Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big Heads and Tailgates

Our recent trip to Atlanta was planned around a football game and tailgating for Georgia Southern where our friends' son plays. We've been meaning to get to a game to see #77 play and since he graduates in December, we got there just under the wire. It was Senior Recognition day, so not only did we get to see Chip and Debbie, Taylor and Blake...but also their extended family and friends.  It was a nice reunion of sorts and a peek into their world of weekly football games and tailgating. 

I have probably watched more football this fall than I have in my lifetime. And by watch football, you know I mean try to watch the "football" and not get distracted by the people. The Aggies have a winning team this year so that's grabbed all of our attention. The Houston Texans are also doing I may have screamed "go, GO, GOOOO!" from my living room a time or two...while watching the game with Chuck. But this game at Statesboro, Georgia, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, surrounded by our good friends, the traditions of the pre-game, the game and the tailgating afterwards was the real deal. I can see why people get caught up in the whole thing. Down to wearing the colors of the team. And maybe even a fake tattoo on their cheek.

The football team arrives at the stadium from the other side of campus on old yellow school buses. The story goes that when football was first started at the college, there was no money for buses. So they went to the county and an old school bus was donated. The coach used black spray paint to block out the name on the bus, since it didn't say Georgia Southern, and to this day...even with money to support nicer buses...the boys still arrive across campus in the old yellow school buses. They are escorted across campuses by police cars running their sirens.

When  you hear the sirens, you drop everything and run to greet the players.


This might have been my favorite part of the day...getting caught up in the frenzy of rushing to meet the buses and seeing all the fans wave the boys on.  There's Chuck doing what he does...videoing the moment.

Debbie's sister Linda had a big head made of Blake to hold up in the stands. This Big Head was the hit of the game. Such a hit that it made the front page of the paper the next morning.

Linda holding the Big Head. 

But way before that, it got a lot more action.

The cousins even wore fake beards...which at some point in the day ended up on the Big Head.

Pre-game activities including ......

a photo op with The Eagle...

Blake's grandfather and uncle watching the players warming up....

And more videoing...and strange man thinking even stranger woman was taking his picture.


#77's family lining up to go out on the field for Senior Recognition Day....

Senior Football Player #77 being called across the field..through a line of cheerleaders.

This makes me laugh because those 2 girls have clearly lost their attention to the reason they are out there.  Except for the bodies, that could be me.  Okay, the bodies and the youth and the tans and the long, blonde hair.  But the attention?  So me.

 And #77 handing a rose and his plaque to his mama.  Debbie's in the gold skirt and boots. 
And then the game...and the people.




Julie and Payton

Gracie and Timmy

Halftime...and the students on the hill..

...then the sun went down and the game was over...

Some headed to the showers, others to the Tailgate Party.

Five huge tents and a trailer.  A professional, master minded set-up.
Chip must have been involved.
On the menu: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, hot rolls and banana pudding. 
With a generator, a satellite dish and a television, Cameron and Chuck were able to watch the A&M/Alabama game.  A nail biter.
A&M pulled it off! 
Our Bama Fans/Friends are still our friends I hope! 
The football players' parents.  Tailgaters.  Friends.
We spent the night in Statesoro and even went to a college bar for awhile. 
Let's just say we stuck out amidst the 18 to 22 year olds and the music and dance moves have changed since we were that age.
On Sunday, we headed back to Atlanta and were dropped off at the airport for our flight home.
It never gets any easier to say goodbye to Chip and Debbie. 
I loved this trip.
I love them.
The Big Head was a huge hit.  And at the end of the Tailgate Party, after everything was packed up and it was time to go, Gracie and Maggie took it out one more time and provided the entertainment for some very tired people.  Check it out.  Volume on.


  1. Two of my cousins went/go to school there! Gorgeous pictures!

  2. What a great post! Y'all are wonderful friends to go and support their looked like a real sacrifice-not!!! Love it all. What a perfect menu, too.