Western Michigan and Central Michigan combined for 17 points through 45:05 of play. In the last 14:55 the two MAC West rivals combined for 48 points, 24 of them in the final four minutes of regulation. The Broncos looked dominating in the first few series. Then the game got boring. Then Central went ahead and looked like it would never relinquish the lead. Then Western scored two straight touchdowns within 33 seconds of each other. Then All-MAC sophomore QB Dan LaFevour (“FEVER!”) threw a 39 yard pass to Bryan Anderson and suddenly, with the game on the line, the Chippewas were on the 1-yard line with less than a minute to go. It took them three tries, one review and a possible fumble to get the touchdown.
And it was snowing. To a Californian this was like playing golf on the moon.
I’m not sure what I expected out of CMU-WMU. Certainly not what I found: a massive apartment complex house party that would’ve done UCSB proud, a student body that prides itself on being “Wastern Michigan”, the best looking girls I’d seen since I left the South behind, an unbelievable game that ended on…
… because I have to mention it…
… a 38 yard scramble with 12 seconds left to play, as the Broncos lateraled the kickoff at least five times before the ball went out of bounds somewhere near the CMU 35-yard line. The recap doesn’t even fucking mention this, which goes to prove my theorem once again: it is always worth going to a college football game, because relying on ESPN or the AP to be your eyes and ears is inadvisable. How could they ever describe snowflakes swirling through a two-minute drill? Or the absolute dead silence following a ref’s announcement that the ruling on the field would stand, and Western would lose? Or the giddy sugar high of The Play gone wrong, or at least short? They can’t, which is why you ought to stop lying to yourself about enjoying the game more at home.
I have to admit it: I did not expect a good game, or even a close one. I thought CMU would handle Western. I also thought I was going to go to 14 games this season. I’m on track for 25 games. I’ve visited 23 stadiums already. I’ve been to 27 states and the District of Columbia so far. The 10,000 miles I alloted myself way back when I first dreamt up this idea came and went somewhere near Bowling Green, Ohio – which is where I was attracted to a stadium lit up at night. Turns out the BGSU Falcons were practicing. I got to watch them run gassers, fight amongst themselves (literally), drill, and scrimmage, and all because my automatic reaction whenever I see stadium lights is to now wonder if I can get in somehow.
Another thing I’ve learned: don’t take acid in New Orleans and then drive to Baton Rouge that same night.
All in all, these past 70 days have been, as mentioned above, remarkable.