Wow… that wasn’t a whole lot of fun. The game, specifically, but pretty much the entire Saturday sucked donkey balls. Here’s the recap of my weekend trip to see the Boise State Broncos vs. the Washington Huskys.
Jess and I got on the road early on Friday. After a quick stop at McD’s for some road breakfast we were off. Drive was very uneventful, which is good. No blasting dirt storms or anything. It was nice to run into all the members of Bronco Nation who were heading up to the game (estimates said upwards of 10,000 made the trip). We were flying my Bronco flags on the car and saw many other people doing the same. We barreled through Ontario, Pendleton, gassed up in Yakima (where I got my first comment on my BSU gear from a guy delivering beer to the convenience store who said, “Beat them Huskys!”… he must be a Cougar fan.), and kept going through to Bellevue where we were staying at the Westin.
The hotel was very nice. Right in the middle of this great trendy district in downtown Bellevue with hotels, shopping, restaurants and museums. It was a great area, and even better, we could park the car and walk anywhere we wanted to go. It’s always nice when you don’t have to drive everywhere. Our room was on the 9th floor and on a corner, so we had terrific views of Bellevue, which is has some nice looking buildings (except for the one that appears to be a medium security prison).
We checked in and relaxed a bit from the drive, but Jess was chomping at the bit because on our block, there was both a Crate and Barrel and a Container Store and she HAD to go check them out. So, we got cleaned up and went to go spend some money. First, however we checked out the amenities the hotel had to offer, work out rooms, pool, etc. It was all very nice stuff. Of course, Jess forgot her swimsuit, so that put the kibosh on any plans to use them. On the balcony we saw a guy who may or may not have been dead. He certainly appeared so, but I wasn’t about to be the one to find out.
From there it was to a quick happy hour appetizer in the one of the hotel restaurants which was good. We got 2 mini cheeseburgers (sliders) and a quesadilla. Finally, it was time to hit the shops. Jess was in heaven, if not a little overloaded in the Container Store. She’s a bit of an organization freak, so she just loves that place. I, not so much the organizer, was a bit bored… although, I did finally find a plastic display box for my Fiesta Bowl football for $16. So that was nice. She got herself some stuff and we moved on to the big dog, Crate and Barrel.
I like this place too, mainly for the kitchen gadgets and cooking tools. I like to cook, and I like to have good tools for the job. We didn’t go too crazy in there, only getting a couple things (hard cheese grater and some wine spouts).
We took our loot back up to the room and got ready for dinner. In our hotel was a Trader Vic’s which neither of us have ever been to. So, we decided that’s where we wanted to go for dinner. That place was great. The food was amazing, I had a rib eye that was perfect and she had sole that was very good. Of course, since it was Trader Vic’s we had to get a foo-foo drink served in a ceramic coconut. We got this rum concoction for $8.50 each that may or may not have had any actual rum in it. Pretty tasty none the less. The best part of the dinner was that Trader Vic’s was on my Passport Lifestyle card meaning, that one entree would be free. I got this card as a benefit while working at HP and there are about 30 local restaurants in Boise that are on it. I had the bright idea to check out where in the Seattle area might be participating and lo and behold I found the very place we were going to! What this amounted to was that dinner, even with those drinks, was much cheaper than it would have been. Always nice.
Saturday was game day. Little did I know what was in store.
I had heard that parking could be a bit rough at the games, so heeding that advice, we left for the game before 9:30 which was more than 3 hours before kickoff. We weren’t planning on doing any tailgating or anything and the stadium was only 7 miles away. Should be plenty of time, right?
You can see our entire route here: Google Maps
We got onto the 520 to cross the lake without problem. About 10 minutes after we left we hit traffic, before we even got to the bridge to cross the lake. We were in stop and go traffic. (we got stopped where that little yellow marker was on the map) From there, we were stuck in traffic for close to 3 hours. This wasn’t even “stop and go” traffic, because there was no “go” phase at all. I probably stepped on the actual gas pedal maybe 10 times in the whole trip. It was let off the brake and let the automatic move you forward a car length. I had planned to park in lot E1 which was north of the stadium (which the Idaho Statesman and the Husky Website both said usually fills up about 1 hour to game time. Well, fuck me, they didn’t take into account an additional 4,000 cars from Idaho, as well as the Husky fans coming out of the woodwork now that they no longer suck ass. When you look at the map, we FINALLY get up and around to where they were letting people into the ‘parking lot area’ (Clark Rd.) at the top of the map. I had long since lost my mind, but at least we were close. Or so we thought. We kept going, averaging less than a mile per hour, through this parking lot. I kept waiting to see someone I could pay to park, and kept following the traffic (as there was no where else to go). We get into the lot, when we look ahead, and it looks like they are taking us RIGHT BACK OUT OF THE LOT. I had Jess jump out and ask someone what the plan was, since we hadn’t seen any real traffic or parking officials anywhere. They tell her that they are taking us up and out to other parking. It took us 2 hours to get4 miles, into the fucking parking lot, and now they are taking us out. That was when I went bonkers… which for me means I get real real quiet and real real angry. I don’t rant and rave… I seethe. And I was seething that day I can tell you.
So take a look at that map, and you will see the route they took us out of the stadium lot and up into the campus. As mad as I was, I still assumed they were taking all of this traffic to a different lot somewhere. And once we got into campus, we saw few flaggers moving traffic. That was until we got to the other side of campus, where they just dumped us out. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?! All that, and I’m back to square one, trying to find a place to park. Its 30 minutes to kickoff and I have lost my mind. The worst part of the whole deal was I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know of where else to park. I thought about getting out of the line I was in, but not knowing where to even look, I didn’t. I figured, I’m with all these other cars, certainly, they have some place to put us all… Someone in this line must have done this before. Yeah, see how well that plan turned out…
We head south following the only signs on the street that read “Football Parking”, and eventually found a parking garage. We pay our $20 for the privilege to park there and head in looking for a space. It took us until the very top floor before we found one (and if you think I wasn’t assuming that the damn garage was full and we were screwed again, you’d be wrong.) You’ll find it amusing that the Google map says that the entire trip should take 28 minutes. Yeah, I wish.
I cannot put it strongly enough just how bad this sucked. That may have well been my least favorite thing I have ever done in my entire life. And I’ve had a kidney stone. That should tell you something.
But, we did find a spot and got the hell out of the car. What in my mind should have taken 45 minutes, maybe an hour, ended up taking almost 3 hours. We hustled to the stadium as we both had to pee badly.
We got into the stadium, and the whole place was a zoo. We were seated in the U shaped endzone seats and Husky Stadium is one of those places with just one concourse, such as it is. And, that concourse is also where the front gates are, so there were about 40,000 people here all going in different directions, 10,000 of which were not moving because they were in concession lines. Basically, I would call this a marginally organized cluster-fuck. I hate being in crowds where I can’t move around, and that was what I was facing. We tried to find some bathrooms and no matter where we walked, it always seemed we were going against the flow. Combine that with what I had just experienced, and I was on a shoooort fuse. At least there were a lot of Bronco folks around. (The pic to the right does not do justice to how crowded it was… trust me, it sucked)
We finally got to our seats and sat down. I do have to admit, that is a pretty cool stadium. Right on the water. Big grandstands on either side of the field. Great views. Huge jumbotron. And, it was finally a stadium that provides some sort of game stats. Granted, I could REALLY use a beer, and they don’t serve booze there, but what can ya do? At least it was an absolutely gorgeous day. I did get a little sunburned, despite the sunscreen, but you couldn’t ask for a better day to watch a game. The only problem with our seats was that we were a good distance horizontally from the field. Made it really tough to gage just how much yardage plays went for. I like to sit up high.
Boise State lost… not only did they lose, they looked like hell doing it. That was the worst part for me… they simply didn’t play well. They made stupid ass mistakes they don’t normally make. They jumped offsides. They dropped passes. They fumbled the ball. They missed tackles. Across the board, the first half was pretty bleak. We had one thing to cheer about, and that was the long pass down to the one. Everything else was just bad. That was the worst part… not having anything to get excited about. It was ho-hum football, and it is really tough to get fired up for that.
Sill, we were only down 2 scores going into the second half. I had faith. I’ve seen us come back from worse spots than that. When the defense came out in the 2nd and shut Washington down, I thought the game could turn. All we needed to do was to string a few plays together, get some momentum. Well, that never happened. Tharp would throw a bad pick. A receiver drops a ball in the endzone. Johnson gets stopped short of the first down. It was always something. That second half was pretty dark for me. I didn’t make much noise at all. I love that Jess understands and doesn’t try to cheer me up with, “relax, its only a game” or any stupid shit like that. She knows the deal and is enough of a sports fan to know we don’t want to hear that shit when our team is getting smoked. We just want to glower and be angry. And thats what I did. And she let me. Bless her.
The funny thing about going to the games, and sitting in the seats we had, you don’t really get a solid feel for what specifically happens during the game. I mean, you can’t see everything, the replays are lacking, etc. I have a few points about the game that I saw, but I think I need to see it again before writing about them. Unless you have upper deck 50 yard line seats, sometimes football (the game itself) is better on TV. Of course, nothing beats the atmosphere and excitement of being at the game… even a bad game.
I do have one comment I have to make about the game. It has to do with this fuckin ass-bag that was sitting 2 rows in front of us. He was the token “obnoxious fan” and this guy pushed it to new levels. The poor folks sitting directly behind him took the brunt of his shit. For example, when there was a penalty on BSU, he would stand up, turn around, point his finger in the face of these people and scream “CHEATER!”. Pure class. He really spent the entire game making a total ass of himself, all the while, his super cool Washington T-shirt STILL HAD THE BARCODE STICKER ON IT FROM WHEN HE BOUGHT IT 10 MINUTES BEFORE THE GAME STARTED. Yeah, you’re a true fan, buddy. He spent most of the time standing up, leading his own cheers (nobody followed him), getting in the faces of the 50+ year old couple sitting behind him and just generally being a complete asshole. When someone as even keeled as I am has to suppress the urge to punch him in the neck, you know it’s bad. John, if you were there, you wouldn’t have made it through the first quarter. Security would have had to drag you out of there for pummeling this guy. Even though we had bought tickets through Boise State, we weren’t in an all Bronco section, which, as you can tell, I would have greatly preferred.
After the game, we walked back to the car, and I started to open up and bitch about the game. Bitch about how shitty we played. How the game could have easily been tied (if Tharp doesn’t throw that pick deep in their territory and they don’t score on the ensuing possession, bang, the game is tied). Tried to figure out what happened. We got to the car and filed into traffic. Originally, we had planned on hitting up Pikes Market after the game, but concidering all that had happened that day, I was NOT in the mood for more traffic. Luckily, it only took us about 40 minutes to get back to the hotel.
We cleaned up and went to get a bite at this place called The Tap House, with 160 beers on tap. This place was also on the Lifestyle card, so we scored there too. After a dinner of gussied up pub food which wasn’t that good and a few beers, we decided to just buy some beers and watch football in the room.
It was this time that I had a few beers in me and the anger hadn’t gone away, so I was complaining about everything on TV. I ended up making Jess laugh because I was just so salty and sarcastic about everything. Every bad play. Every dumbass comment by a commentator. Every stupid haircut in the player headshots. Everything. That felt pretty good. It was cathartic.
Sunday was very uneventful too. We got up and loaded up our shit into the car. Bellevue also had a Trader Joe’s which Jess loves to shop at so we hit that place up on our way out of town. She got to buy all her fancy sauces and organic food stuffs. She was happy.
Again, the drive was very normal and nothing happened. We did make the mistake of stopping for gas on the outskirts of Yakima on this shitty part of town. We got out of there as soon as possible.
So, I’m home safe and sound. Still pissed. Still stinging from the loss, and our dropping completely out of the top 25 (not that that wasn’t expected).
I may write more about this game in the future. I may not. It depends on if I feel the urge to watch the game again.