In almost two complete years of Mountain West Play, San Jose State has a record of 1-31 in conference play. With a record of 2-24 on the year, with those two wins coming against non D-1 opponents, this was arguably the worst game on our schedule of the year. Though despite all of that, it was one of the games I was most excited for.
Early Saturday morning, 9 of us piled into two cars to make the 7 hour drive north to catch our Aztecs. Because we had two cars, I had previously decided to buy a pair of walkie talkies to communicate with the other car. With a 16 mile range, we thought we’d be golden the entire way up, but unfortunately for us, the driver of the other car happened to be incredibly slow, so we lost communication VERY early on. Nonetheless, our drive up was about as enjoyable as it could be. We sang, we laughed, and we comically lost a flag out the window; overall a great drive up. Our car arrived in San Jose about an hour and a half before the other car, and grabbed lunch and beer at 4th Street Pizza while we waited for the other 5 to arrive.
Once they finally made it into town, we went to check into our hotel. We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton, and much to our confusion, there were two hotels with the same name just two miles from each other. Of course the guy who booked the hotel (who shall go unnamed) decided to get the one further from downtown, and outside of walking distance to the arena. Huge mistake, what he was thinking we may never know. We rested up and charged phones in our rooms for about an hour before heading over to Original Gravity Public House near the campus to pregame and meet up with a few Showlumni. Here we found the real MVP of the trip, the Black Fang, a mead style drink which was just spectacular. After a few of those we made our way through campus to the arena for game time.
It was rally towel night at the San Jose Event Center, but it was soon clear that none of those towels would be put to use for two reasons. 1. There were more towels than people, and 2. It was about 85% Aztec fans. Aztec Nation took over that place. I realize that out numbering them probably isn’t saying too much considering our opponents lack of success this season, but I was impressed how many Aztec fans had made it out to the game. The Spartans have jumped on the ‘funky court’ bandwagon, and theirs is about as funky as it gets. Not appealing to the eye at all, to me it looked like 5 drunken frat guys with body paint. We were in a prime location to be heard, just a few rows from the court, and right next to the band. Perfect spot to heckle those guys. The game itself got off to a rough start, certainly not what we had expected considering who we were playing. It was wonderful getting to see Dwayne Polee back on the court. It came as a surprise to me that he had been cleared to play, and I assumed he’d get some garbage minutes to get back into it a bit, but myself and all other Aztec fans were so happy for him to play some meaningful minutes. The entire building erupted when he made his first basket. Just so great to see him out there again. He definitely provided a spark in our entire team, as we seemed more focused and determined on the court. The second half was much more of what we had expected going into the game, and cruised to the victory. This game was huge for me in particular, as I had lost my previous 4 road games, so this win felt extra good for me. Post-game we met the team by the bus, and they all seemed so excited that we were there, and all the players were genuinely appreciative. Successful road trip.
The next morning we headed on over to Spartan Stadium, because it just wouldn’t be a true RoadShow without finding a statue to mount. We further asserted our dominance over San Jose, but it was then time to head on back to San Diego. We did much better with the walkie talkies on the way back, which made for some entertainment. Quick up and back, most of our weekend was spent in a car, but it was well worth it.
Until next time,