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Gameday at Coors -- my first season following CU hoops

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by hokiehead, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    {After writing all this down, I realized that I got carried away and had written a book. I'm unapologetic -- if you don't like the dribble I usually post, skip this, you probably won't like it either.}

    I wanted to capture a few thoughts on my first season following and attending CU basketball. I've stated before I don't consider myself an expert at the X's and O's of basketball -- this thread/post is about the gameday experience at Coors, not about the team's play. I really think you guys have a great thing going with CU basketball ("Tadball") -- I posted several weeks ago that I followed CU closer this season than my other teams (VT and Wisconsin). I knew I had turned a corner before tip of the UCLA home game when I correctly predicted the starting lineup (first game after Dinwiddie and Fletcher injuries).

    First, I love the Coors Event Center! I totally dig the single-level architecture with the big, open concourse all around that allows you to watch the action while waiting in line for concessions or <shun> walking to the exit early. I know some of you complained about the exterior architecture not being cohesive with the rest of campus, but hell, it could be far, far worse. A single level arena will never have the "big time feel" of the Dean-dome or McKale center, but I am not convinced that Coors hurts CU recruiting in the Pac. If I was Boyle (not yet familiar enough to call him by his Christian name), one of my recruiting tools would be showing wide-view still shots of the crowds at home and away games against conference opponents, highlighting the disparity in number of seats occupied (UCLA home vs away would be compelling).

    One negative about the CEC: traffic flow in and out of the men's room is less than optimal. Traffic bottlenecks at the sinks, hand drying stations and exits. I'm old enough that these trips take a while already, I don't need further challenges in getting back to my seat before the action starts.

    Multiple free parking options within reasonable walking distance help make CU games a very attractive entertainment option. I read b**ching on AB about the wait to get out of campus parking after the games but didn't have problems the two times I parked on campus. Side story -- I once waited (no exaggeration) 75 minutes to get off the top floor of a parking garage after a VT loss at North Carolina, with another couple in the car (they were Tar Heels, of course). We had run out of conversation about half time and the waiting period in the car was incredibly painful.

    I picked up on the CU cheers pretty quickly. Not too difficult given that the words "Colorado", "Go", and "Buffs" make up about 75% of the syllables that are longer than one letter. Also, the cheer that goes "D-fence, D-fence" -- we had a similar one back at VT, so that one I learned easily. I also learned that participating in the cheer where you spell "C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O" is best avoided if you're a transplant and less than 100% sober (embarrassing, especially with cheerleaders holding cue cards).

    Attendance at CU home games is better than AB'ers give credit for. Last time I looked, we were second best in the Pac, but from the view-point of "percent of arena capacity filled", I think 2013-14 CU attendance can hang with about anyone in the nation. Yes, attendance waned after the injuries but it never dropped below 'respectable' (says the guy whose alma matter drew ~6k per game this year). Considering the plethora of entertainment options in the Boulder area, and Coloradoans' passion for outdoor activities, Buff fans are doing just fine with the home draw at hoops games. The attendance highlight of the year, IMO, was the Georgia game: Saturday night, snowing, students on break, unranked non-conf opponent, absurd number of awesome live music options and a near sell-out for the game -- I was very impressed.

    The video presented before team intros with player highlights is about 4x as long as it needs to be. Multiple times, I found myself standing, pumped up, ready to cheer for the starters as they're introduced, and waiting... waiting... waiting.... awkwardly for the video to end with my hands at my sides. Don't try to be the NBA -- shorten the intro and have the student band play something live.

    I picked up on the tradition of "stand until Buffs score" at my first game! Not impressive unless you know just how slow I can be getting that sort of stuff. Cool tradition though, if someone wants to give the history/back story, I'm interested.

    Side note: when John Elway shows up at CU games, he watches the game and doesn't spend the whole game looking at his phone. This occurred to me following look-ins at Richard Sherman during the Stanford game.

    The C-Unit was both praised and damned on this board during the season. No, they're not the Cameron Crazies or the Grateful Red, but considering CU's position in basketball history, I think the C-Unit did their job. Next year I intend to make it over to the student section before tip to see for myself how that organization is seeding the student seats (and find out just what a "BuffChip" is). I know Duke students make this practice into a very organized and well researched endeavor, putting an opposition scouting report "cheat sheet" on every seat in the section so the Crazies sound knowledgeable in their cheers -- this adds to the perception that Duke fans have so much basketball intellect.

    Noted on other threads, but the C-Unit got better and better with the fight song as the year went on. I actually caught myself singing/humming the CU fight song to myself while walking back to my car after the ASU game: "shoulder to shoulder, we will fight fight fight...". Jamming the Allman Brothers takes care of that, though.

    The CU band is respectable, but of my three teams, Wisconsin's wins the battle of the bands (Jump Around is a shi**y song but a cool tradition). Only criticism that I have of CU's band is the Led Zeppelin medley -- I love Zeppelin, hate medleys -- please play a whole song! I was at a Virginia Cavaliers game a couple years ago and their band busted out Kashmir (I tried to hate on it, but I just couldn't) -- if anyone knows someone in the CU band, pass this along, I'm sure they were hoping for advice from a transplanted redneck with no formal musical training.

    The Tuba Dance. Maybe not my favorite part of game day and I started to say more, but VT fans do the Hokie Pokie at our home games and we are aren't in a position to criticize another school's song and dance traditions. Except for NC State -- they play Duran Duran's Hungry Like a Wolf after a football win -- I'll make fun of that every time, even while looking retarded shaking my leg all about.

    Posted before, but stating again as it could come in handy for some of you guys -- wearing another team's colors at Coors will keep you off the kiss-cam!

    Back East, at football and basketball games, schools sell soft drinks in "collectible" plastic cups featuring team graphics. I was kinda bummed that my collection of cups stopped growing after moving out here and had moments during a few games wondering why the university was passing on a marketing opportunity (not something that CU passes on very often, from my experience as a parent). Then I actually paid attention to the video board during a timeout where they played a video featuring recycling/composting efforts on campus. This caused me to remember that I'm in Boulder and I guess that distributing drinks in non-compostable cups is probably illegal (what's the expression, "25 square miles surrounded by reality"?).

    The lineup cards. I've never been to a regular season college hoops game that handed out lineup sheets/cards as well done as those at CU. Never mind the graphics on the front, which are usually first class (OSU game featuring the Spirit Squad seniors still sticks out), I'm most impressed with the back content and even started making a point to show up early enough to read the card. Impressive that the info isn't just a data dump -- it's intelligent prose, written by someone who apparently follows the team week to week, does their research and summarizes exactly what a fan needs to know to get the most out of the game. Granted, the info is a day old (e.g. at the UW game there was no mention of Gordon's injury), but that's very understandable. I'm the kind of geek who likes to read the online game previews before the games, especially if I'm attending, but the lineup card really replaced the need for that. If anyone knows the party responsible for those, please let me know -- they deserve some praise. Of course, you hippies should realize that trees died to make those cards...

    CU fans. No issues -- most everyone at the games seems cool and welcoming. People act civilly, even standing in line waiting to get through security and out of the bitter cold. I don't recall ever sitting next to fans at a CU game where I felt an urge to get away (which probably means I was the guy that everyone else wanted to get away from). CU didn't get a ton of visiting fans, but from what I saw, the few that showed were treated well enough, despite the CU reputation (maybe encouraged on AB) of being disrespectful towards opposing fans and teams. W/R/T home team loyalty, I never saw the CEC crowd "turn on the team"; despite reports to the contrary, I don't believe I ever heard the CU crowd boo at the CU team (reference Utah game discussion, IIRC). I never heard heckling at a CU game that called out opposing players. Following an opponent injury, CU fans always seemed respectful by standing and clapping as the hurt player hobbles off the court. Some heckling of the ref's, but nothing beyond what I've heard at every other college hoops venue (except Duke, oddly enough). Most of you that I talked with are incredibly passionate about the Buffs, knowledgeable about the team, and seem to be great sports fans. I envy those of you who were around for the 1990 football season.

    Last thought, I wish I had gotten this excited about CU hoops earlier in the year and made the road trips to CSU and AFA: I miss rooting for my teams while in enemy territory. After the UA home game (which I didn't make), I actually considered (for about 9 seconds) making the trip to Salt Lake City and realized our closest conference road trip is ~8 hours! That's too far for a regular season hoops game, by my standards (I've driven 8 hours for football though). I hope the Buffs have some road-tripable games next year, but I guess AFA and CSU will be at Coors, so not sure. First order searching didn't yield anything about contracts CU has for future hoops seasons, if anyone has a link, please post (maybe UNC or DU, even New Mexico I'd consider).
     
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  2. TimmyDUBs

    TimmyDUBs Dirty haole Club Member

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    Would a newbie please summarize this novella and let us know if it is worth reading? :lol:
     
  3. FChairbanks

    FChairbanks muthaka slayer Club Member

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    this is great, but wasn't your assignment to post some links when you got home? where are your priorities, dudehead?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  4. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    Hokie moves out west. get's into Buff hoops. digs the lineup cards, misses collectible cups, hates medleys. Misses pissing off opponents' fans at road games.

    probably not worth reading (honestly surprised that much verbiage came out).

     
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  5. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    This part stood out to me:

    Tip for the noob: pee in the sink. The line to get there is shorter and when you're done you'll have it to yourself for washing your hands. Cuts the bathroom time down about 65% so you don't miss game action.

    And... never speak ill of the Supa Dupa Tuba Cheer.

    Finally... it's ok not to do the C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O cheer. Most of us want that one to go away.
     
  6. TimmyDUBs

    TimmyDUBs Dirty haole Club Member

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    So, no chicks, fights or drugs? tsk tsk
     
  7. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    OK, that's what they do at Carolina, I just figured it was frowned upon out here.
     
  8. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    I thought I was going to get into a fight leaving my first football game at Carter-Finley (NC State). It was a non-conf game but I was wearing VT gear and talking s**t about Hungry Like a Wolf on the way out. This drunk State fan told me to "shut my f**king Hokie a** up". I was with a work friend and ignored it, but I kinda wish I had the fight story to tell:

     
  9. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    You're one of those Hokies who shows up to a random football game in VT gear? Jesus. An all too common breed. :lol:
     
  10. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    You dissed the tuba cheer? Rumblin is going to kill you. Also, was dribble in the first paragraph on purpose??
     
  11. GoonieBuff

    GoonieBuff Not really Club Member

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    I think it was foreshadowing his mention of taking too long in the bathroom.
     
  12. jcatcher

    jcatcher Club Member Club Member

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    As a Wisconsin Alum, I have to disagree strenuously with your rating of the Grateful Red. They suck as a student section. Wearing tie-dyed t-shirts is a lame idea and 20 years out of date. I've been to games at the Kohl Center and the crowd is bad. The C-Unit is way, way better than Wisconsin's student section.
     
  13. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    As far as the band goes, I would like to point out to you that this is their first year under a new director. The former director had that group rocking game in and game out. We got national praise by a few reporters during the NCAA tournament in 2012. Unfortunately, but not surprising there has been a large learning curve since the old director got stolen by Oregon State. What makes it equally frustrating is the current director will likely not be back next year as he was an interim hire. Could lead to another year or two of not measuring up to what the CU band expects of itself. Only "Battle of the Bands" we have ever lost was to Oregon during the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles. Come to find out though that they are paid graduate students, so we didn't feel to bad.

    The Basketball Band shares a lot of music with the Marching Band, so that is where the Medleys come from. Gotta fit 4-5 songs into 7 minutes

    Also if you want to really become a CU fan, never criticize the Tuba Cheer.
     
  14. rosstr

    rosstr Well-Known Member

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    Coloradans, not Coloradoans. That is all.
     
  15. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    Fair enough, I walked into that. Got it. Tuba's rule!

    F**k. everyone of you locals wants to spell it differently.
     
  16. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    fair enough -- I won't disagree with an alum. My experience based on TV and reports from relatives, not the most un-biased.

    Tie die's never go out of date though.
     
  17. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    Actually good to hear. We're college football fans, not just VT fans! Not surprised you don't see many UVA fans sporting gear at other games...
     
  18. rosstr

    rosstr Well-Known Member

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    Re: Coloradoan vs Coloradan. There does seem to be different spellings, moreover the little Fort Collins news paper is called the Coloradoan. However proper nouns of spanish etymology drop the 'O' in select situations. For example, New Mexicoan versus New Mexican. Pet peeve. Sorry for the hijack. Roll Tad
     
  19. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I think we're supposed to call locals "Rados".
     
  20. Daaah

    Daaah Club Member Club Member

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    How do they say it in Mesa Verde or Buena Vista?
     
  21. cubuffs85

    cubuffs85 Active Member

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    As a fellow east coaster, I know what you mean about having to travel far for a game. It's not the northeast corridor where you can get to/from NYC in one day.

    Good news is assuming they're playing Wyoming again, that will be on the road. Doubt they'll be playing at UNC for two reasons -- Tad might've recruited a player still there and he's sworn he won't schedule a game against them until all his recruits are out AND the only way I can see us going there if they did a 2-for-1 with us. I just don't know how much Tad would want to schedule them and it would also hurt our RPI most likely. We haven't played DU recently, can't recall if we've played at DU, anytime in the near recent past.

    I'd did the drive from Albuquerque to Denver once, if you think it's too much to drive to SLC for one regular season basketball game, I doubt you'd think that would be worth it. I looked it up, it says it's 6 hour 15 minute drive, it probably took us 9-10 hours taking into account we stopped for lunch and in the Springs.
     
  22. cubuffs85

    cubuffs85 Active Member

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    To each their own, but I think try not to violate the sports fandom decorum especially when it comes to jersey fouls.
     
  23. cubuffs85

    cubuffs85 Active Member

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    Wake is into the whole tie dye thing.
     
  24. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    I forgot about Wyoming -- good call. I'd do that trip in a heartbeat.

    Good point! But their student section doesn't have the cool name (still bummed to hear my perception of the GR is over-rated).

    Thanks for the link, but your expanding one chick's baseball rules into "sports fandom decorum". Besides, Amanda Rykoff can kiss my... well, that picture's kinda cute, so ... pretty much anything.
     
  25. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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  26. cubuffs85

    cubuffs85 Active Member

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    I'm an Amanda Rykoff fan in general, but she can be a bit much sometimes. Good news for you is she just got the job social media manager with the Astros so I doubt she'll be writing anymore "fan rules' anytime soon.
     
  27. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    At any random UVA game, there are always a few guys in Hokie gear. However, I give my Hokie friend lots of credit for staying true to VT during basketball season while many Hokies shed the VT gear for UNC or Duke (a very common thing to do in Virginia).
     
  28. GoonieBuff

    GoonieBuff Not really Club Member

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    The Tuba Cheer used to be THE spectacle at the game. It doesn't really do it for me anymore. No offense to those involved, they do a great job. There just used to be some crazy, daring, hefty, and nimble tuba players compared the current crop. That being said, it's OUR Tuba Cheer, so even though I don't get much out of it, I'm completely okay with it and will defend it to the death if an outsider gives the band **** for it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  29. GoonieBuff

    GoonieBuff Not really Club Member

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    Who you callin' "you locals?" ;)
     
  30. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    Well, thank you! :thumbsup:

    i try to be loyal even when my team sucks -- I wore a VT shirt every single game day this year, and perversely I'm proud of it. Besides, I have so much orange and maroon clothing I have to do something with it. I'll start acquiring black & gold soon.:gobuffs:

     

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