A Press Conference & Luncheon, Charity Work, A Pep Rally, & A UNM Basketball Game!(NM) “DAY 166” – 12/17/10

December 20, 2010 - 11:00 am - (NM) “DAY 166” - Week 24 - State 22

To be honest... so much happened today that there is no way I’ll be able to capture it all since I’m behind on my posts.  I will write in further detail than this but, I went to the NM Bowl press conference and luncheon, did charity work, went to the NM Bowl Pep Rally, and finished my day at “The Pit” for a New Mexico Lobo Men’s basketball game.

Whew!  That was a lot to write and I didn’t even get into the sub-stories within the stories.  That is where this post will be shortened, in all the real cool stuff that happened throughout the day.

For example: Meeting Bob Wischusen from ESPN who grew up in Westfield, NJ and lives in Cranford, NJ now (those two towns border where I grew up in NJ) or meeting Jenn Brown (the hot ESPN sideline reporter) or telling you the details of Coach Dick Tomey Luncheon speech (which was great).  It goes on and on and on! 🙂

OK, let’s just start from the beginning and see what I can tell you in an hour of writing.  (I just finished typing after 2:50 minutes of writing.)

Press Conference - Hard Rock Casino
Now, luckily for me the press conference was in Hard Rock this morning because I had a room here last night (that worked out great!).  But, I didn’t have a room here tonight and I didn’t know where I was gonna stay yet.

So, my problem was... I had the press conference at 10:30 am downstairs in one of their rooms which was to last until 11:45 pm, then it was immediately followed by a huge luncheon that would last until 2 pm but I had to be out of the room at noon.  You see what I mean?  (I did work it out by getting a 2 pm late check out but it was a major to-do.)

Attending The Press Conference
Basically, this is the press conference the day before the game is where all the media gets a chance to interview the head coaches and players who are seated right next to each other at a long table. (With the NM Bowl logo in the background, you’ve all seen this before in some sport.)

Anyway, I stayed for the whole press conference as I listened to everything that was said but I didn’t ask any questions of my own.  I left that to the local reporters for both teams who obviously have a greater knowledge of the teams and coaches involved.

Like I said, the press conference lasted for about an hour but it was followed by a bunch of smaller interviews that happened after they left the actual press table.

During this time, I spoke to Coach Price (UTEP) for a few minutes about the game and his program.  I have always like coach Price for I have interviewed him in the past when I did a radio show on 860 ESPN in Phoenix when he was head coach of Washington St..

Luncheon In The Hard Rock Ballroom or Whatever... A Huge Room!
Now, if I wanted to get into the details of this event, it could a last 3 pages but I don’t have the time and I’m sure you don’t want to read it. 😉  So I’ll give you the cliff notes from the event.

For starters, everybody was at this event unlike the last two (Wed or Thur night).  What I mean is, not only were both teams here but so were the bands, the mascots, the families of the players, the media, and anybody and everybody involved with the 5th Annual New Mexico Bowl.  This was a awesome and massive function! 🙂

Since the bands were there, the event started with both bands and their cheerleaders doing a show.  Needless to say, everybody goes wild for their own team’s band. This leads to a really cool environment. 🙂

After that, a ton of guest speakers took the mic ranging from the Mayor of Albuquerque to the New Mexico Bowls first winning Head Coach Dick Tomey.

F.Y.I. - Dick Tomey was selected as the main guest speaker because he coached San Jose St. to a 20-12 win over New Mexico in the inaugural game.  And... Coach gave a great speech!

There is a ton more I could talk about but the last thing I will mention is how cool the trophies were for the MVP award and the Bowl winner.  These trophies are hand made art by a local Indian artist and they were unbelievable looking.  Real cool!

Charity Work Time - Toy Drive For Kids
It was almost 2 pm so I went back to my room, grabbed my things, and rushed to my car so I get to the toy drive I was volunteering at today (2 pm - 6 pm-ish).

F.Y.I. - I have nowhere to stay tonight yet and don’t even have time to find a room right now.  Ahhh!  Not having a place is the most stressful part of my journey.

Anyway, the Church where the toy drive was located was about 15 miles away so I got there around 2:15 pm.  Although I was late, I was in time because they weren’t gonna start handing out toys until 3 pm and the set-up was only 20 minutes or so.

My Job For The Day
After helping with the set-up, my job was to greet everybody at the door, ask how old their child was, and then walk them to the appropriate table for their age group.

This was great because I could talk to everybody there and really get a feel for how cool this experience was for the kids involved, who might not have otherwise gotten much if anything this year for X-Mas.

The rush of people lasted for about an hour and after that some people trickled in one at time for the remaining hour or two.  When I wasn’t greeting people, I was helping Eldridge and the others hand out toys at the line in the back of the room.

Oh yeah, Eldridge was my contact for this toy drive and he set it up himself (I think), either way it was a great event and I’m glad I met him and had the opportunity to help out. 🙂

Hanging Officer David
At some point during the time I was there, I hung out and talked with Officer David of the Albuquerque police department.  He was there as security in case crazy Mom’s started fighting over donated gifts for their children. 😉

Anyway, he was great guy as we discussed a ton of stuff, from gangs in the area (which are some of the worst in the nation (apparently), to women in our lives (or past women), to sports or whatever.  He was the kind of guy I would chill with if I lived in NM, one cool cop!

I stayed until the very end of the toy drive and loved every minute of it!  It was an awesome thrill helping out kids and seeing them actually enjoy it right in front of me.

I say this because when I have worked for other charities in the past few months (mainly  kitchen work), you see the kids there and they are sad.  So seeing a bunch of kids here very happy was a nice change of pace for me with my charity work!

New Mexico Bowl Pep Rally At The Football Stadium
It was 5:30 when I left doing charity work and... the Pep Rally started at 5:30.  Ahhh!  I am just to busy!  And... I still I have all my stuff with me because I have nowhere to stay yet.

I arrived at the North parking lot of the stadium and again... both team’s band’s were there playing it up and getting the crowd excited.

Cheerleaders Compete
The Pep Rally had a few components.  First, each team’s cheerleaders got on stage and had a cheer contest.  I was a fan of the BYU cheerleaders because they were my kind of hot (blonde with blue eyes). 🙂  Both teams did a good job and were entertaining!

Mascot Time
Not only were the bands and cheerleaders there but so were the mascots!  On BYU’s side was Cosmo the BYU Cougar and for UTEP was the best mascot I have seen in the entire country (including Lil’ Red from Neb.), Pete the UTEP Miner!

Pete kicked ass as he was the just down right the best around!  He was always on and maybe it’s just outfit... but I couldn’t be around Pete and not have a good time!  🙂

Anyway, there was a mascot dance-off on stage between the two teams mascots and Pete was so impressive, that at one point a BYU player grabbed the mic and tipped his hat to mighty Miner, Pete!  I could go on and on about how entertaining he was but I don’t have the time! 😉

New Mexico Lobo Basketball Game “The Pit”
It was almost 7 pm by now and right across the from the football field was the basketball stadium named... “The Pit”.  The UNM Lobo basketball team is very good and has been the last couple of years so in Albuquerque, this is the hot ticket!

Now, I didn’t have ticket to the game but like that matters. 😉  All I did was walk up to the gate end explain to the ticket guy that I was in town and covering the NM bowl (which I am).  And... whola... I was in the arena, known as “The Pit”.

1st Half
After talking my way in and walking the whole arena to get a feel of the landscape, I found my way to mid-court seats about 10 rows up.  F.Y.I. - This stadium is shaped like a pit and there is no other stadium like it.  Not to mention, it’s very very loud in here!

After watching the first half with the local fans (meaning town’s people), I found my way over to where all the excitement was... the student section!

The Student Section
This student section was very rowdy and extremely well organized.  I say that because they handed out sheets at the beginning of the game with different numbered chants on it.

And, when a player from the other team was at the foul line or other situations, they would hold up a board with the number on it and the whole section would do that chant/cheer.  It was very cool as well a ton of fun for the fans/students in that section! 🙂

Anyway, I was in the second row (5 feet from the floor) seated (well standing) right next to all the students who were gong crazy all game.  Directly to my right was sophomore from Sante Fe, NM named Kyle.

Kyle and I hung out and bull shitted for the whole second half of the game.  Our conversations were mainly about college basketball but we also talked a little about my trip.  We were just a few feet from cheerleaders dong backflips so we were also mesmerized part of the time. 😉

Oh yeah, I’m at a basketball game.  New Mexico was playing Longwood or Longbeach (I don’t remember), what I do remember was that the Lobos were real good and had a two 7 foot centers who could run the floor with soft hands.  They are gonna be tough in the tourney.

An Alarm Goes Off With 7 Minutes Remaining
With about 7 minutes remaining in the game, a fire alarm went off and then a man came on the microphone and told everybody to evacuate the arena.  It was surreal because nobody left the arena! (Right: during the evacuation! :))

Really, the fire alarm is going off and everybody is just standing there.  You’d think it would be the reverse scenario where people were trampling others just to get to an exit!  But no... nobody did a thing and just stayed in their seats as if nothing was happening.  Freaking crazy!

Even crazier is... I just stood there with them! 🙂  Now, we couldn’t smell smoke or see a fire but if there was bomb in the building and Jack Bauer (24 - Keiffer Sutherland) was in the basement trying to defuse it with just seconds left... we all would have died! (Well, Jack would have saved us but you get the picture.) 😉

Since nobody was leaving, I took this opportunity to get a picture on the basketball court as well as one on the court with 2 cheerleaders who were really confused on whether or not to evacuate The Pit. 😉

After about 10 minutes of nobody leaving, the announcer came on again and said this is not a drill and everybody really needed to leave the arena, again this is not drill, everybody really needs to leave the arena.  LOL

Again, how can I make fun of anybody... I was one of the people who wasn’t leaving, not to mention I was on the court about as far away from an exit as I could have been.  It’s just to funny!

The last announcement finally shock some sense into everybody as the crowd calmly started to leave the stadium.  It was calmest fire evacuation imaginable.  Seriously, I could have been in Guinness again for the slowest fire evacuation in history!  LOL

F.Y.I. - There was a fire and it was in the kitchen.  I don’t think it was that bad and I’m not sure if they resumed the game because I left after the evacuation.  UNM was up by 18 points or so when the incident happened.

Finding A Place To Stay
It was now almost 10 pm and I had been going non-stop all day, so much so I didn’t have a place to stay yet.  Since nothing came up during all the events, I found my way back to the Motel 6 I stayed at on Wednesday and paid $38 for another night.

I hate getting a room so late in the day because I feel like I’m wasting money but I had no choice, I was exhausted and really needed to lay my head down on a pillow.  Not to mention, I had to be up at 9 am for the N.M. Bowl in the morning.

So, for the rest of the night, all I did was stay in my room and upload pictures from the day/days.  There were over 450 pictures I had to file, name, and upload.  It took me 3 hours and then I passed out with more work left to do.  Ahhh!  Not enough time in the day! 😉

Thanks for reading!

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Comments (4)

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  1. Matt says:

    Dude that pic of the back flipping cheerleaders is great.

  2. DAD says:

    What an incredible day of events but the most rewarding is always, charity work.
    I’m exhausted keeping up.

  3. Casey says:

    Living the dream! GO ROOSTER!!!!

  4. David Taylor says:

    The website is great Rooster. Glad I got to meet you when you were working at the Rescue Mission. If you are ever in Albuquerque again shoot me an e-mail and we will hang out. Or you can go on a ride along with me in the crazy city.

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