In response to @RFHater's rules on how to not cramp everyone's style in Right Field -- the terraced student section just beyond the right field wall at Ole Miss' Swayze Field -- I will share some insight on the rules and regulations of the Left Field terrace, where I and other young, beer loving alumni spend our spring and summer weekends in Oxford.
Wait, who am I kidding? We are grown ups now, there are no rules!
You might think this is unimportant or silly, but you chirruns will soon learn that there comes a time in every co-ed's life when the real world greets with you a fat slap and too small of a paycheck. Luckily, Swayze's Right to Left Field transition makes the real world wake up call less daunting, at least with regards to your Ole Miss baseball fandom. When I moved back to Oxford a couple years ago, one of the most exciting and appealing aspects of being an Oxonian was purchasing Ole Miss baseball season tickets. I couldn't wait to attend EVERY SINGLE HOME GAME and be on a first name basis with Mike at Rebel Bullpen Club meetings. No more leaving early from the Sunday afternoon game to get home or keeping up with the midweek games via radio. Nope, my heckles would be heard loud and clear by the opposing team's center and left fielders, as well as anyone sitting in the grandstands. And I'd dish out these heckles while pounding Miller Lite tallboys and grilling steak.
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So while Right Field gives Ole Miss its street cred as far as college baseball atmospheres go, the transition to Left Field is easy peasy lemon squeezy, and still allows you to have respectable, adult fun. Here are a couple guidelines to help you through it.
For starters, cobble together $100 for general admission season tickets. This is all you need to plop a chair down in LF. Individuals are $5 non-SEC, $10 SEC. Gates open up one hour prior for mid-week games, two hours prior for weekend. Chair spot rules in Left are about the same as they are in Right; don't move other chairs lest ye be branded a douche. You can't take cups into grandstands.
Come on over as soon as students give you the stank eye
C'mon guys. Don't be like Brett Favre and soon to be Peyton Manning. Don't hang around until it starts to get awkward and uncomfortable. If you've got joint pains and try and strike up conversations in RF by complaining about the crummy retirement plan your employer offers you, it's time to hang up that Natty Lite koozie. On a better note, you can now upgrade to a Fat Tire koozie because you're employed. Just retire with grace and head to the big boy section. We will welcome you with open arms.
Pack whatever the hell damn food/booze you want to eat/drink
This is the ultimate perk of LF. If I had to buy from the concessions the amount of peanuts/meat I consume each game, I'd be poorer than a State grad trying to sell cattle in NYC. I can pack my cooler with anything from champagne bottles to upper-tier bourbon all the way to glass growlers. The world is my oyster.
Speaking of oysters, I think I might pack some shelled oysters this season. Shuck 'em, chargrill 'em, top 'em with butter, parmesan and garlic...mmmm.
Along with that, my usual go to grill pack is brats with an aluminum pan for sauteing peppers and onions, then turning it into a beer bath to keep the brats warm. I once tried this in RF and I had to swat away drunk vulture co-eds as they swarmed my grill. I did however sell one to a frat daddy for $15 so that was worth it.
Take advantage of the free babysitter: the Left Field playground
Granted, I don't have kids yet, but as soon as they can mildly walk and play nice with others, I'm sending them down to the playground with a pacifier and a pat on the back. There's usually a COBRA security guard that watches the playground to make sure no one gets abducted or bullied so that base is covered. [ED: Seriously, is abduction a legitimate thing to worry about at an Ole Miss baseball game?] And hey, who wouldn't trust their own firstborn with a COBRA security guard. They are rock solid on locking down the Grove loop during football season. A playground's gotta be a walk in the park.
Be polite to the people around you
Sure, LF can get rowdy just like RF. But the "putting up with yo drunk ass" threshold is WAY lower. If you make a fool of yourself tossing a beer for every home run, you will be shunned. Sure, a couple showers went up after the Austin Anderson intentional walk-off homer, but a beer shower after every dinger is reserved for RF. Also, the grills in the LF terrace are part of the reserved BBQ spots, so don't go firing up any charcoal all willy nilly. Be sure to ask permission, and, if they don't plan on grilling that evening, chances are you'll get the green light...as long as you share some of whatever you're grilling of course.
Keep your heckle game strong
During one game last year, the opposing teams usual right and left fielders were swapped. He must have thought he would be safe from terrible insults - a dire mistake. Our fury trampled down upon him like the stampede of freshmen down sorority row on bid day. The highlight of last season's heckling came during the postseason regional's Sunday's elimination game against Washington. The Huskies were using the home side bullpen, putting them directly in front of us. Hoooooooo buddy, it got so hot and heavy that one fan almost got ejected. "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" #earmuffs
So, yes, you can graduate from Right Field to Left, so long as you know what you're doing. And of course you're going to have a blast on our side of things. I hope I've helped some of y'all with your next step in enjoying the best college baseball atmosphere this country has to offer. Enjoy the weekend (stay warm) and the season. See y'all at Swayze.