Columnist chronicles the NDSU/SDSU doubleheader

Shane Koob

Shane KoobInebriated Fan

Excitement defined my week leading up to the match-ups with NDSU last Saturday. Most people I talked to around campus seemed to be just as excited, and I knew it would make for a great atmosphere at Frost Arena. There was a lot on the line for both teams, which added more to the excitement and drama.

After waking up at the crack of noon on game day, I called up a few buddies and we decided to do our best tailgating impression for a few hours before game time. Even a few bets were placed on who would have the best game for the Jacks.

When the time came, we ventured out into the cold, and I noted as we pulled up to Frost Arena that I hadn’t seen that many cars there in a long time. Decked out in khaki shorts and my treasured “Buck the Fison” shirt, I walked through the gates and immediately got goose bumps. A good rivalry game and a jam-packed arena is pure bliss for me, and seeing so many people decked in blue and yellow brought a huge grin to my face.

I hadn’t been to a basketball game yet this year, mostly because I had December 4 circled on my calendar. I wanted to wait for Summit League games to begin, and despite the outcome, I think I picked a good weekend for my first game.

The women’s game was more of a warmup to get my basketball mind on the right page and to practice yelling at officials. The first half was a real rollercoaster, and it tested my sanity from the beginning. In the second half, I did more walking around and talking to friends to cool my nerves before the men’s game.

The women lost, and I was pretty bummed. They put up a good fight, but it’s tough to win a game when you shoot 26% from three-point range. As more people streamed into Frost Arena for the men’s game, I knew it was going to get rowdy.

I was sort of wrong. Besides starting on a 7-0 run, for the most part of the first half, the Jacks couldn’t seem to get much going besides Nate Wolters, and I think it had a negative effect on the crowd. I kept thinking to myself, “Shouldn’t 5,000 people for a huge rivalry game be louder?”

Besides Wolters, fans didn’t have much to cheer about in the first half, as we saw our beloved Rabbits go down, 37-28. I think I stood up more for berating the refs with some choice words than to cheer. I knew it’d be a tough challenge to overcome shooting 27% from the floor and only knocking down two from downtown.

The first seven minutes of the second half seemed to be more of the same, but with the Jacks chipping away at the lead, I held on to hope that a comeback was in store . I went crazy, as well as the rest of Jackrabbit Nation, when Wolters stole the ball and dished it to Dale Moss for a huge slam and the first lead since the opening minutes. He threw it down with authority and I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful kick this might be to spring the Jacks to victory.

The rebounding skills displayed by NDSU all but doomed the Jacks though. I’m pretty sure the most common thing yelled by several others and myself, was either “BOX OUT” or “REBOUND.”

Although NDSU took both victories, the excitement all week and intensity on game night is the reason I love sports and being a Jackrabbit fan. The losses also set up big match-ups in Fargo at the end of February (Men-25th, Women-26th) that would be well worth the trip. Book your hotels accordingly. It’s going to be a fun season.