I don't recall ever being nervous about a season opener before. It's a good nervousness, but nervousness nonetheless. Didn't sleep well last night. Can't wait for the game!
Same basic game day plan for Mrs. Cheeser and me: I take her to work so I can pick her up on our way to the game. I had a plan for mitigating OGAC issues (if you don't know, don't ask). In the morning as I was getting dressed, in a way that would make changing for the game quick and easy, Mrs. Cheeser asks "are you going to wear that to work?" I say "sure. It will make changing for the game much quicker and easier." Rolling her eyes, like only a wife can, she says "but it looks like [heck]." I think about how I'm a grown man and I get to decide what I wear to my office. There's simply nothing wrong with this outfit. My wife doesn't dictate to me how I dress! I'm thinking all this, of course, while changing clothes. Drop her off. Into my office with my bag packed with game clothes. Waiting begins in a new space.
Time comes, clothes changed, out the door. No traffic problems. We're at Chili's for dinner (southwestern egg rolls, and, well, whatever). At the Fieldhouse as the band starts playing (why start with Surfin' Safari?). No one in our seats tonight. Sit back and wait for the show.
The team's pre-game routine is quite different than in previous years. The team comes onto the court, circles their half, and forms a group for some last, un-coached, words. They break up into 4 groups and start with a passing drill. One quarter of the team in each corner. It looks like we've got a few extra players, the way it fills the half court. They then break off into more typical shooting drills.
Once they move into the stretching drills, a new routine is revealed that is, frankly, hilarious. A group of 5 or so players form two lines and walk across the court, back and forth, in their best imitation of workers from Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks. I'm sure these are very expensively determined stretching drills, but quite funny to watch.
The team's warm up routine also brings me to the favorite part of these missives for many: The Shannon Report. After a few rounds of the shooting drills, players start to shed their warm ups. Shannon's job is to catch them at center court as tossed by each player. At one point, Omar unsnapped the top portions of his warm up pants and held the waistband out for Shannon. Shannon, to take the pants, had to pull them off Omar. A quick and innocent gesture, but it made me laugh to think how it would look if each player did that.
Shannon wore a mauve, v-neck sweater with a black, just above the knee, skirt. Her shoes were pointy-toed, spiky-heeled, with an ankle strap – no idea what to call that. I give up on the idea of understanding the hair thing. It was longer than last week, by a few inches, but nowhere near as long as the first games.
The stars of the "other stuff" tonight were the Dance Team f/k/a the Crimson Girls. They had new outfits. Basically a one-piece -- with the center portion a diaphanous white material. The skirts were white with a sparkly crimson and blue waist, with sparkly crimson and blue tops with a "KU" worked in. Mrs. Cheeser and I liked the new outfits. It is especially nice how they fit each girl at this point – not a hand-me-down, or a retrofit from years before. Their routines are getting better each week.
The Navy ROTC presented the colors. The National Anthem was not well performed tonight. The band sends down a trumpeter to give the singer the first note. This gal must have missed it, and had a hard time finding the key. She also looked like she had no idea where stand, where to look, etc.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric during the player introductions. A great start to the regular season.
The Cheerleaders seemed to be a bit off again tonight. Active, but missing a number of the holds, and throws, etc. Someone mentioned that they still don't have a coach. What's up with that, anyway?
The folks who had the seats next to us moved. They mentioned at the last game that they were presented an option for new seats. The seats next to us are now corporate "owned." One of the guys must have made 20 phone calls, each time yelling, "guess where I am" and holding the phone up. Great. It's going to be a long season in this regard. The unpleasant fellow behind us, the one who wore gold and black to the first game, and Carolina Blue to the second, was in Carolina Blue again tonight. The nice people behind us made it to there first game. Good folks. I've mentioned before that we have a professor sitting in front of us. I'm starting to believe that maybe faculty and staff shouldn't be given special treatment in seat selection. This couple has been to only one game so far this season, and sold their seats to opposing team fans once. I'm sure if they had to contribute some substantial amount, they'd find a way to make it to the games. I don't know, it just kind of rubs me the wrong way.
I thought the crowd, in general, was very good. Give us anything to cheer about, and we will. The students were much better tonight in their free throw heckling.
All in all, a good night. I'm already starting to get nervous about Tuesday night!