Mike T. Williams is a senior defensive end from Sacramento, California.  The second team All-WAC performer was having the best year of his Bronco career, and then suffered a torn ACL on his knee in the second quarter of the season finale against Fresno State.  Mike T’s Bowl 411 is a daily journal capturing his feelings heading into the Poinsettia Bowl and the experiences here in San Diego.

“Open Mike” Night on MikeT’s 411

Monday 12/22

This bowl game has been a little different in that there hasn’t a great deal of interaction with them (TCU).  Even today (at the AT&T Team Luncheon on the USS Midway), they went their way and we went ours.  At the aircraft carrier lunch you could feel the hostility.  Kind of started with the cheerleaders going back and forth.  It came to some kind of deal with TCU’s song and at the end they said “Beat Those Broncos”.  We’re kind of like, okay it’s on’.  I wish I could play. 

There were a few fun moments in the rain today.  I owed Shea (McClellin) one more push-up from beating him yesterday in NBA Live.  I got him good, as he had to do a push-up in the mud and water.  Jake Densley ran and dove into the rain and mud at practice, and hyped everything up in the beginning.  But, when we got to really practicing, out of nowhere it got real serious.  I’ve kind of been standing back and watching things here, rather than being in the middle.  It’s interesting.  When we’re ready to go, you can sense it.   It’s kind of like when a horse gets ready for a race.  They have that animal instinct, so when they get in the lane, they get focused real quick for the green light to go on.  The whole atmosphere changed today.  Somehow we’re the underdogs again and that’s how we like it.  The chip is on the shoulder.

We had our first chance to see the stadium (Qualcomm) and it looked amazing.   It’s an NFL stadium for sure.  We walked in and seen a little picture of the San Diego roster and saw LA (former Bronco wide receiver and current San Diego Charger Legedu Naanee) on there.   He and LT (TCU grad and Charger running back LaDainian Tomlinson) probably have a little bet on the game.   

This bowl would have to go right there after the Fiesta Bowl from an experience standpoint.  Second best hands down.  The weather, the notoriety of the bowl game as one of the premier games this year make it special.  I think about being a part of five bowl games.  It really is an accomplishment.  Watching Arizona not being in one for 10 years,  I can’t imagine that, it would be miserable.   I’m grateful for the choice I made and being here.

My favorite moment this week was when the bowl gave Dale (equipment manager Dale Holste) the appreciation award.  Make-A-Wish asked us to give an award that exemplifies what we are about, somebody who works hard and represents us all the time.  The team selected it.  Dale was pretty floored and shocked.  It was a great moment for him and us.  That is what it’s all about.

I really want to say thanks for everything to the fans of Boise and Bronco Nation.  You’re there through the good and the bad, and pack the stadium.  As players we appreciate that.  I can’t imagine playing a home game in some of the places we play.  From football to seeing all of you around town, the support is unbelievable.

The secret to this whole thing is we get the dude that works hard and puts the team first.  Our coaches know which players are hungry and then do a great job of developing them.  Nothing is ever given to this program, we earn it.  It’s what Boise State is about.

This is the last night and last time with the family’.   It was a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.  It’s crazy sitting here tonight.  I’m in that same mode and fired up to go, but I can’t do anything.  It sucks.  I’ll just have to go out there and be that hype man.  Look for me on the sidelines, I’ll be pushing anyone I need to, to get them fired up.  Slapping them around, coaches and players, whoever.  Game Day is here.  The Broncos are ready!


Sunday 12/21

Team competition.  That was the story of today.  Right before lunch, everyone was playing ping pong in the hospitality room.  Basically, we were just trying to find out who is the best.  (Kyle) Gingg always think he’s the best on the team.  We all know Coach Pete thinks he’s the best.  When he (Coach Pete) comes in, everyone starts yelling and next thing we know he and Gingg are playing.   Gingg wins a close one in game one, then Pete wins the second one.  In the last game, he (Coach Pete) pretty much got slaughtered.  It was funny to see the head coach get whooped up on.

At practice, I figured it was time to talk some smack, so I went up to Coach Pete and said, I thought you were good’.  He said, if you want some let’s do it, but, you might blow out your other ACL when I make you run all around’.  From there, I got Gingg’s side of the pong battle.  He basically called Coach Pete out and said coach he didn’t finish.  Good thing he’s a senior!

I was not happy with dropping that game in NBA Live to Shea (McClellin) yesterday (if you need the details go to yesterday’s 411), so we went at it again today.  I was the Lakers this time, and he was the Suns.  We bet some 10 on call’ push-ups, which basically means you do them whenever and wherever.  I beat him by one point and started celebrating in his face.  Made him do one push-up right then to make my point.  The rest of the day, I made him do push-ups any time he said anything or looked at me.  At dinner, on the bus, didn’t matter.  Gotta always be teaching those young guys.

I was in a movie scene today.  Well, kind of in a movie.  Across from the hotel is a barbeque spot where they filmed that scene from Top Gun.  They call it the sleezy bar scene’, so went in there and ate.  I’ll have to watch that movie again now to see where I sat. 

Today at practice was (Head Strength Coach Tim) Socha Appreciation Day’.  It’s the last stretching practice of the season, so all the guys paid tribute by yelling things at him.  Stuff like Socha, you’re handsome’ or Your body’s sexy’.  That guy is one of the big reasons we’re where we are, so all the guys had some fun giving him his props in our own way.

Our night event was racing go-carts.  Right when I got in there, I was talking crap with everyone.  As I stepped in, I tripped over the steering wheel like a fool.  But, I played it off like nobody saw it and went out there and spun some people around.  Just like going after a quarterback baby!

San Diego has a bunch of those rickshaw type things where the guy bikes you around.  Me, (Ryan) Winterswyk and (Sean) Bingham decided to take one.  It’s only supposed to fit two, but he said get on.  We’re thinking this dude’s crazy, having to go with 800 pounds.  You kidding me?  We made him work, going like 15 blocks.  But, he got as at the end, as the sign reads with three people - 10 bucks per person.  He took $30 off us, but dude’s feeling it for sure.

I’ll wrap today’s 411 by just saying that the whole team is still loose.  That’s how we are.   We’re still doing our job and having fun doing it!


Friday, Dec. 19th:

As we arrived in San Diego, it was great to be in nice weather compared to Boise.  It’s like paradise here compared.  Once we got to the hotel, the local police met with us real quick.  The bottom line message was stay away from Tijuana (Mexico), or you might not come back.  I don’t think we’ll have anyone head that direction after hearing that.

 When I went down in the Fresno game, I was mad, upset.  I didn’t want to believe that I had done something that bad to my knee.   Dr. Wade said you are done’.  I said, no I’m not’.  Marc Paul (head trainer) said the same thing.  It was sad sitting there in the locker room as everybody was celebrating the win.  Things happen for a reason.  I believe in God, and it was my time to go down then.  I know he wouldn’t put too much on me that I couldn’t handle.  It sucks, but that’s what it is.

While I’m going to look at this bowl experience as having fun since I won’t be able to play in the game, I’m still a part of this team.  I’m kind of like that flava flav’, hype fan of football.  Go out there and bring energy and coach them up.  I’m out there talkin smack and all that stuff still.  Just need to sit down a little more than I usually have to.

Watching our guys practice on Friday, kept thinking to myself how bright the future is.  Coach Pete did some competition with a relay race.  I was sitting back, and feeling that our team has great chemistry. 

Saturday, Dec. 20th:

At SeaWorld, most everybody bought ponchos, as we had a feeling something was coming.  One of the cool moments was when the host started singing and then stopped and had our team keep it going.  There was a big crowd there and we all picked it up.  This was at the dolphin show.  The dolphins then rolled in and got us wet.  I think they gave us a little extra.  One of those dolphins came in and gave us like four flips.  Only gave the others two or three.  (Ryan) Winterswyk, Richie (Brockel), those guys wish they had a poncho then.

I was hoping to go on the Journey To Atlantis ride.  But, with my knee, I couldn’t fit.  Good idea not to get on, as it broke down halfway through the ride.  Couple of our guys got tired of waiting so jumped out.  Whole ride got shut down and everybody got kicked off and out of line.  Broncos shut down Journey To Atlantis.  Oh well, we had fun.

At practice, I kept a close eye on the defense.  Maybe try to talk to the guys, give them something else in a different way than the coaches say.  Our d-line has been tops.  It shows we have some depth and versatility, as guys can move around and take on a different role.

After practice, Dale Claus (equipment manager Dale Holste) had some of the bowl gifts ready.  He loves to give out the gifts.  We love to get them. 

In the player hospitality room there are two X-Boxes with NBA Live and Madden NFL.  After dinner, I lost to Shea (McClellin), which is really rare.  He beat me in NBA Live.  Wasn’t right as he had Ray Allen and the Celtics.  It was a fluke, as I’ve won all the other times.

I think that’s the thing with us, we’re always having fun no matter what.  As long as you’re taking care of business, coaches are good with us having all the fun you can.  That’s the way we’ve approached  it all season.  Why would we change that approach now? 

Look for the update from Mike T’s Bowl 411 on Sunday evening.

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