Monday, January 2, 2012

#BIAHroadtrip: Introduction Primer

I still can't believe this is happening. I still struggle to comprehend what we are about to embark on. I think we may be bitting off more than we can chew.

But I guess those are normal thoughts to have days before leaving on a 20-day, 6,000 mile road trip across America in the dead of winter.

Two months ago, I was confident, I was prepared. I was 100% positive that I knew what I was doing. But now, just three days before the trip, I can't help but feel like I have no idea what I've gotten ourselves in to.

I've driven from central Pennsylvania to Boston before. I've done Myrtle Beach to Naples, Florida. I have traversed the New Jersey Turnpike no less than 60 times. But those previous trips pale in comparison to what we are about to do.

But that's half the fun of it, the great unknown. Even if we fail miserably, there will be a great story to tell. This is more than just driving to different basketball games. This is an adventure, and we plan on documenting the whole thing.

Rules of the Road:

- Support the cause! If you can't join us for a drink or a burger, help us out a bit. This trip is being funded completely out of pocket. So help us out by Donating to the #BIAHRoadtrip. Any contributions would be much appreciated. There is a "DONATE" button on the side of the homepage, and you can also follow this link and donate directly.

- Communication is key: Hit us up on twitter ( @Ballinisahabit and @BIAHtroymachir) with suggestions and advice. Follow us using FourSquare. Check out our Tumblr page. Use and follow the #BIAHroadtrip and #BIAHtraveltip hashtags on Twitter. We will be documenting every part of our trip.

- We want to meet you! Invite us to a tailgate, meet us at a local watering hole before or after the game. Introduce us to the student section. Our main goal is to meet all the great fans that make this sport great. We want the ultimate fan experience.

- Local flare: There will be no fast food or "light" beer on this trip. We want local food - BBQ in Nashville, bratwursts in Wisconsin, craft beers in Kansas City. But again, we will need your help.

Game Plan:

Our trip begins on Thursday, January 5th. We will depart Washington D.C. and drive some 660 miles to Nashville, Tennessee. We will take in as much of Nashville as we can, then rest before our first game of the trip on Friday.

- Friday 1/6 - Belmont vs. Lipscomb - Nashville, TN

After the "Battle of the Boulevard" game, we will rest in Nashville before driving roughly 215 miles to Lexington, KY for Kentucky's SEC home-opener against South Carolina at 4:00PM. We want to be part of Big Blue Nation for the day, so tell us where to go and what to do.

- Saturday 1/7 - Kentucky vs. South Carolina - Lexington, KY

We will spend the weekend in Lexington. We will try and meet up with the good people over at Kentucky Sports Radio, and will take a tour of Northern Kentucky University, who will become a D-I member of the Atlantic Sun Conference next season.

On Monday afternoon we will drive an hour north to Cincinnati as we get ready to start our hectic 6-games-in-6-days stretch. That night we plan on seeking out a Bearcat-heavy sports bar in order to watch the Big Monday game featuring Cincinnati and Georgetown. On Wednesday, We will see if Xavier can finally regroup from their post-brawl collapse and I make an effort to relive the final scene from "Airborne", a downhill in-line skating race on Devil's Backbone.

- Wednesday 1/11 - Xavier vs. Duquesne - Cincinnati, OH

On Thursday morning, we will drive 140 miles east from Cincinnati to Bloomington, IN to watch the Indiana Hoosiers take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. No college hoops "Bucket list" is complete without a trip to Assembly Hall, and with the Hoosiers ranked in the top-10, the environment should be electric.

- Thursday 1/12 - Indiana vs. Minnesota - Bloomington, IN

After a night in Bloomington, we drive 50 miles north to Indianapolis. After airing our grievances at the NCAA Headquarters, we will take in a Friday night Horizon League showdown between Butler and Cleveland State. Assembly Hall on Thursday, Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday? That's not too shabby at all.

- Friday 1/13 - Butler vs. Cleveland State - Indianapolis, IN

But here's where things start to get interesting. Directly after the Butler game, we will hit the road and drive 270 miles northwest to Milwaukee, WI for a noon tip-off between Marquette and Pittsburgh. That gives us roughly 14 hours in between games. There will be very little sleep, if any at all.

- Saturday 1/14 - Marquette vs. Pittsburgh - Milwaukee, WI

Following the Big East showdown, we will post up at a sports bar in Milwaukee and watch one of the other 142 games on tap for that day. We will set up "base-camp" in Oconomowoc for the night, before traveling 60 miles west to Madison on Sunday Morning.

- Sunday 1/15 - Wisconsin vs. Nebraska - Madison, WI

After the 5:00PM game is finished, we will embark on one of the toughest drives of the trip: a 430 mile late-night trek from Madison to Columbia, MO in order to take in the 5:30PM game between Missouri and Texas A&M. When we arrive in Columbia, we will sleep. I don't know where and I don't know for how long. But we will sleep. We we wake up, we head to Mizzou Arena for a special MLK-day afternoon battle between future-SEC opponents Missouri and Texas A&M.

- Monday 1/16 - Missouri vs. Texas A and M - Columbia, MO

Our hectic stretch is now over. We will recharge our batteries on Tuesday and meet up with Kim English to settle the score between himself and Rob Dauster. Rob thinks he knows more NBA Alma Maters than Kim. Kim says Rob is wrong. We will finally get our answer.

After a full day of rest, we hit the road for 170 miles until we reach Springfield, MO for a huge Missouri Valley Conference match-up between Missouri State and Creighton. The Bears already scored a victory over the Blue Jays last week, and Creighton will look to return the favor.

- Wednesday 1/18 - Missouri State vs. Creighton - Springfield, MO

Another day off awaits us. Thursday will be spent resting and recapping. There will be lots to do, and very little time to do it in.

On Friday we will drive 80 miles southwest to Joplin, MO which was devastated by tornadoes back in May 2011. We will do what we can to help Habitat for Humanity rebuild the homes and building that were destroyed. When we are finished, we will continue southwest towards Tulsa, OK. We will rest for the night, then attempt to cover two games in one day.

We will drive 70 miles west to Stillwater, OK to see visit Gallagher-Iba Arena, as Oklahoma State welcomes Kansas State at 1:05PM CST. Directly after the game is finished, we will drive back to Tulsa to watch Oakland face Oral Roberts in a pivotal Summit League clash.

- Saturday 1/21 - Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State - Stillwater, OK
- Saturday 1/21 - Oral Roberts vs. Oakland - Tulsa, OK (DOUBLE-HEADER)

If we make it through the double-header unscathed, we will be rewarded with another day of rest before heading to Lawrence, KS for a Big Monday match-up between Texas A&M and Kansas.

- Monday 1/23 - Kansas vs. Texas A and M - Lawrence, KS

Now comes the final leg of our trip. We have two full days to get from Lawrence, KS to Logan UT, a drive that is well over 1,000 miles long. We will make a rest stop in Denver, CO on Tuesday night, before finishing the trip on Wednesday if our car is still in tact.

- Thursday 1/26 - Utah State vs. Hawaii - Logan, UT

This trip was built around visiting Utah State. There is not a student section in the country as passionate and as creative as the group at USU.

On Friday we will begin our trip back to Washington, D.C. It's a haul of over 2,000 miles and will likely be the most difficult drive of the trip. But if/when we return, we will have accomplished something we set out to do a long time ago. We will have done something that very few people can attest to doing. All the money we spend and all the sleep we don't get will be totally worth it.

B.I.A.H Scavenger Hunt:
Consider this our check-list of things we want to accomplish on this trip. If you have any good ideas that we haven't thought of, send us an email at

- Witness 30 point scorer
- Witness a triple-double
- Hearing student band that doesn't play anything that can be found on top 40 radio
- Witness three legitimate #POSTERIZEDS
- A giant head of someone not associated with college basketball
- Picture with a live mascot
- Picture with a real, live mullet.
- Picture with a student section Benedict Arnold
- Picture with the World's Largest "_____"
- Picture with an All-Name Team member
- Picture on the court of every arena.
- Picture in front of every "now entering this state" sign
- Participate in at least one "I Believe That We Will Win" chant
- See a fan make a half court shot
- Document the media room meals
- Document the best tailgate setups
- Eat something that makes us "that's the best goddamn '______' I've ever had"
- Sample a non-local concession stand food
- Take a picture with a lost fan
- Meet a family member of a player
- See at least 48 different state license plates

So there you have it. This is the skeleton for our entire trip. We encourage you to contact us as much as possible. We encourage to make a donation and support the cause. Most of all, we encourage you to follow along as we travel across the country following the pulse of college basketball.


hgdownunder said...

After airing our grievances at the NCAA Headquarters - hahaha

RDM said...

Awesome idea. I look forward to following alone as the trip progresses.

Matt said...

If you want a good UC bar in Cincinnati head to Clifton. There are half a dozen within a stones throw of campus