Holiday Bowl Blog - Day One

Well, this already beats last year. A bowl experience which was marked by a severe snow storm in Lincoln last year, was replaced with good weather and a far more content looking Bo Pelini. Well, as content as Coach Pelini can look.


Last year it was a delay of about an hour or so which kept the Husker team from arriving at their hotel on time. The snow storm which dropped approximately 13 inches of snow on the Capital City, delayed most everyone, many members of the media included.

This time everyone was more fortunate.

I can remember when the team showed up at the hotel, it was myself and one other member of the media from Lincoln. Tonight there were four others, along with two members of the local TV media.

It was five buses full, players to the coaches - all coming off with some smiles and some who had a look on their face like they just wanted to play the game. Not a bad look, mind you. Maybe it was one of those looks you have when you have been through this before.

The happiest looking among the group was, of course, Prince Amukamara, Eric Hagg and Alfonzo Dennard. The secondary trio seems to be able to have fun no matter where they are at or what they are doing. Prince is the noted talker of the group as well as one of the members of the team considered to be a comedian.

Check out a Gallery of some of the players and coaches from tonight

One potential surprise coming off the bus was senior safety Rickey Thenarse. As you know by now, Thenarse got in a bit of trouble over the Christmas break, as he was cited for DUI. His car was found abandoned on "O" street, and when Thenarse was tested for alcohol, he tested at .11. The legal limit is .08.

Here is something for you conspiracy theorists. Five buses, and most of the coaches came off the last one and second to last one. But not Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson. He was on the first bus, and actually the first person off the bus. Interesting? Nothing? You be the judge. But I didn't see him wearing any Miami of Ohio gear.

Just sayin'.

You all saw the water, right? The million or so gallons that filled Qualcomm Stadium just a few days ago? I drove in to San Diego and by many of those areas. It would be hard to tell it ever rained. I happen to be in a hotel that is about a hundred yards from one of the rivers which was way over capacity, so to speak. And it was basically back to where it was, according to those who work at the hotel who had seen the deluge of rain turn into a flood. One person remarked that down in this part of the state, 10 inches of rain is about average for the entire year. They got that in about a 12-hour stretch. Yeah, a bit of flooding. But things are looking good for the game right now.

Oh, by the way, it's raining right now.

It looks like the worry about how many Husker fans might show up, might have been a bit premature. I talked to one bowl official, and they said Nebraska is almost at the same amount of tickets bought for this game as there was in last year's Holiday Bowl, when the Huskers faced Arizona.

Not much more to report on this festive day. I will have plenty to report on my actual trip at a later point. But the Huskers hit the practice field for the first time in the Golden State, tomorrow morning. They will be practicing this year at the University of California San Diego, which actually may not even have a football team. But at least they have a field where Nebraska can practice.

Stay tuned.

You can listen to the audio from Bo Pelini in his short conversation after he got off the bus in San Diego

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