My 1st Live Woman’s Sporting Event & Traveling! (LA) “DAY 221” – 2/10/11

February 12, 2011 - 1:00 pm - (LA) “DAY 221” - Week 32 - State 29

When I got up this morning, I knew it was time to go.  I’ve already spent 3 days in Shreveport and didn’t plan to spend any.  But, between the weather and the Super Bowl, it worked itself out the way it did.

Now, where to?  My plan is to go to New Orleans for the rest for the week but to get there, I have to drive through Baton Rouge.  So, I checked the basketball schedule for LSU and found out the Women have a game tonight.  Huh?  I haven’t been to women’s sporting event yet.?  We’ll see.

Traveling
So, after packing up my stuff, I was...(singing) On the road again... I’m getting tired of being on the road the again... Even though I’m having fun and making friends... I’m getting tired of being on the road again! (It sings with the real lyrics.) 😉

Anyway, the drive to New Orleans was 5:45 min, so the drive to Baton Rouge if I do stop is about 4 and half hours.  The ride wasn’t bad although driving through swamp land is very boring.  It’s not like you see alligators and whatnot on the side of the highway.

Still, I do like seeing new areas of our country, so I enjoyed it for what it was worth.   Before I knew it, I was getting close to LSU’s campus, so I had a decision to make.  To stay in Baton for the night or to keep on driving?

Deciding What To Do?
After thinking about it for a minute, I decided to stay in Baton Rouge for the night.  I choose this because, 1.) I have never been to Baton Rouge, so obviously I have never seen LSU’s campus or any games there.

2.) I have been to New Orleans twice for Mardi Gras (once in college and once when I worked for ESPN radio), so I know all about Bourbon St. and the madness that New Orleans has to offer.  3.)  I just didn’t want to drive any longer. 🙂

Arriving In Baton Rouge - Finding A Place To Stay
It was almost 5 pm when I arrived in Baton Rouge.  Nice!  I have two hours before the game starts, so that’s plenty of time to find a cheap place to crash for the night.  Or so I thought. 😉

Checking The Casino’s
There are a few casinos in this town, so I stopped at the nicest one they had (which had a poker room) and checked to see if I could get a comped room.  I huffed and I puffed but I couldn’t blow this house down... Ahhh!  $99 for the night was the best they would do.

Checking Other Options
After searching my GPS, I found out that the cheapest room in this town... isn’t that cheap. (Motel 6 for instance was $49.99.)  What to do?  So I searched for hostels in the area but there was none.  Then, I found a Motel off the beaten path that was $35 for the night.  Huh?  I’ll check this out.

Worse Hotel/Motel That I’ve Seen
For starters, I wish I took more pictures of this place but I was so taken back from what I saw, that I only snapped a few photos while I was there.  And then I though to myself... Am I in Gary, Indiana? LOL Let me explain.

When I arrived, I went to the front desk and tried to negotiate a better deal than the $35.   (And this was before I knew what the room looked like. ;))  The lady was nice but said there was nothing she could do.

Still, I kept at her so she called her boss and checked for me.  After talking with him, she still said... no shirt, no shoes... NO Dice! (Fast Times at Ridgemont High). 🙂

Negotiating More
Even though he/she said no, I still persisted until she told me there was a room without a heater that she would give me for $30 ($5 off).  I told her I’d pay $20 for it but she wouldn’t budge.  Still, I kept trying and then she finally gave me her final offer, $30 for a regular room with a heater (that’s after tax).

Getting My Room
The price was almost right and I did need a place to stay, so I took the mini-deal.  After paying the $30, I drove around the building to the room area and when I got there... the door to my room was wide open!  What the f&$ck is this?!

F.Y.I. - The main reason I like having a room (other than the obvious) is because I feel like I have a safe place to put my stuff while I do whatever I do.  Leaving a lot of stuff in my car as I do, can draw attention.

My Room
Anyway, I went back to the front desk and asked why room was wide open and she said they were fixing the sink because it was leaking or something. (Actually, the water was running right into the floor.  The worst part... was that it smelled like throw up!  Ahh! 🙁

She said she had somebody working on it and that it would be fixed in a little bit.  So, I waited outside of my room and cleaned my car as a security guard walked over with a wrench.  You have to be kidding me? LOL

After watching him spill more throw-up water all over the already disgusting room, I decided sometimes it’s better to just have nowhere to stay than somewhere that is hideous.  So, I went back to the front desk and got my money back (no questions asked).

Driving To LSU’s Campus (Basketball Arena)
From where I was to the campus was only a few miles, so 10 minutes later, I was parked outside of Maravich Arena (Pistol Pete).  At this point, it’s almost 5:30 pm and the women’s game starts at 7:00 pm.  Nice, I have time to check out the arena and find a ticket to the game.

The Outside Of The Arena
As soon I stepped outside of my car, I thought I was looking at the cool part of the stadium, so I grabbed my camera and starting taking pictures (I took 354 pics today).

What I didn’t know yet and was about to find out, is that this isn’t the half of it!  Anyway, so as I was snapping away at the stadium where a huge picture of a tiger was, a ticket attendant lady (Lucy) walked over to me and said, “Do you want to take pictures of the inside?”

Taking Pictures Inside
Of course I said yes and walked into the arena area where special ticketed people enter (booster club, press passes, etc..).  Lucy was real cool and very nice but she told me, I couldn’t enter and I could only take pictures of the things that was directly around me.

I didn’t mind because all around me was the history of both the Men’s & Women’s Basketball teams.  It was a real cool display where they showed you in detail all there former athletes who were in the pro’s, who were first round draft picks, etc.

During my picture taking, I was telling the women around me (who were working there) all about my journey.  They couldn’t believe their ears as they kept asking me questions about where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, etc, when a few older ladies walked in to stadium with a ticket.

Meeting Cindy
One of the ladies who walked in was Cindy.  Cindy turned out to be God-sent (for me) as well as being a real awesome person in general!  (She was fiery, funny, and good natured, a great combo!) 🙂

Oh yeah, and she was also only like 4’10 tall.  Ya know what they say, sometimes great things come in small packages or... is that at just what I tell all my girlfriends!  I don’t remember... 😉

Getting A Ticket
Anyway, as Cindy was getting her ticket scanned, she joined in on our conversation and found out what I was doing.  I then asked if she had/knew anybody who had an extra ticket to the game tonight (even though they were inexpensive, $6 upper deck).

She said she didn’t, but they told me that her friend Theresa might have an extra.  So she called Theresa and low and behold... they had an extra ticket for me.  Nice!  People are so awesome!  Thank you so much ladies! 🙂

The cool thing about my ticket was that included with my entry to the game was a Booster Club dinner, a coach’s chat with the LSU’s women’s staff, as well as a few other perks!

F.Y.I. - Cindy, Theresa, and Jennie (you’ll meet her soon) are huge LSU women’s basketball fans (and all LSU sports too).  They are in the Booster Club, attend all the games, and know everybody there.  Man, did I get lucky!

Exploring The Rest Of The Stadium
While I was talking with Cindy as we were waiting for Theresa and her husband Rick to arrive with my ticket, Cindy asked me if I saw Mike yet.  Mike?  Who’s Mike?  Cindy could see the confusion in my face, so she knew I hadn’t.

She then said, “Oh, you have to see Mike.  He’s the 700 lb tiger (live real tiger) who lives in a natural habitat in front of the arena.  Hurry and go see Mike, I’ll make sure that Lucy (ticket lady) holds your ticket for you.”  It’s unreal how amazing strangers are! 🙂

Finding Mike
Know that I knew they had a live tiger, I had to go see me.  So, as I started to jog around the arena to the front (that’s where I was told the habitat was), I saw a few cheerleaders as they were walking up to the arena. 😉

Pictures With The Cheerleaders
Hey... when opportunity knocks... So, I approached the two hot girls and asked if they minded if I took a picture with them as I explained to them what I have been doing for the past 221 days.

I couldn’t tell if they thought I was interesting or crazy, but none-the-less... I got my picture taken with both them (Elizabeth is the blonde and Maria is the brunette).  They were real patient too because I took a few pictures with each of them (the sun was ruining my my lighting).

Meeting Mike The LSU Tiger
After meeting the cheerleaders and confirming where Mike was, I kept jogging until I saw the coolest thing I have seen on a college campus ever!

I wasn’t sure what to expect before I got the habitat but...they weren’t lying because right before my eyes (with-in 3 feet of me) was a live 700+ lb tiger walking around the front of the arena!  So f-ing cool!  It really was an amazing site!

The best thing about Mike (other than being a tiger) was that he responded to his name when it was called.  I know this because when I yell for Mike, he walk toward and make huffing noise.

He did this 3 or 4 times when I called his name, so I’m pretty sure he did know it.  After standing there and marveling at this awesome animal for 15 minutes or more (I took over 70 pictures of him and the area around him), I kept walking around the arena to what other cool stuff they had.

Fake Tiger Statue
Directly in front of the real Tiger habitat, is a statue of a tiger.  It was real cool too and this tiger... you could actually hop on take a picture with! 😉  I took a few of these as I pretended to ride the tiger around, but I was cheering on WVU! (I’ve tamed the LSU tiger!) 😉

The Football Stadium
Even though they love all sports here in Baton Rouge, the football program is where their real allegiance lies.  I didn’t get to go inside but from where I was (in front of the basketball arena), I was able to get a cool picture of the big LSU sign out front.

Heading Back For My Ticket
It was close to 6 pm, so I headed back to the entrance I started at to get my ticket for the game.  The problem... when I got there the lady (Theresa) hadn’t arrived yet.

Lucy Steps Up
Not more than 5 seconds after realizing I was just standing there waiting for a ticket, Lucy told me to just go in and she’ll scan it when Theresa arrives.  Like I said earlier in this post, these ladies knew everybody there, so Lucy knew who Theresa was and knew I was all good. 🙂

Since I had a special ticket, I also had to get a wristband so I could partake in the Booster club dinner and activities.  Not-to-mention, everybody there knew everybody else, so I would be the only outsider as well as the only person not wearing purple and yellow!  Need-less-to-say, I stood out!

Booster Club Dinner
As soon as I entered Booster area, I found out I was the youngest person there (by far).  Anyway, I was hungry because I hadn’t eaten all day and the food they had smelled great, so I got in line to get some dinner.

The main course was some-kind of pasta gumbo or something.  I’m not to sure what it was but... it was good!  Other than the Louisiana pasta, they had soft bread, salad, and homemade cookies which kicked ass! (I ate my whole plate and at least 5 cookies.) 😉

Hanging With Cindy, Theresa, & Jennie
After I got done eating like a starving fat man at a buffet, the ladies and I got to talking about my trip as well as about LSU’s women’s basketball team.  Cindy explained to me how I was with true sports fans who love their women’s teams as well as their men’s!  Cool! 🙂

During this time, Cindy started to give me presents to remind of LSU before I left.  She gave me a pom pom, my ticket, as well as a Geaux Tigers sliding banner!  Thank you so much Cindy!

The Assistant Coach Speaks & Answers Questions
As the LSU Booster Club members were finishing their dinner, the assistant coach (forgot his name) of the Lady Tigers took the floor and began to talk serious basketball with the people there.

He wasn’t just giving a Rah-Rah speech, he was going into the X’s and O’s of the game.  He explained the plays they were working on during the week of practice, what to expect during the game strategy wise, as well as what he thought they needed to do as team to make the NCAA women’s tournament.  Very thorough! 🙂

Watching The Lady Tigers Take The Court From The Tunnel

By the time the assistant coach finished talking, it was almost game time, so everybody there packed up and took a special walk through the facility to where the Lady Tigers come of the locker room.

Awesome Stuff Along The Walk There
This post is already long enough and I haven’t got into the stadium yet, so I’ll try to make this brief.  On the way to the locker room area, I passed so many cool things here inside the arena where the fans can’t even go. (Pictures of all kinds of things basketball.)

Watching The Women Take The Court
Where I was standing for this was right inside the tunnel where the girls exit the locker room.  It was cool sight as all the Booster Club members lined the walkway all the way from the locker room door right up to the court.  Sweet!

As the girls came out of the tunnel, they would slap hands with people waiting for them to come out on the floor.  It was definitely interesting to see my first women’s live sporting event with such die-hard fans.  It was as if I was at a Steeler or Yankee’s game. 🙂

The National Anthem
The National Anthem tonight wasn’t anything to special but anytime I have a good reason to put our country’s flag in a post... I’ll take it!  I love America and everything is it is supposed to stand for!  (Sometimes the government let’s me down but the real people of this great nation haven’t yet!) 🙂

Taking Our Seats
Our seats for the game were real good seats although the arena wasn’t that full, so you could have sat almost anywhere you wanted.  But, I was with the girls, so I sat with them for most of the game.

Anyway, we were seated 10 rows behind the visiting team’s bench which Cindy liked because then she could heckle the opposing team’s coach easier.  Like I said, she was something and I instantly liked her!

Also sitting with us was Jennie.  Jennie was real sweet and although she and I talked during dinner for awhile, I didn’t mention it, so I’ll tell you about her now.  Jennie is lawyer and works for the school (I think) as well being involved in a bunch of other things.  Other than that, I know she is a lot of fun too! 🙂

The Actual Game
I’m not going to go into major details for a regular season women’s basketball game but I’ll give a brief rundown of what happened and some of the players I watched.

The first half of the game was really slow as in the first 10 minutes of play, I think a total of 16 points was scored between the two teams.  Still, they were playing hard but just missing easy open buckets.

During this time though, Cindy and Jennie explained to me who was good on the team and which players are expected to be good next year.  (The Lady Tigers are a young team.)

2nd Half
For as eventful as the first half was, the second half was very exciting.  The Tigers, well the LSU Tigers (Auburn are the Tigers too), played much better in the second half as they sank the shots they needed to and got to the FT line a lot.  (They were playing way more aggressive than in the first half.)

Anyway, the game stayed close for most of the second half and with just few seconds left... the game was within 2 points with LSU leading.  I’ll get back to this part after I tell you more about what happened during the course of the evening.  Hang in there. 🙂

Lucy Says Good-Bye To Me
Sometime during the 2nd half, Lucy (the lady I met who worked at the stadium) walked all the way to our seats just to say good-bye to me and wish me well on my travels.  She didn’t have to do that but that’s why I love this country so much... great people!

Promotions During The Game
The good thing about women’s sports from a fans point of view, is that since there events aren’t as popular as Men’s, the games tend to have a lot promotions at them (so I was told).  This is to add to the experience and give the people more to do.

Anyway, they had a McDonald’s promotion where Big Mac boxes (or something close) flew down from the rafters during the game.  Theresa caught one of them and since she doesn’t eat fast food (or was just being nice), she gave me the free value meal coupon that was inside the box.  Thank you!

They had other promotions too but you get the idea.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, right before a pizza promotion happened (the mascot gives away a pizza), I went up to where the mascot was to get a picture with him when....

I’m On Another Stadium Scoreboard
Like I said, it was right before he was gonna give away pizza on the big screen, so as I just got done taking my picture with him... next thing I know... I’m on the big screen again (6th or 7th time this trip.) 🙂

I’m not sure how it happens either, I guess I’m just in the right place at the right time.  Either way, it is real cool to be on the scoreboard of the arena.

Pictures With The Dance Team & Mascot
Obviously, I got a picture with the mascot but after that, I found my way down to the court to get a picture with the girls on the dance team.  Hey, they were hot too and wearing tight black spandex outfits.  How could I resist! 😉

The Rest Of The Game
Leading up to the final seconds of the game, the ladies on I were really cheering them as we did all the LSU chants and cheers they do every game.

I don’t remember all of them but I do remember signing... hands... touching hands... reaching out... touching me... touching youuuuuu... (dun dun dun) Sweet Caroline... Oh Oh Oh...

Anyway, when the final buzzer sounded... the LSU Lady Tigers had hung on and won 55-52.  This was my first live women’s sporting event and I can honestly say, even though the stadium wasn’t packed, that I had a great time and would see another.

Especially, if it was with Cindy, Jennie, Theresa, and Rick!  Thank you all so much for everything.  From the ticket to dinner to McDonald’s GC’s to souvenirs and lastly... for giving me your friendship!  Thank you! 🙂

More LSU Memorabilia Everywhere
Again, I’ve already said so much but, this stadium was amazing!  They had so much memorabilia everywhere, I don’t even know where to start.  And to cover it all, is a post in and of itself.  So, instead of saying anything, I’ll be brief.

The Hallways
Throughout all the hallways of the entire arena, there were tons of stuff from past greats who attended LSU.  Again, for the sake of time, I’ll just talk about Shaq and “Pistol” Pete Maravich.

Shaquille O’Neil
If you don’t who Shaq is than get out from under the rock you are living and pick up any sports page.  He has been a National phenom for the past 20 years almost and the college he attended... LSU (I already knew that though).

Anyway, they had a huge Shaq area in the hallway and it featured one of his basketball sneakers.  It was huge!  I don’t know how he buys suits. 😉  Oh yeah, he worth over 100 million dollars, he can get anything he wants!

“Pistol” Pete Maravich
Besides Shaq, they had a few other area’s for former greats, but the only other one I’ll discuss is Pete Maravich.  First, the stadium is named after him!  Enough said!

Other than that, he was supposedly (before my time) the best passer/ball handler in the history of the NBA.  He had the flash before playing flashy was an excepted part of the game.

The thing was... he was just to good for anybody to tell him not to play the way he did.  And because of his style of play, the NBA made huge gains in the popularity of the sport.  Whether they know it not, all NBA current guards should thank Pistol Pete for making the game what it is today!

Leaving Pete Maravich Assembly Center
After leaving what was an unexpected awesome time, I know had a new problem to deal with.  WHERE AM I STAYING TONIGHT?

After weighing my options and remembering I have charity work at 9 am in New Orleans, I decided my best bet was to drive the hour and half to New Orleans tonight.

Still, I have nowhere to stay but at least I’ll be in the city I have to before morning.  And since I’m not a morning person anyway, the extra sleep I’ll be able to get in the AM should help make my day easier on me.  Even though I have nowhere to stay yet.

Finding A Hostel
When I arrived in New Orleans around midnight, I found a hostel that Jeremy told me about.  And, after arriving I was happy to find out that they had a bed for me as well (other places were all booked up).  Plus, it was just $20 a night after tax.  Nice!

Even though I was completely beat up from traveling and a long year, I still had work to do before I passed out because I took over 350 pictures today that I know have to upload and file.  Oh yeah, some guy had the cops called on him because he's a stalker or something. LOL

Working In The Hostel
This hostel was very busy as even at 3 am, there were people walking around and still looking for stuff to do.  Man, do I love being in a big city!  During this time, I met a few cool people who were staying there, one was Kevin and the other was Krystel.

Again, I could write more but this post is over because it just that time.  So, after working until almost 4 am, I went to my dorm style room and crashed out for the night! (Only Kevin and I shared the room tonight although it holds 12 people I think.)

Thanks for reading!

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  1. jh says:

    Great Post!!! Geaux Tigers. The asst Coach (who name you could not recall) Coach Starkey just took noticed of this and tweeted it. I will link on mine later too

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