Insight Bowl Travel Blog: 12-29

Dec. 29, 7:20 a.m. – Somewhere in the air between Des Moines and Phoenix I am proud to say that the Cyclone Nation littered the Des Moines International Airport this morning in preparation for the 2009 Insight Bowl. Everywhere I looked, it was cardinal and gold. That’s the way it should be.

I’m going to be “blogging” all week long down in Tempe. These blogs will include a little bit of everything for you Fanatics who are back in Iowa, or somewhere else in the world. I’ll write…I’ll even throw in some video every now and then so you can really feel like you’re a part of the action. You’re there in spirit right?

So anyway, I’m in the air right now. There are a lot of variables that come with flying. In my opinion, the most important of those options is where you are seated. This is something that is traditionally a bit of a toss up. A guy can usually select a spot on the plane, but you have no idea who is going to be next to you. Today wasn’t a problem for me. Regardless of who it was, it was going to be a Cyclone fan. I can live with that. The last time I flew, I wasn’t so lucky. I was heading to Boston via Omaha. I was heading to Fenway to watch my Atlanta Braves take on the Sox, followed by day four of the soggy U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. I had a stop in Chicago. Upon boarding the plane that would eventually head to Beantown, I quickly realized that some fairly attractive females were going to be seated next to me. There was a young one who no man could not want seated beside him. Then, two older, but still striking ladies accompanied her. This is normally a positive sign right? Not on this flight. It turned out that I was essentially sitting next to the “Real Housewives of the Windy City.” My mind was on baseball. Their minds were on what color they were going to have their maids paint their breakfast room when they got back home. Worst flight ever. It didn’t help things that they got sauced on the flight too. I’ve never seen so much White Zin be downed in my life.

I apologize for the rant. Flying makes me think a lot. Anyways, there is a nice young Cyclone fan seated next to me so all is good.

I don’t have a ton of Cyclone related items to get to this morning. That will change upon landing and gathering as much info as possible. I’ll probably quit blogging here shortly so that I can resume reading a book that I got for Christmas. This is a little ironic. Are you ready?

I got that new college football book written by none other than Craig James.

Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave for the past 24 hours, you’ve heard about the controversy going on between the James family and Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach. The story goes that Leach locked James’ son in “confinement” for hours at a time because the young man had a concussion. I don’t know the details.

All I know is that for years, I have been Mike’s biggest fan. This one is a real head scratcher though.

Listen, you can’t just lock college students up in random rooms for hours at a time. That’s one of those things that you just can’t do. This story is as disturbing as they come. I thought that Mark Mangino’s firing was ludicrous. If these acquisitions against Leach turn out to be true, he should not be coaching at Texas Tech next season. In fact, he should not be involved with college athletics.

Do you realize how much it pains me to write that last sentence? I LOVE Mike Leach people. He might be the single most entertaining sports figure in America right now. No, he’s not a national household name but for those who follow his team, the guy is as funny as they get. I hope that this story isn’t true. But I just don’t see a scenario where a guy (with a lot to lose) like Craig James would make something like this up. You know what I mean?

Since I’m bored, I’ll touch on just a few more topics before shutting this thing down. I take it that many of you took in the Vikings-Bears game last night. For those who don’t know, I am as nutty of a Vikings fan as they come. I went out to 3-Bag in West Des Moines to watch the game last night. Though the atmosphere was outstanding, the outcome was not. It’s just not a good mix to throw me in with a bunch of Bears fans during such an important game for the Vikes. I get angry when the Vikings lose. With all of my other teams, I have (at least I think I do) a thing called perspective. When the Braves don’t make the playoffs, I’m not that mad. I deal with it. The same goes with my other teams. But when the Vikings lose, you really do not want to know me for at least 12 hours. Ask my poor fiancée about that. I was very rude to her last night after that pathetic loss.

“It’s only a game,” her sweet little voice murmured to me on the phone. She was trying to comfort me. I really do appreciate that. There are a handful of ladies who read Here’s a tip for you. If you have a man in your life like myself, never say that…ever. That is the last thing that a guy wants to hear after his team loses…especially in overtime, to Jay Cutler. Period.

One more topic before I go…This is my traveling tip of the day. If you have a youngster at the airport, never put them on a leash. I saw that twice this morning. Not cool. Your child is not a dog. He/she is a human being. Just my two cents. Then again, I don’t have a lot of that magic word (perspective) when it comes to raising a young one. Maybe someday.

I’ll be checking in from time to time this week Fanatics. I hope to meet many of you in the desert!

Go State!

Dec. 29, 11:09 a.m. – Sheraton Wild Horse Resort and Spa, Tempe Well, I am here. It was a lovely flight. My favorite thing about bowl games is running into people you know in obscure places. You’d be amazed at the amount of familiar faces I ran into while attending numerous honky tonks in Houston four years ago. Right when I walked into the hotel today, I bumped into a good guy named Tyler Rutherford. He does the video work for Great stuff.

That’s the best thing about a bowl game. When a bunch of people with one thing in common (Iowa State) unite in an obscure place. Good times.

This resort is easily the nicest place I have ever stayed. I’ll try to shoot some video of it later. The view is amazing. I love the desert. I wouldn’t want to live her. But it is a beautiful place to visit.

I am off to have lunch with some family members of mine who live in the area. Keep checking out the site for more Cyclone stuff as the day rolls along. I’ll blog again sometime tonight.