On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a game with several of our fellow 800GP-ers when Old Dominion traveled to Fairfax for George Mason's homecoming. Although this was nominally the DC-area meetup, attendees came from south (Norfolk) and north (Philadelphia), east (Annapolis) and west (ok, not too far off campus, I think) and by all accounts, an excellent time was had by all.
It seems especially appropriate, during this week that I and others run from The Knowledge (approximately 46 hours and counting as of this writing, thanks for asking), that we were at a basketball game for Mason's homecoming--a fact only made possible by that university's lack of an American-style football team. Although the weather put a damper on our plans to check out the tailgating scene, it was clear around town and on campus that there was a lot of excitement for the game. In fact, more than a week before the game, all the tailgating spots had already been claimed.
I was able to meet up with Chris Dobbertean, Mike Greiner, Dom Pody and Bob Fisch before the game for some burgers and beverages, and I persuaded them all to put their ballz on the bar for all of Twitter to see. Not like that.
We then made our way down to the Patriot Center, where we caught up with Alan Kelly, who'd been in line to score his spot in the front row of the student section since, well, since even before my first beer. (That's him in the yellow wig.)
Before the game, we took in the atmosphere--especially me, having never been to a Mason game before. The Green Machine wowed, and I saw another first: a Mason player singing the national anthem just before taking the floor. Impressive. (Even if "taking the floor" was more likely to mean "taking a seat on the bench" in his case. You never know!)
The game, I have to say, wasn't exactly much to write home or anywhere else about. Mike (a current ODU student) and Alan (a current GMU student) agreed it was the "rockfight" they expected, and who am I to get in the way of bipartisanship? Poor Dom, a recent graduate of GMU, was undergoing that special withdrawal that happens during one's first few games sitting outside the student section.
At halftime, though, we went downstairs to meet up with Alan and to SET THE RECORD. That's right, a record EIGHT bally/z in one place at one time, the most anywhere since they all left the nest. (And pretty appropriate here in season eight, too.) Although nearly every flat surface in the Patriot Center concourse was covered with homecoming swag, athletic department advertising or concession stand accessories, we would not be deterred. The flat top of the trash bin would work just fine.
Congratulations, gentlemen, for owning a share of the record, and thanks for making the trek from near or far. I was thrilled to meet all of you and I hope to see you all again soon. And to all of you out there who aren't within driving distance of D.C., reach out to your fellow 800GP-ers about your own meetup. There could be more of them nearby than you think and who knows? Maybe you could own the record.
at GEORGE MASON 54, OLD DOMINION 50 02/04/2012
OLD DOMINION 15-10 (10-3) -- K. Bazemore 3-12 4-9 11; N. Wright 3-11 0-0 6; D. Hill 2-4 0-0 4; T. Iliadis 5-11 2-2 13; C. Cooper 5-8 0-1 10; M. De Lancey 0-5 2-2 2; D. Batten 0-3 2-4 2; R. Ross 1-3 0-0 2; J. Pimentel 0-1 0-0 0; A. Larsen 0-0 0-0 0; B. Key 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-58 10-18 50. GEORGE MASON 19-6 (11-2) -- S. Wright 2-6 0-0 4; R. Pearson 3-11 11-13 17; M. Morrison 1-4 6-7 8; V. Vaughns 2-4 2-2 6; B. Allen 0-7 2-2 2; E. Copes 2-3 3-4 7; C. Edwards 1-4 2-4 5; A. Cornelius 1-3 0-0 2; V. Gray 1-5 1-2 3; J. Arledge 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 13-47 27-35 54.
Three-point goals: ODU 2-16 (K. Bazemore 1-4; M. De Lancey 0-2; T. Iliadis 1-6; N. Wright 0-1; D. Batten 0-3), GMU 1-10 (A. Cornelius 0-2; R. Pearson 0-2; V. Vaughns 0-1; S. Wright 0-1; B. Allen 0-1; C. Edwards 1-2; V. Gray 0-1); Rebounds: ODU 36 (C. Cooper 10), GMU 38 (R. Pearson 10); Assists: ODU 7 (K. Bazemore 5), GMU 7 (R. Pearson 3); Total Fouls -- ODU 25, GMU 16; Fouled Out: ODU-C. Cooper; GMU-None.