Wally was unable to travel to Utah for the basketball game, so I have surfaced from retirement to report on the trip.
Like Wally’s trip to Tempe, I packed light for the short trip to Salt Lake City. Unlike Wally’s trip, I arrived to cold temperatures, salted sidewalks, snow flurries, and ugly piles of black-flecked, gray snow at every street corner. Fortunately I hadn’t packed so light that I forgot gloves, boots, and an extra layer of clothing!
The 6:00 game was in Huntsman Center, a mammoth, circle-shaped arena that seats 15,000 (2 X Maples). Only about 2,000 were scattered about for our event.
Stanford supporters were few; Tara Harrington (’97), Kaylee’s family from Colorado and Wyoming, the team bus driver, and me. We did our best to be vocally supportive.
The game started questionably: we lost the tip and missed the first attempt at a goal. But then Bird made a 2, Karlie a 3, and I was confident we were on our way to a successful evening. Indeed, at half-time we we led 35 to 24, and although Utah fought back periodically, and their 6’6” Emily Potter made her presence known, Utah never really threatened, Tara got to play the whole bench, and we won 77-58.
Since you readers have other sources for the game per se, I will not review the ebb and flow, makes and misses, or steals and turnovers. I will only relay three of the highlights for me:
- Kaylee played several minutes and well. This was particularly welcome given her family’s attendance. I was proud too.
- Instead of a “dance cam,” Utah has a “Simba cam”—cute infants held high over a parent’s head; Kaylee’s niece was the clear winner.
- No clear plastic bags! Even though it appears that the Pac-12 may be responsible for those ridiculous plastic bags, apparently Utah didn’t get the memo. A return to sanity at Huntsman.
It was a successful and lovely trip. I stayed downtown in order to easily tour the local sights. The TRAX transportation light rail made it easy to get to both the airport and arena. I’m quite glad I decided to spread my wings and attend a Pac-12 game this season. Sorry there weren’t some of you to join me.