Las Vegas, Nevada: We had a quiet
morning. Dave worked out on a bicycle in the hotel fitness center, we had
coffees and then walked over to the new
T-Mobile Arena to
watch the Oregon Ducks v. Arizona State.
Entry lines were very long. We had to go through a purse-search and pass
through a metal detector to enter the arena. Once inside, we were really
impressed with the huge stadium! So neat and tidy - so roomy. Massive
escalators carrying spectators up three levels. Our seats were in an
area with access to a private bar and restaurant area. No matter this is
a NCAA event. The tournament is in Las Vegas. Not only can you bet on a
game at the casinos, you can have a cocktail in your stadium seat. (BTW: I do not bet on
college sports... but I do drink cocktails.)
The Oregon game started at noon. The stadium was sparsely filled. Oregon
fans were quiet. Arizona State fans were quiet.
The game was very close throughout the first half, but after the break,
the Ducks pulled away and never looked back.
Oregon cheer squad
The Ducks won the game, 80-57. Before the next game, Cal v Utah, we went
up to the bar for a drink. After waiting forever in line, I ordered a vodka
soda. The bartender asked if I would like to make it a double.
Considering how long the lines were, I agreed.
Please enjoy this photo of my $32 vodka soda.
The screen above the court is so large, and the picture so clear, it is
distracting! Beautiful arena.
Even fewer fans hung around for the Cal v Utah game. Cal won, 78 to 75.
Between the (two, two-game) sessions, Dave and I walked back to our
hotel room so he could ice his knee again. Though very close to the
arena, it is a half-mile walk from our hotel room to the arena. On a
normal day, this would be nothing for us. We average six-to-seven miles
a day walking in Las Vegas. Everything is so huge here. It can be a
quarter-mile walk from a hotel lobby to a hotel room! But since My
Driver had his meniscus repaired (two weeks ago today), he is using a
cane for support and must ice his knee often. We are trying to walk as
little as possible... which is, honestly, impossible to do in Las Vegas.
Before heading back to the last two games, we stopped in the hotel lobby
and split a burger at the
Grass-fed beef burger with organic cheese. $9.
Bill Walton was the television announcer for the last two games this evening. We saw him seated
in front of us, court-side, in a most peculiar situation:
Three chairs stacked together to give the Big Guy the height he needed -
most likely to aid his always-ailing back.
The University of Arizona really represented at their
game v Colorado this evening. The arena was about 70% filled with
red-shirted Wildcat fans. Arizona
fans are quite vocal and had a great variety of organized chants and
cheers to root their team to victory... which they did this evening,
92-78. Dave and I are great fans of the Arizona coach, Sean Miller.
While Lisa was in college at The George Washington University, Miller
coached at their rival, Xavier. We used to watch him brilliantly coach
the X-Men to victory after victory and were not surprised when he was
chosen to coach the mighty Arizona Wildcats. We love Sean Miller -
unless he is coaching against the Ducks.
The final game was USC v UCLA and this game was on ESPN. We left around
the half, and finished watching the game on television at our hotel.
UCLA beat USC, 76-74.
Y'all know I love My Ducks. I'm pretty opinionated - especially when it
comes to the members of the track team. The Ducks win games. The Ducks
lose games. But one thing the Ducks will never lose is a mascot contest
in the Pac-12 (or possibly the entire NCAA). The Conference of Champions
should be embarrassed.
Oski, the Cal Bear and the Utah Utes mascot, Swoop.
The University of Colorado are the Buffaloes. Ralphie (left) is their
Buffalo... even though he is, of course, actually a bison. The
University of Arizona Wildcats have a wildcat as their mascot. His name
is Wilbur. Wilbur is married to Wilma, a female wildcat mascot.
NOTE: A CU reader corrected me - see comments below. Ralphie is the name
of the (real, live) bison who attends the football games. The mascot
pictured above is named Chip.
Compared to The Duck, the other mascots are amateurish. I know we have
Disney on our side, but honestly... step it up, Pac-12! The Duck is
unofficially recognized as Puddles.
(NOTE: The above photo was taken - by me - in Eugene in 2009.)
The Oregon Ducks will face Cal tomorrow (6p, pacific). The game will be
carried on the Pac-12 Network. Immediately following the Duck game,
Arizona will play UCLA (8:30p, pacific). This game will be carried on
Until my next update, I remain, your sleepy correspondent.
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