People love tailgating in Little Rock, but will they be ready to Hate the Toledo Rockets on Saturday? They hate everyone the Hogs play, but here's a few more reasons to get your hackles up on Markham.
2) They're UT
3) Central Michigan vs. Toledo. When Dan Enos coached the Chippewas, they went 0-5 against Toledo. Nobody beats our new offensive coordinator 5 times and gets away with it. Toledo has finished 2nd or 3rd in the Western Division of the MAC in each of those years. It can't hurt to mention that they also beat our cousins in Jonesboro last bowl seasons. Well, maybe that's a reason not to hate Toledo, depending on your feelings toward ASU.
4) All of the logo jokes. How many people are going to tweet, awkwardly joke at the tailgate, and point at their helmet while your 7 year old daughter is standing nearby and say "Hey man, that looks like a pocket rocket!" If you're going to pick a nickname based on how well you once lost by 20 points, at least pick something that's not so... phallic.
When the University of Toledo played then-powerful Carnegie Tech in football in 1923, Pittsburgh sports writers were surprised to learn that UT did not have a nickname.
Though an underdog, Toledo fought formidably, recovering a series of embarrassing fumbles by favored Tech. Pittsburgh writers pressed James Neal, a UT student working in the press box, to come up with a nickname.
Despite UT's 32-12 loss, the student labeled the team "Skyrockets," obviously impressed by his Alma Mater's flashy performance against a superior team. The sportswriters shortened the name to "Rockets," which has been used since.
That's right, Pittsburgh sports writers named their team. At least we were named by our coach at the time.
5) People in Glass Stadiums shouldn't fire cannons. Have I mentioned before how much I hate cannons at games? I'm not sure, because I'm afraid that I'll write it on here and Jeff Long and Bret Bielema will be tweeting about booms coming to DWRSS within 24 hours. I learn a lot about other teams and cities as I gather information for Reasons to Hate. I learned the Rockets fire a cannon after they score, and I also found out what a rich glass history the city of Toledo has. Toledo is actually known as the Glass City. So, when they renovated their stadium in 1946, they added "many glass elements" and therefore the stadium is now "Glass Stadium". I don't see any more glass elements than in most stadiums, but I suppose that might be on account of all the cannon fire.
6) Lack of Game Film. Bret Bielema has taken other coaches (GUS) to task for not providing all the views on the game film, and I'm sure he was furious to find out that he wasn't even getting a full game from Toledo after their game was rained out against Stony Brook. Can we record 30 minutes of practice to make up for this? I mean the NCAA has called the game a no contest, so does that mean they don't actually have to share any game footage? I guess it's a good thing that we have Enos who is familiar with personnel and schemes already, but rain out games are only things that should happen when you're in Baton Rouge or to provide a mercy rule when you're putting it on the Kentucky Wildcats.
7) Brad Paisley. If Toledo had any sense, they would just forfeit their game with us early so everyone could enjoy the free Brad Paisley concert that much sooner. Ideally though, their fans will be able to lick their wounds with a little bit of country music... I wonder how many Ohioans (I had to google that). will be seeing their very first country music concert. Like I said, they may appreciate it more if it gets ugly.
8) Matt Campbell. Listen, if you want to lead team prayers, that's your business. I mean sometimes we call a deep pass a "prayer"' or a "Hail Mary", but it's a bit sad to hear that earlier this year, Matt Campbell caved to outside pressure based on a (stick with me here) video from a Go Pro camera shot in 2012 prior to their bowl game against Bowling Green, where he led the team in the Lord's Prayer (what football team doesn't do this?). Regardless of how you feel, that's your locker room and your game day preparations shouldn't be anybody's business.
9) Rocky the Rocket. Rocky the Rocket looks like an action figure with blindly-bump-into-things-action. The female version actually looks fiercer in that link. I don't care what they say, my favorite rocket will always be Chet "Rocket" Steadman. Rest in peace Gary Busey... as the Sklar Brothers say, he's not dead, but I just hope he gets a good night's sleep tonight.