But before I get into that, I'd like to take a second to thank the Schmitt family for once again opening their home to me for the Thanksgiving holiday. For three years now they have hosted me in La Canada, and, considering that I alone account for at least 10 pounds of turkey consumption, that is no small feat. Thank you so much for your gracious generosity.
And now what you've all been waiting for.
There was much build up leading into this year's game. It was the 8th annual playing, and 2000 was riding high after taking a 4-3 lead in the series last year. 1997 prepared the best way they knew how, sign a great free agent QB in the off season, practice between none and zero times, show up to the field an hour early, make a few cocktails, drink a few beers, and talk about how much we hate all things 2000.
After winning the coin toss, 1997's offense took the field. Walking up to the line, Joe and I noticed a hole in the 2000 defense, and immediately audibled to our secret play "Check Muir", the resulting throw was a 65 yard touchdown pass. The beating continued for two quarters, with '97 heading into halftime with a comfortable 28-6 lead over 2000.
'97 was no more than 25 seconds into halftime before they started a terrible dance party/happy hour. No stretching/strategizing/focusing combined with lots of lounging/cocktails/cocky attitude translated into a VERY poor second half.
2000 came out with some attitude to start things off, and quickly carved up the '97 lead. Long story short, Mike Schmitt put 2000 in position to win the game when he drove them down the field and settled in to a 1st and goal with 35 seconds left. Eventually, 2000 found themselves down by 5, with 4th and goal and 4 seconds remaining. However, intense QB pressure from myself and Joe forced Mike into a nearly impossible throw, resulting in a game ending incomplete pass.
1997 basked in victory and pain on the sidelines for a long time after the game, nursing sore legs, but enjoying rejuvenated egos. Eventually the players moved the festivities up to the Schmitt house, for what is now known as the Best Party of the Year...Every Year. 2000 picked up the tab for the kegs (obviously) and '97 took pulls of Jaeger from the trophy cup. Did I mention that we also showered each other in some bubbly while sitting on each others' laps in a hot tub? I still don't know why I posted THOSE photos, talk about political suicide.
So that was it, the party lasted all night, and, in the spirit of the weekend, we rose early the next day and cruised into LA to tailgate for the SC-ND debacle, followed by a typical Shellback's Tavern Saturday night mess.
Best weekend of the year, three years running.