So you want to be an ACC fan, do ya?
Ok, Pitt and Syracuse, it begins today. Welcome to the conference. Bienvenidos a Miami. Today you become official members of the ACC, and we’re here to help you look like you know where you’re going and what you’re doing this fall. You can count on us for the important things, like how you’re never ever going to get a hotel room in Blacksburg if don’t book it in February, and how wearing a tie can actually be considered appropriate attire at a Virginia game.
We begin with a bucket list of sorts for each school in the ACC, one thing on or near each campus that you must hit on game day if you’re truly going to experience a Saturday in the ACC:
BOSTON COLLEGE: Talk your way onto Shea Field, the hub of pregame tailgating -- after you find the Flutie statue, strike a pose, and have your picture taken. And never leave Chestnut Hill without having some “chowda.”
CLEMSON: The Esso is the place to be (but no, you won’t find me there). And of course, you can’t miss the pregame pageantry of watching the players rub Howard’s Rock and run down The Hill.
DUKE:Yeah, I know, it’s football season, but if you don't check out Cameron Indoor, you’re crazy. Cameron Crazy. Also make sure you hit Bullock’s BBQ restaurant and the Duke Chapel.
FLORIDA STATE: The tailgating scene here is terrific, but don’t stay out too long. Exactly one minute before kickoff you must be in your seat to see one of college football’s greatest traditions: Chief Osceola planting the spear at midfield on his horse, Renegade. If you miss this, just go home.
GEORGIA TECH: You’ve gotta hit the Varsity -- and then the treadmill. It’s a Georgia Tech tradition, but so is watching the Ramblin’ Wreck, which has led the team onto the field for every home game since 1961. And if anyone asks you what the good word is, you sure as hell better know the response: “To Hell with Georgia!”
MARYLAND: Bentley’s is the place to be after the game, but while you’re on campus, check out Cole Field House and soak in a little hoops history. I like to say Cole Field House is the kind of place where championships are won, and Comcast is where they are displayed.
MIAMI: The Canes play in Sun Life Stadium: Feel free to help them fill it. One thing you can’t miss is watching the players run out of the tunnel in the smoke. Miami’s home has changed over the years, but that tradition remains the same. And while you’re there, you gotta check out South Beach.
NC STATE: The statue of the wolves outside of the Murphy Center is simply awesome, you have to check it out. Get ready to see the sign of the wolf everywhere in Carter-Finley. Even president Barack Obama knows how to do it.
NORTH CAROLINA: My favorite stop is “Top of the Hill,” a good brewery and restaurant on Franklin Street. This one of the ACC’s best college towns, and Franklin Street is the place to be.
VIRGINIA: My personal favorite is Bodo’s Bagels, but if you’ve never been to Virginia before, you should probably check out Monticello. It’s kinda sorta important to the school and its history. Don't forget to stop by the White Spot for a Gus Burger. Oh, and as mentioned above, don’t be surprised to see “guys in ties and girls in pearls.” It’s just what they do.
VIRGINIA TECH: You start outside with one of the best tailgating scenes in the league, and wait for the “team walk,” when two hours before kickoff, the Highty-Tighties lead the way for the players and coaches. The ultimate, though, is being in the stands for “Enter Sandman.” On a good day (or rather, Thursday night), you can feel Lane Stadium shake. Oh, and get a giant turkey leg while you’re there.
WAKE FOREST: In a word: Yum. In Winston-Salem, fans are visiting the home of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and should make it a point to visit the company's flagship store on Stratford Rd. The best time is when the "Hot Now" neon sign is lit in the front window, indicating that a fresh batch of doughnuts have just come out.