Wednesday, January 30, 2008

McElwain offended me

Jim McElwain hinted in his press conference today that we should be proud that a school like Alabama would look to Fresno State to hire its coach.

Yes, that would be true IF Alabama was hiring our offensive coordinator to be their head coach -- but they hired McElwain to be their offensive coordinator (same as he was here).

Now, I don't know about you all, but that doesn't make me proud. That makes me mad. I'm offended that he would imply that Alabama is at a higher level than Fresno State, because I don't think that's the case nowadays. Hasn't Fresno State been more successful than Alabama in recent years? At least since 2000? I'd say Alabama is one of two things -- either a perennial underachiever OR a program on the decline.

Sure, they have the rich history and tradition. But we're building a rich history and tradition. And we would expect to beat Alabama if we played them tomorrow. So I'm greatly disappointed and saddened to lose a great OC like you J-Mac...but please be more careful with your words when you think back to your 'Dog days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Vote for Fresno State Dream Team: Tailbacks

We've been teasing it for a while now, and, as we're between seasons here, we're going to open up the voting. Each Bulldog Bounce blogger has turned in his own votes for each position already, but we want to hear what you -- the readers -- think.

Then, at the end of all the voting we'll compare our results to yours. We'll go position-by-position with the idea of starting healthy debate about why so-and-so is better than such-and-such?

YOU decide the criteria! What's more important? College stats or pro? Four-year starters or JC transfers? Single-season greatness or consistency?

Next up is tailback, and the nominees are:
--Aaron Craver
--Anthony Daigle
--Jaime Kimbrough
--Wendell Mathis
--Dale Messer
--Dean Philpott
--Michael Pittman
--Ron Rivers
--Kelly Skipper
--Dwayne Wright

The Bulldog Bounce selects Ron Rivers and Michael Pittman as Fresno State's all-time greatest RBs. Rivers was a unanimous first-team selection, with Pittman receiving three first-team votes and one second-team. Dwayne Wright was third in the voting with one first-team vote and three second-team. Dale Messer got two second-team votes, and Dean Philpott and Jaime Kimbrough each received one.

Have fun, voice your opinion and let the voting begin! The nominees will remain posted in the right-hand column for you to choose from, but please add comments to this blog entry as well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I don't mean to interrupt Mr. Neal, but...

I've just gotta say, "GO 'DOGS!"

I was careful not to interrupt his meal, but I couldn't resist walking up to Lorenzo Neal in a San Diego restaurant this weekend to say just that. He said it right back to me, shaking my hand, to which I responded, "BULLDOG BORN!"

His reply was simple, yet classic, and a perfect example for the attitude we all share. He turned toward me as I walked away, and shouted:


Monday, January 21, 2008

TIME TO VOTE: Fresno State Dream Team

We've been teasing it for a while now, and, as we're between seasons here, we're going to open up the voting. Each Bulldog Bounce blogger has turned in his own votes for each position already, but we want to hear what you -- the readers -- think.

Then, at the end of all the voting we'll compare our results to yours. We'll go position-by-position with the idea of starting healthy debate about why so-and-so is better than such-and-such?

YOU decide the criteria! What's more important? College stats or pro? Four-year starters or JC transfers? Single-season greatness or consistency?

It all starts at quarterback, and the nominees are:
--Jim Arellanes
--Mark Barsotti
--David Carr
--Trent Dilfer
--Paul Pinegar
--Kevin Sweeney
--Jeff Tedford
--Billy Volek

The Bulldog Bounce selects David Carr as Fresno State's all-time greatest QB. Carr received 3 first-team votes and 1 second-team vote to beat out Trent Dilfer (1 first-team vote, 3 second-team votes).

Have fun, voice your opinion and let the voting begin! The nominees will remain posted in the right-hand column for you to choose from, but please add comments to this blog entry as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My brain might implode

If there weren't former Fresno State players in the NFL, well, there'd be no reason to watch (and we'd be more like San Jose State). But this year, the AFC championship game is mind-boggling. Who do I root for?

Pro-Bowler Lorenzo Neal, who miraculously came back from a broken leg in about a month, starts at fullback for the Chargers and is one of my all-time favorite 'Dogs. He's a legitimate good guy of the sporting world and I even got to grapple with him when he was the No. 1-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the country -- and I was a curious elementary school fan.

Billy Volek is the "best backup QB in the NFL" and should be heading into the game for the Chargers at ANY minute ('cause Rivers stinks). He led the Chargers to a win over the Colts last week when Rivers went out, and if he leads SD to a win over the Pats, the publicity he gets will be unmatched by any other player in the next two weeks (good for Fresno State).

But don't rule out rooting for the Patriots yet -- they've got THREE 'Dogs!
Pro-Bowler Logan Mankins, arguably the best guard in the NFL and best lineman in Fresno State history, leads the charge for New England up front. He's got a mean streak on the field that is the antithesis of his humbleness off of it. And anyone who was in his group in biology lab has to have a soft spot for the big guy...

Couple that with starting safety James Sanders, the ultimate team player at Fresno State, and reserve tight end Stephen Spach, one of the all-time great walk-on to MPC Computers Bowl-game-winning-touchdown-catch hero stories, both also on the field for New England and it's just too close for comfort.

Who do I root for!? I'm so confused...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pack (four sections of) The House

Yeah, so Fresno State's "Pack The House" women's basketball promotion didn't go over so well. Only about four sections of the arena could be considered packed (attendance was announced at 2,509).

But 3/4 of the Bulldog Bounce crew showed, with a few take-away points we'd like to list:

--Where were you guys? Tom Brandstater, Marlon Moore, Moses Harris and Damion Owens all showed up.

--All those nerdy fans who used to flock to the arena just to see Stacy Johnson-Klein stomp around putting dents in the hardwood with her leather boot heels would probably be just as happy as fans of director of basketball operations Kelsi Bond.

--Hawaii has dislikeable players in women's sports too! We've experienced plenty of uncalled for taunting and cheap shotting from former Warriors/Rainbows/Wahine in Anthony Carter, that one men's guard a few years ago who looked like Ellen and most of the football team -- and now this. Ebony Jones, at 6-foot-1, flagrantly shoves Fresno State's Emma Andrews (who would have a tough time passing the heighth test at Magic Mountain (seriously) onto the floor, drawing a technical foul.

--And most importantly, the 'Dogs women put on a great show. They play hard, drive to the basket, seem like good teammates and have a bunch of impact freshmen. Oh, and Tierre Wilson rivals Mirenda Swearengin as the most impressive women's player in school history. She might be able to start alongside Kevin Bell for the men's team (they do need a replacement for academically ineligible Bryan Harvey now right?)...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Some b-ball cheers...

Just in case you'd like to join in, here are some individual b-ball cheers that are great for the 'Dogs players. Every time someone scores or pulls down a rebound, shout for:

--Kevin Bell: "Slamma lamma, DING DONG!"
--Eddie Miller: "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!"
--Bryan Harvey: "OHHHH B-Harv!" (Austin Powers cadence)
--Tyson Parker: (Make gobbling turkey noise...for Tyson Farms)
--Alex Blair: "Alex WOOOOOO (Ric Flair style) Blair!"
--Shawn Taylor: "He's Taylor...Made!"
--Nedeljko Golubovic: "What does everybody want!? NED!!!"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Only 20 points for Majerus

OK, it's borderline old news now, but how does a D1 men's b-ball team, coached by one of the greats in Rick Majerus, score only 20 points in an entire game!? That's what St. Louis did the other night, and I didn't think much of it...but it got me to thinking about the Utes ol' ball coach...

And I don't think this video footage got the humor credit it deserved...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just like the good 'ol days (for a split second)...

That's how I felt last night, using the depths of my voice, yelling from the belly up and out, cheering with all my heart. Waving my arms in and upwards motion while jumping up and down, trying to get the rest of the Save Mart Center crowd on its feet and screaming just as loud.

And then BOOM! Just like that, the Red Wave gushed its passion toward the hardwood and it felt just as feversish and edge-of-your-seat intense as in the Tark and Boyd Grant days at Selland Arena.

But before I had a chance to say, "Look what I did, the crowd's going nuts!" I realized it wasn't me at all. It was Bryan Harvey. He hit two straight 3s to bring the 'Dogs within six points of recently No. 24 St. Mary's (seriously, I'm not joking, the Gaels were in the top 25).

I miss those days, where I got just as pumped for Fresno State b-ball as I did for football. What changed? Do all the sanctions and scandals and off-the-court nonsense have fans too busy trying to spit the bad taste out of their mouths to come back out and support the team?

I think so. And I think it's time we got behind Steve Cleveland and made Fresno State one of the toughest campuses for opposing teams to visit again. Save Mart Center is capable of being far louder than Selland Arena ever was. So here's the challenge -- just show up. Grey hairs with season tickets, rich people with luxury suites, diehards in the upper deck, and most of all STUDENTS! Let's all come together and chant in unison nonstop. Make it near impossible for opposing teams to concentrate. The b-ball team will be good again very soon -- trust Coach Cleve. And you'll be able to say you were there in the stands all along contributing.

Monday, January 7, 2008


That was a mistake by the Fresno State athletic department...

So let me get this straight...women's swimming & diving gets cut circa 2004, leaving scores of athletes with no team to compete for any longer. So they keep going to school, as normal, everyday students who just go to class, finish college and about the time they settle into a few careers, their sport is reinstated. Why?

Does Fresno State have more money now for athletics than it did then?

Oh, and here's the real kicker -- women's lacrosse was also added. Now, I don't know how to say this, and I don't want to be rude, but lacrosse sucks. If you don't believe me, just watch the first American Pie. That guy "Oz" chose singing in the choir over his championship lacrosse game. And that was in Michigan or somewhere more eastern than California, where people actually play lacrosse.

I've lived in Fresno for a long time, and not once in my life have I ever heard of a high school anywhere close to here playing lacrosse. Who even knows how to play lacrosse!?

Speaking of sports people know a thing or two about...shouldn't the athletic department have chosen a couple women's sports that would at least be spectator-friendly? Uh hum, water polo! How many people are going to pack the Clovis North High stands to watch swim & dive, and how many are going to go watch lacrosse (a game they've probably never heard of and/or don't have a clue how it's played)?

Speaking of which, where's the lacrosse field gonna be? They sure as heck better not decide to take a chunk of the Red Lot tailgating area from us next to put in a women's soccer/lacrosse specific facility! Don't do it athletic department, it's just not worth it!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bulldog Bounce 2007 Bulldog Football Awards

MVP: Clifton Smith
He played pretty much every offensive skill position, and was so good the band learned a song for him.

Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brandstater
At the start of the year fans were happy just because he limited his mistakes. Now, he's become the type of guy who can carry the team.

Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Riley
He's the biggest difference between a 4-8 2006 and a 9-4 2007. And he had like a bajillion tackles!

Special Teams Player of the Year: A.J. Jefferson
The nation's leading kick returner is the obvious choice.

Freshman of the Year: Ryan Mathews
I can't think of a more impressive true freshman in program history. Would have had more than 1,000 yards easily without injuries.

Be the Hammer (Not the Nail) Award: Marcus Riley for making Colt Brennan cry.

IHOP Award for best pancake blocker: Ryan Wendell (even though Bobby Lepori had more pancakes)

Joe Schey Award for O-lineman who loves to hit after the whistle: Bobby Lepori

Mr. Premature Award for most false starts: Bobby Lepori gets the nod over Kenny Avon

Gillette "Lopes' Pits" Award for heaviest perspiration: DB coach Randy Stewart, who's grey T is drenched within the first 10 minutes of every practice

No 'Dogs Down Award for coach/player overcoming the biggest obstacle: DC Dan Brown for punching cancer in its face!

Noah Puono Award for player who was yelled at the most by coaches in practice: Mark Roberts

Adam Jennings Award for player with biggest attitude due to little man syndrome: Kyle Duffy

FresYES Award for players most likely to be a rabid fan if he wasn't playing: Clifton Smith (the guy knows EVERY band hymn)

De-Dee-DEEEE! Award for the player who made the most boneheaded mistake on/off the field: Jason Shirley for getting suspended, then reinstated, then suspended again, then reinstated again, then suspended for good

Milk-it-Does-a-Body-Good Award for the best comeback from injury: Marcus Riley returns to become WAC defensive player of the year

Scout's Honor Award for redshirt most likely to make a major impact in '08: DB Isaiah Green

Almost Famous Award for player most resembling a celebrity: Andrew Jackson (Frankenstein)

Richard Marshall Award for team's biggest trash talker: Clifton Smith for saying on ESPN during H-Bowl: "Look into my eyes and tell me what you see. Tell me what you see. I see greatness."

Dr. Juan Bautista Award for smartest player: Clint "4.0" Stitser

Jenifer Alcorn Award for the player most likely to fight a teammate in practice: Ryan Wendell

Kopi Sotiropolous Award for best hair: Jon Monga for the bleached dreds

Practicing Practice Makes Perfect Award for player who stays most after practice: Tyler Clutts all five years

Mike Lingua Award for best dribbler of the football during practice: Clint Stitser

Kerry Locklin Award for loudest and most obnoxious player: Cole Popovich for kissing teammates during interviews

Chyna Award for buffest pound-for-pound player: Chris Carter

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The H-Bowl Experience

OK, OK, OK, I know I said I could never root for Boise State (still can't), but I gotta admit their fans treated us darn good this year. It was almost eerie how much they seemed to love Pat Hill and the 'Dogs. How can you yell, pull and fight so hard to defend a team other than your own -- an ARCH-RIVAL team!?

Well, Boise State's fans did. Take the four dudes sitting in front of us in the second deck at the 50-yard line. One had a BSU parka with a Fresno State hat. One had an Ohio State jacket (?) with a FS hat and red and blue face paint. The other two also sported FS hats. They not only cheered for FS, they screamed, barked and chanted right along with us. They cursed at the refs for each of their MANY horrible calls and no-calls. They exchanged high-fives like crazy, talked about how they'd love to play for Pat Hill for just one day and actually started a FRES-NO STATE chant.

Could you ever imagine yourself cheering so rabidly for another team? Matter of fact, do you even cheer that hard for YOUR OWN team?

The man in the parka with the FS hat turned around at one point in the fourth quarter and said, "man it sure is fun being a Bulldog for a day."

DC3's response to him: "Try doing it for a lifetime."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Grading the 'Dogs - Fresno State 40 - Georgia Tech 28


Quarterbacks: A+
Brandstater wins the Humanitarian Bowl MVP Award, passing for 285 yards, 23/30 on pass attempts, 1 touchdown, 40 rushing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown. Tommy B never look intimidated by the Yellow Jackets defense and was confident the entire game. Brandstater roasts another BCS team.

Running Backs: A+
Clifton Smith ends his college football career with a "Batman" BANG!-POW!-ZIP!-ZAMM!- EEE!-YOW!-KAPOW! type of game rushing for 2 touchdowns on 18 carries, for 152 yards. Smith also grabbed 4 catches for 57 yards. Anthony Harding had 46 yards on 11 carries, and Lonyae Miller added 38 yards on 7 carries. Fullback Nate Adams made key blocks all day long, opening the running lanes. The 'Dogs gashed Georgia Tech for 286 yards rushing, the most the Jackets had given up all year.

Receivers: B+
Marlon Moore led the team with 7 catches for 80 yards, had 11 yards rushing, and a rushing touchdown. However, he fumbled twice in the game, once inside the 2 yard line which Georgia Tech recovered, and once on a rick return that went out of bounds. Bear Pascoe had 6 catches for 72 yards, and Sejy Ajirotutu continued his high yards per catch average with 2 catches for 39 yards. Senior tight end Drew Lubinsky catches the first pass of his career for a 3 yard touchdown, in his final game as a Bulldog.

Offensive Line: A+
Didn't allow a single sack on Brandstater, against a Tech defense who had the most sacks in the country with 47. Brilliant! Out-toughed the Jackets' defensive line, and won the battle in the trenches, paving the way for 286 rushing yards.

Defensive Line: A-
Put pressure on Georgia Tech's quarterbacks for the better part of the game. Tyler Clutts had 7 tackles and 2 sacks, as Jon Monga added 5 tackles and 1 sack. The Jackets averaged a modest 4 yards per rush, but didn't give up too many long runs. The 'Dogs won the battle in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Linebackers: B+
Riley and Jacobs each had 9 tackles, with Riley having 2.5 of those tackles for loss. Helped the defense maintain Tech's rushing attack to average 4 yards per carry, and total 161 yards rushing between 3 running backs and a rushing quarterback.

Defensive Backs: B
Marvin Haynes had 8 tackles, and Moses Harris added 5. Jake Jorde made the only interception of the game, and had 4 tackles. Allowed 218 yards passing to a semi-weak passing team. Settled down after the first drive where Georgia Tech's quarterback Taylor Bennett threw a 35 yard touchdown pass. Embarrassing play when a "hail mary" type of throw was caught between 2 Bulldog defenders for a touchdown by Tech, on 3rd and 17. It also brought the Yellow Jackets within 6 points.

Special Teams: B+
Clint Stitser makes both field goal attempts, one from 21 yards and the other from 39. Zimmerman only had to punt twice, but totaled just 24 yards punting. One punt just wasn't very good, and the other was blocked in a crucial point of the game in the 3rd quarter. Marlon Moore had 4 kick returns for 113 yards (28.25 yard average) and one fumble that went out of bounds. Clifton Smith added 12 yards on one return. Not too shabby on kick returns. No punt returns.