So much so in fact, I cause great inconvenience upon myself and wife anytime we travel to random parts of the country to see family or friends. This turned out to be the case again this past holiday weekend as I slated a pit stop on the return trip home to catch some hoops. It IS basketball season, in case you were wondering.
We flew into Detroit, MI from Las Vegas, NV on Wednesday 11/23 in order to make our rounds with family and friends over Thanksgiving weekend. As soon as the plans were made, I was going over basketball schedules to see what could line up with what. Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Oakland, U of Detroit, etc were all on the list. Just so happened Eastern Michigan was hosting Michigan State in Ypsilanti on Sunday, 11/27. Just so happens Detroit Metro Airport is a short distance away. Tickets bought, plans made. Book it.
By the time yesterday came I was a wreck. Traveling to California the weekend previous, logging 200 road miles to the west side of Michigan, and 200 miles back, sleeping in random places and eating random things took its toll. This was only a couple of weeks. Kyle, my hat is off to you. Not saying I can relate, just that I've had enough where I don't want to. I hope Chicago is treating you well.
Anyway, there was a basketball game in all of this traveling. Fellow tourney trippers Jimmy and Nate made it out for the game. Eastern Michigan plays in a building referred to as the Convocation Center. It's pretty nice and seems newer. I imagined I would have enjoyed taking in basketball games if I had attended EMU. I would say the building was 2/3rds full which is a bit disappointing considering East Lansing is a couple of hours down the road. If I drove from the Lake Michigan coast, why couldn't this be a sell out?
The start of the game featured bad basketball with missed shots and slow sloppy play. You can insert your Thanksgiving hangover joke here. EMU was hustling on defense and getting to loose balls, but they could not turn those over into points. Michigan State's length was forcing a ton of bad shots, and denying anything in close. Those shots that were in close looked like something your grandmother would hoist up. It was pretty bad. When the Eagles could only muster 13 points by halftime, you knew it was over. That is ok though, there was something marvelous on the horizon.
During one of the media time outs, the 3,711 on hand were treated to Zooperstar Mackerel Jordan's crazy blown up animal basketball hijinx. He ate a person and spit out the clothes like they were bones! It was so funny. You had to be there. Since you probably weren't, here you go:
The second half featured a lay up drill for Michigan State. The house that The Iceman built was on campus far from here. Earl Boykins was rolling over in his bed. The Eagles were once a proud hoops program. Ypsilanti being so close to Detroit, you'd figure they could make some recruiting inroads on the coat tails of Michigan State or Michigan even. I am a former Western Michigan student, and a general fan of the MAC (except Central, they can suck it), and would like to see Eastern do well.
The final score was 72-40. Could have been 100-40. At least I saw Mackerel Jordan.
MICHIGAN STATE 72, at EASTERN MICHIGAN 40 11/27/2011
MICHIGAN STATE 4-2 (0-0) -- K. Appling 3-8 5-6 11; D. Green 6-13 2-3 14; B. Wood 4-6 0-0 9; B. Dawson 3-5 0-0 6; D. Nix 3-5 0-0 6; T. Trice 0-3 0-2 0; A. Payne 5-8 2-4 12; A. Thornton 1-3 4-4 6; R. Byrd 1-2 0-0 3; B. Kearney 0-2 0-0 0; A. Gauna 2-3 1-1 5; A. Ianni 0-0 0-0 0; D. Chapman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 14-20 72.
EASTERN MICHIGAN 4-2 (0-0) -- J. Sims 6-15 2-3 14; J. Harris 2-10 0-0 4; A. Green 1-10 2-5 5; K. Janton 2-3 0-2 4; D. Lampley 1-6 0-0 3; A. Harper 2-4 1-1 6; M. Balkema 1-3 0-2 2; Q. Dailey 1-3 0-0 2; A. Chandler 0-1 0-0 0; A. Strickland 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-56 5-13 40.
Three-point goals: MSU 2-12 (A. Thornton 0-1; B. Wood 1-3; D. Green 0-2; K. Appling 0-1; R. Byrd 1-2; B. Kearney 0-1; T. Trice 0-2), EMU 3-22 (D. Lampley 1-4; A. Green 1-6; J. Sims 0-6; Q. Dailey 0-1; A. Harper 1-3; A. Chandler 0-1; A. Strickland 0-1); Rebounds: MSU 45 (D. Green 13), EMU 25 (J. Harris 7); Assists: MSU 14 (K. Appling 5), EMU 10 (D. Lampley 3); Total Fouls -- MSU 14, EMU 19; Fouled Out: MSU-None; EMU-None.