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.
- A Loyola perspective 40 years later about the BG-Loyola game
- An article about Anderson Arena
- Rare video of Komives (#30) and Thurmond (#42) in Anderson Arena
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.