Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ADvantage Mailbag

Wanted to say thanks to all that sent in questions for our very first mailbag segment. It was pretty dang fun to answer and while I did ramble on a bit on a few questions I couldn't stop typing. One thing I do want to make clear is that every one of my replies is soley my opinion and is not that of Linfield College or the football program. I didn't write anything outlandish but I just want to make it clear that my thoughts on may or may not happen to Menlo are just what I've pieced together over the years.

If you have a question for the next mailbag segment you can send them here:

If someone in McMinnville was interested in getting frozen yogurt and renting a DVD at the same time, are there any options for those wanting to be efficient in McMinnville?

But the real question, with the addition of Pacific University to the NWC, how many years do you think Menlo will remain in the league? I'm curious if the conference will bite the bullet and keep them in to ensure the complete DIII schedule?

Tualatin, Or

Wildcat11: First off Jeff, you bring up a great memory of Wildcat11’s as I loved going to Video Yogurt Express during my time at Linfield (mid/late 90’s). Where else could you have picked up a VHS copy of Caddyshack while getting a mountain of vanilla/chocolate swirl frozen yogurt bliss? But times change and I guess the video rental/frozen yogurt business model wasn’t built to last as the business closed and now a Popeye’s Chicken stands in its place. Once again an innovative business falls by the hands of fast food chicken.

But now onto what you really wanted to ask and it’s something that has been on my mind for some time. With Pacific hitting the gridiron this fall that brings the total football membership of the NWC to 8 teams and it does seem that George Fox is really considering bring back football down the road, so at this point there is a possible chance of the NWC having 9 football playing members in the foreseeable future. Wild.

But there has always been this vibe floating around the conference that the NWC’s football only relationship with Menlo has just been more out of necessity than anything else. Yeah, the NWC asked the Oaks to the NWC because the conference wanted the autobid and Menlo accepted because they wanted football to have a home. It wasn’t like Menlo was this prestigious free agent that the NWC presidents were falling over themselves to get on-board. That is really the issue with Menlo is their lower academic and admission standards. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating on Menlo because they don’t have Whitman type of admission standards but that was the hurdle for most of the NWC presidents to get over.

So now that the NWC has Pacific on board there are some that think the NWC might get cold blooded and send Menlo back to the Indy circuit. I mean, the NWC wouldn’t lose their autobid with Pacific back. So, while I do think there might be some of the college presidents that would like to dissolve the relationship, I think the NWC coaches and AD’s do not want to see it happen at all. At the end of the day, if Menlo wants to stay I think The Oaks are going to be around the conference, however, if George Fox brings back football I think Menlo’s days in the NWC could be numbered.

Ok, since I’m a little bias being my son plays on the team I would like to know from you. What is your favorite moment from the 2009 season that you can share with all of us Catdomers ? Thanks

Gresham OR

Wildcat11: Wow, that is a great question. The season was packed full of great moments on the field and just as a fan following the team around. I had a ton of anxiety at the start of the year because I was unsure of what to expect. We had experience in some areas but really we had unproven talent all over the field and you never know what’s going to happen until the team take the field. So at the end of the day that first game vs. Hardin-Simmons was not only joyful to watch but I was just blown away with how crisp and talented the team looked.

I can remember walking out to my car after the game saying to myself “This could be one of those great years” and boy did the ‘Cats not disappoint.

Now, if you want to talk about actual 2009 “during the game moments” that stand out in my mind there are a few that just jump out at me.

1) The defense shutting down Oxy in the 3rd quarter. That was just huge because it allowed the offense to start to catch their rhythm and get Linfield back in that game. One of those early season moments that a great team builds on.

2) Boehme to Patterson TD bombs twice during the 2nd quarter of the SOU game. There was nothing fancy about that. It was just Patterson getting on his horse and Boehme putting the ball out there for Trevor to bring home. That took the SOU crowd out of the game and you could just feel the air come out of the Raiders at that point.

3) The end of the 1-month long road trip. At the end of the Whitworth game the ‘Cats knew they had control over their own destiny and while the players had fun being on the road you could sense everyone was glad to have it over with.

4) Boehme trucking a Willamette defensive back. Aaron had done a great job in getting down all year and protecting himself but when he lowered that boom on the sideline it just sent a charge up and down the Linfield sideline. It was Boehme delivering a message of “Today is not your day”.

5) Linfield’s defense undressing Mary Hardin-Baylor during the 2nd half of the 2nd round playoff game. I’ve never seen a Linfield defense play a better half of football. It was just a joy to watch.

6) All of the Saint Thomas game. The Catdome was packed, the place was electric all day long, and to wrap up the 2009 home season with a Regional playoff victory was just too sweet.

I used to like the place near Linfield, I think it's called Alf's. But I went in one time and there were live monkeys in there, along with their poop. Lost my appetite rather quickly. Is Alf's now a monkey free zone, i.e., is it safe to go back in?

Tim S.

Wildcat11: Ah yes, Alf’s is still there and last time I checked they still had Monkey’s kicking it in a room next to the main dining area. Alf’s is a throwback that models itself after a 50’s style burger and Milkshake joint but the added attractions are the Monkey’s contained in what looks to be an 8’x8’ room with glass windows. Every time I’ve been in the place they are wearing diapers and I didn’t see their cookies lying around the pen but I get why that ‘ooks you out. The monkeys look very well cared for and they go home with the owners each night. However, each time I did eat there I would be clamping down on one of their ½ pounders with a Monkey staring at me and the only thing running through my head was the dinner scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they served “chilled” money brains for desert. Needless to say, I haven’t frequented Alf’s since college.

It's not a question but how about an article on 'Cats that have coached State or National Champions since graduating from Linfield. I always like to see how other 'Cats have fared.

Just an idea,
Fredericksburg, TX

Wildcat11: You know, that is a very good idea. The now defunct football media guides did list former players that have gone on to coach state or national champions. Just what I can recall the list was pretty dang long but that is something the Advantage should dip into. When you look at the football program that is one of the keys of the longevity of the programs success. Those ‘Cats that have gone onto and coached high school football have played a huge roll in identifying “Linfield” type kids and getting the program and player into touch. Thanks for the idea Chris!

take your little blog storie and your mailbag and head north ok. Or even better get a damn life. No one cares about the rich boys up north, see ya, dont let that door hit you on the way out, oh feel free to quote me in the mail bag.

Boommersmommy (SOU supporter)
via the Oregon Live Small College Board

Wildcat11: Well, I'm already North of Ashland so that is no problem. He may have a point about getting a life but I think the blog/site are just a healthy hobby. However if he thinks Linfield are "rich boys" I would hate to hear what he would say about Whitman because they could buy and sell any school in the conference x2. I am going to miss playing SOU next season.

Hope all is going well, here is a question for your mailbag: If George Fox were someday to bring back football, would the NWC then boot Menlo? Wouldn't the Oaks be a better fit geographically for the SCIAC?

East Lancing, Michigan

Wildcat11: Ah, see I told you what may or what may not happen with Menlo is on the mind of many NWC/Linfield fans. One rumor that popped up was that Menlo was in contact with the GNAC about membership into their Division II conference. I almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard but the more I looked into it this actually might be legit. Menlo sports are split over NCAA Division III (Football & Baseball), NAIA Independent (Wrestling) and the bulk in NAIA’s CalPac Conference.

What’s happening is that the NAIA conference Menlo is in (CalPac) is being weakened by some of their members defecting to a Division II private school conference, the Pacific West Conference. Menlo could very well be hedging their bets that if the CalPac falls apart The Oaks may very well make a move to the DII Pacific West Conference for the bulk of their sports and seek Division II football membership into the GNAC. So while Menlo and Division II football doesn’t sound right there is a scenario where it might very well happen.

This is a legit question Wildcat11, one that recruits need the answer to. As they come to the Catdome and see Alums and fans rabid support for this program. There must be something about this program that generates that drive and pride of being a Cat Fan !! Looking back, where does the magic come from?

Tacoma Wa.

Wildcat11: Consistency and continuity I think are reasons why the older alumni base is so locked into the program. The program has changed with the times in regards to style of offenses/defenses and affiliation. Coaches and players have also changed over the years but the Linfield program is still rooted in the core values and tradition first installed by Paul Durham and then really cemented and matured under Coach Rutschman. Just look at the current staff, Coach Smith played for Coach Rutschman, Coach Hire played for Coach Rutschman, and a number of guys on staff were brought up on the same value system that was established years ago. The alumni see that in how the program continues to operate and it keeps those connections strong.

You just don’t see that very often in athletic programs very often. When a head coach leaves you have the new hires come in and change and shape the program to their belief system (and that’s understandable). With Linfield, the program hasn’t had that with Coaches Langsdorf, Locey, and now Smith all being moved up from coordinator positions to take over the head job. While each head coach put their own stamp on Linfield they always have stayed true to the ‘Cats core values.

I like what you're doing to expand the site features. That can only help generate more hits in my opinion. It will, of course, also keep us in the loop through the terrible wait until Spring Ball starts.

I'll do my part in any way that I can to support the entire Catdome Nation (sorry to steal that phrase from elsewhere) How ‘bout the "Catdomosphere"? That's probably overused and from numerous others as well....but you get my point.

That clip you showed from the cutting room floor was interesting from a perspective of the team transitioning from their "private-team-time" lives to their..."Public Game face" life. Anyway, that's the way I saw it and I appreciated it from the point of view.


Wildcat11: It seems that just about every single college fan base puts “Nation” at the end of it. Heck the proliferation of the “Nation” tag has even work itself into the title of a ESPN show called “Sports Nation”. I think that "Nation" is pretty well played out at this point and that is why we at work really hard to stay away from the term.

I’ve been trying to work in the Catdome Family this past season since the Linfield fans are a pretty tight knit group of people and we are a family unto ourselves. Not saying that “Catdome Family” is now the official term of the Linfield fan base but just a suggestion. You know, we could just use a collective noun that describes a grouping of cats. How about “The Catdome Clowder”?

Also, thanks for mentioning the cutting room floor clips. There is just a large amount of footage that doesn’t make it into the highlight DVD and I feel it just kind of wastes away on my hard drive so we’ll keep on putting those out on occasion…no frills just some extra footage.

Can/should we create a title for ex-wildcat players who defect to a conference rival for what they perceive to be greener pastures? Especially if that player winds up getting trucked You-Tube style in the biggest game of the new team's season by a quarterback who looks like he could hide behind a rake?

Roseburg, Or.

Wildcat11: You know for me that moment was more about Boehme making a statement about the toughness of this 2009 Linfield team and not about getting over on a former teammate. Transfers and in-conference transfers happen. But I’d be lying if I wrote that didn’t make me smile just a little bit after the fact (it did). However, I have to say you only do college and college football once and if you’re not happy then you should do yourself the service of finding a place you enjoy. So credit to that former Wildcat for making the move, I have no issue with it. But in regards to your question I guess we can just call it “Lowering the Boehme” on someone. Does that work?


Anonymous said...

Talking to a few NWC ADs it sounds like Menlo is talking about a return to NAIA. Not sure why they would do such a thing, as that organization is hemorrhaging schools at the moment, but it sounds like there is a good chance that could happen in the next few years.

doc said...

"The Catdome Clowder"? Now where does that come from?
No. Clowder rhymes with chowder and I do not want to ever hear about that again.
For some nice-guy reason I think the NWC owes Menlo a little something and should accommodate them as long as they abide by the rules.

My 2 questions....
Did you think you were going to get hate mail right off the bat?
(since the laws of evaporation make me a glass half empty kind of fan)
What was the low point of a 12-1 season?
(I'm eliminating the obvious injury to Simon, OK?)

Wildcat 11 said...


I'll save your questions for the next mail bag. In terms of "Catdome clowder" I just googled "Collective noun" and cats and that popped up along with these others:

clowder of cats
clutter of cats
glaring of cats
pounce of cats
dout of cats (house cats)
nuisance of cats (house cats)
kendle of cats (kittens)
kindle of cats (kittens)
litter of cats (kittens)
destruction of cats (wild cats)

doc said...

Well, since I'm the only nuisance of cats left around we'll skip that. A Glaring of Cats is what the sailor hat is doing, isn't it?