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Holiday Bowl Experience

 
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16311
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Fri 1/2/09 8:20 am    Post subject: Holiday Bowl Experience Reply with quote

So, I went to the Holiday Bowl the other night.

It was a gorgeous Tuesday afternoon in San Diego, as cars, RVs and trucks gathered in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium in anticipation of the match-up between Oklahoma State and Oregon.

I met my friends Mike and Andrea there, who were already situated near their regular Chargers tailgate spot. A few other friends joined us. Andrea had made chipotle salad and served some of the best pollo asado I'd ever had. We barbecued right up to the last half hour before the game started--can anyone guess what else? Smile --all the while bantering with others nearby and enjoying the enthusiasm of the fans we encountered in the parking lot, many of whom had made the trek from other parts of the country--but both from a considerable distance, whether 850 miles from Eugene, Oregon, or 1150 miles from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

This December marked the 30th anniversary of the inaugural Holiday Bowl game, which I also attended. In that contest, Navy beat BYU before a very pro-Navy crowd, with a close game right down to the last couple of minutes. And thus was born this bowl's reputation as a usually evenly-played and entertaining contest over the years.

I still remember how the announcement came down one day while I was in high school, that San Diego had been awarded a bowl game. My friends and I were all excited. Civic leaders, in an attempt to bestow an "inviting" moniker on this event, in conjunction with the San Diego Union, solicited local football fans for their help.

My personal choice, which I submitted to the Union, was the "Poinsettia Bowl." Since the bowl game would be played annually during the week of Christmas, and with San Diego County boasting the poinsettia capital of the U.S., it seemed a logical nod to our heritage as well as in keeping with Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar, all traditional bowl games, as a theme in naming such. The honchos wanted something that promoted a positive image to viewers nationwide.

Some of the other entries were interesting if not humorous. (One woman even suggested "Taco Bowl"), but in the end, to my disappointment, the powers-that-be determined that the rather generic sounding "Holiday Bowl" was the name best suited. To me, it sounded like a bowl game that could be held anywhere. But they had already decided that everyone would want to spend a holiday in San Diego if given the opportunity.

(Note: Twenty-seven years after the inception of the Holiday Bowl, San Diego added another bowl game, which was--finally--named the Poinsettia Bowl. Justin attended his first-ever bowl game last week, the PB in which TCU beat Boise State.)

In recent discussions with IlliniAmy, I found out she had performed with the Illini band in the '92 Holiday Bowl. I remarked that I was at that game, too. Only in the mid-1990s did I slack off regular attendance at this game. But now, I've picked back up again.

Back to the game this week:

Mike, who had gotten the tickets, told us we would be sitting in the nosebleed area, but I didn't realize how accurate his description was until we got to our seats in the very top row of the upper level, so close that I could turn and literally touch the video board over my shoulder. The last time I may have sat even close to that high up in Qualcomm Stadium was probably during a Chargers playoff game in the '80s.

It was a festive atmosphere up there, much like the top deck atmosphere at Dodger Stadium, except that, with this not being a "home game" for anyone, it had a good mix of fans of many teams. As far as I could see, there were only a handful of Oregon fans and a couple of OSU supporters nearby. Most of the rest seemed "undeclared." Then, just as the game was getting underway, a guy came along dressed in full Ducks gear, blowing a horn that "honked" like a duck, every time the team did something right. Apparently he had friends in other areas because after awhile he excused himself to go sit with them, much to the dismay of the adorable baby in the row in front of us, who'd been entranced by the duck horn and laughed every time he heard the sound. The Oregon fan asked everyone nearby who they were for. Most of us said UO; in my case I said "by default, they're Pac-10." The guy in front of me wearing a CAL sweatshirt agreed, as did another nearby who remarked, "The conference will be 5-0 in bowl games by the end of the week." (It turned out he was right.)

Now, for the baseball connections. When we first sat down in our seats, how could I not notice, but immediately ahead of me were two Cubs fans. Not surprising! Cubs fans; they are everywhere! Surprised Since Andrea's husband Mike is a Cubs fan too, he began chatting with them and soon enough they found out they both grew up in adjacent neighborhoods in Chicago, but are a few years apart in age.

Well, eventually the guy to the right turned around and noticed the new Dodgers purse that Andrea just gave me for my birthday. (It's a very nice, specially made bag she found on-line by a woman who hand-crafts them herself.) The guy looked at it, caught my eye, and complained it was just "evil." Of course, he turned out to be a Giants fan. Evil or Very Mad We ended up missing one of the scoring drives by Oklahoma State because we were trash talking about Randy Johnson's signing and whether it would help them. Smile

The game proceeded as expected with Oregon falling behind early. Scoreboard facts reminded those in attendance that OSU had not lost to a team ranked lower than #3 all season long. That was, until tonight.

High atop the peak of Mt. Qualcomm, we enjoyed UO's second-half comeback to take down the mighty Oklahoma State team, sending the Cowboys and their fans home with deflated chests. The little "underduck" had done it.

Another Holiday Bowl was in the books.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Fri 1/2/09 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Holiday Bowl Experience Reply with quote

dodgerblue6 wrote:
can anyone guess what else? Smile


Hmmmm....that would be a toughie... Laughing

Not just for baseball, eh?


dodgerblue6 wrote:
In recent discussions with IlliniAmy, I found out she had performed with the Illini band in the '92 Holiday Bowl.


As I told Linda, I often forget that officially I've been to San Diego (we stayed in the La Jolla area), because with the tight schedule of band rehearsals and group activities (7 charter buses), I didn't truly get to explore. I did enjoy a meal at the Hard Rock and an entirely too short 3 or 4 hours at the San Diego Zoo.

The game was rather forgettable for an Illini fan (Hawaii beat my beloved Illini 27-17), but current NFL kicker Jason Elam played for the Rainbows that day. He shares the NFL record for a longest field goal (63 years) with Tom Dempsey (Of course, Dempsey did it with only 1/2 a foot):



What I do remember was how vastly different the members of the two bands reacted to the San Diego weather that week. I believe temperatures were in the mid-60s and those of us from Illinois were thrilled to be wearing shorts & t-shirts in December. The Hawaii band members were wearing parkas.[/img]
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sunnyblue



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1779
Location: San Diego County, CA

PostPosted: Fri 1/2/09 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is something about the experience of being at a bowl game that you can't get from watching it on TV. It sounds like you both had a fun time. It must be exciting to perform in one too.

Yesterday I was at the Rose Bowl game. My seats weren't that great, but for those of you who have never been there, it still is the "granddaddy of them all."
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stlred
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PostPosted: Sat 1/3/09 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had fun conversing with you during that game.
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Nurse Cozmo



Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 253
Location: SoCal San Diego

PostPosted: Tue 1/6/09 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mike, who had gotten the tickets, told us we would be sitting in the nosebleed area, but I didn't realize how accurate his description was until we got to our seats in the very top row of the upper level, so close that I could turn and literally touch the video board over my shoulder. The last time I may have sat even close to that high up in Qualcomm Stadium was probably during a Chargers playoff game in the '80s
I know those seats! You need a sherpa to carry your beer for you.

Speakin of the 80s... I've only been to one Holiday Bowl and that was shortly after I moved here from NY. BYU was one of the teams and Jim McMahon was their QB. I don't even remember who they played, but it was a BLAST! Wow... showin my age there aren't I?
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