FRISCO — A clear advantage that both the men’s and women’s squad1 is the lack of travel required. Frisco, TX is a short hop away from Denton and is essentially a home game. The advertising for the tournament has been “our home away from home” or whatever, and that is clearly an indication. Green sweaters in the stands aside, the real advantage is in the avoidance of the burdens of travel.
As you may have learned, MGN HQ is newly set in St. Louis, MO 2 and the trip to Frisco was easy, but awfully tiring. In our case, the family had to be awakened and prepped and herded about the city to run some errands and then loaded to the airport, and then fighting the rental car shortage (with new, added threat of lawsuit) before arriving at the hotel. Having recently traveled solo, and now with three tiny children in tow, I cannot impress upon you the difference between the circumstances.
Coordinating travel for 15 players, staff, and associated hangers-on is someone’s job and having done it for a season, there is a rhythm to it all and it is nothing remarkable. Simply put: it is not as hard as it is for you and I, taking the occasional vacation trip. It is quite like the business trip that is the cliché. Typically that refers to the attitude of the team, and how they are approaching it with a mindset of not being distracted from the task at hand.
Monday night, while attempting to feed my own children and family for the third time that day, we settled on Cheesecake Factory 3 and on the way out saw a lone Charlotte basketball player waiting to get a to-go order. As we left the parking lot we saw the Charlotte bus, and the whole load of players and staff leaving some other restaurant. As we got back to the hotel, we saw the Marshall bus pull up, and the staff unloading the bags.
Marshall head coach Mike D’Antoni and a couple of players got off the elevator at the same level. “Okay, it looks like I’m [some room number]. I think it is this way. No wait, it is this way”
Meanwhile my kid, to me “Dad, when we get to the room can we watch something on my iPad?”
Another Marshall player in full travel gear, with his headphones on, goes downstairs looking for something.
I, am tired out from a long day that started out at 4am. I am ready to sleep.
North Texas will load up for practice at the venue the day before, or when they can. It will be a short bus ride. There will be no baggage claim. When they sleep, it will be around all their stuff. They will know where their charger is. When they want to sneak out for a snack, they know where it is. There is no friction. No google, looking around for something. Traveling, no matter how easy modern technology makes it, takes a little more out of you.
MGN has been criminal in its lack of coverage of the very good women’s squad, but in our defense there is only so much time in the day and the appetite for consuming this coverage has been minimal↩
For various reasons↩
Shorter version of a longer story we might tell on the Deranged Pengwin Podcast is that the STL CF was hilariously out of food. They gave us a ticket and sort of said, this is stuff we don’t have. So this was sort of a make-up opportunity. This one has everything except for the items on the menu section entitled “Temporarily Unavailable Items”↩