Dec 24 2010

Wolfpack Night Before Christmas

I ran this last year, but I’m so proud of it that I have to run it again.  Let’s call it a DFCF Christmas tradition.  I hope everybody has a very Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Murph,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a smurf.
The stockings were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of ACC Championships danced in their heads.
And Mrs. DFCF in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out in Carter-Finley there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the balcony to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the banners and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new flat sod field,
Gave the lustre of hope for the future to yield.
When, what to my wondering eyes should await,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight former Wolfpack greats.

“Now Philip! now, Roman! now, Torry and Ted!
On, Bill! On, Dick! On, Dennis and Jim!
To the top of the stadium! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each big hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the stairs St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed in NC State red, from his head to his toes,
And his clothes were all cluttered with ads and logos.
A bundle of footballs he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a winner, just opening his pack.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old dear,
Especially since the Pack beat the Heels again this year.
A wink of his eye and a flash of the wolf sign,
Soon gave me to know that everything would be fine.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And striking the most famous Heisman pose,
And giving a nod, up the elevator he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all Wolfpackers, and to all a good night!”


Oct 15 2010

Our Murphy Center’s Better

The last time we played ECU was a great 30-24 OT win for the Pack.  The Pack won, but I sure didn’t.  I may or may not have been kicked out of Carter-Finley for arguing with a mouthy ECU fan sitting near me and then in the parking lot I definitely got blind side tackled by some ECU punks.  It definitely wasn’t one of my greatest moments and to say Mrs. DFCF was pissed at me would be the understatement of the decade.  Suffice it to say I loathe everything that is ECU.  They are firmly #2 on my hate list right behind UNC and in front of Maryland.  Having said all that, I’m still traveling to Greenville for the game.  I’ll even be tailgating with some ECU “fans” (I can’t bring myself to call them buddies) and my seats are in a Pirate Club section.  Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?  I’ve been hearing smack talk from these guys all week too.  Hopefully Saturday will be tolerable and I can stay out of trouble.  If not, I know not to call Mrs. DFCF for bail money.

Preview

We lead the all-time series 16-10 including the last 2 in a row, but ECU has won 5 of the last 9 dating back to ’87.  Ruffin McNeil returns to ECU this year to take over the reigns at his alma mater.  He brings with him the high powered Texas Tech passing attack that has been very effective for the Pirates so far this year.  The concern heading into the year was the defense (only 2 returning starters) and that is exactly what has hurt them so far.  They are allowing 42 points/game good for a national rank of 117th in scoring defense (out of 120 teams).  Every team they have played has scored a season high number of points.  Ouch!

Players to Watch

QB Dominique Davis (#4) – transfered from BC to take over the reigns of this high powered offense.  Has thrown for 1439 yards in 5 games so far this year for a 287.8 yards/game average including leading the Pirates to a huge road come from behind 44-43 victory last week at Southern Miss.  He can be very enigmatic, however, as his TD-INT ratio is 14 to 9.

WR/KR Dwayne Harris (#17) – the Pirates’ most electrifying player.  Earned 1st team All-C-USA honors last year and was also named the C-USA Special Teams POY.  He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball so the Pack secondary and coverage teams will have their hands full.  He’s the Pirates’ leading receiver (91.4 yards/game and 5 TDs) and will line up in the wildcat and even throw the ball on trick plays so the Pack better be ready for that.  He already holds the ECU record for career receiving yards.

RB Jonathan Williams (#2) – played very little last year, but has been very good for the Pirates so far this year with 66.2 yards rushing per game, 31.2 yards receiving per game, and 5 total TDs (including 1 kickoff return).  He shouldn’t do much damage on the ground this week, but could be dangerous on passes out of the backfield.

WR Lance Lewis (#88) – the Pirates’ second leading receiver with 62.6 yards/game and 5 TDs.  Was great last year in JUCO with 16 TDs so he knows how to find the end zone.  The Pirates will throw the ball a lot and the Pack should pay extra emphasis to covering Dwayne Harris so that would leave Lewis with the opportunity to have a good game.

LB Dustin Lineback (#47) – that is no typo his last name is actually Lineback.  The Pirate defense is very bad, but Lineback does lead the team with 41 tackles and has a cool name so he gets the only mention off the Pirate defense.

Tidbits

The largest crowd in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium history was 50,092 when the Pack visited on Nov. 20, 1999.  With an announced sell-out and a 7,000 seat expansion finished this past off-season, ECU has a good chance of setting a new single-game attendance record.

ECU has a Murphy Center in the west end zone of Dowdy-Ficklen.  Although it’s nowhere near as nice as our Murphy Center it was named for Pete Murphy, Wendell’s little brother.

The tragic Marshall University football team plane crash that killed all 75 people on board, happened Nov. 14, 1970 returning to Huntington, WV after a game at ECU.  In 2006 ECU erected a memorial plaque for that event at the visitor’s entrance to Dowdy-Ficklen.

Some notable East Carolina football alums:  Chris Johnson, Earnest Byner, David Garrard, Jeff Blake, Rod Coleman, and Tony Collins.

Some other notable East Carolina alums:  the late NC State legend Kay Yow, Sandra Bullock, Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon, Jeff Hammond, and Dave Odom.

Prediction

This is a rivalry game and ECU hates us more than anybody else on the planet so I fully expect to get their absolute best shot on Saturday.  Still, with ECU having such a terrible defense, the only way we don’t put up 50+ points against them is if we hurt ourselves with lack of effort, penalties, and/or turnovers.  The ECU potent passing game could give our secondary some trouble, but the Pirates have been blown out by both Virginia Tech (49-27) and UNC (42-17) so the Pack has to take care of business and do the same.


Mar 9 2010

Daydreamin’ at Work

Carter-Finley Stadium Tours

GoPack.com has launched virtual tours of Carter-Finley, Vaughn Towers, and the Murphy Center.  The virtual tours were created by Sarasota, Fla.-based MotionVR Inc. and I have to say I am very impressed.  I’ve been critical of NC State Sports Marketing before so I have to give them some credit for this one.  Kudos.

At work, my office is filled with Carter-Finley panoramic pictures, NC State football mini helmets, NC State cross stitched pictures made by Mrs. DFCF, and other NC State memorabilia so on those slow days I can daydream my way to a Fall Saturday at Carter-Finley.  Now I have these virtual tours and my pathetic life suddenly feels complete.

Check out the GoPack article which mentions that these are the first ever virtual tours that MotionVR has created for a college athletics program, which puts us ahead of the game for once.  This will be a nice recruiting tool, a new bookmark for all of Wolfpack Nation, and a daily visit for DFCF. 

Surgeon General Warning: Visiting the Carter-Finley virtual tours causes a decline in productivity and may complicate your employment status.


Feb 3 2010

Wishing Upon Some Stars

Well 2010 National Signing Day has come and gone.  It was a pretty routine day around the Murphy Center.  No surprises, good or bad.  My take: there are a few guys that really impress me, but overall it’s a lot of average.  I will admit it’s a little crazy ranking the classes 7 months before these guys ever play their first game, but if you think the rankings don’t matter then you’re a little naive.

There’s a bunch of different recruiting services that release rankings, so I averaged the rankings from Rivals, Scout, and ESPN to come up with a consensus ranking.  Let’s look at the consensus Top 10 classes in order:  Florida, Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC (sorry Cock fans … this is the real USC), LSU, UCLA, Florida State, and Penn State.  That list reads like a Who’s Who of college football programs.  It includes the last seven national champions and eight of them show up in the top 14 on the Top 25 College Programs of the Decade list put together by my buddies over at Frumpzilla (one of my college roomies and half my fantasy football league keep that site running so show them some love).  It’s a lot easier to win when you have the best players so let’s all just agree that the rankings do matter.

Speaking of rankings let’s get back to the Wolfpack’s class.  The recruiting gurus have it as the 6th or 7th best class … in the ACC.  I guess that is better than where we’ve finished in the actual league standings during the TOB era.  I just expect better than that, especially with our passionate fan base and the best facilities in the ACC (per ESPN).  We did get a few guys that I’m really excited about (shown in the picture below) including one BIG time pickup, literally.

The six guys I'm most excited about.

The jewel of the class is OL Rob Crisp (6’7″ 299lb.) out of Raleigh.  He was rated one of the best players, regardless of position, in the country and should man the LT spot for the next four years.  Two others that have me excited are DB’s David Amerson and Dontae Johnson.  Hopefully they can step in immediately next year and help solve the massive problems we had in the secondary this past year.  The final three I can’t wait to see in the Red and White are WR’s Tony Creecy and Bryan Underwood, and RB Mustafa Greene.  You can never have too many speedy playmakers and I think these three will fit that mold for the Pack.  I’m sure there will be a really good player or two come out of the rest of the class, but these are the six that have me looking to the future with hope and anticipation.

To these six and all the other new Wolfpackers (click here for bios) … welcome to the family!  You made the best decision of your life (I’m not biased at all).  To TOB, take a day to do your honey do’s, then start working on next year’s class.  GO PACK!


Feb 3 2010

2010 National Signing Day

As I’m writing this I’m watching Spike’s new sitcom about college football called Blue Mountain State. The show’s actually pretty lame and it has ten times more partying and sexual innuendos than football, but I miss college football that bad and it’s all I have so I watch anyway.

Today is a big day… National Signing Day. Yay! I remember back when I was in college I would skip class, stay at my apartment, and follow the recruiting stuff all day. I promise you it was better than sitting through boring lectures that you couldn’t understand by foreign professors. Of course, that was when we had one top 10 class and several top 25 classes. At the time NSD was my second most anticipated day of the year (after Christmas). Nowadays it’s just a formality. (Edit: NSD is my third most anticipated day of the year … stupid me forgot about opening day of the season … that surpasses Christmas as #1)

TOB likes to have his classes finished each year by New Year’s Day so there’s little drama and anticipation leading up to actual National Signing Day for the Pack. That is as long as we don’t have any last minute deflections. I always worry about these 18 year old high school kids and their “commitments” that seem to change every few days. Recruiting seems to get crazier and crazier every year. I do think it’s time for the NCAA to really look into creating an early signing period in the fall to help ease the stress on these college coaches. We don’t want Urban Meyer having a panic attack, stroke, and/or heart attack do we? Well … I won’t answer that question.

This is the sixth National Signing Day since I graduated from State and started working and believe it or not I haven’t called in sick to work for any of them. Honestly. Boy Scouts’ honor. That’s mostly because I’ve been out of the office at a job site for five of the six. WTF? It just always seems to work out that way. I try like heck to work my schedule around it too. I had it all set up this year to be in the office, but thanks to the snow/ice storm over the weekend my plans got changed. If I wasn’t tired of this cold weather before I definitely am now.

If I was in the office it would be no different than back in college. I would be on the internet all day and get little to no work done. All I can say is thank God for the iPhone. Now I’ll just be reading the internet while driving down the road. Seems like a bad idea, huh? Hopefully that fax machine in the Murphy Center will be busy early in the morning and done by lunch time so I won’t be refreshing waiting on that last Letter of Intent to come in. I’ll chime in with my specific thoughts on the class after everything becomes official later today. For any of you undecided recruits out there (*cough* Keenan Allen *cough*) don’t be a loser, come run with the Pack!

I think I may have just pulled a Lane Kiffin (a.k.a. secondary recruiting violation) by discussing an uncommitted recruit. Oh screw it. Let the NCAA come after me. That is way more important than finishing up the Reggie Bush investigation, right?


Dec 24 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from DFCF, Mrs. DFCF, and Ashes!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Murph,
Not a creature was stirring, not even Tom O’Brien.
The stockings were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of ACC Championships danced in their heads.
And Mrs. DFCF in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out in Carter-Finley there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the balcony to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the banners and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new flat sod field,
Gave the lustre of hope for the future to yield.
When, what to my wondering eyes should await,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight former Wolfpack greats.

“Now Philip! now, Roman! now, Torry and Ted!
On, Bill! On, Dick! On, Dennis and Jim!
To the top of the stadium! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each big foot.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the stairs St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed in NC State red, from his head to his toes,
And his clothes were all cluttered with ads and logos.
A bundle of footballs he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a winner, just opening his pack.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old dear,
Especially since the Pack beat the Heels 28-27 this year.
A wink of his eye and a flash of the wolf sign,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to fear.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And striking the most famous Heisman pose,
And giving a nod, up the elevator he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all Wolfpackers, and to all a good night!”