- The company. Everyone was fun, gracious and enjoyed themselves. The students felt like they got their money's worth (and for what they paid and the cause it went to, I am glad). The tailgate crew picked a good spot closer to what little action there was (more on that in a minute). The non-football fans didn't ask stupid questions. The Mayor was in rare form, introducing us to former Illini football and volleyball players.
- The food. In full disclosure, I cooked the pork loins. They were perfect. The mustard based sauce I made was too.
- The weather. This summer has been fantastic. We were at about 80 degrees, with little humidity and bright sunshine, much like it has been all summer.
- The drink. Ok, this one was easy, but there were issues there, too.
- Illinois fans booing us wearing red. While I respect your passion for the Illini, if you have to ask me what the 'G' on my shirt, hat, socks and boxers is for, you are really not all that into it.
- The (lack of a) crowd. Yeah, you got pasted by Missouri the week before. It is your first home game. A 6pm kickoff. TV game, kind of (Big 10 Network). If this is December 6th, with it spitting snow before a noon kickoff against Fresno State, I don't like it, but I kind of get it. Don't hassle me for wearing another team's colors when you are alone, beside the stadium six hours before kickoff with a six pack of Natty Light and no plan for your life. That is just sad.
If Illinois has a game in the woods, does anyone care?
- As you can see above, it was rather, ah, quiet in Champaign. The crowd did thicken considerably around 5:45. It never ceases to amaze me that Illinois has such a cool stadium, history,
winning tradition, and fight song and so many people just don't care.
- Someone stole the dish receiver out of the van while it was parked beside one of the host's house on Friday. He didn't find out until he went to set up the tailgate Saturday morning. As Dawgnoxious once said, "Why don't you just shoot me in the face?"
- One minor thing, why bring only a fifth of Makers to a tailgate? That is like only bringing one roll of quarters to Vegas.