On the road with Ben, Brad and Eric

Buena Park, CA - Day One of our trip to Stanford for the football game on Saturday afternoon. We got a late start to the trip out of Tucson on Thursday afternoon and didn't get to our Inn Suites hotel room until 1:30 in the morning. But the trip was worth it thanks to the guy checking for illegal fruits and vegetables after crossing the border into California.

It's not often that people living in other states are as adamant about the Arizona basketball team as those residing in the Old Pueblo. But having a winning program tends to draw new allegiances from people all over the map and that's what we found late Thursday night between the lovely Yuma and lovlier still El Centro (CA).

I was driving Doug "TOOL" Carr's Cat Tracks Mobile (Nissan Pathfinder) when we came up to the checkpoint, not really thinking much except that I hoped the guy standing there wouldn't notice the family of five we had stowed away behind the backseat. Anyway, Doug has some big "Cat Tracks" magnets on the doors of his SUV and the guy got a little excited when we finally came to a stop next to him.

"Where are you guys from?" He asked. We replied that we were from Tucson.

"What is Cat Tracks, is that for Arizona basketball?" he said. Yes, we told him, and football, and softball and golf and volleyball...

He interrupted as I spouted off the list of sports we cover and said, "I guarantee that Arizona wins the title this year! They're in the Pac-10! I'd put money on it that they don't lose a game in the Pac-10."

The man said this with all the enthusiam of a team parent. Too bad he was only 25, tops and probably had never been to McKale Center in his entire life.

Slowly but surely, the excitement (and accompanying hype) of the upcoming Arizona basketball season is spreading. First throughout the West and eventually across the nation.

And if a man YuCentro thinks that the Cats are going to go undefeated in the Pac-10 this year, who are we to argue with him?

On to Palo Alto today and we'll have more on the trip later, complete with pictures of the Stanford campus and whatever else we find that's photo-worthy (Logan Tom). -Ben, Brad and Eric Garves (Ben's roommate).

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