Schu Strings: Get your tickets now

The University of Arizona recently released an update on football season-ticket sales. The renewal rate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 percent. An impressive sounding number, to be sure. But to improve upon that standing, perhaps the UA should consider a greater push to hype the merits of the opposition.

Any true football fan would drool at the prospect of the UA football schedule this season. This is about as good as it gets. It's always a benefit to land seven home games. It's better when the opposition has these kinds of credentials.

Outside of the season opener against UTEP, every team has talent. LSU invades Tucson September 6. It could very well be in the mix in the rugged SEC. One September 13, Oregon comes to town to close out the UA's season-opening three-game homestand.

Two weeks later the UA welcomes TCU, a team that has become familiar with 10-win seasons. On October 11, Arizona says hello to UCLA, which some feel is a darkhorse to win the conference. Washington and USC conclude the Tucson tour November 8 and 15.

Had Arizona State traveled to Tucson, it would have been a heavenly home slate. As it is, it must rank as one of the most attractive schedules in the history of the program. This is as good as it gets for the true college football fan.

But then again, there really aren't that many of those in the Old Pueblo. Instead, there's a great likelihood it will be a campaign filled with Wildcat lamentations and complaints about progress. Given Arizona's roster, and given the level of competition, it appears the home team is going to have to make significant strides in a hurry to put a worthy product on the field in 2003. This is a team that appears to have the makings of being a year away. It is filled with unproven talent. That's the type of recipe that could spell frustration against a schedule of this caliber, especially when one considers all the apparently better teams (outside of ASU) play Arizona in Tucson, where the fans who attend can see the setback first-hand.

Of course, if your glasses reflect negative light rays, there's always the hope that playing the better teams at home, and lesser competition on the road, could bode well in giving the good guys a chance to stay close, or pull an upset or more along the way.

It may not be the type of year Arizona fans want to see. There's a realistic possibility the UA could come out on the short end of most of its home games. But it is an opportunity for real fans to see some good teams. If I were in a fan's position, it might be enough to convince me to check out some action at Arizona Stadium this fall.

…Moving on…

…Just the other day I felt the need to listen to some Led Zeppelin, so I jumped in my Cadillac Escalade and drove off. Nowadays, the only way to truly enjoy the Zeppelin experience is in the Cadillac Escalade, or any other Cadillac product. If I feel the need for Zepellin Four, perhaps I'll opt for a drive through the country in the XLR, top down, wind blowing through my hair.

Recently, I turned the key in my new Nissan Murano SUV. Needed to hear some Deep Purple. Man, if you haven't gotten behind the wheel of the new Murano, then you haven't heard Smoke on the Water, the way it was meant to be heard.

If I ever get in the mood to hear the Rolling Stones again, I'll have to build a parking garage. I don't know about you, but for me, classic rock and expensive four-wheel transportation have always gone hand in hand. I may never listen to KLPX in my Honda again. It just wouldn't be right.

[John Schuster is an editor for Cat Tracks Magazine and columnist for We think he likes to make vague references to classic rock bands selling their songs to car companies, but we're not sure. If so, he needs to bag on Aerosmith as well.]

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