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|| News Item: Posted 2005-04-02

Bye-Bye Boise
By Robert Beck, Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated

Robert Beck's assistant Kojo Kinno at the Taco Bell Arena and a kid picking his nose.
Blubs of fun at the first and second round? It's such a blur I can hardly remember it.

Let's see ...four games one day. Downloading, burning and shipping takes care of the hours into the next day. Just enough energy to visit two bookstores and browse every photo magazine in the place. Check out two sporting goods stores to find the elusive Polartec pullover (that fits ME) to replace the one I left on the plane. You ever flown into Salt Lake City on a jammed Delta flight? I swear there were 380 passengers ... and 250 seats. Some airlines you grab a sack lunch before you board. At Delta they were passing out lap-kids. MMMMMmmmmmM mo mo mo more Mormons for everyone!

I digress. Where were we?

Sixteen games the first day, downloading. Okay. I got it. How can we play these things in Taco Bell Arena ... But there are no Taco Bell stands in the place? Kojo raided the CBS compound for sandwiches, brownies and cookies. We already had thirty apples from the pressroom. We closed the place, leaving at 12:30 AM THE NEXT DAY. We were the last ones out (after being the first there). I remember Kojo tuning the TV to Letterman leaning back in a chair in the empty pressroom with a glass of something in one hand and a brownie in the other and shouting "This is the life!" to no one in particular. Particularly because no one else was there.

Photo by Robert Beck /  Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated
The next eve we got take-out from the Stagecoach and ate in my "suite." A plaque over the door stated "Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter slept in this room in (whenever)". I left my own plaque. Dinner was great but the Double K and I could not appreciate the fact that Rod Mar, our guest, supplied the silverware and real plates. He stole salt and pepper shakers from abandoned trays in the hallway. That IS gross. Rod wanted to watch MORE NCAA basketball! Of course, he only had to shoot one game a day.

The second round saw us setting up six remotes and shooting two more games. Or was that setting up two remotes and shooting six more games. There were no upsets to speak of in our corner of the world and only one real camera glitch (one remote lens wouldn't lag up and we had to replace it with something that was too wide to look very interesting).

We celebrated the end of the tourney by ... being the last ones out of the arena again (after I shipped and the King of the K pulled out the lights). Dinner was at a quaint Mexican joint with soccer on every TV! Dessert was a mountain from Coldstone.

Goodbye Boise!

(Robert Beck is a staff photographer with Sports Illustrated based in Southern California. He will be making a guest appearance in St. Louis at he Final Four for SI before heading south for his annual pilgrimage to Augusta, GA.)

Related Links:
Beck's member page

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