It’s getting close to crunch time. We are officially 1 month away from the season opener at Lehigh. Not that I’m counting. Student-athletes are either back on campus or are staring at the date of departure on the calendar. The Tiger’s Training Camp starts next week. And we’re working through the punch list of get ready tasks to move the tailgate north.
Nothing compliments a game tailgate more than a brisk, fall day with fellow fanatics, good food, and a drink or two. Brisk will be new to us. In south Florida, high school games meant having enough humidity to give you the feeling of wading through melted butter. So, when we say the word brisk down here, it usually is part of the menu word, “brisket”.
But menu creation’s not my responsibility. I’ve got to focus on the rolling platform that houses the tailgate. We started bringing our motorhome to high school games for pre and post tailgates 3 seasons ago. A couple of friends with motorhomes brought there’s on occasion. It made it easy to feed the team after games and it also became a place to gather for parents and fans. It became part of our program. We’d always get there early to work with opposing team ADs for the best place to set up. One time at an away game in Orlando, the AD surprisingly said, “Why don’t you just drive down on the track lanes (that circled the field) and park in the corner by the end zone?” We got over the shock and said, “Yes, why don’t we?” That was uncommon hospitality.
But the greatest moment of pride came when we pulled into an away game at a rival’s stadium, began the conversation and negotiation with the AD, and he quickly said, “Yea, we had a meeting earlier this week about what to do with your motorhome.”
It’s not like it’s that impressive of a motorhome, but it gets the job done and we like it. And it’s a few weeks away from heading north for the season. We’ve found a way to plan on getting to all ten games of the Tiger season this year, both home and away games. We’ve met a Princeton football family that has pretty much the same motorhome type as ours, have been bringing it for a while to Princeton games, and have graciously offered to let us join their tailgate. And we’ve received information on the Princeton Football Families’ tailgate activities, so we will plan to not conflict with the traditions that go on already. We will be there each game, in the hope that a tailgate will come.
So, I’m finishing up my To Do’s with the mundane tasks of oil changes, tires, and generator maintenance. But the task that I got most enjoyment out of was the exterior prep and I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming out.
We should be pretty easy to spot, if not by the wrap, look for the Princeton flag flying, as well. It looks like we’ll be positioned in the parking lot by the practice fields, Lot 21, for home games.
Between games during the week, we’ll store it at an RV park literally adjacent to the Atlantic City airport, so that after the nonstop flight from Fort Lauderdale each Friday, we can jump in and cover the 80 miles to Princeton and be there by early afternoon. Then at least 2-3 hours before each game, the tailgate is open for business with menus posted each week and a drink or two available.
We’re excited about many of our existing friends making the trip to the northeast and the new friends we’re starting to make that have a Tiger connection. And if you’ve done this at Princeton a time or two, we welcome any tips about how best to enjoy a game. Tips on Princeton or insight about the best way to visit our away game campuses are all very much appreciated.
So, feel invited to join the tailgate! I’ve never seen a good tailgate of two people and we believe in the more the merrier approach.