On the spur of the moment and through the encouragement of many people, I took the plunge and decided to follow Creighton to Oregon for game 2 of the CBI Championship Series. I’m pretty pumped to put it mildly, while at the same time keeping my composure to not be cheering from press row. But know in spirit that I will be rooting on the Bluejays tonight in Eugene.
Since WBR will be one of the few Creighton representatives out in Oregon, I thought it would be fun to have running diary of the trip there and back just to share the experience, although short. Keep checking this page throughout the next few days and you might run into some interesting tidbits.
6:12 a.m. CST–Already in the terminal out at Eppley waiting to board my flight to Portland. I will have to say Omaha is a large enough city to live in and yet be through check-in and boarding pass checks in no time. First stop is Denver and then switch right away to fly to Portland. It should be an interesting trip since I was informed that I will be flying on a wi-fi enabled plane for this trip out. I will have to give it a try.
6:36 a.m. CST–One thing I will say is that airports love to stick it to you when it comes to food. There is one little island in Eppley that is your food destination, so obviously they have a monopoly. A Petits donut and a 12 oz. soft drink– $3.58. Ouch.
6:40 a.m. CST–I’m thinking about tonight’s game and the adjustments Oregon might be thinking of doing. I could see them trying to get Antoine Young in foul trouble as one adjustment. But I haven’t really seen teams too successful in that this season.
6:50 a.m. CST–Just thinking, if there is anything you want me to make sure and cover while I am out there that might be kind of unique, feel free to leave a comment. Well off to start boarding.
7:54 a.m. CST–Hey, I’m on the plane’s wifi flying at about 40,000 feet crossing Nebraska on the way to Denver. Flight was a little delayed taking off as they had to spray down the plane for some reason. But we still look like we will arrive in Denver on time. Good thing too since the connecting flight to Portland is about 30 minutes between.
It is definitely not a full flight. Actually have the full row of seats to myself. But maybe I smell funny or something because there are several rows with all three seats filled on each side and they don’t appear to be people traveling together. Weird stuff. A poor 2-year old was none too excited to fly and cried for the 20 minutes or so we waited before taking off.
7:58 a.m. CST–BTW for those wondering, the cost for wifi in the plane is $5, however even if you didn’t spring to have the full internet access, for free you can track the status of your flight and play some Sudoku or Crossword puzzles.
8:14 a.m. CST–Skymall is always interesting to look at. I mean, who can turn down an energy efficient Micathermic Heater that you can mount on your wall. It can be yours for $130. Or even the Eyestrain Reducing Computer Glasses for $70. They sort of look like the Gregory Echenique goggles they were handing out at one of the last regular season games.
8:27 a.m. CST–To answer CFA Jay’s question, there are not any other Bluejay fans on the flight that I can see. I will be interested to see how many might be at the game tonight and if they came from a long way or are locals. About to make our descent to Denver.
8:58: a.m. MST- Back in flight from Denver on the way to Portland. Maybe this is by design, but I was able to re-connect to the plane wifi without having to pay again. There are definitely a lot more people using the wireless on this flight as I have about 6 computers around me that are on it. A little more on this flight than the one to Denver, but still not completely full. The wireless is worth it for this flight as it is a 2 hour, 45 minute one. A lot of choppy air on this one.
Once I get to Portland I’ll be driving down to Eugene. I’m told that it is a beautiful drive, so I am excited for that.
I saw a couple people on this flight with some Oregon gear. However, they didn’t seem to be aware that the basketball team was playing a game tonight. The last I saw yesterday was that there were thousands of tickets available for the game tonight. I’m assuming there will be a big walk-up crowd for this one similar to the Creighton home games.
9:12 a.m. MST–I was looking at Statsheet from Monday’s game and the two of the referees that the MVC are one of the primary type of games they do. Any thoughts from anyone on whether the referees will have a Pac-10 feel to them tonight? Surprisingly the referees pretty much let the teams play on Monday night. Will it be the same tonight?
9:40 a.m. MST–A lot of people may not have thought Josh Jones three-point shot was a good idea Monday night with about 1:30 to go in the game putting the Jays up by seven. But he also hit two key three’s down the stretch against Davidson and his shot is on the mark the second half of the season. Since his midseason rejuvenation starting with the Indiana State game on January 16th, he has been on target from behind the arc shooting 29-of-59 (42.3%) including 19-0f-32 (59.3%) in the last 11 games.
9:51 a.m. MST–Max just posted up his Primer for tonight. Man, that is always a good read. Also, the Media Menu has been updated for ways to follow the game tonight including our live commentary from Matthew Knight Arena.
10:15 a.m. MST–So far on the flights today I have pretty much just looked at clouds, so no great spectacular views to report. It is interesting however to see the couple across the aisle from my psycho-analyze each other and they readily admit it.
10:28 a.m. MST–OK, here is the first picture of the day. The cabin of the plane:
10:00 a.m. PDT– We are about to head down to our final decent to Portland. After that, pick up the rental car and trek down to Eugene. It is about a two hour drive straight south on Interstate 5. I probably won’t post a whole lot here until I get into town (plus probably no wi-fi). So leave some comments if you want about the game, what I should check out along the way or in Eugene or anything else of interest.
1:27 p.m. PDT – Made it to Eugene and all checked into the hotel. The car rental place offered me an upgrade, but wanted to give me a minivan. Um, there is just me. So they gave me a Suburu Outback instead. The part of Portland I drove through had some neat architecture.
There was a lot more green pasture land on the trip between Eugene and Portland than I expected. There were a lot of big sheep farms as well.
I’m going to take a few pictures of where I am at and maybe grab some lunch before heading down to campus. Thanks for the suggestions. I may see if I can hit those places and snap a few photos as well before going to The Matt.
1:45 p.m. PDT– Turns out I am staying at the team hotel. I saw Coach McDermott and Coach Lutz in the lobby area and a bunch of other Creighton staff people out on the curb as well as the OWH’s Steve Pivovar while I was taking a few pictures of the area. I bet they didn’t get the price to stay here that I did.
2:37 p.m. PDT– I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Dickie Jo’s Burgers since it happened to be right down the street from the hotel. Not too bad. There were people milling around in there with their Oregon gear and I overheard a couple of people talking to each other about going to the game, but then decided they were doing something else as half didn’t know there was a game tonight.
I’m packing up to head over to campus to check out some things. After talking to a few Creighton people at the hotel, it sounds like the Matt Knight court is a little extreme to play on and that the center court line is a bit hard to see like I had suspected. I guess we’ll find out.
4:26 p.m. PDT–Took a tour around campus and got some shots of Hayward field and several of the Matthew Knight Arena on the outside. While I was on my tour, I ran into these guys. Maybe you have met them before:
I really like the shirt they are holding. Bruce Rasmussen and crew were walking around campus as well and took some time to pose for a picture.
I’m at the Matt now and I took a few pictures of the arena floor. Here is a close-up of center court. You really have to look closely to see the half court line.
Anyway, the media is placed in the upper right corner that won’t be seen on camera tonight.
BTW, coach Altman didn’t come back to Eugene until this morning. I had just gotten to Eppley and the Delta desk was calling Altman back to the counter. I thought I was hearing things, but had a friend that was flying out to Las Vegas at the same time and she heard it too. So he spent some extra time here in Omaha.
5:05 p.m.–It is still about two hours from tip. One thing I like about Matthew Knight Arena is that they have boards that are actually dedicated to stats. Too many times at the Qwest Center when it is time to look at the stats, there is some advertisement running on those boards. It seems to me there could be at least one board dedicated to just player stats throughout the game. Anyway, talking about boards. Here is the court scoreboard. It is huge:
And honestly a picture does not do it any justice. Take the Qwest Center scoreboard and make it about 3 times as big. Then you have the size of Oregon’s center court scoreboard.
5:38 p.m. PDT–Oregon players out on the court doing some shooting. Officially the floor isn’t supposed to be available for warmup until 6:02.
5:45 p.m. PDT–Lawson, Runnels, Dorwart, McDermott, Young and Korver out warming up.
6:20 p.m. PDT–Jays are doing a dunkfest right now during warmups. Student crowd is starting to fill in. The rest of the fans, not so much, but still 40 minutes until tip.
Until tip, enjoy the photo gallery put together today.
Join the fun over at our live blog from Matthew Knight Arena.