Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Football season in the South...it doesn't get any better

Ahh. Fall at last. And fall means cooler temps, lower humidity (wahooo!) and....Auburn football!! And even though I am no longer in the student section at Jordan Hare, Auburn is still a phenomenal place to be on gamedays, when it becomes the fifth largest city in the state. I know Northerners are scoffing and non-sports-oriented people are wondering what the fuss is about, but truly, you have to experience it to understand what I mean.

Who wouldn't love tailgating with friends and family? Chairs grouped under shady trees, tables laden with barbecue and Texas caviar, coolers chock full of icy-cold cans of sodas (or beer) and those mini bottles of water (which I will later try to sneak into the stadium). Everyone is family, and it's always encouraged to smile and wave at perfect strangers with a good "War Ealge!" Those neighboring tailgaters at the site next to yours who have that bigscreen satellite TV are more than happy for you to stroll over and check out the latest scores on another SEC game, swapping opinions on the best matchups and how badly the Tigers will beat those unlucky souls they're playing today. Wearing orange plaid pants are totally acceptable, and a shaker in your back pocket is a necessity.

When you finally make it into the stadium (if you're in the student section, you'll stand proudly on your seat during the whole game) and the eagle flies before the game starts, you couldn't be prouder of your beloved Tigers and you know that every throat in the stadium has at least a little lump of emotion while the eagle circles overhead and you scream like crazy.

After the game, win or lose, the exhausted-yet-good-humored crowd heads back to the tailgates for more refreshments and partying. Oh, except for the hundreds of folks headed to Toomer's after a win, when not only does The Tree get rolled, but the street signs and all nearby plantlife are likewise blanketed in white. As you hurl another roll of toilet paper jubilantly toward the branches, you catch snatches of beaming faces through the fluttering white strips, a near-strobelike effect as people around you shout War Eagle, someone starts a rousing chorus of "Glory, Glory to Old Auburn" and someone else demands everyone get their hands up for Bottagetta.

At the end of the night (or rather, early in the morning), you're tired and excited at the same time. You can't wait for next weekend, when you get to do it all over again.

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