This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
This has easily got to be the toughest post of this week long series to write. As we all know, Boston College isn't exactly renowned for its tailgating scene. Having gotten a taste of what college football tailgating can be like at stops like State College, Blacksburg, Clemson, Auburn and - yes, I'll man up and admit it - Notre Dame, the BC tailgating experience can seem ... average at best.
Heck, I've even had great "tailgating" experiences at two Emerald Bowls, the 2007 ACC Championship Game at the Jacksonville Landing, the 2008 ACC Championship Game in the Raymond James Stadium parking lot and even the Champs Sports Bowl, despite Jeff's grill being stolen. May it R.I.P.
That being said, even with all the game day restrictions and tussles with our Chestnut Hill neighbors, there's something about the Boston College tailgating experience that I hold near and dear to my heart. Despite all of BC's game day experience shortcomings, there's something distinctly unique about BC tailgating that I wouldn't have any other way. This post topic invites you to share your own BC tailgating rituals and traditions.
Let me caveat the rest of this post by saying that I don't live in the Greater Boston area. I haven't since I graduated from BC in 2004. For my first few years after graduation, I was a nomad on the BC tailgating scene, making stops in the Mods, Shea Field or joining a friends tailgating in the lot behind St. Ignatius Hall. It was only until the last few years that I've found a tailgating home, using one of my college roommate's dad's tailgating spots in the Comm. Ave. Garage.
I'll typically start my tailgating several hours before the beginning of the 3 hour pre-game tailgating window, setting up a chair or a cooler to stake claim to a small patch of grass in front of the Comm. Ave. Garage. The BCPD generally frown upon this practice, and I'll probably get a talking to one out of every two times.
With tailgating real estate at a premium, you have to get there early to stake your claim. This is a great area to tailgate providing easy access to the Eagle walk, the Mod parking lot, the Hillsides Bookstore (to get outfitted in the latest and greatest BC schwag), bathrooms, and the Comm. Ave. garage stairs - to play cornhole in if it rains.
When the floodgates open and cars start streaming into the parking lots, my roommate's dad will pull up and we'll unload all the tailgating supplies before he drives his car up to his parking spot in the Comm. Ave. Garage. Those supplies include a grill, tables, tents, chairs, coolers of food and drink, and of course, our BC cornhole set.
Admittedly, I don't really do the cooking at tailgates. I'm there for the camaraderie, the Bud Light and to dominate in cornhole. This is, of course, until we host furrer4heisman and he and I got dominated by my wife. But that's a story for another day.
The tailgate lasts for about 2 1/2 hours until we decide to start winding down the tailgate and get ready to go into Alumni. After the game, it's back to the tailgating spot for another hour or so of tailgating before it's off to Cleveland Circle (read: Mary Ann's) for the victory celebration.
What are your tailgating traditions, both home and away? Do you have a recipe of choice? What's your drink?