Tonight the University of New Mexico rapped up the 2004 football season during the banquet. If you haven't been to a football banquet you are truly missing out as it gives the fans an opportunity to not only thank the team for a wonderful year, but to say good bye to the seniors that have given so much of their time to the community to build it up.
I want to thank the Scott Fairhurst (hope I'm spelling his name right J) at Comcast for offering us a chance to move up from Bob Ueker seats up to their table, and what a move up it was as we found ourselves sitting with PK Katie Hnida and Deep Snapper Jon O'Brien.
Katie is a really a good person and is truly a Lobo fan. Her love for the University of New Mexico is beyond doubt. She is a wonderful person and I was happy to spend some time with her. She talked to me about the interview earlier this month on NBC and how she was a not really happy with the fact that they didn't devote enough time to how wonderful her life was here in the 505 and how special the coaches and players are here at UNM. She wanted me to thank each and every one of you out there for your support and especially those that kick it in the North End Zone. You know, us freaks that don the red wigs and paint our faces!
"I don't know if I told you this, but one of the reason I chose to try out at UNM was The Red Menace. You guys are what college football is all about; you make it fun to play for you. I don't know if you guys really know how much the players love you guys. The only thing I regret is that I never did the Lobo Leap. I went into The Red Menace, but never had you guys haul me up. I really wish I would have done that." –Katie Hnida
I don't want this to turn into a lets all break our arms as we pat ourselves on the back article, but we were there tonight and I want each and everyone of you that hangs out with The Red Menace or are thinking of joining our merry band of lunatics exactly what the players think about you. They all want the fans to know what you mean to them. Whether it was Katie sitting at our table talking to us, up on stage, or after the banquet.
One of the players that have always had The Red Menace's back is the big man in the trenches. "Big C" Claude Terrell as voted by the players was awarded the Chuck Cummings Memorial Award (morale and team spirit) and the Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award. While giving his acceptance speech Big C had this to say.
"When I first came to UNM I didn't really bleed the Cherry and Silver and wasn't sure if I really wanted to be a Lobo. Then my first game I came out of the tunnel and there was The Red Menace going crazy and it has been great ever since then."
Nothing but love from The Big Man!
Hank Baskett was awarded the Reese Hill Offensive MVP Award and during his speech said, the greatest moment this year was defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders and that once Zunker put the ball between sticks he was going crazy and ran laps around the stadium.
"They had to come pull me out of The Red Menace after that game, because I went in to live it up with our fans. I didn't want to leave, it was a personal game for me and it felt good to win."
After the banquet Coach Rodriguez came up and wanted me to say thank you to all the fans for doing what you do behind the goal post.
"You guys are sure making it easier to recruit on the west coast. Players and college football fans see and now know The Red Menace from our TV games, and want to play in front of The Red Menace."
It is working Lobo fans. The vision that we all had 4 years ago when this crazy idea started coming together is working. It is tradition! Tradition that we are building one Lobo fan at a time, and the players and coaches see it and feel it as well. So please tonight pat yourselves on the back, because you are making a difference, one that will last forever.
Speaking of making a difference The Rock closed out the night by listing the accomplishments of this year's senior class and what a list they are. Starting with not having a losing season in 4 years. The only Lobo teams in history to go to a bowl game 3 years in a row, the only MWC team to go to a bowl game 3 years in a row, the only Lobo football team to beat BYU in Provo 2 years in a row ever, and the most impressive? UNM along with Texas and Oklahoma are the only teams in the country to finish in the top 30 in overall defense the past 5 years!
The Rock went on to say:
"The days of teams marking UNM off of their
calendar as an easy win are over! We have built tradition here at UNM and now it
is time to grow it!"
"The days of teams marking UNM off of their calendar as an easy win are over! We have built tradition here at UNM and now it is time to grow it!"
The video highlight was great as well showing all of the great plays of the past year and oh how many there were.
Best catch was Hank Baskett going up between to BYU players to snare a TD from Kole Mc Kamey.
Best running play was Kole Mc Kamey's 80- yard touchdown run vs. Wyoming
Play of the year: Wes Zunker booting a 43-yard field goal to finally beat Texas Tech
2004 Award winners are as follows
Bill Brannin MVP: TB DonTrell Moore
I just want to let you all know that I will be back next year –DonTrell Moore
Col. H.J. Golightly Defensive MVP: LB Nick Speegle
Although I won't ever wear the uniform again, I will always be a Lobo in my heart
Reese Hill Offensive MVP: WR Hank Baskett
Chuck Cummings Memorial Award (morale and team spirit): OT Claude
Lobo Club Award (unselfish devotion to team): WR Martin Romero
Zia Award (top New Mexico player): LB Nick Speegle
Outstanding Offensive Lineman: OT Claude Terrell
Most Improved Player: CB Brandon Payne
Top Special Teams Player: LB Joe Selander
Top Offensive Scout: RB Paul Baker (Arlington, Texas)
Top Defensive Scout: LB Andres Madueno (Taos, N.M.)
Quick hits on recruiting
Yes there were recruits at tonight's banquet, unfortunately, NCAA rules don't allow media to speak with these recruits with a coach present and with the recruits hanging with coaches we were limited as to when we could speak with them. I did get a moment to speak with Demetrius McCray for a few seconds, and he said that he was enjoying his visit and that this was his first time outside of Florida. UNM is the second school that Demetrius has visited, as he did spend some time last week at Southern Florida.
Also present that I recognized where DL Phillip Harrison, OL Anthony Kilby, and OL Eric Cook.
We also learned that Conor Gillen's plane was delayed due to storms back east and that he missed the banquet, but is expected for his visit.
Red Menace Fan Appreciation Award
The Red Menace section in the north end zone was formed four years ago with the desire to bring passion to the stands at University Stadium for Lobo Football.
he intimidating atmosphere created by these rabid fans as made the stadium a true home-field advantage for the Lobos.
(When reading this MC Greg Remmington said, "Yeah they do!")
The Red Menace Fan Appreciation Award, as voted by the fans and operators of TheRedMenace.com, goes to the player who most inspires the north end zone fans, by being the hardest worker, most intense player whose tremendous heart can be seen beating through the cherry and silver uniform, game after game.
The 4th Annual "The Red Menace Fan Appreciation Award" goes to…Kyle Coulter.
I had a chance to speak with Kyle Coulter after the banquet and here is what he had to say.
Thank you so much for this honor, I am very proud to win it, because it says Fan Appreciation. That means so much to me that the fans recognized how I played. I knew 2 years ago that I really wanted to win this award, and it is really special to me.
TRM: Kyle, when we first opened TheRedMenace.com you were the first player that I interviewed. Can you tell us what has changed in those 4 years?
Gosh –I remember my freshman year before The Red Menace was formed what it was like here; it got loud, but not to loud. Then you guys got here with the expansion of the North end zone and I remember the first game out there it just blew me away. I couldn't believe how lout it got out there! It was fantastic and now attendance has grown every year and it is the greatest thing ever. It is so loud and I can't wait to be a part of it next year!
TRM: Kyle, at the beginning of this season you told me the defensive line was going to be good. You guys were being told you were to small or weren't good enough, yet you guys came out and proved all the naysayers wrong, what did you think about this year?
To tell you the truth us defensive linemen took offense to that. Somebody come out and tell us we aren't good enough, or big enough, and we can't do this or do that. They don't know what we do there and this year we came out just for us. We came out to prove we were better to the other team, but we had to come out and prove to the fans, everybody, and ourselves what we could do! I think it is great and shows the kind of attitude that we have on the defensive line.
TRM: What do you say to The Red Menace fans?
I love you guys!
Thank you so much for everything. Thank you for the award and the support and everything you've done it means so much… I can't even express to you what it's meant to me being a Lobo.
(Kyle being the guy that he is gave it his best shot and I think you all will enjoy this.)
I'm from the University of New Mexico, I'm a Lobo and that is because of you guys…
Thank you Kyle and thank you all Lobo player's, especially you seniors. You all have given so much to the fans and this state and we are proud of the way you have represented our state and school. I better stop writing now, as I'm getting a little mushy. These young men and Katie are the first team to play as freshman (RS) all the way to their senior year. When I think of The Red Menace I think of this class as they are the ones that have built this website and they are the ones that have built this tradition. I will miss you all and much love from the staff and fans of The Red Menace!