December 8th, 2013

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And The Run Continues

So... next Saturday the GVSU Lakers head to the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats. They last met in the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championship, which the Bearcats won.

This week they unexpectedly got one more home game -- cold and snowing and with only a small crowd. Finals coming, you know. Enthusiastic, though. There was a group of Honors College students without shirts.

We were able to see some of the game on streaming video on our Kindles. Grand Valley in trouble in the first half, running "21 unanswered points in the third quarter for a 35-28 victory and a trip to the semifinals." The 12-2 Lakers have won eight in a row.

Last week Grand Valley headed west to play Colorado State-Pueblo and pulled off a 34-30 Second Round victory.

Two weeks ago it was the Repeat Battle of the Valleys in Allendale, where after losing in the last regular season game, Saginaw Valley State University had to return to Lubbers Stadium, only to be trounced again by the Lakers 40-7 in the First Round playoffs.

Early on this season the Lakers suffered two bad losses. There was talk that in their competitive conference that their playoff hopes were probably gone. Now they are but one game away from another trip to Florence AL and the D-II championship game.

At least this year, as they have for many years, there WILL be a Division II National Champion. Division I can only wait until next year to dump the BCS idiocy. Whether they still ruin the New Year's Day bowl games will have to be seen.

Enjoy your final exams this week, Lakers. Then Saturday 14 December, 3:30pm EST, D-II Semifinals, Bearcat Stadium, Maryville, Mo.

Dr. Phil
football-kliban-cat

We Stayed Home -- This Is Too Good

We were going to go out to see Philomena over at Celebration North, but during lunch we turned on the TV to check out the NFL games. CBS had Indy and the Bungles, but FOX had the most awesome game I've seen in years.

Detroit Lions at the Philadelphia Eagles. In a RAGING snow storm. Big fluffy stuff. Only ten minutes into the first quarter and the field is covered. And visibility is near zero.

Ankle deep and kicked balls land thud in the snow and just stop. Guys make a reception, tackled and stand up with a faceful of snow jammed in their helmets.

Usually you see players getting on and off the field in random moves -- today you have columns of players trotting along the lines, which have been push shoveled. Detroit gets a TD and then goes for two -- and gets it -- rather than try a point after kick. Then on the kickoff, has the reserve offensive line in to push a path for the kicker's run up to the ball, using their feet.

We've seen games with snow before. And the Fog Bowl between the Bears and Green Bay in an invisible Lambeau Field.  And one of the first New Year's outdoors NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo in full lake effect snow.

But this is spectacular.

The yard marker numbers are superimposed gray on the snow, along with the usual line of scrimmage and first down visual lines.

Detroit up 8-0 at the half.  Another TD in the third quarter, on a 40 yard punt return, but two point conversion fails. 14-0. Then 14-6 as Eagles also fail at two point conversion.

Snow nearly 8" deep on the field at start of the fourth quarter. Eagles break free, score, and tie, 14-14. So what do the Lions do? 99 yard kickoff return. 20-14. Two pointer stopped by penalty. PAT blocked -- first points kick tried in game. 14:20 to go. Eagles break free, 22-20. Then 28-20.

On the return... To go all the way, you must first go half the way. To go half the way, you must first go a quarter of the way. That was the kickoff and first down for the Lions. The next play is NOT to drop the ball and let the Eagles collect your fumble.

And the Eagles score, 34-20. Maybe we should've gone to the movies, though it's been snowing here, too. And that's the final score. Sorry, Lions. You played three good quarters.

BTW -- the field in Philly was clear 90 minutes before the game. Not nearly as much snow in Baltimore, more in Green Bay, I think.

Dr. Phil