Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tomahawk Chopped

Sheer Mayhem at the BCS!
The Tailgate was fortunate enough to attend its third National Championship in 5 years. I returned to the Rose Bowl venue a mere five days after leaving it on New Year’s Day. Tailgate Tony scored tix at face value that put me on the 45 yard line, 35 rows up. Not bad for someone who collected coke bottles for coin as a kid! We met up with Chris “The Camster” Desimone and his Bride for pre-game festivities. I was adorned in my FSU ball cap having people believe I was on the side of the CrimaNoles. Who knew Frostburg State University would represent at the National Championship? Because our crew flew in, we did not have Tailgate gear, so I was not able to prepare any Iron Chef Tailgate Chow. In and around the stadiums were more food vendors than Florida State fans. We had no shortage of choices including bacon wrapped dogs, brats and teriyaki bowls. We even managed to recreate the fleeing mob scene from Empire of The Sun as we got sucked into the vortex of the throng of Auburn worshippers as the players arrived in their busses. Was not sure we would get out unscathed.

Camster, Cheryl and Tony

We found a Boomer Sooner Tailgating

Curly, Mo & Larry

Near death experience as the busses arrived
Once in the stadium it was evident that the color orange would outnumber Seminole red two to one. Even Sir Charles Barkley was there to support War Eagle. Throughout the first half, you would have thought you were at Jordan Hare as Auburn raced out to a 21-3 lead. QB Nick Marshall and Heisman finalist Tre Mason were unstoppable and Jameis Winston looked like he was as scared as King Henry’s taster sipping his potentially poisoned wine for him.

Orange from the Rose Bowl to the San Gabriel Mountains

By the end of the half, Jaemis momentarily collected himself and drove the Noles for their first TD of the game. The Noles were still facing an 11 point deficit. Coach Jimbo Fisher fresh out of ideas on how to motivate his team called in our old Buddy Marshall Mathers III to speak to his team in the locker room and remind them that this was their one shot:

With that proper motivation at halftime, the Nole defense tightened up in the third holding Auburn scoreless while the Jameis led offense could only muster up a field goal narrowing the Tiger lead to 8. As we all know now, the fourth quarter was one for the ages. Florida State scored a TD early in the fourth to cut the previously insurmountable lead to 1 point. The cry of “War Eagle” in the Bowl was now being replaced with the Tomahawk Chop. With just under five minutes left, Auburn kicked a field goal to stretch the lead to four. Incredulously, a number of people in our section left the stadium to beat the traffic. They are this week’s Beiber winners! FSU, responded with a kick return for a TD only to allow Auburn to orchestrate a lengthy drive culminating in a beautiful Tre Mason touchdown run with 1:19 left on the clock. What a swing of the pendulum! Guess what, the game was not over. Famous Jameis aka J Wizzle showed the world why he is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner by leading the Noles to a game winning Touchdown in spectacular fashion. The Orange disappeared as quickly as a politician after signing a tax hike bill. Final score of the last BCS Championship game: FSU 34 – Auburn 31.

We are the Champions ...of the world!

Game over, season over!

Florida State finally broke apart the SEC Monopoly on the BCS Championship after seven years.  Those that forced Bobby Bowden into early retirement a few years back now look prophetic and wise. However, Kudos to Auburn Coach Malzahn for turning around a train wreck of a team he inherited last year and took them to within 3 points of a National Championship. I predict the NFL will be calling the boy genius by next year.

The season is over for the Tailgate so here are a few highlights from this magical season:

  • 20 FBS games attended – All time record for the Tailgate
  • 8 new stadiums attended – (Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Utah, Ole Miss, Clemson, University Louisiana Lafayette, Kent State and Auburn)
  • Too many tailgates attended and hosted to recount and too many people to remember
  • Witnessed some of the best games of the year – Ole Miss v Vandy, UCLA v Utah, LSU v Ole Miss, Georgia v Auburn, Navy v SJSU, Rose Bowl, BCS Championship
  • Increased Blog traffic by over 10,000 views this season. (record season).
  • Dash gated, car gated, bar gated and text gated.
  • Sold 45 DFT T Shirts. (Thank you for the charity!)
  • Special thanks to the following Tailgate hosts:
    • Tom Byom, Bill and Pam Skacaz in the Corn Fields at Iowa State
    • Pops, Peg, Rick and Cilla at Clemson
    • The Fee Family and Rodney for the Friday night bash in Greenvillle, SC
    • Brian and Francie Wilkinson in the Grove at Ole Miss
    • Dr. Matt Sheffield in the Tiger Den at Auburn
    • Coach Troy Wingerter of ULL for the sideline passes

 Next season’s plans are well underway. Some of the new venues we are planning on attending games at:

  • University of South Carolina - Cockaboose gatin
  •  University of Georgia - Between the hedges
  • University of Oregon – Drown the Ducks
  • University of Tennessee – Boatgating with the Vol Navy
  • Arizona State University – Notre Dame gathering
  • Wake Forest University – Gathering of BC supporters
  • Either Nebraska or Iowa – Reunion of the children of the corn

Tailgate Beiber of the year goes to all the neutered males out there that made excuses to not join us at one of the many Tailgates this year. Instead you went shopping for curtains and baby shower gifts with your wives, or you participated in a scrapbooking exercise with the ladies, or hosted a neighborhood progressive wine and cheese party on a Saturday afternoon. Yeah you know who you are. I am calling you all out. Football season was designed for men to exercise their manness. It is our birthright and it is expected. If you prefer I don’t call you out next year, just man up and get on my dance card now and stick to the commitment. Oh yeah, you don’t need to ask your wife or girlfriend for permission, you tell her what you are doing. That is how it is done here at DFT HQ, right dear?

I want to once again thank all of you for your e-mails and comments of encouragement for me to continue writing about this journey I am on. Because of your support, I am considering writing a book one day after I have watched a game in every stadium. I also want to thank Mrs. Tailgate and the Tailgatettes for allowing me to partake in my time consuming hobby/obsession. So as is the case every year at this time, I must say goodbye until the next season is upon us. With that I bid you adieu with this little diddy:


Happy Tailgating!