San Diego warmth, Holiday Bowl festivities showcase fan experience
SAN DIEGO - Despite the moans and groans of Spartan fans around the nation, there are arguably worse places to be than sunny San Diego.
As the chilly prickliness of Michigan reached sub-zero temperatures, MSU fans flocked in droves to watch their football team back in action against Washington State.
For the local San Diego Spartan community, it was a time to flex its muscles, including a get-together Happy Hour at barleymash, a traditionally MSU-centered bar.
Though calls from head coach Mark Dantonio certainly help.
For others elsewhere around the nation, San Diego offered a chance to escape the frigid winters. Aside from locally organized events, there were a number of interactive events for fans of both sides of the Holiday Bowl war.
A Marching Band showcase Wednesday evening pitted the students against each other side-by-side, entrancing the watching fans.
The Holiday Bowl parade scheduled for 10 a.m. PST Thursday is set right next to the Pacific Ocean. Before the game, fans can tailgate for the 6 p.m. PST kickoff.
In MSU graduates Mike Schamas and Ben Mueller, they’ve been going to Spartan bowl games the past few years.
It started with the Rose Bowl year in 2013 and from there, a new tradition.
“Weather’s great, the people have been really friendly,” Schamas said of San Diego. “The uber driver pretty much identified us and said, 'Holiday Bowl,' gave us tips about what to do around the area.”
While Mueller described going to the Holiday Bowl as somewhat “disappointing,” the experiences — and warmth — haven’t been lost on him. Schamas even said he booked his flight for Tampa, Florida, where the Outback Bowl’s located, but said he has “no regrets” in his trek to California.
With the Holiday Bowl kickoff looming, fans are always hoping for that W — and a dutiful send-off for the senior class.
“I think it’s going to go pretty well,” Schamas said of the game. “I think we’re fortunate, obviously their two top wide receivers are out. I’m excited for our seniors as well as for our juniors, it could be their last game like LJ (Scott). I hope to get big games out of those guys.”