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Thread: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

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    2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    The following thread is a collection of stories about the trip to, from and at Reno. My brain isn't organized enough to write a complete story without creating a rough draft and a flow chart. I am not doing either, so prepare for a featherbrained attempt to keep things in chronological order. T is currently celebrating his mother's birthday and will tell his side of things when he is given an opportunity. I am going to do this as a collection of threads to make it easier on myself.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    PRE-TRIP

    So, tickets and lodging wasn't an issue. Generosity had taken care of that situation. However, we still had to get there and while we were there, eating would be great. Even with the tickets and lodging offer on the table, I didn't think we'd be able to find transportation. I think it is really important to thank Mrs. Cochran (Coach Hall's mom). She is the one who convinced me that the money could be raised. To be honest, due to rumors and the constant pregame warnings that we had received, I was beginning to believe that Louisiana Tech athletics were not amused by the Blue. This was proven to be completely incorrect. Mrs. Cochran assured me that the return trip would be funded completely and that cut transportation costs in half. With this information, T and I decided to go for it.

    I figured I could raise a few extra dollars by holding a sign up on the side of the street. I selected a spot in front of a non-used building by a busy intersection. I never approached a car without them getting my attention. I expected to raise a few dollars. I did not expect to raise a few hundred dollars. I can say that the Lady Techster organization was a major contributor to our transportation fund.

    I had been standing in the same location for about 5 hours when I saw a police cruiser pull into a parking spot and a Ruston cop start walking my way. I figured he just wanted to talk to assure I had my sanity. I guess I would be curious if I saw a dude in a gorilla suit too. Several police cars had passed by during the day, so I wasn't worried until I glanced over and saw the second officer. I said outloud that seeing two police officers made me nervous when the second officer corrected me. There were three. A fourth one soon drove up, but stayed in his car. I asked if I was doing anything wrong and they started asking questions. Was I going up to cars unprompted? No. Was I out in the street? No. Was I bothering other business' customers? No. Well, it was still technically solicitation (which I was unaware) and that didn't matter because it is illegal to wear a mask in public. The cop then told me that I would have made more money anyway without the mask because people don't like to donate money to people when they can't see them. I offered that I was pretty well known because I go to all of the Tech games and that the mask was a better identifier to most of these people than me in street clothes (which is true, how many of you know who I am when I'm not in the gorilla?). He said I could get the mayor's permission and return. Then, I was informed of the real problem. Someone had seen me and obtained a "gorilla mask" and was harassing people in the shopping center by the JC Pennies. I'm not sure what was happening, but I was under the impression it was somewhat physical of a harassment for some. This is what concerned the police and they were very careful to determine exactly where I had been the entire time. So, apparently the issue wasn't what I was doing illegally (they have better things to worry about), but the issue was the harassment copy-cat.

    However, a return was unnecessary because we had raised enough money to put a significant dent in the travel cost.

    Also, aside from a very significant monetary donation, the Olde Wheat Barn in Ruston donated two bags of groceries. If anyone is in to the health craze, you should check this place out. They have stuff I wasn't even aware existed. Did you know that Almonds and stuff could be buttered just like peanuts? A lot of their stuff is great! Several of the Techster staff also donated food for the trip. We had everything from All Natural Sodas to Hershey bars to Organic Peanut Butter to Pringles. While I was in the Techster office, two managers were looking for a way to get to Reno. We offered them a ride. Amanda Jordan had to withdraw at the last minute, but Dominique Wright was able to ride with us. The team made her work while she was there, lol.
    Last edited by Abominable Gorilla; 03-13-2006 at 06:40 PM.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    DRIVING TO RENO

    I've never been in a car for so very long. I will say though, it didn't seem like as long as I was expecting. We did well to rotate driving shifts and sleep. The first significant thing I came across was somewhere around texas/new mexico (it was late and I was tired and I don't remember where they were). I've seen the largest windmill in all the land. Goodness it was crazy big. Before we left, David and I had discussed which route to take. Mapquest, yahoo, and every other electronic source said taking I80 through Denver was the fastest route. However, we wanted to avoid the snow and decided to use I40. We avoided the snow in that "got run over by three of them" sort of way. Another funny landmark on the way was a collection of signs that said varied messages of "elk in road." In case you are wondering, those signs are not kidding. Shortly after getting off of I40, the weather cleared. We were just south of the Hoover dam in Arizona when Dominique woke up and asked, "are we still in new mexico?" One thing we learned is that Nevada doesn't care about speeding. First of all, I'll say that Nevada is a desolate wasteland which nothing but sand, mountains, casinos and prostitution. But, we had received a tip from my uncle that the police simply do not care about speeding. So, away we went. Sure enough, it wasn't long before we passed our first cop. Let's just say, we were moving. During our trip to Reno, we passed four cops and none of the times were we doing less than 90mph and none of the times did they even so much as flash their lights to tell us to slow down. I'd also like to put another rumor to rest. I've heard a lot of people say that prostitution is legal in Nevada. The truth is yes, they even advertise in the phonebook. We arrived in Reno with two and a half hours to spare before the first game.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    IN RENO (non tournament)

    When we first stepped into the hotel lobby, the Lady Techster organization was downstairs dealing with stuff. They saw us and made a big deal of welcoming us there (glad to see you made it safe, all that stuff). One of the ABC tv people noticed and came over to see who we were. When he first walked up, both david and I backed off to let them interview the coaches and were startled to see them following us instead. He asked who we were and asked question about the gorilla and asked questions about painting and all that kind of stuff.

    When it comes to food, we were actually treated with a few food vouchers. Those were some great meals. Otherwise, we had received some food donations and I'd like to thank everyone for that. Eating is good.

    It was fun on the side to actually have the opportunity to hang out with both the lady techsters and bulldogs. Players from both teams really did a lot to make us feel special for being fans and making the trip. The coaches and other administrative positions were really supportive for us. The fans were awesome too.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    LADY TECHSTER GAMES

    It was only a few hours after our arrival that Idaho and the Lady Techsters tipped off. After 31 hours in a car, I was ready to explode. That was good because those beautiful Lady Techster's exploded too. It surprised me that more people didn't come from Idaho. Really there is little to say about this game.

    The second game was against Nevada. To be honest, I was worried that we would face a landslide against the Nevada attendance. It surprises me that even in the WAC tournament, WE HAD MORE FANS!!! Are you kidding me?! Nevada doesn't have real fans. Another good point is that if Mike McKee and Logan Adams, Nevada's "most outrageous fan" or "fan of the game" or whatever, were in attendance, they certainly weren't painted up or even noticeable. That's pathetic that their BEST fans can't even show up for a WAC tournament home game. There was a good ref story. The refs were bad all game for both sides (in my opinion and several others). After a particularly bad call, where after a rebound one nevada girl was run into by her guard both touched the ball before it bounced helplessly out of bounds only to have the ref call it out on Tech, who had already gone to the other side since the rebound was secured. T grabbed the white board (we actually had to purchase one because we forgot it) and wrote: "Tonights crew / Ray Charles / Stevie Wonder / Helen Keller / AKA Three blind mice" T held it up until Champ came and paraded it around the stadium. To give you an idea how the popular opinion of those refs was, fans for both nevada and tech were laughing and cheering. Then, the WAC official, who two minutes earlier had recognized us and given us each a hat for making the drive, came up and told us that we couldn't write anything mean about the refs on the dry erase board anymore.

    In the championship game, I was never nervous. I can honestly say I wasn't nervous when New Mexico jumped up to an early 8 - 0 lead. Six of those points were ridiculous three pointers from way outside the arc and I refuse to believe that short girl is that good. I should start this from the beginning though. I was really happy to be facing New Mexico St. in the championship, but all of you should be proud that I held my composure against a team that I dislike more than all of the other WAC teams combined. Because the WAC tourney was general admission, T and I sat courtside right by the Lady Techster bench. We received the pleasure of being able to ask for autographs (as is the tradition) during their warm up and there was nothing they could do. This was a special pleasure because when NMSU came to the TAC, the coach complained about us immediately for talking to their players. Well, this time they couldn't stop us (the players were careful not to talk to us though). Also, I thought the NMSU athletic director was mean to the WAC fan of the year. Which brings us back to the top two fans from NMSU, Meg Keeley and Jourdan Washburn, who were not in attendance. During the game, there was another disagreeable call. T wrote on the board "We are banned from writing mean things about the refs on the dry erase board." This made Tech fans cheer. The nevada nazis (security staff) came and told T not to write anything about the refs anymore. With five minutes left in the game, T and I went up to pump up the crowd with our "2006 WAC TOURNEY CHAMPIONS" shirts and hats that we had painted the night before. Tech fans really seemed to respond well to this. I tried to share the cheer with the New Mexico St. fans. They were not amused.

    One of them yelled for me to "get a life." Hey, how about you get a WAC championship!

    After the time expired and the ceremony, T and I passed out roses that we had purchased for the Techster organization for winning the WAC tourney. This seemed to go over well. I'm glad. Those roses took forever to obtain.
    Last edited by Abominable Gorilla; 03-13-2006 at 08:07 PM.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    MENS GAMES

    The first game was Boise. This game represents the first time I've gambled (just so I could say I did it). I put $10 on Tech beating Boise by 8 points. I don't know if I should say that after asking for donations, but it was only $10 and I got my money back plus $9.10 more. There is little to say. We were outrageous and Boise was never really a threat. Somewhere before halftime, Mark Bateman arrived with his friend, Justin, painted up and helped support Tech. I'll talk more about Mark later, but afterwards T and I stayed to support Utah St. against San Jose (we wanted to be able to play USU so we could harass him). I think both T and I learned a great deal from attending this game about how to promote Tech athletics.

    Then, we got our wish, we got to play Utah St. I can't believe that lucky halftime shot went in. This game upset me because I believe we could have won except for, as was pointed out in another thread, we lost the free throw battle. That and we got unlucky. On a side note, I'm not sure where he found this, but Bateman had a "dead" gorilla head. Most of the notes from this game will be discussed in the next thread.

    Most of the men's players came and sat by T and I for the women's final. I was appreciative.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    This sure is a lot of writing.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    WAC OUTRAGEOUS FANS AND THEIR EFFECTS

    I will say this, if anyone who was recognized by the Play Up Tour besides Bateman, T, or myself was in attendance during any part of the tournament, they weren't loud enough to be noticed. It's kind of sad.

    Before I go out on a rant, I want everyone here to know that I support Tech staying in the WAC and working to build a growing conference. I love the WAC and I hope we continue our membership. Many people probably disagree and we can discuss this on another thread, because that's a totally different topic. So, if you want, you can quote that on another thread.

    Ok, so the women's games are open seating, but the men's games are not. Can anyone imagine T and I painting up and getting gorilla'd up to sit in the nose bleed section? There are two problems with that. First of all, we are sitting. Second, we aren't nose bleeding. At the Boise game, we sat near the band and no one seemed to care because Boise didn't bring any fans. At the Utah St - San Jose game, we sat with the USU students at the back of the section. Then, the stupidity started.

    For some reason, the Nevada Nazis decided that no one could sit in the Nevada season ticket holder sections. Hordes of seats stayed empty for no reason. Mark started out sitting with his comrades in the student section. The nevada nazis told him he couldn't stay with them. He complained that all of his other students were standing here and this is where he wanted to stand. This keyed the security off that the students didn't have tickets for those seats, so they actually divided the USU student section. This was a bad decision. One of the places that they moved the USU students to (as a compromise to let them stand together), was right behind Tech's Hoop Troop. The USU student section actually moved back and up away from the Hoop Troop because they didn't want to overshadow Tech's fans (a pretty classy thing to do, I thought). They were more numerous and easily could have overshadowed the Hoop Troop. Mark moved next to his band, but security told him he couldn't sit there because he wasn't in the band (I don't know why they cared). They took him to his seat and told him that if he moved again, he would be BANNED FROM THE TOURNAMENT! They then announced to the surrounding fans that this was his seat. Just like the fans around T and I, the fans were quickly complaining that he was standing the whole game. As it turns out, the ticket holder directly behind Mark was the New Mexico St. athletic director who told Mark he had to sit. Mark told him that he was, in fact, not going to sit. NMSU AD tried to throw his weight around and Mark complained to the tournament director. Finally, the tourney director let T and I sit with the Hoop Troop and Mark and Justin sit with USU's band section. That way we got to stand and cheer and go crazy without whiny people. Most of the complaints came from Nevada fans. I'm not sure why they were at the game.

    But, all that to say, how in the world are you going to separate a school's student section? They were taking seats that remained empty throughout the game. The WAC should support schools for traveling with such a great crowd.

    Mark was a great guy. My concern with the WAC Fan of the Year award, since it was a random drawing, was that someone who doesn't really support their team was going to win. After seeing so many not show up, I am glad they didn't win. I really feel like, and I'm sure T would agree, Mark would have come to the games painted up anyway even if he hadn't won. He is a super classy guy and I'm glad someone like him won the award.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    WHAT WE LEARNED:

    There are several things T and I learned from attending the WAC tournament:

    1. Taking your shoes off and waving them in the air makes women less likely to make free throws. It doesn't seem to have any effect on men, but more research is necessary. We highly suggest this be adopted as a tradition at the TAC. This was actually T's idea and a very good one.
    2. Alumni really enjoy yelling cheers with the band (like they yell "go" and the hoop troop yell "techsters" or "dogs," whichever the case may be). They were actually requesting us to start that. Now that we have multiple dry erase boards, I am anxious to see GO TECHSTERS/DOGS echoing in the TAC.
    3. "Terrible Ties" get compliments. In case Mrs. Cochran reads this, we are not saying the tie is terrible. I don't know how familiar she is with the Pittsburg Steeler's tradition or if she's even a member on here. However, rolling a tie above your head like a towel works wonders. Why a tie? Because we are a classy organization.
    4. Walking to the stadium increases your chances of winning. T and I walked uphill in the snow and through the snow to every women's game. We walked to the Boise men's game. The Utah St. men's game was after a women's game. We walked to a neighboring sports bar and grabbed some cheep college food. However, we did not make the full walk and our team lost. For this I sincerely apologize. Neither T nor myself realized the effect until after the game. I am thankful for all of the people that offered us rides including Mr. Jim Oakes. I hope they were understanding that we had to turn them down.
    5. We need a large student section that cheers and jumps and stands all together. Even a small group of 200 people can make tons of noise. I know we have that many coming to the TAC. They don't have to paint up, we just need them to be noisy.
    6. The alumni, Tech's sports administration, bulldogs, and the lady techsters love the Blue. Outrageous fans are extremely appreciated and we should continue doing what we do. I know sometimes it doesn't seem like it because we get scolded for crossing the line. But when you walk the border, sometimes you accidentally cross the line and I think they appreciate us walking the border. We've got to keep it mostly polite, but we've got to keep it entirely extreme.
    7. WAC schools aren't ready for a gorilla. I am thankful that I am a fan at Louisiana Tech University and that they have accepted me. I really believe that T would agree with that statement with himself also.
    8. Split paint looks awesome. One day we had a Lady Techster game followed soon after by a Bulldogs game. T painted half and half and it looked sweet.

    I'm sure I forgot some stuff. T will come back over all my posts and make comments and tell some stories from his perspective.

  10. #10
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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    DRIVING TO RUSTON

    It was still an amazing shock and it was still hitting me that we went to Reno even on the way back. The trip was amazing. The return drive was very difficult though. The whole way down Nevada on HWY95 was snowing. I was the more awake one so I started the driving. We were going around 20mph when we hit our only real threatening moment. Suddenly we lost control and spun clockwise 450 degrees. Fortunately, we weren't going fast and stopped with the car entirely on the road. For about 20 seconds, no one moved or said anything. After a pause that seemed like eternity, "well, that sucked" and we backed up and continued on our way. The drive home was a little more stuffed than the drive to Ruston because we had an extra passenger. Quantae won a giant Sponge Bob. When I say giant, I mean Sponge Bob was the largest passenger by volume. Fortunately, SB was able to make it all the way to Ruston. We arrived in Ruston after a long drive around 8:30AM, which was in time for all three of us to make it to our morning class.

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    Once again, I'm sure that T will add his own stories and comments and make his additions. Feel free to post questions and comments and stuff of your own. I'm sure I left something out, but I tried not to leave anything.

    Several people have asked if I'm going dancing with the girls. It's strange. It's rare that I ever get invited or asked to dance with a girl. I think it's happened for my senior prom and the weddings of my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband. The answer is, "we'll see."

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    Gorilla,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING ALL OF THAT! VERY COOL!

    Reminds many of us of our old road trips at Tech. You just had one of those GREAT college memories that will last forever. We love you for it and thank you for what all of you mean to this team and university. Can't wait to hear more!

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    Man, I am SO ready to get our BLOG system running here! This would be GREAT stuff for that!

    TDF

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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    Great stories AG!! I am glad ya'll got to go, and glad that ya'll had so much support. I hope THE BLUE can grow a lot more next year!

    POST 666 - I was dreading this post! The board should be made to automatically skip this number. Anyways, I just wanted to say that, I may play with fire, but I won't be playing with it in hell!

  15. #15
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    Re: 2006 WAC Tournament (stories)

    It looks like T and myself will be taking another trip, this time to Boston (with several stops including first a stop in Denver). I'll start another thread and this time I'll bring my lappie to keep the information up to date so I don't have to write a giant book again.

    I

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