Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Cecil’
The University of Arizona announced it is going to retire the football jerseys of seven former players.
It’s about time.
Art Luppino’s jersey has been lonely hanging above the south end zone in Arizona Stadium. Going fifty years without adding anyone else has been a disservice to the many great players who have run amok on the Tucson gridiron.
This always happens. So why does it hurt every time?
It doesn’t matter who Arizona is playing, or how big an underdog the Cats are, once the ball goes in the air we start hoping for a win. When the team mounts a comeback to get it close before the half you begin to think it’s possible. When the defense pitches a shutout in the third quarter and the UA takes the lead you get sucked in. When the lead gets to ten in the fourth quarter you start to feel it. When you get a play-for-the-ages touchdown to retake the lead you know you’re THIS close.
And if you’re a fan of Arizona Football, you know you’re THIS close to losing it all.
That sinking feeling is what we’re fighting as a program. That woe-is-us fear that defeat is right around the corner. The problem is you could sense that fear at Arizona Stadium Saturday night. More specifically, you could hear it.
When Jeremiah Masoli found Ed Dickson for 23 yards down to the Arizona 2-yard line in the second overtime the building went silent. When LaMichael James was stopped short of the goal line it stayed silent. Even when the Ducks were stopped again on second down you could hear a rose petal drop.
That’s not normal. Remember, the Cats were winning at this point. If they get one more stop on third down they could force Oregon to go for the tie. If there’s a false start Arizona’s chances go way up. If there’s a turnover the Wildcats win. In any other stadium the crowd would have been deafening.
In any other stadium and they would have believed.
This is what Mike Stoops is up against. He’s not just trying to get better players to win more games. He has to save Arizona Football from itself.
This is our plea, Coach Stoops. Don’t become just another UA football coach. You have been a part of teams that won the big games. You have a national championship ring. Help us become like you. Please don’t become like us.
The red-and-blue lining is we still care and we keep coming back. As a fan, don’t ever let go of the pain. Do not give in to the numbness of apathy.
THIS will not always happen. Believe it.
. . . .
It was so close to being the perfect football day. The ESPN College GameDay experience lived up to the hype. In additional to the whole national-TV thing there was something about being out before dawn among like-minded people. It was like collecting left-footed platform shoes and finding out there’s a convention.
GameDay is so big it brings out fans of teams that aren’t even playing. There were supporters of Washington State (as always), Ohio State, Alabama, and…the Green Bay Packers? Apparently the NASCAR fans couldn’t make it.
After a day of anticipation the game got started with ESPN’s moving camera suspended above the field. The Stadium was packed and the atmosphere was electric. After spotting Oregon two touchdowns the Cats responded and the cycle of think-suck-fail began.
The Wildcats did make some really big plays. Nick Foles’ fade pass to Juron Criner in the corner of the end zone was a thing of beauty. Alex Zendejas’ 47-yarder to end the first half was huge. Xavier Kelley shutting down the fourth-down attempt with seven minutes left was a championship-level play. The 71-yard Criner catch-and-run had a chance to become this generation’s Chuck Cecil play.
But, alas, the list of Arizona Plays was longer. Fumbling at the one. Two Cats fighting for a fumble and kicking it back to Masoli. Missing a 24-yard field goal. Rushing the field too early. Hold on, that one deserves its own section…
Things Nobody Else Does
- Pour out of the stands in a one-score game while the other team has the ball
Aren’t you just asking to lose at that point? The only way it could have been worse is if they were on the phone buying Rose Bowl tickets.
Moving on. Who do we play this week?
This year’s Territorial Cup game is going to be a battle to see which team can best bounce back from having its dreams crushed. Arizona will finish short of the Rose Bowl for the 32nd consecutive year. ASU has locked up its second-straight losing season for the first time in 62 years. So all that national exposure associated with the Oregon game? This week will be the opposite.
But it’s still must-win for both teams.
With the Rose Bowl dream dying the question has been if the six-win Cats could end up going to the No Bowl. Could a 6-6 / 3-6 UCLA team get a bowl bid at the expense of a 6-6 / 4-5 Arizona team?
This explanation of the Pac-10 bowl selection process from the Emerald Bowl seems to indicate the conference standings take precedence. The Seattle Times says bowls will be able to pick any eligible Pac-10 team regardless of the final standings, but not until next year. So the Cats should be safe as long as the Bruins lose to USC.
But do we really want to find out? You know the Poinsettia Bowl would do everything possible to be able to take a team from the L.A. market that has won three of its final four games. The Cats need to win one more game to ensure they don’t get left out.
So we are playing for a bowl this week.
And did I mention it’s ASU? That should be all the motivation anybody needs.
. . . .
I know, I know, the basketball season is already two games old. We’ll preview (postview?) Miller Era, Year One soon. In the meantime the Maui Invitational starts Monday with the Cats tipping-off against Wisconsin at 10 p.m. Arizona time on ESPN2. Root for Arizona to play Gonzaga and either Maryland or Vanderbilt as the tournament progresses. The best scenario is beating good teams. The next-best scenario is losing to good teams.
Anyone know how to say “Bear Down” in Hawaiian?
I was eating some whole wheat crackers at lunch and the box said: “May help reduce the risk of heart disease.” Really? It’s legal to brag about what your product might do? Alright then….
Reading about UA sports may help make you smarter, funnier and downright irresistible.
There. If you find yourself getting some extra attention from your Person of Significance today you’ll know who to thank.
On to the bonus thoughts from the UCLA game!
I appreciated the Wildcats’ ferocious strategy. On Arizona’s third play from scrimmage Delashaun Dean took the handoff, ran toward the UCLA sideline, went out of bounds and “accidentally” dismantled the Bruins’ hydration station. I believe that’s straight out of “The Art of War.”
The official attendance was 53,000 for Stanford and 51,000 for UCLA. Even if that’s true (and the wide shots of the east side stands weren’t pretty) how do you get fewer people after that Stanford game? Too much excitement? Too many wins? Come on, Tucson. Let’s go ahead and wait until the team loses again before we find something better to do on Saturdays.
Seventeen of Nick Foles’ 20 first-half passes were caught. It just so happens that three of them were snagged by the wrong team.
Chuck Cecil! Anyone who gets tired of that replay immediately gets his CatCard revoked.
Averted Turning Point I: After the Cats fumbled on their first snap of the second half UCLA set up shop on the UA 17 in a 10-point game. The defense forced two incomplete passes (including the one that should have been called a lateral/fumble) and successfully defended a screen to keep UCLA out of the end zone. Well done, D.
Keola’s top helmet straps stick out like antennae. Perfect for the Ant.
For the second straight game Matt Scott came in for one play and, just like last time, it was an inaccurate attempt at a WR screen. Are we trying to set something up for later in the year, or is this just to make sure we don’t take Foles for granted?
Watching the replay I noticed Fox Sports Arizona missed a play due to being late coming back from commercials a handful of times. With one fewer down to work with, those of you viewing live must have thought you watching Canadian football.
It’s true, there is someone on campus who can kick the ball into the end zone. Actually, he was already on the team; he just doesn’t have a scholarship. During the bye week you have to see what John Bonano can do as a placekicker, right?
You know how when people talk about needing a touchdown they say, “We gotta get six”? Arizona fans say that because it’s probably all we’re going to end up with.
The Cats had five turnovers against UCLA. We had five in the previous four games combined. I would like to order the offense from OSU/UW/Stanford and the defense from CMU/UCLA. To go.
Averted Turning Point II: After UCLA scored on the lateral/fumble (and I’m fine with the call. It was too close to overturn the ruling on the field) to cut the lead to 20-13, Arizona faced a third and 11 from its own 36. We ran an inside receiver screen to Terrell Turner and he cut it upfield nicely for 17 yards and a first down. The drive ended with Booth’s touchdown and the Bruins never threatened again.
From a wild final quarter filled with big plays, fourth-down drama and two long UA touchdowns, to a placid fourth quarter with zero combined points. Maybe that will whip the ticket-buying public into a frenzy.
Your Arizona Wildcats are now ranked in every poll. Is it because of our sterling record? No, 5-2 isn’t earth-shattering. Was it due to an impossible-to-ignore victory? Nah, UCLA is winless in conference play. So what changed? I guarantee the voters saw the UA listed among the BCS Top 25 all week and thought, “Wait, Arizona is ranked? I didn’t vote for them. I’ll have to change that so I don’t look like an idiot.” Sometimes peer pressure is a good thing.
Enjoy the bye week and soak in those rankings. Sometimes no pressure is a great thing.