First, I cannot tell you how I got into the game last night. Tickets were going for $300 bucks a pop, and yet I found a way to get in for free. Again, some of you mock me and some of you know. Never underestimate the power of connections. (And luck).
Second, I realize the content of this column will probably be judged as a TINGE negative. But let the record show that even beyond the fact that I was surrounded by literally THOUSANDS of arrogant Kansas and Creighton fans, and the fact that the Creighton Athletic Department bent this city over like a 22 year old hooker from New York who bangs governors….It was an absolutely incredible event.
I grew up loving college basketball, and in that time always LOVED March Madness. (Back in the day kids, we didn’t have ESPN and FSN…we had 21 or so channels, and March Madness was the ONLY day more than one game was in a row.) I have always wanted to go to a tournament, not only just to say I’ve been…but to soak in all the sights, sounds and pageantry. What the city of Omaha hosted last night was beyond my expectations and beyond what I could have dreamed. It was absolutely awesome.
You don’t come here to read about me glowing about nostalgia, or being so close to the floor that I could almost read the e-mails that journalists on press row were sending out. (Section 109, row 10) No, I know why you come here….so let’s get down to it shall we?
Oh, don’t get me wrong…I know that even the best and most talented would pale (heh, pun) in comparison to the USC song girls…and the KSU cheerleaders held their own in the looks department and several were quite stunning. But holy crap girls… It’s the USC FREAKING SONG GIRLS for Christ’s sake. Get outside. Get to Cabo. Get to a salon. (I nearly needed sunglasses). Also, could one of you guys help your athletic department by getting Willie Wildcat a real body? I haven’t seen that big of a head since Mark Mangino walked by me in the concourse. (Oh wait…he did).
All in all though, impressed with the KSU crowd. In fact, I was pretty much impressed with MOST of the crowd in general. (Except for the Creighton idiots who left mid-way through the 2nd game…I’ll get to you aholes later). I would have figured that KSU fans, Creighton fans, KU fans and me would have a hard time meshing….but alas, everybody was pretty friendly, even the douche with the Muck Fizzou shirt who I’m sure doesn’t realize that #4 in the country is better than being #7 in the country.
Alas, the Mayo vs. Beasley matchup wasn’t QUITE the classic it was billed to be, but still one of the more memorable basketball games I’ve ever attended. USC fans were few and far between..but again….Song girls. What the hell more do you need?
One other cool thing about the tournament is that there is none of the ads and commercialism that you see in other venues. No hawking diet Pepsi. No Mutual Funds. No local celebrity cameos pitching lil smokies. Just hoops, the crowd, the band..and oh yeah…song girls. In that respect, the tourney games are even better.
However at some point, you get the feeling that the NCAA takes their sanitization a bit too far. Granted, I’m not falling for your lies about being there to “support the student athlete” (Far from it you lying hypocritical jackals) …but is it really necessary to confine the bands to a 10x20 space? Is it necessary to have an NCAA officer standing by, grading the facility on when they turn certain lights on? Do you HONESTLY need to take the cap off of my soda before I go back to my seat? Does anybody else feel this has a creepy 1930’s German vibe to it?
So back to the second game….
The first thing that struck me was the fact that Wisconsin and their fans seemed an awful lot like Husker fans. In fact, if Nebraska fans (who aren’t already big “Creighton fans” from December through March) knew about basketball and were (snicker) actually good at it…then I could see them matching Wisconsin in drabness, bland nature and overall lack of anything remotely interesting.
Their players? Giant lumberjack looking sloths from the back woods of the tundra.
Their band? Uber nerds dressed like something out of the 1950’s.
Their cheerleaders? All under 4’2” tall and each the size of a small Coleman Cooler.
Their fans? Whiney, bitchy, boring, pale and have their own stupid little dances.
But alas, their team is pretty good, and they drew a hell of a lot of people for an awfully long trip.
Fullerton on the other hand was the exact and complete opposite. Fans decked out in Orange ‘OC’ shirts, their band was made of nerds with their faces painted, shirts rolled up and punk rock covers blaring out of their horns. Their dance squad donned surfer shorts to prance around in…and oh yeah..they were tan as well. (I’m seeing a pattern here) All in all, a blast to be stuck in the middle of.
But regardless, the spunky little school from the heart of Orange County didn’t have enough to keep up with the colossal pasty oafs of the Badgers. And oh yeah..speaking of Bucky Badger…..
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING!?!?!?
My God, if you’re going to tote that thing around in public, feel free to put out some sort of public warning or something. Thank goodness I didn’t try and bring my kids to this thing, or I’d be paying for therapy for months. And WHY on earth do you guys have your own little dance to every song? I realize Michigan fans do this, and it’s pretty lame and stupid when they do it…but there were ADULTS doing the little spinning motions up there. I know my team has a few little hand motions to school songs (including a one finger hand motion to welcome KU to the court)….but I’m 35 years old…I don’t need to be jumping around in my seat while a bunch of Melvins in red sweaters blare out “Tequila”.
Like I said earlier though, it was an incredible event and an marvelous way of showcasing this town. Sure the CWS brings in crowds…but NOTHING like the bright lights and throngs of fans that the Big Dance does. Kudos to us voters for building that thing and giving the city an opportunity to show thousands of others, that this isn’t quite the hayseed village many think it is.
However, ZERO kudos (again) to Creighton University and head Jackass Bruce Rasmussen for giving his own fans an opportunity to sell…Uhhhh….I mean SEE the NCAA tourney close up. Seriously, how stupid are you to think that the same group of fans who didn’t bother show up to their own teams NIT game the other night…WOULDN’T make a few hundred bucks selling the seats that you so graciously bestowed upon them? And don’t get me wrong…I saw plenty of Creighton gear (Who the hell are you trying to impress? You think Biff and Muffy from Overland Park KU fan give a rats ass about your little 6,000 student glorified high school?) but there has GOT to be a way to clamp down on corrupt officials screwing over a whole city like this. Last time I checked, I didn't step foot on the Creighton campus last night.
And don’t give me this “everybody does it” crap either. “Everybody else” doesn’t offer brie and Merlot while their overrated piece of shit mid-major “team” beats up on some other Sun Belt reject school.
If anything, people should be rioting in the streets for not even having the chance to get into an event like this. Even if there is nothing that can be done about Sir Bruce and his bird servants…he still should be stuffed with enough guilt to last a lifetime, knowing he kept the very people who gave him this gift, the opportunity to see it up close and in person.
Instead, Biff, Muffy and 3/4 of Johnson County Kansas say "Thank you Bruce!"….while your season ticket holders take their crisp new $600 bucks and head back home.
Screw you Bruce. I hope someday you realize what kind of sin you have committed against the very town you call home.