Outside the Final Four

2 Apr

by Kellen W. Hill

My day at the Final Four in Houston has been like the path of all four number one seeds…a failure. But unlike those teams I’m here in Houston and making the best of my time.

It started off by me being unable to get an all-access media pass. I found out today my connect at CBS was unable to get me the much anticipated pass, but since I used to live in H-town and have people out here the trip isn’t wasted. Like any trained journalist, I was determined to bring something to the table for you guys, and what do you know my afternoon was adventurous.

Mutumbo towering over everyone outside Reliant Stadium

Before any of the games began there were unlimited festivities for fans of all four schools to enjoy. Tailgate Tip-Off was a major hit with all of the fans equally. There were many famous faces in the crowd, including Dkembe Mutumbo and Minnesota Viking, Adrian Peterson. While Mutumbo was taking his family to the game, Peterson and his friend were taking in the scenery (and guys…there was some scenery…I mean it is Clutch City!). Aside from the eye candy there were some other things around the stadium.

The amount of scalpers around Reliant Stadium made me thankful for media passes. The constant pressure of “I got these tickets you want” from every other person I passed made me nauseous.

NO! For real.

The excessive pricing and constant nagging about a ticket was insane. I know scalpers are trying to make their money, but you want me to pay $200 for an upper level seat for one game? I know it’s the Final Four, but you didn’t pay anywhere near that price. Exploitation of the system I guess.

And exploitation had some fans up in arms as they quietly protested the NCAA for th exploitation of student-athletes. Protestors demonstrated disgust for graduation rates of college basketball players (mainly Division I players), as well as the admission of partial and non-qualifiers.

Part of their argument even included historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) missing out on quality athletes because of a flawed system where the road to riches usually goes through a national powerhouse.

Whether or not fans going to the game paid attention, they had no choice but to pay attention to the $15/$20 parking lots hosted by the NCAA. Of course I didn’t pay this cost; I was resourceful and made something happen. When you know your way around the arena it’s easy to know the hidden spots.

While it was helpful the Final Four was in a city I’m familiar with, it hurt to not have that all-access media pass to bring RJP readers the most exclusive behind the scenes information. I promise you I will do everything in my power to get a secured media pass for RJP next year in New Orleans!!!

#Leggeaux (y’all know this is how they spell stuff in Louisiana).

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