Long and off topic – you’ve been warned!
We had a plan, of course. Meet our guests at Mrs. Cheeser’s office, pile into her car, and head to the game around 4:30. This plan, like the last plan, fell apart. This time not due to any tardiness, but due to Mrs. Cheeser’s nice, relatively new SUV, “springing a squeak.”
Everyone had gathered at the appropriate time; I was the last to appear. I was asked to get into the SUV, and to listen. Yes, there’s a squeak. I did the guy thing, and got out, inspected the wheels and tires – the apparent source of the squeak -- and announced, “it’s squeaking, alright.”
We decided not to take her SUV. My car has only two seats. We piled into our guests’ car for the drive to Lawrence. A woman and her 11-year-old son. I’d never met them before; she works with Mrs. Cheeser.
She’s a good driver. Whew!
The 11 year old picks Chili’s for dinner. He eats a ton of buffalo chicken. We arrive at the Fieldhouse at about 6:20.
Recorded music. I’ve learned some of the speakers must not point in our direction. I could hear only the synthesized drum line to the apparently hip hop music. Great. The upside to this, though, is that I can’t hear the keyboard player with the band, either. A number of folks complained about that at the last game; I didn’t even know it was there. Can’t here the 6-string guitar, either. Just the bass guitar. He seemed to have dialed his amp down from 11 last night, but it was still there.
The band starts playing around 6:30. Shortly after they get started, the team enters for warm-ups again, and they shift to the “I’m a J, J, Jayhawk” song. After that, the band and recorded music take turns. Don’t like that. Would just as soon the band take over at 6:30.
Someone needs to do some research on the team manager doing a Shannon impersonation. The media guide shows two female managers, but we’re so far away I can’t make out her face. Do you think Kevbo could talk her into to taking off most of her clothes and posing for a calendar? It would make identifying her much easier.
Colors presented by the Navy ROTC. National Anthem sung by a gal who must be new to the singing business. She did just fine, but she didn’t move. Not a muscle through the Anthem and the Alma Mater. When I studied voice, my teacher spent quite a while “breaking down” all of the body movement I had adopted. I was allowed to move when I sang only after I could prove I could produce the proper sound without moving. Most difficult for me was not raising my eyebrows when I needed to raise the soft palate, and smiling to move the resonance of the tone from the back of the head to the front. My guess is this gal is still in the “don’t move” phase. Again, she was fine.
I think I see an interesting twist happening with the video board introduction video. The last image in the presentation was Brandon Rush’s backwards dunk from the last game. It will be interesting to see if the video always ends with a highlight from the previous game. I’ll try to remember to keep an eye on that.
A couple of other AFH observations I forgot to mention after the last game. The path from the locker room to the court entrance has been painted crimson and blue with “Go Kansas” in huge letters. A nice way to make it clear what happens in that space.
A coat of paint was also put on all of the metal handrails and support beams outside of the arena proper. The entire place just seems clean and fresh.
The team has not used the “holy sandpaper” or whatever it was that was taped to the floor in front of the scorer’s table that each player dutifully scraped his shoes on before entering the court. It was always a bummer seeing guys bound off the bench to enter the game, then stop on top of whatever that thing was and stamp like a horse counting to three. No more.
Cheerleaders and the Rock Chalk Dancers f/k/a Crimson Girls both in basic blue tonight. Each squad performed well. KUCheer? Are you out there? Is this still your squad? The Cheerleaders seemed to do more stunts tonight. What has changed for the worse, though, is at every time out everyone looks to the video board to see what’s going on before doing anything. It used to be with virtually every dead ball the band would start playing and the Spirit Squads would start spiriting. Now, everyone seems to wait for someone else to decide what to do.
The Rock Chalk Dancers f/k/a the Crimson Girls performed at half time, but I couldn’t see any of it due to the traffic in the aisle. Sorry.
I don’t remember any introductions last night. I hope I’m seeing a trend.
The little boy behind us at the last game was not here tonight. No need for the NyQuil cure. The 11 year old boy with us fidgeted quite a bit, but I don’t think bothered the people around us.
New uses of the video board. When a KU player is shooting freethrows, the image is reduced and that player’s game stats are shown. Like it. Also, there are times that all the players on each side’s basic stats are displayed, not just those in the game (points and fouls).
The drive home was great – they announced the MU score!
Busy day at work. Gotta go.