After waking up at 4 am this morning to catch the Newark airport monorail, we finally arrived at Dayton, OH, and then drove into Kentucky just in time for today's epic matchup with the Cardinals of Louisville. Still smarting from last season's upset, along with the salt in the wounds of our internet sensation YouTube video, Dave and I were prepared for a tough battle. We could have never expected this, however.
First of all, if you've never been to Kentucky, here are a couple things you should know.
1. Everyone is incredibly nice. During tonight's game, Dave and I were bedazzled in our blue Booster Club fleeces, amidst an entire sea of red. Still, the Louisville fans embraced us with open wings, inquiring about our journey not unlike when Greek heroes of yore recited tales from sea. We dined on beef dogs and ice cream... Talked country music... Simply incredible.
2. They LOVE their basketball down here. Freedom Hall was absolutely rocking tonight, including the Farm equipment exhibition warehouse that connects to it, and the fans showed tremendous love for their graduating players. Most remarkable was the pregame video of Louisville's seniors, which featured T-Will singing a tribute to Louisville a la Tom Cruise from Risky Business.
Tomorrow, we've got a big day planned... We'll take a tour of the Louisville Slugger museum, visit a couple Whiskey distilleries, ogle the thousands of blonde girls, etc. It should be great!
But here's a quick couple thoughts from the game, that you might have missed watching the game on TV:
- From where we were sitting, we had a great view of the court, and it was clear that Walters was a man possessed tonight. After Pitino called a timeout, Walters actually stared him down and brought out his patented walrus-clap as an intimidating gesture. Classic!
- During every stoppage of play, there's a blimp in Freedom Hall that circulates the arena, dropping coupons redeemable for free chocolate milk. Suffice it to say, it makes game action feel like a let-down.
- Not sure if it was clear on TV, but the Louisville team was having a lot of fun tonight, really soaking in the moment, making extra (sometimes unnecessary) passes. We, on the other hand, just looked very tired.
- Early in the game, as Seton Hall was making shots, and got off to an early lead, you could very clearly hear Pitino turn to his bench and say, "Tonight is our pay back." It was clear he was referencing last year's Hazell crush-fest.
- After the game, T-Will addressed the crowd for about a half hour with some very moving sentiments. The highlight came when he thanked all the assistant coaches, including "Little Rick."
Well, phew... I'm exhausted. Thank you to all who have supported us thus far, helping us along this journey. Special thanks to HallDan and the SHU coaching staff who do everything possible to make us feel a part of this great team.
More updates tomorrow on our Kentuckian adventures!