I thought I’d post a few quick thoughts on the Cotton Bowl tailgate scene at AT&T Stadium after Alabama took down Michigan State. The Tide moved on to the National Championship game, after getting it’s second W at Jerry World this season (one more win than the Dallas Cowboys have there this year, ugh).
We had two groups of Alabama fans rent tailgating packages from us for the Cotton Bowl. They weren’t a large group like we get for some of our corporate tailgate rentals, but after we pulled in one of our trailers with the two 51″ TV’s, they became pretty popular. Before we knew it, we had multiple canopies set up around the trailer and probably 30-40 fans tailgating in the group.
The weather wasn’t bad considering it was a winter event at AT&T Stadium (they haven’t had too great of luck for big events) The heaters also helped, and Michigan State fans even migrated to the canopies to join in on the tailgate. It’s amazing what a little heat will do to cool an opponent’s distaste for the other team.
There was a huge tailgating turnout for the Alabama and Wisconsin game in September, so I showed up to the lot at 7 am to make sure I could get our renters a great spot in lot 12. We set up a canopy and pulled one of our trucks towards the entrance to the lot to start the line on the street. We showed back up around 11 am with one of our tailgating trailers, and could have easily waited until then to set up. I was surprised there were not more Cotton Bowl tailgaters out there setting up.
The lots opened an hour earlier than they usually would (normally five hours prior to kick) which allowed plenty of time to get set up by the time the Clemson/OU game started.
I did a little periscoping while I was out there, but there wasn’t a whole lot to see. A few Alabama fans mentioned that many of their friends had decided to go to the National Championship game instead of the semifinal game. And also, many Tide fans made it the the Cowboys Kickoff game against Wisconsin earlier this fall (Alabama will participate in that game again in September when they take on USC).
We had a great group of renters this time, including one named George, who when asked where he went to school, he sheepishly said “Auburn” despite being dawned head-to-toe in Crimson and white. George, who is probably in his late 50’s, said that Alabama did not have the academic program he wanted when he was in school, and was forced to go to Auburn instead. He enjoyed attending many Auburn games, and usually would route for whoever Auburn was playing while in his Alabama gear. Pretty funny story.
Another observation after the game…Alabama fans are pretty fond of that Nick Saban guy. Scott Van Pelt was doing is on-field show after the game, and had Saban on answering a few questions. Our tailgate, which had been pretty celebratory and loud as it was getting close to midnight, was absolutely silent. Everyone at the tailgate was hanging on Saban’s every word. He’s a pretty big deal to Alabama fans.
The Cotton Bowl tailgate closed out with a pretty solid fireworks show which was set up in two different locations, one in a field to the southeast and one actually from the roof of AT&T Stadium. Celebrating the New Year while tailgating at AT&T Stadium is not a bad way to spend the night, especially if you are an Alabama fan.[/fusion_text]