Category Travelogues

15 entries

The Travelogue: Chapter 1

Pittsburgh Late Saturday night, in the temporary Saint Louis locker room underneath the University of Pittsburgh's Petersen Events Center, new Billikens head coach Rick Majerus rubbed his face crosswise and lengthwise, trying to invent things to say about a blowout win over Houston Baptist. Failing...

The Travelogue: Chapter 2

Kentucky It goes in two directions, separated by painted lines or, in the case of American interstate highways, steel and shrubbery. The two directions are named "coming" and "going," two fluid concepts that depend a lot on which side of the road you happen to be on. Another key travel duality i...

The Travelogue: Chapter 3

Tennessee Morning cracks open over Middle Tennessee like a giant farm-fresh egg. It bastes the mini-mall in gooey yellow sunshine, washing over the giant fluorescent Shoe Carnival sign. The letters blink a few times, then they're drowned, extinguished for another day. The sun soaks the Bread Rest...

The Travelogue: Chapter 4

The Long One Steel-colored first light above a lengthwise highway, rolling gun-metal hills beyond, a scene set off by a row of spindly and barren trees in crisp black focus. There's something comforting, regular about the standard tableau that I usually wake up to on the road, a simple chalk draw...

The Travelogue: Chapter 5

Philadelphia Lift up your downcast eyes, woman; there is a special place in heaven for you. O truck stop waitress, you sustainer of the long-distance voyageur, Cinderella of the service industry, underfoot guardian and caretaker of the linoleum empire... one day, when you finally fall from your wea...

The Travelogue: Chapter 6

North Carolina When I'm covering a game, I always dress in a crisp shirt and a solid-color tie, usually a coat as well... just like the coaches do. It's important to look nice. (That's something I picked up from Andy Katz.) Those coaches, and sometimes other media members, will occasionally enga...

The Travelogue, Chapter 7

Food Ask any assistant coach in college basketball, they'll tell you that one of the toughest challenges with away games is food. Carefully prepared team meals are usually the rule at home, but the road is an endless and glowing ribbon of McDonald's, Burger King, convenience stores and casual dinin...

The Travelogue, Chapter 8

Beatrice and Sandy Ever since faces launched ships, men have been giving inanimate objects women's names. Who knows why, really. It might be a subconcious effort to tap into the whole earth-mother provider thing, or it might just be an excuse to think about sex more often. Whatever the reason, it...

The Travelogue: Chapter 10

This One's For The Valley This one's for the Valley, the Missouri Valley. This is a tribute to that switch of strong and landlocked America that only sees the sun an hour after the right coast does, whether Indiana saves daylight or not. Let the light shine from Lincoln's boyhood home to his lic...

The Travelogue: Chapter 11

Fool People always seem so disappointed when the story isn't as simple as they apparently thought it was. In the eyes of some folks, I don't stand up to certain ideas of pure and perfect vagrancy. "You never stay in hotels? You just sleep in the car?" Actually, I stay in hotels on days off betw...

The Travelogue: Chapter 12

Versus Local On the road, general well-being is a complicated mesh of karmic gears, all of which must be humming and whirring smoothly to ensure smooth runnings. For example, there's cop karma, rental car karma, WiFi karma, digestive karma and gas prices karma. Those are only a few. For two week...

The Travelogue: Chapter 13

Chains of Love The Donner Party, those westbound settlers who were looking for gold to pan and ended up as each other's dinner, was a contingent cut in half by the towering gateway that separates two areas that came to be Nevada and California. Donner Pass is named for the group that was 87 stron...

The Travelogue: Chapter 14

Edible State I read somewhere once that nine out of ten new restaurants fail, that the crowded market and the high first-year costs conspire to ruin nearly all new ventures. This statistic, most assuredly, does not apply to Texas. On a warm late January night, wearing shirtsleeves, I cruised th...

The Travelogue, Chapter 17

Birmingham This month has its place in the weather calendar, a rock-solid role. March thaw helps keep April showers warm, and as long as everything happens in the right order, May flowers won't be DOA. March basketball, however, is as unpredictable as global warming. You don't know who's going to...

The Travelogue, Chapter 18

Bowling Green At 2:45 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, the message came in, with a time stamp that indicated it had been left an hour earlier. "The plane leaves around 3 p.m.," the sports information director said. "We'll see you down there at the airport." I'd have received the call on time if I...

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One Beautiful Season

1BS weaved the history of mid-major college basketball together with stories from the 2009-10 season, culminating in Butler's epic run to the National Championship game. Now it's available as a free download: PDF in the original 592-page book layout with all photos and graphics, or ePub format for electronic reading devices.