It was the year 2001, I was a young college lad and Outkast had recently released their record Ms. Jackson to little fanfare. Unranked Auburn University, far removed from the days of Bo Jackson, was playing the 2nd ranked Florida Gators. A young Tommy Tuberville was coaching the Tigers, and I was in attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium. I woke up Saturday morning in the Farmhouse Fraternity House and made my way to the stadium.
I used to enjoy college football, but from that point forward, I was hooked. My walk to the stadium was accompanied by a sea of tailgaters, as far as the eye could see. RV’s parked for days. The best contraptions money could buy to cook a steak…a porkchop…a hotdog. Kids being taught how to throw a football by their dad and their dad’s tipsy friends. It wasn’t just a game; it was a community, a culture. The result of that game wasn’t half bad either, more on that here.
I’m not accustomed to begging, but I’ll do it here. As most of you are aware, Nippert is under renovations and all home games will be played at Paul Brown Stadium this year. Here’s the ask – show up. Do your level-best to put on a decent tailgate for your friends, for your community. If you need friends, I can lend you some.
The home schedule includes the following games: Toledo on Friday, September 12; Miami on Saturday, September 20; Memphis on Saturday, October 4; USF on Friday, October 24; East Carolina on Thursday, November 13; and Houston on Saturday, December 6.
Then, there’s a game up North (411 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, Ohio – more details soon) on Saturday, September 27.
Circle that date. Draw a line through it. Do whatever is necessary to make that road trip happen. Kick-off is at 6 P.M. That leaves you all afternoon to set up shop, drink some ice cold ones, pitch some cornhole, and experience the inevitable harassment likely to be inflicted by the worst fan base in the history of sports (Go Bucks? Cannot. Handle. Them.).
Bottom line is, you need to be there for this squad. It’s Tuberville’s second season. He continues to score good recruits. Gunner will be Gunner. Let’s create a community, a culture.