I hate Duke.
They won me the department March Madness bracket one year, but they also rejected my application for the PhD program in like .02 seconds (laughing sinisterly while doing it I assume). I'm glad I didn't go there, but I'm still a little bitter.
And we have some friends who tailgate, so it was a win-win situation.
We got to Tiger Lane around 1 (kick-off was at 3:30) and I was immediately impressed by it - I haven't been in years, and they've redone the area really nicely.
Here's an aerial shot from Memphis Daily News:
So basically it's a giant field built for tailgating.
Our friend Lee had invited us to come tailgate with him - here's the impressive, two-story, barbecue team run tailgating station we arrived at.
Upstairs was a TV and a breeze (thank the lord), and downstairs was the most delicious tailgating food I've ever eaten - ribs, these hot dogs with cheese, meat dip (which sounds disgusting but which I'm pretty sure fell from heaven to Lee's fridge that morning), and steak (or some other delicious cut of beef - I'm not to discriminating about things that come off a grill).
There was also beer. And, thankfully, lots of water.
So we hung out there for awhile, went and walked around and saw some other people, randomly ran into a girl I went to Lyon with, didn't see any of my students (unlike the night before when I saw a former student at Skunx at 3:30am...) and got ready for the game.
And tried not to die from the heat.
*The view from the top of the trailer. So. Many. People.
*Also there were people playing that cornhole game in the road. I've never played it, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to play it in the road. Even with no cars.
*From the top of the trailer towards the Liberty Bowl.
*Walking towards the stadium there's a huge fountain. With the most refreshing breeze ever.
The stadium itself is pretty nice - not Razorback Stadium (Woo Pig!) but still very nice and clean. They have a ton of restrooms, a lot of food options (although, weirdly, only like two of them take cards - my Pronto Pup desires will have to wait til next week), and generally nice staff.
We ended up with good seats, sitting behind a bunch of the injured/ineligible/whatever football players, which was entertaining.
*So yeah, pretty good seats. And there's the Mighty Sound of the South band.
*And then the team, in their shiny new helmets, ran out. I like them, although the fire shooting up that close to us did not help with the heat situation.
*My roommate won some contest to be Captain of the Game. Which basically meant he got a jersey, got to talk to some cheerleaders, and got to walk out on the field.
*He's the second from the left, in the white hat. So that was pretty cool.
*Memphis also recently installed a giant screen, which was kind of behind us - makes seeing plays and the horrible awful calls made by the refs a little easier.
*We had really good seats, actually. And were surrounded by some awesome hecklers.
*My roommate waving at the crowd. With cheerleaders is the important part I think.
*One of the best things about where we sat was we were on the west - if you've never been to the Liberty Bowl, when the sun goes down, the west side gets much cooler, and the east side gets blinded and cooked. So sit on the west side.
After the game we went and saw a couple of friends who let us park at their house (thank you Michael and Lauren!) and went home and napped.
Until the next morning basically.
So even though Memphis lost, it was still a great game and fun experience.
And much like the Packers game this weekend, the refs screwed us.
At least Arkansas won.
If you go to a Memphis game, the tickets are relatively cheap, but bring cash for the vendors, and try to make friends with someone who is tailgating. Hope to see everyone at the Arkansas State game the 21st! (I'll be coming from a 2-year-old's birthday party - which I legit can't wait for! - so I'll be ready for some cursing I'm sure!).