Duh. The best part about college football is tailgating. It’s an almost primal ritual where you build a fire, cook the flesh of slaughtered animals, drink your weight in beer and rally up for your school. Or, if your team sucks, you’re just there to get really, really drunk during the day.
2. Early Morning Tailgates
Some of my fondest memories were waking up to a friend screaming in my face at 7am, telling me to get out of bed for tailgate, while I fought back against my raging hangover from Friday night. Walking out into the brisk, autumn air, I knew how most poets felt whenever they wrote about brisk, autumn air, and why they felt compelled to write about it. It’s fantastic. And then I piled eggs and bacon into my face and drank seven screwdrivers and enough Red Bull to kill an elephant. I did it for you, Robert Frost.
3. The Bar Scene
KEGS ‘N EGGS. Beer and breakfast food. Is there anything better? Going to a bar on gameday is great. College football season is also prime patio drinking season. I can remember sitting atop a second floor patio on a gameday during my senior year and telling myself to never forget how it felt. Good thing I never did.
4. The Food
Burgers, bacon, brats, barbecue, boullion, beer, b-words. Be gluttonous.
5. The Band
College football hits you with wave after wave of nirvana. The largest wave prior to kickoff comes the first time you hear the band play the fight song, whether it’s at a bar over the speakers or from the band itself, marching through the streets on the way to the stadium. I have cried on several occasions after hearing the fight song on visits back to campus.
6. Weeknight #MACtion
You want college football with college basketball scores? There’s nothing like some mid-week MACtion (Mid-American Conference-action) to cure any type of depression or anxiety, unless you were a defensive coordinator in a past life. I couldn’t tell you where Northern Illinois or Central Michigan’s campuses are, but a good guess would be Touchdown City, USA (high fives everyone). #MACtion!
7. The Girls
8. College Gameday
The voices of fall wake me up each morning. The official start of any college football Saturday begins with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and the lovely Sam Ponder. It’s the grown-up version of Saturday morning cartoons, except I don’t sit Indian-style two feet from the TV, while eating Apple Jacks (I do).
9. Going To Away Games
Thank god the Founding Fathers made freedom of expression their number one priority on the Bill of Rights, because nothing says America like telling people in their hometown that their quarterback sucks a bag of hobo dicks. Traveling with the team is all about class.
10. The Afternoon Nap
Hoarse, hungover, tired and worn out from a long day of rooting for your team on the gridiron can take it out of even the best of us. Crashing into my bed with a big glass of water next to me, a game on the tube and maybe even some bed pizza to wash down the taste of victory or erase the bitterness of defeat. The afternoon nap is easily the most underrated part of college football season.