Colgate (73) vs. Cornell (57) 11/11/18

#68 of 353  19% complete

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After a 4 hour ride from Connecticut, this venue met all the requirements for an relaxing afternoon. The parking lot was free and a short distance from the entrance. The ticket was cheap and close to the court. No traffic or lines were encountered.  It was a beautiful day to admire the rolling hillsides of the Catskills. All the check boxes were checked.

This game will almost complete for me all the schools in the Ivy League. For all you old Sports Passport fans, I would earn a “Ivy League” stamp. I am often asked “How did you get started doing this insane journey?”. I came across the Sports Passport site about 5 years ago.  As you attend each event, you can check in and record your visit. Stats are accumulated totaling up the number of games, venues, players, etc. There are supplemental functions like friends and earning badges. My 68 games are out there under the name “Operation351”.

The original Sports Passport site had college basketball badges for each state and each league completed. The current site pared down the badges to more general achievements much to my chagrin. There were also some specialty badges but one badge caught my eye. It was titled “351” which was earned when someone visited all 351 D1 venues. No one had earned the badge.  The light bulb went off in my head thinking about my love of travel and college basketball. So here am I 68 games later!

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I saw that fellow college basketball junkie John Witkowski tweeted that he was at the Cornell game. He titles his quest “Mission351” and is currently at 115 games. That is quite an achievement considering he is much younger than me and working full time. After exchanging tweets, it turns out that we were in the same row a few seats apart. We chatted at half time about upcoming plans and experiences with our travels. It is comforting to know that there are other crazies out there like myself. Safe travels the rest of the way John!

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Syracuse Jim Boeheim’s son Jim plays for Cornell.  Coach Jim and his wife were sitting one section over from me. I noticed that not one person came over to him during the game so I decided against playing the obnoxious fan part asking for a picture. See below for a picture of little Jim on the court and Big Jim and Mrs. Jim walking out to the parking lot.

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Cornell was hoping to go 3-0 for the first time in two decades but Colgate was the better team today, Colgate sophomore guard Jordan Burns was very impressive today slashing the lanes multiple times for layups. He also made some pull up jump shots to hold the Big Red at bay. BTW – Jimmy Boeheim did not have a good day so I suspect Dad was not in a good mood.

Did you ever go looking for one Waldo but found many?

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Next Game : Misericordia at Binghamton 11/12/18

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Cornell (65) vs. St. Peters NJ (62) 12/28/2015

#23 of 351

 

 

With all due respect to the residents of Jersey City, I can safely say that this will be my last voluntary visit to Jersey City. Stadium Journey had warned that finding a bite to eat around the campus would be tough but I was confident that there would be someplace to grab a burger and a brew. As I saw each potential eatery pass by with absolutely no parking anywhere to be found or blocked by construction paraphernalia, I drove through some sketchy neighborhoods before my hungry stomach settled on a Burger King with a parking lot.

With an attendance of 611 folks, the gym was not loud except for a Cornell parent sitting near by who cheered with exuberance for the entire game. To see that much excitement over a game with little national significance is one thing I love about college basketball. Passion for a local sports team is that one constant across the nation that knows no bounds defined by politics, nationality or religion.

There were two first for me in this game.

1). This was the first D-1 gym that I visited that did not have any seat-back chairs not counting the $50 courtside seats.

2). The St. Peter’s team threw out a t-shirt to the the crowd after being introduced in the starting lineup. More teams should do this.

The game was dominated by guards particularly Antwon Portley (St. Peters) and Robert Hatter (Cornell). Both guards were on the thin side but had great quickness and jumping ability. They were the perfect guards who excelled in this level of competition but would probably struggle in one of the higher echelon leagues. As I see more games, I begin to see the difference among player’s skill levels and why they are playing at the level they are.

I was impressed with Cornell’s fan base who made the trip down here. They easily out numbered the home crowd.

It was an awkward moment when fans were asked to stand and sing the St.Peters alumni song. I counted 6 fans participating.
Stadium Journeys: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/yanitelli-center-s556