It's that time of the year again. The band's favorite NBA team/ Defending Champions – The SAN ANTONIO SPURS are headed for a long and difficult road trip. A few years ago when the team was looking for a location and a deal to build a new facility for the team to play home games called the SBC Center now the AT&T Center, the city of San Antonio and Bexar county officials found themselves in a race to see who could make the SPURS the best offer. The city was wrapped up in their own inexperience as the Mayor and City councilman were mostly newly elected officials. The County officials however were not, and they moved quickly and made Owner Peter Holt and his Spurs organization, a deal they couldn't refuse.
The location that was chosen was the area next to the Joe Freeman Coliseum but the deal provided for one very important detail; during the 16 days that the Stock Show & Rodeo is to be held each year, the SPURS would have to be on the road. The facility where the SPURS play in would be used for the Rodeo in addition to the Coliseum itself. This year the rodeo will begin February 3–19, 2006 and the SPURS are already on their long journey. The team is the only NBA franchise to be subjected to this long series of back to back road trips - 8 games in all. Their last home game was Saturday Jan. 28th against the Minnesota Timberwolves and their next home game won't be until February 21st against the Seattle Super Sonics. Their travels will carry them at least 6706 nautical miles. That is a lot of traveling to say the least, yet I was curious to compare their traveling to our own.
As I see it, there are some easily recognized differences. 1. The SPURS mostly stay at first rate hotels. We usually worry about the rate and stay in hotels only when we really have the need. Most of the time, we drive home after our shows. 2. The food for NBA players, coaches and staff is undoubtedly first rate. They could probably get whatever they want. The band? Whataburger. Our dinner arrangements sometimes occur after 2:00 a.m. when there are very few choices available. 3. The SPURS usually fly to their games. We usually fly to our gigs as well, but in a car. Trust me when I say we log a lot of miles. The last 8 road shows we played in the last month the band racked up a total of 4000 miles and all of it in a rental car and our equipment truck. That's 4000 miles in the car and 4000 miles in the truck, not 4000 total.
Part of those miles included last weekend's 800 mile trip from San Antonio to Houston to Dallas and then home to San Antonio, as the band made appearances in Houston to play The CONCERT PUB on Friday night and then on to CAPE BUFFALO the following evening. Friday night was a blast. We had a big crowd of friends show up to celebrate the birthday of our friend Shea Beaujean. As big as the crowd turned out to be on Friday, it was nothing compared to the showing at Cape Buffalo. The last time the band played Cape Buffalo was October of 2004 and we knew we would have a huge crowd show up for this highly anticipated appearance. The place was packed before we even started to play and we sure did have fun returning to a venue we have always enjoyed playing. We celebrated another birthday with another person that is very close to us - Patti Traupman. Thanks go out to Willie Stewart and Bill Moede for all their efforts and consideration.
Hold on... I am getting off the subject. Back to topic of The SPURS. As I see it, the SPURS have a difficult road trip in the next few weeks. But if they really want to know what it is like to be a real Road Warrior, they should take a look at our schedule. What does all this mean? Nothing really, just that the Government lies to us each week, like Ed said.
(note to MACK. You're up, next!)