Blake Dowling: Well done tailgating
While watching ESPN College GameDay the morning before the Alabama-Florida game from an Airbnb in Gainesville, our hatchback was briefly featured in a segment on Tom Small‘s “Won’t Back Down” played after every third quarter.
Wow. Quite special.
I have been hanging out with the same guys and girls for 15 years. Four brotherhoods that I met 30 years ago have season tickets together, and the group has grown to include more fellowship guys, families, kids, and more as we go along. we’re getting old.
Where did it all start? Tailgating?
It is said that in 1919, outside the Green Bay Packers Stadium, fans would arrive and park their trucks and sit on the tailgates, and so one of America’s most American traditions was born. It is also said that 30% of tailgaters have never even set foot in the stadiums.
Hatchbacks can go from a six pack and a sandwich to the guy next to ours, Stocky Harris, who had the coolest portable restaurant with a vintage orange and blue car in the front, plus golf carts, demarcated areas, a big time. Rest in peace, sir.
The bright side of college football weekends in Florida and around the country is evident.
Exciting games, old friends and spectacular new weather, roaring crowds, lore (like Tom Petty), and these days technology is adding another layer of fun to the mix.
I would say half of the hatchbacks I see have TV setups ranging from basic to home theater.
Dish Network has a very reasonable and inexpensive setup if you need a full TV experience if you haven’t taken the plunge.
Need power? Forget the noisy generators of the past; this bad boy has a LCD display for monitoring and an application. In addition, it’s super quiet.
If you need tunes, charge your Bluetooth speaker and consult a cooler packing guide for maximum preparation.
The downside to football in the state of Florida for sports weekends (besides traffic) is the hotel.
I stayed at the Ello Hotel in Gainesville for a baseball game this year. It was approx. $ 150 a night, great value for this awesome new hotel. Florida-Florida State Game Weekend rates are $ 679 per night.
An AC Marriott hotel in Tallahassee for next football weekend is also in the range of $ 700 per night.
Of course, I get supply and demand, premium rates and surge prices.
Seats are packed, so make sure the 20% tips are included and doubling the rates can be acceptable. But some hotels triple the rates… or more?
A hotel in Oxford, Mississippi cost $ 1,000 a night two years ago. Of course it was a super trendy hotel called the Graduate, but a big one?
In my opinion, hotels have outgrown soaring prices, supply and demand – they are ripping people off. To avoid getting ripped off, I find a reasonable Airbnb and move on.
It’s funny to see that when no one came to the games last year, their prices remained reasonable; they begged people to stay.
They’re getting back to it anyway, and people rarely talk about it. I am tired of it.
Of course, don’t go, stay home. It’s not like driving up gas prices during a hurricane, you might think.
However, this is not fair.
Some of us live and breathe college football, so staying home all season is not an option. But of course I stayed home last weekend for Florida vs. Tennessee because I couldn’t see an easy choice for accommodation.
Or maybe I had stayed home the previous weekend because the Alabama v Florida game was so exhausting? The jury is still out on it, but lower the rates.
College football is a living and breathing part of our state.
Some of us have a bad season – the worst since 1976, I think that’s the total in Tallahassee – but like all things it will be better.
These programs are like life, top to bottom. (Unless you’re in Tuscaloosa this decade. Damn it.)
Tailgating is awesome; technology makes it better. If only I had a motorhome and didn’t have to worry about those ridiculous hotel prices. (SHAZAM. I just solved my problem.)
Christmas arrives early at the Dowling house; Won’t Jeanne be excited when I click on Auto Trader and bring a motorhome down the aisle.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this column when the new rolling condo arrives.
Blake dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, author of the book “Professionally Distanced” and host of the Biz & Tech podcast. He writes for several organizations and has followed these same people for 15 years.