First, the bad news: Tailgating in Lot 80 is but a shadow of its former self. Last year this parking lot was a happening place. Canopies lined every grassy area (and some pavement), and cars filled the lot hours before kickoff. This year, thanks to new parking policies, few of the old Lot 80 tailgaters had passes for this lot. Half an hour before kickoff, there were still dozens of empty spaces:
Major bummer! It's so frustrating because the new policy reserved this lot for high-dollar donors, people who apparently don't care about the tailgating scene! Meanwhile, the die-hard tailgaters who had turned that location into Fan Central are scrambling to find new spots or having to creatively find ways to get their stuff onto that prime real estate. Ugh.
OK. Now that THAT'S out of the way, let's get to the good stuff. And oh, it was good to see everybody!
First of all, Dede's son, Cole, got to visit the tailgate for a little bit:
Once everything was in place, we were ready to dig into the first Big Daddy salsa of the season:
Of course, there was some serious grillin' goin' on (as well as visits from college friends):
And there was plenty of time to catch up with our Section 1 friends while we were cooled by the September breeze:
It was great to get back to tailgating after the seemingly interminable off-season!