It should come as no surprise to anyone that I bleed brown and gold. I’ve been a hopelessly addicted basketball junkie since I was 12-years-old. During the past six weeks I’ve been living my dream of working with the Bisons basketball program.
By now I’m used to arriving early, seeing coach there first thing in the morning and then seeing him late at night being the last ones to leave.
I joke with him about his work ethic and say, “When you go home, you make your wife and daughter watch game tape don’t you!?”
He turns to me smiling and says, “Yeah, sometimes I do!”
Another basketball junkie, we recognize our own kind. His eyes light up when he is talking about basketball, going over scouting reports, or watching the team do his bidding from the sidelines in practice. He loves the game.
But let’s not get too carried away. Everyone has their faults and coach Kirby Schepp is no different. Though, his fault is much more glaring and sickening than most people. Are you ready for this? He played for the University of Winnipeg Wesmen in college basketball.
I know. I couldn’t believe it either. When I first discovered it my heart dropped in disbelief. I had to sit down and immediately re-arrange my finances to cover the therapy sessions I would have to endure from this point on.
Soon enough, though, I got a grip on myself and realized what matters. He’s a Bison now and those treacherous Wesmen will never have him again. So we might as well move forward. Let bygones be bygones.
Whoops! We’re getting sidetracked here! Let me tell you about the games I enjoyed earlier this month, on Nov. 13.
A home game weekend means party time on the University of Manitoba campus — a social hotspot of beer, basketball and rock and roll. Just my kind of action so I pitched this to my lady, Kristin:
“I’ll do some sports writing and you can take photos. What better way to spend a weekend?”
“A beer, basketball and rock and roll party?! I’m in!” she said.
We arrived at Investors Group Athletic Centre about an hour before tip-off, went upstairs and watched the women’s team get their first win of the season — Kristin snapped some photos of the glorious moment.
I grabbed four noisemakers (trust me you need at least two) and the weekend program.
As I looked around I noticed young families, alumni, proud grandparents and a lot of students — the most noise coming from the Bisons Superfans student section.
The student section is nicknamed the Bisons Superfans section. It’s a carefree place where the most hardcore Bisons sports fans can relax and be entertained, while drinking beer and getting loud together. They consist of mostly 18-22 year olds students who are all wearing Bison Superfan t-shirts; some have their face painted in brown and gold, some have Afro wigs and hold up signs. They dance, chant, stomp feet and drum with the noisemakers.
Most Bison Superfans are students getting amped up for the bar.
“It’s the perfect place to pre-game,” one of the fans explained to me. “Plus it’s another place to meet chicks, dude. We just met these girls and were all going to the bar after this. I’m feelin’ pretty good about this!” he says nudging me.
“How do you become a Superfan?” I asked
“It’s simple!” he says. “You add the official Bisons Superfans on Facebook, then email them. They confirm your email address and let you know where to pick up your shirt and cheer seat, make sure you understand the crazy vibe of it all, then you get a ‘concession ticket’ to use at the game — surprisingly the exact price of a cold one. It’s awesome dude!”
We went back our seats and watched the halftime contest for kids and sipped our beers.
“It’s so cute; they couldn’t get the ball close to the hoop, but they were trying so hard,” Kristin said lovingly.
The second half was filled with a lot of excitement. As you may already know, the Bisons lost the game 95-86. But everyone still had a good time.
By the end of every home game this season I’ve lost my voice. Basketball does this to me. I love it. I love it so much that when the Bisons had their first loss of the season in B.C., I broke down and wept as time ran out. I love this game.
As we were about to leave, the last of the rowdy Superfans section walked past us, one of them leaned over and screamed in my face.
“Eight p.m. Nov. 26 and 27, bitches! It’s party time baby!”
“We’ll beat Brandon like gongs!” I yell to him shaking my fist.
Join us Nov. 26 -27 as provincial rivals go head to head when the Bisons take on the Brandon Bobcats. Admission is free for resident students and $5 for the rest of us. You can also go to http://cwuaa.tv/ to watch the games on webcast TV live online.
I’ll see you next time folks!