(This story was published in 2006).

By: Todd Heustess

It’s all about atmosphere. There’s a feeling at a big college football game that’s unique to major sporting events. I was watching the Georgia Tech-Notre Dame game Saturday night and you could feel the atmosphere through the TV. You could imagine being there, the anticipation and excitement at such a fevered pitch that the air in the stadium feels nearly tangible.

In the last year I’ve been lucky enough to attend the Final Four in Indianapolis, the College World Series in Omaha, the NBA Finals in Miami and many, many baseball games but what stands out in my mind as far as sporting events go are the college football games I went to last year for theOutsports Tailgate Tour.

The Final Four and NBA Finals were exciting but in terms of pure adrenaline and excitement nothing tops being in the student section of The Swamp in Gainesville for the Florida-Tennessee game, or the pre-game anticipation around Berkeley the day of the SC-Cal game. The first game I wrote about for Outsports was the Georgia Tech-Auburn game in 2003, a huge upset by the Yellow Jackets that ended with both goal posts being torn down and paraded through campus, my ears ringing for hours afterwards as I partied with delirious Jacket fans. My favorite sports moments are nearly all from college football, whether it’s the tailgating before the game, the partying afterwards or the games themselves.

College football fans are passionate, dedicated and at times a little crazy but going to a game is rarely boring or unenjoyable. Every campus, every venue has something unique on game day. I hope that as I’ve traveled around the country going to different games, I’ve been able to capture a little bit of that uniqueness in my stories for Outsports, as well as connecting with other gay sports fans in the process. Who knew that more than 50 gay fans and their friends have an amazing tailgate party in Austin (complete with a rainbow Bevo) for every game? Who knew that college students now are so casual and nonchalant when it comes to the LGBT community? (At least at the campuses I’ve visited so far)

So I’m hitting the road again this Fall, and so far 4 games have been confirmed. I’m hoping to add 1-2 more in November, maybe in Eugene, and possibly in Clemson for the Clemson-USC game. For now, here are the 4 confirmed game for the 2006 Outsports Tailgate Tour:

Sept. 16 – Ohio St vs. Cincinnati in Columbus, Ohio

Sept. 23 – Arizona vs. SC in Tucson, Ariz.

Oct. 12 – Boston College vs. Va Tech in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Oct. 14 – Georgia vs. Vandy in Athens, Ga.

Let me know
if you’re planning on going to any of these games. Look for the Tailgate Tour stories on the Outsports College Football page and general announcements on the College Football Discussion Board.

And remember, Go Cocks!

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