Week 4 Recap: The Tailgate Goes On, Even on Thursdays
Remember last week when I wrote about the pros and cons of Thursday night games? It’s like I knew what was coming for Georgia Tech in week 4, in the matchup against Clemson. We aren’t actually going to talk about the game, not at all. It was that bad. But the tailgate lives on and we have still never lost a tailgate!
Let’s Make Tailgating as Difficult as Possible
Warning: major whine ahead. You can skip to the next section if you don’t want to read about it.
What is it with Georgia Tech and many other schools that make tailgating as difficult as possible? We know that academics comes first (or at least should). But do you really want to tell tailgaters that they cannot park until 5:00 PM for a 7:30 PM kick-off? This is not conducive to a great game day atmosphere. Let’s think for a second, you want 50,000 people converging on a small area at the same time that one of the worst rush hours in the country is going on? Do you want to try to maneuver a 45 foot RV (fortunately Starter RV is smaller, but many are that size) in a city campus with a bunch of pedestrians and gridlock traffic? There are a lot of reasons that RVers come a day early for tailgating and avoiding game day traffic is a big one.
Even in select lots, where there is availability, the school let a few people park as early as 3:00 PM when they complained. And speaking of complaining, the RVers decided to pitch a big one. Instead of letting us come in on Wednesday night, after classes were done and cars are gone, the school “accommodated” us by letting us in at noon Thursday. For the record, some lots had to be clear as early as Tuesday evening or mid-day Wednesday. Not sure why we couldn’t get in those lots before 12:00, 3:00 or 5:00 PM.
Also, this is one (or maybe two in a rare year) afternoon in the year that a school could really work to accommodate tailgaters. We understand it is a hassle, but remember all that money and exclusive TV coverage you are getting? Don’t you want the campus to be well reflected? When one of the big criticisms of your school is your game day atmosphere, don’t go out of the way to make it difficult for fans that want to be there.
There’s Still Something Special About Thursday Night Games
So we lost the game. The parking situation sucked. Budweiser was the biggest cheer all day. Even with that said, there’s still something special about Thursday night games. There’s a bounce in your step going into the game. You are excited. Maybe it is all the whiskey, but who cares?
We are free to act the fool during the week. Just ask Amanda who donned the GT helmet for a few pictures before heading into the game.
Oh yeah, and it’s a night game. Which means no weird sunglass tan line. Or dying in the 95 degree heat. You know, good things.
Friends Crash the Tailgate
One thing that makes Thursday night games special is actually the disruption to your normal plans. Since so many people are late to the tailgate due to work and then traffic, those that are able to get to campus early are more likely to need some tailgating companions. As a result, some friends that have setup other Saturday tailgates usually come to crash the RV tailgate. Campus is a big place and we know a lot of people, so Thursday games give us an opportunity to see some people that we wouldn’t normally see or spend much time with.
Officially End of Summer
Usually, you think that football signals the start of fall. Here in the Deep South, it is still too hot to think just because football is here that summer is over. But with the Thursday night game, that left me with a weekend free to do thinks around the house. Priority number one was to close the pool, the official end of summer. Task complete and this time, before the pool was full of leaves! So long summer! Hello fall! Just in time for some forecasted fall weather too! And October.
The tailgate goes on, the grills are still hot, and the beers are still cold. We still haven’t lost a tailgate and no matter the outcome of the game, we will be here next week!