This past weekend was quite the satisfying and fun time. Between the football and the rowing, I was in heaven, especially the way everything worked out. First the football. Maryland was playing Clemson at Bryd Stadium. It was a noon start. Getting up to College Park for a noon game when I have rowing practice from 730 to 930 requires a lot of hustling as the trip to College Park takes an hour. Given how badly Maryland has struggled this year, I had no illusions that Maryland would win. I was just hoping it wouldn't be a blow out. It was a perfect day for college football. Bright blue fall skies, plenty of sun and warm without being hot. Because we got there only a little before game time, there wasn't really time for tailgating. I enjoyed a beer before we headed for the stadium. Ann and I grabbed sausage subs with the works from the concession stand for lunch and ate at our seats. I also picked up a Maryland hat since I seem to have lost the one I had. The game started auspiciously with Clemson jumping out to a 10-0 lead and gaining 140 yard in the first quarter alone. After that Maryland turned the game around and ended up winning 24-21 despite some strange calls by Maryland in the 4th Quarter. When you are up by 3, how do you go for it on 4th down on your OWN 29? Especially when you've gotten stuffed all day on short yardage situations. Luckily the Maryland defense was up to the task or Clemson was inept enough. Having their field goal kicker miss 2 field goals in a row helped too. Everyone left the game quite happy - well at least Maryland fans did.
After driving home with a stop to buy some KFC grilled chicken since neither Ann or I was in the mood to cook, I settled in to watch more football because you know one game just isn't enough. I watched the tail end of the Navy-Air Force game. An OT victory for Navy so good there. Really I was just biding my time until The Auburn-Tennessee game came on. When I was attending Auburn back in the old days, we played Tennessee every year and early in the year. Usually the winner of that game went on to have a good year. It was a fierce rivalry with no lost between fans. Not quite on the level on Auburn-Alabama, of course, but what is? But close. Anyway, it was very satisfying watching Tennessee get dominated, even if the final score wouldn't indicate so. Next up - Arkansas. An interesting by line of that game is that the Arkansas coach, Bobby Petrino, is a former Offensive Coordinator at Auburn and later when Head Coach at Louisville, was involved in a somewhat clandestine interview to become the Head Coach at Auburn to replace Tommy Tuberville. The meeting involved influential boosters, the Auburn Athletic Director and midnight jet rides. The scandal led to the resignation of the Auburn Athletic Director and banishment of the Booster involved. I'm sure it will come up during the week. Ann and I are considering going to watch the game with a bunch of Metro Washington Auburn supporters up in Crystal City. We'll have to see what our plans are for the weekend.
Now for the rowing. This past Sunday was the Occoquan Challenge. I was only scheduled to row in the Men's 8+. The interesting part of this particular race from almost all other head races is that halfway through there is a 180 degree turn that has to be navigated, which poses quite the challenge for coxswains and rowers alike (hence the race name). It's quite possible to shave or add significant time to your race depending on how you navigate the turn. The conditions on Sunday were sunny, cool and windy. The water was quite choppy, particularly at the turn. Our race was ok, but not great. Our ratio could have been better. Despite that we ended up winning. We beat our rivals from across the water, something we haven't ever done before and by 30 seconds to boot. So another Gold medal, which now makes three races in a row that I've been lucky enough to be a part of. Sort of unheard of for the men's side of our club. Overall it was a good day for our club. The Women's 8+ also won as did one of the Women's 4+ and a Men's 4+ (by default as there was no other boat in their age category) and our mixed double. I might have missed some others, but everyone went home happy. I need more weekends like this. How was your weekend?