ROMULUS, Mich. — Do not worry nieces and nephews there were no report of any major earthquake in the vicinity of the gateway to the world, there was no snow accumulating in a certain place were they are not accustomed to the frozen precipitation from the sky and there is no report of the earth acutely standing still but if you would like to know about a miracle – then Uncle Mel can spin a yarn that is full of the truth.
Right before Uncle Mel’s eyes and along with the other 3,830 people that watched from the standard aluminum seats that almost surround the football field at Rynearson Stadium, the Eastern Michigan University football team have completed a step toward respectability in the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the college football world.
The Eagles and Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English have won six games this season.
Saturday afternoon, November 12, 2011, Eastern Michigan University defeated the State University at Buffalo or the University at Buffalo by the score of 30-17 bringing down the curtain to a successful 5-1 record at home.
“Well the seniors are 5-1 at home, that was important to me. I wanted those guys to be 5-1 at home and to me it is about these guys – these seniors. I want them to get every accolade they can get because they are the ones that turned this program around,” English said about his seniors on the team. “I love those guys so much, they work hard.”
Now Uncle Mel is thinking, what would make that home record sweeter than a tablespoon of honey would be a bowl game?
The Mid-American Conference have three guaranteed bowl bids that the Eagles could be precipitating in, there is also slight chance – it is a long shot, but the league West Division title passes through the prairie of the state of Illinois and the home of the Northern Illinois University Huskies in DeKalb.
Eastern Michigan University will make a visit to Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois, it will be the last game of the season, November 25, 2011 and if the Eagles can take care of there own business this weeknd against Kent State University then the good folks inside the offices of the Mid-American Conference in Cleveland, Ohio will be placing there hands behind their backs and do a lot a thinking at their delima – What to do with Eastern Michigan University?
The Huskies are still a powerful offensive team, two weeks ago they scored 63 points against the University of Toledo but Northern Illinois University defense gave up 60 points to the Rockets.
The NCAA says that the Eagles need to win one more game to become eligible to play in a bowl game because two of those wins came against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Howard University and Alabama State University.
Uncle Mel says “What is up with that?”
If they are good enough to be on the schedule then the wins should be valid enough for a bowl bid.
The Eagles have played in two bowl games in the history of the program.
The first bowl trip for the Eagles was way back in 1971 when Eastern Michigan University traveled to Wichita Falls, Texas and played in something titled the Pioneer Bowl.
Eastern Michigan University tasted good Texas style barbeque but felt the sting of a 14-3 defeat served up by Louisiana Tech University.
The second bowl trip saw the Eagles football team packing their suitcases and heading for the west coast and the grand city of San Jose, California to play in the California Raisin Bowl.
That is right nieces and nephews, way back in the year of 1987 the Eastern Michigan University (Huron) Eagles with there only Mid-American Conference football trophy safely on display at Bowen Field house the Eagles defeated the San Jose State University Spartans 30-27 and brought pride back home to the campus and to the city of Ypsilanti.
English said, that his program still have plenty more goals to reach and that this is just the start of the long journey.
“I always feel pride and it is arrogant but all of my coaches have always said never turn your nose down to a to a win, so you never want to turn your nose down to a win but you want to get accustomed to winning – all wins are special,” English said. “We are not there yet but what I love is to go into the locker room and we have a team of young men that are excited and happy along with coaches as well as trainers and equipment people and everybody know that we are still in the building phase of this program.”
“But we feel like with Brad’s class that we’ve really have laid a concrete foundation and I keep on saying that because to me you can not do what this team is doing without a terrific group of seniors with great character, and like Brad said that guys have bought in that what you are selling because you have to understand that philosophically it is a completely different philosophy that was here when I came,” English said. “ He mentioned the toughness that this football team plays with and with the way they hit and how hard they play has really been consistence from the first game to now.”
Uncle Mel is ready to pack his winter parka for the crisp chilly air of Boise, Idaho or a flannel shirt for a long Saturday night in Mobile, Alabama but of course nothing could be finer than to play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in the good old city of Detroit, Michigan.
There have been some growing pains and getting use to English and his style of coaching philosophy and it felt like he may be running out of time an patients from the fans that follow Eastern Michigan University football because as fan group – they are starving for success from the football program.
There is a lot of blue-collar and hard working folks that call Ypsilanti home and they would like to see the success of Eastern Michigan University because winning at football just some how creates a lot of civic and team pride.
Uncle Mel traveled to Muncie, Indiana that great Saturday afternoon when Eastern Michigan University snap the longest losing streak in Eagle history with a dramatic overtime victory against Ball State University.
Uncle Mel also witnessed the weight of the world being lifted off of the shoulder of a man just trying to place inside a group of young men a sense of pride and to know the joy of winning.
The one lesson that English is teaching the underclassmen and the one lesson that the seniors are leaving with – they are all winners!
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.