This weekend, I had the pleasure of taking my parents to the 1st round of the NCAA Basketball playoffs. What an experience! It was at the Spokane Arena, and the place was packed. It was interesting even just standing outside - my dad dropped mom & I off by the door, while he and Matt parked the pickup. Lots of people were wearing various items to support their favorite teams - most of them as tame as a t-shirt or sweatshirt - but some of them went ALL OUT. Painted faces, wigs, costumes, funky hats - anything to get them noticed by the TV cameras! Many fans were chanting their favorite team cheers as we waited in line to get in the building - which made it a little tougher for the scalpers to "quietly" work their way through the crowd trying to sell their over-priced seats.
Our seats were borderline-nosebleed, but that didn't take away from the atmosphere one bit. The stairs were a bit tough for my mom (who broke her back in a car accident in January), but, as I've mentioned before, she is by far the toughest person I know, hands down. Besides, I'm not sure anything could have kept her from the opportunity to see NCAA playoff basketball live and in person.
Our family is full of Notre Dame football fans - and, since the Notre Dame men's basketball team was playing in this round, it was natural for us to throw on some Notre Dame gear and cheer for the Irish. This was not an easy thing, since what seemed like 99% of the coliseum was rooting for the rival team, Winthrop. It turned out to be a great game - Notre Dame coming back from a 20 point deficit, taking the lead back, but then ultimately losing by 10 points. It was fun to watch, and the Winthrop team's star was one of those players that you appreciate watching succeed, because they work so hard and are so fun to watch - even when they are on the other side of the court.
All-in-all, it was a great day. I was glad to see such a wide smile on mom's face - that made my day more than any of the rest!