2022 Year in Review

The Somanystadiums 2022 tour wasn’t cheap, but it was memorable. As usual, I made some mid-season course corrections and a late double header weekend in Kansas was dropped. However, anytime you can knock out ten games and pick up a bonus game in LSU, you’ve had a good year.

It was a heavy travel year that started with back to back weekends in Colorado. We started by seeing the Buffs get trampled by the Horned Frogs. Arguably this may have been the worst match up of the year, given that TCU finished number two in the country and Colorado was the consensus winner(?) of the Bottom Ten rankings. The only thing worse than the game were the kids from the Colorado student section that leaked up into the seats next to us. I love college students but at a distance. Thankfully our bounce back at Wyoming the next day was fantastic. We had great weather and saw the Cowboys grab a big OT win. Our faith in college football was fully restored. After a week of hiking and sight-seeing, we returned to see Air Force also lay the wood on the hapless Buffaloes. If not for the company, the cold and wet day would have been a bust. As it was, I apparently had picked up Covid somewhere during the week and my symptoms were just starting to show. We really did like Colorado Springs, but it wasn’t a great finish to the weekend.

Surprisingly, after a couple of days of rest, I had only some light, lingering congestion. I thought I might have to cancel my trip to Washington, but my earlier vaccinations helped my body recovery quickly and I was essentially symptom free in a few days. After discussing with my travel buddy who was also getting over a cold, we decided both of us were sufficiently recovered to make the trip. We spent a long weekend tramping around the Palouse, squeezing in the first half of the Drake – Idaho game before hitting the main event at Washington State. There we watched the game from the posh confines of the Coaches Club enjoying great food and drink. The only thing that marred the day was that we were treated to another beating of a hapless Colorado football team. The Colorado State Rams weren’t much better than the Buffs, and WSU rolled in a game that was essentially over by the end of the first quarter.

I was rolling into my fourth straight weekend and sixth game when I found out the couple that was to join us for a reunion weekend at Texas Tech was going to have to cancel. This led to a mad scramble to find someone, anyone who would be willing to go with me. My good mate, Andy, stepped up big and made the long trip to Lubbock to see Texas Tech host UT. Thankfully, we were rewarded with one of the best games of the year. An overtime upset of a bitter rival is a sight to see and we had a first when we joined the student body in rushing the field. It made 16 hours in the car (almost) worth it.

There was no rest for the wicked as less than a week later I was off to Utah for another double header weekend. BYU is what you’d expect: good, clean fun and a pastry the length of your arm. The University of Utah, on the other, has tailgating that can compete with any of the classics venues. While the games were not great, the overall experience was very thumbs up.

After five weeks on a road, it was nice to get a weekend off. This gave me some time to recharge prior to the annual weekend with the 9 O’clock Club. While Maryland versus Indiana may not have been a marquee matchup from a rankings perspective, the game was not without merit and the tailgating was superb. It was a pleasant surprise and made for a weekend full of memories. The next weekend I was off, or I was until I got a call early Friday evening to see if I wanted to head over to see Ole Miss play LSU. My first game at LSU was a bit of a disappointment, mainly because it was hotter than a Mumbai laundromat. I had always wanted to go back and with the visiting Rebels being undefeated, I could not turn down the opportunity. This time we had local connections we could rely on which made the experience top tier. However, the trip also wore me out and convinced me I didn’t have enough steam left for the Kansas trip. It was shame because the scheduling aligned where I could have hit both the Jayhawks and Wildcats. I have been hoping to avoid two weekends in Kansas but that might not be possible.

My final game was at Sam Houston State and while technically in the FCS this year, they are jumping to the FBS next year. Additionally I was moving back to Virginia after the season was over and this game was to be a quasi-retirement party. It meant a big tailgate with about forty guests. Fortunately the current state of Bearkat tailgating provided an excellent opportunity to host a proper tailgate with two tents, lots of grub and refreshments. It was a fine end to the season and an excellent way to close-out the state of Texas. It was a great year albeit an expensive one with all the travel as the stats below bear out.

Games and Teams

Total Games Attended: 11, up 2 from 2021

Best Team Seen: TCU – The Horned Frogs had a helluva run.

Final AP Top Twenty-Five Teams Seen: 5  (#2 TCU, #10 Utah, #16 LSU, #17 Oregon State, #25 Texas)

Worst Team: 1 -11 Colorado, (#1 in the Bottom 10). Honorable mention to Colorado State.

Best Game Seen: Texas Tech 37 – Texas 34, 9/24/22. -Texas Tech’s first home win over Texas in 12 years

Worst Game Seen:  Washington State 38 – Colorado State 7: Over after first quarter.

Bowl Game Teams Seen: 15

The Players

College Award winners seen: Four, Davey O’Brien QB award Max Duggan TCU (although he was actually on the bench in the Colorado game), Doak Walker – RB Bijan Robinson, UT, Jim Thorpe DB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson TCU, Coach of Year, Sonny Dykes TCU.

All Americans: 10, with 3 on the first team.

The Stadiums (of 2022 visits)

Best Stadium: LaVell Edwards Stadium – BYU, Provo, Utah. One of the most dramatic views in college football.

Worst Stadium: Bowers Stadium – Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. Not a fair fight really, given they are still in the FCS.

Best Game Day Experience: Indiana Memorial Stadium – University of Indiana, Bloomington, IA. Tailgating in the Grass Lots is superb, affordable and with a little planning, available to anyone.

Easiest Stadium to Get To: Falcon Stadium – U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. Easy drive from Denver, and entrance and exit into the Academy is run with military precision.

Hardest Stadium to Get To: Jones AT&T Stadium – Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX. Lubbock is a long way from anywhere, whether by plane or car.

Best Concessions: LaVell Edwards Stadium – BYU, Provo, Utah. The Cougar Tail is legendary and the legend is all true.

Worst Concessions: Folsom Field – University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Grab and Go style concessions have a long way to go. Not efficient, not enough and no souvenir cup.

Best Souvenir: War Memorial Stadium, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. Free bobble heads, even if they are of the team announcers, always win the day.

Worst Souvenir: Colorado, my fault I bought a hat and a t-shirt. They aren’t worthy of both.

Best Cup: A slew of good cups this year. Sam Houston State gets the nod for a classic design, but Wyoming was not far behind.

Worst Cup: BYU’s was a bit weak, but at least they had a cup. Shame on you Colorado.

The Costs

Total Season Spend: $7,300 ($6,600 ex mileage) made this the most expense year ever. Flying all over the place was not cheap; Ave per Game: ~$739 (ex mileage ~$660) up over $200

Most Expensive Ticket: Oregon State vs Utah – $185 actual (Stubhub) with a $75 face

Cheapest Ticket: Tie, Idaho and Washington State – Free thanks to Doug’s extensive network

Average Ticket Price Paid: $46 (up $15 over 2021)

Average Savings on Tickets over Face Value: $12 saved per ticket


Miles Driven: ~2,056  vs 1,500 in 2021

Miles Flown: ~5,551 (Denver, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Chicago)

Two Game Weeks: Three – Colorado / Wyoming, Idaho / WSU, BYU / Utah

Best Fans: Indiana. Plenty of sharing going around in the Indiana Grass Lots.

Worst Fans: Colorado. I don’t want to sound like the grumpy old man, but the kids at Colorado were killing me. A stark contrast to great ones we met at IU.

Most Pleasant Surprise: Wyoming. We heard lots of criticism before we got to Laramie, but we had a great time there.

Most Unpleasant Surprise: University of Colorado football team – watching them play twice was brutal.

Lesson Learned / Re-affirmed: Never, ever arrive into O’Hare after 10am on a Friday. Any later and your Friday night is going to be ruined.

My Regular Season Pick Record: 26 – 20 Not too shabby but a decline versus the prior year.


At 104 stadiums. The planning won’t be easy, but the memories will be worth it. Got to savor it now.




Congrats Georgia on your back to back National Championships!

I hate to say I told you so, but, yeah, I told you so. TCU got to the national championship on a wing and a prayer. They had a great season and were very entertaining throughout the season. However, Georgia wins that game seven, probably eight times out of ten. The SEC also defends their title as the best conference but given that Georgia was pretty much out played by Ohio State in the semi-finals for most of the game, the line between the SEC and Big 10 is getting razor thin. Nonetheless, congrats to the Georgia Bulldogs.


New Year, Same SEC Scenario

As much as I want to say TCU will beat Georgia in the College Football National Championship, I will believe it when I see it. It was great to have two playoff games be actually competitive. Both of the games were very entertaining and made for good New Year’s Eve entertainment, far better then whatever was being rolled out by Ryan Seacrest, et all. Haven’t we all had enough of seeing drunk donks milling about Times Square? Unlike the previous season’s playoff blowouts, all four team showed up, mostly. Michigan was a bit late, but eventually the real Wolverines arrived. It was strange to see TCU try to hold a lead when all they did this year was comeback in almost every game they played. Except, notably, the game I saw them in at Colorado where they steamrolled the Buffs. While TCU deserves to be in the championship, I would not blame the Michigan faithful feeling a bit cheated. I have seen some bad calls in my day, but the video reversal of the Wolverine endzone catch by Roman Wilson was atrocious. It should never have been overturned. I have less of an issue with the lack of a targeting call on final play of the game, but you see similar hits of that nature get called a targeting every week during the regular season. Hard to say what impact either of these calls would have on the result of the game, but suffice it to say they wouldn’t have been positive for TCU. The Horned Frogs earned the right to play for the national title, but it feels like Michigan was the better team, if only ever so slightly.

Thankfully, there was no such controversary with the second game. It was non-stop action at the Peach Bowl. When Georgia went ahead with 54 seconds, I thought they scored too soon. It looked that way when the Buckeyes made it inside the Bulldog forty in short order. The Ohio State offense either stalled or the coaches got conservative with their play calling, settling instead for kicking the field goal for the win. Unfortunately, the kick was pulled left from the start and the SEC has another team in the championship game again. It isn’t though the Bulldogs don’t deserve it, but ugh, I am really tired of the SEC winning the championship.

As for the other bowl games, it was generally feast or famine. There were either great games / upsets or massive blow outs. For me, having a man cave with multiple tv’s is critical to optimizing the experience. We were in the process of moving and I didn’t get my temporary man cave fully up and running until right before New Years Eve. To my dismay, my current rendition only has two TVs. (Yes, my life is one of very small grievances – first world problems indeed). Unfortunately, I missed most of the bowl season. Luckily, I was up and running for FBS playoff games and did manage to catch Tulane’s amazing upset of USC in the Cotton Bowl. It was a great reminder of why I love college football. Let’s hope the national championship game continues to reinforce that sentiment.

TCU gets warm welcome from the Colorado students

A note interesting only to me:

My wife says to me “Who’s in the national championship again?”

Me: “Georgia and Texas Christian University – TCU”

Wife: “Hey, I saw them, didn’t I? Where was that again?”

“Colorado” I answered, realizing that my wife has about one tenth of one percent of the interest I have in college football.

Lastly, I would be remiss in not recognizing the plight of Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills DB who collapsed on the field after making a tackle on a kick return. My brother’s heart stopped in a similar fashion while he was exercising and was, thankfully, revived by the fortuitous chance coincidence of paramedics being very nearby. After a stint in intensive care, including a drug induced coma, he made a full recovery and with a special pacemaker in place, continues to workout every day. While my brother’s forty time pales in comparison to Hamlin’s, I am hopeful that Damar makes a similar recovery.

That’s all I got – enjoy that national championship.


Things that got us thru in 2022

“Tailgates funded by the Industrial – Military complex”, the ribbon of covid germs and the sweet smoke of Mary Jane floating above the Buffalo student section, rental car downgrades, shared sun screen, free bobble heads, “The top of the mountain is just around the bend”, well-traveled dormitory beds, “It never rains this hard in Colorado Springs – well, I only need to make it until halftime”, $10 seatbacks, not dancing with “Ruthie” at the Wrangler, an awkward representative of the Idaho Liquor Control Board, free meatballs, being on the President’s drink list, huckleberry syrup, 100 miles of windmills, “It’s a dry heat”, the whitest place in America, “Why would anyone steal a somanystadiums.com sign?”, Engineering lab restrooms, Utes mom’s sneaking ‘pre-game, get me through this game’ fireball shot, the mother-in-law suite, banned pumpkin spice air freshener, euchre tutorials, a little whiskey, “Give me 15 minutes, I will be back up and ready to go”, the pessimistic Hoosier fan, a happy birthday serenade from 54 pairs of ripped jeans, “No, I think those girls really like us”, cornhole for cash, gas station po’ boys, unlimited spaces at SHS tailgates, Bearkat Band march-by’s, and friends who know how to represent.


Another Season in the books

Another season is in the books. It was a great year with 11 stadium visits, although two technically did not count. All my visits do not seem to improve my prediction skills however. In the final week, I went 2 -1 with a push. I still finished above .500 for the year, but it felt like a disappointment. Speaking of disappointment, I don’t know what happened to Wyoming this weekend but they got blown out by Fresno State. I was right about South Carolina. Shane Beamer has that team on fire right now, beating Tennessee and Clemson in consecutive weeks. USC looked great and in particular, their QB Caleb Williams. The Trojans are a fun team to watch. My big disappointment though was my bad beat when Bama score a very late and meaningless touchdown against Auburn to make that game a push. Other thoughts on last week:

  • It kind of felt like Ohio State more fell apart then Michigan dominated. The Buckeye defensive approach was questionable.
  • I was stoked to see the “Civil War” Oregon vs Oregon State game was on at a decent time – before nine pm. Unfortunately, when Oregon went up 31 – 10 in 3rd quarter, I pushed the game off my three screens. Imagine my surprised when I turned it back on to see Oregon State score to go up 38 – 34. Doh!
  • Oklahoma vs Texas Tech was another fun game to watch. Classic Big 12 lack of defense. I don’t think the Sooners are SEC ready.
  • Congrats or something to the Texas A&M Aggies upsetting LSU. It was a nice win, but was the win really worth rushing the field? That, in a nutshell, are the current low expectations at College Station.

No official picks for championship weekend, but of course, I do have some thoughts.

  • UTSA as a program has been really strong lately. The should have no issue with North Texas and win Conference USA. The Roadrunner experience at the Alamodome is a good one.
  • I know Utah beat USC earlier this season, but I still like the Trojans tonight.
  • Everyone has TCU on upset alert and given how the Horned Frogs have squeaked out some games this year, it makes sense. I still think they win.
  • I still have not been to see the Ohio Bobcats in action, it feels like this year would have been the time to do it. The ‘Cats win the MAC
  • Sun Belt = Fun Belt and this game should be no exception: I will take Troy in that one
  • Tulane should win the American. UCF has disappointed me a couple of times this year.
  • Michigan will handle Purdue. More importantly, let me be clear that if USC and TCU win, I don’t want to hear any nonsense about putting the Buckeyes in the playoff instead of the Trojans. They knew the stakes when they played Michigan last week.
  • I like Mac Brown, ergo, I like UNC over Clemson. No logic there, just a personal preference for the Tar Heels.

That’s all I got folks – enjoy the games,