Back with another edition of my ever popular tournament blog. Last year’s edition was ridiculed at times, but we all know that you enjoyed the read.
5:30 AM: Gabe and I start for Austin. It was early, and I hadn’t officially woken up yet (read: Had any coffee), and would have loved the chance to sleep just a bit on the ride there. But, Gabe being the talker that he is, talked. haha it wasn’t annoying, and in fact he had some really interesting things to say. I learned more about the game of baseball than I thought possible before 9 AM.
6:15 AM: I finally get some coffee. Between learning why playing in college isn’t the worst move for a baseball player, and hearing why TAMU doesn’t have any big name major leaguer’s right now, I’m ready to get on the plane.
7:45 AM: I like the Austin airport for a few reasons. 1) It’s small. You can check in, get through the security checkpoint, and find your gate in about 10 minutes. Honestly, what other airport in a city of any size gives you the abiliity to do this? IAH is a crap hole compared to this place. 2) Food options. I had some breakfast tacos, but could have eaten bbq this early in the morning. Love this state. 3) I can’t really think of another reason, but needed a third to justify making a list.
9:10 AM: Got on the plane and had to sit in the middle row between two other dudes. Airplane ettiqutte would have suggested that I find a row where I (being a larger guy) could have sat either on the aisle, or next to the window. Such options weren’t available. Sitting between two other dudes, none of us were too happy, and armspace was at a premium the entire flight.
10:00 AM (CST): Why is it that sleeping on planes sucks so bad? I can sleep in a car no problem, but get me on an airplane and I’m an insomniac. I think it’s something about the lack of leg room, and not having anything to lean my head against.
11:45 AM (CST): We just flew over the Grand Canyon. I’ve seen it from ground level, but seeing it from the air was a really cool experience.
(At some point in the flight we had a time change. That’s why there was a crazy jump back in time here.)
10:45 AM (LVN): Some ladies just won $100 on slots. You’d have thought she won the lottery. Their daughters are sitting looking bored out of their minds.
11:30 AM (LVN): Just saw a guy that could have been the ghost of Robert Goulay. Seriously, he had the pedo-mustache and all. Along with having more cougars than any airport I’ve ever been in, this place isn’t half bad. BYU and Florida is on the TV, and we’re about to get on our next plane. Next stop, Spokane WA.
11:40 AM (LVN): What in the world is going on so far? ND loses. Nova is getting beat by Robert Morris, and BYU is trying to give away ANOTHER loss in the first round to a Florida team that has sucked for the last 4 years.
What happened to Florida anyway? Did they just catch lightning in a bottle for those two years and make Donovan look like a genius? Why hasn’t he been able to recruit based on those two championships? If i were a Gator fan I’d be pissed that we weren’t able to keep up the momentum of those couple of years and keep going.
If things continue like they are my bracket is done after today. Seriously, done.
12:30 PM: Hanging out with BoerneGator in the Vegas airport. Dude is funny. Checking out his computer screen is hilarious. Screen falls off if you hold it the wrong way, but the computer still works.
12:50 PM: (From now on I’ll be posting in mountain time, its just easier that way.) I get on the plane and BoerneGator didn’t save me a seat like I had asked. Thanks bro. But, I did get a seat next to Donald Sloan’s “Basketball Mom.” In reality she was his high school english teacher who has continued to support Donald throughout college both in school and out. One of the nicest ladies I’ve likely ever met. Some highlights from our conversation:
-I told her she had the ‘teacher vibe,’ and she didn’t believe me. Well, turns out she not only taught AP English but also French 1-3. When I heard that my initial reaction was, “Oh, wow I took 3 years of French in high school!” Which was promptly met by 15 minutes of her speaking to me in French. Needless to say, I couldn’t communicate with her, and got rather anxious.
-We talked about ‘The Baptism.’ And, while she seemed rather conservative, she admitted to LOVING the dunk.
-In reality the majority of the conversation was spent with her telling me how amazing of a person Sloan is in ‘real life.’ We talked about his life after school, the ways that she works to motivate the guy, and who he is when no one else is looking.
-Part of the conversation was about Lamarcus Aldridge, who she went to support in NYC when he was selected at #2 in the NBA draft.
Really cool lady.
1:30 PM: Sat behind some WKU fans who bought tickets to this pod to watch some quality basketball. They said they like the Ags to advance past this weekend. I’m not sure if they were just saying that because everyone around them was an Aggie fan, but they seemed like cool dudes.
3:20 PM: Landed in Spokane. Flying in is like flying over a gigantic Christmas Tree farm. Every tree that you can see looks like something you’d cut down and stick ornaments on in your living room. ‘Washington: Here It’s Christmas All Year Long!’
3:50 PM: Our ride to the hotel was a Lincoln Towne Car. That’s right, TexAgs rides in style. In reality though, the hotel we’re staying at with the NCAA media (Hotel Davenport) sends that car for anyone who pays the transfer price. Still feel like a high roller though.
4:30 PM: Get to the Hotel and about to head out to grab some food.
5:15 PM: A UW fan just came in and asked for the restaraunt to change the channel to ESPN so she could watch the Huskies play. The waiter changed it to ESPN so that she could watch the game. What neither of them knew, but that Gabe tried to explain, is that all of the games will be shown on CBS, and that it’s up to the local affiliate to determine which game is aired.
She walked off in a huff clearly thinking that we were full of it, and then came back a few minutes later to watch her team play.
The worst part of the whole story? She was an ‘annoying fan.’ Meaning she screamed for no good reason, had very little game knowledge, and…I’m not sure what else. I guess I just got annoyed.
5:50 PM: Went and grabbed some food at a pub down the street. Had some fish and chips. Good stuff. The real winner from the meal was the beer, Mac and Jack’s smoky amber ale. It tasted like a sweet spiced amber with a nice finish and a great flavor.
I’m excited to taste some of the local IPA’s around this part of the country. Anyone know of anything from Washington state worth trying? I’d like to stick with stuff that’s made around this area if at all possible.
6:00 PM: Got a free cookie from the Barista at the Starbucks downstairs in the hotel. Pretty sweet!