Smurf Turf

Sandy and Shannon at the 2010 Fiesta Bowl

When I was growing up in Milwaukee I was a big baseball fan. My brother and I went to a lot of Brewer games at County Stadium. Later when Tim and Mickey started to play hockey I really got into that sport. Not so much the NHL but youth hockey and the local minor league team, the Idaho Steelheads. In the last few years though I have become a college football fan. I really enjoy following Boise State. It has been impressive to watch a team from a small school in a small city come out of nowhere and become a national football powerhouse. Part of the fun has been watching how the football establishment, the big bowl games and the big conferences, have tried to rig the system to keep smaller schools from challenging them. But no matter how hard they try, BSU has managed to be successful. It reminds me of the old movie Rollerball. When the Broncos beat Oklahoma in overtime in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl it was one of the greatest college football games of all time. I'll never forget watching it on tv. It was the day we moved out of our house to leave for Singapore. Although the rest of the house was empty, we made the movers leave the tv. We watched the game sitting on the floor. They had to come back first thing the next morning to put the tv in the moving van with everything else.

The tailgaters are out in force before the game

Next time BSU went to the BCS was the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. This time we were back in the US so we flew down to Phoenix for the game. BSU beat TCU 17-10 in an exciting battle. The atmosphere at the game was tremendous. We had a great time, even if we were staying at a hotel that was completely filled by the TCU marching band. We didn't even gloat after the Broncos won. Not much anyway.

Last year it looked like they were on track to "bust the BCS" again and make a rare trip to the Rose Bowl. But the day after Thanksgiving they suffered a devastating upset in a game against Nevada. They let the Wolfpack come back from a big deficit and tie the game. After a spectacular pass play with one second left set up an easy game winning field goal on the last play of regulation, Kyle Brotzman went down in history by missing an easy kick. He joined Steve Bartman and Bill Buckner on the list of people remembered for disastrous losses in sports. Instead of BSU, their arch rivals TCU went to the Rose Bowl instead and beat Wisconsin, a game that Sandy and Shannon went to watch.

Not the 50 yard line but we could still see really well

Although I have lived in Boise for many years I have only seen BSU play at home twice. This year I was determined to go to at least one game. The revenge match with Nevada looked like a good game to see. Of course it was sold out way ahead of time but I watched eBay and craigslist and got a pair of tickets a couple of days before the game.

Since I work only three blocks away from Bronco stadium parking was easy. I just used my permit for the underground garage. We got there plenty early and went to Perkins for a good breakfast. Absolutely everyone there was wearing blue and orange except for a lone table of Wolfpack fans (lone wolves?). We finished with plenty of time to walk to the stadium. The entire parking lot was a sea of blue and orange tents - the tailgaters were out in full force. Some of the setups were quite elaborate. Tents, BBQ's, couches, big screen tv's, volleyball nets and anything else you can imagine. Somebody had it there.

Just for Mickey - a good shot of his favorite player

Although our seats were at one end we could see the entire field really well. Watching football on the blue field is still different. Whoever thought of the smurf turf was a genius at marketing. People who have no idea where Boise is know that BSU is "that team that plays on the blue field".

The game wasn't close. BSU won easily, 30-10. Nevada only scored their touchdown in the last minute of the game. Still BSU didn't look that sharp. Kellen Moore had his worst game stats-wise of his career. We still had a lof of fun at the game.