Thursday, March 31, 2005

Nashville: Day 2

(You know, next time I'm on a trip and I have plans to document, I should probably take notes, because my laziness and generally bad memory are not making two week later recall any easier.)

A brief addendum to day one: when we left the bar Thursday night, or perhaps even while we were there, I turned to JG and said, "I think you willed that girl [the hot bartender] into existence." I swear, tailor-made for him she was. Now then...

The second day in Nashville was about basketball. After a pretty decent night of sleep, during which I guess I did a little bit of talking (and I remember the dreams from that night; consequently, I did not press the issue in terms of what I was saying when JG told me of my antics), we woke up, scrubbed ourselves clean, and made the trip to the arena. On the way, we stopped at Walgreen's so I could pick up some nail clippers. On the way out, I dropped the receipt. Given the tidiness of the area, and my own personal litter-free philosophy, I went to pick it up. Just as soon as it hit the ground, a huge gust of wind grabbed it and took off. For some reason (again, I think I felt obligated to keep the area clean), I gave chase. This did not last long, as the wind-swept paper kicked it into another gear and blew well ahead of me. Still, I chased it long enough to look ridiculous, but (thankfully) not long enough for JG to capture it on film.

So, we get down to Gaylord and slowly make our way inside. The complex is a nice one, though, I'm too architecturally stupid to do it justice. It was thoroughly modern, as is to be expected, but was small enough that, as sports/entertainment complexes go, had a very intimate feel to it. As a matter of fact, I would say there was not a bad seat in the arena. We certainly had an excellent view of the action. The games slated for that day:

Ohio vs. Florida
New Mexico vs. Villanova
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Louisville
George Washington vs. Georgia Tech

Since the games are now two weeks old, I won't go into much of the action. I will say that, of the four, Ohio vs. Florida was my favorite. Ohio's comeback from 20 down in the second half was a lot of fun, especially since I was sitting next to a douchebag Florida fan and his son. This guy was hilarious, chanting "Gator Bait!" in his thick Flemish accent, then becoming outraged when his team nearly choked itself out of the first round. What's better is that he tried to blame the officiating, implying they weren't calling anything on Ohio, even though they had whistled the Bobcats 10 times in the first 10 minutes of the second half, while only calling 7 or 8 on his beloved Gators. It was quite a joy to be chanting "O-H-I-O" with the Bobcats fans. Even though I had Florida winning in my brackets, as JG said, it's hard not to pull for the underdog in that atmosphere. And hey, I'm an Ohio boy. Go Bobcats!

The other games were also fun and closely matched, though, by the end of the GW/Georgia Tech game, I think most of the crowd was just wiped out. That's a lot of basketball in one day. Other notes:

The "C-A-R-D-S Cards!" chant got stuck in my head, big time.

Georgia Tech had the best pep band, by far. I mean, not even close. Case in point: they had the decency to do "Oye Como Va" while the GW band (I think it was them) played that shitty Santana song from about six years ago. You know the one. I can't remember the assbag who did the vocals, except he was in the band that ripped off The Zombies around the same time. Can somebody help me out here? (Though, I think I'd prefer my ignorance on this matter.)

The pep bands really need to expand their repertoire. There were at least four songs that got repeated throughout the day.

The chili cheese dog was a mistake.

After the games, we went off in search of a means to sate JG's hunger for Italian. We passed a couple of places, but they were a bit pricey (more of a concern for me, admittedly). We eventually found Demos' Steak and Spaghetti House. No wait, no screaming decor, and some quality food. It was a perfectly relaxing end to an exhausting and emotionally charged day.

From there, it was back to the hotel and quickly conking out.

Next up: Day Three. Teaser: Isaac Hayes + Cosby sweater = tragicomedy!