You tend to forget the intensity and the sheer magnitude of a live sporting event when you haven't been to one in a while. You see the ruckus on tv, you see the insane fans and the action on the field or court, but you really don't get the whole vibe. It's about being among thousands of people, most of whom are cheering for the same outcome. It's about having to scream to the person next to you just to be heard over the cheering, the band, or the loudspeaker that's blasting AC/DC during a timeout.
I haven't been to many games recently, especially compared to when I was in college where I attended most every home men's and women's basketball as well as men's ice hockey game. Since I've moved to Kansas I've only caught one game which was a KU football game in the rain. That is, until my roomies gave us some tix for KJ, I and a couple of friends to hit up the KU women's basketball game in the Final Four of the WNIT last night. (That's the Women's National Invitation Tournament for those unaware. It's basically a tourney for those that don't make the NCAA tournament.)
Of course, the game was at the historic Allen Fieldhouse. It was filled to about half capacity (about 8,300 people) for this game against Illinois State and it was pretty intense. I can't imagine being in the place for a big men's basketball game, they did win the national championship last year. The sounds and the overall vibe transported me back to my college days while I was working at Alfond Arena for men's ice hockey games. (Hockey is to UMaine as basketball is to the University of Kansas.)
It took a few minutes to get used to the blasting pep bands, just like the old days, but once the game started, the action was the highlight and it was great to see the KU women make it to the championship with a close fought win. I look forward to hitting up the championship game on Saturday right there at "The Phog".
To cap off a fun night, the four of us got shown on the scoreboard screen, the first time I'd ever been on there. I played it cool and just kept clapping. I didn't feel like being one of those people that goes nuts waving or hides their face in embarrassment. Oh, and we did get caught in the parking garage while my "low gas" light glared me in the face. I was a little nervous but we made it out alright. I can say that would have been a lot more embarrassing than getting my 10 seconds on the arena scoreboard.
I don't know where I was going with this post. It was meant to be about how music (I do like to stay on topic) and the excitement of being at a game in person really pales in comparison to watching at home on the tube. I feel like it just ended being a boring pictorial story that captures the simplicity and "excitement" of my life.
I'm going to a show in Kansas City tonight, hopefully tomorrow's story won't run out of gas like this one. Keep rockin'!