Hoos excited that UVa is playing in the Sweet Sixteen at Madison Square Garden?! Everyone who lives in this house! It has been awesome to watch Tony Bennett coach the UVa Men’s Basketball team to a winning season. In a group text sent to the other Wahoos in our family…”It’s fun to be good at sports again” and goodness, are we soaking it up!
In honor of UVa playing in the Sweet Sixteen, I thought it would be fun to relive UVa basketball from when Greg and I were students there. I thought about starting this section with “In my day…” but decided it sounded too old for my liking.
The idea of camping out for basketball tickets was not new in 2002, but it was just catching on in Charlottesville. UVa Men’s Basketball was ranked well going into the 2001-2002 pre-season and the students were hyped for the season ahead.
In order to get THE best students seats available, students would camp out for tickets in “Hooville,” a tent city located outside of University Hall, the (now former) basketball arena. There were rules to camping out: There could be 10 people per group and 1 person from each group had to be there at all times. If roll call was taken and no one from your group was there, your group lost its place in “line.”
Camping out was not for the faint of heart. There were 2 games during our first year that were the most memorable; our group camped out 14 days for the UVA vs. MD home game and 11 days for the UVA vs. Duke home game. During these stints, student life still carried on; we went to class, attended meetings, and every so often, took a shift in Hooville to hold our place in line.
"Roughing it" isn't exactly how I would describe the atmosphere in Hooville. We had access to restrooms and periodically, the basketball team would pass out pizzas to those camping out. This was a pre-wifi time, so students would run REALLY long ethernet cords from the building to their laptops to do homework and surf the world wide web. We would watch movies on laptops, not streamed from Netflix, but from putting a DVD into the laptop. It was winter in Virginia while camping out in Hooville, so Greg bought a hibachi grill, which was an awesome way to stay warm and bonus…make s’mores!
After camping out 11 days for the UVA vs. Duke game of 2002, it was a particularly memorable game. Not because UVA won, although we did win, the game was a memorable one because as the final buzzer went off to announce UVa’s victory over Duke, the student section was lined up on the stairs to rush the court. I was on the stairs and Greg was (luckily) right behind me. In the chaos of running down the stairs to rush the court, I tripped on the person in front of me and was about to go flying into the mad rush of moving students, when my knight in shining armor (aka Greg) grabbed me and put me back on my feet. It was a close call, but we made it to the court and celebrated while proudly singing “The Good Old Song” with our fellow Wahoos.
Is it crazy that we camped out for a total of 25 days during our first year of college to get good seats at a basketball game? Yep. Is it crazy that it snowed and hit freezing temps most of those nights when our group camped out? Yep. Did we have an absolute blast in Hooville? Heck yeah! Would I camp out in Hooville again as my 19-year-old-self? Definitely.
For Friday’s game, we will be watching from the comfort of our home, decked out in our new blue & orange swag! Let’s go Hoos!!!