Some of My Top Anderson Arena Memories…
I’ve already written a lot about Anderson Arena in a previous post regarding my daughter, Andersyn’s, name… but there’s so much more to be said as we get closer and closer to “Closing the doors on the House that Roars.”
I’m just going to kind of go free-form, rapid-fire and stream-of-consciousness, so in no particular order:Earliest memory… I think I must have been about 8, because my mom pointed out my 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Hoover, sitting back a few rows and to the left of us (we were in Section L, Row 7, Seats 1, 2 & 3). These were the days of Rosie Barnes, Mike Miday, John Flowers, Dick Miller, Emzur Shurrelds…etc…
BG vs. MSU – I got there WAY early… I was walking into the arena with my bass and amp the same time the MSU bus was unloading. I actually walked in just in front of Steve Smith… held the door open for him, said hi to him, wished him luck and told him they were going down.
I remember seeing the lines of students outside of AA before that game, they stretched back to where the art building is now… A-freaking-mazing…
I can’t imagine anyone who was there forgetting this day. I was playing my bass guitar in athletic band for that game. There was an alley-oop play that (I’m not kidding you) gives me goosebumps every time I think about it. The lob pass from Kirk Whiteman on a break, from just inside half-court to Joe Moore… who had to get up at least 48″ or so to throw it down… I had the word “SLAM” on the back of my bass in masking tape so that I could hold it up over my head and show the crowd whenever there was a dunk (and there were lots in that Larranaga era). I think I held that thing over my head and jumped up and down like an idiot for at least a minute after that play… Jud called time out, we played “HEY!!” and the roof almost came off…
At one point Jud Heathcote yelled at us in the athletic band. One of his players was down, injured under the south basket. Jud came out to check on him, and as he stood up to head back to the bench, he turned to face us and started yelling about us playing too loud and directly at his huddle during time outs. My Rickenbacker amp definitely went to 11 that day! Dr. Jay Jackson was our director (a basketball JUNKIE from tobacco road in NC) and he, of course, told us to play “un-musically” loud during the next time out… and right at the MSU huddle.
A day I’ll absolutely never forget!!
Nate/Harper – On one night in 1987 BGSU “retired” Nate Thurmond’s number during a ceremony at halftime of a BG/Miami game. Ron Harper scored 34 (I think) that night and totally dominated us. I got both Harper’s and Big Nate’s autographs that day. Remember talking to Nate and standing in awe…
It was BG Vs. Akron in Feb. 8, 1997… we must have fallen behind pretty big early, I vividly remember my dad getting up and leaving the game in disgust (something he did with some regularity). I was down in the student section and stuck it out… (to my dad’s credit, several others gave up and left too). We ended up winning 103-78, Jay Larranaga hit 9 three-pointers in the game and had 28 points in the second half. Antonio had 30 for the game, 18 of those points were from the foul line (he was 18-20). I don’t think I’ve ever seen another game with 40 & 30 from the backcourt. INSANE!
First NCAA women’s tourney game – Susie Cassell threw it out of bounds with seconds to go, and a chance to win…
UofM game, 2001/first home game after my dad passed. A big BG win… Coach Dakich mentioned dad on the post-game radio…
Dad and his “cronies.” – The genesis of this site, really… When I was little, dad would meet with his buddies in the lobby of Memorial Hall pre-game and chat about all things BGSU, from football news, to basketball news, to recruiting, to whatever… it was the ay-ziggy-zoomba.com of the day. Then, as soon as the horn sounded for half-time, he’d be off again for the halftime conversation; down to the lobby to meet with John, “The Professor,” and any number of other regulars who had “insider” information!
Me and my “cronies.” – I have come to always sit in the same place, surrounded by the same great people… funny… it’s a big place… and I pay decent $$ for season tickets, but I don’t sit in them. I’d much rather sit in my “un-official-official” seats in the student section with Brian, Mike, Jimmy, and whomever else might be in the area for that game! It’s all about the company, conversation, and commentary.
Nicknames of people I don’t even know… For years, I’ve been giving nicknames to “the regulars” at games. Some people you see every single game, but have no idea who they really are. Several of them stand out, and I’ve given them nicknames so I can refer to them if I need to. Ditka, Skeletor, Chewbacka, Angry Fan, Art Garfunkel, Baooooooooo…. Pete Rose, and Leather, are just a few… Oh, and if you think you might be one of them… you probably are.
Graduation, December 1993 – I graduated with a BA in English… the ceremony was in Anderson Arena
Mel Torme concert – I got to see Mel Torme, the Velvet Fog, live in Anderson Arena, with my wife, my parents, and my grandma Rife… a wonderful WONDERFUL night!
Chicago – I was excited to find “Memorial Hall” in the tour info brochure in the Chicago IV – Live at Carnegie Hall packaging.
President Reagan – 1984 campaign, ’nuff said!
Scott/Macomber – Some AMAZING high school games have been played in Anderson Arena. I think the first real memory was when Woodmore made it to regionals behind Jeff Haar (who went on to play for Toledo)… I think I was in 7th grade when I went to that game (sat in L, 7, 1… of course). But Jim Jackson at Macomber and Scoop Williams at Scott are the most vivid memories. Man, those guys were like NBA players when they were in HS. I remember a Michigan/Ohio all-star game that had Chris Webber playing for the Michigan team. They were/he was amazing!
Cole Magner – Nothing better than seeing a walk-on football player take over a basketball game and lead us to a victory over Miami! The image of Cole being carried off the floor by his football teammates is one that will live on in Anderson Arena history forever!
I could literally go on-and-on, but these were the first things that jumped into my head. Feel free to share your memories in the comments… I’ve only been in Anderson since about 1978… so there’s plenty of “older-timers” out there than me.
To Be Continued….