MSU fans line up in droves before IU game
Former MSU running back T.J. Duckett delivers pizzas to students waiting in line on Tuesday outside of Breslin Center. Duckett was a Spartan from 1999-2001. Katie Stiefel/The State News
As the scattered remains of Jimmy John’s wrappers and Little Caesar’s Pizza boxes tumbled in the bone-chilling wind across the snow-covered lawn, hundreds of students wrapped around Breslin Center in excitement for the highly-anticipated No. 4 MSU vs. No. 1 Indiana basketball game.
Fans were given a welcome respite from the cold earlier in the day, however.
According to communication sophomore Kellee Flemming, former MSU football player T.J. Duckett hand-delivered free boxes of pizza to fans in line.
In a phone interview with Duckett, he said he got the idea of bringing pizzas from a woman he works with.
“I drove past (Breslin) earlier and I saw them out there at 9, 10 a.m.,” Duckett said. “I started at the front of the line since they were waiting the longest. I wish I could have fed everyone.”
Criminal justice junior Bobby Peltz, middle, and business finance sophomore Jess Martinelli, left, eat pizza while waiting in line for the basketball game against Indiana on Tuesday outside of Breslin Center. They arrived in the early afternoon to secure the best spot possible for the game. Katie Stiefel/The State News
Criminal justice junior Bobby Peltz, middle, and business finance sophomore Jess Martinelli eat pizza while waiting in line for the basketball game against Indiana on Tuesday outside of Breslin Center. They arrived in the early afternoon to secure the best spot possible for the game. Katie Stiefel/The State News
After witnessing the passion and excitement of the fans, Duckett said he was inspired.
“Since I played football, I never got to experience what it’s like to be a fan. To see what fans are doing, I was so fired up,” he said.
As a fan and former athlete, Duckett said he thinks it’s important the basketball players to see the fans’ dedication.
According to Duckett, just as the players have been preparing for the big game, so have the fans.
“It’s about what you do when people aren’t watching,” Duckett said. “No one is watching these fans and they’re preparing their butt off right now.”
It might come as no surprise that some students are willing to bear the snow, wind and day-old breath in order to snag a seat in the lower bowl. For athletic training sophomore Luke Klawiter, waiting through the winter storm was completely worth it.
“Everything is cold. My toes, my butt, everything,” he said.
Klawiter said he and 14 of his friends set up camp outside Breslin’s doors at 1 a.m. Tuesday accompanied by blankets, sleeping bags and multiple layers of clothing.
Although he’s running on only five hours of sleep, Klawiter said it’s “totally worth it.”
“It’s the best atmosphere in the world,” he said.
For general management junior Kristen Kenyon and psychology junior Stephanie Hall the cold temperature will be worth the wait once they lay eyes on their favorite players, junior guard Keith Appling and freshman forward Matt Costello.
“The wind is making it worse, but the food is kind of awesome,” Kenyon said.