Hirbod Azmi checks in from the sideline at the 2009 Championships
Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend so far, this is my first Final four with a press/photo pass so it’s a big change and very exciting in a different perspective. I was fortunate enough to play in 2 championships and attend many final four’s through the years. Well my day started early for me, I really didn’t feel like sitting in Memorial day traffic on Friday night so I decided that I would leave at 5:30 Sat morning. About hour and half into the rainy ride I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I pulled over into one of the rest stops and took a nice 20 minute nap and then I was on my way. I got to good ol Brockton at around 9:15 and met up with John and he showed me to our wonderful room which smells like mold and smoke and for some reason we have a perfect round melted circle in our carpet.
At around 10:15 or so we meet up with Sparky & Josh Cornett and we piled in the E-lax toureg and were off to the Gillette stadium. We parked the car and were off to get our media passes and I feel like a little kid at this time, I haven’t been this excited for something in a while. I grab my pass and I’m in the stadium, I walked around a bit to check out the locker room and other goodies but I’m approached by one of the ladies in yellow and she kindly escorts me to the field and tells me that I’m not allowed to just mosey around.
As I get on the field I look around and the stadium which is starting to pack in and Syracuse and Duke are warming up so I get all my photo gear set up and I’m ready to take shots. I just got a new camera so I play around with it a bit to make sure that I know what I’m doing(some people out there may argue with that statement) and find the best spot on the field to get the best shots. I snap about 230 picks for the first half and during half time I run into Harry from the crease monkeys and spoke to him for a bit and found out where the Monkeys camp was set up, also ran into Kylor Berkman and wished him luck, lets hope he gets on a team this summer( MLL draft is this wed). I took another 200 shots for the second half and after a Syracuse win I had to sit down for a bit to relax the legs. Found a place to sit on the sideline and just watched the crowd. Watched Cornell and UVA goalies warming up and the rest of the players slowly came out and it was game time. For this game I moved around a bit and for the first time I was allowed on the same side as the bench so that was pretty cool, getting a different vantage point and I really think my foot may have been on TV……
After a big red win I followed Harry to the Monkeys tail gate, had some food and drinks and ran into some old friends. Hung around for a couple of hours and by this time it was 7:30 and it was time to head back to the Moldy Hotel. Downloaded my 800 picks and deleted about 200 so I have 600 shots to work with, hopefully Ill have 20-30 shots I can share with you guys.
Around 9 we got a call from Sparky & Josh that they were down at the sports bar in the hotel so John and I met up with them. After a couple of games of pool and some drinks I did something that I have never done or seen before and I have to ask the audience what the is correct call: If you hit the 8 ball in and scratch on the break do you win or lose the game? Well I Lost the game but I still think I should have won……
It was around 12 by now and I was off to bed to get ready for Sunday’s game and festivities.
Here are a few photos from yesterday’s crowd and sidleines.