Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Brew-tiful day in Portland.

So I had the incredible pleasure of attending the 20th annual Oregon Brewers Festival yesterday on the waterfront park in downtown Portland. This adventure was the brain child of Mrs.Wildcat11. She thought this would be a great present for her father’s birthday and all daughters should be as thoughtful as Mrs.11.

We rented a minivan from Chuck Colvin in the AM and our five person crew (Wildcat11, Mrs.11 (Designated Driver), Father-in-law, Younger Brother-in-law, Youngest Brother-in-law) and hit Brewfest at about 12:30.

The set up is pretty simple there are six total trailers set up on about 300 yard x 75 yard gated lot. Trailers 1-3 are on the South end of the lot, in the middle are the food and gift tent/booths, and Trailers 4-6 are on the North end of the lot. Each trailer hosts up to 12 different brewers as they are all line up with the taps flowing ready to take your tokens.

The way it works is you pay $4 for an official plastic mug and then you have to purchase wooden tokens ($1 = one token) in order to get yourself some beer. When you get up to a beer you want to sample you can either pay one token for a taste or 4 tokens for them to fill up your mug. The great part was the one token was a pretty decent amount of brew. We figure that each “taste” was equal to 6 oz of beer.
So with Mrs.11 as our map guide we made the rounds for the next 4 hours and had more than our fair share. Below is everything we tried on the day and we ranked them on our professional 1-4 four star rating system.

Trailer 1:
Ballast Point Brewing Co (Yellowtail Pale Ale)**
Bison Brewing Co (Orgainic Chocolate Stout)**
Hale’s Ales Brewery & Pub (El Jefe Weizen Ale)*
Klamath Basin Brewing (Crater Lake Golden Ale) ***
Laurelwood Brewing (PNW Pils) **
Steelhead Brewing Co (Full Count Pale Ale)****

Trailer 2:
Calapooia Brewing Co (Yankee Clipper IPA)**
Fearless Brewing Co (Fearless Scottish Ale)****
Grand Teton Brewing Co (Bitch Creek ESB)**
Sprecher Brewing Co (Mai Bock) ****
Trumer Brauerei Berkeley (Trumer Pils) ***

Trailer 3:
Collaborator (Rawkin Bock) ****
Hazel Dell Brewpub (Red Zone) ***
Luck Labrador Brew Pub (Triple Threat IPS) *

Trailer 4:
Diamond Knot Brewing Co (Industrial IPA)***
North Coast Brewing Co (PranQster Belgian Golden Ale) *
Stone Brewing Co (Stone Vertical Epic)***
Victory Brewing Co (Prima Pils)****

Trailer 5:
Redhook Ale Brewery (Long Hammer IPA)****
Spanish Peaks Brewery (Black Dog Ale)***

Trailer 6:
Full Sail Brewing Co. (Full Sail LTD 02)***
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Summerfest Beer)****
There was some heavy debate on just who had the best beer but one brew did standout above them all and it was Collaborator’s Rawkin Bock. The beer has incredible flavor and went down smooth. Collaborator’s isn’t even a brewing company. They are actually a homebrewing club that is partnered with Widmer Brothers. I’m really hoping Widmer will put this out to the masses one day because it’s now a WC11 favorite.

Overall the brewfest was fantastic fun. The crowd was easy going, the weather was perfect, and the beer was cold. Could you have asked for a better July weekend?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Game For The Ages (The 1984 NAIA Championship)

(Image from

The 1984 Northwestern College football team was good….darn good. The defending NAIA Division II champions (1983) came in and dominated the ‘Cats for over 2 quarters of football and Linfield was happy to help with putting the ball on the ground and a young David Lindley not have a stellar 2 ½ quarters behind center. Honestly, in watching the 1984 Championship game I was thinking “How can Linfield come back from this?” Granted I was thinking this sitting on my couch last Saturday so we all know the ‘Cats did indeed come back for the 33-22 victory, but the way they stormed back was just incredible.

Down 22-0 with under ten minutes to play in the 3rd quarter the ‘Cats finally get a drive going in typical Rutschman style with a balanced offense and a QB that utilized his backs in the passing game, however, the drive stalled on the Red Raider 8-yard line and Ad Rutschman was left with a decision. Do you try to force a TD or do you run your kicker out just to break the seal? It was a decision of monumental proportions but Rutschman knew his team and kids well enough to send his kicker out. It was such a brilliant move in terms of psychology.

What message would he be sending if he kept his offense on the field to go for the TD? To me that could tell his team that “We’re not good enough to get this close again so we have to take our shot now”. Kicking the field goal was a message that said “We’re under control, let’s get on the board and get back in the game.” This is a classic example of a coach with such a full understanding of the mental make-up of his kids. He knew they just needed a small victory to start the wheels rolling and as soon as those 3 points were tacked on the board the ‘Cats turned into a different team and Northwestern didn’t have a chance.

I haven’t see every Linfield game in history so I can’t say with authority if this was the greatest Linfield victory ever but considering the stage and circumstances of the comeback I think people would be hard pressed to come up with a greater moment in Wildcat football history.

Video: 1984 NAIA Championship game hi-light recap

Monday, July 9, 2007

First of Four has just posted up the 1982 NAIA Championship video of Linfield capturing its first National Championship. I have to tell you that I think the vid turned out rather well. However, I did notice a major error this morning. I dropped the ball and forgot an “e” in Randy Mueller’s last name. How could I blow the last name of our freaking quarterback! I’m just ticked that I’m going to have to go back, update the video and reload the whole thing again.

The game itself was awesome to watch. However, it was a little weird to watch a game for the National Championship being played at McMinnville High School, but hey, the Stagg Bowl is played at a community high school field is Salem, Va. After a few minutes of watching the 82 game you don't really care it's at Mac High because the game seemed to fit the times perfectly.

The whole scene of the game was magical. The old school Linfield uniforms, the balanced attack of Coach Rutschman and the ‘Cats doing the little things so well. The part that I was most surprised with was Coach Rutschman’s willingness to put the freshman out on the field. I loved it! If the kid can play then play he will.

The only thing I’m disappointed with is that I can only bring you 10 minutes of this game. There are so many fantastic little things about the broadcast…from the sweet commercials, to the “press box” that a younger Steve Arena was calling the game from. You could just feel the love the McMinnville community had for that team during the game. Total crowd focus on the history unfolding in front of their eyes. It was a great experience for this Wildcat fan.