There is one thing that you need to know: There are tailgate parties and then there are TAILGATE parties. The tailgate party at Raymond James Stadium for the UM vs USF game last Saturday was EPIC in many, many ways.
So please indulge me and allow me to explain the reasons why.
First, we had several old time Canespacers go to Tampa who appreciated the art of tailgating. Canezilla, NativeCane, RaizeCane and OGV showed up for the festive occasion. It is always good to see old friends and talk Hurricane football, especially when things are going well for the team.
Second, for the dreaded noon time game we had the early AM crew that did their duty to get the party started. RaizeCane got the party started just after 8 AM and in case you have never partied with him let me tell you the man is a highly skilled and experienced party animal.
You will never find RaizeCane too far away from his trusty bottle of Captain Morgan, with a big smile on his face and a welcoming heart to all those who pass by. He, like many other 'Canes fans we have met over the years, has a kind and generous heart. We like that. Yeah, we like that a lot.
Third, we had a plethora of unique and great tasting food and drinks to keep us going strong until game time. RaizeCane took care of the incredibly tasty marinated steak, fried eggs and hashbrowns for breakfast and fellow Canespacer NativeCane and his wife cooked up what may be some of the most interesting, delicious and unique tailgating food ever rendered.
As many of you may know, NativeCane is an avid deer hunter. He managed to bag his usual good size buck again last hunting season and froze some of the most prime cuts (back strap) for this special occasion. He grilled some bacon-wrapped, jalapeno seasoned venison until it was perfectly cooked.
Add to that some of his wife's loaded potato salad, some brown sugar and bacon seasoned baked beans and some exotic guava cobbler (that's right guava) and you had some finger licking and lip smacking good grub at what now has become the infamous USF tailgate.
Fourth, we met some some serious Miami fans who were also just really nice people to be around. One guy we met had driven to the game with his wife from the Villages. He loved to tell stories while flashing his two National Championship rings, one on each hand. I never did get to the story about how or why he got the rings because my steak and eggs were getting cold but suffice it to say that he was a hoot.
Fifth, the USF fans in and around the stadium were friendly enough and even fun to be around. The Bulls fans were not at all like the Gator fans we experienced at Sun Life Stadium a few weeks back who were arrogant, rude, obnoxious and even bordering on violent as they huffed and puffed their way out of the stadium, heads down and tails stuck firmly between their legs.
No, all of the USF fans we met (Canezilla and these nice young ladies included) are surprisingly enough much like FSU fans. They are good people and pleasant to be around most of the time, they just happen to wear the wrong colors and root for the wrong teams.Or they wear some sort of funky headgear that, well, should not be allowed in public places.
Tampa in fact is a lot like Miami. It is always a fun city with lots to do, good places to stay, great restaurants and entertainment galore. There is always nice scenery around the Bay Area and attractive people everywhere you look, so it is really important to keep your eyes wide open.
But then again, I'm just saying.