The 2014/2015 Mountain West Co-Champions, Preseason #1 and #2 in the conference, and one of four Mountain West venues I have left to attend made this road trip a must. Having planned this trip months in advance, I grew more and more excited each day, especially when it was set that this would be a battle for first place between two 5-0 teams.
We arrived in town mid-afternoon Friday, and immediately headed to downtown Boise to check it out and grab a bite to eat. We stopped at Boise Fry Co. for fries and burgers. I put fries first because the menu listed French Fries as the entrée, and the burger as the side dish. Anyways, it was incredible. There were a lot of different options, we were in the Potato Capital of the World after all. I got the “Laura Fry”, and early on in the trip, I was not disappointed. After lunch we walked a bit around downtown and saw the capital building. Definitely had a small town feel, and walking around almost made me wonder if people actually lived there, as there was hardly anyone driving on the streets and walking around.
Quiet, but beautiful town. There’s a ski area only 16 miles away, so just looking north of the city, you had a beautiful view of the snowcapped mountains in the background. We made our way to a Julia Davis Park in the middle of town, which separated the University from the rest of the town.
The park reminded me a bit of Balboa Park. It was in the center of the town, had a few museums, and even a Zoo in it. The air walking around was nice and brisk, mid 30’s and on the ground was just enough snow for us to have a snowball fight. After my snowball victory, we finally made it on to campus. It was nice and spread out, and all the buildings looked pretty modern. Many different sculptures for us to mount and assert our dominance over. It was a nice campus, but I’m not going to say anything in particular jumped out at me, or made me think ‘this would definitely be my favorite place on campus had I gone there.” I did really like that it bordered the Boise River, and everything seemed to be nice and close.
Next we checked out Albertson’s stadium, home of the famous Smurf Turf. Outside the stadium, they had their Bronco’s hall of fame. As soon as you open the door, you see their three Fiesta Bowl Trophies,
along with the helmet of their opponent, which was very impressive. I can’t wait til we get a couple of those big time bowl trophies to add to our collection. There was one little deck where we could view the field. I don’t like the blue so much on TV, but I thought it looked a lot better seeing it in person.
Everything I had read about the Boise nightlife said one thing: It was happening. Hoping that the internet didn’t lie to me, we decided we’d rest up and get some dinner before hitting the bars. Let me tell you, the internet did not lie. Downtown Boise Idaho is LIT. There was so much going on, it made me wonder where all these people had come from. Then it all of sudden of hit me, really the only thing in town is the university, of course there’s going to be people out for a night on the town. Food vendors on every street corner for all the drunk college kids walking by, bars were PACKED. We made our way to Spacebar arcade first, and played some classic arcade games and drank a lot of beer. We learned I was really good at Pacman, Showlan is really good at pinball, and Ripley is really good at Frogger. We next went to Dirty Roddy’s, a country bar which was about the equivalent to our Moonshine Flats. This was the spot, ton of people there. We rode the mechanical bull, and partied til they closed. I personally had tried to get people from Boise’s student section, The Corral, to come out and hang, but they were soft and didn’t respond to anything. They once put up some youtube videos on how to do some of their chants, but I think they need a youtube video on how to party.
The next day we got off to bit of a late start, and began our day by getting some brunch. Again, not many people walking around during the day, giving it that small town feel. Ripley had arrived into town later in the evening the night before, so we basically did more of the same on day two, walking around downtown and touring the campus. Since we were all here this time, we got to take our picture mountain the Bronco statue.
There’s a little sign near the statues that say, “Keep off horse. 24 hours video surveillance. Violators will be prosecuted.” Our reply: They will not control us. We asserted dominance over their campus, and headed off to get dinner and a pregame beer.
As I said before, not many people walking around during the day, well we made it to the arena and sure enough, there they all were. The outside of the arena looked pretty outdated. Just kind of looked like a square building to me, not all that impressive from the outside. Inside however, the place was a lot bigger than I had expected. The BSU Basketball Wikipedia page says capacity is 12,820, but I would bet it could hold closer to 14,000. There were three levels to the building, and although it wasn’t a sellout, the place was packed. The overall atmosphere was one of the better ones I’ve experienced in the Mountain West. A couple of the fans around me were saying there weren’t many die hard basketball fans, but they’d been coming out since the team was doing well. We sat right
behind the bench, which was an awesome experience. Had a great view of the court, and could hear the coaches during time outs, or yelling out instructions during the game. Really neat experience.
The Corral wasn’t very good, in fact throughout the entire game I only heard them start one chant. They had numbers, but didn’t do much of anything, the rest of the arena was much more vocal. They got loud at the right times, and were able to stay loud.
One thing I loved about this game, it was close the entire time. Right from the get go, 4 minutes in with a 4-0 Aztec lead, we knew it was going to be the kind of game we wanted to play. Great team victory, everyone contributed to the win, and no one was more pumped up than Winston Shepard. Before the game he had said I hope their crowd is rocking, and every time they got loud, you could see Winston waving his arms up and down, wanting more. Once that final buzzer went off, he was giving every Aztec fan a high five, so excited that they had solidified their position as the MWC front runners…..again.
After the game, we went to meet up with the team to congratulate them, when a couple of Corral members came out to meet us. We talked to them a bit, they seemed like some cool dudes. They said how much they liked the Show and wanted the Corral to be as big of a section that we have become. Wished them luck, told them to catch a game in San Diego, but had to advise them, We are often imitated, never duplicated.
The team made their way out, and we congratulated them on the huge win. Players and coaches thanked us for coming out, and it’s cool, you could tell they really do appreciate the support on the road. After wishing them safe travels, we headed back to Downtown for a victory celebration, and to bleed that city dry of Fireball.
Overall, I’d say Boise State has been my favorite Roadshow attended for all the Mountain West schools. I had a great time. The city took me by surprise on how much I enjoyed it. You could walk everywhere, had a small town vibe but still an awesome nightlife. The basketball atmosphere was good, definitely in the upper half of the conference. I would absolutely come back to Boise Idaho. Maybe when we play a football game up there next.
Until Next Time,