Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crisscrossing the Nation for College Hoops - Villanova, Pennsylvania

When I first agreed to do this game, back in October or November, I thought it was being played at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.  I was mistaken. The Marquette/Villanova matchup was held at the Pavilion on Villanova's campus. Instead of a nice, hourlong train ride followed by a brief hop in a cab, I rode two hours from New York City with one of the camera guys.  It was a nice ride, though, good weather, no traffic.  The crew stayed in a hotel in King of Prussia, which has such an international sound to it.  I didn't take any pictures from the window of this hotel room because, well, I didn't think anyone would be interested in seeing a generic highway in southeastern Pennsylvania.

After checking into the hotel and partaking in its breakfast buffet, we made the short drive to the gothic architecture of the Villanova campus.  It's fun to visit these different schools and learn the history of them.  I'm particularly fascinated by the fact that Villanova University is a Catholic institution of higher learning based upon the influence of Saint Augustine of Hippo. (Well, I'm not really fascinated by it; I just wanted a reason to put Saint Augustine of Hippo in my blog.)

The Wildcats were sluggish in the opening minutes of the game, but each team picked up the pace and ran up a 45 (Golden Eagles) to 50 (Wildcats) halftime score.  Villanova shot 72% in the 2nd half and pounded Marquette 102-84.  The game was part of ESPN's Interactive Tuesday, an outlet for fans to voice their opinions about the game and the teams.  At the risk of offending the folks at ESPN who provide me with more than a third of my yearly income, I'm not a fan of Interactive Tuesday.  If I'm sitting at home watching a game, I just want to WATCH THE GAME.  I don't care about other people's opinions!  Plus, I can't read that stuff because I'm sure it's riddled with bad grammar.  Luckily for the Marquette/Villanova game, I wasn't the one who typed all the crap that people texted in; it was handled through ESPN's home base of Bristol, Connecticut, and it magically appeared on the screen.  The poll questions were typed by the other graphics operator on the show, thank goodness, and I was able to focus on the game itself.  I Googled "Interactive Tuesday" and found that other people feel the same way I do.  I read a few comments from a blog called Awful Announcing  and some Yahoo! Canada sports blog.  

The following day I was happy to drive back to the city and watch my Carolina/Duke game sans scrolling comments.  Go Heels!

My next game took me to Madison, Wisconsin, for Big Ten hoops with the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers.  

No comments: