KU in Allen Field House

Last night Barb and I went to the Baylor vs KU Men's Basketball game in Lawrence.  This just a taste of what we saw and enjoyed. 

KU has started bus shuttles from a parking lot over by the soccer fields.  It is free and easy to park there.  It is also fun to see the anticipation on the faces of everyone as we move over to the field house.  I was worried that Baylor would be the first to break our home streak in 30 games.  I was reminded that Bill Self's Hawks and won more BIG XII Conference Championships than they have lost games at home.  The bus drops us off in front of the Field House.

It really doesn't look like the new and shiny places we have been. It is a typical limestone building found all over Kansas.  There must be something about a house made famous by coach Fog Allen.  I am not going to say that there is a long tradition here but the only coach with a losing record here was the guy who invented Basketball - James Naismith.  As I watch the games across the rest of the BIG XII, I see empty seats all over the place.  I think there have been almost a thousand games here since there were any empty seats.

Warm Ups Prior to the Game
 We try to get there and watch both teams warm up.  We get to hear the hum of the people and the KU Pep band.  With about 5 minutes to tip off, the teams leave the floor and we get to cheer.  The cheerleaders raise their signs and shouts of Rock Chalk, Go KU go around the building The temperature and the spirits are way above the normal.  The teams come back out and the loudest cheer is for the coach Bill Self. The TV always shows the Bill Sefp for President sign in the student section The National Anthem is sung and the opposing team is introduced.  The students hold up pages of the Daily Kansan and pretend they are reading.  When that is done, the scoreboard thunders the KU record and the crowd gets to witness the record of the hawks right to the Miracle of Mario Chalmers to tie up the game with Memphis and on to the win by the Hawks.  The place is rocking by that time. The hawks are announced and the students tear their papers into squares and throw them in the air.  

Hawks On Guard

The crowd stands and cheers until the decibel reading on the scoreboard hits 120 Db.  Then the tip off.  I have witnessed many games there and have seen good ones and bad ones but it is always the hawks out there and we cheer wildly.  I was worried that Baylor who beat Texas Tech  by 28 points might just sneak in to Allen Field House and make it a long and sad night.  Not so much...  It was clear that Baylor wanted to drive in to the middle and score in the paint.  I think they took only three 3 point shots.  It was a block fest and the Bears only shot 20 some percent from the inside,  It was a slow game and both sides worked the clock for almost the full 36 seconds.  The hawks played for their best shots and made most of them count.

Half Way through the Second Half

With the clock winding down and the hawks ahead by almost 20 points the sound of Rock Chalk, Jay Hawk started from somewhere high up in the stands.  To a Jay Hawk fan it is a wonderful sound.  It must dishearten the opposing team to know they came here and gave their best only to have the hawks send them home with a loss.  This was Baylor's first loss in the conference.  That puts KU and K-State in first place today.  They get to play two games and it is not unusual to lose the game on the other team's home court.

Coming out of the field house is kind of a shock as the cold greets you at the door. We walk down to the bus and it is always warm and the ride back to the cars is full of smiles. It is wonderful to hear the lively discussion of the game.  

If you haven't ever been to a game at KU, put it on your bucket list and try to get there someday.  I promise you it will leave you smiling in your heart for a couple of days.  Just as a side noet it will leave you a little deaf for a couple of days also.


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