The Sun Devils went down to Texas this past weekend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in part of the Shamrock Series. About 200 ASU students hopped on a bus and headed east to cheer on the team. Downtown Devil sports writers Joey Hardy and Matt Tonis were among the group and documented their entire experience from the moment they left Taylor Place until they were back in the dorms early Monday morning.
3:20 a.m.: Our friend Marcus just picked us up in an SUV to shuttle over to Tempe. Blasting rap music on the way there. Everyone in the car is pretty excited for the trip.
3:31 a.m.: We just arrived at Gammage, where the buses will pick us up. There are about 12 other downtown students already here. T-minus one and a half hours until the buses leave.
4:38 a.m.: We are now boarding the buses. Everyone is delighted to find that the bus has outlets and Wi-Fi onboard.
5:02 a.m.: The buses are being held to wait on a few of the stragglers. Some kids have already passed out; we’re ready for some shut-eye ourselves. Decided to skip out on sleep tonight and stay up instead. Two hours into this adventure now, 20 hours left, time to pop on the headphones and get rolling.
5:20 a.m.: Wheels are up and the buses are rolling. Next stop: Dallas!
7:24 a.m.: Woke up from a nap somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful view, but still so far away.
10:26 a.m.: First stop at a Love’s gas station. Students are getting many snacks and stocking up on food. Hoping this one won’t be too long. We’ve been told our next stop is El Paso, Texas.
1:23 p.m.: The buses have entered the Lone Star State! While most are asleep, there is a sense of excitement in the bus! Smiles seem to be on the faces of everyone who is awake. We know we’re excited for this!
2:18 p.m.: Just arrived in El Paso. Two of the buses are somewhere else, but our two are here at Flying J. They tell us we have plenty of time, which means we will sit down and enjoy a “nice” lunch at Denny’s. Yum?
NOTE: Denny’s did not have any steaks or chocolate milkshakes. If that isn’t odd, I am not sure what is.
3:27 p.m.: We are back on the road, hoping for not too many more stops. The Sun Devils are back on their way to JerryWorld!
6:22 p.m.: Confusion among students on the buses now that we are stopping again. They say it was a driver change, but we thought we did that in El Paso. Odd.
11:04 p.m.: Now stopped in Colorado City. Everyone is tired. They say it should be about two hours to go. This stop was a nice hunger cure, though. Buses one and two are still not with us.
SATURDAY – GAME DAY
1:37 a.m.: It has been more than two hours since our last stop, and we still aren’t there! Everyone is confused as to how long we’ll be remaining on the bus. It has been about 20 hours since we left Taylor Place, and if you would have asked us when we left where we would be now, the answer would definitely have been the hotel. Thank goodness for the outlets so we have something to do.
1:53 a.m.: We have to resist looking at the map, because we know it will just tell us two hours! This is why the airplane was invented. A long way to go still.
3:37 a.m.: We are outside the MCM Elegante in Dallas. Still not certain this is real — we have been on the move from downtown Phoenix for just about 23 hours and now are waiting to enter our rooms. Everyone excited to lie down and go to sleep. The struggle is real!
4:04 a.m.: Finally able to hit the hay and head to bed. It should be noted that the first group of ASU Downtown kids began their journey about 24 hours ago.
11:26 a.m.: Just woke up. Game day, baby!
2:29 p.m.: Boarding the buses to go to the tailgate, bus is getting hyped up. Everyone chanting “A-S-U!” and singing the Fight Song all the way to the stadium.
3:37 p.m.: BBQ and sweet tea! SAA knows how to tailgate!
4:22 p.m.: Leaving tailgate and walking over to AT&T Stadium!
4:50 p.m.: Group walking into the stadium, speechless because of how massive the stadium is. Starting “A-S-U!” chants as soon as we walked in.
6:00 p.m.: Students starting to pile in. Even though we’re up high in the stadium, it still has the student section feel, led by student superfan Obafemi Oso!
6:40 p.m.: Kick-off! Go Devs! Student section in full swing, keeping up ASU traditions, even students doing push-ups as high up as we are in the stadium!
8:18 p.m.: Halftime here — close game, but we’re a second half team!
8:33 p.m.: Bands just took the field, and it is a general consensus that Notre Dame wins between the bands, but the game will be ours. They had a truck formation with smoke and then formed the state of Texas… Wow. Time for us to win where it really matters, FOOTBALL.
10:16 p.m.: One minute left. Taylor Kelly just threw a pick. Student section deflated quickly.
10:30 p.m.: It’s so quiet in the student section. Definitely not the outcome we came for. Nice to score a touchdown to end it off, though, and a great onside kick. Bus ride back should be quiet. Seems it’s a consensus that we all just want to go home!
12:18 p.m.: Back at the hotel. A lot of fans heading over to IHOP to eat away their postgame depression.
12:30 p.m.: Our friend Kennedy just ordered a sad-faced pancake, demanding it not be a happy face because he is sad about the loss.
1:15 a.m.: Walking back to hotel. Ready for sleep before another big travel day tomorrow.
8:00 a.m.: Wake-up call, bracing ourselves for what we know will be a very long day.
10:34 a.m.: Adios, Dallas! Everyone seems really tired, but most students we’ve talked to enjoyed the experience, though now they just want to be home. No one is looking forward to this ride home. Most wish we could’ve left last night.
1:52 p.m.: Just stopped for the first time, no one’s happy. They said 15 minutes, but it’s been 20. Unacceptable in our opinion.
4:30 a.m.: After a long, arduous journey, we are finally back at Gammage, and it has never felt so good to be in Tempe. Luckily, we only stopped three times, making it just about a 20-hour trip. While some opted for cabs, most Downtown students chose to take an early-morning light rail ride back to Taylor Place.
We arrived at Taylor Place around 6 a.m. Overall, it was an exciting trip, but we can all agree that we will never be taking another bus ride from Tempe to Dallas. Fun? Ask us in a week. For now, we are all still exhausted.
Written by Joey Hardy and Matthew Tonis