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Students: Sports up your parents

Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 22, 2004
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As the old folks start to roll in this weekend, and the foreseeable traffic brings back nightmares of my short stint on the 405 in L.A., we know that the 2004 Family Weekend fiasco is upon us yet again.

Most students bite their nails the week before, wondering what are they going to do with the empty bottles of Mickey's covering their windowsills and Bob Marley posters covering their walls.

The one thing that shouldn't be a worry is finding things to occupy your time.

With weather more than perfect this time of year, the excellent sports opportunities that surround us are an easy way to get through the weekend without either parent or child throwing a shoe.

Volleyball - Friday, McKale Center, 7 p.m.

Sure, volleyball might not be your idea of a night under the stars, but no students should ever allow their parents to miss an Arizona-Arizona State match-up.

Unlike our football team, the volleyball gals are ranked in the top 25 and are playing a lesser foe in the Sun Devils.

Again, if a parent shouldn't miss any part of the intrastate rivalry, they definitely shouldn't miss one where the Wildcats will kick some Sun Devil ass.

Hit up McKale for just a few minutes, if only to show the family the banners of Steve Kerr, Sean Elliot and the 1997 NCAA Basketball Championship.

Tailgating - Saturday, north McKale lawn, 11 a.m.

So it isn't a Southeastern Conference game or a Raiders-Broncos rivalry, but the tailgating at Arizona has continually improved over the last three years.

Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, people with vehicles under 30 feet long are allowed on the grounds for $55.

That means if you grab five families, throw them all in the back of the truck with a keg of Miller High Life, you're paying $100 for five hours of fun!

It isn't just sitting around and drinking, though.

You'll find tailgates backed up just enough to lay a creative beer pong on top, with competitive games throughout the sunny afternoon.

Guys, think: it isn't a bonding experience to ask your pops to watch the bounce as you retrieve the first errant shot?

Gals: think your dad wouldn't be impressed to know that you've learned in your short stay in Tucson how to make that last cup without breaking a sweat?

Football game - Saturday, Arizona Stadium, 4 p.m.

The negatives of this experience:

  • We're playing a team that nearly stripped the top ranking away from Southern California.

  • We're playing a top 10 team for the first time this year.

  • We are 0-2 against ranked teams this year.

  • We go to the University of Arizona.

    The positives:

  • Hopefully, your parents can either remember the days when Arizona had a competitive football team or will remember the days when they went to a school that had a competitive football program.

  • Everyone in attendance will be looking for an Arizona loss, so an upset in this game would make the weekend for anyone watching.

  • It seems as though if the football team steps up, it usually does in front of the parents. Last year against UCLA, the Wildcats had a chance to win twice, but came away empty both times. Nick Folk missed a 28-yard field goal to cap off one drive, and Nic Costa threw an interception in the waning minutes to end another. Nonetheless, Arizona only lost by three points.

    In 2000, Arizona defeated Washington State - complete with students rushing the field at Arizona Stadium - 43-37 in a double overtime thriller.

    In the following two seasons, Arizona mounted comebacks to put the game within reach on family weekend - first against Southern California, then against Washington State again. Both opponents managed late scores to stave off the Wildcats, but the games were more than competitive outings during otherwise woeful seasons.

    Sunday - Golf with the Parents

    Although it is over-seed season and tough to find a place that doesn't have hairy greens, Tucson is still a great place to play golf.

    Arizona National, the course our golf team calls home, is only $45 after 2 p.m.

    The course is set in Sabino Canyon and is a great place to show family what desert golf is all about.

    Whew. Was that only three days? Don't worry, Homecoming is just a week away, and the families will be back before you know it.

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