Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Quote of Day

"The organization approaches the decision of whether to serve alcohol on a game-by-game basis, with input from the NJSEA [New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority]. With the late start of Sunday's game, coupled with this being the final regular-season and final game at the stadium, we feel it is prudent not to serve alcohol."

This is probably a good thing. Maybe the reactions from the upper-deck Jets fans will be a little more restrained and a little less beer-fueled when they hear me cheering for Bengal (and Scarlet Knight) Brian Leonard at Giants Stadium on Sunday night.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I should apologize in advance for my actions this coming Sunday. . .

I'll be sitting way up under the press box for the last professional football game ever played at Giants Stadium on Sunday night. And most of the time (between shivers and the sound of my own teeth chattering) I'll be cheering for the gang in green to beat the team from Cincinnati with the tiger stripes on their helmets, but there will be one exception. If number 40 from the Bengals touches the ball, I'll be rooting for the visitors, even though number 40 usually only touches the ball in key third-down situations.
"I get pumped up when I get a first down," Leonard said. "To me, it is a touchdown. I see those sticks, and I feel like I've got to get past those sticks. And if I get past those sticks, guys seem get pretty pumped by it. It's my job; I've just got to make the extra effort to get it."
So, apologies in advance to any Jets fans sitting around me in the cold on Sunday night, but my loyalties to Brian Leonard run deeper than loyalties to any mere professional sports corporation, or its playoff aspirations.

Wear Red to the Game!

For sports bloggers who have considered e-suicide when the football season ends.

You have to admit that it's sort of cool that the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is crashing from overuse today, in this festive week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
You might have to wait until after the holidays to off your Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn selves.

Once a Scarlet Knight, Always a Scarlet Knight.

Congratulations to Ray Rice for his election to this year's Pro Bowl for his work with the Baltimore Ravens.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a video of Ray up in Toronto at the International Bowl during his last game wearing the R on his helmet.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Do you have a favorite memory of Rutgers Football in the naughties??

Is your favorite moment at R House in the naughties the predictable Pandemonium in Piscataway moment that followed the battle of the unbeaten Big East teams on November 9, 2006?
Or was your favorite Scarlet Knights' football memory that first bowl victory against Kansas State in Houston in December of that year? Or the respectable appearance they made against Arizona State in their first bowl appearance in decades a year earlier? Or the Savage to Brown miracle ending this year against UConn? Or Ray Rice's 280 yards in his last game in scarlet in the International Bowl? A specific moment of Brian Leonard's leaping or leadership? Or the upset of Michigan State? The hiring of Greg Schiano? Or some personal memory of Rutgers football in this pivotal decade without an agreed upon name that we have decided to call the naughties?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Beat Visitor dot com

Here's a little Christmas present from Beat Visitor dot com at the end of a 9-4 Scarlet Knights football season that many found disappointing. And could we even imagine the word "disappointing" appearing in conjunction with the numbers 9-4 even five years ago? Or at ANY point in the long history of Rutgers football? With that historical perspective of our current situation in mind, we thought you might enjoy a blast from the past. This article, "SHADES OF 1869: First intercollegiate football game is re-enacted at Princeton," from the November 4, 1946 issue of Life magazine shows in words and pictures a postwar (post World War II) crowd reenacting the postwar (post Civil War) birth of intercollegiate football between Rutgers and Princeton on the 77th anniversary of that first game in New Brunswick.
If you click the link, be sure to scroll down through the advertisements to see all the pictures on pages 101 through 104 (but don't ignore the ads either, especially those for Southern Pacific's fast 52-hour travel between Chicago and LA or for Ting, the "ALMOST INCREDIBLE NEW scientifically compounded treatment for SKIN ERUPTIONS").
Merry Christmas to the Scarlet Knights and to their fans.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Congratulations to the 2009 Kings of the Knights

Now that the Scarlet Knights have won their fourth straight bowl game after having zero previous bowl wins, it's hard to remember what a big deal it was when we sat in Houston and watched Greg Schiano, Brian Leonard, and Ray Rice raise the Texas Bowl trophy above their heads in Reliant Stadium. Congratulations to all the Rutgers football players and coaches for last night's convincing 45-24 victory over the Golden Knights of the University of Central Florida, but especially to the seniors who do not know what it is to not attend a post-season game, and who do not know what it is to lose one (we have to believe that our freshmen, especially Savage and Sanu, will have future years in which we can single them out for special recognition after bowl games).
We at Beat Visitor dot com would like to point out that we were very restrained in the buildup to last night's game, not even pointing out this very obvious anagrammatic school motto for the UCF Knights pictured to your left. As soon as we saw the the phrase "UCF Knights" in print for the first time, we knew that the first four letters would lead to promising anagrams and it took less than a minute more to come up with the obvious school motto, so obvious that it had to have been as purposeful as French Connection UK and their FCUK shirts. It's a clever play for the University of Central Florida to subliminally attract prospective high school seniors and put their school into the running to take the official #1 party school honor away from West Virginia and Penn State.
Finally, until the Black Knights of West Point or the Golden Knights of Disney World take it away from us, the Scarlet Knights are the first undisputed Kings of the college football Knights. Where's our crown?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I don't know if I'm more upset about the late bait 'n' switch or the apostrophe abuse in the B'O'B Bowl.

As far as I can tell from my five minutes of arduous internet research, the St. Petersburg Bowl has just officially named itself after a food franchise. I had never heard of this roadside eatery and it doesn't exist in New Jersey or most of the Northeast, but it seems to be extremely popular in the states that are featured in US obesity maps.

The style guide of Beat Visitor dot com assiduously avoids naming any corporate sponsors (e.g., we say Muffler Bowl of Charlotte, Pizza Bowl of Birmingham, etc.), but I feel like I have to mention "Beef 'O' Brady's" by name just this once in order to ask, "What the fuck is going on with the apostrophes and spacing around the O?" If it's the beef restaurant of a man named O'Brady, then there shouldn't be a space after the O'. If it's the slaughtered-cow bistro of a man named Brady and the o' is a contraction of of, then the space between o' and Brady is correct, but I can't think of a single reason (other than illiteracy) for an apostrophe before and after the 'O'. Can someone please enlighten me? (On their website they also use the superfluous plural apostrophe -- "Today there are Beef's [sic] popping up all over the country." -- so I'm going with the initial illiteracy theory until convinced otherwise.)

The full name of this fast-food franchise will never be mentioned again in this blog. Maybe the St. Petersburg Bowl will have to become the B'O'B Bowl, or maybe we can use an anagram of the franchise name and make it the "Obey Bad Refs" Bowl. In any case, it sucks. The only thing that the St. Petersburg Bowl had going for it was that it was not sponsored. To add a cheesy name less than two weeks before the game takes place seems especially sleazy.

Is it too late to switch with USF and go back to the International Bowl?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is There a Special Award for Becoming King of the Knights?

The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers have already defeated the Black Knights of West Point on the gridiron earlier this fall and now they will have the chance to beat the Golden Knights of University of Central Florida in less than two weeks.
Is this the first time in college football history that a team has had the opportunity to become the undisputed King of the Knights? Is there a special trophy or sword that goes with the honor? Something other than being crowned the football champions of St. Petersburg?
Do they at least have a mounted mascot with whom our Knight can joust on the sidelines?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

25 Football Teams for whom I have never cheered

Here's my last pre-bowl BlogPoll ballot of 2009. As always, you can review my half-assed rough-draft rationalizations for these choices by clicking on the thumbnail illustration to your right.

There was some anticipation on my part of being able to add the one team that I do care about, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, to this ballot again after their victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers yesterday, but . . . well, you know.

So here's a list of 25 football teams I don't really care about.

1 Alabama 2
2 Texas 1
3 Cincinnati 1
4 TCU 1
5 Boise State 1
6 Florida 4
7 Ohio State
8 Oregon
9 Iowa
10 Penn State
11 Georgia Tech 1
12 Pittsburgh 1
13 Virginia Tech
14 LSU 1
15 Brigham Young 1
16 Miami (Florida) 1
17 West Virginia 4
18 Oregon State 4
19 Utah 3
20 Oklahoma State 4
21 Nebraska 2
22 Stanford
23 Central Michigan 2
24 Wisconsin
25 Houston 6
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Southern Cal (#18), California (#20).

I don't know what to say . . .

I'm finally dry enough, almost 24 hours after the event, to write a few words about yesterday's 24-21 loss to the Mountaineers of West Virginia University on the last day of the year at Rutgers Stadium. Though I haven't read anything online since leaving the parking lot yesterday afternoon, I imagine that there have been a lot of words written about the number of dropped passes, a key missed field goal, underthrown passes, the defense's early porousness, the inexplicable coaching decisions at the very end of the first half, and the effect of the cold, rain and snow on all of the above.

I'll comment on something I know more about, the effect of the cold, rain and snow on the fans around me. The people who stayed until the end of the game (or at least until West Virginia's last first down with less than a minute left) in Section 123 were loud and standing throughout (as if it were possible to sit on cold wet aluminum for one second more as the wet snowflakes fell) and there was even good-natured shouting at those in blue and gold (and a little late-game pushing and shoving), but the number of no-shows, and large number of people who left during the second quarter, and at halftime, was inexcusable. If you buy tickets next year, consider yourself obligated to at least make it to the beginning of the fourth quarter. This wasn't a blowout like the loss to the Mountaineers the last time they visited in atrocious weather; this was a THREE-POINT loss. There's no honor in a close loss to these hicks for the umpteenth straight year, but this game was close, and I put the loss squarely on the shoulders of my fellow season ticket holders and students who didn't show up or left early. If you had stayed and screamed in that final quarter, it would have carried our boys to victory. Period.
Those of you who sought warmth and shelter probably aren't enough of a Rutgers football fan to read Rutgers football blogs either, but if you can't show up for a WESTFUCKINGVIRGINIA game, you probably shouldn't bother to show up at all. Wait until the BCS game is over and then transfer your fair-weather loyalties to the Crimson Tide or those beef cattle with the deformed horns from Texas.
Video Addendum: I got at least one response on Twitter pointing out that the fan exodus wasn't quite as bad as I had painted it up above.
Though the following scan of Rutgers Stadium shot during the Lil Jovi interlude isn't the best video in the world, it does show how many empty seats there were at this sold-out game at the beginning of the fourth quarter (except, of course, in that pie slice next to the student section filled with Mountaineer supporters):

Friday, December 4, 2009

This is my only piece of advice for the Scarlet Knights going into tomorrow's game.

I only have one piece of advice for the Scarlet Knights for tomorrow's game, the biggest of the year. Don't wear the black uniforms that made their only appearance in the rain at the last infamous visit of the Mountaineers to R House in 2007. I swear. I don't think I'll be able to restrain myself from booing if I see these things on our home field again.