It is game day for the Cats, just like it was a year ago in Music City! This is part II of my four part series on the 2010 tournament. If you are in Catlanta and have something you want to share with us, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org C! A! T! S!
Is there anything better than a UK game day? When you have a ticket? If there is, I don’t know about it. The TGR family was moving a little slow early Friday. The arrival celebration went deep into the night for most, I being one of the few exceptions.
After a quick preparation, we made our way to the elevators. For those who don’t know me, I am a wheelchair user, have been for 12 years now. I understand that our country was not built for wheelchair use originally, so I don’t bitch when there are issues with the accessibility of different places or what have you. I understand that our society is trying to conform itself to regulations, slowly but surely. Saying that, I am going to rant. If you are one of these people who wait for an elevator, and when the elevator comes, no matter how many folks are on it, you squeeze yourself in it…You are a rude piece of trash. If you are in that big a hurry to get down stairs, either use the stairs (if you are able), or get up a bit earlier and take in consideration that most of the hotel occupancy will be going downstairs at the same time, just like morning traffic. My wife and I are very considerate when it comes to this process, if it looks like my chair might make anyone in the elevator uncomfortable, we pass up the elevator and wait on the next one. Why is it that difficult for others to do the same? OK, I’m done.
When we got to the lobby my TGR peeps were pitiful. I even heard one refuse a beer, which is unheard of most of the time. I ended up with a pre-noon Bloody Mary, which I was careful not to drip on my sparkling new white Patrick Patterson jersey I was sporting. We departed soon there after, those with tickets to the arena and those who did not have any, to the bars to watch their cats with thousands of others in the same boat.
It was when we got within a few blocks of the Bridgestone Arena that we began to understand the magnitude of the Big Blue nation’s complete take over of Nashville. It was not only fans, it was vendors selling UK gear, it was car and trucks decorated to the max with UK flags and stickers and blue and white paint, it was basically a circus of blue.
My mom, Jess, and I had seats together. They were not bad, 3rd level about the 3rd row. They were on the same side of the floor as the benches, behind the UK bench. The arena there holds about 20,000 for basketball games, and there is not a terrible seat in the building from all indications. My brother and his wife did not get in, the cheapest ticket any of us saw on game day was $400 a piece.
No reason to recap the game, we all saw it. There were some really tight moments for me; Alabama played a very tough 1st half. When we cut the lead to 1 in the 2nd half, then the Tide rolled off 2 straight baskets, I got a bit nervous. Surely I had not come all this way to see only one game, right? PPat grabbed control late and pulled out a close vic over the Crimson Tide.
Tide fans are very odd, I had two different sets of fans say that they would cheer for the Cats to win the tourney after their loss to us, not another fan base in the conference would ever do that, so “Roll Tide!”
A group text was sent out late in the game for the TGR to meet back at Legend’s Corner, and a celebration cold beverage was had by all! 1 Down, 2 to go!
Lunch was had at Bailey’s Pub & Grille on Broadway. I recommend it, nice food, and nice atmosphere. It was one of the locations for TGR non-ticket holders to watch the Big Blue. My only problem was that it was very very loud, I am all about loud, but their TV‘s could be heard from blocks away. The best stor yof this place? One of the founding fathers of TGR ran into a guy he met on his honeymoon in Jamaica a couple of years ago, very very random. Proving the BBN knows no boundaries.
Most of us returned to the hotel after lunch. Some of the girls, both male and female, took naps to help the recovery process. I took my show to the hotel bar for some post game discussion with random people, both UK fans and different team’s fans. Time flies when you are discussing basketball with people who know quite a bit less than you do about mark Krebs high school career and Ramon Harris’s shoe size, but it was fine. Before I knew it, most of the girls had risen from their beauty rests, and were ready for…not much. Quite a few ate dinner in the hotel. After to long, most of the REAL soldiers
had gathered in the hotel bar to watch Miss State beat Florida. An hour or so after the game, the Bulldogs came walking through the hotel lobby, only feet from the bar. Out of no where, an applause grew from the patrons of the bar for the MSU team, UK fans included. That is when the TGR crew joined in, not with applause though. All of us were holding up our hands to our ears, signaling to them, “Call me”. One or two were yelling at them to “call me!” I was yelling at MSU All-American, Jarvis Varnado to “Please don’t throw any water bottles at us!”, he simply shook his head and smiled. Nothing like harassing young adults because of the school they chose to play a sport for.
After a short stay at a downtown piano bar, that I can’t remember the name of, I tucked it in for the night. The Vols were next on our list, and payback
was going to be a beotch! Go cats!