It’s a magical place, the floor, especially.
Many strive to walk on it but most only see it from a distance.
The ones that touch the Bangor Auditorium floor are a select few. They are the lucky ones, no, the hard-working ones, the ones full of pride and heart, the ones willing to go that extra mile and do the little things. The ones that win touch that floor.
It’s been ten years since I last touched the Auditorium floor as a player. It’s been that many years since I’ve been in the building, too.
This year, the last of this building’s kind, I get to go back. But this year I’ll be entering the building from the front. I’m going to miss those dark, wet, and empty cement hallways that hold the waiting athletes. I’ll be there looking for potential, recruiting for the University of Southern Maine.
This time of year is so exciting. This is the March Madness of February in Maine.
Maybe it’s because I’m bias to the Bangor tournament but there is absolutely nothing better than playing a game in front of screaming bands and melodic fan chants at the Mecca. I think it’s the small towns that Bangor attracts as opposed to Augusta or Portland. The Mecca is “old school” and everyone loves stories about, “back when I played here….”
I’m honored to go back to this place. “Back when I played there…” the last time I was there, we lost. This time, I’ll be able to take it all in without the pressure of a state championship. Who knows, maybe the nerves and the emotions will come back but I’m just hoping I can sneak a booted-foot on the floor.