Typing the title of this blog kinda blew my mind. This is only our THIRD day in New York City! It's been a long three days...
Thanks to a light morning itinerary, we were able to sleep in today. The Blackberry alarm went off at 10:22 a.m. (For those of you who really know me - you know that is NOT sleeping in for yours truly. But hey, it's NYC. Sacrifices can be made.)
Dan and I left the hotel just before Noon, and took the subway down to Brooklyn. We got off at High Street and walked about four blocks through Brooklyn Heights, down to the river. From there, we looked across the East River to the Manhattan skyline. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were just off to the left. Two separate wedding parties were taking pictures on the dock. I'm not a "movie guy" but I've probably seen three or four flicks with a scene shot from our exact location today.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that it was a bit strange looking back at downtown without the Twin Towers in plain sight...
We shot some stand-ups from both the upper and lower promenade. The weather was perfect. Sunny, probably near 60 or 65. After we finished, we hit up a fantastic pizza joint on the river, Grimaldi's. It's located right under the Brooklyn Bridge. No reservations. No credit cards. No chit-chat. Welcome to Brooklyn. But it couldn't have been better. Dan and I split a pie, half pepperoni - half sausage. 27 bucks, after tip. Cheapest meal we've had in the City all week.
After some editing and a little down time at the hotel, we packed up the gear and took a cab over to Madison Square Garden. The place was a zoo - and we hadn't even set foot inside yet. After weaving through about 3,000 people (2,800 were from Penn State) that seemed to be just STANDING on the street corner, we made it inside.
First impressions of the Garden...
In all honesty...nothing to write home about (but plenty to write in a blog). It's cool because it's historic. Aside from all of the championship banners, still photos, plaques, and retired numbers (Billy Joel and Elton John have their "numbers" hanging from the rafters), the Garden doesn't have a ton of character to offer. It has great sight lines, and I love what they do with the house lights - but overall, I can't say that I had goosebumps or anything. But it's still Madison Square Garden.
How 'bout those Bears?!? Sitting in the "press perch" next to Robert Shiekh, I can truly say - neither of us felt that the game was ever in doubt. Between CJ in the first half, Lace in the second half, BU's overall field goal percentage, and three point percentage - San Diego State was over matched.
I predicted an 81-75 Baylor victory. Excuse me for giving our Aztec friends a little too much credit. Congrats to the four Baylor seniors for becoming the winningest class in BU history (64 victories).
Thursday's NIT title game won't be easy. As I referenced earlier, Penn State brought a BUNCH of fans. 16 bus loads or something. And they were loud. But it's not like this Baylor team hasn't played well on the road. Just ask Virginia Tech and Auburn (sorry, Ross).
Tonight's famous person encounter...
Joe Paterno. Joe Pa walked right past me and Dan, after the Baylor game, on his way to do some ESPN stuff during the Penn State game. I shook his hand, said hello and introduced myself, telling him I was from Waco. He responded with "Happy to meet you. Great win for your boys out there earlier." Gotta love Joe Pa. He looks good for someone who is 106.
Thanks for checking in on the Big Apple Blog.
One last thing before I say goodnight. This business said goodbye to a great one this evening. Giff Nielsen delivered his final sportscast for KHOU in Houston on Tuesday.
Through my Dad, I was lucky enough to know Giff. While I sure that he was super busy and had plenty of more important things to take care of, more than once or twice - Giff took the time to take a look at my tape, or answer an email.
Giff did it the right way for 25 years. More than just the sports, on a nightly basis he delivered integrity and a true love for Houston and for Texas. Thanks, Giff.