Your mind really isn`t on the show you are watching but what time you should get up in the morning to do your every Saturday ritual you have been a part of for what seems like thousands of years. Your gut gets that warm and cozy feeling churning around in it like you just drank spoiled milk and your gut is saying, "No way dude, I ain`t keeping this stink in milk in here for long that`s as sour as biting into a lemon because your stomach is so excited about tomorrow morning that is just hours away you just can`t sit still."
You can`t wait to hit the hay so morning will come quicker. Finally you lay down to go to sleep and of course you just can`t sleep. You toss and turn like you were a boat sitting in the harbor during a stormy night. You look at the clock what seems like every ten minutes only to be disappointed that the time is moving way too slow. Finally, all of a sudden and somehow you wake-up and think, "Man, I don`t even remember falling asleep last night." Your mind then gets the passing thought of Yeah Baby! It`s finally Saturday morning and what does that mean. It`s time to TAILGATE!
For all of you die-hard, hard-core, and fanatic football fans that have football running through your veins like you were filled with the essence of those thirty-yard touchdown runs up the middle on third and fifteen, then you know what I am talking about when Saturday morning comes on those College Football game days. I know people who actually travel around the country to every college team`s stadium to try to figure out their main purpose and quest in life, to find out where are the best tailgating colleges in the country.
These people of course probably don`t have a job and probably have sort of what every football fan would love to have to travel in, the Madden Bus where you can live in your mobile one room apartment like Madden did when he called games for Monday Night and Sunday Night football to travel around the country in style and not have to drive your old Chevy pick-up truck that has three tires that look like spinning tops when you drive down the highway because they are so out of balance and an exhaust system that looks like you are spewing out black paint from the tailpipe and not normal exhaust that normally comes from your internal combustion engine. Yes, you are the fan that travels the country in style.
These die-hard fans are known as the fans of all fans. They have no other motivation than to blend in like they were the term Tailgate at every game and any parking lot tailgating event anywhere. So, where are the top five best colleges to tailgate at?
As Joe Cahn, the self-appointed Commissioner of Tailgating says, "The best place to tailgate is wherever you are that weekend." (Cahn, 2011) and this is so true the best tailgating spots are wherever you park your car, set up the Bar-B-Que, and pull out that K-Mart lawn furniture as the sweet smell of Bratwurst fills the air but you have to take tailgating a step further to really know what it is like to be around the atmosphere of the greatest game in life, football! It really does depend on where you are in the country as to where the best tailgate colleges are located.
From my experience, living in the Deep South in Alabama tailgating and college football is life. I think some of the Southerners would sell their first born child to be able to put on either an Alabama or Auburn football jersey and go suck down some beers in either of those teams` stadium parking lots during college football season. That is how hard-core these fans are here. You also see license plates here (it`s funny and something I had never seen before until I came here) where the license plate says, "A Family Divided" and has the Alabama logo on one side and the Auburn logo on the other side. The first question I was asked by the locals here when I first moved here in 2004 was, Who ya for? Alabama or Auburn? " My response was USC (University of Southern California) and these people would look at me like I was crazy that there is just no way I couldn`t be for either Alabama or Auburn and I was committing some sort of crime and looked like they wanted to take a baseball bat to my head. I have since become an Alabama fan in lieu of being a hard-core USC fan and I think that is great to be in the presence of people that put college football ahead of anything in life, or most things in life that really don`t matter.
So, in my opinion the top five Colleges football tailgating stadiums are:
1) Alabama - There is just no other place where the excitement and electricity fills the air on those Alabama Saturdays during college football season. Take a trip to Tuscaloosa some Saturday and hit Bryant Deny Stadium. Even though they widened the parking lot to accommodate for the added seating and expansion of the stadium which now is as big as the Los Angeles Coliseum at around I believe either 105,000 or 120,000 seating capacity there the tailgaters outnumber the population of the state of California with their tailgating tens, kegs of beer, and some of the best Southern Fried Chicken you could ever stimulate your taste buds with. There is not only the sweet essence of college football in Tuscaloosa on Saturdays but in the whole state as-well.
The next stadium that is also another great site to tailgate is my number two pick:
2) Ole Miss - Ole Miss and Alabama are big rivals in the SEC and it shows on those Saturdays just across the state line in Mississippi. Fans of Ole Miss know how to throw the best tailgate party. With the diversity of food that ranges anything from fried chicken, a touch of Cajon rice and beans and with the highlight of German Cuisine you could take up shop there in the parking lot and think you died and gone to heaven. The speed limit in and around the parking lot is at a mere 18 miles an hour and some of the older fans still wear their #18 Archie Manning jersey to reflect the love of the game and some of the great past players that made a name for Ole Miss.
My number three pick is a little off base from the teams in the SEC but is a great tailgate college and is:
3) UCLA - Yes, I am from Southern, California and am partial to USC their rival just down the 405 Freeway but I do have to admit the UCLA fans are almost like the fans in the SEC they have a passion for not only their beloved Bruins but can throw one heck of a tailgate party. Going to one of the tailgate parties on the UCLA campus was to me like going to an Ozzy Osborne concert in the early eighties, those Southern Californians (like myself) know how to pump up the volume and take down the house with our Heavy Metal music and German cooking.
Number four in the top five places to tailgate has to goes to:
4) The University of Washington - There really isn`t any powerhouse opinion or science to how those Peugeot Sound fans throw a tailgate party but it is more in the way they tailgate. In sort of a kickback fashion while cooking that Dungeness crab or wild salmon and sipping a bottle of Red Hook or a glass of Chateau St. Michelle is more like a formal dining experience while adding the excitement of football into the equation is your out of your ordinary way to tailgate.
Last but not least on my top five list goes to:
5) LSU - filled with the rivalry of the South and SEC, LSU brings a passion to tailgating. With their Cajun cooking and a touch of the sweet sounds of Louisiana jazz you could get lost in the emotion and feel of college football while tailgating at Louisiana State University. There is nothing better that the spicy Cajun cooking which features a menu of jambalaya, duck and oyster gumbo, stuffed quail, deer sauce picante, wild duck, cochon de lait, Cajun sausage, crawfish etouffee, rabbit, alligator stew and marinated pork tenderloin " (sounds more like an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Ramsey) that one of your typical Saturdays sitting in the third parking spot in Row three and Aisle 27 in the Parking lot at LSU. Make sure to bring some heartburn medicine if you ever decide to go there and tailgate because once you eat enough of this gourmet cuisine and drink enough beer your stomach will surely set off some of the most acid reflux you have ever experienced as-well as other factors that you may want to think twice about hanging out in confined spaces.
And there you have it, the top five College Football stadiums for some for the best tailgating around. So, on those bright and sunny Saturday mornings that start out with a hint of winter and that early morning chill in them after you drop the kids off to soccer practice go to your local collegiate football stadium and join in the fun. You will have an experience like no other and if you really get hard core like I used to be and put on your face paint and wear your football attire (jersey) like you were one of the starting players it will make the experience and feel like you just had your first orgasm.
Have fun and go USC and Alabama!
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