Thursday, April 05, 2007

The SEC and let the games begin....hang on

With the band in the lobby and waiting for the cheerleaders to fix their makeup we make our way out to the bus to leave for the first round of the SEC Tournement. Over the next couple of days, I hope to give some insight to how this well oiled machine functions on a daily basis. SO hang on, as we try to reach the championship game........hehe

And out to the bus we go for a short trip over to the arena for a shoot around before the game, the boss and the brat along with one of UT marketing people head for the bus.

YES, twin bus drivers...what are the odds, the men's team like to bump fists as they get on the bus or plane....but by the looks of things, the girls are like...WHAT?????

Riding the team bus is a hoot, but there are rules......always right? First you have to be on the bus before the team and can only sit in certain seats...the coaches in the first two rows, the players in the last five and so on. Once the last player in on the bus, you are out of there big time.

I have been to a lot of arena east of the Mississippi over the years but I will have to say the one in Gwinnett, GA has to top the list...carpet in the walkways, very clean bathrooms, great concessions, good food, cracker jacks and the people that work there are very very friendly. This arena is a winner no matter who is play what.

The pre-game shoot around is a little boring at times, just watching the teams shoot as few baskets and work on drills....but hey, at least you are first in line at those concession....RIGHT? And you get to wonder around.

As the crowd stood in line getting ready to come in for the games, most where wearing orange, behind the UT crowd the next best group was from LSU with MSU being about dead last.....

The stage is set......cheerleaders and band is in place, the hot dogs are cookin on the grill and UT fans start to fill the seats.

The arena is in Georgia, but about half the arena was orange at times. GA hosted the games this year, but interesting only about 400 UGA fans showed up......there was a reason I guess.

During the regular season, UT was undefeated in SEC play and won the conference out right this year....both seniors accepted the award at center court.

In the beginning, it's all the same, a group hug and a high five....then let's kick some USC's behind......:)

Now you know you have a problem when the tallest player is, first of all, behind the other team under the basket, but when more then half the team is under the basket it isn't long before it's over.....where is that fat lady at and she is hummmmin Rocky Top.

Even in a game where you have the upper hand, PAT never gives up on teaching, and working with the girls so they can reach their goals. She doesn't really yell and scream at the player like some think.....I once hear her talk about each player being different and how you have to learn, as a coach, how to get thru to that player.
Some you need to get the board out and draw...others just a talk to....some you have to get in their faces. That is the kind of level these girls play at and the coaching staff that works with them.

UT was all over USC the entire game, and in the end it was one down and a couple to go......but that is tournement play....only the strong survive.

Danielle, is the one that handles the coming and going of the team and making sure that everything runs smoothly. She is on the phone all the time, so when we showed up at Carrabba's for dinner, even with it being packed and people waiting.... in we went to our table. The place was full of UT fans that stood up and cheered as they entered. It was a gas.......

I have been known to eat my fair share when it comes to food, anyone that knows me knows that....put it on the table and it's mine. Ten girls ordered eleven appetizers, then more bread and then the main event....pasta. After all that, we got back on the bus headed to the hotel.....until Sidney spotted a.........

Even after a great dinner at Carrabba's, the girls had to stop for dessert...and you wonder why I like being around this group.....anyone have some banana puddin out there?

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