Friday, October 14th (San Jose, California)
After a short drive Friday morning from my hotel (across San Francisco Bay from the Thursday’s USC-Cal game at AT&T Park), I made my way to the San Jose State campus for a tour given by Spartan Alumnus, Rick. Learned a lot about the beautiful campus and the football program, including the rivalry with Hawai’i, which included a “never-played-game” scheduled for December 7th, 1941 in Honolulu. The tailgating areas near the stadium were in full-force and the turnout by the Warrior faithful was quite impressive. Met some really great Spartan fans while walking from tailgate-to-tailgate. There were even some Pacific Islanders (SJSU fans) roasting a couple pigs on a spit. And I got my face painted in Spartan colors “CFB Traveler”! The game was very competitive and included a Hawai’i extra point attempt that was blocked and returned for two points by SJSU late in the game.
FINAL: Spartans 28 Warriors 27
Thursday, October 6th (Eugene, Oregon)
After a 2,100+ mile drive across the Upper-Mississippi Valley, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Range, I arrived in Eugene around noon on gameday. Thursday games have a different feel around campus than Saturday games. The students have classes that day so they are preoccupied with those silly non-football matters. As far as the alumni go, I’d bet that the overwhelming majority worked a half-day or even a 3/4 day and rush over to campus for a very brief tailgate (or none at all) and then the game. This was the pattern repeated five times this season.
But the area around Autzen Stadium did not let down. There was delicious food being grilled or otherwise served. Drinks were flowing. Drinks were really flowing. After hours of fun outside, and after meeting dozens of friendly folks, I entered the iconic Autzen Stadium. The view was awesome, something in-your-face about the way bright-yellow and green look painted all over the field and stadium.
And then the 10% chance of rain came… and turned from a light mist to a drizzle to a decent downpour and I was glad I had my poncho. Bright yellow of course! But the game was quite competitive through halftime; a one point lead for Cal. The legendary loudness of Autzen did not let down. Oregon’s team speed was evident throughout and the Ducks pulled way ahead in the mid 3rd quarter and ended up with a 28 point win, yet another Thursday blowout. All in all though, even for a Thursday, is as good as it gets in College Football.
FINAL: Oregon 43 California 15
Special THANKS to:
Bethany Smith – Eugene, OR
and Paul (Oregon alum) for the complimentary game-tickets
My friend Nick and I headed to the University of Cincinnati campus for non-conference matchup between the Bearcats and the Wolfpack from NC State. We arrived around 4pm as most of the on-campus tailgating was just getting started, so we toured the campus. There are several building designed by very well known architects which makes for a diverse, yet beautiful (in a modernistic sense) setting. We were able to meet several tailgaters in the new on-campus tailgating area called the The Grid on the Campus Green. It was a relatively small area, but the fans were enthusiastic to share their mett’s and libations!! We ran into the guys from BearcatTailgater.com (Scott Oyler and Drew McKenzie) and were impressed with their party trailer complete with TV’s, taps, food, music, and games. Not to be outdone, Josh Phillips has upped the ante with a full on fire truck to tailgate truck conversion. Most impressive, and since it was already red, at least he did not have to paint it! After watching the UC Band and team come through The Grid, which fired up the crowd with some fantastic music, we met Chris Gelhausen who had supplied us with some good seats for the game. We could tell the students were pumped for this game and provided us with some enthusiastic pregame cheers. It was a field position game for the first few series, but Cincinnati used their depth, speed and homefield advantage to score three quick TD’s in the first quarter to break it open. In the second half, UC kept the pedal down and scored 17 more points right out of the gate.
Friday, September 2nd (Waco, Texas)
Despite the 100+ degree temperatures and a brutal sun beating down on the drought-ravaged land, the tailgating was in full-swing around Floyd-Casey Stadium. And with Ft. Worth being only an hour and a half drive from Waco, the TCU fans were out in force.
Prior to tailgating we took some footage on-campus with some outstanding assistance from Sean and Erica. Baylor’s campus is 3-4 miles from Floyd Casey Stadium, so the tailgating events were around the stadium, not on-campus. Tailgating foods that day included wings, brisket and smoked meats, plus all the BBQ trimmings. And fried frog-legs were in abundance for the guest of honor, the TCU Horned Frogs.
The game was as exciting as can be, as the Bears took a big lead in the 3rd quarter, only to lose that lead in the 4th quarter. Baylor regained the lead in the final minute-and-a-half with a 37 yard field goal. The Bears sealed the win a few plays later with an interception of TCU QB Pachall.
FINAL: Baylor 50 TCU 48
Special THANKS to:
Sean Maguire – Senior, Distribution Mgmt. & Technology, Baylor University
Erica Heath – Junior, University Scholars, Baylor University
and Rod Wadley (Baylor Class of 1997) for the complimentary game-ticket