Having returned this afternoon, and looked thru the hundreds of posts on here, the AGS forum, and Don Hansen, and coming down from the giddiness, it's time to report.
First, thanks to henfan for his hospitality, advice, and beer at his tailgate.
Drove down Saturday morning, about six hours but including an hour dropping off supplies to my daughter at SUNY-New Paltz. Saw Rodger Wyland and Coach Mion (!!) at the Molly Pitcher rest stop on the NJTP. Easy ride down except for a half hour for the last five miles - construction on I-95.
After checking in to the Days Inn in Elkton MD ($54) arrive at UD at 3:45. Henfan had said 3:30 to 4 for prime tailgate spots, but almost all were taken. Parked by the Ice Arena and a greenhouse, strong odor of manure in the air (Ag School nearby?). Amazing to see that many people BBQing for one event. Imagine not only the RACC and Dutch lots, but also the softball field, soccer field and the lacrosse field covered with SUVs and Smokey Joe grills. Apart from a few remarks about wearing purple, and a few calls of 'You're gonna LOO-OOSE' the UD fans were fine. Separate tailgate party for freshmen, with 'Beat Albany' t-shirts for them.
After wandering around, on henfan's advice I went back to the car to get the stadium seats - backless benches in the whole stadium. (UD rents stadium seats, something Albany should consider as long as we have wooden benches). Walk around the stadium to our gate - no umbrellas allowed. Save half the walk back by letting henfan hold it at his car.
Watch the stadium fill up, talk to the coaches a bit. Great views, the stands are close, but probably too steep (and slippery when wet) for modern building codes.
Odor of manure reaches into the stadium, if the wind is from the opposite direction you get the Chrysler plant.
Student section fills up early, thundersticks given away. A couple behind us is from Guilderland, their daughter goes to UD. The mother is $iena '75, says she saw UA-$iena at Bleecker, but her husband was explaining first downs to her.
Game starts, UD gets a first down, but once we sacked Flacco, and Beigel ran 59 yards, there was no point when UA players looked like they didn't belong on the field. When the flea-flicker scores on the second drive, an uncomfortable buzz ran thru the stadium.
So far the defense has been carrying the team, but the O uses three drives for a missed FG, Touchdown, and FG to control the ball for 12 of the last 16 minutes of the half. By this time the hundred or so UA parents and fans are starting to seriously annoy a few of the UD fans; one redneck-looking guy runs over from the next section to in front of us to signal a UD first down while glaring up at us.
It's been argued we'd get more injuries by playing up, but this game it's UD that has timeouts at least seven times for players to be helped off. By the sixth one the player was twitching and flopping and my wife joked why don't they treat him like they do horses at Saratoga; turns out his shoulder was dislocated and they popped it back in on the field.
Halftime. Note the yardage difference on the scoreboard. If not for two Albany fumbles, it may have been 20-0 or worse at the half.
Sensitivity Alert, for those who don't like 'too much information' I'd heard about 'the wall' for men's facilities, but that's what they are, not even a trough, just a wall of the men's room with floor drains in front and a one-inch raised ridge to stand behind.end alert
Good show by the UD band and dancers at halftime, various pop tunes and the 1812 Overture.
Only the 17-play, 7:42 drive by UD in the second made things feel squirrelly. Offense only ran 13 plays for 30 yds. in the 3rd quarter, but a 4-min. drive for a missed FG helped. The D really stepped it up at the end. By now some fans were yelling that Keeler's job was on the line (won a National Championship 2 years ago) and beginning to get on the refs, not without reason, but they missed a few our way too.
You can tell how good it's going in that Ford didn't wheel out the quick kick until the fourth quarter.
O can't get the two first downs that would have clinched it, but UD has burned timeouts early, interception on the 3-yard line, and the celebration begins.
Hang out with henfan for an hour while the traffic clears. Get back to the hotel, no highlights on any TV channels. Easy 4 1/2 hour ride home this morning.
Road Trip to Delaware
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