Happy Happy Appy

September10/ 2007

They tore down the goalposts at Kidd Brewer Field in Boone on Saturday afternoon but the Mountaineer players didn’t see it …. They were at “The Big House” in Ann Arbor….. If you follow college football at all you’ve heard the shocker – Appalachian State 34 – Michigan 32 …. Somewhere Fielding Yost and Gerald Ford are saying “Appa Who ???”….. So many sidebars to this one. …. My favorite involves two friends Charlie Cobb and Norwood Teague.  ….. Yes, BobLee covers the rest of Opening Day too.

Do you remember a certain 2nd round March Madness upset involving a Virginia “alphabet school” and a vaunted Triangle area hoop juggernaut?  I haven’t asked him but I’ll bet one of the congrats that VCU AD Norwood “Phineus” Teague received was from his long time professional colleague Charlie Cobb.  I betcha Norwood returned the courtesy yesterday.

Charlie and Norwood were competing Sports Marketing Directors for NCSU and UNC respectively just 3-4 years ago.  Unlike teeth-gritting spittle spewing fans, sports administrators, for the most part are a band of brothers.  They share info that is not proprietary and meet socially to commiserate over the job frustrations they have in common.  It is my pleasure to know both gentlemen.

Charlie grabbed his brass ring first getting the App State AD job three years ago.  Phineus got his turn two years ago when Virginia Commonwealth came a callin’ for a new AD.  Two “Hail fellows well met” following parallel career courses but out of the spotlight of “Big Time College Sports”.

I admit I worried about my buddy Phineus when he left all his old frat pals and moi and the pizzazz of Tar Heel sports for “some commuter school somewhere in Virginia” until we had a long lunch last Christmas.  Norwood was positively “giddy” over his situation in Richmond.  I can’t imagine he would be any happier if he learned that Heather Locklear, Jessica Alba and Kirsten Dunst were having a Hottie Deathmatch to see who would be his prom date.  And this was before his VCU Rams laid a national spotlight whuppin’ on a certain buncha Blue Devils last Fall.  I watched Norwood running around that arena floor after the big win “looking for somebody to hug”.  I fired off one of 100s of “attaboys” he received from pals that night.

Meanwhile Charlie was doing just fine up in Watauga County.  Winning back-to-back National Championships in Division ll is a resume highlight even if the “big schools” back in the Piedmont look down their noses and say harrumph …. small colleges.  Being a big fish in a small pond can be / is quite a fine situation thank you very much.  But Charlie …. Why schedule Michigan in “the Big House” for goodness sakes?  Does Appy need a big human sacrifice paycheck THAT BAD?

I doubt Charlie will ever say he thought his “Neers” had a chance yesterday.  Charlie and the hardy band of ‘neer fans who traveled to Ann Arbor had to be repeating such mantras as “hope no one gets hurt” and “a chance to play in a historic venue” and “keep it close for a few quarters”.  But no one told Coach Jerry Moore and his staff and “small college players” that had spurned walk-on opportunities to “big schools”.

109,218 screamin’ Wolverines and Hail To The Victors Valiant blaring as Coach Moore’s bunch of Rudys from Boone took the field ….. “Goosebump City”.  There ain’t 109,218 humans within 75 miles of Boone even counting the relocated Yankees and assorted Eric Rudolphs hiding up da hollows.

I checked that App State roster.  Don’t think these were scrawny little barefooted hillbillies.  There are a buncha “300 lb big-uns” and “fleet foots” and football savvy kids from all across North Carolina and surrounding states.  …. And Coach Jerry Moore.

Dickie Baddour and Lee Fowler looked for “CEO-skills” in their new coaches.  Butch and TO’B manage million dollar budget and large staffs and national recruiting networks.  Coach Jerry Moore is “just a football coach”.  Some Texas high school coaches have bigger operations than Coach Jerry Moore.  “Just a football coach” like Marcus Welby was “just a family doctor” and not Chief of Surgery at Mount Sinai.  Like a storefront “John Grisham” lawyer who takes any case who walks in his door versus a fancy “big firm” litigator who runs a credit check on you before he starts the meter running.

I bet when Coach Moore won that first National Championship, Charlie splurged and bought him a new whistle and a new pair of Riddell ripple-soled coaching shoes.  When they won the second one he bought new whistles for the whole staff.  And I bet Coach Moore said “this really isn’t necessary, Charlie.  The old whistles still work just fine.”

   Jerry Moore has been around “Big Time Football” in his long career.  With “names” like Tom Osbourne and Hayden Fry.  Like Sheriff Taylor he’s not awed by fancy suits and fru-fru.  He’s simply “a good man” who found everything he ever dreamed of in a football-sense up in Boone ….. and Boone found everything they ever dreamed of in Jerry Moore. …… Good Guys Win !!!  Good Guys Win !!!!

Yes, I’m small timing App State just a tad but not when you compare their program to “mighty mighty Michigan”.

Lloyd Carr doesn’t send his secretary to Cosco when they need doughnuts for the staff meeting.  Hell, he probably flies in Wolfgang Puck to bake’em fresh on sight.  Of course when the sun came up in Ann Arbor on Sunday, assuming it did indeed come up Sunday morning, Coach Carr’s seat may be hot enough to fry an egg on.

I hear the entire state of Ohio especially around Columbus is laughing so hard even Ol’ Woody Hayes is smiling in his grave.  All of us who have been around sports any length of time have experienced “the morning after …” a heart-breaking loss and a BIG WIN.   There is universal agreement that the latter is much much better.

“Hail Hail to Michigan, Champions Of The West” ….. but not Western North Carolina.  That title belongs to Charlie Cobb, Jerry Moore and a bunch of “gotta believe” kids who will be having reunions every few years for the next fifty to relive the glorious day they “won that game in The Big House”.

“Hi-Hi-y-ike-us ….  Nobody like us …. We are the mountaineers, mountaineers, mountaineers.”

Meanwhile over in Hickory a bunch of Lenoir Rhyne Bears are dreaming their own “gotta believe” dreams about next week.  Yep, they travel all the way to Boone and to Kidd Brewer Field to take on The Mighty Mountaineeers.  GAWD I do love College Football.  

The shocker was in “The Big House” but from Sea To Shining Sea the 2007 College Football Season kicked off from the 30 yard line yesterday.   By the way, I do like that new kick-off rule.  Not that “touchbacks” are not thrilling (!!) but call me old-fashioned …. I enjoy kick-off returns.

Other than Michigan, most powerhouses feasted on traditional early season whozits brought in as sacrificial lambs for the juggernauts to play with like housecats batting around dust bunnies.

Over in “THE most beautiful stadium in Orange County” The Butch Era and T. J. Yates’ career got off to a quite fine start indeed.  My first thought as T.J.’s first college pass resulted in a quick six on his third snap from center was “take a deep bow, wave to the crowd, walk thru the tunnel and just disappear with THE best QB rating in NCAA history”.

But that wouldn’t do.  Ya see that damn Dickie Baddour had ordered a messa fireworks and it’s not like he could use’em for one of Ol’ Roy’s games.  By the half, the new LED scoreboards were well worn and good old Tar Heel fans, true to form, were complaining about “all the smoke” from the touchdown fireworks.  

BobLee figured out Dickie’s latest sinister plot.  The upcoming East End Expansion is going to necessitate the “cutting of a few pine trees” YIKES and DOUBLE YIKES !!!  The sound of a chain saw on the UNC campus would be sure to bring out every environmental goofball within three counties and maybe a few from Berkeley.  So The Dickster is counting on those fireworks igniting a few of those pesky Loblollys and saving him from being torched again …. at least for this perceived offense.

The new LED boards are snazzy BUT the down & distance numbers are “line seven on the eye chart”.  I quit about “line 4” over ten years ago.  I’m sure the 20/20 crowd enjoys them.

To my special BobLeeBuddy on the 4th floor of KFC ….. The Old Well Walk was “Headphone free”.  You rock PH!

The Heels thumped Dolly Madison or Billy Madison or Guy Madison or whoever.  Any Tar Heel fan not satisfied with the win should call Ann Arbor and see if they will switch with us.

Over to “The Carter” the red-vested Tailgate Ambassadors showed marvelous hospitality on “Hated Dave” Huxtable’s return to The Triangle.  The poor man’s John Tenuta and George “Resume” O’Leary made it two “Ls” in a row for TO’B at “The Fairgrounds”.  Daniel Evans wasn’t as sharp in this one as he was the last time TO’B was in the house.

I wasn’t there but knowing the Lupine bottom feeders I expect the name Cowher mighta been yelled a few times in the first half before TO’B boys staged a gallant but 2 point short comeback in the second half.

Over in Wally Wade, the UConn Huskies took advantage of Duke’s missing “bad boy” linebacker to hang yet another butt whuppin’ on college football’s most hapless program.  Pundits had seen this game as one in which Ted Roof’s grid warriors (??) actually had a chance.  Like Haley’s Comet, the next possible “Duke has a chance” will be 2037.

Note to Joe Alleva …. Yo Joe, if Charlie Cobb calls to talk bizness, hang up really quickly.  You don’t want nuthin’ to do with Appy State for the next few decades.  Kidd Brewer outdraws Wally Wade by A LOT plus the rest rooms actually work in Boone.

Up Virginia way …. On Remember The Krazy Korean Kid Day, Frank’s Vick-less Hokies took a few minutes to mourn and then hung a ho-hummer on Skippy’s Pirates.  …… and the Algroh Deathwatch officially began in the shadow of Mr Jefferson’s “Little Mountain”.  If Butch can thump The NFL Legend in two weeks, Crazy Al’s head might explode by Columbus Day.

The Deacs and TO’B’s old Eagles had an offensive festival in Chestnut Hill with Grobe’s defending ACC Champions coming in second.  It’ll be 2-0 for the Eagles by next Sunday and Wuff-Loons will be in full wrist-slashing mode as is their custom.  TO’B and Dana Bible will get it straightened out pretty soon but Wuff-Loons live a minute-by-minute existence not unlike may flies.

The highlight of the day for Little Johnny Swofford had to be up in South Bend.  The Legendary Jon Tenuta and Whatzhisname the Head Coach harpooned Charlie The Hutt and Knute’s Boys.  Hell, the stunned Irish fans mighta started yelling “Cowher” as the visitors from Atlanta made a ramblin’ wreck outta the Irish not allowing Jesus to signal even a single touchdown.  I’m going to predict that Jabba The Coach joins Bob Davies and Gerry Faust as “former Notre Dame Head Coaches” within three years.  Charlie’s next job will be playing “the Michelin Man” without a costume.

On to Week Two …. except in Boone where it’ll take a day or so to re-erect those goalposts and wipe the grins off’n the faces of ASU fans around the world.  Be Proud of Yosef Mountaineers …. Be Proud!


 Speaking of Guy Madison …. What was his most famous role?


   Kyle Field is in College Station …. Michie is at West Point …. Jordan-Hare in Auburn and “The Shoe” in Columbus (where they are holding a “Laff at Michigan” Rally today).

   Great to see all of you who dropped by the SOTBT on Saturday.  Dozens of “Buddies” made it by.  We had a few “first game glitches” but will iron them out by UVa Game.  At least two beady-eyed howler monkeys came by as expected but stood off to the side and glared as is their custom.

Columnists are odd about their own work.  The ones “we like” aren’t necessarily the ones our readers like.  FWIW ….. BobLee Likes This One.

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