But before we talk more about the games and rivalries to come this weekend, let's talk a little about what matters most: the tailgate! Jeff & i are off to Alabama this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family & catch The Iron Bowl: Bama vs Auburn. And by the looks of this big Brunch Menu you'd never know we just stuffed ourselves yesterday at Turkey-palooza:
Fuzzy Field Goal Cocktail & Bloody Mary Jello Shots
I made Beth Sachan's Caramel French Toast Casserole for our Sunday School breakfast a few weeks back and dang near licked the dish clean. It's phenomenal, no joke. Other favorites I can't wait to nosh on tomorrow: the Artichoke Bites, the Bacon Blue Cheese Dip, and the Fudge Topped Cream Puffs. Not to mention those Bloody Mary Jello Shots. I mean, how brilliant of an idea are those suckers? Bookmark some of these for your next tailgate or party & let me know what you think, y'all!
Florida fans are notorious for their tailgate parties. From the food to the fashion, Gator fans show up big on Gamedays. Some of the most beautiful girls in the SEC hail from the orange & blue clad U of F. And I've always been so envious of their eternally warm Gamedays - no bulky sweaters or coats required in The Swamp. Just chic dresses, bold accessories, and fabulous heels. Go Gators indeed.
The tough part about doing a Gameday Guide for Florida isn't so much that they're one of my beloved UGA's biggest, most heated rivals, but that I'm not familiar with the city of Gainesville, Florida's campus, or Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (aka The Swamp). You see, Georgia and Florida never play each other at our home stadiums. Our game, The Cocktail Party, is always played in Jacksonville at a neutral site. In fact, I've been to every SEC venue at least once, except for Florida. My Bama grad Hubby however, has been to the swamp on multiple occasions over the years and has graciously agreed to assist this week's Gameday Guide. So Gator Girls, if you're not pleased with this post, blame Jeff haha ;)
That's Florida's stadium, what's affectionately & not-so-affectionately known (by their rivals) as "The Swamp." It's not the largest of SEC Stadiums, but it's certainly one of the most intimidating places to play. Since 1990 the Gators win percentage at home is hovering a little over .800 - that's a pretty incredible home field advantage. But Florida's stadium isn't the only main attraction in Gainesville on Gamedays. UF is widely known as one of the biggest party schools in the country, so there's no shortage of party hot-spots to hit on football Saturdays. Here are a few essentials for tailgating at Florida games:
Satchel's Pizza. Evidently their pies are the best, this side of Italy. Other fave spots of the locals: Ivey's Grill, Las Margarita's, David's BBQ, Panache, The Swamp Restaurant, and my Hubby's favorite place Hogan's Heros.
2) Things to See - Before heading into the swamp check out their 3 Heisman statues of Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, and Tim Tebow. And no trip to Gainesville is complete without getting your picture taken at the famous Bull Gator statue.
3) Things to Do - If you've traveled all the way to Gainesville for a game, you have to make it a weekend trip. A couple of notable sights to check out while in town: the Downtown Concerts at Bo Diddley Plaza on Friday nights through October, go tubing down the Sante Fe River, catch great live music at Rockey's Dueling Piano Bar, hike down into a mini rainforest at Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, and take a tour of the historic William Reuben Thomas Center.
While putting this Gameday Guide together, I realized just how much I've missed that other SEC fans get to experience while visiting Gainesville for a Florida game. I'm adding a Bama vs Florida game to our bucket list and y'all should too! But in the meantime, regardless of your team affiliation, cheer on the Gators Saturday as they take on FSU. I'll never be a Florida fan, but we all chant "S-E-C" for a reason. Other huge rivalry games on tap: The Iron Bowl (Bama at Auburn), Palmetto Brawl (Gamecocks at Clemson), The Egg Bowl (Ole Miss at Mississippi State), Clean Old-Fashioned Hate (UGA at Georgia Tech), and today's Game of the Century Junior (Arkansas at LSU). Wow - those are some big games with huge consequences! Whether you're tailgating like we are or catching all the games with friends at home, enjoy this last weekend of the season football fans! And as always, I hope your team wins, just not against mine ;)
Roll Tide & Go Dawgs!!