A tribute to the fans

I am writing under the assumption Pat Summit's rendition of "Rocky Top" left you your sense of sight as it was too busy robbing you of your hearing. I think the Volunteers, both the men's and women's varieties, are really putting their best feet forward in their schemes to get every spare second of national coverage.

As I am sitting here watching the UT-Florida game, I have figured out the only thing missing from Memorial. Don't get me wrong, I love the Commodores' gymnasium, but there's one absent aspect of the action: the rich old men that bought courtside seats. Yes, we have those, but due to the nature of the court, they cannot be fully utilized like in Thompson-Boling. I like the raised up court, but watching those senior citizens playing closeout defense on Corey Brewer from the baseline last night makes me wonder "what if?"

I'm happy to stick with Memorial and all of its inhabitants. I don't want you, the fans, to think that you go unnoticed. Everyone contributes in their own way. We've got the padded chair people who can be depended on to inform the referees how incorrect they were with a subtle hand cross. For those over there who see it and want to be a part of the section A-E magic, it's simple: start with both arms raised above your head, bring them down and cross them in front of your face. Don't forget to hold the follow-through. Up top you have two types of people: Group one are some of the most genuine fans in the whole place and are also some of the loudest. Group two are the Kentucky fans. The latter group has dwindled a little lately. Then you've got the end sections: lower deck. These are great. On the Vandy bench side, you have season ticket holders and the Vanderbilt Nation. Former players fill the seats nearest the court. There have been quite a few games when we could have fielded a team out of section L that would have taken whoever was visiting Memorial at the time. On the other end of the floor are the folks who occasionally have to man the front lines with a few boisterous visiting fans. Then there is the student section. Sure, there is room for improvement. Just ask the local Nashville media. However, there are a lot of students who are there every week and they come to play. All of these sections together make up Memorial Magic. It's kind of like when all of the Power Rangers would come together in their Dinozords and form the Megazord... It's kind of like Captain Planet where the powers of Water, Heart, and Earth, Wind, and Fire come together to fight pollution. Not sure how Water worked its way into the mix with the powers of the music of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The Commodores gave the Memorial Maniacs a good time Sunday. I don't care if the ‘Dores only led for twenty-five seconds, it was still a great game to watch. When you look at the stat sheet, the story looks fairly familiar. Let me tell you something: If I'm ever a captain on a local playground and while we are picking teams, Shan Foster and Derrick Byars walk up, I am taking them as a package deal. You know you remember that from your days in elementary school. That may be the only time it is socially acceptable for two guys to put their arms around each other and declare, "We're a package." And when Shan and Derrick roll up to some random playground, I hope to be that captain, and I certainly hope it's my pick. And we're playing Pinochle. I have no idea if that's the right spelling of the word, but you don't have to spell it to claim it.

Finally, with the close of the shortest month of the year comes the end of one dollar baseball games. Where else can you get a seat to watch the number one program in the nation at a rate of eleven cents an inning? That's a lot of bang for your buck. It's a sad day. Now you have to pay a whole $3 to get in. I hope your wallet doesn't fortify itself in your hip pocket to prevent this huge hit. If that happens, you can still stand behind the outfield fence, but you didn't hear that from me.


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