Jan 10 / Todd

National Championship Edition: Good, Bad, Ugly (Hint, LOTS of good)

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It’s a bit overwhelming to even think about where to begin to breakdown the blur of bliss that was this entire trip. So we’re gonna do a little something different this week and have a second, extended edition of “The Good” at the end of this piece. There’s just so much personal love we want express and we realize it may not mean a ton to most of our readership (and it’s only tangentially football-related), but after working on this little labor-of-love dorkfest for eight years we can’t let this opportunity go by without spreading the love in true JMU style!

The Good

Your James Madison Dukes are National Champions! – It wasn’t miraculous or unexpected or kind of out of nowhere like 2004, but it was a fitting coronation for all the building and growth that has taken place at JMU since that night in Chattanooga a dozen years ago. The most incredible part is JMU has become a “football school” without losing it’s soul. It didn’t play in some far-flung, academically laughable league that took them to some crummy bowl game, it didn’t raise football up at the expense of Softball or Women’s Hoops or Field Hockey, and best of all it learned from its own mistakes (bids on home games, allegedly turning down CUSA, the hiring of Keener/Dillard, reconnecting with athlete alums, building AlphaDogs to do things like hire great coaches and have fancy unis) while still building. Basically, that feeling anyone ever connected to James Madison University – that indescribable pride and inexplicable-to-outsiders love – stayed intact while the Dukes truly built the brand and fleshed out the infrastructure. Exactly the way we’d all expect from JMU folks!

The Fans – What can you say about JMU Nation? They rolled deep as expected. They’ve become an unwieldy, giddy, plugged-in, work-hard/play-hard group that’s pretty much a direct reflection of the JMU we all know and love. That was an epic performance folks. The parking-lot destroying, streamer-carnage creating, and beer-draining ridiculousness was everything we thought it would be. And even if there’s a little hyperbolic rumor in the “sold the stadium out of beer” and “craziest crowd Toyota Stadium has ever had” quotes, there’s no doubt that it for the earliest game we’ve ever attended, our folks were revved up and ready to enjoy the moment!

The DEFENSE – Make no mistake, while Special Teams may have made the game’s biggest play with the Wellons punt block at the outset, and while the offense has all the big names, the defense was unquestionably the unit that made this game a long coast to the trophy. They were so good in all aspects that you can’t even single out a player or unit that made the difference. Martez Stone, Darrious Carter, and Simeyon Robinson (how great is he when healthy?) dominated the line of scrimmage. Gage Steele did Gage Steele things. Kyre Hawkins played lights out after JMU lost Dimitri Holloway early. And the entire secondary gave YSU zero chance of completing anything but short passes all day. And by the way, guess who’s fully back? Jimmy ‘effin Moreland that’s who. Moreland and Robinson and Jordan Brown and Raven Green will all get a chance to lead the D next year too!

Khalid Abdullah – No real surprise that the nation’s best player (regardless of what various polling sources say) did his thing. 101 yards even against a very strong YSU D. Set JMU’s all-time yardage and all-time points mark in the process. Nothing else to say really. Pretty sure it was extra “dusty” in my little part of the field when he went up for the MOP presentation. Good luck at the combine Khalid!

Kloosterman – If you were really plugged in last year, you know the then-skinny kid behind JMU all-timer Dean Cheatham was good. He seemed to make tough catches with soft hands (like the first TD) and always be in the right place (like that fantastic peel-back effort on the Schor scramble in the 2nd). But even the most optimistic of us I’m guessing didn’t have the sky-high expectations we do for the young man after this season and as he gets ready to lead the offense next year in his senior season!

Tyree Chavious – Told you he’d be fine, and he’ll only get better. YSU’s set of DE’s are NFL-caliber players, probably the best the Dukes have seen all year outside of the kid from Nova, but Chavious held up well after many fans complained about his struggles with nerves in Fargo. There was no shame in the way he and Aaron Stinnie held up against Rivers and Moss this week even though JMU didn’t have to throw all that much after building the early lead. The experience he and Mack Patrick gained this postseason will also be invaluable in replacing 2 of the 3 OLinemen the Dukes lose this year.

National FCS Reporters’ comments after the game – I had the real pleasure of spending ten minutes on the field with after the celebration with one of the very few reporters who is truly dedicated to FCS on the national level. You can probably guess who it was but I’m not sure he’d want his comments on the record. But he made two big points worth sharing. First, he was pleasantly stunned by JMU’s fans. Just so excited about the numbers, the passion, and the connectedness. He mentioned how nuts it would be if JMU ever played NDSU in the title game. But even better for a proud alum, he noted how impressive JMU’s student-athletes are as a group. Without specifically calling out other programs, it was cool to hear from someone who would know that for all of our administration jokes, JMU is delivering on its promise to be a model for a well-rounded collegiate athletics’ experience by recruiting and developing players that are the kind of Dukes we can all be proud of. And yes, those squeaky wheels in the Faculty Senate can zip it!

Youngstown Fans – Yes, some old dudes in slacks peed on and broke a bottle on our friends’ car. And yes, some drunken jerks told our big-boned friend to “eat a salad” in the stands. But every fanbase has a few of those, and I’m absolutely certain that includes a few Dukes. But on the whole, this group of midwesterners couldn’t have been nicer. Hyper local, proud of their team, eager to talk about an oft-overlooked area of the country, and equally excited to talk about JMU, our crazy fans, and best of all for us, the actual game and our actual team. Even if a few folks were a bit overwhelmed by the youth, the passion, and the diversity amongst the Dukes, we would love to see this group again someday at Bridgeforth.

Frisco/Plano, Texas and the DFW Dukes – So we’ll be covering Toyota Stadium and the NCAA in a different part of this post, but the community itself could not have been more excited about, and welcoming to, a group of folks in town for a game much of the country wouldn’t know existed. Their passion for football down there was evident and many bars and restaurants were not only welcoming, but truly catering to, both fanbases. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that JMU was a tailor-made, if slightly more rambunctious and a whole lot younger and more diverse, replacement for the Bison hordes they’d gotten used to the last five years. And of course the DFW Duke Club, who just like last year at SMU, were well-prepared with events and information beyond all expectations! Thanks guys and see you at MAC again next year!

The Bad

The lack of rhythm in the game – We underestimated the tv timeout factor for sure. But we also underestimated how this game would go once JMU got up 21-0. We’ll never ever complain about JMU winning a title game, but let’s be honest, this was a boring-ass game for any neutral observer.

Going back to real life – Ugh. But sure is a lot easier with this weekend in the memory bank.

The Ugly

Bo Pellini losing his mind – Hard to imagine that if this had been any other non-famous FCS coach they wouldn’t have gotten a penalty for being on the field and in the refs face constantly the way this assclown was.

Toyota Stadium and the NCAA – I’m sorry, but as great as Frisco was as a host community, and as conveniently set up as the tailgate lots are, this place is trash. The security delays getting in were completely caused by their own unpreparedness and disorganization. You can’t hear the bands at all under that carport they have in one end zone. The concessionaires were totally unprepared to move quickly (and hey, how about “beer only” and “food only” lines so both families and lushes can calm down a bit?). And worst of all, to both the stadium and the NCAA, how you allow a venue that is in total disarray and obviously under major construction to hold the event is beyond all reason. That literal dirt and those two goofy construction workers watching the game and catching extra points looked like shit and screamed “small time” and “we don’t care.” We know you don’t actually care at all about FCS, but there’s just no excuse. Winning bid or not, if the stadium isn’t ready, the game should’ve been held somewhere else, even if only for this year. As great as this run was, and as unsure as we remain about non-AAC G5 conferences, that bullshit is why we remain skeptical of JMU’s place in FCS.

Tyler Gray – Just kidding Tyler’s mom, but we know you’re reading. We’ve always believed in Tyler, and after making arguably the biggest play of the season up in North Dakota (and with the assistance of the odd, but tightly-knit fraternity of JMU kickers) we’re darn sure he’s set up to be a true team leader the next couple of years!

The Good (Personal Addendum)

First, to everyone who came by this weekend to say hi at Gingerman or at the tailgate, thank you! We were both thrilled to meet many of you (Chase, Jason K., CKiddy, etc.)! Our apologies that it turned into a bit of a meathead-fest thanks to some of old friends (ok, thanks to us too) by 9:30ish.

Partlow, Price, Dric, Priz, Evangelista, Markowitz – Our “staff” – The best!

The entire “Fight for Glory!” group – names omitted to protect the innocent and/or connected but love you guys even if we’re all nuts.

Finally, we planned to list all the folks we wish to thank and send love to for the incredible experience we’ve had as JMU fans since we started this project eight years ago (and we’re sorry in advance for anyone we forget). Some of you are old friends we’ve reconnected with, some of you are people we never would’ve met but for this site, some of you are even JMU employees, but all of you enrich our lives and our JMU experience immensely. Our closest friends and family may make fun of us for having friends 15 years younger and 20 years older because of this, but you truly have become friends and we love you all! Alas, there’s simply no way to write a list this long, at least not without inevitably forgetting someone. So just know so many of you have made this whole thing worthwhile. Now let’s run this back next year!

 

 

 

 

21 Comments

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  1. 2004 Duke / Jan 10 2017

    The Excellent- Khalid The Butcher Abdullah’s 30 yard run at about 10mins left in Q1. I say this without any exaggeration- that was Barry Sanders material. He is going to be a sleeper in the Draft. I could see him being similar to Darren Sproles- a 3rd down back that ends up playing more than anyone expected.

    The Bad Addendum- The ESPN announcers. They clearly spent all their prep time researching YSU and Bo Pellini. They spent 3/4 of the game talking about YSU, YSU history, YSU’s season, Bo Pellini, YSU’s players, etc. Then they are like “Oh…and congrats to JMU for winning the game.”

    Thank you guys for taking the time and having the vision to create JMUSB. This is a staple part of my morning routine, and I think it has a significant impact on morale and turnout at games. You guys are the best!

    …and congrats to the 2016 Football Dukes! Winning a national title is something you work towards for years and most people never get there. These kids will share a special bond forever that is hard to describe, but when they come back in 2026 for their 10 year reunion, they will realize that they are like a family. I know the 2004 team is very proud of our new little brothers…lol

  2. T2008 / Jan 10 2017

    Great point about how the NCAA continues to disrespect the FCS with stuff like that. Even our last national championship in 04 was played on a field where netting was coming out of the grass tackling more players than the defense. Can you imagine the uproar if Clemson and Alabama played last night’s game in a stadium with construction workers standing behind the goal posts on mounds of dirt or where the field wasn’t prepared properly so it tore up during the game? These are things that wouldn’t ever happen in the FBS, and I get it, there is a lot more money there, but finding a venue that doesn’t look like someone first decided to hold a game there two days ago would be nice and a low bar to ask for. So anyway, good point on that, while I prefer to stay in the FCS, that kind of stuff irks me.

    That aside, Go Dukes! This team deserved this and definitely has the talent to compete again next year!

    And as usual, great analysis of the game.

  3. The Fly / Jan 10 2017

    Well done fellas. There’s a wonderful picture history of the season at https://spark.adobe.com/page/rKt6YGbXydBCW/.

  4. jmuparent / Jan 10 2017

    For those of us unable to attend, you-all have painted an outstanding picture of the venue and the game atmosphere. It was a great moment in the history of JMU athletics.

    Clearly our football facility puts Toyota Stadium to shame …

    Lest we forget …………… GO DUUKKKEEEESSSSS ( in the 2017 season ) !

  5. Dukes4 / Jan 10 2017

    Excellent recap. Additional comment:
    The Good:
    NDSU fans who made the trip anyway. They were gracious and loved to chat up FCS, Moreover, all agreed the true championship game was settled in Fargo and one dude noted, ” and the best team won”. Re JMU fans: I heard a few remarks about the friendly nature of the JMU nation. It was awesome to sit in a stadium where it was not a sin to stand for the entire game. And, a YSU fan asked me if the JMU fans usually travel so well. (uh, no but this was awesome ). Duke Club/Alumni planning: having a predetermined location to gather on Friday night was appreciated. (Shops at Legacy). The best part of that was Charles Haley’s attendance to sign his book and other collectables. He was a character too. Of course, the most excellent aspect of the weekend was the attainment of the championship trophy without sending me to a cardiologist. By the way, we had the honor of congratulating Vad Lee as we left the ceremony. He appeared quite proud of his former teammates. ( maybe a bit teary-eyed)

    The really ugly: As you described… the Toyota stadium was an embarrassment. So say many in attendance including players from previous years sitting in close proximity. But, it was a good time !

    Other: As we celebrated on the field, the kiosks were selling out of championship merchandise. It seems the JMU bookstore is also out of merchandise. I hope common sense prevails and they restock. There was an NCAA “store” at the Westin where I picked up tickets but they were also pretty much void of anything.

    GO DUKES! looking forward to the 2017 season.

  6. Drake / Jan 11 2017

    A lot of great points so far. The first thing I noticed in the game was the turf. Everyone is lucky that they didn’t get seriously injured. I mean, that was awful for a big time game on national TV. It’s not a good sign when we have a better stadium/facility than the place picked for the big game every year.

    Another thing was from the video the local Ohio station did on the small amount of Youngstown fans to make it. Some of the fans interviewed had valid points (school screwed up bidding on tix). However, the one lady said she felt unsafe because of our fans. Really? I’d like to know specific incidents, unless she just hated the streamers and was pissed off/super sensitive to normal trash talk.

    Third, JMU got a shoutout on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday. They usually mention FCS stuff during the playoffs, mostly because of the NDSU run. It was mentioned in the best/worst of the weekend. It was nice to hear Dan say that JMU was by far the best team all season.

    I can’t wait to buy my championship swag, I’m glad they show the updated helmets on the shirts. It’s been a joy to be able to discuss football this late into winter. I’m not big into keeping up with recruiting and signing info, but it looks like we have some good looking transfers/students coming in along with having some nice pieces coming back. I’m going ahead and predicting a win at East Carolina to keep our winning streak going!

  7. down south / Jan 11 2017

    i just completed a five day, two city National Championship odyssey with my son. Started by flying to Dallas on Fri, watching the Dukes win a Championship on Saturday, flying to Tampa on Sunday, watching Clemson win a Championship on Monday and returning home on Tuesday. What a long, (great) trip it’s been!

    Since I’m a JMU alum and my son is a student at Clemson the weekend couldn’t have been any better. I agree with all said in the blog and the comments above. Having experienced both championship levels this year I’ll add a couple of points regarding the difference between FBS and FCS.

    But first, let’s add the airplane flyover to the good list in Frisco. Was neat to see the old birds from Ft. Worth Air Reserve Base. And let’s add the temperature to the bad or ugly side. Granted, neither Frisco nor the NCAA can control, but you have to ensure the game is played in ideal conditions (isn’t there an Alamodome in San Antonio — bigger stadium and better city). It wasn’t bad inside the stadium during the game although the field appeared a bit slick, but tailgating in sub 20s wasn’t great. Ironically, in the second half Monday night in Tampa it felt almost as cold as Frisco — wind picked up and night air got chilly… and we had two less layers on.

    The difference between the two environments was, as you’d guess, stark. Multiple day celebration in Tampa with concerts, events, etc versus really a half-day in Frisco (NCAA sponsored events that is). Got it that the FCS game is on a Saturday, but why 11am CST? How about a Saturday evening game, aired on ESPN, not a secondary channel, and events Friday night and all day Saturday. Maybe they were worried it would be too cold? (see above about sub 20s tailgating).

    Merchandise — got to say, FBS wasn’t any better. On Sunday afternoon when we arrived in Tampa, the several vendors hawking garb were already out of certain sizes/styles and by Monday afternoon (5 hours before kickoff) your choices were XXL or XXXL (or Ohio State / Washington gear – plenty of that available!). And after the FBS game, could not find a booth selling Clemson Championship gear — really. So, in that sense the FCS was better than FBS.

    Truth is, it’s all about money and the big schools, with the big bucks, allow the NCAA to spend a king’s ransom on the FBS while throwing a pauper’s salary to the FCS. I’d love to see a push for more equality — maybe a wealth sharing concept like some pro sports have pushed, but that’s as unlikely as an expanded playoff in FBS (sidebar — isn’t it funny to hear the FBS banter about playoffs and expanding to 8 teams? The model is FCS, it’s pretty darn good, but the power 5 couldn’t bear to think that the little guys had a better idea).

    It’s time the the contribution of FCS football is truly realized – maybe that has to come from the NFL who clearly sees the talent at our level (and knows it can find cheaper players in our ranks). Hell, if I’m an NFL team I want Gage Steele on my team alongside Ben Boulware — those two are beasts.

    I for one, am not on the bandwagon of the Dukes joining the FBS ranks. It might mean a bit more money, but it also means perpetual obscurity as “also rans” in a FBS conference instead of what we have now, the chance for recurring, if not, perennial championship weekends. Despite all the negative that’s been said, it’s still better to be playing in chilly Frisco winning a championship than in the Bahamas Bowl where there are more people on the sideline than in the stands.

    One other difference to note — JMU streamers! Unbelieveable. Nothing like it at the FBS game. That was an awesome display and a tradition that our smaller venues enables — hope it never ends.

    Despite the negative comments, this was a tremendous, once in a lifetime weekend of football, championships and father/son bonding (so what if I bought him a few beers after the games…. I’m sure he’s got a fake ID anyways!). Congrats to the Dukes and the Tigers on the Championships and to doing what nobody thought you could do. The Duke Dog Paw and the Tiger Paw are atop the mountain.

    Go Dukes!!!!

  8. Sekudog / Jan 11 2017

    I agree 100% with the other comments both good and bad, but to put some perspective on it, while the activities, field, and hype obviously do not approach FBS levels by any means, having been at both the 2004 and 2017 events there is VAST improvement between the two. Yes the field in 2004 was unbelievably terrible but I think both bad fields were blamed on unusual cold snaps in those separate locations prior to/around gametime – so yes that could point toward a better venue but I think they are locked into Frisco for awhile yet. And the Frisco field was an improvement over 04 no doubt.

    It was still a way better experience for these additional reasons:

    1) Beer sold at the event – say what? Even tho they ran out, they usually run out before they start by not offering it – that was awesome.

    2) Post Game activities were great, unlike in ’04 where we jumped a 10′ wall (old man recollection it was probably 4′) while being told not to to rush the field and I don’t recall any trophy presentation in ’04 – being able to literally walk down onto the field invited to join the celebration, pat the players on the pads and partake in the trophy presentation was WAY better than in ’04. Again I might be forgetting but the after game was nothing like this past weekend in terms of invited fan support.

    3) Just to reiterate the restaurants/bars were super inviting and friendly as previously stated – we walked around Chattanooga in ’04 after the game and it was pretty dead in comparison – lots of Montana fans out but few purple locations – whereas this past weekend you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting JMU fans – totally awesome.

    Guess my point is comparing the two it was way better in ’16 from my perspective.

    I also have to agree with Down South – this Natty changed me from “on the fence” to a “NO” in terms of an FBS move. I don’t see any upside, the money isn’t turning out to be what it was supposed to be, revenues are declining for the bottom guys and you end up at the Joe’s Discount iPhone Bowl in some crazy place where it might be warm but only 2,000 fans show up and if you win – WHO CARES? ODU won it’s first bowl in front of like 10,000 people (not fans, people) in the Bahamas this year – so what? I would rather compete for a Natty every year and rival Bison Nation. Just one guys opinion.

    Can’t wait for ’17 – GO DUUUUUUUKES!

  9. Ken / Jan 12 2017

    Observations from Section 124, Row 22, Seats 19-20:

    — I will start with a positive comment about the stadium (the negative will come below): I thought the sightlines were excellent. Did some walking during the game and the only poor place was the north concourse where the tailgate town was located. Maybe when the soccer hall of fame/museum is finished the concourse will be deep enough that the ‘experience’ kind of stuff can be located behind the viewing areas. I love fields that are dug down.

    — The hospitality of DFW Dukes and Plano was pretty awesome. Didn’t make it into Scruffy Duffy’s as one of my fraternity brothers pulled me and my host around the corner to Ringo’s. Good service, good food and plenty of purple!

    — Loved the team walk-ins; we gave the ‘Guins a taste of what was to come later as our fans/band crushed their fans/band in the ‘team welcome’ competition (even though the MVFC judge gave us a 5.5 for technical merit).

    — Never made the forcasted 40 degrees — my buddy eventually folded up a pizza box and stood on it, hoping it would provide some insulation from the frozen concrete. He probably needed 2 or 3 more…and a propane heater.

    — I spent 5 years as the PA announcer for the JMU baseball team. If I’d sounded ANYTHING like that yay-hoo, Coach Babcock would have buried me behind the right field fence of Long Field next to X Lot. Not sure if he was an NCAA hire, but his job was obviously to turn even the most mundane event into THE GREATEST MUNDANE EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION!

    — I don’t know enough about turf management to know how much of the slipping done by players on both team was because of the new sod or a combination of the low temps and the Friday precipitation. The turf itself, however, was 1,000 times better than the abominaton that was Chattanooga.

    — concession lines weren’t even worth the effort.

    — my FlashSeats experience was painless and entry was easy (though we did wait until a little after 10 to enter).

    — Gotta figure the only reason Pelini got no penalty for his extended on-field rant was because he was right. We had 12 in the formation before one of the skill guys sprinted off. Otherwise he was his typical butt-wipe self on the sidelines

    — I really feel for the YSU fans at the absolute hose job their Athletic Department foisted upon them. My seats were between the 15 and 20 yard lines on the YSU sideline about 2/3 of the way up the stands. I was sitting in front of the parents of the YSU starting LT (#61). Couldn’t believe that a player’s parents were treated that way. An absolute disgrace.

    — The YSU fans around us were, with one exception, exceptionally nice. Had some good conversation and some friendly banter. The nice ones left with about 7 minutes left; the ‘the refs are screwing us’ and ‘they’ve been mugging our receivers all day’ guy stayed until the very end.

    — The stadium environment: yeah, the construction site was crappy looking, but the NCAA put the game in a soccer stadium and it’s not football friendly in many aspects. JMUSB points out the carport effect above. My biggest beef was the absence of any regular stat updates. Soccer scoreboards are designed to tell you the score, time, and maybe shots on goal. Make the carport useful and hang video boards and display stats. Maybe there were some stats flashed, but I never saw them.

    — I never thought I would come to love streamers at age 55.

    — The way they conduct the post-game ceremony is really cool. In Chattanooga, somebody ran out and handed the trophy to Coach Matthews and sprinted away as quickly as he could. At least that’s how it seemed to me. Get the confetti machines off my lawn, thank you very much.

    — Just saw myself on TV while they were interviewing one of the former Nebraska players (ok, so I saw myself up near the top of the screen pointing out where I had been walking around).

    — our defense was REALLY, REALLY good the last 6-1/2 games of the season. The energy of all those light bulbs coming on must have been awesome for Coach Trott. Bravo from one of their biggest critics.

    — I didn’t understand YSU’s plodding execution. they never moved with any sense of urgency: no tempo, no hurry up, few deep shots. Kind of a ‘we’ll just matriculate the ball down the field and use up 6-7 minutes without scoring’ mentality. I was really kind of perplexed by that.

    — I wasn’t high on Gage Steele last year and early this year. His drive and effort the back half of this season won me over. I think he suffered a bit following Stephon Robertson and his huge shadow.

    — The Dukes are 4-0 in games I’ve attended since graduating (ETSU in ’85 and playoff wins in ’94, ’11, and 16/7). I may need to go more…

    — Assuming the NCAA gets its head out of its butt, NDSU and JMU will be on opposite sides of the bracket and make the finals. Move the game to TCU (cap. 40K) and you’ll get >= 98% fill from the 2 fan bases.

    — Thanks to Todd and Rob for putting this blog together. Mea culpa for not finding the tailgate and meeting you guys — I am a techology luddite who doesn’t own a smart phone or tablet (I do have a Discman, though). Didn’t know where you guys were. Maybe you can take the huge prize $$ from your Duke Club award last year and invest in a JMUSB flag and flagpole so we can find you in Frisco next year!

    — Rootin’

  10. Herb / Jan 12 2017

    Gage Steele told me early in the season that this coach(Houston) was some one that they wanted to win for. Not the same for Dithers. I think we’ll be strong next year as well. Challenge is to keep the FBS guys away from Houston.

  11. LD / Jan 12 2017

    My favorite part of this post.. sans the winning the national title was your comments on those 2 guys catching kicks in the construction gear. We had friends texting us asking if they were actually working on the stadium during the game. NCAA went a bit bush league there.

    Way to go. #StayFCS

  12. Drake / Jan 12 2017

    Yeah we thought it was hilarious that they actually were forced to wear construction helmets for shagging balls.

  13. 2004 Duke / Jan 12 2017

    RE: Disrespect

    Did anyone else notice how when Clemson won, they stay on the air for another 30-45 minutes showing the celebration and trophy, but when a legit national championship is won at the FCS, DII or DIII level, they say goodbye and cut the broadcast almost as soon as the clock hits zero?

  14. 2004 Duke / Jan 12 2017

    I’m sure what the appropriate waiting period is for celebration before I address the 800lb gorilla in the room, but…..

    …how do we keep Coach Houston away from UNCC, ECU and UVA when they fire their coaches next season?

  15. Down south / Jan 12 2017

    Ken, concur on the streamer comment – great tradition. Additionally, i was introduced to the “start wearing purple” tradition at this game – I’ll say I’m undecided, but can’t get that damn song out of my head, so “uncle” – MRD you win!

    And Dukes are 2-0 in games I’ve attended with 2 National Championships. Would love to visit BFS sometime but thinking I better wait for Fridco 2018 to keep the streak!

  16. Mike in Ohio / Jan 12 2017

    @ 2004 Duke: just seems inevitable that other programs will come looking Houston’s way unless we totally tank next year. I could not see him going to someplace like uNC-C as that does not seem like much of a step up but bigger schools might be attractive to him. We’re probably caught in situation where JMU can’t raise his salary by much and unless he just really likes being at JMU, he may not be round long given his history of being successful wherever he has been and getting success in a short amount of time. Just the nature of college football at levels below those power 5 conferences.

    Also wanted to know how you did with your OSU Buckeye fans co-workers?I have been bragging here in Columbus that our team knows how to win playoff games but they are still condescending around here. Your bragging to your co-workers who are Buckeyes fans is probably a waste of time as the obnoxious attitude never ends but it is enjoyable to rub it in for a while.

    Thanks to Rob and Todd for the excellent reports from Frisco. Now if we can just get the mens basketball team to turn it around….

  17. Tripp / Jan 13 2017

    Excellent post and comments. Just wanted to give another kuddos to the DFW Alumni Association/Duke Club (most are one in the same) for getting events together or at least gathering places. I know as the Richmond Alumni President that those events can be difficult to get together for large numbers of people/quickly and they did an awesome job, thanks!

    Sounds like watch parties around the country were well attended. The folks that were still in Richmond running the show had good turn outs despite the weather at our four “official” watch parties and at least two others.

    There sure are some lovers of the Dukes out there (time to donate! – jmu.edu/give or jmudukeclub.com).

    GO DUKES!

  18. Ken / Jan 14 2017

    I left out one Ugly from Frisco (the Atlanta – Seattle game jogged my memory):

    the numb-nut, drunk who weaved his way around the field. Assuming he was one of ours given the purple shirt and the hug he gave our deep safety on the kneel-down play. I was really hoping somebody would have laid him out, though he did get an up-close and personal visit from one of Frisco’s finest.

    #GoDukes!

  19. Sekudog / Jan 15 2017

    QUESTION: Why can’t we pay Houston more than $300K? Where is that written outside of his existing contract? I am crystal clear that we cannot approach FBS budget #s but it shouldnt be 2x or 3x what he can make at JMU. We have a huge athletic budget, rabid fan support and they are raising money from Alums all the time – why can’t we get more to pay this guy? And does anyone know if he has an incentive in his contract for playoff success and a natty? Just curious…..

  20. 2004 Duke / Jan 18 2017

    @Mike-

    We’ve given them no quarter. Every work-related e-mail sent in the past 2 weeks has had some type of dig at the Buckeyes artistically worked into it. If we could post pictures, I would show you some of the bombs that were dropped.

  21. maddukes98 / Jan 18 2017

    It was great meeting you Rob and Todd – thanks for keeping up the great work on the blog and hope to see you again at the next ‘Ship!

    Fellow Dukes – I just go an email from NCAA asking me to take a survey to get feedback. If you all get one (assume I got it due to ticket purchase) then provide your constructive feedback – who knows – maybe they will take it to heart and improve on some of the negative aspects of the event (size / quality of stadium etc).

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