Red Towel Diaries

Red Towel Diaries are the writings of WKU's student-athletes about their feelings and observations before, during and after a game or road trip. A New Red Towel Diary will be posted about once each week by a different athlete in a different sport.

Junior Jason Michael

Wednesday, September 26, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Last season, most of us enjoyed the experience of playing Tennessee State at Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville and South Florida at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. These were opportunities to play in NFL Stadiums with large crowds and unbelievable facilities. This coming week we travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to play a team which has enjoyed the success of winning the Big Ten Conference championship three times in the 1990s. Playing at Camp Randall Stadium in front of 75,000-plus Badger fans offers us a challenge we look forward to.

Thursday, September 27, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
We've had good practices this week in preparation for Saturday's game. Today's practice was definitely the most focused Thursday practice we've had in a long time. To be successful Saturday, we need to play mistake-free football and be aggressive for 60 minutes. We are confident in our team's abilities and like our chances. We are looking forward to competing and winning against one of the nation's best teams.

Friday, September 28, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
We flew in to Madison today and just finished our walk-through for tomorrow's game. On the plane ride up, I had time to reflect back on what has happened in our country the past two weeks. This game and excitement surrounding it pales in comparison to the fate of those directly involved in the events of September 11th. I thought a lot about taking things for granted and fully realize I have much to be thankful for with football just being a small part of it all. Back to football -- our team has high expectations for tomorrow, and I think we will play very hard. We have been prepared well by our coaches, and as teammates, we trust each other to perform well in our roles.

Saturday, September 29, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Like every Saturday in the fall, I woke up excited about playing today's game. After the pregame meal, I took time to call my parents. They rarely have missed any of my games, but with all the rescheduling, they could not make this one. I've got to go catch the team bus to the stadium. I will be back later with the results.

Our team is on its return flight to Bowling Green. I regret having to write that our efforts resulted in a 24-6 loss to Wisconsin. I wish we could have taken greater advantage of some opportunities we had. Our defense played really well and we limited our mistakes, but we failed to make enough big plays to pull off the upset. I am still proud of our efforts. There are no moral victories and a loss is still a loss. We must learn from our mistakes and continue to work hard to realize our goals of a conference championship and another playoff run. I feel confident that we can do just that.

Sunday, September 30, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Another day of reflection:

Best memory -- Wisconsin and WKU players facing large flag during pregame ceremonies honoring those involved in tragedies of Sept. 11. Also, the coin toss before the game with Madison firefighters and policemen involved. All this led to an emotional national anthem and memories I will always cherish.

Worst Part of Trip -- Losing the game and returning to Bowling Green with several injuries to some key players. Injuries are part of the game and something good teams learn to overcome.

Curve Ball -- I had always heard that Wisconsin fans had a great passion for their football. That is true, but as our team bus left Camp Randall Stadium their fans were very gracious and complimentary of our teams efforts, and gave us a nice ovation and send-off. I guess that's much easier to do when you win, but it was something my teammates and I recognized and appreciated.

A win would have been much better!