This past weekend was the 2nd annual Gator Football road trip with Matt and Erin. Last year, we drove to Lexington, Kentucky. This year’s event was situated in Music City, Nashville, Tennessee. On the drive to Nashville, we encountered the season’s first snowfall in the Smokies, west of Asheville. The snow gave way to some steady rain in Tennessee. Near tragedy was avoided in Knoxville, when Matt’s Gator flag flew off the car in heavy traffic. Not wanting the sanctity of the Florida Gator to be trampled under the weight of thousands of Tennessee Volunteer vehicles, Matt successfully braved the traffic to retrieve the brave Gator.
Arriving safely in Nashville with Gator flags proudly waving, we headed over to Monell’s for a Southern family-style feast of ribs, fried chicken, and banana pudding. Unfortunately, after the binging, I felt like I needed to do too much purging, so I headed back to the hotel while Matt, Erin and David headed to the Bluebird Cafe to hear some of that country music that makes Nashville famous.
The next day, I woke up feeling much, much better. We headed over to the Vanderbilt campus for the late morning kick-off. The Vanderbilt campus was nice, but full of privileged Southern legacy admits wearing polo shirts with popped collars and cowboy boots. They all seemed harmless enough, nonetheless allowing us to enjoy the many trees with their orange, yellow, rd, and green hues.
When we arrived at the game, we realized that, not counting the student section, only five Vanderbilt fans showed up to the game (and the student section looked like a rag-tag group of ten fraternity brothers still drunk from last night’s exploits, who had stumbled into the football stadium on accident). Seriously, this was not a home game for the Gators, and yet it looked like this:
Settling down to the business of a football game, I pondered the fact that the University of Florida is to be commended, as it is one of the few NCAA institutions that is taking action on the serious issue of gender discrimination in the college mascot ranks. Aside from Alberta Gator, can you identify any other mascots that are identifiably female? And don’t give me this business about mascots being “gender neutral.” They most certainly are not gender neutral as they are almost always identifiable as male.
With the Gators up over the Commodores 41 – 0 nothing, we all sat relieved that this would not be the game where fans witnessed Urban Meyer’s head literally explode.
We sat overlooking an end zone which gave us ample opportunity to see the Gators scoring touchdowns.
We also sat in relief for Chas Henry that this game would not come down to his ability to kick a field goal. That kid deserved a week off from the stress that comes from scoring in a position that you don’t traditionally play.
The game was enjoyed by all:
No, I will not be taking any questions on what I was wearing. It was much colder than I thought it was going to be to watch the game, so I had to assemble a hodge-podge of clothing from what I had packed for the weekend.
By the end of the Third Quarter, we had watched the Gators put up 55 points and so we headed to a sports bar so we could watch the other games of the day. However, we made the unfortunate discovery that bars in Nashville still are 20th century institutions that allow smoking indoors, so Erin and headed out for some shopping in the vicinity.
On the way home the next day, we had sunshine through the Smokies and were able to stop at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville for a delicious brunch. I tried to watch my food intake this time around.
We are already planning next year’s trip. It is looking like it will be a trip to the exciting metropolis of Columbia, South Carolina to watch Erin’s Gamecocks take on Matt’s Gators. I am already looking forward to repeated viewings of Erin’s fantastic visual interpretation of the Gamecock logo.
As always, it was a wonderful weekend with those two.