On Inside a Trophy Case

I’ve been in Anderson Arena, on the Bowling Green State University campus, many times. Whether passing through its lobby to avoid cold, wind, and/or rain, attend a basketball game, concert, or hear a US President; it is a place dear to my past.

I was there the day President Ford made a campaign stop. Unfortunately, he had gone through several recent assassination attempts, yet those of us who can remember Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore, may also recall the night when a popping of a camera flashbulb created temporary havoc. Yep, that was in Anderson Arena and I was there.

Anderson Arena is the place I attended concerts and saw acts as Yes (with Rick Wakeman), Jefferson Starship, Doobie Brothers (early in their career), and Bachmann-Turner Overdrive.

Who knows how many sporting events I attended at Anderson Arena, but as a sports venue, it’s far from luxurious … actually sparse … but a good place for fans. With fans near the court, The House that Roars was a tough place for opponents.

Earlier this month, Anderson Arena hosted its last Falcon basketball game as next season brings a new venue. Little did I know at the time, one of my lasting memories is seeing a partially deflated basketball in the lobby’s trophy case that is connected my life-after college in Cincinnati.

The date on the basketball was February 16, 1963, with the following score inscribed: Bowling Green 92, Loyola Chicago 75. Those Ramblers had come to town undefeated (21-0) and ranked #2 in the country – actually behind the two-time defending champion Cincinnati Bearcats, (where I earned my Masters and now attend sporting events).  At the end of the year, Loyola would have a late-game rally to defeat the Bearcats in the national championship game – which is also one of the earliest college basketball games from my childhood memory.

On that night in February of 1963 though, the night belonged to the Falcons, who were very good. They eventually won the MAC championship, and were part of the 26-team March Madness. They beat good teams, and lost to other good teams in close games. On that night, the Falcons never trailed, and were comfortable ahead most of the game … and the basketball from that night is in the trophy case.

Two Falcon legends gave this team an inside-outside threat. Howard Komives, the pure shooter, went on to a 10-year NBA career. Nate Thurmond, the inside rebounder and scorer, was not only an All-American, but had a long, outstanding NBA career, and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Harold Anderson is also in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Although Anderson Arena will now be quiet, yet the memories of the roars will live on. I will always remember that basketball in the trophy case, and know that I would have loved to be there on that night.

Outside picture courtesy of sharing through Flicker

Inside color picture courtesy of the Toledo Blade

Inside black and white picture used with permission from PepperGuy, Grant Cummings.

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20 thoughts on “On Inside a Trophy Case

    • Orange,
      I knew you would appreciate this post. In my day, that basketball was in the trophy case that was close to the ticket area nearest the business building. Who know how many times I looked at that basketball. Thanks for visiting.

  1. Um…. what band was Jefferson Starfish? Was that any relation to Jefferson Airplane which became Jefferson Starship? Maybe during the Age of Aquarius? (OK, so it’s a typo and I’m a smart-aleck! Hope you had a happy Hump Day! :D)

    • John,
      Good question! In the mid-70s, (after various internal issues), the band was changing – thus the name change from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship. (I saw the latter.) Heck, eventually they became just Starship. However, neither of those bands reached the acclaim of Jefferson Airplane.

      BTW: One of Jefferson Airplane’s originals (Jorma Kaukonen) owns and operates a music and guitar camp in Meigs County (the county south of Athens).

      Also, thanks for tolerating today’s sports-related entry. ;)

      PS: Here’s another site for you … JP’s.

      • Okay…. I’ll do my good deed for the day, and NOT point out that I told you it was a typo, AND did so 21 hours ago!!! :D
        Uh-oh… I guess I ended up telling you anyway. Um… er….
        “Gee! Thanks for the great info about Jefferson Airplane and their later incarnation, Jefferson Starship!” :)
        (There, THAT should cover my tracks…. ;)
        I TOLD you I was a smart-aleck! :D

  2. Hey, I remember Nate Thurmond! I didn’t remember him going to Bowling Green, though. I was about to ask if you started heading south on I-75 and ran out of gas in Cincinnati, but it would seem that the road was not there back then. I hope you didn’t have as much “fun” going through Findlay as I have a few times. Since that was while going through on US 224, you might not have.

    • FishHawk,
      Well, you are partially correct. I imagine that during Thurmond’s day at BG, I-75 wasn’t there. When I came to campus in the early 70s, I-75 was complete – thus I never had to go through Findlay.

      Many don’t realize that Thurmond played at BG, let alone a product of the MAC. From the late 40’s through the mid-60s, BG was known for good basketball. I still recall my first college basketball game. I was in elementary school, and my uncle took me and my to cousins to Ohio University because he wanted to see Howard Komives play. (I think it was the year after Thurmond). Interestingly, OU’s Grover Center was very much like Anderson Arena.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. I always appreciate the old venues and how much has happened there. While they stand it’s easy to complain about the accouterments or lack thereof, but once they’re gone we only remember the events. I’m glad you took the time to write this.

    I think of how many dents there are in the left field wall at Fenway – each one a ball pinging off the metal – and wonder which one may have been placed there by whom.

    • Mo,
      I recall you post about the dents in Fenway’s wall – thus each has a story. Good news is that some old venues find a way to stand – Fenway & Wrigley – and the thinking of the day they will pass is unthinkable. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Good post Frank. Jefferson Airplane was one of my favorite bands. When they became Jefferson Starship, well not so much. When they dropped the name Jefferson, I said forget it.

    • Don,
      Glad you enjoyed the post. My guess is the transitions from J-Airplane to J-Starship to Starship were probably due to internal power struggles within the band regarding direction AND income. Thus, they lost their edge. However, they put their mark on the music of the time. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Ah, the memories…Jefferson Starship – one of the loudest concerts I’ve ever seen. All those shows with Michael Quatro as the opening act. Being in the lobby waiting to get in to see Aerosmith when the crowd outside pushed somebody through the glass doors behind us. A handy place to pass through to try to get warm during the long, cold BG winter. A few LOUD basketball games. Chuck Berry – saw him from the front row, more or less. Wow, what an arena!

    • Steve,
      OH … I forgot Arrowsmith … and the one in their early years. Just after Get Your Wings album? Of course you could forget the Mike Quattro Jam Band. I think his Rachmaninoff Prelude was my fav song.

      I found this one (which you should recall). Enjoy … thanks for stopping by.

      FYI: FaceBook: A Frank Angle

      • Here’s the list of the concerts I/we saw at Anderson Arena: John Sebastian, Jethro Tull, Chuck Berry, Sha Na Na, Yes, John Denver, Joe Walsh, Doobie Brothers, Carpenters, BTO, Jefferson Starship, and (I think) Kansas. Not to mention the concert that you and I DIDN’T see, because there were GIRLS (!!!) Dwain’s room.

        • Steve,
          Ah ha …. you must have went to your Historical Record of Concerts! Now you have me thinking … about Tull, Walsh, and Kansas. ….. and I recall the one we didn’t see. It’s Dwain’s fault because we were on our way! Thanks for sharing.

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