Sam Adams' Sun Bowl Blog: Day Two - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Sam Adams' Sun Bowl Blog: Day Two

EL PASO, Texas -

Well, that was an action-packed Thursday in El Paso. From my first gander at Sun Bowl Stadium to a new coaching hire for Washington State, there was not a dull moment on Christmas Eve.

I started the morning bright and early at the site of this year's Sun Bowl, the aptly-named Sun Bowl Stadium.  It reminded me of my old stomping grounds at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.  It's a mini-me version of the Rose Bowl, but nestled into the rugged rocks at UTEP.  There are sweeping 360-degree views from the hillside, looking down at the city lights of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.  Yes, Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, and I can see Mexico from my live shot.

Patrick Erickson and I did a series of live shots for the KHQ Wake Up Show, with Patrick capping off the morning with a golf cart drive around the stadium.  Typically I'm the funnyman on these road trips, but Patrick is on comedy duty this time around apparently.  Luckily no groundskeepers were hurt during his shenanigans.

After that, it was back to the media hotel near the El Paso Airport.  WSU and Miami held a mid-morning press conference for the team's coordinators.  I like to be the first to set up my gear for these press conferences, and my preparedness paid off when Miami moved up its schedule by 30 minutes with no warning for any of the other media.  Almost every coach started by profusely thanked the host city for its incredible hospitality during the week. Sometimes that's just lip service, but here it's completely genuine.  Give El Paso credit... they know they are low on the bowl totem pole, but they more than make up for it with their effort to make everyone feel welcome.

If you thought a sportscaster's job was filled with taking in games and looking pretty on tv, that's about maybe 5% of the job.  Most of today was filled with shooting and editing, which I happen to enjoy in a strange way.  After shooting the press conference, I hustled over to the Socorro Athletic Complex to cover WSU's last day of practice.  On a side note, anyone out there using Waze?  I just found out about this app last week, and it's come in very handy.  Great for navigation with helpful tips about highway patrol being stationed along the freeway -- er, I mean, disabled cars on the side of the road.  Anyways, after shooting the first 15 minutes of practice (everything afterward is locked down from the media), I patiently waited to interview Mike Leach at the end of the afternoon.  The big topic today was the addition of Dave Nichol to the coaching staff.  On any other day, this would be a mere footnote to a sportscast, but much like the Super Bowl, everything is amplified during the Sun Bowl.  Yes, I just put Super Bowl and Sun Bowl in the same sentence.

My first speed bump for the trip came on the drive back to the hotel, when the GPS shut down after my morning and afternoon of Tweeting, GPS'ing, taking pictures, and making phone calls completely drained my phone's battery.  After a few wrong turns -- luckily none into Mexico -- I managed to make it back to the hotel to edit, shower up, and get ready for our 5 & 6 pm live shots.

Okay, enough boring stuff.  Now the good part.  On our way back from our liveshots, we made a detour to Chico's Tacos.  It's tough finding a place open for dinner on Christmas Eve, but luckily Chico's came through for us.  According to local lore, it's an El Paso institution.  How do I describe Chico's?  Think Dick's Hamburgers in Spokane, but with tacos.  So good.

And with that, I bid you farewell on this Christmas Eve night.  If you're reading this, you better get to sleep before Santa comes down that chimney.  And I better charge my batteries -- literally.  We have another busy day coming up on Christmas.  The Sun Bowl is almost here!

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