VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE
BUSY WEEK...ANOTHER BIG DAY
November 22, 2008
I apologize for not writing sooner. Things have been a little hectic this week...but what a week for the Green and Gold! To recap...
We drove down last Saturday to New Orleans to watch the Blazer football team end three years of road frustrations with a big win over Tulane. Meanwhile, the UAB basketball team opened the season with a good win at Troy that same afternoon. After taking care of the Green Wave, we drove back to Birmingham, unpacked, repacked, and got on a plane to Arizona on Sunday morning.
The Blazer basketball team was fortunate to be invited to play in the NIT Season Tip-off, and the first two rounds for the Green and Gold would be played at the University of Arizona's McKale Center. It was my first trip to the desert, and boy, was it nice. Temperatures in the 80s during the day...cooling off to about 50 at night...hard to beat in mid-November.
Mike Davis watched his team come from behind on Monday night against a well-coached, disciplined Santa Clara squad. That set the stage for a meeting with the host Arizona Wildcats on Tuesday night. WHAT A GAME! A sensational start led to a 10-point halftime lead for the Blazers. It remained a double-digit cushion for the Green and Golf for a good part of the second half, but the Wildcats wouldn't go away. Missed free throws by the Blazers nearly led to disaster, but Arizona was there to lend a helping hand...or hands, in this case. If you didn't see it, it's really hard to believe what happened in the final 30 seconds. Two mind-numbingly dumb fouls by 'Zona helped UAB escape with a 72-71 win.
Now, the Blazers can look ahead to a trip to New York over Thanksgiving...but NOT BEFORE THEY TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS TODAY!!! UAB visits Old Dominion this afternoon, and if the Blazers want to truly enjoy the trip to Madison Square Garden, they need to play well in Norfolk, Virginia, at 3 PM today. You can hear the game in Birmingham on WUHT-FM "HOT" 107-7.
As that is going on, we'll be setting up at Legion Field for the final home football game of the season. A total of 14 Blazers will be honored prior to kick-off in Senior Day festivities. It should be a wonderful night for football, and I hope you're planning on coming out to see if UAB can make it a two-game win streak. East Carolina pays a visit, and the Pirates are hunting their first-ever win in Birmingham. They can also wrap up the East Division crown with a win tonight. Let's get behind the Green and Gold and help them play the role of spoiler AND, more importantly, send those seniors out in style. Kick-off is at 6 PM, and we'll be on the air with pre-game starting at 4:30 PM live from Blazer Village just outside the north end of Legion Field.
Next week, it gets crazy again. The basketball team heads to NYC on Monday night. They'll play Oklahoma at 8 PM central time on Wednesday night. Our coverage starts at 7:30 PM, so that means no call-in show next week. Boston College and Purdue round out the NIT field. The consolation game is at 12:30 PM on Friday, and the championship game tips at 2:30 PM central time.
While the basketball Blazers will be trying to win the title at the Garden, the UAB football team will head to Orlando next weekend for the final game of the 2008 season. I don't ask for any sympathy because of the busy schedule. I've got the best job in the world. I do ask you to cross your fingers...say a little prayer...for good weather next week! Travel can be difficult in prime conditions. Foul weather only adds to the anxiety...I look forward to possibly seeing some snow flakes in New York...and bright sunshine in Orlando! A perfect combination to spend the following week swilling Nyquil sprawled out on the sofa recovering!
Have a great weekend...hope to see you later at Legion Field...and if we don't "talk" before hand, have a wonder and safe Thanksgiving.