I was supposed to write about this last week, but two ten hour bus rides to Hot Springs, Arkansas and a midterm later in the week denied me the opportunity. The North Texas Mean Green was in the NCAA tournament. After amassing more wins in the Sun Belt tournament than the football team had total wins the past two years, the Mean Green were selected to play against the number two seed Kansas State in Oklahoma City this day. The roommate and I pondered going to the tournament, but denying ourselves two days in Vegas was too much. So, we decided on watching the game at ESPN Zone.
Putting ESPN Zone right next to a sportsbook is a genius idea. It also makes for hilarious reactions from bettors.
Consider exhibit 1: Baylor vs. Sam Houston State. A great matchup of Texas teams. You hear Baylor fans cheering all game as Sam Houston attempts to stay close, then a collective “SHIT!” as Sam Houston refuses to foul in the final seconds, and Baylor wins by nine. The “SHIT!” came from those who bet on the 11 point spread, and who just lost a nice chunk of change because Ekpe Udoh didn’t make two free throws earlier.
Exhibit 2: Danero Thomas hits a bucket and No. 13 Murray State upsets No. 4 seed Vanderbilt. Every bar in America goes wild. Half the patrons at ESPN Zone slam their fists down as one of their Sweet 16 picks just went to crap. They walk out and place another $50 bet on Butler/UTEP.
Exhibit 3: Adam, roommate and about twenty K-State fans are the only ones interested in the K-State/North Texas game. Prior to the start of the game (it was delayed due to the double overtime Florida- BYU game) Adam and roommate pray for an upset. Five minutes into the game, Adam and roommate pray that North Texas covers the 16 point spread. Halfway into the game, Adam and roommate wonder why they bet on North Texas and think of other uses for $50. Nate walks in, and Adam and random Washington Huskie fan start making fun of Lane Kiffin, Tim Floyd, and the fact that USC is not in the tournament. Nate leaves. Adam and roommate contemplate leaving. North Texas goes down by 24 midway through the second half. Adam and roommate leave.
Before I write any more about the trip, I want to comment on the game itself. Fact of the matter is, we need another point guard to complement Josh White. Now. Granted Kansas State was able to bring out athletic 6’9 big men like no one’s business, but we need Kedrick Hogans to step up next year and replace Eric Tramiel. And Johnny Jones needs to stop scheduling Houston Baptist, Cameron, and SE Louisiana, and schedule like a team who wants to not spend the rest of eternity as a 15 seed. A Siena, a Butler, another Big 12 team and Sam Houston State should do. The team returns everyone but Tramiel, and it should be an exciting year.
Kansas State is good, but I would’ve like to have seen us play a more competitive game. At least in 2007 UNT was competitive until midway through the second half. And they covered the spread. Assholes.
We decided to cure this depression with a final meal at In-N-Out. Once again, this meal was a bag of caloric goodness. I will miss you In-N-Out. You were good to my arteries.
With that, we began the adventure back home. The highlight of the trip home was listening to the following artists more than 15 times: Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Train, Owl City, Nickelback, Justin Bieber, Eric Church, Gin Blossoms, Ke$ha, Tim McGraw, Linda Rothstadt (who?), Cypress Hill, and a host of other artists. More importantly, I was forced to listen to Cyndi Lauper. I could have switched stations, but the other artists mentioned above were on. Damn you XM and your cycling playlists.
I can’t stand Cyndi Lauper. Her music videos are terrible and her music annoys me. There are only so many times I can listen to “Time after Time” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” without jumping out of the car and into the Amarillo smell. I’m sorry to those of you who like Cyndi Lauper, but XM has a host of other great 80s songs to choose from. For example, Def Leppard. Or AC/DC. Or James Brown. At least Journey and Foreigner were on consistent play. And I was able to hear Michael Franti. Twice.
Even with my complaints, I thank XM for providing a nice soundtrack for the trip. 70s on 7, 80s on 8, 90s on 9, Deep Tracks, Station 16 The Highway, and Mix 22 I will always remember you.
Now for my new favorite song: