Monday, November 23, 2009

The Big Pay Back

Mingo Rincon said it best quote “We are better than last year, we are coming back and you better not take us lightly.” Mingo was talking to the football players at Austin Westlake. Harlingen defeated previously unbeaten San Antonio Southwest to advance to the regional round at the Alamodome for a rematch against Austin Westlake, the team that defeated the Cardinals in last years 5A regional. Harlingen head football coach Manny Gomez even posted a sign during the first day of camp that said, “Remember the Alamodome.” I’m sure the Cards were remembering and waiting for this rematch since the clock struck zero in last year’s game. Usually Rio Grande Valley teams have no chance against teams north of San Antonio. I personally think that might change on Friday at 4pm. Harlingen is different this year. 2008 was a great year but this team has little bit of a swagger. They carry themselves like a team hungry to be and beat the best. This Harlingen team has manhandled ever team on their schedule for all for quarters. The Cardinals are like the energizer bunny. They keep going and going and going. Which team will be able to neutralize the relentlessness of Harlingen? I don’t know the answer but I don’t think Austin Westlake will. This team has a new flavor and I’m sure Harlingen is going to give Austin Westlake a bitter taste after Friday night.

Yes Ucan

How big of a win is this for the University of Connecticut. To see Connecticut head football coach Randy Edsall cry on national television made perfect sense. His football team just won their biggest game in school history, a 33-30 double overtime win over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, a school with so much history and tradition. It’s funny because I was offered a full athletic scholarship to play football at Uconn. That was ten years ago when coach Edsall had a vision of turning around a division 1-AA program. As coach Edsall sat on the coach at my house with my parents in January of 1999, I knew Connecticut moving up to a division 1-A program in two years wasn’t an easy transition. But I saw that VISION of a coach that was about to start his first head job. As I watched the Connecticut at Notre Dame football game I could see the vision become reality. I noticed myself, a diehard Fighting Irish football fan cheering for the Huskies football team the same way I would cheer the huskies basketball team. I realized the green and gold program was out and the blue and white is moving in. My friend Dan Orlovsky, a Uconn grad and current Houston Texan quarterback, used to tell me how the program was gaining national recognition. That was after Connecticut won their first bowl game over Toledo in 2005. First bowl game just four years ago and now Uconn just beat Notre Dame on national television. How big is this win you may ask again? Well I am currently on my way to my home in Connecticut for nine days. As I write this on the plane packed with Uconn fans and a few Notre Dame fans born in Connecticut, I couldn’t help myself but chant the UCONN cheer before take off. We are the close nit little state of Connecticut. This week this little state just made some big time history in a humongous country. Go Huskies!!!!