Tomorrow is McDaniel’s first home football game of the 2012 season!! Woooohoooo!! As Friday classes wind down students are always excited for the weekend, but this weekend is extra special. The football experience here is terrific – we’ve been featured on the Weather Channel and in Southern Living magazine as one of the best tailgating schools in America – but the first game of the year is always a little extra special. Maybe it’s because every team still believes they have a shot to win it all. Maybe it’s because we don’t yet know which players are going to turn into stars. Or maybe it’s because we just haven’t seen a football game in a really long time. Whatever the reason, the first football game gets McDaniel students pumped!
What makes tailgating at McDaniel so great is that it lasts the entire game. Instead of traditional pre-game tailgates that are outside the stadium, tailgates at McDaniel are set up on the hill that surrounds the playing field. Fans park, and place their tents and lawn chairs right next to their cars, locations that would be box seats in a large stadium. As the game progresses students, alumni, parents, and fans can be seen lounging with a soft drink, grilling up some burgers, tossing a football or a Frisbee, or just laying in the grass, but all of them can be seen looking up every few seconds, to pause and watch the next play.
This morning I went down to the field with five of my fraternity brothers to paint our letters (ΑΣΦ – Alpha Sigma Phi) on the hill. It is tradition here for each fraternity and sorority to paint their letters on the steepest part of the hill, by the northernmost end zone. We first outlined the letters by breaking pencils in half, tying twine to them, and sticking them in the ground. After much debate about moving pencils an inch to the right or a half inch back to the left, we were finally ready to break out the spray paint. With a little help from a few friends that were more artistic than us – members of a sorority who were also doing their letters – we quickly perfected the placement of our twine lines. Using “Fire Red” (almost identical to our official color, Cardinal), we slowly began to fill in the letters.
The sun was hot, most of us were tired from a long week, and a few had to rush off to class, but by the time we broke for lunch it looked great! A quick outline with silver and we were done! Now we just sit back and wait for kickoff!