The Walk up to Tulane

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So, where did I leave off? has Tulane game notes up. (pdf)

There's also a Q&A with Coach Ellerson to get you fired up for the game.

In it, Ellerson talks about staying in the moment and avoiding trying to focus on the season at large.

(Re: tuning out the distractions that come with winning)
"Your roommates, your classmates, your girlfriends, those are the voices that will start to get you thinking about something other than what's right in front of you, what's on the table. That's fun. That's seductive because it's fun to talk about that stuff. It's fun to think about those things, but that will set you up for failure if you don't handle it. We want to be gracious and we're thankful that people care and pay attention and are excited about how we're doing. Having said that, we can't believe it all. They say poison and flattery are the same thing. They can only hurt you if you swallow it. We just have to stay in the moment, stay in the present and try to turn down the volume on the outside wishful thinking and what-ifs."

Ron Mergenthaler of looks beyond Ellerson's mentality to what is at stake with each game.

 Clever. But with an upcoming schedule that includes, among others, Rutgers, Notre Dame and Navy, a loss Saturday to Tulane could be the beginning of the end of what had been a promising season. A victory rights the ship; a loss could sink it, or at least expedite the process.

As I said before the Temple game and before the Duke game.... win or lose this game will again shape the perception of the Black Knights. This time the stakes are higher as Army's bowl hopes hinge on this game... not that they can't beat VMI, Kent and Air Force or Rutgers - but the margin for error dissolves with each loss. That's what makes the Temple comeback so crushing. A 4-1 Army team is en route to a bowl. At 3-2 There are still some tough questions the team has to answer. Army's 6th test comes in New Orleans against a game Tulane team.

The players don't have the luxury to look at the big picture during the season, but perceptions are shaped while the games are played, so credit to Ellerson for keeping his guys focused, but getting a win out of this game is huge.

As could be expected, the Tulane/Army game won't be televised. Kind of heartbreaking, as this will be the second game in a row that I won't get to see - but nowhere near as disappointing as the news that Army/Rutgers isn't going to be televised.
I wonder if Tulane knocking off Rutgers had anything to do with the decision to not air the Rutgers/Army game. If so, that's another clear case of "be careful what you wish for". I'll have some workbook activities and coloring books to keep you all engaged during the untelevised game.



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