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Momma takes girls to dance at halftime

We took a break last week and headed south to take 18 girls to San Antonio so they could dance the halftime performance at the Alamo Bowl, along with some 200 other dancers. While "break" is a strong word, the girls were thrilled, so it was one of those Momma things where we make it happen, cheer them on and carry their luggage.

We had to leave by 6:30 a.m. in order to get there when we needed to, which is a real problem for me. While I'm high energy most of the time, something happens to my brain if I try to function before 5 a.m., a time of day which as far as I'm concerned ought to be illegal.

While I have literally driven that road 50 times, I made not one, but two wrong turns and added a good hour to our trip, which was awkward as I'm the one who was cocky and said I could get there in seven hours or less. The others were kind, though, and no one gloated too much, at least not to my face. The kids in my car clearly recognized my fragile condition, gave me more coffee and cheered me on from the back seat.

The Alamodome is a sight to behold, and we crawled all over that place. To say our seats were in the nosebleed section is an understatement, and you practically had to be a billy goat to get to them. Still, most of us were OK with the constant sensation that we were about to propel off the face of the earth and were able to enjoy the game.

The trouble was that, of course, we moms simply HAD to record our daughters at halftime, so we had to climb back down from the Netherlands just to position ourselves so we could capture the moment, which wasn't easy in that crowd.

There was an old man named James working security up close to the front. He was a tall, thin man with mostly gold flashing on his big grin. One day in 1996 James went up to the box office to buy Spurs tickets when a guy came from out of nowhere who had just robbed the cash register. The guy was running and James tackled him. After that, they offered him a job and he's been there ever since.

"I've met Cher, shook Elton John's hand and stopped someone from hurting Joel Osteen," he bragged. I got a picture with James, who told us that at the two-minute mark we should push our way down to the front. There were other moms in green T-shirts from other schools who were even pushier than we were. James gave me a nudge and said, "I want you guys to get up there first," so he moved out of the way and disappeared.

Those other Green Moms got in front of us, and for a minute we all did that thing where we were all nice, but were actually plotting in our heads how to get ahead of one another. At two minutes it was a free-for-all and everyone landed in the best spot they could.

Unfortunately, my view was blocked at the last minute by a band member. At that point, you are simply doing all you can, and that's all you can do.

The girls were terribly disappointed that the network did not air the halftime show, as they were all expecting immediate offers from talent scouts to come pouring in, and by the end of the game to have achieved the fame they so rightly deserve.

But in the end, it was a great experience, thanks to a fun group, James and even with the Mean Green Moms, airsickness, and several thousand crazy KSU and UCLA fans.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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