UPDATE: The NBA acknowledged that the officials should have called the contact on George that caused him to turn the ball over. How they missed it is beyond me because it happened right in front of an official.
Speaking of the Pepsi Center…we definitely have a great venue in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pepsi Center is nice, don’t get me wrong, but I have to say I still like BLF much better. I sat in Row 8 behind the basket (thank you StubHub). While it wasn’t actually the eighth row (more like the 20th), it was still about 30 yards from the court. It was obvious that basketball wasn’t really on their minds when it was designed. Concerts and hockey: yes; basketball: no. It’s similar (a bit better) to when they hold basketball games at Lucas Oil Stadium. Also, security was outside…nothing like waiting in the cold and snow to get passed over with a security wand. Where BLF has all sorts of history and cool things to check out on the walls all around the arena, the Pepsi Center has blank walls. The in-game entertainment was similar to the Pacers’, except their mascot, Rocky, didn’t repel down from the rafters…nor do they have a super-mega-awesome-tron (let’s be honest, most don’t). My final opinion, it just didn’t have anything that really stood out and made me say “wow this is awesome.” Will I go back? Yes, I live in Denver now, so of course I will go back. Will I miss watching the Pacers in downtown Indianapolis? Yes, without a doubt.
OK, there’s my recap from my Monday night adventure. I’m sure there will be many other things that happen this week and if this transition is still in here, I worked too much and didn’t look to make any changes. IU destroyed Purdue. Yes, you are allowed to say "destroyed" when the point differential was 37. They better bring that on Saturday night when they play Michigan (more on this later). What I really want to talk about today is something that’s been on my mind and was going to be the topic of my Sunday Special that I mentioned last Friday and then completely forgot about. Today’s topic is how awesome it would be to be a sportscaster.
This idea first came to mind back in October when the San Francisco Giants were dancing on the field in Detroit, having just won the World Series. Side note…if the 49ers win the Super Bowl, what a year it will be for San Francisco. OK back on subject. While I was listening to the game on the radio at work I recognized a familiar voice, that of ESPN’s Dan Shulman. When the game was one by a 10th inning base hit to score the winning run I began to think about what other games Shulman has gotten to see in person. The first thing that came to mind was the Indiana-Kentucky game in 2011 with the Watford buzzer beater. Shulman was right there on the sideline with Dickie V. Then a few weeks ago, Butler gets the jaw dropping win at home over Gonzaga with the last second steal and buzzer beating floater. Who was there? You guessed it, Dickie V and Dan Shulman. Granted, both Vitale and Shulman do ESPN’s Saturday (night) game of the week (Shulman also does Sunday night baseball) and ESPN doesn’t just pick the highlight game at random. They are expected to be exciting games and generally are. However, thinking about all of the great games that they and other sportscasters get to witness from the sideline has definitely made me reflect on my career choice. While, I enjoy the choice I’ve made and hope that I can use it to do a lot of good one day (whenever I manage to finish grad school ha). Being the avid sports fan that I am I will admit to envying what they get to watch night in and night out. I mean seriously, how awesome would it be? Dick and Dan will be doing the #1 Michigan at #3 Indiana game tomorrow, a game that I would kill to go to (well, maybe not literally).
Speaking of tomorrow’s top five showdown in Bloomington, IU is going to have to step it up if they want to beat the second #1 team to come into Assembly Hall in just over a year. IU is the underdog once again. I don’t care that IU blew out Purdue (at Mackey) with 97 points while Michigan only scored 68 against Nortwestern in Ann Arbor on Wednesday night. The horrifically, neon yellow clad fans were chanting “Beat the Hoosiers” near the end of that game. Michigan is going to bring it and the Hoosiers better be ready. They have to keep scoring (like they did against the Boilermakers) and not let up. They can’t go on these droughts (like they and the Pacers often do) and expect to win. They can’t commit bad fouls and stupid turnovers. That should be a given. Every one of them has to bring their best game. They can’t let the Wolverines hang around (see the Butler/Georgetown games or even the Kentucky game from last year). For the sake of our blood pressure, please don’t. Oh, and Assembly Hall better be so loud that I can hear them all the way in Keystone, CO (I’ll be going up the mountains but at 7 pm MT I will be glued to ESPN). Probably don’t have to worry about the latter. The Assembly Hall Faithful were still rocking even when IU won a total of 6 games a few years ago. If IU is going to win, they must have their best game of the season up to this point.
Alright, that’s it for me this week. I’ve got to work so I can get up to the mountains later. Have a great weekend. Let’s go Pacers, beat the Heat! “He’s a flopper!” Sorry, I couldn’t resist, I love that chant. Go IU! It’s always good to beat up on the neighbors to the north. I don’t care who does it (Purdue, Notre Dame, IU, etc). It’s always fun beating Michigan. Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks, as always, for reading.
P.S. Happy February! Since it's February, you know what that means?!?!? Pitchers and catchers report in 11 days!