Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm on a Boat

Amidst all the hoopla and ridiculousness surrounding college football this past week, college basketball got off to a rather inconspicuous start.

In a normal year, sports fans just aren't ready to pay attention to their school's hard court squads. Football season is winding down, and those who root for bowl team eligibles are anxiously following each and every game outcome.

This year, well.... actual football may be an afterthought as well, considering all the craziness that's gone down. As the Penn State scandal rocked the country, the capacity to appreciate the finer things in athletics seemed to fall by the wayside.

Which is a shame. Because this Friday night something spectacular and unprecedented happened:

A basketball game was played on a boat.

The 2011 Inaugural Carrier Classic
That's right, a boat. Well, an aircraft carrier to be exact. In honor of Veterans Day, #1 ranked UNC and perennial contenders Michigan State kicked off their season aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, CA.

UNC won easily, but that's beside the point.

The Carl Vinson is no stranger to fame, as it was the carrier that transported Osama Bin-Laden's body for burial. An amazing structure was built on top of the flight deck to hold the 7000 capacity crowd, which included President and First Lady Obama and active-duty military members. Measuring at over 3 football fields long, the ship's deck is so spacious that it was hard to tell the players were even on water.

Following the event's success, games for the next two years are in the schedule works. 2012 will feature a match-up between UConn and possibly Arizona, along with a women's game between Ohio State and Notre Dame. Event coordinator Mike Whalen has said that Michigan State will return in 2013, and that women powerhouses UConn and Stanford might meet.

Yes, in a weekend that was filled turmoil and all that is wrong in college sports today, the Carrier Classic was the counterpoint of all that is right. The game, which paid homage to our military, proved that sports can still provide a bit of magic and inspiration to those who enjoy it most.


So basketball fans, did you catch any of the game? Was it as breathtaking to watch as it was for me? What crazy place do you think they should have a game next? Let me know!

Images provided by i.huffpost. and foxnews.


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