I had an issue on my hands as to where I was going to watch Saturday night's game. I've thrown a couple of watch parties for most of my friends and family in my house each of the last two years. During those two parties, KU lost to Northern Iowa and VCU. No one in my family will come to my house for a tournament game now. Even if they would, I'd refuse to watch it in my house anyway.
Our good friends from Coors Light were throwing a big watch party down in the Power & Light district. They wanted me to Emcee the event, since I'm the "KU guy" of the morning show. I was happy to do it, but I also happen to be more than a little superstitious. The last time I was down in the Power & Light for a KU game, the Jayhawks lost to Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament. No way I could watch the game there.
I told the folks from Coors that I'd Emcee through the first game, then I'd do some stuff on stage right after the first game was over, then I'd be gonzo. I got on stage, threw some T-shirts out to the crowd (thanks to Walker Uniform and Towel), introduced a country music band that played for an hour, "ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Outlaw Jim and the Whiskey Benders!" walked around the area shaking hands with people, went to Maker's Mark by myself, had some Ahi Tuna and a beer, shook more hands with people, then got on stage one last time after the Kentucky game was over, gave some sweet Coors Light Jayhawk neon signs away, handed the mic to the dude who runs the stage, ran backstage, jumped in my car and drove like a bat outta hell back to Lenexa to watch the game at Aaron Swarts’s house. My wife met me there. I made it just before tipoff.
While I was at Maker's Mark, I got a text from one of my best friends, telling me how nervous he was for this game. I was all cocky at this point, responding to him that I wasn't nervous because I didn't even expect Kansas to get to this point. By the time Releford was at the line, shooting to give KU the lead, I felt like I was going to puke up all of the food I'd eaten that day.
My superstition is to tweet during games. My wife used to hate this, and has said on multiple occasions: "I feel like I need to be on twitter just to watch this game with you." It became a superstition when I told her I'd turn my phone off during the KU / MU game so we could enjoy the game together (we were in the Fieldhouse together for that one.) When we got down by 19, she turned to me and said, "Turn that damn phone on and start tweeting." Clearly that is what turned the tide for KU, and I haven't stopped tweeting since. These are the tweets I send out last night:
"Man this game is ugly so far."
"Final Four refs really can't tell the difference between #24 and #0? Good break for KU, but that is unbelievable."
"Craft had position there?"
**Retweet a post from Andy Glockner: "Hey, It's a charge! #everythingisacharge
"In this style of game, being down by 11 feels like being down by 20."
"Wow, what a way to end the half. KU needed that. KU almost has to feel good to be within 9 after that offensive start."
**start of 2nd half** "Next 5 min of clock time will likely determine if KU is going to keep their season going."
"Per my "next 5 minutes" tweet, so far so good."
"Terrible by Elijah, making it worse by picking up his 4th."
"How many great hustle plays has Releford made tonight?"
"Crazy that Teahen's 3 are the only bench points scored by either team tonight."
***Response to a tweet from Petro. His tweet said, "Am I missing something…Is Pitbull a really big deal?" My response: "Frank Martin would fight you for saying that."
"Reading all of the Craft love on twitter over the next minute will make me wanna vomit, but gotta give the guy credit. Huge play." This was obviously after the steal and lay in.
"JEFF freaking WITHEY." I think this was after his block on Buford…maybe Craft? I need to go back and watch the 2nd half again.
***Retweet a post from Andy Staples: "Breaking: Jeff Withey is a full-grown man."
***Then I retweeted about 7 college basketball writers who all thought the traveling call on Withey was garbage. After seeing the replay, I think it actually was a travel.
"KU has had a tough time making FT's to protect late leads all season. Who do you want at the line here?" (Correct answer, evidently: Releford and Taylor)
"Tyshawn. I don't care what anybody says. I'll take him on my team any day. Headaches and all."
"Can't believe Craft of all people made that mistake" (After the lane violation.)
"Seriously. THIS Kansas team is playing for the National Title."
"More fun tonight, Mass Street or Bourbon Street?" Got about a 50/50 split from people responding to me on this one.
Incidentally, here's a video a guy took and put on twitter last night of himself and tons of other students sprinting from the Wheel to Mass street after the game.
KU was fun, but there were riots in Kentucky. There was actually a Kentucky fan who watched the game with us at Aaron's house. He was extremely nice and gracious, even having the decency to cheer for KU. He said it is a tradition that the students burn couches at Kentucky after wins like last night.
Saturday night was one of those nights where I wish I could have been in about 10 different places at the same time.
I wish I could've been in New Orleans with so many of my friends who went down there. Wish I could’ve been on Bourbon Street partying my butt off after the game like I did back when KU beat Marquette in '03.
I wish I could’ve been running down the street from the Wheel to Mass street, with a bunch of other crazy fans, like we were running with the bulls in Pamplona.
I wish I could’ve been with my dad, listening to him bitch about the refs the entire game.
I wish I could’ve been at the Fieldhouse, where 10,000 fans stormed the court. (I guess KU fans do storm the court at Allen Fieldhouse after all.)
But, in the end, it was pretty darn sweet to be with my wife and some close friends, in my producer's basement, just the same. It was even sweeter to get up the next morning, and be able to get my son out of bed, take him to get donuts, then on the way home have him say, "daddy, when we get home, I wanna go outside and play baseball, basketball, and soccer."
No complaints here.
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