Game #73 of 353 20% complete
My cousin Brian and I started off the night at Abner’s for an old fashioned Philly cheese steak. Located near the Drexel campus, it came highly recommended by a coworker of Brian who is a Drexel graduate. Although the more famous Pat’s and Geno’s may be the hot tourists spots, Brian has had them all and said that Abner’s was equal to the task.
The wall at Abner’s was adorned with Drexel memorabilia. As you can see from the sign above and much to my surprise, Drexel is not part of the Big Five (otherwise it would be known as the Big Six). I had to research this and came upon the following article giving a good history of the Big Five – http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~dsodacp/about/bigfive.html.
Basically, Drexel does not share the history of the other schools. Also, it has become increasingly difficult to schedule non league opponents given the plethora of tournaments and increasing demands from leagues to increase their inter league play. Drexel is on friendly terms with the other schools and does play them on a regular basis.
The Palestra is a couple of blocks away from Drexel so it makes for a great weekend of basketball should they both be playing at home.
So this has to win the “coolest” entrance so far in my journey. The dragon eyes for the Drexel Dragons greet you as you make your way into the arena. As the Drexel team was introduced, two steam spouts blew behind the bench simulating a dragon’s breath. These were very cool special effects!
During the pre-game warm ups, the band, dance team and some random fans gathered around the Drexel team. They all did a group cheer and wished the team well. That was the first time I have seen that done.
The arena was sparse this evening of fans. Perhaps because the students were on break but I did not sense an excitement from the fans about the program. I will give kudos to the pep band for providing some encouraging sounds throughout the night.
I try to include the opening tip in all my blog posts. It is rare when I can time it with my crappy Apple 5S to capture both hands tipping the ball at the same time.
I spring for courtside seats when the price is reasonable which happens with small schools like Drexel. Although the view was great, there were times when I wanted to tell the referee to move out of the way.
Brian came up with a great observation during the game. He found out that Elon player Steven Santa Anna made national headlines last year for being tripped by Grayson Allen. The incident led a national shaming for Allen who followed up with a tearful apology. Santa Anna was clearly the best player for Elon tonight and is leading his team in scoring this year.
This game marks another milestone in the journey as all the Philly schools are now checked off.
Next game: Savannah State at Coppin State 01/05/18