Last week, I took advantage of my media credentials and took in the Final Four at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
This week I promise you I won’t write about the Twins. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to use my media credentials to attend the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Minneapolis at US Bank Stadium.
As a little kid, you always envision yourself attending some sort of championship event, preferably your favorite team. With an event like the Super Bowl being in Minnesota a few years ago, it gave Minnesota fans a sense of having excitement in their backyard. Granted, the Vikings didn’t participate, but the festivities and everything around the stadium had the state and the city of Minneapolis buzzing.
Attending the two games between Auburn and Virginia and then the Texas Tech and Michigan State matchup was something I will never forget. I was unable to attend the Championship Game Monday as we had rescheduled our baseball game with St. James.
I wasn’t too upset about this though as I got to attend two of the best games I have ever seen. The atmopshere there was incredible. You think that place is loud for Vikings games? Try 73,000 people in that venue for a college basketball game. The Texas Tech fans won me over. They were as rowdy and passionate as I can remember. Just straight up hype all the way through and boy, did they fill the stands.
Before the game, I met up with Sleepy Eye’s old friend Kip Kovar. Kip now works for the Herald Journal. Kip and I have remained in contact throughout the years and have always connected with sports. Kip was great here in his time in Sleepy Eye and remains great to this day. Kip and I met in the media workroom at floor level of the stadium pregame on Saturday and sat around and downed some burrito bowls while we caught up. We then ventured over into the tunnel while officials posted the seating chart to see where we sat. Kip and I were assigned seats near the far baseline, which was just fine. Good view.
As we walked through the tunnel, passing each team’s locker rooms, we walked through the tunnel and you notice the large scoreboards and the added jumbotron at center court with the teams warming up on the hardwood. It was a moment I won’t forget. We both kind of just laughed and told each other we cannot believe we are attending an NCAA Final Four.
The atmosphere was insane. I have attended many sporting events, but that atmosphere definitely tops the list. From pregame seeing celebrities like Grant Hill, Jim Nantz, Charles Barkley, Sid Hartman, you name it. Seeing those guys and then combining it with hyped up college fans chanting with their band playing, it was awesome. An incredible experience. I also sat next to a guy who’s covered the Los Angeles Lakers the past few months, so I got all the lowdown I could on the spotlight in Hollywood and of course, my favorite basketball player of all-time, LeBron James.
I think I can get used to this whole sports writing thing.