The Campaign For DA

10.12.2015

Random Monday Morning Thoughts





  • Cue the orchestra music. It's a weekend in review edition of Random Thoughts. And it was glorious. 
  • It was late last Thursday when I thought about taking another long weekend. I've never driven to the Midwest, and  Baylor was playing at Kansas at noon on Saturday. Maybe I could drive up, stop at Oklahoma City to see the Memorial, and listen to an audio book the entire way. That would be relaxing. 
  • Any other sporting events going on up there, I thought? I looked at the Kansas City Chiefs schedule and they were at home and kicking off at noon. That's a football double header that can be hard to find. It would be a heck of drive back after the game but it could be done. 
  • No way the Kansas City Royals were playing, right? I didn't even know if they were in the playoffs. I'll be dang. They were playing Friday afternoon at home against the Astros. Now my mind is racing. Fly in early Friday if I could find a cheap flight and then fly back Sunday afternoon? After all, both are in Kansas City and that's where the airport is. 
  • That's a crazy schedule but from late Saturday afternoon and into the night my time would be free. Anything else going on? I checked the schedule for the University of Missouri and they were playing at home against Florida. This would work. Watch the Baylor game at noon in Lawrence Kansas and drive to Columbus, Missouri for a night game. Heck, that gets me in proximity for the Chiefs game the next day at noon. 
  • One last check: Who does Kansas State play and are they at home? Holy crap. TCU. At home. A night game. It's right down the road from Baylor's game at Kansas. This is the greatest Sports Trip Perfect Storm I've ever seen. I buy tickets on StubHub. It cost me $6 for the Baylor game. The Royals game had a cheap ticket for standing room only. The Chiefs game had nosebleed seats that were cheap. The most expensive ticket was for TCU/Kansas State which cost me $100. I'm spending less on four tickets than some hipster couple will spend on dinner and a night out on 7th Street in Fort Worth on Saturday night. 
  • The key to these trips is to be flexible, prepare to wake up early, prepare to drive, and prepare to eat cheaply. (The latter is no issue for me since I'll take a fast food chicken sandwich over a steak from Del Frisco's any day of the week).  My flight left DFW at 7:20  on Friday morning which caused me to wake up at 4:00. I made it with no issues since no one else in their right mind is up that early.
  • On the plane I sat next to an incredibly cute 20 something year old who was getting her arse whipped by an Eric Dickerson look alike who would not shut up. I was entertained -- until I fell asleep at take off.
  • I land but I've got one problem: I had no where to stay. I drive to the "Sports Complex" in Kansas City which amazingly has Arrowhead Stadium and and Kaufman County Stadium side by side. I see a Marriott hotel right across the street. I walk in and ask for a room. Yep. $90. You kidding me? And they let me check in on the spot at 10:30 a.m. which is insane. There is a Taco Bell on the property. I'm in heaven. 
  • I walk over to the Royals/Astros game at 2:30. Verdict: That place is fantastic. The fountains in the outfield are amazing and the fans were insane. (They like their baseball up there). And big shout out to the standing room only concept: You could go anywhere and always see the action.
  • I go back to the room, watch highlights of what might be the most amazing Rangers game in their history, and fall asleep. But before I do, I look for hotel rooms in Lawrence or Manhattan for the next night. There is nothing available. How is that possible?
  • At 5:45 a.m. on Saturday, I'm out the door and off to Lawrence, Kansas. For some reason, I was worried about parking for the Baylor game so when I got to the Kansas campus I was surprised to learn that I probably could have parked on the 50 yard line and they wouldn't even have charged me.
  • I roamed the University of Kansas stadium as the sun is rising. (During that, I remembered The Ticket's Norm Nitzges once almost tearing up talking about the poaching of elephants because "those wonderful creatures  just love to roam for miles and miles". I realized that all my life I've just loved to roam.)
  • Then I roamed so much I couldn't find my car. Seriously. I couldn't find my car for over two hours.
  • That campus may be the most beautiful one I've ever been on. (An October day with wonderful weather doesn't hurt.) The buildings were amazing and, for a state that is supposed to be flat, that campus has more elevation changes than Everest. At its highest peak, right above the stadium and next to a gorgeous bell tower, you could see for miles.
  • I left the game at halftime. Baylor scored over 50 in the first half. It was like Southlake playing Boyd, and I felt truly sorry for Kansas. I went down to a Waco once where on a Saturday night Texas beat Baylor so badly I walked away before the half. I went down there once and saw Oklahoma beat Baylor senseless, and I knew it was going to happen on the ride down. I know what it is like. 
  • I'm off to Manhattan at this point to see TCU/Kansas State.  I'm staying at a Holiday Inn Express and the amount I paid is embarrassing. And the only reason I found a room within 40 miles of Manhattan was because I had awoken in the middle of the night and found the last room in the world had become open. It would end up being worth every dime. 
  • During the drive, I noticed I've developed a small "head twitch" that I can't control. I wondered about the first signs of  Parkinson's, and I thought of Michael J. Fox. 
  • Shout out to Kansas highways: They are great. And there were two signs that got my attention. One was that I was going past Leavenworth. That's a famous prison location and for a moment I mistakenly thought that the killers of In Cold Blood were executed there. Then I realized I was actually in the land of In Cold Blood.  (I wondered where the Cutter house was and if I could get to it.) The other sign concerned directions to the Brown vs. Board of Education memorial as I was going through Topeka. Well,  I'll be. That landmark segregation case involved the Topeka Board of Education. 
  • Here comes my biggest mistake. Hey, I just hiked to the highest point in Texas two weeks ago.  No problem. I'm a middle aged machine. My hotel at Kansas State was a little over three miles from the stadium so I thought that would be a great walk through a small Kansas town. And I didn't have to worry about parking, and it is a beautiful day. I do it.
  • That town is fantastic. It's like a little Austin.  The walk was great. But a little further than I thought.
  • I get to the stadium and I've never seen so much purple. I'm wearing my green Baylor shirt which causes me to get attention which is something I dread. (It dawns on me I might have made a deliriously choice since I've been up since 5:00 a.m.)  Two guys in purple come up to me and inquire why I was there. I explain my football trip and tell them, with almost anger in my voice, that I'm there to support them beating the crap out of TCU.  They are wearing purple but they then point to the emblem on their shirts. Those are TCU shirts they are wearing. I have Slumped Shoulders and apologize. Profusely. They are great sports about it. 
  • Here's my biggest mistake: In what may be the greatest college football game of 2015, I leave at halftime. The walk there took more out of me than I anticipated, and I was going to have to walk back in the dark. (These type of mistakes is how I will die one day.)
  • I stop at Subway on the way back and grab a sandwich to and dang near stumble back to the hotel because of exhaustion. I was actually praying no one at the front desk would see me because I was afraid I would hear, "Sir, are you OK? Do we need to call an ambulance?"
  • I make it up to the room and lay down. I will awake at 3:00 a.m. cuddling an uneaten Subway sandwich. I suppose it could have been worse. Maybe. 
  • The next morning I'm off early again. This time it's to Arrowhead Stadium to see the Chiefs/Bears.  I got there over two hours early yet traffic was a nightmare. And I paid $30 to park on dirt. My hotel from two days earlier was closer to the stadium than my spot. 
  • At the game, a bunch of guys ask me why I wasn't cheering and why I was wearing a "neutral" color. (It was black).  I tell them about my weekend. I expect them to laud my as a Renaissance Man but instead they look at me like I was Charles Manson.
  • I make it back to the airport with the only odd thing being a middle age woman walking past a television and sees the Cowboys score was 3-0. She looks at me and says, "Yes!!! The Cowboys are losing!!!"  Hey, lady, I'm here on on a sports trip but the scores don't matter to me.