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surfmonkey89
03-12-2009, 02:31 PM
Alternate titles: Scenes from a Mauling or The Mardi Gras Massacre

My first reaction to The Orleans was “What a dump”, but by the end of the weekend I had decided that it was just about the perfect place for us. The casinos on the strip are much nicer but also much more expensive, ie $10 minimum bets (and good luck finding a spot at those tables). The Orleans is off the strip, but not too far, and unlike the casinos in old downtown this one has a high ceiling and a relatively good ventilation system. And it’s the only place close to the strip that has $5 minimum tables except maybe the Excalibur (which I didn’t go to).

The only thing I can say was poor was the service; the Special Ladies don’t come around the tables nearly often enough. In some ways that’s a good thing on game days because it acts as a natural throttle, preventing you from being “that guy” at the games. I think the staff was overwhelmed; many of them acted as if they hadn’t seen crowds like this before. If you’re not gambling the service isn’t an issue. Just get a bucket of beers for $6.25 and you’re set.

Sunday’s game looked like a sellout and other than the 20 or so Rough Riders it was all GU. By the middle of the second half it was more “Rough Rider”, as the rest of them had already headed to the casino.

The game was a jaw dropper. The team that showed up Saturday was the team that we’d been expecting to see all year. It was just wave after wave of Zags. And btw, while I totally respect what Bryant’s done since he was a freshman, there’s just no way that he’s the MVP. Against the top two teams in the league Santa Clara went 1-4, and although he got a double-double against us on Saturday over half of that was in Up By Time (Up by twenty! Up by thirty!). Give the guy a Subway commercial with Jared, not the MVP of the league.

After Sunday’s game I knew that if the same team showed up on Monday SMC had no prayer.

On Monday we went to our usual pre-game location (the Mardi Gras bar, right off the sports book in the Orleans) only to discover that it had been commandeered by St Mary’s. Then, while we were playing three card poker (easy game btw: you bet $15, the dealers turns his cards over and then he takes your money), two St Mary’s guys walked by and said “Good luck with your at-large bid”.

It was on now!

I was the first of my crew to get to the arena, and when I walked in I sent a one-word txt messages to two of my buddies: “Libbey”. We did an informal poll at our seats as to who would get the first technical, and the consensus was that it would be Daye. Little did we realize that Libbey knew this was a big game too, so hey, I’ll do you one better and T someone up before the opening tip! The fact that it was Omar Man Hands made me ok with it though.

I went back and read the game thread for the SMC game and I have to ask: were you guys watching the same game as we were? This game was over 5min in, and the only way we could’ve humiliated St Mary’s any more was if we took their dance team, threw them over our shoulders and took them back to Spokane with us.

(If there’s any way to pull that off count me in btw. As they were walking through the casino two guys walked by and one turned to the other and said “Is that for real?”. I think the knee-high white leather go-go boots were my favorite outfit, followed closely by the spandex hot pants and sports bras. There has to be an option to contribute to the St Mary’s Dance Team Kidnapping Fund as part of the General Fund drive. We can make this happen. The funny thing is that they didn’t really do anything. They moved back and forth and didn’t contribute much if anything to the proceedings...just like Man Hands. I’m going to change my ticket location next year just to sit closer to them.)

After the game, Bong Krosby, SteelCityZag, gueastcoast, YouJeanZag, Mr & Mrs ZigZagger and myself raced back to the Mardi Gras bar and took our normal seats. The buckets of beers started flowing two at a time, and when we’d see the occasional SMC fan stroll by we’d just yell “THIS. IS. OUR. BAR”.

Regarding Patty Mills. Yes, he’s a great talent, but I couldn’t understand how a guy going off on us for a half (going in the locker room up only 6 btw) warranted the amount of trepidation everyone had facing him again. Getting torched for a half is practically our calling card, and he was being rushed back from an injury. One last thing on Patty. He’s really quick, but he’s also really small, and he was getting bounced around like a pinball. Watching him in person I wonder about his long-term durability.

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There was no question that this weekend The Orleans was transformed into Gonzaga Country. The place was packed with GU people the entire time with the one SMC exception, and Sunday night after the game the tables were packed full of Zags until well past 2am. The crowds at the games were much more like a normal March Madness crowd than a Kennel crowd, and I mean that in a good way. In Spokane, the non-Kennel side of the arena is much more low-key, but at these games everyone everywhere was going crazy.

The arena itself has very comfortable seats and is just the right size. The only “bad” seats were on the baseline where they had temporary seating set up, but bad is pretty subjective as even those seats were close to the action. The scoreboard that everyone has been complaining about is kinda lame, but there’s a board around the top of the bowl that flashes everyone’s points & fouls, so it was good enough imo. I can’t see them changing it unless the WCC and WAC gang up and demand it.

The non- Gonzaga fan turnout was abysmal. Throughout the weekend we’d see a few people from other schools passing through, but for the most part it was just us. Saw a fair number of UP people on Sunday and a few Santa Clara fans; I don’t remember seeing even one USF fan the entire weekend. The non-GU games were about 20% full. This is a neutral site, and the team the farthest away had by far the most fans. There’s really no excuse for the lack of turnout by the other schools. It’s what - an hour flight from the bay area? As a fan I’d love to make this the permanent location because it’s neutral, and I’d actually like to see fans from the other schools. But if I were an AD or president of the WCC I’d fight hard to get out of Las Vegas as soon as possible. Unless they can basically cheat and host the tournament at their school in the hope they can luck their way into the tournament, they’re going to be hard-pressed to win until we stop coming.

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Regarding the team, if you can forget about the journey for a moment consider this: we were a preason 10/11 and this week we’re a 12. We’re basically were we should be. We all know our weaknesses, but what team doesn’t have weaknesses? This is one of the more wide-open fields in years, probably since the UCLA debacle. I stand by the prediction I made before I even saw a game in Vegas: we can out-talent our way to the Sweet 16, and after that it’s about matchups and more than a little luck.

If the team that showed up in Vegas shows up in the tournament we’re going to be very, very difficult to beat. And that’s all we could’ve asked for.

RenoZag
03-12-2009, 02:45 PM
:clap:

CB4
03-12-2009, 02:50 PM
Get review SM. Big reps for you.

I was watching a Canadian sports program up here on The Score called Hardcore Sports Talk, and the hosts were talking to a Bookie in Vegas about odds and whatnot. He said that The Orleans and parts of the strip were dominated by Zags fans and he mentioned how crazy they were about the team before, during, and after the games. Good to see Zagnation getting the respect it deserves.

It's really disappointing that there was such a poor turnout from the other schools. Do they even care about their athletics or are they just in the league to reap the benefits of our success?

zag buddy
03-12-2009, 03:01 PM
Thanks Surf-- that was a great report.

surfmonkey89
03-12-2009, 03:04 PM
I'm not sure what's going on wrt the fan turnout. You'd think there would've been a ton of fans from all the schools because it was the first time it had ever been in Vegas.

I tend to think that it's NOT because of the economy though, because our games were sold out and there were A LOT of people looking for tickets. If people were selling tickets they would've been grabbed immediately. We jumped on tickets as soon as they became available, and while I was a little down on buying tickets for all the men's & women's games, in retrospect it was a good thing because I'm not sure we would've gotten tickets otherwise.

The other nice thing was that I saw my first women's game (the title game), so I got to see Courtney Vandersloot. She's the real deal.

OH, btw. At one point we looked into getting a box for next year. According to the person who checked they're asking $14K for a box that seats 21 people.

Too rich for my blood.

BoZarth
03-12-2009, 04:39 PM
Some school's fans may stay away due to the lack of confidence in making a run or playing on Monday night.

Here's to joining you all next year.

Go Zags!!!!

75Zag
03-12-2009, 06:01 PM
Beware the "Fan Envy" and "Team Envy" that lies in the hearts of the WCC Athletic Directors and Presidents. GU dominated this tournament on the court, in the stands and on the streets of Vegas. If I were a non-GU administrator, I would be asking myself just exactly what benefit my school receives from renewing the Vegas tournament. I don't think there was any money made, but maybe some intangible benefits from extra publicity on ESPN or the beautiful vista shots of the Vegas skyline during the ESPN broadcasts. But if I am the President of St. Mary's or Santa Clara or San Diego, would I rather have the tournament on my home floor where my cheap and lazy casual fans can drop by and watch a game on their way to KFC for a romantic gourmet dinner, or do I want to see another ten thousand GU fans dancing and drinking and spending money on the Strip in 2010?

Hoping that Spitzer, Few and other GU admin. folks have the firepower to renew the Vegas deal. Obviously I am ignorant of how all this works, but still a bit worried.

Go Bulldogs! Beat The Next Guys!

johno
03-12-2009, 06:46 PM
Go Zags

FieldHouseFishHouse
03-12-2009, 06:58 PM
But if I am the President of St. Mary's or Santa Clara or San Diego, would I rather have the tournament on my home floor where my cheap and lazy casual fans can drop by and watch a game on their way to KFC for a romantic gourmet dinner, or do I want to see another ten thousand GU fans dancing and drinking and spending money on the Strip in 2010?

Go Bulldogs! Beat The Next Guys!
That was great! But what about the shame of Gonzaga fans rushing your home floor when the grab the inevitable WCC tourney title in 20(fill in a number).

theirishzag03
03-12-2009, 07:53 PM
I went back and read the game thread for the SMC game and I have to ask: were you guys watching the same game as we were? This game was over 5min in, and the only way we could’ve humiliated St Mary’s any more was if we took their dance team, threw them over our shoulders and took them back to Spokane with us.



Can I be a charter member of the "kidnap club"???

The white boots were nice... I got dibs on the brunette 3rd one in from sideline (sec. 115 where I sat) :) They may not have been doing much, but it sure got our attention!!!

DrDrivel
03-12-2009, 08:23 PM
In some ways that’s a good thing on game days because it acts as a natural throttle, preventing you from being “that guy” at the games.

You say that like it's a bad thing. I haven't been to a GU game as/with anyone else in recent memory.

VinnyZag
03-12-2009, 08:25 PM
In fairness, we aren't the only ones impressed by Patty Mills. Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade thought he was pretty good last summer, too.

I enjoyed Vegas, too. I'm hoping to stay at the Orleans next year to get a little more of the Zag experience. The wife and I were all the way out on Fremont (less money on hotel = more money for gambling) and getting to the Orleans was a pain.

Speaking of weirdness from the St. Mary's contingent ... what was with their mascot? He looks like Mel Gibson from "Braveheart" and all he does is stand around.

surfmonkey89
03-12-2009, 08:26 PM
Can I be a charter member of the "kidnap club"???

The white boots were nice... I got dibs on the brunette 3rd one in from sideline (sec. 115 where I sat) :) They may not have been doing much, but it sure got our attention!!!

If you're talking about Victoria, no you may not have dibs.

MedZag
03-12-2009, 09:03 PM
The buckets of beers started flowing two at a time, and when we’d see the occasional SMC fan stroll by we’d just yell “THIS. IS. OUR. BAR”.

Well done.

gamagin
03-13-2009, 07:54 AM
& read. thanks

Go TEAM Zags !

sittingon50
03-13-2009, 08:44 AM
Thanks Monkey. Great post.

lothar98zag
03-13-2009, 08:56 AM
great report

roxdoc
03-13-2009, 11:34 AM
From what I hear from someone who went was: great time, almost all Zag fans, BUT hope that lack of other fans does not convince WCC bigwigs go back to old scheme.

surfmonkey89
03-13-2009, 07:39 PM
In all seriousness, I firmly believe that having more fans from other schools would be a great thing.

As much as I loved being around all GU fans, having fans from other schools added some extra spice to the proceedings. And as obnoxious as I am on this board, I think it would be cool to meet cool and rational fans from other schools.