Our ESPN GameDay Experience
Matthew and I had ordered tickets for the ESPN GameDay event at Rupp Arena held this past Saturday. When the tickets arrived, I saw that the seats were way up in the crow's nest, so I wasn't overly excited about going. Matthew, however, thinks Coach Calipari hung the moon and insisted that we attend.
As I drove down East Main Street toward Rupp Arena, Matthew shouted "Dad, Coach Cal is inside Dunkin' Donuts! I see him through the window. There's nobody else in there!" I immediately whipped our '87 Nova into a parking spot and we hurried into the shop. Coach was tweeting and talking on his phone, so we waited until he finished to approach him.
Matthew was thrilled to have his photo taken with Coach Calipari. Coach asked if we needed tickets to Gameday as he pulled some out of his pocket to give us. After letting him know that we already had tickets, I thought of the poor location of our seats and regretted not having taken him up on his offer. I would imagine he has access to some pretty good seats!
In addition to thanking him for the great job he has done coaching the team, I told Coach how much we enjoy watching his television show. We record the show on our dvr and watch it as soon as we arrive home from church each week.
When we made it back to our car, Matthew wished he had asked for an autograph. I gave him our tickets and an ink pen and sent him back to see Coach Calipari. Just as I had figured, Coach generously accomodated, much to Matthew's delight.
Rupp Arena was electric. Though our seats were crummy, the experience was fantastic. The 22,144 fans in attendance stood the entire time. Rece Davis, host of ESPN's College GameDay, said "We've never seen anything like this. This place is so special."
During the broadcast, ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, who has been voted "America's Sexiest Sportscaster" by readers of Playboy magazine, came up to the crow's nest to do an interview. What I had thought were bad seats ended up being the best seats in the house!