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Observations at La Tech
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EagNBran Offline
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Observations at La Tech
To start, this isn't a salt post at all. These were observations I made about La Tech that are completely separate from the football game and these were things I noticed long before the game even started.

So, I got to campus in Ruston about 30 minutes before the game because I'm not a huge tailgater and had to meet my dad to ride together halfway there. When we arrived, the entire campus felt dead. I saw our Eagle Club tailgate, which at that point only had about 100 people hanging around, and there were Tech fans walking toward the game, but I saw no tailgating, no games, no nothing. It was so quiet for a gameday.

We got a free park pretty darn close to the stadium at a dorm parking lot. After walking for about five minutes, we found ourselves on a track with a practice football field right next to it. Completely empty. Now there may be regulations and rules that they have to follow, but this felt like a massively missed opportunity by Tech to have tailgaters here, a band playing like we have on Centennial Lawn, inflatables and games for kids. This is right next to the stadium and seems like a great place to let fans hang out and party. You could say they don't want anyone on it, but they sure didn't seem to have a problem with people walking across it to get to the stadium.

When we bought our tickets, the entire visitor side was General Admission. Now, I fully recognize that most teams La Tech plays aren't bringing many visiting fans, but to me, having an entire side of your stadium be GA severely devalues your product. It's basically saying "No one's gonna be here, so pick wherever you want!"

Concessions were meh and had incredibly long lines. Nothing new at most events if we're honest.

When we picked some seats in the USM section, I noticed that the tailgating apparently happened in a parking lot to my right. I'm sure it's tradition for the fans, but being so restricted on where they tailgate impacted the life of everything else on campus. Fans trickled in and by the time it peaked, I'd guess 15k were in the stadium. The home side looked half empty and I know the visitor side was pretty empty, outside of the student section that was pretty spread out. I DO NOT like putting the visitors directly next to the students. Again, I recognize they probably don't get many visitors, but when you have to deal with students cussing out our section every time they walk up the steps, it gets old, especially with little kids around.

The video board, I suppose due to the sunlight, was dim and you could barely see anything on it until the clouds came out in the 3rd. I'm not sure how old their board is, but I don't recall ever dealing with that issue at USM. Whoever runs their sound needs to be taught how it works, because their sound control was dreadful. I'm not sure if it was intentionally malicious or just plain negligent, but multiple times they'd play incredibly loud music long past the snap of the ball, or they'd have the music off, we'd snap it for a field goal, and they'd blare something out trying to mess our team up. Felt like a petty attempt to get an advantage of some sort.

To continue on sound, so many times in the game, the place felt like a library. Pregame, they didn't seem to have much music playing at all. Just a bunch of advertisements over the intercom. They'd sometimes play a song, realize they weren't supposed to play it yet, cut if off, then when it was time, turn it back on again, but they didn't restart the song, so you had these really strange intro points of songs that made you cringe.

One last thing, though I know I thought of many more while I was at the game, their band couldn't even stay in straight lines. It felt like such an afterthought, like they have a band because they have to, not because they care about it. Formations were weak, I barely heard them play (and I did listen for it), and at one point during the second quarter, I went down to get a snack and saw some of them texting on their phones to get out of the heat. This is while the game is going on and their team has the ball. Like, don't you have a job you're supposed to be doing? Just a lack of care.


All of this to say, if you visit this forum enough, you know I'm pretty critical of Southern Miss Athletics. Our leadership, our incompetence, our complacency, our laziness, everything. I could write a novel on it probably. But when I went to La Tech Saturday, a quote from my mom came to my head. You see, my mom loves to go to the beach. She doesn't have the 'beach body' like some ladies do, in fact, she's always saying she wants to diet but never finds the time. But she loves going to the beach because, to quote her, "The beach is where I can go and feel better about myself, because all I have to do is look around and I'll see people that look a lot worse than me."

We're far from perfect, and we have SO MANY areas we could improve upon, but going to La Tech was like going to the beach. When I'm there, at least I can feel a lot less bad about Southern Miss.
(This post was last modified: 10-21-2019 11:53 AM by EagNBran.)
10-21-2019 11:49 AM
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Black Diamond Reb Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Observations at La Tech
(10-21-2019 11:49 AM)EagNBran Wrote:  East Grambling's band couldn't even stay in straight lines.

How were the kickoffs?
10-21-2019 12:08 PM
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Footballeagle Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
pretty good observations kinda makes you think i guess. However all i noticed was how we lost 45-30 so i doubt any of the lack of support and tailgating kept them from beating us.
10-21-2019 02:45 PM
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EagNBran Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
As I said, I didn’t care to address the product on the field. That speaks for itself.
10-21-2019 02:46 PM
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DogsWin1 Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
No "salt" at all huh? lol I've been to Hattiesburg many times and there just isn't much difference. What is VASTLY DIFFERENT is the truly awful USM fan support. Those were two good teams playing for 1st place in CUSA West. I was SHOCKED at how few USM fans showed up Saturday. Even UTEP travels as well as that and they are half way to California! I guess ya'll just stayed home to watch on NFL Network.

Good luck to your football team though. There are some future NFL'ers in there for sure.
10-21-2019 04:24 PM
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EagNBran Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
1. Maybe one or two, but not many more. Not much talent on our team.

2. Our fan base doesn’t care. We’re apathetic. Most fans want Hopson gone and have given up on the program until leadership changes are made.

3. No chance UTEP brings as many as we did, but whatever makes you feel better.

4. The atmosphere on the two campuses on game day is night and day.

5. I’m really not salty. I was talking with my dad about all these things throughout the game, even as we were walking up. Was gonna post either way.
10-21-2019 05:03 PM
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RE: Observations at La Tech
(10-21-2019 05:03 PM)EagNBran Wrote:  #HopTTT has goTTTa go...

premise fify...
10-21-2019 09:23 PM
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BeagleUSM Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
I went there a few years ago. It was bad.
10-21-2019 09:25 PM
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usm99 Online
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RE: Observations at La Tech
my observations:

- Very convenient parking, VERY close to the stadium, and only $10 to park within 200 yards or so of the stadium. I got there about 90 minutes before kickoff. In fact i was surprised you could park that close to the stadium without a pass. Too bad I assumed this was reserved parking and continued on past the tracks and parked in a free open lot across the tracks but it was easy walking distance to the stadium. It wasn't like i was trying to figure out how to get to the stadium once I parked so a plus there.

- There were more LT people tailgating on the opposite side of the stadium than the side where you or most would park so a little misleading on first glance. After parking across the tracks I walked by the baseball/softball fields and the USM Eagle Landing and thought that there were very few tents/tailgating people. After getting our tickets and walking around the scoreboard side of the stadium there was about the expected number of tents and a band/music playing there.

- Kinda shocked that there was only 1 sign/banner inside the stadium with the stadium name or the La Tech logo that was visible. The only one (besides the ones on the playing surface) was a La Tech logo on the top of the scoreboard. Maybe there were some on the wall on our sideline in which case it wasn't visible from my seats on the visiting side. In fact I don't recall seeing the stadium name anywhere while at the game. They had plenty of signs saying "NO PARKING ON GRASS/SIDEWALKS" near the stadium but don't recall seeing signs on what was/wasn't allowed in the stadium. Granted it's kind of a given now but one person in our group wasn't sure of the clear bag policy

- Concession prices were a complete rip off. $8 or $9 for a cheesburger. A person in our group wasn't feeling well so I asked for a cup of ice.....$3 for a small cup or $6 for a large cup OF ICE. And for USM fans who complain about our concession lines these aren't much faster/quicker. Waited in line close to 20-25 minutes for that cup of ice.

- For a team playing that well with a 5-1 record I was shocked the attendance was that low.....and for comparison sake that was LT's largest crowd of the season which ended up being right over/around 100 from our smallest crowd of the season.

- Stayed for the whole game and was surprised at how quickly we were able to get back on the interstate after the game. The one part i didn't understand was why they directed you off the main street to a side street only to put you back on the main street 1/2 a mile up the road by Domino's pizza.

- The stadium seating was a pleasant surprise in that it felt like you had a little more leg room than The Rock but that also could have something to do with it only holding 27K or so.
(This post was last modified: 10-22-2019 02:09 PM by usm99.)
10-22-2019 11:02 AM
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EagNBran Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
I’d take bad parking if it was because we were packed. Every time.


And I went down to the pizza concession stand and got a large cup of ice for $1.
10-22-2019 12:29 PM
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usm99 Online
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RE: Observations at La Tech
(10-22-2019 12:29 PM)EagNBran Wrote:  I’d take bad parking if it was because we were packed. Every time.


And I went down to the pizza concession stand and got a large cup of ice for $1.

That's good to hear that my situation was isolated and not the norm then.
10-22-2019 01:52 PM
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EagNBran Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
I don't think they knew what to charge for ice, so they made it up as they went. For instance, two girls in front of me bought drinks and asked for a cup of ice and got it for free. I ordered water and asked how much the cups of ice were and the lady thought for a couple seconds, then said $1. They've probably never had to deal with that before.
10-22-2019 02:19 PM
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eager eagle Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
(10-21-2019 11:49 AM)EagNBran Wrote:  To start, this isn't a salt post at all. These were observations I made about La Tech that are completely separate from the football game and these were things I noticed long before the game even started.

So, I got to campus in Ruston about 30 minutes before the game because I'm not a huge tailgater and had to meet my dad to ride together halfway there. When we arrived, the entire campus felt dead. I saw our Eagle Club tailgate, which at that point only had about 100 people hanging around, and there were Tech fans walking toward the game, but I saw no tailgating, no games, no nothing. It was so quiet for a gameday.

We got a free park pretty darn close to the stadium at a dorm parking lot. After walking for about five minutes, we found ourselves on a track with a practice football field right next to it. Completely empty. Now there may be regulations and rules that they have to follow, but this felt like a massively missed opportunity by Tech to have tailgaters here, a band playing like we have on Centennial Lawn, inflatables and games for kids. This is right next to the stadium and seems like a great place to let fans hang out and party. You could say they don't want anyone on it, but they sure didn't seem to have a problem with people walking across it to get to the stadium.

When we bought our tickets, the entire visitor side was General Admission. Now, I fully recognize that most teams La Tech plays aren't bringing many visiting fans, but to me, having an entire side of your stadium be GA severely devalues your product. It's basically saying "No one's gonna be here, so pick wherever you want!"

Concessions were meh and had incredibly long lines. Nothing new at most events if we're honest.

When we picked some seats in the USM section, I noticed that the tailgating apparently happened in a parking lot to my right. I'm sure it's tradition for the fans, but being so restricted on where they tailgate impacted the life of everything else on campus. Fans trickled in and by the time it peaked, I'd guess 15k were in the stadium. The home side looked half empty and I know the visitor side was pretty empty, outside of the student section that was pretty spread out. I DO NOT like putting the visitors directly next to the students. Again, I recognize they probably don't get many visitors, but when you have to deal with students cussing out our section every time they walk up the steps, it gets old, especially with little kids around.

The video board, I suppose due to the sunlight, was dim and you could barely see anything on it until the clouds came out in the 3rd. I'm not sure how old their board is, but I don't recall ever dealing with that issue at USM. Whoever runs their sound needs to be taught how it works, because their sound control was dreadful. I'm not sure if it was intentionally malicious or just plain negligent, but multiple times they'd play incredibly loud music long past the snap of the ball, or they'd have the music off, we'd snap it for a field goal, and they'd blare something out trying to mess our team up. Felt like a petty attempt to get an advantage of some sort.

To continue on sound, so many times in the game, the place felt like a library. Pregame, they didn't seem to have much music playing at all. Just a bunch of advertisements over the intercom. They'd sometimes play a song, realize they weren't supposed to play it yet, cut if off, then when it was time, turn it back on again, but they didn't restart the song, so you had these really strange intro points of songs that made you cringe.

One last thing, though I know I thought of many more while I was at the game, their band couldn't even stay in straight lines. It felt like such an afterthought, like they have a band because they have to, not because they care about it. Formations were weak, I barely heard them play (and I did listen for it), and at one point during the second quarter, I went down to get a snack and saw some of them texting on their phones to get out of the heat. This is while the game is going on and their team has the ball. Like, don't you have a job you're supposed to be doing? Just a lack of care.


All of this to say, if you visit this forum enough, you know I'm pretty critical of Southern Miss Athletics. Our leadership, our incompetence, our complacency, our laziness, everything. I could write a novel on it probably. But when I went to La Tech Saturday, a quote from my mom came to my head. You see, my mom loves to go to the beach. She doesn't have the 'beach body' like some ladies do, in fact, she's always saying she wants to diet but never finds the time. But she loves going to the beach because, to quote her, "The beach is where I can go and feel better about myself, because all I have to do is look around and I'll see people that look a lot worse than me."

We're far from perfect, and we have SO MANY areas we could improve upon, but going to La Tech was like going to the beach. When I'm there, at least I can feel a lot less bad about Southern Miss.

I have posted about La Tech for many years trying to educate our fans and others about the mickey mouse and smoke and mirror program in Ruston. People are seeing it for themselves now thus I say very little except against a blatant lie such as their reported attendance for the game. Pictures, personal attendance, and tv is exposing them to the world. If the state didnt kick in the ten mil or so each year to keep them afloat they would be playing the jc's in Mississippi.
10-22-2019 07:52 PM
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Eagleyed Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
(10-22-2019 02:19 PM)EagNBran Wrote:  I don't think they knew what to charge for ice, so they made it up as they went. For instance, two girls in front of me bought drinks and asked for a cup of ice and got it for free. I ordered water and asked how much the cups of ice were and the lady thought for a couple seconds, then said $1. They've probably never had to deal with that before.

LoL you go out much? Females get things free that men have to pay for. Just how the world works.

I hope Louisiana tech can get their game day experience upgraded. In a lot of ways they are a sister school to us.
10-26-2019 02:49 PM
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EagNBran Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
a lady was serving, so I doubt that was it.
10-26-2019 04:15 PM
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Dawgxas Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
You are right about a few points - Tech’s game day experience has went down since the new AD took over.

But the crowd that was there sounded great on the NFL Network.

Just my opinion, but I think our subconscious mind plays a role on our outlook.
11-02-2019 08:49 AM
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eager eagle Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
(11-02-2019 08:49 AM)Dawgxas Wrote:  You are right about a few points - Tech’s game day experience has went down since the new AD took over.

But the crowd that was there sounded great on the NFL Network.

Just my opinion, but I think our subconscious mind plays a role on our outlook.

The "crowd" might have sounded great on the NFL Network but did everyone notice about mid lst quarter the cameras stopped showing any of the stadium except first couple of rows of students and the playing field due to it being embaressingly empty?
11-05-2019 09:06 AM
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Footballeagle Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
Eager beagle this is not directed at you personally just the whole topic in general. Why is this still being discussed? I would swap 10K fans for a 7-1 record and a championship. Oh and they showed the score board a bunch which is all that ever matters. We lost a game that we were up 14-0 and got out coached but lets please talk about how our game day experience is better since that's all we can hang our hat on.
(This post was last modified: 11-05-2019 02:58 PM by Footballeagle.)
11-05-2019 11:09 AM
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EagNBran Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
I’d take 80,000 fans cheering on my team against other good teams, even if it meant going 7-5 most years against those great teams, over 20,000, going 9-3 against the worst conference in the country.
11-05-2019 02:30 PM
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Footballeagle Offline
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RE: Observations at La Tech
That's an apples to oranges comparison. Of course you would take that "IF" we were in a better conference. However the reality is that we are not in a better conference we are in the worst one in the country. So all things being equal in our current situation winning this crappy conference should always be what USM does no exceptions. Either winning the conference or at least being in the title game each year should be expected regardless of how many fans are in the stadium. When we play in a better conference against MUCH better competition then i will be ok with 7-5-6-6 but not in this conference against this level of competition. Winning is what matters, especially in crapusa. Do you thin LA Tech will think less of their championship because they only had 15k in the stands? Of course they won't. I know people are gonna say well we didnt have more than 30K when we were winning which is true but the winning of the conference is what mattered and it was a representation of USM's ability to separate itself from the other schools in the conference. Unfortunately it didn't help us in realignment due to several different factors. I still say the thing that matters is winning regardless of who you're playing and how many are watching. To quote Herm Edwards "you play to win the game"
11-05-2019 02:57 PM
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