Here is the remainder of the weekend. (Part 1 Here – BCS or Bust)
First off, I do have to say that the enormity of what had happened didn’t really hit me after the game. I think I was so nervous heading in that I felt more relieved than anything. I didn’t jump up and down or scream or anything (not that that is really my style anyway). I think as I watched the blue and orange sea on the field, I just stood there with a bemused look on my face. Taking it in without it sinking in.
Thusly, the rest of the night kinda went the same way. No drunken revelry. We had a good dinner a another local brew pub (the Italian Sausage Ravioli were great) and watched the first half of the Notre Dame v. USC game. This place was a little out of the way, and there were no other Broncos in the joint (at least in the bar). We talked to a few Reno guys in there and they were gracious in defeat. I did have to tell them that its not all bad, since they’re still going to a bowl game and Boise State just cut them a check for $750,000. (Each team in the conference splits some of the BCS booty). Can’t argue with that too much. They were cool, and we just had a low key dinner.
After, we headed back down to the casinos to find a place to watch the Trojans finish off the Irish and the first little bit of the Purdue @ Hawaii game. We actually packed it in early due to the fact we were driving home the next day.
We woke up early to bust out of there. I set the alarm on my cell phone but somehow calculated the time wrong (it was still on Boise local time) and instead of setting the alarm for 6:30, I set it for 4:30. The lesson, as always, is I’m a dumbass. I should have just woken everyone up then since I was pretty much wide awake and ready to go, but instead I laid there for 2 hours before getting up.
On our way out of what really appeared to be a ghost town… there was NO traffic on the roads at all… we stopped at a local Starbucks. Now, we were the only 3 people in the building except for the two girls behind the counter. For some reason, they had to be sure to ask all of us our names so they could write them on the cups. Uh… I don’t think we’ll get them confused girls… But we made it on the road without incident.
Just like the way down, we were in the middle of a Bronco caravan. We drove Jess’ car down since her’s is the newest and it ended up getting us some strange looks. See, she is a Vandal, tried and true, and came along just because I asked. And, being a Vandal, her car has the University of Idaho sticker in the back window and the Vandal license plates. We did, however, have the dual Bronco car flags flying high. It was quite amusing to pass another bronco car and watching in the mirror as the passenger points at us and says something to the driver, or vice versa. This must have happened half a dozen times that I saw, who knows how many more times that I didn’t. To quote Peter Venkman, “Dogs and cats living together… Mass hysteria!”
Honestly, I think it took me until Tuesday for it all to really set in. Life is a funny thing. In what has undoubtedly been the hardest year I have ever lived through (a close second was the year in college when I worked full time, school full time, and had a part time internship, but thats another post), the only team I follow with an absolute passion had its greatest season ever. Especially ironic when you know that every single Boise State memory I have from the past 4 years is intertwined with memories of my ex and ex-laws. Who knows… maybe this was supposed to happen. It might be egotistical for me to think that some higher power set up the Bronco run to make it up to me for being shit on… I don’t know. All I know is that I love the Broncos. What does it tell you that I want to be successful in life, make a bunch of money, but not for me… but because I want to be able to give big chunks to Boise State. That’s just not normal.
I listened to KBOI’s archive of Paul J’s call of the game on Saturday, and I would be lying if I didn’t get chills. When they were talking about where this team has been and where its going, I think my eyes welled a little. Again, stuff like this shouldn’t happen. Paul J’s voice can at once make me feel both like a grown man listening to a BCS team on the verge, and a 7 year old kid following the Broncos the only way one could back in the day, on the radio. He may not be the greatest announcer who ever lived, but he is the very soul of Boise State to me. I can hear his voice and it sounds like home. When he gets excited, my blood pressure jumps 30 points. He is one of the rocks this program has been built on. I think KBOI & Boise State should market a DVD of the greatest BSU moments and the accompanying Paul J. calls. As it is, I watch the Bronco season commemorative DVD’s I have weekly.
Saturday’s game at Reno will be one of those events that improves in my memory with age. Like the Idaho game in ’94 or the Fresno game in ’02. That image of the fans on the field will stick with me for a long long time.
Phoenix, here we come.