At some point on the evening of Thursday, December 30th, I checked my Facebook notifications through my phone. I don’t know where I was, exactly, or what I happened to be doing at the time. I do know that the outcome of the Holiday Bowl had been decided and that the euphoria among the Husky faithful was still settling in. We were probably on the San Diego trolley, or perhaps already sitting in a bar. It was then that I read the comment that would inspire me to wake up at 8:30 this morning, jump in the shower, dress myself, pack up my laptop, and walk down the street in search of free wi-fi (shout out to the Mission Valley Doubletree, where they charge $15 a day for internet).
“The least you can do,” the comment read, “is go and get hammered and give us all a good story about it tomorrow.”
And by “it,” the commenter was referring to the purple-and-gold celebration that was in the process of ensuing at that very moment. Done and done.
Ordinarily, I might not be so inclined to respond this swiftly to a comment on one of my many Facebook statuses (stati?). But this comment came from one of my favorite writers (a Washington State Cougar, no less), the esteemed Jim Moore. Jim makes me laugh, and as a result of my respect for his ability to do that, I was more than willing to fall out of bed much earlier than anticipated on this New Year’s Eve morning and sit here at this Starbucks (I feel sick sitting in here) abusing their free internet (the abuse makes me feel better).
So here we are. It’s a beautiful day in San Diego. The sun is shining, the temperature is supposed to break sixty today, the birds are singing, and the Dawgs have shocked the world. And by world, I mean a contingency of passive onlookers around the globe. But who cares. We didn’t do it for them. We did it for us. As we speak, it is eight years to the day since the Washington football team last appeared in a bowl game. And as of tomorrow, it will be exactly ten years to the day since the Dawgs enjoyed the splendors of a bowl victory. I gotta say, it feels amazing.
The fact of the matter is, we really just came down here for a good time. Win or lose, the majority of Husky fans were going to savor this moment with an enormously obnoxiously glorious party. Chalk it up as a big win thus far. The party’s still going strong, as far as I can tell. It’ll continue through New Year’s and carry on into the weekend and God only knows if we’ll make it out of here in one piece. But if by some divine force of nature we were to perish, we would die with smiles on our faces and happiness in our hearts. Because it’s been absolutely amazing so far. I waited for this moment my entire six-year college career (as you may have heard in the past, those six hard-fought years were in pursuit of my bachelor’s degree), and now that it has arrived, I’m enjoying it like I just turned 21.
The day of the game, for example, featured one of the world’s greatest tailgates. If you’ve never tailgated in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium (Jack Murphy Stadium, to you hardcore sports fans out there), I highly recommend it. White-lined concrete as far as the eye can see. It’s like the Sahara Desert of parking venues. For a sports fan, it’s paradise. They also have so many port-a-potties, you rarely stand in any sort of line to use the bathroom. It’s just peachy.
We began our tailgate mission around 3:00 p.m. in lot D3 (which of course inspired me to say, “the Mighty Ducks are back!” on multiple occasions). I’m not gonna lie. We were by no means sober upon arriving to the actual tailgate. We had supplemented this event with a pre-party in our hotel room, which looks more or less like a bar with beds these days. My favorite part about California is the liquor being sold in grocery stores. We stocked up on alcohol like a squirrel to nuts. And what’s more, the grocery chain down here (Ralph’s) is affiliated with the QFC/Fred Meyer brand, thus allowing us to get additional discounts on the already amazing prices. Have I mentioned that a state controlled liquor board kind of sucks? It does. But no need to get into a political debate right now.
Fact of the matter is, we took the party with us to the parking lot (by metro trolley, mind you…we did not drive at any point during the day) and it continued right up until game time. A lot of my own memories of the minutes and hours leading up to kickoff are fuzzy. I tend to be increasingly friendly when I drink, however, so in no way am I worried about what may have transpired. I met a ton of people who read this site on a regular basis, and to all of you who I talked with as the sun was going down, thank you. I may not remember your name the way I’d like to, but rest assured we’ll meet up again. Hopefully next year. At the Rose Bowl.
The game itself was an absolute blast. In addition to the obvious, the one and only Hugh Millen was sitting just two sections away from us. After the final horn had sounded and the on-field celebration was complete, we approached Hugh and I gave him the spiel I’ve been planning for quite some time. Hugh, of course, is a demigod. I told him so. We also had a second exchange as we were exiting the stadium which went as follows:
Hugh (walking down the concourse towards us grinning and shouting): Did we really just win, guys?!
Me (as I’m high-fiving Hugh): Oh, we really f**kin’ won, Hugh!
This led to more shouting, whooping, and general craziness as Hugh departed for the local airwaves of Sports Radio 950 KJR (*ding*) and we headed for the bars of San Diego’s Gaslamp District.
Now I could tell you all about the Gaslamp District, the bar that bumped about ten straight old-school rap songs that were right off my own iPod, the 24-hour restaurant we ate at that served chicken and waffles, and even the dude in the Husky gear that was drunkenly about to get laid from some random chick with a great posterior (Go Dawgs!), but this article has carried on long enough.
It’s 11:00 a.m. I need to get my ass in gear. Apparently, I’m losing the video blog competition I’m supposed to be having with my opponent, Breakin It Down With Bailey. Somewhere along the line yesterday I picked up a half-win. I don’t know how one obtains a half-win, but I did it. Today, however, is my day.
Before I get to competing, though, it’s time to hit the hot tub.
More to come later. Peace out.