Category Archives: College Football

How things have changed?

Nowadays, when a Big 10 team heads to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, its a few hours on a plane from the mid west to get there. Just imagine how long it took Michigan to get to Pasadena in 1902 for the first game that would become the whole Rose Bowl legend? I would guess about 3 days or so, by train, each way? For what was technically 60 minutes of football, wow!

Incredibly, that game didnt even last 60 minutes, as Stanford gave up when losing 49-0, at some point in the 3rd quarter! Since then, with the exception of a few early years, and 1942, when the game moved East due to the threat of Japanese attack during WW2, its been going ever since.

Most of that time, its been the Pac 10 (or earlier related conference) against the Big 10 (or related conference), champion against champion. In recent times, when champions have been involved in Championship games, other teams have stood in, and a couple of times, the Rose Bowl has hosted said championship, or qualifier for it, but generally…

The famous stadium itself has only been around since 1923, mind. Yes, I know, thats still a long time! Hard to imagine what we would have made of a game back then, when passing the ball was a very rare event indeed! Equally, what those fans, and players would make of the current game, hard to imagine?

But yes, just imagine, if you’d told those Michigan players, heading west in 1902, that they were going to play in a game that would become part of history, they probably would have laughed at you! Ah well…

Yes, I’ve been to Pasadena, but I havent seen the Rose Bowl yet. Maybe in May?

Right, the video. Normally this game, by tradition takes place on New Years Day. Except when it happens on a Sunday, when the NFL takes priority in modern times. So yes, in just over half an hour from writing this, the game will happen. Just think, that first game, no TV, no radio coverage, you had to be there to see, or hear it! But yes, for its traditional date, this very early piece of U2 seems apt.

Two old English ladies get to meet

OK, so lets catch up on things so far. Not that there was really much to report for the first couple of days, but after today, there’s more than enough lol.

Wednesday: Flights were smooth enough, the bit in between was entertaining though. Now I knew that when I got to Atlanta, I could go to the automated machines to pass through Immigration, and that was the plan. Only…I ran into Miss Jobsworth, who insisted I had to go join the lengthy queue to go through Immigration in the old fashioned way. So, 15 minutes took an hour and a half, only to be told by the guy on the desk that I neednt be doing this. When I told him I knew that, and told him what had happened, his comment was something akin to “You must have run into…”, and he passed me through very quickly. Then when I finally got to security, something set the machine off (I have no idea what?), which slowed me even more. Eventually a 2.5 hour gap before boarding for the LA plan, ended up being just under 20 minutes!

Oh, and the shuttle. Now, whether the guy had given the right address or not (I think we ended up dropping him at the East address, and he’d given it as West), but the sat-nav didnt want to go in the right direction. Eventually the guy sorted out where he wanted to be, and we dropped him off. Finally (3rd drop in van), we got to me, but despite telling her we were at the right place, she sailed by, and in a narrow road, it took her a while to find somewhere to turn round. But finally, about 9.30, I arrived.

The apartment is cute, and I love it, but the bed really is something else. I knew I had to climb up (literally) to get into it, but its even better than the picture suggested. I will have to move the cases, and take a picture sometime! That was it, grabbed nightwear, and to bed. Bed is very comfortable, btw.

Yesterday, really little happened.I got unpacked, and settled in. Did some shopping, caught up on the net, and…not a lot else. I did go down to the Boulevard in the afternoon, but principally for a very nice ice cream, and that was it. I did go and visit Jean’s prints at the Chinese Theatre, and her star across the road, but that really was it.

So to today. The one main place I wanted to visit last time, and didnt get to, was Long Beach. Mainly to see the Queen Mary, but it looked an interesting trip anyway. Oh, right, for those with a memory, the metro line goes through Watts, and Compton. Made for an interesting crowd on the train, shall we say? Yes, I survived, and got to see an English lady, far older than me, the Queen Mary! No, I didnt go on board, I am trying to be sensible with money, and $27 minimum to get on board (for not that long) seemed a bit daft to me. But I paid my respects.

The weekend should be relatively calm, though I will have to go shopping for bread, if nothing else tomorrow. Beyond that, a little college football on TV is quite likely. Hopefully, my team (Kansas State) against Kate’s team (Oklahoma State), but not sure if I will get that here? Sunday, a mix of NFL on TV (there is a game in London, which kicks off 6.30 am, my time), and meeting up with someone I met in April early afternoon, is promising me a tour, which I suspect is either going to be going up near the sign, or more likely something Jean related. More on that on Monday or Tuesday, I’m sure. I may, or may not get to the Dodgers baseball tomorrow night, we shall see.

Fine, the video. Well, I could cheekily say this is about me!

Lets make some money

Its funny how some things change, and not all of them gender related either.

When I was working in the betting shops, from 1983 until 2001, I used to gamble a little bit. Nothing serious, a couple of pounds a day, just for a bit of fun, with relative success, though I probably lost more often than I won, in all honesty. Then again, when I started at Blue Square in 2003, in the call centre, I again went back to gambling a ‘few pennies’ here and there, as again I was watching racing when I was working, so…

In neither case, did I gamble at all when not working, which sort of shows why I was doing it. Then we moved up here in 2005, and I changed jobs, and industry, and I stopped gambling, apart from the Grand National at least. Even when I went back to William Hill, I didnt go back to gambling, beyond the Grand National at least. I dont know, I’d just lost interest, I guess?

But there is more to this story than horses…

Back in the 90’s, bookmakers started to expand the markets they bet on. Nothing as crazy as the number of markets they do today online, but more than they used to. Hey, my early days, we quite literally only bet on Horses, Dogs and UK Football, and that was it! Whereas now…So yes, back then, the compilers didnt have much clue on other sports. So if you were shrewd (and I wasnt bad at NFL), it wasnt hard to make a few pennies on their errors, and I did.

Nowadays, generally there is so much coverage of world wide sports, that its pretty hard to work that trick any more. There are still one or two things though, for me, the obvious one being college sports! Seriously, during the ‘March madness’ NCAA basketball tournament earlier this year, I had to tell the compilers 3 times of things they’d got wrong. No, not the prices, though believe me, they did!

For those who follow the American Football, college style, you know the Bowl season started last night. For those who dont, well, it did anyway. Thursday or Friday, I got asked at work if there were any ‘errors’ on the weekend NFL games, so I took a look. What took my eye was a college game, the game in Boise between San Diego State, and Buffalo last night. Total points, only 51.5 over/under, you have to be joking! No, they werent, a rival firm had the mark at 50.5! So anyway, I couldnt resist, had a little bet to win £10, just to back up my words around the office.

The score you ask? 49-24, was in the money halfway through the 3rd quarter! 🙂 So tomorrow night, a visit to the bookies to collect my winnings. Quite handy really, the seams on my ankle boots (I’ve had them ages) have just gone, so I can get a new pair, on Corals, in the New Year. Well, £10 of the cost at least! If I can find some in a charity shop, I can get a pair, and change! 🙂

One of these days, compilers will learn about college sports, until then, lets hope they keep making mistakes like that one! The video, slightly apt, I guess?

I’ll Take Manhattan

No, not that well known one in New York, the far better one in Kansas! Yes, as mentioned earlier in the week, this is about College Football, more importantly the Kansas State Wildcats.

Yes, today heralds the end of the College Season, though a good number of teams will still have one game to go, a bowl game somewhere. Hopefully the Wildcats will win tonight, win the Big 12 Conference, and head for the Fiesta Bowl, but as that doesnt start until 1 in the morning my time, you’ll have to look that up for yourself.

Up to 2 weeks ago, they had dreams of the national title, then it all went wrong against Baylor, and now we have to win tonight against Texas just to win the conference title! Hopefully Collin Klein can also play his way back into Heisman contention as well.

But having done my cheerleader stuff for the Wildcats (and personally, I suspect I’d look silly in one of those skirts, but…), I’ll come to the other side of matters, that will be happening all over the US this week, or indeed last week for some, those players for whom the end of their senior year, is the end of their career. Yes, the stars will go on to the NFL, and various other leagues, but for many, thats it, and that must be a strange feeling. For some of course, they have higher futures anyway, for example the Ivy League people will earn fortunes in other high powered positions.

I have no idea what thats like, I was never that good at sport, so it never really arose for me. I did play cricket for the school, but thats a whole different level of intensity, lets face it.

I get to go to Kansas next year, though I suspect I wont be taking Manhattan somehow, but you never know? I might get to see one Kansas College, assuming Wichita State is actually within the environs of Wichita that is! I might see more, but that depends on events I wont know about until the New Year, so watch this space then.

Ah, the video. Yes, as you might have guessed, the song is about that place in New York, not the one in Kansas, but you cant have everything. Besides which, given the time Louise Brooks (from Kansas) spent in New York, and the fact that the video is from 1929 gives it all a bit of the perfect circle feeling. No, I dont know the artists, but I’m sure Google could find it if you really want to know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPIgQdOoEV0

College Football (not soccer!)

When it comes to American Football, like most brits, I grew up on the NFL. For me, that goes right back to the early days of C4, not just the Sky coverage nowadays. Hey, I was a Buffalo fan the year before Jim Kelly signed woth them, thats how long I’ve been following the game!

I still enjoy the NFL, indeed I’m watching it on Sky as I type this. 2 so-so quarterbacks (tongue in cheek, its Brady and Manning) playing against each other. But to some degree last season, and far more so this season, care of ESPN, I’ve got hooked on another brand of football, the college kind. Clearly, in a strict sense, I dont really have a college to faithfully follow, as I never went to one, let alone one in the US. So I basically picked a few for fun reasons otherwise.

So its Washington Huskies (love Seattle) that I started off keeping an eye on, and still follow them to some degree. The other one (far less so in all honesty) is Yale, because the only “proper season” game of American Football was there, against Colombia in 1988. Only NFL game I’ve seen, a pre season one at Wembley, some point in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

This year, with excellent timing, I’ve also been following Kansas State, and yes, purely because thats the state where Louise Brooks was born. Actually, neither they, or Kansas are that close to Cherryvale, so I just picked one at random, seemingly the right one. Wichita State, which would be the most obvious connection dont have a football team due to a sad plane crash accident incident some years ago, or they would probably have been the ones.

Oh, they are unbeaten this year, 5-0 at the time of writing this. And no, not all against softies either, Oklahoma were ranked way above them until the Wildcats rolled into town, and beat them. Given a good friend is an Oklahoma State fan, we both enjoyed that.

The other thing I like about college football over the NFL, is what I call the enjoyment factor, its a game, not a living, even if it must feel like it at times. Yes, its fun to watch.

No, I’m not planning to give up on the NFL, I’m just saying that maybe I’m beginning to take more interest in college results than NFL ones. Well alright, maybe I still check them for fantasy game reasons, but…

Anyway, as a treat, feel free to enjoy some highlights of the Wildcats beating the Sooners, and remember what they say at the start, ranked teams dont go into Oklahoma and win. Well, they didnt used to lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNUdAY-iSDI

Go Wildcats!