Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big 12 Tournament Trip: The Lost Levels

This blog was re-reading its last few entries (in the process doubling its traffic), and it noted some random minutia that wasn't covered in this month's post series.

As noted in the comments, Pun City sat next to a KU fan named Mark for a lot of the games. He was one of the better and more knowledgable fans this blog has encountered at a sporting event. That was very cool. This blog has had that happen in the past, and it's one of the nice parts of these conference tournament trips - meeting other fans that have a great knowledge of the game, but are located in different geographic areas. Offhand, Pun City thinks of the Idaho fan in Anaheim that rebounded for this blog in the halftime contest, Rodney Carney's old high school coach in Memphis, the other dude (Terry maybe?) that gave Pun City a rundown of where to park and eat (also in Memphis), and the cool couple at Robert Morris that referred this blog to PNC Park (haven't gotten there yet, but it's on the list!).

Another point from the trip that has consistently occurred on previous trips was the following. This one needs a little background. In order to bring back these recaps, primarily the songs bands play, Pun City brings a notebook to all of the games. As one can imagine, this is a little unusual, especially in the stands. Generally, Pun City will have the notebook out and in hand while watching the games, taking an occasional note during the action. This inevitably piques the curiosity of another fan, if not multiple other fans. Over the years, this blog has been approached by many people while taking notes. Usually they pose one of the following questions: "Are you a scout?" "Are you a writer?" "Are you a player?" "What are you taking notes for?"

Pun City doesn't mind the questions, it's actually fairly cool. This blog will willingly answer any questions in this line, and this blog will answer truthfully, usually just explaining that this blog is taking notes to remember what it did on vacation each day. There end up being two groups of inquisitors -

1. The complete skeptic. This is pretty common. The conversation ends up being pretty short, usually something along these lines:

Inquisitor: "Who are you scouting for?"

Pun City: "Oh, (this blog isn't) a scout, (Pun City is) just taking notes to remember (its) vacation."

Inquisitor (in completely unbelieving voice): "Ohh, okay."

Later in the game, Complete Skeptic will occasionally comment after a good play for his team: "Put that one in your notes!"

Complete Skeptic came in to the conversation for some reason wanting to believe that he spotted a scout in the stands, and he then probably wanted to hear some "inside" information from the scout. Then the scout gives him this "made up" line, instead of striking up a conversation with the skeptic where he might give inside information, and skeptic is not really happy with the result. The skeptic chooses to let this reinforce his belief that Pun City is a scout, instead of allowing it to change his mind.

Pun City doesn't really care too much that Complete Skeptic thinks this blog is a scout, that's Complete Skeptic's prerogative. This brings us to the second type of inquisitor:

2. Cool Dude. Cool Dude is a little of a misnomer, since it can be a cool girl on occasion. Complete Skeptic has historically always been a dude though. Here's how the Cool Dude conversation usually goes:

Cool Dude: "Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you, but can I ask why you're taking notes."

Pun City: "Oh, (this blog) just takes a trip to a different conference tournament each year, and (Pun City) likes to take notes so that it remembers what happened while it was on the road."

Cool Dude: "Oh, that's pretty cool. Are you a writer?"

Pun City: "No, (Pun City) has a blog, but mainly it's just this blog's friends that visit."

Cool Dude: "Oh, okay, cool, I just was wondering if you were a scout or a writer or a coach or something since I saw you taking notes over there."

Cool Dude maybe had a guess ahead of time, but wasn't completely married to the idea of whatever the guess would be. That's cool though, it allows the conversation to progress beyond an interrogation stage.

This trip had both types of encounter, but the Complete Skeptic didn't make any snarky comments after the initial contact (this was good, a fairly tame Complete Skeptic encounter). The Cool Dude conversation was pretty cool. There was a group of friends sitting two by four in the row Pun City was in and the one immediately in front of this blog's row for the whole tournament. If this blog recalls correctly, some of them were rooting for Texas, and some for Oklahoma. Despite a first round loss for OU, and a second round loss for Texas, they all stayed for the rest of the tournament. This is a cool move, in Pun City's opinion. No need to let your team's loss wreck a good weekend of basketball.

In this case, Cool Dude approached this blog wondering what Pun City was doing, noting that he saw the notebook and also Pun City switching hats between games. His guess was that this blog was working for the Big 12 as a blogger for their official site. Not a bad guess, but alas, Pun City does not write in an official capacity. Cool Oklahoma Dude was very polite, not wanting to bother this blog, so Pun City appreciated that.

Politeness was a very common theme at the Big 12 Tournament. This was one of the only tournaments where this blog did not see fans getting accosted by opposing fans for wearing the wrong colors. This was pretty cool. If this blog had to guess, it was probably a price issue. Fans paid a good deal of money to get in to these games, and they were going for good basketball, not to get thrown out for being a meathead. But regardless of price, Pun City came away very impressed with the Big 12. This is a great tournament, if you ever get the chance to partake, it will not disappoint you.

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