Clay ? For you …. Tell us a story

Hey Clay, happy holidays to you and the family…

I’m curious about something, how many bowls have you covered you think ? What was the biggest one in your opinion? What was the wildest moment or some of them through the years? Thanks

I have no clue how many. There was a 10-year period in Tulsa where I covered two or three a year. I’ll think on that question for later.

Chuck Barrett says the Cotton Bowl is the best in terms of how well the participants are treated.

He said that on LR radio today.

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We need to go to a few more to test his theories. But I will say that it’s run by Arkansas people and they have always been top shelf.


One interesting story came when Oklahoma played Washington in the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma media were booked into the Fountainbleau Hotel on Miami Beach. I was to have a double double room. Bill Connors also had a room and beat me there by three days. Our rooms were booked together.

I started out a 18-day bowl trip with the Liberty (Arkansas) and the Gator (Oklahoma State).

John Klein from our staff had the Gator Bowl. When I got to Jacksonville, John asked me what kind of room I had in Miami and I said a double. He asked if he could come along and have some fun for some vacation days he’d planned back in Oklahoma. No problem.

So I cashed my ticket from Jacksonville to Miami and we took John’s rental car and drove A1A down the coast. Interesting. I’m not saying we were on A1A for all of the trip, but several hours we bounced along the beaches just taking in wonderful views from the car.

When we got to the check-in at the hotel – and that is a massive complex with a massive check-in – there was a problem. I no longer had a double double. When Bill checked in, he inquired about my reservations to make sure it was OK. They asked if it would be OK to move me to a King suite since they were tight on double doubles. Not knowing John was going to come along, he said fine.

Well, I wasn’t sharing a bed with John. He was a massive 300-plus guy then (although now a svelt 260).

When I pointed to him standing behind me in the lobby, the desk clerk said, “Ok, we will find something else for you. Afterall, your reservation is for a double double, although we don’t have any now.”

The clerk left and went behind closed doors. I’m standing with the bell hop with my bags and I had a lot of bags for my bowl odyssey. The clerk said, “We are going to give you room 800-1, in the beach club. Just one bed but six couches.”

Six couches? While I’m thinking on this possibility, the bell hop said, “He’ll take it.” And he grabbed my arm and whispered, “The last folks in there were Kennedys. It’s the penthouse of the Beach Club.”

So John and I had the Beach Club Penthouse for six nights at the Fountainbleau. I felt bad telling Jean Ann (who did go to the Liberty Bowl) about our good fortune. John had similar problems telling his wife.

That room was spectacular. It had a wrap around sunning deck with views up and down the beach. I had my own bed room. John had couches. He mainly hung out on the sunning decks. There was a pile of crushed cans (if you knew John, you can guess what had been in them) on the deck when I’d come back from covering practice. There was a mounted telescope for him to check out the scenery.

The second night there Bill Connors got an invitation from Switzer to come to a party at his penthouse above the main building (not the Beach Club). John and I were included. We were standing on their sun deck talking to Merv Johnson when Switzer said hello. John pointed across the way to the Beach Club and said, “That’s the room Clay and I got. It may be nicer than this.” Switzer didn’t really believe him, but Bill told him, “It’s true, they messed up Clay’s reservation, were out of doubles and gave them that.”

No wild parties. We didn’t really do anything but go to the media events for the week and watched football. I do not think there was such a thing as a big screen TV then, but there were several TVs in that suite.

There was only that room on the floor. The elevator opened up to a small lobby and then there was a door to the Beach Club Penthouse. And, it was apparently where some members of the Kennedy family routinely stayed in Miami.

It will be tough to ever stay in something nicer.


Great one Clay…. Was that the liberty Bowl where the Razorbacks played Georgia ? It was kind of foggy in Memphis that night right ?

Don’t remember who played whom on that trip. Hurts my brain.

That is awesome!! Yeah it’ll be hard to top that one my friend… oh by the way what is A1A??

Not Clay but that’s my understanding too. They treat the media great too.

Been to the Sugar, Cotton, Texas and Liberty Bowls and the Cotton was easily the best experience for me.

Beachfront avenue.
Girls were hot wearing less than bikinis.
Rockman lovers driving Lamborghinis.

At least according to Vanilla Ice.


A1A is the highway closest to beach in many spots all the way down the Atlantic coast. Fancy houses. Most behind fences. But still interesting. And some beaches.

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Too awesome! I was thinking the same thing, lol.

I’ve told the story about my first and only trip to Miami Beach. It was a medical conference at a hotel on Collins Avenue, otherwise known as A1A, in February. Checked into my room in late afternoon, had nothing else to do until the following morning, so I put on some trunks and went down to the beach. Hadn’t been on the sand for more than 30 seconds when a woman came up out of the ocean. Very topless, and had a very good plastic surgeon.

So after a while on the beach, I put my shirt on and walked out in front of the hotel on Collins. There was a large group of Hasidic Jewish men walking down the sidewalk with the high-crowned black hats and the sidecurls. I thought that’s Miami Beach in a nutshell, topless women and Orthodox Jews.

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1974 album from Jimmy Buffett

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You beat me to it, that was my reference for A1A!

Oh okay… Sounds like an interesting strip of highway

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