Game Log: Bay Area edition

There is nothing like following your favorite sports team on the road. So this year I decided to take a few days away from the old grindstone and make my way to Northern California for the Arizona, Stanford game. I have a friend who is going to graduate school in the Bay Area, who is a fellow U.A. alumnus. As a former member of the Pride of Arizona she is ready to go to another U.A. football game.

By the time Saturday rolls around I had already been in San Francisco for a day. I had seen the sights and now it was time for football. My motel is in downtown San Fran, a long way from the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. It is a small somewhat rundown place, but it meets my most important demand, it's cheap. Saturday should be a full day, with lots of Arizona pride and football fun.

9:15 AM - I have made my way to Starbucks. I can use a cup of coffee. Not only am I bit cold, but I need a little pick-me-up.

9:45 AM – I have now met up with my fellow U.A. fans and we are waiting for the underground Muni train. Getting around this part of the state is a lot easier then most areas of the country. They have a great public transportation system.

10:01 AM – Now we have made our way out from the underground trains we are back in the chill of San Francisco. We took a stroll by AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. It really is right on the water.

10:55 AM- Finally we are on the giant Cal Train. It's a giant commuter train that will take us to Palo Alto. We have been waiting for what seem like a long, long, time, but was really closer to forty-five minutes. There is a small handful of people with Stanford shirts. We also spot three or for fellow Arizona fans.

11:05 AM - An hour and then minutes later the train drops us off at special Stanford Football stop. It's been a long ride and I am ready to stretch my legs. We make our way around the campus, just following the crowds. May people are tailgating under giant tree in the grass and in an area that is cover with wood chips. We comment on how it looks like they are camping, not tailgating. This makes it feel like a totally different atmosphere then Arizona.

12:00 noon – Finally we have found the U.A. tailgate. It's an Alumni Association event put on by a group that calls themselves Bay Cats. The tent is right outside Maples Pavilion. So I press my face against the window, but you really can't see anything inside.

1:10 PM - We have had our fill of food and speeches so we make our way toward the stadium.

1:20 PM – We have made our way to our seats they are in the visitors section of the stadium, which in one of the corners. The sun is out and shining brightly but it's not too cold. Soon the sun will have set behind our seats. For now we are happy with the warmth.

1:25 PM – Arizona is out on the field doing warm ups now. At this point, there are far fewer people that you would see at an Arizona game (a half hour before kick). The student section, for example, is almost empty. It's the same old stadium but so much has been redone that it looks like a brand new place. The seats are all a shade of red, which I like.

1:35 PM- Things have picked up a little. Why? Our friends the Stanford band has come in the stadium. Plus who has come along with them? The world's greatest mascot, the dancing tree! Man, he is scarier in person then on TV.

1:45 PM – The teams have gone back to the locker room for the final preps. It's just about fiftteen minutes until kickoff.

1:55 PM – The National Anthem just finished. They did inductions into the Stanford Hall of Fame; it is Homecoming so there are several things going on. The visitors' section is about half full, but the stadium it's self in mostly empty.

1:59 PM – Out come the Cats, the Arizona sections is up and cheering, some boos have come from the students, but they are not very loud. They must only show up for basketball games.

2:02 PM – Kick off, Arizona has the ball first.

2:07 PM – Just like that Arizona has a nice little drive to score first Arizona 7 Stanford 0.

2:25 PM – Well I don't think anyone else is showing up, the stadium is more empty then it is full. In fact I'm not sure the Stanford defense is showing up. Touchdown Arizona! Arizona 14 Stanford 0. The offense is looking better but it might just be because Stanford is so bad. The touchdown came after a Stanford turnover. It is always nice when your team can score after they get a turnover. Meanwhile the visitor's sections is mostly full.

2:30 PM – End of the first Arizona 14 Stanford 0. Now Arizona will be driving towards the crazy Wildcat fans. Arizona would later get a field goal. Arizona 17 Stanford 0.

2:55 PM- Adam Austin just threw an interception. As I burry my head I hear the crowd go nuts. Stanford has scored. They have a giant horn that makes it sound like a train is coming, but it make almost as much noise as the crowd. I look up and it gets worse Austin is down. It's now Arizona 17 Stanford 7.

3:00PM – Adam Austin limps by the visitors sections. It doesn't look good at all. It looks like we are going to have to go with the third string for a while.

3:07 PM – Halftime Arizona 17 Stanford 7.

3:22 PM- The halftime show was the awarding of the Presidents Cup to the athletic department at Stanford. I got my self some nachos, but the chips are stale. I miss Arizona nachos. I should have known that you don't get nachos in the Bay Area. I bet the sourdough is good.

3:27 PM – Kickoff of the second half. Stanford is going to get the ball first.

3:45 PM – Arizona gets a field goal. Arizona 20 Stanford 7. I fear that it's the same old Kris Heavner, delay of game penalties and use too many timeouts.

3:57 PM – Arizona just had a bad drive. Some fans seem to be getting worried and are now getting testy with coaches and Heavner.

4:22 PM – Arizona gets the ball back again. Most of the Stanford faithful are heading for the exits. Like the Wildcats, I decided to get conservative with my second half diary entries.

4:35 PM – Game Over Arizona wins 20-7.

All and all it was a great time. Granted, Stanford isn't a great football place-but it sure was worth the trip. Next time I would like to go some place where the fans are a little more into the game, but as a first road trip outside Arizona this was a lot of fun.

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