Welcome to the SEC, honey! Posted by: Drew Ford | 0 Comments
“Mom, fairy dust falls from the trees!” My parents still repeat this line back to me whenever we discuss my decision to attend college in Charleston, South Carolina. My alma mater, a smaller, liberal arts college, dropped smack in the middle of downtown Charleston hasn’t had a football team since 1922. For me, I clung to my hometown SEC roots and cheered on my homestate, long distance every Saturday. Twice in my college years, when my homestate would play nearby University of South Carolina, I would purchase tickets, load up my best friends (mostly Yankees) and drive the 115 miles to introduce these women to the SEC way of life, and more importantly to the tailgating.
All of this being said, I felt pretty confident when I decided to attend graduate school at an SEC institution, that I could handle a Saturday down South. While I certainly wasn’t a total dunce, I learned that I in fact, had a lot to learn. To begin:
- Outfits really do matter. If the team color is red, don’t wear maroon. If they say wear white, they mean it. And ladies, while we are on the subjects of outfits-- pick your shoes very very wisely.
- Nobody likes “that” fan. Enjoy all the pre-game festivities that you want, but game time is just that, game time. If you’re the drunk obnoxious fan in the stadium, even your own fellow fans will turn on you.
- Make friends and be a friend. Tailgating can be some of the most fun you’ll have all year if you do it right. People will share their food, their drinks and their hospitality with you. Don’t take advantage of it, and when the opportunity presents, return the favor.
- Be a loyal fan. Sometimes as much as we like to pretend it will never happen, our teams lose. Don’t be the person that trash talks your own team. You shouldn’t only be loyal in the first quarter.
- Be prepared for the elements. By elements I mostly mean sun and heat, but sometimes it’s rain or cold. Take your photos early, because you will sweat, your hair will get windblown and you will not be happy.
- Get into the game. You can pretend all you want that you’re too cool to do the wave, but we all know you secretly hope it makes another lap too.
- Remember where you parked. It sounds funny, it’s not funny, especially after a long game.
- Set up a meeting place with friends or family early. On game day everyone and everything blends together and cell service is usually awful.
- Have fun! Cheer loud! Show some school spirit!
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