College Football is the greatest spectator sport in America. Tailgating is an art form, sampling the local fare, traditions and partaking in a beverage or two is a must. Atmosphere is everything! If you don't attend a game, you can still tailgate right in the confines of your own man-cave. Enjoy the site!
Twitter handle - @dantailgater,
Instagram - dantailgater
By all accounts this was a memorable season on and off the
field for the DFT Brigade. We had the privilege of watching a young man named
Tyler Kent inspire a nation with his courageous fight against cancer which he ultimately
succumbed to. We witnessed Dabo Swinney pull a Saban and replace his accomplished
starting QB with a freshman named Sunshine that would lead them to another great
campaign. The Stache blossomed out in the Palouse under Mike Leach resulting in
ESPN Gameday finally gracing the campus in Pullman. Urban was reprimanded in Columbus
and feigned health and family issues to once again retire from coaching. The
crazy upset of Old Dominion over VA Tech, the fall of the Men of Troy and the
rise of the Irish, and the resurgence of Texas were all indelible marks on the
season. We had hurricanes responsible
for game cancellations and postponements. The battle between Tua and Kyler for
the Heisman and in the playoff game was epic. UCF’s 25 game winning streak
finally ended in the Bowl season. The return of the Prodigal Son to the plains
of Lincoln, Nebraska provided hope for the Big Red faithful. The Floss replaced
The Whip and the Nae Nae as the celebration dance of choice. The fans screamed
for a legitimate 8 team playoff system that continues to fall on deaf ears, and
lastly, Bama v Clemson IV would end the season once again.
As for DFT, I attended 14 games including the National Championship
of which 6 were new cathedrals. Additionally, I was able to attend 7 high school
games of the beloved Monte Vista Mustangs.
The epic weekends this year were Penn State with the Dons of Danville
and friends, Mississippi State with my high school gang, Bedlam in Norman and Texas with the Snowflakes.
Many other great games including Army versus
Navy, Colorado State at Florida and Northwestern at Purdue. We also launched
Tailgate Connect and had moderate success for our inaugural year. I became a
regular guest on the Sooner Fan Football Podcast every Wednesday night and made
many new friends as a result.
Bowl Season for DFT consisted of the Redbox Bowl and the
Natty both at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Michigan State and Oregon
squared off in the former in a 7-6 snoozer won by the Ducks. The Men of
Laurelglen received free tickets courtesy of a Veterans group. We did a Bloody Mary
and burrito breakfast tailgate as kickoff was noon local time. The new Shot Ski
was christened at a tailgate for the first time.
The Shot Ski getting a workout at the Red Box Bowl
Breakfast of Champions
The Natty as mentioned was another matchup between Clemson
and Bama. We took in the championship festivities
in San Jose on Saturday at the convention center and CFP Hotel HQ. I even shook
Maria Taylor’s hand (College Gameday personality). My good friend Danny L
scored 2 free lower bowl tix on the 15 yard line for me and the Don of
Bettencourt Ranch, Chris “The Finger” Desimone. The Tailgate was hosted by Bama
fans extraordinaire the Windsheimer and Jeffrey clans. Cold beer, dogs and a charcuterie
of protein and cheeses were served. The entrance into Levi stadium was smooth
and concession stands were not outrageously long to grab some essential
Almost Famous on a local TV station with the Windsheimers and Michael Fee
Entering Levi Stadium!
As the entire nation witnessed, the game was a jaw dropping
shocker. Clemson jumped out to an early lead on a pick six of All World QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Bama responded with two touchdowns and Clemson scored on a bomb to win the
first set 14-13. The Crimson Tide opened the second quarter with a field goal to
take their only lead of the game at 16-13. And then the Tiger spigots were
turned on full blast as Clemson would score 28 unanswered points behind a QB nicknamed
Sunshine and a defense as impenetrable as the Death Star. Final score Clemson
44, Alabama 16. Clemson is now 2-1 v Bama in the Championship Game and 2-2 in
the CFP overall. Congrats to Coach Dabo Swinney for running a model program and
beating one of the best teams Alabama has assembled.
Eagle Fan Chris "The Finger" was lost.
Bowl Season Bieber
– The last Bieber of the year goes to the organizers of the Serv Pro First Responder Bowl along
with ESPN for cancelling their named game in the historic Cotton Bowl. The game
commenced on 12/26 under threatening skies as Boston College jumped out to a
7-0 lead over the Boise State Broncos. A big storm was moving in and lightning
struck within a 10 mile radius. As is protocol, the teams were sent to their
locker rooms to wait out the lightning. After 90 minutes it was determined the
lightning was still a threat. So, the MENSA Elders in charge decided to just
outright cancel the game. No effort to reschedule the next day in the unused
Cotton Bowl for a day calling for sunny skies. Or what about calling Jerry
Jones up to borrow his facility? Boosters, families, friends, bands, cheerleaders
all traveled on Christmas Day or earlier to get there.
I for one would be a vocal activist marching on SERV Pro and ESPN HQs if
I was one of them that had attended. There was no explanation of efforts taken
to somehow continue the game leaving us all inexplicably hanging. For this uber
egregious act, you two organizations win the final Beebs of the year.
A designated "Safe Space".
Ginger – The
Ginger Badass award goes to my friend Denny Warner who passed from this earth in
December. Denny is the Father in Law to two of my close college buddies. Denny
was someone who would go to all of his
grandkid's sporting events no matter when or where. I reconnected with Denny 5
years ago when we rented a cabin to watch his grandson play football at Hampden
Sydney College in Virginia. He was larger than life and was someone that could
and did make friends with anyone. He would always send me complimentary emails about my blog and circulated it amongst
his friends. I had several visits with him over the last few years where we
discussed football, faith, family and solved world hunger. He never let age
get in the way of having a great time and set the bar high as someone I looked
up to. The first time I met him 35 years ago at his daughter’s wedding we were
convinced he looked like the bad guy Victor Matlin from Beverly Hills Cop. Me
and my college roommate chased him around the after party calling him Victor
only to be swatted away with a smile. Well old buddy, you will be missed and we
will all raise a Schaeffer for you when we think of you. You were simply a
badass in all the right ways in life.
With Denny and Chris McDaniel in 2014 at Hampden Sydney
Next Year - The plans are laid for the Dons of Danville to have an epic
weekend in NOLA and Baton Rouge for the Florida at LSU game. We are up to 20
people at last count. The Seneca Valley
High School gang will be descending on
the Big House whilst staying in a little house for Notre Dame weekend in Ann
Arbor. The Labor Day Blitzkrieg will consist of games at Bowling Green, Cincinnati,
Kentucky and Louisville. Oklahoma travels to UCLA in September and we will be hosting
an epic tailgate with our Okie friends and family at the Rose Bowl. There will
be others, but these are the ones carved in stone for now. And so now, I enter
the “Transfer Portal” of the off season abyss. Be back in August!