Friday, March 16, 2012

Tonight is Team No. 45: The Dallas Stars

Yes, my dear readers, I have some exciting news for you and that news is that right now, for the first time ever, I am actually in Texas, which most of the residents seem to think is its own country and may as well be one. Actually to be honest, I haven't noticed too many thinks to make me overwhelmed by the Tex-ish nature of things. I've spent most of the last 36 hours or so hanging out in my friend Nomaan's apartment and watching the NCAA Tournament on multiple devices at once.

Don't worry, people. I'm going to get out and see this fair city at some point.

I will note, however, that I have had some uniquely texan experiences so far, among them seeing a huge sculpture of herding cattle, I think, that appears to be downtown, and a conversation with multiple people sporting long southern drawls asking me about my "yankee accent" and informing me that, unfortunately, I won't be here long enough to be Texas-ized. That right there is a damn shame. However, I will be here long enough to take a nice chunk out of that all important voyage to see every team that we foolish Americans can be coaxed into getting drunk while watching, and by that I mean Team Nos. 45 and 46 will be stricken off the list of 122 this weekend. I am also trying to convince Nomaan to drive three and a half hours each way to Oklahoma City on Sunday to see the Thunder host the Trailblazers that night, but I don't think that one's going to happen, and, well, it's probably the wise move.

I am quite excited about tonight's game, however, as Nomaan and I will go see the Blackhawks, one of only two teams both Nomaan and I actually care about, visit the Dallas Stars, a team I kind of liked when I was 8 and now have absolutely no emotional opinion of one way or another. I was vaguely excited about seeing where Jason Arnott's double-overtime Cup-clincher of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final took place, and then I remembered that the Stars' home of American Airlines Center, was, in fact, not the Stars' home arena back in 2000 as they were finishing their second-to-last season at the old Reunion Arena.

So much for that.

That said, I'm always excited to a) go to a hockey game, period, b) see the Blackhawks, c) see a new team and building. Tonight I get to do all three, so even if a pivotal part of Devils franchise history has been bulldozed to the ground, and it should be a damn good time. Also, apparently we're going drinking in some part of Dallas called "Uptown" afterward. I don't really know what that means, but I'm sure it'll be a fun time so long as I have the energy for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, which is apparently a big deal around here.

Of course, after tonight's trip to the American Airlines Center, tomorrow night I get to do it all over again. Saturday night the Spurs visit the Mavericks and I will be there for a rare NBA tilt. Yes, people. I do go to basketball games once in a while. Nomaan, who is quite the basketball fan, albeit a Bulls fan, is probably far more excited for that than the hockey game, and since he's giving me a couch to sleep on I can't really argue with him.

Also, perhaps most importantly, I saw some SMU student at a bar last night with a polo shirt tucked into his jeans and a leather belt with a brass buckle that featured a cattle skull and the word "Texas" on it. So basically, from every angle humanly possible, this is looking like an extremely productive weekend.
And speaking of productive, before I leave you all today I feel obliged to give you an update on just how my NCAA bracket, which I expect to suffer greatly, is doing so far. The answer, in case you're wondering, is, well, not that bad actually. I got the first eight games of the Tournament right, and I did suffer some unfortunate losses when New Mexico State failed to deliver on the upset I had predicted against Indiana and Gonzaga absolutely brutalized West Virginia, but I did hit on my biggest upset of the day, VCU over Wichita State, I went 13-3, and my entire Sweet Sixteen is still alive and kicking. Texas appears on the verge of possibly knocking off Cincinnati in what would be a massive comeback in the first game today -- as well as one I did not call for in my bracket, but the long-term ramifications of that one would be minimal for me. I think I'd survive.

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to sit down and watch that potential comeback. After all, I've blathered on long enough.

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