What was Tailgating in College Station Like? Here are GT's Opinions
After travelling the past two weekends to College Station and Knoxville, the GatorTailgating.com team was asked to review both location's tailgating and game day atmospheres and how they stack up to the rest of the SEC. Click here for the second article about Tennessee.
Starting with College Station, this place was simply incredible. Their fans are easily the most hospitable and accomodating in the SEC, bar none. Throughout the weekend, they would come up and shake our hands, put us in the front of the lines to get in the bar, asked if we needed help with directions, or warn us about their over-zealous cops on game day weekends.
With them enjoying the newness of the SEC, it will be interesting to see if their experiences from travelling to Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge, and Athens lead them to become a little bit less hospitable next time the Gators come to town.
On Friday as the GT crew got into town, we stopped by the world-famous Dixie Chicken bar and had lunch, which is known for serving more beer per square foot than any other bar in the world. Although the Lone Star Beer is their locally brewed Texas Beer, the universal Gator opinion was that it was worse than Warm Old Milaukee; and that's an accomplishment. Their food, however, was some of the best bar food to be tasted and they did offer a wide selection of beer outside of the Lone Star brew.
The Texas A&M campus has a lot of great history and tradition including the bond fire memorial, the midnight yell, the story of the twelth man, and the Presidential library of George Bush (#41). The bonfire (corrected from "bond fire") memorial was impressive how each and every step, block, and structure had significance to the tragedy and the tradition as well.
Although most would assume that the library would only be enjoyable for Conservatives, the library is much more historical than politcal including pictures of the elder Bush with Clinton from their different fundraising events, and much much more. Counting the 8 years he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan and his four years of being President, there is much more than a decade of history covered by his leadership and is documented in the library.
Friday evening, the GT crew bar-hopped in the Northgate district, which is very similiar to Gainesville's midtown. It is right across from the street from campus and a short walk from the stadium as well. Starting off at the Corner bar, which has 3 stories including a rooftop bar. It was perfect if you enjoy drinking outside (not in humid Florida) and yelling with fellow Gator fans, "It's Great to be a Florida Gator!" to let the Aggies know who was in town. After that, Daisy Dukes was a fun place if you enjoy the Country bar feel. After the Midnight Yell, it seemed to be the happening bar that all the co-eds went to visit.
The next morning, it wasn't long until the Gators found out that their fans will sit at the upper teir of the SEC tailgating schools along with LSU, Alabama, and Florida. Arriving to tailgate at a little after 7am, the GT crew figured we would help set up and prepare for the day; but come to find out they had already set up and had two simultaneous games of beer pong going, they had already started cooking some Duck Breast and Gator Tail, and had some guys funnelling beers to "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC. This all occured before 8 in the morning! That's when we knew for sure they would fit in well.....not so much with the hospitality thing, but certainly with the gameday atmosphere.
When we got to their stadium, we realized their hospitality probably didn't filter through to the stadium planners. The Gator fans seats were located on both the east and west sides of the stadium, but were literally behind the bleachers in the end zone. Words can't describe particularly well, but take a look at the photo to the right of some of our group. They were standing in their seats and are turned with their back toward the field. See the stands over her shoulder? Those are what Gators were looking at if they looked straight ahead.
Thankfully, their stadium is rumored to be rennovated this year to add more seats and fix the issue of the bleachers. It is badly needed, because that was the only negative of the whole trip.
Overall, the trip graded out as an A. The History of their campus and school, witnessing their traditions that are so different from most other schools, the importance of being their first SEC game and welcoming them in the right way, the neccessity of the Gators learning to win on the road where they've struggled so bad, and witnessing the Gators come back from behind to take home a vistory all made this trip better than anyone could've expected. Hopefully, it won't be too long before we travel to College Station again!
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