The Friday Tailgate: The Final Scrimmage.

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

As regular Dawg Sports readers know, we're big fans of Friday open comment threads. During the offseason these are generally designated "Free Form Friday." But as football season approaches, we switch over to The Friday Tailgate, Free Form Friday's slightly more task-oriented cousin. And the task we're oriented toward is getting you ready for kickoff.

Of course there is no major college football to be watched this weekend. There are certainly a smattering of JUCO and other games going on, and high school football is happening all over the place. So, technically, I'm declaring football season open here at Dawg Sports, putting up the virtual tailgate tent, cranking the tunes, and inviting you to join in the conversation, which may go in any direction at all. First, the soundtrack:



The Drive-By Truckers begin a two night run at the Georgia Theatre this evening (along with the Dexateens, seen above), and if you're lucky enough to have tickets, well, good on you. Truckers co-founder Patterson Hood recently penned an essay for The Bitter Southerner which probably strikes a chord with many of us who grew up in the pre-Starbucks Deep South. It's a good discussion of the paradox of the place, a paradox which a lot of writers (Faulkner, O'Connor, Grizzard) have touched on. But Hood's the only one whose work I subconsciously hear as being backed up by a feedback tinged A chord. Check it out if you get a chance.

Of course time marches on, and noticeably so in Athens, where a new crop of freshmen arrived recently to begin their collegiate careers. It's worth noting that the members of the newly installed class of 2017 are too young to remember the Olympics coming to Atlanta, and were in some cases born after Mike Bobo arrived in Athens as a freshman.

And because of their tender age, I feel the need to give those Bullpups some guidance which I hope will serve them well during their time in the Classic City. You can all thank Uncle MaconDawg later by staying off his grass and turning down that infernal racket you call music. Remember, kids:

  • At some point during the first couple of weeks of class you should make a point to go down front and ask each professor a thoughtful question, even one you already know the answer to. Those brownie points will come in handy later when you sleep through a midterm and need to convince her that you're an earnest student who was sick rather than a drunken reprobate.
  • Try to get along with your roommate. You may move as soon as you get a chance, but in the meantime that weirdo has unsupervised access to your toothbrush. Think about that.
  • If you're drunk enough to think that the cop won't notice you, you're drunk enough that he definitely will.
  • Pizza delivery is a hell of a lot more expensive than you think.
  • If a girl playfully punches you on the arm, you should ask her out. It's kind of a sign, moron.
  • Shower sandals. You need them. Because the stuff you see your hallmates leave in the shower is only the half of it.
  • No one gives a damn what you think Foucault meant.
  • At some point soon you're going to realize exactly how smart your parents are. It's okay. You don't have to tell them.
  • Never pass up an opportunity to spend a Saturday in Sanford Stadium. You only get so many of those, at least that your parents and/or the state of Georgia are willing to pay for.
  • Do pass up a chance to go downtown every once in a while. Believe me, you're not missing nearly as much as you will if you flunk out and end up spending your Saturday nights working at Crazy Willie's Discount Haircare in Elberton.
  • It's nearly impossible to screw up your laundry if you wash everything in cold water. You should sort the colors from the whites, but we all know that ain't happening.
  • People aren't lying when they tell you you're about to meet the best friends you'll ever have. And one day, despite the wisdom some old guy on a website told you, you'll all be standing around a tailgate tent looking back and laughing at how stupid you were.

Feel free to include your advice for the class of 2017 in the comments below. Or, talk about Clemson, or barbeque, or whatever else floats your boat. And . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!!

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