Saturday, March 17, 2012

NCAA Second Round: NMSU vs Indiana

Since Jackie left, I really haven't done much fun stuff. No real adventures. But on Thursday, March 15, I had tickets to the Rose Garden to watch the New Mexico State Aggies take on the Indiana Hoosiers. So, she may be getting naked with a bunch of Korean woman, but I finally got to go on an adventure too! Ahem. As a NMSU graduate, I was rather excited to be able to see my team in the tournament. I have never seen a tournament game before and my parents bought me a ticket for my birthday. Lucky me.

The night before the game I wanted to get to bed early. In the morning, I was scheduled to interview at Macy's. I need a job. Bad. So I wanted to make the most of that opportunity. The rain came down hard and pounded my windows. It sounded as if a mischievous kid was continuously throwing stones at it. That made it hard to sleep. On top of that, Catface decided to not sleep and instead run around, knock any and everything over he could find and meow as loud as possible until I got up to feed or play. I managed to get up at nine and start getting ready for the interview. It went well.

When I got home I started looking up how to get to the Rose Garden using public transit. I have used it twice, but not with a destination in mind, more as an exploring function. Luckily, I would only need to make one bus transfer. So I wrote down which stops and buses, including for the ride home that evening (which included a train), and set out for the bus stop. The ride over there would take an hour and 15 minutes. Good thing for me I have an incredible girlfriend who bought me headphones. Also, I had checked out On the Road by Jack Kerouac from the Tigard Public Library. Music and reading would easily get be through the downtime.

Bus rides include some different sorts of people, but there is at least one smelly person on each one. This ride would not disprove that. Eventually I reached my stop in downtown Portland and went to transfer to the next bus. I had to walk about a hundred yards to the bus stop and, of course, I walked the wrong way at first. A couple streets down I realized this fact. But before I did, Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" came on in my headphones and I passed a white woman begging on a street corner.
She was short and had numerous duffle bags by her side, a baby carriage and, I assume, a baby, as well. A black woman came up to her as I was walking past, a crazed look in her eye. The white woman said, "Did you see? Dat bitch threw a fuckin' dollar in m' face! And I'm like, 'Bitch, I'm o't her' tryin' to get me sum heroin money! Fuck you!'" And the black woman agreed that that was a terrible thing to do because, of course, it is a noble cause for a mother to be trying to get heroin money. She didn't use those words however... When I came back a minute or so later to go the right way to the bus stop, they were still yelling about it. And heroin money. Every passersby looked at the scene bewildered. I made it to my bus stop and waited, safe from the rain that began to fall again.

Fifteen minutes later I arrived at the Rose Garden and started looking for Will Call. Essentially, I just followed the mass of people until I ran into the box office. The one ticket gave me access to two afternoon games. The first one had been going for about ten minutes when I took my seat. Virginia Commonwealth and Wichita State played a very good game. I enjoyed it. In the end, the underdog VCU Rams defeated Wichita State 62-59. A well played game, exciting and fun to watch. Then I waited for the game I had come to see, NMSU-Indiana, to start.

As the Aggies came out for warm-ups, I was nervous. There I sat, hands shaking, moving from side to side in order to try and alleviate my pent up nervous energy. For regular games I get nervous, and this was the most important one I was going to see! The game started and immediately Indiana proved why they are one of the absolute best three-point shooting teams in the nation. NMSU played poorly, but was able to play with enough hustle and energy to keep themselves in it in the first half. Obviously, Wendell McKines, my favorite player of the current era, was the focus of Indiana's defense. They kept a body on him the whole time and the Aggie guards did not exhibit enough patience to get him the ball in the post. Each time he got the ball, however, something good happened. No matter how tight the coverage on McKines was, he drilled the shot. Unfortunately, that did not happen enough times.

The second half began and I knew that, in a match-up between coaches, NMSU would be severely beaten. As expected, Indiana coach Tom Crean managed to find a few plays and sets that Indiana could exploit and they did to great effect, at one point getting up by 22 points. That Aggies clawed their way back into the game, but it would not be enough, as they fell 79-66. Though, to be fair, at least no Aggie had to wear those god-awful vertically stripped warm-up pants that Indiana does. Those things look like they were designed for a barbershop quartet. At least our team has some kind of pride. Geez.

It was time to leave. Dejected. There is a lot of disappointment which goes into cheering for a team. And loses hurt. Being unable to affect the outcome hurts. It's infuriating actually. No matter how much you want it, you are handcuffed to your seat. Then you get to listen and watch the other team's fans celebrate. And you want to hit them all. Hard. But you can't would get arrested I suppose

So I walked outside to find the train and it was raining like crazy. Giant drops of water crashed down everywhere like some annoying waterpark ride. Except I hate waterparks and was in no mood for "fun." I had only a vague idea where the MAX station would be (somewhere very near the arena) and I had to search. Lucky me. I had a jacket on, but forgot to button it and immediately became soaking wet. Pools of water, which disguised themselves to look like small puddles, continually tricked me into stepping in them, getting my socks wet. And it was cold. When I finally found the station I located the sign telling me when my ride would be there. 26 minutes. Great. There I stood, surrounded by cheering...things, and waited in the sharp wind. The station was at least under a highway (or something, I'm not entirely sure what we stood under) that provided us with some shelter from the storm. I had to take one bus after the MAX and I was home.

In a terrible mood, I decided to not wait for the new episode of Community to appear in my Hulu queue. I downloaded it. I missed watching it (though I miss watching it with Jackie way more). And I was on my way to getting over the game.
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