Josh Heit's blog


Monday, March 03, 2003

Thoughts on (Don't) Phil Bender Day: As my AU readers probably know, and my non-AU readers certaintly don't, this past Saturday was Phil (Fill) Bender Day, Bender being Bender Arena, being the basketball arena, the purpose being that Saturday's men and women's basketball games were the last of the regular season. The men won 79-62. The women won 86-64. I barely saw any of either game because I was away from the court working concessions (part of my work-study job). All of these facts are irrelevant to this piece.

Bender didn't get filled. 2,407 people, is not that good, considering there were only 1,103 showed up for a Thursday night game against Army. (Note: Bender's capacity is 4,500.) By comparison AU-HC I at Bender 2/23/02 (the first Phil Bender) had 3,691 attendees and AU-HC II had 4,521. I will take the following things into account: Lafayette is not as exciting an opponent, since they were 6-7 going in, as opposed to 8-4 and only two games behind AU (with one to play, so it was a meaningless game). The novelty of the first Phil Bender has definitely worn off. Plenty of other things were going on on Saturday, including the great CR/CD/CL debate (about which I have not heard anything yet). But still it's kind of pitiful. In fact, that kind of number makes me afraid of what will happen if Holy Cross loses and AU stumbles into a home finale during spring break. On ESPN. Will we GET 1,000 people to show? That will look embarassing compared to the excitement of last year.

And then there's the women's game. No one will watch them. At all. Of course, this is par for the course. Phil Bender I got 1,243 for a women's game after the men's game. They're claiming 2,407 for Saturday's game. BULLSHIT. Notice that the number is exactly the same as the men's. 3/4 of the crowd was GONE by the 3:30 tipoff. I'd go for something like 800. Which is pitiful.

Face it. AU doesn't care about sports. As much as I'd like it to be so, that one shining moment of 4,521 in Bender was probably a fluke.


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