When three hours shy of the sleep-routine mark, one might think the previous night was not worth the ensuing funk.
My eyes stung Saturday when I left the warmth of my Bass Pro comforter, but it was merely a part of a monumental day in which I partook in two passions that give me huge withdrawals when neglected — fishing and college football.
Powering through the funk became no problem.
Nate and I headed over to Chris’ a little after 8 on Friday night and were casting shad within a half hour. We didn’t agree, but midnight seemed a logical return time.
Unfortunately for them, after fishing 33 of 36 days during a stretch of June and July, my addiction to fishing is stronger than ever, and it’s tough to get me away from the water regardless of sleep deprivation.
So night became early morning and we didn’t hike out until Saturday was two hours spent.
The worst part about waking up a couple hours later to head west was the wasted hour before the alarm clock screamed. I laid in bed for 57 minutes wondering what in the world was more important than sleeping for that precious hour.
I counted polar bears, but nothing worked. I ended up staring at the wall until my predetermined rising time, got ready, then waited in the bed of my truck for Nate and Brad to come by and pick up my tired carcass.
We headed to Palo Alto to see two teams I didn’t necessarily like, but if I couldn’t be at Arizona’s Homecoming game against Washington State, at least I’d be at a college football game.
Once we parked and started the walk to will call, I was alert.
The people watching were everything I could have hoped and I showed no signs of lacking sleep. I had only had a bowl of cereal and slice of banana bread so I kept urging Nate and Brad to make friends and score us some tailgate food.
I told Brad to say he was Jeremiah Masoli’s uncle to get us some Oregon grub being he was all ducked out in hyper yellow and green. He looked at me as if to say his German and Irish heritage might draw some doubt.
“Hey, the worst they can do is say no. I’m hungry.”
Nate was similarly shy despite his hometown Stanford shirt and hat. I wasn’t wearing a color or t-shirt that would help me fit in with either tailgate culture so we went hungry.
I almost day dreamed of deep frying one of those catfish I caught just hours prior.
Being a college football connoisseur, I just love being in the stadium, but some things sack the experience. I could handle the dudes behind us that didn’t know what they were talking about, but when the boos against the home team are substantially louder than the cheers upon entering the playing field, that is disgraceful.
What more could Stanford fans want? Their team is good, and they are playing a top-10 squad in Oregon. Why not show up just in case?
I felt like I was in Eugene watching the game at Autzen Stadium. Pathetic.
Before I could get too worked up, the lady next to me pulled out a monster sandwich on sourdough bread.
“I probably won’t be able to find one of those on the food concourse will I?”
“Oh no, we brought these,” she replied with a disarming grandmotherly smile.
“Here, you have to try this,” she said pushing a bag of homemade potato/egg/onion wedges the size of pizza slices in my direction. “Give one to your friend.”
Nate and I had seconds of whatever that was and soon were forced to have her “famous brownies” that had a candy bar between layers. Poor us.
The second to the last bite, I swear I tasted a little bait.
After the students trickled onto the field to celebrate the upset with their classmates in an almost empty stadium, and dinner we made our way back to the Central Valley.
I came home, re-washed my fishing clothes because they still smelled like bait and went to bed.
A monumentally great day indeed.
To contact Jeff Lund, email email@example.com.