"Get yer motor runnin. Head out on the highway. Lookin for adventure..."
Most Coug fans are looking forward to visiting Martin Stadium this year. Not only will Mike Leach be rolling out the crimson version of his Air Raid, and Mike Breske will unveil an aggressive, attacking new 3-4 defense, but Coug fans will watch it all unfold from a renovated Martin Stadium that will almost look like it belongs in the Pac-12. Unfortunately Amieable and I picked this pivotal moment in Cougar history to move one time zone over which means this season we’ll see most of our Coug games outside the crimson confines. But don’t shed any tears for us… as it turns out, just as we moved to Utah, the Cougs decided to come play some football here… TWICE! And just in case we haven’t had our fill, they will also trip to UNLV, just a short drive away. Its time to make your Cougar Football travel plans for 2012 and I am here to help with the WSU Football Blog Road Warrior Guide for 2012. This will be a seven part series previewing each road destination so you can be informed and prepared. We'll take a look at our first road trip to BYU after the jump…
No denying it, one of the most scenic settings in all of college football.
The season starts off with a trip to BYU and a town that in many ways is the opposite of Pullman… Provo, Utah. Both towns are home to Cougars, but that’s about where the comparisons end. Provo is just south of Salt Lake City and home to the flagship university of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As expected, the town reflects the values of the university which sets up an interesting culture clash as it is invaded by a fan base that makes Dean Martin look like a designated driver. Here's the bottom line, folks, cause I can hear you all moaning and groaning, Provo isn't going to be a fall down drunken romp like many other road trips. But guess what, YOU'LL SURVIVE! Trust me, there will still be a competative college football game in a stadium with views of the Wasatch Mountains and lots of other beautiful scenery...
Tailgating Scene – Could be lonely. Im not sure what to expect, but I doubt we’ll be challenged to a game of flip cup like we were at Colorado… unless you can play flip cup with Mountain Dew. Apprarently some BYU fans are trying to breathe a little life into their tailgating scene. As Wazzu fans, I think we have a civic duty to seek them out and throw all the support we can behind their efforts. It is my understanding that the areas designated for tailgating don't even open until less than 2 hours before kickoff, so tailgating just isn't going to be a big part of this road trip.
Lots of primo spots available in the tailgating lot.
Home Fans – What BYU fans lack in inebriation, they more than make up for in arrogance. They are, for lack of a better comparison, the Husky fans of the state of Utah. It is likely they won’t have heard of our little team and whatever conference we play in and may even accuse us of stealing their mascot. However, they will be polite about it. Of course this arrogance is the result of a very proud football tradition, most noted for the career of Lavell Edwards, one of the greates coaches of all time and a big reason why teams today score lots of touchdowns. He was also a big influence on Coach Leach who really got interested in football while attending BYU. So have a little respect.
Post game/Nightlife – There will be more action in Washtucna after the game then there will be in Provo. There are a couple bars and Im sure they'd love to have your business. I suggest everyone just gather at ABG's.
Sights to see – Well, you are in Utah, so there are Mountains galore as well as five national parks. In early September the scenery will be spectacular. My advice, GET OUTSIDE. Also, while the beer doesn't flow like it does on the Palouse, the desserts certainly do. Be sure to check out the BYU Creamery and the Sweet Tooth Fairy. Get the cake bites and thank me later. Oh, and you better renew your gym membership.
What to bring – Pack your hiking gear and, most importantly, an open mind. I know I poke fun at the quirks of living in a place dominated by LDS faith and culture, but at the end of the day it is a uniquely American experience and should be appreciated just like Columbus Ohio, Auburn Alabama, San Antonio Texas, or wherever else we travel to root on our Cougs. Soak it in and add it to your growing list of American experiences. And remember, in two weeks we'll all be in Las Vegas!
Next week... UNLV and the Sin City. Until then, GO COUGS!