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View Full Version : Over 20,000 show up to see Butler practice



Erik
04-02-2010, 02:22 PM
by Phillip Wilson @indystar.com
The young men from 6 miles down the street sure aren't at Hinkle Fieldhouse anymore.
Today was anything but a typical Butler practice.
When the Bulldogs jogged out for their scheduled NCAA Final Four shootaround, their eyes widened to the sight of a Lucas Oil Stadium crowd of more than 20,000. By the time the team closed the 50-minute session, the lower bowl of 29,000 was about filled to capacity.
The people kept coming in waves. They took advantage of free admission and parking to get a glimpse at the small school from Indianapolis that has become one of the more captivating stories in NCAA Tournament history.
Still, this many people just to watch the Bulldogs shoot?
"This is Indiana," coach Brad Stevens told CBS-TV's Jim Nantz.
Stadium director Mike Fox scanned the crowd in amazement. It's the first time his venue has hosted a Final Four, and it's in the round with the court in the center to boost capacity to about 71,300.
"It's unbelievably memorable," Fox said.
The Bulldogs finished more than 5 minutes early. One by one, players walked around the court and waved to the crowd, which responded to the gesture with a roar. The heroes' exits were slowed by a seemingly endless stream of autographs.
"It was an experience, I'll tell you that," said senior Willie Veasley. "We probably didn't even play in front of that many people in the first two rounds (of the tournament)."
In the understatement of the day, junior Matt Howard said, "It's sort of awesome to see all the support."
Howard signed balls, T-shirts, cards and hats in a matter of seconds. When he inadvertently knocked a pen from a youngster's hand, the Butler player stopped, picked it up and returned it with a smile. The young boy beamed.
Butler (32-4) plays Michigan State (28-8) in Saturday's opening semifinal at 6:07 p.m. Duke (33-5) meets West Virginia (31-6) in the second semifinal.
But for so many fans who can't afford tickets, this was the highlight of the weekend. A seemingly endless procession of fans walked down the aisles to take pictures as close to the court as possible.
One trio from Connersville came to see Howard, who is from there. They had played hoops with him back home, albeit getting dunked on or getting a lot of their shots blocked.
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Risch was assigned the role of a sprinter. His 18-year-old classmate, Drew Savoy, gave the simple instructions when they arrived one hour before the gate opened at 10 a.m.
"As soon as you get inside the gate, just find the best seats possible," Savoy said.
Risch got them in the front row.
"I was kind of pushing past people to get down here," Risch said.
"He got pretty good seats, didn't he?" Savoy said.
Their other friend was all smiles. Brandon Krammes, 23, was in a car accident in 2004 and his life was altered. His speech is slow. But he didn't need to say much to convey his excitement in this moment.
"I kind of live my life through Matt now," he said with a big smile.
One of the more popular attractions was Blue II, the Butler mascot. The bulldog was panting from the walk. Aside from being the subject for so many pictures, a TV crew had the dog walk all over a Michigan state jersey.


http://www.indystar.com/article/20100402/SPORTS0609/4020420/1004/SPORTS/Practice-perfect-Crowd-support-lifts-Butler-players This probably could of went into the "Butler Bandwagon" thread but I wanted to make sure that everyone got to see it. Great Indiana basketball pride!

Trader Joe
04-02-2010, 04:07 PM
In 49 states it's just basketball...

Natston
04-02-2010, 05:41 PM
It sounds like some people need to get a job!

Suaveness
04-02-2010, 09:40 PM
It's crazy downtown. I ran into Ryan Seacrest...

Erik
04-02-2010, 10:55 PM
It's crazy downtown. I ran into Ryan Seacrest...
My wife saw the "Miller High Life Guy" at O'malia's today:D

indygeezer
04-03-2010, 06:38 AM
I planned all week to go downtown for the practice....but at the last minute life got in the way.



and tonight is my daughter's Confirmation. Mass begins at 7:00, if anyone comes within earshot and mentions the score :mad:..............

good ol' dvr

idioteque
04-03-2010, 06:32 PM
I planned all week to go downtown for the practice....but at the last minute life got in the way.



and tonight is my daughter's Confirmation. Mass begins at 7:00, if anyone comes within earshot and mentions the score :mad:..............

good ol' dvr

I'm not much of a churchgoer, but my parents are so I was back in the day. The funniest church memory I ever had was during mass one time, the during the part where they offer prayers to the sick ect. our priest added "and God bless our Pacers." This was during I think the first ECF against the Knicks. In 49 states it's just basketball...

Basketball Fan
04-03-2010, 08:05 PM
It sounds like some people need to get a job!



While that's true in most cases you're forgetting the fact that yesterday was Good Friday which actually was a holiday for some workplaces.

idioteque
04-04-2010, 10:50 AM
All of this slightly reminds me of back when the Pacers were good. Indy fans are somewhat fairweather (what fans aren't) and when the Pacers are back someday, they'll have a ton of support in the city.

Basketball Fan
04-04-2010, 11:04 AM
All of this slightly reminds me of back when the Pacers were good. Indy fans are somewhat fairweather (what fans aren't) and when the Pacers are back someday, they'll have a ton of support in the city.



I do agree with it to an extent but I've always seen Butler supported around here its just that they got this far that they're vocal about it. I mean I don't recall people hating Butler at any point like they have with the Pacers a few years back.

idioteque
04-04-2010, 11:54 AM
I do agree with it to an extent but I've always seen Butler supported around here its just that they got this far that they're vocal about it. I mean I don't recall people hating Butler at any point like they have with the Pacers a few years back.

I agree with most of what you're saying, but my perception of the situation with the Pacers right now (and this is admittedly from afar) is that the period of "hating the team" has passed and most people are just apathetic because they're not very good.

indygeezer
04-05-2010, 03:16 PM
I agree with most of what you're saying, but my perception of the situation with the Pacers right now (and this is admittedly from afar) is that the period of "hating the team" has passed and most people are just apathetic because they're not very good.

Frankly I'm not sure if people care enough to find out if they are good or not.