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“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.”-Tom Petty
Tom Petty was right, you know. College does end. The “best days of our life” last around four years for most, five or six for some. And so, although I was raised under a conservative roof by very financially-responsible parents, I am using my four years to play the college card and follow Tom Petty’s advice. I am typically cautious with my wallet and protective of my time, but there’s one weekend every year in which I surrender all my worries for a greater cause…
GEORGIA vs. FLORIDA
The GA/FL game is always played on the last weekend of October. The University of Georgia has a one-day fall break the Friday before the game, when a majority of the student population relocates to St. Simons Island, Georgia. “Frat Beach,” as it has come to be known, is the perfect place to prepare or “pregame” (as we college students like to say) for the big game on Saturday.
St. Simons, an easy 1.5 hour drive from Jacksonville, is the prime spot for UGA students to stay before and after the game. Houses are rented, condos are packed to the max (and beyond), and restaurant lines are outrageous from Thursday night to Sunday morning. SSI hot spots like Crab Trap, Mullet Bay, Barbara Gene’s, Brogen’s and Gnat’s Landing are the obvious dinner favorites, but nothing—I repeat, nothing—compares to the lines at Chick-fil-a on Saturday morning. A chicken biscuit is the perfect start to a true Southerner’s game day experience.
Chick-fil-a, though, can also be found in Athens or at home, which is perhaps why some students opt out of the infamous GA/FL road trip. It’s easy to understand why an away game would not be an affordable priority for all students, especially in today’s economy with such high gas prices. But, if you follow Tom Petty’s advice to “spend money you don’t have” just this once, I guarantee you won’t regret it. Memories trump money any day of the week. And a little hard work to earn some extra cash never hurt anyone…just saying.
GA/FL budget (when sharing costs with friends):
Food & Beverages: $200
Beating Florida (24-20): PRICELESS
This post was written by a Gridiron Belles intern, Darby Thompson, from the University of Georgia
Because sometimes it’s just plain funny to laugh at the other team’s expense!
What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs?
What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?
………A full set of teeth.
How do you get a South Carolina cheerleader into your dorm room?
………Grease her hips and push.
How do you get a Georgia graduate off your porch?
………Pay him for the pizza.
How do you know if a Mississippi State football player has a girlfriend?
……..There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup
Why is the Kentucky football team like a possum?
………Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.
What are the longest three years of an Auburn football player’s life?
………His freshman year.
How many Florida freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
………None. That’s a sophomore course.
Feel free to change any of these teams around–these are just for fun and are not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, to be honest, if these G-rated jokes hurt your feelings, you may want to reconsider changing conferences and never step foot at a tailgate where the jokes are a tad bit–to a lotta bit– more insulting!
Xs and Os,
I’ve begrudgingly attended more than my fair share of fall weddings that coincide with rival weekends on the gridiron. You likely have too.
In my upcoming book, available on August 10, I dedicate two chapters to the rules of having a fall wedding (if you absolutely must) and to hosting a wedding shower during the beloved football season.
But it was during a recent summer wedding held in New Orleans when I was the date of an Auburn fan, for a bride of Florida Gator allegiance and a groom of Georgia Dawg allegiance and their respective fans– I mean guests– that I realized football season is still alive and well in the month of June.
If the ability of all invitees to dress to the nines in bright colors, support an open bar, have attractive dates and party until the sun comes up doesn’t give away a gathering of SEC alumni and fans, the frequent “Go Gators” being said in place of “Amen” at the rehearsal dinner or “ Sic’em” in defense of an embarrassing story told, certainly would!
But that wasn’t all. Nearly every person I met at that wedding had a strong belief in their team, their upcoming season and the same light-hearted trepidation about the couple becoming a house divided. He barks, she chomps.
It was possibly the best weekend of the summer. A weekend full of chatting endlessly about SEC football and of course, weddings! Is there anything better for a Belle?
What topped off this evening of wedded bliss between the delightful bride and groom and a taste of football season was the send off. One large basket full of orange and blue shakers and one large basket full of red and black shakers patiently waited by the door to become alive. Who needs rice or sparklers when you have shakers?!
The pictures that the photographer got were great, fans of Florida and Georgia (and the couple) got to warm up their shaking before kick-off, and everyone was able to see how this house divided, was truly a house united.
At least until October in Jacksonville.
Xs and Os,
On Saturday morning at 8am on Auburn University’s campus, grills were cooking, tailgates were set up, crowds were gathering and fans were getting their weekly breakfast of champions—a Big Blue Bagel washed down with fresh lemonade from the counter at Toomers Corner.
And so the relaxed tempo stayed for the next few hours.
In true Southern fashion, no one in Auburn was in a rush. Not the fans at J& M and not the players on Pat Dye field. As was evident by the first two quarters when Auburn was trailing Georgia—clearly in no rush to seal the deal. Sometimes it even looked like Cam Newton was slow, but that’s just because his strides are 4.6 times as long as every other player.
During the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, there was a level of calmness. The tailgates were energized, but no rambunctious. During the game, the fans were loud but not deafening. The players were precise, but not perfect.
It came as no surprise that Auburn’s win over Georgia was going to be closer than a number 2 ranked team should allow. I was told not to be too nervous when Auburn was trailing going into the second half because it was only a matter of time before the bulldogs wouldn’t be able to answer an Auburn score. It was like over time—the whole time. Slow and steadily, inch by inch, first down by first down, Auburn put points on the board and sure enough, Georgia couldn’t keep up.
But the Auburn fans could. Their stamina was impeccable.
With another W, a trip to ATL to plan and toilet paper hanging from the Magnolias, the Auburn fans headed back to their tailgate for more celebrating. The white lights strung on the tents meant they were going to be staying for a while. Mainly because they have paced themselves the whole day and they were fully prepared for the marathon. A slow and steady day of fandom allows them to celebrate with tailgates late into the night on The Plains.
Just as we were told as kids, slow and steady wins the race. Coach Chizik’s mantra is “slow and steady wins the West.”
Thanks to my new Alabama friend, Warren, the Emotional Phenomenon of the SEC has been brought to my attention.
An emotional phenomenon occurs when all common sense flies out the window and emotions allow individuals and entire fandoms to act illogically. Ie: Florida fans cheering vehemently for a Gamecocks victory over Alabama.
Florida fans, naturally still grieving their castration from Alabama the previous week, were grieved stricken. Severely. We call this post stress disorder; Warren calls it an Emotional Phenomenon.
To avoid falling victim to the foolish spectacle of the Emotional Phenomenon, read about your team below to see who you should and should NOT be cheering for this weekend.
Vandy (SAT scores don’t count) at Georgia
Vandy Fan: You likely thinking this a chance to secure an SEC win. The dawgs from Athens aren’t exactly putting up an aggressive fight this season. You are cheering for the Vols to lose out. Which, might not require too much effort on your part. But don’t worry, if you took a big study break and headed to Athens at least you’ll learn how to tailgate and show school spirit.
Georgia Fan: Bring on the protein enriched kibbles and bits, this is your big chance to take down the lone private school team in the league AND make it look like Coach Richt should keep his job. Which, may not make you smarter, but it should help your ranks.
Cheer for Old Rocky Top to win out. Yikes.
Arkansas(12) v Auburn (7)
Auburn Fan: You are hoping that the Tigers seal the deal early and that Cam can keep up his half-season-long-endurance of carrying most of the team. But, you’re actually a bit nervous because Arkansas gave those other Alabama kids a good run for their money. Alas, you’re not just farm and agg kids, you can beat Arkansas and BAMA any day, right? Auburn’s been scraping by—cross your fingers, wear your lucky underwear, follow every superstition. You’re cheering for someone to win at the UK v USC game… you’ve beaten both, it doesn’t matter. And, of course, you’re always cheering for a BAMA loss.
Arkansas Fan: You’re ready for revenge against anyone playing football in the state of Alabama AND you know this is your best ranking/season in a long time. Do the razors on the back of the hogs prevent a Heisman hopeful carry all of the pressure? You think so. You’ve got the whole package this year. This is the new Arkansas v BAMA game… But now you’re cheering for BAMA to win ( against Ole Miss).
McNeese State(who?) at LSU (10)
*Probably scheduled years ago to give LSU a mid season boost because let’s face it, no one thought LSU was going to be undefeated this far into the season this year. Not even Lucky-Les.
LSU Fan: You are following suit and making deals with the devil that every other SEC team loses, especially Auburn, South Carolina and Alabama. Florida, you actually want to win now. I know, it’s crazy, but each team is selfish until we all gather and chant S-E-C …
McNeese State Fan: You’re just glad your school’s name was finally posted on espn.com
South Carolina (10) at Kentucky (basketball rankings don’t come out until later)
South Carolina Fan: The Cocks are fired up and they need to be. Kentucky almost tasted victory last week against USC rival (and victor) Auburn and they are itching for more. Alas, Spurrier has his boys right where they need to be—playing a basketball team coming off his biggest win with South Carolina. South Carolina needs Alabama AND Auburn to keep winning—ultimately one of them will lose in the Iron Bowl and South Carolina wants to be the next best thing.
Kentucky Fan: You’re hoping your Wildcats are still hungry for a win on the gridiron and not just at the racetrack before the game. It’s time to let go of the wins over cardinals and hill topers, these Cocks and the SEC play real football. Focus on football for 6 more weeks, I promise basketball season is coming and the bad dream will soon be over. Oh, and by the way, you need Ole Miss to win out to help you. Sorry, Charlie Cats.
Mississippi State at Florida (22)
Mississippi State Fan: You can taste a huge SEC victory. But this is more than the players on the field, this is Mullen v Meyer. Coach Mullen, as nice of a guy that he is, is going to have to pull out all the stops to prove to his mentor ( Mullen coached with Meyer at Bowling Green and Florida) that he was taught well. Beware bulldogs, they don’t bite, they chomp. You need to cheer for yourselves… !!
Mississippi (Ha!) at Alabama (8):
BAMA Fan: You’ve never been happier to be playing some preps from the Delta. You are about to get out all of your frustration on kids that go to college just to dress up and party. As a BAMA fan, you can relate to the dress up and party part but your bragging rights come from actually winning on the football field. Do not, under any circumstances, lose this game. For the sake of the prestige of SEC football and any hopes of turning 13 into 14 (EVER), do NOT lose this game. Cheer for Auburn to win so you can have a shot to redeem yourself when you play the #1 SEC team at the Iron Bowl.
Ole Miss Fan: Let’s face it, you came to tailgate with Alabama. You’ve heard The Quad rivals The Grove and you want to see what it’s all about. This football thing is just to pass the time before all of the pretty Greek co-eds head to Galettes. Go ahead, skip the kool-aid, drink a Yellow Hammer, you know you just watched one of the best football teams in the country and probably sang along during “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.”