Final Four 2009

This past weekend my dad and continued our annual tradition of going to the NCAA Men’s Basketball championship, more commonly knows as “The Final Four.”  This is one of my absolute favorite events, for a number of reasons.  

First, I get alone time with my dad.  That’s the only time all year we get that.
Second, my dad gets some vacation and relaxation time.  He’s a busy heart surgeon who works many hours every day, and I know he doesn’t relax often.  So I’m glad I can enable and encourage some R&R for him.
Third, we both love basketball, the central attraction of the weekend.  We both love basketball more at the college level than the professional level.  The enthusiasm for the game, the energy of the fans, it’s addictive and infectious.
This year the Final Four was in Detroit, Michigan.  I expected the city to be kind of a disaster zone, based on news and movies.  I was wrong, and I am happy to admit it.
The downtown area was kept clean and organized.  It was fun to walk around, see the river front, some of the nice buildings.  Everyone was exceptionally nice, from the hotel people to servers at every restaurant, to ushers in the stadium.  Just uniformly good customer service, which is rare and I appreciate it.
The Henry Ford museum and Ford Rouge factory tour were incredible.  I might write a separate blog post on this topic.  But they were worth the visit by themselves, easily.  There are fascinating places, very well-organized and well-planned.  I can’t recommend them highly enough.
The basketball games were pretty good, as always.  Ford Field was an adventure.  Easily the biggest place I’ve ever seen a basketball game.  It kind of sucked to be far away from the court even though we had relatively good seats in the lower area of the arena.  It’s just so wide.  The energy of the stadium, filled with fans, could have been amazing if Michigan State made more of a game in the championship round.
All in all, we had a tremendously fun weekend.  I was kind of bummed at first that the Final Four was in Detroit, but I can definitely recommend the city now much more.  And of course, congratulations to the UNC Tar Heels!
Last year’s review: 2008 Final Four in San Antonio.