Thoughts from the floor of Ford Field

By Jon

Recently, my sister did something that I am incredibly jealous and envious of — she sat on the floor at the NCAA championship game. Granted, the game was awful, but still a pretty cool oppurtunity nonetheless.

She begged Ryan and I to let her post something for weeks, and I finally relented. Here’s what she had to say …

Last night I was able to be a part of a record breaking crowd at the 2009 Men’s NCAA championship game. I’m Amanda (Jon’s sister) and I am a freshman student-athlete competing in track and field at the University of Detroit Mercy — host institution for the 2009 Men’s Final Four.

I will admit, when I first found out my school was hosting, I was kind of skeptical — more people came to my high school basketball games then a Detroit Titans home game, but I think UDM managed to put on a pretty good show this time.

We hosted a home meet Friday night and while I was inside Calihan Hall, there was a sudden commotion and police presence as the Villanova team arrived for a closed practice, entering through fire escape doors. Many tried to sneak into the arena, but as soon as some friends of mine reached the top of the stairs they were immediately found, yelled at and escorted out.

A few weeks ago I received an email from our athletic director, inviting us to watch a documentary and in turn receive the opportunity to be in Ford Field for the Final Four and Championship game. I was extremely excited, until my brother read the email and said that I wouldn’t receive actual tickets. Not many showed up so they started allowing students to sign up for this “opportunity.” They had 300 spots and Saturday they only took 218. However, come to find out, these tickets were for the student section on the floor.

I watched the MSU game Saturday and missed much the second game, as it was my best friend’s birthday. We headed downtown after the game and let me tell you, I have never seen anything in Detroit compared to this. Michigan State fans and their cheers could still be seen and heard. The fact that MSU is close and if you live in Michigan you either cheer for State or U of M only added to the excitement and bustle of downtown. Many of my Michigan State friends were ecstatic that they made it to the big dance.

Tonight I attended the Championship Game, sitting/standing in the UNC student section. Walking to the game numerous chants of go green go white could be heard and I would say it was probably close to 90% state fans, as was pretty much expected. When we got to our seats, the CBS sports desk was right beside where I was standing. During halftime, Magic Johnson walked right by and up to the desks.

After about the first 4 minutes, MSU was pretty much out of it. By halftime, the crowd had died down considerably, but the UNC students and pretty much one section of fans were still going strong, with their choreographed cheers and dances. While it obviously would have been much more exciting if the game had been close, it was still an extremely awesome once in a lifetime experience. When MSU was down by 13, the crowd picked up again, but kept being let down.

Walking back after the game, I kept imagining how different things would be if the Spartans had won. It was a pretty quiet and somber walk back to the bus to say the least.

One thing I was surprised about was that they didn’t advertise the 2010 Frozen Four more. I believe there was only one advertisement for it the whole game. However, I think that Detroit proved with this record breaking event that the Frozen Four is going to be a spectacle and a great event next year.

And by the way, I did get jeered by people all night for the Sabres loss…