Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Need for 2500

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an Aztec fan and you likely have a Twitter account. To be frank, The Show has taken its fair share of hits this year – but to be fair, so has the team. That is no coincidence. As the team has begun to come into their own, winning 5 out of their last 8 games, the 2017 edition of The Show has begun to improve as well. This is one reason why shrinking the size of the student section – as a local beat writer has suggested – is the last thing the SDSU basketball program needs right now.

It’s no secret that The Show does not like Mark Zeigler. What with his propensity for blocking us on Twitter, his tendency to refer to Aztec stalwart “Winston Spencer”, his general negativity toward the program, his dependency on calling out a student section’s creativity instead of writing about basketball, and his downright dismissal of the atmosphere The Show has created at Viejas Arena over the years, it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

Over the last couple of years however, this feud has escalated as Zeigler has waged a misguided war

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The Show gives Zeigler a piece of it’s mind in 2016

in his attempt to shrink the student section as a way of generating more revenue for the athletic department.

Despite what Zeigler and other older fans believe based on what they read in his articles and tweets, it is NOT The Show’s job to get students to come to games…nor has it ever been. That responsibility lies with the team on the court and the athletic department off it. It’s The Show’s job to create an atmosphere that gives SDSU a home court advantage. Instead, home games are now marred by the Aztec Mesa crowd yelling at the front rows of The Show that they aren’t doing enough. They’re telling us, the students who dedicate their time and energy to do whatever they can to help the team, that we need to get more students to come to games (even though we gave out shirts to students just a couple games ago).

Unfortunately, the game against Colorado State on January 28th marked the end of SDSU’s 80-game home sellout streak. Technically yes, the streak ended because the remaining student tickets (the only tickets that are available, as the rest of the arena is season ticket holders) weren’t picked up, but it’s not as if the rest of the arena was full either – a fact Zeigler fails to ever mention. According to Ziegler, donors and season ticket holders get a free pass if they choose to not attend a game, while our students are yelled at, belittled, and reprimanded when they make the same decision.

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Viejas with the Aztecs down single-digits with 1:30 to go against Fresno

Not a single mention – not ONE – about the thousands of empty seats during the loss to Fresno State or the hoards of season ticket holders heading for the exits before the final whistle sounded. Why? Because they pay for their seats? Well guess what: students do too, through fees incorporated into their tuition. Is it too much to ask for season ticket holders and donors to sit through an entire game? Or maybe, if you insist on beating the traffic, not walk to leave the arena directly behind our basket as the team is shooting free throws?

At the time the streak was snapped, SDSU was 3-4 in MW play and coming off a loss to Air Force. Is that an excuse for waning interest and empty seats? Not a chance in hell, but when you compare it to the record through 7 conference games the last few years it begins to make some sense. 2016: 7-0, 2015: 5-2, 2014: 7-0, 2013: 4-3, and 2012: 5-2. Never once in those 5 years was SDSU below .500. In fact, the last time SDSU was under .500 that far into conference play was the 2006-2007 season (an entire decade ago!) when it was still called Cox Arena and student turn outs like those seen this year were very much the norm. As Coach Fisher himself said earlier this year, “Win and they will come.”

Now, Zeigler wants to reduce the size of the Show to 1,500 seats. This would allow the athletic department to sell an additional 500 season tickets, with an additional 500 kept in reserve if the student demand is there or, if not, sold to the public prior to each game. Here’s the problem: this plan that will only serve to degrade the atmosphere at Viejas even further. Not to mention the fact that with prices for the final home game of the year starting as low as $6 on Stubhub, there’s no guarantee the tickets will actually sell anyway and the seats will remain empty. The current supply of tickets just doesn’t meet the demand. Econ 101 would tell you that in that case, you don’t flood the market with even more tickets.

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Zeigler is the actual fake news

Over the years, the improved atmosphere at Viejas Arena has been a result of the hard work of The Show. As Fisher puts it, “It has been generated, as a rule, by our students. They have driven the atmosphere, the vibe, the feel in this arena. It’s been one of the best in the country.” While no one will argue that this year’s Show hasn’t been quite as boisterous as in years past, the answer doesn’t lie in reducing the size of the student section; it lies in trying to find new and more creative ways to get students to games.

The UNLV game saw the release of the 2017 Show shirt and while the crowd as a whole arrived late, by the middle of the first half the student section was mostly full. When SDSU pushed the lead to 15 in the first half, Viejas was as loud as it has been all season. When SDSU got off to an 8-2 lead on Wednesday against Fresno State, the Show was again rocking, despite another late arriving crowd. Finally, when the Aztecs went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 1 with 7:30 to play, Viejas as a whole was louder than ever. Once again, this arena-wide hype was spurred on by The Show.

Back in the day when The Show was at its most raucous, basketball was THE thing to do on campus. It didn’t matter what day of the week or holiday it was, you had to be at the game and no organization or sorority event was more important. Granted, the team had a better record then – but from ticket pickup to waiting to get the best seats, everything about basketball was an event. Now, tickets are given out at 10 AM, smack dab in the middle of most students’ schedules, and students can only get there an hour before distribution begins. There is no building excitement through camp outs or long lines, no way to get students excited, and no other ways than actual WINS to encourage student attendance.

Clearly, whether it’s returning to the days of multiple giveaways directed at students each season, offering improved arena-wide WiFi, directing social media campaigns at students instead of just the fans who might buy tickets, promising free food at games, hosting more pep rally-like events on campus, something as simple as making the student ticket distribution schedule more prominent/easy to find, or distributing tickets at a time that doesn’t interfere with class, there are ways to generate and improve student interest and even increase attendance in a “down” year. Or, better yet, how about not scheduling one of the largest Greek life events of the year on campus for the same night as one of the final home basketball games of the season?

Making it even more difficult for the 33,778 students currently enrolled at SDSU to experience a basketball game by reducing the amount of tickets available to them is NOT the way to solve this problem. If we want to position future generations of The Show for success, we need to strive to foster student involvement. If this can happen, Viejas will continue to enjoy a home court advantage worthy of a winning program for years to come and The Show will go on.


Show On The Road-Boise State

The 2014/2015 Mountain West Co-Champions, Preseason #1 and #2 in the conference, and one of four Mountain West venues I have left to attend made this road trip a must. Having planned this trip months in advance, I grew more and more excited each day, especially when it was set that this would be a battle for first place between two 5-0 teams.IMG_3395

We arrived in town mid-afternoon Friday, and immediately headed to downtown Boise to check it out and grab a bite to eat. We stopped at Boise Fry Co. for fries and burgers. I put fries first because the menu listed French Fries as the entrée, and the burger as the side dish. Anyways, it was incredible. There were a lot of different options, we were in the Potato Capital of the World after all. I got the “Laura Fry”, and early on in the trip, I was not disappointed. After lunch we walked a bit around downtown and saw the capital building. Definitely had a small town feel, and walking around almost made me wonder if people actually lived there, as there was hardly anyone driving on the streets and walking around.

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Moutains in the distance

Quiet, but beautiful town. There’s a ski area only 16 miles away, so just looking north of the city, you had a beautiful view of the snowcapped mountains in the background. We made our way to a Julia Davis Park in the middle of town, which separated the University from the rest of the town.

 

The park reminded me a bit of Balboa Park. It was in the center of the town, had a few museums, and even a Zoo in it. The air walking around was nice and brisk, mid 30’s and on the ground was just enough snow for us to have a snowball fight. After my snowball victory, we finally made it on to campus. It was nice and spread out, and all the buildings looked pretty modern. Many different sculptures for us to mount and assert our IMG_0108.JPGdominance over. It was a nice campus, but I’m not going to say anything in particular jumped out at me, or made me think ‘this would definitely be my favorite place on campus had I gone there.” I did really like that it bordered the Boise River, and everything seemed to be nice and close.

Next we checked out Albertson’s stadium, home of the famous Smurf Turf. Outside the stadium, they had their Bronco’s hall of fame. As soon as you open the door, you see their three Fiesta Bowl Trophies,

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2016 is our year to bring home something like this.

along with the helmet of their opponent, which was very impressive. I can’t wait til we get a couple of those big time bowl trophies to add to our collection. There was one little deck where we could view the field. I don’t like the blue so much on TV, but I thought it looked a lot better seeing it in person.

 

Everything I had read about the Boise nightlife said one thing: It was happening. Hoping that the internet didn’t lie to me, we decided we’d rest up and get some dinner before hitting the bars. Let me tell you, the internet did not lie. Downtown Boise Idaho is LIT. There was so much going on, it made me IMG_0098 wonder where all these people had come from. Then it all of sudden of hit me, really the only thing in town is the university, of course there’s going to be people out for a night on the town.  Food vendors on every street corner for all the drunk college kids walking by, bars were PACKED. We made our way to Spacebar arcade first, and played some classic arcade games and drank a lot of beer. We learned I was really good at Pacman, Showlan is really good at pinball, and Ripley is really good at Frogger. We next went to Dirty Roddy’s, a country bar which was about the equivalent to our Moonshine Flats. This was the spot, ton of people there. We rode the mechanical bull, and partied til they closed. I personally had tried to get people from Boise’s student section, The Corral, to come out and hang, but they were soft and didn’t respond to anything. They once put up some youtube videos on how to do some of their chants, but I think they need a youtube video on how to party.

The next day we got off to bit of a late start, and began our day by getting some brunch. Again, not many people walking around during the day, giving it that small town feel. Ripley had arrived into town later in the evening the night before, so we basically did more of the same on day two, walking around downtown and touring the campus. Since we were all here this time, we got to take our picture mountain the Bronco statue.

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Facts.

There’s a little sign near the statues that say, “Keep off horse. 24 hours video surveillance. Violators will be prosecuted.” Our reply: They will not control us. We asserted dominance over their campus, and headed off to get dinner and a pregame beer.

As I said before, not many people walking around during the day, well we made it to the arena and sure enough, there they all were. The outside of the arena looked pretty outdated. Just kind of looked like a square building to me, not all that impressive from the outside. Inside however, the place was a lot bigger than I had expected. The BSU Basketball Wikipedia page says capacity is 12,820, but I would bet it could hold closer to 14,000. There were three levels to the building, and although it wasn’t a sellout, the place was packed. The overall atmosphere was one of the better ones I’ve experienced in the Mountain West. A couple of the fans around me were saying there weren’t many die hard basketball fans, but they’d been coming out since the team was doing well. We sat right

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Full House

behind the bench, which was an awesome experience. Had a great view of the court, and could hear the coaches during time outs, or yelling out instructions during the game. Really neat experience.

The Corral wasn’t very good, in fact throughout the entire game I only heard them start one chant. They had numbers, but didn’t do much of anything, the rest of the arena was much more vocal. They got loud at the right times, and were able to stay loud.

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Squad

One thing I loved about this game, it was close the entire time. Right from the get go, 4 minutes in with a 4-0 Aztec lead, we knew it was going to be the kind of game we wanted to play. Great team victory, everyone contributed to the win, and no one was more pumped up than Winston Shepard. Before the game he had said I hope their crowd is rocking, and every time they got loud, you could see Winston waving his arms up and down, wanting more. Once that final buzzer went off, he was giving every Aztec fan a high five, so excited that they had solidified their position as the MWC front runners…..again.

 

After the game, we went to meet up with the team to congratulate them, when a couple of Corral members came out to meet us. We talked to them a bit, they seemed like some cool dudes. They said how much they liked the Show and wanted the Corral to be as big of a section that we have become. Wished them luck, told them to catch a game in San Diego, but had to advise them, We are often imitated, never duplicated.

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Beautiful little town.

The team made their way out, and we congratulated them on the huge win. Players and coaches thanked us for coming out, and it’s cool, you could tell they really do appreciate the support on the road. After wishing them safe travels, we headed back to Downtown for a victory celebration, and to bleed that city dry of Fireball.

Overall, I’d say Boise State has been my favorite Roadshow attended for all the Mountain West schools. I had a great time. The city took me by surprise on how much I enjoyed it. You could walk everywhere, had a small town vibe but still an awesome nightlife. The basketball atmosphere was good, definitely in the upper half of the conference. I would absolutely come back to Boise Idaho. Maybe when we play a football game up there next.

Until Next Time,

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StompShow


Show On The Road-Utah

When I first saw this game on the schedule, I knew I wanted to go. When I saw it was on a Monday night, I initially dismissed the idea of making the trip. Our first big game of the year, first road test, I was pretty bummed that I wouldn’t be attending. However, before I knew it, after a little bit of convincing from Handsome Kyle, I had a flight booked to Salt Lake.

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Handsome Kyle and Showlan arrived Sunday afternoon, and enjoyed a full day in Salt Lake exploring the campus. I had a prior commitment, so I wasn’t able to make it out until late Sunday night. I called for an Uber to pick me up from the airport and take me to the hotel. Being my first time in Salt Lake City, I asked my driver some places he would recommend I go see, or the best places to eat in town. His suggestion: Applebee’s or Olive Garden. I politely told him I’d keep that in mind, but I was immediately skeptical if those were the best places in town.

 

Morning came and we were able to find a good spot for breakfast, Park Café. Delicious breakfast and good location, right across the street from Liberty Park, which reminded me a bit of Balboa Park. It was right in the middle of town and had a few museums to check out. The food we got was delicious, and the owner of the restaurant is a San Diego State Alumn, so we got a nice discount. After breakfast we ubered back to campus to check out the bookstore, and our driver was hilarious.

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Liberty Park

We immediately got off on a good note with him due to our mutual hatred of BYU. He told us that BYU recently put turf in their football stadium, in an effort to keep the cheerleaders from grazing. BYU hate just brings out the best in college sports fans. We stopped into the bookstore where, not gonna lie, they had some awesome gear. They had real replica football jerseys (not some lame knockoff brand), complete with all of the patches, at a very reasonable price. (take notes SDSU bookstore) We walked outside, and Showlan got to see snow fall for the first time. Definitely not something any of us were used to seeing, so it was pretty neat. I was pretty surprised how empty the campus was. For the entire time spent on campus, I saw no more than 15 people at one time. Which was strange with it being a Monday. Would never be that empty in the middle of Campanile Walkway. We continued our self-guided tour onto Rice Eccles Stadium. (It’s worth noting that 95% of all buildings on the campus of The University of Utah are named after either Eccles, Huntsman, or Marriot.) Showlan noticed a gate that was just slightly opened, so we decided why not, and walked right in. Not wanting to get kicked out, we had to be stealthy to sneak past workers, and soon enough we were on the field taking pictures in the end zone. Handsome Kyle showed off his 7 inch vertical Continue reading


Show On The Road- Washington

 

Well before the season began, many of us had a strong desire to make it out to an early season non-conference game, and ultimately decided that this was the perfect weekend to do so. Accompanied by 20+ current Show and Showlumni, we took to the Pacific Northwest to support our beloved Aztecs. Because there were so many of us, my story may not do the weekend justice, so it is entirely possible to expect other blog posts from other Show members

 

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Walking to our hotel. Space Needle in the distance

To me, this road trip gave me an early taste of the Mountain West Tournament in March. A good large group of friends enjoying a weekend full of debauchery, laughter, and Aztec Basketball. Myself and about 5 others flew out of San Diego as the second wave of Show late Friday evening, and arrived in Seattle around 10:00pm or so, and after another hour long ride on the Light Link Rail, finally made it to Downtown Seattle. As soon as we stepped off the trolley, I was immediately in love with the city. Christmas lights flooded the streets, and the cool brisk air gave it a true wintery feel to it; certainly nothing I was quite used to back home in San Diego. Having gone most of the day without food, we searched for a place that was 1. Open late night, and 2. Had beer. We came across a local Italian restaurant, Amantes, around midnight; which was perfect seeing as the rain had really started to come down at this point. TwoPointShow and I decided to split a pitcher after a long day of work and travel, but couldn’t decide between two of the local brews. Amantes was extremely accommodating, and gave us full 8 ounce tastes of each, and once we decided on the Manny’s Pale, we were given a very full (and I mean very full) pitcher. I would highly recommend this place, as the food was spectacular as well. I recall looking outside the window as the rain poured down and seeing this girl on the corner, unfazed by the rain, just dancing on her own and genuinely enjoying life. The other corner of the street I saw some goth dude with an umbrella, walk up to a cold hipster looking guy, and share the umbrella with him. After seeing all this go down, I could tell that the people here were incredibly nice, and that this city was something special.

 

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Santa is an Aztec

Despite being awake for nearly 24 consecutive hours, I was one of the first to awake the next morning, eager to start the day. After enjoying the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, some of us decided to head off to the Space Needle. On our way over, we came across a funky statue. Had absolutely no idea what it was supposed to be, but in true Road Show fashion, we 100% had to mount it. We made it to the Space Needle, and the view atop was breathtaking. The 360 degree view gave us sights of the Mount Rainier, Century Link Stadium, the UW campus, and just an overall gorgeous view of downtown Seattle. There was a spot atop the Needle to get a picture taken with Santa. He asked us what we wanted for Christmas, and our wish is quite obvious. A trip to the Final Four. Next we took a walk over to Pike Place Market to grab some lunch, where we eventually settled at Lowell’s, another delicious restaurant. Pike Place was crazy. It was a sensory overload with sounds smells and sights. I almost got nailed in the face with a flying fish! Very entertaining to say the least. Afterwards we went on a short walk along the waterfront before headed to our next activity, Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. This tour was exceptionally fun, as it was something most everyone did together. Really interesting to learn about the city’s underbelly and some of the history of Seattle.IMG_0793

 

Later in the night, we grabbed some dinner and headed into Capitol Hill to hit up some of the bars. This night simply put, was one to remember. Tier One. Want to give a big shout out to Alicia, our bartender at Deluxe Bar and Grill. She was simply on point, and is now a proud subscriber to this wonderful blog. Definite Honorary Show member of the weekend. After a solid start to the night at Deluxe, we made our way to Unicorn Bar, a carnival themed bar. The True MVP of the night. Fun Fact: Unicorn was featured in Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ music video. So many highlights at this place, I don’t even know where to begin. There were many different games, one of which we gravitated to was Skeeball. Big ups to SwarleyShow, for being straight fire and making three 100’s in a row. As we played Skeeball, we ran into a couple more Aztec fans, where we took over a good portion of the bar repeatedly yelling, “STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE .” I fell in love with yelling that, and stuck with me for the rest of the trip. It’s so annoying and obnoxious, that it is absolutely perfect. A few moments later, something amazing happened. The grand discovery of the Americorn. Branden made the bold move of ordering one, and my goodness it may have been the best decision of this trip. I could 100% write an entire blog post about this drink, but I think I’ll spare you all. So many more great moments this night, from stories of gecko’s to girls touching tip of Handsome Kyle’s unicorn helmet, this was a night that has gone down in history.

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MVP

 

Sunday morning many people did their own thing during the day recovering from the night before. I tagged along with Maui and ShoeShow where we just cruised along to further explore the city. We took a trip to the docks, and later to Gas Works park, where we saw a spectacular view looking into the city. After a bit, we made our way over to the campus, which was absolutely IMG_0763gorgeous. First order of business on campus was to find that statue to mount. We all took turns mounting it and decorating it with SDSU gear, making our presence felt.We then grabbed some lunch at Big Time Brewery, just right off of the campus. One thing I wish San Diego State had is an area right near campus with some different bars and more of a nightlife. I felt that it gave the UW college area a unique feel to it. After lunch we took a self-guided tour on the campus, and like I said before: gorgeous. The buildings looked like something out of Hogwarts, lots of open space and foliage. One of the coolest parts of the campus was right in the center, there is a big pond and in the distance is a picturesque view of Mount Rainier. We made it over to the arena, which I thought was quite nice. First thing I thought when we walked inside was that it reminded me of a movie theater. Whether it was the carpeting, or the overwhelming smell of popcorn, it definitely seemed like I was in an AMC. As we walked to the opening of the actual court, the 20+ of us belted out thIMG_0751e fight song and immediately drew attention from the crowd. People knew there were a lot of raucous San Diego State fans in the building. I would also like to give a shout out to the UW fan base for having the most awkward kiss cam of all time. So many dudes refusing to kiss the girl they were next to, and it was a good minute before anyone got a measly peck. #soft. Anyways, funny thing is that I can’t seem to remember too much of the next two hours or so, so I guess I won’t really talk about that. Later that evening, we grabbed some dinner and drinks at Finn MacCool’s, and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel to rest up for our early morning flight to America’s Finest.

Happy to be on our way back home, but I will definitely miss Seattle. Overall I had a wonderful time, and thought the city was amazing. Now to cap off this blog, I’d like to include a few memorable quotes from the weekend.

“I didn’t know the 5 went all the way to Seattle.”-SHOWlani

“Yeah it goes all the way up to Oregon too.”-TwoPointShow

 

“I don’t think anyone is going to like us.”SHOW LEE

“I don’t care.”-SHOWlani

 

“Handsome Kyle literally just put on that unicorn helmet, and now attractive women are gravitating towards him.”- SHOWlan

 

“I grew up in San Diego but now I’m a Huskies Fan.”-Waiter

“Bye.”-TwoPointShow

 

That about does it for this installment of Show On The Road. Special thank you to all those who accompanied me on this trip and helped make it so unforgettable.

Until next time,

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StompShow.


Montezuma’s Revenge

I am often asked, as a member of the show if I know how lucky I am to be an Aztec right now. Well as a lifelong San Diegan, who has lived through the Leaf and LT eras of the Chargers, the chuck long period of Aztec football, the daily struggle of being a Friar faithful, as well as the rise and fold of my beloved San Diego Gulls, I can safely say this: I know exactly how lucky I am to be an Aztec right now. The question is, do you?

I was in the Pit for our game this year and I can honestly say I’ve never been to a louder sporting event. There was multiple times that my ears were literally ringing after the Lobos made a big play. That hasn’t been the case for a single game at Viejas this year. And many of you think that’s because the Show has taken a step back or is no longer what it once was, but I can tell you without a doubt that that is not true. The real problem is what goes on in the other 9,914 seats.

The atmosphere at Viejas has plateaued, much like the mesa it sits on, not because the Show fails to bring it, but because the other fans have yet to attempt to raise their game to match the intensity we bring to every game, whether we’re playing St. Katherine’s College or New Mexico for a MW championship banner. The atmosphere at the Pit on the other hand is so special because the fans know that in order to have an impact on the game they have to get loud and get loud they do. In Viejas we bring it for a full 40 minutes, while the rest of the arena golf claps until we go on a run or Polee does something insane. Despite this handicap Steve Fisher says the Show can make a difference of 10 points a game. 

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Imagine the impact a full 12,414 would have on a game if they screamed and stood for a full 40 minutes? Now I’m no math major, but it sure as hell would be more than 14 points, which not so coincidentally is the number we lost by in the Pit.

Later today, our Aztecs play for a title. And in all honestly this is the BIGGEST GAME ever played in the majestic halls of Viejas Arena. Yes, it is bigger than the BYU game in 2010-11 because this one is for the whole enchilada, all the marbles, or whatever other corny metaphor you can think of. In fact this is the biggest game in the Mountain West Conference’s regular season history. And in order to make the impact we need to emerge victorious we NEED YOUR HELP. We’re not ashamed to admit it because there is a maximum volume that 2,500 students can produce. If you are lucky enough to join us for the final game of the season against New Mexico, send off our seniors the right way: win or lose, 40 minutes of support for our Aztecs. We haven’t asked you all season, but we are today, GET UP AND GET LOUD, ALL GAME. Show the Lobos real fandom, passion and heart. SHOW them what it means to be an Aztec. Now there’s only one thing left to say, win, win, win cut down nets.

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Today we claim the crown.


Show On The Road-Kansas

The University of Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. The Mecca. The second I saw this game on our schedule, I knew I had to be there.

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We flew out of San Diego Friday morning, and arrived in Kansas City, MO that night, and was immediately cold. It was 70 degrees back home, and about 30 degrees here. This however was about the warmest it got all trip.

The drive into Lawrence wasn’t too bad, only about a 45 minute trip. There wasn’t much around where we were staying, but we found a great Kansas BBQ place and grabbed some dinner there. Everything in town was Kansas Jayhawks Basketball. Almost every place I walked into had a panoramic photograph on Allen Fieldhouse, a banner listing out all of their National Titles, framed jerseys and other miscellaneous KU memorabilia.

Saturday morning I headed back towards Kansas City to check out the city. Everyone in their downtown was amped up about the Chiefs playoff game later that day. We checked out Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. We ran into a Jayhawks fan and talked to him for a bit. He was really high on Joel Embiid, who I also happened to be the most worried about. I got even more excited for the game after some of the game day stories he told us. After touring Kansas City, we headed back into Lawrence to check out the campus. We stopped for lunch in downtown Lawrence at Free State Brewery, whose motto was “Because without beer, things do not seem to go as well.” True statement. The streets of downtown were lined with banners that said “Pay Heed All Who Enter Beware Of The Phog.” Downtown reminded me a bit of my trip a few years ago to Ann Arbor. A true college town. I came across a surf shop, because the surf out in Lawrence, Kansas is so good.
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so much history in the building.

After lunch, we headed down to the campus to check out the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. I was a bit disappointed that the original rulebook was not out on display, but nonetheless, the place reeked of history. The first court in Kansas Basketball history was on display, a huge display of Dr. James Naismith and Forrest “Phog” Allen, an incredibly impressive wall of KU Hall Of Famers…the list goes on and on. Next we decided to walk around the campus, but quickly changed our minds due to the freezing 10-degree weather, so we opted to do a driving tour. I spotted a Jayhawk statue, and braved the cold to go mount it and assert our Aztec dominance.

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Later we went to a local bar, Saints, to watch the Chiefs playoff game. I walk into the bar while the chiefs had a 28-point lead, and that place was loud. We weren’t worried about people thinking we were from San Diego, or that we weren’t rooting for the Chiefs, because all of our red Aztec gear helped us blend in to the crowd. There was a lone Colts fan there, and she left as they had started to cut away the lead. Not sure why, maybe she got kicked out. Anyways that bar just grew quieter and quieter, until…silence. I was hoping that their fans would feel even worse around 6pm the following day.

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not the best decision ever.

Gameday. We arrived at Allen Fieldhouse about 2 hours before they opened the gates, and it was cold. 8 degrees, windy, snowstorms the night before meant that my shoe choice was not the best. Word of advice, do not wear vans in freezing weather. I have never been that cold in my life. We saw Doug Gottlieb, as he entered the arena. He wished us luck and told us we’d have fun. Was a bit disappointed he wasn’t wearing his Show hat, but he told us that he had Little Gottlieb wear it at home. <3. The line to get into the arena was long, and the hour and a half wait in the cold made it feel like an 8 hour wait. Four of us took our picture with the Road Show Banner in front of the Phog Allen statue.

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The doors finally opened and we rushed to our seats; first come first serve. Students were already inside, we found out they are allowed in 30 minute before everyone else. We walked into the main part of the arena, and I was awestruck. As Winston Shepard put it, “it was like playing in basketball heaven.” An entire row of Final Four Banners. An entire row of Conference Championship Banners. Five National Championship Banners ran along the North end of the arena. Overlooking it all, once again the phrase, “Pay Heed All Who Enter. Beware Of ‘The Phog.” The Jayhawks had won 68 straight non-conference games on their home court, so we knew we were in for a challenge. I was a bit surprised we entered the game as 9 point underdogs, but you have to respect Bill Self’s (then) 8 losses on their Naismith Court in his tenure. By an hour before tip, the place was full to capacity. We walked down to the court and stood across from the team as they did their warm-ups.  We belted out the fight song, to which I could tell the team loved it.

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We were not intimidated.

Back in our seats, tip grew nearer and nearer, and the intensity of the crowd grew as well. The pregame chants were incredible. They sang their Alma Mater, and it felt like a church ceremony, with Kansas Basketball as their religion. Words can’t describe just how cool the Rock Chalk chant was. Recordings of it alone are cool, but in person, just gave me chills. Next came the player introductions. I thought it was a bit weird that they don’t introduce the head coach, but oh well. Kansas showed about a minute long video detailing the history and tradition of Kansas basketball. From the early days of James Naismith, to Mario Chalmers miracle, just an outstanding video. All of the hype and tradition of playing in this arena is enough to make any visiting team rattled, but Coach Fisher had our guys well prepared.

Tip off and I couldn’t have asked for a better first half. Up 6 at half, had we limited turnovers it could have been 14, but I wasn’t mad at it. I was very impressed with their fans. They stood the entire game, and were consistently loud. I thought their student section was a bit lacking. They, along with the rest of the arena were loud, but there weren’t any chants during live action. I think if we had a solid group of about 20 people, we could have been heard for a majority of the game. Unfortunately, the Aztec faithful were scattered throughout the arena. I was in a row of 5 of us.  Early in the second half, we went up to an 11 point lead and forced the Jayhawks to call a time out, prompting us to yell out uprising. Doing so in their arena, it just felt right. Instead of getting booed for our chants, the Jayhawk fans were all really nice. Like really nice. Too nice. They certainly aren’t soulless mutants like the Lobos of New Mexico.  We would chant something, and instead of yelling at us or booing us, people would ask us what our chants were and complimented us on our passion. Many others asked us about Steve Fisher and his days at Michigan, and the growth of our program here, very friendly people.

As the Jayhawks closed it to 4 points with 3 minutes left, I made a comment that Xavier hadn’t scored in the second half. Sure enough, he answers with a huge three. The stressful final minutes wore on and I think they were the loudest final minutes of a basketball game I have ever been to. Our guys showed their composure though, never giving up the lead as Xavier’s clutch free throws sealed up the game and handed Kansas a rare loss in Allen Fieldhouse. We all screamed out the fight song, and I could hear other Aztec fans around us joining in. We walked down to the court in celebration where I encountered the lone Kansas fan that showed displeasure with us. He said, “Well how many of those do you have?” in reference to their final four banners, to which I replied, “Well hey we got that!” and pointed to the scoreboard.Image

We waited for the team and congratulated them on such a great team victory. Arguably the biggest regular season win in program history. Phenomenal basketball game. I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

After we saw the team off, we headed into downtown Lawrence and stopped at Jefferson’s for a celebratory drink. It was probably about 90% Aztecs in there, and 10% Jayhawk tears. A few beers and shots of Fireball later, and we were back off to the hotel to head back to San Diego in the morning.

After the game, Skylar Spencer

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what is life

tweeted “Y’ALL STILL SLEEP OR WHAT?”And that Monday morning the team awoke to a #13 ranking in the country, jumping up 6 spots. The team left that night after the game, and as for us still in Lawrence, we awoke at 3:30 am Monday morning in -9 degree weather (yes that’s minus nine) to catch a 6am flight in Kansas City. Well it was supposed to be 6am, but it turned into about 4:15 pm…but that’s a story for another blog. The win made the long travel day well worth it. Nothing could have brought me down.

We Paid Heed. We Entered. We Were Victorious.

That about does it for this edition of Show On The Road, the next installment will be February 22 against The University of New Mexico.

Until then,

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StompShow


With the Show it’s Halloween 24/7/365

Today is special for 2 reasons: it marks 1 week until the first basketball game of the season against our red headed step sister or in this case our blue headed step sister Cal State San Marcos and it also marks 6 days until Halloween. Why am I telling you things you surely already know? Well because people seem to be forgetting that with the Show it’s Halloween all year long.

Since it’s inception the Show has always preached creativity and originality above all else, well expect for maybe fucking BYU. And despite that it seems that every year since the Sweet 16 year two years ago we have seen a gradual decline in costumed Show members. To be honest outside of McGibblets and T-Rex Thames there were not many people consistently in costume all year. This year we’re gonna change that.

Last year it was typical for the Show to be a sea of red and black, like this.

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And there is nothing wrong with that. But it’s time to go back to the crazy, ridiculous, zany, and sometimes downright insane costumes that are a part of what makes the Show so special.

This is just a fraction of what you would see in the Show at a game a couple of years ago.

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Hell, even the media would get in on the action. And that doesn’t even include the most famous Show costume of them all, the Mormon missionary.

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The measure of a great student section is not just how high of decibel level it can reach (and we can reach a pretty damn high one), but how much of a frenzied atmosphere it can create and costumes only add to the atmosphere inside the Madhouse on the Mesa. Viejas Arena is called that for a reason you know. So this year get more bang for your buck with your Halloween costume (especially the sexy ones) and let’s make Viejas a Madhouse again.

See you next week Aztecs. And Fuck Fresno State. OIL CAN!