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Friday, September 26, 2008
Tailgating in the Pac-10


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

There may be college football without the tailgate, but there isn't COLLEGE FOOTBALL! without the tailgate.

It's food. It's drink. It's friends and family. It's anticipation.

It's when the beer is cold and the food is hot and only victory can be imagined.

While folks may think West Coast folks are too chill, too granola, too distracted to take their tailgating seriously, this transplanted southerner must say, "Au contraire."

After covering Auburn for two years, I will admit: I was smug when I arrived in Seattle to cover Washington.

Auburn, now that was a tailgate.

Washington? Hey, look at the lake. And the mountains. But that doesn't a tailgate make.

Then I wandered through the pregame scene for the first time.

Hey... is that salmon? Yum. A little different, but very yum.

The smell of grilled meat  (or fish) was the same. The band, the cheerleaders, the scene. The same.

And Lake Washington and the tailgating yachts and the snow-capped mountains -- they just make a Huskies tailgate unique.

The spirit of the tailgate, the life blood of the tailgate, is the same as anywhere else.

The Pac-10 gives you a tailgate at the Rose Bowl. And a tailgate outside the L.A. Coliseum.

Things get pretty fancy outside Autzen Stadium. And you can wear your shorts in November at Arizona and Arizona State.

Pullman is always, always ready to party. Trust me on that.

Folks on the West Coast may seem mellow. They may have other interests.

But when the charcoal gets hot and the beer gets cold, the Pac-10 tailgate is just another region of college football heaven.