"Not the victory but the action. Not the goal but the game.
In the deed the glory."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Game Day in Iraq

The Husker season has really helped our time go by quickly here. Every game is a milestone, and with each Big Red victory we move one week closer to coming home. Between our fantasy football league and the college football games, we are hoping that the fall will fly by and it will be January before we know and time to start thinking about coming home.

I've mentioned this before (as have SGT Hanseling and SSG Johnson) that game days are still a big deal here. Due to the time change, the game was scheduled to start at 0210 our time. Ouch, worst possible scenario. Basically in the middle of the night, so sleep must be sacrificed in order to listen to the game. Plus the game was pay-per-view which meant no shot of AFN picking it up, which meant that we would listen to the game on The S1 is semi-famous for having a pretty good showing at our late night parties, and our office has quickly become the place to be for the game.

SSG Johnson had the great idea this week to get our grill on. He bought some beef patties (at least we think it is beef) from the PX and then we snagged the buns, cheese, sides, etc. from the DFAC. I must admit, at first I was a little skeptical of how the whole thing would turn out. We can get burgers every day in the DFAC so it sounded like a lot of work for not much benefit. Let me be the first to say that I couldn't have been farther off. The burgers were fantastic. Our master chefs, SSG Johnson and SFC Kerchal, grilled them to perfection. Pics are below.

SSG Johnson getting the coals ready.

Our main dish.

Meat on the grill. My four favorite words.
We are talking about getting crazy next week and picking up some steak from the PX. It won't be a prime cut from Leon's but sometimes you have to make do. The sacrifices we make...

We should get the Texas game on AFN, and with the 1100 am start time we actually will be able to watch at a semi normal time (1900 IZ - we started our daylight savings time already so we are currently 8 hours ahead until you folks back in the States switch over). 3 weeks ago I would have said that the we didn't have much chance against Texas. I'm not so sure right now. Here is what I think we have working for us. Our game plan the last few weeks has been to grind the ball on the ground, build an early lead, stop the run, and force the other team to throw it every down. Texas's run attack has not been dominant, and I think we have a good shot of shutting down the run early, forcing their freshman qb to beat us at Ol' Grandma. If we have success with the pass rush I think we have a shot of taking the game into the 4th quarter, where it is anybody's ball game. If we can stay in the game until the 4th quarter, I like our odds at home.

I was surprised to see Missouri get beat by Texas A&M and Colorado hammer Texas Tech. I'll say this about the rest of the season, you can't point at one game on the schedule and say it is a gimmie win. I think we'll see a lot more games this year like the last few, tightly contested games whether on the road or at home. We need to be ready to play every week or we'll get beat. One thing to remember is that we aren't the Huskers of the mid 90s, so going on the road and getting a win is a big deal, whether we win by 18 or 80. It would be nice to see us put some of the teams away after building an early lead, but I think Coach Cally is content at this point to keep the offense simple and let the defense win games. The only problem with that is our porous secondary, the opponents are only 1 play away from a big td at anytime. I don't know about you, but if I was a Husker defensive coach, I would be scared to death by Okie State and Adarius Bowman. He had 300 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns this week against KU (see story on 300 yards!!! 4 touchdowns!!! Do you think they like the Jones/Grixby matchup? I'm having nightmares already.

I mentioned this before but I really like it when Iowa loses. Especially to Indiana. Ouch. Georgia losing to Vanderbilt was pretty crazy as well. Hated to see Adrian Peterson get hurt for the rest of the season. Bad deal. So, I was watching the end of the Florida - Auburn game last night. Great comeback by Auburn. On a side note, I picked the upset. I also won our weekly Husker pick 'em for the second time to become the first 2 time winner and undisputed champion. When you factor in that I missed 3 weeks while home on leave you will better understand my dominance. I am predicting that I will every week from here on out. Starting with the Husker upset next week! Anyway, back to the Auburn game. So Auburn is up by 4 and the last play of the game is Florida making an attempt at the old lateral, shovel, pitch play to score a touchdown. They end up fumbling the ball and Auburn picks it up and takes it to the house (they don't play). Meaningless points, right? Not so fast my friend. Immediately my thoughts go to the industry that is college football gambling. Florida was favored so no impact to the spread. But I am thinking to myself that there is no way that play didn't impact the over/under. Sure enough, Hammer told me this morning that the over/under was 40 points, and this play moved the game from "under" status to "over" status. (For you non-gamblers out there you can bet on the total points scored by both teams and whether it will be over or under a certain number, in this case 40 points). I had visions of guys with their mortgage payment on the unders thinking they are golden until the last second of the game, and then screaming at the tv for the defender to just take a knee. Priceless. The good thing is they can just double their bet on a few NFL games, and then when they lose those bet the farm on Monday Night Football. Someone is going to end up homeless becuase of this one hook and ladder play.


Nic said...

Three words for you - HOOK 'EM HORNS! ;) I was looking for blogs from the 167th and came across yours. I am dating Spc. Grosz from the 167th out of Nebraska - one of the guys involved in the accident in August where SSgt Hansen lost his life. Anyway, just wanted to say that I am proud of the work that y'all are doing over there. Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

That is pretty sweet that they sell steaks at the exchange. I'm glad you all get to rleax and make time for the skers. J

Brian said...

Big time college football! You've gotta' love this time of year and by the sounds of it you fellas' are "making the best of what's around" over there. I think your right about the TX game. I believe that we do have the ability to play at that level and possibly pull out the W. We seem to have a pretty sold game plan as you mentioned, but I think there is a lot this world hasn't seen yet from our offense. I guess I'll get to see first hand. I was lucky enough to be given two tickets to the game. Can't think of many better places to spend a birthday than the home of the Huskers. GO BIG RED!

Stay safe buddy.


Nicole, my simpathy and prayers to you and your boyfirend at the lose of SSgt Hansen from the 167th.

Sack said...

If I was you, I would make sure that your ticket includes entrance to the game and not just to the tailgate. You don't need a repeat of UT-OSU!
They don't have very many. I was lucky and SSG Johnson was there and they had some and he hooked me up. It looks like a nice cut too. If I had only had some Mistys. I have a bottle on the way but I don't think it will get here in time.
Thanks for visiting my site. I checked yours out as well, you have a lot going on it looks like. We have to keep those B Troop guys in line.

Anonymous said...

Another aficionado of "propane and propane related products!" Those steaks looked awesome-- and are now making me crave one.

I'm not a big Nebraska fan, but any school that can call Tommy Lee a student (of sorts) can't be too bad. I hope you guys come home safe.