By now you may have read an inaccurate and, quite frankly, bizarre post by Kyle King purporting to describe the events of our attempt to throw a bloggers' tailgate before the G-Day game last Saturday in Athens. For reasons I cannot attempt to explain, Kyle elected to post a pack of scurrilous lies rather than the truth, which is as follows:
Yes, the weather Saturday morning started out terrible. Yes, our group was small in numbers at first. But while my sister, Kyle, his brother-in-law Travis and I were huddling by the Arch underneath our umbrellas, wondering what to do, none other than Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer author Warren St. John showed up. Warren had been extended an invitation to participate, but we hadn't known for sure whether he would show until he pulled up in his massive RV on Broad Street, asking us where we were planning on setting up. We all hopped into the RV and drove around looking for a spot, and who did we see standing on the corner of Broad and Jackson but "College Gameday" fan favorite Kirk Herbstreit. Kirk, it turns out, was in town working on an in-depth piece about Georgia's quarterback race, and he accepted our invitation to climb aboard the RV and join the tailgate.
Herbstreit and his producer, Denise Petrella, post-game at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.
Since no buses were running on Saturday, we eventually parked the RV in a bus-stop cutout on Jackson Street, right by the main library, and set up our grill, drinks, and other stuff in the bus shelter. We were all set to pop open the champagne Ann and I had brought when UGA's finest pulled up in a Crown Victoria black-and-white, blue lights blazing; we began packing up our tailgate stuff, figuring we were sure to be kicked out of the bus stop, but the cop recognized Herbstreit and started chatting him up about football. Without even having to be asked, Herbstreit hooked the guy up with an autograph, and we were good to go. "If anyone else comes by here wondering what you're doing, just say you cleared it with me," said the officer, whose name I won't reveal here, and he sped off.
So that was awesome enough. But incredibly, it got even better. Just as the rain began to taper off for good, and we started moving our tailgate stuff out into the sunshine, a group of at least a dozen Kappa Deltas from UGA came trudging down toward Jackson Street from the north campus quad. They'd been stood up by the TKEs they were supposed to be tailgating with, they were soaking wet, and they were pissed -- but when they saw Herbstreit (the man is a pimp), their faces just lit up, and we invited them to tailgate with us. We hung out there for about an hour and a half, drinking and eating, talking football, and then headed down to the game. Oh, and I got not one, not two, but three KD phone numbers. It was, needless to say, an awesome morning.
Me with the three KDs who hooked me up with their digits. (I Photoshopped Hugh Hefner's head over mine as a joke, like.)
After the game, Ann and I took Kirk to Five Star Day for a late lunch, and it turned out to be one of the most fortuitous meals I've ever had. Kirk told me that ESPN was taking a big hit among the college-football fan base for some of their programming decisions over the previous football season -- their overemphasis on USC being just one -- and were looking for ways to counteract that. He asked me if I'd be interested in making Hey Jenny Slater an all-college-football blog and having it hosted on ESPN.com as an official ESPN feature. How could I say no?
So all in all, a thoroughly awesome day. Why Kyle chose to omit all of this, just so he could promote his own utterly false account, I have no idea.
Well, no, I do have an idea -- Bloggerpalooza '06 was, for lack of a better word, a bust, due to two primary factors: 1) the horrendous weather, and 2) Yours Truly's contingency planning for the tailgate, which proved to be about as thorough and well-thought-out as the Bush administration's post-invasion strategy for Iraq (which is to say, shitty). You'd think that for an event like this, having, say, a backup plan in case of a torrential downpour, or at the very least a list of potential participants' phone numbers so that people can at least get in touch with each other, would be a good idea, right? Well, I didn't think of any of that. So anyway, it ended up being me, Ann, Kyle, and Travis in the North Campus Parking Deck, pounding fried chicken and Krispy Kremes like it was our job. My apologies to anyone who came looking for us at the Arch and never found us; I did make every effort to wait out there for the stragglers, and nearly got busted three separate times for illegal parking in the process. (Possibly by the same cop, who probably thinks I'm an al-Qaeda sleeper agent by now.)
Still, we enjoyed finally getting to meet each other, stayed dry during the actual game, and actually did have a pretty fun day. I'll have my thoughts on the game itself later on today; I'll have photos whenever I get my camera back, which I left at Ann's apartment on Sunday.
And I promise I'll do a better job of prior planning next year. Or, hell, maybe we won't even have to wait that long. Georgia's baseball team plays the rubber match of its series with Georgia Tech at Turner Field on Wednesday, May 10, at 7 p.m. . . . what do you think, sirs?