I am just home from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, home of the FSU Seminoles basketball team, at least on game days. Free throws at the end of the game hide how close it really was, but this post isn’t about the game. The D-Tuck (nobody calls it this) is my 6th college b-ball arena (if W&M Hall counts) so you all get a full report on how much worse it is than the Sistine Chapel of college hoops (Cameron Indoor for the slow).
The D-Tuck is a multi-purpose civic center and not strictly a basketball arena, so you can’t expect it to provide the college experience that students deserve. There is a small student section, about 4 rows, behind the press tables, but other than that the ‘Noles have decided to go the route of the NBA style arena. It’s not their fault there are luxury boxes, those just come with building, but they also decided to go with obnoxiously loud music (perhaps I was sitting too close to the ceiling speakers), a light show at player introductions, and better looking cheerleaders (hey, CIS ain’t perfect).
I can shrug and just say that’s all just the FSU way, that’s how they do it. But there was one crime against sports that hurts me deep. Right at the beginning of player introductions the announcer does his best to pump of the fans (“Give a welcome to yourrrrrr Florida State Seminoooooooles!!” etc.), the lights go out and the stadium shakes. If you’ve ever felt Cameron Indoor shake, you know what this feels like and you’ve probably noticed it corresponds to 2500 crazy students jumping up and down and screaming in the bleachers. At the D-Tuck it corresponds to nothing. They’ve actually faked fan enthusiasm by vibrating the building. I was shocked, I was saddened, I began to wonder if they’d use a round ball to play the game.
Thankfully, a round ball was used and Duke put it through the hoop more often than FSU.