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Where I Come From: Tailgating Traditions

This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.

Tailgating is as much a part of football as the game on the field.  Interestingly enough, I was attending the University of Kansas when tailgating at the stadium was finally permitted.  Al Bohl may not have made many friends at Kansas, but he was certainly good for one thing. 

That said, the actual act of tailgating in the parking lot was never a huge to do for me.  I had gameday traditions and favorite pregame spots, but that's about as close as it gets for me.  I guess that's my own way of tailgating and that's what this is all about.  Still I think I've got three things I'd like to share with you.  Two are sentimental, one is a game, all in my opinion could help enhance your tailgating experience if you try them.

First, my favorite pregame spot had to be Louise's West.  The bloody mary's are thick enough to get a little grit stuck in your teeth, the schooners so full of beer, but they go down like a shot. When I was in college there was the cloud of smoke that rivaled a fog rolling off the great lakes.  Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of the smoking ban, but you remember things about the places you love and that was part of Louise's West as I remember it.  If possible I still make my way to West before a game and if I have to settle I'll go downtown as well. 

Second, I have a personal tradition, I think I enjoy nothing more than a walk across campus on a Fall day.  The Kansas campus is absolutely incredible during football season.  West to East, East to West, it doesn't matter.  Start at one end, walk to the other.  Take in the colors, take in the buildings, the calm emptiness of a campus buzzing on any other day of the week.  Perched on the hill, just slightly away from the noise of the stadium, you breathe that cool, moist fall air and it's hard to imagine a better start to the day.  There's no where on earth that has the same calming affect on me and I consider myself lucky to live in Colorado which has several close seconds.

Finally, I want share one tailgating game that I've discovered since I left Kansas that and that is "Polish Horseshoes."  If this is new to you it MUST be played on grass and not a parking lot so that impedes things a bit, but you need a frisbee, two beer bottles and two 5 foot pieces of PVC pipe.  Pipe in the ground vertically, bottle on top of the pipe, two teams of two hurling the frisbee at opposing pipe.  The goal? hit the bottle off the pipe.  Scoring works like this.  Dropped frisbee = 1 point for the other team.  Hit the pipe causing the bottle to hit the ground = 5 points.  Hit the bottle direct causing it to hit the ground = 10 points.  First to 21 wins.  So your throwing a frisbee, attempting to catch a frisbee and beer bottle, and all the while you must have a beer in hand.  It's a solid game and one I thought I'd share.

I'm sure these aren't as exciting as some.  KUGrad probably plays a mean game of Beer Pong.  Bensa probably sings the Alma Mater with his son, and I'm sure one of you Kansas City boys has a sick brisket recipe you'd like to share.  Mine are again simple memories, simple things on a football Saturday that just put the icing on the cake of any fall Saturday in Lawrence.

Reminder: It's not too late to get in on a chance to win a free copy of EA Sports NCAA Football 2011 from Rock Chalk Talk.  Read here to learn how.

Look Back on the Full Series at the EA Sports "Where I Come From" Room