Time to Fiesta!

Fiesta BowlIt’s that time. I’m about 10 minutes away from hitting the road and going on an extended Fiesta.

I want to wish all Bronco fans heading to Glendale a safe trip (myself included) and hope we have the best New Years one could wish for.

To everyone staying home, enjoy the game on Fox, New Years Day. 6:50 kick off. Keep your eyes peeled for me, I’ll be the schmuck in orange in section 421!

You’ll all hear from me when I return.

Happy new year and GO BRONCOS!

BCS or Bust

BoiseStateThat was the theme for the recent road trip weekend. Boise State was facing one game for all the marbles at University of Nevada Reno. Outright WAC championship (fifth consecutive), undefeated regular season, and BCS bowl birth with the big exposure and big pay day. Here’s the story.

Friday, November 24th. My birthday was spent mainly driving from Boise to Reno. Roughly 7 hours of some of the most boring driving this side of the great plains. I will concede that driving across North Dakota (sorry to my relatives back there) may be, in fact, the most boring place on the planet to drive. Take a peek at a road map for the state, and you will see I-94 slicing a straight line directly across the state. Yawn… At least the road to Reno does change direction, however, you end up with about 350 miles of the exact same landscape. It does look nice enough, but when you stare at it for 14 hours in 3 days, it definitely gets a little old. You find yourself begging for some trees or something to at least break the monotony.

Hotel DoorWe arrived in Reno and check into the hotel. Since we were making this trip on the cheap, I booked us into a Super 8 motel that was about 300 yards from the stadium. Savvy planning on my part, I thought. Unfortunately, this place wasn’t exactly the Ritz. You will notice in the picture that the door is completely closed, yet there is about an 1/4 inch gap around the whole thing. Yes, we left the heat on the entire time.

After a little rest, we hit the downtown area of the “Biggest Little City in the World”. I’ve always liked casinos even though I’m not a huge gambler. Go figure. And the casinos this night were absolutely swarming withReno blue and orange clad fans. It was terrific. Everywhere you turned, you saw another group. I will admit though that the random “BOISE…. STATE…” chants were a little much. I’m as big a fan as you know, but even I have my limits. There was an interesting phenomenon at play here. Usually, when you’re traveling to an away game and you see someone in your colors, you usually make a comment to that person like “Go Broncos!” or something. Well, in Reno, there were SO many Bronco fans that you don’t feel the need to make those comments. It was like we were the ‘home’ team or something. The occasional Nevada fan might say something to you, but since they were outnumbered in the casinos about 200-1, there wasn’t many of them around.

After being incommunicado for the whole day on the road, I really enjoyed sitting in the sports book of the Silver Legacy to catch up on the day’s college football action… Who upset who, who was favored by what, etc. Plus, Fresno State and La. Tech were playing on TV and the announcers spent half the time talking about Saturday’s Boise State v. Reno matchup. Good times! The book had Boise State favored by only 3 points in the game. I thought about putting a bet down on the game, but I figured, I’ve already got way too much wrapped up in the outcome of this game, there is no need to add a financial aspect as well. Although, hindsight being 20/20 and all, I probably should have bet $1000 on the game, so if we won, my trip to Phoenix was paid for, and if we lose we’d stay home and play in the local MPC Computers bowl anyway and I wouldn’t have to travel with the team. Damn…

One observation of the casino scene in Reno. We were heading back to the car that was parked in the Circus Circus parking garage. First of all, I hate Circus Circus. I hate clowns and I hate the circus. But, as we were heading out at after 11pm, the sheer number of kids running around was astounding! That place was absolutely LOUSY with kids. First of all, for the life of me I can’t understand why you would ever bring your kids on a ‘vacation’ to a casino in the first place. Second, why in blue blazes are these kids still running around this ‘midway’ in Circus Circus at almost midnight? At least the actual casino floors are still kid-less sanctuaries. Just one more reason to loathe the Circus Circus.

Game Day

After an exceptionally craptacular breakfast (how in the hell do you fuck up biscuits and gravy anyway?!) it was time to get into game mode. As I had told everyone, I was nervous about this game. Nevada came into this game on an absolute roll. Five wins in a row, including two 42-0 routs in a row. We were favored by a mere 3 points (or one point underdogs in the Sagarin ratings). Even Kirk Herbstriet on ESPN picked Nevada to win. Everything was piling on and I wasn’t feeling great.

Broncos Take the Field Opening Kickoff

It was quite a chilly morning, so we layered up and headed into the stadium. Two weeks ago when I went to purchase tickets, Boise State told me that their allotment of 5000 tickets was long gone. So, I went directly to the Wolfpack athletics website as was able to purchase tickets directly from them. As you can see, I got damn near 50 yard line seats. It is safe to say you wouldn’t be able to get tickets like that at Bronco Stadium.

Sitting in the upper deck in the sun, we QUICKLY warmed up and started stripping off layers. Eventually getting down to our shirtsleeves. Unbelievable. It was so warm, it felt like September. Just a gorgeous day. Continue reading “BCS or Bust”

In the lion’s den

I’m finally getting around to it, but here is the recap of our adventure last week in Utah.

George and I made the call long ago that we were going to travel down to Salt Lake City for the Boise State vs. University of Utah football game. Perparations were made and tickets bought.

Utah is the easiset away game there is for us as far as travel goes. Just hop on the freeway and in a few hours you’re there. Specifically, 4.5 hours. Living in the west, we’re used to having NOTHING close. Those of you back east don’t realize the distances involved out here. There are no D1 schools closer than Utah and Utah State and they’re 5 hours away. My buddy John lives south of Atlanta, and has about a dozen HUGE schools within 5 hours drive.

So, the plan was to rent some sort of luxury car for a cushy drive down. Since its so close, we’re down and back all in one day, piece of cake.

We rented a Chrysler 300 for the trip. I have to say, I liked it. Then again, I drive a 11 year old car, so at this point, anything less than a couple years old is a serious upgrade. Amazing how far cars have come in that time.

George showed up at the door just after 5 am. We were on the road at 5:30. All things being equal, we might have gotten a little too early a start. But, we made terrific time. Took us right at 4 and a half hours to get down there. I thought we would see a whole caravan of Bronco fans heading down there, but I think we were actually leading that vanguard, so we didn’t see many. However, once we got to Salt Lake City, there was orange EVERYWHERE. Apparently, some 8,000 to 10,000 Boise State fans made the trip down. I believe it.

We found a parking place on campus before 11am, and had a couple hours to kill before game time. So, George had never been downtown (ye olde Temple Square) so we hopped the light rail and rode down there.

We immediately knew something was amis. As we approach the temple, we hear some sort of preaching being played over loud speakers. The whole place was literally crawling with hundreds of guys in shirts and ties and women in skirts. It was downright creepy. We decided to boogie after a short 4 minute visit. Overwhelming. The only saving grace was there was a guy in a kilt playing the bagpipes on the corner. It helped push back the incidious feeling.

George, being the history nerd that he is, said he felt like Saladin. I had to agree.

It got worse. We went into the nearby mall food court to get some food before the game. In said food court, were multiple big screen tv’s also showing some sort of preaching thing. We were well and truly bugged out. (Note, it wasn’t until later that we found out the LDS national conference was happening… at least that helps put everything into context).

Leaving the smiling horde behind us, we head to the game. For those of you who haven’t heard the result, Boise State went in there and took Utah out behind the woodshed for a 36-3 whipping. We were 5.5 point UNDERDOGS in this game. Utah scored the first 3 points of the game (well, after our first three points)… then never scored again. It was quite amusing. Our fans 8,000 fans were louder than their 37,000.

I have to say, when you go into someone else’s house and they’re booing their own team and leaving the game early, you know you’ve really humiliated them.

The downside was our seats in the stadium were in full sun for the whole game. I got absolutely torched. Somehow, I didn’t think about bringing sun screen. The lesson is, as always, I’m a moron.

We were back on the road home at 5pm. Again, I thought we would see a bunch of broncos on the road, but we didn’t. We must have been ahead of everyone. And, just like the trip down, we got home in exactly 4.5 hours.

It was a long day, but was sure worth it. It was ever so amusing to read the columnists from Salt Lake absolutely KILLING their team the next week. Hillarious. That loss of theirs was so bad, the headline of the Associate Press article of their win over TCU mentioned it:Utah shakes off Boise State blowout, steamrolls TCU