For the second time this season, I was venturing into enemy territory. But unlike last time, this was much more interesting. Here is the play by play.
Jess and I got on the road 10:30 on Friday morning. Very uneventful drive. We stopped at Tamarack since neither of us had ever been there. It was very beautiful with the trees changing colors and all. Construction was in HIGH gear. You could not look in any direction and not see full on construction. It was amazing. Pretty much all of Valley County was under construction. I saw more dump trucks, semi loads of lumber, earth movers and the like everywhere. Somehow, we were always behind one of these rigs on the highway. Unbelievable.
We finally made our arrival in the particularly fragrant metropolis of Lewiston-Clarkston. We had to stay in Clarkston due to our late entry into the hotel room sweepstakes for the weekend. Not only were there 2000 bronco fans in the area, but Oregon was visiting Washington State and the thousands of fans the O brought. In our hotel, ye olde Motel 6 had a bunch of Ducks staying there. It actually worked out pretty well staying in Clarkston, other than the smell, that is. Room was far cheaper and the restaurants weren’t super crazy like they were in Moscow.
After check-in, we head on up to Moscow. Jess wanted to put her old campus on display, show me the greek houses, stroll the campus a bit, visit the bookstore. There were a lot of people buying up the merch in the bookstore. It really reminded me of the Blue and Orange store in the mall here on a gameday. Being surrounded by Vandals and their gear didn’t bother me except for one item. They are selling a t-shirt with a soft focus Tiger Beat style headshot of Coach Erickson. This thing is disturbing on many levels. It looks like they pulled this bad boy right out of the Scott Baio silk-screen collection circa 1982. I love Coach Pete as much as the next guy, but I have to think this sort of thing wouldn’t happen here. I can’t even rationally discus it, so I will just move on.
But, Jess was able to stock up to her heart’s delight and we left to go find dinner. We found a little italian joint that was a cross between Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill. Good food. We then headed back ‘home’ and relaxed as we had a big day coming up.
Saturday morning brought game day. We hit Albertsons for tailgating supplies and were on the road. We made it to the Kibbie Dome parking lot about 4 hours to game time. We decided to make a quick loop around the dome to absorb a little atmosphere. We got more than a few odd looks and questions about harmony due to the fact that I was in all orange, and she in her black and gold. And apart from the partially eaten sausage that was lobbed our way, no major incidents happened.
Tailgating was fun. There were a few other Broncos in our area of the parking lot, but we were vastly outnumbered. Jess had a number of friends stop by our spot for a few beers and whatnot, of course, all Vandals. There were the usual collections of anti-Boise State t-shirts (“Boise is not a state”… ho ho ho… hi-lairious. You think that one up all on your own?), not to mention the random “Who do we hate? Boise State!” chants from the large collection of students down the row from us. My comment was, “Personally, I hate Fresno State…”.
See, there is a secret to survival in a hostile environment like that. It is very simple. I like to call it the “Don’t be a Dick” principle. Basically, if you’re not a douche, you’ll probably be ok. I can discuss the game rationally. I know what Idaho has done this season and maintain a conversation about the game beyond, “nuh-uh… YOU suck!” I like to think that I left the various Idaho fans I had spoken to with a positive feeling on Bronco fans. A little self deprecation always helps.
So after a few hours of libations, and becoming properly lubricated, we head into the game. This was the first time I have ever been into the potato barn… er… Kibbie Dome. Jess, this may hurt to hear, but I gotta be truthful… It sucks. Horrible. First of all, indoor football is an abomination that needs to be stricken from the earth. That said, this place is gloomy as hell, especially when all the fans were in black. It was an absolutely glorious autumn day outside. (see the Wazzu v. Oregon game 7 miles away), but we were stuck in the dark, stuffy dome. A perfect waste. The only positive was that the 14,000 Idaho fans could really make some noise in that place. You get some good reverb in there. Of course, on the flip side, the 2,000 Boise State fans could really make some loud noises as well.
The strangest thing happened at this game. I was at the game, but I would be hard pressed to describe what actually happened on the field. It is the weirdest sensation. I don’t know how it happened. My guess is that it had something to do with all of the following factors…
- Fermented barley and hops intake. Yeah, we had more than a few leading up to game time, but nothing strange there. I’ve certainly done that before.
- The horrific Kibbie Dome itself (see above)
- Our seats, being general admission, were… shall we say… less than optimal. We were seated about 5 yards deep in the endzone, second row from the field. Now, you might think, “wow! That close to the field! Great!”, and were this any other sport, you might be correct. But in football it sucks. We were also basically sitting under the video replay board and couldn’t even see that very well. When the play was not within 30 yards of us, I couldn’t tell what was happening. A 6 yard gain looks exactly like a 4 yard loss at that angle. Ugh, sucked. I didn’t know who caught Zabransky’s 2nd touchdown pass until Sunday in the newspaper.
- Game presentation deficiencies. There were no stats provided. No other scores of the day provided. Audio was terrible, and you couldn’t hear the PA announcer with any regularity.
Basically when I walked out of that game I knew a couple things. a.) Boise State won. b.) Final score of 42-26. c.) Zabransky didn’t play particularly well. and d.) I had a piece of pizza in the 2nd quarter. Thats it. That is all I knew. When we got back to the hotel room after dinner (Zany’s in Lewiston) I turned on ESPN College Gameday Final. They mentioned that Ian Johnson had 183 yards and 4 touchdowns. I was absolutely shocked. I had no idea. I was so totally confused. I was pretty sure I was at the game, but apparently not. Maybe I somehow ended up at the wrong game? Maybe I was caught in a space-time vortex through which reality was jumbled?
So, essentially, what I’m telling you is this… I was at the game, yes. I had a good time. What happened? I have no idea. I have the game recorded and will watch it to try to figure it out.
I do have to say this… We were driving most of the day sunday. Got home late afternoon. My plan was to have a little dinner and watch the Sunday night NFL game. Only, there WAS NO SUNDAY NIGHT NFL GAME. Goddamn World Series. Don’t they get it? No one cares about the World Series, except those in Detroit and St. Louis. Even the gimmicky ESPN college game totally sucked.
Anyway, eight straight. Boise State takes the overall lead back in the series (18-17-1). We are in the drivers seat for the 5th straight WAC championship. Fresno brings their 1-6 record to town next for a national TV tilt.
I still need to make plans for a trip to Reno…