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#RampCamp2016: Cold Pizza and Leafblowers

I put everything I knew about LSU basketball aside and pretended LSU was a basketball school for 24 hours. It was fun, for the most part.

The closest LSU will ever have to a Hooverville
The closest LSU will ever have to a Hooverville
Adam Henderson

The plan was to go watch the baseball scrimmage on Friday and maybe go grab a bite to eat after. It turned into camping out outside the PMAC all night and standing in line for the LSU basketball game against No. 1 Oklahoma.

For the most part, everything went as we planned Friday night. After grabbing a bite to eat, we fell back to zrau's apartment because Marques Leger wanted to finish Galaxy Quest and Straight Outta Compton, both of which he's never seen. Marques has been pushing for camping out on the ramp all week, and I actually packed a change of clothes and two extra jackets just in case he convinced me. I wasn't about to be the only losers out there, but on the way back I saw the line in person and that's when I agreed to be on board. We got there not long after Johnny Jones brought Hungry Howie's to the campsite near the mouth of the student section entrance.

And boy, did he bring pizzas. This photo was taken at 5:30 AM and every box was full.

We had been at the campsite all of 45 minutes before an LSU cop showed up and just kinda chilled with us. I got the very strong feeling that he wasn't happy that all of us (who were mostly over the age of 21)  were openly drinking and having a game of beer pong visibly running.

Now as the camaraderie began to wind down, Marques and I faced a logistical problem: none of us actually owned a tent. So we made a run back to his apartment to rustle up some comforters, chairs, and empty his fridge of beer, picking up a daiquiri for good measure. When we realized all that would not be enough for the cold (note: I am a huge wimp when it comes to the cold, give me 90 degrees and oppressive humidity over 45 and windy any day), I made the executive decision to commandeer the big tent that LSU uses to give students free jambalaya and drinks before games. It's kinda tucked away in a corner of the PMAC not frequented by people that are not students, but if you've seen it you know exactly what I'm talking about.

So with a security guard posted up within the cozy confines of the PMAC watching us, we marched inside the tent, completely forgoing our guarantee of the same spot in line for a night of not being exposed to the elements.

After realizing that sleeping in a chair wouldn't work for me and neither will being so close to Marques' snoring, I went to the far end of the tent and slept on a table. It was actually more comfortable than it sounds and ended up protecting both of us far more than everybody else's flimsy tents from the wind, only I ended up making this decision around 2:30 AM. I woke up to make a run to the portapotty around 5:30 AM, and just as I started to fall asleep, LSU facility workers began to blow leaves directly under the PMAC ramp at 5:45. This would later be confirmed to have woken up everybody in line.

As everybody began stumbling out of their tent and tagging out to go shower and make a last run at supplies, Jones showed up once more to provide us with dougnuts and free t-shirts. Say what you will about the man's in-game coaching strategy (I'll leave that to Abshire), the man knows how to recruit.

The Oklahoma team arrived earlier in the day (and received good natured banter, as opposed to what followed by people that did not camp out) and on their way out we offered them beads, because after all they were in Louisiana during Carnival season. The only player that accepted out offer (and flashed us) was Buddy Heid.

After that, we began to rely on the healthy diet of 12 hour old pizza, doughnuts, and alcohol to both stay awake and pass the time as the line behind us slowly began to swell exponentially.  At 1:40 we made the trip down the ramp for the last time to drop off the supplies, and this was the crowd:

The line at it's apex would go up Victory Hill to the Cox Building/Gym Armory.

At 2:30 they opened the door, and the mad dash to the student section began, with Marques and I securing a spot on the first row.

I enjoyed the game, but honestly, the LSU student section was rather lame. Yeah they were loud, but the Bengal Brigade along with some of the mainstays of the "Roar Corps" killed the vibe by trying to cook up zany antics and lead high school style cheers. I'm all for not being belligerent assholes (more on that below), but as a whole they were absolutely trying too hard.

We all know how the game went, and if you were listening closely you heard some of the student section's antics. Buddy later compared the basketball student section to the football student section, which is a great way to say they were loud, but complete assholes. For the duration of the game, there was one asshole who only knew two phrases, "FUCK OKLAHOMA!" and "FUCK BUDDY HEILD". My favorite one came between "O say can you see" and "by the dawn's early light". Occasionally he would expend the energy and commitment to extend something remarkably homophobic and crass to the Oklahoma players. When a woman kindly asked him to refrain from doing such, she was greeted with a kindly shove in the back. She later claimed to be hit by him wildly extending middle fingers to the court.

And then things just got worse as Oklahoma won off of a shot with 13 seconds and denied Quarterman's last second shot attempt due to a debatable no-call, the student section reached their tipping point, hurling their drinks to the Oklahoma bench. Here's the thing though, as if that wasn't bad enough: the media section, who are all working on expensive laptops, is between the LSU student section and the Oklahoma bench, and cups filled with drinks are not known for their aerodynamics. I've seen children throw temper tantrums that were less obnoxious than that.

So, while I enjoyed camping out and enjoyed the game, the experience of the student section is enough to keep me in my usual seats behind the Bengal Brass woodwinds.