive woes since halftime, Zagco is not confident that we can move the ball. Zagco is concerned with our offensive playcalling, execution, and just the overall philosophy.
The first call was a rather interesting call, but it sure seemed to break down fast. Peretta bailed quick. Second play was interesting too, but OU is playing disciplined ball, probably fully aware that we're emptying the magazine. I like going to Shouman. He is playing SO strong lately. He can move people, and he is sure handed. Where's Ian?
Another weird, interesting call to Peretta. All of the sudden, Peretta factors in to the plays. Nice run by Ian, but a bit short. OU always seem to have lots of guys in the middle—we have not caught them with their pants down yet. Once again, Ian nearly loses the ball fighting for yardage, but his knee was clearly down. Zagco has no issues with Ian's resiliency running the ball—Zagco just worries that Ian needs to really remember that when he fights for yardage with his leverage and is basically stationary, the other team is going to be REALLY trying to knock the ball out of his hands.
Zagco does not think we will be able to get this first down up the middle. OU is too disciplined in the middle. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! Peretta finally gets his touchdown pass!!!!! WOW!!!!!! SHOUMAN IS A FREAKIN STUD! DUDE IS ALL HANDS!!!!!
Holy CRAP! We're all in! This is NUTZ! Zagco is crying again. He's crying like a baby. This game started out with Zagco in tears, and it will end with him in tears.
HOLY CRAPAPAPPAPA! ! ! Oh my
God!!!!!! It's over!!
IT WAS THE GERATEST FOOTBALL GAME OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!
NO WHERE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF FOOTBALL HAS ANYTHING SO INCREDIBLE AS THIS HAPPENED!
ZAGCO IS CRYING! HIS HEART IS RACING!!!!! HE CANNOT BREATHE. HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER ARE JUMPING AROUND SCREAMING!!!!! IT'S UNREAL!!!!!!
THIS HAS BEEN THE GREATEST THING
THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ZAGCO, TO
THANK YOU BRONCOS!
Après Game Thoughts
Zagco is NOT going to edit this, other than correcting really bad typos, so he apologizes for offending anyone, but the idea behind this column was to just stream the conscious and bare all. Hopefully, it records some key moments in the game, which is what Zagco hopes because he wants to be able to remember the emotions of the game, not just the actual plays from the game.
Seriously, this game surpasses the great, epic Miami Dolphins-San Diego Chargers triple overtime playoff game that is widely considered the greatest football game of all time. It does. Easily. Zagco says that having watched every second of that Dolphins-Chargers game so long ago, as a young Dolphins fan that had his heart broken but grew to deeply respect the Chargers. This game was a better game that that great game, and Zagco confidently, even with the benefit of some distance between now and the moment of magic.
Zagco would like to say two
things: First of all, Zagco has long
believed the old Miami Dolphins hook-and-ladder (not the wimpy
Anyone, what more can be said?
Well, Ian tops it off by asking a girlfriend—a cheerleader, of course—to marry him. Lucky bastard. Bet she gets a free beanie too!