The Night Before Memphis

The Memphis (8-1-0) at Houston (9-0-0) game of 11/14/2015 is expected to draw the largest crowd in the brief t20-year history of TDECU Stadium.

The Memphis (8-1-0) at Houston (9-0-0) game of 11/14/2015 is expected to draw the largest crowd in the brief two-year history of TDECU Stadium.

Sometime in the past 24 hours, I received a request from an old friend and fraternity brother from our salad days as UH undergraduates. He simply wanted to know my seat location for Saturday’s big UH-Memphis college football game. Gone a lot today, (I don’t do the phone stuff) I didn’t get his message or answer until about an hour ago.  My eventual e-mail answer sort of evolved into this column.

– Bill McCurdy, The Pecan Park Eagle.


 Dear Bruce ,

It’s been a crazy 24 hours and I haven’t had all my usual time here because of it. – The UH-Memphis game just happens to fall on the same date as the annual Houston Arts and Media Book Fair and Symposium on local history books – and this year, Jimmy Wynn and I are on the program to talk about his baseball memoir, “Toy Cannon,” a book that we wrote together in 2010.

Jimmy Wynn

Jimmy Wynn

Jimmy Wynn belongs in the Hall of Fame of Great Human Beings. He loves meeting fans, talking baseball, and leaving every place he visits a little more positive and uplifted by his short-time presence. Tomorrow is everybody’s chance to take some of that good Jimmy-Karma with them to wherever they may be going next – so, naturally, I’m hoping that you and all the 40,000 Cougar fans who plan to be at the 6 PM UH-Memphis game will come see Jimmy first at the Book Fair. – He’s also pulling for UH tomorrow, by the way!

If you or any of the other people planning to make it a sold-out support night for the 9-0-0 Houston Cougars want to make it a really big day, come down early to the all day Book Fair at the Julia Ideson Building of the Library at 550 McKinney and then take your time arriving early for the nearby Cougar game. You will get to meet Houston baseball icon Jimmy Wynn and a lot of other really good Houston writers of Houston history – and it’s all free – and a far more melodious, less hassled way of reaching TDECU in time to settle in for the game with dinner at one of our campus eateries in relaxation while really big incoming pre-game traffic jam begins.

If you didn’t read my column in The Pecan Park Eagle yesterday, here again is the link to my capsule on the Book Fair – and that article contains a link that outlines everything that will be going on there from 10-4 on Game Day.

Lucky for me – my two big events on the same day do not overlap. The Book Fair is 10-4 at the old Julia Ideson Library downtown and I plan to “uber” there from our 20 miles away home on the west side. – My son, Casey, and wife, Norma, will pick me up at 4 PM for the game, and the same plan I just outlined for other UH game fans at the campus, which is only about 3-4 miles east of the book fair at UH. We’ll be there and ready to rock and roll come 6 PM. – Eat ‘Em Up, Cougars! – Hope we win!

Hope the symposium people will be OK with a guy wearing Cougar gear all day, but, as fellow historians, they should understand. – UH is hoping to make a little history tomorrow too, and it’s not everyday we get to cover a big battle in person. – Again, my friend, let’s hope the Memphis game for UH turns out to be a new version of San Jacinto – and not of the Alamo!

I’m sorry. – You asked me for my seat location at TDECU and you got a column instead. – It’s called the writer’s disease.

Tomorrow we are borrowing a seat from the friend who sits next to us, but my normal two seat numbers on the front row of the upper deck on the south side at the SE corner at the east goal line are:

Section 304 ~ Row W ~ Seats 19-20.

Our location is great. We are not actually in the stands, but on the front line bar of unobstructed sight lines to the field. One of our seats is an individual bench seat and the other is a UH-provided folding chair for the wheel chair space I may need when I get really old.

The only thing we don’t like about our location is the result of a design flaw at TDECU Stadium. There are no rest rooms or concession stands on our level. You have to walk down a split level long stairway through a turning area to reach those amenities, one floor down. Then you have to carry whatever you bought back up the stairs. If you are truly handicapped, you have to go all the way over to the NE corner on the other side to take the only elevator that will take you down for services which should have been basic to the upper level.

How AD Mac Rhoades and the UH Stadium Construction Cartel got stuff like this little “oversight” past OSHA and the American Disabilities people we may never know. As a UH alumnus, my embarrassment matches my personal inconvenience on the question of what we got for our money with the two-year old football stadium.

That’s OK. Let’s try to remember that the greatest sleaze ball play in the entire history of government furnishings  occurred centuries ago when an English furniture tradesman kept cutting corners on his plans for the kingdom’s seat of government so continuously that the serendipitous final result turned out to be “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.”

Maybe us Cougar fans with no convenient access to beer or rest rooms on the third level at TDECU will sort of cancel out the need for either.

Meanwhile, “GO, COOGS!” ~ Just make sure you give yourselves enough time to get there before you do go!

Regards, Bill




2 Responses to “The Night Before Memphis”

  1. Matt Rejmaniak Says:

    Bill – Have to tell you I went to the game and it was an amazing victory with backup QB Postma leading the Cougars to 21 straight unanswered points and a 35-34 victory over Memphis. I almost cannot put it into words, truly one for the annals of Cougar history!

  2. don matlosz Says:

    Great 4th quarter reminded me of going to the UH-Tulsa game in 2009 and Keenum working his magic with the help of an onside kick recovery and 50 yd field goal

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