Tarheel Nation: Tailgating for UNC’s First Game

As I sit here wolfing down an epic salad and watching the season finale of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, in which some of the students graduate, I have to say, I had a blast this weekend reliving my college career.  As I mentioned on Friday, I had a dear friend visiting Chapel Hill for the weekend and I waited for her arrival patiently, watching loads of Degrassi and enjoying a little bit of Vino. Also, watching Youtube videos of Duckies. You know, the usual.

Once we arrived, though, we made a beeline for Top of the Hill, which was apparently THE place to be on Friday night.

Old Well White, just like old times!

I won’t get into too much details on the blog, but the rest of the night involved me acting like I’d never heard of certain UNC basketball players, which resulted in them trying to get the scoop on “that Jordan girl”. Sorry, Tyler, but I’m taken. You missed your chance in 2005.  If you want to hear my brag on end about this story and the giant ego boost that I received, feel free to tweet at me, or email me.

Luckily, I was able to crash relatively early, which made the 9 am gameday wake-up call that much easier.  Though let’s be honest, after a night of drinking Old Well Whites and Riesling like I was a fish (a fish with excellent taste in beer and wine), it really wasn’t that easy. My tummy was feeling wonky and my head was dully roaring. I knew something needed to be done.

I ventured over to Walgreen’s to get some Vitamin Water and Coke Zero (hangover remedy, why not?)  and then whipped up a little hangover cure meal to ready me for the day’s festivities.

Cures what ails ya!

The best part about staying close with your fraternity post-grad is having permanent access to cooking supplies and friends PLUS a place to park ALL THE TIME (parking is at such a premium at UNC that our football team racked up $13K in parking tickets.)

My merry band of brothers and sisters were ready for action with the tiniest grill known to mankind and a well-stocked refrigerator.

It gets the job done.

Game Day essentials

We cooked burgers and kebobs, we cooked corn on some cobs, there were beers in koozies, this tailgate was a doozy. (Sometimes, I have dreams of being Dr. Seuss.)

My eats for the day included (among I’m sure countless other nibbles):

Burger, Cheese, Avocado (and OODLES of ketchup, not yet pictured)

Grilled corn, where have you been my whole life?!

And, later, some chips and dip. I also made a healthy appetizer for everyone (read: cut up a cucumber and served up some dips).

The only healthy thing I put inside my body probably all day

The highlights of the day would have to be dominating at cornhole with Kinsley and her friends (who were all dressed in matching wolf-howling-at-moon t-shirts [sleeves removed, of course]), learning the term “landsharking” (which, according to urbandictionary, is a totally DIFFERENT and disgusting thing than what I thought, yuck), and finding a cellphone left at a bar that had enough graphic sexual texts I’m pretty sure it counted as reading a pornographic novel. Hopefully that either was returned to the owner or burned in a fiery pit of cleaning solution/bleach.  Some things you can never unlearn/un-read.

After watching UNC spank the Dukes in the first half of the game, I decided it was in the bag and enjoyed my typical post-viewing-football nap. What was NOT typical, however, was the duration (read: 4 hours).

Oh, well, there went my Saturday night (and any hopes of falling asleep at a reasonable hour).

Thank goodness for Netflix streaming Mad Men.

Betty Draper and her crazy neuroses are always up late, anyway.

Here’s to many more excellent games (and, of course, tailgates.)

What’s your favorite tailgate food?

I’m always looking to try new things!

What do you watch on Netflix?

Also, always looking for new things.

Football. Football. FOOTBALL! (oh, and Friday.)

TGIF! (I know I said that about T[hursday] too, but really, I’m thankful for both days.)

Today, since I woke up, I couldn’t get my mind off of the lunch from Wednesday.  The creaminess of the melted provolone, the crunch of the Roma tomatoes, I wanted it all in my belly.

Well, Jojo gets what she wants:

Sandwich of Dreams

I knew this was going to be tasty from experience, but honestly… it exceeded my dreams.  Eggy, spinachy, crunch, and soft it was perfect all around.

On the side was a little bag of veggies that I should’ve included in my What’s I’m Loving post from yesterday.

Bird's Eye Steamfresh Asian Medley

It’s got a great amount of seasoning on the veggies without overpowering their natural flavor. AND it’s got BABY CORN!  You know… like regular corn, but smaller.  Can’t beat it.

For dessert, a Vita Top with some PB:

Whoah, PB is saltier than I remember

Unlike some most of the bloggers I read, I’m not a huge nut butter fan, so whenever I do indulge in a little Peanut/almond/cashew/whatever butter, I’m surprised by how salty it is.  This sweet and salty treat, sort of like a Reese’s Cup, hit the spot, regardless.

But honestly, that’s just a puff piece about my lunch.  What I want to talk about, and what I’ve been thinking about a LOT lately is….

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON!!

I’ll admit, I may not always love to watch sports.  In fact, more often than not, sports on TV just bore me to tears (my apologies to the beau, and any future sons I may have.)  But college football isn’t just about sitting in front of a tv and yelling and throwing remotes and scrambling to try and find the batteries because the remote hit the wall and muted when you threw it.

College football, to me, is a romance.

It’s not about stats, it’s not about touchdowns (well, for some folks it is), and it’s not about whether or not your football players get 395 parking tickets (woops, UNC).

This is college football:

A sea of Carolina blue (photo credit to my buddy, Shog.)

It’s tailgating, partying, and cheering your team on with thousands of your closest friends total strangers who bleed the Carolina blue (or Ole Miss red and blue… or Penn State blue and white…. or anything like that) that runs through your veins a little bit faster on game days.

Paint up or SHUT UP!

While UNC is definitely a basketball school, football will always hold a special place in my heart.  My first year of college was spent on the UNC Varsity Fencing Team (yeah, I thirsted for the bloodsport) so football games translated to a chance to scoop frozen lemonade out and sell it to drunk fans who made jokes about how cold our chests got (wish I had my fencing weapons to fleche their knickers off) (bonus points for fencing terms.) It wasn’t really until my junior year that I was able to partake in the joy that is…. college football season.

A dream come true

At my fraternity house, we’d sell out the parking lot, grill meat (and veggie burgers…. we had a disproportionate amount of vegetarians in my fraternity… then again, we were also called the “hippy frat” so maybe not), and day drink.

MIMO TIME!!

And, by dating a fellow that went to one of the most fun football schools in the nation, I also got to see how they do it down in the deep south at Ole Miss:

”]I can not even patiently wait for football season, in the hopes to maybe even go to a game (haha, you’ll notice that through this post, I didn’t really talk too much about that. Now you see where my priorities lie.)

But really, going to a game, shaking your pom poms [literal ones, not chest, you pervs] in the face of an opponent obnoxiously, and cheering in unison with the entirety of your fan base…. there’s nothing like it.

Though I graduated from UNC in 2009, during football weekends, I feel like I’m a student again, right there with all the other tailgaters, rabble rousers, and Tar Heels.

I can’t wait for the foods, the shouting, the 6am wake-up calls for the noon games, the hooplah, the tiny Tar Heel face tattoos, the smell of grilled meat, the shenanigans I’ll get in with my fellow brothers and sisters, young and old…. I just can’t wait.

Oh yeah. And the beer.

 Are you stoked for college football season?  And who’s your team of choice?