Remembering September 1st, 2007 a decade later
It’s amazing to think 10 years have passed since The Yard Sale in the Big House! In many ways it seems like the game happened yesterday. And in many ways it seems like that game occurred more than a lifetime ago.
I remember our crew discussing this day on our car ride to the airport after that game. “What will this be like 10 years from now?,” I asked. We didn’t know then what we know — that this upset forever lives near the top of every “miraculous ending,” list in the history of sports. It was hard to comprehend what just happened in the few hours after that memorable game concluded. I’ll never forget the fans waiting in Johnson City (including Houston Fancher & family, who delivered the most clutch car ride of all time). I’ll never forget Jerry Moore talking to Tom Rinaldi on the sidewalk in front of Owens Field House on live TV when the team returned to Boone. There are 100s of memories and we all have our own way of remembering where we were and what we were doing when the mighty victors were conquered.
I drove to work today trying to make sense of all that’s changed since September 1st, 2007. We thought that event would change our lives and it did. App State is a different campus — more students, smarter students, new buildings, and many new faces. It struck me that nearly everyone on our athletics staff from that day is now somewhere else. Time marches on and so many people involved on that day used some of the experiences of that moment to propel their own careers. Many players from that game now have families. Yet no matter where we are in life, on September 1st of every year, we all come back together — mostly via text now. It’s a bond that will never be broken.
App State is blessed with more fan support and monetary support today then we had 10 years ago. The gains made by our entire campus in the last decade are the envy of so many. What school would not love to have a “Michigan Moment.” The fans of today remember this as an iconic moment and many were introduced to Black & Gold life due to those fateful few plays.
Today I’ve mostly thought of the fans of back then…those that endured playoff runs, construction zones, and stadium re-seating. Those that sat on the front end of today’s change and dreamed of what could be, but never lost sight of what was happening right then. Those fans knew players names and tailgated with their families. The sense of community among the App nation was so strong and the energy created back then honestly kept many of us going!
We have a bigger stadium today, bright new video boards (jealous), and a team that was just recently named the best football brand in the state. Think about how far we’ve come in 10 years. The success of today has a lot to do with current resources, but it would not be possible without the support of a legion of many who were part of the ride back in the day.
So to the estimated 406,000 of you that claim you were actually at the game -congratulations and Happy Anniversary. You’ll never forget this day. To my former colleagues, it was an honor to experience this with you all. And to the players and coaches — thanks for the memories! You always did more than was expected.
Go Apps! Beat Georgia!