I had the fortune to travel down to Oxford Mississippi to visit with my good friend Ryan Garrick and help out on one of his students PhD progress. Early October is usually good enough into the fall season to get out of the oppressive heat and enjoy some southern hospitality. This year, not so much. Sure, it was “…much better than last week.” but still a bit too warm for my likings. That said, there was a home game against Vanderbilt (“Harvard of the South” they call themselves but some of the fans in the football stadium just called them “Damn Cheaters!”)
I’ve been tailgating a few times before but nothing prepared me for what happens in the grove. The interesting thing is that some of the tents are set up for everyone to come in and sample their food. Zebra tent was a particularly popular one.
Even the school Departments have tents set up, Biology did not disappoint thanks to the logistical stylings of Dr. Brice Noonan.
It was a late game, so the build-up in bbq tasting, people watching, and keeping hydrated had to be metered.
The game was pretty good, it was Homecoming for Olé Miss, so there was some additional pageantry involved. Homecoming queen was a Biology major too!
After attending this event, I understand how the intensity of the ‘community experience’ grabs young people and makes them fiercely loyal to their University. If you get a chance, pop by Oxford for a home game, it is unlike most tailgating experiences I’ve seen.