Poolside Ruminations on Season Opening Week

Gail Tate checks in with some random observations from the first full weekend of college football. Don't worry - she throws in a few rants as well...

Nothin' like some drinkable Montipulciano D'Abbruzzo in the afternoon to get me into an introspective, college-football kinda mood:

Fresno State's cultivation of a BIGTIMEFOOTBALL culture is paying off handsomely.  It's what the Valley Folk want and it's what they're a-gettin'.  Bulldogs out-hit, out-hustled, out-coached, out-smarted, out-quarterbacked a good, if not a great, Beav team Sunday night and Denny Erickson was just glad to get outta there alive, believe it. It coulda been worse, folks.  Mighta had him throwin’ back a few cocktails on the return flight. Fresno State? Best – BEST – in the West.  QB is a bona-fide Heisman candidate. Top- gun guy this weekend, no contest.  He should be on a billboard in Times Square, not Joey “Heatherton.”

TW won’t like to hear this but a loss to BC Saturday will BURY Stanford bedrock-deep in the category of Reasonably Respectable But Hopelessly Mediocre Squad Despite Coach Perennially “NFL-Bound.”  Losing to a middle-of-the-pack school from a conference with maybe two real teams in it this year is bad enough.  But when that conference (The Big Least) is located along the Atlantic Seaboard and has a school that’s ESPN’s farm team (Syracuse), it’s…it’s…it’s a game you better friggin’ win, is what it is, dudes.

Repeat: lose this game and your headed backwards down Gun-barrel at Squaw Valley.

Anyone still wondering if the TV bozos, like the second stringers doing play-by-play at the BC-WV game, treat Stanford football as a contradiction in terms had only to hear the pronunciation of Randy Fasani’s name: At least one bozo thinks that it rhymes with Graziani, as in Tony, as in Oregon, as in a long time ago.  Idiot.

Another reason why you gotta SMOKE these guys on Saturday.

Finally, these deep thoughts inspired during a recent Stanford Stadium walk-through –

Looking around the seismically-challenged infrastructure, with vintage graffiti like “Coolidge for President” and “Beatles 4-Ever” in the nether reaches of the timber beams, and then glancing around the in-house-outhouses where one can actually hear the rust that never sleeps, and finally musing on the shrinking picnic grounds and evermore draconian rules and regulations for the huddled masses yearning to find their creaky, vertebra-torturing seats, I drew the inevitable parallel:

Think of Ted Leland as the owner/operator of the only resort hotel of an isolated resort on which a predictable, captive market descends each year.  The customers love to hate it, and hate to love it.  But they come.  Carpets are so threadbare the ladies catch their heels on the snags. No water pressure, no laundry, staff is surly, furnishings are from garage sales and the food inedible.  Entertainment is some Albanian refugee spinning 45rpm vinyl and his mother playing the accordion.  Still they come. Year in.  Year out.  The hotel is a cud-munching bovine of cash.  With this scenario in mind, where on a list of priorities would you think the owner puts big-time capital improvement?

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