January 2, 2011 - 4:30 PM
Happy New Year and welcome to 2011! I don't know about you all, but I had an excellent New Year's celebration in Vancouver, Washington thanks to the hospitality of Cam, Trey and Molly "Hostess with the Most-est" Sanders.
Feels good to be back in the Northwest although I could've used a warning about the cold weather. Friday morning when I jumped on a plane out of San Mateo wearing a light jacket and I landed in Portland where it was a full twenty degrees colder. My ride, Kate, had snow on her car because she'd just driven down from the mountains. Suddenly the phrase ‘going cold turkey' had new meaning.
Ross, Winston and I drove back to Eugene yesterday in time to watch the second half of the Rose Bowl; congratulations to the TCU Horned Frogs. And the only other item on our agenda was watching the final men's basketball game at MacArthur Court. That's right, after eighty-three seasons of Oregon basketball we finally said good-bye to Mac Court.
It was my first game of the season, so I'm glad I was able to make it down in time for the game. Winston and I shared our billiards class last term with EJ Singler and Tyrone Nared, so we kept telling them we'd show up to a game sooner or later.
We sat in our usual spots behind the band, who played exceptionally well I might add; it'd been a long time since I last heard "Duck Tales." Throughout the game the announcer would throw in random Mac Court facts. Eight decades of sporting events plus appearances by such figureheads as Robert Kennedy and Bill Clinton, and performances by Elvis Presley and the Grateful Dead.
John Dick, former Oregon basketball player, was honored during half time. Dick was a member of the 1937 Oregon Tall Firs who beat Ohio State to win the first NCAA basketball championship. Portland Trailblazers coach Nate MacMillan was in attendance to was his son Jamelle play for Arizona State. Aaron Brooks, pictured above in front of a standing ovation, was the game's honorary captain. Brooks graduated from Oregon in 2007 and currently plays for the Houston Rockets.
Wish we could have pulled out a victory for venerable Mac Court, but Arizona State stole the finale with a 60-55 victory. Singler led the Ducks with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots. Even if the team didn't finish on top, the crowd certainly had their heart in the game, and the "Pit Crew" was a loud as ever.
Matthew Knight Arena opens on January 13th when the Men's Basketball team plays Southern California, and in the mean time...
Countdown to FIRST CLASS OF WINTER TERM: 15 HOURS
Countdown to BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: 8 DAYS, 1 HOUR