Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Beale Street to Buckeye Country In 10 Hours

This blog realized that it was in the middle of planning next year's trip and hadn't yet finished reporting on the last 2 days of its last one. So away we go, March 11th, 2nd-last day of the trip:

This was going to be the last day in Memphis, but also potentially the longest day of the trip (despite only 1 game). Following the game, this blog had two options:

A) Drive directly to Indianapolis where no hotel had been reserved. The plan was basically to sleep in this blog's car overnight, either in Indianapolis or nearby West Lafayette. If weather was lousy, then finding a pretty cheap hotel was another option. Advantages would be a shorter drive and possibly checking some Indianapolis night life. Problems would mainly stem from sleeping in a car.

B) Head over to frequent Pun City contributor (and resident fast-food chicken expert) Dank's place in Columbus, OH. Advantages would be free lodging, as well as meeting up with Dank for the first time in a month and a half. Disadvantages would be a significantly longer drive, plus the need to drive the next morning.

This site will get back to that in a while. First was the Memphis-UAB final, which promised to be pretty exciting given that UAB had beaten Memphis in their last meeting (at Birmingham), and the two teams had very fast-paced systems in place.

A rude awakening at 7:30 AM at this blog's hotel. A couple scrubs knocked on this site's hotel door, presumably after this site's parking spot, based on the ranting this blog heard outside prior to the knock. (The spots weren't marked, anyone could park anywhere, just a couple of morons is what it boiled down to).

This blog went to Parking Can Be Fun again, which was not closed despite crews working on the entrance area. Somehow it was only 3 bucks to park, so that was way awesome. On the way to the Arena, this blog saw a pretty sizeable number of cocktail drinkers on Beale Street. This was no big deal, aside from the fact it was 10:00 AM on a Saturday.

Back to basketball, neither team took longer than 5 seconds to bring the ball over half court for the entire game. Memphis was able to pull out the victory, and a major part of their success was the extremely amped home crowd. UAB's band played "Dragula," which was pretty cool for them.

This blog was pretty energized by seeing the victory, so it didn't mind driving the extra to Columbus. This would mean a 10-hour drive, but it wouldn't be especially bad since it was beginning fairly early, and there would be college hoops on the radio. SEC Semifinals were going on as this blog was driving, eventually followed by two large radio dead zones in the back country of Tennessee and Kentucky.

An interesting point of the trip included a Ford Taurus that had one wheel camber inward at a 45-degree angle and bounce off the guard rail into a spin-out in Tennessee. Thankfully, this blog got to the accident before police could get there to make traffic a complete nightmare. Another less fortunate part was getting stuck behind an accident well after it had happened, a situation where traffic was backed up for about 20 miles. This blog stopped at a McDonald's since it got hungry in the middle of nowhere and hadn't eaten there since early on in the trip.

In Kentucky, this blog found a truck stop that actually had a Kentucky Wildcats shot glass for one of this blog's friends, apparently a very elusive state to find shot glasses in his experience. Toward the end of the trip, around Cincinnati, this blog was able to get a signal of the Atlantic 10 final for the home stretch to Columbus.

Met up with Dank, talked trip, showed off some of this blog's wares for a while and watched some more basketball on TV. A pretty exhausting day even though it was just 1 game, mainly because it canvassed 4 states.


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