Monday, September 3, 2012

Your D.C. College Gameday Guide

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with college football. In fact, as you are reading this, I am in Blacksburg, Va., tailgating for Virginia Tech’s opening game against Georgia Tech. I’ve got my custom made maroon and orange polka-dotted pearl earrings in my ears, and a maroon and orange bow in my hair. VT is emblazoned on my cheeks, and most likely I’m drinking something really classy like Miller Lite or Wild Turkey. I’m dancing around to '90s country songs like “Callin’ Baton Rouge” or belting out “Wagon Wheel” 17,000 times with fraternity alums. Of course I will play cornhole (on custom designed VT boards) and engage in a round (or ten) of flip cup. Yes, the game starts at 8 p.m. and yes, my tailgate starts around 2. Game days are sacred. Game days are a tradition. Everyone raised south of the Mason Dixon line understands that.
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I think it’s quite apparent how excited I am that college football season is upon us. Whether it’s waking up on Saturday mornings to watch College Gameday on ESPN (me decked out in a Tyrod jersey and Lola in her VT cheerleader dress), watching games all day, or cheering on the Hokies in Blacksburg until I have no voice left, football season it is (to me) the most wonderful time of the year.



I can’t even lie and say I haven’t been looking forward to this day since January. True story: you could find me in a cab after the Sugar Bowl, tears in my eyes, repeating, “I’m just so sad” on the phone.

As I’ve explained in my posts before, I am fortunate that I have a sister at VT and not only can go to games whenever I please, but have access to a free (dog-friendly) place to stay, as well. For those of you who share my passion for college football, I proudly present to you, Red White & Bourbon’s guide to college football in the District!

Football On The Interwebz
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Ladies, if you are a college football die hard like me, I highly recommend you start following Gameday Belles blog and also their Twitter. Not only are they spot on about football commentary (see their earlier posts highlighting everything you need to know about the SEC) but they provide awesome ideas for tailgates and outfits. I mean, every girl knows, gameday isn’t complete without the perfect outfit. So put in your pearls, grab your koozied Diet Coke and head on over to www.gamedaybelles.com and you won’t be disappointed. I also follow one of the blog authors Christina on Twitter and she’s an absolute doll. Real women watch football. Clearly.

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The Gameday Girls is another  must visit for my fellow college football lovers! Whether you’re looking for a haute headband to go with your houndstooth or the perfect pearls to go with your pastels, they have got you covered. My favorite is obviously the Hokie headband (I know, gasps of pure shock) but the necklaces and bracelets are adorable too. Plus, they host regular giveaways on their blog and is a must-follow for my fellow gameday loving gals.



While Tech isn’t the SEC, I appreciate the SEC’s domination of football, and am obsessed with Saturday Down South. As mentioned before, football is about the game and the tradition. This site and correlating Twitter account have both up to date articles about teams in the SEC and also witty commentary. It’s a great place to get up to date information as well as engage in friendly banter.

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For my fellow Tech fans, one of my favorite places to go for information (and also to laugh loudly) is The Key Play. As their banner advertises, this site offers analysis, perspective, commentary, and community. So not only are you getting entertained, but you’re getting informed as well. Tech Sideline is another must visit for Hokie fans. Every serious Hokie fan I know is obsessed with TSL and I promise it doesn’t disappoint. Finally, for insane gameday tweets that may or may not make sense, as well as pictures of Lola in gameday gear and my sister and me tailgating like champions, the Twitter feed of yours truly, Red White and Bourbon is a constant feed of comical ramblings and semi-sensical gameday updates.

Where to Watch Football
Obviously, watching college football live is the hands-down best way to watch football. While I am partial to Blacksburg (see my post about it here), SEC schools are the tailgate masters. For a complete breakdown SEC-style tailgating, check out Ryan’s post. I couldn’t have detailed it better myself.

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But, if road trips down south aren’t your thing, have no fear, there are plenty of closer options to check out a game. Southern Living recently included Howard University in Shaw in its poll for top tailgating schools. (Yes, I sent them an e-mail asking why Virginia Tech was not included as an option). And, while it’s not as popular (or talented) as its basketball program, Georgetown has a football program as well. Seriously y’all, being outside on a crisp fall morning cheering for a team is always better than vegging on the couch. And while outside of the District, checking out games at UMD in College Park, Md., or the Naval Academy in Annapolis are worth the trip as well. And one final Hokie shout out, they are playing at FedEx Field this year, and tickets are available through Living Social, so if you’ve always wanted to jump up and down to Enter Sandman along with Hokie Nation, without driving into Blacksburg, here’s your chance.




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Now, if I can’t make it down to Blacksburg for gameday, or the Hokies are playing an away game, I love watching football in my living room. I am obsessed with setting up the perfect tailgate spread (shocking, Martha Stewart here likes entertaining, I know). I adore boozing as much as I want and only having to stumble a few steps down to my bed after I’ve had one too many shots of Wild Turkey and “gobbled” a little too strongly. In my home, I can yell and scream along with other like minded Hokie fans and also dance during commercials. Plus, if the final outcome is not what I expected, there is silence, and I don’t have to deal with jerkstore rivals celebrating too loudly (yes, I’m looking at you Michigan fans). So if you’re looking for tips and tricks on how to host your own gameday event, Pinterest has some great ideas and also check out Etsy for some adorable invites and decorations.

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For those of you who love the football bar scene and want to go out and celebrate with other loud and enthusiastic fans, Redline in Chinatown is a great sports bar. Appealing Kate wrote about it before, and it’s worth considering. University of Michigan fans regularly gather at Buffalo Billards in Dupont Circle on game day. One of Capital Katie’s favorite spots, Crystal City Sports Pub in Arlington, has more than 100 televisions broadcasting most games. Plus, it’s a southerner’s dream with UGA, Auburn, and UNC all having fan bases that show up to watch games. Notre Dame and Florida State fans usually head to The Exchange in Downtown, and Syracuse fans can find fellow Orangemen at Sign of the Whale in Dupont. Penn State fans flock to Carpool in Ballston on Saturday afternoons and WVU fans make the trek to Ragtime in Courthouse. Now, Hokie fans don’t think I’d leave you in the dark. Whitlow’s on Wilson proudly boasts the VT logo on its  window and I’ve watched plenty of games at Hard Times in Clarendon.

While I’m prancing around at Tech and making new best friends, I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend and had a wonderful first weekend of college football! Fingers crossed my pick ‘em worked out swimmingly. And one last time for good measure, LET’S GO HOKIES!

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But before I sign off, readers - where are your favorite places watch football? Add to the comments below.

Yours In All Things Maroon & Orange,





1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a thrill to read this post. Thank you so much for mentioning our blog The Gameday Belles. We're so delighted you're loving the site so far and thank you ever so much for joining us in celebrating our passion for Fall Saturdays in the South!

    Ally
    The Gameday Belles

    ReplyDelete