Sunday, January 22, 2012


Last night I did something I haven't done for 30 years when I went to a college basketball game.  The home team was the Saint Louis University Billikens.

The Billikens men's basketball program has been around since the 1940s, but I've never watched them play live. Tony had found a great promotional deal, so he was in charge of getting the tickets.  The promotion had several games to choose from, but based on what we had on the calendar he picked a match against the Duquesne Dukes.  I didn't know anything about Duquesne. Turns out it's Catholic university in Pennsylvania, and another Atlantic 10 Conference member.

We left for the game about 50 minutes before tip off.  It would normally be a 25 minute drive, but we ended up in a several-block-long traffic jam that stretched from the top of the highway exit ramp to the parking garage, and were still in the lobby for the singing of the National Anthem.  However, we were settled in our seats when the players were introduced and the game started five minutes later.  Chaifetz Arena, where the Billikens play, has a little over 10,000 seats.  We were closer to the top of the arena than the court, but still had a good view.  Our seats were at the end by the student section and the band, and there was a lot of energy coming from the area.

I'd forgotten how great it is to watch basketball live.  It's a fast-paced game, and last night's match was particularly exciting.  The Billikens dominated most of the game, and the final score was 68-41.  After the buzzer sounded people started filing politely out of the arena.  I expected a huge mess getting out of the parking garage, so I stopped at a bathroom on the way to our exit, then we followed the stream of bodies out the door.

Much to my surprise the parking garage was surprisingly easy to leave.  At the exit all of the traffic was being funneled in one direction, and there were patrol officers directing things along on the street.  We were in the wrong lane to get on Interstate 64 west towards home, but it was OK; Tony knew an alternate route that had us heading in the right direction in no time.  All in all, a great night.


  1. I am a HUGE college b-ball fan and have always enjoyed the Bills. Glad you got to experience the game. I'm on my way to St. Louis next week, maybe I will have a chance to catch a game.

  2. I was flipping through channels and saw the game on last night. Glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes traffic at the intersection where the arena is can be a big mess.

  3. Takes me back to high school when I got Cardinal (baseball) and Billiken (hockey and bball) tickets for straight A's. Fun times!