Friday, October 9, 2009
we are missing yet another home game in oxford. it HUUUUURRRRRTTTSSS!!! i love that place. i will say that the alabama vs. ole miss game is probably going to be a blast but VERY PACKED. when I was at ole miss "the grove" was still a pretty well kept secret. when i arrived as a freshman in '92 it was one of the first seasons that they had done away with ACTUAL "tailgating" with CARS all pulled into the grove. can you imagine? a huge parking lot of cars under the oak trees? no hope of getting out of there until long into the night. the cars were trenching the grass etc. so, things changed...someone made a decision, and the grove was closed to cars. so, people brought there "picnic" tables in and tried to make the best of it. long time traditions are hard to break. it was kind of weird at first and it took a while to set in. i remember when i first started noticing the tents. one year, probably the second year of this new "tailgating" without an actual "tailgate" there were tents just sprinkled trough the grove.
i remember thinking, "that is a great idea to have a tent". well, it "cotton balled"! each year more and more tents. NOW they are touching one another. in the past couple of years the university started roping off little pathways in the grove before the tailgaters show up. now, one can actually give you "directions" on how to find their tent. "go to your third left turn from the union, take a right at the tunica tent and we are four tents in towards the pharmacy building...yes, the one with the white stars and 'go to hell LSU' written on the side.
a few entrepreneur "ish" students got smart one year and started businesses where they set your tents up for you, in your favorite spot in the grove. these dudes show up at the crack of dawn and fight for your spot for you. they store your tents all season. all you gotta do is show up with the food and (ahem)...beer, wine, bourbon, margarita machine, etc. the university police department hardly enter the grove and as long as you have your toddy in a cup you are golden.
the secret is out, this weekend there will be crimson tents mixed heavily in the grove. ole miss fans are very hospitable and have no problems sharing the grove, as long as you take a spot that is NOT OURS, share your food, don't yell "ROLL TIDE" in the middle of the grove and for heavens sake, keep it friendly! you ARE in the most "southern" town in Dixie!
click on the title of this post to watch a great story on the grove in action!