Doyt L. Perry Stadium, fondly named “The Doyt,” is the home of Bowling Green football. The construction is rather typical for a Middle American Conference arena. It’s small, yet cozy and certainly comes with devoted fans, making this place uninviting for visitors. In 2007, they tore out the north grandstand and made room for the modern and impressive Sebo Athletic Center, which houses offices, locker rooms, band seating and luxury suites. This newer addition clashes somewhat with the original structure that completes the rest of the stadium. But, the charm of “The Doyt” still remains.
One of the hot topics of the 2014 football season has been the collapse of the Big Ten conference. No team was able to win the marquee games of the nonconference season, and worse yet, they have been losing games that should have been walks in the park. Last week for instance, two Mid-American Conference foes upset Big Ten teams when Northern Illinois toppled Northwestern and Central Michigan clobbered Purdue.
Surely, this week would be better, right?
When thinking of famous trophy rivalries, one may consider the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe between Minnesota and Wisconsin, or the Old Oaken Bucket awarded yearly to the Indiana/Purdue victor. However, the Peace Pipe trophy fought over by Bowling Green and Toledo probably cracks the top ten on few people’s lists. However, the intensity, history, and importance of this battle is just like any other.
Finally, the first game of this tour since launching collegefootballtour.com and I end up traveling 400 miles to view a game between two teams I have already seen in a venue that doesn’t even count toward my stadium goal. Why? Bret Bielema. Since Barry Alvarez’s departure from the sidelines, many Wisconsin fans have questioned the changes that loomed ahead. Seeing that I have more Badger games on my record than Tommy Lee has tattoos, my interest in the new coaching change was significant.
Who would win in a race between the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzalez? Finding out the answer would be similar to watching the Falcons and Badgers clash this past Saturday. Every respiratory machine in Madison wouldn’t have aided the wheezing occurring on the sidelines from this high scoring battle. Wisconsin donned their throwback helmets and jerseys to “celebrate the legacy” of Camp Randall Stadium as the entire renovation project finally reached its completion. They may have been wearing the old school attire, but they didn’t play like their daddy’s Wisconsin. Bowling Green doesn’t normally pose a threat, but this year they promoted their star quarterback, the elusive Omar Jacobs. Badger fans would soon learn that they had offensive weapons, as well.
Air Force fans traveling along I-25 suddenly experience a traffic jam about two miles from the exit to Falcon Stadium. The cause of the slow crawl becomes evident upon exiting as several military personnel guide cars down different pathways toward the game site. Many security measures have been taken here and an escort by the Air Force is one of them. Open spaces surround your journey to the stadium – all except for one large aircraft that greets you and points in the desired direction.
September 4th would be a day of many firsts for me. Among those included my first Mountain West Conference game, my first time seeing California, and above all, my first double-header day. This game in Colorado Springs required early alarm bells as kick off commenced at ten in the morning. Following the Cal/Air Force contest, I would be driving up I-25 toward Boulder to be a spectator for the in-state hate fest between Colorado State and Colorado.
There are many beautiful bowl destinations to imagine following your team to – Miami, Pasadena, Tampa, Detroit…er, Detroit? Yes, the industrial wonderland of Michigan is home to the Motor City Bowl, a game that has not yet even reached adolescence appeared pitiful compared to most of the historic post-season venues.
Fans that venture to South Bend, Indiana and only watch the game are not real college football fans. Notre Dame is the capital of college football tradition. Walking the campus and visiting the symbols that represent this program are practically part of the ticket price. Prior to the game, we viewed the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, the Grotto, a band concert on campus, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It was at this chapel where the team gathers for prayer before going to battle on the gridiron. Our timing was impeccable because the team exited the basilica as we arrived. Led by head coach Bob Davie, the Fighting Irish walked through a tunnel of fans on their way to Notre Dame Stadium.