Friday, January 13, 2012

#BIAHRoadTrip The Diary Part VIII: How do you kill time at Butler, Borzello's coffee shop and a frigid Indiana

8:15 pm Day 9
Hinkle Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
Total Miles: 1255

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

This post is sponsored by the Fairfield Inn Bloomington.

We just got into Indianapolis and have set up shot at a Starbucks to get some work done and try to kill time before we are allowed to go into Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Its 4:45 pm now. We actually got to Butler at 4 pm. What did we do for those 45 minutes?

Well, looked for a coffee shop that was open. Or a restaurant. Or a bar or a bookstore. Actually, we looked for ANYWHERE that would a) have caffeine for us to drink (I was getting the shakes, it was bad), b) had heat, c) had an outlet so we could charge up and d) was open. Would you believe that at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon, a stone's throw from a college campus, the hardest part was actually finding a place that was open?


We literally tried four different coffee shops, all of which were within a one block radius of each other. Nothing. Some closed at 3 pm. Some opened at 5 pm. Some did both. But the bottom line is that, at Butler, there are just as many places open between 3 pm and 5 pm as there are between 3 am and 5 am. I don't get it.

The irony in all of this?

Troy and I ended up in a student center on a college campus at 5 pm on a Friday getting work done. I can guarantee that is a first. For both of us.

Those 45 minutes weren't a total loss, however. We did discover that Jeff Borzello, a national recruiting blogger for, opened up a coffee shop in Indy:

Doesn't look like business is going well. Not sure how many bros there are at Butler.


Before I get into some stories from the Indiana game, can we just talk about how cold it is in Indiana? Look, I'm from the northeast. I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Poughkeepsie, NY. I know what cold is. I'm not like Troy, who hails from Maryland and has a panic attack anytime he sees a snowflake (he claims he was "raised in a northeast style", whatever the hell that means). I know cold.

(Troy's Interjection)
Don't let Rob fool you, I'm well-conditioned for cold weather.

Yes it's true, I spent my entire childhood in Bethesda, MD, a place that does not believe in snow removal. If the forecast called for flurries, we got the day off, regardless of whether or not the meteorologists were right.

Despite growing up south of the Mason-Dixon Line, I'm cold-blooded. I spent two years at prep school in New England. I went to school in Central Pennsylvania, a place that's windier than Chicago in the winter time. I spent much of my childhood in upstate New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin. I know cold. Hell, I love the cold.

Cold weather is so much better than warm weather.

You know why?

If you are cold, you can always get warm. If you are warm, it's much more difficult to get cold. I sweat a lot, so I prefer cool conditions.

(Back to your regularly scheduled programming)

But this is beyond cold. As far as I'm concerned, Bloomington is located somewhere between Siberia and Northern Alaska:

You see those lights up ahead?

Those are actually Santa's helpers getting a head start on next year's crop of presents.


Assembly Hall was awesome. Seriously. With all due respect to Kentucky fans, Rupp Arena pales in comparison to Assembly Hall when it comes to a gameday environment. Granted, my sample size is miniscule -- one, kind-of-crappy game at each locale -- but from the second we walked in the front doors at Assembly Hall, we could feel the energy.

That much cannot be said about our experience at Rupp.

The next step is to go to each game when the arenas are packed and to compare those environments, but based on my experiences, Assembly Hall >>> Rupp Arena. *ducks*

In the irony of all ironies, both Indiana and Kentucky -- who have, apparently, become hated rivals once again with the Hoosier's resurgence this season -- play the exact same music to close out warmups (the first song in the video, I have no idea what it is or who it is by, though):


My favorite part about attending the game was the IU band.

They were awesome, and it wasn't because they had mastered the art of playing Ke$ha's autotuned vocals with their horn section. They played the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, which was awesome. They also played Zombie Nation, which got the entire crowd fired up and jumping in unison the same way that it would have had they played it through the speakers.

But the best part about the band was their bassist, who absolutely shredded throughout the entire game. And he wasn't just playing music, he had some solid moves, too. Unfortunately, where he was located made it very difficult to get a good video of his best performances, but I did manage to get this before the game:

Right before I started recording, he busted out the Steve-Buscemi-in-'Airheads'-hump-the-bass move. Legen -- wait for it because I have to find a link to a youtube video of Barney saying it -- dary.


I'm not going to get into too much about the atmosphere and the crowd from the game -- Troy took care of all of that here -- but we did have a couple of things to say about it:

But I do have a couple of stories to share with you. First and foremost, who wants to know why Troy wasn't in this picture with Gus Johnson?:

At halftime, since there would be no half court shot being attempted, we decided to make our daily pilgrimage to retrieve some caffeinated beverages from the press room. On our way there, I happened to look down towards the scorer's table and, low and behold, there was Gus Johnson, 20 feet away. I hit Troy on the shoulder, said "let's get a picture" and made a move to get a photo taken with the man, the myth, the legend: Gus Jeezy.

Only, I didn't actually hit Troy.

Because after about two steps, I turned around and Troy was no where to be found. I wonder who I actually hit, because I definitely made contact with someone. And I also wonder what that person thought when some random guy in an ugly blue sweater smacked them on the arm and said "let's go take a picture".

At this point, I was torn. Do I risk not getting the picture by going and trying to find Troy, or do I sell him out and go by myself?


Its not my fault he was oblivious to the presence of greatness. I guess that was pretty cold-blooded.


There were also a couple of interesting notes from the post-game, not the least of which was the fact that Verdell Jones spent over an hour in the arena getting a workout in:


The drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis was relatively uneventful.

It was frigid, yes, and there were flurries the entire time, but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle.

Where things got interesting came about halfway through the drive. Troy was at the wheel and doing a phone interview with a Milwaukee radio station when a state police cruiser pulled up next to us. So Troy put the phone on speaker, but he couldn't hear anything unless he held the phone close to his ear. That's where I jumped in. I grabbed the phone and held it close enough for Troy to hear what was being said and also have what he was saying be heard.

The other issue, however, is that Troy's phone was almost out of juice and had to be on the charger in the car. But the charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter doesn't have the greatest connection, and every time it becomes disconnected it makes this beeping noise. Well, when I grabbed the phone, I must have jostled the plug, because his phone spent the next 15 or so seconds repeatedly making this beeping sound.

So while I am trying to figure out how to get his phone to stop making this noise without taking it off the charger Troy is trying to answer questions without getting distracted by a) my fumbling around with the phone, b) the phone making the beeping sound and c) actually driving the car.

Oh, and all this was happening as we drove past our turnoff.

Finally, we said 'eff this' and pulled into a parking lot, where Troy finished his interview.

We really, really have to stop trying to drive and talk on the phone at the same time.


I'm not sure when the next diary will get to you. Immediately after we finish up with the work we have to do from Hinkle, we are hopping in the car and making the drive up to Milwaukee to see Marquette play Pitt tomorrow afternoon.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Mike M. said...

I take it you were probably South of Butler's campus and not in Broad Ripple, which is only a couple miles NE of campus, where bars and coffee shops are seemingly open 24/7.