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One Big Ticket
Officer Lee Groinman, 8 September 2006

This is Officer Lee Groinman,

That’s right, I’m that reflective and optimistic one, the one that predicted the 23-point victory against the Spartans. But hey, a couple less turnovers in that first half, a few less gift scores, and maybe another score by our boys and hey, I’ll take it!

My bookie buddies down in Reno weren’t all that amused...

It was a strange day there last Saturday. It all started with an early morning phone call. I’ve always hated a day that starts with an early mornin’ phone disturbance, it’s never good stuff. This time it’s my sidekick Deputy Mikey.

“Lee, can’t make the game, can you sell my ticket?”

“No I can’t sell your ticket! Who do you think I am, Cal Worthington?”

“Cal’s dead ain’t he Lee? Anyway I got a family funeral, it’s today, and I can’t change that.”

“That bites Mikey, but do what you gotta do.”

Folks should never die or get married during football season, of course I did, got married that is in football season, but I had the good sense to get hitched on a bye week. I suppose you could get buried on a bye, but we don’t even have that option this year. It makes ya ponder on what’s next, a game clock that doesn’t stop perhaps?

This whole week has just been a never endin’ soap opera. On Monday my dad, Pappy Groinman had open-heart surgery. A 90 percent blockage deal, a walking time bomb he was. He’s doing fine, but probably will miss a bunch of football games.

But hey, at least I got his parkin’ pass, saves me twenty clams a game!

So I got an extra ticket to move with just 4 hours before kickoff. Thought I might call an old buddy, an old football pal from the eighties, he once had season tickets then lost interest and now I hadn’t seen him since my wedding day, oh so many years ago, ah that Championship Season... Yeah maybe I’ll give Bryan a call, wonder of wonders, he still had the same phone number.

“Bryan, got an extra ticket for the game, you in?”

“I don’t know Lee, dang, I got a backed up sink!”

“A backed up SINK! You gonna let a backed up SINK keep you from the GAME!

“It’s the woman Lee, you know the drill...”

“I’ll be at the old Park & Ride in 90 minutes, be there! And oh Bryan, how did you know it was me on the phone?”

“You didn’t change your voice or nothing, did you Lee?”

So I’m waitin’ at the Park & Ride off 405. Bryan’s late, my cell rings. It’s the wife Gloria, this can’t be good, she’s got the house to herself and she’s callin’ me?

Yup, this can’t be good...

“Lee, it’s Ben, he’s being deployed to Iraq, what are we going to do Lee!”

“Send cookies?”

Now Ben is my youngest step-boy. We figured this day would come, but I suppose it’s always a bit of a stunner when you get the news. But hey, it’s all part of the deal.

I’m really not liking the way this day has got started, and Bryan is still not here. It’s nearing game time!

While I’m waitin’ for Bryan I thought I’d open up the envelope with the parkin’ pass in it. What’s this?


I guess the Lord do have a sense of humor....

Good thing I don’t fall for omens and the like anymore...

We get to the parking lot with little more than an hour before kickoff. Our tailgate is a complete flop. We really need to tighten up our tailgaitin’ before Fresno State, but that’s where you get the most improvement in your tailgate, between that first and second game....

So we walk away with a win. It was lookin’ like a Rick Neuheisel 4th quarter Mallox moment again as we hold on late for the win. I’d hoped for more out of Reece and the TE’s but maybe we were holding something back from Oklahoma. 

Speakin’ of holdin’ come on San Jose State! But if the refs ain’t callin’ it, well when in Rome do as the Romans...

Now off course, we got our TE’s in a health crisis! Johnnie Kirton needs to be the man. NOW!!

Well after the game we had a bit more time to relax and enjoy that perfect Seattle weather.

My buddy Fireman John has us over to his truck.

“Well Lee, I still got that ticket for Oklahoma, you in?”

“How much is the ticket John?”

“It’s 67 bucks Lee, but Lee, I gotta tell ya’ this. It’s one BIG ticket!” 


“I like how you talk John....”

Did I happen to mention that my step-boy Ben is stationed at Tinker Oklahoma?

Tinker Oklahoma and pink parkin’ passes...

My, I guess the Lord do work in mysterious ways....

Meanwhile back at home, I find myself doing what I do so very well...

Consoling Gloria...

“Now Gloria, Ben will be fine, he’ll be back in no time, but Gloria, I’ve been thinkin’. I never really had a chance to say good-bye to Ben when he shipped off to basic. Why I was workin’ graveyard as I recall and I just never really had a chance to have a good talk to him. It all happened so fast and after all, we were both so stoked to finally get him out of the house...”

“What’s your point Lee, you been doing your own thinking again? Out with IT!”

“Well I was thinkin’ that I’d take a quick trip to Oklahoma, just to have a little man to man talk with Ben, maybe take him out for his first beer, he’s 21 now isn’t he?”

“Lee, he’s 27 and doesn’t drink!”

“That’s right, he doesn’t drink. How ‘bout girls, he like girls yet?”


“Well Gloria, I think one of us should go, and I don’t think you should go just comin’ off surgery and all, the plane ride would be real tough on you Gloria...”

“Oh Lee, how sweet! I think Ben would be so proud to see and talk with you!”

“That’s what I was thinkin’ Gloria, thinkin’ that I’d leave on Friday.”

“But what about the Husky game Lee? Isn’t there a Husky game this week?”

“Ah don’t worry about that Gloria, why it’s an away game anyway, and this is Ben we’re talkin’ about....”

I’m always amazed at how things seem to just work out....

Oklahoma here I come, right back where I started from! Oh yeah!!

And do you think I’m going there to see us lose?

I got a real good feelin’ here fella’s... That’s right!

It’s time to get even with the bookies, but more importantly, it’s time to take a BIG GAME!

And this is a BIG TICKET!!


It’s gonna be close, a real DAWG fight! Our boys stuff the run and Reece has a wild day, not to mention Russo! Kenny James has the game he’s dreamed about as our line opens some nice holes after Oklahoma has gotten beat deep! Louis Rankin takes one long....

We take advantage of some booming punts from Douglas for some sweet field position.

Adrian Peterson? Why  he puts on his jersey the same way we do, one leg at a time...

Oh baby! I can smell the barbequed pork ribs now!!


DAWGS 31 Oklahoma 28

Lee Groinman can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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