December 31, 2007

Winter Road Trip: UMass

Jesus and I formulated a plan: a road trip. Sometimes road trips are just things you talk about or watch on TBS at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday during your break. No, this was for real. Looking at the Terrier sports schedule:

Saturday, December 29th: BU Men's Bball @ UMass
Sunday, December 30th: BU Men's Hockey vs. Merrimack
Wednesday, January 2nd: BU Men's Bball @ Holy Cross
Saturday, January 5th: BU Women's Bball vs. Hartford
Saturday, January 5th: BU Men's Hockey vs. Vermont

You could throw in BU Men's Bball @ Deleware on the 22nd, but that really isn't part of the itinerary of the trip. I'm going to try to give you some insight into each game and the overall trip. Hopefully we don't lose all our money/get beat up along the way:

We left Philadelphia at around noon on Saturday. Traveling in my 1993 Acura Legend, which is approaching 150,000 miles, we made it to Amherst in less than 5 hours. If you've never been to Amherst, save yourself the trip because we found nothing to do there. When we entered the campus (2 and a half hours before tip off) we drove around the stadium. The Mullins Center is nice, but the main attraction on the UMass campus is most definitely the heating center. The heating center is adjacent to the basketball/hockey stadium and resembles Conesco Fieldhouse, where the Indianapolis Pacers play. However when we drove up to get a closer look an armed guard prevented us from getting closer than 200 yards. It's clearly the equivalent to BU's photonics center.

The UMass game started terrible. It was 40-17 at one point in the first half. The Terriers played a SOLID second half, getting it as close as 3 points. UMass took the game 70-61 but BU certainly made it interesting.

First off, it was a pleasure having Ibi Konate back. Maybe he is what this team needed so desperately because as soon as he got in the game he threw a block party. Ibi reminds me of a skinny Stretch Armstrong from Mali. His arms often appear out of no where to disrupt attempted field goals.

Tyler Morris played a good game, minus fouling out and only tallying seven points. He's still coming back into form but you can see his ability to control the pace of the game already coming into effect.

UMass fans are A-holes. Eventually I'll post my encounter with two UMass fans from last year in which case I was challenged to fight in the parking lot, but this visit to Amherst was no different. It was break so the likelihood of a lot of UMass students wasn't probable. With any A-10 school there are a lot of just fans, from the area. Usually these 3,000 people don't care about our presence and most of the time just seem amused. Some do approach and ask why we dress up, only to walk away even more confused than before they asked. Regardless, these consistent fans of their respective A-10 school don't mind us. Opposing students do.

Jesus and I entered before any of the Minuteman fans. The fist one who did arrive immediately said to his friend, loud enough so we could hear it, "hey look at these fa----s." It's like, come on, really? We didn't do ANYTHING to you. NOTHING. We don't even know you, but as soon as you start shit like this, we're going to fire back. We're not going to lie there and take it. We fire back with the typical stereotypes for UMass - you're dumb, you go to a state school, you don't have money. That type of stuff. We don't get into derogatory terms, we don't call people gay. Doing stuff like that just isn't creative/smart. When you can say something so clever that the person can't formulate a good enough sentence other than, "scoreboard" and giving you the middle finger; you've won.

ANYWAYS, the security guard from our area approached US first. He didn't look like he was older than me, maybe a Junior at UMass. He asked to see our tickets, looked at mine, told us that we couldn't heckle the students we only told him to tell them the same thing. He walked away without looking at Jesus' ticket to go talk to the Minutemen.

They would call us out 3 more times before the game started only having us fire back and be approached by the guard before them.

I ignored it as the game started and through the first half. Jesus didn't seem unphased by it as he made eye contact with their fans, I don't do that.

Things were kind of uneventful until about the 5 minute mark in the second half. A UMass fan, probably a senior at Amherst approached with a half eaten pretzel in the shape of a cross and a hot dog with mustard and ketchup on it. He offered them to us saying, "oh, since you're loosing maybe this will cheer you up." I knew this was going to end badly. It's just what this a-hole wants to have happen.

I ignored, or tried to, but this duechentstein was standing right between the game and me. Jesus tried to get any of the THREE sercurity guards next to us to come check his ticket, since that's the same treatment we got. THEY DIDN'T MOVE AT ALL. This dude wouldn't leave so I did the only thing I had wanted to do since he got there, slapped the hot dog into his face. Immediately a guard grabbed me and said, "that's it you're done."

A police was right there and he told me to come talk to him. He was an extreme close talker, but I've found out, that's the way all arena police are. He told me not to say another word to the UMass fans our I would be taken off in handcuffs. He added that the only reason why him and his partner were there was to make sure that Jesus and I didn't get beaten up by Minutemen at the end of the game. To that I thanked him. He gave me another chance as Jesus came over to talk to them. The other cop told me to go back and sit down. I said we stand, we were told we could stand, why can't I stand? He said not to question him, but I continued to do so. Jesus wrapped up his conversation with the cop who had just lectured me and he began to return to his seat. The nicer of the two cops said go back and stand and don't talk to anyone. I heard the answer I wanted and walked away. The policeman who had been telling me to sit questioned his partner but I was gone.

3 seconds left, the game was out of reach, I let out my frustrations by calling out UMass fans and told to leave. I walked SO slowly to the exit to make sure I saw how the game ended. Ugh.

We undressed out of costume, got back in the car, then drove an hour and forty minutes to Boston.

It is fun to be an opposing fan in a hostile environment though. Always an experience.

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