Posts Tagged ‘Snapdragon stadium’

First game at Snapdragon. Hot as blazes. 100 degrees at kickoff . . . at 12:30 p.m. . . . in Mission Valley . . . on September third. Abnormal plus.

We were dropped off at the game by Francisco who knew the San Diego Mission Road shortcut. He saved us a minimum of forty minutes otherwise spent on the 15 waiting to access Friars Road. Should have been a good sign, alas, not so much. However, bless Francisco.

Walking up to Snapdragon from the east was a blaze of not only heat, but also a hundred plus shade pop-ups to the south providing shade for the many, many dedicated pre-game gatherings. Reminded me of a concert or Fourth of July at Pacific Beach. A dozen-plus food carts lined Victory Drive. Plenty of food choice ranging from tacos to Banh Mi. Entering Snapdragon was a breeze (perhaps not the best word to use given the heat). Approximately ten food vendors are found inside the stadium. All have at least two serving facilities. Waiting was minimal. The beer vendors (dominated by Alesmith) were overwhelmed given the thirst of tens of thousands Aztec fans. My first beverage (I was good and chose nothing higher than a 4.7 abv the entire game. Sainthood awaits. And a statue) lasted perhaps ten minutes. The most satisfying, hydrating moment of the day. Viewing the field from the north (overlooking the student section) was akin to the first time I walked into a baseball stadium and witnessed the green jewel of grass. Perfect.

After taking a few photos and short videos for family and friends, we veered west and were pleasantly surprised to enjoy the shade and breeze of the concourse. We made our way toward the Pier (our seats are nearby). The din of noise reminded me of pre-game Fenway or Wrigley. Excitement buzzed, conversation and laughter. More people wearing Aztec gear in one place than ever before.

Ten minutes before kickoff, we found our seats . . . in full sun, as was more than half of Snapdragon. The entire east side of Snapdragon was bathed in sun. Almost the entire crowd could be seen in the shade of the east concourse. The aforementioned student section, and also the SDSU band section, is the north side. Pure heat. The students survived the day until halftime. Most joined the spectacle of chasing shade. A California record must have been set for most people at a sporting event seeking any form, no matter how slight, of shade. The SDSU band members were rotated from their piece of the north section to shade to prevent the ill effect of wearing a heavy band uniform in 100 degree heat.

I realize the optics via the CBS national broadcast must have looked suspect at best. People, the day was miserably hot! Survival ruled! Chase shade! Optics be damned!

By 2:00 p.m., the sun shifted just enough to the south to allow our section shade from about halfway up. Appreciated relief.

Now, to the game. I noted a bevy of recruits on the Aztec sideline. I have never seen recruits on the SDSU sideline during the first home game of the year. Coach Hoke and staff are taking immediate advantage of showing off the new digs to impress possible future Aztec football players.

The crowd was loud from the moment the Aztecs ran out of the tunnel onto the field. Third downs received crowd noise galore. A sense of football knowledge was present.

What was absent was tackling. The number of missed tackles from Aztec defenders was two dozen plus (turns out Caden MacDonald claimed thirty-five misses). Wildcat running backs (especially) broke three and four attempts to bring them down. The Arizona offense was no-huddle the entire first half. The Aztec defense could not adjust.

The Aztec passing offense was elsewhere. Braxton Burmeister had a whopping ten attempts. Will Haskell had six. Jeff Hecklinski was devoted to the run (42 rushes) at the expense of offensive balance. I trust his Idaho State game plan will reel back the running game in favor of at least twenty-four throws downfield. Mr. Burmeister had a bad case of happy feet. He fled the pocket far too soon too often.

In the end, Arizona was the better team.

0-1/0-0.

Go Aztecs