Tag Archives: Tailgating

A great St Patrick’s Day in Savannah

We had a very good St Patrick’s Day celebration yesterday. I was so tired when we got back home in the late afternoon, I could barely move. It was a good day.

As always, we started very early. Mrs. Poolman and I arrived at 5:30 am for the 6 o’clock opening of the squares. After a few minutes of negotiating with the people who had arrived earlier, we settled on our site and awaited the 6 am hour. Our site was good, but not great. We were on the perimeter of the square,  but just a few yards off that one-half of the square where the parade actually passes.

Our tailgate site, just before the sun came up.

Our tailgating neighbors in the early morning.

Most of the other people arrived between 8 am and 10 am. By the time the parade started passing by around 10:20 am, we had a full house. We spent the next several hours eating, drinking and, as they say in the South, “visiting.”

Some people actually watched...

... the parade.

We had a diverse group, ranging from Mrs. Poolman’s co-workers, to my children’s friends and various other friends and neighbors.

As always, “Mrs. Poolman’s Personal Pick-Up Porta Potty” was a tremendous hit.

Mrs. Poolman's Personal Pick-Up Porta-Potty 2011

In fact, it was a little too much of a hit. Some of our friends had a separate tailgate party set up for their family in the same square. They made a contribution towards the porta-potty fund for their group of — they said — around six people. Actually that group of six was closer to sixty. Oops! The result was sometimes the lines at our porta-potty were longer than those at the public stalls. Poolboy became annoyed when one of their guests challenged his right to use the potty. “Hey, this is MY mother’s potty!” (Aren’t those words t0 make a parent fell proud?)  Next year, they say, they will get their own. That’s a good idea.

Erin go braugh, y’all!

Final home game of 09

Mrs. Poolman and I took off Friday afternoon for the last Gator home football game weekend of the season. We stayed Friday and Saturday night with Mrs. P’s younger sister. When we arrived, we picked her up and went to Outback Steakhouse where we met up with other sister in law, brother in law, a nephew and a friend of his. Nice dinner. We beat the dinner rush crowd. Monday is my b-day. I don’t usually like any kind of fuss, but the sisters in law brought a couple of thoughtful presents and a tiramisu dessert, so all was very good.

We were off early Saturday morning with nephew Billy for the final tailgating session of the year. We had no trouble finding a spot in our usual area, but others did. I witnessed one minor altercation that brought up an interesting question.

In the section of campus where we tailgate, there is no organization or supervision. People park wherever they want, on a “first come-first served” basis. There is a group who fairly frequently tailgates very near us. They send a couple of people to “set up camp” fairly early. These “scouts” take yellow caution tape and tape off an area to park an additional six to eight cars. This is in a section of campus where tailgating is very popular, and parking spaces are at a premium.  Later in the morning or afternoon, depending on the game time, the rest of their group wanders in and parks in their “reserved” spots. Saturday morning, another couple of tailgaters were looking for a parking space. One passenger got out of their car and lifted the caution tape to park in the “reserved space.” One of the guys who was already there started yelling at them and told them they couldn’t park there because he was saving it for his family. They exchanged some words, and eventually the “interlopers” drove off to find a spot elsewhere.

I just watched the whole thing. The guy who was saving the spaces, “Dave”, came over to talk to me, and made a “Imagine the nerve of that guy,” kind of comment. He was surprised when I politely said, “To be honest, I think the other guy was right and you are wrong.” Surprisingly, he didn’t get angry. We had a very nice conversation, but I explained that I thought he was being very greedy to rope off that many parking spaces when there are so many people who are trying to find places to park. I told him that I didn’t think anyone would object to saving one or two spaces for later arrivals, but they had cordoned off an extremely generous section. If I had not found another space nearby, I would also have just lifted the tape and backed into one of his spaces.

You see this kind of thing a lot, at theaters, graduations, Christmas religious services, etc. You see a row or block of empty seats, but when you try to sit down, one person sitting in the row says that they have “reserved” that whole section for their family. My opinion is that it is a matter of degree. Saving one or two extra seats or parking spaces isn’t a big deal, but having one “early arrival” staking out a claim to a large section of seating or parking at what is expected to be a crowded event, is unreasonable. It annoys the heck out of me, when I’m the one looking for a seat, parking space, etc. What do you think?

In any case, the game went well.

The Gator Band

On our walk to the stadium we were joined by a couple hundred musicians, which was pretty cool. The introduction of the senior players before the game was actually quite emotional. Florida State didn’t put up much of a fight.

Tim Tebow's second-to-last snap in The Swamp

We left with about 5 minutes left in the game, so we could beat the traffic and get back to Jacksonville. However, I understand from listening to the radio in the car, that the post-game celebration was extensive, with a full stadium staying around to applaud Tim Tebow and the rest of the team. Sorry we missed it, but by leaving five minutes early, it actually put us back in Jax more than an hour earlier than we would have been otherwise.

Back to work tomorrow. It’s been a nice five-day break.

Let the games begin!

As I have mentioned before, we are big fans of the University of Florida and have three season tickets to the home football games. We missed the home opener last weekend due to my niece’s wedding, so yesterday was our first football game and tailgating of the season. The kick-off was scheduled for 12:20 pm.  For an early kick-off, we usually drive down to Jacksonville and spend Friday night so it gets us close to the game in the morning. However, in this case, we decided to just go ahead and drive down and back on the same day. This meant the alarm went off at 4 am (about six hours earlier than I typically like to get up on a Saturday) and we were on the road at 5:15 am for the three and a half hour drive to Gainesville.

We didn’t have any “takers” for the third ticket in our bunch, so it was just Mrs. Poolman and I. We didn’t plan an elaborate tailgating set-up. We picked up some sub sandwiches, a bag of chips and drinks from Publix the night before. We have been doing this ever since we moved back to Savannah in 1992, so we have it down to somewhat of a science. Our tailgating spot has evolved over the years. We like to park on-campus. Football Arch

Several years ago, we found this spot, on the north side of the architecture building. It provided shade, an overhang in case of rain, and, most importantly, close proximity to bathrooms. When we first started tailgating here, no one else knew about it. Or, rather, they didn’t know how to follow the paths to get there. Then several years ago, a group of students and their friends “discovered” our spot and moved in. Football 1

We moved just a couple of yards to the side and have “adopted” a site adjacent to one of the many sinkholes on campus. (Anywhere else, it would be called a pond, but here they are sinkholes.) Football 2

It is scenic, relatively quiet, and still close to cover and bathrooms. When we arrived yesterday, we had only a couple of hours before heading to the stadium. Mrs. Poolman stuck her head in a book and I took a sitting-up nap in one of the bag-chairs. After lunch, we walked the 10 minutes to the stadium. Football Staduim

Our seats aren’t the greatest in the world, but they are in the bowl. Some of the folks who sit near us have also had the same seats for years. Each September, we greet each other like long lost friends, and then say “See ya next year” in November. The weather did not cooperate with us yesterday. Usually this issue with these early-season day-games is the heat. Mid-afternoon in Gainesville in mid-September can easily mean 90 degrees of hot sun. Combine that with being crammed cheek-to-jowl with 93,000 of your closest friends, and it can be slightly uncomfortable. Yesterday was cloudy, which was nice, until that turned into rain. Football rain

We didn’t bring our rain ponchos, although, at this time of year, they can be stifling hot. Sometimes, it’s just better to sit and get wet. It’s not like you get cold. As expected, after a slow start, the Gators rolled over Troy. We actually did something we have NEVER done before. We left early. We took off at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who got tired of sitting in wet clothes.

Here is a street outside the stadium as we were leaving. Football early departureThe early departure allowed us to get off campus before the traffic built up. We were home by 7:30 pm.

We have another game next weekend vs Tennessee. That should be interesting. The new UT coach, Lane Kiffen, did some early trash-talking last winter, including accusing UF’s Urban Meyer of cheating. That was not really a smart thing to do. Urban won’t admit it publicly, but he has a long memory. Just ask Georgia Coach Mark Richt. Next Saturday should be fun!