WKU Basketball: Should Diddle Be A Destination Arena?
Mid-Major Madness (a site that I have previously been a contributor for, while it was a brief stint) contributor Patrick Toner compiled a list of mid-major arena’s he would like to visit before he dies, and there are some solid choices on here.
He lists The Palestra, an arena I lived mere hours away form when I was in Pennsylvania last year, and I must admit that I also would love to go there.
He also lists Jadwin Gym, the home of the Princeton Tigers. It’s a beauty through the photos, and I wouldn’t mind going there either.
A place the Toppers visited last year, McKeon Pavilion, also makes an appearance.
In fact, all of Patrick’s choices are pretty good. Hard to argue. Good list Patrick.
Except there is one glaring exception.
That’s right, 13 arenas made the list (including BYU and Gonzaga) but not a single one of them was Diddle Arena.
Did I open his article through Red-Towel-colored glasses? Or does Diddle have a legitimate argument to be on that list?
The answer is, unsurprisingly, it’s both. Of course I want Diddle to be on this list. It’s my arena. It’s our arena. It’s also an arena steeped in history. All of these schools are getting new homes and Diddle will be here to stay for the foreseeable future. It’s one of the hallmarks of the history of WKU basketball and will continue to be.
Incoming WKU freshman center Mitchell Robinson will be one of the 28 players on the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World…medium.com
However, a lot of the history and lore of Diddle is, well, just that — the history and lore from Diddle. Is it anything crazy or unique in terms of structure or design? Nah, not really. A quick look at Patrick’s list and nearly each arena has one of two things in common — walls behind the goals (like in a high school) or curved ceilings (or, in some cases, both). It’s not just “this is a place where history happened,” type of list (although some places, like The Palestra, certainly are that), but it’s “this is unique — lets go there!” type of list.
For those of us who live outside of the BGKY area, Diddle is a hollowed ground. It’s a pilgrimage to go and experience a game in person, to walk the history halls and to bask in the glory of Diddle’s statue.
For basketball junkies, it’s the home of a once great program, and a program that’s currently on the rise.
For everyone else, it’s a fine structure — it certainly doesn’t feel the 50-years-old that it is.
But a destination for everyone might be stretching it a biiiit much.
What do you think? Is Patrick out of his damn mind by not including Diddle? Would you have omitted Diddle as well? Let us know in a comment below, via twitter at @TheTowelRackWKU or on our brand spankin’ new Facebook page!