This past weekend, seven members of The Battalion’s staff took a road trip to Louisiana to cover the Aggies’ matchup against the LSU Tigers and all the chaos of game day. Now, grateful to be back in College Station, those staff members offer a few vignettes from #BATTonRouge2019.
Carly Rae Jepsen is CANCELLED
Cole Fowler is an opinion editor for The Battalion.
So there we were, bellies full with spicy chicken sandwiches from Popeyes, cruising about 90 down I-10 toward Baton Rouge. I had subjected my car pals to pop punk for most of the car ride thus far, so it was time to switch it up a bit.
In our deep digging through Spotify, we uncovered an ancient middle school playlist. The likes of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag,” Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK,” Owl City’s “Fireflies” and, of course, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” soon filled our car with bittersweet, seventh grade memories of awkward school dances full of blissful ignorance and teenage heartbreak.
As Miss Jepsen was about to enter her second chorus, our fearless leader Sam turned off the radio and asked if we heard the loud popping and grinding sound that our nostalgia-fueled dance party was drowning out. The horror of our new situation soon set in: we were stranded on the side of the I-10 with a flat tire.
Miss Jepsen is fully to blame for our misfortune. After all, it was her song that was blaring through the speakers at the time. If it wasn’t for my long history with changing flat tires, we might still be stranded on the side of that bayou road. For this reason (and we took staff vote), we must cancel Carly Rae Jepsen. #CarlyRaeIsOverParty
Aggies rule and Tigers drool
Sanna Bhai is the news editor for The Battalion.
This was only the second time I switched my news editor cap for a sports writer cap, but boy was it worth it. As this was my first away game coverage, I did not know what to expect. I didn’t think there could be a stadium just as loud or louder than Kyle Field, but I was proved wrong.
Full disclosure: I never totally understood all of our Aggie traditions, such as why we “hiss” instead of “boo” when we hear our rivals’ name spoken, but being in Tiger Stadium made it all make sense.
From the minute the jumbotrons began to show pre-game videos, the cheering and booing began and never ended. The booing began when A&M walked onto the field and every time they had the ball. The most surprising part was when one of our Aggies got hurt, he was booed off the field. In Aggieland, we have manners and common courtesy to those injured. We step down and patiently wait for them to be taken off the field. The only Aggie event that got a cheer was the Aggie Band. They walked onto the field surrounded by boos, but left to a standing ovation. I like to think that the Tiger’s realized we actually were better than them, at anything except football, of course. After witnessing Tiger Stadium, I am grateful to be an Aggie.
Highway to hell
Samantha Mahler is the managing editor for The Battalion.
As every cheap mug from a souvenir shop states, don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.
Fortunately for the members of The Battalion’s editorial staff, I only come into the office after 3 p.m., after I’ve enjoyed several cups of coffee. However, on Sunday when we were coming back from Baton Rouge, I was without my magic bean juice, and it showed.
We planned to eat breakfast about two hours into our trek back to College Station, and no one in my car was too happy about it. To make matters worse, traffic was at a standstill on the entirety of I-10. So, when we were told by the second group of editors that they decided to eat without us, I popped off (as the Zoomers say).
I’ll admit it, dear reader: I had no business speaking with the tone in which I addressed Brady and Sanna. But after losing a tire and having a LEGO man ruin a shower, nothing made sense anymore.
I would like to formally apologize to not only those I spoke with over the phone, but also to those listening on the other line, those in my own car and even those who were stuck in traffic next to me who saw me at my lowest.
I’m an idiot. That’s all there is to say.
Eye of the Tiger
Luke Henkhaus is the editor-in-chief of The Battalion.
As the journey to Tiger Stadium wears on, Louisiana State University starts to look less like a college campus and more like a theme park. This visual trend culminates not at the stadium itself, but right next to it, at the home of the LSU Tiger himself.
I’ll admit I was skeptical as we approached the enclosure. “Why would Mike the Tiger, a god among college football mascots, care to reveal his face to us mere mortals,” I thought. But lo and behold, as the worst cover of “Don’t Stop Believing” I’ve ever heard swelled in the background, he emerged.
“Now that’s a mascot,” one LSU fan next to us said. “Not some damn collie.” I’m not proud to admit that we remained silent, our desire to defend Reveille’s honor outweighed by the sheer majesty of what we were seeing. He’s beauty. He’s grace. He’s Mike the Tiger.
As I looked into the eyes famously described in Survivor’s 1982 smash hit, a small group of frat boys approached the enclosure. “Hell yeah baby, Mike is out on game day,” one said. “You know that’s a good sign.”
He was right.
Three editors, two lanes, one tire
Meredith Seaver is the photo chief for The Battalion.
As Cole mentioned, we were jamming to some music that hadn’t graced our eardrums in a while and next thing we know, Sam, Cole and I are passing through an I-10 construction zone praying that we find a shoulder before we end up on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in two miles - this is an 18-mile-long bridge for y’all that don’t know. Luckily for us, the good bull gods were shining down on us and we were able to pull over.
Fortunately for me and Sam, Cole was in the car. I fall into that stereotyped category of a female that has never changed a tire. While I knew the mechanics, I never had to implement them. So Sam and I held our iPhone flashlights and watched Cole change the tire. As everyone passed by, we contemplated if we really did want someone to help us in the middle of the night on the side of the interstate.
We got the donut on the car and back on the road. Sorry to all of those that had to go around us as we drove about 20 miles under the speed limit on I-10. #SorryNotSorry. We had to make it another 100 miles before we could get our tire replaced.
Brady Stone is head page designer for The Battalion.
I wouldn’t consider myself much of a fan of Disney movies, but one exception I will make is for the 2009 musical masterpiece that is “The Princess and the Frog.” Watching the movie as a 9-year-old, I always thought that Louisiana must be a magical place full of voodoo witch doctors, enchanted swamps and old blind ladies who live in treehouses and sing songs to inspire me to chase my dreams.
Those dreams were crushed when we entered the hell that was our AirBnb bathroom. As I leaned over the bathtub to wash my hair Saturday morning, I slowly realized my feet, which were outside of the tub, were wet... that is not normal... I turned around, soap still on my head, and the entire bathroom floor was covered in water. It took every towel in the house to clean up the water, and the plumber that later arrived identified the culprit as a children’s toy stuck in the drain.
In conclusion, absolutely none of the things that were present in the Louisiana I met on screen 10 years ago were present in the Louisiana I met last weekend, and for that, I will never forgive Disney, the state of Louisiana or the LEGO man that was found in the drain.
“If you ain’t talkin’ gators then I don’t want to talk.” -Brady Stone
Hannah Underwood is the sports editor for The Battalion.
We never found our gator and the Texas A&M football team didn’t find a win in Death Valley, but we did have a great time despite all that went wrong.
I will fully take credit for being the driving force behind this adventure we call #BATTonRouge2019. As the sports editor of The Batt, I went to LSU to cover the game and coerced six of the other staffers to join me. You’re welcome.
Prior to this trip, the only stadiums I had covered A&M football in were Kyle Field and AT&T Stadium. As much as I love Kyle, Tiger Stadium was an entirely different experience. With an open press box (and a forecast of rain that sparked my anxiety), it was the loudest football game I have ever been to, even if the press box didn’t sway along with the War Hymn. I still haven’t fully regained my hearing, and I’m not sure I ever will. (Maybe I’ll go see one of those voodoo witch doctors Brady talked about, because who can afford a real one?)
So thank you Tiger Stadium, for ruining my ears and ensuring that I will never hear “Callin’ Baton Rouge” in the same way ever again. Gig ‘em, Garth.