Friday, October 9, 2015

Washington at USC Game

With the Newbury Park H.S. football program enjoying a much needed bye week, we got the chance to relax a bit and go see our favorite college football team play our not so favorite college football team.

Unranked Washington Huskies
2-2, 0-1 PAC-12
#17 Southern California Trojans
3-1, 1-1 PAC-12

Over the years, we have gone to many Husky games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to see our Dawgs play the Trojans and had usually been disappointed with the results.

Unperturbed, Laurie and I packed up some tailgating provisions and were joined by son Mike and grandson Jacob for the trip to this year's game.

It would be Jacob's first NCAA Division I college game after having been introduced to collegiate football at the College of the Desert-Pierce College JC game a few weeks ago.

That JC game was fun but this experience would be a whole lot different!

One of the big game day issues was the fact that the game would start at 6:00 p.m. on a Thursday.  That would place the kickoff right in the middle of Los Angeles' wonderful evening traffic jam.  This would cause a huge parking problem to boot because USC was still holding classes thus eating up many of the usual on-campus parking slots that are so necessary on the normal school-free college football Saturdays.

Thus we left Camarillo at 10:30 a.m. with the idea to eat lunch in Los Angeles' recently re-opened Clifton's Cafeteria before heading to the game where the parking lots would open at 2:00 p.m.

Idyllic roof top parking in
downtown Los Angeles

We had to walk three blocks
down Broadway to get to Clifton's

When I was growing up, a trip to Clifton's Cafeteria with the family was always a special dining experience.

Clifton's woodsy, eclectic ambiance

Of course Clifton's has a Lion

They also had a bison, deer and other stuffed animals of all sizes. What self-respecting cafeteria wouldn't?

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for
American football!!!

Parking was not easy and then we had to carry our tailgate to the first available grass area in the mostly cement Coliseum environs.

Our trek for sod took us
near Gate 1

And it was HOT!


The former UW football coach
who is now USC's coach is fondly
remembered by Husky fans

A lot of shade an a little grass

Works for us!

We would be joined by former Huskies Tom Verti, Loren Brucker, Carl Sweet, Paul Sabolic and Mark Johnson plus their wives and/or children.

It was great seeing everyone before and during the game as Mark Johnson had arranged a block of tickets for us to communally enjoy the contest.

Mike and Jacob enjoying
the sun and atmosphere

The Security Guard patrolling
our tailgate let Jacob wear his Badge

An LAPD sergeant let Jacob
check out everything in her
police cruiser

Jacob was happy to say the least!

We were happy too!
(Photo by Jacob)

When we placed our order for tickets with Mark last Summer, we only ordered five. Three were for Laurie, Mike and I and two were for Bron-Villeurbanne Falcon Vivien Villard and his brother Justin who were visiting the SoCal for two weeks.

About a month ago Mike decided that the UW-USC game would be the perfect venue for son Jacob to first see a college game. The problem was getting him into the game without paying $75 for a ticket. He was too old to get in for free under normal circumstances.

Thus we contacted former Buena H.S. running back Alex Garfio, one of my all-time favorite players to coach, who is now an Assistant Athletic Director at USC.

Since Mike is a high school coach, he qualifies for two free tickets into the game, one for himself and one for a guest, i.e., Jacob.


Slight Problem . . .

In order to conform with NCAA rules concerning H.S. coach free tickets, both Mike and Jacob would have to sign for them.

Jacob's cursive autograph still needs some work.

Jacob's first view of the Coliseum turf


"Poppo, what are all these crazy
people doing here?"

Just go with it Jacob

Just yell to your heart's delight

At the half, USC led 6-3. The Dawgs were battling and playing great defense. The scary part was that we had forced turnovers early in the game deep in Trojan territory and had gotten zero points out of it.

Justin and Vivien joined us at halftime

As predicted, the crazy L.A. traffic forced them to miss half the game. On the flip side, arriving so late, they parked for free.

Parking spots were going from the $25 we paid to $50 or more.

The rules of supply and demand at their finest.

Jacob gravitated to Sophie Johnson
and her BIOLA University classmates
to watch most of the contest

They even put a Husky
W decal on his cheek

Checking out the Coliseum's

Jacob and Hairy Husky mascot

OH MY GOD . . .


That was FUN!


Reading Is FUNdamental

Make no mistake about it, you can read a lot during a bye week.

Sicily at its finest

As always, a fun Inspector Montalbano mystery, but I think that this may be the last of the series that the Camarillo Public Library has to offer.

More Thinking, Less Violence

I'm just a junkie for Jack Reacher novels. So much for the idyllic, peaceful English countryside.

Off-beat to say the least

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