San Antonio, Part Two!
Tuesday I woke up at 7:30 without an alarm, still unused to the time change from CT to TX. I usually get up at 8 here, and with breakfast at 9, I laid in bed starving for about twenty minutes before I realized that CD had eaten breakfast before the team had gotten down there, so if she can do it, I can too.
I dressed and made my way down to the hotel restaurant, called Achiote. I greeted the very sweet omelette stand man and turned to face a veritable sea of orange uniforms. Apparently Tennessee’s breakfast time was earlier than ours to accommodate everyone on equal time. I didn’t mind this, but it was slightly strange to see them and us in the same room again. The only slightly scary moment came when I went to get my omelette and realized that I wouldn’t be able to reach the salsa without knocking directly into Pat Summitt. I decided to wait. I may be a UCONN Husky but I am also polite.
After breakfast, the team and I went on a walk (led by CD waving a banana of all things) to see the Alamo. It is a gorgeous building, one that everyone should see eventually. However, it is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I imagined this gigantic structure out in the middle of a field. It’s located across the street from a Ripley’s Wax Museum and a Fudrucker’s, so the romance and magic of the place is kind of killed. But it was still fascinating to walk into the makeshift museum and see the different forms of weaponry, and read about the history of the battle of the Alamo. CD had the great idea to tell the team, “I want all of you to pick up a fact about the Alamo.” Now, CD is famous for her pop quizzes, so the team took this to heart. I decided to do it too. My fact is pretty simple: The Alamo’s original name was the Mission San Antonio de Valero. Others had more interesting facts; Kaili told me hers was that Texas is the only state allowed to raise its flags the same height as the Capitol because at one time it was its own country.
After the trip and a short walk around the river (where Tiffany purchased a cowboy hat for eight dollars and wore it the rest of the trip), the team went to film and shootaround. Now, you all will stone me for this but I decided to opt out. I knew that I wouldn’t have time before the game to work out, so I took this time to hit the gym for a little bit. Afterwards, I ate lunch, and headed back down to the fitness room to lift. Dad was in there running along with our trainer, Rosemary, and he kept distracting me by waving his arms in the mirror. Most immature!
After a pregame where Maya did a flawless impersonation of MadTV’s BonQuiQui (“Don’t interrupt! RUDE!”), we loaded the bus and headed to the AT&T Center for the game. We watched a little bit of the TX Tech/Tennessee game and it was a combination of Tennessee being a better team, and TT playing lousy. Taber Spani is a very good player and it’s a shame she didn’t come to play here. But then again you can’t get them all.
Then our game started. We played well, but not flawlessly. There were a few points where we played fast, not quick. Dad is always quick to point out the differences between those two. When you play quick, your mind is where it needs to be and you can make smart decisions. When you’re playing fast, you get desperate and make stupid mistakes. However, when Maya got into the groove and Kelly got into our offensive sets, we settled down. And it wasn’t until later that I found out someone had gotten thrown out of the game for heckling! Who the heck does that at a women’s game?
How good is Kelly Faris? As good as she is on TV that is nothing compared to how strong of a player she is to watch in person. She reminds me of Jen Rizzotti, with a little bit of Shea thrown in (although Dad is of the opinion that Kelly is a better passer than Shea was as a freshman). Some of her steals were plays that most freshmen don’t have the guts to pull off.
I was sitting extremely close to the bench (but not on it directly, Dad hates it when coaches put their kids on the bench). Indeed, at one point Dad turned to yell and I thought spit was going to come flying at me like at a Gallagher comedy show. He’s the only coach I know of in women’s basketball (and I include the men’s coaches I know and love) that drops that amount of F-bombs. Most people find him a bit shocking to listen to when they sit behind the team. He is constantly coaching, constantly pushing, and constantly a perfectionist. When Kaili came out of the game for the last time after having fouled that kid, Dad did not yell, because she was doing the right thing and the ref had called it unfairly. He gave her a little encouraging slap on the back and said “It’s okay, that’s better. That’s better!”
At one point during the game I was compulsively Tweeting and saw that Rebecca had Tweeted at me saying Dad had fixed his wedgie during their halftime interview. I was entirely grossed out but also really amused. Then my phone began to vibrate out of control. By the end of halftime, I had 50 new followers on Twitter, all because Rebecca had told me about Dad’s wedgie. The power of the Lobo Tweet is a mighty power indeed.
Also, that block by Maya was even more epic in person. I believe I stood up and fistpumped. If it was caught on camera I may relocate to Guadalajara.
After the game I visited with Kelly’s parents and Meghan’s Mom, and went to wait for everyone. Since it wasn’t a tournament game, there were only one or two journalists waiting to interview Dad so it wasn’t a long time before everyone was ready. Still, I decided to walk back to the bus before the team majority, and I was joined by Jacquie for that little trip. Once we got on the bus, she received a call from Lorin (Lorin did not make the trip as she had to study for a midterm that day).
We got back to the hotel around 11:45 and I skipped pregame to head upstairs to pack and sleep. I whiled away the time by watching youtube clips of the new season of So You Think You Can Dance. I like that Ryan, the ballroom dancer. Big muscles, and he can move like a dream? Sign me up please.
4:15AM came way too soon. I stumbled out of bed and brought my stuff down to the bus. Dad was leaving on a later flight to go recruit in Chicago but he had told me the night before he would get up anyway to see us off. I didn’t exactly believe him. Dad’s the type that when he says he’ll be ten minutes early, he’s five minutes late. So you can imagine my surprise when he popped up on the bus before we left, Starbucks coffee in hand, wearing Tiffany’s cowboy hat. He came and sat with me for a little bit before he left, giving me his car keys and a kiss on the head. I didn’t want him to go, as his shoulder was a much better resting spot than the side of the bus window.
I wish I could tell you that I passed out during the two flights, that my trip back to CT was spent in dreamland. This is not the case. I cannot sleep for the life of me on flights. I used to be able to; when we traveled back from Hawaii in 1995 I sat down on the plane and woke up in Chicago with my head buried in Nykesha Sales’ shoulder and Mom offering me orange juice. Therefore, I spent the entire first flight (and much of the second) watching the recent BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller. I loved Miller’s interpretation of Knightley, who is my favorite Austen male (sorry, Darcy fans, I like my men more effusive!).
Once we got to Charlotte we all split up looking for something to bring on the second flight as our lunch. I ended up going with Meghan and Jacquie, and after a few minutes of wandering, they decided on Starbucks while I got the same lunch I had bought there on the way to San Antonio. I got back to the team and found them hunkered against a standing column at our gate, desperately trying to get more sleep. Only Caroline was succeeding, as she had brought one of those stuffed animal/pillow things.
The second flight was just as uneventful as the first. I attempted to sleep and failed miserably. When we landed I texted Mom that I was back in CT and would be home shortly. She, of course, texted back a request to pick up soup from our grocery store. I bet Kalana it would not be the only thing she wanted. Sure enough, ten minutes later Mom texted a whole grocery list.
Now, I must close. I have work tomorrow, and I can hear Dad watching game tape downstairs, grumbling and mumbling about everything on it. It’s a far cry from earlier when he was complaining about the lack of believability on Grey’s Anatomy. “He’s going with Yang?! This is why this show is fake! No way would that guy pick Yang over that other chick!”
Keep in mind this is a show where a doctor didn’t get her license stripped for cutting a man’s LVAD wire, yet this he finds faultlines in…
PS. On this day five years ago, the infamous Pacers/Pistons brawl colloquially known as the ‘Malice at the Palace’ took place. Ron Artest starred in the shenanigans, charging the stands after a cup was thrown at him. My face watching that was akin to Sebastian in The Little Mermaid when he sees Ariel singing to Prince Eric. *JAWDROP*
PPS. The above event is not to be confused with the ‘Malice at the Palace II’ that occurred last year at the same place between the LA Sparks and the Detroit Shock. Apparently there is something about the Palace at Auburn Hills that makes people want to start throwing punches.