Friday, September 12, 2014

Miamisburg 45 Troy 14

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Miamisburg Vikings
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Gary and Nikki

Read my thoughts here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bowling Green 48 VMI 7

College Football
Home Team:
 Bowling Green Falcons
Visiting Team: VMI Keydets
Venue: Doyt Perry Stadium
Game Time: 3:30 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Brandi

Game Recap | Box Score

There was a time--granted, it was mostly time spent living in Bowling Green, but not entirely--when I rarely missed a BG football game. That being the case, it's a little hard to believe that this was my first time back at Doyt Perry Stadium since two games (including the Boise State game) in 2009.

Really, it was just luck that we were able to come to this one. We came to northern Ohio last night for Brandi's alumni cheerleader night at Clyde High School. When I saw that BG's home opener was today, their first game at the Doyt under new coach Dino Babers and his "Falcon Fast" philosophy, I grabbed some tickets so we could be there to see it in person.

Now, I travel to Toledo at least once a month for work, so I drop into BG from time to time, but it had been a while since Brandi had been in town or on campus. That being the case, we decided to make a day of it, and it was awesome (more or less--more on that later). We came into town around noon and scoured around for a parking spot--which, between the game, the Black Swamp Arts Festival going on downtown, and a bunch of other events happening on campus, was harder than it sounds. We found one partway between campus and downtown and hoofed it over to Mr. Spots for a Philly cheesesteak lunch. It was awesome as usual, a literal taste of the days when we lived in BG.

From there it was back to campus, where we stopped at the Union to browse around the bookstore for a while. Then we meandered through campus, checking out old haunts and new buildings, on our way over to the stadium for the game. We had to venture over to the east side to pick up our tickets at will call, which took no time at all, and then we were finally in the stadium for the first time in five years. The Doyt is now one of the few college football stadiums to offer beer, so we grabbed a couple and headed up to our seats.

It's kind of funny, given how much I love going to Troy games, but I had actually forgotten how much I love going to BG games. The sheer spectacle of a college football game really makes the trip worthwhile, whatever the outcome of the game may be. It was a beautiful day, and we had so much fun being on campus and reliving old memories, and when the band took the field to play the alma mater, I found myself momentarily overwhelmed. That was followed by the national anthem and a flyover by a WWII-era bomber, which was really cool.

And then there was the game. After much hype, I finally got to see "Falcon Fast" in action...and I loved it. This is the way football should be played. Run a play, line up, snap the ball, run another play. It's awesome. It was also interesting to see James Knapke in action, starting at quarterback for the first time in place of Matt Johnson, who injured his hip in the first game at WKU and is likely out for the season. Knapke didn't need to do much, as the running game was in fine form and VMI was obviously overmatched from the start, but I thought he looked pretty good. He'll get a much stiffer test next week when the Indiana Hoosiers come to town.

Then, as the third quarter was winding down, this happened.

The truly startling thing, for me, was just that I had never seen anything like this from a BG fan before. I know all fan bases contain all types of fans, but in all my years of going to games, this was honestly the first time I had seen such jackassery from a BG fan. So that was incredibly disappointing, and we ended up leaving early because of it (I told Brandi later that I would have rather just found another place to sit--there were plenty of open areas by then), but the game was well in hand, so it was all good.

And aside from that, it really was an awesome day. Hopefully it won't be another five years before we make it back again.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Clyde 32 Eastwood 22

High School Football
Home Team:
 Clyde Fliers
Visiting Team: Eastwood Eagles
Venue: Robert J. Bishop, Jr. Stadium (Piqua, OH)
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Brandi, Steve, Mary Beth

Obviously, this was not the Troy game. The Trojans played in Cincinnati this evening; instead of heading south for that game, Brandi and I made the trek north for this game instead. Clyde is her alma mater, and they invited the cheerleading alumni to come cheer at the game. It was pretty cool to see her in her cheerleader mode, and I think she had a pretty good time, so it was worth it.

We got lucky to get the game in. There were some storms in the area that caused quite a few other games to be suspended. We did get rained on a little bit before the game started, but after that the only weather issue we had to deal with was the sheer mugginess of the evening.

And it turned out to be a pretty good game. The ol' alma mater prevailed, which is always nice. Of course, Brandi wasn't there to see it--her cheerleading duties over at halftime, she and Mary Beth left about midway through the third quarter to escape the humidity. Steve and I stuck it out, as the outcome wasn't certain until close to the end. It looked in the second quarter like it was going to turn in the shootout, as both teams traded quick-strike scores to close the half. But Clyde's defense really tightened up in the second half, and they added a TD late in the fourth quarter to salt it away.

I was pretty impressed with Clyde overall. Good team. Their quarterback was really solid. He made some good throws, scrambled some to get out of trouble, and did everything he needed to do. He also serves as the team's kicker, and I told Brandi, if I was a college scout I would have offered him a scholarship to kick for my team based solely on what I saw in this one game. Big leg. He did miss a long field goal, but it was long enough, just wide, and the fact that they even tried it says a lot to me. I was also impressed by the way their defense played in the second half, really controlling Eastwood's offense after getting burned by a couple of long runs in the first half.

Next week we're back to our regularly scheduled Trojan programming. Just like Week 1, I'll be at Troy Memorial Stadium as the 2-0 Miamisburg Vikings roll into town, and the Trojans will look to get into the win column for the first time.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chaminade-Julienne 42 Troy 7

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Chaminade-Julienne Eagles
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blackhawks 4 Blue Jackets 3

NHL Hockey
Home Team:
Columbus Blue Jackets
Visiting Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Venue: Nationwide Arena (Section 205)
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Brandi, Shawn (sort of)
Official Recap


When I think of my time as a sports fan, I mostly trace it back to when I was about nine years old and started getting into baseball; my fandom has expanded since then to include both football and basketball. In truth, though, it goes back further than that. When I was a kid, there was a semi-pro hockey team called the Troy Sabres (later to become the Miami Valley Sabres) that played in my hometown, and I went to most of the home games with my Uncle Clarence and Aunt Lou and my cousin Rachel. Man, I loved going to those games. Even now, all these years later, I can still name several players from those teams, and (renovations aside), I could walk into Hobart Arena right now and walk directly to the seats Rachel and I always used to sit in. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there are still Sabres souvenirs (pucks, buttons, programs, etc.) floating around somewhere at my parents house.

Unfortunately, the Sabres dissolved after the 1988-89 season, and without a team to go see each weekend, my interest in hockey waned. I went to a few games over the years, for the ECHL Dayton Bombers (now defunct as well), the BGSU Falcons when I was in school there, and the Detroit Red Wings when I lived in the Toledo area, but none of them captured my attention the way the Sabres did when I was a kid (although I do wish now that I had gone to more BG games when I had the opportunity).

So that's where I've stood on hockey for a long time. Anytime I thought about it, I had a ton of residual affection from such great times as a kid, but no current connection. Then Brandi and I moved to Columbus a couple of months ago, which of course is where Ohio State was located. I have a well-known ambivalence toward the Buckeyes, so, looking for another sports-related way to embrace our new locale, I turned to the Blue Jackets. Brandi went with me to a Red Wings playoff game several years ago and had a blast, so it was easy to sell her on the idea. We caught a couple of their games on TV, and when we found out our buddy Shawn, a big Blackhawks fan, was coming into town for this game, we decided to grab some tickets and check it out as well.

And boy, did we have fun. The atmosphere was awesome. We were pretty high up but had a great view of the ice. The only thing that sucked, of course, was that the Blue Jackets lost. And actually, not just that they lost, but the way that they lost--just as it looked like we were in for some overtime action, the Blackhawks put the puck in the net with just 3.9 seconds left to win 4-3. It was rough, after such a great and exciting game, to watch them lose like that with almost no chance to come back and tie it up before the clock ran down.

Other than that, it was a blast. There was a ton of action in the game, and even a little bit of fighting (which is what Brandi likes best). The Jackets were up 2-1 at that point, and I was just about to text Shawn that his guy got beat up when the Blackhawks scored to tie it up. I couldn't exactly give crap about it at that point. Brandi and I even managed to make it to a local hotspot, the Three-Legged Mare, just ahead of the rush and in time to score a couple of seats at the bar. We had a couple of drinks there and a couple more at the piano bar next door before catching a cab home and calling it a night.

So now I've got a team in Columbus I can cheer for. Now that I've been to a home game, I finally feel like a Columbus resident.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Piqua 33 Troy 27

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Piqua Indians
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Gary, Nikki

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Troy 14 Greenville 10

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Greenville Green Wave
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Gary, Nikki

Read my thoughts here.