Posts Tagged ‘West Point’

How to photograph a college football game in seventy-six easy steps

September 21, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 21, 2013

Step 1. Have your sibling give you a birthday present of tickets to watch Stanford football play at Army on Sept. 14, 2013. This is a game you’ve been awaiting for years because of the nature of college football intersectional scheduling (and also because you live on the East Coast and your alma mater, Stanford, is in California).

Step 2. Put off asking someone to accompany you to the Stanford-Army game. Repeat for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Step 3. At not quite the last minute (six days before kickoff), ask your pal “Jay” to accompany you to the Stanford-Army game.

Step 4. At not quite the last minute (the night before the game), print out your e-tickets to the game and purchase a parking pass.

Step 5. At not quite the last minute (shortly before leaving the house to pick up Jay and go to the game), ask to borrow your parent’s Samsung compact digital camera with the excellent zoom.

Step 6. Pick up Jay outside his home shortly after 9:30 a.m. on game day.

Step 7. Thoughtlessly proceed to take perhaps the worst possible route between Jay’s home and the highway you plan to take to West Point. Not only is the route circuitous, it passes through a number of Orthodox Jewish and/or Hasidic Jewish communities. And not only does the circuitous route pass through a number of Orthodox Jewish and/or Hasidic Jewish communities, this happens to be Saturday, the sabbath day, when truly observant Jews refuse to use automobiles and instead walk everywhere. And not only does the circuitous route pass through a number of Orthodox and/or Hasidic Jewish communities on Saturday, this particular day happens to be Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest of Jewish holidays, which means that there are lots of people walking. And not only are there lots of pedestrians, a noticeable number of them are walking not on the available sidewalks but beside them. And not only are some of these people walking on the street, instead of watching where they’re going, some of them are reading (presumably) prayer books as they go.

Step 8. Because Jay hasn’t had breakfast, search for a bagel place to patronize. Because neither of you are particularly familiar with the area where you are, this involves nearly turning into a strip mall that lacks a bagel place; actually turning into a strip mall that doesn’t have a bagel place but is immediately adjacent to a strip mall with a bagel place; and turning, finally, into a strip mall with a bagel place.

Step 9. Drive toward West Point, N.Y.

Step 10. Bypass the first turnoff for West Point because it’s clogged with traffic.

Step 11. Bypass the second turnoff for West Point because it won’t lead to a lot where you can use your parking pass. Also, it’s clogged with traffic.

Read the rest of this entry »

A few answers are revealed, but many mysteries abound after Stanford’s 34-20 win against Army

September 16, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 16, 2013

Over the past four years, I’ve been fortunate enough to see my beloved Stanford football team play in person an average of once a season, despite living on the opposite side of the country from my alma mater. (I’m separated by a distance of 2,800 miles and 44 hours of drive time, according to my smartphone map program.)

I got my latest opportunity to cheer on my favorite team from the stands this past weekend when the Cardinal visited the U.S. Military Academy in upstate New York. West Point isn’t far from where I grew up, and I was lucky enough to be treated to a pair of tickets by a sibling.

So I was there in Michie Stadium when the team kicked off its second game of the 2013 season. After four quarters, fifth-ranked Stanford had earned a 34-20 victory over Army. But I found myself coming away with plenty of questions — some of them easily answered, some of them unanswerable at the moment.

Here’s a look at what I saw and what I wondered about after the Cardinal moved to 2-0 on the young year.

• Question: How good will Tyler Gaffney be this year?

Answer: Very. T-Gaff left no doubt that he is primed for a terrific season after posting his second straight game with more than 100 rushing yards. In fact, Gaffney — who took a break from football in 2012 to play minor league baseball — improved on his performance against San Jose State in the opener.

He rushed 20 times in each of the first two games, racking up 104 yards (5.2 yards per carry; long of 16) and two touchdowns against the Spartans and 132 yards (6.6 ypc; long of 25) and one score vs. Army. No. 25 went for two catches and 20 yards in the first game of 2013 and accounted for a single 23-yard touchdown reception in the second game.

Many folks thought that the Stanford ground game would miss a beat after the graduation of Stepfan Taylor. But all indications are that those folks thought wrong.

• Question: Why has David Shaw been talking about running-back-by-committee when Gaffney has been so spectacular in the early going?

Answer: Unclear. Maybe Gaffney played below his current level during preseason camp. Maybe his chief rival, Anthony Wilkerson, flashed far more potential during summer practice than he’s shown in the first two contests. Maybe Stanford’s coach wanted to make it harder for opposing coaches to prepare for the Cardinal. Read the rest of this entry »

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