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!
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!
The team running out
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!
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!
Peyton Manning sends his congratulations!
Brad's and Bobby Fong's speeches were a little long to load onto the blog, but here are some links to them:
Great editorial by the govenor of Indiana and BU fan, Mitch Daniels:
Loved this wrap up by Kravitz: