CRAIG GRAU: Lucky 13? - The Explorer: Sports

CRAIG GRAU: Lucky 13?

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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Again with the superstition that I don’t even quarter, so let’s call it symbolism this time.

Gate 13.

The Week 1 Wildcat football tickets riding shotgun in my wallet point me toward Arizona Stadium’s southwest-side triskaidekaphobic portal.

Gate 13 (and its associated phobia) looms, as bacteria multiply across the canvas of Ron Gronkowski’s throat.

The sophomore tight end — who offensive wrench Sonny Dykes envisioned a 100-catch man — is out for the week, and I greet Mike Stoops’ payoff season via Jason Voorhees’ jersey number.

Are the Football Gods sending some message? I doubt it. But still — can I crawl through a maintenance shaft to my seat?

Certain tests are guaranteed in the life of every sports fan. Bad trades and Cookie Monster coaching meltdowns. Quarterback concussions and cruddy new horizontal ticket designs.

But fear not Arizona; bask in immunity’s sunlight. The ‘Cats spread attack boasts a fusillade of receivers, as 27-point favorites for Saturday’s game. Only a team-wide strain of mono would deliver Idaho’s salvation.

But I’m still tasked with a faith leap that Asian gamblers wouldn’t extend to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, until the casino dropped millions to remodel its “unlucky” lion’s head doorway.

Lowly sportswriters can’t match the Yakuza’s pull.

During collegiate mornings, I’d stroll red-eyed and classward up North Cherry Avenue, through the ticket tunnel, for a whiff of fresh-cut turf. I never once used Gate 13, and managed to graduate.

Coincidence? Don’t answer.

Gronkowski notwithstanding, I’m optimistic that Stoops’ Next Year Express finds its destination this time — though that stance draws a few darts, from those across the office who still insist the sports desk was right last year, to call for a coaching change.

I can’t wait for that 2007-model siren to be chopped down.

And come this Saturday, I can’t wait to pay $13 for the same parking space I once scalped, from some drunken kid who’ll later pass out in my old bedroom.

Leave triskaidekaphobia to the sissies. Football season is back, and Willie Tuitama just might lead the AirZona offense through 13 games this year — bowl included.

Go ‘Cats!

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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