Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cocky egomaniacs, you may be dismissed

If there's a cynical sound to my headline this rainy morning, don't let it fool you. The rain may be falling to create a miserable mess outside, but in my mind, the sun is shining throughout Idaho. Comes a time every so often in life when the little guys show the big guys the true ingredients of grit, talent, determination, pride, teamwork, and heart. And, when that happens, we can all celebrate. Fiesta Bowl, 2007: Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42.

Years ago when my first book was published, my editor wrote a short bio for the page "about the author." She said something about how it takes toughness and a sense of humor to live in Idaho. She was right. We've spent our lives being mocked, forgotten and dismissed because we're the hicks from the potato state. This has worked well until recently to keep the bluebloods of the world from wanting to live alongside of us cuz after all, we're stupid, right?

Well, the bluebloods are coming because they've discovered that we sodbusting hayseeds may have discovered something very special long before they did. We knew it all along, but try to tell anyone outside the state's borders. If the secret never quite managed to make headlines, Boise State's Broncos changed that last night. For nearly five hours, they rammed the Idaho message into the faces of a bunch of cocky sportscasters and a team of "blueblood" football players from Oklahoma.

I don't know how many people tuned in for the pre-game, but I will tell you that the comments made by coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer turned the air blue in the Lovestead, where three Boise State alums often visit Mom and Dad Love. A Boise State logo sat above the TV screen where Jimmy Johnson was proclaiming that the only way Boise State was going to win this game was if Oklahoma helped them out and former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer was dismissing the Broncos as a "mismatch" for his Oklahoma Sooners.

One of the commentators even asked, "Whoever heard of Boise State anyway?" The pregrame show even made fun of the BSU blue turf. By the end of the game, I have a feeling a few of those cocky casters were seeing a little blue or feeling a little blue about the blue collar athletes from Boise who scripted probably the best Cinderella story I've ever watched.

Bill and I sat in the living room glued to every second----he in his Boise State cap, I, in my new Broncos sweatshirt. Before the game, Bill had ceremoniously placed the Boise State logo, designed to be inserted into the trailer shaft on back of a vehicle, atop the tube. Though sitting there precariously, the logo never once toppled from the TV set, no matter how loud we yelled or how hard we clapped throughout the game. We had received the sweatshirt, cap and logo Saturday night at our hotel in Seattle, shortly after returning from Key Arena where we had watched a basketball game where our beloved Zags had lost a thriller against Nevada.

Christmas presents from Willie and Debbie, our son and daughter-in-law (both Boise State grads) had been transported from Boise by two other BSU grads who'd gone home for Christmas. Annie, our daughter (also a Boise State grad) who works at the Marriott, joined us for the gift opening. Last night Annie gathered with some other BSU grads at a bar in Seattle to watch the game.

Willie and Debbie could not join us in Seattle because Willie had to stay in Boise to cover the Miami-Nevada bowl game for the Idaho Press Tribune. He'd been given the assignment when his colleagues learned they'd be in Phoenix covering the Fiesta Bowl. I'm sure he was working the sports desk last night during the game and savoring the information that would appear in today's paper about the dismissed hicks from the sticks who demonstrated to the nation what Idahoans are all about.

After the game, I checked the "Huckleberries Online" blog and wrote a comment about the game. This morning, while reading other comments indicating that many Idaho Potatoes have turned into Broncos overnight, I zeroed in on a brilliant analogy submitted by an "Uncle Rico," suggesting that the Boise State quarterback could be compared to Napoleon Dynamite, the nerd in an Idaho-made movie of the same name.

Napoleon Dynamite almost overnight turned into a cult movie, beloved by virtually anyone who watches it once, twice or two dozen times like my husband. In this movie, Napoleon, in his eccentric way, makes meat of the egocentric jocks and jockettes who've always dismissed him as an idiot to be mocked every day of his life. While supporting his buddy Pedro for student body president, Napoleon wows a cynical teen-age crowd into giving him a standing ovation for his unbelievable dance moves, and to Pedro, they give the presidency.

Whoever Uncle Rico is that posted on "Huckleberries," he's hit the nail on the head. The Ugly Betty's of the world and the Napoleon Dynamites occasionally get their moment in the sun, and when that happens, they stand up as the true heroes for all us regular joes who go through life one step at a time doing our best but being dismissed for most of the route.

And, for those of us who live the "stupid Idaho" jokes most of our route, last night's Boise State performance will sustain us and our misunderstood state for years to come. Idahoans are true blue-collar Rodney Dangerfields, who've finally gained some respect, and it's oh such sweet potatoes.

Go Broncos!!!


Dave Ebbett said...

I want you to know that I was glued to the TV as you were last night even though the game lasted past midnight here in Dallas. I would almost bet that you could have heard me yelling if you had stepped outside. I was apalled at the comments made before and during halftime by Switzer and Johnson, even to the point that I sent Fox Sports a scathing email on such terrible commentary. Idaho roots never disappear. Happy New Year!!

MLove said...

Amen, Dave! Glad you wrote to them. They need to be taken to task.

Sandy said...

Where were you in 1998 when Idaho became the first university in this state to go to a bowl game and ended up beating an opponent that the pundits predicted would blow the Vandals out? Talk about not getting respect! Regardless of where the two programs are today, Idaho was the first to be successful. GO VANDALS!

Anonymous said...

The city of Boise represents Sandpoint about the same way as the city of Seattle represents Spangle. A bunch of California transplants are not true-blue Idahoans. Maybe you want more of them moving up here?

CameronsCastle said...

Amen, Mrs. Love.

We have season tickets to the Oregon State University Beavers, and cringe every year when we see Boise State on our schedule. In fact, we lost to them this year. Boise State is a good team and can play in any conference. They proved that last night.

Now I have to mosey over to Mangy Moose Acres and put in my two cents after a Pac-10 team beating the mighty Michigan State... despite what all the "commentators" said would happen.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in northern idaho and loves college football, i feel the need to retort:

1. Boise State was Mismatched as a BCS buster - that was the beauty of it
2. Boise state just followed in the footsteps of another school - school Utah.
3. Boise State was pretty well respected by the media outlets nationwide, and even though the underdogs - still won (see the ad last week from George Mason)

We were never played as back country hicks - what people don't realise is that both Idaho, and Boise State have been on national tv and people know what we contribute to this country. Yes there will be jokes about potatoes, and uncle rico and napoleon, but it is all in good fun. And the Napoleon Dynamite reference is in regards to a statement The Quarterback Jared Zabransky made to the ESPN crew about how he could throw a potato "80 yards or so" before the ill-fated georgia game.

So if you are getting your pantys in a wad about this - let it go woman YOU are making Idaho sports fans look bad on this national stage.


Anonymous said...

Boy Mrs. Love - getting some heat!

Just a note to the anonymous post -Percentage wise Sandpoint probably has about as many transplants as Boise, Idaho.

I know those Vandals find it hard to support the Broncos - but who do you think half the season ticket holders are...when you have great football to watch...you say Go Broncos!

Fingers-crossed that the tides will change in Moscow so we can see some real rivalry football!

Happy New Year.


Boise Ute Fan said...

Cocky egomaniacs were not only not dismissed on Monday night, they were put on center stage.

You Boise State fans drank that "underdog, Cinderella story kool aid" like I thought you all would. Anyone who has had the misfortune of spending time around the arrogant pricks that are the Boise State fan base knows what an absolute crock of bull your lame "oh, we're the Rodney Dangerfields of America" mantra really is. Mike Tyson was an underdog in many of his title fights, but I didn't reflexively piss myself rooting for him.

Look, my team, the University of Utah, did the exact same thing you clowns did two years ago. You think we didn't hear about Utah fans being "cheap, polygamists prudes" leading up to that game?? Even from your fellow Idahoans for crying out loud!

And Oklahoma "blueblooded"?? Please, if anything from the State of Oklahoma is "blueblood", then my name is Orlando Bloom.

Most of the country that isn't comprised of retarded sheeple see right through this. Hey, our glorified trade school dumb lucked their way into a Fiesta Bowl win aganist an overrated Oklahoma team, we rule, everyone else sucks!!

Spare me and spare America.

Anonymous said...

First of all, this is Mrs. Love site so don't come on here and diss her. If you know her, you love her. I am not a Broncos fan, per say, but I DO live in Idaho and I WILL vote for Idaho teams. I also watch and yell for the Zags although I did not go to Gonzaga, I am not Catholic, and I'm not from Washington. I will also vote for USC in bowl games, although I've never even been to California and not a USC fan at all, but cheer for them because they are the PAC 10 and everyone out west gets under rated and disrespected by the BCS and the powers that be in the East. So, chill and if you don't like her opinions then don't read her stuff! She's just proud of an Idaho team winning, just as most of us in the state are! I had many of the same reactions as Mrs. Love, although I have no connections to Boise, BSU, or the blue turf of Idaho. I just was cheering for the home team.

Anonymous said...

Being an Idahoan who does not live in Idaho, I get the worst of all the jokes. Sometimes it's funny, but sometimes it gets annoying to have to tell people that the first time I saw a potato farm was the year I moved down to go to school at Boise State. I grew up going to Vandal football games and I will forever be able to recite I-D-A-H-O, Idaho! Idaho! Go! Go! Go! (which I will do proudly). I vividly remember watching the Broncos play the Vandals on the "smurf turf" and cheering loudly for BOTH teams. I've always been proud of both programs, win or lose. The fact is, Monday night's game was not just the underdog beating the big bad wolf. Monday night's game was undoubtedly one of the best games in college football history. I've read countless articles from different sources that agree that the game stood out above most. EVERYONE is talking about it. I don't even remember Utah from two years ago, but I'm pretty positive that the 4th and 18 play by Boise State will be replayed for decades. Yes, they have had a strong program for several years and people have previously recognized this. But Monday night they officially defined themselves as a team that can play with the big dogs. I truely believe that my degree from Boise State is now worth a lot more than it was just two days ago. The compliments I've gotten from random strangers for the Boise State sweatshirt I wear proudly in Seattle and the admiration of my school's victory from my coworkers make me believe this. I'm ready to say that I graduated from Boise State and to not have people ask me where Boise State is anymore.

Anonymous said...

All of this fuss over young men tossing around a football. Wouldn't it be nice if we got as excited over ACADEMICS for a change? BSU isn't going to be winning any national championships in that department any time soon.

The scholars and scientists of this country would like a little excitement thrown their way once in awhile.

The focus placed on sports is just downright disgusting at times.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with making a big fuss over sports. People enjoy sports, it's that simple.

Just because I'm proud of the degree I earned at Boise State I would like to point out that the University has indeed won at least one national championship in academic endeavors. In 2005, the debate team (Talkin' Broncos) won the national championship at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in St. Louis. This program has been strong for many years. Makes me proud to know that the coach of that team was one of my professors.