The University of Arizona has it all. Except the beach. And bowl games.
U of A has missed out on postseason football since 1998, when the Wildcats shut out the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl.
And boy, how football fans at Arizona State University in Tempe love to remind Wildcat fans.
For the second year in a row, the fate of Arizona's 2007 bowl game chances was determined by the last game of the regular season—against the arch-rival Sun Devils.
The year before, the Wildcats had a reasonable chance at beating the Devils and gaining a bid to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, or the Las Vegas Bowl, but were unable to defend their home turf against the invaders from the north.
Hopes were high coming into December for the 'Cats once again, but history repeated itself in Tempe, and the 'Cats fell short.
One could say the Sun Devils' hopes for a BCS bowl fell short, too. The Sun Devils were picked to play in the Holiday Bowl this year against Texas, to take place in San Diego, CA, on Thursday, December 27th at 9pm EST.
After leaving the Duel of the Desert matchup between U of A and ASU in Tempe, the Arizona State fans were going crazy, and taking every opportunity to bug, bash, and belittle every Wildcat fan. Walking with a group of 30 red-clad students around Sun Devil Stadium is no different from being targeted as road kill, and I expected no different than the unoriginal variety of vicious taunts that I received.
After a solid 30 minutes of verbal abuse from nearly every Devil fan possible (one kind woman did offer her sympathy) our student group was nearing our destination to embark back to our motherland of Tucson, when we passed a large parking structure.
A group of drunk, ASU college kids leaned over the railing and shouted, "What bowl are you going to? The TOILET BOWL! Flushhhhh."
Yes, these guys really used those sound effects.
I turned around, ducked away from an empty glass beer bottle thrown at me, and yelled back up, "I'm going to the Super Bowl!"—which, in reality, was an entirely true comment.
Words cannot describe how wonderful the next moment was. It was as if I had thrown an incomprehensible word back at the Devil fans. (For most ASU students, this would probably be anything above a sixth grade reading level.)
The fans just stood there in silence, dumbfounded and taken aback. They didn't know what to say, and in the lull, I happily skipped away.
After they recovered from their dumbfoundedness, I'm sure they attributed my farfetched retort to the fact that I had long blonde hair, and was wearing an Arizona football jersey. Even the most ignorant person knows college teams don't play in the Super Bowl, and I'm sure they thought I must have mistook the football stadium for a shopping mall.
But, like I said, I really am going to be at the 2008 Super Bowl at Glendale in February. I'm not sure what I'm doing yet, but I have been hired as a one-day employee by the team that manages Cardinal Stadium. Best yet—I get to wear an official badge. Too bad I can't keep it, though; I don't have unlimited access to the stadium.
And to those boys who yelled down to me: Arizona can have the Toilet Bowl. Have fun with your little Holiday bowl. I'll wave to you from the Super Bowl. Which bowl would you rather be at anyway?
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