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Hoos, the Masters of the Tailgate

It was a fairly normal morning. I was engaged in my customary practice of reading area newspapers on the Internet. Taking a break to re-fill my coffee cup, I took the opportunity to glance over the fish-wrap edition of the local Danville Register and Bee. I was astounded.

Tucked behind the usual stories about the necessity for raising taxes and giving local government workers, otherwise known as Danville’s Leisure Class, another day off- with pay, naturally- was something that could actually be classified as news.

This rarity for the local paper informed the handful still subscribing that there was actually tailgating going on in Hooville. Yep, it’s apparently true. The place where they cling passionately to those Jeffersonian ideals of limited government and involvement with the football program seems to have discovered the manly art of tailgating. Hoo knew?

I immediately sprang into action. My first call was to my buddy the Hoo Lawyer. This is a guy who considers essential tailgating supplies to be a liter of Scotch and whatever pretzels he can steal on Friday afternoon from the bar of our favorite watering hole. He was equally astonished, both that there was tailgating going on at his alma mater and there was something worth reading in the local rag. While writing down the location so that he might drop by and mooch some food, he agreed that this was earth-shattering information that must be shared with the rest of the world.

That would prove a bit tricky. A trip to the R&B Web site found the story not posted. I did happen to notice in the story’s byline that it was not written by any of the local staff; instead, it had been lifted from a more productive paper in the Media General empire, which, in the case of the Danville Register and Bee, constitutes them all. A Google search turned the story up on the Web site of something called the Manassas Journal Messenger. Read for yourself:

Prepare to be amazed

Good stuff, huh? That is quite the soirée they have there at Wilk Hall, named for where thousands of Hoo tickets can be found after the game. Special attention should be paid to the menu. It carries that special Hoo touch.

It’s not every tailgate where the victuals include sushi and escargot. You sure won’t see that at Virginia Tech or NC State, probably not at Carolina, either, since it involves actually going to the game. I’m sure the pate and cucumber sandwiches were on the next table. No doubt revelers munched on fresh seasonal selections from the nearby Crudités basket as they awaited the main course of spinach fettuccine topped with pesto, or maybe a nice stuffed egglplant. After indulging their sweet tooth with an almond orange tart, it would be time for the Brie. Yum, yum. You can’t hold a candle to the Hoos when they strap on the feed bag.

Of course, chowing down on such hearty fare requires an appropriate beverage with which to wash it down. The Hoos come prepared. All good Hoo tailgates have a blender for those frozen drinks. What says Hoo football more than a pitcher of frozen daiquiris? For the really big games, such as Western Michigan, extra spirit can be supplied with another of pina coladas before moving on to the chardonnay.

Fresh flowers and cloth napkins provide those finishing touches that let one know this is a Hoo tailgate. No doubt a black man dressed in livery serves it all. The Hoos have indeed found a use for Sally’s descendents.

After sating themselves on such a splendid repast, the Hoos then move on to something much more entertaining than algroh’s defense. A ditty called the ‘Rugby Road’ song is sung. This is followed by that old Hoo staple the ‘Good Old Song’ before the assembled tailgaters belt out a selection of Liza Minelli show tunes. A special appearance is even made by Wally Wahoo, the Gay Blade of Hooville. This is as good as it gets in Hooville.

Yep, they are indeed tailgating fools at Hooville. They also do it in their own way. There is certainly nothing as gauche as what you might find at Virginia Tech. After all, as the Good Old Song says, “We come from old Virginia, where all is bright and gay.”

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