So after my last post about football, I’m sure that you all assume that our tailgating crew is among the top tier of the hierarchy of football-tailgating craziness.

But I present to you evidence that, although I will not deny our proper belonging in The Nutlawn, the nuttiest we are not.

WE DO NOT have flowy-tiered tablecloths worthy of wedding decor:


WE DO NOT have large vases of color-coordinated fresh flowers DELIVERED to our tailgating location:

WE DO NOT serve out of caterer’s chafing dishes:


WE DO NOT have a 10 foot custom outdoor television armoire:

WE (oh-so-thankfully) DO NOT have team-branded-and-decorated-with-ornamental-football portable peeing devices:



(Yes! For women too!! Because all women dream of being able to pee, outside, while balancing on a football-decorated-device, in front of 101,000 people passing by!!!)

And, much to Ali’s disappointment, WE DO NOT EVEN have a huge, inflatable Big Al:


And so, due to this great inconvenience, she had to spend her entire tailgating morning running back and forth from our spot to the closest spot that DID have a Big Al,


dancing with him,IMG_0538
jumping up and giving him fives,IMG_0558

requesting that I give her and her friend some space,IMG_0546
checking out his pedicure,IMG_0548
pouting when I said it was time to do something else, like, say, EAT,IMG_0552

and then begging me to be allowed to run BACK to Big Al.IMG_0568

The girl needs an elephant.

But unfortunately, the one she wants is a bit…unwieldy:


We came upon this camera-lens-filling behemoth at the student center…IMG_0584
And I’m pretty sure she wanted to take him home to be her newest stuffed-animal-for-sleeping with.IMG_0588

Because it was a 6pm game and we arrived at 9:30am (I was just happy that the sun was up), a nap was an absolute must for Ali.

Which is when our hard-fought-for tailgating location really pays off: we’re allowed to use the facilities, the huge living room with a big-screen tv, and the classrooms hidden in the back of the building.

Which make for great naptimes.

So we picked out a room that happened to have a nice couch for me to rest on while Ali slept, set up her little air mattress, barricaded us into the unfortunately-not-locking room, and set off to naptime:tailgate nap
Since I hadn’t thought ahead enough to make a sign for the door that said “SLEEPING CHILD INSIDE DO NOT OPEN THIS DOOR UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR LIFE IN PERIL BY HER PREGNANTLY SENSITIVE MOTHER”, I didn’t know if someone would try to break down our barricade or not.

Sure enough, about halfway through her nap, I hear the doorknob turn.

I jump off the couch in seeming slow-motion as I hear the barricading chairs SCRRRAAAAAPE across the floor as the door is forced open with the strength of that massive Big Al Elephant.

I make it over to the door as it is forced 50% open, and see a middle-aged lady trying to come in.

I whisper hurriedly, “I have a child napping in here”, and start to close the door on her.

She pushes it open further and sticks her neck in the door.

I stare at her incredulously, wondering if she has COMPLETELY forgotten the sensitive nature of a child’s naptime.

She whispers way too loudly back to me, “I think it’s my grandchild in there.”

What I wanted to say was “Ma’am, you are not my mother nor are you my mother-in-law. I promise you that this is NOT your grandchild.”

But in order to continue my efforts to preserve our naptime-hanging-by-a-thread, I just said “It’s not”, and managed to shut the door despite her elephant-like strength.

And, miraculously enough, Ali slept through her entire fake-Grandmother ordeal.

After naptime, it was time to head into the stadium.

With which Ali’s attention span lasted all of about 5 minutes, and then the questioning began: “When are we going to go back out to the OTHER outside???? When are we going to go back where Big Al was????”

She was quite bored and underwhelmed with the men on the field, something I can’t deny feeling myself at times.

But I was convinced to entertain her until halftime – she’s never actually stayed until halftime, and so had no idea that THAT’S when the game actually gets interesting.

So we played with the camera…

Tore up our shakers and made rings and bracelets out of the remains, and anything else to distract until the TRUE show started.

And, as I thought, she was completely entranced:IMG_0615
…but I don’t think she’ll be the least bit sad that she’ll be blissfully playing at Gramamma’s during next week’s game.

16 thoughts on “Tales of Gating.

  1. You're probably very wise to have her come to some games but not all. Too funny how much she loved the elephant!

    And that lady…I don't know what to say about that!

  2. I thought about you on Saturday and figured you were probably there. It was a wonderful day for it, wasn't it?

    Okay, I've never seen such a display as the tailgate reception. That's what it was!

  3. Glad she got her nap out and y'all had fun. I just don't know what to say about that reception area. And the portable johns….

  4. I LOVE Ali's adorable outfit! She's so stinkin' cute! & what do you mean you don't want to pee outdoors in a silver football?? Isn't it all part of being a true fan?? haha…wow! TOO MUCH! TOO MUCH!

  5. Bama fan I am not, but I love the SEC and all the "formalness" of tailgating in the South. That potty thing has to be the worst thing I have ever seen – LOL. Next time take pictures of all the dressed up co-ed – that is completely foreign to our friends outside the south! :)

  6. Can I just confess? The only tailgating I have done was last homecoming and it was identical to the white table cloths-chafing dishes-awesome centerpieces area. I was a guest and can I just say, it was incredible. I won't pretend it wasn't. Sorry.

  7. Ali is the cutest little Bama girl I've seen in a while. LOVE her dress.

    Get that baby an elephant. She NEEDS an elephant.

  8. We're thinking of attempting an Auburn game with Jackson in a few weeks, but I'm positive that his attention span will last about 30 minutes, and after that he will cause me to want to pull my hair out.

    Great recap, even if it was at the Alabama game!

  9. My father (and grandparents) started taking me to ohio state games when I was about that age.

    Most of what I remember from it now was waiting for the bathrooms, waiting for the concessions, leaving early because it was too cold (probably more of a problem here than where you are), and cheering when the players made a 'pile-up', which was as much as I understood about the game.

    But now I know all the songs, I can out-football my husband, and the stadium feels a little bit like home. So, I just wanted to say thank you to you (and my poor grandmother who waited with me in all those lines and probably didn't get to see much football) for going to the extra effort to take a kid that age to a game.

  10. It really does look like that first tailgating tent was for a wedding, crazy!
    I can NOT believe there is a market for the "portable peeing device"…come on people, get your lazy rear up and go to a real bathroom!

  11. Oh my goodness that totally did look like a wedding tent! Crazyiness. And the fake grandmother thing is really werid, but Ali looked so cute dancing with Big Al. :)

  12. Oh, and the football peeing thing? I just don't know what to say about that. What will they think of next???

  13. I must say, I'm very jealous of your proximity to the U of A – although I think you and I have slightly different opinions of the game of football (I am the fanatic at our house- painting an A on the lawn sounded perfectly fine to me!) – haha, so we found out that our baby is a BOY (not a girl as we thought for a whole month!) and the first thing I bought was my shirt that says "Alabama Quarterback in Training" complete with 2 small handprints strategically placed on my ever-so-huge belly :) I LOVE Ali's outfit- (now you need to record her singing the Bama fight song!) We're coming down for the homecoming game, and I'm stoked – maybe we'll come eat at the wedding tent and belly-bump with Big Al…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *