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May 30, 1985 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-05-30

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SPORTS
Page 8 Thursday, May 30, 1985 The Michigan Doily
Yee haw !: Mississippi State fans do anything
and everything to support 'Dawgs

By DAVE ARETHA . WHEN THE play ended and the
Mississippi State's Dudy Noble noise ceased, Lewis and his
Field was swarmed over by so many Mississippi State friends offered to
people, you would have thought Pope share one of their favorite ballpark
JonPl u wassyd mass thohpe activities.
John Paul I1 was saying mass on the a"You want a beer?" asked Mike
infield. Bailey, who occuped the front end of
The holy pontiff wasn't around, of the lounge chair.
course, but to those Bulldog fans, "You want to live like the 'Dawgs
something just as sacred was hap- to?" said Lewis, zipping open a
pening on this special Friday evening plastic cooler and revealing two flasks
The Mississippi State 'Dawgs, ranked - one whiskey, the other in-
fourth in the country, were squaring -oewiky h te n
off against West Virginia in the first distinguishable. "I can mix you a
round of the South I Regional - and drink real quick.
nobody in Oktibbeha County was
going to miss it. "SAY, DO you get anything like this
AT LEAST 2,800 'Dawg fans sar- back in Michigan," Lewis wondered.
dined themselves into a set of rickety, Hardly. The Wolverines average
wooden bleachers that were built to about a thousand per game. And in
hold 2,200. Children sat on their .+non-conference contests, Ray Fisher
mothers' laps. Wives sat on their Stadium is about as full as a glass of
husbands' laps. Old men, some fin- Quik chocolate mile after the little
ding only several inches of seat Cbunny has gotten through with it.
available, wedged themselves in as . . a downhome favorite "Oh my God," said Bailey, shaking
best as they could. game through binoculars. his head at such disloyalty.
game"HEL, burtd Clrk,"they had
Fans who couldn't get a real seat Perhaps the most loyal of all the "theSEC (Souteastkn'neyehe
stood tippy-toed along the foul-line maroon-clad Dawg fans, however, tournament two weeks ago at LSU
fences, peering over each other's were those who admired their heroes r n ame weks ago a LeU
shoulders to view the action. Others from a 40-foot-high walkway that cir- LSU played a game before us, and we
formed row after row of lawn chairs cled the neighboring basketball had more people at that game than
on the hill behind the rightfield fence arena. About 200 Mississippians paid they did. We had 600 more people
thus creating their own grandstands. full admission just to stand on the there.,
Ones pudg lhttl yon ge stods block-long slab of concrete that Not bad, considering Louisiana
One pudgy ittle youngster stood on a overlooked the diamond. State is "a good six hours" away.
hill far from the ballpark and eyed the "AND THIS isn't just for the The Bulldog fans are so rabid that
Regionals," said Mississippi State school officials at tiny Mississippi
student Regi Lewis, "we do this all the State can afford to completely renov-
Course Syliabus time" ate Noble Field. The redoing will cost
PAD -101 Lewis and two fellow Bulldogs cr- $3.2 million, but the officials have a
Course Topic: eated their own special seat in right- plan that will garner all the necessary
How to live comfortably and center field. The three slotted them- money. Those who donate $1,000 to
affordably on a college selves into a long lounge chair - as if MSU get "priority" to buy season
budget. they were sharing a log ride at an tickets, while those who chip in $500
Offered Dates: amusement park - and viewed their get first crack at grandstand seats.
Full season with a few beloved 'Dawgs through a small ON THE surface, it looks like a rot-
openings for our clearing of pine trees. ten deal. But remember, these
summer session. "I don't think there's been a home Mississippi fans love their 'Dawgs.
game where we haven't had over a Already donations for the new 3,700-
Instructor: thousand," said Lewis in a pure seat stadium are pouring in, and ac-
Randy Pickut Mississippi twang. "In a big series, cording to student Kevin Harrison,
665-2194 like Alabama, we have over six "they'l fill that stadium every
Office Hours: thousand people here." game."
10:30-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri "WE LED the damn nation in at- The new stands, however, will only
(Mr Pckut is available for tendance last year, and we did it this extend down the lnes. The lawn area
tutoring byapptr) year too," added MSU student Barry in right will remain, as will the sloped
Clark, who along with Lewis made the land behind left field.
Course Material: expedition to right-center. In fact, no one will dare disturb the
The Tiffany: 736 Packard, "That's about all there is to do for area in left because this territory has
The Colony: 731 Packard, fun out here," Lewis said. "It's become the most precious real estate
The Madison: Mississippi, you know." in Starkville. They call the area Left
316 E. Madison The conversation suddenly halted. Field Lounge, and it is where the true
Course Objectives: Bulldog slugger Will Clark had just maroon-blooded fans get together for
You will learn in this course laced one into right field, and it looked all-out 'Dawg rootin' and fun-lovin'
through your extensive and like extra bases. Lewis and Clark and partying.
comprehensive first hand 8,ooo others whooped it up as the MSU OWNERS OF pickup trucks, vans
lab work just how easy it hero chugged into second with a and campers arrive in the park as
is to live close to campus stand-up double. Cries of "yeehaw," early as possible in order to secure a
in comfortable and "wahoo," and "how 'bout 'dem spot on the left-field hill.
affordable surroundings 'Dawgs,?" flew throughout Dudy "Back during the season," said
The offered material will Noble Field. Harrison, "they brought their trucks
dheonsredaterithestuinlin here and just left them there the
demonstrate to- the student whole season."
the convenience of its ' The bigger and taller vehicles, the
efficiency, 1and 2 bedroom S better. The bigger the truck, the more
apartments. space there is for a party. And the
Fees: taller the camper, the better the perch
Less than you'd expect. 1- you have to view the game.
THE MSU followers don't just sit
atop their Broncos chugging beer and

munching potato chips either. They go
all out.
"They'll put a couple of two-by-
fours on the back and throw a couch
up there," said Harrison, "then they'll
cook hamburgers, steaks,
everything."
"Chicken too," added Clark.
"EVERY NOW and then they'll
have some crawdads," Harrison said.
"Ya, and they leave it in the cab
when they cook it," said another.

'Dawg fans can now buy Left Field
Lounge season parking passes for $25,
but to get a good spot they must arrive
around dawn. Left Field Lounge t-
shirts are reportedly a hot item too.
And ESPN called the Lounge "the
best thing they Bad ever seen," ac-
cording to one Mississippi State
regular.
It was now the fourth inning of a 0-0
tie, and the action and intensity were
building. It was time to high-tail it
over to the Left Field Lounge.

4

[ THE SPORTING VIEWSI
A whole lotta baseball.. .
... on the road in Mississippi
Insights and outtakes from the NCAA South Ibaseball regional in
Starkville, Mississippi:
By DAVE ARETHA
OU KNEW the Wolverines were in for it when they were
Yforced to book hotel reservation in Columbus, Mississippi.
" With Scott Kamieniecki injured, Michigan was begging for a pitching
ace. Maybe coach Bud Middaugh should have talked to Dwight Gooden
about the benefits ofea good education.
" Unlike Michigan, Mississippi State had a pair of aces. Call Jeff Bran-
tley (17-2, 2.17 ERA) the Ace of the Club, and Gene Morgan (13-1, 1.89
ERA), the Ace of the Diamond.
" The Wolverines turned the double play in Mississippi faster than you
can say Larkin to Beshke to Hayward.Barry, C. J., and Ken helped turn
eight DPs in their first two Regional games.
" Mississippi State started the same nine batters in 60 of their 61 games.
Frank Davis was ninth on the team in at bats with 178, and Randy
Abrams was tenth with 16.
" Eddie Payton, a former Detroit Lion and Walter Payton's older
brother, is now a Southeastern Conference umpire - and apparently a
darn good one. "Behind the plate, he's the best," said a young Mississippi
State fan. "If Eddie's on first base instead of behind home plate, our
(electronic) scoreboard will say, 'We want Eddie behind the plate.' "
" The little University of New Orleans entered the regionals having
played ten of Collegiate Baseball's top 30 teams, while the mighty
University of Michigan hadn't faced any.
" The Privateers had some fun against Jackson State though, beating
them 31-i. But of course the'game was a lot closer than the score in-
dicated.
*The MSU Bulldogs home address is Mississippi State University,
Mississippi State, Mississippi. Imagine if the address was an answer on
the Wheel of Fortune, and somebody asked Pat Sajak for the letter 's'.
" Another New Orleans patron noticed that Wolverine catcher Eric
Sanders was hitting .434. "Man, this guy's swinging a gorilla bat," he
said.
" If anyone was wondering how West Virginia generated eight runs per
game last season, just check the names of their first two hitters - Vic
Rabbits and Bobby Watts.
" Michigan outfielder Mike Watters has set single-season school recor-
ds in hits (91), runs (81), total bases (172), triples (10), stolen bases (20),
and home runs (17-tied). Not bad for a guy who batted .290 with two
homers last year.
" Hayward, however, is still the Wolverine's King of Swing. The hulking
first baseman has set Michigan career records for batting average (.376),
homeruns (33), RBIs (207), hits (267), runs (176), doubles (49), total bases
(427), games (234)), and at bats (710). He's also broken the Michigan
record for most outs (443), but hey ...
" Five best signs on the road to Mississippi: "CONWAY TWITTY'S
TWITTY CITY," "FALLEN ROCK ZONE," "BLASTING ZONE
AHEAD," "BUCKSNORT, TENN. NEXT EXIT," and "LOUISVILLE 69,
BONNEIVILLE 6." And we thought Bill Frieder's team played a weak
non-conference schedule.

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