Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Our Trip To The Loo!

Bottom line: could have been better, could have been worse. Let's go to the tape, Sergio Leone style!


The Good: The Drury Inn & Suites Convention Center was very well-located -- right across the street from the Edward Jones Dome. As a matter of fact, if I had longer arms I could have touched the arena from our window. Really long arms, mind you, but you get the picture. Also within easy walking distance of the various drinking establishments of Laclede's Landing.

The Bad: The well-placed room cost about 38 cents per minute spent in it.

The Ugly: Many of those minutes involved vomiting.

Friendly Encounters

The Good: Noreen & I met up with Mark, Donnelly, Christy and assorted others at the Trainwreck Saloon for pregame festivities. These festivities were predicated, of course, on the assumption of a dry venue for the game (no beer at NCAA championship sites) and the concomitant need to hose rapidly and in great volume. More about that later, but fun was had including seeing Hoag and Snider pour beer all over their own faces in an apparent attempt to prove a point about something or other to some complete strangers.

The Bad: Norb's friend Mark came with him and the negativity level from his sector was not cool.

The Ugly: Nothing too ugly on this front. No brawls or fistfights. No obnoxious North Carolina fans. There was the vomiting, though.

Our Seats

The Good: We may get a refund.

The Bad: Under the best of circumstances, the bad would have involved the location of our seats in super nosebleed territory.

The Ugly: These were not the best of circumstances.

Super nosebleed seats would have been much better than the seats we wound up with, which were in front of a TV in the basement of a bar back in the Landing. Theories abound regarding what happened, but these are the facts as we now know them:

  1. We bought tickets for the final game on ebay a couple of months ago, with the hopes that the Illini would meet us at the Edward Jones Dome.
  2. The Illini held up their end of the bargain.
  3. Our end was thwarted by an apparent sting operation run on our "ticket broker" by the St. Louis Police Department. This "broker" apparently failed to take all proper precautions, the result being that our tickets were confiscated by the SLPD, along with those of a few dozen other unfortunate souls. What actually became of the tickets, no one seems to know. If anyone did sit in those seats, though, it wasn't us -- and I'm pretty sure that someone did sit in those seats.
The Game

The Good: Heedless of our plight, the powers-that-be pressed ahead with the scheduled playing of the national championship game. The good for the Illini consisted of the tremendous heart shown by the team in rallying from a 15-point second half deficit to twice tie the game in its waning moments, at 67 and 70.

The Bad: A key turnover, a key UNC offensive rebound, and a couple of clanked shots in the last two minutes combined to undo the championship dreams of thousands of orange-clad faithful both inside the stadium and around the world. UNC 75, U of I 70. Fourth NCAA title for the Tar Heels, continued dreams of a first for the Illini.

The Ugly: Can't say that there was anything ugly about either the game or the season for the Illini. Down 15 against a very talented opponent, a lot of teams would have folded. Not the Illini. So close to yet another comback for the ages, the Illini fell just a step short in the score, but certainly not in heart. Even a second-place finish ranks as the best in Illini history, and that has to be the stamp put upon this team: the best Illini team in 100 years of playing the game.


At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One More...

The Ugly: James Augustine's fouls for breathing heavy in the lane.


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