The Stoops Brothers need a vacation

Jon Bois

They're taking a family trip to the Grand Canyon, and won't you come along with them on their adventure?

It's been a busy offseason for the Stoops Brothers. Brother Mike, Oklahoma's defensive coordinator, implied Heisman winner Johnny Manziel will be in jail someday. Brother Mark is hard at work making Kentucky into a football school. And Brother Bob ... oh, Brother Bob.

Between declaring the bottom of the SEC is subpar to complaining about the BCS system, Brother Bob seems like he needs some time off. The whole Stoops clan needs a vacation. Good thing they're taking one.

They're piling into their 1993 Buick Roadmaster and taking a trip to the Grand Canyon. Let's take a peek into their travelogue.

JUNE 7, DEPART: Norman, OK

With the Bob Stoops Football Camp finally over, it was time to hit the road.

Brother Bob was still tired from trying to get the youth of the nation to understand they aren't worth a lick to him or anyone else, and Brother Mark was trying to finish up the final touches on a manuscript he had been working on for months, so Brother Mike was overjoyed to be in the captain's chair for the first leg of the journey. He screamed for the first 20 minutes.

The boys planned to drive in four-hour shifts. It was a pretty easy trip down I-40, but it's a long way, so they needed plenty of cool tunes and refreshments to make this trip the best one ever.


JUNE 7, STOP 1: Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum, Amarillo, TX

Let me tell you: Brother Mike could not stop raving about this place. He almost lost his damned mind over it.

"I knew a friend who went there when he drove from Tallahassee to Phoenix," he howled, "and it rivals even the best RV palaces in these United States. What a treasure!"

The other two brothers had to pull Mike out of an RV he had taken to calling Jimbo. Brother Bob was not impressed in the slightest and wandered off midway through the tour to repeatedly open and close an RV door mindlessly.

Brother Mark schmoozed his way into meeting Mr. Sisemore himself. Brother Mark then shared his insights on RV repair and maintenance, which were considerable.


JUNE 7, STOP 2: Buddy Holly Statue, Lubbock, TX

It's amazing. All the times Brother Bob has been to Lubbock, he's never had the chance to say hello to Buddy Holly. It was finally his day.

"Hello," he said.

Brother Mark didn't really want to be there. Neither did Brother Mike.

Kliff Kingsbury was not around; guess he was on a vacation of his own! Maybe he was taking a trip out to Hollywood to work on his swagger.

The brothers also had to fuel up, and Brother Mark picked up his favorite type of COMBOS® snacks, which is basically just an open bag of Pizzeria Pretzel COMBOS® with chili and cheese sauce poured in from the hot dog station. He called them HOTBOS®. Everyone complimented his way with snacks.


JUNE 7, STOP 3: Ute Lake State Park, Logan, NM

Brother Mike thought this was the greatest freaking place in the whole world. He spent an hour trying to ride armadillos, and the next few hours trying to grab fish in the lake the same way bears try to catch salmon.

Luckily Brother Mark packed plenty of sandwiches earlier in the day, because the crew was certainly famished. The brothers could always count on Mark to stay on task and organized.

Brother Bob isn't what we call the biggest fan of state parks, so he put on his Discman and listened to the first half of a George Jones disc. The first half was his favorite half.


JUNE 7, STOP 4: Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, NM

After a quick stop at the Mountain Cheese Factory (Brother Bob said the Green Chile cheese "did a number on my innards"), it was time to grub up. Brother Mark picked a spot: Rockin' Ys Roadhouse.

"The Y stands for yum!" Brother Mark said. Brother Mike laughed. Brother Bob was focused on photographing his enchiladas. "Hello," Bob said. "These enchiladas are mushy and inauthentic. I'm going to give them two stars."

After a long day, it was time to kick back and relax at the Blue Swallow Motel. (If you're ever there, ask for Kevin and Nancy, as they're just the most delightful people a group of brothers could have ever met. Brother Mike was out back playing with fireworks he bought on the side of the road and caught a truck on fire. Fortunately, Brother Mark was able to sweet talk Kevin and Nancy out of pressing charges.)


JUNE 8, STOP 5: Santa Fe, NM

Do you know the way to Santa Fe? The Stoops Brothers sure do! Day 2 was a time to tap into the rich cultural history of the West, with stops at the Museum of New Mexico, the Museum of International Folk Art, Canyon Road, and the San Miguel Mission.

Brother Bob thought the top attractions in Santa Fe were just fine, if not a little boring, but the lesser things to see and do brought down the entire city as a whole. Brother Mike was in his own personal cultural Mecca. He just couldn't stop touching Georgia O'Keeffe paintings even after the guard told him he couldn't. There were so many flowers. Mike loves flowers. He almost got arrested.

Brother Mark kept trying to move the brothers along because were on a very strict timeline, and if they didn't get to lunch in time the rest of the day would fall behind.

After a jam-packed day, it was time to take in a movie at the Screen. They were showing Kurosawa's Ran. "It's about brothers, and we're brothers," Brother Mike shrieked. Brother Bob gave it two stars. He didn't like the ending.

A trip to La Fonda on the Plaza and the day was over. Brother Mark was out like a light. Brother Mike freaked out about the free wi-fi, which he used to watch his Netflix episodes of the hit PBS Kids program Dinosaur Train.

Brother Bob called down to the front desk to ask for firmer pillows and just kept calling for firmer and firmer pillows until 6 a.m. He threatened to give the hotel a two-star rating on Travelocity if it did not acquiesce.


JUNE 9, STOP 6: Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, AZ

You should have seen the look on Brother Mike's face when the brothers pulled up to the park. He just kept snapping pictures. He even took a photo of a photo on his camera so he could show Brother Bob the impressive contrast.

"Hello, If you stare much longer, you're going to turn into a piece of petrified wood," Brother Bob said.

The brothers laughed and laughed. Brother Mark had researched this quaint little place called Harvey's Diner, so he split off from the group for some alone time, but soon it was time to get back on the road again.

"Hello," Brother Bob said. "The wood isn't going anywhere, so let's go on and get out of here. It's only wood, after all."


JUNE 9, ARRIVE: Grand Canyon National Park, Canyon Village, AZ

The Grand Canyon. Can you believe it? The Stoops Brothers finally made it. And what a sight!

Brother Mike did the classic "V for Victory" symbol in his pictures, and he couldn't wait to ride a mule down the South Rim. He had never seen a mule in person before. If Mark hadn't stopped him, he probably would've taken the darned animal home with him.

Brother Mark was excited to get an old glass bottle of Coca-Cola on the scenic railroad train ride. He bought his tickets weeks in advance, and had every hour planned down to the second.

Brother Bob thought the whole experience should've been a heck of a lot grander. "Hello, this is honestly a two-star attraction," he said. "We shouldn't have wasted our time."

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