After the last few games, I had become disillusioned with the student section's lack of effort. the LMU game came to a head. Even though it was a Thursday night, one should not be leaving a game at the half. The open seats, facing the LMU bench allowed for a rather annoying set of confrontations.
"Are you going to be standing the entire time?" an older man asked me at the beginning of the second half. "This is the student section, and we tend to stand the entire time," I replied, taken aback by what seemed like an obviously uninformed question.
Through the first eight minutes of the second half, I could not focus on the game, as this man kept heckling me and not admitting to what he was doing. I turned to him after he said "nice play, I wish I could have seen it!" I told him firmly, you can sit anywhere else in this section, why do you have to sit here?" "I wasn't talking to you!" was his snide reply.
Over four years, I have experienced heckling down in San Francisco, which was expected as a visitor, and have had the entire upper bowl and 75 percent of the arena filled with BYU fans, but this for whatever reason was the greatest indignity I have encountered at a basketball game: a visiting fan acting like I had no right to be in a section exclusively designated for the students and having little to no students to support my efforts.
I approached one of the ushers and pointed out the situation at the under-12 media timeout. He told me that it was too late to do anything. Frustrated, I admit I became petulant and felt like I had to defend that space for the sake of my pride, the fact I had been attending games for four years, and someone has to defend the student section. During the second half, I came to the conclusion the guy behind me might have some cognitive issues, which made my outbursts and mental threat to physically pull the guy from his seat and move him to a seat where I was out of his vision, but I lack the sufficient upper body strength and merely decided to count down the minutes until I got to meet a good acquaintance.
Even though the game in LA was decided by a superhoop with 14 seconds remaining in regulation, this game was decided in what was becoming standard operating procedure for the Pilots at home: be aggressive at the start, but give up a large run, miss shots and turn the ball over to keep the deficit around eight to 10 points.
After the game, I managed to visit with Jeff Lampe, the LMU play-by-play voice since 2001. Lampe also serves as the host of "WCC Live," the weekly call-in show about the conference's sports, mainly focusing on basketball. Last year, they hosted a series of shows from the Orleans Arena in between the sessions. In what is becoming a recurring theme for me and games, I had extra time before the sessions, so I served as their lone live audience member Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Interested in radio myself, I talked with Mr. Lampe about his time behind the mic and inquired about ways to get involved. He recommended the normal route of asking the SID and working through the system. After this season, Lampe retired from his LMU duties but will still host "WCC Live" next season.
Over the course of the year I have not been able to make much progress on my future, but depending on how things go in terms of employment and living arrangements, I might be sticking around Portland to help out the radio broadcast for the women's team. If not for Lampe and his informed, conversational style, I might not have been able to put aside my issues and remember that every game features highs and lows, and that broadcasters cannot leave early, regardless of how bad a game might get.
Bill Johnson (purple), Portland's radio voice and Jeff Lampe (right) converse after the game.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 76, at PORTLAND 62 02/09/2012
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 16-9 (9-3) -- J. Ostrowski 5-10 1-2 15; A. Ireland 5-15 3-5 15; D. Viney 3-8 7-7 16; A. Hamilton 1-3 0-0 2; G. Okonji 4-4 2-6 10; L. Armstead 4-6 4-6 13; J. DuBois 2-6 0-0 5; C. Blackwell 4-5 0-0 11; A. Egbeyemi 1-1 0-0 2; A. Osborne 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-49 16-24 76. PORTLAND 6-19 (3-9) -- T. van der Mars 0-1 5-5 5; D. Rodgers 2-5 0-0 5; T. Riley 5-10 0-0 13; K. Bailey 4-11 1-2 11; D. Cason 0-5 0-0 0; D. Carr 1-4 0-0 2; R. Nicholas 6-7 1-2 13; T. Douglas 4-5 2-2 11; N. Mitrovic 1-6 0-0 2; J. Bailey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 9-11 62.
Three-point goals: LMU 10-19 (D. Viney 3-5; L. Armstead 1-3; J. DuBois 1-2; A. Hamilton 0-1; A. Ireland 2-5; C. Blackwell 3-3), PORT 7-22 (N. Mitrovic 0-5; T. Riley 3-6; T. Douglas 1-2; D. Rodgers 1-2; K. Bailey 2-4; D. Carr 0-1; D. Cason 0-2); Rebounds: LMU 28 (G. Okonji 9), PORT 21 (D. Cason 4); Assists: LMU 13 (A. Ireland 5), PORT 16 (D. Rodgers 4); Total Fouls -- LMU 15, PORT 18; Fouled Out: LMU-None; PORT-None.