A Sports’ Halloween Treat with its Tricks

Saturday (Halloween Day, 2015) had three games I was most interested in seeing. Of course there was game 4 of the World Series. Besides that game two college football games were on my interest agenda. They were the rivalry game between The University of Minnesota and The University of Michigan. At stake was the right to possess the “Little Brown Jug”, first awarded in 1909.The second game was the rivalry game between The University of Florida and The University of Georgia, the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” first played in 1904. These two football games joined the WS game as a must see because my oldest son Bradley graduated from The University of Florida Law School and my Youngest son Matthew graduated from The University of Michigan Law School. As a side note I wondered if the Little Brown Jug Trophy was the oldest trophy in North American College or Professional sports. The answer is no. The honor of the oldest North American trophy belongs to the Stanley Cup Trophy in Hockey, presented for the first time in 1893.

Late afternoon featured the Florida versus Georgia contest, or should I say no-contest as Florida handedly defeating their arch-rival Georgia 27 to 3. The Halloween goblins were unkind to the Georgia Bulldogs as the Gators built a 20-0 lead at halftime thanks to three huge plays — one from the offense, one from the defense and one from special teams. A muffed punt was recovered in the end zone, a 66-yard score resulted from a pass-play, and a pass-interception set up the third TD. The Gators coasted from there to a dominating win.

The next two game were knuckle biting games. Both games were evening games which forced me to go back and forth with my trustee remote as my weapon. As you will read the Halloween goblins had their fun manipulating both games.

The Michigan-Minnesota game went back and forth but it was the end of the game that provided the ultimate excitement. The game was played in Minnesota just a few days after their beloved head coach Jerry Kills was forced to retire because of health reasons. Before the game began the love the fans and players had for their now retired coach was displayed. Midway in the game Michigan lost their starting quarterback due to a legal hard hit which brought his backup into the game. This young man, to this point in the season, had zero completed passes. However, with four minutes left in the game this backup quarterback led the Wolverines of Michigan to a three-point lead. Minnesota was not dead and on the next possession with only 27 seconds they completed a pass that looked like a TD but was ruled, after review, to be spotted on the one-half yard line. Poor clock management or should I say goblin intervention allowed only two plays to be run. On the game’s final play the Wolverines stuffed the Gophers’ quarterback sneak attempt leading to a 29-26 Michigan road win.

Game 4 of the World Series featured the pitching matchup of the local boy Stephen Matz for the Mets against the ex-Met Chris Young for the Royals. Matz, after only pitching 9 games in the majors, was asked to try and even the series at 2-2. Matz did not disappoint holding the Royals to one run, striking out five in his five innings. Heading into the eighth inning the Mets held a 3 to 2 lead. Enter the Halloween goblins who chose to pull a trick on Daniel Murphy, the player most responsible for the Mets winning the NL pennant. With Royals on first and second a routine grounder hit by Eric Hosmer was muffed by Murphy allowing the tying run to score. Moments later Mike Moustakas singled in the go-ahead run past the glove of a diving Murphy, and Salvador Perez knocked in another insurance run. Wade Davis then provided a six outs save leading to a 5-3 Royals victory.

The last person the goblins tricked was my wife Tara who because of the evening games missed a ballroom dance party.

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