Attending an Elite 8 game

  • 277502055_10158630662842694_1997187229199985146_n.jpeg Me and the Mrs.

    I love living in Chicago. For first 25 years of marriage we were in Wisconsin and Louisiana. When we moved back I made up for lost time and started going to mucho awesome HS games, some college games, mainly Badgers, and some Bulls.

    So when I saw the Elite 8 coming to Chicago I started hoping everything would come together for a KU appearance at the United Center, the house that Mike built, but nowhere as magical as the old Chicago Stadium with the enormous organ and (I hate 2nd hand smoke now) clouds of cigar smoke in the air, especially at Blackhawk games.

    Anyways 2 Sundays ago looking at the bracket it looked pretty doable. Then the upsets happen. Now you understand my other team UW is in the same region and I started to dream of a KU-UW regional final. Then Iowa goes down. We HATE Iowa like we hate Missouri. They’re a bunch of whiny underachieving brats and they never shut up. McCaffery for national coach of the year they kept saying this year because he took a team picked for 9th in the league and having them earn a BIG tournament bye…until they lost. Anyhow, I hate Iowa.

    So when ISU fights into the regional and I know we can beat them and figure we can beat Providence and then Miami wins which means tickets are going to be lower because you know, they’re down by Cuba and they only know football so, alas, a buyers market which it was. I held out til after church this morning and pounced after the benediction and we walked out the door singing the doxology also known as the Crimson and the Blue song.

    (buyers tip, when we win Saturday watch the ticket resellers sites like Stubhub and they’ll come down. Then drive to NOLA Sunday to watch us Monday night doing whatever it is you like to do in NOLA which judging by your language probably isn’t going to church before the game!)

    Found free parking on Ogden Ave only a mile away and got a good brisk walk out of it.

    It’s always great to see lots of Jayhawk fans in Chicago, or anywhere actually, because I don’t see too many. It’s more of a moneyed crowd so you don’t see too many rowdy fans. There’s a few Canes fans around, gave them the courteous ‘good luck’ type of statement without the addendum of ‘you’re going to need it’.

    We climb to the same altitude as the roof of the Sears Tower to our seat and settle in. A Sox fan sits next to me and I discover he’s not a KU fan but an Illini fan and he’s there to cheer for Miami because he’s still mad at Self for leaving. I resisted temptation to say no coach in their right mind would stay at the U of I if a school like KU came calling. And he cheered like mad for Miami, for a half anyways.

    In front of us were 3 KU kids all 2016 graduates. Nice, fun to talk to, learning new additions to the “we’re going to beat the hell out of you” chant with the pep band song.

    At half time I had a cathartic moment (I have no idea if this is an example of that but it sounds like I know what I’m talking about) I take losses hard. I’m still depressed about the Sox losing game four to the Orioles in 1983. That game was a classic, I was a college kid following my favorite team and they were flat out awesome the last 4 months of that season. Remember my screen name used to be wissoxfan83? Well that’s where that came from. So when the Sox lost it was the worst feeling. The Badgers getting screwed out of a championship (my view!) in 2015 was also a depressing loss that I still am pissed about. So anyways during the half I told my wife that I’m not gonna let this one bother me. A 6 point deficit aint much to be honest but you’d rather be up 6 at that point. So I made up my mind to enjoy that I’m at a big game seeing my team with my wife and just take what happens. Very mature of me, right?

    Well I’m glad the Jayhawks didn’t force me to learn to deal with another disappointing loss.

    A 2nd half like that is just amazing to witness in person. Our seats from the Sears tower made it hard to see if the ball is going through the hoop. In the first half I thought Remy shot an airball and it was a swish. So all I’m seeing of Miami is turnover, shot, clang, rebound break KU. Oh yeah, punctuated by more than a few missed FT’s by KU which was reminding me of the Superdome game in 2003 (another depressing loss). So most of the half is just this blur of a half of missed Cane shot, fast break, KU layup or dunk, another stop, rinse repeat.

    When a team scores 15 points in a half, well you’re just doing something really good as a defense. And that was a masterpiece. They became very determined to take away the three ball and take away the penetration. The first half seemed like an open lane to the hoop for Miami. 2nd half there weren’t openings.

    I like Charlie Moore. I saw him when he was an unknown to me. I was at a HS tournament in the suburbs while were still living down south and gone home for Christmas. So the game starts and Charlie gets the tip dribbles to the line and calmly and confidently drains a 3 just like that. I thought, hmm, that stroke looks next level like. The crowd gave him a huge ovation when he was introduced as Chicagoans love their own! But today I mentioned in the thread that he was the Charlie Moore that we didn’t appreciate a whole lot during his season in Lawrence.

    I’ve also enjoyed watching Jim Larranaga this tournament. Never paid attention to him much to be honest. But seeing him after the ISU win was fun and then when I got home this after noon I started watching the game, and saw his taking a charge against KU in the lockerroom and loved it! It was a nice coaching move too as they drew 3 charges against us, 2 of which I told the official in no uncertain terms that he was wrong.

    So the game ended, the Illini fan stopped cheering, I stopped worrying about having to handle a loss like a good Christian man should, and enjoyed the rest.

    Did the chant kind of, and soaked it all in. Just kept marveling that I was at an Elite 8 game watching my team win for the 10th time since I came to Lawrence in 1985. Like that’s ten more times than Missouri and since Iowa hasn’t final foured since 1980 when Lute Olson was their coach then it’s ten more times than them too. The players celebrated, watched Dave jump down from the victory stage set up and worried he could have hurt himself doing that.

    It’s interesting to watch how orchestrated it all is by the NCAA. A stage comes out, someone comes out handing out hats, another T shirts, another towels, latter comes out with scissors impaled in the hole on the top step, confetti, some boring NCAA dweeb gives them the typical congrats speech, then they go to cut the net. I watched about four loops being cut and said to my wife lets go! Found a Sox fan walking out who’s also a Jayhawks fan and we chatted about both our teams. Got back to the car, still there, although no car thief these days would know how to steal a stick shift anyways so I don’t worry about it too much. Drove home down the greatest urban highway in America, Lake Shore Dr, um sorry, the Jean Pointe Baptiste Dusable Lake Shore Drive to our own beautiful home in Whiting, IN, the founding place of Standard Oil Company. I like to think that Rockefeller owned my house at one point.

  • We need to send you to down to NOLA to jog alongside the team bus

  • Mitch right now live signing autographs in Topeka airport… he is sticking around to soak in the love

    Jayhawk Mitch!

  • @Bosthawk said in Attending an Elite 8 game:

    Mitch right now live signing autographs in Topeka airport… he is sticking around to soak in the love

    Jayhawk Mitch!

    Pretty nice turnout for the Hawks

  • Meant to add one little tidbit. During award ceremonies they mention Bill Self and an overserved woman nearby screams “F…You Bill Self”. Maybe another disgruntled Illini fan? Maybe fan who thought she was going to be Mrs. Self? Maybe mother of a 5’11" kid with “a great jumper” who Bill didn’t offer? Who knows, but it was kind of funny to hear.

  • @DanR At todays gas prices don’t think I’ll be driving down to NOLA just to run alongside a bus!

  • Wife found a typo, Ladder, not latter, but who really cares?

  • I’m debating buying a Final Four ticket. Prices calmed way down from immediately after the games. Don’t see any hotels in New Orleans on Expedia though so might have to stay near Baton Rogue if I go.

    I went in to San Antonio in 2018 and the Final Four is a great experience and this time there’s a Duke/UNC game to go with a KU game.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 a NOLA Ff is great because of the Domes proximity to thenFrench Quarter.

  • @wissox

    Awesome post!

    How was the crowd from your vantage point. Seemed like when we went on that run to start the 2nd half the place errupted.

  • @BeddieKU23 Funny, but as I rewatched at home it seemed louder on TV than in the place.

  • @wissox How many times did you stop the tape while watching to see if you could find your seats way up in the attic?

    Great write-up!

  • @mayjay LOL, There was one time I pointed it out to my wife as they showed the entire east end of the stadium “there we are”! Next time we’ll have to give a few bills to get down to where we’d be seen!

  • Thanks for the reporting!! Gave us all a chance to “experience” the inside. #RockChalk

  • @RockChalkinTexas I’d do it anytime! Glad to have had the experience.

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