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The Journey continues...as we are in the final weekend of the regular season. The Bisons and the Lady Bisons will wrap-up the A-Sun regular season with a doubleheader against Mercer on Saturday (2/26) and then in just a couple of days both teams will be back in Macon as the Atlantic Sun Championships presented by General Shale Brick begins on Wednesday (3/2).
Our final road trip of the regular season began at Kennesaw State last night. The women lost a heart breaker...by watching a 12 point half time leader evaporate in the second half. Meanwhile, the Bisons played one of their better complete games-hopefully a great set-up for tomorrow's final game of the regular season.
The teams headed south in their Wise Coaches on Wednesday following our Fastbreak Luncheon. The women had practiced just before lunch and after our interview section with Coach Bennett-the women got on I-24 and headed toward Chattanooga and on to Kennesaw. The Bisons had practice after the luncheon before making their trip to Kennesaw.
Trevor Garrett, Benjamin and I decided to drive down on Thursday. This allowed Benjamin to broadcast as Bison Baseball game on Wednesday for me to do some afternoon work and attend an elder's meeting after our Wednesday evening mid-week service.
It was raining when we left Nashville...and we drove through some driving rain. That was just the beginning of some bad storms that hit middle Tennessee Thursday evening.
We made great time traveling...and got to the Convocation Center in plenty of time for Benjamin to get ready for his Lady Bisons broadcast. After the games, we headed on to Macon---so we would not have to get up the next morning and move to another hotel. (The Lady Bisons also headed to Macon after their game).
It was about 12:45 Eastern time when we arrived in Macon (we had stopped along the way for a post-game meal in the ‘Neighborhood' at Applebees. I had been on the phone with my wife (Barbara) and I was checking the Channel 5 and Channel 4 mobile weather radar getting updates on the storms that were going through the Nashville area.
We were tired when we arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn on the Mercer University campus. We unloaded all of our bags and headed to the front desk to check –in. Trevor handled the attempted check-in---only to learn that there was “no room at the inn"! Something had happened---the hotel was supposed to have been notified that we were arriving a day early for our rooms---however the Hotel was full of the Belmont Bruins, the Lady Bisons and others...so there was no rooms for our crew.
Trevor worked and worked to try and get us a room...but the best he could do was talk the night manager into getting us a reservation at the Homewood Suites-Hilton---back up I-75 about 5-7 miles away from the Mercer campus.
About 30 minutes or so after arriving in Macon we were finally checking in at the Homewood Suites. A great upgrade---a room and a sitting room and small kitchen. (I was hoping Benjamin was going to cook breakfast---his famous omelet-but no luck! We have two TVs so we both get to watch our favorite programs!
We are getting spoiled.
We slept in this morning and then headed to lunch at Cheddars before heading to Bison practice. After practice it was back to the hotel for an afternoon of work-before we headed to eat dinner with the team.
Meanwhile, Trevor had to work some magic with the Hotels...to make sure that we could stay in our room until Saturday. (Our reason for driving to Macon after the game Thursday---was so we wouldn't have to change hotels during our trip.) He also wanted to make sure that our reservations were all in place for next week as we return to this city for the A-Sun Championships.
Coach Jay and Coach Shaun have been on the road recruiting today...and Shaun had to make a thirty mile out of the way trip back to the hotel in Kennesaw---to get his bag-that he left there yesterday! ( A great way to get a mention in the travel log)
Tomorrow will be a busy day---breakfast at the hotel-Bisons will shoot at 11am and then we are heading to pre-game with the Bisons and then back to Mercer for the women's game at 2 pm and then the men will play at 4:30 pm EST.
After the game---and we will head back to Nashville for a few days...before we come back to Macon. In five (5) days the Bisons will tip it off with Mercer again---in the final game of the quarterfinals of the A-Sun tourney.
I am not sure it is the ending that either team wanted---but the Bisons and the Bears are 4 and 5 in the standings and will meet Thursday night to determine who move on to the semi-finals on Friday night.
This journey began in Chapel Hill back in November...and it has been filled with ups and downs..but it is not over---the Bisons are still focused on the FINISH! They have been wearing that word on their practice shirts all year---now it is time to FINISH the work!
Saturday...we will close the regular season chapter...and get set to open the post-season chapter...as our Journey continues! Join us tomorrow for the game...as we try to “Put it in the Book"!
The Bisons flew out of Nashville on Wednesday (2-9) before the snow hit the middle Tennessee area---however, Trevor Garrett, Coach Pete Froedden, Benjamin and I flew over today.
The team arrived in the Raleigh area, before the first snowflakes fell in Nashville. Thus missing the several hour commute home that many folks had on Wednesday.
This morning, I left Nolensville about 6:45 and it took me a little over an hour to drive 22 or 23 miles to Green Hills to pick-up Benjamin...and then we headed over to Lipscomb to pick up Trevor and head to the Airport. The roads were snow covered...and there were a lot of stranded cars (some wrecked ones) along the way.
We had a 10:20 Southwest flight out of Nashville...and we were at the airport in plenty of time...however, when we arrived in Long Term Parking Lot A...Pete was already at our gate...waiting on us!
Meanwhile---I had a smooth trip through TSA-with the full body scanner, while Benjamin just went through the “old metal detector". As we began to look for Trevor...we noticed that he was behind the glass area going through the “full pat-down search"! As soon as he was finished, we learned that he had gone through the scanner---but they couldn't get a “read" of the scan-so he had to go through the “pat down"!
It must have been his gray Bison sweat suit---the scan just couldn't see through it---maybe he needed some Superman X-ray vision???
The team eat their pre-game meal at Ruby Tuesdays...it is a tradition here in Fuquay-Varina...since it is right beside the hotel and you walk between the parking lots and the bushes to get there! This is also the same hotel---that a few years ago---when we had an afternoon game---instead of going to Buies Creek for shoot around-we had walk through in the parking lot! Sometimes---it is better to just rest and walk thoughts in the hotel lobby or the parking lot!
Trevor, Benjamin and I decided to go eat a little earlier than the team...since we had eaten earlier this morning before flying out of Nashville.
Campbell is located about 45 minutes from the Raleigh airport----and about 30 miles from Raleigh...and about the same distance Fort Bragg. Even from our hotel...it takes about 15-20 minutes by bus to get to the Pope Center.
This could be our last basketball trip to the “creek"-since Campbell will be leaving the A-Sun after this academic year to join the Big South Conference. Campbell was a charter member of the Big South...however, they have been part of the A-Sun since 1994.
Tonight's victory by the Bisons...was our 7th straight here at Campbell---and we are 3-0 in the Pope Center...we lead the series 14-5!
It is amazing how much better life is on the road after you win! A totally different atmosphere in the breakfast room off the lobby...where the team enjoyed a post game meal of Bar-B-Q , fried chicken and the fixins as they watched the second half of the Alabama-Vanderbilt game.
Manager Eric Dickerson got some praise from Coach tonight...he has been doing a great job...this trip by himself...so coach told him he could just take us home this year...for the rest of road games and leave the other managers at home!!
We pull out in the morning about 8:45 EST to head for the airport...and we should be back in Nashville before lunch. The team doesn't play again until next Thursday...and if things go as planned they will get Saturday and Sunday off...two days a row...late in the season...can be great for resting the players legs!
Tomorrow night (Friday) I am looking forward to attending the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony with several others from the Lipscomb athletic family---as former Bison Basketball Coach Don Meyer will be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Just four games remain in the regular season for the Bisons...and only two at home (Upstate on Thursday 2/17 and ETSU on Saturday 2/19)-so if possible make your plans to come out and support our team and say goodbye to our seniors!
Hopefully we will have a great finish to the season and we can---“Put it in the Book'!
UNF snapped the Bisons four game winning streak last night. It is re-focus time again for the team and it started last night after the game---as they gathered at the hotel for their post game meal.
It continued this morning...with breakfast in the hotel at 9:30...and then as we loaded the bus at 11:30 for the trip to Jacksonville University for practice.
The Bisons noon practice...followed the Lady Bisons who were on the court first. The men worked out for about an hour and a half and then it was back to the hotel...and trainer Will Ness brought in lunch from Chipotle Mexican Grill.
After lunch...the team had about four hours before they would gather again in “Jaguar" (our meeting room) for dinner from Bono's Bar-B-Que.
I went back to the room...did a little prep work, started listening to our January 8th match-up with Jacksonville...I laid down on the bed...and four hour later it was time to get up and head to dinner.
That is life on the road.
I guess I should throw in a few other things...
I did spend a little over an hour today on a conference call with our construction team at Brentwood Hills. We are in the middle of a construction project---so we have meetings every other week. Since I am on the road, I joined them on the phone---for our update---to answer a few questions and to get my assignments for next week.
After, dinner Benjamin decided to go for a swim and I decided I would go work out for a little while. I usually do that on Friday afternoon...so it was good to get in a workout tonight.
Benjamin---sort of hopes that my nap this afternoon will keep me up most of the night...so he can get some restful sleep! He had to wake me up last night because of my snoring...and he said I got a good nap in this afternoon!
He will eat an early pre-game with the Lady Bisons in the morning...about 8:45 as they will have a 12 noon central time tip off. I am going to hang with the Bisons. We will have our pre-game at 11:15 as the Bisons are scheduled for a 3:15 pm ET tip-off.
After the game, we load the bus and immediately head to the airport. The two teams are on different flight s and I think different airlines---as both teams will be headed back to Nashville after their games.
The men's travel part is scheduled to arrive late Sunday night (after 11 pm)---and then I have an early morning at BHCC arriving at church a little before 8 am. Carolina will play about 1 pm---I hope to watch the Tar Heels and then head to our 3 pm Super Bowl service and then head home to watch the game...and take another nap!
However, first the Lady Bisons and Bisons have a couple of big games with JU! Both teams need to take care of business...and of course we need to...
“Put it in the Book"!
The Bisons and the Lady Bisons are back on the road again.
The teams left on Wednesday to fly to Jacksonville---for games with the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University. Belmont---the Bisons travel partner is also in town...as we will be swapping opponents this weekend.
Tonight the Lady Bisons and Bisons tangle with the Ospreys of UNF. The women tipoff is set for 4:30 pm Nashville time. Benjamin survived his 10 games in 11 days...despite the fact that he never posted a blog about that experience. He does have a very bad cold, but he is setting up the equipment as I write...preparing for today's game.
The Bisons game is set to begin at about 6:45 tonight from the UNF Arena.
Trevor Garrett, Benjamin and I didn't travel with the team---we met at Brentwood Hills this morning at 7:15 am to ride to the airport to catch our 9:05 Southwest flight to JAX.
The TSA operator was named Lucky!
I count it lucky to get to go through the full body scanner---it is easy for a guy with an artificial knee---so much better than the “pat down". Trevor had his first experience today.
However, I was not lucky on the flight...because as soon as I got my diet coke...I spilled it all over me and my game notes. Good thing there was no one in the middle seat...and Trevor and Benjamin slept through my “coke shower" or they would both still be laughing!
Today is a big day at Lipscomb---as Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson will be on 104-The Zone to announce this year's speaker for the Don Meyer Evening of Excellence---scheduled for April 16, 2011. The announcement will be made at about 4:40 CST on the Zone.
It is driving Ryan Daly crazy that he doesn't know who the speaker is going to be...everyone had him believing that they know who this year's speaker will be...and he is the only one on the trip that that doesn't know.
Trevor and Benjamin have given him clues...and he is about to bust to know.
There will be a lot of people listening this afternoon...and others logged on here in Florida to hear the announcement.
We had a great flight today...we arrived at the hotel...just before the Bison---driven by Big Dave in a WISE coach arrived from practice/shoot around. (Big Dave brought the bus from Nashville and met the team at the airport. A lot of teams have their buses brought to the city where the fly in...and then they have a familiar driver, etc to take care of them during the trip.
Benjamin and I had to wait about 30 minutes before our room was ready...so we relaxed in the lobby. We got a chance to go up to our room for about 45 minutes or so before we were to be back to eat the pre-game meal with the Lady Bisons. Both teams had their meal at the hotel today...and that worked out great since it has been raining most of the day here in Jacksonville.
After pre-game...Benjamin got a nap...and I got in a couple of hours of work before we loaded the women's bus at 3:45 for the trip to arena.
Coach Billy Snell and Coach Frank Bennett and I were talking before lunch...that these types of trips are Work-shoot-eat-sleep-play and then do it all over again! Frank was sharing that he got some great tea last night...he was mixing favored tea with regular tea and so forth. Today Coach Shaun Senters and I were mixing the lemonade and tea---for an Arnold Palmer!
On the Bus ride to the arena...Coach Katie Beth Allen---brought up a name out of the pass...as ESPN had done a feature last night on Jimmy the Greek. I guess since it is Super Bowl week...they are doing all kinds of features.
Also, I think we always play the Jacksonville teams Super Bowl week...or least it seems that way.
A shout out to a young man named Josh---from here at UNF...he stopped by our broadcast position to see if one of us (Benjamin or I) writes the Travel Log. He said he enjoyed the travel log...and the videos (Ryan and Trevor handle the videos and pictures) he said he wished that more teams in the A-Sun would post some blogs like our Travel Log.
Benjamin mentioned that I needed an editor...due to all of my typos---and Josh said, ‘it is a blog-it can have typos!" A man after my own heart! Trevor is the man---I just give him the unedited versions to be posted...corrected and edited...sometimes.
It is getting closer to game time...and the big announcement from Nashville. I will be logged on to the Zone to hear Philip and George as the share the news. By the way, Coach Don Meyer will be back in town next Friday night as he is inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. That should be an enjoyable evening.
It is almost game time for the Ladies...I hope both teams have great games...and pick up a couple of wins tonight as we get ready to “Put it in the Book'!
Our journey for this A-Sun trip is a little different than the normal trip.
Following our game on Monday with Campbell, Trevor Garrett informed me that the team would be traveling by bus on Thursday...but that he was planning to drive on Friday---and that Benjamin, Justin and I could travel with him the day of the game. This arrangement allows me to get in another day of work at BHCC---and since Justin has Friday off, he can also make the trip.
Then the four-letter word appeared in every weather forecast:
All indication were that the snow would arrive in the Nashville area around 3 pm on Thursday and that by Friday morning we would have an inch or snow of the white stuff.
We also learned on Wednesday that Ryan Daly would be traveling with us...so all of sudden there would be five us and all our equipment and luggage for the three-day trip to East Tennessee and South Carolina.
Tennessee Car and Van to the rescue. A phone call to Bill Bivens-and the official transportation provider for the Broadcast Crew, had us in an eight-passenger van for the trip.
The team bus would leave Nashville a head of the snow and make it to East Tennessee with no problems.
Our plan was to leave the BHCC parking lot around 9 am on Friday---that would give us an estimate extra four hours before tip-off-incase we had any weather relayed delays.
Friday morning, the secondary and side streets were snow and iced covered---while the main roads were beginning to clear by 8 am. However, that made traffic very heavy on the main roads, like Old Hickory Blvd, Nolensville Road and some of the interstates. That meant that it was after 9:30 before we hit the road heading east.
The interstate was moving at the speed limit and it was beginning to dry---and as we went east we saw less and less snow. By Knoxville there was no snow and then we saw a little on the sides of the road as we got closer to Johnson City (they had gotten about a ½ of inch Friday morning. As predicted the most snow was on the “plateau" (that is where all of Tennessee's snow ends up!)
Our crew made only two stops before we got to the Carnegie Hotel (located just across the street from the MHSA Athletic Center on the ETSU campus). Our first stop was the ‘Bean Pot'---we wanted Trevor and Ryan to experience this ‘country store' in Crossville---that was always a stopping place for our BHCC Youth trips when we went east on I-40.
Even on a cold day...and despite the fact it might spoil our lunch...we had a hand dipped scope of ice cream---a Bean Pot tradition.
Next stop would be our lunch/dinner pre-game meal at Chedders in Johnson City. A great meal...and then on to the hotel...about an hour to get ready before we headed over the “mini dome" or as Sonny Smith (former ETSU coach and CSS A-Sun color analysts) referred to it, “The house that Sonny built"!
Benjamin is beginning his string of broadcasting 10 games in 11 days!
Bisons on Friday, Lady Bisons vs ETSU on Saturday, then a Sunday-Monday trip to Upstate-back home for a Tuesday night game with Belmont-he gets Wednesday off and then the does the Lady Bison-Belmont game on Thursday, the men's game with Stetson on Friday, Lady Bisons on Saturday, Bisons on Sunday and then wraps up his marathon of games on Monday doing the Lady Bison game!
He will need to rest pace him self over the next few days.
The Bisons came up short Friday night losing to ETSU by 1 point (68-67) after tailing by 1- points at half-time. (you can read the article and re-cap of the game on the basketball home page).
Coach Sanderson was pleased with the Bisons focus and improvement-especially in the second half. He is building on this improvement as we head into Sunday afternoon's game.
After the game, trainer Will Ness had our post game food---the team gathered to eat in Coach's room---while we had a broadcast debriefing in our room. Trevor Garrett who never sleeps---headed back to his room and went to sleep before mid-night---without delivering stats to Coach Sanderson. That forced the coaching staff to call Trevor about 1:00 am Saturday morning...looking for the stats...as the coaches were up late or working into the morning preparing their scouting report and game adjustments for Upstate. The team would be back on the court by 9:30 this morning as they get ready for the last game of the first round in the A-Sun as we travel to update for a Sunday afternoon game.
During practice, Coach Sanderson came over to talk with us and to poke a little fun at Trevor for him being a sleep last night...and not having the stats delivered! You have to understand...Trevor is always a step ahead of you...with information and he is an expert at taking care of details. So, the coaches had a little fun at Trevor's expense!
Really, that is what team is all about. We are all one big family. We can laugh with and at each other...and when needed, we can cry together. The coaches, the players and even the support staff are all part of this “Bison Family"---and we support each other, respect each other---and it makes for a great relationship. I appreciate the friendship that I have with the coaches, the support staff and the players. It is a fun group to be around...as they continue their journey.
The team had breakfast brought to the hotel...and then they made the short bus ride to the MHSA Athletic Center for practice. After practice the team headed back to the hotel to shower, change, pack up and head to Spartanburg. The team would have food on the bus...as they left for their three-hour bus ride.
Meanwhile, our broadcast and support team...will be heading over the athletic center about noon---as Benjamin prepares for the Lady Bison game. We will be loaded and ready to hit the road after the game---arriving in South Carolina tonight...for the short game day tomorrow...as the Bisons tip-it off at 1:00 pm Nashville time on Sunday.
Hopefully we will hit a few more threes...early in the game...so we can start the day off with a few..."Put it in the Book"!!!
The alarm went off about 7:20 this morning.
I usually get up first, shower and get ready before I wake up Benjamin.
This morning we had to be packed and ready for breakfast at 8:45...with the bus scheduled to leave the hotel 9:30...actually, it was about 9:45 or so when the bus arrived for us to load...and we then headed to Stetson for morning practice.
Following last night's loss---it was a focused hard practice.
And the Bisons bounced back and had a good practice.
Coach Sanderson was up much of the night looking at tape...preparing a special practice...and after the workout...he led an important team meeting...to help this team not only to get ready physically...but mentally to come back tomorrow night against Florida Gulf Coast.
After practice the players...did some extra shooting, showered and then enjoyed a box lunch from Moe's.
The long media/scorer's table...quickly became the lunch table! Every seat along media row was filled with a Bison...enjoying lunch.
After lunch, before we headed to the bus for our four (4) hour drive to Fort Myers---several us decided that it would be a good idea to take a bathroom break before boarding the bus.
The lobby men's room at the Edmunds Center has two doors and you can be at the door going out...and someone coming in the entrance door...would see the person by the exit door.
With that in mind, Assistant Coach Pete Froeden and I were in the restroom...and he was standing by the sink using a lot of hand motions...explaining to me his explanation of last night's game...and about that moment...Coach Sanderson walked in...and he thought Pete was talking to the mirror or himself...and he was about ready to call the doctors in to take Pete away to the “funny farm" until he noticed that I was hidden near the exit door!
We all got a big laugh out of the situation! Coach Sanderson thought for a split second that Pete had lost it...and was just going off talking to himself!
A smooth bus trip through Orlando...by Mickey Mouse Land...and on to Fort Myers! The four hours gave us plenty of time to answer emails, read, do some prep work, and for some a little nap, card games and electronic games on your phone or computer and the list goes on and on.
We are staying in a little resort area...a hotel by some shops...near a lake...and when we arrived it was warm and some of the Lady Bisons were out by the pool...they had come in this morning...with plans to work out later today or tonight.
The hotel is called the Trianon (pronounced Tree-a-non). According to information about the Hotel...reminiscent of the GRAND TRIANON and the PETIT TRIANON on the grounds of Versailles near Paris. Both are acclaimed for their artful expression of sublime simplicity. In French and Spanish, the word suggest a special place-pleasant surroundings beauty and balance. A Trianon hotelis a fine hotel-comfortable, with service that communicates a special welcome to a special place!
I hope this special place...will bring a couple of special VICTORIES tomorrow night. If not---we will need to move back to a LaQuinta Inn near campus. (That has been our lucky hotel in Macon, Georgia).
Meanwhile, the Bisons would have about two hours...before we were going to head to Al's Sports Bar and Grill for dinner.
Athletic Trainer Will Ness makes the arrangements...usually he has a menu...we pick a meal and then he will email, fax or call in the meal...so that when we arrive at the restaurant we usually walk in, have the food delivered and we eat and go.
It was so well planned the last two days...that when we arrived at the restaurant ---they had a piece of paper or a note card with our NAME...an assigned seat...and then our meal was brought directly to us! So much easier than the servers having to call out the order and everyone having to remember what they ordered, etc.
I like the name tags...a good move by Will.
Will, does a great job taking care of both athletic injuries and travel arrangements.
By the way, I think the walk to the pre-game meal yesterday took longer than the meal for most. Since the food was there when we arrived...several of the players were finished in 10 minutes...and back on their way to the hotel to get ready for the game.
I hope you have gone on YOUTUBE and checked out the “all access" video that Ryan Daly posted yesterday...it is very good.
Well, tonight...I slept through the first half and then enjoyed a great second half of the Sugar Bowl...I thought Arkansas was going to come back and win the game...but it just goes to prove...that it is not over...until it is over.
Tomorrow...we have breakfast at 9 am...and then head over to FGCU for shoot around at 11 am (we are staying about 30 minutes from the campus)...and then we have a doubleheader...with the Lady Bisons tipping off about 4 pm Nashville time...and the Bisons are scheduled for a 6:30 pm Nashville tip-off. We will begin our coverage at 6:50 at www.lipscombsports.com
By the way, tomorrow is my wonderful wife, Barbara's birthday! Happy Birthday from Florida...wish you were here!
Get ready...time to get your game face on....just a few hours until our countdown to tip-off...and then it will be time...to “Put it in the Book"!
The first conference road trip of the year.
Ryan Daly is the video king. Either with his handy flip camera or his BIG camera.
This trip he is doing an all access shoot of Adnan Hodzic---so everywhere we turn we see Daly and his camera. He does an excellent job shooting and editing video. I think it will be a fun piece to watch.
Typical day on the road.
Breakfast in the hotel at 8:15 am
Scouting report and video at 9:00 am
By 9:30 we board the bus for our short trip to Deland and shoot around at Stetson at 10 am.
Our paths cross with the Lady Bisons. (Doubleheader trip) They shoot at 9:00 am...so their schedule is about an hour ahead of the men's.
Benjamin plans to go to their pregame about 12:45 and I will be going with the Bisons at 3 pm---he will be doing the women's game solo...and then join me for the men's game.
Both teams are having their pre-game at Ruby Tuesday's---walking distance from the Holiday Inn Express...so we will enjoy the Florida weather and take a stroll to pre-game this afternoon.
By the way the Bisons had a good morning practice...and according to Coach Sanderson, we have three good days of practice...leading up to this evening's game with the Hatters.
In between meals, practice, meetings and games...I do some work for my day job.
On the road, gives me a lot of good quality time to think, to plan, to read and to answer what seems like hundreds of emails. It is amazing how much of my work can be don through technology.
Emails and phone calls...make it seem like I am just down the hall in the office or just across town. I often activate our “church-wide" call out system while on the road...and of course I have been in email contact with members, staff and other folks throughout the day.
Another task for this trip, was some audio editing and updating of our broadcast spots and promos. Quiet time in the ‘hotel studio' gave me an opportunity to edit and make some updates for our broadcast.
The women left for the Edmunds Center about 2:45-just as the men were walking over to Ruby Tuesday's...the men would later dress at the hotel and head to the game at 5:00 pm...arriving shortly after the women tipped off.
A great overtime win for the Lady Bisons...and a disappointing loss for the Bisons. According to Trevor Garrett---to the best of his knowledge...it was the first time in the NCAA era---that we have had doubleheaders that the Bisons lost on the road...while the Lady Bisons won on the road.
Also, the 18 points in the first half matches low turn outs against Butler---ten years ago on January 3, 2001 in Allen Arena and in 2003 on the road at Nebraska.
After the lost the Bisons had a team meeting, post game meal, looked at some tape---to try hard to get this game out of their system---to work to improve---to make adjustments---and to come together as a team.
Monday Night---the Bisons didn't Finish.
The team knows that and they will get up Tuesday...face a new day...meet for breakfast at 8:45 and then head to practice at 9:30 and work to get this game out of their system.
After practice the team will bus to Florida Gulf Coast as our A-Sun trip continues...and we will get ready to try and get back on the winning track Wednesday night. Our coverage begins with the Lady Bisons Broadcast at about 3:45 pm Nashville time...and our men's broadcast is schedule to begin at 6:10 CST.
Last night the Bisons started the game 0-9 from three point land...we need that to improve on Wednesday...as we need to shout out a lot of..."Put it in the Book"!!!!
Happy New Year...
The Bisons are ready to begin...their two month...18 game league schedule...so that we are ready to play some basketball in MARCH!
The Bisons wrapped up their November/December schedule losing to nationally ranked Memphis on Thursday night in the Fedex Forum in Memphis (88-70).
Benjamin and I were in North Carolina celebrating Christmas with my parents and other family members-so we traveled to Charlotte, NC and caught a plan to Memphis arriving on Beale Street just after shoot around...and with a couple of hours to spare before we walked across the street to TGI Friday's for the pre-game meal.
By flying in the day of the meal---we missed the Wednesday night meal at Trevor's parents. I have asked Trevor to add a little to log...sharing about the trip and the meal at his home:
My mother, Jane Garrett, had volunteered to cook dinner for the team Wednesday night. The Bus came directly to my parent's house where she had spaghetti pizza ready. She cooked eight casseroles of it and had 75 rolls ready. We had enough food as the guys always have a big appetite.
For those of you wondering what spaghetti pizza is, Coach Pete says it would be better described as lasagna pizza or baked spaghetti. After dinner the team rode downtown to the Hampton Inn. Coach Pete took my parents car and went recruiting while I joined family friends for a long-running Christmas celebration. Later Wednesday night, my parents dropped us, both former Memphians, downtown at the hotel.
After the game, Benjamin and Trevor traveled back to Nashville on the team bus---and then they left Friday to join the Lady Bisons in Miami...for their New Year's Day game with the Hurricanes---before traveling to the Deland, Florida area for Monday (1/3) game with Stetson.
Meanwhile, after the game in Memphis...(with one eye on my phone and the ESPN App...I was checking the Carolina/UT –Music City Bowl) I walked from the Forum to our hotel...just a couple of blocks away. I ran into Danny, Janiece and Mary Wise (Marry is engaged to Josh Slater) as they were walking back to their car. We had a nice visit...and then I turned the corner heading toward the hotel...knowing that Carolina had scored in OT...by the time I got to the hotel lobby...l saw UT score...and got to the room in time to see the interception-Carolina's field goal and the controversial victory! I would see replays on ESPN...but it would be Friday night when I was back in NC with my family to ring in the new year...that I actually got to watch the fourth quarter and all the hoopla!
I was prepared to receive a lot of calls, text and ribbing from my friends who wear the orange! I have enjoyed the victory...and I have tried to celebrate quietly. I did wear my Carolina tie to church this morning...and the UT fans were still steaming!
Instead of busing back to Nashville---I caught a Friday Morning flight back to NC...so I could finish my vacation with the family...and then drive everyone back to Tennessee on New Year's day.
I had an early morning flight...so I was up by 4:45 am...had breakfast in the lobby and was on my way to the airport by 5:30 am. This would be my first experience with the full body screen. Which turned out to be great. No pat down! It is great for folks with artificial joints!
On the plane, I had a sweet older lady sitting beside me. She was from Memphis and was traveling to Cincy to visit her sister for the New Year's holiday. She told me it was her first time to travel alone---since her husband of over 50 years---had passed away a couple of months ago.
I could tell she was a little nervous...and she had trouble understanding the flight attendant over the speaker...so I would translate what was being said. As we took off, the plane was shaking a lot...and I was about to drift off to sleep ( I do that a lot when we take off) and the next thing I knew this lady was grabbing my arm. Later, she would apologize for grabbing my arm---but I told her it was fine---I understood that she was really scared and uneasy about flying alone. She was a very nice lady and I wished her the best as she started looking for her gate to make her connection in Charlotte.
A quick turnaround. Unpacked the car, Barbara washed some clothes; I packed and worked on game notes...before heading to sleep Saturday night.
This morning...I was at Brentwood Hills for our 8 am service (I have duties at both morning services and Sunday School) and we finished about 11:35...I hurried to wrap up a few things...and then I headed to school...since the bus was heading to the airport at noon!
I called Shaun and told him I was on my way and he assured me they would wait on me...( I got there about 5 minutes before noon)...another last minute arrival for me! I tell you before the season is over I am going to get to the bus without rushing!
Trainer Will Ness had my Lenny's Sub...so Sunday lunch was enjoyed on the trip to the airport in our Wise Coach...driven by a Bison favorite...Big Dave. We were kidding Big Dave about driving to Florida...to drive us once we landed in Orlando. Then, as Shaun handed out the Southwest Tickets---he didn't have a ticket for me? I was beginning to wonder if I needed Big Dave to give me a ride either in the bus or on his “hog"!
However, at the airport I had an electronic ticket. Sherie Eubanks always takes care of my arrangements. Usually I fly with the team...and my flights are booked with the group...however, sometimes I fly separately and it is safer and easier to book my tickets separately.
Sherie had sent me an itinerary-so I was sure I was on the flight. However, when you don't have a ticket in hand...you do wonder!
However, I had an electronic ticket...and I got a great spot in line--- A-20! Well taken care of for our Southwest Airline flight to Orlando.
I also, had my smoothest trip through the TSA screening. I have now used the FULL BODY Screening twice---(Memphis and Nashville) and that means no more “pat down"! It was the fast trip through security today...that I have experienced since I had my knee replaced!
A full scan view...no pats...just an ok to move on to the gate! It is so much better than the new ‘pat down guidelines'!
There are always a lot of inside stories, jokes and conversations between the players and the coaches when we travel. Our players are close...like any family. Our coaches are like parents to our players. (Many of our parents are pleased that our coaches are like second parents for our players!) They enjoy talking and goofing around with the players.
Next time you see Damarius “DD" Smith-you will have to find out about a new nickname “Snap"?
And the players had the Flight Attendant called out Brandon Barnes over the speaker system...for breaking in line ahead of others...as we boarded the plane. (As you know, Southwest doesn't have assigned seats-just assigned place in the A, B or C group...and the first on the plane get the choice seats!) Everyone got a chuckle about the announcement.
We had a good flight to Orlando (airport was hopping in Orlando---Bowl time and of course it is always a good time to go to Disney World!) It was a direct flight...took about an hour and 40 minutes...enough time for some reading, note taking, peanuts and pretzels (Southwest still gives out both---and your luggage travels for free!) and a diet coke---yes even a little nap!
After getting our luggage...we had at least a 45 minute wait on our bus. It seems he was in a holding area...and couldn't receive the cell call from Coach Jay...to tell him to come and pick us up! The blessing it was in the 70's and it felt great to be outside in short sleeve weather (better than the ice/frost I had to get off of my truck windshield in Nashville this morning).
The players shot a couple of videos...and I am sure Ryan Daly has posted them on his Facebook page.
We had the ESPN ticker on our phones...checking the Titans and Colt game (Shaun found a Colt's Internet broadcast on his phone...so he was listening to the game) during our bus delay and then the ride to Orange City. Yes, I did get another short nap in as we rode east on I-4 through Winter Park!
Shortly after checking into the Holiday Inn Express---Trainer Will Ness and the SACS (student assistants) had a great buffet from Sonny's Bar B Q delivered to the hotel lobby for everyone to enjoy as we watched football and basketball highlights prior to the Duke/Miami ACC basketball game.
By the way, one of the first in line was Milos Kleut---on the elevator he told me his was starving...and he could eat at least three big steaks (we had some great chicken, Bar-B-Q, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, etc!)--- checked in with Milos after dinner and he was FULL!
By the way, we meet at 8:15 for breakfast...then a team meeting and head for Stetson at 9:30 for a 10 am shoot around. The Lady Bisons are here also---since we play a double header tomorrow. They will be up earlier, since their shoot around is at 9:00 am.
The Bisons are schedule to tip off at 6:15 pm central time---and it will be time for the first time in 2011 to “Put it in the book"!
3 days 16 hours and 57 minutes...that is what my “countdown to Christmas" app on my phone is telling me this morning...as I woke up early to begin game day. Up a little earlier than normal today...as I needed to check in with my wife (Barbara) to see if she was up and headed the airport with my parents who were flying home to North Carolina today. They have been visiting with us for about a week, as they came to Nashville for Benjamin's graduation from Lipscomb.
I have not shared a travel log in some time...since our travels since the Baylor game have been in Tennessee and for two of the games we were not traveling on the bus with the team.
Over Thanksgiving---and our trip to UT Martin---my parents were in town-so we made a day trip out of it and drove to Martin so they could watch the Bisons. A great second half---at the time our best half of the season...and a break out game for Brandon Barnes.
Next up would be a home game with Mercer...our opening game in the A-Sun. It was one of those games that you felt like you lost---based on how the team played---however we still walked away with a 12 point victory.
We did travel with the team to Austin Peay. Our regular “Wise Coach" driver-Big Dave took us into his home town area---I believe he was born near Fort Campbell! It was also a reunion of sorts for Coach Pete Froedden---who served as a graduate assistant at APSU after he graduated at Lipscomb.
Geoffrey Sikes, the ministers at the Madison Street Church of Christ (a life-long friend and college roommate) joined us at press row for the broadcast. Back in his college days---he did some PA announcing for the Bisons---as the “Voice of Liberty"! He has also recorded game openings and commercials for our broadcast over the years. He joined us for some live readers---and another great Bison win---as we improved to 3-0 against the OVC.
Our Saturday December 11th match-up with Tennessee Tech---came on one of the busiest days of my year. That was the day of our 21st Annual Breakfast with Santa at Brentwood Hills. I was up early that morning helping with last minutes details---before nearly 650 folks arrived at our building for the event. After breakfast, I had to switch gears and begin an all-day (six hour planning session ) with our Brentwood Hills elders. That meeting would wrap-up just before 4 pm...Benjamin came to church to pick me up...and we headed home to pick-up Justin.
It had been raining most of the day and the weather forecast called for the temperature to drop and the rain to turn to snow sometime over the weekend. At first we thought it would happen Saturday night---but as it turned out...it waited until Sunday afternoon...before we got the 1-2 inches of snow!
Luckily, Justin drove through the rain...so I got a chance to rest a little prior to our broadcast. I had done most of my prep work the night before...and despite the rain and the holiday traffic we made it to Tennessee Tech in plenty of time before tip-off...on what would be our 4th straight win against an OVC school this year! The sweep was complete!
Last Saturday was another busy day---as it was Graduation Day at Lipscomb for Benjamin and Trevor Garrett. The ceremony would take place in Allen Arena at 1 pm---and then immediately after the graduation---the arena crew and the game management crew---would take just over an hour to re-set the arena and have it ready for our second conference double header---with Kennesaw State!
The Bisons put together what might have been their best---compete game of the season on the way to a 99-73 victory! Former Bison Coach Don Meyer was on hand for the game---along with Buster Olney of ESPN---who recently released a new book about Coach Meyer, “How Lucky you can be"---the story of Coach Meyer's recovery from a near fatal car accident and his battle with cancer.
On Friday before the game---they signed books from about 1 pm until 8 pm and then on game day...they signed from 5 pm until a couple of hours after the game! Coach will be back to speak again in Nashville-when he is the guest speaker at a “Men's Prayer Breakfast" on Saturday January 8th at Brentwood Hills. The breakfast begins at 7am-with the talk beginning at 8:30am. If you would like to attend call BHCC at 615 832 2541 for reservation or email me email@example.com Don and his wife Carmen will also be with us at Brentwood Hills on Sunday Morning January 9th.
I had planned all along to write some more about the Baylor trip. I assume by now, that everyone knows that our bus broke down on the highway...about 50 miles outside of Dallas as we were traveling before sunrise to catch our early morning flight home from DFW! The players had a lot of fun with the driver as we awaited another bus to come and pick us up. We were scheduled to stop at a Chick-fil-a in Hillsboro, Texas---owned by the brother of former Bison Rob Browne (who by the way was on hand this past weekend for the Kennesaw State game-as he and other former Bisons came into town to see Coach Meyer)---however the breakdown on the highway forced us to change plans. However, we didn't miss breakfast! Chick-fil-a delivered to us on the side of the road! A wonderful-beyond the call of duty for this restaurant---and much appreciated by everyone!
Ryan Daly and the players shot several videos...that have been place on Facebook for your enjoyment!
Now, back to our pre-Christmas trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama---and tonight's match-up with the University of Alabama ---our second game with the Crimson Tide. Our first match-up came on Dec. 29, 2006...with the Tide winning that game 80-58. Four years later they are under the direction of second year coach Anthony Grant---and the Tide is 5-6---while the Bisons come into the game 7-2 ---looking for their sixth straight win.
According to my Travel Itinerary...Big Dave was to have the Bus at the Lipscomb Loading zone at 12:30 on Monday...and we would leave at 1:00 pm. That usually means the bus will be there by 12:15 and we will leave no later than 12:45. So, I try to plan accordingly.
I think you can tell by my past logs---I am usually running very tight to get to the arena on time to catch the bus---and by all means I don't want to be late or the last to arrive!
With all the ‘hustle and bustle' of the holiday season---I kept telling myself I wanted to leave the office in plenty of time to make it to the arena without having the RUSH!
Following some last minute details I had to take care at the office---I got in my truck ( decked out like Rudolph-with window antlers and a big red nose) just before 11am and I headed toward Sams. I needed to pick up our “photo" Christmas cards-because part of my task was to address the out-of town cards while riding on the bus today.
I left in plenty of time to get the cards, to stop by the bank and be at the loading dock with time to spare.
However, on the way to Sams-I called Barbara to check in with her and to see how my parents were doing and to get any last minute instructions. While talking to her, she said something about my parent's medicine---and that reminded me that I forgot to take my daily pills and that I had not back my meds for the trip!
That meant---get some gasoline, go in Sam's in a hurry and then rush through the traffic back to Nolensville to get my meds and do a quick turn around and get over to school before the bus pulls out! (It is 17 miles from our house to the campus...and with traffic and the speed limit...it can be a 40 minute plus drive some days!)
I called Barbara again about 10 minutes before 12 noon...and told her I would run it get my pills, say hello and goodbye and then just like a NASCAR pit-stop be back in the truck headed to school! I pulled in the driveway at about 12:10---Barbara was standing with the door open as I ran up the deck! I dropped off the cards, gave her the bank deposit, said Hi and Bye to my parents, grabbed a bag I needed along with a lunch that Barbara had packed me and I headed back down the steps to the truck!
I did stop to re-pack a bag of work I was taking for the four hour bus trip---so my pit-stop was about five minutes longer than planned ---and I did have to watch the Nolensville speed limit while leaving town---just like NASCAR you can't speed leaving pit row...you better not speed in Nolensville!
About 12:30---when I was turning off Holt road to Edmonson Pike, I called Benjamin to check on his status and the Bus status. He was arriving, getting our equipment and heading to the bus. I had just got a message from Trainer Will Ness that he had food for us in the training room (don't tell Barbara I eat two lunches)!! Benjamin got the food and loaded the bus! About 12:45 pm...just as I crossed Leland Lane---I called Benjamin again and he said a few folks were starting to arrive...but no coaches and I should be ok!
Within a few minutes I pulled up to the loading dock...and started rushing to unload and get on the bus...when Ryan Daly told me there had been a change in the Itinerary...and the bus was not going to leave until 1:30 pm!
Now I could slow down, relax, get settled into my seat and enjoy my Chipotle wrap!
A smooth drive to Alabama.
I got all of my Christmas cards addressed-along with some other work including answering emails, etc. Wireless internet on the bus is great. You can log on through the bus system or I have a cell broadband connection that I use. WISE COACHES has now added some additional electric outlets...and that helps as the batteries wear down!
Shaun, Jay and Pete were not on the bus---they had been out recruiting and doing other work. Shawn met us at Despreato Steak House. It is owned by a former player he coached when he worked on the staff at Shorter College. It was a fine meal!
This trip is always a homecoming of sorts for coach Sanderson---as he grew up in Tuscaloosa as his dad coached here at Alabama. As he has told me, he knows every " nook and corner “ of Coleman Coliseum. Scott's brother, Barry---who coached with Scott his first year at Lipscomb---along with some of his family joined us for dinner last night! It was good to see Barry and speak to him. He had been at the North Carolina game...but I missed getting to talk with him that night. It was good to see him last night.
Our home for less than 24 hours here in Tuscaloosa is---the Hotel Capstone---just across the street from the Coleman Coliseum:
University of Alabama Lodging Hotel Capstone is ideally located on the University of Alabama's lovely Tuscaloosa campus and offers the perfect spot for business or pleasure. Plan a meeting or event with us, and enjoy 8,300 sq. ft. of meeting space. Or escape to Tuscaloosa for a romantic weekend or relaxing getaway. Come and enjoy a unique and luxurious brand of Southern hospitality at our University of Alabama lodging. Hotel Capstone is proud to be the only full-service hotel in the Tuscaloosa area.
Hotel in Tuscaloosa, AL. Our hotel in Tuscaloosa, AL is near picturesque Lake Lurleen and Lake Tuscaloosa, where you'll find camping, water sports and fishing. When you're in the mood for more cultural pursuits, you'll be delighted with the Tuscaloosa area's many fine museums, including the Kentuck Arts Center & Museum and the Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art, which boasts works by some of America's finest artists.
As for the Bisons...it is a great place to sleep and rest...before the game. Getting ready to head down stairs for breakfast, then it will be on to practice/shoot around---back for some more work and rest and then pre-game...and of course a 7 pm tip off tonight. Our Coverage on the Lipscomb sports Network will begin at 6:40 pm with our “Countdown to Tip Off". Log on at www.lipscombsports.com
Also, Ryan Daly has posted an interview with Coach Sanderson...about returning to the gym...that he lived in...for the first 18 years of his life!
Shoot around...featured some half court shooting...by the coaches and managers...and I took one hook from the corner...hit and retired!
By the way this was the trip for the red-shirts to leave their shoes at home. Both Carter Sanderson and Damarius Smith...had to go to their back-up “street shoes".
By the way...it is now 3 days,11hours and 46 minutes til Christmas...and less than 8 hours until it will be time to ..."Put it in the Book"!
A lot has happened since...I got home last Sunday night from North Carolina. I have had a busy week at work...and the Bisons have played two games, we had a Fastbreak luncheon and the Lady Bisons have played two home games this week...and now today...we have traveled to Texas!
The Bisons picked up home wins over Stillman College and Austin Peay. The game with the Governors ---was our first meeting with Austin Peay since 1962---forty-eight years ago! And it lived up to the billing...a 104-101 overtime victory for the Bisons.
Wednesday we had a full program for the Fastbreak Club...Coach Bennett and Coach Sanderson shared a lot of information...and we had visits from Jenna Bartsokas, Brandon Brown and Michael Teller. It was a fast moving program with a lot of information including questions from the audience.
Today...I was up early---so I could finishing packing before heading to early worship at Brentwood Hills. I attend both of our morning worship services and Sunday school...each Sunday morning. Today, I had to record our first service and then play it back on the radio during our second services...and in between...I taught one of our adult Sunday school classes. After second services...I had a few loose ends to take care of...before I headed over to Lipscomb to get with the team for our bus ride to the airport.
The team had practice this morning about 10:30 and then they were to be dressed and on the bus ready to pull out before 12:30 pm. Big Dave had the “Wise Coach" at the loading dock ready to head to the airport.
We were flying American Airlines to Dallas. We were fortunate there was really no one else in line...and they quickly moved our group from agent to agent. Since I came straight from church I was traveling in my sport coat and tie (Yes it was a Thanksgiving Tie!) At least twice I got asked if I was traveling with the group...or if I was just stuck in the line among the players. Michael Teller...told me he anticipated that I would be asked that several times before we would get to the counter. I assumed it was my business attire that caused the confusion...until I got to the agent...and she told me that she thought might be traveling alone...since I was so much shorter than the rest of the people in the group!
I had anticipated a long line at security...but it moved quickly. Several people got to try the new body scans...I knew I would have my typical pad down. However, it has changed...and you get a full body pat down. This was the most intense screening that I have had at any airport since I had my knee replaced a couple of years ago. It is all part of the new TSA guidelines...that have been in the news recently. USA today (Monday 11-22-10) had a big article about how the TSA will try to make the airport screening “as minimally invasive as possible"---I hope that memo gets to the TSA officials at DWF before we arrive back in Dallas tomorrow morning to fly home!
Everyone had plenty of time to get some lunch before our departure time of 2:30 pm. Benjamin and I joined Coach Pete, Coach Shawn and Coach Jay stopped in the World Famous Tootsie Orchard Lounge. During renovations over the past year or so...has brought some new restaurants and Nashville traditions to the airport. They even have live music...much like the downtown location...where hundreds of Country Music Singers have preformed through the years. Our reason for stopping in...a good BLT and they had the Titans game on the TV! They were just starting the 3rd quarter---when it was time for us to move to our gate to board our plane.
A 13-13 tie as we began to Taxi off and were forced to turn off our smart phones! It is amazing what can happen during a two hour flight to Dallas! By the time we landed in Dallas...everyone was on their phones...check for the score...and reading all of the “tweets" about VY and Coach Fisher...plenty to talk about as the Titans lost in Overtime.
Our flight was smooth...Benjamin and I were sitting on the row with Jordan Burgason. Jordan and I enjoyed the same soft drink mix. Diet Sierra Mist...mixed with orange juice! It is my favorite when flying!
Jordan was on my left side, listening to music and playing some games on an I-Pad...and then he drifted off to sleep and about jumped in my lap. He laughed and said he was a “jumper"! Benjamin was a sleep to my right side---and there in the middle---I was reading a book, “Sticky Teams"---it is not a basketball book, instead it is a book about keeping your Leadership Team and Church Staff on the same page. It is an interesting book. I've got to finish it before next Monday---I have to lead a discussion on the book during an all day seminar.
However, before I knew it my reading had put me to sleep and we were all enjoying a Sunday afternoon nap!
From Dallas...with Thanksgiving traffic...it would be just over an hour and half drive to Waco. More naps, some reading, listening to music, on the phones, looking a game tape, going over stats and ‘Tweeting' or posting to ‘Facebook' were all some of the activities that I witnessed or heard about. Technology has changed how we live. Our ‘smart phones'---keep us texting, emailing, tweeting, etc! Ryan Daly and I were “tweeting" to each other...just one row apart! In our defense, we were reading the hundreds of tweets centered around-VY and the Titans!
I was even able to pull in the Carolina/Vanderbilt game on my Sprint TV---ESPN Mobile! (The results were depressing---but it was neat to watch some of the game while riding on the bus.)
We are staying at the Hilton that is right next to the Baylor Campus. We are just a few blocks from the arena where we will play Monday night.
Sunday dinner was provided by the family of a former Lady Bison Softball player---Christy Grisham. Her family put on a spread for the team...and we eat at her grandmother's house. Her uncle and grandmother had the house already decorated for Christmas! There were decorations everywhere and it really put you in the holiday spirit. They also had an outside ‘fireplace' and several of the traveling party enjoyed dinner by the fire. The weather here in Texas is very pleasant...much like the weather we have been experiencing the last few days in Nashville.
After the meal, freshman Robert Boyd...who loved all the Christmas decorations, said he wanted to just settle down and go to sleep here for the night, “This is the kind of place where you could just go to sleep and wake up the next morning and Santa would have been here!"
The great food and the friendly hospitality---demanded that the team leave a little gift of the season---so the freshmen: Robert Boyd, Damarius Smith, Carter Sanderson and Brandon Barnes---entertained everyone with their version and their re-mix of the classic, “Rudolph the red nose Reindeer". A video does exist...and I would guess it is already on Facebook!
We can't thank Christy and her family enough for having the team over for the meal and fellowship. Being in a home and relaxing-even if it is for a short time---helps to break up flights, bus rides, restaurants and hotels, etc.
Today's schedule is pretty typical.
Breakfast here at the hotel at 9:30...to be followed by a team meeting (scouting report on Baylor)...mid morning shoot around...back for a little rest...then pre-game meal...another little break before we head over to the arena for tonight's 7:00 pm tip. You can listen to all of the action at www.lipscombsports.com.
Tomorrow...we will be up early for the bus Drive to Dallas...then the flight home. We arrive back home just before noon.
By the way, today in history was a very important day in the life of our country. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day (November 22) in 1963---46 years ago. Most of us that were alive then, remember where we were when the President was shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. I was in the 3rd grade...in Mrs. Hayes class. I can still see my classmates...and hear the sound of the principal sharing the news over the intercom in the class room.
Pearl Harbor, Assassinations, 9-11 and hundreds of other events...remind us about a lot of things that we are ‘Thankful' for in our lives. I hope you have some time this week to gather with family and friends---to reflect and to be thankful...during this “Thanksgiving Holiday'! From all of us associated with Lipscomb Athletics...thank you for your continuous support! It is a great time to be a Bison!
You can put it in the book!
Today will be a little different than most game days on the road, because my wife Barbara, my daughter Bethany and Benjamin's girlfriend Elizabeth Hartman will be flying in for the game tonight. They have a 6:40 am flight out of Nashville-arriving in nearby Raleigh at about 11:40 am.
I am usually up early...and this morning would be no different.
I got up around 5:30 am and began working on my game prep. I knew that my schedule would be altered today...so I wanted to get my score sheets and my notes together early today---so I wouldn't panic come game time.
I also, was able to text Barbara to make sure that they were up and headed to the airport. They were meeting Trey Hartman at the Brentwood Hills Building and he was going to drop them off at the airport. Since the boys and I drove to the game, we will all spend the weekend with family and then drive back to Nashville Sunday night.
After working for a couple of hours on my notes and getting my score sheets ready---I headed down to the workout room to get in a little cardio workout. Coach Shaun joined my just a few minutes after I started and then Coach Sanderson came in for his morning workout.
Breakfast was being brought in for the team at 9:30---so everyone comes down to the lobby to pick-up their breakfast. Some will eat in the hotel lobby, others take the food back to their room. Everyone had to be in their rooms by 11:00 pm last---and then up by 9:30 am.
The bus will leave at 10:40 this morning for the short two mile drive over to the Dean Smith Center for shoot around. I plan to drive our van over this morning...so I can leave practice a little early in time to make it to the airport to pick up the girls. We are about 14 miles from the Raleigh/Durham Airport. (I don't know why Chapel Hill didn't get its name in the airport---these three cities---feature Duke (DOOK)-North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina! But the airport is called the Raleigh/Durham International Airport.
At the Smith Center---the there were a lot of Carolina officials-managers, Arena personnel, Media Relations folks and representatives from the Media. The lady that helped to get our Bus and van into the parking lot was very nice and helpful. All of the people very courteous and helpful.
Jones Angel from the Tar Heel Sports Network was one of the first people I met. He was there to get an interview with Coach Sanderson for use in their pre-game broadcast. Later former Duke standout, Mike Gminski would arrive---he would be doing the color on the Fox Sports South broadcast. I pointed him out to Philip Hutcheson.
Philip went up to talk to him to share a memory.
You see when Philip was a young boy attending the Bison Basketball camps---Coach Meyer would bring in professional players or college players to headline the camps. Meaning---they would come in for a day---talk a little---may be give a clinic---eat with the campers, etc.
The year that Mike Gminski came to camp---Philip was selected to have a little one on one game with Gminski. Later a picture of that match-up would be use in several brochures with the cut line, “A Camper goes one on one with Mike Gminski".
That camper went on to be college basketball's all time leading scorer (Until his teammate John Pierce passed him) and later the Athletic Director at Lipscomb.
That same camp, Geoffrey Sikes and I took Gminski to visit some people in the hospital to take some more promotional photos, etc. As we shared these stories---it brought back memories and even with Mike Gminski---when we reminded him---he said he had forgotten working that camp---but we jogged his memory.
However, the highlight of our “shoot around" experience came as Steve Kirschner of the Media relations department was showing us our locker room area and the tunnel where the team would enter the court. The Smith Center only has two tunnels on to the playing floor---not four like Allen Arena. So, Carolina comes out one entrance...and the visiting team comes down another hallway and out their own tunnel.
While, we were back there looking around---I asked if we could look down the Carolina hallway. He said sure---taking Benjamin, Justin, Trevor and I through the training room facility, the player lounge, inside the Carolina locker room and back to the Tyler Hansbrough room! He was such a hard working player...who wanted to do extra shooting and working out after practice and games...and the would want to take ‘ice baths' and warm baths to help his body recover---they now have a room with two huge tubs (big enough for all the 6'8-6'9 players!
We also got to go into the locker room. This is a place that no one but the players go. The Media is not allowed to into this area---this is a private area reserved for the team and the coaching staff, etc. Dating back to Coach Smith-there are a lot of Carolina traditions:
By the way, everything is Carolina Blue or has the NC or Tar Heel Logo! For a guy like me---I loved it. I would have a logo on every shirt or pair of pants I wear! (By the way I saw a logo on the cuff of a dress shirt...and that is what I want...a BIG L or a Bison on the cuff of my dress shirt---look for that at a future game! Even the garbage bags in the Smith Center are Carolina Blue...along with the city road signs, the city buses and everything else in this university town.
Just as our tour was winding down, Benjamin got a text from Elizabeth that their plane was on the ground. (Actually it was about 15 minutes early arriving or at least they were arriving ahead of the printed arrival time that I had been given.) So, Benjamin and I left the practice and headed to the van. We would have a normal fifteen minute drive to the airport (however traffic and road construction would slow us down today). He called his mom to tell him we were leaving practice...and we would hurry to get there to pick them up. She thought we were about an hour away...so she was a little miffed...until he explained that we were just 14 miles from the airport...and that we had just experience a tour that any die hard Carolina fan would have enjoyed!
We have been soaking it all in...even some of the Bison players...who know how much we like Carolina...have commented that we look like children on Christmas morning!
We made our pick-up at the airport and then returned to the hotel to pick-up Justin. We decided not to go to the pre-game meal with the team---and instead we would head down to Franklin Street (that is the main street in Chapel Hill) eat lunch and take in the sight for a few hours before returning to the hotel to get ready for the game.
There are a lot of local place to eat---and we elected to go to “Top of the Hill"-it is a restaurant on the top of a building looking over Franklin Street. When the Tar Heels won their last National Championship---Franklin Street was full of people wearing ‘Carolina Blue'! As we were going into to eat, we ran into Jordan Burgason's parents and grandparents and other family and friends. They told me they had about 20 folks that had made the trip from Ames, Iowa for the game.
After lunch we walked the street and went into every store looking for “Carolina" merchandise (great Christmas Gifts!) Barbara bought me a book on the 100 year history of Carolina basketball. The author Adam Lucas was there to sign the book along with Tar Heel great Lennie Rosenbluth---later I would get former Tar Heel Eric Montross and the Voice of the Tar Heels Wood Durham to sign my book.
I have been a long time listener of Wood Durham...and just like I have picked up many a pointers from all of the broadcasters I have listen to and admired over the years---I guess I have listened to more Wood Durham broadcast than anyone else. So it was great to meet him again, to sit and talk with him, to share pronunciations, team facts---and to get my picture made with him after the game.
Back at the hotel...it was time to put on my purple and gold tie---gather our notes and equipment and hop in the car with Trevor and head to the media parking and the media entrance to the arena. We often ride the team bus over...but today we decided to go over about 30-45 minutes ahead of the team...we wanted to get set-up early and to soak it all in...plus we had a lot of interviews and we wanted to go on with an expanded pre-game show.
A lot folks came by to say hi-before and after the game...we took a lot of pictures...and I began getting text from a lot of friends and fans who were listening around the country. The Bisons game out playing great...and really were never out of the game...until the final couple of minutes. We led early...then trailed by 8 at half...got down by 14---but cut it to 3 with about 8 minutes to go...and then with 5 minutes we were right there in the game...before Carolina won 80-66.
They were so long...and their height and shot blocking really hurt us. But as Coach Sanderson said, this game made us so much better...and we would play it again in a heartbeat. It reminded Justin and Benjamin a lot of the Kentucky game...where we were still in it with about 8 minutes to go!
What excitement for the team and the fans.
Coach Roy Williams was very complementary in post game interview.
It was a fun night...a chance of a lifetime to sit at Press Row...just three seat down from one of my all time favorite broadcaster...knowing he was calling a Carolina/Lipscomb game...and I was calling a Lipscomb/Carolina game! After the game Woody told his color analyst-Eric Montross---and he gets to do something special---call the games with his sons.
That is very special.
The team flew home Saturday morning...and Coach planned this schedule---where the team would have to put this game behind them in a hurry. They have got to begin practice and preparation immediately for Stillman College. They roll into Allen Arena on Monday night for a 7:00 pm tip-off. Our coverage on the Lipscomb Sports Network begins at 6:45 pm at www.lipscombsports.com
Time for me to get our crew up and heading toward Mocksville to spend the rest of the weekend with my parents before heading back across the mountains to middle Tennessee for Monday's game.
It is too early in the season to FINISH...however---with every game...we will FINISH a task...and I think the team FINISHED a lot of things with this game...but it will be March..before we can completely FINISH our goals! However, the Journey has begun...and it was a great experience coming to “Blue Heaven"!
Check this one off the old “bucket list" because you can now officially..."Put it in the Book"!
This is the first travel log for the 2010-11 Season. I plan to expand this year...and write a blog/log even for some home games. I hope you enjoy following the Bisons this season. Be sure to particpate by emailing your thoughts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the Babbling Bison on Twitter. Our 2010-11 Journey is about to begin...and the road to the NCAA starts in Chapel Hill at the Univeristy of North Carolina! The 8th (or 9th depending on which poll you look at) ranked Tar Heels host our Bisons on Friday November 12th---our coverage on the Lipscomb Sports Network begins with our Countdown to Tip Off at 5:15 CST! Now enjoy the Journey!
The Journey Begins.
Coach Sanderson has used that phrase several times today...as he addressed the team at practice in the Dean Smith Center this evening...and again after dinner at Jim Bar-B-Que...just before the team returned to the Aloft Hotel here in Chapel Hill.
The 2010-11 college basketball season is about to begin---tomorrow evening as the Bisons take on the 8th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels at 6:00 pm Nashville time with our coverage on Lipscombsports.com at 5:15 pm CST.
This is a “Bucket List" trip for Justin, Benjamin and myself.
I have been a diehard Carolina fan for years. To be honest---I have two teams---Carolina and Lipscomb! Growing up just 100 miles from Chapel Hill...in Mocksville, NC...I have been a Tar Heel fan since birth. As the Carolina fight song goes, “I am Tar Heel born, Tar Heel bread and when I die...I will be Tar Heel dead!"
I have never pulled against the Tar Heel men's basketball team.
Tomorrow will be my first time not to wear the “Carolina Blue" and root for the heels. (A few years ago I cheered against the Carolina softball team---when Lipscomb played them and again when the Lady Bison basketball team traveled to Chapel Hill!)
I have been warned by the coaches and the players...not to have anything with CAROLINA on it on me or near me...when we enter the Dean Smith Center for Friday's game! No Problem. We are all purple and gold this weekend.
For Justin, Benjamin and I...our journey began Wednesday night---when we load our Tennessee Car and Van---van and headed to Oak Ridge. We spent the night with Barbara's parents. As we enjoyed breakfast this morning...Benjamin thanked them for our “Bed and Breakfast" and then we were back on the road again for our four (4) hour drive to Mocksville, NC---where we would enjoy lunch with my parents. After lunch it was on to Chapel Hill!
My wife, Barbara...daughter Bethany...and Benjamin's girl friend Elizabeth Hartman will fly in tomorrow morning...and they will be joined by other family members for tomorrow night's historic game for the Bison faithful!
We arrived at the hotel...about an hour before the team met to go over the scouting report. Coach Jay Walton provided the scouting report and led the team through highlights, etc. Ryan Daly had a special two (2) minute video to help kick-off the season. Later Ryan and I would do a video and a video interview with coach Sanderson...for the Bison Facebook and web sites.
For years the boys and I have talked about...and dreamed of the day that Lipscomb would play Carolina. Coach Sanderson and I have talked about this type of Match-up! After Brian Wright signed to play with Lipscomb---while his big brother was on Carolina's team (before he went Pro)---I thought a Carolina-Lipscomb game...would be a game made in “Blue Heaven"...that should be played in Allen Arena or the Bridgestone “rubber rink" in downtown Nashville!
However we are headed to the Dean Dome---Friday night!
As a teenager...I dreamed of doing ‘play by play' for Carolina! I can remember listening to the final broadcast (I even made a reel to reel tape of the broadcast) by Bill Curry---before he turned the mike over to Woody Durham---the Voice of the Tar Heels---for the past 4O years! I have listened to hundreds of Woody's broadcast. I got to meet him several years ago...on a trip to the Dean Smith Center to the see the Heels! I was doing some fill in work at WSM radio in Nashville...doing sports fill in for Wes Durham (Woody's son---who was the voice of the Vanderbilt Commodores. He is now the play by play announcer for Georgia Tech.)
About 30 or so years ago...I sent Woody a resume tape (video actually) looking for a TV job at WFMY Channel 2 in Greensboro. I think I also send him a few play by play tapes...but no job...and I remained in Nashville...and made my transition from WTVF Channel 5---to Lipscomb and then to Brentwood Hills.
Tomorrow, the boys and I will be just a couple of seats down from one of my broadcast idols...as we call the Lipscomb-Carolina game! The three of us are excited about being courtside tomorrow.
Tonight...during practice...we were going in the press room...walking down the hallway by the Carolina locker room...under the bleachers...through the tunnels...taking tons of pictures...and taking in the flavor of being on the court...that so many of our favorite players had played!
It took me a few tries...but I final hit a hook shot from the corner!
The players enjoy kidding me about the “baby blue" color...and they are making sure that we are all LIPSCOMB on this trip. They did ask me about why are they called Tar Heels? I started quoting the legend---that it began with the Revolutionary War (Some say that war-others say the Civil war---but all for the same reason)...as explained in this bit from the internet:
The origin of North Carolina's nickname is grounded, at least in part, in one of the state's major products during the Colonial Era -- tar. The tar was made by slowly burning the wood of longleaf pine trees. One legend attributes the name to the laborers who walked out of the woods with the sticky black substance on their shoes. Other stories go back to the Revolutionary War, when North Carolina soldiers continued marching after wading through a river coated with the viscous liquid.
We like the explanation on the state's official web site for its colorful and imaginative dialog. It traces the nickname's source to the Civil War. Retreating soldiers left a column of North Carolinians to battle the enemy alone. Later, the North Carolinians met the fleeing troops and told them for the next battle we'll put tar on your heels to make them stick. Gen. Robert E. Lee, on hearing the story, reportedly exclaimed, "God bless the Tar Heel boys."
Over the years, North Carolina has been known by many nicknames, including the Turpentine State, the Land of the Sky, and the Old North State. But the nickname Tar Heel has stuck -- just like tar on a soldier's shoe.
By the way...it is not just the nickname for the Basketball team...it is like VOLUNTEER...it is the name for all North Carolina residents---we are all Tar Heels...even those folks from down the road at DOOK!
A young broadcaster I dreamed of working for Carolina Sports Network. While in high school---during the summer of my junior year---I attended a two week ‘Radio and TV Institute" at UNC...and I thought that I might come here and major in Broadcasting. I loved the institute...and the campus and the university town...but I knew I needed to attend a “Christian College"! My fellow Tar Heel...and best friend, Geoffrey Sikes---decided that we would go to Nashville and attend Lipscomb. We were college roommates for four years---I got a chance to announce “intramural tackle football games" ---then Lipscomb Baseball and Basketballs Games---I started writing for the BABBLER as the “Babbling Bison"-I started working part-time at the old “WMAK-1300AM"---then in the mid-70's I started doing Lipscomb ‘play by play'...and as they say...the rest is history.
Friends like Mark French, Alan Banks, Jerry Meyer, Steve Flatt, Wil Thornthwaite, Andy Lane, Jim Fitzgerald, Kevin Kolbe, Scott Shannon, Ricky Frawley, Matt Fulks, Brent High, Chad High, Greg Eubanks...and others have joined me in the broadcast booth through the years.
Now, I have the pleasure of working alongside my two sons. What a special feeling...that is hard to explain. We have a great time...preparing...sharing notes...and then broadcasting together!
I have asked Bethany if she wants to join the team...but she hasn't agreed yet!
I have been well blessed. God has been good to me.
Lipscomb was the perfect place for me.
I have often wondered how my life would have turned out...if I had remained in NC...and continued in the broadcasting profession???
Well, I would have never been a BISON!
And we all know..."Once a BISON, always a BISON"
The ole ‘Babbling Bison' will proudly put on the headphones tomorrow night...flanked by both of my sons to call a game in the Dean Smith Center on the Campus of the University of North Carolina---As the Tar Heels take on OUR BISONS!
It is time for the BISONS to FINISH!...but first ...
The Journey must begin! It begins Friday night in Chapel Hill...and you can ‘Put it in the Book'!