I spent the last week in Orlando with my friend turned boyfriend (woohoo!) for New Year’s Eve. He is currently in law school at the University of Florida and as an Alabama alum we obviously have our differences during football season.
During a very last minute, alcohol-fueled decision we bought tickets to the Outback Bowl in Tampa where the Florida Gators were taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes. I had to forgo my usual gameday attire and I felt totally out of place without my cowboy boots, Saban button, and crimson shaker.
It was an afternoon game so tailgating started very early and we were sweating bullets because there is no such thing as winter in Florida. Nothing like Yellow Hammers at 10 a.m. to cure your problems though! I even managed to shotgun a beer…kind of. If you’ve graduated college recently I’m sure you can relate to the crazy dip your alcohol tolerance takes. My friends call me “One Beer Sally,” but that’s neither here nor there. Despite this being a non-Alabama game it was a great time because of how nice Florida fans are. I didn’t catch on to all of the chants, but I’ll admit I might have done one Gator chomp. The only thing that could’ve made this bowl game better is if they handed out free Bloomin’ Onions.
The Gators beat the Hawkeyes 30-3, managing to only give up two turnovers. It wasn’t Bama, but all SEC football games are fun to watch. Their defense was on point and quarterback, Austin Appleby went for 222 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Raymond James Stadium isn’t in the nicest of areas, but it’s safe during the daytime. If you are heading to Tampa this weekend for the National Championship be prepared to tailgate in people’s yards. Homeowners in the area sell parking spots in their front and back yards and I’m sure they are making a killing. If anyone is looking to go in on some property with me feel free to comment below.
After the game we drove to Downtown Tampa for dinner and more drinks. They were already prepping for the National Championship and I was experiencing severe FOMO (fear of missing out). I’m looking forward to checking out more SEC football games next season though, it’s my mission to experience the craziest tailgates and fans and share everything with y’all.
All in all the game was great, Florida won, and I only felt like a tiny bit of a traitor. I still managed to secretly Roll Tide people in the stadium though so who REALLY won??
If you have any suggestions of schools I must visit in 2017 comment below I want to hear from you!