Monday, May 28, 2018

RETROSPECTIVE: The Insight Bowl (2004)

As this happened a decade prior to this writing, details are fuzzy.

A brief story about my trip as part of the Notre Dame Marching Band to the Insight Bowl in December 2004. After a mediocre season, which included the firing of coach Ty Willingham, Notre Dame got into a low-ranked bowl in Arizona. I don’t remember much about the travel arrangements (as opposed to the Sugar Bowl arrangements), but I do remember getting my wisdom teeth removed a mere week or so prior to the game. I really shouldn’t have traveled.

The whole band was put up in some motel in Tempe (or surrounds) and it was a debaucherous affair, though I really didn’t take part. I spent my free time taking the bus to explore around the town, much to the incredulity of my companions. I encountered one of my first “save the whales” type activists in real life - I’d seen them around campus, but it was different when wandering around a city. I remember finally getting friends to go to a restaurant where they were bowled over when I ordered a beer. I mean, they were all drinking, but they didn’t think I’d drink in a restaurant. I remember walking / riding the bus around the city after dinner, while the rest of the group called a cab to go straight back to drinking at the motel.

I remember it being rainy and weird, weather-wise. I don’t remember much of the game (or the practice before-hand) except that I tried to play my trumpet and blew out the sockets where my wisdom teeth once were. Also, it was my first and last time rooming with a larger member of our section who snored something ferocious after a few drinks. I mean, the guy was cartoonishly loud. I distinctly remember being disappointed that my “friends” had stuck me in his room.

I’m not sure what else there is to report on this particular adventure (or non-adventure, as it may be). I had a bad time due to health, weather, and being let down by friends.

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