College Football 2011: 10 Reasons Kentucky Football Is Best Game Day Experience
College football season is almost here, and there is nothing like tailgating with rabid college football fans to gear up for the big game.
All college stadiums deliver a one-of-a-kind game day experience, but some are better than others.
Here are ten reasons why it is Lexington and Kentucky Football that deliver the best game day experience.
Always Sunny in Kentucky
Tailgating at any football game is usually a good time, but the atmosphere in Lexington gets a leg up for the city's beautiful weather.
The weather throughout football season provides for much more pleasant tailgating than that in, for example, Michigan in November.
Eat It Up!
Tailgating is all about the food—the smell of a grill cooking up a feast fit for a king on game day is one of its many perks.
Hot dogs and sausages are mainstays of any tailgating experience, but Kentucky brings a local flavor that is hard to beat. The state is famous for its great-tasting barbecue, and Wildcat fans bring their own flavor and style to the game.
Other venues may serve barbecue on game day, but not many will serve up burgoo.
A Side of Squirrel
Burgoo is a local dish that is served in the Bluegrass State. It is a stew with a spicy kick that is served with a meat.
The choice of meat in the stew varies on who cooks the dish. When it was first cooked, the meat could be squirrel, opossum, or simply whatever was available.
As the dish evolved, the meat was replaced by pork or other types of local barbecue.
Burgoo is served at gatherings and can be found on game day. It is exactly this type of home cooking that makes the game-day experience unforgettable in Lexington.
Drink It Up!
Tailgating would not be the same without a good drink to swill before kickoff.
While most tailgates are overflowing with cheap beer, the Kentucky fanbase takes it to an entirely different level.
Kentucky has a proud bourbon-making heritage that provides a twist on the normal game-day beverages.
Even when horses aren't involved, there's always an excuse for a mint julep in Kentucky.
At Commonwealth Stadium, sitting around and waiting for kickoff is never boring—you never have to walk far to find a friendly game of cornhole.
For those not familiar with the game, "cornhole" or "corn toss" is like horseshoes, but with corn bags.
Competitors toss the corn bags at two cornhole platforms with the hope of getting the bag in one of the holes on the board.
Fans decorate their cornhole platforms with team colors, which makes for fun in the sun on a game-day afternoon.
The college game-day atmosphere would be nothing without the wacky and zany fans.
Commonwealth Stadium on game day is usually a sea of blue as fans get all decked out for the game.
The diehard fans will go all out to show their pride for the home team, coloring the parking lots and stands a brighter shade than Smurf Turf.
Kentucky also boasts a fan base that is very appealing to the eye.
Lexington—and the South in general—is famous for its Southern belles. On gameday, they show up in droves to cheer on the Wildcats.
There is no shortage of beauties to watch as you feed your face and get ready for kickoff.
But—to try to focus—the Wildcats have a special event known as the Cat Walk.
The fans line the Cat Walk, showing their support and getting the Wildcats ready with some pre-game cheer as the team walks by.
While college sports have a strong following, it's hard to go to Kentucky and not appreciate its horse-racing background.
So why not combine the two and get your game-day experience started early?
If the Wildcats kickoff in the late afternoon, the best way to get game day started is to stop by Keeneland Racetrack and watch some ponies.
Keeneland has world-class racing at one of the most beautiful race tracks anywhere. Experience racing before heading over to tailgate and truly get a taste of a tradition unique to Kentucky that goes great with football.
Every Game's a Good One
The best thing about going to Lexington to watch a game is that every game has the potential to be a great game.
Kentucky plays in the SEC, arguably the toughest conference in football. That translates to great football every Saturday afternoon. Plus, since the national champion has recently made a habit of coming out of the SEC, games usually affect the landscape of the BCS-bowl picture.
The Best Game Day Experience
Lexington plus Kentucky college football is an excellent recipe for the best game-day experience in America. The city delivers with a timeless tradition that is decorated with style and grace—and a touch of wackiness.
The fans embrace the day and exhibit a powerful passion that makes game day at Lexington something that should be experienced by everyone.
James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org.