Last week, I made a request of the readership to donate to Personal Counseling Services of Southern Indiana during the Give For Good Louisville one-day drive. It should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s spent time around this fine bunch of people, but y’all sure delivered. With no prior introduction or warning, you raised over $3800 in the 24-hour donation window. (I have been told by development that further donations after the drive’s window closed brought that over $5000, but I can’t view those personally). The charity was absolutely delighted and completely surprised that so many people from all over the country would support their work like this.
You’re amazing, all of you, and I am deeply grateful.
Also, as promised, I was forced to explain Every Day Should Be Saturday to a boardroom full of lovely, older, offline people. I think I pulled it off? I went with “it’s a sports blog, but not really, but we have incredibly dedicated readers”, for the record.
Anyways, I did say that I would say nice things about your school if you donated, so it’s time to pay the piper. (A fair number of donations were anonymous; I’ve included those that gave me a hint or whose allegiances I already knew).
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY - The cradle of coaches! As you know, I’ve recently become very fond of Division II football, and one of the strongest schools in the last 20 years has been the GVSU Lakers, who won four national titles in the ‘00s, under future Central Michigan / Cincinnati / Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and future Miami-Ohio coach Chuck Martin.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY - That marching band is really truly quite exceptional.
NEBRASKA - Texas never should’ve gotten that extra second in the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game.
ILLINOIS - I watched the 2002 overtime game against Ohio State on an elliptical machine at the gym, and it stands as one of the best workouts I’ve ever gotten. Jon Beutjer was fun.
SOUTH CAROLINA (RYAN NANNI) - That Outback Bowl win was really excited. Also, Sandstorm is terrific.
NOTRE DAME - If I wanted to explain college football to someone who’d never seen a thing about it, I’d take them to a home game in South Bend.
HOUSTON - Ed Oliver is terrifying.
PENN STATE - Beaver Stadium is in the top 5 of places I’d love to see a game. I’m glad you’re good again, because Ohio State needs competition in the Big Ten East.
MICHIGAN - Oops. Uh, sorry. Your fight song is great.
GEORGIA - I will revel in the day you finally unseat the Alabama juggernaut, and I will regret it the same way I eventually did celebrating the New England Patriots’ upset win over the Rams in the Super Bowl.
OKLAHOMA STATE - Consistently and quietly one of the most fun teams in college football. You’re usually under the radar, but often a team I’ll stop the dial on. Also, Mike Gundy growing a mullet to annoy his kids is a parenting god-level move.
LOUISVILLE - I live in your city, and you make it easy for me to attend football games. Lamar Jackson is one of the most fun players I will ever see play live.
UAB - I’m glad you’re back. Also, dragons are cool.
OHIO - This one is tough, as you play Cincinnati tomorrow, but I will say: Athens is beautiful, your journalism school is great, and “I’m going to Athens for Halloween” is a phrase that still scares and impresses me over a decade out of college.
WISCONSIN - You play big dumb football and I mean that as the highest of compliments.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN - You gave Cincinnati two straight coaches and neither of them was Tommy Tuberville. Thanks.
NORTH CAROLINA - One of the best color schemes in the game.
FLORIDA - Your fans were surprisingly reasonably gracious after the 2010 Sugar Bowl.
And finally, the largest named donation (by ChocoTaco), and thus winner of the priceless honorarium AMERICA’S TEAM AS JUDGED BY ACTIONCOOKBOOK:
I identify closely with a program like Louisiana Tech. Much like my alma mater Cincinnati, you’ve been around forever, you’ve bounced all over the place in conferences, and you’ve had to deal with the looming shadow of one of college football’s traditional powerhouses within your state.
And you’ve persisted. Clawing up from Division II to FBS ball, fighting against the odds, and turning into a genuinely competitive program in the Skip Holtz era! Yes, he’s not the greatest, but making bowl games in four straight seasons in Ruston is nothing to scoff at. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of teams who have shorter active bowl streaks than the Bulldogs:
- Southern Miss
The Fire Bell is cool, bulldogs are a consistently good mascot, and you’re probably going to upset LSU this weekend because college football is funny like that.
Go Bulldogs, and thanks again to everyone who donated or supported the campaign.