Brad Law is back again to give us the scoop from high above the field and the travails he endured getting down to Baton Rouge. Enjoy!
This little digital space is titled, “View From the Booth,” and after last week’s game that digital space might be as small as the actual booth in Baton Rouge. Its not the smallest in the league, but it’s pretty constricting. Instead of glass, there’s a rolling metal window – not unlike what you find at the concession stands at Plainsman Park. The view is restricted, too; You have to duck down and then look up to see the top of the stadium. On top of that, the engineer and anyone else behind the announcers (in our case, that’s our host, Paul Ellen) can’t see the field at all. Everyone’s pretty surly after the game, but I want to highlight a few of the positives from the press box as well. They’ve recently renovated it – its spacious, cool, and well decorated.
About half of our crew flew on the team plane to Red Stick, while the other half loaded into a van for a six-hour excursion. Rod, Andy, Paul, Patrick, and I set out on our road trip with great anticipation. I’d never been to The Shed, a barbecue and blues joint in Ocean Springs, MS, but everyone else had. These guys are on a terrific run of recommendations; The Shed didn’t disappoint. The food was fine, but more than anything, it reminded me of the house in which my dad grew up between Piedmont and Centre, AL. That house has an actual shed beside it, along with a covered carport with a dirt and rock floor. This lunch stop looked and smelled like dad’s house, so they could’ve put cardboard on my plate and it would’ve been fine with me.
We got to Baton Rouge mid-to-late afternoon Friday and immediately went to the stadium to set up the equipment. Then, it was back to the hotel for a short wait until dinnertime. We watched Syracuse upset Clemson over seafood nachos, gator bites, blackened redfish, and shrimp. Stan’s only experience as a player at Tiger Stadium was 1993, so he had fond memories. Ronnie played there in 2001 and 2003, after the purple and gold faithful had ramped up their behavior toward opposing teams. Ronnie let us know about being a player inside a shaking bus and about how he had enough batteries to power every remote in his home.
As for the game… no, I’m not going there except to say it was hot on the field. I felt for Andy and Ronnie on the sidelines. The crew was just as frustrated as the coaches, players, and fans. Our van ride back to Auburn was probably similar to a lot of your own car rides back to Auburn, Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, or wherever else from which you traveled to attend what looked for all the world like it would be Auburn’s first win down there since 1999. At the end of the day, it IS just one loss in conference play and the team DOES still control its own fate in the league. Kerryon Johnson said it best on our post-game show when he said, “we have four more SEC games to win, and that’s exactly what we plan on doing.” WDE to that, KJ. Now let’s go get Arkansas!
I like the sentiment. It’s pretty much all still in front of us. War Eagle!