Ahh…finally…Hoosier Hysteria

IU Hoosiers!

Yep, this post has nothing to do with writing, but everything to do with a long-time love of mine…Indiana University basketball.  Tonight was the big event to kick off the basketball season…I couldn’t go (even though I live in Bloomington), but they streamed it so I did get to sit in front of my computer for a couple of hours and enjoy the festivities.

For you non-basketball fans out there, Indiana is pre-season #1!  That’s a pretty big deal!  It’s an especially big deal when you consider where the program was just four short years ago.  Hoosier Nation has pretty high expectations for this team and it looks like the kids on the team have worked hard in the off-season.

I had to work today and Hoosier Hysteria was what just about everyone was talking about.  If you’re not from Indiana, you just don’t understand how huge basketball is…how we grow up living and breathing Indiana basketball…how we bleed cream and crimson…how we find ourselves humming the Indiana school song at totally random moments.

Anyhow…I know I’ve been focused on writing of late…but this sure was a fun way to spend the evening!!  Go Hoosiers!

Basketball fever

Center of the Basketball Universe

Center of the Basketball Universe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who knows me at all knows I am a lifelong, die-hard Indiana University Hoosiers basketball fan…from the time I was a kid (yep, all those years ago).  We lived way out in the middle of nowhere, had a black and white television hooked up to an antennae…could only get the 3 major networks and one little Indianapolis station…fortunately for us, back then that station carried the IU games…all of them that weren’t on network tv.  With announcers who were partisan IU fans…Bob Knight was the coach…players like Scott May, Quinn Buckner and Kent Benson led IU to a national championship in 1976 (should have been, would have been, the second championship had May not been injured late in the previous season)…and, might I add, that was also the last team to make it through the entire season undefeated…there have been a lot of really great teams to play the game of college basketball in the past 36 years, but none that could match what that team accomplished.

Having said that, this IU team is pretty darn special in its own right.  This is a team that has faced tremendous adversity, a team that had to completely rebuild the program, that had to work hard for every single accomplishment, that continued to battle through 3 tough losing seasons…through it all, they never gave up, they continued to work hard, to improve individually and collectively.  No one gave them anything…they worked for everything they’ve achieved.  This group of seniors is making its first NCAA run.  The naysayers said they would lose their first game last week…in part because this is uncharted territory for every player on this team, they don’t have talented point guards, they aren’t as athletic as some of the other teams…and so on…

All year, this group of guys has proven the talking heads wrong…they seem to thrive on the doubters, on no one believing they can win…they relish the role of underdog.  Yes, they are, once again, the underdogs in their upcoming game.  When I hear certain analysts declare that IU doesn’t have a chance against UK Friday night in Atlanta, I just smile.  I seem to remember they didn’t have a prayer in that game played back on Dec 10 either, but somehow came out victorious.

Will they win Friday night?  I don’t know any more about that than those guys on ESPN and CBS…but I do know that this team has brought Indiana back to the national stage…the right way…that they’ll put their all into this match up, they won’t just meekly roll over simply because the team they’re playing is purported to be better than some pro teams.  They know they can beat this team…they know it because they’ve already done it!

Whatever happens the rest of the way in this tournament…I just want to say…Indiana Hoosiers…love us or hate us…we’re back!!

For the glory of old IU

Center of the Basketball Universe

Image via Wikipedia

Okay, today’s post is going to be a little bit of a departure from my usual focus.  I’m basking in the glow of a huge victory for Indiana University basketball tonight.  The Hoosiers were able to knock off #1 Kentucky just down the road from my house tonight.  An unbelievably exciting game, kind of wish I could have been there.

I’ve been a Hoosiers basketball fan since I was a kid, back in the early Bob Knight years, through 3 national championships, through the firing of Knight and the promotion of Davis, Davis leaving and the hiring of Sampson (which, by the way, I thought was a huge mistake at the time and, unfortunately, was proven correct in that view) and the decimation that Sampson’s actions brought to a proud, tradition filled program.

When Tom Crean was hired as the head basketball coach, I had hope that he would be able to restore the program to its proper place in the basketball world.  The first couple of seasons were tough…I think most of us realized this would be a process that would take some time, but I’m not big on patience.  I continued supporting the team, watching the games (not enjoying most of them, actually felt like I was suffering through them), and hoping, hoping, hoping.

Well, tonight…tonight all of that waiting and suffering and hoping paid off.  A huge win over arch rival Kentucky shows that the boys are back.  I’ve always heard that Irish eyes are smiling, well, tonight it’s Hoosier eyes that are smiling…and I’m sure we’ll still be smiling in the morning.  I’m going to borrow something from my nephew…welcome back to the dance, Indiana!!







Why was it raining inside Assembly Hall?

Hoop Dreams

Image by santanartist via Flickr

That might well have been the question some people were asking a few years ago when I went to an Indiana University basketball game at Assembly Hall with a group of my friends.  Who among my group of friends was present?  I can’t really remember for sure, but I think Cheryl and I went with a group of our guy friends…I’m pretty sure James and Mike were there, and maybe Johnny.  Did Kevin and/or Cindy accompany us? How about Tom?  I’m just not sure.  In my defense, it has been more than 20 years ago…whoa!!  Can that be right?  We must have all been children at the time…

Anyhow…our seats weren’t the worst seats we’d ever had, but definitely not the best either.  Believe me, there were times when we had some pretty awesome seats (and some pretty awful seats at times too).  This time our seats were in the first row of the balcony at about center court.  The balcony at Assembly Hall has a wall ledge like thing going on.  Perfect for leaning on while watching the action on the court.  Also handy for setting your drinks right there in front of you.  Well…until some crazy action on the court causes everyone to jump from their seats while wildly swinging their arms…ah yes, you’ve figured it out.  One of the guys knocked his drink over the edge of the balcony.  Oops!  We all just kind of slunk back into our seats, none of us dared look to see who had been doused with Coke or how angry they were.  I sure hope it wasn’t the lady who always wears her fur coat to the games;>

So the next time you go to a basketball game at Assembly Hall, take the time to look around.  Are you in the line of fire of falling, sloshing, spilling Coke?  Maybe that’s why you see so many people wearing those caps at the ball games…

Back to school at old IU

Franklin Hall (left) and Student Building (rig...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year again.  Back to school time.  Not that I’m going back to school.  I didn’t really like it all that much the first time around, so I probably won’t be returning to the classroom any time soon.  But a lot of people are returning to school this month.  I live in a college town…a town that is kind of sleepy and quiet during the summer months.  But that quiet is about to come to an abrupt end.  The college students will be returning to town very soon.  The sleepy days of summer will be replaced by the hustle and bustle of the new school year.

I remember how exciting and scary it was to start college, move to a new place where I didn’t know very many people, try to find my way around this huge campus as well as the surrounding town.  When I attended IU, most of the students lived on campus.  Now there are a lot of upscale apartment complexes down town that cater to the student population.  Many of them are self-contained with  gyms and shops within the complex.  I’d like to offer a word of advice to the students new to Bloomington…don’t isolate yourselves in your own apartment complex…get out and explore the town, interact with the locals, volunteer…the town has a lot to offer you, and you have so much to offer the town.    Welcome to Bloomington…welcome home!

CVS shopping trip…short and sweet

Sample Gates, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Image via Wikipedia

After a really long day at work today (and did I mention that it was crazy busy?  oh my, graduation weekend at Indiana University and the town is hopping), I decided I should try to make it over to CVS since I haven’t been in a couple of weeks.  I didn’t need a lot, but I did have some ECBs that were about to expire.  We all know we can’t possibly allow that to happen.  That’s the same thing as throwing money away…no, no, no…we don’t ever do that. So I made a hurried little shopping trip.

I knew I needed hair spray.  A while back, for some reason, I bought hairspray that was extra hold formula.  I hate it!  But that’s what I’ve been using the past couple of weeks while waiting for a decent sale.  So, when I saw that CVS had Pantene styling products on sale this week  2/$6.97, combined with a $3/2 coupon, I knew it was time to make the purchase.  Getting $1 ECB was just a nice extra.  Yea!  No more stiff hair!

The hair color I use was also on sale. Granted $7.99 isn’t the best sale price I’ve ever seen on it, but I did have a $3 coupon and I earned $2 in ECBs.  All of a sudden, the price looks much better.

And then there was the splurge item.  Those darn jalapeno Cheetos…just gotta love ’em!  I didn’t need them, but I sure do like them.

After using my manufacturer’s coupons and $10.74 in ECBs, I ended up paying $2.76 out of pocket…a savings of 89%…very cool!  And I ended up earning  $9 in ECBs.  $1 from the Pantene deal, $2 from the Natural Instincts deal, $1 from the green bag tag and a surprise $5 from the Beauty Club spending!  With what I still had left in ECBs, I’m ready for the next big sale!