Courtesy of Dan Whalen
Dan Whalen, an SI summer intern, is the starting quarterback for Division III Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He will blog about D-III life every week.
It's about time we got some football weather. The temperature here in Cleveland dropped below freezing for the first time this week, and sure enough we got our first dose of lake-effect snow -- just enough to be too much. Our linemen, in their cavemen-like nature, come out to practice wearing shorts with tank tops below their pads. I'm all about being tough, but that is a little much.
The good news is we're 10-0 and in the Division III playoffs for the second straight year. Last November, we won our first playoff game, but honestly we were just happy to be there. We soaked up the media attention and fan support like it was a water break during two-a-days. Winning was just a bonus. This year it's different.
A talented Wabash team comes to town. The game has extra meaning because Wabash is the only team to defeat us in our last 23 games. They are quick, physical and have a winning tradition. Last year's loss has left a bad taste in my mouth for 363 days and I can't wait to get another crack at them.
Even thought this game is huge, we still treat every practice day the same. Except now we're doing it with hand warmers and long sleeves. During the day, we still hang out in the dining hall scouting out which freshmen girls would be most susceptible to dating Drew Dixon, one of our offensive tackles. We play FIFA World Cup '09 on Playstation3 and we watch That 70's Show and Two and a Half Men reruns. We're as loose as we can be heading into a game this big, trying not to change what we do on a daily basis.
It's strange to think that within two seasons we have gone from wondering if we belonged on the field with some teams we played, to earning a playoff spot, to now expecting to make a deep run over the next few weeks.
Another great thing happened this week: Bobby Bott, who I happily call a teammate (and an even better housemate), was selected as a first-team All-American by the AFCA today. I'm gonna call him Good Job Bob from now on, and hopefully next week he'll have a clever new nickname for me as we are getting ready for a second round game.