By Jim Magdefrau
I’m still making the adjustment to virtual college football season. A college game was something I enjoyed in the past, but eventually the cost for the day was getting beyond my budget. What started as a $5 seat in the knothole turned quickly into the cost of my first car. But there were memories.
Grandfather Magdefrau took me to Clyde Williams for a game against Kansas. My father took me to the Northwestern vs. Iowa game where Ed Podalak set a record. Each time, we parked in the grass, walked to the game, then went home.
Even in college, no one tailgated before the game. Well, some tailgated in the bleachers during the game. Pregame was spent in a crush, waiting for the gates to open and we could go to general admission seats. It was suffocating, especially that Nebraska game. That lasted until the infamous Who concert when people were actually crushed.
Postgame was simply a visit to Dogtown or That Place.
Then it became about the parking, the vehicles, the tables full of food, and eventually big-screen TVs on the sides of motor homes. Our crew used to prepare our own tailgate food, then realized there is this place called Hickory Park. Beans and Saucy Southerner punched all the boxes needed for enjoyment.
Each year, the cost went up higher, and finally, we found that it was easier to just relax at home and watch the game. It’s a lot less stress, and we no longer had to hide in the vet school when a tornado passes by.
We were trying to recapture our college years. Now we’re trying to recapture the years we were trying to recapture our college years.
But still. When there’s a chance to go to an actual game. I’ll take it. It’s a great atmosphere. I have some pretty good friends who hook me up about every other year. I enjoyed doing this, but I sure couldn’t do this every week. I could barely do it every other year.
The most fun we’ve had is watching a game after a round of golf at our local country club. It’s not about the game or the cost. It’s the friends we make.
I’ll enjoy the games. Instead of grilled dogs and burgers while tailgating, I’ll have a nap before the game. And probably during the game. And after the game.
Go. Fight. Nap.