Monday, October 6, 2008

UW Huskies Invade the Home of the Arizona Wildcats

Months ago in Catania, Jason and I agreed to meet in Tucson with our wives to watch my Washington Huskies play his Arizona Wildcats in a PAC-10 game. They played last Saturday.

We drove together from Jason and Christie's temporary digs, the home of Adam Johnson, a long time friend of Jason's (no relation), in Rancho Cucamonga to Tucson, about a 6 hour drive with stops to eat and fill up the gas tank. We talked about many things in the car, most importantly to me was the prospects of getting him to return to the Elephants as our QB in 2009. We will still have to wait on a final decision on this one until Christie's job situation is clearer... I'm still hoping.

Sean and Amy Johnson's Halloween festooned home in the desert

When we arrived in Tucson on Friday night we were welcomed into the home of yet another Johnson family, still no relation, Sean and Amy's beautiful home in Tucson. They REALLY take Halloween seriously at their house as you are about to see. That is Sean in black hugging Jason with his daughters Jenna and Jordan in the background.

Jordan and Jake

Every square inch of their large home is covered with something related to Halloween or terror in general. The kids appear comfortable with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy moving in to the upstairs area of the house.

The Johnson's were great hosts, have great kids and were fun to be with.

Thanks for the hospitality!!!

Arizona Sunset

Same view a little later

Both of the above pictures were taken from the Johnson's balcony. 

After a great dinner at El Charro's we just had to stop at Frost's for gelato.

Oh my goodness!

On Saturday before the game, Jason took us on a tour of the University of Arizona's campus. First stop was the athletic facilities via the football office. They have two small trophy cases in the reception area and look what I found. Everything you would ever want to know about Jason's Arizona career on a football.

We thought he might have planted this in the case himself as he was in their for a couple of minutes getting permission to tour the building while we waited outside. 

Wildcat Strength Facility

I like slogans!

Pre-game meal at the Frog and Firkin

After the tour of the McKale Center's athletic facilities, we made our way into this nearby restaurant where it is rumored that Jason's mother was first introduced to Long Island Iced Teas. We sat, ate, talked and people watched for the better part of two hours.

Christie was asked to show her ID card to prove that she was old enough to drink alcoholic beverages. We were asked if we were Jason or Christie's parents...
We just wanted to enjoy a quiet moment at the Frog and Firkin...

Behind us is the "Old Main" 

This was the first building erected on the University of Arizona's campus. We passed it on our way to the tailgating area.

This cool "Dia de los Muertos" style skeleton is permanently on display outside of a building on the U. of A.'s Mall.

The College Football Ritual of Pre-Game Tailgating

The Wildcats set up their tailgates on the University's Mall.

BBQ Pig anyone?

Out of nowhere, an Arsenal Gunner fan, proudly wearing his colors, walked by us!

We had to celebrate being atop the English Premier League Table while we still could.

Where is Ben Todd when you need him?

Husky Alumni Tent

At every road game the Huskies set up a tent to welcome Alumni Dawgs. They serve food and entertain us with the band and cheerleaders.

#6 Sonny Sixkiller

Sonny was the record setting QB of the Huskies in the 1970's just after I graduated. He is known for his GREAT sense of style when it comes to clothes!

Time to attack the Stadium

Young kids forced to take sides by their parents!

Making our way to our seats

We will be sitting in the lower loge seats, i.e., the bottom level of the Luxury boxes you see at the top of the stands.

The great view from our seats

Yes, we do have leg room, the seats are wide and the free food and drink is part of the deal!

Again, a HUGE thanks to Sean and Amy Johnson for letting us have two of their season tickets to enjoy the game in such a wonderful setting!!!

Close up view of the field during a rare Husky kickoff

Old Style

This is the facade of the south endzone side of the stadium. It is actually still two sets of dorms that can only be entered from the street and no, the back of the dorm rooms offer no views of the game. The stadium's seats are the back wall of the dorms, I'm guessing that very little studying or sleeping goes on in these two dorms during a game.
Oh, the game itself? Arizona (4-1) was able to eke out a victory over the Huskies (0-5) 48-14. How can we lose when we are SO sincere?

As an afterthought to the Los Angeles Dodgers three game sweep of the National League Division Series, I would have to concur with a Cub fan I met this weekend in Tucson that the Chicago Cubs performance indeed  merited screaming "PIECE OF CRAP!" at the television repeatedly.

The three day weekend ended with the long drive back to Camarillo. We had a smashing good time with Christie and Jason. They are GREAT people and I really do miss seeing them on a daily basis like we did sharing Malibu in Catania.

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