’m a lifelong Cards fan, but it was only this year that I took the plunge and bought season tickets, after having lived out of town and far away for a very long time. With great excitement I also finally sprung for tix to a bowl game.
I had grand visions of blogging directly from St. Pete’s onto Card Chronicle…but there was no signal for my phone.
Then I was going to do a great write up after the game – but caught a bad head cold.
Then Christmas. Then New Years.
Blah, blah, and now I’ve procrastinated almost a month.
But a few thoughts and moments from the game are still rattling around in my head and I feel compelled to share them. And as we’re teetering between the letdown of Villanova and the anticipation of Marquette (somebody – anybody - grab a damn rebound, please) this is as good a time as any to share.
- After parking I found myself next to a couple of students. They were doing the whole black and red body paint thing. My first bowl, so….what the hell. Pulled out the ‘L Raiser’ crazy hair and told them to have at it. Left side of face red, right side of face black.
I just turned 40 and now I’m painted up and have insane hair for my first Cards bowl game. Sweet!
- Which brings me to the following observation: Red Sweaters – hello! The school appreciates your money. We all appreciate your loyalty. You are the reliable mass that travels well and makes us an attractive bowl school. We thank you for that.
But for the love of God, please stand up and make some noise once in a while. When you are the only one standing in a section of Cardinal fans – and you have paint caked on your face, and are wearing the hair of a 1980s troll – you want some fan spirit when you are leading the C A R D S cheer. If you can’t make actual noise at the game, or at the very least stand (I’m talking to you, ‘Mr. Please Sit Down I Can’t See’) then at least sit in the upper rows and leave the sideline to those under the age of 117.
- A quick note on the stadium. It was really very nice, though it was disorienting to be watching a football game in a domed baseball field. Best part: the manta ray pool on the mezzanine. Nice touch for the kids.
Speaking of the stadium, it would be nice if the YUM! Center had painted concrete floors like Tropicana. The bare concrete feels too much like the old Freedom Hall ramps, and is depressing in a ‘Prison Break’ sort of way. If you’re going to build state of the art, go all the way.
- True story: I was 20 feet back from Jeremy Wright and yelled to no one in particular ‘He’s going to break this one and take it to the house!’ just before he actually did.
It’s also true that I yelled that just about every time Jeremy or Doug Beaumont got the kick off, but that time it actually worked.
- Picture in my head: Charlie Strong, on the dug out, as the crowd chanted ‘Char – lie, Char – lie, Char – lie.’
A city bows Wayne like before you, HCCS, and proclaims their lack of worthiness.
- Marching out of the stadium with the marching band after the first bowl victory in 4 years: priceless
- Random useful fact: if you can’t get 840 at night in far away states, try 1530, the Cincinnati affiliate broadcast station. I spent an hour after the game driving around listening to the postgame, and got decent reception as long as the car was pointed west. I don’t pretend to understand the physics of skip signals, it just works.
- Art Carmody, if I’m in the car listening to the post game and you are in need of a ride, I’m there. Always. End of story.
You can also have my lunch money, because that would be cool, too.
- Best for last. I was on the right field end of the stadium, which put me about 200 feet away from the crowd of players celebrating at home plate. I was hoping they’d line up to slap hands with the crowd on their way out but they went in the other direction. No big deal, I wouldn’t have run all the way over to the other side of the stadium either, so I turned to go…
Then one player did run over. He stopped, looked up at the crowd and waved.
I was in the front row, and he looked at me (still painted, with ‘L Rasier’ hair’) and saw that I had his jersey on. He looked specifically at me and said ‘Thank you!’
Which was kinda awesome.
I’m proud to wear his number.