Thursday, December 25, 2008

Do you know...

...the story behind the first Mercy Bowl, in which Fresno State beat Bowling Green in the 1960s? If you don't, this saddening Sports Illustrated story will fill you in.

Merry Christmas Bulldog Bouncers!

First, let me start off by wishing all the readers a very Merry Christmas. Hope you all had a fantastic holiday with your loved ones. In addition, hope Santa was very kind to you. Here's a list of a sleigh full of gifts I'd like to see some of those in Fresno State athletics receive:

To: Tom Brandstater
We, the Red Wave, hereby revoke all boos you ever encountered. We had some good times and tough times together, but you're still a Bulldog QB, and that should forever entrench you into our hearts for being the team's leader and one tough son-of-a-gun. And please know this Tommy B., many of us never, ever booed you, and in fact got quite upset when we heard the minority of fans who did. So Merry Christmas Turlock Tom. Your Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred card lasts forever!

To: Pat Hill
A time machine and a reminder. The time machine would allow our great coach to travel back to 1997, his first year, through 2005. All during those years Hill couldn't stand excuses. He was no-nonsense and never made them. He was all about proving it on the field and answering to the critics if his team fell short of those goals. We, the Red Wave, want that attitude back Coach Hill. And the reminder we'd like to give you, there are plenty of us out here who are standing true to you and arguing tooth and nail with anyone who says you can't get the job done. Some of us are the ones who have gotten a close look at the inner-workings of the program and have built up some insight. And we continue to believe in and support you Coach. Pat Hill is Fresno State!

To: 2008 Diamond 'Dogs
A big, giant hug. All the great words in Paul Loeffler's book, the great sounds on the DVD set, the T-shirt and hat sales at the Bulldog Shop, the parade and the ceremony at Beiden Field cannot even begin to explain just how special the 2008 season was to those of us who've followed and attended Fresno State baseball our entire lives. Or even those who have had season tickets for a decade or more. Your Bulldog spirit, fight, fun charisma and effort are what makes being a Fresno State student, alum or fan so unique to the college sports landscape. Justin Wilson said it best. No, we are not Cinderella. We are Bulldogs.

To: Steve Cleveland
All our support and some Bulldogs history lessons. We know you're fighting an uphill battle Coach Cleve. But many of us are confident you're winning that battle. Many of us are stoked about the young kids you've brought in like Paul George, Mychal Ladd, Bryce Cartwright and Ned Golubovich. And many of us are so glad you were able to convey the meaningful difference a hometown guy like Greg Smith can make by choosing the Valley's university. We'll be at the Save Mart Center night in and night out yelling as long as the lights are on. And we'll get anyone we can to join us. In the meantime coach, please accept our advice to make darn sure every young man who puts on that Bulldog Red uniform understands the history and tradition of Fresno State basketball. Make sure they know Boyd Grant, Rod Higgins, Ron Anderson, Tyrone Bradley, the Bookend Forwards, Grant's Tomb, Tark, Melvin Ely, Chris Herren, Rafer Alston, Meechie, T-Robe, Courtney Alexander, etc. Make sure they understand where Fresno State basketball has been on the national scene, so they are confident they can get back there and give it a cleaner image this time. Make sure it means something to be a 'Dog!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clif is a Pro Bowlin' rookie

Gotta love Clifton Smith being named to the Pro Bowl as an NFL rookie undrafted free agent. It's still just short of mind boggling how he went undrafted -- you'd think some team out there would want a surefire return specialist at least on Day 2 of the draft...?

Clif said on KSEE 24 tonight when he got a call of congratulations he thought he was being Punk'd at first and was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the bushes. He's one of the truly special players in Fresno State history -- the type of guy who probably would have been in the stands yelling and cheering with us if he wasn't on the team.

Sadly, a few other 'Dogs were snubbed from the Pro Bowl, namely Logan Mankins, Bernard Berrian and Lorenzo Neal.

Not to rain on the Clif parade, but Berrian has as many TDs as Roddy White on about half the number of catches and also averages about 4 yards more per reception. Oh, and Berrian is the sole bright spot of the Vikings' passing game. Not to mention he's one of the NFL's top return men.

Then you have Mankins, who should be a shoe-in for the next 12 years or so. Last year talk was Mankins was the best guard in the NFL. He still is -- but why the snub?

And the AFC's starting fullback? Leron McClain? Excuse me, but if I'm not mistaking McClain is on the Baltimore Ravens. He's their leading rusher at tailback. The fullback...that would be Lorenzo Neal, the greatest in NFL history.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A proud day to be Marvin Meyers!

Marvin Meyers $2 million gift toward a new sports medicine center near the Duncan Building and the Ricchiuti Academic Center should make Pat Hill's heart all warm and fuzzy.

It truly is touching for all of us to see alumni or friends of the university giving so graciously. All of us can make an impact either through giving our time to help the Bulldog Foundation fundraise and/or sharing our wealth. Let's continue to build onto the greatest group of volunteers of any university nationwide...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I find it odd...

that Chris Dufresne of the LA Times pokes fun at Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and Fresno State coach Pat Hill for being the only two coaches to vote for Rutgers in the top 25 poll. Really Chris? With a straight face, are you suggesting Rutgers isn't a top 25 team? Rutgers who started a horrific 1-5, but then rattled off six straight wins to close out the season.

The Scarlet Knights' only two Big East losses were West Virginia by 7 and Cinicinnati by 3. Thing is, what would happen if these teams met now? Outside of Oklahoma and Florida, there might not be a hotter team in the country right now than Rutgers. And QB Mike Teel is putting up video game numbers after being shut down by Fresno State in a 24-7 season-opening loss. Even that game, though, was closer than the final score.

Why did Hill vote Rutgers in the top 25? Because he's been paying attention. It's not like Hill's pushing Rutgers to try and increase Fresno State's BCS ranking. Come on man...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Now that that's settled...

So now that Pat Hill has announced his intention to remain at Fresno State, as we all know I've been hoping like crazy for, let's hope he puts some of that stubborness behind him.

While it's definitely a great quality of his to be so no-nonsense and preach physical, punch-'em-in-the-mouth football, he also must step back and see that his biggest shortcoming as a coach is sometimes refusing to adjust proactively.

Don't be afraid to be unpredictable Pat. It doesn't mean we're not tougher or more physical than the other guys. It just means we're multi-dimensional. And, yeah, some of those fans who whine and complain all the time and think they know enough to tell you how to coach are irritating, but forget all that. Pay them no attention. You're the 'Dogs coach, we've all bought in to your vision. Let's make it happen. Just let us know how to help you along the way.