It's a good time to be a Hoosier, and Friday and Saturday were a great time to be a Hoosier in B-town (that's Bloomington for you non-Hoosiers). Friday I was busy doing pre-wedding stuff with Michelle when I picked up my phone and saw 4 missed calls from fellow IU fans. I was thinking they were calling me about Hoosier Hysteria. Turns out it was much more important. Eric Gordon, one of the top 3 recruits, if not the top recruit, of the class of 2007 had announced he was going to come to IU and turn away from his verbal to Illinois. For those of you who don't know, this was a long, long saga between the two schools and fans. So, that was big news!
So, Michelle and I busted into Btown in the early evening to see some of my old friends. The doors of Assembly Hall opened at 9pm, but when that time came we were still at Nick's English Hut waiting for our pizza that we ordered around 7:30pm. So, we bolted hoping to still get a decent seat (a quick stop at Chipotle solved Michelle's hunger problem...I decided that as a true fan I would skip eating to get to the Hall and get as close to Branch McCracken Court as possible). We managed to sneak our way into the south entrance and slowly began the process of looking for better seats. First, the tenth row. Then I saw a couple spots closer. Before you know it, we were in the 2nd row (with only a few little kids in front of us that we could see over easily) right behind the basket where all the action would occur (you could see us on ESPNU). This was a good thing!
The Eric Gordon chants happened quite often during the time waiting for the event to occur. We were sitting relatively close to him and all the dozen or so potential recruits. There was definitely a buzz about the whole situation and about getting to hear from the new coach Kelvin Sampson.
Michelle said she felt like a "hypocrite" not knowing the IU fight song. Her metamorphosis towards being a Hoosier is now a little closer after a weekend in Btown and picking up an Indiana sweatshirt and stocking cap. When she asked who Dr. Herbert, that Greenspan guy, and Kyle Hornsby was I thought you could hear a pin drop in Assembly Hall. I quickly told her they were the IU Prez, Athletic Director, and one of the great shooters during IU's 2002 NCAA tourney run. In a supposedly separate incident, Michelle had water "accidentally" dumped on her a few minutes later from the people behind us.
I could tell you a lot more, such as my impressions of some of the players...but I won't bore those who don't care. Those who do can ask me. Let's just say the scrimmage was a scrimmage, they never look good any year in those so I'm not worried. I'm glad practice has started!
Saturday we got up for a little tailgating and then headed off to the IU-Iowa game. Iowa was ranked 15th and IU was a three touchdown underdog. However, I knew Iowa had pretty small cornerbacks and that our receivers could have a big day. Even though IU messed around for most of the first half, they eventually got their act together and were only down 21-17 at the half. We were about 10 seats away from the Iowa fan section, which was about 5,000 strong I'd say. So, there was a little talk going back and forth.
The second half we pretty much dominated, much to the surprise of Michelle, who has a much faith in IU football as she does in the Roswell alien crash conspiracy. Then we held off a late Iowa drive with a spectacular interception that could be seen as on ESPN's top plays (I think it was #2).
The poor Iowa fans left in disbelief, all the more funny because we had heard so many joking about how they'd crush us. (They were quiet at the end...many of them taking off the flags on their cars so they wouldn't get harrassed by the students). We matched up well with Iowa. I'm not going to jump on the Bowl game bandwagon quite yet. Although, I do think IU would probably be 6-1 if Coach Hep wouldn't have had to have brain surgery.
It was a great weekend to be in Btown. I love that town! It was also a great weekend to just get away from thinking about the wedding, which is this Saturday by the way.
Below are some pics from the weekend and the ratliff dunk is from last year. He did a similar one this year. Last year's dunk may be my all-time favorite Midnight Madness moment, so I added the picture.