You Have to Be Ready
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No matter how "ready" we think we get for football season, we are never quite ready enough once it arrives. Yesterday, our group was so excited for the game that we nearly pulled out of the driveway without our tickets, tent, chairs or table. No big deal. Just everything. As the day rolled on, we realized a few other things that told us we weren't quite as ready for the season as we thought we were. But we made it through - with flying colors I might add - and weekend number one of the college football season is now history...
After the near disaster of leaving our entire tailgating goods at the house, we gathered ourselves and made it to our usual Lot One in Clemson. Here is where we found someone else who wasn't quite ready for football season. The parking lot attendant was as dumb as a bail of pinestraw, and he had cars staggered in all kinds of messed up ways. With this going on, we were unable to get our usual spot under the row of Oak trees where we back in and mooch off of someone's TV. However, we did find some new folks to pester and get our TV fix - but that TV gave out around 7:15 (again, not ready).
So into the stadium we went at 3:30, and we simply were not ready for the heat. The forecasters had been calling for cooler temperatures on Saturday, which for South Carolina means 90 instead of 99. I didn't carry my hand-held thermometer in with me, but I know the temperatures were soaring very close to triple digits. Crammed in with tens of thousands of other sweating people, I sadly admit I did not watch every play from my seat.
Another thing that was not ready on Saturday was the Clemson football team. By game's end they were able to cover the spread, but it was not pretty and North Texas gave the Tigers more of a challenge than I believe the team anticipated. All in all, a win is a win is a win, but there are clearly things that will need to be looked at closely in practice this week.
After the game ended, it was time for something else for which I wasn't ready: A trip to the downtown scene. "TD's" had a live band and our group put in a solid three to four hours here to close the place down. As we watched UNC drive down the field for the potential game-winning points versus LSU, the bouncers literally cut off the TVs with 15 seconds on the clock. Midnight means midnight in Clemson, South Carolina, folks.
We got home around 2:00 in the morning, minus one member of our party who will remain anonymous. This person decided to stumble into an old friend's home and pass out (clothing optional) on a futon. It's ok, he's 31 years old - he'll grow out of it soon. And, once again, this is a case of not being ready.
It was a great day, and all had a great time. Thanks to the fellow behind us who did not have his TV ready for a day of tailgating, we missed more football than I'm cool with, but we will deal with that later. I'm betting the next game we will learn from these mistakes, and for us - the Miami game - we will all be ready!
Next week, I'm off to Knoxville...
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