Note: This column appears in the 4/3 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 4/4 issue of the Peoria Times
I’ve barely recovered from the Super Bowl.
Last Friday it was announced that the University of Phoenix Stadium will host its first ever basketball game. (The game will not, as I had assumed it would, be between the University of Phoenix Online Cougars and the Harlem Globetrotters.) It will be a doubleheader event that will take place sometime this December, with one game pitting national power Louisville against the University of Minnesota, and the next game featuring Brigham Young against ASU.
Not as good as THIS, but still...
First question: Why? Well, for one thing, the Stadium has already been awarded the West Regional’s of the 2009 NCAA men’s basketball tourney (where, by the way, I already have Gonzaga losing to whoever they’re playing), and these games will be, at the very least, a trial run for that. Second question: Why else? Well, the games will also serve as a showcase with the hope that Glendale, in the very near future, will play host to the Final Four.
I really don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this. Two months ago my favorite NFL football team came to Glendale and won what was arguably the greatest Super Bowl ever. A couple of weeks after that, I started going to spring training games in Peoria, where I would sit in the sun and drink beer and watch baseball and wait for lightening to strike me because what the heck did I do to deserve this?! In between all of that, I somehow became a Phoenix Coyotes fan, which is convenient, because they also happen to play in Glendale. Weird!
Wait, I’m not finished. Next year, Glendale will cut the ribbon on a brand new facility that will serve as the spring training home for one of the premier Major League Baseball franchises in the country. It just so happens that the manager of that team, Joe Torre, is like, my favorite manager ever, and another coach on that staff, Don Mattingly, is like, my favorite baseball player ever. Zoinks!
...and another reason I prefer Glendale is because everyone in Vero Beach has arthritis, like this...
Wait, I’m not finished. Next Friday night, Bon Jovi is performing at Jobing.com Arena. Now granted, Bon Jovi is not technically a sport. But still. Bon Jovi, like me, and like the New York Giants, are from New Jersey. And like me, the New York Giants and Bon Jovi have left the comfort of New Jersey to come and rock Glendale to its very core. Rock out!
And now, after all of the things that I have previously mentioned, the city of Glendale is essentially saying to me, “Oh yeah, one other thing -- the NCAA tournament will be here next year, and we’re trying to get the Final Four here as well eventually. Hope you don’t mind.” I mean, is this for real?
I moved to Arizona despite having to leave my favorite sports teams (and, of course, Bon Jovi) behind, and I have been rewarded by living in one of the most up-and-coming sports scenes in the nation -- a sports scene that has included or will include, both directly and indirectly, the very sports team that I left behind. All I’m saying is this: If Glendale does somehow get like, the 2012 Final Four, and that National Championship game features Rutgers versus Loyola College of Maryland, I’m going to grab a golf club, stand out in the middle of the desert during a lightening storm / monsoon, and see what happens. Because I sure as heck don’t deserve this.
I wouldn't mess with the Jov if I were you
And just for old times's sake...this