Letter #145: ‘Chilling’ Bucket List

February 22, 2011

Dear Allen Fieldhouse,

‘Beware of the Phog’ and ‘Pay Heed’ because the Jayhawks are good, and you are a one of the neatest, if not THE neatest, arenas in the country. Visiting you has been on my bucket list for awhile now, and it came true a few months ago when I was on trail in Kansas. I even met Wayne Simien (check out that post here!), but seeing you and attending a game IN you are two very different things. Last night, I got to do the latter!

You were definitely a bucket list moment, but the Jayhawks playing my alma mater, Oklahoma State University, was equal to gold being dropped into my bucket. Downfall: we’re just not real good. I might even put OSU in the category of bad, however, I’ll always be loyal to my Cowboys. We were actually watching a game for the first 9-12 minutes of the first half, then it just got ugly. We played decent in the beginning, but dang, but KU and those Morris twins are good.

(The 2008 NCAA Championship trophy!)

OSU didn’t have an answer and the Jayhawks 20 point lead led to you being a bit more lax than normal…to be expected. The game was over, and it became more of an attempt by OSU not being humiliated on national TV.

All that being said, there’s only one word I can use to describe you. Yes, my team lost (thankfully, I like KU too). Yes, I’m a pure Oklahoma State Cowboy fan. Yes, I’ve been to my fair share of games in Gallagher-Iba Arena. I’m not new to greatness, but if I had to describe you in one word it would hands down be ‘chilling.’ I kid you not, I got the chills twice before the game ever started and I was sitting nosebleeds.

Your history is unreal. Your tradition is to die for. The game of basketball was created at Kansas. I don’t care how good something is, that’s tough to rival. My first chilling experience came during the pre-game video. It walks through the history of basketball and KU tradition and success. The entire arena was captivated including the players who’ve seen it countless times, yet you could see the respect, the reverence and the desire to create more memories brewing in them as they prepared to be introduced. For the first time in a LONG time, it was evident these kids were playing for something bigger than themselves. I don’t know who makes your videos but that thing is solid.

Second chilling experience came right before tip-off. We’ve all heard the ‘Rock Chalk Jayhawk’ chant at some point, but there’s NOTHING like it in real life. It’s invigorating, almost eerie. Chilling is the only word remotely capable of describing it. (Click the Jayhawk and see for yourself.)

You lived up to my expectations even in the midst of my Cowboys being manhandled. One of the best sports experiences of my life, and more importantly, I was able to spend quality time with quality people. Zach and Kayla, thanks for the opportunity. Kamp friends, thanks for your time.

Rock Chalk,

Claimer of the legitimacy of you

P.S. Forgive my pictures, or lack of. I have lost my camera battery and am on a mission for a new one. These are from my phone.



  1. Yeah, watching Duke v. UNC at Dean Smith Center was awesome last year (even if we had a “down” year and lost). The only thing better (other than winning of course), is to see it in Cameron. Dangerous territory for a Tarheel fan but a Must-Visit place in college basketball.

    • I’d die to go to a Duke/UNC game! That’s awesome!

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