By Charlotte Wilder
FOX Sports activities Columnist
Nicely, people, I’m thrilled to announce it’s that point of 12 months. The time when youngsters return to highschool and so do I.
The time after I gather all of the classic school tees I can discover and top off on Advil in case I’ve to elevate a tuba: It’s Season 2 of the Dos Equis Ultimate College Football Road Trip!
It begins this week (!!!) in Atlanta, the place I’ll be going to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a nonconference showdown between No. 3 Georgia and No. 11 Oregon.
And I want your assist, recommendations and finest tales.
However first, let me set the stage.
Final 12 months was one of the best project I’ve ever had as a sports activities reporter. I used to be immersed in school soccer for 10 weeks, and it was my job to be taught the specifics of fandom at every of the colleges we visited. I spent a complete season celebrating the pomp and circumstance that encompass Saturdays.
It was as wonderful as you’d anticipate. We even acquired nominated for an Emmy! In equity, we didn’t win, however solely as a result of we have been following Alabama’s lead.
Final 12 months’s school soccer adventures have stayed with me for the previous 12 months. The flashes of reminiscence hit after I least anticipate it. I’ll see an RV on a freeway and keep in mind Hal, the person who gave me a tour of his occasion bus at LSU.
When he opened the door to point out me his lavatory, a buddy of his was in there and hollered that he didn’t have any garments on. Hal opened the door anyway. I caught a glimpse of a grown man’s bare calf earlier than the door slammed shut once more. Michelle, a middle-aged girl whose brother owned probably the most intense RV I’ve ever seen, made me do jello photographs along with her. LSU was wild.
Typically the reminiscences come again after I go a very stunning canine and keep in mind Miss Reveille, the best rating member of A&M’s corps of cadets who occurs to be a Tough Collie. She was not solely the cleanest canine I’ve ever met, she was probably the most highly effective. And one of many sweetest.
Charlotte Wilder meets Reveille
Charlotte Wilder will get to know Reveille, Texas A&M’s official mascot, on the Ultimate College Football Road Trip.
Once I watch a film with Matthew McConaughey in it, I take into consideration Bevo the UT longhorn. I used to be fortunate sufficient to hang around with that majestic beast and some Texas cowboys on their house ranch close to Austin.
I additionally frolicked with the ponies who pull the Sooner Schooner (Boomer and Sooner) at their house in Norman, Oklahoma.
Charlotte Wilder describes Schooner Journey
Charlotte Wilder talks about the way it felt assembly Boomer and Sooner, the ponies of the Sooner Schooner.
I noticed a little bit lady going to ballet class the opposite day and considered the Tiger Ladies at LSU who have been variety sufficient to show me methods to do a TikTok dance throughout considered one of their marathon practices. It was no straightforward feat to make a then-32-year-old look cool, however they possessed the magic to return shut (I nonetheless comply with all of them on Instagram).
Observe with LSU Tiger Ladies
Charlotte Wilder trains with the famend, nationally-ranked LSU Tiger Ladies in Baton Rouge.
However I consider final fall most frequently after I merely see individuals out on the planet rocking gear with their groups on it. I mentioned this at our closing cease the day earlier than Florida-Georgia, however I discovered the hospitality of followers very shifting. We reside in an age of division and derision, and whereas I don’t consider sports activities can heal any of that, they will present a short second of widespread floor. And other people with whom I didn’t have many similarities have been at all times so keen to point out me their groups, faculties, marching bands — and their properties.
As a result of that’s what school soccer is about. Residence. It’s a love letter to the place you grew to become who you might be, or the place your mother and father did, or the place your sister met her husband. It is perhaps the place you first discovered what a hangover was, or acquired your coronary heart damaged, or realized what you have been obsessed with.
College soccer was and nonetheless is the rhythm of your Saturdays. And for individuals to need to share that with me, an outsider, felt very intimate. I discovered a lot.
Which is why I couldn’t be extra thrilled to set off on one other fall full of those adventures. I get to go to some previous mates (lookin’ at you, Miss Rev), and discover some new locations.
Right here’s the schedule:
Sept. 3: Oregon vs. Georgia in Atlanta
Sept. 10: Alabama at Texas
Sept. 24: Florida at Tennessee
Oct. 8: Auburn at Georgia
Oct. 15: Penn State at Michigan
Nov. 5: Florida at Texas A&M
Nov. 19: USC at UCLA
Nov. 26: Michigan at Ohio State
I’m excited to welcome Bama to Texas in Week 2 (a touch of UT’s SEC future), to tailgate on boats with Vol Navy in Knoxville, and to go to the Huge Home in Ann Arbor. I’m barely terrified for Michigan-Ohio State in Columbus, however it’s the nice type of concern, the one which comes with a very nice roller-coaster. I need to discover out which celebrities in L.A. care most about USC-UCLA.
However that’s simply scratching the floor.
That is the place all of you are available in.
I want your recommendations — I need you to inform me the place to go in your school city. Which restaurant I can’t miss. Which tremendous fan is understood for having probably the most outrageous sport day ’matches. Which fan has a narrative of resilience that should be instructed. What traditions are essential and which marching band’s brass part goes the toughest. Which cheerleaders do one of the best flips.
I need to discover probably the most tricked-out RV, and I need to do an “MTV Cribs”-style tour of it. I need you to ask me to your mother’s tailgate, and I need her to show me, on digital camera, methods to make one of the best brisket in America. I need to march together with your marching band, cheer together with your cheerleaders, and dance together with your dance groups.
I need to honor your home, your soccer groups and your individuals. So please tweet at me, DM me, discover me on Instagram, or ship me a letter (simply kidding I’m not placing my handle on the web lol).
However nonetheless you do it, please give me your suggestions, recommendations, and tales you suppose should be instructed. I’m all ears, and I can’t wait to the touch down in your house state.
Charlotte Wilder is a common columnist and cohost of “The People’s Sports Podcast” for FOX Sports activities. She’s honored to signify the consistently uncared for Boston space in sports activities media, loves speaking to sports activities followers about their emotions and is happiest consuming a hotdog in a ballpark or nachos in a stadium. Observe her on Twitter @TheWilderThings.
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