Gainesville Ramblings

This is a blog, and thus it barely qualifies as writing, let alone formal writing, so I'd not let it bother you.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Florida/Georgia Game Two: In which Pork is cursed, then praised. Also, the trials of coolers.

The day began with a moan. The joys of the previous night exacted its retribution on the hotel room, forcing headaches and stomach pains on us all. However, our love of drinking and the Florida Gators meant that we would force ourselves to push through the agony, and we attacked the free continental breakfast in order to hold the demons of the hangover back for another day.

We left the hotel relatively early. Myself, Ryan, Mike, and Ryan's cooler piled into my car, and we headed to pick up the last of our compatriots: Jamie Hodge, everyone's favorite Illinois State Alumni. She was coming along as I had managed to score two free tickets to the game the previous day, and invited Jamie along. On the drive over, we stopped at a gas station and stocked up on the necessities: Beer, Ice, and Coke. I provided the rum. And this is where the ordeal began.

In order to save money and to ease the finding of parking, we decided to park on the North side of the St. Johns and take the Skyway across the river. Unfortunately, this would mean dragging a large cooler full of beer and ice the very long distance between Downtown Jacksonville and the Sports Complex. This was not going to happen, especially given our inherent laziness.

So, we decided to take a free trolley, which had been generously donated by the Pork Council. However, it seems that this nefarious council had lied about the existence of the trolley. It never came, and we were forced to sit on the cold windy corner of Laura St. and Forsyth Ave. After a long half hour, we finally managed to flag down a cab which dropped us off near the Fairgrounds.

The Fairgrounds was truly a holy land. There was nary a Georgia fan to be seen. For some reason, they take the area underneath the highway. Florida fans, being the intelligent, good looking people that we are, take the fairgrounds, which boasts abundant grass, the occasional tree, and indoor bathrooms. I think this proves that it is not only in football that the Gators consistently win. It is in life in general as well.

We continued on our trek, eager to go around the stadium and see what unknown wonders awaited us there. Along the way, we encountered Kelly Tibbles and Justin Moore, who joined us on our quest. And then we found paradise: The Pork Council Tent. I was ready to pass it by, as the Pork Council's trolley was proven to be only a myth. But the tent did not disappoint. They were giving out free pork sandwiches, over which one could slather hot sauce and barbeque sauce. And they didn't care how many you too take. To a group of hungry travelers who had been wandering around trying to find free food, this was truly heaven.

We left this small slice of white-meat perfection and engaged on another quest: Find Amanda's Boyfriend's RV. This required walking even more around the stadium, and trying to find one particular Recreational Vehicle in the thousands that were there. We managed to find it, and it was amazing. A private Port-A-Potty, a fried turkey, and a golf cart. Verily, these people knew how to do tailgating right. We hung, finished our alcohol, and finally departed for the game.

The game was...well, we won. The free seats we snagged were in the Georgia section, which wasn't too bad. The fans around us were friendly, and directly behind us was the most excited 10 year old Gator fan I've ever seen. He was awesome. And from St. Augustine. So, he was alright by me. The game itself was great for the first half and not so great the second. I clutched Jamie many times in a state of utter panic. I mumbled to myselves when the Gator's turned the ball over or made some boneheaded play call. But we are the Florida Gators. We don't win pretty, but we do win. I'll take it in the end, but a bit more of a blowout would have been nice.

After the game, we met back up with Ryan and Mike and began the long, cold, windy trek back to the Skyway station. The cooler had been left behind, a noble sacrifice to the gods of tailgating and laziness. There was a long debate on whether to take the water taxi or just walk downtown. After seeing the line for the water taxi, we eventually choose the cheaper, but higher in sweat-equity, choice. It proved a wise choice, as the 5 dollars we saved were immediately put into video games where we had dinner: Dave and Busters. We enjoyed food, friends, and skeeball, and then headed back to the hotel.

If its been a long day, I have two options: Keep going or stop completely. The problem with the latter choice is that I can't stop. If I sit down for a little while, its nearly impossible for me to get going again. So after the long, leisurely dinner, I found myself in bed and falling asleep. This was midnight.

Yes, I know, I'm a pansy.


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