Posts Tagged ‘the blue fields of Idaho


A Preview in the Afternoon: A Humanitarian Bowl anaylsis from novelist Ernest Hemingway

ernest-hemingwayI left Spain in 1940 and after some years found myself in Idaho.  The leaves are yellow on the cottonwoods there and the wind brings a coolness to the rooming houses.  I was driving the road one day and saw a mountain and in its foothills lay a small tavern. The sign along the road said welcome to Boise. I did not stop at the sign. I kept on driving. There was no pulloff there for pulling over to look at the welcome sign.

I went into the tavern and ordered grappa. What is grappa, said the bartender. So instead I ordered white wine and nachos. The nachos came with meat and tomatoes and yellow cow’s milk cheese. I dipped pieces of fried cornmeal into the meat mixture and tipped the plate to drink the oil of the meat, and then I washed it down with the crisp white wine. What the hell are you doing, asked the bartender. I gazed at the cheese as it hardened on the plate.  I have unseen scars, you see.

A small television flickered in the corner and it displayed a blue field. It was a field for football. A boy’s game. The game of a boy before he goes to a woman. Before he knows the true sport of man — that of hunting another man.  In the dark.  Or the autumn.

I wonder if Nevada will beat Maryland in the Humanitarian Bowl, said a man on the stool next to me.  I wanted to tell the fool that for a humanitarian to bowl there would first need to be humans.  Nevada has a lot of good runners including their quarterback, he said.  What’s the good in running.  I ran but not to escape and I escaped anyway but it was not to freedom.

Colin Kaepernick is the Wolf Pack quarterback and he is the WAC player of the year.  He can run like the cool clear stream behind Ochoa’s house just east of Andalusia. Marko Mitchell is their primary wideout and Via Taua is their tailback.  They are both first-team all WAC and they can dance like fine bulls or trouts on the spawn.  The offense averages 37.8 points per game.  The defense allowed 31.5.  That is not very good.  For the Terps, Darrius Heyward-Bey has this last game to prove his draft mettle.  Those in Maryland, for the sake of the game if not his return to school, may hope that he takes full advantage of this opportunity. Maryland says its true strength is defense but it finished ninth in the ACC in total defense and I do not see how they can say defense is a strength when they cannot defend themselves.  Offenses can break boys and will know that day that they killed but they will do the killing and they will go on.

There are forces and there are objects but these are all weak and eventually they will all die and their dreams will feed the cottonwoods.  When the prize is 8-5 there are no long lines for the barrera seats.

The Boise State field is blue.  Like the blue fields of Kilamanjaro.

I left the tavern and went out into the street.

Final prediction:  Nevada 37.8, Maryland 31.5


So why is the Boise field blue?

And I’m not talking about some jokey answer like “oh, a bunch of Smurfs peed on it,” or “a bunch of Smurfs puked on it,” or “oh, a bunch of Smurfs were killed, ground up, and one night a paste made from their bones and organs was grimly tilled into the topsoil.”   Save your hilarious jokes for The Laugh Factory, why don’t you. Because I have a fever, and the only prescription is The Truth.  So you know what I did?  I rolled up my sleeves, and I did me some good old-fashioned reporting.


There’s a little bit of background about the blue field on the Boise State Web site. For example, did you know that the blue field was installed in 1986?  That’s right, bitch.  It surely was.

But sometimes dates and names aren’t enough. Sometimes your brain just demands that some semblance of reason be applied to such horrors. This is why people still read “Mein Kampf.”  And this is why I e-mailed the Boise State athletic department.

A very friendly person got right back to me with an answer.  What madness lurks unseen in this history?  Are you ready for the big reveal?  The answer is as follows:

Our athletics director decided to do it for something different.

I am seizing up.

Oh. Well.  Er, I guess he succeeded.  As did the Washington Wizards, Bjork, and the makers of Tequiza.  After all, it’s great to be different.  And make no mistake — Tequiza is still the best squirrell repellent money can buy.  You want to get serious about repelling some squirrells, you call me.  I’ll bring the Tequiza.  Game over.

Evidently there are now two lucky high schools with blue fields, but sadly, we may never see another one in the college ranks. According to my insider source at Boise State, “a few years after [Boise State] installed [their eye-hurting blue] turf the NCAA passed a rule that you could no longer install non-green fields. But we were grandfathered in. No other NCAA school can have a non-green field.”

So there you have it.   Don’t say I never put in no work on this blog.


It’s official

Maryland is going to the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl. December 30 at 2:30 p.m. Start adjusting the color on your televisions now.

In other news, did you know that Roady’s is a chain of truck stops? Yes. More than 400 locations in 45 states. However, the Roady’s truck stop hos are independent contractors.


Terps stumble into Boise, receive sarcastic applause

Well isn’t this just a match made in heaven.  Looks like the Terps’ postseason will play out on the hallowed blue fields of the Humanitarian Bowl, and neither side could be any less excited.

Tampa was the Dream Girl.

Even as the news was announced, Maryland fans began turning up their noses at Boise, while the Idaho Statesman fired back that the Terps have no sizzle. I agree, man. After all, this is Boise, son! Some mediocre East Coast school just isn’t going to cut it for them in the sizzle department. Maryland may have a little sizzle, but Idaho needs some Blue Field type sizzle! It’s a whole nuther level!

What Idaho really wanted was Ball State love, but when Ball State flaked out and told them to talk to the hand, it drove Boise into the arms of the handsome but odd-smelling Terps, who still pathetically hold out hope that that cute girl from Charlotte is going to call back.

Charlotte was the safety girl.

And this is only after puking all over themselves in a misguided attempt to land the girl from Tampa, who it turns out was only flirting with us because she works for tips.

So now, here we are. Two oddballs nobody wanted, finding each other in Boise. Some might call it fate. Don’t you think, deep down, perhaps we both knew we’d find each other here?  So let’s just get this over with, shall we?


I just hope everyone can get drunk enough to stomach the experience. Sometimes, that’s all you can hope for.

Come on in, Maryland. We’re so very proud to have you.


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September 2020