'Cheers to the MAC'

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The Spectrum


It was a weekend of beginnings and ends, basketball and inebriation, zubaz shorts and potato croquettes, but ultimately, it was a weekend in Cleveland, Ohio for the Mid-American Conference Championships.

Good golly, miss Molly!

Along with my compatriots, Nick Mendola, Darren Riethmiller and Mike Scott, we ventured to the city that rocks for a weekend that will go down in history as one of the best ever.


The UB Game


What was being played out on the court was surely exciting with the Bulls dueling the Toledo Rockets, but there was a sub plot arising in the Gund Arena with the busloads of "Mighty Maniacs" basically foaming at the mouth throughout the evening.

UB's fans dominated the arena, out-chanting the Rocket fans and showing what kind of passion you should expect from fans from the New York State.

There was a little controversy surrounding a chant that went something like "F*** You Rockets," and some said that former President William Greiner was genuinely embarrassed. Hogwash, I say, because I could have sworn that I saw Greiner and UB football head coach Jim Hofher start up those chants after the Toledo fans shouted "Just like football" over and over again.


The Food


One of the joys of media passes would definitely have to be the access to free food. Let's not forget that this was a Tournament event as well, meaning that the poor slobs that we are were getting fed free meals twice a day.

While it is pretty nice that we budgeted zero dollars for food, what was served to us generally looked like Willow, from his self-titled movie "Willow," after being hit by six consecutive 18-wheelers and a Wok 22 delivery car.

In fact, I heard a rumor that the chili they served was left over from 1998's Ventriloquist Ball held in Cleveland. Even Putnam's wouldn't serve this stuff.

On the bright side, I did set my all time personal mark for single item consumption in a media room when I downed 17 pieces of French toast in one sitting. That topped the previous mark of 11 hot dogs with sauerkraut that I set at the Iowa-UB football game in September. Don't forget to high five me when you see me, I'm really proud about this.


The Bars


One of The Spectrum's web guys, Jon Lidaka, says that he can always tell that he is reading one of my columns without reading the byline because I always give advice in them.

Well, here is the best advice I can ever give you. If you are ever in Cleveland for the MAC Tournament and decide to partake in the post-game festivities at the local bars, these four words will guarantee a great night: Cheers to the MAC.

After the Buffalo game we didn't have much time to drink since we arrived at "The Boneyard" at 1:30 a.m. and Cleveland bars close at 2 p.m. As Peter Venkman would say, bummer.

The cool thing about this bar was that the bar was a chalkboard and you could write whatever you pleased on it with the given chalk. When I saw that some perv chalked in "Go home Buffalo," I was incensed and outraged. Obviously, I proceeded to write "Bring David the Gnome back on the air." I'm just kidding; I chalked in "Buffalo is the future of the MAC!" and felt much better about the situation.

Sadly, the chalk was the only good part about that bar, but on the next night at "The Harry Buffalo," my crew and me had the times of our lives.

Initially we set out on that night to ruffle some feathers wearing our UB apparel. Ostensibly, Bulls fans in Cleveland are like A Simple Plan's talent, non-existent. (My girlfriend offered me "puppies in Jurassic Park," but she is also someone that thinks the Washington Wizards should grow beards and wear wizard caps in their introductions).

No feathers were ruffled however, because the other MAC fans loved us! They were high-fiving us and saying that they were glad to finally see us there, but when we shouted, "cheers to the MAC," that's when the good times started to roll.

Tequila shots started flying, Mendola was making love to the porcelain and Mike Scott was found passed out in the Radisson hallway at 4 a.m. in nothing but his Zubaz skivvies.

God bless you, Mid-American Conference.