Fairfield (70) vs. William & Mary (47) 12/12/2021

Game #102 of 358 29% complete

This was the third game on this trip interrupted by a peaceful sleep Saturday night following 2 Saturday afternoon and night games 2 hours apart. I was hoping to visit the Civil War Museum in Richmond Sunday morning. Despite the web site stating that it would be open 9AM, I was greeted by an empty parking lot and a closed visitor center. COVID has struck again. I decided to head over to Colonial Williamsburg and stroll the tourist area. There were a few folks walking the grounds many with dogs on a leash. I was glad that I did not buy a ticket for the privilege of entering some important buildings with tour guides dressed up as a colonist because many of the buildings were closed. Anyway, it was a nice day to walk on this uncharacteristicly sunny December day.

I was lazy and did not do a Google map of the arena ahead of time. I simply looked at the address on the digital ticket which pointed to an address on Prince George Street. I saw this street on the tourist map and proceeded to walk over to it just to see where Kaplan Arena is. Much to my surprise, the address was for a bookstore which may be the source of tickets to the basketball game. In a sense of panic, I googled the arena to find it about 15 minutes away. I scurried back to the visitor’s parking lot and headed over to the arena stopping for lunch on the way.

Kaplan Arena checks off one of the boxes for the perfect arena to visit. The parking lot is free and next to the arena.

WIlliam & Mary has never made the NCAA tournament and has a very unattractive win/loss record over the years. These small schools who have not much success have always drawn two types of folks to the game:

  1. Senior citizen couples who can barely make it to their seats adorned in school colors.
  2. Mom and Dad with the kids looking for a cheap afternoon out.

Both of these group’s cheered for the Tribe no matter what the score which is great to see.

Speaking of the Tribe team name, I present to you the mascot for William & Mary. Is this what a “Tribe” looks like? The Tribe mascot is actually representing a Griffin – a mythical creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. You guessed it.  In 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association determined that William & Mary could keep its Tribe nickname but had to do away with its logo because it could be offensive to native Americans.

This game was quickly over with Fairfield dominating throughout. One can see the difference in physicality between the Fairfield men and the Willaim & Mary boys. I give the Tribe much credit for fighting all the way and never giving up. The crowd cheered for them right to the end.

I enjoy getting my steps in at half time walking around the perimeter of the arena. One bad check mark for this arena is that you cannot walk all the way around. One end is populated by a members only club with cushy seats, food and refreshments blocking the way.

My walk did include a look at the Hall of Fame wall. My eye caught one individual named Melville Bryant a football player from 1937. He had that look about him that probably made women swoon and men wanting to be him. His sly smile held many secrets.

I could find no history of him, but I was wondering if he died in WWII, became a successful businessman and raised a family or perhaps became a drunk living on the street. Here is a toast to you Melville!

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