Tag Archives: College football

A Yankee In Tailgateland

Not only is today Foodie Friday but it’s also the day before the college football season begins in earnest. While I’ve always been a fan of the college game, it wasn’t until I relocated down here in the South that I fully understood the passion and deep community involvement my neighbors have with their college football teams.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Ray

If you’ve read this screed for any amount of time you know that I root for the Michigan Wolverines. That said, I hold season tickets for NC State, one of the local teams. Frankly, given what I’m about to write, I’m not even sure that the tickets are necessary but it’s the only way to get a decent parking spot so you can TAILGATE!

Yes, I’ve learned the joy of tailgating, which is something Southerners appear to do not only at football games but damn near everything else from hockey games to concerts. I suppose some of them are pre-gaming a funeral as we speak…

In any event, tailgating is BIG business all across parking lots. I’d seen some of it when I went to games at Michigan, but it’s NOTHING compared to what goes on here. I suspect that a good number of folks really do just sit in the parking lot without game tickets and watch on TV. The food is sometimes your basic hot dogs and burgers but there are incredibly elaborate spreads too. At some southern schools, there are $25,000 spreads put on for hundreds of people as well as repurposed shipping containers made into tailgating palaces.

What’s the business point today? Had someone come to me for a business idea in my previous life in the sports business, I would never have thought to look at tailgating. I would have been missing a fantastic, and still growing, business. It’s a good reminder that we need to get outside of our little bubbles. Yankees don’t really have anything like this at games up north and although I went to dozens of venues in the South for games, I was working and didn’t hang out in the parking lot.

Our personal bubbles restrict the news we see, the information we digest and the decisions we make. It isn’t until we break out of them, either purposefully or by accident as happened to me with tailgating, that we grow. As people say to me when offering some odd-looking pregame snack, try it – you’ll like it!

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Filed under food, Thinking Aloud

Their Negatives Aren’t My Positives

Over the course of the past college football season, I’ve become a Brady Hoke fan.  Oh sure, I’ve rooted for the Michigan Wolverines for many years but Coach Hoke has impressed me not just with the wins.

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 03:  Head coach Brad...

Image by Getty Images

Something he said was quoted in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated and it was such a great business point I wanted to share it.  Of course, Coach Hoke didn’t think about it that way but we sure can. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints

Learning Business From the Football Coach

Athletics logo for the University of Michigan

They introduced the new football coach at the University of Michigan yesterday.  His name is Brady Hoke and he seems like a cross between Bo (and if you have to ask who that is, you need college football 101) and Chris Farley.  Based on the fact that he said he would have walked from San Diego to take the job and his history with the team, I think the Wolverines are headed back to glory.

During the news conference, Coach Hoke made an excellent business point even though I know that wasn’t his intention and I want to pass it on for your input. Continue reading

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Filed under Reality checks, Thinking Aloud