“How as your flight?”
I looked up, saw a 23-year-old or so guy standing in front of me inside the Shell across the street from Kyle Field and he was talking to me as if we’d known each other for years. Yep, I was stunned. “Uh, not bad.” Then Sam, I think that’s his name, explains that he tried to contact me Friday night on Facebook to let me know that he’d be at a tailgate and that I should stop by with my dad to get a taste of what it’s like to tailgate at Texas A&M.
That was the first time in the history of Busted that a reader has ever just nonchalantly stood in front of me like that and knew exactly who I was. And it’s even more bizarre to think that happened in College Station, Texas. Not Ann Arbor. Not Columbus. Not Dayton, Ohio. Not New York at some event. College friggin’ Station. I was once outed on Twitter while in East Lansing at GameDay by Ohio State fans (remember when I became an Ohio State turncoat & Buckeyes fans wanted to kick my ass?) by default while snapping signs, but that was different.
The 8th annual BC Father-Son Trip rolled into Texas this weekend with the original plan of catching Oklahoma-Texas based on early season hype and then the Bengals-Cowboys game. Instead, we drove 175 miles south of Fort Worth — through land that looks like I never left Ohio — to the Texas A&M campus for yet another SEC experience.
You know the rules: I’ll break down the trip into bullets and then we go to the photos and videos.
• The ESPN GameDay experience was pretty incredible. I’ve been to a bunch of GameDays over the last eight years and this experience ranks right up there with Ole Miss. The stage was surrounded by tailgating tents where people were getting sauced well before ESPN went live at 8 CST. We got there at 10 and the grounds were covered in cans, empty 12-pack boxes, etc. Slow cookers were filling the air with smells that drive 40-year-old men crazy.
GameDay scene grade: A
• The signs were outstanding. It helps that the opponent was Tennessee because the VFLers raise the bar in any city they visit. There are weeks I’ll watch GameDay and I’m done 20 minutes in because the crowd is finished. Not at College Station. There were signs laying around a mile away from Gameday up against trees. And we’re talking quality signs. See below.
GameDay signs grade: A
The tailgating scene at Kyle Field, from what we saw on the Spence Park side, was quiet. There weren’t weekend DJs spinning the hits every other tent. It was actually odd — and at this age — and nice to hear it so quiet. I could’ve easily taken a nap under those trees. I’ll give A&M tailgaters major credit for the bars they build and bring for the parties. The frat tents were loaded with massive bars that were trucked in. Thanks for the bar build inspiration, boys. The grillin’ scene was about what you’d expect from a meat-loving community.
A&M tailgating grade: B
The game experience was….something we didn’t get to grade because we couldn’t find two tickets into the game. The scalpers wanted like $160 per for standing-room only and that was after kickoff. No thanks. We went to Rudy’s and got brisket. I’m sure someone will crush me for eating at Rudy’s. I thought it was good. I’m sure you’re about to crush me for writing that and that I should be ashamed I didn’t eat at [insert BBQ joint here]. I will say this: Johnny Manziel built a beautiful football stadium – from the outside. That palace is insane. Good work, Johnny.
Stadium grade: Inconclusive
Odds & ends….I hope the Vols girl who was puking her brains out into a black trash bag being held by her friends is feeling better. Gotta pace yourself, darlin’. She’d puke, rally, smile, think she felt better, then the next wave would come and it was Chunks City. Then her friend puked after watching her puke. College got the best of them on Saturday…Need to thank the brothers who invited us over for chicken & waffles at the Christian A&M student tent. We were eventually asked to leave because we were drinking beer. Never did get chicken & waffles…Where are all the Johnny jerseys? It’s like A&M fans forgot who built that beautiful football palace…$20 to park at the Barbara Bush Center (looked like a daycare) was a steal….Tried to bribe a gate guy to let us through a back entrance for $100. He wasn’t down, said it wasn’t worth it. The stadium was more NFL than most places we visit. $100 at Ole Miss would get like 10 people through…$40.47 for a styrofoam cooler, a six of Busch Light tall boys & 12-pack of Coors at the Shell. That place makes some decent money on A&M Saturdays… Thank you to those who invited us to tailgates. We kinda threw our own tailgate in Spence Park and had a great time meeting the locals…Dad loved the experience. He couldn’t stop talking about the day. In the end, that’s what matters…Yes, it sucks we missed a classic game and instead saw the Bengals get throttled by Zeke Elliott.
The BC Father-Son trip list:
2008: Ohio State-USC
2009: Alabama-Ole Miss
2011: LSU-West Virginia
2013: Texas A&M-LSU
2014: Alabama-Ole Miss
2015: Michigan State-Ohio State
Very few Johnny jerseys around Spence Park, but this guy gave us a few seconds of his time
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) October 9, 2016
Shotgunning Mich Ultra? That’s a first in all my years of tailgating observation
A&M fans going hard…shot gunning Mich Ultra pic.twitter.com/h382nQ9auz
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) October 8, 2016
Vols fan had no idea I shot the original WGWTFA video until after I stopped recording and told him
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) October 8, 2016