The 2012 college football season is complete and we are now experiencing symptoms associated with the beginning stages of College Football Withdrawal, and I can tell you that it is not a pleasant phase to go through. Unfortunately, we will suffer from this terrible affliction over the next seven months until our fix arrives in August. Until then, we will continue to work diligently on improving our website and finalizing plans for our 2013 road trip.
This past season was undoubtedly one our most memorable to date, as we were very fortunate to have attended some very exciting games and had the pleasure of meeting some outstanding folks along the way while continuing our traditions of meeting up with some of our friends from the past.
The following are some of the most memorable trips from this past season.
We were in attendance in Happy Valley to witness Bill O'Brien's first victory (with hopes many more will follow) as Head Coach at Penn State as the Nittany Lions defeated the U.S. Naval Academy 34-7. Prior to the game, we met up with college football's super fan and author of Tales from the Tailgate, Stephen Korievo, who has seen every FBS school play in the 450 plus games he has attended while still managing to remain married to his wife he affectionately and appropriately calls Saint Laurie. Following the game, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet ESPN anchor babe, Jeannine Edwards, whom I have long admired as a horse racing fan because of her great insight on the Sport of Kings.
A few weeks later, during our fist of three trips south, we took in a sleeper of a game as the #3 LSU Tigers lost to the #10 Florida Gators at the Swamp 14-6. We hung out downtown at a few bars prior to meeting up at a few tailgates we had been invited to in which we met many new fans from both schools alike. The following week we saw a bit more action in Orlando as Central Florida outlasted Southern Mississippi 38-31 in double overtime.
On Saturday, October 27th, we took in a much anticipated White Out as an Undefeated Ohio State came into Beaver Stadium before a highly energized Penn State crowd. Although the Lions lost 35-23, it was a great time for the us as we witnessed our first White Out on the field and was amazed at how loud Beaver Stadium can actually be from the field.
The following week we traveled south again, this time to Louisiana to attend one of the the most anticipated games of the season as #1 Alabama visited Death Valley to take on #5 LSU in a re-match of last season's national championship game. We once again met up with our friends from the bayou including former Tiger linebacker Brandon Michel, his wife Erica, Karl and Happy Zeller, Todd Stein, PJ, Ron and many others that we have come to know over the last few years. The day was simply amazing! We visited countless tailgate parties where the hospitality that was extended to us was unlike anything we had ever experienced. Under a picturesque blue tinged sky with temperatures in the mid 80's made this one of my all-time favorite football trips. You know you have had a good time when the chronicles of your weekend end up on the front page of DrugAbuse.com's website under their Alcohol Related News section. A few weeks later on November 24th, we were in attendance at Beaver Stadium to assist in honoring a special core of Penn State football players as the Nittany Lions defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in an overtime thriller on Senior Day 24-21. We were guests of one of our devoted sponsors, Watsontown Trucking Company, as they were celebrating a customer appreciation weekend and had rented a recreational vehicle for the trip to Happy Valley. We once again met up with super fan Steve Korievo and introduced him to our sponsors and made a day of swapping stories and sipping adult beverages. The Army-Navy Game has become an annual tradition for us as we took in the 113th contest between the two honored academies at Lincoln Financial Field. The Midshipmen continued its decade long of dominance of the Black Knights with a hard fought 17-14 victory. We met up with Steve Korievo again and a host of other devoted college football enthusiasts including Dan Donnelley, who is an avid college football fan and blogger (Dan from the Tailgate) from northern California who may be trying to push Steve for his title. As fans of the SEC, we were very excited to meet CBS sideline hottie Tracy Wolfson on the field prior to kick-off as we missed her earlier in the season in Gainesville.
To close out the final week of our season long road trip, Steve made the journey to Nashville once again to attend the Music City Bowl festivities and game. This has become one of our favorite bowl games to attend as they sincerely go out of their way to take care of us. Steve attended the Coaches Luncheon, the pre-game breakfast and party aboard the General Jackson and the game itself in which the upstart Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack 38-24. He has yet to reveal who he voted for as the game's most valuable player, but personally, I believe he submitted his ballot with his name as a write-in thinking the committee would actually give him the MVP trophy he had posed with prior to the game.
A few days later we closed out or 2012 campaign in our favorite city New Orleans, as we took in the Allstate Sugar Bowl shocker with the #21 Louisville Cardinals taking the chomp out of the #3 Florida Gators 33-23 in a game in which the final score did not nearly reflect the game. My wife Tracy accompanied us on the trip in which we said goodbye to a memorable year while already looking forward to next season.
Also, we are very excited to have been granted the opportunity to be live in studio at 92.3 ESPN sometime in August to discuss our past adventures and to talk about our upcoming road trips, so please make sure to tune in and listen.
Hope to see you all real soon!
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Bright House Stadium, Orlando, FL
Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
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College football and tailgating have become so intertwined, it's difficult to envision one without the other anymore. There are as many different stories about the origins of tailgating as there are football programs, but regardless of where it originated, it has clearly spread across America like a wildfire—a particularly entertaining wildfire.
Tailgating has become almost as important as the game itself, and for several institutions that make our top 25 tailgating schools list, the quality of tailgating far exceeds the quality of football.
Interestingly enough, actual tailgates are completely optional at a modern tailgater. One thing that isn't optional for any school on this list is pure, unadulterated awesomeness.
Top 25 Tailgating Schools
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Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN
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