God bless the Texas State offensive linemen and their celebration of a special, high-carb, tasty kind of day.
Think about it. Outside of Christmas, Thanksgiving and a bowl game, what might be the most special occasion for a group of very large young men from Texas State? In fact, let’s get more expansive. Friday is a special day for all offensive linemen, everywhere, from the tackles at Tampa Bay to the high school kids playing in state championship games.
It’s National Maple Syrup Day. Yes, that’s a thing. Do we have to explain why offensive linemen must acknowledge it? Read on.
These Bobcat linemen commemorated this special day on social media. (Of course they did).
“Happy National Maple Syrup Day from the boys,” tweeted the Texas State Football account. The tweet also featured a tiny Canadian flag.
Here’s Why These Fun-Loving Texas State Canadians Celebrated Syrup
OK, here’s why anything involving syrup is important to an offensive lineman. You pour syrup on pancakes. And the best rush an offensive guard, tackle or center can feel is when they register a pancake block. Coaches even go so far as to count how many pancake blocks a lineman can total in a game. It’s an obvious point of pride when a lineman can level a tackle or an end and flip said defender on his back. Cause the big mean ol’ defensive dude can’t tackle the running back if he’s on his back, flat like a pancake.
The Texas State linemen are well aware that you can’t register a pancake on a passing play. That’s probably why if you ask any offensive lineman if they prefer to run or pass block, they all say run. You can manhandle a defender, so long as you don’t reach out for a hold. In pass pro, you’re back on your haunches. You start like you’re sitting on a bar stool. It’s not comfortable and it’s all about both strength and finesse. But the left tackles who can protect a quarterback’s blindside make bank in the NFL.
So let’s circle back to the Texas State guys. These Bobcats are from north of the border. And we’re not talking north of the Red River, somewhere in Oklahoma. It’s Canada. It’s required that you swill maple syrup there.
One of the Canadians Help Talk Up His Fellow Countrymen
Texas State coach Jake Spavital’s team featured four Canadians on its 2021 roster, three of them offensive linemen. They were Liam Dobson, Liam Dick and Kyle Hergel, bolstered by defensive tackle Samuel Obiang. Dobson is a grad transfer from Maine. Dick’s previous team was Pitt. And Hergel made it to Central Texas by way of North Dakota.
“All the Canadians just look out for each other because it’s such a small group of people, especially the offensive linemen,” Hergel told the Austin American-Statesman. He said that Dobson, his fellow Canadian, “stuck his neck out for me by telling the coaches about me.” Jim Turner, who helped groom a trio of first round NFL offensive linemen while at Texas A&M, recruited the guys.
So from Texas State and Outsider, Happy National Maple Syrup Day. Eat some pancakes for dinner. Wash the stack down with some Molson and have a terrific weekend.