South Carolina fans are tailgating pros

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- You can’t go wrong tailgating anywhere in the SEC.

But the atmosphere prior to a South Carolina game at Williams-Brice Stadium is as good as it gets.

The Cockabooses are my favorite. They’re restored cabooses (yes, actual cabooses) that sit just outside the south end zone and double on game days as the ultimate tailgating stop for fans.

The fairgrounds parking lot on the north end of the stadium has been spruced up considerably. There’s some serious tailgating going on there, too, complete with garnet and black tents, some mean grilling and a lot of loud music.

It's always a treat to see middle-aged men with no rhythm (sort of like me) grooving to a little rap music.

Back in the day, the fairgrounds parking lot was one giant dust bowl, but the dirt has been replaced by paved roads, and the whole area looks 100 percent better than it used to.

Having grown up in South Carolina, I can remember this stadium when there was no upper deck on the east side. That goes all the way back to the Jeff Grantz and Ron Bass days.

Whew, am I getting old!