Friday, October 19

Arthur Dimmesdale Needs a Good Flogging

Odometer: 10,399
Location: New York, NY
States Visited: New Jersey, New York


With great anticipation I crossed the Hudson and returned to New Jersey to witness the New Kid on the Block host the New Infant on the Block. I once spent a solid week in New Brunswick as part of my first trip to New York sans parents, and I was curious to see how the place had changed. Of course, we didn’t spend a lick of time in Piscataway on that trip, and with good reason. Rutgers has three separate campuses (five if you count Newark and Camden). Piscataway is the one where you don’t want to spend your time. Rather than allow the P-way campus to be my only view of the school, I bounced over to New Brunswick and briefly cruised the town. Aside from being more crowded, it was pretty much the college town I recalled from thirteen years ago. The one major exception to that was the letter R was plastered all over town. I haven’t spent a ton of time in New Jersey, but I feel I was able to experience some of its exemplary traits. The first group of guys I encountered were all alone in a remote parking lot and spent most of the morning talking smack to one another through thick Jersey accents. Full bravado was on display, much to my delight. They offered me a puff from their hookah, but I had to get where more of the tailgating scene was going down. When you go to a game at Rutgers, unless you know somebody who’s donated to the school, you have to park in a lot very far away from the stadium. Shuttle buses take fans back and forth, though they weren’t running when I arrived. So I walked the two miles to the stadium grounds, stopping to talk to tailgaters along the way. There were a surprising number of die-hard Rutgers fans who had been through the bad times. I expected a lot of Eagles and Giants fans who didn’t give two licks about the college game, but was pleased to see a lot of young people who could compare to those I’ve seen all across the country. I did get a sense of people in New Jersey feeling overlooked. Jersey pride came up often. A number of folks felt they had to defend Jersey against claims of being the “armpit of America.” I’ve never heard that distinction levied on the state before. Has anyone else? In fact, I previously applied that term to southeastern Idaho, though I made it even nastier. A number of fans said, “You better not write anything bad about New Jersey,” with a few of them following that up with, “I’ll track you down if you do!” Never fear, Scarlet Knights. I had a great time.If you didn’t watch the Rutgers/USF game, you missed a darn good one. The Rutgers student section started the “overrated” chant before the game. Generally, it’s best to wait until after you’ve beaten the higher ranked team to put that one out there, kids. You’d feel silly later if your team was beaten, plus, you’re only serving to fire up the opponent, not your guys. But beyond that minor faux pas, I didn’t hear any of the vulgarities or rudeness that got them in “trouble” earlier this season. In the first half, USF quarterback Matt Groethe led impressive drives and it seemed as though the Bulls were the better team. Rutgers had trouble fielding punts and getting field goals away cleanly. But the score remained tight at the half. A guy walking down the aisle recognized someone sitting behind me and they did the whole, “hey, nice to see ya” thing. The guy closed by saying, “see you on the field” with a hopeful grin.

When a Rutgers player muffed a kickoff only to haveit bounce back into his arms before a scramble all the way to midfield, it was a clear sign that USF wasn’t getting out of there with a win. All I could think was, “Kid, this ain’t your night.” The season isn't over for the Bulls by any strectch, and this three point loss shoudn't knock them back too far. Not this year, anyway.Rutgers fans found themselves once again tumbling all over one another at midfield, preening for the ESPN cable camera in celebration. This crazy season just keeps rolling along. You had to know USF was in trouble the second those BCS rankings come out. BC, you’re next! One recent grad asked me, “Has anyone told you about the RU Screw yet?” I thought maybe this was some kind of drink or cheer or game. He was referring to the fact that the school is so massive and any time a student needs to get something approved or sent out or fixed, there is so much red tape to go through, they end up getting screwed. I was told by anyone I encountered that the shuttle bus would easily take me back to my car without issue. Upon the game’s completion, I joined a throng of people slowly being herded towards the shuttles. Getting on the bus didn’t take very long, but once we were aboard, the bus took roughly 50 minutes to travel three blocks. I decided to get off and walk, no matter how long I had already languished. After all, it was a sunk cost. I was of course concerned that once the bus got to the next corner, it would be smooth sailing. For the first time in this whole driving-across-the-country experience, I was really angry. Angry at the school for giving me the RU Screw, and angry at myself for not knowing better. All those R’s hung up in town may stand for Rutgers, but they also stand for Really Freaking Far Away – or maybe it was Reed is Going to Get a Workout Tonight. I at least broke even by walking, and it’s probably good for my knee anyway. I didn’t arrive back to my friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side until 2:30 in the morning. All that said, it was certainly worth the hassle to see a game with that much excitement. On to Boston next!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey is there going to be a tailgate report from the Rutgers game? Don't forget who had the best tailgate, the cinco de mayo theme baby. I've been thinking about it all week and our tailgate next year I am going to add a flag that says The WRublevski Family Tailgate "2007 SI Rutgers Tailgate of the Year"
Make it happen

Reed said...

Ah, my young Wrublevski... You will have to wait and find out. We're overflowing with content at SI On Campus right now, so things are a bit behind. The Rutgers Tailgate Report Card will be up, but probably not until sometime next week.

Anonymous said...

Yellow lot savages.

Anonymous said...

Yellow lot savages? come party. dont be old.

Anonymous said...

American Idol wannabees.
Karaoke blows!

Anonymous said...

come sing. seriously. give me a song and ill put it on there and you can come hang out.

Benson said...

NJ definitely is the Armpit of America. I've heard and used that phrase many times.

Patrick said...

yoo. glad you found a shirt. looked good. go RU

Kozy said...

Did you hit TaTa's Pizza when you were in NB?

I have continuously herad that Houston, TX is in fact the armpit of America.

Anonymous said...

SAVAGES. Go back to the Scarlet lot from where you were banished.

rufan said...

We r here to stay so come on over and join us..... Lets have a good time. Wait a minute isn't that a song lyric LMAO

Anonymous said...

yellow lot savages RUle!! Come party with us.

myfatbat said...

Was really upset about the RU-Louisville game, but when the camera focused on you and Mitch Miller dumbfounded in the last few minutes, it made my entire season. Have a great trip to Canada. Keep up the savage tradition. BTW, your 15 minutes are nearly up.

Anonymous said...

whose mitch miller?

Anonymous said...

nevermind, guess you were referring to my pops. haha thats kinda funny? why are our 15 minutes almost up?

highlandparker said...

Well done Frankie. You and the savages have taken over the yellow lot, pushing out people who have been there for many years. It's a credit to your Montclair State education (why no RU?, not enough pull from Pops?). Have a great time this year; Will that desperate dude try to get some from that girl in the back of the pickup when nobody is watching? Looking to forward to "Sweet Caroline".

Frank said...

Not sure if anyone even reads this anymore, but how can you bash my Montclair State education? I got into Rutgers, but chose to go to an accredited NJ teaching school with great job placement. Stupid me I guess. Really makes no sense at all why you would bash that. If you referring to the "girls in the pickup trucks" those are my cousins. All of 2008 had passed and you never came to my face or to our tailgate to complain. Stop by in 2009.

Anonymous said...

If you are a teacher, you should take a course on the English Language. If my child had you as a teacher, I would write to the Board of Education to get a competent teacher who could read and write in English. Your Montclair State education reflects your horrific spelling. EVERYTHING you have in life is as a result of your "Pop's". He could not get you into RU despite his mucho $$$. You and your hoard crushed the lives of many RU fans, many of those who had been in that lot for 20 years or so. Nobody can deal with the firepower of your Pop's. But you have broken the dreams of an RU graduate, somebody who actually played for the RU team back in 1976 as a red bone walk on, who bled for that team. And I want some recognition for the fact that I created the term "Yellow Lot Savages". I have several witnesses to that fact. Good luck Frankie, I'll never come to another game because of you, I have not been there in nearly two years because of you and you can never begin to feel the emotions that I have because of what you and your hoard have done. That post on the Grease Truck site was so true. I would also donate to send back to Scarlet but they would most likely reject you too.

Frank said...

My pops doesn't have mucho money. He puts his faith in something he loves. If you are not attending games anymore because of some 20 year olds, we are better off without you. Donate more money and come back to some games.This is our family doing what we love best, spending time together and watching football. If you are that miserable come back and join us, we would be happy to have you.

Anonymous said...

Sir, you are a jackass. Frank is one of the nicest people. We didn’t “force” anyone out. We get there early, drink and sing. If you don’t like that (fun), then I’m glad you stopped coming.

We did not crush the “lives of many RU fans”, just you. To go after someone’s education is just play low. We majored in the same thing and received an equal education, and I went to Rutgers.

Man up or shut up.

Jimmy

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