Sunday, September 02, 2007

How I Spent My Saturday

If you can't read the score, it's Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 and the game has just ended!

What a way to spend a Saturday…

Yesterday a group of boys from the hills of North Carolina invaded Michigan and got revenge for the South’s loss at Gettysburg. And I was there to watch it all!

On Friday, my daughter and I picked up Uncle L and his daughter at the airport. Uncle L had been excited about the possibility of his alma mater, Appalachian State University, playing the University of Michigan and as soon as the game was announced last winter, he began making plans to travel up here for the game. So yesterday morning, we all got up in the predawn hours for the two our trip to Ann Arbor, arriving there at 8 AM, in time for breakfast at the “official” Appalachian tailgate party before the 12 noon kickoff. I even had a Bloody Mary before 10 AM. When the sun got almost straight overhead, we went into the Big House. In most states, saying you’ve been to the Big House isn’t something to brag about, for in generally refers to the penitentiary. But here, the Big House is where Michigan, the school with the best record ever, plays football and before yesterday, going to the Big House was something to celebrate. Our seats were in the Southeast corner, where we and the handful of App Fans held up for the game.

The game started out like expected. Michigan got the ball and quickly marched down field and scored. But then, Appalachian returned the favor. Michigan scored again and so did Appalachian. No one could believe it, that a small school for the mountains were playing ball with the big boys. Then, even more remarkable, Appalachian scored again and again. Michigan finally got a field goal, and the teams went into the locker room with ASU at 28, Michigan 17. It appeared at the first half, Appalachian had learned how to capitalize on Michigan’s spread defense.

This is me at the game (you can thank my daughter for my extra hair). I had a Pittsburgh cap to wear (it’s the same colors as App State, only with a P instead of an A), but it was so hot that I decided I’d wear my more famous hat. Besides, I knew that if I ran into a certain tailgater, she wouldn’t forgive me if she saw me with any other hat. Unfortunately, Murf’s tailgating crew were on the wrong side of the stadium and with 107,000 people inside the Big House (plus who knows how many outside), it was hard to get around to other areas of the campus.

The second half then started and it appeared Appalachian had lost its offensive magic. They also appeared tired. They did manage to get a field goal in the third quarter. In the fourth, with around four minutes left, Michigan scored a touchdown, putting them up 32 to 31. It didn’t look good. But then, with 30 seconds or so on the clock, Appalachian had the ball with no time outs deep in Michigan’s territory. On first down, they kicked a field goal to put them up by 2 points. Those of us on the south side of the stadium, who all spoke with a drawl, began to feel like the Confederates at Gettysburg when Pettigrew’s men broke the Union line on Cemetery Ridge on that fateful date of July 3, 1863. Things were looking good.

Then Michigan returned the kickoff and quickly got downfield. With six seconds left on the clock, Michigan set up for a short field goal. It looked to be a repeat of Gettysburg, with a counter attack by a bunch of Pennsylvania boys drove back the charge and filled the plug in the Union lines. But this time, the counter attack failed. For the second time in the game, Appalachian’s defense blocked the kick. This time a defender picked up the ball and headed down hill, being tackled by a Michigan player on the five yard line. It didn’t matter, ASU’s defense had held and the clock had run out and David had once again slew Goliath. Needless to say, those in our end of the stadium went wild as those wearing blue and maize filed out quietly.

It was an amazing game and one for the history books. This was the first time in Michigan’s history that the school had played a 2AA college and it was also the first time in the history of college sports that a Division 1AA team has beaten a nationally ranked Division 1A team. It was an exciting game and, needless to say, my uncle and his daughter are extremely happy. They’d been hoping that ASU would give Michigan a good fight; they never dreamed they’d be going back the victors.


  1. My old boss used to play for Michigan in the late 60s, and I'm sure he wasn't happy about yesterday's loss. It's all over the news today. I'm happy for you all. Great pics and and lovely hair!

  2. Their hubris finally got the best of them.

    Cute photo!

    btw, I'm waiting for the "topless fishing photo"!


  3. sage - this is such a great story, and I think it's wonderful you were there to witness it! And drinking before 10 am isn't so bad when you've already been up for 5 hours . . .

  4. This was even the talk in the deep South at Jordan-Hare Stadium! Amazing VICTORY and a big CGRATS to Ap State!!!

  5. Yeah, I was monitoring this game on my favorite sports channel. Truly one of the greatest upsets in College Football history.

    It must have been a magical day. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

    And mucho congrats to Uncle L and all ASU fans!

  6. Sounds like fun. I'm from Michigan originally, but I really don't give a rat's ass about any teams. Glad you had a good time though.

  7. OMG even I heard about that game. It was the game of the weekend! How exciting for you to be there and I LOVE your new look. That is FABULOUS. Your daughter did well.

    I had to pass on the NICE MATTERS award that I won last week to 3 fellow bloggers and you were my first choice so I hope you can get by and accept it and copy the little icon to give it to 3 of your own winners when you have time!

  8. Yay! Looks like y'all were having a great time!

  9. I can';t comment on the game as I am not familiar with it. It seems you had a great time. I do like that hat.

    And that extra hair. It suits you.


  10. Scarlet: Since he's your "old boss" you can rub it in!

    Karen, thanks, I was wondering if you might also be a big MI fan. As for topless photos--there's the one of me on a backpacking trip that was posted last September or October (Murf often comments on it--I also had THAT hat on!

    Diane, I'm generally a Puritan and don't drink before 5! And I seldom drink mixed drinks, except for my own hot butter rums after a skiing trip. With my Southern roots, I generally have my bourbon or Scotch straight or on the rocks. But I do remember that you often have bloody mary's on Saturday (but after running a race)

    Kontan, now I'm going to have to go look up and see who won at Auburn...

    V, it was a lot of fun, I was glad to be a part of it... As for my uncle, his Christmas came early!

    DIesel, Like you, I'm not really that big of a football fan. When I do watch, it's mostly the pros and especially Pittsburgh

    Deana, wow, thanks! I'll come over and claim it, but I got so many nice bloggers here that I'll have a hard time selecting three...

    Dawn, BEWARE!!! App State is playing Northern AZ in two weeks!

    Gautami, I never had long stringy hair. When I had long hair, it always curled into a semi-afro, so it's good to try long hair!.

  11. The picture you've been waiting for all summer is on my flickr page. I'll just leave you to find it.

    And you would definitely fit in with the extra hair at a Stillers game :P

  12. It looks like you really enjoyed those Bloody Marys. :-)

  13. Mistress, I had no problem rooting for a team of the same color as the Stillers and Pirates... I hope you enjoyed Idlewild (Western PA does have some good parks with great roller coasters)

    Murf, I only had one! (even though you were allowed 2 according to the Tailgate Tickets)

  14. You have no idea how jealous I am of this :-) Sounds like an AMAZING time! I can tell you that most of the Wisconsin fans I was around on Saturday were honestly more excited about Michigan's loss than our win :)

  15. Yesterday a group of boys from the hills of North Carolina invaded Michigan and got revenge for the South’s loss at Gettysburg.

    Your mind intrigues me :)

    You were truly witness to one of the most stunning upsets in college football history.

    Hail to the victors!

  16. Great game. When they announced the score here at Bryant-Denny Stadium (even though we all knew what had happened) the crowded gave ASU a mighty cheer. Congrats to ASU.

    I am so glad it is football season again. It felt good to sit in the stand, overpay for a cola, and enjoy the game!

  17. How wonderful to have been at that game as an App St supporter ahead of time, to enjoy first hand the amazing result!
    Michele sent me today.