Day one was a lot of fun. Some highlights from that have nothing to do with anything that happened on the basketball floor:
Making a near complete ass of myself by knocking over a stack of Starbucks cups not once, but twice. I think the kid that help me pick them up wasn't used to media types being so friendly because he was cowering in fear somewhat when I tried to help.
Meeting Tim Cary from Bleacher Report. Great guy and solid Purdue fan.
I know I should 'act lke I've been there before', but I will admit this: It was a special feeling when I walked out of the tunnel about an hour before the Michigan-Iowa game, saw the floor and empty arena with all the media buzzing about, and knowing I was there because of this site I have built. The fan in me was having a "Holy Shit!" moment and wanted to run on the floor. Instead, I just stood at the corner of the floor with a silly grin on my face and soaked it in. It seems like some of the people that work these events for the media don't even enjoy it and they go about their jobs like its a chore. I am loving every second of being there because I get to do goofy things like this list.
Meeting the guys in the Paint Crew during the Penn State-Minnesota game. These guys are fantastic and they were on their game the entire night. They heckled IU throughout the Indiana-Northwestern game from the balcony, much to the visible annoyance of the pro-Hoosier crowd.
Hearing members of the Izzone chant "Little Sister" toward Michigan.
The fact that Michigan's pep band plays a shortened rendition of Freebird during media timeouts.
Loving that the small section of 200 or so Northwestern fans enjoyed their day much more than the 10,000 IU fans in attendance.
The fact that Penn State's band was larger than their contingent of fans. I think it has been a long year in Happy Valley.
Meeting Joe from Hail to the Orange and his Illinois blogging cronies at the media party. We formed our own island of misfit toys away from the "mainstream media" and had a blast.
Meeting Adam Hoge from Bucky's 5th Quarter, another great guy.
Seeing Gene Keady in person and hearing one of the Illinois bloggers say, "you know, Gene Keady's combover is much more believable in person than on TV."
Stepping aside while the Illinois guys had their picture taken with the guy in the Kendall Gill ICONS suit. Whent he girl that was escorting the character around asked me why I didn't want in the picture she asked why. I told her I went to Purdue. She virtually recoiled in horror and said, "Oh, well I go to IU." My answer: "Well, no one is perfect."
Completely missing it when everyone gathered around a TV at the media party went apeshit over West Virginia's last second win.
- Nearly running over John and Todd Lickliter on my way into the media hospitality. It is reassuring to know that I am bigger physically than a Big Ten guard that sees regular minutes.
- Feeling sorry for Todd Lickliter, who was pretty much roasted alive by the Iowa media in the post-game press conference.
- Missing the first half of the Indiana game because I was trying to file for the parent SBNation site and the Conseco Fieldhouse internet was too slow with so many people on it.
So what do we have in store for Day 2? Consider this the Open thread for the afternoon session of Michigan against Ohio State and Wisconsin versus Illinois. Between games I will head over to Scotty's for a meeting that can be described by Drew Carey as follows:
Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar. - Drew Carey
I'll be meeting up with Mrs. T-Mill there when she gets off work and I'll be happy to meet with any readers that are in town for the games before the Purdue game at 6:30. I whould get to Scotty's around five for those that are interested, so stop by and say hi. Then we'll kick off the evening open thread from there. I hope to see everyone at Scotty's tonight!
As far as our game with Northwestern, well, I hope they stay as cold from 3-point land as they were last night. I am not so sure they beat Indiana so much as the Hoosiers had another Indiana-style loss: Indiana kept it close and played well at times, but fell apart in the last ten minutes. LewJack will be an interesting element for us, but I wonder how much people will credit our victory if we win without Robbie after lising to them with Robbie. At the very least, it gives us a chance to say we beat every team in the confernece this year. Northwestern has never played beyond the Friday session of the Big Ten Tournament, but they had never had a 20 win season before yesterday, either. I am honestly a little afraid because we have not played well in our last three games against them. They are one of those teams that is simply a very poor matchup for us. Even with Robbie Hummel we have lost two in a row tot he Wildcats. Do you realize they are the only team in the conference that owns a multiple game winning streak over us? It really should be three in a row too if they had not blownt he game in Evanston last year.