Thursday, January 12, 2012

#BIAHRoadTrip The Diary, Part VII: We made it to Xavier despite getting lost ... a lot

5:15 pm Day 8
The road
Somewhere in Indiana
Total Miles: 1202

Road Trip Part-I
Road Trip Part-II
Road Trip Part-III
Road Trip Part-IV
Road Trip Part-V
Road Trip Part-VI

This post is sponsored by the Fairfield Inn Bloomington.


A last belated thank you to the Hampton Inn & Suites Cincy Uptown. They had coffee at the entrance. All day. Every day. For a certified caffeine addict, that was a blessing you cannot imagine.

When we left you last, we were heading over to the Cintas Center to check out Xavier taking on Duquesne. Unfortunately, the game wasn't great. Xavier got their swagger back and managed to smother TJ McConnell, a player we both were looking forward to seeing play live, into oblivion.

And despite the fact that this game was over 10 minutes in, we still had an incredible time. Xavier is a great place to watch a basketball game. Their arena is gorgeous and stocked with Xavier memorabilia and historical items. Musketeer fans pack the place and can get as loud as any gym in the country. And, of course, they have Dez Wells.

I mean #DezWells. After the show he put on last night, he's not longer just a freshmen. He's a hashtag. He had six dunks, four of them were of the alley-oop variety and three of those were #POSTERIZED worthy:

The most interesting part of the gameday atmosphere were these guys:

Not exactly a Musketeer's outfit, right?

There's an explanation to it. Every four years, these guys pick one freshman that will be on the receiving end of their undying fandom. For the entirety of that kid's career at Xavier, these guys -- there are usually four of them, and they always sit in the same seats -- will dress up in the same costume. Former players were Stanley Burrell and James Posey. Right now? Its Mark Lyons.

Get it?

Lyons? Lions? Safari costumes?



These are not the only fans that dress up for Xavier games. Sitting in the corner diagonally across from the visitor's bench are the Xavier Popes. Normally, they look like this:

When we were there, we looked like this:

What the hell, fellas? How often is BIAH going to make it all the way to Cincinnati? When was the last time the guys in the Mark Lyons safari outfits took a day off? Hint: never. That's when. I'm not mad, I'm not upset, I just ... I'm just a little disappointed. I expected more out of you guys.

(Since one random Cincinnati fan keeps tweeting me Xavier hate, yes, I am kidding.)


Speaking of random rival fan hate, its fairly shocking to me that Cincinnati Bearcat fans were quite a bit more upset about our decision to attend a game at Xavier than Louisville fans were that we went to Kentucky. I'm thrown off by this, and not just because I figured Louisville fans would be just as insane as Big Blue Nation due to the fact that they live in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

So I'll say this once, UC fans: we went to a UC sponsored tweet-up for the road game the Bearcats played this week. We did a podcast for your school's athletics website. We played pick-up basketball in your practice gym. We attended a practice and got a chance to spend some time with Mick Cronin. Don't be mad at us because there were no games scheduled at Fifth Third while we were in town.


Xavier, like most Division I schools, has a shooting contest at half time. The way they do it is that the participant has to make a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer and a half court shot in 30 seconds to win a bunch of money.

The guy who the Musketeers selected made his first attempt at a layup, but he missed five straight free throws before finally hitting one as the buzzer expired. But the kid had no quit in him, so instead of walking off the court like the PA announcer was asking him to, he stepped to the three point line and let one fly: buckets.

At this point, the crowd started getting behind him. So after an awkward five seconds where he had to decide whether he should go for the half court shot or leave the court like he was supposed to, he went for it. (Good decision, by the way.)

You know what happened next:

It didn't count, but hey, who cares? He brought the house down.


Troy and I haven't exactly had the best luck driving.

And its not just the ticket that we got on Cincinnati's campus, either. (Our first of the trip. We set the over/under at five, so we're on pace to get the under.) You see, Troy has this thing with parking lots. He gets lost. Somehow, no matter what the size of the lot is or what its shape is, Troy ends up driving us into a corner. Its unreal. I explain:

I have my own flaws as a navigator, however. Apparently, I cannot read maps all that well, because every time I try to make a suggestion for which turn to make, we end up making the wrong turn. Seriously. Every time. Troy explains:

We also got lost on the Cincinnati's campus as we were looking for where to meet the team's SID to attend the practice. We ended up going in the back door to Fifth Third Arena, walking all the way through the building -- apparently, they have a Health Services Office in there -- before ending up on the other side next to the football field.

(Troy's Interjection)
Rob's problem is that he spends way too much time on Twitter. He never knows where we are going, never bothers to help, and if he has a suggestion, it was ass-backwards. He really isn't bringing a lot to table, and this trip could become a one-man-show pretty soon.


After the game, there were a couple of young autograph seekers waiting outside the Xavier locker room looking to gets shirts, basketballs and, well, anything signed by Musketeers players:

Both Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons were terrific with the kids. They talked with them, they signed everything the kids wanted signed and joked around with them enough that I guarantee those kids are going to remember and brag about it for a while.

I'm pretty sure that if those two were actually "gangstas" or "thugs", they wouldn't be taking time out of their day to make a couple of kids smile.

Good work fellas.


We are just pulling into Bloomington now. Once we get settled in at our hotel, we'll be grabing a bite and heading over to Assembly Hall to check out the Hoosiers taking on Minnesota.


Anonymous said...

D Wells is one of the best dunkers in XU history! Sky is the limit for this kid, leterally.

Anonymous said...

1) Rob's dad will be sorely disappointed at rob's lack of map reading skills
2) Rob does need a twitervention
3) laughed for a good 5 minutes at the ADD parking lots skills!