Naysayer: Prepping for Basketball Day in Indiana

“Cheetos!” That is literally the first thing that came to my mind after hearing about Basketball Day in Indiana, December 10. It’s like Indiana created its own version of “Festivus,” only with a historical-hoops peg.

Fox Sports Indiana and the Indiana Pacers created this day for celebrating what has become the state’s birthright sport—basketball—with games downtown and a live broadcast on Georgia Street all day. Let’s face it, I’m not going to come downtown to Georgia Street to watch the live Fox broadcast and participate in activities, even knowing there’s no charge for the two prep games at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. The only activity I would engage in if I came downtown, which I’m not, would be 12-ounce curls.

But for an experienced person like me (I just couldn’t say old), I look forward to sitting in my chair watching basketball on television, and the thought of doing that is appealing. I’m not gonna lie. I can personally tell you from the generation that invented “couch potatoes” that I am a founding member of that club, so the prone position is a welcome and very familiar pose.

Back to the Cheetos —to survive an entire day of lounging, I’ll need stuff. So in an effort to prepare for this day, December 10, which is this Saturday BTW, I have the following items on my list:

Cheetos. I think I’ve covered this.

Beverages: enough water to sustain life, and enough beer to temporarily suspend it just in case one of the games turns ugly.

Food for a well-balanced daily diet: see Cheetos; plus peanuts (protein); hint-of-lime chips (fruit and corn); salsa (veggies); carrots and Ranch dressing (more veggies); cheese slices (dairy).

Doggy treats and Dingo bones: To keep my furry beast Teddy at bay during the games.

No hassle dinner: Put a pork roast in a crockpot on high by 10 a.m. for 4 to 6 hours for easy and fast pulled-pork sandwiches later. Required condiments: BBQ sauce, mustard, and pickles.

All-important side: tater tots. Good cooked extra-crispy for the crunch factor with the sandwiches, and leftovers also serve as a great munchies-slayer later as a snack.

Over the years, my weight has fluctuated, so I possess a good supply of what I call “fat clothes.” We all have them. These are the extra-large, expandable-waist clothing that I can no longer wear in public, but is the perfect attire for lounging like a desert lizard all day. I can eat what and as much as I want to eat all day and not be bothered by a tight waistline. And without that tight waistline, I never have any guilt. It’s a win-win.

Let me just say Basketball Day in Indiana is not just limited to those teams on Fox television. If I wanted to do this right, I would have another flat-screen in the living room to handle the overage. But looking at the day-long Fox TV schedule, I only cringe a few times when I see the three high school matchups in a row and think that my best friend could be “previous channel” if one of the games turns out to be dog. But looking to the schedule, the 10 a.m. game has Carmel High School girls, who are very highly rated, deep, and talented this season against Center Grove at Banker’s Life followed by Lapel versus New Castle boys in what should be another close contest. The focus then shifts to Southport High School for the third HS game which will be called live by Pacers announcers Chris Denari, a pretty good point guard from Wabash College and Quinn Buckner, a pretty good point guard out of IU.

At noon, there are many college games going on at the same time as the high school contests, so “previous channel” will come into play during this time. No. 1 Nova is at No. 23 Notre Dame on CBS, and No. 18 Purdue plays Cleveland State on ESPN3 at noon in Mackey Arena, also. The ND game will be good, and probably the first half of the Purdue game will be competitive for these games that run up against North Central versus New Albany prep game. At 2, Eastern Kentucky plays at Ball State on ESPN 3, and on this same channel at 3:30, I can watch IUPUI vs Miami, Ohio. With IUPU-Fort Wayne’s recent close loss to Notre Dame and stunning recent win over IU, the IUPU satellite schools have piqued my interest, so I’ll probably be checking this one out. At 4, Houston Baptist invades No. 9 Indiana in a game airing on the Big Ten network, and Murray State races into Evansville for its contest on ESPN 3. Then at 4:30, No. 22 Cincinnati comes into Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on No. 16 Butler on Fox. At 7 p.m. also on Fox, the Pacers take on the Portland Trail Blazers, and then at 8 p.m. on ESPN 3 Valparaiso plays at Missouri State.

Here’s my combined sports schedule for Basketball Day in Indiana:


  • 8 a.m. The Wigwam (taped TV special on FSI)
  • 8:30 a.m. The Milan Miracle (taped TV special on FSI)
  • 9 a.m. Basketball Day in Indiana Live tip-off show (from Georgia Street on FSI)
  • 10 a.m. Girls Basketball: Carmel vs. Center Grove (Bankers Life Fieldhouse on FSI)
  • 12 p.m. Boys Basketball: Lapel vs. New Castle (Bankers Life Fieldhouse on FSI)
  • 12 p.m. Cleveland State at No. 18 Purdue (ESPN3)
  • 12 p.m. No. 1 Villanova at No. 23 Notre Dame (CBS)
  • 2 p.m. Boys Basketball: North Central vs. New Albany (Southport High School on FSI)
  • 2 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Ball State (ESPN3)
  • 3:30 p.m. IUPUI at Miami, OH (ESPN3)
  • 4 p.m. Basketball Day in Indiana Live show (Georgia Street on FSI)
  • 4 p.m. Houston Baptist at No. 9 Indiana (BTN)
  • 4 p.m. Murray State at Evansville (ESPN3)
  • 4:30 p.m. Men’s Basketball: No. 22 Cincinnati at No. 16 Butler (Hinkle Fieldhouse on FSI)
  • 6:30 p.m. Pacers Live pregame (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
  • 7 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers (Bankers Life Fieldhouse on FSI)
  • 8 p.m. Valparaiso at Missouri State (ESPN3)
  • 9:30 p.m. Pacers Live postgame (Bankers Life Fieldhouse on FSI)
  • 10 p.m.: Basketball Day in Indiana Live wrap-up show (Georgia Street on FSI)

(Italicized games are not officially part of Basketball Day in Indiana lineup.)

This is a very aggressive TV schedule, even for me, so I will need to put forth a monumental effort and summon all of my concentration to watch all of the above events. Truth be known, if I stay in the upright-to-prone position, eat vigorously in the morning, begin my beer-can 12-ounce curls at noon, I’ll be napping from 2 to 5 p.m., at which time I’ll wake up for the end of the Butler game, pull the pork for my crockpot BBQ pork for sandwiches, cook my tots to their crunchy goodness, resume curls (low weight, high reps) and then catch the Pacers game after dinner.

Even if it ends up with just this, it will be quite a Festivus this Saturday the first annual Basketball Day in Indiana. (I know the first can’t be tagged as annual. I’m just trying to be progressive).