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News Family Weekend Special
Commentary: A Family Weekend full of sports

Branden Lombardi
Staff Writer
By Branden Lombardi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 10, 2003

Ah, Family Weekend, the time of year when families head to the UA to check up on their investments - er, children.

This is the weekend to swindle free meals that consist of more than Top Ramen and visit stores that don't take the Catcard as payment.

Family Weekend is a special time of year when the university plans activities to keep families busy the entire weekend.

While every smart Wildcat should take their parents through the union, give them a campus tour that includes the Joseph Wood Krutch Cactus Garden, and help that overbearing parent track down that professor that failed you on your first midterm, it leaves much to be desired for the sports family.

Lucky for you, here is a schedule that will keep the sports family happily entertained the entire weekend.

Who knows, a good sports weekend may help take the sting out of those grades you are waiting to tell your parents about.

If your parents arrive early enough on Friday the allure of fairways and greens should be fairly strong. Tucson has several golf courses to choose from.

Don't think about playing Arizona National Golf Club this weekend, the home of the Wildcat golf teams. It's closed for over-seeding, a necessary evil for Arizona desert golf.

Tough luck, but in reality it's probably better you and your family won't have the chance to pull a Spaulding on this beautiful golf course.

I would suggest heading to 600 S. Alvernon Way, where you will find the Randolph North Golf Course.

Randolph North may seem tame with its park-like setting, but it is good enough for the LPGA to visit every March, plus the rates this weekend will save you a few Benjamins over those high-priced resort courses - $25 before 11 a.m. and $21 after.

SAUL LOEB/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA QB Ryan O'Hara loses control of the ball as he is hit by Louisiana State University DE Jarvus Ryes on September 6. O‰Hara completed seven of 20 passing attempts, and threw one interception in the loss to LSU.

Make sure to reserve your tee time: (520) 791-4161; the locals love this course.

After an enjoyable afternoon, take the family over to a local hot spot, Old Chicago, at 2960 N. Campbell Ave. With its gourmet pizzas, calzones and other exciting menu choices, not to mention a fine collection of beers - 110 - to be exact - this is the perfect place to catch Game 3 of the NLCS. The Cubbies and Marlins get underway in Game 3 at 5 p.m. local time.

Besides the baseball game Friday night, Michigan and Minnesota lock up in a Big Ten showdown, also starting at 5. Lucky for you, Old Chicago has plenty of televisions for your viewing pleasure.

Make sure Saturday doesn't start too early, but plan to meet your parents at 11 a.m. at the fountain at Old Main.

Show off what you have learned in college and point out that the UA is where they filmed one of the greatest movies of all time: "Revenge of the Nerds."

After impressing your parents with your knowledge, take a leisurely stroll across campus to the Eddie Lynch Pavilion.

Here, you will find the Jim Click Hall of Champions, a tribute to Arizona Athletics that should not be missed. Don't worry, it's free - a word every parent loves to hear, especially my dad.

Inside, browse replica lockers representing all nineteen of the intercollegiate sports played here at the UA, pose with the Sears Trophy presented to the 1997 men's basketball team, and view the other national championship trophies and awards won by Wildcat athletes over the years.

After you're done with Wildcat nostalgia, take the parents to another location rich in UA and Tucson tradition: BisonWitches. Hopefully, the wait won't be too long, but grab whatever seat is available and enjoy!

While eating a half B.W. Philly and enjoying a bread bowl of cream of broccoli soup, enjoy watching one of the oldest rivalries in sports as the Yankees and BoSox square off in Game 3 of the ALCS at 1 p.m. local time.

DAVID HARDEN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
New Arizona head football coach Mike Hankwitz leads the Wildcats into battle tomorrow against UCLA. Kickoff is set for 3:40 p.m. at Arizona Stadium. The game is also televised on Fox Sports Net.

Don't linger for too long, as the 3:40 kickoff at Arizona Stadium will sneak up on you.

UCLA comes to town after dismantling a ranked Washington opponent, but week two of the Happy Days era in Tucson will hopefully yield better results.

Don't hold your breath for a Wildcat victory, but enjoy the game with your family and show them the ropes of the Wildcat traditions: the keys, the red shirts, and, if you know the words, teach them "Bear Down."

The words are available at for those of you inclined to learn them. Click on the link that says "traditions" on the left side of the page.

Following the game, take the family back to Fourth Avenue and O‰Malley's Bar and Grill. Grab a table near the TVs, order up some food and enjoy the bevy of sports on the tube.

The atmosphere is great, and no matter the outcome of the game, one of the largest bars in Tucson is there to help you celebrate a Wildcat victory - or soften the blow of another loss.

Game 4 of the NLCS between the Cubs and Marlins starts at 4:30 p.m. local time, but could still be going on by the time our game ends.

If baseball is over, check out several college games that should still be on, including Georgia vs. Tennessee, Ohio St. vs. Wisconsin or Stanford vs. USC.

On Sunday, end the perfect sports weekend by heading over to my favorite place in all of Tucson: Dirtbag's. You all know where it is, even if you have never been there. I strongly suggest ordering the Dirtburger with cheese and Dirtfries - make sure to get them spicy! Sit out on the patio and enjoy the food, your family and some football as the weekend comes to a close.

And now might be a good time to bring up those grades.

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