TAMUCC 45 UTSA 75 12.21.12
There is an easy joke to make here. Something about the Apocalypse and the blowout and being in a city with terrible blight. I can’t find it right now. Kind of like how the Islander’s couldn’t find a way to score against the Roadrunners or stop the Mike Hale-Kannon Burrage show. This was my first UTSA basketball game this season for various reasons. You have often heard me yap about how busy I’ve been. These yaps, while probably annoying, are still no less true. So how did I find time to see the basketball team in old Kinney’s Trading Post? Well, given that UTSA has only played one home game this season, this was damn near the only opportunity to see them.
Still, a trip to Corpus on a cold winter’s friday night? I mean, this wasn’t even a conference game. This hasn’t even been a rivalry or anything. Well, this piece by Will Leitch inspired me. I could have watched this game on tv, online, or listened to Uncle Andy. I figured I’d enjoy some in-person Div-1 basketball on the cheap. It would just take a couple of hours and about $40.
I left work a couple of hours early (thanks boss!) and me and The Woman started the trek to the self-styled “Sparkling City by The Sea”. All my iphone-era road trips involve playing my favorite game: wikipedia-ing the destination town, and intervening spots along the way. This trip? Well there ins’t much between here and there folks. Such is Texas. I’ve travelled the El Paso-SA route, Dallas-SA, Dallas-Texarkana, SA-Corpus-South Padre, SA-Del Rio, and even North of SA wine country area routes. There is a whole lot of nothing in a whole lot of Texas. Corpus, is of course a mix of a beach-town and a port. The port is the fifth largest in the nation, the beach is far down the list of places I want to go in Texas. It is rocky, and stinky and the water looks yellow. The old downtown (which we drove through to find an ATM) is boarded up. The old theater, court house, and other various business are boarded up and ignored. It looks like every Life After People episode there is. The southerly part of town is where I assume most of the 400K people that inhabit the city live. I didn’t get a chance to go look.
I digress. If you haven’t been to CC you should go. Not because it is any great place to spend time, but because you should explore all of your surroundings. Go see your state.
I didn’t go there to see that stuff though. I went to watch basketball. I went to watch it specifically at American Bank Center. Someone told me it was new.* Upon seeing it I remembered I had been there before. It isn’t new, it just has been renovated twice since it was built in 1967. Last time I was there –in 2002 — it was undergoing that first one. I am not sure of what they did. I am sure that have it incredibly cold there now. The surprisingly decent-enough crowd did little to warm it up. I almost didn’t want to drink the Bud Lights I had. *Ed note: Thanks to El Runner for pointing out that the convention center is new, and I had done a poor reading of the source material. The arena is new. The old place was the Municipal Coliseum.
I left my jacket back in San Antonio, being the macho guy I am. I forgot that A) it is colder at night, B) the game is in a hockey arena, C) it is by the water. If San Francisco taught me anything, it is that life by the ocean means cold nights. I should have known better.
TAMU-CC has a better arena than UTSA and a worse basketball team than pretty much anyone. Mike Hale dribbled around effortlessly, Kannon scored easily, and Jeromie Hill floated around, collecting buckets and rebounds. It was easy. Our guys didn’t have to work hard to get open. When they found those open shots, they hit them. The defense swarmed the Islanders’ inexperienced attempts at offense. Those opportunities were turned into easy buckets on the other end.
It wasn’t pretty. It was fun for the 20 or so UTSA fans in attendance. The rest of the crowd? They sat like they were watching a bad team get beat like bad teams do. Only a drunk guy yelled occasional encouragement. “Bounce passes!”, he shouted, as their point guard turned it over. As if bounce passes were the key to unlocking their potential. Perhaps he meant “return to fundamentals of the game” or somesuch? Islander’s can be so cryptic.
I tried to watch the game as a pastime and not as a Blogger Guy. This way I enjoyed the game for the dunks and good play and wasn’t trying to put it all in the context of Brooks Thompson’s on-going program overhaul. I feel like I am always trying to validate UTSA hoops to people. I have consistently had to explain why they should be appreciated since back in my freshman year of college, when I visited during Christmas break and took my brothers to see a game at the Convo. So I won’t beat you down with more “you should appreciate how good this team is compared to xxx team” right now. Just know that if you lived in Corpus all you would have to watch is that terrible CC team that has been trending downwards for years now. San Antonio, for all the knocks it gets for being a quiet, sleepy little big city, is much more livelier than the ol’ Trading Post. The Convo may not be much to look at, or sit in, but it at least is warmer. Also, you get to watch Mike Hale ball out of control.
This season should be interesting.
Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter