Baylor couldn’t act like it’d been there before because it hadn’t

Author’s note: This is the first of a two-part story about my trip to the Alamo Bowl. For the record, I’m not rubbing it in, but it was really, really cool.

The Alamo Dome seats 65,000 people. I know this because while I was there at least 64,789 of these people, at one point, stepped on my foot.
Up until December, I’d never been to San Antonio, I’d never been to a college bowl game and I’d never spent my Christmas vacation in a climate so polite I could comfortably wear a T-shirt outdoors. I have now, and I’ll thank my in-laws for the vacation some time soon.
The first people to step on my foot were fellow walkers on their way to the game. The only thing worse than Texas drivers (whose motto is, “if you can see me, stay out of my way”) are Texas walkers, who have exactly the same motto. I imagine pile-ups of old people in malls are horrendous.
Trekking the half-mile from the hotel to the Alamo Dome, a fist of fans formed around us in a line that looked like a clogged artery.
“Oh, my God,” a girl said behind us. “I’ve never been to a bowl game before.”
“Oh, no, me neither,” another female voice said. “Bill’s been to one, but he’s, like, in California.”
“Oh, too bad,” the first girl said, in an obvious attempt to elevate the quality of the conversation. “Maybe he’ll, you know, like see us on TV, or something.”
This went back and forth just long enough for them to walk by revealing their blonde, teen-age vacuous selves in short skirts and tight Baylor jerseys. Oh, like, my God. Yes, they were blonde, they were vacuous, they indeed wore short skirts and tight Baylor jerseys, but these women were in their 30s. One even chewed gum and flipped her hair as they walked by. These were the sorority girl equivalent to a comb-over. I hoped we didn’t sit by them.
My family’s previous day’s trolley conductor, who led us to some nifty historical spots, promised that although the Alamo Dome was perhaps the ugliest building in town, it had no bad seats. As my father-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and I found our seats, it was easy to see the conductor was right. Although we sat one row from the roof, it was almost like watching the game on TV.
The only problem was getting there. Walking up the steps that were completely misnamed (let’s call them a wall), I kept my eyes on my feet, not that I was worried of a misstep; I just didn’t want to see how much farther I had to climb.
“Hey,” I wheezed, plopping into a seat next to my brother-in-law Keith. “Have you seen my sherpa?”
I haven’t complained much about Baylor fans to this point, so let me do so now.
My oldest daughter attends Texas A&M and classifies fans from Big 12 Texas universities as such: Texas Longhorn fans are snobby, Texas Tech fans throw batteries, and neither are as bad as Baylor fans.
The reason is, of course, simple. Baylor hasn’t won a bowl game in 19 years. Now that they’re here, and their quarterback won the Heisman Trophy, the fans had no idea how to handle themselves.
That’s what we had tonight. And we were surrounded by them.
Next week: The game.

Jason’s newest book, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,

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