Wild about USF
After a detour from Austin, I had a bull of a time in Tampa
Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:24PM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 3:01PM
All good stories of random escapades start with, "Well, you see, what happened was..."
My adventure is no exception. I was planning to attend one of the biggest games of the season last weekend in Austin. But thanks to some crazies who tried to make bombs out of Gatorade and baby formula, traveling has become more and more of a hassle: delayed flights, security checkpoint hold-ups, you name it. That seemed to be the case again last Saturday as I waited to board a plane, any plane. No, my flight wasn't outright cancelled, but it was so severely delayed that had I boarded, I might have caught the final seconds of the game. That's what I get for having last-minute plans.
I guess I could have stayed home, but what fun would that have been? I could have driven to Tallahassee to watch Florida State battle Troy, but I would've been cutting it really close to game time. And who knew that the game would be as intense as it was? So, I decided to save some gas and sanity, and pay a visit to my old alma mater: The University of South Florida.
I know what you are thinking: The Bulls don't even have their own stadium. They may not have a home turf of their own just yet, but they do have some sweet digs at Raymond James Stadium, also known as the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Does your stadium have a pirate ship in it?
I know what you're thinking now: The Bulls don't play anyone. Those who are of that opinion must have missed the impressive display they put on in a defeat of Louisville last season. Yes, that Louisville -- ranked ninth in the nation at the time. Everyone expected a total massacre, but USF killed Louisville's chances for the national title.
"That was probably the greatest day of my life," said Brittany Link, a junior and leader of a boisterous group of USF fans known as the Beef Studs.
While running around and tailgating with friends, I endured being called the "dyslexic cowgirl."
"Sweetie, are you lost?" they asked. "Did you get ready for your Florida State game today in front of a mirror and think you went to USF instead of FSU?"
Comedians, folks! You know you laughed, too.
I finally made my way into Raymond James Stadium. The setting is actually quite impressive and there was a pretty decent crowd, despite the fact the Bulls were playing FIU (my mom's alma mater). It didn't take me long to spot the Beef Studs, who pretty much dominated the first few rows of the student section in the North End zone. Now, don't get me wrong, I used to go to USF, but never did the student section look like this. So, I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout.