Now, many Aztec fans (myself, included) have been known to poke fun at the annual mid-December showcase of Group of 5 mediocrity. Indeed, with the exception of 2010, a drought-breaking year in which a trip to literally any bowl game would have been greeted with the unbridled enthusiasm of a monarch’s coronation, the thought of the Poinsettia was always a drag for us. It was a consolation prize in which we’d play a meh opponent in our shitty home stadium and pay exorbitant bowl game prices to do so.
Like most everyone I’m a bit stunned by all of this. I’m a lifelong, third-generation Chargers fan who is sad to lose our team. But pleased as punch to lose the Spanos family! I guess that puts me in good company because San Diego State has to be feeling similarly today. Check out this U-T article about SDSU’s experience as Qualcomm Stadium’s lesser tenant trying to deal with the Chargers.
As we talked about last week, Qualcomm Stadium is a dump. San Diego State attempted to do the following to make it less of a dump:
Upgrade video boards
Upgrade advertising boards
Improve wireless access
The Chargers didn’t want any part of it. It’s clear now that their plan all along was to make the stadium look as awful as possible and let everybody else do their work for them. Clearly, that plan worked spectacularly.
Having read Zeigler’s preview, and after last year’s loss to GCU, and last week’s Loyola loss, I didn’t have much faith or emotional investment in the Aztecs pulling this one out. I’d had the following exchange with blog overlord AKH earlier in the day while negotiating who would take this recap:
Truth is I didn’t know this game started at 6pm. I got home, discovered it was already 15 minutes in, was starving, so I listened and kind of half-watched as I made dinner. The broadcast was on Channel 4 San Diego, which I wasn’t sure still was a thing. Aztecs and Padres games used to be on 4SD, and the play-by-play guy sounded enough like Ted Leitner that I thought it was Ted Leitner, and I wondered why Uncle Teddy was emoting so much when the “Lopes” hit a three. When I was able to sit and watch for a few minutes I realized it was the home-produced Grand Canyon broadcast.
We now go live to the announcement of the 2016 Heisman Trophy finalists!
Here’s the thing.
I think we had all resigned ourselves by now to the fact that D.J. Pumphrey was not going to win the Heisman Trophy. Despite the monster numbers, the assault on the all-time rushing mark and the bigass banner hanging on the west end of campus, #Pumphrey4Heisman was always a bit of a Potemkin village. We all saw what happened to Marshall.
But I think we held out hope that D.J. could at least make it to New York – to get a free chicken dinner, a memory to last a lifetime and a nice photo op for both him and San Diego State University.
Wellllll, guess what? The Lords of College Football couldn’t even let us have that.