Editor’s note: Why write an entirely new post about a legit SDSU Heisman candidate getting snubbed for a trip to New York when a perfectly good template already exists?
We now go live to the announcement of the 2016 2017 Heisman Trophy finalists!
Here’s the thing.
I think we had all resigned ourselves by now to the fact that D.J. PumphreyRashaad Penny was not going to win the Heisman Trophy. Despite the monster numbers, the assault on the all-time rushing mark leading FBS in rushing and all-purpose yardage and the bigass banner hanging on the west end of campus OK maybe there should have been a banner, #Pumphrey4Heisman #Penny4Heisman was always a bit of a Potemkin village. We all saw what happened to Marshall and D.J.
But I think we held out hope that D.J. Rashaad 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.
A few hours ago, we were all getting righteously excited about a bowl game named after CAFO chickens that’s played in a boondoggle stadium in the Bay Area’s most boring suburb. I suppose when you are San Diego State University of the Mountain West Conference, even those modest dreams are too much to ask for.
Oh, also a bowl game in a soccer stadium against SMU is also too much to ask for.
And a game in Birmingham, Alabama in the only FBS stadium crumbling more rapidly than the Aztecs’ venerable home.
After an entire morning and early afternoon of confusion and frustration and FLAILING RAGE that probably ruined your Sunday as much as it did mine and my family’s, SDSU was finally handed a consolation landing spot in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas against Army. The game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 23 at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. The game will be on ESPN, which is important to know because you are definitely not going to attend.
The 2016 Las Vegas Bowl was an emotional game to watch as an Aztecs fan. It was a coronation of sorts — a convincing bowl victory against a hyped opponent — but it was more than that. It was also the day when Donnel Pumphrey broke the NCAA rushing mark. In the wake of the record breaking run, the ABC cameras captured a shot of D.J., on the bench, sharing a moment with super fan Tom Ables*.
*This shot is at 1:34:50 in this video if you’re in the mood for a cry.
Sitting on Lemonverbena’s couch that afternoon, I damn near lost it.
Just as I nearly have several times tonight, reading the obits and tributes marking the passing of Tom Ables at age 91.
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.