Playing in Peoria
Local dignitaries paint Main Street red in front of the Robertson Memorial Field House.
By 6 p.m., Robertson Memorial Field House was packed with almost 3,000 cheering, wildly excited fans—all decked out in red shirts, caps, beads, and flashing jewelry. A noisy mix of students, alumni,
Patrick O’Bryant (left) and his Braves teammates expressed appreciation for the fans’ support.
Downtown at inPlay, a popular entertainment complex, an optimistic crowd of almost 200 alumni and friends cheered the Braves at a big-screen TV party sponsored by the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter. Some donned temporary BU tattoos and reminisced about the 2005-06 season, as well as stand-out teams and players from past decades.
“We’ve supported Bradley forever. I never give up on the Bradley Braves,” said Sherry Becker Vosberg, attending the CIBAC event with her husband Dick Vosberg ‘56. Season ticketholders Mike Dexter ’88 and Kelly Bennett Dexter ’92 brought their two daughters along. Thanks to watching the Bradley cheerleaders at the games, two-year-old Kaylee happily and correctly spelled Bradley: B-R-A-D-L-E-Y.
Back on campus, the deafening roar at the Field House prompted some fans to move to the fringes of the crowd. And even when the game’s outcome seemed clear, just a handful of fans trickled out before the final buzzer. Surprisingly, as the crowd dispersed, it wasn’t readily apparent that Bradley had just lost to Memphis. One student unknowingly spoke for many others when she told friends, “Oh, I just love the Bradley Braves.”
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