Each week during the 2009 season, fifth year senior offensive lineman James McGillicuddy will share his thoughts on the season and offer insight on his experiences as a Stanford student-athlete in his blog, "Catching Up With Cuddy."
James McGillicuddy came to Stanford from St. John's High School in Worcester, Mass. James earned his first varsity letter last season after sitting out the 2005-07 campaigns due to a knee injury. Thanks to an innovative procedure involving platelet-rich plasma drawn from his own blood and injected back into his knee, James was able to resume his playing career last season.
November 19, 2009
My last blog entry did not mention the competitive spirit of the revitalized Stanford Football Program, which was on full display last Saturday against USC at the Coliseum.
Most of the nation was bewildered by the final outcome of the USC game, but we weren’t. We executed our straightforward, smash mouth game plan on offense and the defense played one of their best games all season.
This week it’s been practice as usual and we have been very conscience that we can not and WILL NOT let Hubris get the best of us. Our goal this week is to regain the Stanford Axe. We must focus and finish ensuring that we regain the second most stolen object in Western Civilization.
We look forward to Tiger sharing his competitive "drive" with us as our honorary game captain. We are excited about the great support from the Red Zone. We invite our alumni and friends to follow the lead of the Red Zone in rocking Stanford Stadium. Stanford Stadium needs to raucous every time Cal has possession of the ball on offense!
Remember wear Cardinal, cheer hard, make lots of noise, help us bring back the Stanford Axe to its rightful home.
November 12, 2009
Saturday's win over Oregon proved that Stanford Football has been revitalized! It was our first win over Oregon in seven years and it secured a bowl berth for the first time in a decade. We are now a nationally ranked highly competitive Pac-10 team.
All of this happened because of great enthusiastic coaching, relentless effort, teamwork, focus, a great support staff and the ability of Stanford to attract high caliber student athletes.
Our coaches and players efforts on the field have been matched by our loyal fans in the stadium. Wow, where did all the Red Zone students come from ? Your cheers and noise energize us. Our win and your rush onto the field made us euphoric.
Saturday's win was undoubtedly one of the biggest for us in the past 10 years. We will not let up, we will keep focused, we will work. We know traveling to Los Angeles it is too long trip for many of our fans, but you will be there in spirit when we defeat the Trojans.
We look forward to seeing back at Stanford Stadium for our last two home games against Cal and Notre Dame !
October 23, 2009
No excuses for the back-to-back losses to Oregon State and Arizona. The only consolation--and a small one at that--is that we did not lose at Stanford Stadium in front of our loyal fans. These two humbling losses were reminiscent of past seasons when we frequently lost in the last two minutes of the game. This season, however, is different. This team is mentally tough and forward thinking. Our losses have energized rather than deflated us. We have made adjustments and have practiced hard. The team is eager and ready to play Arizona State at Homecoming this Saturday.
We are determined to deliver a "heavenly" victory to our fans and the alumni that will fill the stadium. Show up, wear cardinal, make noise; we will prevail!
October 6, 2009
The UCLA game one I am going to remember for a long time. It was the first time in my career (five years) that we beat the Bruins and took the bitter taste from last year’s defeat out of my mouth.. It feels as though the monkey off our back now.
The only teams that we have yet to beat in my career are Oregon and Notre Dame. I really feel as though as a team we have made great strides. The defense played great the last two minutes of the game against UCLA and really proved that they have come along way in a year.
I am proud to be a member of the senior class this year and help turn around this program. I remember what former coach Tom Quinn told me and Jim Dray as seniors in high school on our official visit. He told me that we would be the class to turn things around, and it looks like we are on our way.
September 30, 2009
Last week was a great win. Coach Harbaugh called it a “program win.” The team really came together and was able to execute on all phases of offense, defense and again special teams.
Coach (D.J.) Durkin has been doing a great job with special teams not only scheme-wise but motivationally. He is passionate and truly invested in our special teams battle. The three kick returns by Chris Owusu this season (tying the Pac 10 record) are not only a testament to Chris’ athleticism but also to the fight that we bring in the special teams phase.
This Saturday we need the fans to pack the stadium. If you can’t make it this Saturday give your tickets to someone, anyone. On third down we need everyone up on their feet making as much noise as they can. Washington thought they were walking into a quiet stadium, they were mistaken. I know however that we can get louder much louder, and believe me it makes a huge difference.
September 23, 2009
We're off to a 2-1 start, which is pretty good but not good enough. This week’s game against Washington is going to be a big challenge for our team. The Huskies are much-improved from a year ago and we are looking forward to playing them.
Classes have finally started and a lot of people on campus have been asking me about the team. In my five years on The Farm, I have never sensed the excitement on campus that is now surrounding our football team. People are excited and are not being shy about sharing their expectations for us.
I’ve also been asked about how we feel about playing Washington following their big win over USC. My response has been we are just going to continue doing what we do best and play as hard as we can for 60 minutes.
It was nice to finally have a home game last week. Our team thrives off the energy of the crowd and the student section. Your support is important to developing a home field advantage. I hope to see all of you back at Stanford Stadium this Saturday.
Back to the books.
September 15, 2009
The Wake Forest game was a huge disappointment. The five hour plane ride home was long and quiet. However, we aremoving on and putting the game behind us while learning a few lessons about football along the way.
The team is very excited about the first home game this week and we’re not taking San Jose State lightly. We expect them to play hard for 60 minutes and we intend to match their intensity.
We are especially excited to play in front of our fans this week. We need a full stadium to ensure that we have a home field advantage, especially this week considering the multitude of San Jose State fans that will be in attendance.
September 4, 2009
Camp went great. As you read in my last blog there is a new swagger in Stanford football. The past week and a half of game prep has been crisp and as Coach Harbaugh likes to say, "Cold-Blooded".
On Wednesday at practice I don't think Andrew or Tavita threw an incompletion. Both are great quarterbacks and I feel comfortable protecting either one of them. Tavita brings a great deal of experience to the table and Andrew is armed with a cannon for a throwing arm.
We are all very excited to head up to Washington State for the season opener on Saturday. After four weeks of battling back and forth with Ekom Udofia (sometimes after the whistle), Sione Fua, Matt Masifilio, and Brian Bulcke, it will feel great to hit someone other than my own teammates.
Offensively, this weekend we hope to impose our will by both airing it out and "grinding meat" in the trenches, if I may quote Coach Drevno.
Defensively it will be exciting to watch guys like Bo McNally, Fua, Erik Lorig, Clint Snyder, and a host of others unload on some Cougars. We hope to see a lot of Cardinal fans in Pullman on Saturday.
August 31, 2009
I must admit that I was excited to be asked to function as the team blogger this season. Hopefully I can convince my advisor is the Communication Department that I should get credit for blogging; unlikely though.
As I finish up my fifth camp I have come to the realization that no two camps are ever the same. After two and a half weeks of competing and beating up on each other, I can tell that this year's squad is different from years past. I realize the previous statement sounds like a typical cliche made by a fifth year senior but there is something different in the atmosphere surrounding this year's team.
Our attitude is different. I can feel the confidence in the air at practice and partake and witness the competitiveness that Stanford football has been lacking during my career here.
Unlike the previous five camps this year's camp has not lacked enthusiasms and does not seem like drudgery. The senior leadership has been outstanding and I feel as though the team and coaches have congealed into one unified body with one common goal--the Rose Bowl.