After the game against UW-M, I was doing the on-line chat thing and catching up on the different open game and post game threads. Noticed a post by JB about the team arriving in Manhattan at 4:30 a.m. Mentioned to the friend that I might go, and she encouraged this insane idea.
It was 1:00 a.m when I noticed the arrival time and I'd been watching basketball all day but I was not tired. So I decided if I headed out by 2:30ish I would easily make it to the Manhattan Regional Airport. Started gathering travel items based on experience of what would help keep me awake.
Beautiful moonlight night, decent temperature with a little wind; perfect conditions for the drive including no traffic. There was one vehicle that was a problem child, only 2 of us on the road and he would not let me pass. Finally the other vehicle sped up and left me in the dust. 40 miles later at the I70 303 exit I catch up with said vehicle and had to follow it through the K18 single lane curve at 20 mph. Not sure if the driver was awake or what. We were the only vehicles on the I70 and you won't let me pass?!?
Arrived at the airport, go past the passenger terminal to verify that that I was not the only insane person and found a parking place. Entering the terminal I estimated there were between 20-50 people in attendance, a couple groups had taken the time to make signs. After a 20 minute wait, the plane arrived on time.
After the normal deplane delay, the players started entering the terminal and the clapping and cheering started. It wasn't loud but it was for the team. Most of the players and coaches headed to the baggage claim area while acknowledging the crowd, and everyone seemed rather asleep after their 2 hour flight which is understandable.
Jake and Curt took the time as they entered to acknowledge the fans beyond the general thanks. I was in the back and so did not see all the interaction that Jake had, but he thanked those that had made the signs. While Curt, went around and gave everyone in attendance a hand clasp and chest bump.
Coach Martin was in relaxation mode, he said thanks to the crowd as he made his way to the seating area with the kids. But even while he was standing waiting to head to the baggage claim, my impression was that he appreciated the reception.
I left rather than waiting around for the post baggage claim, as it was noticeable that the pretty much everyone wanted to go to sleep including myself. The return trip was uneventful as I fought sleep back to the abode. But glad for friends that encourage insane ideas.