Rick Hill, VP at The Valero Alamo Bowl and SA Famous

Rick Hill moved to San Antonio for college and has been here since. He has worked for a variety of local sports teams and events. He currently work as the VP of communications and marketing at the Valero Alamo Bowl. Additionally, he has a few cool hobbies and likes that we discuss. Rick is a big fan and advocate of our great city.



Justin Hill: Hello and Bienvenido, San Antonio. Welcome to The Alamo Hour discussing the people, places, and passion that make our city. My name is Justin Hill, a local attorney, a proud San Antonian, and keeper of chickens and bees. On The Alamo Hour, you’ll get to hear from the people that make San Antonio great and unique and the best-kept secret in Texas. We’re glad that you’re here.

Rick Hill: Who is the worst guest you’ve ever had?

Justin: [chuckles] We’ll talk about that in a second. I like how Rick just spoke over the intro, so in the intro, we’ll have Rick in the background. Welcome to The Alamo Hour. Today’s guest is Rick Hill, no relation to me, unfortunately. He is the VP of Marketing and Communication with the Valero Alamo Bowl, and I realize you have to say Valera with the Alamo Bowl now. Rick has also spent time with the Spurs, the Missions and something called the SA Riders, which I am told is a football game. I thought it was maybe something that happens on the strip late at night, but no, a football team here in San Antonio.

He has no championship rings, he likes to tell people on his internet profile. Since the Alamo Bowl is right around the corner and I’d bugged Rick for like a year, I figured it’d be a good time to bug him, and here he is. Rick, thanks for being here.

Rick: My pleasure, Justin. Thank you.

Justin: While we were starting, Rick said who’s the worst guest I’ve had on here. Well, the worst guests are the ones that just no matter what you ask, they’re going to answer whatever they want.

Rick: Good. I have nothing prepared, so I will be the opposite. I just like to set a low benchmark so people are happy.

Justin: Some people have and I feel like if I was calling out guests as the worst, I’d have a hard time finding other guests, so I better not do that. Let me just say, the least listened to episodes are some of my better friends, so I just better not tell them. You will have 10s of listeners at a minimum, I guarantee that. You could have many more than that.

Rick: I’m used to people not listening to me. This is perfect.

Justin: Well, it’s funny. I had one guy on here who became an all-star of the fintech Twitter, the Fintwit I think they call them and his episode just went bonkers because of that. All that world wanted to hear whatever he had to say because he had the highest performing stock over the last 17 years, and even The Wall Street Journal was like, “It wasn’t Tesla. It was this group out of San Antonio had the biggest stock in the last 20 years.” It was interesting. All right, so let’s start with a top 10. I’m going to ask you, it’ll be 10-ish. Favorite Fiesta event?

Rick: Coronation.

Justin: We were just talking about that before and you seemed super excited about it, so I’m glad you brought that up. Something I’m probably going to talk more about, but you have some sort of weird BCycle thing. What’s the number of miles you’ve put on a BCycle in a year, the most?

Rick: The most? Probably 3,000 in a year. They have the E-bike now, but it’s more pedal-assisted. I think the E-bike takes too much credit. I love jumping on Saturday, jumping out the Witte, driving through downtown, Southtown, and then heading south to Mission Reach.

Justin: When you did it, it was not pedal-assist?

Rick: Some of it is, and I think they’re switching to all pedal-assist in the next couple of months, which should be great. I’ve been to Madison’s [unintelligible 00:03:26] the best setup. It’s all pedal-assist. I got a huge leg, but it’s really been fun to see how many people are on the trails especially COVID-wise.

Justin: I’m having pedal-assist, and I love it, and people act like, “Oh, that’s not a workout.” It’s a workout, but when the hill is there, it helps a lot.

Rick: Yes. The Mission Reach I felt really bad for the people with the BCycles because those old bikes are clunky. They are heavy, and you’d see a family going up and down those hills far south. Pedal-assist is the way to go, and I think that that program is going to take off now that they all go that way.

Justin: They have a hard time finding a sponsor though I have read. Are you still a BCycle enthusiast?

Rick: I am. I went yesterday, Sunday.

Justin: This one, a daily thing that got you to 3000 miles?

Rick: No. It’s I’ll go 20 miles on a Sunday and you start adding them up. COVID, obviously, you’re working from home here and there you can take a long lunch to clear your head, but now, you get some podcasts. This is a great podcast to listen on your long BCycle trials. Then I always stop by the library, pick up a book, so those are my routines.

Justin: You had the most miles of anybody in San Antonio on you, right?

Rick: Yes. I’ve always been top five, so if they’ve actually post them. If you’re semi-competitive, you see your name at number three or four, you’re like, “I’m getting to two.” Then you see yourself at two, you’re getting to one. I think basically, point-to-point was how it was supposed to be with super short rides, but now, they’ve really done a good job and you can check them out if you’re a annual member for two hours at a time, so you don’t have to do that constant in and out every 30 minutes.

Justin: I’m surprised there’s a limit.

Rick: Well, I think they always wanted people not to take it for the whole day, but now it’s great. I think it’s a great way to show off our city and like I said, especially for me that Mission Reach area is great.

Justin: Do you get anything for being number one?

Rick: No. If you could go to all the stations in a weekend, they gave you a t-shirt. I got a green t-shirt. I think it’s called Tour de BCycle. I went to 55 stations in three days. They actually tell you your calories and how many dollars you’ve saved. I’ve saved a million dollars on something.

Justin: [chuckles] New York has the tour of the boroughs, and we have tour of the BCycle stations. It’s similar.

Rick: Yes. It’s great stuff. It’s actually for Fiesta. I’ve done it over there because obviously, Fiesta gets a little crowded, so if you get on the outskirts of downtown, you take the BCycle into a station, and you just walk on in.

Justin: When did you move to San Antonio?

Rick: To come to Trinity in ’87. It’s been a long time.

Justin: Been here ever since?

Rick: Yes. I’m never too tired to drive home.

Justin: You’re Southtowner, right?

Rick: We live by Incarnate Word so Midtown-ish.

Justin: Okay. I met you in Southtown. I just assumed that world was all yours.

Rick: I don’t ever leave 410. I am not quite Southtowner, but I’m very like I said biking and all the activities. We love that, all the entertainment options. One of the great things about COVID relaxing is all the different venues you can go to from Sam’s Burger Joint, went to the Carver last week. I went back to Majestic and Tobin.

Justin: What’s the Carver?

Rick: The Carver is, there’s a Jo Long Theater. It’s just east of Alamodome. They have a 500-person theater over there.

Justin: Is something going on there?

Rick: Rebels. I bought their tickets three years ago, and they canceled and now they came back. It’s a jazz New Orleans R&B. When they come back in three years you should go.

Justin: Well, I bought some tickets, but then in the meantime, we had a kid so it’s limited my ability to go out drinking and concert-going.

Rick: Yes. Kids going off to college, the emptiness thing is a little real, but it’s also pretty-

Justin: Liberating?

Rick: -liberating is a good word.

Justin: Mine is a long way from that. Hidden gems in San Antonio, the theater. What did you just call it?

Rick: Jo Long Theater. I think all the venues. Sam’s Burger Joint, we love going there. It’s outside, inside. I think people need to get that Library app, read some books. It’s not bad to read some books.

Justin: The Libby app?

Rick: The Libby. Actually, a public library has one. The Libby, you can read on. The public library, the way you can reserve books is so easy now. You just reserve it, and they send you a text, “It’s ready.” Then now you just pull right in. They throw the book in your bag, and you go.

Justin: You actually go pick them up.

Rick: Yes. I’m still old school.

Justin: We use the Libby app.

Rick: It also allows for audiobooks.

Justin: Through the San Antonio library.

Rick: Yes, so I think that’s a great system.

Justin: Any branch that you think is unique and awesome?

Rick: You know what, there are some nice ones. Landa is super nice, but on my BCycle route, I always go to Central downtown.

Justin: I’ve become pretty familiar with the Landa Gardens Conservancy over the last two years. It’s quite interesting. It’s a very well-run organization, and they have a very nice setup there.

Rick: They have good trees. I remember taking my three-year-old for pictures there, who’s now 20, so that was a couple of years ago.

Justin: They redid the playground.

Rick: It’s a great setup.

Justin: Have you ever been in the Bushnell across the street?

Rick: I think when I was at the Spurs, one of my co-workers was in there, but not [crosstalk]

Justin: I’ve never spoke to anyone that’s definitively been in there, so I’m not sure there’s people in there.

Rick: It might be just like a movie set or something. [crosstalk] Now he actually lived there, the Spurs trainer.

Justin: Did you ever go see it though?

Rick: I think I dropped him off. I did not go in, so maybe he just walked around the block.

Justin: See. [laughs] I have friends that live on Bushnell, and I’ve never been in there. Do you have any odd hobbies other than the fact that you’re a BCycle enthusiast and go to the museums and concerts?

Rick: I do. I had a pretty good streak of if there’s movie extras, trying to be in movie extra for a day. I’m in Matthew McConaughey’s least successful movie, The Newton Boys.

Justin: That’s his least successful?

Rick: Well–

Justin: I feel like there’s some terrible rom-coms in that somewhere.

Rick: Probably dollar-wise. The good news on that was I was in a scene with them, so I can say I have the picture of the scene. Then I did try to get behind Julianna Margulies in the catering line, and they told me extras, and they pushed me away. I had to go to a different line. I just saw her on, it was The Morning Show. If you’re in a movie, you might as well have been in one with 50 actors that are popular. You can always say I was in a movie with him, or if Linkletter wins an Oscar, “Oh yes, he was in one of my films. He directed one of my films”

Justin: You got any other movies I would know?

Rick: They shot one in the Dome called Everybody’s AllAmerican or All-American. It was about a Texas player, and I thought I knew where to stand to be in the key shot, but they shot it from across the field.

Justin: Have you ever heard of Texasville, the movie? It was supposed to be the sequel to The Last Picture Show.

Rick: I haven’t heard of it.

Justin: It was filmed in my hometown, and everybody I know is an extra, but I was four.

Rick: Selena was at the Dome. My only one that I can actually watch it and see myself.

Justin: The Cloak & Dagger was probably before you were here, right?

Rick: I was probably just here. Henry Thomas, we just see him and he still comes up in about.

Justin: What about Pee Wee’s Big Adventure?

Rick: I was not in that.

Justin: Well, nothing good then. Favorite new post-pandemic bar restaurants.

Rick: We like Hello Paradise, going outside, sitting there. We’re probably going to go there Friday and then walk down to Sam’s Burger Joint and see a show.

Rick: Nice.

Justin: We rotate around a lot, but yes, this time of year you got to eat outside if you can.

Rick: Have you been to Three Star Bar yet?

Rick: No. Across the street?

Justin: Yes. I’m going to try that.

Rick: We’ll have to do that too.

Justin: We did elsewhere. We all went to elsewhere for lunch the other day. It’s good.

Rick: Yes. I think they get people through nicely. That’s a stop on the BCycle, they got to BCycle station.

Justin: There’s also one by the parking garage in Bracken Ridge, it’s very dark and by the museum.

Rick: Yes, that’s my go-to.

Justin: There’s never any bikes at it. I saw two today.

Rick: You got to go early.

Justin: I have my own BCycle.

Rick: Well, the good news is, I get a flat tire. I just call them and I put it away or I flipped over and bend something. I just bend it back and I get another one.

Justin: What if you’re in the middle of nowhere and you get a flat, will they come get you?

Rick: No, they’re close enough. I’ve walked a couple of times.

Justin: Do they have a limit on the range other than two hours?

Rick: Then they’ll just charge you three bucks. You can go longer.

Justin: The scooter is like, “We’ll just die.” The bikes don’t do that.

Rick: They have a time limit too, right?

Justin: I don’t know. My big ass don’t get on scooters.

Rick: I’m a little scared of scooters. The tires are getting bigger because when they first came out, it was a Final Four going on and I got one. I was the big hit, but you hit a little pebble and you get thrown–

Justin: Lots of broken arms. I’m an injury lawyer. Got a lot of calls on those.

Rick: Good for orthopedics and injury lawyers.

Justin: I had a friend who was maintenance at the Botanical for 4th of July and he shows up 30 minutes late and he’s just drenched in sweat. That’s when we learned there was a geographic limitation to these. Rick, you were with the Alamo Bowl. People hear about it a lot. People know it’s a football game. I want to ask you some questions about the Alamo Bowl, but I want to start asking you a little bit of Alamo Bowl trivia.

Rick: Okay.

Justin: Who were the four named at sponsors of the Alamo Bowl? Currently, it’s Valero. Just gave you one.

Rick: Valero. That’s a good one. I would say MasterCard’s another one.

Justin: Yes.

Rick: I would say Sylvania is another one. I would say Builders Square. I actually started between Builders Square and Sylvania. The second day I was there, they were getting ready to have a press conference and it got leaked. It was Sylvania, was a new one, and I was being screamed at, because I leaked it and I go, “I just got here. I don’t know anything about anything.”

Justin: Light bulbs.

Rick: Yes. Light bulbs. They were out of New York. The interesting thing is, I think between Sylvania and MasterCard, they would bring 10 or 20 people to the game. Now you have Valero, who basically makes it such a big annual event and really propels us, and back then it was like, “Hey, it’s great to get out of town money to help support local events.” There just wasn’t the buy-in. To have someone all in like Valero, that’s why I’ll always say Valero Alamo Bowl. If my car does run out of gas, I’m going to push it six blocks to the Valero.

Justin: Big supporter. What this meant to me when I read it, was that the cost of sponsorships must’ve slowly gone up significantly, because I’ve never heard of Builders Square.

Rick: Well, they were basically Home Depot, and they lost out.

Justin: Were they that big?

Rick: They were pretty big. They’re based here. The beautiful thing about a company like that is you can defray some of the costs by having, hey, a paint company and a ladder company. That you can get a lot of co-op program in dollars. It was great that they were San Antonio-based. Unfortunately, they ran out of gas.

Justin: Now Valero is set through 2025, I think I read.

Rick: Correct. They are started in ’07. The other trivia is there was actually one year without a title sponsor. If you think the year without a Santa Claus is a sad story, the year without a title is not a good one.

Justin: What year was that?

Rick: ’06. Thankfully, and this is why one of my favorite players of all time is Colt McCoy. We’d never had Texas in our game. In ’06, he was a freshman, and he was the quarterback. We didn’t have a title, which pays a lot of the freight. Luckily, when you have a Colt McCoy and a Texas coming for the first time ever, you do really well on ticket sales.

Justin: They’ve been to more Alamo Bowls than anybody else and they’ve only been going since ’06.

Rick: Yes. Obviously last year, they did back-to-backs. They were tied with Oklahoma State, but yes, they hadn’t been since ’06.

Justin: Whenever you were coming on, I was telling an office mate here about it and I was like, “It’s the second in the Big 10–

Rick: Big 12.

Justin: Big 12, and second in the Pac-12.” He goes, “Unless it’s UT, they’ll change the rules for UT.” Is that true?

Rick: No, we always want a variety. Last year, back-to-back in a COVID year, you’re going to proximity, is going to– you’re really limited to 11,000 people. It wasn’t really a bowl experience, because you really want to vary it. Coming to San Antonio is super fun for the players, but you want different super fun things every year. We don’t try to have someone back-to-back, and this year, they were projected to be right in our mix again. It wouldn’t make sense. We had it, we’d like to vary it year-to-year.

Justin: It’s not rigidly the second is the Big 12.

Rick: The good news is our choice. The college football playoff has six bowl games. Usually, you can almost consider it the top 12 slots. Those are above us. Then we pick right after that. Yes, it’s a good choice for us. This year you got Baylor and Oklahoma State all right now in that 8 to 15. One of those will be available at least to maybe to–

Justin: They keep shooting themselves in the foot though. The Big 12 does.

Rick: Yes, no, it was an interesting one, but yes, Baylor has got a great story. They were two and seven last year. [laughs]

Justin: I went to Baylor for law school. I’ve been following. First year the Alamo Bowl was played.

Rick: ’93.

Justin: Biggest attendance. What year? Or what game?

Rick: Oh, that’s a good one. I’m going to say ’99 in Penn State.

Justin: In Penn State.

Rick: That was ’07.

Justin: Yes.

Rick: We had more time to ship in chairs that year.

Justin: A bonus question. There have been four events at the Alamodome that have had more people in them, name any of them?

Rick: Two were Billy Graham and one was George Strait.

Justin: One was Billy Graham. One was George Strait. The other two were the Final Four games of 2018. Lowest attendance. You already said it.

Rick: Lowest attendance for a bowl game or for us?

Justin: For Alamo Bowl.

Rick: ’93, probably, no, ’94. No. What? Oh, last year. I’ve talked that out. I was just happy to play. We took our COVID test at I think 11 o’clock the day before, that’s when we officially knew we weren’t going to go.

Justin: First Heisman player to play in an Alamo Bowl?

Rick: The one to play in the game that won it the same year because they pick it the second week in December, was RG III. It’s his tent.

Justin: You’re pretty good. What do you think [crosstalk]

Rick: This is my job.

Justin: A lot of people have jobs.

Rick: How about players that got it after they played in our game?

Justin: I don’t know of any.

Rick: Eric crouch with Nebraska, Marcus Mariota with Oregon. Charles Woodson with Michigan.

Justin: Oh, you mean, in a different class here?

Rick: Yes. They played in our game as underclassmen then to win.

Justin: I was hoping Bijan Robinson from Texas played, they had a super amazing game last year, and he was started out.

Rick: I don’t think he’s going to win it. Unfortunately, he’s hurt right now too.

Justin: Only team to have appeared in the Alamo Bowl as a Big 12 and a Pac-12 team.

Rick: Big 12 impact. Well, I’m going to say Colorado.

Justin: Damn it.

Rick: If I don’t get these right I’m not going to go back to a job.

Justin: [laughs] I thought what a jerk I would be if I just pulled out the hardest trivia and just jammed you up.

Rick: It is funny though. I’ve been there since ’99. That’s 23 games, at the Spurs, I had 41 home games and I feel like I could tell you the whole schedule, but now with only 20, you think I could remember every game, and they get jumbled 121.

Justin: When did you start with Alamo Bowl then?

Rick: ‘99.

Justin: What is your job? What is VP of Communications and Marketing?

Rick: External affairs. It’s that advertising, marketing, communication, sales. We have other people in the sales team and then on the other side, we have more operations counterparts that actually run the events and do the teams, and help with the Dome. Yes, just making sure that all the public-facing things going in the right way.

Justin: A lot of external stuff and your social media handle is Unsocial Rick. That’s a normal fit for you to be the outward-facing extrovert for the organization, I guess.

Rick: It was available. I’m not a big fan of underscore, people like the underscores and the numbers. It’s like Rudy’s is saying they’re the worst barbecue. Again, that’s level setting. Then it’s like, “Hey, this isn’t the word. Hey, he’s not that unsocial.”

Justin: I’ve been to some Rudy’s though that are not very good. I’ve been to some good ones.

Rick: They’re a good partner. I’ll take that moist brisket and creamed corn every day.

Justin: Hold on.

Rick: I see you got one right around the corner now.

Justin: There’s a Rudy’s over here.

Rick: Yes, they took over Grady’s.

Justin: Oh, okay. I didn’t know that.

Rick: I’ll be there in an hour.

Justin: Like you, I don’t leave 410 very often.

Rick: That’s not North of port, is it?

Justin: Nakoma.

Rick: Oh, I guess it is.

Justin: Yes. By the airport, North of the airport.

Rick: Maybe I’ll pick up my parents for Thanksgiving and see it.

Justin: Is the partner the two or three original Rudy’s or is it the–

Rick: The original, yes, the original now three, I guess.

Justin: That’s who sponsors the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: No, some of our events. We kick off every year with a Pigskin Preview, where we bring in ESPN talent, and they do the meals for that. Then one of our signature Bowl week events is the Pep Rally where they come on the river cruisers.

Justin: Cool.

Rick: The players all go into the assembly hall after and they get Rudy’s barbecue.

Justin: Nice.

Rick: They take care of those two events for us.

Justin: It is weird, right, there’s like two or three here in town that are still original not part of the franchise, then everywhere else they’re all franchised, right?

Rick: Correct. I think. That’s why we saying the original in quotes.

Justin: Is Nacoma original?

Rick: Yes.

Justin: I was catching a lot of raccoons for a while at my house. They were getting in the crawlspace and so I’d taken Nacoma to drop them off behind the airport. I went over there a lot.

Rick: You did go north?

Justin: Yes, but because you have to drop a raccoon off at least five miles away from your home, or they’ll come back.

Rick: Or they’ll come back?

Justin: Yes.

Rick: I didn’t know that.

Justin: I don’t know how far it is for mice but one time I dropped one of those at the Landa Gardens.

Rick: As a thank you to the conservancy group?

Justin: Just felt like if I’m a mouse, that’s a place I would like to be.

Rick: Cool place to hang out-

Justin: Yes.

Rick: -and go read a book.

Justin: Yes. There were kids there.

Rick: Sounds like a kids’ movie.

Justin: Sure win, better kid or something. Look, I have just recently begun to understand how so many of these games and events and parades are really just fundraisers for nonprofits and give back to the community. Tell me about the Alamo Bowl. What is the end game of the money that’s raised at the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: If you go way back to the beginning and if you’ve been in San Antonio, as long as I have, you remember between Christmas and New Year’s, they shut the river down. It used to be just like mud. That’s why they had the mud king and queen for fun, right? There was zero tourists in town. Basically, city leadership said, “Hey, so the main impact was we’re going to go out and we’re going to have a football game at the end of December, we’re going to put it on TV. We’re going to figure out a way where we don’t have to shut the river down”

They’ve done that with being able to get the silt out in different ways and done the repairs throughout the year. Now you go downtown it’s gridlock, which is a great thing.

Justin: Yes.

Rick: We need those tourists coming to town. The main goal is you want to go out there and you want to be as highly ranked in the bowl system so you can pick the best teams. If you raise enough money and you go out and you bid to have the first team in the Big 12 in the Pac-12, you’re going to get 8, 9, 10 wins team and those fans are going to travel. That’s always been our priority number one, health of the Valero Alamo Bowl in the football game, more TV viewers, more tourists to town. Then as we have gotten successful and you have a title sponsor, like Valero you can go out and do more with scholarships.

We’re really into two scholarship programs, we give a $7,500 scholarship to every high school in San Antonio area, total of 75 high schools, usually 88 scholarships this year. Then we do a program at Emory University, where we do more the juniors and seniors that need that final scholarship help to get their degree.

Justin: Is that through a foundation?

Rick: Yes, we have a foundation helps clear it on the high school side and then through the schools running for us.

Justin: There has to have been some sort of study on just the economic impact of the Alamo Bowl.

Rick: Yes, it’s based on that tourist impact and it varies year to year because I’ve met with some Riverwalk Restaurants today, and they’re like, “Hey, take the team, the farthest away, that’s going to stay the longest,” but then, some years you take to Texas because it’s going to get maybe more TV ratings. If you look at the whole 29 years, you get a little of both. You want traveling teams, you want TV, you want local interest, you want help tourism communities. If people take the long view, you would check all those boxes. Yes, they were talking about the Iowa State game, the group today.

That was amazing. If you were downtown bowl week, that was the best game that they’d been to in their history of their school. They were here for four days and it was amazing that they were doing events that were 2X anything we’ve ever done. That was like a $44 million economic impact year.

Justin: Wow.

Rick: Some years yes. Like said if it’s a traveling, driving, stay for two nights, it’s going to be less, but then again, that team may have sold more tickets for us, which helps us do more scholarships. Then a TV is driven by name schools, as well as competitive games. We’ve had some games that maybe Oregon, TCU, maybe not super high profile, but you go triple overtime. Then people talk about it for– It’s amazing.

Justin: I left at halftime.

Rick: To go to the Spurs game?

Justin: No.

Rick: A lot of people left to go to Spurs games [crosstalk]

Justin: I had been tailgating pretty efficiently that day and then it was 31 to nothing, and I was like, “I’m going to go home.”

Rick: You weren’t thinking what if coach P changes his shirt and they come back and they tie it with a [crosstalk]

Justin: I don’t think about Coach P much. He’s a polarizing figure in college football.

Rick: Yes, he can coach defenses and he was two-time winner at our game.

Justin: Y’all, it’s not just sort of the city. There’s like a week-long event for the players. Y’all take them out for tours and show them the city and use that as sort of– because ESPN will cover the city with the players and stuff like that. Talk about sort of how it is used to show off our city to sort of a national crowd.

Rick: The San Antonio experience is super unique that’s why the Final Fours come here. Everything is super compact and walkable. Well, the players– I had a media person call me a couple of years ago and he’s like, “My plane’s delayed. I only have like another 45 minutes and I have to shoot the Alamo, that Riverwalk, and get to practice.” I was like, “I can get you that in like 10 minutes. Check into the hotel and then walk you down the Riverwalk and pop you up to the Alamo.” Yes, the players want to see that. It is such a celebration of their time together.

People always think, “Well, aren’t they together all the time?” They’ve got a really regimented schedule. When you go on a road trip, you’re in on a Friday night and you’re out Saturday after the game. To have four days and sometimes up to six and seven, with your teammates who you maybe played with for four years, five years, yes, it’s a special one. Whether it’s getting out to SeaWorld or seeing the Alamo or coming on the river barges. That’s the one we hear. Somebody’s like, “Yes, I wasn’t sure how cool that would be and then that’s the thing I pop in, and watch on my phone three years later.”

It’s coming into a river theater that’s lit up and 1000 people are cheering for me.

Justin: There’s people sitting around during that parade.

Rick: Yes, that the fans are there just waiting forever but it’s a huge payoff when the captains and the coaches are on stage.

Justin: They’ll just put it up as a schedule of events.

Rick: Yes.

Justin: Here’s when the river thing is.

Rick: Sure.

Justin: Do they normally go to SeaWorld and those kind of things?

Rick: Yes.

Justin: Y’all have a partner hotel, or is it get shopped around?

Rick: No, we’ve had the same since the beginning, we flip flop every year who stays in what, there’s the Hyatt Regency downtown, the Marriott Rivercenter downtown. They’re close, they can walk a bowl. We’ve had two teams in the last eight years walk to the game. How cool is that?

Justin: Yes.

Rick: Oregon was the funny one when we were going to play Texas, they were thinking they were in enemy territory. They’re like, “We’re going to dress in all black and we’re going to walk through the fans, and they’re going to throw beer bottles at us,”

Justin: [laughs]

Rick: -and then everybody just clapped.

Justin: Yes, it was kind of cool. Nobody wants to waste their beer.

Rick: Yes, it was a fun way to see it but you can’t do that anywhere else. I think in Rose Bowl it’s maybe an hour and 10-minute drive to the venue because its capacity is super small. The fact that we can do it all here, we practice at Incarnate Word and Trinity, so that’s five minutes from downtown. Your longest go was if you do SeaWorld or the airport’s 10 minutes.

Justin: Are they allowed to practice on the field, or is that don’t touch because the grass or whatever,?

Rick: At where?

Justin: At the Alamo Bowl.

Rick: Yes, it’s one of those where we’re usually doing some field paintings. We had that TCU Oregon game where we did ridiculous designs and the in zones that took a little longer, but yes, on a rain day, they’ll go inside. It’s one of those deals where sometimes it’s better to be in their own venue at training Incarnate Word and then there’s not, “Well, I wanted to go at noon and you want to go to one. There was an overlap and I think one of your bowl boys stayed and watched our practice.”

It’s better to have them and Trinity’s got a really nice facility as just Incarnate Word.

Justin: If the team gets an invite can they say, “No, we don’t want to do it.”

Rick: Well, right now we’re actually going out week to week to the teams that are in Mexico, send a rep out. We call it scouting, it’s not really watching on the field product. It’s mainly talking to fans and then talking to administration. “Hey, how excited are you? Where are you in your program? Do you want to come back

to San Antonio?” We know going in but crazy things can happen. There’s the championship games and people assume things are going to happen if kids miss field goals or make field goals.

It’s crazy, then all of a sudden you can really change, but you want to have the fan base know which way you’re going so people aren’t surprised. Yes, until the peak comes up and we don’t really get any advance notice it’s, “Hey, we have 1/2 hour on Sunday afternoon, December 5th to make a decision.”

Justin: It’s a whole year’s worth of work for what essentially will be one game one night. What does the Alamo Bowl staff do during the rest of the year? I know you’ve talked about y’all go sometimes see other bowls, y’all go meet with other teams. What’s sort of the goal and the plan during the rest of the year?

Rick: We have seven-person staff so similar to like a Valero Texas open where you’re gearing up for the one event. Yes, we’ll do 20 events during the year just to you stay in front of people, have luncheons have meetings. Then we’re trying to get 150 partners on board in various ways. Do these community programs, scholarship program. We’re doing a teacher program. There’s just a lot of things that planning-wise that go into it. Then yes, just the facility itself, we’re only live at the Dome one day but we office out of there. We want to make sure all the events in the facility are successful so we attend all the events and help out when we can.

Justin: All the concerts and everything y’all have some involvement.

Rick: We don’t really. No, we try to help like Final Four. I forgot last year for the women’s Final Four they were hosting all the games so I volunteered thinking it’d be 3 games and all of a sudden it was 30 games. I feel very up to date on my women’s basketball trivia now.

Justin: Yes, good for you. Well, I didn’t bring-

Rick: I didn’t bring any.

Justin: -Women’s trivia with me.

Rick: It was a fun accomplishment to host for San Antonio.

Justin: I went to the Final Four, there was lots of things that were shocking about it but the scale of the coach’s clinic that goes along with me. Then like the fan zone thing where you were getting able to take– Was it Christian Athletic where you could take the shot against and things like that?

Rick: Yes, they go all out and then obviously it helps the facility too, when it comes back in 25, put more money into the building, and then UTSA is a big help for everyone. Just the fact that they’re doing so well, that means more people that more reps of the building.

Justin: What if UTSA goes 12 and no this year, is there any way, by structure, that they could end up in the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: No, it would. It’s Pac-12 and Big 12.

Justin: It has to be a Pac-12 Big 12 team, but where they rank can be a little movable.

Rick: Yes. Like I said, usually assume the first-place teams going to– Typically the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl and then second or third, usually in our mix. It’s good selections. At our pick, if you’re down the line. If they didn’t fill enough Bowl eligible teams, but yes, we’re high enough that we’re always gonna get a good Pac-12 or Big 12. Yes, they have a shot. I think their home run would be the Fiesta Bowl. They go 12 and 0.

Justin: [laughs] That would be crazy.

Rick: They have to be the highest rank group of five that has won their championship. Cincinnati’s super highly ranked now, but Cincinnati has to win their championship game. If they would lose their championship game and the winner of that championship game wouldn’t be ranked higher than UTSA then UTSA, Fiesta Bowl.

Justin: How crazy would that be?

Rick: That would be amazing. I think this weekend is going to be fantastic playing UAB for the Conference Championship.

Justin: I always tell people like what a cool experience that would be to be on UTSA’s football team. You play in an air-conditioned dome. What college in Texas plays in an air condition dome?

Rick: It’s loud too. Well, the good news is, people get all excited about tailgating, which is fun, but if it’s August and September, it is hot. Now if you’re up north, you have some issues. I was really impressed with how loud it was last Saturday. I can only imagine that this is going to be 3X this week. Just because it means so much. That last week was a game they should have won and probably should have won a little more handling than I did, but this weekend, it’s a coin toss game for the championship.

Justin: As a member of the Alamo Bowl staff, do you get a swag bag?

Rick: Good question. Sometimes we’ll get the same. We haven’t been as creative with the team guests. We used to work really hard in trying to get things. It’s so easy for athletes to get whatever they want. I’ve seen some of their itineraries and it’s on this itinerary, we’re going to wear the XYZ sweatshirt with these pants and these shirts and they have 17 combinations. It’s not as creative.

Justin: Like Xboxes and things like that used to be part of some of these swag bags.

Rick: Yes. I still have my Wii. We can play tennis sometime on the Wii. It still works. That was one where we were like, it seems like more of a kid kitty console now, but then it was super hot. We had to pay like triple security to get it, hidden and brought in from wherever we got it from New York. We always liked to be the cool gift because all bowls have the same set amount. You have $550 to spend.

Justin: Oh, is that right?

Rick: The Rose Bowl is always going to have way more history than us just by when they started, but we can work harder and try to get stuff the kids like better at $550. Now, like I said, it’s become harder. We sometimes go the gift card route.

Justin: It used to be a big deal where you’d pregame. They would show somebody with all of it laid out on their bed. I didn’t know, it was all set amount. I figured the better the bowl, the better the stuff.

Rick: Well, you can work harder. If you work with the right partners, all of a sudden you spend 304, maybe you only spend 200, you get more stuff. We always like to spend to the penny. We have $492, what can we get for $8? What’s a good $8 gift or whatever it is?

Justin Because of these NCAA rules on sponsorships, has that changed y’all’s ability to work with the players anymore?

Rick: Yes, it really has. I think everyone’s doing wait-and-see mode this year. You’ll see some bowls this year, that’ll spend, maybe do an offer. Our NIL package, our name, image, license package, we’re going to give every player $200 to do X. Tweet about coming to our game or say something. That adds up. It wasn’t budgeted. Some bowls are like, you know what, let’s just see how it goes. The other issue is some coaches are like, “I don’t want them focusing on that.” We’ll definitely be watching. We’ll probably do some small things. It’d be cool, player wins. Say, I’m going to Whataburger and head them on down there or something.

Justin: You just got to be careful which one.

Rick: Yes. We want to be creative. Downtown will be very popular. Anything 24 hours because our game’s at 8:00, so it’s going to go a little long. We’ll appreciate people that are open after midnight, but yes, that’ll be something fun to watch.

Justin: There’s already a lawyer in town who’s got one of the UTSA players is like, “This is my preferred injury law firm.” I don’t know if that helps. It’s changed the game on how you all can work with players, I would assume.

Rick: Yes. Like I said, I think in our level we’re not the national championship. The stakes, everybody wants to go out with a win. They worked really hard their whole career, but I think they’re a little more relaxed because they don’t have another game. I think, yes, there will be some fun stuff. The good news is, it is super quick. Right now, by the time this is over, I could get two or three players to commit to something. Just through the app. You just say, Hey, this is what I want you to do, here’s the compensation. Yay or nay?”

Justin: What app?

Rick: Open Doors is one of them. I think Influencerr with two rs and Open Doors. You, as a lawyer, could do it right now and you could find the going rate. It’s like cameo basically, but it’s more like, “Hey, here’s a tweet, if you want me to do a photo, a picture,” all that.

Justin: Roger Stone was in town last week, was that for the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: No. Who’s Roger Stone?

Justin: [laughs] That wild-looking dude that got in all the trouble with Trump who’s got the Nixon tattoo on his back?

Rick: I missed that one.

Justin: Yes. He was at Hotel Contessa. I don’t know why.

Rick: he was not involved with any–

Justin: He’s like a cameo-type person is what brought me to that.

Rick: Yes, man. I think it’s crazy cool. The interesting thing is some of these kids that have gotten crazy money haven’t even started yet, like the player outta Dallas that hadn’t gotten to Ohio State, and what if he doesn’t even go, do you owe the money back?

Justin: It’s going to go crazy.

Rick: Yes. It’s Wild Wild West, but I don’t think it’s quite as crazy as people think, but yes, I want to do something creative. Hold me to it. Ask me in January what we did and if I didn’t do anything, shame on me.

Justin: Where did you start within the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: Director of Marketing.

Justin: Yes, it’s really a slow progression.

Rick: Basically I’m in the 23rd year of an internship is what I say. I try to move a dolly less every year. It doesn’t always pan out because–

Justin: Have you gotten a better office?

Rick: Yes. The Spurs leading helped us. We’re there because we were side by side basketball operations in the dome next to us.

Justin: They used to have a real small staffed and compared to what they have now.

Rick: When I started it was 40. Then when it got to the dome, maybe it was 100 and now I think it’s over 300.

Justin: Yes. Somebody was telling me exactly those numbers the other day.

Rick It was at 40, you knew everybody. 300 is large, but yes, they had some extra space that we’ve taken over. Yes, we have good spaces.

Justin: Do you all get to as part of your job, go see other bowls and see how they do things and pick up ideas?

Rick: That’s the only bad thing is yes, I’m a member of some of these festivals and events organization and they trade out staff. Hey, you’re in March, come, you’re in May, come. We’re over the same two weeks. I’ve been to a national championship game. I’ve been to a cotton bowl. You’re blowing and going. You have no time.

Justin: They’ve recently changed the date of the Alamo Bowl, right?

Rick: Well, we’ve always been in 28 to 30. Yes. There’s a couple years where we had 31. January sometimes comes in play, which isn’t always great for travel, but if it’s a Saturday, it’s just a traditional window. You never know what the NFL’s going to do if they add extra games and you really want a clean window is a phrase in our business. We’ve always had a clean window where for this year on the 29th, at eight o’clock, no other games are on it’s all us. That’s been important to us. That might have us take some non-traditional windows, but yes, typically it’s 28 to 30.

Justin: I really don’t understand how some of this stuff works, but does the Alamo Bowl get the chance to sell their TV rights?

Rick: Yes.

Justin: It doesn’t go through the NCAA or something like that?

Rick: No, the NCAA license you, and then you basically are in charge of going out and getting your conference deal. The conferences decide what team allocations you have. That’s why I said you want to have money in the bank so you can say, “Hey, we used to be behind the Holiday Bowl and now we’re ahead of them on both sides. The TV, you talked to Fox, you talked to ESPN and luckily we’ve been to ESPN the whole time.

Justin: Does the TV deal get cut before you pick the teams?

Rick: Yes. You want those in lockstep. Like you go to the Big 12 and the Pac-12, let’s get the first pick after the CFP until 25. You go to ESPN. Does that sound good to you? Okay. Then from there then you can go to a Valero and say, “Here’s our matchup through 25.” Everything we have is done through 25, which when we did it, like two or three years ago, seemed like forever. Now I know we’re going to [crosstalk]

Justin: Is that part of your job though?

Rick: No. It’s more just trying to make sure ESPN’s happy and Valero’s happy. Our president Derek Fox started before the game of year before the was even started. He came from the Fiesta Bowl. Yes, he’s in charge of negotiating all our title deals, our ESPN, our conference deals. Yes, you get those ducks in a row and everything else. That’s that YouTube where you put the big rocks in first. I get to put all the little rocks in.

Justin: Do we have a parade that goes with ours?

Rick: No, the River Parade is plenty. Okay.

Justin: Some of that’s a big part, right?

Rick: There’s not as many. The Rose Bowl, it’s such a traditional thing, but I know it’s very hard to make it financially viable. We just have such a naturally beautiful thing. It’s like, throw the players on some barges and get them around to the Arneson.

Justin: The Sun Bowl has a parade too.

Rick: Still?

Justin: Yes.

Rick: UTSA had a great time at the Sun Bowl. I’d like to go to a Sun Bowl game.

Justin: I would too. I like El Paso.

Rick: I’ve just stopped in on a flight.

Justin: Yes. You should stay.

Rick: I should stay? All right. Well, I’ll leave the Bowl. I’ll do all the Bowls and help them all out.

Justin: When is the Sun Bowl? It’s early, right?

Rick: No. They’re Channel one, I think. They’re like early morning.

Justin: I was trying to remember some of the crazy Bowl names before you got here today, and I couldn’t. I always think of the GalleryFurniture.com Bowl.

Rick: Gallery Furniture. [crosstalk]

Justin: R+L Carriers. Bad Boy Mowers was a good one.

Rick: Nice. I didn’t remember that one. Poulan Weed-Eater. That was the one that everybody was kind of– That’s another reason why you always knock on wood for Valero. I think the longer you have a partner too, the more it’s easy to get engrained because when you switch every couple of years it’s just tough to get the consistency.

Justin: Right. Like if AT&T pulls their branding, I’m still going to call it the AT&T center for another 10 years.

Rick: Yes. That will be an interesting one. In [unintelligible 00:40:54] but it was the SPC center too.

Justin: I didn’t live here then.

Rick: Okay. We’ll see.

Justin: Well, in ’07 I think it was the AT&T. It was AT&T then.

Rick: That’s one of those where when that deal was struck it was 20 years, so you’re like, “Will I even be alive when this thing’s up?” and now all of a sudden it’s 20 years later. It’s like, “Oh, yes.”

Justin: I was thinking it’s South Western Belle. No, that’s SWBC is the insurance company, right?

Rick: No. It’s SWBC. SBC was the South Western Belle name they abbreviated for a while.

Justin: But SWBC is–

Rick: SWBC is the insurance,

Justin: Based here.

Rick: Based here. Also a Bowl sponsor. Thank you, Charlie, thank you, Eric.

Justin: [laughs] For another topic. Do you think there’s a chance it will become the Thomas J. Henry Bowl at some point based on just media market buying?

Rick: I bet you’ll see an international company or something.

Justin: I’m just surprised you haven’t seen more of the weird small regional companies that have a big year [crosstalk]

Rick: I think the smart ones say they’re going to do it just to get the media attention and everybody gets super excited, and then you realize the real value is TV and national and international. I think you’ll see a lot of the major assets in NBA and most sports go to more national and international.

Justin: That’s a good point. We are the gateway to the south, really, and really the gateway to Mexico-American relationships in sports there’s a lot of that cross border. Does Alamo Bowl have any sort of partnerships in Mexico where they’re trying to make it a more popular Bowl down there?

Rick: No. We do have people coming up for the holidays so we do get some sent. Now in a digital ticketing world, the old hassle was sending curriers and getting things lost. Now everything’s digital so it’s an easy process. It’s more just holiday tourists coming up.

Justin: What’s next for you at the Alamo Bowl? Are you just going to be the marketing guy and the communications guy until you get gray and old?

Rick: More gray, more old?

Justin: [laughs]

Rick: That’s very nice of you. I think the beautiful thing is we’ve kept adding on and doing different things. There was a good stretch for where we hosted other games. We’ve hosted a couple Notre Dame games, we hosted some other– It will be interesting to see as these conferences and everything switches out, are there other games we can have, are there other events we need to get into.

Justin: What do you mean you hosted at other games?

Rick: Well, you can just go out and bid on them. Like Notre Dame is like, “Hey, I want to come to Texas. We’re going to play Army, would you guys do that?” I was like, “That’s perfect. Army in San Antonio.”

Justin: I remember when that happened.

Rick: We went after that one.

Justin: The Alamo Bowl organization.

Rick: Produced that. Yes. Mainly you’ll see a lot of kickoff classic games. We haven’t done as many of those because as it is you really need a matchup that’s pretty sexy to sell that. I’m sure there will be opportunities to get involved in some of those games.

Justin: Notre Dame-Army is perfect for this one.

Rick: Yes. It did well. We hosted A&M. We’ve done some games. We haven’t had A&M in our market in a long time so that would be one if they’re playing on neutral side. Basically, it’s to say they’re going to play New Mexico State or playing someone, you just go to the visiting team and say, “Hey. Here’s a check, could we move that?” Yes, you’re losing a home game, but you may be getting twice the gate.

Justin: You can never have them now because they’re in the SEC.

Rick: Well, in the neutral site game you can.

Justin: How long is the deal with the Big 12 Pac-12?

Rick: 25. All of those open up. Who knows what year UT and Oklahoma are going over. If that’s one year, two years, three years, or maybe until 25. Then everything opens up again, “Hey do you renew with the Big 12? Do you renew with the Pac-12? With SEC? Come and play all that. The key is just to keep putting on a great event that’s like– The other thing is recruiting, that was one of the knocks 10 and 15 years ago. It’s like, “I love coming to Texas as a coach, but you guys aren’t turning out that many recruits.” Well now you see–

Justin: Texas wasn’t?

Rick: No, just the state of San Antonio. The city of San Antonio but now you see me from Trinity and Incarnate Word to UTSA. You’ll turn on a Sunday an NFL game, and you’ll see a couple kids. I think that’s been huge for our community and that’s going to help us get some more neutral site games. We’re basically an event marketing company so we’ll go out and do other things.

Justin: Is there a coaching clinical on with the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: We’ve done a summer clinic. It’s been coded out the last two but we’ve basically got all the college coaches to come in. I think especially the way that coach Traylor at UTSA is about giving back and Trinity coach and Incarnate Word coach and get them all in. It’s a fun– 500 kids for the day.

Justin: My dad was a high school football coach or was and I think San Angelo was the big high school coaching clinic. I always thought why isn’t that in a better city than San Angelo?

Rick: Keep the San. San Antonio.

Justin: yes. Probably less trouble in San Angelo for some of them though.

Rick: I’ve heard some good things about the coaching conventions down here. This year, they had it off last year and I know in July they had a lot of people in.

Justin: We don’t have the State Championship Basketball Tournament here exclusively anymore, do we?

Rick: Yes. We do.

Justin: I met with some of my old high school coaches here for that–

Rick: Did you?

Justin: They didn’t know who I was when I walked into the room because they’d been Riverwalking. That happens.

Rick: They just walked to the building. It’s perfect.

Justin: What are your favorite Alamo Bowl moments? Not the TCU game that I skipped out on.

Rick: Not the TCU game. I mean, it’s the 10-year anniversary of the RG3 game where he won the Heisman. Talk about your phone blowing up. As soon as one of your players in the game gets the Heisman. Then there was a game that–

Justin: Did y’all find that out during the game?

Rick: No, a week or two prior. It was a game that was selling super well. It was really amazing. Baylor came in ’94, hadn’t been back in forever. This is 2011, and then every time you look there’s a score. You cannot go to the concession stand, and the 123 total points scored, and people are like, “RG3 didn’t take over.” I go, “That’s because of he’s running background for 240.” How many passes does he throw when you’re handed off and the guy runs 80? That was a super fun one but there’s always the behind-the-scenes.

We had Mike Leach with Washington State a couple years ago. Sometimes I use to work the Spurs and coach Popovich, obviously his time, every minute with the coach is like 10 hours. Leach wants to go to the Alamo and I’m like, “Seriously?” I thought he’d just want to wave at it. He did an hour and a half tour on Christmas Eve, and then I’m like, “Okay. Can I get you back to the film room? Or–” He goes, “Let’s go on a barge ride.” We did an hour barge ride. He was calling people from the phone and trying to wish them well. That was just talking to everybody.

Justin: Was he chatty?

Rick: yes. He’ll answer any questions.

Justin: Was he as weird as I would expect?

Rick: Yes. He likes interesting things but he’s just a historian. I think his system is– hey, he’s confident. If he’s got into reps and practice, “Hey, what else can I do?” Where a lot of coaches are like, “No, I want to watch one more hour.”

Justin: He’s groundbreaking as a coach.

Rick: Yes. He throws it around. He was fun to host. Every game’s just got some craziness. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes when you have– the good news is it’s the first time you’ve been five days with your buddies, the bad news is that’s five days where you don’t have every minute planned.

Justin: I was about to say, I’ve read somewhere one time, it was like all the incidents involving players during Alamo Bowl weekend. Some of them get in trouble.

Rick: Yes, and sometimes it’s not the current players, it’s their high school buddies come in.

Justin: Or some drugged dude popping off to him in a bar and get everything going.

Rick: Yes. It’s San Antonio, everything’s convenient. You can go to your hotel room to sneak out of a back door, to get to a bar, and get thrown in the pockey pretty close too. The players really do appreciate how convenient it is and it just makes it a special experience for them and the families of the coaches.

Justin: Any weird matchups that you’ve always been hoping would happen but haven’t yet?

Rick: We’ve never had USC. I mean they’ve always had their perennial.

Justin: That’d be a big draw.

Rick: OU has been here once, but only as a Big 12 Championship.

Justin: That’s right.

Rick: Three years we hosted the Big 12 championship.

Justin: I was wondering because I was thinking was that an Alamo Bowl and it was Big 12.

Rick: It was Big 12. That was one of my favorite Sups because it was College GameDay. There’s a little talk that UTSA might get one and I don’t think the schedule worked out, but we had College GameDay in front of the Alamo. One of our interns walked by and said, “I think they’re filming a movie today.” I was like, “That’s College GameDay.” It was one versus nine so Missouri was one, Oklahoma was nine. That’s the only time they’ve been here. Like I said, USC has never been here.

Justin: OU has never played in the Alamo Bowl?

Rick: No. Nebraska’s been here five times. 3 and 0 in the Alamo Bowl and 2 and 0 in the Big 12 championship.

Justin: I don’t think they’re coming back to Alamo Bowl this year.

Rick: Not this year. They would be a fun neutral side game to have, their fans are super loyal.

Justin: I’ve never thought the USC– How’s it lining up this year? What are the buckets of teams that are looking like they could be there?

Rick: The easiest way is always kind of pick the top three teams from each conference.

Justin: I don’t know who would be in Pac-12.

Rick: On Big 12 this year, Oklahoma just lost one. It’s Oklahoma, Baylor, and Oklahoma State. One of those three, and may be two of them would be available for our pick. If something crazy happens Kansas State could get in the mix and they’re a huge traveler that–

Justin: Are they?

Rick: Yes, because they’re in Manhattan, Kansas. They obviously came for one of our signature games through Breeze came and beat them when they were number four in the nation. Then on the Pac-12 side, you have Oregon that’s above us right now but they could lose down the stretch. You got Utah who came a couple of years ago has got a really good quarterback and well-coached. Then you have Arizona State and maybe UCLA if they would win out.

Justin: It’s all like big names. [crosstalk] Utah’s not really, but they’re becoming one.

Rick: The good news is some of those teams might not be as familiar but down the stretch, there’s big game so you see them play I think the Utah, Oregon games ABC’s primetime game this weekend. Then they’ll play in a championship game it’ll be a prime time. You’ll see them on TV and ideally, if the team’s not as well known, they have a star player or something. Their star quarterback is actually a Texas transfer so that’ll be interesting how he does this weekend.

Justin: Are people already booking up tailgating spots?

Rick: Tailgating is very popular, yes.

Justin: Are they already booked or you have saved some for the teams?

Rick: We try to do some, we have an area that our friends at Cabasa help sponsor Tailgate town, so we actually hold off some spaces but there’s not a whole lot of lots. It is a prime deal to have a tailgating party at the Alamo Dome.

Justin: Well, I appreciate you coming on here and talking to Alamo Bowl. I’ve learned a lot, and I left one of the most iconic college bowl games ever, at least I could say I was there. I wouldn’t have lasted, you know what, even if I’d been there I would have left before three overtimes. I’d have been like the traffic do I want to? I need a BCycle to get away from the traffic.

Rick: There’s one right there by Sunset Station.

Justin: Think they’re available after the Alamo Bowl.

Rick: [crosstalk] I think they’re only 11:00 PM so you might not be able to stay to [crosstalk]

Justin: They lock them at 11:00 PM?

Rick: Yes, I don’t know if you check it out by 11:00 PM you can get out and go but that’s the beautiful– You just never know. Some of the games like I said Baylor, Washington on the face of it, might not have been the most exciting game but now you look at it and it’s like I was watching the highlights and it was nine touchdowns to eight touchdowns.

Justin: Jesus.

Rick: People play free and they try new things and it’s like I said, it’s a good source of community pride, everybody’s getting excited. We need some more events that we need to put us on TV nationally, we’re really looking forward to having a more normal Alamo Bowl.

Justin: I always end my podcast with my top three guests. My number one’s always Pop. One day he’s going to come in here and he’s just going to give me an hour of his time. I don’t think it will but I feel like it’s going to happen so I’m hopeful. Who else do you think would be just good stories of San Antonio history or events or what’s going on now or what went on last year? I had a guy on that wrote the book of the History of the Texas League.

Rick: Oh the-

Justin: It’s fascinating.

Rick: Tom Kaiser or David [unintelligible 00:53:03]?

Justin: Who’s Tom?

Rick: I was at the Missions, I lived in that locker room starting out.

Justin: Hes’ fascinating. He’s not like the most charismatic guy in the world, but just that history of Texas League is really fascinating.

Rick: I’m trying to the history is a good one. I need to think about that one, Pop would be very good though. [laughs].

Justin: Jackie Earl Haley I think [crosstalk] I feel like he’s got downtime on his hands.

Rick: I got a good Jacky Earle– I got a Pop story [unintelligible 00:53:30] with that. Pop, when I was dispersed, it was right before the draft and my dad’s a Wake Forest grad, and he basically told Pop that, “Hey, I think this Tim Duncan guy is going to be pretty good.”


Pop just said,” We think so too.” And he was a two-time All-American.


My dad takes credit for helping in the draft. Then Jackie Earle Haley between, Bad News Bears and I don’t know what the comic book thing he got real popular for again.

Justin: The Watchmen.

Rick: Watchmen. Sorry if I just–

Justin: Which was great.

Rick: He had hit a spell where he just had a local–

Justin: He was also in The Tick, which was about the same time.

Rick: Well, before that and I need to go look it up, but he had a production studio in town and he produced our Valero Alamo TV commercial one year. He came out and he was the director, he was pretty cool.

Justin: Was he a hands-on director?

Rick: Yes, he was all about it.

Justin: Did you take on method acting as your way of doing it?

Rick: I’m really good at channeling the superfan. That’s a lazy ad man’s, “Hey, we should have more super fans.”

Justin: I think that’s good.

Rick: I think I might’ve been a background actor for that one too.

Justin: I think also Chad Carey, he is really into Beaujolais I think based on his Twitter, he’d be fun to just drink Beaujolais with and do this.

Rick: You probably don’t even record him that could be used against you-

Justin: He might be shirtless.

Rick: -in a court of law.

Justin: He’s not worried about that obviously.

Rick: I’m glad his venues are up and going. Paper Tigers is a fun spot.

Justin: I like Little Death a lot.

Rick: Then [unintelligible 00:54:57].

Justin: Have you been to Little Death? His little wine bar.

Rick: I have, I bike by it all the time. [crosstalk] I do feel bad that St. Mary’s Street’s torn up right now.

Justin: It’s a wreck. All right, Rick, it’s been about an hour or so. Thank you for doing this and good luck on the Alamo Bowl. I hope there’s a good team and I hope I get an invite to the tailgate and then maybe catch some of the game this year.

Rick: At least stay through half, please.

Justin: Until half.

Rick: Until half. Okay, I’ll guarantee that thank you again I appreciate it, and if there’s another big game coming up like a Notre Dame Army I might drag you out again.

Justin: It sounds good I appreciate it.

Rick: All right, thanks.


Justin: Thanks for joining us on this episode of the Alamo Hour, you are what makes this city so great. We hope you join us next week. In the meantime, subscribe to our podcast and check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/alamohour or our website, Alamohour.com. Until next time, Viva San Antonio.


[00:56:01] [END OF AUDIO]

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