Big doings in Fresno last weekend. We drove down Friday so we could be there for the grandson’s 8:30 am football game. In any decent society, that would be illegal, but this is Fresno. The good news is that we had dinner at Ruth’s Chris, which is probably the best food available in the Central Valley.
No, I won’t bore you with how wonderful 6th grade football can be, or how great the grandson is (even though he plays both directions, and was good enough to be put in with the A team of 7th graders). Let’s talk about Saturday night, time for some big boy college football.
Gail’s son Ross has one of the luxury boxes for Fresno State football, so we were off to spend the evening celebrating what was widely expected to be the rout of the Nevada State Wolfpack.
Just getting there was an adventure, because Ross has a new car–a one of a kind custom job. He took a new Ford pickup truck, and mated it with the back of a Ford Excursion to make an enormous SUV. As part of the customization, he had a new horn installed, powered by an onboard air compressor, which sounds exactly like a freight train. We had a great time blowing that horn as often as possible, reason not required.
Although kickoff was scheduled for 7:30, we arrived just after 5, to enjoy the tailgating. Not your old fashioned “put a barbecue on the tailgate” sort of dinner, but the fancy corporate kind of tailgating with a DJ, open bar and caterer.
The owner of the company is a friend of Ross’s, and also the guy who did all the sound and home automation Chez Blackburn. This gives Ross just a bit of pull.
We had a good time sitting around for a couple of hours, enjoying the very open bar, the DJ, the VIP lounge and the little chachis they left around for people to play with.
I took a walk around to see what the other “tailgate” areas were like.
People were there to have fun–and silly costumes are part of fun:
As the sun went down, the sky got prettier, and people got more and more into the swing of things.
As game time approached, we made our way up to the suite. Ross has had it for years, so Julie has completely covered the walls in photos of the family and friends who make it an adventure.
So here’s an observation that isn’t new, but one I keep learning–the rich have life better. Fresno State stadium, like all Pac 12 stadiums, is dry. You can’t buy a beer. Unless you have a luxury box, that is.
Inside the boxes, anything goes. The liquor flows like the Mississippi river after the spring rains. You can bring anything you want up to your suite, nobody cares. RHIP, rank hath its privileges.
The view is pretty spectacular, too:
I thought that a college game would be shorter than a professional game. Wrong-o. Kickoff was at 7:30, and the game didn’t end until almost 11:30. It was being televised on ESPN-U, and there were copious commercial breaks, time for official reviews, a half time show, and God only knows what else.
With all that time, there was socializing among the suites. We had a visitor drop in, a friend Ross has made between the Fresno State games and his love of the San Diego Chargers.
Lorenzo Neal went to Fresno State, then played 16 seasons in the NFL. A three time all Pro, many think he will be elected to the Hall of Fame when he is eligible. Lorenzo was one of the greatest blocking fullbacks in the game. And he’s a really nice guy, too.
Fresno won the game, as expected. I drove the world’s only Blackburn home, being the designated driver so Ross could enjoy the game more. We stopped to pick up the #1 grandson at a party, and I blew the horn in some quiet residential neighborhood to get him to come out to the car. The big, loud, deep, extended, train horn powered by the air compressor. Poor kid may never be invited back, but we laughed all the way home.