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Let It Rain

September 1, 2008

(at UA 70, Idaho 0)

I certainly wasn’t prepared for that.

No umbrella, no jacket, and the scoreboard in my imagination only went up to 52.

I was speechless. We set a school record for points in a half. Our starters didn’t play the final two quarters and we still outscored them 21-0. I just…wow.

Seven different Wildcats scored their first career points. Six were touchdown-makers and the seventh was Zendejas, The Next Generation, with three PATs.

But the night wasn’t entirely perfect. As a matter of fact, it started as a football fan’s nightmare. After a long offseason of anticipation, we were back in our favorite team’s stadium, the players were lined up for the kickoff, and right before the referee blew his whistle to signal the start of play…everyone was told to go away.

Not an hour before kickoff. Not ten minutes before the start of the game. Literally moments before the ball went into the air, and they said we had to leave.

Leave?! We had waited nine months, two weeks and a day just to get back here. In the Red Zone, we have an outlook similar to that of the students. “Hey man, these are general admission seats. I had to get here pretty early to grab this spot. No little rain shower is going to make me move.”

At least we thought it was just a little rain shower. We couldn’t see any lightning. It wasn’t all that windy. But it kept raining and raining and we kept getting wetter and wetter. The dye in our newly minted Red Zone t-shirts started running until everyone’s pants, arms and hands were pink. Shriveled up pink.

When you’re bored and waterlogged your mind tends to wander. Did you know the WAC has nine teams and four of them are named either Bulldogs or Aggies?

When the threat of electrocution passed and football did return, the game itself was certainly worth the wait. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t folding our shivering hands and pleading for the clock to keep running.

Arizona Football: Even when we win 70-0, you still suffer.

So here’s the list: In 1921 Pop McKale’s Wildcats beat the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy (UTEP) by a score of 74-0. Five years earlier McKale’s team defeated the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (New Mexico State) 73-0. And in twenty ought eight, Arizona under Mike Stoops beat the University of Idaho, 70-0.

Perhaps the sweetest part of the victory was the free Jack-in-the-Box tacos. OK, maybe not so much sweet as spicy and digestively dangerous. But they were free thanks to a new promotion and the UA scoring at least 33 points. So the next time you’re listening to a game at Arizona Stadium and the Wildcat point total is climbing, you’ll understand why you hear in the background a chant sounding remarkably like a call for Mexican food.

Now, ten touchdowns are ten touchdowns, but what does this mean for the 2008 Cats? You can't read too much into the score of your cupcake game. Or can you?

Last year we only led NAU by 11 at halftime. We ended up with a losing season. The three years before that, our “easy” game featured fourth quarter scores of 14-10, 24-12, and 7-3. We won a grand total of 12 games those three seasons. We thought it was a bad sign when we struggled against an inferior team, and it was.

Does that mean it’s a really good sign when our easy game actually is easy? I guess we'll have to wait and see. One thing it does is make you excited to get back to the Stadium on Saturday (well, depending on the weather forecast). Seventy-to-nothing makes you really want to see this team again.

The Toledo game should be interesting because A) they’re not Idaho, and B) we lost this game last year. No, we didn’t play the Rockets in 2007, but Toldeo is this year’s New Mexico. You may think New Mexico is New Mexico, but New Mexico is BYU since New Mexico '08 is on the road. So Toledo at home is New Mexico '07, and we all know how that one turned out.

Dominating Idaho was an improvement over struggling with NAU, but this week is our first chance to correct a loss. That’s the mission this year. If we win the same games we won last year and then make-good on a couple of the shouldas, we’ll have a solid season.

You don’t get much more solid than 70-0. You want another sign? We haven’t had a winning season in a decade. You know the only way to end a drought?

Lots of rain.

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