Just having logged onto OBNUG for the first time since Black Friday, due to the fact that in Reno's hotels even thinking the word "internet" costs money, I was surprised by a meme that was running through most threads, that of the classless Wolfpack fan. Was it really as bad as all that? I just wanted to give my take on the Biggest Little City in the World, and I'll do so after the jump.
Arriving in town, I felt a little bit ackward....even the plane ride was a bit of a Bronco pep rally, and while I didn't see any of those obnoxious Bronco fans the Ducks like to dream of when justifying their losses, I tried to imagine how demoralizing it must be to see your town turn orange. Still, Reno didn't seem to have much of a problem with it. How could they, with a cloud of blue & orange running around spending money? I spent the day in the casino, but Bronco Nation let me know how Alabama-Auburn was going with each cheer or boo. Walking by the big screen in the Silver Legacy to get hot dogs for my wife and I, I grabbed a betting card for that night's game. Fortunately, I misplaced it before getting around to turning it in, cause of course I knew BSU would cover the spread, yada yada yada.
Having never been to an away game, it never really occured to me that anyone would be nasty, at least outside of Moscow. I barely even look at strangers, and I drink plenty of alcohol....I just wasn't raised that way, and it still takes me aback that anyone would keep up that playground (bw) behavior into adulthood. Still, my first indication that it could be a problem happened at the 7-11 across from the stadium. Since our shuttle left at 5:30 and it was freezing, we stopped in for some rum and coke to drink in line. There we ran into two cute, college age girls in Wolf Pack gear, but they confided that secretly they hoped the Broncos would win. One of them had a brother who goes to BSU, and she said she was only dressed up because she didn't want to be harrasssed by Wolfpack fans when they lost. She described a horror story that involved urinating/pouring food and drinks on 1A cars and fist fights. We were on high alert. But once we were in line, the fans around us were generally civil. One drunk kid who I would see again and again ran around just screaming "Wolf Pack! Wolf Pack!", but that was more annoying than rude. Two cute kids alternated cheers of "Wolf" and "Pack", and overconfident BSU fan that I am (the type that was completely non-perturbed during the 4th quarter of the VT game), I felt sorry for them. I offered someone some rum, but he had vodka, so I found a Bronco fan down the line who had been on my plane and shared with him instead. My wife even approached a group of 'Pack fans and asked what to expect, and they said that unless you were in the student section, you have nothing to worry about. Once inside, my worst experience with a fan happened before the game. Waiting for my wife to snag an overpriced beer from the concession stand (and for those of you who did have bad experiences with UNR's fans, do you think the ease of access for alcohol may have been a factor?), a kid came up to me and annouced he was on Reno's boxing team, and wanted to know if I boxed, or if I'd like to. I was getting ready to tell him that no, but I was on chess team (total bs) if he'd like a go at that, when his girlfriend pulled him away. And that was it, mainly. The most threatened I felt, certainly. Ours was a mainly orange section of stadium, but those Reno fans that were around were jubilant after the game, not mean, and maybe it's age related, or that they weren't in groups, but we exited Mackay with no problem. The worst we encountered on the way back to the shuttle was a guy ranting about no BCS for the Broncos, and I thought about reminding him that since they couldn't get it done on the island we'd still be sharing the WAC trophy, but instead I went back to the hotel. Again, the guy yelling "Wolf Pack" was there, and there was someone yelling "Over-rated" (which was irritating mainly cause it was a 3-point game-hardly an appropriate time for that chant-and kind of invalidated his own team's win, though I guess he could have been a random gambling Duck), but most people were polite, and by the next morning nobody was really talking about it, other than us BSU fans. In fact, the worst fan I saw the whole time was one of ours, though I'd really like to relegate them to the bandwagon pile-I heard two people talking, and the first said that Brotzman was on suicide watch,and had tried to hang himself (making me hate the lack of internet access, as it took me a day and a half to invalidate that rumor), and the BSU kid said that he probably should. I'm sure that there were plenty of drunk asses who didn't know how to properly respond to getting the moneky off of their back, but as a whole I thought that the city of Reno was a gracious host, and want to thank them for a good albiet anti-climactic time.
1. Try the Golden Flower next time you are in Reno. We were the only non-asian customers in the hour we were there-culture shock to be sure-but they make excellent Pho and it's a nice break from Casino noise yet just right next door.
2. Those BAA Drink Buttons are of the devil. On the three stars and a goat post, I said my goat would be the defensive collapse, but if I were to look outside the confines of on-the-field action, it would have to be Saturday's hangover. A loss like that doesn't mix with the ability to drink all you want for free except tips.