Harvard (84) vs. Howard (71) 01/21/19

Game #78 of 353 22% complete

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My day started off with a visit to Lincoln’s cottage located on an Armed Forces retirement complex. Lincoln lived here during the summer months and commuted back and forth to the White House and the Capitol. The cottage was reconstructed according to the original dimensions but did not contain too many artifacts. The meat of the tour was mostly in the Visitor Center viewing displays about Lincoln’s decisions that were made in the cottage like the Emancipation Declaration. It is worth a visit if you ever are in the Washington DC area.

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I thought it was a weird matchup having Harvard and Howard play each other. They’re not in the same league and play different opponents. However on Martin Luther King Day, it was great to see both teams interlocking arms during the national anthem. Kamala Harris who just announced her presidential run gave the opening remarks on the video board. She surprised everyone in the crowd later by walking around and saying hello.

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The Burr Gymnasium is an ideal place to see a ball game. It is all one level but oval-shaped and slanted down toward the court in Coliseum type of setup. The place was packed because many people have the day off. The game was highlighted with the very energetic pep band and dance team. They were a show unto themselves during the intermissions.

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Harvard had too much discipline for the Howard Bisons today. Their crisp passing and 3-point shooting kept the Bisons at bay during the whole game. The Crimson`s Ivy league style of play was probably confusing to the Bisons who do not see that type of offense too often.

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I did a good deed today. I caught a t-shirt thrown by the cheerleaders. In my enthusiasm in catching the shirt, I kind of ripped it out of an old lady’s hand sitting next to me. I can tell she was disappointed so I gave her the T-shirt. Her daughter said that made the old woman very happy.

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My mission in Washington D.C. is complete.

Next game: Uconn at UCF 01/31/19

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Lafayette (84) vs. American (79) OT 01/19/19

Game #76 of 351 21% complete

This game is the first of a three game swing through our nation’s nation’s capital. Should you ever find yourself near the American University campus, do yourself a favor and walk along Nebraska Avenue towards the center of Tenleytown. A good 20 minute walk from Bender Arena past the Department of Homeland Security and beautiful historic homes through Tenley Circle is an excellent pregame warmup.

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As I stated in an earlier post, I am resolved to eat healthier on my journey. I searched for vegan food near American University and found a plethora of choices. The one that piqued my interest was Beefsteak subtitled “Vegetables Unleashed” – an oxymoron to say the least. The menu had burgers, salads and warm veggie bowls. I chose the Souper Stew with the ingredients as follows: spinach,  onion blend, rice, spicy tomato sauce, chickpeas, corn nuts, sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and pimento. Here is the problem. This dish was excellent and would do it all over again but I was hungry a half hour later. How do you get filled if you do not eat a burger, milkshake and fries? Fortunately, a box of popcorn at the game saved the day. One more challenge to work on on my journey!

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As I sat down in my chair back seat eagerly awaiting the start of the game, I was jolted by the arrival of a large man sitting down in my row at the opposite end. It was one of those seat constructions where a movement by anyone in the row is felt by everyone else in the row. My annoyance with each jostle in these kind of seats builds towards all humans as the game goes on.

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I have peculiar ways about judging an arena. At halftime, I like to get up and walk around the arena and view any historic crap hanging on the walls. If I can`t get to the other side of the arena because there are curtains blocking my way and I have to actually cross to the other side by going down to court level to cross, it is a black check mark against the venue. Enough said!

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This is the second time seeing the Lafayette club this year watching them host an overtime loss to Sacred Heart in December. Despite their 4-12 record, I love how this team plays. Their leading scorer is Justin Jaworski a 6 foot 1 inch guard from Pennsylvania who is fun to watch. You can tell that he is a gym rat spending hours in the gym honing his game. He is quick and shifty using head fakes and misdirections to keep his defenders off balance. I expect him to be on the Patriot first team all league at the end of the season. The Leopards are missing a big muscle guy underneath to do any real damage in the league but they still are fun to watch. Perhaps the overtime win today will turn around the season.

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If you ever have a chance to see comedienne Heather Macdonald, you will see a funny lady. My daughter and I traveled to Arlington to take in her show after the game. Her routine about her husband taking the emergency aisle seats to get more leg room is priceless. She does not want the responsibility that goes with it mentioning that she would the first one out the door waving to her fellow passengers shouting “Goodbye bitches!”. We laughed the whole night long.

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New game: Duquense at George Washington 01/20/19

Duquense (91) vs. George Washington (85) OT 01/20/19

 

Game #78 of 353 22% complete

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I have been on a couple of trips recently where I was staying overnight in a private residence. The owner was working and could not meet me early in the day to hold my bag. Such was the scenario on this trip with my daughter. I discovered an app called Vertoe that hooks you up with small vetted businesses that hold your bag for $5.95 a day. I have used Vertoe two times in D.C. using a Chinese cleaners and a gourmet deli. These kind of UBER apps providing on demand services are the wave of the future.

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So a word of warning to fans wanting to catch a game at the Charles Smith Arena to see a George Washington game.  As you can see from the picture, a first row seat in section 214 provides a rail to partially block your view of the court. I assume that this is the case with any front row in the upper section. We made nice to the usher and moved down to a center court seat in the lower section. For the second day in a row, I was accompanied by my DC resident friend Gregory who writes for Stadium Journey.  He loves college basketball as much as I do.

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I saw the largest human being ever on a college basketball team. Duquesne freshman Dylan Swingle is 6’11” and weighs 300 pounds. He is not fat either just huge. I can not imagine what he did last year to opponents in high school at Chillicothe, Ohio. Unfortunately, he never saw a minute of court play today.

Red Auerbach was a graduate of George Washington and is commemorated with a flag and a plaque.  Another unrelated fact is the GW court has a white background of the Capital and White House.

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So on my travels, I enjoy picking out freshman from mid majors and look for a star in the making. Keep your eye out for Duquense freshman Sincere Carry. He looks like Tyreke with a full beard and the appearance of a 25 year old. As a Mr. Ohio finalist, this kid was the glue for the Dukes who made several big shots and ran the offense distributing some excellent passes. GW fell behind huge at the beginning of the game but fought back to send it to overtime unfortunately losing in the end. This was my second OT game in a row.

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Next game: Harvard at Howard 01/21/19

Seton Hall (80) vs. Georgetown (83) 02/10/18

#60 of 351  17% complete

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I have reached a milestone with game #60. When a golfer hits his age, it is considered a noteworthy event. I will never attain that goal but I did achieve game #60 at the age of 60.  I also had the pleasure of meeting up with Gregory Koch who lives in the D.C. area. He is a fellow traveler on the college basketball circuit and is a helper on the Sports Passport site.

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I did visit this arena many years ago when Georgetown played UCONN. You may ask why did I not include that game in my Operation 351 journey. The reason is that although I know I was at the game, I don’t remember when and have no physical evidence that I attended. You may be thinking “Who Cares?” but if I ever do reach the 351 mark, I want no questions asked about the veracity of each visit.

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The gentleman above takes out this cardboard Georgetown sign and whirls it around like a man advertising a furniture sale on a seedy street corner. His unbridled enthusiasm for such a mundane task led me to snap his picture.  I am all for fan traditions so keep on trucking my friend.

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I love Seton Hall as a sleeper during March Madness. They are a senior laden group led by Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez and Angel Delgado. These guys have played together for four years and are playing good basketball these days. However, the star for the Pirates today was sophomore Myles Powell who was unconscious from three point land. Powell was the high scorer of the game with 25 points.

That being said, this was Georgetown’s night with a much needed win. They had a 17 point lead in the first half but Seton Hall slowly ate away at it. With the score tied at 80,  Marcus Derrickson of Georgetown hit a three point shot. He was fouled but miss the foul shot. Seton Hall’s last second three point shot by Powell clanged off of the rim.

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It was very cool to drive by the Capitol and the Pentagon on my back to the hotel near Dulles. At this point, I usually insert a picture of the final scoreboard. I thought that I took a picture but I do not see it on my phone. There was a lot of excitement at the end so I blame it on that.

Next game :  George Mason at Lasalle 02/17/18