Observations from seeing the Zags in action at the Mac:

Had the opportunity to see the LMU and PEP games in person this past weekend. My last visit to the Mac was 2008 and was in the second row from the top of Section 116. On this visit, I was in Section 105, center court, a few rows above the KC ( LMU ) and in the 9th row of Section 116 ( PEP ).

The oversized Final Four Banner flanked by the other NCAA tourney banners is a sight to behold. I'm a proud alum anyway but viewing the banners that have been added since the end of the 2007 season is awesome. Seeing those also brought to mind the wonderful reporting on the journeys behind those totems of achievement we've enjoyed over the years from John Blanchette, Jim Meehan, and Bud Withers. It also evoked memories of watching Reed Shifferman, Scott Finnie, and others when I was a student, in the Kennel, when attendance was poor, enthusiasm was intermittent, and all you needed to get into a game was a student ID. We didn't have to camp out in the snow or compete for a spot in the stands. You showed up five minutes before the game, usually after a "pre-function," and grabbed a seat in the bleachers.

On Senior Night, we arrived 45 minutes before tip off and the Kennel Club was in full display. As the time for the game crept closer, the stiudents were whooping, hollering, doing their choreographed waves. . .I remember when I had that much energy ! I'm a sentimental fool so I'm not ashamed to say the KC pregame roars gave me goosebumps. I don't know if GU had any recruits in the house for Senior Night. I sure hope they did. Very impressive display of support.

When the seniors were announced and made their way down the aisles through the KClub, the entire arena was on its feet, clapping, yelling, celebrating. Silas and Johnathan received a great reception but I think Brian Pete got the loudest acclaim. Everybody loves an underdog, right ?

After seeing excerpts of Fergie's lame version of the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, I can safely say the rendition offered up Saturday night by Spokane's own Andre Montgomery ( did you know he works at the Northside Trader Joe's ? ) was the better performance and not by a little. Wonderful voice and phrasing turned it into a pregame experience instead of a pre-game ritual. His ovation was well-earned and earned him an invitation into the team's pre-tip-off spirit circle. I still think the best rendition ever was Marvin Gaye's before the 1983 NBA All-Star game. If I were King of the World, the anthem would be done by a solitary trumpet player, under two minutes, before any and all ball games. But I'm not so we either enjoy or endure the singers foisted upon us.

To be continued. . .