We were just planning to watch the MSU vs Minnesota game at home, like always, when Kyle suddenly got excited about the cheap stadium tickets being sold at Stubhub, which were only four bucks a piece. Naturally, they weren’t front-and-center seats, but Kyle knew how much I’d wanted to go to the Breslin Center to watch a basketball game live, so with our hands literally shaking, we booked the tickets as fast as Lance Armstrong on steroids!
Michigan State University is the eighth largest university in the US. It is located in East Lansing, which is just 15 minutes away from our apartment. MSU is the alma mater of one of the greatest players in NBA history, Magic Johnson. He brought so much glory to the university that they built a monument of him outside the Breslin Center. He still visits the campus now and then to watch basketball games, so you might be lucky enough to see him in person!
Inside the stadium, I was expecting mostly teenagers and college students in the audience, but there were also die-hard fans who were parents and grandparents who brought their Spartan-geared kiddos too. In Manila, our college basketball league, UAAP, only has a certain fan base who are either the graduates or the students. It’s a different scenario here in the US because the NCAA (their version of the UAAP) is as popular, if not more, as the NBA.
We walked around the Breslin to check out the food and souvenir stalls before the game started. There were stalls giving away free T-shirts in exchange of your personal info, so even though we knew it was a sales ploy, the free T-shirts with Spartan designs emblazoned on them were worth it.
We also checked out the trophy shelf displaying the souvenirs from their past championship games and trophies. The coolest one was the 1979 championship game basketball which was used in the most watched college basketball game of all time. This was the game where the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson rivalry was born. Larry Bird played for Indiana State University against MSU’s Magic Johnson, and guess who won? MSU, of course!
During the warm-ups, I felt a certain giddiness getting to see the MSU players in person even though we were too far away to get a good look of them. Kyle has trained me so much about them I already know the names and jersey numbers of the starting players by heart.
When the Minnesota players were being introduced one by one before the game started, they were bombarded with “Who cares?” shouts from the Izzone who were also pretending to read the newspaper (Yes, they brought props too!). They crumpled the paper into a ball and threw them away to show what they thought of the opponents. Good, clean fun!
MSU downed Minnesota at a score of 61-50. If they reached the 70-point mark, we would have gotten free tacos from Taco Bell. 🙂 Well, win or lose, we would still be pleasantly satisfied because MSU is Kyle’s favorite team ever and it was my first time to watch a basketball game live ever. It was a great ball game and I know that the MSU team has already found a special spot in the recessive sports fan in me.