Friday, December 30, 2011


Pull up a beverage, this is going to be a long post . . .

Our beloved PAC-12 Washington Huskies (7-5) were invited to play the Big XII Baylor Bears (9-3) and their Heisman Trophy winning QB Robert Griffin III, a.k.a. "RG3," in the 19th Annual Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

Over the years Laurie and I had been to 13 Husky bowl games but none outside the State of California.

We had been to seven Husky Rose Bowls and saw the Dawgs win five of them.

Here are the results of those seven Rose Bowls (5-2):
1978 beat Michigan 27-20
1981 lost to Michigan 23-6
1982 beat Iowa 28-0
1991 beat Iowa 46-34
1992 beat Michigan 34-14
1993 lost to Michigan 38-31
2001 beat Purdue 34-24

For a brief time, Anaheim hosted the Freedom Bowl. We saw Washington take home two victories there to boost our Husky bowl watching record to 7-2.

These are the results of those two Freedom Bowls (2-0):
1985 beat Colorado 20-17
1989 beat Florida 34-7

Finally, we had journeyed to San Diego four times without much good fortune to watch the Huskies play four times in the Holiday Bowl as our UW bowl game watching record slumped to 8-5.

We saw the following results in "America's Finest City" and their Holiday Bowl (1-3):
1996 lost to Colorado 33-21
1999 lost to Kansas State 24-20
2001 lost to Texas 47-43
2010 beat Nebraska 19-7

Over the years we had consistently passed on traveling long distances with the Huskies to ten bowl games outside of California. The Dawgs had visited El Paso, Texas (2-2 in the Sun Bowls of 1979, 1986, 1995 and 2002), Shreveport Louisiana (1-0 in the 1987 Independence Bowl), Miami, Florida (1-0 in the 1985 Orange Bowl) and Honolulu, Hawaii (2-1 in the 1982, 1983 and 1997 Aloha Bowls as well as 0-1 in the 1998 Oahu Bowl).

With this as a background, we decided that it was time for a road trip! We were joined by both of our sons, Andrew and Michael, which made it an even better nostalgic few days in . . .

The Lone Star State

Laurie, Mike and I flew into Austin, the capitol city of Texas. After picking up our rental car, we drove about an hour southwest to the San Antonio Airport to pick up Andy who had flown in from his home in Las Vegas.

First order of business?

Why food of course!

Recommended by Guy Fieri in his book
"Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"

For me, this makes it a better bet than any 12 star rating in a gourmet restaurant guide!

The order of Onion Rings was a good sign

It is said that in Texas there are only three types of food. They are BBQ, Tex-Mex and . . .

Chicken Fried Steak

The gravy underneath was incredible!!!

I did concede to some healthy green salad as you can see.

Our Headquarters was built in 1909

Very centrally located with an awesome lobby area.

It is the Holiday Season

Always love a grand old fireplace

Measuring Laurie against the Nutcracker

Laurie won this one.

The first phrase that comes to my mind when you mention San Antonio is

So, once fed and settled into the St. Anthony we walked the three short blocks to the site of the 1836 thirteen day siege of the Alamo by 1,800 Mexican troops led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The badly outnumbered 189 Republic of Texas volunteers inside the Alamo were led by soon to be immortals/martyrs William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davey Crockett and James Bonham.

The entire volunteer army was wiped out but "Remember the Alamo" would soon become the battle cry of other Texan forces who would eventually defeat the Mexican forces to win their independence before finally joining the United States in 1845 as the Union's 28th state.

To this day, the Battle of the Alamo is a source of tremendous reverence and pride for any Texan.

Tribute to the Heroes of Texas

It seems like only yesterday . . .

Mike at the entrance to the Alamo

No, he did not ask about the basement.

As we were checking out the Alamo, I heard someone say, "Hey George!"

I turned around to see . . .

Corey Mazza

Small world.

Corey was a great wide receiver at Thousand Oaks H.S., Harvard University and the Italian Football League's Parma Panthers in 2008 when I coached in Catania.

Corey is currently an officer in the United States Marine Corps who recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is visiting Texas for the holidays because his in-laws live in Austin. It was good to see him safe and sound.

I really want to thank him and all of our men in uniform for their sacrifices and service to our country.

Yes, a small world indeed.

Laurie at the River Walk

This is another of San Antonio's tourist attractions filled with restaurants, watering holes and people wearing goofing looking purple and gold or green and gold outfits.

The Buckhorn Saloon and
Texas Ranger Museum

Interesting decor but slow service were the rule of the day here. We did not visit the museum.

Texas actually does have a few gun laws

New boundaries in shopping

Andy and Mike proudly exhibiting new outfits for Tank and a "grandson to be named later."

Who would have guessed that Mike would opt for the tie-dyed one for the Doctor.

Game Day Lunch Spot
on the River Walk

The County Line's Five Meat Combo

Beef brisket, beef ribs, turkey, pork spare ribs and shot link . . . Texas BBQ is good!

Sorry/ashamed to report that I could not finish it all.

Market Square

Scene of Laurie's latest quest for the perfect souvenir.

San Antonio Court House

Interesting architecture.

San Fernando Cathedral

Started by Spanish colonists sent by King Philip of Spain who arrived in San Antonio in 1731, a French Gothic addition was completed in 1873.

The Cathedral's simple interior

The Remains of the Texas Heroes

Included in this tomb just inside of the Cathedral's entrance are the mixed remains of Travis, Bowie, Crockett and other Texan martyrs of the Battle of the Alamo.

The Alamo Dome

Pre-Game Festivities

Game Time!!!

Husky Band "W"

The San Antonio Express-News headline after the game said it all:
"Downright Offensive"

Robert Griffin III

"RG3" lived up to his Heisman Trophy image on this wild offensive night.

He led Baylor going 24 for 33 passing for 295 yards and a TD. He also ran 18 times for 55 yards and another TD.

What a talented player!

ESPN reports that he has decided to forego his Senior season to go into the NFL draft this Spring.

Husky QB Keith Price

Only a Sophomore, Price was incredible as well, maybe even more so than RG3.

He was 23 for 37 passing, good for 438 yards and four TDs. He rushed five times for 39 yards and scored three TDs.

He accounted for an astounding SEVEN TDs!!!


After one period it was 21-7 Baylor.

Baylor WR Tevin Reese

Not a bad night for this Sophomore as he caught five passes for 66 yards and rushed twice for 101 yards.

The Husky defensive secondary was porous to say the least.

13 yard, Third Quarter TD catch
by Husky WR Devin Aguilar

A Senior in his final college game, he did not disappoint. Aguilar caught five passes for 90 yards two TDs.

The Dawgs roared back with 28 second quarter points to lead 35-24 at the half!

Bears RB Jarred Salubi

This Baylor Junior rushed only five times for a whopping 101 yards and scored 2 TDs. He also caught a pass for 13 yards.

Husky RB Chris Polk

A Junior who will probably enter the NFL Draft with RG3 this Spring, he again proved why some day he will have his name carved in the Husky Hall of Fame.

His totals on the night were 30 carries for 156 yards and a TD. He also caught two passes for eight yards.

It was a crazy third quarter that saw the two squads combine for an insane FORTY-THREE points! Baylor held a narrow lead going into the final period by a tally of 53-49.

Baylor Bears RB Terrance Ganaway

This Senior earned the game's Offensive Player of the Game award by virtue of his 21 rushes for 200 yards and FIVE TDs!

They also selected a Defensive Player of the Game, but only God knows why as the game was correctly described as either an Arena League or an Italian Football League game.

Baylor Senior LB Elliot Coffey won the Defensive trophy based on his game high 15 tackles.

The evening's fireworks added up to 123 total points scored, a new record for all bowl games that did not go into overtime.

The Huskies had 620 yards of total offense while Baylor countered with 777 yards. The 1,397 combined total offense yards is another all-time all bowl games record. That means that each and every one of the two team's combined 159 offensive plays averaged 8.78 yards per snap!!!

They combined for 17 TDs, none scored by the defense or special teams!

In the aftermath, the Huskies fired their Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach and their Safeties Coach two days after the game.

The final score you ask?

Baylor (10-3) 67 - Washington (7-6) 56

All 65,256 of us in attendance at the game certainly got our money's worth of excitement for the night!

For ESPN's highlights of the game, go to:

Breakfast at Schilo's Delicatessen

One last meal together before our flights home and another good place to dine.

After dropping Andy off at San Antonio's Airport, we drove back to Austin where we had about five hours to kill before our evening flight back to LAX.

Time to sightsee some more.

University of Texas' Memorial Stadium

Great Tradition

Interesting Seahorse on the UT Campus

Webbed Hooves???

The Famed Texas Tower

Memorial Pond

Located near the back of the Texas Tower to remember the 16 killed and 32 wounded when a crazed sniper climbed the Tower and opened fire on innocent students in August of 1966.

Passing the Torch

UT likes sculptures including one of . . .

Cesar Chavez

At the Texas State Capitol Building

Mike firing a canon

Laurie still needed that perfect souvenir
in South Austin

A fine selection

I wonder what size Johan Hammarqvist wears?

Laurie was very happy with a pair of tan and brown mules that she purchased.

If she's happy, we are all happy!

One last meal in Texas

"Keep Austin Weird"

That's a big slogan around these parts and the Magnolia Cafe lives up to it.

The food was great here as well.

Again, "Keep Austin Weird"

This piano was part of a small live music concert in the waiting area of Austin's Airport.

Cousin Harris showed up
at the airport to see us off

We had a great three days in Texas as a family, saw a truly amazing game, ate great food and even had an adult beverage or two along the way.