Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spokane Experiences

Some snaps from the Spokane Weekend (click image for larger version). Springlike weather Saturday afternoon in Riverfront Park. Amusing sculpture on steps of Spokane Arena. Crowds milled around waiting for will-call to open. Halftime Saturday: Cully explains to David why Vandy is "in a heap of trouble." Sunday morning we looked out onto fat flakes of snow. It made all the trees look as if they'd been flocked. But an hour later, it had all melted or fallen off. Monday it was clear for a look at the Spokane Falls. Before the Maryland game the Arena staff were assiduously cleaning off footmarks while the Cardinal warmed up. The announced crowd was 6,500 but it looked like more. Wonder how many copies of this image are on the internet? We flew home, appropriately, in a blaze of glory. Noting mile-long swaths of wildflowers near Patterson.
—Dave & Marian Cortesi

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Final Four Fan Activities

News from Eileen Roche, augmented with a few links, ordered by time of occurrence:

Team Send-off Thursday 4/4

Come to the courtyard between Maples and Arrillaga at 10:45am to bid the team bon voyage.

“Official” Fan Site

The NCAA has designated “official” fan gathering places in Tampa. The gathering place for fans who attended the Spokane Regional is Tinatapa's at 615 Channelside Drive, just a few blocks from the arena, St. Pete Times Forum. (Restaurant's official site with annoying flash intro; Tampa Bay Online Restaurant Review) If you'd prefer to gather with fans from the other three regional sites, they are all located at the same address, 615 Channelside Drive: Stump's Supper Club, Howl at the Moon (same web site as Stump's), and Splitsville Lanes which has billiards and bowling.

Team Hotel

The team is staying at the Westin Harbour Island (725 South Harbour Island Blvd, about 1/2 mile from the Forum and Tinatapa's). It's booked up, forget it.

NCAA Activities

The official NCAA Fan Guide to the Final Four is here. This is full of great info including many activities around the games.

Shootaround With Beth & Debbie

The Women's Basketball Coaching Association (WBCA) sponsors a weekly podcast, “Shootaround with Beth (Mowins) & Debbie (Antonelli)”. They will be recording an episode live on Friday 4/4 at 10pm in the Tampa Marriott Waterside's Grand Ballroom foyer (2nd floor). This is open to the public; there will be special guests, giveaways, and cash bars available.

Kay Yow 4K Run

On Saturday 4/5 at 8am there will be a 4Kay (“for Kay”) run honoring Kay Yow and other woman battling breast cancer. Time schedule and registration are here.

Open Practice and Autograph Sessions

Open practice periods will be held at the St. Pete Times Forum between 11am and 4:15pm on Saturday 4/5. No charge for entry. It is not known which team is in which time slot. Autograph sessions should be available after a team has practiced; stop by the forum that morning and check.

WBCA High School All-American Game

The high school All-Americans, whose roster includes our own Nneka Ogwumike, play at the University of South Florida Sun Dome at 4:30pm Saturday 4/5. Some information and a link to purchase tickets ($15) here. (Besides Nneka, our Sarah Boothe is on the honorable mention list, but was not invited to play in this game.)

Forum on Women in College Sports

The NCAA is sponsoring a day-long forum on women in sports, with presentations on such topics as "Barriers to Women in Intercollegiate Athletics," "Portrayal of Female Athletes in the Media," and a keynote address by Sheila Johnson, President of the Washington Mystics. This will take place on Sunday 4/6. This link is for free registration.

Pregame Rally and Reception

Stanford University Athletic Department is sponsoring a pregame event for all Cardinal fans starting at 4pm on Sunday 4/6. This is at the team hotel, the Westin Harbour Island, in the Harbour Island Ballroom. Appetizers and no-host bar provided. At 4:45 we will move outside to send the team off with the help of the band. Then the party continues until 6pm. (The first game, ours, begins at 7pm a short distance away from the hotel.) If you want to enter the ballroom and nosh on the appetizers, please RSVP to Lisa Ortiz, lortiz @ (anyone's welcome outside with the band).

Rally Tuesday

Assuming Stanford advances Sunday, we will have a pre-game party Tuesday, 4/8 from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Tinatapa's (RSVP this one as well).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Final Four Tickets

Call (or go to) the Stanford Ticket Office (1-800-STANFORd (1-800-782-6367[3])) now to reserve seats in the Stanford section in Tampa. Price is $162 each plus $6 service fee. Tickets are available only for "Stanford Affiliates" and Season Ticket Holders. If that isn't you, consider Cully's Advice: Bob Cullenbine says as long as you are looking for single seats, just show up outside the arena; there is always somebody giving away single seats. Or go to where "upper corner" seats are going for $110.