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Show On The Road-Boise State

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.IMG_3395

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.

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Moutains in the distance

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 IMG_0108.JPGdominance 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,

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2016 is our year to bring home something like this.

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 IMG_0098 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.

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Facts.

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

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Full House

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.

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Squad

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.

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Beautiful little town.

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,

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StompShow

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Show On The Road-Utah

When I first saw this game on the schedule, I knew I wanted to go. When I saw it was on a Monday night, I initially dismissed the idea of making the trip. Our first big game of the year, first road test, I was pretty bummed that I wouldn’t be attending. However, before I knew it, after a little bit of convincing from Handsome Kyle, I had a flight booked to Salt Lake.

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Handsome Kyle and Showlan arrived Sunday afternoon, and enjoyed a full day in Salt Lake exploring the campus. I had a prior commitment, so I wasn’t able to make it out until late Sunday night. I called for an Uber to pick me up from the airport and take me to the hotel. Being my first time in Salt Lake City, I asked my driver some places he would recommend I go see, or the best places to eat in town. His suggestion: Applebee’s or Olive Garden. I politely told him I’d keep that in mind, but I was immediately skeptical if those were the best places in town.

 

Morning came and we were able to find a good spot for breakfast, Park Café. Delicious breakfast and good location, right across the street from Liberty Park, which reminded me a bit of Balboa Park. It was right in the middle of town and had a few museums to check out. The food we got was delicious, and the owner of the restaurant is a San Diego State Alumn, so we got a nice discount. After breakfast we ubered back to campus to check out the bookstore, and our driver was hilarious.

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Liberty Park

We immediately got off on a good note with him due to our mutual hatred of BYU. He told us that BYU recently put turf in their football stadium, in an effort to keep the cheerleaders from grazing. BYU hate just brings out the best in college sports fans. We stopped into the bookstore where, not gonna lie, they had some awesome gear. They had real replica football jerseys (not some lame knockoff brand), complete with all of the patches, at a very reasonable price. (take notes SDSU bookstore) We walked outside, and Showlan got to see snow fall for the first time. Definitely not something any of us were used to seeing, so it was pretty neat. I was pretty surprised how empty the campus was. For the entire time spent on campus, I saw no more than 15 people at one time. Which was strange with it being a Monday. Would never be that empty in the middle of Campanile Walkway. We continued our self-guided tour onto Rice Eccles Stadium. (It’s worth noting that 95% of all buildings on the campus of The University of Utah are named after either Eccles, Huntsman, or Marriot.) Showlan noticed a gate that was just slightly opened, so we decided why not, and walked right in. Not wanting to get kicked out, we had to be stealthy to sneak past workers, and soon enough we were on the field taking pictures in the end zone. Handsome Kyle showed off his 7 inch vertical Continue reading


Show On The Road-San SHOWse State

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.

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One of the Ugliest Home Courts I’ve seen in person

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 ccpicture1in 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.

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Tommie Smith Statue on campus

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.

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Photo Credit Ernie Anderson

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.

Mounted. Sammy the Spartan didn't stand a chance.

Sammy the Spartan didn’t stand a chance.

Until next time,

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StompShow


Show On The Road- Colorado State

One of my goals as a fan of San Diego State basketball is to travel to all of the arenas in the Mountain West Conference. Long before the season started, probably just about as soon as the MW schedule was released, I booked a flight to Colorado to check out Moby Arena. I originally didn’t have too much of a plan, just knew I was going. As we got closer and closer to the travel date, it seemed as if I was going by myself, until about a month before game day I had finally convinced my Dad to accompany me, making my life much easier. Thanks Dad.

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Golden

I wanted to make the most out of the weekend, so we took off early Friday morning and arrived in Denver around 9:30am mountain time. We got settled with our rental car and headed on over to Golden, Colorado; a cute little town near the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. On just about every street corner there was a statue of some sort, giving numerous opportunities to mount one. The biggest attraction in Golden is the Coors Brewery, which is the single largest brewing facility in the world. With Coors Light being one of the key players in the best tailgate in college football, b2, we had to check out the tour. The tour itself was really pretty neat, and I learned quite a bit about the brewing process. It was a self-guided tour, about 30 minutes through the brewery; that is until you get to the lounge, where you can stay for about another couple hours or so, enjoying three free 10 ounce tasters. Being a cheap beer, Coors Light has a bit of a reputation for well, not being very good. Though I must admit, drinking it fresh out of production, it wasn’t half bad.IMG_1062 After the tour, we grabbed a much needed burger before heading up to our next activity.

We drove up to Lookout Mountain, which is the resting place for the legendary showman Buffalo Bill. The top of the mountain had absolutely spectacular views of Golden and downtown Denver. Soon enough it was time to check into our hotel, so we headed back on over to Denver. We then spent rest of the night walking around Downtown. I thought their downtown was pretty neat, didn’t seem too busy for a Friday night, but there was definitely a lot to doIMG_1068. One thing I noticed about Colorado is that they seem to be a month behind. I first noticed this in Golden, but didn’t think too much of it with it being such a small town and all. But Colorado is still very much in the Christmas spirit. One of the government buildings in Denver was all decorated with lights, trees, signs that read, “Peace On Earth 2014.” Just thought it was funny everything was still all decorated, I thought maybe because of the legalization of a certain plant, maybe they just move a little slower out there.

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Christmas spirit lives on

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Cam The Aztec

The next morning we decided to hang around Denver a little more, checking out the homes of the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies, Sports Authority Field and Coors Field. The outside of Mile high stadium was awesome, just a ton of different plaques and displays showing off the history of the Broncos. The Rockies happened to be having their FanFest that day, so we got to see a bit more of that stadium, and it was cool seeing a bunch of fans around. Finally we decided it was time to head on up to Colorado State University. Fort Collins itself was a pretty neat town, but I wasn’t too impressed with the campus. To be fair, I probably didn’t walk through most of it, but it just didn’t seem to have that college feel to it. We found the ram statue just outside Moby Arena, proceeded to mount it. A few cars drove by and saw us, and began honking and booing us. I had one guy come up to me and say, “Well you’re just looking for trouble aren’t you?” to which I responded, “Absolutely.” No one likes us, we don’t care.  The team happened to have just finished their shoot around, so we got to see them, and spent a few moments talking with Coach and Uncle Teddy. We wished the team luck, and moved onto Old Town Fort Collins. I enjoyed their downtown, had a nice small town feel about it. Center of the square had some live music and other entertainment. We grabbed lunch at Cooper Smiths Pub, and enjoyed some good local brew before game time.

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Raucous crowd

We arrived at Moby a few minutes before the doors opened, where we received a warm welcome from members of the Ram Ruckus who waited in line. All of their fans (with the exception of the one right behind us), students included were all real kind to us. All the trash talk was in good spirits. The game was advertised as a ‘White Out,’ and they sure had it look good. The place was filled to capacity and it was LOUD. One feature of the arena I really liked was having two separate student sections on opposing sides of the court right behind the basket. I can imagine that isn’t very fun for opposing teams to deal with. Though the game didn’t go as planned, I thought we played well. Even to start the game I didn’t think we were bad; the rams just couldn’t miss from deep-from anywhere really. I love the character that this team shows in their efforts to battle back; we just couldn’t quite get over the hump. I’m convinced had we taken the lead, we would’ve pulled away, just as we did when we went down big against unlv. Overall, this is probably the best I’ve felt after a loss. Our offense has definitely shown improvement, and I’m more confident than ever that we are going to win this conference. One thing the rest of the conference learned from us is that Malik Pope is GOOD. I thought it was funny how many CSU fans were in shock about his performance, he completely took them by surprise. Us Aztec fans knew it was only a matter of time before he had a game like that. We met the team by the bus after the game, and told them we’d be there to see us bounce back and get some revenge against Fresno. They understandably weren’t happy with the result, but I could tell they appreciated us coming out there to support them.

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CUnitBuffs u up?

Like I said earlier, I wanted to make the most out of the weekend, so the flight back to San Diego wasn’t until 9:15pm, so we essentially had another full day ahead of us. We decided to spend the day in Boulder. That’s one thing that was pretty neat about Colorado, the cities are all fairly close to one another, so in just a weekend we were able to see a good portion of the state. We walked around downtown Boulder, which had a calming feel to it. The people of Boulder are very free spirited, which made me like the town even more. Just up the hill from downtown was the University of Colorado Boulder campus. I liked their campus better than CSU’s, mainly because it just felt like a college town. We stumbled upon their football stadium, which in front stood a buffalo statue. Of course we took the time to mount it. I decided to make the CU student section aware that Aztec Nation was asserting themselves over their school; we had a fun little back and forth on Twitter. I’d like to play them soon, I think it would be a fun game, and I’d like to spend more time in Boulder, beautiful part of the state. After giving ourselves a self-tour of the campus, soon enough it was time to head on to the airport, and make our way back to America’s Finest.

I’m definitely glad I went on this trip, as I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Wasn’t quite the result I was hoping for, but like I said before, I’m feeling very confident in our team moving forward. Can’t wait for the next trip.

Until next time,

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StompShow


Show On The Road- Washington

 

Well before the season began, many of us had a strong desire to make it out to an early season non-conference game, and ultimately decided that this was the perfect weekend to do so. Accompanied by 20+ current Show and Showlumni, we took to the Pacific Northwest to support our beloved Aztecs. Because there were so many of us, my story may not do the weekend justice, so it is entirely possible to expect other blog posts from other Show members

 

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Walking to our hotel. Space Needle in the distance

To me, this road trip gave me an early taste of the Mountain West Tournament in March. A good large group of friends enjoying a weekend full of debauchery, laughter, and Aztec Basketball. Myself and about 5 others flew out of San Diego as the second wave of Show late Friday evening, and arrived in Seattle around 10:00pm or so, and after another hour long ride on the Light Link Rail, finally made it to Downtown Seattle. As soon as we stepped off the trolley, I was immediately in love with the city. Christmas lights flooded the streets, and the cool brisk air gave it a true wintery feel to it; certainly nothing I was quite used to back home in San Diego. Having gone most of the day without food, we searched for a place that was 1. Open late night, and 2. Had beer. We came across a local Italian restaurant, Amantes, around midnight; which was perfect seeing as the rain had really started to come down at this point. TwoPointShow and I decided to split a pitcher after a long day of work and travel, but couldn’t decide between two of the local brews. Amantes was extremely accommodating, and gave us full 8 ounce tastes of each, and once we decided on the Manny’s Pale, we were given a very full (and I mean very full) pitcher. I would highly recommend this place, as the food was spectacular as well. I recall looking outside the window as the rain poured down and seeing this girl on the corner, unfazed by the rain, just dancing on her own and genuinely enjoying life. The other corner of the street I saw some goth dude with an umbrella, walk up to a cold hipster looking guy, and share the umbrella with him. After seeing all this go down, I could tell that the people here were incredibly nice, and that this city was something special.

 

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Santa is an Aztec

Despite being awake for nearly 24 consecutive hours, I was one of the first to awake the next morning, eager to start the day. After enjoying the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, some of us decided to head off to the Space Needle. On our way over, we came across a funky statue. Had absolutely no idea what it was supposed to be, but in true Road Show fashion, we 100% had to mount it. We made it to the Space Needle, and the view atop was breathtaking. The 360 degree view gave us sights of the Mount Rainier, Century Link Stadium, the UW campus, and just an overall gorgeous view of downtown Seattle. There was a spot atop the Needle to get a picture taken with Santa. He asked us what we wanted for Christmas, and our wish is quite obvious. A trip to the Final Four. Next we took a walk over to Pike Place Market to grab some lunch, where we eventually settled at Lowell’s, another delicious restaurant. Pike Place was crazy. It was a sensory overload with sounds smells and sights. I almost got nailed in the face with a flying fish! Very entertaining to say the least. Afterwards we went on a short walk along the waterfront before headed to our next activity, Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. This tour was exceptionally fun, as it was something most everyone did together. Really interesting to learn about the city’s underbelly and some of the history of Seattle.IMG_0793

 

Later in the night, we grabbed some dinner and headed into Capitol Hill to hit up some of the bars. This night simply put, was one to remember. Tier One. Want to give a big shout out to Alicia, our bartender at Deluxe Bar and Grill. She was simply on point, and is now a proud subscriber to this wonderful blog. Definite Honorary Show member of the weekend. After a solid start to the night at Deluxe, we made our way to Unicorn Bar, a carnival themed bar. The True MVP of the night. Fun Fact: Unicorn was featured in Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ music video. So many highlights at this place, I don’t even know where to begin. There were many different games, one of which we gravitated to was Skeeball. Big ups to SwarleyShow, for being straight fire and making three 100’s in a row. As we played Skeeball, we ran into a couple more Aztec fans, where we took over a good portion of the bar repeatedly yelling, “STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE .” I fell in love with yelling that, and stuck with me for the rest of the trip. It’s so annoying and obnoxious, that it is absolutely perfect. A few moments later, something amazing happened. The grand discovery of the Americorn. Branden made the bold move of ordering one, and my goodness it may have been the best decision of this trip. I could 100% write an entire blog post about this drink, but I think I’ll spare you all. So many more great moments this night, from stories of gecko’s to girls touching tip of Handsome Kyle’s unicorn helmet, this was a night that has gone down in history.

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MVP

 

Sunday morning many people did their own thing during the day recovering from the night before. I tagged along with Maui and ShoeShow where we just cruised along to further explore the city. We took a trip to the docks, and later to Gas Works park, where we saw a spectacular view looking into the city. After a bit, we made our way over to the campus, which was absolutely IMG_0763gorgeous. First order of business on campus was to find that statue to mount. We all took turns mounting it and decorating it with SDSU gear, making our presence felt.We then grabbed some lunch at Big Time Brewery, just right off of the campus. One thing I wish San Diego State had is an area right near campus with some different bars and more of a nightlife. I felt that it gave the UW college area a unique feel to it. After lunch we took a self-guided tour on the campus, and like I said before: gorgeous. The buildings looked like something out of Hogwarts, lots of open space and foliage. One of the coolest parts of the campus was right in the center, there is a big pond and in the distance is a picturesque view of Mount Rainier. We made it over to the arena, which I thought was quite nice. First thing I thought when we walked inside was that it reminded me of a movie theater. Whether it was the carpeting, or the overwhelming smell of popcorn, it definitely seemed like I was in an AMC. As we walked to the opening of the actual court, the 20+ of us belted out thIMG_0751e fight song and immediately drew attention from the crowd. People knew there were a lot of raucous San Diego State fans in the building. I would also like to give a shout out to the UW fan base for having the most awkward kiss cam of all time. So many dudes refusing to kiss the girl they were next to, and it was a good minute before anyone got a measly peck. #soft. Anyways, funny thing is that I can’t seem to remember too much of the next two hours or so, so I guess I won’t really talk about that. Later that evening, we grabbed some dinner and drinks at Finn MacCool’s, and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel to rest up for our early morning flight to America’s Finest.

Happy to be on our way back home, but I will definitely miss Seattle. Overall I had a wonderful time, and thought the city was amazing. Now to cap off this blog, I’d like to include a few memorable quotes from the weekend.

“I didn’t know the 5 went all the way to Seattle.”-SHOWlani

“Yeah it goes all the way up to Oregon too.”-TwoPointShow

 

“I don’t think anyone is going to like us.”SHOW LEE

“I don’t care.”-SHOWlani

 

“Handsome Kyle literally just put on that unicorn helmet, and now attractive women are gravitating towards him.”- SHOWlan

 

“I grew up in San Diego but now I’m a Huskies Fan.”-Waiter

“Bye.”-TwoPointShow

 

That about does it for this installment of Show On The Road. Special thank you to all those who accompanied me on this trip and helped make it so unforgettable.

Until next time,

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StompShow.


Show On The Road- UNLV

An 8pm, Wednesday night game, in the middle of the semester, in Las Vegas, the week before the Mountain West Tournament. Not the most ideal game for students to go make the 325-mile journey. What originally seemed like an improbable trip, the desire to see us beat one of our most hated rivals on their home court proved to be too much, so BlondeShow and myself decided last minute to make the two person trek to the City of Sin.

We left around 10:00 am Wednesday morning, and had a pretty smooth ride up. We arrived in Barstow and ate lunch at the In n Out to refuelImage. I’m about 99% sure the only reason that Barstow exists is to act as a halfway point for Southern California travelers on their way to Vegas. With the game being at 8:00, we were not in any rush to get there. About a week before, we had both been talking about getting a new pair of Vans, and lucky us, across from the In n Out was a Vans outlet store, so we checked that out, and got ourselves a fresh new pair of kicks.

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We Are Aztecs

            Headed back on the road, we pulled into the city around 3:00, and headed northbound on the I-15 we noticed two billboards put up by San Diego State reading, “Excellence Starts Here,” and “Community Building Starts Here.” One billboard had a picture of recent San Diego State graduates, while the other had an image of The Show at one of the recent games. Big ups to our school; I found out these billboards will be up and running through the Mountain West Tournament, thus asserting our dominance on that city, and making our Aztec presence feltImage

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            With plenty of time to kill before tipoff, we walked around the strip awhile before finally making it to our inevitable pregaming destination, Blondie’s. We spent about two hours there watching the Duke vs. Wake Forest game before it was time to head on down to the Thomas & Mack, aka Viejas North. We arrived about an hour before tipoff and made our way to our seats. The overall Aztec contingent was small, but in comparison to what the Rebels fans brought to their home arena, I’d say there was a pretty good chunk of Aztec fans. It was senior night at UNLV, and they began honoring their two players about 10 minutes before tipoff, in front of a less than half full arena. Finally, it was time for tipoff and the Mack looked maybe two thirds full. The announced attendance was 16,030, but I’m not too sure that there were more than 13,000 maximum. UNLV was giving out white t-shirts in an attempt to do a white out, but it would have been much more successful had they painted their seats white, because there was a lot of empty red seats that stood out from the crowd. Just before the game got underway, when it was fairly quiet I belted out “GO AZTECS!” I was met with few jeers, but many fans seemed disinterested. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve lost now 7 home games on the season, and 8 if you include the preseason loss vs. Dixie State.

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Senior night ceremony

            Overall I would say this was definitely not the best basketball environment I’d been to all season, definitely the worst I’ve ever seen the Thomas & Mack. The place just never seemed to get loud other than a few minutes, and the crowd never seemed to into the game. I guess there’s only so much they can do when they’ve only got the one chant. The small group of Rebels in front of me cheered the whole time, but it was a monotonous “Re-bels.” As for our own personal rivalry with their student section, I have to give them some credit. They were full, and their puppet thing looked cooler in person. But again I don’t feel like they, or the rest of the crowd, had any real affect on the game. No consistency in chants or volume.

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“white out”

By now, we all know how the game turned out, and I thought it was a great team victory. I thought everyone hustles and played well, and just knew how important this game really was for us. Polee with some big time dunks fired up the Aztec faithful, and Matt Shrigley just absolutely caught fire. Sky making plays at both ends of the court, X and Winston closing out the victory. Everyone played a key role in the win. Having left the arena the last two times with a loss, it felt so good to yell the fight song as the mass exodus of Rebel fans ensued.

We walked towards the team bus to congratulate the coaches and players, and wish them luck for the big one on Saturday. As Matt Shrigley walked up to the bus, we greeted him by doing the ‘Shrigley Shuffle.’ He laughed and I asked him if he knew what that was to which he replied, “I have no Idea.” It was magical. They all appreciated us making the trip, and I could tell the players and the coaching staff were already focused on the next one.

The team drove off, and BlondeShow and I were so ecstatic after the win, we were actually looking forward to the long drive home that night. But first we had to make a stop on campus. You see, it wouldn’t be a true RoadShow without finding a statue to mount, and I knew there was one of their mascot, Hey Reb, somewhere on campus. We walked around for a while without any luck, until ran into a few UNLV students wearing a Rebellion t-shirt. I asked if they had any idea of where it was, and they pointed me right in the direction of it. So thank you to the UNLV student section for helping us further assert our dominance over your schoolImage. We took some pictures mounting it, and proceeded to walk back to our car, but were able to catch a ride with a UNLV overnight employee who drove us back to where we were parked. Really cool guy who was just happy to help us out.

We finally made it back to our car and left the city at 12:00 am, with a long drive ahead of us, ultimately arriving back to San Diego State at 5:00 am. The drive was made doable by the great win, some great conversation, a 5-hour energy, and some singing to a sweet play list. Fun Fact: The distance between Las Vegas, Nevada and San Diego State is approximately 70 Taylor Swift songs. Overall, fun road trip, and I’m really glad I was able to make it to the last regular season road game of the year. Funny thing is, we’ll be right back there in less than a week. But first, let’s get loud on Saturday. Montezuma’s Revenge.

Until next time,

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StompShow


Show On The Road-New Mexico

Throughout the season many of us in the Show were planning on taking a trip to a conference road game. We settled on February 22, at New Mexico. The comparison between the city of San Diego and the city of Albuquerque is simple. There is none. A group of 10 of us took off late Friday afternoon, and arrived in Albuquerque around 10:00 pm. The place looked deserted, and incredibly sketchy during the night. Not wanting to get shanked on the streets in the middle of the night, we decided it was best to stay in the hotel.

It's A Trip

It’s A Trip

We awoke the next morning, and as dull as the town seemed to us at night, it was just that. Dull. Just about everything was a shade of brown. The buildings, the grass, everything. We grabbed breakfast and decided to walk over to check out the campus.

Image  I have to give their citizens credit though. Everything was Lobo related. Graffiti on the sides of buildings had the UNM
logo, street marquees advertised their support. With no professional team, The New Mexico Lobos are the thing to do in Albuquerque. After about a mile walk to  campus, we spotted the Lobo statue, and proceeded to make our presence felt. We each took turns mounting it, and covering it with Aztec gear. Few people on the street took notice and gave us angry stares. One bystander even took to his video camera and started recording our shenanigans.  No one likes us. We don’t care.

Not Everyone's A Lobo

Not Everyone’s A Lobo

We checked out the campus and you guessed it, more brown. Kind of an interesting note, there were random basketball hoops scattered around campus, they sure do take their basketball seriously. Probably the nicest spot on campus was a big pond smack dab in the middle. It looked like a fairly nice place, many families were there with their kids; it was kind of like a community park. Their pond however pales in comparison to our Turtle Pond. We went to a local pizza joint right off of campus to kill some time before we headed to The Pit. There we met up with Ryan Lindley and he bought the whole group drinks. We pregamed there, and soon enough it was time to head over to the arena.

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          The Pit. A mile high and louder than hell. There was a huge line inside the main auditorium of the arena, waiting to get in. I was so nervous and excited at the same time. Once I made it in, I stood just adjacent to Section 26 (student section) and belted out “GO AZTECS!!” as loud as I could. Met with a sea of boos, I knew we had done our job. They all knew that The ImageShow was in the building. We all went over to where the team was warming up and sang the fight song. The team took notice and definitely appreciated that we had made the journey out there to support them. Some lobo fans did not take too kindly to this. I had one guy follow me through the arena for a good three minutes shouting obscenities to me, and told me “I hope you have a horrible time here and never come back!”  I responded to him by telling him “I’ve actually been here before, I had a great time and look! I’m back!” He proceeded to tell me to “Kiss the Rings.” I honestly don’t  get that saying. Yes they’ve won the most recent conference title, but San Diego State actually has more total MW Championships than UNM, but whatever. We got to our seats and practically all 15,000 people in the arena had us pointed out. The majority of Lobo fans around us were wonderful people, making small talk about the two teams and some of the expectations we had going into March. I told one of the fans in front of me how I just love being in enemy territory, to which he told me to be careful. And he wasn’t kidding. Though most fans were great, there were some fans who it seemed like they were just there to start a fight. Throughout the game it seemed like some of these people were far more interested in us, which who can blame them, we’re all really really good looking. Although our small group couldn’t compete vocally with the 15,000 Lobo fans that surrounded us, it was clear that our presence was surely felt.

The game itself was a letdown, obviously, but we still love our Aztecs and are proud of them. Couldn’t really buy a shot, but nonetheless, I’m glad I made the journey, it was quite the experience witnessing that good of a college basketball environment. Calling that crowd loud is an understatement. Throughout the game they had a decibel scale to emphasize just how loud it was in that building. The highest I saw it get up to was 119 decibels, but it may have been louder. Their fans came ready to yell. The only real knock on their fans is the student section, section 26. ImageThere was one costume that I noticed, a guy dressed as Walter White from Breaking Bad in his meth cooking outfit. I wasn’t even sure it was a costume, it looked like he may have just been coming from work. The only other thing of note the student section did was a Flash Mob. It was horrible and way behind the times. Welcome to 2010 UNM. I won’t get too much into how awful some fans were to us, but I will point out that after the game, some people from all areas of the arena came up to us after the game to apologize for some of the behavior that was directed towards us.

After the game, I gained a lot of respect for New Mexico Head Coach Craig Neal, as he pointed out the idiot fan who was throwing ice at our players  As we left the arena, we walked over to the team bus where we saw the infamous Lobo Superfan Snake, and another big fan who has made himself known amongst The Show via Twitter, Lobo Gabe. I introduced myself to them and they’re actually pretty cool dudes. They’re just fans who love their Lobo’s and were pretty knowledgeable about college basketball. The team walked out and thanked us for coming out. They played hard which is all we could really ask. We love ya. And where you go we’ll follow. Cause we support the Aztecs. And that’s the way we like it.  I know they truly appreciated the support, which meant a lot to everyone who made the trip.   Image

        We were advised not to walk back to our hotel that night due to how sketchy the streets of Albuquerque are at night, but with the next cab not available for another two hours, we decided to brave the streets and make the trek to our hotel by foot. It was only about two miles away, but it was pretty creepy. There isn’t much light on the roads, so during the walk back I grabbed a big rock just in case it was needed. We made it back to the hotel no problem, and were pretty exhausted from the long day. Few of us, myself included, had a 5:45 flight the next morning so we didn’t sleep that night. I had a heck of a journey headed back to America’s finest, but as I said in my previous blog, it’s a story for another time. Despite the loss, the trip was very memorable, and I’m glad I made it out to see the game. Now we’ve got a big circle on our calendar. All fans need to come out to this one ready to get loud. March 8th 2014. Montezuma’s Revenge.

Until next time,

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StompShow