My wife and I, two of our three children, our daughter-in-law, and two of our grandchildren attended the ASU—Missouri football game on Saturday, September 15; it was also our first visit to the campus. My wife received her bachelor’s degree from ASU, I obtained an MBA and Ph.D. from there, and the two children in attendance Saturday are ASU grads and fanatics in terms of football. Although the game did not end up the way we would have liked, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to point out a couple of other things.
My wife and I have been ASU fans since about forever and have attended several ASU away games over the decades. The two children have been to one or two away games also. In all of the years that my wife and I have been to away games, we have never been treated as well by the fans, volunteers, staff, and even the students as we were on Saturday. It started when we were trying to find a place to park. We were pleasantly directed to a lot on Stadium Drive in what I believe is a VA Hospital parking lot. Once in the lot, we were again directed on exactly where to go by very friendly staff and police.
When we were walking to find the ASU tailgate area, we were trying to orient ourselves with a map that I had printed out on the Web. A volunteer lady or a just a Missouri fan walked up to us and said something like, “May I help you?” I said we were looking for the ASU tailgate area and pointed out to her where it was on our map. She chuckled and said, “You have the map the wrong way.” She turned it in the correct way and said exactly where to go. She was extremely friendly with us.
While we were walking to the tailgate area, a young man came up to us. He too asked if everything was all right as we were again looking at the map. We showed him where we wanted to go using the map, and he pointed out where the location was next to the Arena. I asked him if he was a student, and he said he was. I asked him what his major was, and he said business/finance. I told him I was a professor and chair of the Management Department at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., and a huge ASU fan. He smiled and asked us if we needed anything else. I said no, thanked him for his help, and said he had been very nice to us visitors.
When we were leaving the parking lot after the game, there were volunteers directing traffic. I asked one about getting to the highway back to Jefferson City. He said something like, “Go to the light, turn left, and keep going until you get to Highway 54, SIR." Again, most pleasant; the SIR surprised me. At no time were we what I could say looked down upon because we were ASU fans. This positive treatment occurred in general as we were walking to the game, after the game as we were leaving the stadium amongst all of the Mizzou fans, and everywhere else I can think of.
As I was walking into my office this past Monday morning, one of my colleagues asked me if I went to the ASU—Missouri game on Saturday. I said yes. He asked me what I thought about it; his daughter is a freshman at Missouri in the band. I laughed and said the game didn’t end the way I had wanted, but that I was going to write a note to the University Chancellor and to the student paper at Missouri. He looked at me with a puzzled look. I told him about how well we were treated, i.e., what I have written above. He said that he, his daughter, and family had felt the same way when she was considering attending Missouri, i.e., how positive and friendly everyone is. Keep up the good work. You have great fans, staff, and volunteers.
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