CINISI, ITALY - DECEMBER 29: Us Citta di Palermo new signing Franco Vazquez arrives at Falcone Borsellino Airport on December 29, 2011 in Cinisi, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Hi. I'm Presten. As you've probably noticed, I'm new here on VTF. Some of you may have read my personal blog. You see, I'm just like every other typical Cougar fan; I love all things BYU and support our teams through the good times as well as those not so fun moments. To me, being a true blue BYU fan isn't about showing up only when times are good. it's about filling the stands no matter what the probable outcome.
VTF has a great group of staff and contributors assembled and I'm not here to keep up with them. I'm here to bring a little change of pace. My angle as a contributor will be to share my first hand perspective of what goes down in and around the venues and campuses that 99% of fans will never get to experience. My posts will be sticking strictly to the ROAD GAMES!
I'll be honest, I love game day at LES and in the Marriott, but sometimes, I'm flat out jealous of the experiences and atmospheres that some of our competitors have to offer. If you happen to make the trek last fall to "The Grove," you know what I mean.
I wish I could promise you lots of great posts, inside information, recruiting tidbits, player notes and all that stuff big time bloggers and media guys are capable of, but I can't (and don't really want to). Unfortunately for you, I'm just a single guy who loves sports, loves to travel, and is happy to make my travel journal public. I might not have all the cool info "real" bloggers have, but I do promise to keep it clean, entertaining and 100% me. Just a fair warning, don't mind all the random interjections, it's how I think in real life too.
Over the last 5 years I've been to over 30 different venues for football and basketball games, so I feel I'm somewhat qualified to pass judgment on game day atmospheres, traditions and fan bases. With that said, my posts won't just be about the game and the atmosphere itself, I'll be writing about many different (good; bad; crazy; unthinkable) adventures that take place from the second I get out of my car at stop 6 in the economy lot at SLC International, until I return home. Note: Yes, I always park next to shuttle stop 6. It only takes roaming around looking for my car at 1 AM in a blizzard on 2 or 3 occasions before I learned to park in the same spot. That lot is bigger than it looks and apparently I don't drive the only Honda Accord in Utah, who knew?
How can getting on a plane and flying to a game be so adventurous you ask? I'll tell you how: FLYING STANDBY! Anyone who's ever flown on a buddy pass knows they can be awesome when everything goes as planned. But let's be honest, when does that ever happen? In my last 20 or so trips, I can count on one hand the number of times I've flown non-stop to the venue city, attended a game, and flown directly home. Psssh, that kind of luxurious travel is for all those rich blue-haired Legacy clubbers.
Most of us fans have to make sacrifices to support our team. By sacrifices, I mean sleeping in airports, driving hundreds of miles through random towns, never having an actual itinerary, no car reservation and NEVER a hotel reservation before I leave Salt Lake (don't worry, I've re-written the book on how to score luxury suites at Motel 6 on Priceline). Oh, and I almost forgot: hitch-hiking. Yes, I've done it, and lest ye be fooled, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. A special shout out to our friend Muhammed in Atlanta: thanks for not stabbing us somewhere in the middle of Florida or Georgia, my mom appreciates that I made it home alive from FSU. Hope that rice import business is booming for ya.
Buckle up friends and get ready to experience BYU road games a bit more in depth than what you see on TV. Independence and the WCC have brought with them an amazing road schedule for both football and basketball and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all. I'll end this post here, because after all, I've got a trip to Pepperdine to plan. Tip-Off in Malibu, CA. is just a few days away.
Presten's previous trips can be found at CougarTrips.blogspot.com