Hey guys and girls,
Time for my next report, our week 5 trip to Stanford University in California.
After a last minute field goal to beat Oregon 37-35 sent Sun Devil Stadium into a complete riot, we were certainly looking forward to the following game, this may have also had an impact on the numbers of fans travelling to Stanford, as we had a near record 700 fans going out to California.
Stanford had allocated us blocks 126, 128, 226, 227 and 228, and by the time the tickets were withdrawn from sale by ASU, we had completely sold out blocks 126, 128 and 227, it was then confirmed 228 and 226 would remain empty for the game. Myself and the large majority of the ASU Student section were located in 126/128.
As Friday drew closer, the atmosphere at ASU was fantastic as everybody prepared for their journeys to Northern California. Airline: Southwest
Flight Number: WN 5723
Route: Phoenix, AZ to San Jose, CA
Departure Time: 1835 (1842 actual)
Arrival Time: 2025 (2025 actual)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 N904WN
Seat: 22D (Coach - Boarding Group C)
We reached Phoenix again via the wonderful power of uber, this time, the pre-party lasted a bit longer than we’d hoped, and our group of 21 left ourselves with very little time to check-in, pass security and get to the boarding gate.
Naturally, with Southwest’s A,B,C boarding process, we were all group C, me being C19. We were advised, should we wish to board together, we will have to board with the person who has the highest number, in this case it was C29. We decided it was every man/woman for themselves.
We ran through security, and quickly made our way to Gate C19(coincidentally the same as my boarding group) where the flight had just started boarding. The number coincidence was certainly no lucky charm, as we were quite literally dead last to board. After business select customers, rapid rewards members, Group A, children/families, Group B, it was finally time for Group C.
The flight was pretty full, and once we boarded, it was a case of just finding a seat and somewhere to stow our carry-ons(a number of our group had carry-ons checked at the gate), as there was no chance of any of us sitting together.
I went to the back and found 22D vacant. The new seats on Southwest are truly awful, I may as well have been sat on a pine bench, the legroom is just embarrassing, it is a good job I managed to snag an aisle seat.
No singing (nor smiling, or even friendly) flight attendants on this flight, and I was just looking forward to stepping off at the other end.
I found myself sat next to a lovely Scottish couple, who were travelling all around the US for their 30th anniversary, after chatting to them for the majority or the flight, and apologizing in advance for the multiple Bourbon and Gingers which I would consume onboard(Their reply of “We’re Scottish we’re in no position to judge a drinker” made me laugh), I think I managed to turn them into closet Sun Devils fans, and they said they would make a point of finding a bar to watch the game.
I can’t really comment about views or the flight itself as I was stuck in an aisle seat trying not to lose blood circulation to my lower half.
The first service started, and we were treated to Southwest’s standard peanuts, pretzels or wheat thins along with a complimentary beverage. Being the nice guy I am, I offered to buy the couple sat next to me a premium drink, and the flight attendant seemed shocked when I asked for, a Gin and Tonic, a rum and coke, and 4 Bourbon and Gingers. I kissed goodbye to $42 from my bank account, and sunk them in quick succession.
The flight progressed relatively quickly, and before we knew it we were preparing to land at SJC.
After quite a turbulent approach, we landed in wonderful California, the temperature was just perfect.
After disembarking, we sourced some cars from our valuable friend Uber, which took us to Palo Alto, to the Cardinal Hotel (LOL). Thankfully, The Cardinal Hotel was somewhat the unofficial ASU hotel, as a large number of fellow travelling ASU fans were here.
After dumping our things in our rooms, we headed out. We ended up back near the airport, in Sunnyvale near Santa Clara, somehow ending up at Club Monaco and PURE, both pretty average nightclubs, PURE having cheaper drinks.
I can’t exactly tell you when I got back to the hotel, but I woke up at 8am on the couch in my room feeling like my head was about to implode.
I had a quick shower and change, met with everybody else in the lobby and we set off for the game.
Thankfully, with a lot of fans travelling by road, Stanford were kind enough to allocate us our own tailgating lot, in Lot #13, the furthest from the stadium.
We arrived there at 9am, and the tailgate was in full swing, it was incredible, a sea of maroon and gold, it was just as we have it back in Tempe made even sweeter by the fact we were on somebody elses turf.
Multiple RV’s, cars, you name it, we had giant TV’s, barbecues, loud music, free flowing alcohol, it was great, though not exactly what I needed to cure the hangover from last night.
The tailgate made the time pass very quickly, and before we knew it it was time to set off to Stanford Stadium. En-route we passed various other lots with Stanford tailgates, and walked to the stadium alongside many Stanford fans, all of whom were very friendly(albeit drunk), and wished us well for the game.
As standard procedure for entering college football stadiums, we were searched before entry.
A quick stop at the “California Pizza” concession, the only one in the visitor section, to grab some food before I joined everybody else.
The atmosphere was fantastic, notable less hostile than Texas Tech as everybody was just having fun.
There was not much worth mentioning in the game other than we got destroyed.
The only part worth a mention is when Richard Demario scored a touchdown, dropped the ball and came diving into the visitor section along side most of our offence. I was near the back of block 128 and dolphin dived, over the top of several ASU fans celebrating, and landed on my head near the front of the block right near Demario, the ensuing chaos had ASU bodies spilling onto the field and into the Stanford block next to us, 129, it was insane.
Despite being battered and bruised, and having lost 34-24, spirits were at a high as we left the stadium.
As a few people left us to start the long drive back to AZ/return to their RVs/hotels, a group of nearly 90 of us joined a group of friendly Stanford students who we got talking to outside the stadium, we were invited to a party in one of the student accommodation blocks in the Sterling Quad on campus(I think???).
I came around at just after 8am, inside an unknown accommodation block stairwell on the Stanford campus, and I hopped in an uber back to the Cardinal hotel, unaware of where anybody was
I got back to the hotel around 830am, and realized I would need to find everyone from our group since our flight departed at 1040am. I quickly put my phone to charge, waited for what seemed like an hour for it to turn on, and started frantically posting messages on WhatsApp and making phone calls.
As 930am rolled around, I had located 12 of the group, 8 were still scattered around Stanford’s campus, one even ended up in downtown San Francisco.
After a quick conference call, it was decided, some volunteered to stay longer and make their own way home, the remainder of us would rendezvous at SJC so catch our flight, and so, with Operation get-me-back-to-my-bed underway, we jumped in an Uber and offered the driver a $50 tip if he got us there ASAP.
We ran to the WN desk, checked in with the very helpful desk agent, ran through security, and made it to Gate 21 where N7844A was nearly fully boarded. Airline: Southwest
Flight Number: WN 1577
Route: San Jose, CA to Phoenix, AZ
Departure Time: 1040 (1052 actual)
Arrival Time: 1225 (1231 actual)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 N7844A
Seat: 10B (Coach - Boarding Group C)
Feeling exhausted, I just wanted to find a seat and fall asleep. I stumbled across row 10 where it seemed to one of few rows with a seat, so I squeezed past the young lady in 10C and passed out on 10B. The space was awful, it had to have been one of the worst sleeps i’ve ever had, and this is coming from a student, a professional napper.
Nevertheless, I fought through, and I fell asleep before pushback, slept through safety demonstration, take-off, cruise, descent, and I awoke quite literally a minute or two before we hit the deck back in PHX.
By this time, I was starving, and had a mouth as dry as the Colorado River.
After we disembarked, before we jumped in an uber back to Tempe, as quick stop at Smashburger was in order.
At 1350 precisely, I arrived back in my dorm, sat on my couch and passed out until 10pm, when I decided it is probably time to do some work.
I hope you enjoyed reading, as much as I enjoyed recapping the trip for this report!
Look out for road game 3/6 which I will try and write up shortly between work and college.
Until next time,
GO SUN DEVILS!