March 10, 2005
When you’re a collegiate athlete, especially a softball player where the season is long, you spend countless hours with your teammates each year. It’s almost as though life on the road is very similar to a movie being filmed. Although celebrities are proud of their performances onscreen, it’s what goes on behind the scenes, during the down time, that makes being an actor such an enjoyable life style. The same goes for being a Seminole softball player. All the hours and memories spent off the field is the real story of the team and that’s why the athletes love going to school at Florida State. This week, Natasha talks about her first road trip of the 2005 season and then make sure to check out her personal photo gallery…
Tasha’s Picture Book
Our first road trip of the season started out like any other road trip with everyone frantically trying to pack their bags after practice, making sure to remember every last uniform and piece of equipment. As we all double-check to make sure we have all of the necessities such as a pajamas, a toothbrush, etc, I look over at Veronica [Wootson] and notice she brought nothing for the overnight stay. She doesn’t seem too worried about the fact that all she has are the clothes on her back, her uniform, and her bat bag, so I continue on my way to the bus with my things.
As we load on the bus, everyone starts to claim their seat, which always seems to be a big ordeal because we all know that whatever seat you choose will most likely be your seat for the rest of the season. There is generally a pattern to the seating arrangement. The coaches always sit in the front of the bus, followed by our trainers, managers, and media personnel. The next section on the bus is usually the “quiet section,” just because it seems that the only thing going on there is reading and sleeping. Then, we have the middle section which at times can get a little rowdy during the infamous card games. Then, there is the back of the bus, far away from the coaches, but close to the smelly bathroom. Sometimes, the back of the bus turns into “Seminole Soultrain” as people, namely Tot [Tatiana George], dance in the aisle to break up the monotony of long bus rides. (As a little side note, for all of you who don’t know, Tatiana has an inner desire to be Janet Jackson’s back-up dancer.) As we sit down and get adjusted in our seats, our bus driver introduces himself as Mr. Barney and welcomes us onto the Barney Bus. I failed to mention that I noticed there was a purple Barney dinosaur sitting on the front dash board! “This is going to be interesting,” I think to myself as I sit back in my seat.
Five and a half hours later, we pull up to our hotel, which is conveniently located directly across the street from Georgia Southern’s field. We unload the bus and quickly throw our bags into our rooms because, of course, the one thing on everyone’s mind is food. As I look around me, I am just overwhelmed with all of the places to eat…all two of them! Half of the team decides on Popeye’s chicken while the other half chooses Zaxbys’ chicken. It was a tough decision, but I decided to go with the Popeye’s group. With a belly full of greasy fried chicken, I headed back to the room to catch some Z’s for the night.
The next morning, I wake up and head downstairs to see what the continental breakfast has to offer. I sit down and talk with a few of the girls on the team as I eat my banana and bowl of cereal. Fueled and feeling about as energized as I am going to be on a bowl of Lucky Charms, I meet the team on the bus. Fortunately, everyone made it to the bus on time, and we head off to the field across the street. As we unload two minutes later, the freshmen are introduced to the ways of the “rookie year” and are forced to carry the equipment bags.
Seven hours later and two more games under our belt, we load back on the Barney Bus as Coach tells us we are going to eat at Sonny’s BBQ for our post-game meal. We all know that the way we play determines what we eat after the game, so honestly, Sonny’s was a step-up from the dreaded Wendy’s or Arby’s that we usually get after a loss. Carey [Galuppi] and I decide to sit at a table with Barney, our bus driver, and after a long conversation over dinner, it turns out that Barney is a really cool guy. Stuffed with food and feeling as though the only thing we do on road trips is eat, I load back on the bus with the team to begin the long drive home. With Ray, the movie, blaring from the TV’s and a dance-off in the back of the bus, the trip back doesn’t seem as long as the one going. Finally, in the early hours of the morning, the Barney Bus pulls into campus. Our venture to Georgia Southern would have been better with two wins instead of one, but overall it was a pretty good experience!