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go team

i was never a true football fan until college.

my whole family was always pretty into sports, and when football season came around, my st. louis-born parents always cheered for (first) the cardinals and then the rams after the cardinals moved to arizona.

i could watch the games with a mild interest, but i didn't really care that much who won or lost. that all changed in college.

to give you an idea, my dad likes to tell (and re-tell) this story about the summer before my freshmen year: i got something in the mail from UF about student season tickets. i wasn't sure if i wanted them, so i didn't pull the trigger. and my dad swore up and down "you'll change your mind when you get there." 

um, ok, old man.

he was 100% right. 

once in gainesville, football fever hit hard and immediately. i'll never forget that first saturday home game. the electricity, the excitement, the way the whole town came to a stand-still to tailgate until kickoff. i saw how wrong i'd been. 

it was easy enough to get tickets to most of the games that year, but every year after that, i was a season ticket holder. there was no question. and as the years progressed, i started to understand the game, to follow college football nationally, to hate teams from baton rouge, tuscaloosa,  and tallahassee more than i ever thought possible.

i lost my voice, amassed an impressive collection of orange and blue clothing,  sweated to death in that steamy 88,000-capacity swamp, and loved every minute of it.

and in the south, getting dressed for a football game is an art in itself. you don't just toss on a jersey and head out; you wear an outfit and likely that outfit is a dress. and i grew to appreciate that. 

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when i moved up here in 2004, i got my first taste of a land where pro football was king. 

the ap poll? college game day?

pssh. just ways to pass the time to get to the main event on sunday.

my husband's family puts mine to shame in terms of die-hard fandom. TO SHAME. i experienced my first NFL game with them, and it was quite a different experience to say the least, right down to the game day clothing choices i saw around me. 

i don't need to get into the merits of college versus pro: they've both got their strong points and less desirable aspects.

but i stil wanted to look cute at the games, dammit. and since it's been a while since i've done a very necessary post, i thought i'd share with you my must-haves for game days, no matter who your team is.

polyvore set here

on the left side, we have the look: comfortable, layered clothing that should get you through the day. a light jacket, a shirt that shows your team spirit, and some coordinating accessories. this outfit is perfect for fall game days. i'd definitely check the weather before deciding on shoes though: there really is nothing worse than wet feet.

now, on the right side, we have the things that really matter. the stuff that makes you prepared for anything, even porta-potties. 

starting from the top, we have blankets. because although it's not too chilly now, once october and november hit, it can get cold in those metal bleachers. so if the stadium policies allow it, bring a blanket. 

i also never bring a purse with me. unless you're in a suite of some sort, there's absolutely no where to stash it once you get to your seats. on the floor beneath you? ok, but watch out for falling beer and peanut shells from above. i prefer some sort of credit card wallet that will hold ONLY my essentials: ID, credit cards, cash. there's less to lose and less to worry about that way.

now, a flask isn't absolutely necessary, but if you're a whiskey snob, you may want to bring some of your own. completely optional. but it looks cute, doesn't it?

lastly, i'm offering the same advice as i did for road trips: bring your own toilet paper and seat covers. even if you avoid the horror that is porta-potties, those stadium bathrooms are usually disgusting. being prepared always helps. i also threw in a tide pen since tailgate food tends to be messy. and you don't want those stains to set in.

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so there you have it. my tips for a no-fail good time at the tailgate.

who do you root for?

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check out my other 'very necessary' posts hereherehere, and here.

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