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Football and the Trinity

All things considered, the Trinity Road experience could have been worse. A weekend spent hanging around the RV end of the infamous parking area at NC State culminated as we walked through the much less hospitable student-parking end. At least there was no gunplay.

The drool and acne element of the Wolfpack fan base lived up to their billing. The stroll to Carter-Finley Stadium provided graphic visual and aural evidence to confirm all of the legends of drunken misbehavior that have become attached to the Trinity Road football parking area, State’s version of downtown Fallujah. Again, the good news was that nobody got shot, as has happened there before. Do they leave their pistols at home for conference games?

Trinity Road’s legendary ‘F-Bomb Alley’ was exactly that. Dozens of drunken red-clad beauties lined the pedestrian area shouting at the tops of their lungs something other than fraternal greetings to the fans of Virginia Tech. They were an equal-opportunity lot, too. All of the instruction given by the modern educational system that there should be no differences based on gender had certainly taken with this crowd.

The wife of a friend, a mother of three and one of the most gentle and mild-mannered people I know, was subjected to the same abuse. I am sure they were chortling back in the dorm or their parent’s basement later on, exclaiming, “You should have seen the look on that woman’s face when I yelled, ‘F*** You!! Yuck, yuck.” Real nice, guys. Yep, you are real men. Unfortunately, I did not get any of your addresses. I would love to send you the pictures taken of our tailgate group as after the game we triumphantly posed under those neat-looking wolves in front of the Murphy Center. Maybe next time.

While I am sure the Wolf cubs continue to pat themselves on the back at their ability to strike fear into the hearts of opposing fans, most of us have seen worse. The profanity was not accompanied by thrown Mason jars or flying fists, as is pretty much always the case when entering West Virginia’s Mountaineer Field. Compared to that, it was small time.

A few drunken State punks did take it upon themselves to liven things up with some slapstick comedy. There was the guy who was unable to hurl profanity at us because he was on his hands and knees hurling up his spleen and small intestine. I’m sure he has fond memories of the tailgate. I remember my first twelve pack, too. Then there was another whose class and breeding dictated that when nature’s urges strike, they be relieved right this minute, on the side of a car bearing Wolfpack insignia. I am sure there are Maryland fans who would like to piss on State. This guy saved them the trouble.

The Superdome atmosphere of part of Trinity Road was a short jaunt and did little to disturb what had been a wonderful day of tailgating. The season kicked off with a bang. An afternoon spent socializing with old friends and making new ones once again demonstrated that there is much right with college football. The ambience was a little different than that found later on while heading down Trinity.

As is always the case, the Tech fans were out in force. As is always the case, at least with our tailgating group, ‘opposing’ fans joined us. They bore no resemblance whatsoever to the drunken rabble we were to later encounter. We even had multiple opposing fans. We might have had the only tailgate in the environs of Carter-Finley that included TWO Carolina alumni. Both, including the famous BobLee Swagger, had the guts to show up wearing the distinctive light blue headgear of their alma mater. It quickly became apparent they and the rest of us had nothing to fear from snipers or suicide bombers.

The Tar Heels fit right in with everybody, including the great Wolfpack fans that joined us. There are some of the Trinity Road lovelies who would have gone into a histrionic rage had they been able to observe the sights at our tailgate of Wolves, Heels and Hokies mixing together and enjoying good fellowship among each other. The only thing approaching violence or bad behavior at our tailgate was when the prime rib came off the grill and I shoved everyone out of the way to grab an end piece. I got it, too.

Let the Palestinians and Israelis spend a few hours at one of our tailgates, minus the grilled pork tenderloin, obviously, and we’ll have that whole West Bank thing ironed out.

I would offer some advice to those Trinity Road State punks, as well as to those knuckle-dragging Tech students who consider getting blistering drunk and harassing opposing fans [yes, it happens] an integral part of the Gameday experience: One of these years when you GROW UP, you just might find that the other guys aren’t such bad fellows after all and are simply doing the same as you, supporting their team. It’s called the real world.

Sandwiched around the tailgate were a few football games. On the whole, the ACC acquitted itself pretty well. The game I was most interested in had the result I most desired. It was touch and go for a while.

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