Saturday, March 1, 2008

Disappointment in BG

I took a road trip to Bowling Green, Ohio to see Kent State play Bowling Green, aka BG or BGSU. Where is Bowling Green? It is in northwestern Ohio along I-75 about 20 miles south of Toledo, about an hour or so south of Detroit I think. Bowling Green State University and Kent State University are sister schools; they were founded on the same bill (known as the Lowry Bill) in 1910, so they have somewhat similar histories. I had never been to Bowling Green before and I wanted to see a road game, so I figured why not. My sister Katie came with me and one of my best friends Michelle, a fellow KSU alum who just happens to live just north of BG near Toledo, came too. A good number of Kent State fans made the 2.5 hour trip across the state. I was a bit surprised to find out the attendance was a measley 1,400+ and I'd say somewhere between 200 and 300 were Kent fans. The disappointment was how Kent State played. After their magnificent win over St. Mary's last Sunday on national TV, the Flashes were outplayed by a BG team they easily beat in Kent back in January (63-49 Kent win). The final score was 89-83 BG and while Kent State is still in the drivers seat in the MAC, it obviously hurts their ranking (they won't be ranked after this!) and their chances of getting to the NCAA tournament without winning the MAC tournament. There's just something about the I-75 corridor that causes Kent to play poorly. They opened the season with a loss at Detroit, then lost in February to Toledo, and now to BG, all three teams being below .500 teams currently. ACK.

So The good thing, at least for me, was that first, I got to see my friend Michelle again and spend time with Katie. I haven't seen Michelle since early last April when I stopped at her place on my way home to Kent from Idaho. The second thing was that I was able to see BG's Anderson Arena for the first time ever. It's a classic old-time college arena, but it doesn't seem to be maintained all that well. At least it has good sightlines and even the worst seats there aren't that bad. I was wondering if the school had any renovation or replacement plans for it and I found out at halftime that a local family has donated $8 million towards a new convocation center, so Anderson Arena's days are numbered. It also makes me wonder if Kent will pursue a new center soon. While I have fond memories of the MAC Center, it is far behind most facilities at this level (though it is better than the two other arenas I've been in- BG's and Akron's). I would like to see the MAC Center renovated to be an all-chair arena (now it's almost all bleachers) and used for the sports that don't draw as many people like wrestling, gymnastics, volleyball, and even women's basketball. Kent State needs a larger arena where the men's team (and probably the women's too) can play and can attract other events from outside the campus to Kent.
Anyway, the University of Akron's James A. Rhoads Arena still ranks as the worst arena I've been to, plus I attended a game at Copley High School the other night and wasn't too impressed with their gym (which is used every year for high school basketball sectionals because it has a large capacity). Both gyms have the same viewing problems in their balcony sections, so a large group of people have obstructions in seeing the game if they are sitting there, particularly in the forward rows of the balcony.

*Picture notes: from top to bottom- 1. Katie, Me, & Michelle after the game; 2. Inside Anderson Arena at Bowling Green State University from our seats prior to gametime; 3. Another view inside Anderson Arena. It is certainly a unique layout; 4. Inside Copley High School's main gym from my seat, about 2/3 up the balcony. As you can see, even as high as I was, the railing went right through the middle of my view and the ceiling is pretty close too; 5. Another view from the balcony at Copley High School. Here you can see how much of the floor is cut off for those fans sitting in the front rows of the balcony.

1 comment:

Becca said...

oh yeah, i have a blog account too. soubrettesrock@