Moody is Back
While I walked into Moody Coliseum the other night for the Mustangs opener of the NIT, I was thinking back to games I attended at the “old” Moody a year or two ago. Just me and about 134 of my closest friends. You think I’m joking but I’m not far off. You could literally move into about any seat you wanted to. Courtside, baseline, mid-court 15 rows up–just like you were picking out your season tickets, the difference being that this was during a Division 1 college basketball game.
There were already as many people in the building during warm-ups an hour before tip off, as there were for the entire first half back in 2011. The comparison we often hear about the re-tooled Moody is Cameron Indoor at Duke. It’s not a terrible comparison, with the exception of the craziness of the crowd. The capacity was kept intimate at Moody, partly to give everyone a good seat, right on top of the court, and partly because SMU fans hadn’t shown a desire to attend games. There would have been nothing worse than to put 12,000 seats in there and have 5,000 that have never been touched.
Most, if not all of the success of the team and Moody belongs to Larry Brown. The difference he has made is tangible–unlike June Jones and his $2 million dollar salary. The crowds at Ford Stadium during football games still is embarrassing. Not only is no one there, but the few that are, have as much energy as Jason Garrett at a post-game news conference. The basketball fans at Moody, especially the students, do their “Cameron best” to stir things up. Their t-shirts have slogans about Brown, not players. They actually wear crazy outfits, like at real college basketball schools. One guy was dressed as a lobster, which I still haven’t figured out the significance of yet. But if it’s because of some obscure mention on some obscure blog, that’s perfect. That’s what the best fans are all about. One little thing Brown said in an interview 11 years ago, that’s what great fans do.
The music has been upgraded too. For too long SMU has been playing the same song list at football and basketball games that Doak Walker picked out. Note to athletic department; appeal to the students and the younger fans, don’t worry about keeping the gray hairs happy by playing Tommy Dorsey’s greatest hits. The Ponies beat Cal-Irvine easily and move on to play LSU on Monday. That game will also be at Moody, which speaks to the turn around at SMU. In the past, if the Mustangs made the NIT, where the first round games are played on campus, SMU wouldn’t have rated a home game. Now they have the first 2 at Moody because word has gotten out that it’s a real college basketball atmosphere.
It may not be the NCAA’s in Buffalo, but it’s a bonus for those deserving Moody fans to show their colors a while longer.