The Anthem Lady, or Kat Returns to College Basketball

Note: I wrote this on the train ride home on Friday, December 24th, but because of my family’s lack o’ internet, it is getting posted on Wednesday, December 29th. Just use your imagination and pretend it’s last week.

I had only gone to one sporting event in my life where the number of fans for the opposing team had come close to the fans for the home team. That would be Niners-Bills in October of 1998 (aka the closest I’ve ever had to a major religious experience).

Well, then I went to the Canisius-Boston University men’s basketball game this afternoon, where I found myself in the midst of all of the Canisius alumni in New England.

I went primarily to see my boss–aka, Boston University’s Anthem Lady–sing the National Anthem. I had never seen her sing, and I’ve worked for her since the beginning of June, which wouldn’t be a big deal except that she is the Anthem Lady. I don’t know how else to put it, but she’s pretty much the most famous person I’ve ever known. I can pretty much guarantee that if you’ve lived in Boston for any length of time and are a sports fan, you know who she is. Name a sporting event, and she’s sang at it. So I had to rectify this situation and finally go see her sing. And I figured, while I’m at it, to finally take in a Boston University basketball game in Boston, as opposed to the two I had taken in over the years in Binghamton.

I will admit, I copped out five minutes into the second half due to Anthem Lady’s offer of a ride home (yes, I may be queen of public transportation, but I never turn down a ride home–she had to leave early to pick up her kids). But from what I did see, Boston has a rather deep team. Unlike the team Binghamton fielded while I was in attendance, Boston has no one overwhelmingly good player–the campus and surrounding media make it out to be Chaz Carr, but from my experience, he’s not leaps and bounds better than everyone else, just slightly better at getting the ball, and he doesn’t produce as much as he’s made out to when he does get it. Compare that to Binghamton, where we had mediocre players–hard working, don’t get me wrong, but mediocre–and then one substantially overhyped media “superstar” who we’d put in the game to take “easy” free throws that he’d never make. (But really, I love the Alaskian. He made getting lunch in the Union that much more hysterical for us 5’1 and unders who had the pleasure to stand next to him in line.)

However, Canisius took the first half in a performance that was rather unfitting of a 1-6 team. I didn’t know their record before hand, and was astonished after I got home and learned it was 1-6. They sure didn’t play like it in the first half. They’re tough and excellent at blocking shots–they just get in the way like no team I have seen previously. But I think they may get easily intimidated. Once BU went up by 4 or so, they retreated and were too busy thinking through their defense instead of executing it. It wouldn’t of been too hard to defend–every play in the latter first half and the part of the second that I saw was that had Carr dribble outside, pass to the coach’s son or another similar looking guy whose name I’m not sure of, who then would dribble, Carr would move inside, and the ball would then be passed to either Carr or Peterkin, who would shoot it in for 2 or muscle to the basket for 1. All Canisius had to do was defend against Peterkin, and they could of slowed BU down, but I feel they didn’t have a clue Peterkin could be a threat (all of the PERD people I sat with had no idea who he was–I found out this morning that he’s a transfer from Notre Dame).

However, despite the Griffins initial scoring burst and their eventual bust on defense, what was most surprising was how many Canisius alumni live in Boston. Tons of alumni were there, and if they didn’t outnumber the BU fans, they came really close. Canisius is in Buffalo, and I guess this further supports my theory that if a Western New Yorker is going to drudge away to a big city, they tend to go to Boston. This is because Western New York is just a grayer, boring, more spread out Boston. Think about it. Bills fans are just like Red Sox fans, we all love our baseball, we think nothing of winter weather, we have strange lingo that no one else in the country uses (bubblers? pop? white hots? frappes?), and we have weird accents (or at least everyone tells me Western New Yorkers do.)

The Terriers were securely in the lead 34-24 when I left, and ended up winning 62-45. Not an amazingly dominant performance by the Terriers, but they’re still at the top of the America East (don’t ask Binghamton’s record–it’s depressing). Surprisingly, Tyler Coppenrath led Vermont are struggling at .500 right now, which should make upcoming conference play very interesting indeed.

***

I’m writing this entry on an Amtrak train in business class. Yes, I kind of wish I had an eggnog latte so I could feel even more Peter-King-ish.

I know you’re saying, “But Kat–you were supposed to fly home for the holidays. What happened?”

I bought the ticket despite my horrendous fear of flying–over my childhood I backed out of two trips to Disney World because it meant I’d have to fly–but freaked out yesterday when I realized that when I had the panic attack I was sure to have when I got in the tunnel and as the plane took off, I would have no one I knew around to calm me down. I’m lucky enough not to usually suffer from panic attacks. I’m a pretty calm and collected person–except when I’m on a plane. Now, five years ago I had a whole group of people I knew with me, and they were all aware of my fear and were able to combat the ensuing attack pretty quickly. But this was going to be different. I would be between two strangers who’d be calling for the stewardess frantically. I couldn’t do that. Plus my flight wasn’t a straight shot–it was Boston to Baltimore, Baltimore to Rochester–so it meant I’d have to go through the takeoff and landing twice, and I didn’t think I could do it. So I woke up at 4:45am from a really restless night of sleep, and canceled my ticket. Luckily, some train tickets had opened up over the past few days–in business class of course, because it’s not like they could make it cheap or anything–so I got those.

And here I am. The chicken of all chickens, rather enjoying my time on the train. Of course, we’re only close to hour 3, meaning I have…seven more hours ahead of me. Good gosh.

****

Remember my last post? The Cinderella fantasy football season of me? Well, this past weekend was the equivalent of Cinderella’s left behind glass slipper being picked up by the Prince and pounded into shreds. Then Cinderella goes back to her room to find out that her other glass slipper is OUT WITH A FRACTURED FIBULA for the REST OF THE SEASON.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…

The best I can finish now is 3rd place in both leagues. And true, the worst I can do is 4th. But still! I had my hopes up! I’ve been a football maniac since age eleven. To have a disappointing finish to a fantasy football season at age 22 (almost 23) is saddening. It’s depressing. I’ve been following football now for half my life! Horribly horribly depressing.

But I should stop complaining. Third is good. Third sets me up well to build on next year. That is if anyone will have me back in their leagues.

***

So I finished 10-6 last week. 10-6. After a 13-3 week. Man, last weekend was just not good football wise for me. Well, except that I got to see the Bills kick the tail out of the Bengals (get it–tail, tigers? Laugh at me instead of with me if you must, as long as you laugh at that.) That’s a rarity in good ol’ Boston, to see a Bills game that doesn’t involve the Pats. On a Pats note (and yes, we’re ignoring that Tom Brady had a really bad game on Monday night solely because he’s wicked hot even when he’s sad), I did my first Pats “we” interchange this week. I said “we” when speaking about the Pats. “We” used to be reserved for the Bills, formerly reserved for the Niners when they were led by our favourite number 8 there. I think that means I’m a real Bostonian now. (The Red Sox pronoun replacement happened a while back, but that’s because I’d been a Red Sox fan for a little bit already.)

So before either a) my computer overheats because it’s on my lap and not on a table or b) the battery dies, let me do my picks. These will be minus the Packers-Vikings game, which starts in five minutes and to which I’ll be sadly oblivious to while I sit here on this internet connection-less train.

Kansas City over Oakland–As my fantasy football confidant/student worker Chris would say, Kansas City has been “lights out” lately.

Tennessee over Denver–Go for broke when no money is on the line is what I say, so here’s this upset special. I don’t know if ya’ll realize this, but Shanhan has been with the Broncos almost a decade…and he’s proven that the West Coast offense doesn’t work for everybody. He lucked out in the 90s with his string of quarterback luck (Young followed by Elway–he got three Super Bowl rings out of those two). But I think it might be time for him to go.

Pittsburgh over Baltimore–I used to like Rothlisberger because a) he’s my age and b) he too has an unpronounceable and unspellable last name. However, this whole winning thing is getting old quick for this Pats and Bills fan. Darn it, just lose for once!

Detroit over Chicago

Giants over Cincinnati

San Diego over Indy–It’ll be close though. Come on, give the Chargers some credit.

Jacksonville over Houston–Unfortunately.

Carolina over Tampa Bay

Atlanta over New Orleans–There is more than Vick on this team. They can win against a horribly weirdo Saints team without him.

Pats over Jets–I wish this game was on Saturday so I could laugh at my Jets and Yankees loving uncle. Hahahahaha. I should of gotten him a choker for Christmas.

Washington over Dallas

Seattle over Arizona–Homgren will suit up and go out there himself if he has to.

Miami over Cleveland–I love Wes Welker. Hate the Dolphins, but think the world of Wes Welker, with his cute little name and Belichick-like multi-purposes.

Philly over St. Louis–Mark Bulger has dropped just that much further on the hottest QBs list.

And of course, the Hailey’s Comet of football matchups (okay, it happens a little more frequently than that, but it’s always a special day when it comes around), Buffalo over San Francisco. I wish this would end up a little bit more of a contest, but it won’t. But what’s most important is that I’ll be in Rochester on Sunday, which means this will be on TV for me!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Filed under BU Terriers, college basketball, NCAA basketball

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