Hey guys and girls,
Long time lurker and first time poster on a.net so I appreciate my first report may not be up to the standard of others! But give me time and i’ll get there!
Anyway, a little bit of a bio/online dating profile/future autobiography, I am 22 years old and I currently attend Arizona State University. Since arriving here 4 years ago, I have not missed a Sun Devils home game, I am myself a huge football fan, and the Sun Devils are a big part of my life. Since my time here is coming to a close, I made a promise to myself, I would attend every single Sun Devils game both home and away. Having never been to a road game it was a very exciting prospect (my bank account didn’t agree).
Myself, and a handful of the people from the student section made an agreement that we would attend all games this year. Usually, for road games, a handful of students go to 1 or maybe 2 road games per year, as well as maybe a few local ASU alumni , never a consistent travelling fan base, and our visiting attendances are generally pretty poor so the team don’t get the support they want away. As you can see from watching your team play ASU, or watching on TV, the visitors section is usually just a small handful of people and it is never sold out, unlike colleges such as USC or LSU or Virginia where the entire student section pretty much turns up for away games! So over the offseason, and all summer we rallied the students to follow the team, and it seemed to have worked.
Enough of the boring stuff, i’ll get on with it!
After defeating New Mexico State at home 37-31 in week one, and then losing to San Diego State 30-20 at home in week two, week three finally rolled around, and it was time for our visit to Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX.
A group of 15 of us had booked our travel via an agency recommended to us by ASU. From Monday, it was a case of sitting through lectures, counting down hours and minutes until the Friday arrived, and we’d be off to Lubbock, the excitement and anticipation was off the charts.
Now for those of you not familiar with college football, it’s kind of a big deal to us to represent, and those of you who are familiar with CFB will know Texas Tech has somewhat of an idiotic reputation, and has been voted as one of the top 15 worst places to go as a visiting fan. ASU thankfully, we don’t have a rep, other than we are #1 party school in the U.S., if you class that as a bragging right.
Friday rolled around, I left my final lecture at 11:30am, and the party started immediately after.
After a few cold ones, and a couple of our good friend Jose Cuervo, we departed the comfort of Tempe, and made our way to Phoenix Sky Harbor. En-route, we discovered via twitter that we had sold a total of 170 tickets for Texas Tech, which for us is a pretty incredible feat! Airline: Skywest Airlines for American Eagle
Flight Number: AA 3163
Route: Phoenix, AZ to Lubbock, TX
Departure Time: 1905 (1931 actual)
Arrival Time: 2253 (2243 actual)
Aircraft: CRJ-700 N740SK
Seat: 15A (Coach)
I understand PHX-LBB-PHX is not quite JFK-DXB in an Emirates suite, with such a lack of things to report on, however I will endeavour to do my best.
Unfortunately as we were all preoccupied, we had not made use of the OLCI, however the kiosks at PHX make the process very simple, it also allowed us to sit together, and as we only had carry-ons, we were soon through security, and found ourselves hydrating at Cowboy Ciao, near our gate, B20.
To our surprise, the flight was actually empty this evening, as a lot of travelling fans had chosen to drive, or take a bus, there was also a distinct and notable lack of ASU colours here at PHX, other than us of course.
Not longer after we had finished our third round of drinks, boarding was called, in priority order. We waited until the very end, and then proceeded through the gate, the surly gate agent not entirely appreciative of our merry attitude. The entire boarding process was quick and efficient, the pax onboard were mostly business types or single travellers, however the cabin was still pretty empty. The crew consisted of 2 female flight attendants, both seemed pretty experienced, they weren’t rude, nor friendly, just typical AA crew. The cabin of the CRJ is incredibly tight, as a group of quite tall guys, the struggle was real squeezing into our seats and fitting some of the carry-ons under the seats. It was a quick process between taking our seats, and finding ourselves moving off towards the runway, the safety demo was on a temperamental PA system which continually cut off, however instead of pausing and waiting for it to kick back in, the flight attendant continued to read, so we only really got half of it.
By the time we became airborne, I had already got cramps in my leg from my knees pressing firmly into the back of 14A, which fortunately enough was unoccupied.
Moving on, the departure was comfortable, in terms of flying that is, as we climbed East through the clear, hot Arizona skies. The excitement was pretty uncontrollable, and the only way to calm myself was to purchase a Budweiser for the ridiculous price of $7, followed by a second.
Fun fact, after an hour in the air, we dried out the onboard supplies of alcohol. Not so fun fact, the alcohol was warm and expensive.
By the time we were on our approach to Lubbock, I was so hungry, but I outright refused to spend the crazy amount of money they want for food (student logic), so opted to wait until we arrived in TX.
It was complete darkness as we touched down at KLBB. No other words really to describe Lubbock airport other than “it’s a ghost town [Captain Price from CoD4 voice]”. Deserted. Dead. Not a soul around, and it’s only 1045pm!
Thanks to uber, we still managed to hitch a ride to our hotel in downtown Lubbock, at the Courtyard by Marriott, quite literally around the corner from TTU. Much to our misfortune, the driver was a through-and-through Red Raiders fan, who, to his disgust dropped us off at our hotel after not saying a single word to us the entire trip, he didn’t get a tip.
Outside the hotel, there were groups of people smoking who immediately hear out-of-town accents, and our distinct Maroon ASU jerseys. I felt like I was walking down death-row as I walked through the lobby. Myself, and another more responsible member of the group got us checked in, while the other 13 were outside causing a ruckus, chanting “ASU, ASU, ASU”, lucky for us, nobody was drunk enough to try and fight us, and we were able to slide away to our rooms, and pass out. Good start.
What caught my attention most, was the fact the town was very quiet for a Friday night, Tempe on a Friday is chaos as people prep for the football the next day, whereas Lubbock actually seems to be rather normal, which isn’t what we’d hoped for.
Nevertheless, after sleeping through around 8 alarms, we woke up at 9am, no time for breakfast, and we set out to look for an ASU tailgate. We hooked up with around 50 other ASU fans who had crawled out of various other holes around the city, only to discover, there were no visitor tailgates. With nearly 7 hours until game time, we had to find something to do.
So we made our way to the TTU tailgate site, of course, looking back since hindsight is wonderful, this was probably the worst possible decision, however, at the time, it seemed like a great idea.
I have to hand it to TTU, the tailgate looked pretty epic. However, as our chants of “ASU, ASU, ASU” grew closer, the “tech police” stopped us, and told us to about turn and find something else to do. This, along with having many, many, many glass bottles, hot dogs, garbage cans etc thrown at us, we decided we’d best leave, not before launching back as much as we could and making a run for it like a bunch of grade school kids.
We soon found ourselves a visitor friendly bar, and we pretty much drank the place dry until nearly 4pm. A little worse for wear, we finally decided to make our way to the Jones AT&T Stadium, just a few minutes walk away. This was a strange experience, along the way, we passed several parties, which were certainly not tailgates, where they were burning couches, and garbage, and anything else they could get their hands on, however, we were followed by around 10 police officers, who completely overlooked what was happening.
They continued following us, all the way until we reached the gate to enter the stadium.
Unfortunately, Texas Tech stick visiting fans in block 113, as far away from the field as possible, in the top corner of the stadium. We were also thoroughly searched before entry into the stadium.
All visiting ASU fans were confined to block 113, and we had pretty good numbers, all of us having travelled from Tempe. Unfortunately, due to lightning, the game was delayed for 1 hour. For the entire hour before the game started, we were clearly the louder and rowdier set of fans, and it surprised me that Texas Tech fans are relatively quiet up until just a few minutes prior to kick-off, when they suddenly start throwing tortillas towards the field, and towards us in the visiting section, a very strange tradition which I really don’t understand.
While it rained tortillas (and empty powerade bottles, hot dogs, chips, burgers, fries, quarters dimes you name it), the players entered the field, and it was game time, the atmosphere was electric as both ASU and TTU fans were in full voice.
The game itself was somewhat disappointing, Texas Tech dominated us for all 4 quarters, whenever we scored to catch up, they’d score again, and this continued until the end of the game, in which we lost 52-45.
I must add, that throughout the game, Texas Tech fans were constantly throwing objects into the visitor section, and kept crossing the stairwell between block 114 to get to 113, it didn’t bother us, we were all students, and stuff was thrown back, and the drunker guys and gals towards the back of the block happily kicked the TTU fans back over into block 114, however it had me thinking had there been elderly fans or children it would have been quite a traumatic experience! Likewise, when certain ASU fans were throwing objects back at block 114, where there were children and elderly fans, it’s exactly the same, and while I don’t condone the actions in any way, it did certainly add to the experience and the atmosphere, however it seems to me that a group of TTU fans purposefully sit near the visitors section to cause trouble.
When the game ended, the spirits did not drop and we continued chanting all the way out of the stadium. Unfortunately when all the fans mixed at the end of the game, outside the stadium, it caused a few problems, most of which we managed to avoid by heading straight back to our hotel which was just a few minutes walk away.
Once I reached my hotel room, I face planted onto my bed, and passed out.
I woke up at around 1000am, still in the clothes I had gone passed out in. I had a quick shower, and we checked out of the hotel 30 minutes late. We hitched another uber to Lubbock airport, this time we got a much friendlier driver though Airline: Skywest Airlines for American Eagle
Flight Number: AA 3058
Route: Lubbock, TX to Phoenix, AZ
Departure Time: 1300 (1307 actual)
Arrival Time: 1305 (1303 actual)
Aircraft: CRJ-700 N705SK
Seat: 12F (Coach)
Again we did not make use of OLCI for this flight, but we used the traditional check-in at the desk method, the check-in agent was not from American but a contractor and was very friendly, the flight was again empty, and I had seats 12DF to myself.
I like Lubbock airport, I can’t put a my finger on a reason why, I just like it. Once through security, and into the gate area, there is plenty of seating available, and a neat food court.
I stopped off at starbucks, got myself a coffee, and scrolled through instagram and twitter to kill time, until our flight was eventually called for boarding.
The sun reflected off of our very shiny CRJ as it arrived on stand. Boarding was again very quick, and in priority order. The flight back to PHX this afternoon had an even smaller load than the incoming flight on the Friday night, with the majority of us being ASU fans travelling back to Tempe.
With the same Captain and First Officer that flew us out here in charge, we departed a grey Lubbock, heading back to the wonderful desert climes of Arizona. As we climbed through the clouds we encountered some light turbulence, much exaggerated by some screaming pax at the front. After this, I hate to say I fell asleep.
No more than 45 minutes later, we were descending through the clear sunny skies of Phoenix, the sunlight blinding me as it reflected off of the winglet.
After a very gentle landing at KPHX, we taxied to Terminal 4. God bless the inventor of the carry-on, as just 10 minute after disembarking the aircraft, I was in an uber, taking me back to my accommodation on campus.
At around 2:30pm, I got back to my dorm, launched my bag at my roommate and passed out on the couch, which thankfully wasn’t on fire.
It had to be one of the best experiences of my life, and I am very sorry if I have not been able to document it in that way here, but the experience was incredible, and I could not wait to move onto the next road game, which was Stanford University, which I will write up the report for ASAP.
I hope you enjoyed reading, I apologize if it is not up to the standard of other trip reports on here but give me time and I will endeavour to produce better quality reports. Thanks for reading, have a great day!
Go Sun Devils!!!