After a brutal plane ride, followed by riding San Francisco's infamous BART thing which sounded like it was going to fall off the rails, finally making it to the hotel, eating some chow, and a hour wait on that Munie Train we finally got to the stadium.
Right as we were finishing preparing to get in the Navy Midshipmen came marching into the stadium, and they just happened to come marching towards us. Truly was an impressive sight as these young people came by and I couldn't help myself but to jump up on a bench and try and thank them all for their service to our country. These guys and gals were great! They wanted to take pictures with me, high 5, shake hands, and were just awesome. Of the whole SF experience I would have to rank this as #1. Many of these guys and gals will find themselves in harms way very soon and I wanted them to know how much New Mexico Lobo fans thank them.
Then into the bowels of SBC Park we went. I have to say SBC is a decent stadium for a baseball park, but this is football we went to go see. Football a game where fans paint up, stand up, cheer, get excited, scream, go nuts. Now everyone knows that we were going to go nuts, but what a surprise to see other members of The Red Menace find their way into the end zone and lo and behold Snake from Pit fame also ended up there. We were having a great time as the players walked in and out of the stadium from the dugout where we were behind. The Lobo players were as always friendly, smiling, and excited. I was pumped we were all pumped, this is football, football at its finest. Time to party!
Snake and Bandito (Jeez I'm speaking the 3rd person.)
The game started off just as all Lobo fans could have dreamed as Lobo QB Kole McKamey promptly took the Lobo offense in for a 17-yard touchdown strike to TE Logan Hall. It was a perfect drive. Pinpoint passing, clutch runs by Kole, and UNM easily moving the Navy defense around. Talk about going nuts! The Red Menace with Snake we were going crazy. This looked like it was going to be our day! We were nearly alone in the end zone but someone had found the time to contact the baseball security guards that we were being to loud and they asked us to tone it down. Huh?
Navy stormed right back and picked up a score tying the game up, but the Lobo offense was coming back on the field and they were primed. A quick strike to Hank Baskett and on a option play Kole pitched the ball to DonTrell Moore DonTrell never got a hold of the ball as Navy's Vaughn Kelly came in and met DonTrell's knee at the same moment as the pitch forcing a fumble. Navy recovered but more importantly DonTrell Moore was lying on the ground in agony clutching his knee. Lobo fans held their collective breath, but I think everyone knew that DonTrell was finished for the day.
The loss of DonTrell was like a haymaker in a heavyweight prizefight, it wasn't a knockout blow, but it definitely had the Lobo wobbly for a few minutes, as the whole team could be visibly checking the trainer's table as they worked on #22 and not watching the game. Navy quickly turned the turnover into another touchdown and the Lobo offense was back on the field. The show must go on and the Lobos started moving the ball with ease once again, when Kole threw an interception on the Navy 28. Navy took the ball and a quick play action pass found Cory Dryden behind the Lobo defense and him going 60+ yards for a touchdown. (On a personal note, I missed this play as SBC park security was hassling me about standing and cheering for my Lobos once again.)
The Lobos take the ensuing kickoff and Kole McKamey lead the Lobos on a nice 88 yard drive ending with a 4 yard Rodney Ferguson touchdown plunge. We were storming back! UNM wasn't going to roll over, and Kole McKamey was working on the best game of his young career.
Navy picked up another field goal and the Lobos with the ball went on the march. We were going nuts this was going to be a shoot out and Kole was at the helm when I got tugged on the shoulder…
I turned around and San Francisco police department wanted me to go with them. I was being escorted out of the building. Now I realize I may look kind of crazy painted up, but I'm no fool, so I went with them and explained myself but security boy at the stadium said I wasn't listening to him. That I kept standing up. I was like it's a football game man. I kept bending over during the play, so that the 5 Navy fans 10 rows up could see, but the media was also in the way in front of me so I had a right to see as well didn't I? Well security boy would have none of it and after being threatened with arrest at least 20 times from San Francisco's finest, I walked out of the stadium a dejected fan…
San Francisco can't handle The Red Menace!
I missed Kole's touchdown and all of halftime trying to lawyer myself back in the stadium, but security boy would have none of it and was told if I went back into the stadium I would be spending the night in a nice San Fran jail. Talk about BS. Talk about being singled out because I'm in a red wig and screaming. It was insane man so as I wandered out looking for a bar to when some Navy fan asked me, what are you doing out here? I told him I was tossed and the guy handed me his ticket and said, "Get back in there. You deserve to be in the game."
Superman takes care of his business in a phone booth. The Wig takes care of his in, well, a Donut Shop? I know, the jokes are coming to mind right now right? A big dude albeit currently shrinking dressed up in a big Red Afro, shoulder-ma-Pads, face painted, a cape recently tossed out of a ball game goes for a place to change and the only spot is Happy Donuts! The people at Happy Donuts were great giving me a rag and agreeing to hold onto my gear while I used my donated ticket to go back in. I figured the Barney Fife brigade wouldn't know the difference between me and The Red Wig so into the game I went and security be damned!
I watched as Navy scored another touchdown and as the Lobos valiantly on the legs and arm of Kole Mc Kamey tried to lead the comeback. I along with my Lobo brethren screamed when Josh Bazinet picked up a phantom pass-interference call that led to another Navy touchdown. Was stunned when it looked like DD Cox had smacked the pylon on 4th and 1 to give the Lobos a touchdown. The stupid official was knocked on his butt and missed the call but still got up and said no. Even though he was flat on the back when the play actually happened, and I along with my new found friends watched that grueling 26 play 14-minute drive that ended the game…
With :20 seconds left I ran to where I was originally "sitting", as the game was ending, and I wanted to thank the Lobos for a special year. What a moment as they were throwing their wristbands and gloves up to the Lobo fans that stayed and I tried to scream out every name of every player walking down. As fans we were hurting no doubt, but they were hurting, it was on their faces. I think fans tend to forget the hard work that these young men put in. As fans most don't recognize the blood, sweat, and tears that these guys have left in the weight rooms, classrooms, practice fields, and playing fields.
For the seniors it was their final game as a collegiate player and while many may felt bad that day and might this day I hope they can all look back at their time here at UNM and realize the significance of their careers to us here. These guys have built a tradition at UNM that will never end. These seniors are the original Red Menace seniors and while we can never be part of their "family/team", these guys have bonded with their fans like no other. So hold your heads up Lobos! You guys have done something never accomplished at UNM. You guys have built something that will last forever at UNM and this Lobo fan is proud of you and thanks you for helping our state and team out!
After the game and being once again rushed out the door by SBC security while we were trying to take pictures; we found ourselves where the players were loading up in the busses to go back to the hotel and yet another special moment for me seeing these guys, and how they responded to everything after the game. I'm sorry I'm just not a good enough writer to express my thoughts and emotions that were racing through my mind while I was down there shaking hands with these guys, talking with their parents, and just sharing a moment with these guys. They have represented New Mexico well and while I can't fully comprehend what its like for them not to have won this game, I thank them for letting me share a little in it. From the upbeat to the depressed I got to see and talk to many of these young men and the effect they have had on my life is amazing. I can guarantee those coming back that we will be back next year in full force once again cheering you guys on.
For the seniors what a great ride it has been for us, you have really gone out of your way to make The Red Menace be a part of your team, and I am still stunned and grateful. I nor the fans or here on the website will ever forget your accomplishments and help in building what we have here.
After last year's bowl game I had to leave, but staying where the players got out really personalized this loss for me this year and I want to thank all the players that did that for me. You guys are truly the best!
Things I liked
The emergence of Kole McKamey. A few months ago Coach Dodd said that to give Kole the whole playbook would bury him and that he had to be brought along at a certain pace. The past couple of games Kole has really stepped up and going into next season has firmly entrenched himself as the Lobo starter and future star.
Hank Baskett had some really great plays and I look forward to his senior season next year. Records could be shattered.
A Logan Hall sighting! Logan is healthy and Kole found him for the first touchdown. Definitely bodes well for next year.
The Lobos despite DonTrell injury and falling behind never gave up. They gave everything they had.
The Navy fans for the most part were really great. The Midshipmen walking by and having fun with them prior to the game was a very special moment for me.
Baz as the players were loading onto their bus coming over and asking why I was "getting jacked by the cops."
Meeting Hank Baskett's mom! What a great lady.
Talking with Ryan Cook's mother and father was great. These folks have always been special to us, and get ready, as "Little Cook" aka Eric Cook will be a Lobo next year as well! The Cook legacy continues at UNM! Eric said it best, "Next year let's go the Liberty bowl instead of this place."
Big C – thanks for coming up and shaking my hand man. You're right brother it has been great! Really great!
The Coulters! Friends for life these people. Don't want to get all choked up here, but there are sometimes people you meet in life that just touch you. That goes out of their way to make your feel special. That is what Kyle, Royce, Paula, and Chris have done for me and us at The Red Menace. You're the man Kyle! You are the freaking man!
Things I didn't like
Obviously DonTrell being injured has to be the worst of all possible things. We wish you well in your recovery and rehab DonTrell.
Our defense slipping and sliding Rocky said that Navy had a good offense and that their coach was a great play caller.
The penalties where always key. Just seemed we couldn't catch a break and the crucial penalties just killed the Lobos.
SBC park security and the jerks that run it, this is a football game you morons! People stand and cheer at a football game. Yes, we at The Red Menace take it to an extreme but it is all in good CLEAN fun!
Finally, I want to thank you guys/gals for sending us to San Francisco. It was truly a treat and an honor for Dom and myself and one that we will never forget! Your donations and love for this website and me personally makes me want to work that much harder. While there the players, you guys honor us with your hard work and play all season long and I guarantee you that we won't quit on you here! I guarantee you that we will be there for you!
As soon as I get a price on season tickets for the 2005 season we will start getting everything together. Please keep coming back to the website for all that information as well as breaking news, commentary, and support of the Lobos!