The insanity that was this weekend is best told in stream-of-consciousness timeline fashion, I fear. Bear with me, it’ll be fun. Even if it basically revolves around OU basketball.
5pm. MAC Quarterfinals are tonight. I wonder who the Bobcats are playing. Let’s check… oh crap. Kent State. Well, guess that means they’ll be home tomorrow.
10pm. Holy crap. They beat Kent State. By a good bit. Apocalypse at 11, watch out for horsemen.
3pm. MAC Semifinals tonight, against Miami. One loss, one win by sheer luck (and an amazing three-pointer). I wonder if this is going to be on TV… yes, it will be. Guess I know what I’ll be watching tonight, along with most of Court Street.
11:30pm. Wow. They kind of casually beat up Miami. They’re in the MAC Final. Which is in Cleveland. Hmmm…
Jess: “Are you awake enough to think?”
Jess: “Are we going to Cleveland?”
Me: “Are we? Sure!”
Thus begins the great hunt for ticket information. Blurry memory fragments make me think that I read something about getting tickets at the venue (which shall forever be known as Gund Arena, Quicken be damned). Except the page about last night’s game is totally broken, so all I get is a picture of Armon Bassett and a link to PDF game stats. Which is nice, but not helpful.
Jess calls the Arena ticket office, which would be happy to sell us tickets, but knows nothing about OU section tickets or MAC ticket numbers. Or about whether there’s even the slightest chance of the game being sold out by the time we get there, given it’s a Saturday and it’s the finals. Obviously, a new strategy is in order.
OU Athletics. Ticket Office – closed. Probably because they’re all in Cleveland.
OU Athletics. Switchboard – “would you like sports information?” Sure, automated computer voice. I’ll take that.
“You have reached the voice mail of Jason C, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations. I’m out of the office (otherwise known as “in Cleveland”), but here’s my cell number.” I take frantic notes, wondering who this guy is.
OU Athletics staff page. Mr C apparently doesn’t cover Men’s Basketball, but his colleague does. That voicemail tells me to call Mr C. While I would hate to assume wrongly and interrupt his Saturday, at this point it’s a reasonable assumption that he’s with the team in Cleveland. Call cell phone.
Mr C is totally awesome, laughs at me just a little for suggesting a sold out event, and tells me he’ll check with his ticket guys and call me back once he gets confirmation that we should be fine. I say thank you a whole lot of times. Jess is amused by me using the “media relations voice” while talking to the media relations guy. I drive her to work, get a call from Mr C. Say thank you a whole lot more. Hang up – “we’re going to Cleveland.”
Two hours later we’re on the road. Occasional outburst of “I can’t believe we’re doing this.” Also “This is such a Quad thing to do – wanna go do something crazy?” “Sure!”
The rest of the story might best be told in pictures… it was a fantastic thing to have seen live.
"I thought the timeout was over like a minute ago..." "Yeah, so did I. Guess they have no idea what that whistle means."
I have no idea what the final score was... 81 to 70-something. Not like it mattered - MAC Champions Baby!
Seven hours in a car, shredded vocal cords, sore muscles. Worth every minute. Thursday: NCAA first round. 3rd-seeded Georgetown Hoyas. We kind of don’t stand a chance, but it’ll be fun to watch.