Tag Archives: San Antonio

Drop Your Buffs

18 Feb


Texas 55, Colorado 23

December 29, 2020 • Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio

As a fan of the TV show Survivor, I have a couple of Buffs, the bandana-like head coverings contestants wear. Since our Horns were playing the Buffaloes, a.k.a. the “Buffs,” I couldn’t resist the chance to merge my two fandoms.

It was great to be back in San Antonio for yet another Alamo Bowl, but this one was unlike any other. The typically packed stairs and corridors were empty. In the seating bowl, every other row was roped off, and large numbers of seats were zip-tied closed. All spread out, we ended up kinda lonely in the upper deck, but hey, we were there! 

And even though we couldn’t go inside, we still made our required family stop by the Alamo.


The other tradition we made sure to follow: Winning our bowl game! This one was never in doubt, and it was fun to kiss this strange season goodbye with a victory. And even though he only played in the first half before Casey Thompson took over, it was nice to see Sam Ehlinger end his Longhorn career with a W.

The next day we celebrated with lunch at Mi Tierra’s, the renowned San Antonio institution that we had never managed to visit previously. We also went to the botanical garden so Katie could see the cool terraces that were used in the 1980s movie Cloak and Dagger.

Whew! It was a wild, weird season, but as always, I never took attending these games for granted. Especially in stadiums that were only a quarter full, it was a privilege to be there to cheer for my team in person!

Texas Sports recap

Texas Sports box score


Letting the Chips Fall

18 Feb


Texas 38, Utah 10

December 31, 2019 • Alamodome, San Antonio

No secret that I love bowl games! I love the travel, I love the hoopla, I love the let’s-get-one-more-chance-to-see-our-team-play of it all. And when we win? It’s the best!

Ryan, Katie, and I headed to the Alamo City the day before the game, just in time to visit Fiesta Texas. The next morning, we were up early to tour Mission San Jose, taking lots of photos for Ryan, our Texas history teacher. Then we made it to the Riverwalk where we feasted on the traditional pregame meal at Casa Rio and did the river taxi tour.

And then gametime! We had great seats in the lower bowl, so we got some great views of Sam’s touchdowns. Our defense really put this one away, though, holding the favored Utes, ranked #11 at the time, to just 10 points.

And that’s a wrap on the 2019 season! As we looked forward to seeing our Horns back in DKR the next fall, we had no idea how different games would be in a pandemic. But we knew no matter what, we’d be there!

The day before the game, stopped at Buc-ee’s on our way, naturally. At Fiesta Texas we took in the Holiday in the Park decorations, and we got to ride the new Wonder Woman coaster. With its single-rail construction, it makes you feel like you’re really flying!

The morning of the game, we headed out to the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. This time we visited Mission San Jose. Out of all the times we had been to San Antonio, this was our first trip to one of the famous missions (besides Mission San Antonio de Valero, a.k.a. the Alamo). 

From there we went downtown to park for the Riverwalk, Alamo, Tower of the Americas, and the game, of course. For lunch we ate at Casa Rio, and when I recognized the brick wall next to our table, I got Ryan and Katie to recreate their pose from 2006.


Thanks to an Alamo Bowl hashtag, we also got this pic on the big screen at the game!


We also did the river cruise, visited the Alamo (it’s a law), and went up to the Tower of the Americas observation deck. Did I mention how much I enjoy being a tourist on these bowl trips? After all that exploring, we were ready to settle in for the game.

Texas Sports recap

Texas Sports box score

Remember the Tortillas

3 Nov

Texas 34, Texas Tech 13

Nov. 1, 2014 • Lubbock

For each season’s Tech matchup, I keep going back to tortillas. This time around I was oh-so-close to using another Tech-related food to spell Texas, but tortillas are just too easy. One reason: A Tech friend was just talking about how students smuggle the contraband tortillas into their stadium (inside clothes and/or boots!). Another: They’re cheap and easy to cut into nearly any shape with scissors. And winning reason number 3: They’re plenty portable.


Portability was important because this weekend found us back in our old haunt, San Antonio. Between band contests and Alamo Bowl games, we seem to end up in ol’ San Antone at least twice a year. Three years ago, Katie and I watched Ryan and the band in San Antonio on a Friday night, drove back to Austin that Saturday to see Texas beat Tech, and then returned to the Alamodome for the contest finals that night. Two years ago, I was in SA while the Horns played the Raiders in Lubbock and we won that one, too. Who am I to mess with a winning tradition? This time, though, the Texas tortillas were not photographed  at the tailgate or at a beaver’s feet but along the banks of the Riverwalk.

Because the band contest finals got underway about the same time as kickoff, I was in the Alamodome for much of the game. Armed with my trusty Fox Sports Go app, I was certain I’d be able to check out the game between bands’ performances. But have you ever tried to watch streaming video while inside a giant concrete box? Service was predictably terrible, so for the first quarter and a half, my only contact with the contest in LBB was via texts from my crazy friends. To go by their version of events, we’re the worst team in the history of teams ever ever ever with no offense and no (as usual) linebackers. When I took a break from the contest to grab a bite to eat, I was delighted to discover that in spite of our miscues, we are NOT, in fact, the worst team. Eventually the sky-is-falling texts quieted down, and I was able to see that lovely final score.

So I saw less of this game than any other in years. I DID see San Antonio, though, including the Cradle of Texas Liberty, which we are bound by (family) law to visit each time we’re in town.

Just Ducky

7 Jan

TEXAS_oregon13Oregon 30, Texas 7

Dec. 30, 2013 • Alamo Bowl, San Antonio

Yeah, we lost. But if you’d told me our defense would give up just 16 points, I would’ve assumed that meant a Longhorn victory. I wouldn’t have imagined we’d let Oregon’s DEFENSE score on us—TWICE. The pick-6’s weren’t the only problem, though. Yet again, our offense seemed incapable of establishing a rhythm. Certainly, a health J. Gray would’ve helped, but the dropped passes, not to mention the east-west plays, killed us.

An eternal optimist, I’m an unapologetic sunshine pumper, but even I wouldn’t have picked the Horns to win this one. When I first heard we’d be facing the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl, I figured we were doomed. Playing the number 10 team in the nation, surely we would quack crack under pressure, right? Could our unranked Horns fill the bill, or would we end up looking fowl? Sure enough, every time it looked like we could catch up, we laid an egg.

For this TEXAS, I used rubber duckies (they were actually lip gloss containers!), but I could’ve used another water fowl. After all, this game was Mack Brown’s swan song. Even though I knew it was time for new blood, it was still hard to see Mack and Sally leave the field for the last time. Here’s what I put on Facebook after the game:

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So now the Mack Brown era is over, and a new coach is waiting in the wings. Under his leadership, may we not just stay afloat but take wing and SOAR.

Game highlights:

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And some shots from our visits to Fiesta Texas, the Riverwalk and Ripley’s Believe It or Not near Alamo Plaza:

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So there we go: Another season of spelling Texas is in the books, and the countdown for next year is already underway.

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Leave It to Beaver (Nuggets)

2 Jan

TEXAS_oregonstate12Texas 31, Oregon State 27

Dec. 29, 2012 • Alamo Bowl, San Antonio


You know you have a problem when, upon learning your team’s next opponent, your first thought is not how well your guys will fare against them. Instead of thinking of matchups, my first reaction was elation over knowing how I’d spell Texas! As soon as I heard we’d be playing the Oregon State Beavers, I knew I’d use Beaver Nuggets, and since the game was in San Antonio, that meant an excuse to stop at Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels along the way.


For the uninitiated, Buc-ee’s is a roadside stop much-loved by Texans who crave the store’s overabundance of sweets, beef jerky, snacks and beaver-bedecked apparel. The New Braunfels Buc-ee’s is billed as the world’s largest convenience store. Buc-ee’s Beaver Nuggets are akin to Kellogg’s Corn Pops on steroids: crunchy and extra sweet.


Of course, we took it for granted that Buc-ee, in spite of being a beaver, would be rooting for the Horns!

It was around the time of our Buc-ee’s stop that I learned the bad news: Early that Friday morning, two Longhorn players had been accused of sexual assault. While the San Antonio police were sorting out of the facts of those allegations, one fact was undeniable: These two players broke their 11 p.m. curfew, and for that, they were suspended from the team and sent home.

When Coach Brown announced the suspensions, he didn’t name names. Brett said, “Well, you know it wasn’t McCoy!” I agreed, saying our two CoC boys, Case McCoy and Jaxon Shipley, would never put themselves in that situation.

Imagine my shock when I learned that Case was indeed one of the two suspended. The other was Jordan Hicks, which was nearly as shocking. What in the world? Granted, I don’t KNOW either of these players, but their reputations had been spotless. Case, especially. The brother of Colt and son of Brad, Case comes from a great, Christ-led family. On Twitter, Case has been known to post scriptures and encouraging messages. Upon hearing Case’s name, I posted my shock and disbelief on Facebook. It was hard enough to think he broke curfew; it was beyond belief that he would sexually assault anyone.

So far no one has been arrested, and no charges have been filed against either player. I pray for everyone’s sake that no sexual assault occurred. But good grief, is it frustrating and flat-out sad that this happened at all! Less than 48 hours until kickoff, and these two were out on the town? What would possess these “team leaders” to do that? Huge, ridiculous, dumb mistake. Football-wise, it didn’t seem to be as bad as it could’ve been (Hicks has missed most of the season with an injury, and Ash had already been named starter at QB). But for the accuser and accused?  Devastating.

Enough of that. On with the recap:

After the requisite San Antonio tourist stops, we were ready for the game. Brett headed back to the hotel, and the kids and I met the team buses for the pregame “stadium stampede.”




New play-caller, Major


DC Manny Diaz follows some of his guys


Disney Spirit Award winner Nate Boyer and more of the team


Defensive stud Alex Okafor greets a friend or family member




This guy really drew the paparazzi


Benny the Beaver: I’m thinking our mascot could take him.

After greeting the team, we wandered to the north side of the stadium for the fan fest. There Ryan and Katie found some old pals.






Inside the Alamodome, we discovered our seats provided us with a familiar view. (In DKR, our seats are in the corner of the endzone overlooking the band and Bevo.)



Oregon State’s twirling drum major: The dude could twirl and hurl that baton!


OSU band


LHB pregame




National anthem


LHN Texas Gameday crew (including Ricky Williams, second from left)


Here come the Horns!


So how was the game? Let’s just say our first half stunk. Our offensive play-calling was way too reminiscent of our Greg Davis days, which was frightening. We threw sideline passes. On third and 9, we threw for 5. Our O-line was not helping our RBs find daylight. It was an abysmal first half, yielding few (if any?) first downs. I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be our future with Major Applewhite calling the plays.

Fortunately, the second half told a different tale. Ash threw more, ran more, took a few more chances, and it made a huge difference. So what happened at halftime? One friend speculated that since we had no real backup QB, Major was conservative early, playing it safe. Thank goodness he took some risks in the second half.

Our defense also came to life in this game. Alex Okafor was on fire, registering 4.5 of Texas’ 10 sacks. After coming back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to take the 31-27 lead, our guys needed that D to hold on for the win.

Images from the game:





Kates with the Alamodome’s oft-advertised hand-dipped ice cream bar


Press box


LHB halftime


Halftime extravaganza celebrating the Alamo Bowl’s 20th anniversary


Offensive MVP Marquise Goodwin


Players greet fans postgame


The Eyes


Trophy presentation


Oak! Defensive MVP


Kenny Vaccaro and Mack Brown attempt to lift the heavy trophy


Fireworks and the s-l-o-w balloon drop


Hook ’em!

It was the most unlikeliest of wins, but we’ll take it! So will our strong quarter and a half give us the momentum we need to succeed in 2013? We can only hope. Too bad we have to wait until August to find out.

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By the way, while in San Antonio our family visited Fiesta Texas, the Riverwalk and the Alamo. We also hit a couple of used bookstores in SA and in ATX and ate lunch at our beloved Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin. Here’s a look at the rest of our weekend:

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We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. We love San Antone, and the city did not disappoint. I told the mayor that, and he agreed, retweeting me!

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How’s that for a nice howdy-do!

Until next season, HOOK ’EM.