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Road Trip!
Road Trip!
Jim Meadows
Published by Swampy Meadows
Road Trip!

TOLEDO (OH) –- The Toledo game afforded “FTS” the unique opportunity to hit the highway, drive a mere one hour due south and see a UD road game. Trivia time: who is the most famous fictional character ever to hail from Toledo? Cpl. Maxwell Klinger of “MASH” fame, of course. And what was Klinger’s favorite restaurant in all of Toledo? Why none other than Tony Packo’s. In my mind, you just can’t do one without the other, so I stopped at TP’s on Front Street for a couple of dogs on my way to UT.

I will always remember my first business trip to Toledo back in the early ‘80s. It wasn’t even 8:00AM and I got off I-75, drove towards downtown and there standing on the side of the road was a hooker, trying to flag down male morning commuters for a quickie before heading off to work. Welcome to Toledo, son.

I had emailed UD SID Doug Hauschild to ask him if he could set me up with a press pass for this game. He texted me back –- while he was in the process of giving blood! –- to let me know it shouldn’t be a problem. Now that is dedication to one’s craft, folks!

Toledo plays their games in Savage Hall (okay, who knew that “Macho Man” Randy Savage was a UT alum?) a recently updated 10,000 seat facility. I’ve never done well in the prediction department, but I’m forecasting breakout games for fellow Detroiters Devin Searcy and Paul Williams. Since UD doesn’t play UD-Mercy anymore, this is as close to home as these two are gonna get and I would imagine most of their family and friends will make the trek. I also expect Savage Hall to be transformed into UD Arena-North, since UT is on break, their team sports a record of only 2-10 and Toledo is close enuf for Daytonians, Columbusites, Lima Beans, Detroiters and any others in close proximity to buzz on over.

Coming into this tilt, I really didn’t know all that much about the Rockets squad beyond their record. BG’s MSU buddy Stan Joplin is gone as head coach, replaced by former ND assistant Gene Cross; anorexic poster child Justin Anyijong, who played his HS ball in Grand Rapids is logging some serious minutes and Emeka Okafor (no, not the NBA dude) suits up for UT. That’s about it. Looking at their roster, the Rockets are young (7 frosh), old (4 seniors) and not much in between (0 juniors, 1 soph).

My Editor Chris stooped by and gave me a UD towel that a woman on Ideal Travel’s bus trip made for everyone. I still have to get used to the concept of Chris with hair. I thought I was gonna be right on the floor, but Doug Hauschild came and informed me that I’m up with Larry, Bucky, Doug Harris and the boys in the upper press row. Seems some guy named Tim Wabler is sitting in my spot. I can’t complain about the move, as I’ll be in pretty good company.

Okay, enuf with the small talk, let’s get onto the freakin’ game:

-- Savage Hall is very nice. One wing is very UD Arena-ish and there is a club similar to the TW Flight Deck at one end. The other end is a brick wall. They have some suites, too. Looks like it’ll be a good (and very Red crowd).

-- TKent for 3 gives UT the lead. Charles answers for 2 with a J. Pressure D causes the TO and it’s UD rock. CW with the offensive foul. Good D gets another TO and an LW lay in. MJ for 3 –- UD up 7-5. Little misses a bunny and UT scores. KH also bricks a layup, but then ties it up before Amos hits a quick 2. I’m not really sure who this quick pace favors.

-- Whole new 5 out there for UD. Absolutely bogus late call on Luke for the block -- he was seated on the floor at the time. DS with the dunk, then DS with the brick. LW runner ties it up at 13. Another LW runner knots it at 15 going into the under 12 media TO.

-- Byrd airmails a three for UT. PW with a steal. Stupid foul on UT in the open floor. CW back in. RL with a tough leaner that doesn’t go but he got whacked, as did CW on the ensuing play on a dunk attempt and he hits 0-3 after a lane violation.

-- RL misses and CW nearly dunks the tip but no dice. DS misses a put back after a CW miss. 17-15 UT. LW with the steal and CW scores on the ensuing play. 17 all at the under 8 media break. This is sorta hard to watch but I’m glad I’m here in person.

-- Some jersey grabbin’ puts DS at the stripe and he nails both. Travel call on UT after some good team D. Mickey gets snuffed and UT gets 2. Anyijong for three anyone? CJ answers with his own triple. DS gets a big board and a foul so he’ll shoot another pair and he is Drano on both.

-- PW misses a three but MJ gets the rebound and gets hit and splits the two. KH hits Amos and he makes one for a 25-25 tie. Charles with a drive and a follow. PW with the board, RL with a three; MJ with a jumper and suddenly it’s 32-25 UD with 3:03 in the first stanza.

-- CW with another mystifying personal foul, his 2nd. All you guys who are pining for a video scoreboard with replay capabilities should be glad you aren’t here. Amos makes 2 to cut the bulge to 5. KH finally gets the baby hook to drop. Yet another travel call on UT gives UD the rock and RL drains the triple for a double digit lead.

-- Amos guilty of an offensive foul but CL somehow misses a point blank layup. He sits and KH comes back in. Anyijong bricks the freebie and UT gets the ball back by calling time to avoid a jump ball. JA with another three ball for Toledo. MJ with the set play dunk gets the Red and Blue fans Flyered up! LW creates a 5 second call with some unreal defense and UD will get the last shot of the half, which ends with UD up 39-30.

-- Talked to Larry and Bucky at the break and they were lamenting the lack of finishing at the rim by UD. CW has only 2 points thus far. On the plus side UD has forced 15 first half TOs to their own 6. On the 5 second call forced by LW, Bucky said they had to call it and Larry thought it was more like 7 seconds. It wasn’t pretty but I’m not about to complain about the effort or a 9 point lead. BTW, UT’s fight song sounds a lot like ours.

-- UD ball to start the 2nd and KH hits a put back of an MJ miss to boost the margin to 11. LW with a finger roll. CW with yet another lazy foul…have a seat, dude. Charles in charge gives the ball back to UT. LW to CL for a monstah jam. RL in for an understandably winded LW. Luke in for CL. DS on Anyijong -- I like this matchup better than KH. MJ with an unreal block and save. UD TO gives UT a layup. CJ with a nice offensive board and putback. Mystery foul on DS gives the Rockets the rock at 15:00 left and UD leading 47-34.

-- TKent for 3. ST fails to answer. RL gets raped on a layup and will step to the line and misses both. Amos gets hit in the face somehow and comes out. JA for three and it’s down to 5. Lo somehow manages to airmail a layup for Toledo and BG has seen enuf.

-- MJ drains a big-time three out of the TO. CJ with the theft and MJ again for 3 from the exact same spot on the baseline. Freakin’ JA again, dammit! He has 16, 2 more than MJ. UD leads 53-48 with 10:28 remaining.

-- Lo hits a deuce and RL gets 2 on the goaltending call. RL with a manly rebound and Amos commits a stupid foul. And UD returns the favor by GTing a UT hoop. MJ with a great layup and it’s back to 8 with 8 to go. MJ again from the very same place in the corner for 3! The Rockets are slow learners and I think we have an answer to the question “Who takes the big shot for UD this year?”

-- CW for three –- who saw that coming? UD up 10 with 6:30 to go. The “Let’s go Flyers” cheer is so loud that UT has to turn up the volume on the recorded music in order to drown them out. CW picks up foul numero quattro and sits in favor of PW. The Flyers play volleyball but lose the ball. MJ for two -- he has 21. Up by 11 with 4:30 remaining. JA finally misses a triple…it’s about time.

-- RL with the rocket pass over MJ’s head, but he redeems himself by draining a three. Then RL fouls on a made hoop and UT is down by 11. LW to CW for an easy 2. It is now “Hack-A-London” time and LW makes the first and CJ rebounds the second. UD 71-59 with under 2 to go. CL with a nice tip for two. Tough D gets RL a Layup. 75-59 with 1 left. “Hack-A-Rob” (they probably mistook him for London) and RL misses. Next time they get the right guy and LW makes both.

-- Final tally: Flyers 77, Rockets 63. “We Are UD” loud and proud!

-- After the game, Justin Anyijong said his coaches told him that he’s “too good a shooter not to be aggressive” and he obviously took those words to heart.

-- BG opened by saying that “it was good to be back.” I had forgotten that Coach Gregory worked as an assistant for Stan Joplin for a year. He said the only reason that UD booked a home and home with Toledo was because of Stan. BG said he was pleased and that “we played hard, not great.” UT did some stuff to spread UD out and it worked. UD having fresh guys helped in the last 8 minutes of the first half, as BG felt fatigue set in on the Rockets and the Flyers took advantage.

Amazing stat of the night: UD point guards scored 24 points had 11 assists and 0 turnovers. You gotta like that A/TO ratio!

I asked BG if MJ’s performance answered the question “who takes the big shot for UD if the game is on the line.” He said “tonight, it would have been Marcus.”

Good game, nice victory, enjoyable road trip.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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By MrFlyerFanatic on 01-04-2009, 12:17 AM
Thumbs up That special towel

That towel that Chris gave you was compliments of TNT Craft Creations. They are a licensed user of the UD logo. Tammy at TNT was one of Ideal Travels early customers and has built a great relationship over the years. If anyone is looking for UD items ranging from corn hole boards and bags to jackets and shirts, they all can be found at http://www.tnt-crafts.com/
Chris, sorry for the advertisement, but I think UDPride, Ideal Travel, and TNT Craft Creations all fall into the same family of businesses that love UD and work together to build success.
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By Chris R on 01-04-2009, 01:20 AM
Tammy did a great job! Swamper was impressed and I was happy to give him mine since my dad got one as well.
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By Swampy Meadows on 01-04-2009, 10:07 AM
Thanks for letting me know, Jeff. Who am I to stand in the way of free enterprise? Heck, I'm in advertising! Very cool towel except that it's so nice I'm afraid to get it dirty.
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