What a Great Freakin' day for Rutgers Football fans, Rutgers, and NJ: comments and a few pics...

Discussion in 'Rutgers Football' started by RU848789, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    This will be a little long, but that's kind of what I do, lol. Got an invite to go to the Rutgers Welcome Celebration in the Stadium Club after Coach Schiano's press conference and so I went. I have to say it was freakin' awesome - I'm ready to put the pads and helmet back on!

    The press conference opened with Barchi, then Governor Murphy, both saying the right things about how important top notch athletics, done the right way, are to a major State University, like ours, both athletically and academically (as a football fan and a pointy-headed academic I think both are important and a guy like Greg can manage both well - the B1G academic consortium has brought hundreds of millions of dollars to RU in serious research). I know Murphy isn't universally loved (it's politics), but it's far better for Rutgers to have the Governor of the State being a huge cheerleader for the team (who helped get this deal done - make no mistake about it) than to be a snarky Notre Dame fan, a la his predecessor.

    Then AD Pat Hobbs said some very nice things, which he kind of had to, as he was probably the biggest roadblock to hiring Greg in the first place - but at the end of the day, he should get some credit for listening to the tsunami of roaring Rutgers fans imploring him to bring the prodigal son back home, and getting it done along with Greg Brown and the BOG.

    And finally, Greg got up and knocked it out of the park with a speech that was so goddamned inspiring that he was getting applause from reporters/staff in the room and certainly from all of us. He talked about how only people from Jersey know what it's like to be from Jersey and how he intends to bridge the North-South divisions that have always been there (at least in athletics) and to restore the pride to Rutgers and New Jersey.

    He talked about how he knows, after being humbled a bit by his failure at Tampa Bay and being "just" an assistant at OSU, that his calling truly is coaching and molding young men into grown men in life and on the football field - about how seriously he takes the responsibility of helping to "finish the job" that the players' parents have entrusted him with.

    He talked about how amazing it was to see the outpouring of support and passion from the state's politicians, the big donors, the university, but most importantly, the every day fans, who simply want to have a football program they can be proud of again, both on and off the field.

    And that he and his staff will do everything it takes to bring the program back to where it was, to begin with, but to then take it to levels unseen here before, saying the goal is to win National Championships. He also acknowledged how far they have to go to get to that level, but with the great support he now has, he says it's an achievable goal.

    But he also retold the story behind "chopping" which most here know from Schiano 1.0, but it was important for him to retell, I think. I t was about when he was at Miami and they were 3-3 and a sports psychologist said it's like being lost in a huge dark forest, where you can either decide to curl up and die (i.e., get fired) or you can start chopping, one swing at a time, aiming that ax with laser focus on one spot and repeating that over and over until you've knocked some trees down and are eventually out of the forest. We're at the very start of that process, now, and while we might not see results right way, we'll eventually see them if we keep chopping. Great metaphor.

    As a fan, I'll be happy with respectable (4-5 wins) in a couple of years and then "good to very good" after that (6-9 regular season wins) and consider it gravy if we get to New Year's Day Bowls and Championship Playoff level someday - but listening to the guy speak makes you think he's not just blowing smoke.

    Finally, from a football perspective, I was very happy to hear him talk about installing an offense that would make teams defend the offense sideline to sideline across 53 1/3 yards, as well as down the entire field, meaning some version of a spread with a dual threat QB (since he commented on how much he hates having to defend that kind of offense as a defensive guy).

    And I was even happier to hear him talking about hiring a really good staff (one of the things he pushed hardest for and got was good salaries for his coaches) and then letting them do their jobs while he focused on his job - which he views now as a little more on the players and the team and less on X's and O's and all the little details of the program (which when he started, in 2001, we basically had no "program" so he had to focus on those elements back then, but not now). In the past he was criticized for micromanaging too much in practice and games and he seems to have taken that to heart and is more willing to trust his assistants with the gameplans and schemes.

    After all of this commentary and then the press conference part of things, Greg and much of the entourage (sans Murphy and Barchi) came upstairs to the stadium club and walked around pressing the flesh and posing for photos and making a couple more speeches. It was also cool to see so many former players who came back for today including Brian Leonard, Ray Rice, Ryan Hart, Anthony Davis, the McCourty Brothers and more, I'm sure.

    It was also great to see a bunch of old friends from the various Rutgers message boards and the games/bowls, such as @LeapinLou (thanks for inviting me to sit with your crew and sorry for not remembering your names - I suck at names - much better with numbers, lol), @RUNJ, @PiscatawayMike (and his brother,), Lou (TD club guy - can't recall the username). It was also cool last night seeing folks like @mkollar and some of the guys from TOS, like John Otterstedt, at the Olive Branch (so well run by the one and only @InGregITrust) - I know there was some bad blood with the split, but at the end of the day we're all Rutgers football fans and I'd like to think we can follow Greg's advice of the difficulties in getting here being water under the bridge and focusing on moving the program forward in the weeks, months and years ahead.

    Lastly, Greg told two funny stories. The first was how he and Christy, his wife, were planning on flying to Albany from Ohio earlier this fall to go to their twin sons' football game (at Williams College in Amherst), when Greg said, let's fly into Newark and take a spin around RU, since feelers were already out about his interest in the position.

    So, they come to campus, slightly in disguise (he had shades and a hat on, which he chuckled about - kind of reminded me of the Kyle Flood Princeton fiasco, but in a funny way, lol) and were stunned by how amazing the changes on both Livingston and College Ave looked (he hadn't been back in many years) and realized that he'd have an easier sell of Rutgers if he came back to coach with a more beautiful campus to attract players to.

    He also talked about how sad he had been over the years, watching what he had helped to build slowly falling apart and about how he kind of secretly remained a big RU fan for the last 8 years while he's been away (even if he couldn't really admit it publicly) - he'd be watching his kid's games, while checking the RU games from his phone and he started to realize that his heart was still at Rutgers and how he wanted to come back and finish the job he had started and made great progress on.

    It was a tour de force speech by Greg after hearing a series of great introductory speeches from the others and really made the case for how important athletics are to Rutgers and how important Rutgers is to New Jersey and how by rebuilding this program we can all share in the pride of that success and come along for the ride, as well as contributing, as fans, to the success of that ride. To quote Greg's favorite line from 2000 and now 2019, "It's Time."

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  2. PiscatawayMike

    PiscatawayMike Heisman Winner
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    Great seeing you too, Erik. That wasn't my brother, though. It was my friend Steve. I can understand the mix-up. He does resemble my bro...lol.

    Again, best of luck in retirement!
     
  3. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    Holy crap, I really thought it was your brother (who's name escapes me, sorry)! And thanks for the retirement wishes. I have an even longer post planned for that, but I've been a bit sidetracked by the Schiano Saga and the huge snowstorm that kind of wasn't (at least for folks south of 78)...
     
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  4. redking

    redking All Conference
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    Great post! Thanks for taking the time to type it up and share it. It's great to live vicariously through people who were able to attend for posters that live out of state like myself.
     
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  5. superfan01

    superfan01 All American
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    Thought Anthony Davis hated Greg
     
  6. beaced

    beaced Hall of Famer
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    Far from being too long. COULD READ ABOUT THIS STUFF FOREVER. Great job and thank you.
     
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  7. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    Most people who played for or worked for Greg "hated" him at some point, as he's so demanding, but the vast majority of them know that it always comes from a good place, with Greg wanting them to get better at what they do and when they look back on it, they appreciate it even if they didn't like it at the time. Like he said, "love is sacrifice."
     
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  8. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    Thanks!!
     
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  9. fg7321

    fg7321 Senior
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    Great post thanks for the details
     
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  10. superfan01

    superfan01 All American
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    You can’t be a Rutgers fan and not have been proud today.
     
  11. BigLou

    BigLou Heisman Winner
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    Good recap. It was nuts when Schiano entered the Club. Looking at your pictures I was probably just to your right while Greg was speaking to the crowd.
    I got the chance to speak with Coach Goodale who told me of a potential lineup change that I won't repeat here (at his request). Also spoke with Sara B. All in all a great time.
     
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  12. HPNJRUfan

    HPNJRUfan All American
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    To be honest I didn't even really know the story behind it... Having just lost my Father last Wednesday - who is the reason for everything Rutgers in my life and could swing a mean ax himself - it was good to hear this.
     
  13. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    You know, that sounds so obvious, but I think it's true - sure, when we win 3-4 games next year and have a blowout or two, there will be whining, but today was just a perfect day to be a Rutgers fan knowing that for the first time in many years, there's hope again and pride again in being a Rutgers fan, alum or not, and being from Jersey.
     
  14. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    HP - so sorry to hear about your loss. I may be way off on my memory here, but wasn't he involved in making the RU golf course a lot better? It was cool that he instilled that love of RU in you also and as a father of a 25-year old now, who is finishing up his master's at RU and went with me to countless games in the Schiano era, if it was half as fun for him with you as it's been for me with my son, I'm sure it was something he treasured as much as you did.
     
  15. HPNJRUfan

    HPNJRUfan All American
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    Yes sir, and thank you. Yes, he was a 30+ year employee of the golf course, the past 20 or so as "Renovations Supervisor" (or as he liked to call himself, "the head ditch digger"). He loved his job, his family, nature and the outdoors, Rutgers, and too many other things to name... Thanks to his hard work, although its been a bit of a circuitous route for myself, I am now a proud Rutgers student myself graduating with a degree in Urban Planning in a few years. I'll miss him, but he'll always be with me.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. T2Kplus10

    T2Kplus10 Hall of Famer
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    Too long to read. I assume you are happy?
    :)
     
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  17. Jinpa88

    Jinpa88 Redshirt
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    Condolences. It’ll be a year, tomorrow, that my father passed. Cherish the memories!
     
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  18. RUfromSoCal?

    RUfromSoCal? Heisman Winner
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    and Savage too.. right?

    don't believe the interwebs all the time.....

     
  19. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    I doubt I would've read it if I hadn't written it, lol - my wife asked if she had to read it since I gave her the 2 minute run down when I got home. Anyway, I'm just ecstatic, as are you, I'm sure.
     
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  20. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    Sounds like a real professional at his job, since the RU course is 100x better than it was when I started playing there in the 80s in grad school. And a great dad. Awesome pic and good luck with your studies!
     
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  21. LC-88

    LC-88 All American
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    HP, sorry for your loss as well. I lost my Pop five years ago. He brought me to my first RU game when I was ten. Keep going to the games. Your Dad will be there too. Good view from Heaven. Peace.
     
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  22. PiscatawayMike

    PiscatawayMike Heisman Winner
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    Davis has changed his tune...
    "When you're young coming in, you don't appreciate how intense he is. But as you get older, you realize everything he has instilled in you and how it has paid dividends for you in the future. He was consistent in what he expected from you as a player, and it is something I've appreciated as years have gone by. He's honest and it's the right decision for him to come back and help build Rutgers into a Big Ten contender."

    Much different than...
    https://nesn.com/2013/04/anthony-da...tive-to-prepare-him-for-nfl-while-at-rutgers/
     
  23. Rutgers8086

    Rutgers8086 Sophomore
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    Sorry for your loss.
     

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