Yesterday saw the first tailgate of the season with a couple of surprises waiting for me at the tailgate lot.
The first was a good surprise. This season the off-site lots will open up FIVE hours before game time. The open container rules are still the same; you cannot drink any alcohol until four hours prior to kick off. But, this change allows us to get in earlier and set up leaving the FULL four hours to tailgate. That is exceptional news as often the last few years, the first hour was spent setting up, leaving just a couple of hours before I had to head up to the press box.
The second surprise? Not as pleasant. We have the end space in the lot and had been able to use the tree and grassy area next to the spot for a full set up... this year there was a fence blocking that area off.
What I heard was that a particular group (not us) was very rude and disrespectful last season and abused their privileges... creating the need for this fence.
After speaking very quickly with one of the ladies from Boy Scouts, she said she will see if anything can be done. Ever using my own Boy Scout "resourcefulness" I found a way to make it work, but it sure would be nice if those panels were gone!
Anotehr pleasant surprise is that two spaces right next to us were rented by a couple of guys who work for different breweries... that means possible free beer!
Speaking of beer, I was surprised yesterday... I had purchased two cases. Normally, over the course of the last two years, the opening game with a subpar opponent has led to a smaller tailgate turnout; not so this year.
I think in part, with the cloud of sanctions that had been hovering the past two years, people were more hesitant. The change of location did not help. But we had a BIG turnout for this game... so big that the two cases were gone by NOON... that was crazy!
We had a lot of regulars and some new people show up and it was great! There were a LOT of people so I am not going to try and mention everyone. I will say a BIG thank you to Ron (MiniTank42) for the HDMI cable.
My main hiccup for this game was forgetting the cable which connects the computer to the new tv... Ron came through making it a much better viewing experience!
Having a 32" television for watching games looks to have been a VERY good decision.
For those that did not make today... the Tennessee game will feature Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp... DEEP FRIED! This is something you do not want to miss!