Like several others, I was not a season ticker holder in my formative days as a Card, although I had the occasional hook-up for tickets since my mom did some side work for the athletic department (more on that later). Since I didn't get to go often, every visit to Freedom Hall as a kid was an exhilarating experience. I remember mostly snippets of memories from my early Hall visits, but what I can remember vividly is the energy that the place always had.
In later years, my best friend's family had season tickets, so I got to go Cards games more often (big ups to CincyCardFan!) and was lucky enough to see some great games, including Reece single-handedly eviscerating Tennessee. Yes, the warm caramel smell and cozy feel of the Hall will be sorely missed, but for me, it was the people of Freedom Hall, my fellow Cards fan, which made it so awesome. If I don't say so myself, I think we have some of the most hoops-savvy fan bases around the nation and that shows out during games at Freedom Hall. Thankfully, the building will change, but the fans won't, so I'm confident the move to the new digs will be great.
And finally, I couldn't end this post without a bit of self-indulgence. As I referenced, my mom (who is a crazy-good seamstress) occasionally does some side work for the athletic department, including sewing the championship and logo banners that hang in the Hall. As we all know, the University changed/updated the Cardinal logo in the late 90's, and per usual, she put some new banners together with the current logo and they took their place in the rafters. However, to my great surprise, the powers that be gave the old logo banners back to her. Thus, thanks to status as firstborn son (YES!), I am the proud owner of one of those two banners. Someday, when/if I grow up, you can sure as hell bet it will occupy a place of reverence in my first home and I'll be able to look upon it and remember the good 'ole days in Freedom Hall.
Go Cards. Beat Syracuse.