Really good game, as usual for the GU-MU game. Alonzo Mourning in the house to watch his son. After he went into the locker room at the half, he said he "was not signing today" when I asked if he'd sign his autograph. Stayed in the GU postgame until I saw Austin Croshere leaving, then had to go half way around the arena to track him down. Luckily he was tall enough to track from a distance. Thought I'd have more time to close the gap but it was raining so I needed to get it signed indoors. When I stopped him in the entryway, he saw I had the card of him and said "That's impressive." Cool dude even though he signed 1 of 3. Chris Grimm also in attendance, possibly Frank Kaminsky although I didn't confirm as much. Was offered Bubble Tape, that was awesome.
Horrible parking despite being Sunday. Ended up at 13th and Wisconsin, probably related to sellout and hosting incoming freshmen. Howard went off in 1st half for 21 but then refused to hit the rolling big men and got bottled up in 2nd half. Got Tony Smith's autograph at the half, Damon Key's in the 2nd half, and Len Elmore's postgame. Elmore on the card: "Now why did you go and waste a quarter on this thing?" Good stuff. Rule didn't occur until about 10 seconds remaining, so a good close game throughout.
PJ Carlesimo was in town for national ESPN Radio, so my goal was to get his autograph (Dream Team 1!). Problem was, I couldn't find him for a while since they've never had a national radio broadcast and they didn't put them courtside. After a long while, I was able to locate him set up in the upper press area. In the meantime, with the Celtics playing Milwaukee the next night, Brad Stevens and Gordon Hayward were in the Butler section. Fortunately I had worn Butler gear (it came before MU in the order, didn't really have a preference for this one), and at the half was able to get down to their area and get Hayward to sign 1 card (of 2) and Stevens on my only card of him. During the pregame, DoseOfReality had Wojo cards and leftover Anim cards so I got those, that was a nice bonus. Second half I started out sitting about 5 rows in front of Carlesimo with no one within 10 feet of me on either side, but alas was booted from the seat by an overzealous usher during the under 16 timeout. At that point I stood in the SRO area by Leinie's and watched until about 2:00 remained. Game ended and Carlesimo actually had a fairly long postgame wrap, to the point where I was able to go to floor level and get Pete Gillen (CBSN broadcast) to autograph my 1 remaining card of him after his postgame interview, and walk back up. I held off the overzealous usher's bum rush attempt by saying I was just waiting for Coach and then I'd go. He eventually came down and was good enough to sign 5 cards. This was awesome and I headed out. During the preparation for postgame, I had gotten the Gillen and Carlesimo cards separated from the box, and the remaining Hayward card was in the mix. To avoid confusion, I put it in a sleeve I had to hold an oversized card so that I wouldn't have to pull the box out again; I had noted that Stevens and Hayward went into the BU locker room postgame so it wouldn't have helped to go to their postgame section. I walked out of the arena and was heading to my car when I saw a vehicle stop to pick up passengers, 2 of which were Stevens and Hayward. Luckily the remaining Hayward card was accessible and he had to wait for someone else to enter the van ahead of him, so I was able to get him to sign that one just barely, but it was great fortune. MU won by the rule with about 9:59 remaining after BU had been ahead most of the game.
Great stadium. Try the BBQ Pork Belly. Amazing!
USRT guys were in the house, sat most of 2nd half with them. Sellout and for some reason they were checking tickets for the back row of the arena early. Also a stripe-out game but I was again stuck in the gold section. Got Donny Marshall's autograph in the postgame, he was on the FS1 call. Also got Donte DiVincenzo's autograph at the half, that was pretty cool as he was in front row behind Villanova's bench, a team he could have still been on if he played out his eligibility. Rule happened at 12:59 I believe, but VU sure tested the heck out of it; leading with 6:10 remaining. Another great Howard game.
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