Don’t Change Anything! Boise State fans all have their ways to help the Broncos win

When it comes to sports superstitions, I have to admit I am pretty bad.  I have them for all of my teams.  When any of them go on a hot streak I have to make sure nothing changes.

I received a New York Rangers shirt for Christmas last year, and when they made the playoffs I vowed not to wash it until they lost a series.  That shirt went from April 17th to June 17th without being washed.  Come to think of it I threw it into the back of the closet after the Kings won in OT on the 17th, so it actually didn’t get washed until October.  That smell coming from my closet that my wife was complaining about makes sense now.

Anyways, this is about the Broncos, and when it comes to Boise State, I am even worse. My day has to start with coffee in  one of my Boise State coffee mugs.  When I get dressed I must have my lucky Boise State underwear ( I know, TMI) and I try to match what the team is wearing that day.  If it is a road game I will usually wear orange or a white jersey.  If it is a home game, I  go with whatever color the team is wearing.  I realized towards the end of this season that my 1994 throwback jersey was bringing the most luck so  I wore that to the Utah State game, and after winning wore the exact same clothes to the MWC Championship game.  It worked!

For road games I need to have my man-cave set up the exact  same way.  I have  picture of Pokey Allen that I take off of the wall and put on the coffee table along with my lucky cowbell, and my replica hammer has to be out as well.

There are also a lot fans who are superstitious about what the team is wearing.  After the Broncos wore their orange helmets in both the Ole Miss and Air Force losses there are many fan who hope we never see them again.  Of course, luck can change.  After some bad losses wearing orange pants in 2005, the bad juju was cleansed from them with the undefeated Fiesta Bowl season of 2006. Now after winning two Fiesta Bowls with blue helmets, white jerseys, and orange pants, most fans are hoping to see the same combination on December 31st.

What are some of the rest of Bronco Nation’s rituals?  I asked on Twitter yesterday and got quite a few answers:

 

Our contributor Heath added that when he watches games on TV he wears the same jerseys the team is wearing.  With all of the different jerseys we have worn the past few years he must have quite a collection.

I also received an email from Blue Turf Nation reader Wally Hames, who has a specific game day ritual:

“When watching BSU play, I always have to be sitting in my recliner,  nap pillow on my stomach, vertically, and the remote has to be laying horizontal facing left.  I don’t know why…it just works.”

I am guessing one of those things were just a bit off for our two losses this year!

Do you have any crazy rituals?  Let us know on twitter or leave a comment!

I will go ahead and leave this awesome Soul Train video here for all of you as well!

 

 

 

Why does this Fiesta Bowl feel different?

For the third time in the past eight years Boise State has made it to the Fiesta Bowl, and while making a major bowl game is an incredible accomplishment for any team, it seems extra special for this team.  And it feels different from the previous two for me as a fan.

Anyone with a keyboard and a blog has written about the ups and downs, transformations and ultimately the success of the 2014 Broncos.  We are all amazed at where this team has come, and what they have gone through to get there.  Maybe that is why this time it feels different from the other two.

The off-season of 2006 began much the same way as 2014.  The previous year was  disappointing by Boise State standards, and our beloved head coach had left for non-blue pastures.  Many of us were not quite sure what to expect, but were excited with the young coach taking the reigns.

2006, of course, began with a win.  Followed by another. And another.  The hype built up with every dominating performance and with each one brought upward movement in the rankings.  Before we knew it we were in Reno, playing for a shot in the Fiesta Bowl – Boise State’s first ever BCS appearance.

An early season loss to Washington in 2007 brought Bronco Nation back down to earth, as we all knew we had to go undefeated to have a chance at a BCS Bowl.  That team went on a run and got back into the top 25, but lost its last game at Hawaii eliminating any hope.

The Kellen Moore era began in 2008, and after beating Oregon in the third game of the year and starting 3-0, it felt like we might be on another run.  Unfortunately, undefeated and a #9 ranking was not good enough that year as Boise State had to settle for the Poinsettia Bowl vs. TCU.  Despite a loss in that game, a final ranking of #11 and the return of an emerging star at QB had us set up for big run.  Not just for the next season, but perhaps for quite a long time.

But the expectation had been set.  Boise State could not just get into a BCS game with a perfect record  – they had to play perfect games.

In 2009, Boise State’s recent success did indeed help, as a big opening game win against Oregon and another undefeated season led to the Broncos 2nd Fiesta Bowl, where they defeated TCU 17-10.  Boise State finished at #4 in the final rankings that year, and now the talk was not just of a BCS game that year, but perhaps even a National Championship.

It was during that 20009 season that things started to change for me as a fan.  Rather than feel the excitement of a team on the verge of great things like I did in 2006, I started to feel pressure – the pressure of perfection.  The previous years showed us that the blueprint for a BCS game was big wins out of conference and an undefeated season  – an even that might not be enough.

The games became stressful, Bronco Nation seemed on edge, and when the seasons and the dream of a BCS game crumbled after losses in both 2010 and 2011, the losses hurt more than ever.

It was starting to not be fun anymore.

An opening loss to Michigan State in 2012 immediately took the wind out of the BCS sails, but there was still some hope that our “résumé” might still get us considered.  Unfortunately a late loss to San Diego State on the Blue (the second home loss in two years) ended all hope and it appeared our magical run was over.

As we all know things got worse in 2013. After a blowout loss to Washington the expectations were no longer there. But even with the pressure lifted, it was still not fun. We dumped our unique offense, lost our starting QB, and were being led by a coach that was burnt out.  Perhaps the pressure of perfection got to him too.

And then came change.

On December 6th 2013, Chris Petersen took the job at Washington, and Bronco Nation was crushed.

But on December 11th Bryan Harsin was hired, and from his first press conference, we knew things were going to be better.

The expectations coming into this season were not as high.  After the letdown of 2013 most of us just wanted “Bronco Football” back.  We just wanted to have fun again. And without all the expectations of perfection, it was.

Although the losses to Ole Miss and Air Force were not fun, they did not hurt as much.  And even though this team was not always perfect, they sure were fun to watch.  As the season grew to a close, the fact that we had a chance for a major bowl brought a feeling of accomplishment  rather than a feeling of relief that we made it.

I think the losses in 2010 and 2011, as well as the “down years” of 2012 and 2013 helped me enjoy Bronco football more.

As we prepare for the game against Arizona on December 31st, rather than feeling nervous or anxious, I am excited and happy.  The future is bright for Boise State, and this year has shown us that under the new system, we no longer have to be perfect to accomplish our goals.

This Fiesta Bowl feels different, and I like it.

Poll: Do you plan on attending the Fiesta Bowl?

Boise State fans are known to travel well, especially to bowl games.  So will you be going?  Vote in the poll and leave a comment on why or why not!

Do you plan on attending the Fiesta Bowl?

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BTN Predictions: Mountain West Conference Championship Game

Derek

Well here we are. 15 weeks after the disappointing loss to Ole Miss in Atlanta and we are back on The Blue™ for one last time.  On the line is a Mountain West Conference Championship game, and if we achieve that goal, even bigger things await in a New Years Six bowl.  After that loss on August 28th, and the subsequent loss to Air Force on four weeks later, I never could have imagined it.

Boise State has been getting better with every game and has put together back–to-back complete performances with their wins over Wyoming and Utah State.  I have no doubt they will do it again to night with everything on the line.  The #1More mantra that Harsin has preached to his team this week tells me that they have a laser like focus on this game tonight, and they will be well prepared.   I see something similar to what we did to Wyoming tonight.  I think some nerves may lead to a slow start and maybe we have to settle for a field goal on our first drive, but after that the beat-down begins. I see special team scores, defensive scores, and a Jay Ajayi running as if he has been overlooked.  Fresno scores late and makes the score more respectable, but never have a chance.  Boise State 59 Fresno 21.

Noel

Second times a charm right?  Not for FresNOPE.  Beyond being struck down by the Football Gods for reasons unknown, the Broncos do not lose this game.  Not in ALL BLUE and not at home. Grant has a decent game, Jay Ajayi shows how much he displeases being snubbed, Correa destroys Burrell 3 times, and we get a Special Teams score. Say hello to your 2014 Mountain West Champions, America.  Boise State beats CSU-Fresno, 55 -21 and it won’t even be that close.  GOOD NIGHT NOW!

Heath

Everything about this team has really surprised me. To be honest, I can’t think of another season where I have been so wrong, confused, excited, and anxious all at once. Despite all that though, they have found a way to make me a believer. I wrote the article, “Fear Fresno…Fear the Bulldogs, No I am Serious.” Though for a reason, and that reason is Fresno has nothing to lose and everything to gain, we on the other hand have the opposite. Everything is riding on this moment for Boise State, win and the world is yours, lose and well everything changes. Boise State can’t afford to lose another big game and I don’t think they will tonight. Jay Ajayi is going to get his, and Hedrick will find ways to produce offense, either with his feet, or his arm. Our defense still needs to find ways to stop giving up big plays, but you can’t deny how far they have come this season. Ultimately, I going to say Boise State wins this game 56-17. See everybody on “The Blue” after the game! Go Broncos!

What if Bryan Harsin Replicated Pokey’s Horse Ride to Sell Tickets?

Photo Courtesy John Kelly/Boise State

Photo Courtesy John Kelly/Boise State

Many people are worried about the pace of ticket sales for the Mountain West Championship game against Fresno this Saturday. There are plenty of reasons for why ticket sales may seem to be slow, but the fact is that  it is a very difficult task for a school to sell tickets to playoff game with less than a weeks notice.  This problem is not just a “HDTV” generation problem either.  The fact that ticket sales are starting from zero with less than a weeks notice is something Boise State is not new to.

In late November and early  December of 1994 Boise State was faced with the same problem.  The Broncos had made it to the 1-AA playoffs and were lucky enough to host three consecutive home games which had to be sold from scratch.  Boise State beat North Texas on November 26th, and Appalachian State on December 3rd, so on December 10th they would be playing Marshall for the chance to go to the National Championship game. If there were any game that needed to have a large crowd this one was it.  And Head Coach Pokey Allen knew it.

Public relations are a big part of any business, and at times – when things get urgent – some times public relations calls for a “stunt”.

Pokey was not new to this idea – he once rode an elephant to help sell season tickets to Portland State – so he made a promise.  If Boise State fans could get 20,000 into Bronco Stadium to cheer on the Broncos, he would ride a horse down Broadway the week after the game.

Boise State beat Marshall 28-24 in a freezing cold game where the Broncos trailed by as much as 17 points (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) and Pokey kept his promise.  Two days later he rode a horse down Broadway on his way to the weekly Boosters luncheon.

Pokey’s famous ride has been brought up a lot this week, so what if Harsin did this?  Would it work?  I asked him on Twitter, and unfortunately got no response:

I do think with the buy-in these coaches have from the community that it might sell a few more tickets.  If nothing else it would create even more energy for a game that means so much to this team.  Sow how about it Coach?  If we pack the stadium and win, a celebratory horse-ride down campus would be a great way to send this team off to a New Years bowl game.  And besides, it looks like you are the only coach that still owes us a horseback ride!