Boise State Travel Blog: My Pilgrimage to the Smurf Turf

September 20, 2021

BOISE, Idaho — It was the first time that the Cowboys played on Idaho’s blue patch of fake grass, but I’d seen them do it before — just virtually.

Growing up, I would draw up tournament brackets on printer paper and watch them play out on my NCAA video game. I could’ve had these fantasy tournaments at any of college football’s historic venues — the Horseshoe in Ohio, the Rose Bowl in LA, in front of Touchdown Jesus in Notre Dame. But, I always held them in Idaho because nothing appealed more to middle school Marshall than blue turf.

It was probably the game I was most looking forward to this season because of those nostalgic feelings of sitting on the floor in my childhood bedroom watching those virtual games, and I’m stoked I had to opportunity to go.

The trip started … roughly. My flight out of Stillwater on Saturday morning was at 6:20 a.m. Out of excitement, stress or whatever it was, I woke up at 3:50 a.m.

Travel was smooth. My hotel was less than a mile from the airport, so I walked it. It was like 70 degrees the entire time I was there. I packed a sweater and wore it nearly the whole time (I couldn’t get out of that sweater fast enough when I stepped off the plane back in Stillwater).

I could tell by the flights to DFW then to Boise that Oklahoma State was going to have a solid contingent of fans at the game. There were. One of the Boise reporters in the press box noted that it was the most amount of visiting fans he had seen.

I’ve never been more unsure of how to pronounce the word Boise than I am having spent two days there. Before I went, I think I said Boy-Zee, but I believe it’s actually Boy-See. But even when I say Boy-See (with my south-central Oklahoman dialect), it doesn’t sound anything like how the locals say it. It’s good I was wearing a mask because when I heard it said, I would try to silently mouth it to say it like they did.

The game was fantastic. There were excellent moments, there were sloppy moments, just overall a great college football game.

After writing up 10 Thoughts and a few other things, I last checked the time at 2:50 a.m. (Mountain Time). It was the first time since high school I stayed up for 24 straight hour. My body is not the same as it was in high school, something I felt Sunday.

I mostly zombied in my hotel room Sunday, thinking it would be cool to go out and experience Boise without having the energy to do it. From planes and ubers (because who has time to actually go outside in 2021), I did snap these “scenic” photos:

I did get out for dinner to get what I considered (probably stereotypically) Idahoan delicacy — potatoes. The spot was called Boise Fry Co. I had a BFC Original buffalo burger with russet fries. Would recommend. There are a few locations spread around the city.

I contemplated going on that trip for most of the summer, and after, I’m overly glad I did. The Oklahoma heat feels extra worse now, and I could probably sleep for 24 straight hours, but seeing the Smurf Turf and experiencing a beautiful state I had never been to before made it all worth it.

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