Game Points

Stray Thoughts During The Latest Battle Of The Century.

By Tom Danehy

THINGS YOU'LL NEVER know about and/or experience at an Arizona-Arizona State football game unless you abandon all hope of having a real career and become a sportswriter instead:

  • The Press Box at Arizona Stadium sits atop the westside addition. It can only be reached by taking the lone elevator, which holds 16 people comfortably or 24 people immorally. I know a guy who, while riding that elevator, once had a life-altering experience with a large-lensed camera.

    When you get off the elevator and brush off the handprints, you're met by a most ungodly sight: A free buffet table for the media. Oh, the horror!

    Out the door is an open-air patio, hundreds of feet above the ground, affording one a magnificent view of downtown Tucson and the mountains beyond. The view is usually blocked by the media people eating their free food, casting backward glances at the food table to see how fast they have to eat so they can go back for seconds.

    You know why photographers wear those vests with all the pockets in them? I'll give you a hint: It's not to carry film.

  • Senator John McCain was at the game. Every time I see him, he reminds me more and more of Richard Nixon. Except Nixon seemed more trustworthy.

  • Governor Jane Dee Hull stopped out on the patio. She's changed her hair color again. Last month it was Martian Rust, but now, in keeping with the Solar System theme, it's more like Jovian Giant Storm. By the end of next year, she'll have worked her way out to the Uranian moons named for Shakespearean characters.

    She walked by and said hi. I started by telling her I didn't vote for her, and then asked the lame-oid question of all time: "Who are you rooting for today?"

    Just once I'd like to hear a politician answer that with, "I want Arizona to kick the living crap out of ASU." Or vice versa. I don't really care. Instead, she gave me that nonsense of being proud of both teams, blah, blah, blah.

    Who's the Secretary of State again?

  • It was an unusually warm late-November day with a near-record high temp. But inside the press box, it was a constant 48 degrees.

    I lug around several layers of adipose tissue for just such an occasion, plus I had on my omnipresent sweatshirt. But within minutes of sitting down in there, I was freezing. At first I thought it might be some sort of insidious scheme to control the content of the sportswriters' stories, but then I realized it probably had something to do with preserving the Governor's hair.

  • The voice of Director of Media Relations Tom Duddleston is a friendly companion in the press box, like Daniel Stern's voice-overs on The Wonder Years. He started things off by reminding everyone that, according to the rules of decorum governing the media, there would be absolutely no cheering or rooting in the press box. This rule is broken more often than New Year's resolutions at Sierra Tucson.

  • The Wildcats won the coin toss and received the ball. The first couple plays were badly misfiring trick plays. I have no idea why UA Coach Dick Tomey would try such nonsense. When you have the better team, as the Cats clearly did this year, you should simply shove the ball down the other guys' throats.

  • The leading tackler for ASU is a guy named Junior Ioane. You can bet that when you see a football player named "Junior," he's the first one in his family to go to college.

  • An ASU player wasted precious energy trying to flap his arms, palms-up, in an effort to get the crowd to rise. Dude, you've got maybe 137 ASU fans in the stadium, and most of them are huddled together in the north end-zone bleachers.

    For many of those people, it's as close as they'll ever come to a library.

  • Duddleston mentioned that some of the "working media" (put that one at the head of the Oxymoron Line) are complaining about the "constant chatter" in the room. Duddleston later apologized when he learned that the chattering was teeth.

  • Between the first and second quarters, some contest winner got to attempt a 25-yard field goal. The guy's kick hit the left upright and bounced away. Minutes later, Dick Tomey offered the guy a scholarship.

  • ASU freshman tight end Todd Heap made several big catches for the Sun Devils. Last year at this time he was helping Mesa Mountain View pull off a last-minute comeback to nip the Amphi Panthers in the Class 5A state football championships.

    This will probably be the last time you hear the name, however. After the season, he's going on a Mormon mission. This means that when he comes back in two years, he'll be 40 pounds lighter and he'll be able to speak Spanish real well. But his football career is probably done.

    Face it: You can count all the great Mormon NFL players on one finger.

    Lots of big-time Mormon athletes come back from their missions with a changed outlook on life. Remember that guy Shawn Bradley, the 7-foot-6, 112-pound basketball center? Heck, he could have been great if he had foregone his mission and gone to play in he NBA.

    Wait! Some guy looking over my shoulder just told me that Bradley's been in the NBA for six seasons. He must have been playing sideways all this time.

  • It's now official! Arizona's heart-stopping 50-42 victory over ASU lasted longer than Dennis Rodman's marriage. And have you seen that plastic-but-not-fantastic Electra woman? She's God's response to all those people who thought Dennis Rodman was the creepiest person on Earth.

  • Just in case my buddy Todd Judge missed it, the UA raised its record against ASU to 13-3-1 over the last 17 years. So, as always, UA rules and ASUcks. TW

 Page Back  Last Issue  Current Week  Next Week  Page Forward

Home | Currents | City Week | Music | Review | Books | Cinema | Back Page | Archives

Weekly Wire    © 1995-98 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth