T'S THE BIGGEST weekend of the year in Gilroy, California, with more than 100,000 people visiting for the annual garlic festival. But on this late July night, 30-year-old high school football coach Rob Mendez has a taste for sushi. A young boy holds open the door as Mendez approaches his favorite spot. The coach nods and says "thank you."
Earlier in the day, Mendez flew home from Las Vegas, a 48-hour escape before the insanity of the season begins. The lift mechanism on his wheelchair broke on the trip. And his roommate is resting back at home, exhausted from a pair of Vegas nights.