Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knights in Scarlet Armor salute Rutgers Women's Basketball

In an article in yesterday's online Star-Ledger that was mostly about Brian Leonard's visit to Spring Practice, there was also this note about, and quotation from, a HEALTHY Tiquan Underwood:

Starting wide receiver Tiquan Underwood knows exactly what he will be doing Sunday night at 7 -- watching the Rutgers women take on LSU in the national semifinals.

Underwood is among a handful of football players who were regulars at Rutgers women's home games this season.

"I think I missed one or two," he said. "A bunch of us always found ways to work the games. We'd carry around the TV cables or help wherever we could. There was no way in December I thought they would be where they are now. It's really special what they're doing. It's great for them and it's great for the university."

If I had cable TV (maybe I'll write more about that in upcoming entries), I'd be watching the women too. With their consistent appearances in the national rankings, their Final Four appearances, and their National Championship in 1982 (right before the NCAA took over from the AIAW), the Rutgers women's basketball team is the perfect role model for our recently resurgent Knights in Scarlet Armor! Maybe we should start referring to Greg Schiano the C. Vivian Stringer of Football as well the Joe Paterno of New Jersey.

Congratulations Women for making the Final Four!
And Good Luck in Cleveland!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"I wasn't yelling Boo, I was yelling JA-bu!"

The heading of this article shouldn't need any explanation for anyone who witnessed one of Mike Teel's less impressive passing performances at the Stadium during his first two years wearing Scarlet. Despite his stellar performance in Rutgers' most recent game (see illustration and click to enlarge & read the front page), there may be days in his last two years on the banks of the Raritan when some of us in the stands may again express a momentary preference to see Jabu Lovelace under center.

There's a great piece by Joe Queenan on the Op-Ed page of this morning's New York Times entitled Life in the Mean Seats; it has nothing to do with Mike Teel or Jabu Lovelace, but a lot to say about the joys of booing and the fact that Washington state is considering a ban on booing (offensive chants, homemade signs, and more) at scholastic sporting events. And if this takes off on the high school level, what's next? The RU student section won't be able to yell "SUCKS!" after each opposing student-athlete's name is announced over the PA? is clear that the movement is fast infiltrating the zeitgeist. First, no booing high school teams. Then no booing the Fighting Irish. Before you know it, Mets fans will be getting ejected from their own stadium for booing the Yankees. And if Mets fans can’t boo the despicable Yankees, why go on living?

Personally, I'm not a big fan of booing amateur players (I prefer making my point with sarcastic cheering and enthusiastic applause for their dropped passes and missed extra points), but well-paid opposing coaches and anyone in a striped shirt who makes an unfavorable holding call needs to be prepared for the inevitable chorus of boos and worse (and, being, like Joe Queenan, a fellow native of the City of Brotherly Love, I'd like to ask that they please keep Santa Claus out of R house; I might not be able to control myself).

(And the Rutgers Women play #1 Duke in less than an hour in their Sweet Sixteen game. If they win, will they be on their way to becoming the first Rutgers team to win an NCAA Championship?)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Jokes for 2007's First Visitor to Rutgers Stadium

Click Here for the Buffalo Bulls jokes (mostly tired, mostly old, but jokes that should be part of any American's general joke literacy, even if they're not always in the best taste).

And Click Here for the Buffalo Bulls Official Football website (because it's never too early to start getting prepared for the first game of the season in R House on Thursday, August 30th).

AND, congratulations to the Rutgers Women (who are often spotted as spirited spectators at the Stadium in football season) for winning the Big East tournament -- and to do it by beating Connecticut (ranked 2/3). Good Luck in the NCAA tournament! You're peaking at the right time of year.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Another First for Fans of the Knights: Watching the Preseason Polls

There was absolutely no dissent after the Scarlet Knights' Bowl win in Houston. Every final poll issued after the dust from the bowls had settled was unanimous in ranking our boys number 12 in the country, finishing ahead of perennial powers and preseason favorites like Texas and Notre Dame. None of those major polls (or any of the preseason publications) had the psychic abilities to place Rutgers in their 2006 preseason top 25.

This year, of course, is different. Rutgers is ranked from #13 to #21 in the three 2007 preseason polls compiled on Wikipedia's 2007 rankings page so far. They are also #15 in this list from Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline that includes four Big East teams in the top 25 (with South Florida usurping the space usually reserved for unranked Florida State and Miami).

Is 2007 going to be a great year, or what?

Friday, March 2, 2007

This Blog May Be New, But I'm Not a Bandwagoneer (not that that's a bad thing)

When the picture of my son was taken on Halloween of 1998 after a Rutgers victory over Temple (21-10), I had already been watching games at the Stadium since I started at Rutgers College 25 years earlier.
There are now plenty of complaints about rich bandwagoneers grabbing the best seats and closest parking lots with large contributions. I find it hard to complain about people who are willingly donating the money that will help to keep my beloved Knights at the level they reached in 2006 -- and keep Greg Schiano on his path to becoming the Joe Paterno of the Garden State.

I'll gladly continue to tailgate miles away and take the shuttle bus from the RAC in order to see the quality of football I've seen over the last couple of seasons. I don't see any point in complaining about parking spaces or crowds or traffic or newcomers. We're not going to continue selling out the Stadium game after game without quite a few "bandwagoneers". Remember days (like the one pictured above) when the Stadium was silent as the band played On the Banks of the Old Raritan toward gleaming (and very empty) aluminum benches? Could we then imagine a day like the last home game of the 2006 season against Syracuse when NO ONE left the Stadium even though the result of the game was never in doubt? Could we then imagine that the highlight of our day would be a full-throated singing of the Alma Mater and watching Brian Leonard lead the band with the game ball in one hand and the knight's sword in the other?

If I weren't already bleeding Scarlet, this is a bandwagon I'd be glad to jump on.

Everyone's welcome in R House!