It’s the NCAA’s World; We’re Just Living in It – From the Bird’s Nest
So, here we are.
An NCAA Regional Tournament at the "Tigue"
And, like two years ago, it's going to be fun.
But, like two years ago, it's NOT going to be what you're used to.
"Fans need to remember, this is an NCAA Event, not a Ragin' Cajun event," Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs John Dugas said. "We have to abide by their rules. Basically, we need to make it as much of a 'neutral' tournament as possible."
So, here are some things to remember if you're going to the games:
NO BEER SALES: Yeah, I know, right? As much as Cajun fans love to have a brew or twelve while watching the game, it ain't happenin' this weekend. They'll sell it in Omaha for the first time this year, but alcoholic beverages are verboten at NCAA sponsored events. So, bring a bigger ice chest and get to the park earlier than usual to insure proper intake.
NO WALKUP MUSIC: You won't hear "awww, Sookie Sookie now" when Brenn Conrad comes to the plate. The NCAA doesn't care if Stefan Trosclair likes "Big Butt Women." The NCAA doesn't allow it.
SAVE YOUR MONEY: You don't have to worry about parting with a few bucks when the young ladies come through the stands selling 50/50 tickets. That's not allowed. After all, it isn't "our" tournament.
NO ON FIELD ACTIVITIES: Dizzy Bat Race? Nope. No free double cheeseburgers because there's no radar gun challenge. And notice ESPECIALLY that fans will NOT be allowed on the field after any of the games. It's a great "Tigue" tradition. The NCAA doesn't care about any stinkin' tradition.
NO SILLY STUFF: All those cute things you hear on the PA system during games? You won't hear them. Not during visitors mound visits, or pitching changes or Ragin' Cajuns go UL (woohoo). Hell, you won't even hear "Green Onions" when Tony goes to the mound.
However, Barry Johnson is still allowed to "TURN TWOOOOOOOO." And no one is going to stifle BALLLLLLLLL FOUURRRRRRRRR.
THERE'S A LOT GOING ON THIS WEEKEND: The Cajun Heartland State Fair will still be going on this weekend. And, UL is hosting a pretty big football camp. But you know what? Neither should be a big deal. Fans are reminded to use Gates A, B and C when entering for baseball (That's the two gates on Bertrand and the one on Congress on the west side of Cajun Field. Just tell anyone there you're headed for baseball. Do NOT try and enter anywhere on the East side or they'll pop you for a $10 parking fee. As Dugas said "If we can host Alabama during Mardi Gras, we can handle this." He's right.
GIVE YOURSELF A LITTLE EXTRA TIME: Between the Fair and all of the folks headed to the "Tigue" things are bound to get a little congested as game time approaches. Be smart. Head to the park early. Tailgate with friends. Have an extra drink. But don't complain if you leave your house at 6:40 for a 7:00 game and you don't get into the stadium until the second inning.
BUT, WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, IT DOESN'T MATTER--Because while walk up music, in game promotions and other traditions may not be a part of the weekend, it's not going to change the best atmosphere in college baseball. And that's because YOU make the atmosphere. You're still going to tailgate like it's football season. You're still going to offer food and drink to our guests from Arizona, Princeton and Sam Houston State. You're still going to root like hell for the Cajuns.
The NCAA can't make THAT "neutral."
Be loud. Be proud. Wear Red.