Monday, June 26

Top Gameday Experiences

This is a write up of my best college football experiences. It's about the complete package; not just the stadium, town or university. These are the experiences that have left the biggest impression on me and the origin of my obsession with all things College Football.

1. Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) - Yes, I am aware that southern football fans are supposed to hate The Irish, but don't knock it until you've tried it. This blogger is lucky enough to have some Notre Dame in the family. Notre Dame is like The Yankees of College Football - You love them or you hate them.

Either way, If you are
a true fan of the game, you respect their tradition.

The Moment I stepped out of the car in South Bend, I was awe struck. All the legendary sights that I had seen so many saturdays on NBC were laid out before me. From brats on the quad to the Golden Dome to Touchdown Jesus - As St. Andrews is to golf, the campus of Notre Dame is to College Football. It is Mecca. From the legendary pep rallies to the pre-game parade, they've got tradition down pat.

No flashy jumbotrons or modern aminities. You just sit, huddled in the freezing cold on what feels like a 2x4 and take in college football in it's purest form.

These Catholics may not admit to it, but they treat Football with much the same reverence as they do The Virgin Mary.

only they had a little eye candy...Ouch!

2. Ole Miss (Oxford, MS) - As far as gameday e
xperiences go, this is one that will stick with you. Here, old times are not forgotten, but for the most part, that's a good thing.

Southern charm creeps slowly up from the hills like molasses on a sticky Mississippi Saturday afternoon. Typically, everything moves alittle slower in this rural university town, but that is not the case on football weekends. Imagine if your town doubled or even tripled in size for a football game!

Under the timeless oaks you will find most family and friends catching up in The Grove. Bow ties and seersuckers blend quite nicely with the southern belles in their debutante attire. If not for the massive quantity of booze, this genteel scene could, at first glance, pass for a church picnic. Words cannot do The Grove justice (pictures might help 1, 2, 3). Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Some say that in Oxford, football is just an excuse to party, but recent signs show that football doesn't take a backseat to anything. With a newly completed, state-of-the-art Indoor Practice Facility and upgrades in all phases of personnel (coaches, staff and recruits), these Rebels are obviously not satisfied with living in the past.

3. Auburn (Auburn, AL)
Bama fans would have you believe that Auburn is just
another insignificant little cow town.

That's like calling Bo Jackson, "just another running back."

The Agricultural stereotype is nothing more than an attempted slam from opposing fans. This school and town bring to mind good, hard-working southern folks that some might say have an unhealthy passion for their football.

The tailgating scene has a little something for everyone. From the massive RV crowd to the more "Grove-esque" tent tailgating around the stadium, the Auburn faithful have partying down to a fine science. All this tailgating leads up to a college football must see event.

There's no better way to immerse yourself in Auburn tradition than experiencing a Tiger Walk. Hordes of rowdy (often inebriated) fans line the path to the stadium and personally encourage each player and coach with a hardy cheer or pat on the back. All the while, the Auburn pep band is blaring old Tiger favorites like
Crazy Train or Eye of the Tiger. If this doesn't get your gridiron juices flowing, you don't have a pulse!

The town is as cosmopolitan as you would like with great restaurants and bars, however nothing sums up the college bar experience quite like The War Eagle Supper Club. It is a must on game weekends and has been for decades. I've even met a few members who use their mother's/father's vintage membership card like a badge of honor.

Here is what ESPN Gameday's Chris Fowler had to say about this hallowed ground.

Other Experiences of Note:

4. Georgia
5. Alabama

Top Ten Gameday Experiences On My "To Do List":

1. LSU
2. Tennessee
3. Florida
4. Penn State
5. Texas A&M
6. Washington
7. Florida State
8. Arkansas
10. Nebraska

No comments:

Post a Comment