Sunday, January 31, 2010

Georgetown blows out Duke, and I get to see the President...

On Tuesday night, I was talking to my girl after the Lakers game...  Or maybe it was Wednesday night after the Mariah Carey concert.   Hell, maybe it was both...  It doesn't matter.  The gist of it was, we both decided we wanted to hit the Duke v Georgetown game on Sat afternoon.  So the plan was in motion to get some tickets to watch #8 v #7 battle on the hardwood.  These were not easy tickets to get.  Sure, if you have $300/ticket, you can buy yourself into the arena on stubhub and all the other ticket broker sites, but that's not what we wanted to pay.  We wanted to pay NOTHING.  I looked online at ticketmaster and the event was sold out...  That's what you get for waiting. 

I hawk tickets.  I watch ticketmaster and the other sites.  I look at espn.  I know what's going on.  USUALLY...  But for some reason lately, I've been slow and a step behind.  This puts me behind the 8 ball when I have to scramble...  Lucky for me, I'm resourceful and I have people that are self-motviated around me ,who are also resourceful ,and want to do the things I want to do.  Music, sports, and travel are my passions.  I'm fortunate to have an extensive network or sports and music contacts and they appreciate my zeal for their passions also.  I share the love and can also bring something to the table with my contacts and knowledge so I've been welcomed into the fold.  I'm often asked how I can do what I do.  The answer is simple.  My arms reach many, I never forget a name or a face.  Never.  I love meeting people.  I may not like everyone, but I remember everyone.  The network of people I've kept in touch with, interacted with, and met briefly is large.  People move in sports ~ players get traded, coaches get fired, writers move, tv travels.  Sooo ~ as long as you're sincere in your intentions, respectable, and a GOOD person, once you're in the fraternity (let's face it, it's still a man's world, but if you prefer, you can refer to it as the "circle of trust") you're IN and membership has its privileges.

I get calls/messages from people who want tickets to this and that and if I can help, I do.  If I get extras to concerts, I take care of those that have taken care of me.  I used to travel with another consultant and we'd go on these great vacations to places like Cancun and Hawaii, etc.  We went primarily because he had miles and I had hotel points.  It was a match made in travel heaven.  The same can be said in the ticket game.

Duke v Georgetown is a great match up. 

Duke.  My brother went to Duke for 9 years.  Yeah, I said 9.  He is no Tommy Boy.  He earned his BS/MD/MBA from there.  9 years....  Back in the day, when I had more access to Duke alumns that played for the Cavs (e.g. Danny Ferry) it was extremely easy to get tickets to see Duke play at Cameron Indoor.  Ridiculously easy and my brother knew it.  For Christmas I'd ask him what he wanted from me, and he'd ask for tickets to see Duke V UNC as easily as people ask their parents for the latest video game console.  I can only imagine the dumbfounded look on my face when I heard the request, and I still feel the anxiety I had having to ask for a favor.  I hate asking people for stuff.  I'm a can-do, will-do person and asking someone for something makes me nervous. 

I remember waiting for my ex to come home from practice and telling him about the conversation with my brother and him simply saying, "OK - I'll ask Danny."  I also remember him coming home the next day and saying "Yeah, you're good.  Danny said he needs to call Coach K, but yeah ~ it's fone."  Huh?!?!  It was THAT easy,  The kids at Duke wait in tents in Kryziewski-ville (I'm not looking it up, but I think that I may have actually spelled that correctly) and are monitored as they TRY to get tickets to the games.  I think my mom even bought my brother a tent one year.  Weird. 

Visiting my brother back in 1999... 

My brother circumvented the entire process and  was blessed by the Duke Ferry with 2 tickets to arguably one of the best/most entertaining match-ups of all time in sports.  Needless to say, everytime I was offered/given 2 tickets to Cameron Indoor, I took one ticket and "brought" with my brother.

One of my trips to Cameron ~ Recognize that Carolina blue?

FYI - If you've never been to Cameron Indoor ~ you have no idea what you're missing.

Georgetown.  I fell in love with Georgetown in 1985.  In 1985 my life CHANGED.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Growing up, we had a condo in Snowshoe, WV and we were there skiing during the NCAA Men's College Baketball Championship game.  My dad is strict and he had sent my brother and I too sleep.  We had bunkbeds in the condo and I was in the top bunk.  The bunkbeds had a curtain.  While my dad was watching Georgetown v Villanova in the living room, I had pulled back the curtain and was watching also.  I was supposed to be sleeping, but I must have been cheering or groaning at what I was seeing because the next thing I knew my dad said I could come down and watch the game with him.

I watched.a heartbreaker of a game.  I can't remember why/how I decided to like the Hoyas and Patrick Ewing, but I remember watching John Thompson's Patrick Ewing-led Hoyas lose to Rollie Massimino's Wildcats.  I probably watched with my mouth open in complete shock ~ like the rest of the general population.  Villanova and its SLOW down offense.  UNBELIEVABLE.  In the late 90's or early 2000s, Rollie Massimino came to Cleveland to coach Cleveland State Men's Basketball.  I refused to go.  I took that Wildcat victory personally.  I'm sure Rollie is great ~ but I had no interest in cheering him on after he crushed me.

Duke v Georgetown in 2010.  In the past week or so, I've seen Duke lose to a "lesser" ACC team(s).  Duke is not the power house it once was, but I love them because of my brother and all the fun times I've had with him there.  The ACC is exciting, and Journey was right ~ Everybody wants a thrill!!!!  Conversely, in the past week or so, I've seen Georgetown defeat UConn, and concede a huge lead to eventually lose the Jim Boeheim's Orangemen.  Wait - did I spell Jim's last name correctly?!?!  I'm.too lazy to check   Ahh, the Big East.   In March, usually, the question arises as to which conference has better talent or is thr toughest to play in.  I think the ACC is softer this year.  The Big East is more physical.  I'd take a charge in the ACC, but I'd think twice about it in the Big East because I know it'd take me longer to get up.

On Friday, I'm on my way to lunch and I get a call from my friend and she's still working to get tickets for the Duke v Georgetown game.  She has 2, but she's trying for 4 tickets. You gotta love it.  Then I get a little tidbit of info.  The President is going to go to the game.  Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Hellooooooooooooo, I told you that this was going to be a big game...  Hmm - now I want to go to the game even more.  She calls me while I'm at lunch and tells me that we're set.  2 tickets to the game are ours and the other 2 people aren't coming because she can't get the seats together.  I'm so excited I can barely contain myself.  I'm going to the Duke v Georgetown game!!!!

Saturday morning I wake up around 9 and go back to sleep for another hour.  Around 10AM I look out the window and see a Winter Wonderland in the making.  It's SNOWING and it looks absolutely gorgeous outside, especially when you're all snuggled up in bed!  Snow is coming down hard and I realize I need to get moving if I'm going to make it downtown in time for the game.  FYI - most people in VA/DC/MD cannot drive in snow.  I'm from Ohio and I have all-wheel drive, but if some clowns in a Mercedes or a mini-Cooper are in front of me, I'm handcuffed by their ineptitude.

I start driving to the arena before 12:30PM and notice that the roads aren't cleared.  Awesome.  I get close to the arena and notice that the police blocked the streets around it.  Thank you President Obama for messing up traffic.  Double Awesome.  I drive around, find a parking meter ~ SCORE and begin hustling/walking towards the building.  My timing is perfect ~ or so I think until I get closer to the Verizon Center.  Ugh ~ there are lines outside the building of people trying to get in.  I meet my friend at Will Call and we head towards the media entrance.  We get denied, that entrance is closed since the President is in the building. 

All roads are blocked...  The President is trying to get into the game..

We cut ~ whatever ~ in line and realize there's another logjam.  The secret service is going through everything thoroughly and the metal detectors are out.  Metal detectors?!?!  This isn't a Wizards game, and I thought Gil was already suspended for the season ~ so who needs metal detectors (hahahahahahaha)?!!?  Just kidding...   Kinda. Ok, not really...

By the time we get to our seats, the score is 12-12.  Incidentally the line was Duke -2.  I have no idea why it was, what it was ~ but these are my guesses.

1.  Duke was favored because they're Duke.
2.  Duke was favored because they're Duke.
3.  Duke was favored because they're Duke.

Based on what I'd seen in the past few weeks, the line was way OFF.  The Hoyas should've been giving points.

The game was hot!  I'm not even sure if Duke ever had the lead.  Georgetown was blocking shots, running, and playing all around better basketball.  The arena was "grayed out" thanks to all the free t-shirts that Geico passed out.  It was a bit of a blowout.  DC used to be the murder capital, and tsoeone should've called 911. The Duke team fell victim on Saturday afternoon.  They should've just lied down on the court and someone (maybe the secret service since they were there in full strength) could've outlined them in chalk.  GAME OVER.  Thanks for coming by.

During the game, I scan the crowd.  Tracy McGrady is there (they put him up on the jumbotron) to promote a charity.  Coach Thompson (Senior) is there at the table doing radio.  Ted Leonsis (owner of the Washington Capitals) is courtside.  But where is the President?!?!  I break out my camera and start zooming my lens and scan the crowd a little more thoroughly and sure enough, President Obama is sitting next to VP Joe Biden across from the Hoyas' bench.  They're courtside right by the baseline.  Very cool.  At least I get to see the man who is responsible for me missing the opening tip-off and not being able to park easily.

It was about 4PM and Gergetown won.  I got to see the President in person.  My friends and I head to Clyde's to grub up.  We get there and we're surrounded by a ridiculous number of drink college kids from Georgetown.  Come on guys...  Act like you've won before...  The place is loud and people are everywhere celebrating the win.  I dub the restaurant "Club Clyde's" because it's crazy inside and there's a line for the men's restroom.  My friend is suprised that I've never seen the President before since she's seen him 3 or 4 times.  Really?!?!  Is seeing the Presidenr the norm?!?!  I laugh.  Now, all she and I have to do is decide if we want to kill 3 hours and watch the Knicks v Wizards game...  That game tips off at 8....

Not too shabby for a Saturday afternoon...  :-P


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