Todd Family Blog

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Friday, April 9, 2010

All Things BU

What can I say about our Bulldogs that hasn't already been said? I can't believe that I got to watch my school play for a national championship IN my home city in one of the most exciting championship games of all time. The atmosphere in that stadium was unbelievable: take one part the passion that comes with college sports + one part "Hoosier Hysteria" that comes with anything basketball, and I'm surprised the whole state didn't implode. I've been to a lot of amazing Colts games, including the AFC Championship and Pats/Colts game from this past season, and I think the BU/Duke game topped them both. What that team accomplished is truly remarkable and one of the best displays of sportsmanship I have ever seen.

Below are a few pics from the weekend. I've also included some links to a couple GREAT articles if you missed them at the time. There is some footage from the rally after the championship, too. Thrilled to hear about Brad signing his new contract. Can't wait for next season. Enjoy, and Go Dawgs!!!

Miriam and me out Friday before the games. In this picture we had been snuck into the CBS party. Kinda fun - lots of interesting coaches there.


Out downtown on Sat. night to celebrate the win over Michigan State:


Monday of the championship game there was another rally downtown on the circle which again drew thousands of fans. Barry Collier, Butler's Athletic Director, instructed us all to do Brad's now famous "bump" with whomever was standing next to us. So, I bonded with the older business man next to me and "bumped". The guy seemed a bit bewildered, but it had to be done.

The mayor posing with the BU cheerleaders

The crowd backed well onto Market from the circle.


Finally at the championship game! Bob and Bonnie gave me a ticket for Easter, so I went with Bob. (Thank you, guys!!!) Our seats were great - right by where the BU players came out and also just above the student section. That final shot Hayward attempted was directly in front of us. Here you can see the BU banners being carried through the crowd.





Great picture of the crazy crowd, courtesy of Meghan Boots:


At the rally on Tuesday after the game. This was such a great experience. The team definitely looked down when they entered the stadium. However, the crowd of thousands refused to stop cheering until the players finally started smiling, standing, waving and even giving us a couple token flips. We must have cheered for almost 10 minutes. It would have been impossible for that crowd to be more proud of them and what they accomplished.

Nored and some others took time to sign autographs for the young fans. Very nice.


Sorry these videos are so small in the blog. There's no way to really capture what it was like in the stands during that crazy game, but hopefully this gives you an idea.
Video from the game:
Tip off! Sorry my little camera doesn't zoom, and the speakers can't possibly pick up how loud it is in there, but I think you'll still get some of the atmosphere, especially towards the end when the tip off happens. And we won it!
video

In this short little clip the band is playing the end of the school fight song when we all yell "B U!" There were so many BU fans in there that the echo would be huge after the "U" and then everyone would cheer. Very cool to hear that many people yelling "B U!" That's certainly never happened before in the history of the school, I'm sure!
video

The team running out
video

Hayward hitting one of his perfect free throws. This is how the game was - every shot was a huge deal and every defensive possession was so tense!
video

There were some great speeches at the rally the next day which were just a bit too long to put on here. However, here are a couple short clips.

After quite a few minutes of cheering (and the the MC trying unsuccessfully, thanks to the crowd's refusal to be quiet, to begin the speeches) the players finally stood and acknowledged all the praise. Hopefully, they were cheered up a bit. Oh, and if the camera shakes some that is from everyone stomping their feet on the risers!
video

Peyton Manning sends his congratulations!
video

Brad's and Bobby Fong's speeches were a little long to load onto the blog, but here are some links to them:
Brad
http://sharing.theflip.com/session/ed0c2a16e6e2c347bed10191c08c5058/video/12665490

Bobby Fong
http://sharing.theflip.com/session/33d9e70c4662123b2a6329dff35911e8/video/12666345

Great editorial by the govenor of Indiana and BU fan, Mitch Daniels:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201004030245/OPINION01/4030318

Loved this wrap up by Kravitz:
http://www.indystar.com/article/20100406/SPORTS15/4060330/1034/SPORTS15/Butler-s-ride-is-over-but-the-dream-lives-on

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dawgs in the National Championship!

What could I possibly say on the eve of BU playing in their first National Championship? When people in California asked why I root for Butler, I would sometimes get confused considering which answer I should go with. That's where I graduated and met most of my closest friends? That's where my mom taught for 27 years and I grew up? (She started teaching there before I was even born!) That's where my sister went to school and joined my sorority? That's where our high school friend, Brad Stevens, is now head coach? (And this success could not come to a nicer, more humble person.) That's where I've sent some of my favorite voice students and where another good friend is now on the music faculty? The place has played such a big role in my life and I appreciate it more and more each year. This team represents all of us here in Indiana so well. They embody why I love living here and why I am so proud to be a Bulldog!

Then, there's the fact that all of this is happening IN Indy!!! How could I not change my flight to Switzerland? (I originally was going to fly out last Thursday and miss all of this!) I'm so glad I stayed.

Last Wednesday the town kicked off Final Four weekend here in Indy (and you should SEE the party that has been going on downtown - Indy knows how to do it right) with a pep rally on Monument Circle. Thousands turned out to show their Butler pride! Speakers included the mayor, athletic director Barry Collier, BU president Bobby Fong, and Indiana legend Bobby Plump. (Last second shot for Milan High, a.k.a. Hoosiers, anyone?)


Friday we attended the free open practice and watched Butler shoot around for an hour. 30,000 turned out to welcome the Dawgs to Lucas Oil. That's basketball in Indiana!



Miriam, Bob and I registered with a local organization to get seats right down by the court! It was fun to see all the media personalities walking around, as well as the players and bands coming out for their practice sessions.


Miriam sneaking up on the CBS set.

Things definitely cleared out after Butler's hour long practice was over.


All this leading up to game day!!! I can't even describe how exciting this game was. This felt even bigger than the AFC championship I went to just months ago. Where else could we go to watch it but the Bulldogs' home court, historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, just 5 miles away from where they were playing downtown in Lucas Oil Stadium? Hinkle is proof that some things are more important than anything shiny, new and impressive. We've got history and tradition.

We staked out our spots towards the front as we waited for the doors to open.

Beautiful day

The line grew and grew

Immediately the halls were packed as everyone rushed in to grab a seat.


In our seats and the game is starting!



Great atmosphere and BU provided a very smart setup. There were two of these sides, each with two giant screens.



Frightening seconds at the end of the game! Nored gets ready to attempt his two clutch free throws.


And we win!!! BU's going to the championship!






Everyone streamed out of Hinkle cheering, honking, and students running to the center of campus to celebrate.


Broad Ripple and downtown were crazy with Butler fans and out of town fans, as well. We were out celebrating until 4:00 a.m., and downtown was still packed even then.
Jen, Ellen and Norm came to celebrate with us.




And now on to the big game tomorrow. I'll be in a seat at Lucas Oil this time, cheering them on in person. (Thanks, Bob, for the ticket!!!) More to come, I'm sure.....