September 5, 2008

Terrier Tailgate and Splash

For two years now Freshman can awkwardly meet each other and stay in a sitting position for 40 minutes. Then most of them all get up and leave.

The Terrier Tailgate has been extremely successful these last two years; not really in the win/loss column, but the attendance has been staggering. Whoever thought up the idea to have a home game the first night all Freshman are at school should be given a medal.

5,935 people attended the game. That's like as much as a hockey game against the U-18 US National team.

Upon arrival every spectator was given not only a fall sports schedule, but a brochure explaining the remade Terrier Rewards program. Students who attend select games receive points. With these points they can earn prizes and rewards. This is a superb way to get people out to games. I'm crossing my fingers it pays off since I was part of the brains of the operation.

Anyway, I wore my outfit and people looked skeptically at both Jesus and I as they walked in. However, some Freshman, somehow, did know who we were. "I friggin' love you Hot Dog and Jesus." The only type of response I could give was, "I don't know you, but I love you too." This is the type of fandom this school needs - unconditional love.

There was plenty of food, giveaways, and a dunk tank. I was only at the dunk tank to see K-Mac (Krystyn McIntyre) get dunked, but it was indeed entertaining. Mainly because the target area to throw at wasn't accurate. If anyone hit the entire pad the bullseye was on K-Mac was getting wet.

Later, John Holland sat upon the platform. From what I heard everytime he saw he was getting dunked he exclaimed, "Ahhhhhhhhhh." Followed by a moaning, "Whyyyyyy????" Apparently John hates water. Because he is so tall he often just stood up in the tank when the platform gave out.

The lacrosse team was selling t-shirts for their tentative Australia trip - they are going to play lacrosse in Australia. Jesus and I made our first purchase of what will be many - two $10 Terrier shirts. A freshman lax player was skeptical/scared - asking why I dress the way I do. Such a n00b. Along side them included some men's hockey players - Wilson/Shattenkirk, walking hand-in-hand, and the BU basketball team, in full force.

As people filed in food ran out, so hired help started walking around with food and tossing it to the crowd. Again, this is such an upgrade from last year. By gametime the place was packed. I could tell there were more people than the year before, but I couldn't tell how many more. Shortly after the game began I found out that last years number was slightly inflated, and we had indeed crushed that number.

The game was, well, it was soccer. It's really tough to get people on the American college level to get into soccer. I don't know how or what motivates people in England and Europe to be on their feet chanting and screaming all game. My only guess is alcohol - something that wasn't provided to the students at the game.

They did get up and on their feet when they saw that there was a possibility a BU soccer ball or BU beads could be thrown their way. This was the job of Jesus, Bongoman, and me - try to get people as amped as possible. We were on the playing area (the track around the field really), running back and forth trying to get people loud. They would stay loud as long as I was threatening to throw them free stuff. As soon as I turned around to watch they game, they got as quiet as I was.

Let me explain myself a little. Last year I was energized and loud and screaming just about the entire time. This year I had just helped Jesus move into our apartment that we couldn't live in yet - I was homeless, hadn't showered in days, and very tired. It was difficult for me to get as pumped up for this game as last year.

Now that I have a shower to shower in and a bed to sleep in I am energized and amped for the rest of the season. But being without a true place to stay definitely hurt my spirits.

What hurt more was the way the men's soccer team lost this game. It's just about the worst way a team, in any sport, can lose.

BU scored first, in the first half. UMass finished the half by scoring with 42 seconds left. BU grabbed a 2-1 lead with about 10 minutes left in the game. Then, with 3 seconds left, 3 mother f-ing seconds left the Minutemen found a way to put the ball in the back of the net.

I thought that was it - the game would end in a tie. I mean, that's how regular season soccer usually works. Jesus even undressed himself. Yet, all of a sudden the game was back on with two 10-minute overtimes. The first one was rather uneventful. BU clearly had more opportunities than UMass did, but never found the back of the net.

Then 8 seconds, 8 mother f-ing seconds into the second overtime Ben Arikian from UMass launched what didn't even seem like a shot from just inside midfield. To me it looked like it deflected off two different Terriers and then went wide of the net. However my eyes deceived me. I realized this when the UMass bench cleared and pummeled Arikian. The ball went in on what had to have been at least a 40 yard shot. That shot had no business being around the net, yet it was in the back of it. It was a surreal way to lose a game.

Fortunately, what had to have been half of the students who were originally at the game had left. I would say a large large portion left at halftime so they could go sit in their dorm rooms with their roommates and get drunk off the alcohol they smuggled from home. It's their choice and I can't make them stay, but this is the type of game that the soccer team needed the support of all 5,935 people who were originally there.

There's always next year.

The next day was Splash. An event where I get to sweat my ass off in my costume for like 2 plus hours. Upon arrival I was getting far more tire chunks from the new Nickerson field than I wanted to. I chose the rest of the day to go shoeless - best decision of the day.

Again, I was coming off another night of homelessness, but it was easy to get Freshman to take free hockey posters out of my hands and draw attention to the Dog Pound table - way easier than getting people pumped up for a soccer game. Splash is always a fun event. People are a lot more friendly and open to talk in that type of setting. Maybe it's because there's so much free stuff being handed out. Maybe it's because BU pumps the area with oxygen so people get a little high. Who knows? I know that each year I look forward to Splash and look forward to trying to recruit students to become fans, and not just of hockey.

I got to meet the two new men's basketball players. If you stacked them ontop of each other I'm pretty sure you could change the lights on the ceiling at The Roof. They are big boys. I'm gonna nickname them Cookies&Cream, right now. Jake O'Brien, 6-8, 205, white, seemed kind of hesitant and shy of me, in a hot dog suit. Jeff Pelage, 6-9, 240, black, had the type of smile a successful rapper has. He just seemed happy to be a part of it all. I have a feeling it's going to be a good year in basketball. Especially with these two Gheorghe Muresan-like ballas.

One thing I forgot about during Splash was the sun. I had to go to the first day of class with a semi-ridiculous sunglass tan, but that's okay. It's the price I pay to try to get the class of 2012 into Terrier sports.

Credit to Daryl DeLuca for such amazing pictures. You have access that no one else does. I'm envious.

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