September 9th, 2011

Game Day: BSU v. IU

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Written by: Michael Pasco

Lucas Oil Field, notable home of the Indianapolis Colts, this year’s Super Bowl, and numerous NCAA Championships saw an unprecedented amount of red this past weekend. It was college football kickoff weekend in the Circle City and I was fortunate enough to be there to root for my alma mater, the Ball State Cardinals. Ball State, which usually plays its home games in Muncie, Indiana(45 minutes NE of Indy) was playing host to the Indiana Hoosiers from Bloomington, Indiana(90 minutes SW of Indy.)

This was considered a “David versus Goliath” match-up seeing how IU comes from the Big 10, while Ball State plays in the Mid American Conference. However, the spread, at 6, was the lowest for any major conference versus mid conference game. Coming into last weekend’s game IU led the series 4-1, the lone Cardinal win coming in the un-defeated regular season match-up in Bloomington 42-20. Since then Ball State has gone a dismal 6-18.

As my group pulled into the south lot of Lucas Oil I was uncertain what to expect, as both teams colors Crimson/Cream and Cardinal/White are identical I was unsure who was who, that is until I got out of the car and walked around beer in hand. Large groups of BSU fans made the trip, as did their coolers, a great pleasure in my eyes. As I wondered around looking for a few friends who came separately one thing dawned on me, this is what I miss most about college, tailgating. I can not think of another time when someone will openly toss you a beer just for the hell of it.
Continuing my journey around the lot I came across small bands of Hoosier fans, and was greeted with “Ball State High School” chants, and of course I would respond very maturely, “I would rather Ball U than IU.” This of course was followed by some unflattering banter. After finding my friends near the alumni tent I ventured back to our tailgating site to enjoy some brats, beer/whiskey, and corn-hole.

While the time was getting closer the excitement was building, the wind started to howl, mother nature was getting ready for the game as well. Thunder and lightning could be observed in the distance. The wind started to pick up, and sure enough the sky opened up and what I could take only as a symbolic gesture, the rain wiped clean the losing specter that Ball State was under during Stan Parrish’s tenure.

Like stated above there was red everywhere, inside Lucas Oil was a see of Cardinal and Crimson, with very little Colt Blue showing,(40k+ of the 60k+ tickets were sold for the venue.) Sitting way in the upper deck was very similar to sitting in the Cardinal’s student section. People were lively, and by lively I mean boarder line drunk, and remember unlike the majority of college football games you could actually buy beer here. It was a back and forth game, the biggest lead was 10, belonging to BSU near the end. The IU fans were out there, we could see them, however they were hardly heard. This may have been due to my seat location, but I believe that no matter what as an opposing fan you should be heard at a football game, this is not the library!

While the clock was winding down, Ball State leading 27-17 the lone Hoosier fan still within hearing distance was chanting “Ball State High School,” this was troubling, I mean Ball State has from time to time outrank IU in numerous academic programs, and was on their way to giving IU their second loss in a row. When IU kicked and failed to recover an onside kick, ensuring a Cardinals win, I properly let him know what the situation was, his team had lost to a “high school” team twice now and are probably the worst football team in the Big 10.

The euphoria continued as we exited the stadium to random outbursts of chirping and “IWHO?” As we took the celebration to Downtown we set up shop at Taps and Dolls, a great college type of bar (music, drink specials, and the occasional d-bag) located near Lucas Oil. Much to my memory, the joint was packed with Card fans with the occasional Hoosier fan, and just in case they did not know the final outcome whenever there was a silence the crowed, almost as one voice, chirped. The night ended for us as we ate fourth meal at the downtown Steak and Shake where, again, the place was packed with BSU fans who were eager to join us in a chirp session almost every 5 minutes. It was a great day to be a Cardinal, even better day to be a sports fan. College football is back in the Midwest and looking just at records, BSU is the second best team in Indiana, well for now at least.

About the Author

Michael Pasco
Hello Midwest Men and Women! I live by the motto of have mistakes but no regrets. I reside in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. Whiskey is my choice of drink and I have a great appreciation for Micro-Brews. Get out and enjoy!


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One comment on “Game Day: BSU v. IU

  1. Nothing like throwing a Chirp in the face of a IU fan. They for some reason believe they are Gods gift to sports and parting. They may be in the Big Ten but they will never touch Ball U when it comes to the party. Great article Mike! Chirp Chirp

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