Visiting the Swamp

I was going to talk about plotting for multiple characters this week…but last week I had the opportunity to see my beloved Razorbacks get beat by Florida. Actually, I went thinking the Hogs had a great chance at victory…and if they’d play quarters 2-4 the way they played in the first quarter, then maybe.

But I’m not here to bemoan that fact—I’m done with that. I am here to say that we came away incredibly impressed by the kindness of Gator fans. The Swamp was about as I expected: it was big. I was, however, surprised to see that there were empty seats. With a team in the top 20, I’d expect to see all 90,000 of the seats filled. It was also very loud. The only things I can think of I’ve personally heard louder were Aerosmith in 1978 and Queen in 1980. I understand how the players can goof up on the field when they can’t hear!

As you can see by the picture, we were surrounded by Gator fans. Brittany isn’t in the picture because school kept her away. The picture was sent to her to show we were missing her. I was a bit concerned when we took our seats because—well, I’ve been to my share of Arkansas-Black Bear games (that’s Ole Miss for the uninitiated) and those are the only games I’ve ever been physically threatened. Yes, I know it’s generally the alcohol speaking, I get that…but it is what it is. We did see a little of that in the pre-game tailgating, even saw a few Hog fans who were humorously displaying their alcohol encouraged Razorback spirit in the form of non-stop hog-calling and high-fiving anyone with a red shirt on. I’m not convinced they made it to half-time, though.

There was one Gator fan about three rows down from us who was indeed alcohol obnoxious. So much so that he almost got into a fistfight, not with a Razorback fan, but with another Gator fan. Yeah, he was THAT obnoxious. Security finally came and removed him and his buddies—and much applause was heard around us. We even had Gator fans apologize to us for his actions. The others around us were sincerely kind; they asked us where we were from, wished us safe travels, said good things about our team (even though we were getting beat), and just all around general niceness.

Yeah, I was impressed.

I’ve not been to that many “away” games for the Razorbacks: Auburn, Miss. State, Ole Maid, Vandy and now Florida. I hesitate to rank them, but Florida and Auburn were both great experiences meeting some very nice “opposition” fans. I’ve never been to Death Valley (LSU), but I’ve heard horror stories about the place.

Their kindness made for a very nice Saturday…and eased the pain of losing…some.

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8 Comments

Filed under family, General, Kids

8 responses to “Visiting the Swamp

  1. Angie

    Glad you all had a good time.
    I have been to a MSU game at Death Valley (LSU) in the middle of the LSU fans. They were great. There was teasing back and forth but it was very friendly.
    I went MSU/USM game in Jackson. The Southern fans were horrible! That said, some of my favorite people are Southern alums.
    I think every team has both good and bad fan. It is just a matter of where you happen to sit.

  2. Jerri Mann

    I didn’t get to go to the FL game, but still remember how surprised we all were and the kindness and friendliness of the Auburn fans when we went there. Guess we just have to remember all teams have nice fans and many have alcohol abusers who get mean. Glad you enjoyed the experience even though we lost.

  3. Good to hear your experience in The Swamp was a good one (mostly). Thank you for the kind words as well. Now you can join the ranks of non-Gator fans who can honestly say that Gator fans “are the worst”. Because we all know thats LSU and UGA fans. 🙂

    • Wait…”are the worst?” I certainly don’t think they were the worst! It’s funny, because moving over from the SWC to the SEC has been an interesting experience. We only really had frequent experience with one SEC school…I didn’t really have a formed opinion on any of the others…so it’s been a learning experience to find out which SEC schools hate each other. 🙂

  4. patlaster

    Ensconced at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow because of a storm brewing in Florida where we had planned to vacation, I missed the game you describe. I usually listen on radio, but up here, no TVs allowed and besides, I forgot. Having too much fun here. pl

  5. I understand what you mean when you describe the drunken tail-gate parties and the noise-level. While I’ve never been to a Razorback game, I have tail-gated at one. I also went to a few Red Wolf games when I attended AState. I’m sure the crowd is thinner by comparison, but it was still pretty loud.

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