Saturday, February 13, 2016

Western Michigan 74 Bowling Green 68

Men's Basketball
Home Team: BGSU Falcons
Visiting Team: Western Michigan Broncos
Venue: Stroh Center (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Game Time: 2:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Brandi

Game Story | Box Score

Free throws.
Free throws.
Free throws.

I'm tempted to do that seventeen times, which would equal the number of free throws the Falcons missed in this game, but what would be the point? They made only 15 of 32; hitting seven more would have put them at 68.75%—still not a stellar percentage, but enough to get the win. Instead, the Broncos held on and were able to pull out what was, in all, a pretty ugly game.

The officiating in this game was horrendous. I wouldn't say it was biased, just bad...although it did become clear at a certain point that the refs were looking for a way to call a technical foul on Coach Huger. Their opportunity eventually came around, because of course it did, and it was just a mess.

Still, I have to say it was a fun game to watch, if frustrating, because there was so much going on. After getting off to a very slow start, the Falcons battled their way back for the remainder of the game, and really had a pretty good chance to snatch a win at the end. They couldn't, though, and it came down to free throws, the bane of their existence on this day (and for much of the season).

And I can't be too upset because Brandi and I were together in BG for the first time in who knows how long, and it was nice. We arrived in time to have lunch at Mr. Spots before the game. Sometime soon (maybe after school's out) we're going to have to get back and have a nice leisurely stroll around campus, which is undergoing a series of construction projects and therefore looks much different than it did the last time we spent any time there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Akron 83 Bowling Green 68

Men's Basketball
Home Team: BGSU Falcons
Visiting Team: Akron Zips
Venue: Stroh Center (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Game Story | Box Score

Sometimes I hate a player so much that it makes me hate their entire team. The best example I can think of is Brett Favre. I hated that guy so much, and I hated the Packers the whole time he played there. Now that he's gone, I actually kind of like the Packers. Somewhat more recently, there's the St. Louis Cardinals, who I kind of liked up until the Yadier Molina/Brandon Phillips incident; we'll see how I feel about the Cardinals after Molina moves on.

My prediction? The Cardinals suffer the same fate in my eyes as the Akron Zips, the basketball team I loathe more than any other in the MAC. That's right: more, even, than the hated Toledo Rockets. Akron simply had too many jackass players in a row, starting with Jami Bosley and continuing with Andy Hipsher and then Nick Dials. The funny thing is, I hate Akron so much that I had somehow convinced myself that I had seen BG play them on several of my all-too-rare trips to the Stroh Center; looking back, I see that this was, in fact, only the second time I've seen the Zips play there. Ah, memory.

So it goes without saying that I don't like Akron's coach, Keith Dambrot, even though I'm not sure he was there for any of the aforementioned players. I don't like him, but you can't question the fact that he knows how to coach a basketball team. (It kind of makes you wonder why he's languished at Akron for so long instead of moving up to a more high-profile job...unless, of course, you already know that he's been painted with allegations of being a racist. Then it makes sense.) The Zips have taken over from Kent State as the preeminent MAC basketball program under his tenure, and when you watch them play, it's easy to see why.

I mean, forget about talent. Akron is obviously light years ahead of Bowling Green in that area. I actually thought the Falcons played relatively well; they kept themselves in the game, but just couldn't quite make it over the hump and take the lead. The difference, to my eye, was in the poise level of the two teams. Akron never (rarely, at least) gets sloppy. And when BG would get on a run and the crowd would start to get loud, Akron never got rattled. They played through it, kept their heads, and eventually got the basket they needed to keep their lead and then extend it.

(Would they have been able to do that if the Falcons were still playing at Anderson Arena, with a loud and sweaty student section right on the floor? We'll never know...but the memory of how the old Sideline Squad utterly destroyed the confidence of Andy Hipsher after a pregame dust-up will never fail to bring a smile to my face.)

As someone who hates the Zips so thoroughly, it's frustrating. You know their dominance will eventually dry up, because that's just how these things go, but watching the games in the meantime is not the most fun I've ever had. Of course, it just so happened that this was the first game this season that coincided with my own schedule so that I could attend. On the bright side, it looks like Brandi and I will be back for a game this weekend, so hopefully we'll get some better results. Or if not, at least it won't be at the hands of Akron. Seriously, F those guys.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Piqua 26 Troy 7

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Piqua Indians
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Butler 33 Troy 28

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Butler Aviators
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sidney 52 Troy 28

High School Football
Home Team:
 Sidney Yellowjackets
Visiting Team: Troy Trojans
Venue: Sidney Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Marysville 35 Thomas Worthington 7

High School Football
Home Team:
 Thomas Worthington Cardinals
Visiting Team: Marysville Monarchs
Venue: Hamilton Field (Worthington, Ohio)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m.*
Fellow Attendees: None



*Kickoff was at 7:30. As I spent the day working in Toledo, I got to the game shortly after 8:00, with the score tied at 0 and about ten minutes left in the 2nd quarter. I then left with about 6:30 left in the game and Marysville leading 21-7, as their coach apparently has no idea how to call an offense with a lead in the fourth quarter and seemed perfectly content to let his quarterback continue to throw incomplete passes until midnight or so. I had seen enough bad football at that point to know that Thomas wasn't going to mount a comeback.

I knew before the season when I looked at Troy's schedule that I probably wasn't going to follow the Trojans to Trotwood for their game tonight. With Brandi at her yoga class until late, though, I didn't feel like skipping a week of high school football entirely. Football-wise, I'd prefer to go see Kilbourne of the two high school teams here in Worthington, but they weren't at home. And of course, it isn't just about seeing good football--if it were, I could have stopped going to Troy games following Ryan Brewer's senior season in 1998 and not missed a whole lot. Thomas is more local to where we live, so after I got back from Toledo, I threw on a sweatshirt and walked over to TWHS to check them out.

The walk was nice. I had seen the stadium from outside, obviously, but this was my first time going into it. It's pretty nice, especially for a team with no football tradition to speak of, at least not recently (I went back to 2000; their best record since then has been 5-5). They also had a pretty decent crowd when I got there--although I soon learned it was their Homecoming, and much of that crowd dispersed following halftime. I think I may have ended up sitting in a reserved section, but no one ordered me out or even looked at me funny, so I could be wrong.

The TWHS mascot is the Cardinal, which suggests to me that their uniforms should be just red, or maybe red and black, but they are in fact red and blue. That's a problematic combination for me, although the shade of blue they use is brighter than that of the Piqua Indians and is instead more Dayton Flyers-ish. Still, no bueno.

And yeah, they're bad at football. That was no surprise, given their 1-5 record coming in, but I was surprised by just how bad they are. For instance, my own beloved Troy Trojans are going through a rough season of their own, but if the two teams played each other, I'd pick Troy and the running clock. And it's not like Marysville was a whole lot better—they also were 1-5 coming in. I saw ten minutes of the first half, and in those ten minutes, the two teams combined for four interceptions.

Anyway. I don't mean to denigrate the kids, so the less said about the actual football, the better. What I will say is that I have a hard time figuring out exactly why Thomas has such a rough time in football. It's a good-sized school (they're in Division I this year after competing in Division II last year), and as I mentioned, it seems like they have a pretty good amount of support. Their coach is only in his second year, so maybe he'll be able to build them up, although the early results aren't encouraging (their one win this year is already better than their winless season last year). Either way, with the right guy in place, I don't see why Thomas couldn't at least be decent at football.

Of course, I'm a fan of the entire high school football experience, and I had heard really good things about Thomas's band, so I was looking forward to seeing them perform. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, it was Homecoming, so all the band did at halftime was stand in place and play a tune over and over as the Homecoming Court was announced. They were performing their competition show in full after the game, and I was interested in sticking around to see it, but it got to a point in the fourth quarter where I just couldn't take any more. The Marysville band sounded really good, though.

So now I've checked out Thomas Worthington and (mostly) satisfied my curiosity about the Friday night experience there; I don't really see myself going back. In the future, on the rare occasions I decide to skip the trip back to the Miami Valley to see the Trojans, I imagine I'll just stick with Kilbourne.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Greenville 27 Troy 14

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Greenville Green Wave
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Read my thoughts here.