The inability to speak or think a coherent thought was overwhelming on Friday night. However, life is not made out of circumstance. Life is made out of how we respond to circumstance. It truly is the only thing we have control over in this world. And my response is much different than it was two years ago during our last loss. Join me now after the jump as I break down the three stars and one goat of Boise State's loss to Nevada.
I have to admit that I am quite ill-prepared for this. In my heart of hearts I truly never thought that I would be writing a three stars that had us losing in it. I'm not even really sure how to go about this. I'm not sure of a lot of things right now, actually. However, one thing I am sure of: we have one hell of a football team. In the words of Coach Pete: "One play can win a game. But one play can not lose a game". That is pretty much the summation of current bewilderment. Initial reaction is to blame Brotz. Secondary reaction is find Brotz, and do lots of bad words to him. Third and final reaction: it's just a game.
I know that nobody wants to hear that right now. Nobody wants to take the easy road and simply admit defeat. Well, I don't either. With the exception of my wife, family, and church, the Boise State Broncos are easily the most thought of and beloved passion of my entire existence. My wardrobe is white, orange, and then lots of blue. On Tuesday, I unknowingly ended up being dressed like a blueberry. It happens a lot when the majority of my clothes are blue. Blue sweats, blue shirt, blue jacket, and a blue beanie. It was like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory all over again.
However sad, heartbroken, angry - and any other adjective you can think of - that you are, it is critical to brush it off just like we do a rough day at work, or a bad grade on a test. There were lots of poor plays and bad calls on our part Friday night. Brotzman pulling a kick with all the pressure in the world on him while millions of people watched is simply one piece of the manure pie. Let's raise our heads, divvy out some stars, argue over the goat, and be better people tomorrow.
Star No. 3: Chris Petersen
Star No. 2: Kellen Moore QB
We love him to death. He's one of our boys - he's part of our family. He's made big kicks in the past. Not every kick is going to go in, and we learn from this. One play doesn't define this game.
He's like a taller, skinnier version of Yoda. And he's right. One play doesn't define this game, nor does it define who we are as people.
I'm never afraid with Kellen leading the troops. My dad was freaking out at about 11:00 minutes in the fourth. I sat, calm, collected; I know who is commanding the troops, and that eases my nerves. Speaking of nerves, I hadn't had any since the last few minutes of the Virginia Tech game several months ago. That game taught me to trust Kellen, so why not now. Well, he didn't let any of us down, tossing a huge pass that appeared to fly the entire length of the field. He hit Titus Young in seemingly perfect stride, between two defenders. One second left on the clock. Time out. Scratch that. Two seconds left on the clock, because that makes a huge difference. Kellen threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns to end the night. However, it wasn't so much his numbers that got him a star; it was his maturity and leadership. Thank you again, Kellen Moore, for all that you are.
Star No. 1: Colin Kaepernick QB
Take it easy on me, Bronco Nation. I felt somewhat obligated to make a Nevada player Star No. 1 - and Kaepernick won my ugliest player on the roster evaluation, so I picked him. Just kidding. But not really. The Broncos were able to hold off Kaepernick's rushing attack for most of Friday night, as he ended with only 45 yards on 10 carries. However, when the 'Pack needed him to make big plays, he made big plays. He threw for 259 yards and one touchdown. He had countless throws, right on the money, which was a gaping hole in his offensive play in years past.
As ESPN showed highlights of Senior Day, and Kaepernick walking out onto the field with his parents, I realized something really important: he has a soul, too. Seriously. I have a bad habit of hating our competition simply because they're our competition. However, watching him walk out, holding his mother's hand, with a giant, goofy smile on his face was somewhat touching. I realized the importantance of winning while watching that. Not the easy-to-read importance of winning, but rather the subliminal importance of it.
Kaepernick had never beat Boise State, and his numbers were getting worse each year. But everyone needs to win sometime. And everyone needs to lose sometime. It teaches us gratitude and humility. Being on the receiving end of the humility lesson isn't always easy, but it is absolutely essential in navigating these crazy lives we lead. Number 10 needed a win on Friday night, and he went out and got it. He screwed my Broncos over in the process, but we've done the same thing to him many times. I'm not sure if I'm the only one standing, so if I am, stand up Bronco Nation, and join me in congratulating the Nevada Wolfpack on a hardfought victory, and Colin Kaepernick on being Star No. 1.
The Goat: The Second Half
Bad words. Bad words. Bad words. I know everyone is expecting Kyle Brotzman here. Well, I was expecting the same thing, but I can't seem to control my fingers. I can not be held responsible for what they type. Just kidding. But not really. If we would have played Bronco football in the second half on Friday night, the game would have never rested on Brotzman's shoulders. If we would have shut them down with our stingy defense, this never would have been a problem, and I would also not be popping cherry Tums like they're Jolly Ranchers.
Our defense simply got tired. Only playing 50% of the time sure sounds great. Having most of our games be over by halftime sure is awesome. But what's not awesome is when we need them to come up big for four quarters, and they're simply not accustomed to doing that. We had missed tackles, dropped passes, and poor blocking. You name it, it happened. It was truly the tale of two halves on Friday night. We played great football the first two quarters, and dropped the ball big time the second half. Even Craig James gave us some love at half time:
@craigjames32 BSU too much speed and power 4 Nevada. They'll score at least 28 more in second half.
I promptly responded.
Stop sucking up. Jerk. RT @craigjames32 BSU too much speed and power 4 Nevada. They'll score at least 28 more in second half.
Kyle Brotzman isn't the goat. The joke is on for going in thinking it would be an easy game. And if the first half could speak, it may agree with me. However, you can never doubt the home team, and the desire to win. You can also never doubt Dairy Queen: it never disappoints. It was a tough loss, Bronco Nation. I'm as hurt as you. Let's learn from our mistakes, slaughter Utah State, and come out with a W in whatever bowl game we go to.
Did I get it all wrong? Who were your stars, and who was your goat? Does anyone have any interesting habits of mourning? Mine includes episodes of Rob and Big, Mountain Dew, and lots of Peanut Butter M&M's. Sound off, Bronco Nation.