‘Cool Kids’ claim top spot at Otto’s Army campout before Syracuse-Duke game

first_img Published on February 2, 2020 at 8:18 pm Contact Skyler: skrivera@syr.edu | @skylerriveraa Facebook Twitter Google+ They passed around spicy thai chili and cool ranch Doritos in a small green tent. Kyle Maiorana, Justin Stock, Gabe Khan and Anthony “Tricky” Tricarico were outside of the Carrier Dome’s Gate E on Friday night. They had secured a first-place spot for the Otto’s Army campout.A wait that had started the night before ended in guaranteed first-row seats for the Duke men’s basketball game on Saturday. Otto’s Army set a slew of obstacles for campers to tackle in order to be awarded their prized seats. The first step: check-in at the women’s basketball game Thursday night.The four freshmen at SU joined approximately 40 other students in what has become an annual campout before the Duke game. The temperatures hovered around the 20s and spots in line were threatened if campers missed a check-in, but four hours prior to tip-off in Syracuse’s 97-88 loss to Duke, the group filed into the Dome.“This is our biggest event of the year,” said Jonathan Danilich, a member of the Otto’s Army executive board. “We work really hard for it.”Maiorana, Stock, Khan and Tricarico, the self-proclaimed “Cool Kids,” grabbed dinner at Sadler Dining Hall on Thursday before their days-long wait. They arrived outside of the Dome at 6 p.m., and wrote their names at the top of Otto’s Army’s list. It was resilience that earned them first place for the campout, but that didn’t come without competition. When the temperature neared the 20s they debated waiting inside an ESF building, but their gut told them no. Others had already started to arrive.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Five minutes later and we would’ve been second,” Khan said.Skyler Rivera | Contributing WriterTwenty-four hours later, the group set up their small green tent, provided by Khan’s mom, in front of the Barnes Center at the Arch. They were handed laminated orange cards labeled 004, representing their spot in line, first among students — the opening three spots were reserved for the Otto’s Army executive board.Inside the tent, an air mattress covered in a striped sheet lay beside a lantern and multiple Coca-Cola bottles. With 26 hours until tip-off, the group passed time by playing poker with an electronic-chip app. Their RA from Shaw Hall, Mario Garcia, sat on a folding chair outside the tent as Dorito crumbs fell on the mattress, the same one all four squeezed onto later that night.Khan and Tricarico are Syracuse natives, born and raised Orange fans. Maiorana and Stock are Ohio natives but befriended the other boys and quickly became SU fans. The group, all freshman engineering majors, laughed about their first-year dorm shenanigans and discussed plans for Super Bowl Sunday.One hour into the campout, Otto’s Army leaders called for a roll call and campers filed out of their tents to check-in. If campers missed a check-in, they’d lose their spot in line.More arrived over time, and by 10 p.m. Friday, there were around ten tents pitched and over 40 campers. Country music blasted from one tent, Syracuse flags flew from another, and an hour-long cornhole game commenced. Meanwhile, the “Cool Kids” continued their poker game.Campers and casual fanatics could continue to check in with Otto’s Army until 10 a.m. on Saturday. At noon, Maiorana, Stock, Khan and Tricarico packed up their green tent and headed back to Shaw to clean up for the game. At 3:30 p.m., they met at Gate F to check-in for the final time, a reward for their nearly two days of hard work.“It’s all about the experience,” Tricarico said. “It’s about doing stuff you usually can’t do.”As the clock struck 4 p.m., the campout groups were ushered into the Dome and the “Cool Kids” led the pack. They claimed their hard-earned front row seats and settled in for pregame warmups.The Syracuse-Duke game’s announced crowd of 31,458 people was the largest on-campus crowd this season, and the boys from the green tent had some of the best seats. During the game, they won an in-stadium prize — all four boys won $30 Carrabba’s Italian Grill gift cards for a random seat-of-the-game.It wasn’t about the gift cards or even the game’s outcome. It was about the experience. Commentslast_img read more