Journey to the Elite Eight reaches home

The NKU pep band and cheerleaders pose in front of the chariot that would deliver them into the frigid environment of Minnesota.

This is the final installment of Tim’s journal detailing the adventures of the NKU Pep band and cheerleading squad on the road at the Elite Eight tournament in Minnesota. When we last left our heroes, the basketball team had just suffered a crushing, one-point defeat. Now they have a cold trip home.

Thursday 11:34am March 21. Bitterly cold at 7 degrees F. with a wind chill of minus 9 degrees F. After a brief delay, retrieving a camera left in the room, and getting a last minute quenching liquid, we were back on the road. Everyone on the bus seemed a little subdued today. Maybe it was a bit of a reality check. We were heading home. Who knows? The first movie we watched was Beauty and the Beast. It was all right, a lot of people slept through it. I got a chuckle when the bus took a winding right turn ramp off the main highway to a secondary road. All those who were sleeping woke up in unison and tried to focus their still-not-open eyes on why the bus had taken this direction. They couldn’t fool me, they wanted food. Seeing that this was just another highway home and not a restaurant, most of the sleepers laid back down but they never did reach that REM sleep stage because a short time later we were at Dennys. It was now 2pm. More Movies… An hour later we were back on the road watching Robin Hood and South Park videos. The South Park video received the most laughter, making this segment of sitting a little more tolerable. Did I mention that the bus was equipped with a commode? The door wasn’t very wide and there is no exhaust fan. Next time air freshener will be remembered. At 7:30pm we pulled into the Days Inn of Bloomington, Illinois. Yes, the same place as Tuesday night. . Friday 9:08am March 22. It was warm, 17 degrees F. and only 1 degree F. with the wind chill. Heat Wave! At 12:30pm we stopped at the Golden Corral somewhere in Indiana. It wasn’t anywhere near the size of the Kentucky stores but nonetheless all appetites were satisfied. We were back on the road again for our last jaunt at 1:26pm. Some people recorded their experiences of this adventure on a small tape recorder I passed to them. Things to Remember About This Trip: College students are always resourceful when it comes right down to it. Did you know that you could use a coffee pot to drink water out of when you used all the drinking cups? Pass the duct tape, it can be used to mask out the obnoxious blue light in the back of the bus. Gummi worms are a sticky sweet thing to put on an unsuspecting sleeper. Rather than bring a small drum on the bus, bring again a practice pad for the percussionist and the bass guitar player. Forget going to fast food places, as they cause a hazardous gas buildup in the bus. Bring more batteries, industrial strength air freshener, playing cards, a Canadian accent, Bob and Tom radio CDs, and more Cheese Whiz. Amanda Boston, sophomore trombone player, says “Cheese Whiz is the travel food of choice. It’s so easy to use on everything, compact and yet enjoyable. It flows so smoothly.” Finally, the only negative thing about the bus ride was when we encountered an hour long bottleneck on the highway near Savannah, Illinois. It was during rush hour and it was caused by six oversized vehicles taking up almost both lanes on a four lane highway, smart thinking on someone’s part. Even though we were still moving, there was nothing like a traffic snarl to cause everyone to get antsy. The Campus of NKU. We arrived at the side of Regent’s Hall at 5pm. It had been a long adventure. We had done our best. We represented Northern Kentucky University in the way it should always be, with dignity and class. We are a proud part of the NKU family. We are the NORSE.