College Football Junkie

A Blog To Share My Tour of College Football

Purdue University

Posted by Strickland on November 30, 2016

purdue1_web  On an early 2016 September Saturday morning, my daughter and I got up and drove 3 hours from our house to West Lafayette, Indiana, to watch the Purdue University Boilermakers play against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.  Living in Cincinnati, it’s not a bad drive.  From Cincinnati, it’s not a bad drive to go to Indianapolis and then from there you’re about an hour to West Lafayette.  It’s a very doable trip where we live currently.

Purdue is known from their research and engineering.  According to US News magazine, they rank Purdue 60th in the upcoming 2017 issue.  The school and facilities, to me, aren’t big.  It seems like a small, good, little university that you can your degree, be proud of where you went, stay in contact with your alumni and professors, a small town where you can bring up a family, in a Midwestern city.  Some notable football alumni include that I know are:  Mike Alstott, Drew Brees, Jim Everett, Gary Danielson, Kyle Orton, Rod Woodson, and Neil Armstrong (first man to walk on the moon, did not play football.  But, you’ve got to acknowledge a man who walked on the moon for the first time, right?  And, you have to acknowledge John Wooden who played basketball there.).

We got to the university a little early to see some of the university athletic facilities.  We couldn’t see inside of the basketball arena, due to them working on it.  Got to see the famous “Purdue World’s Largest Drum,” which is a Big Bass Drum.  It’s part of the band performance before the kickoff and during halftime.  Got there early to see the band march to the stadium while singing and had the Purdue train as well.  I found a video of a pregame from someone who went earlier to an earlier 2016 game verses Eastern Kentucky.  Here’s another video of Purdue running onto to the field before the game.  You’ll see that the band formed a “P” and inside the “P” is the “Big Bass Drum.”  I actually found the halftime performance of the Cincinnati game here.  In this 2016 pregame video, you’ll the band spell “Boiler” and the “National Anthem.”  At every kickoff, or really whenever they felt like it, the Purdue student section would chant “IU sucks!”  Of course, IU is Indiana University, the in-state rival.  At the end of the game, the band was on the field to do a few songs and marched out.

Visiting Purdue marks my first game that I saw in a Big Ten stadium.  I have visited Michigan, and Michigan State.  But, I haven’t seen a game at those stadiums, currently.  At this stadium, the fans were friendly.  Got to see the historic “P-U-R-D-U-E” spelled out in the stands.  The game was not packed out, which doesn’t surprise me since Purdue is not historically very good and their opponent was not very major school.

The game was a good game.  Cincinnati ended up wining it, 38-20.  The time spend with my daughter, was fantastic.  After the game, we went to a local restaurant that’s well known within the community and college.  It’s called “Triple X Family Restaurant“, which is a hamburger restaurant.

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Triple XXX hamburger family restaurant

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Vanderbilt University-part 2

Posted by Strickland on May 4, 2016

I posted about Vanderbilt in 2012.  I used to live in Nashville, and there were times that I went to a game or two at Vandy.  My family and I cheered for Vandy, and when they played Tennessee, we would pull for Vanderbilt.  When Tennessee didn’t play Vanderbilt, we cheered for Tennessee out of state respect.

Recently, I went to Nashville, and had a few minutes to take some pictures of the stadium, a field house that’s next to the football field, baseball field, and iconic store front that always had mural of the current coaches of some sports at Vanderbilt.

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Notre Dame University – part 2

Posted by Strickland on August 28, 2015

Recently, I wrote about my experience to the Notre Dame vs. University of Southern California game at Notre Dame.  There’s so much history at each college and sports, but Notre Dame is in the Top 10.  In my previous post, I attempted to share about the game and overall experience.  In this post, I would like to share about the awards, trophies, and memorabilia that is stored and shared for the public to see in the Joyce Center.  Each university has a “trophy room.”  This “trophy room” is one to see.  Located on the second floor of the Joyce Center, where men and women basketball is played along with other activities, there are many awards and trophies from the many sports.  Here, I’ll show some pictures I took of the football awards and trophies.

Rotary Lombardi Award–named for Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers who first made a name as the smallest but toughest member of Fordham’s “Seven Blocks of Granite.”  This picture is of Notre Dame’s player Chris Zorich, 1990.

Rotary Lombardi Award

Rotary Lombardi Award

Outland Trophy–named for Dr. John H. Outland, an All-America tackle at the University of Pennsylvania in 1897 and the benefactor of the trophy.  This picture is of Notre Dame’s player Bill Fischer, 1948.

Outland Trophy

Outland Trophy

Walter Camp Award–named for Walter Camp, “The Father of American Football” who played at Yale from 1877-82 and is credited with creating many strategy features which led to the development of the organized game.  This picture is of Notre Dame’s player Tim Brown, 1987.

Walter Camp Award

Walter Camp Award

Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award–established in 1987, the prestigious award bears the name of the man who many refer to as the finest quarterback to ever play the game of football. This picture is of Notre Dame’s player Brady Quinn, 2006.

Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

Eddie Robinson Coach Of The Year Award–named for Eddie Robinson, who coached for 56 years at Grambling State University and won 408 games.  This picture is of Notre Dame’s coach Charlie Weis, 2005.

Eddie Robinson Award

Eddie Robinson Award

Heisman Trophy–named for John Heisman, who played football at Brown and Penn before embarking on a 36-year college coaching career. Heisman is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest coaches and innovators.  This picture is of Notre Dame’s player Tim Brown, 1987.

Heisman Trophy

Heisman Trophy

Heisman Trophy

Heisman Trophy

Rival trophy–Jeweled Shillelagh.  The night before the game, we were walking around the stadium area where the pep rally would take place.  While just walking and looking around, I notice this little vehicle driving into the stadium and I took a couple of pictures of the “Jeweled Shillelagh.”  The winner of the Notre Dame vs. Southern California game gets the Jeweled Shillelagh for the year, and gets their logo ornament attached to it.  For Notre Dame, the logo is a shamrock.  For Southern Cal, the logo is a Trojan head.

Jewelled Sheleigh

Jeweled Shillelagh

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Sheleigh Trophy

Coach Knute Rockne–the famous coach of Notre Dame from 1918-1930.  He won four National Championships with Notre Dame.  He died in Kansas in a plane crash, March 31, 1931.  Pictured is a 1930 little playbook, and a section of memorabilia which includes parts of the plane crash.

Knute Rockne notepad

Knute Rockne notepad

Knute Rockne notepad

Knute Rockne notepad

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Bowling Green State University

Posted by Strickland on August 22, 2015

This summer, 2015, my daughter started playing a traveling lacrosse middle school tournament team.  One of the tournaments we had was in Lansing, Michigan, home of the Michigan State Spartans.  Growing up, my parents told me I have been to Michigan.  I don’t remember it.  So, I was excited about going to a new state and to Michigan.  I’ve always loved the Detroit Tigers and Michigan Wolverines.  Don’t know why.  I’m from Nashville, TN, and have lived there all my life until college.  I think it’s their history that drew this kid from Nashville to like them.

On the way up to Lansing, on I-75N from Cincinnati, I noticed that we were coming into the city of Bowling Green, Ohio.  I knew that Bowling Green State University Falcons was here, but I never thought that their stadium was off the interstate basically in an open field.

So, while driving to Michigan, I see the BGSU stadium — Doyt L. Perry Stadium – Bowling Green State University.  I wasn’t prepared to take a picture, and we weren’t going to stop to visit.  I was going to be prepared on the way back home.  On our way home, I was driving, and my wife made the pictures for me.  The pictures aren’t great, because of the weather, and from a car.  But, this is one little college that I can take a trip with my two sons for a little game.  Perhaps we could go to a game that they play this year on a weeknight, or later in the near future.

Below are the pictures from the car.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

Picture taken from in the car on I-75 in Ohio.

 

 

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Western Kentucky University

Posted by Strickland on September 16, 2014

I graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 1996.  During my four years (1992-1996) in Bowling Green, KY, WKU was in Division 1-AA at the time.  They were coached by Jack Harbaugh for 14 seasons.  Jack Harbaugh might be known by his son’s verses Jack’s name and coaching career.  Jack’s two son’s, Jim and John, are both NFL coaches and both have won the NFL Super Bowl by being head coaches.

While I was at WKU, we were “Independents”, meaning we didn’t belong to a football conference or league.  In basketball, we were in the Sun Belt Conference (Coach Ralph Willard was the coach, and on the team was Darrin Horn).  But, in football, at this time, we weren’t in a conference or league.  Also, we only had one side of stadium seating.  The other side, which is what WKU has now, was not built back in 1992-1996.

Jack coached Willie Taggart when he was a Quarterback.  I remember watching Willie play.  He could run and throw the ball.  “One of only three WKU players in the previous 50 years to be a four-year starter at the position and one of only four Hilltoppers players to have his jersey retired.”  Willie Taggart went to Stanford to coach Running Backs with then Coach Jim Harbaugh.  In 2010, Willie returned to WKU as the head coach for three years.  During his reign, WKU won a SEC game for the first time (in 2012 against Kentucky), and went to a bowl game for the first time (to the 2012 Little Caesar’s Bowl to lose against Central Michigan University).  After three seasons, he left to become the head coach at the University of South Florida.

As for pre-game festivities at WKU, there was tailgating across from the stadium and the band marched down the street to the stadium.  Nothing spectacular at the time like what might happen now.  WKU ended up going to the playoffs and winning the National Championship after I graduated.  I’m still proud I went there and will cheer for them.

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