I almost don’t know where to start. Well almost.
To my friends and readers with teams good enough to play in bowl games every year, a bowl game in a-not-so important bowl may seem trivial and boring.
When a team accustomed to playing in bowl games every year, slips and doesn’t make it to a bowl since 2010, any bowl, any city on any day seems like a miracle.
To the Tennessee Vols fans, the TaxSlayer Bowl (previously known as The Gator Bowl) in Jacksonville, FL seemed like a National Championship game.
This Bleacher Report quote, by Reid Akins, dated December 9, sums up the feelings of many Tennessee fans. “In a surprise selection, the Tennessee Volunteers’ postseason fortunes went from an all-but-guaranteed blustery and cold bowl game somewhere in the mid-South to a berth in the TaxSlayer Bowl in balmy Jacksonville, Florida, against the Iowa Hawkeyes.”
What a great place to watch a bowl game. I have been in this stadium many times for Jacksonville Jaguars games and numerable times for the Florida/Georgia game.
The Tennessee fans traveled from far and near to attend this game.
They lined up for hours waiting to cheer on their players at The Vol Walk.
The Jacksonville skyline from the stadium
A young Tennessee fan snaps pictures of his team from a good vantage point, his dad’s shoulders.
But I am getting ahead of myself. The Iowa Hawkeyes arrived on Amelia Island, staying at the Omni Amelia Island Resort.
An Iowa fan enjoys the beach. Talk about balmy weather.
My friend, Sue, is from Iowa and her parents were Iowa season ticket holders for many years. We decided to check on the Omni’s Beach Party for the Iowa players and family.
I even wore an Iowa colored plaid shirt in their honor along with an Iowa Hawkeye button given to me by Sue’s mom, Barb.
I had fun meeting fans and players during their stay.
With many Tennessee friends making the trip to Florida, we made our tailgating plans.
Make ahead prep began. The first item on the list,
Tennessee Whiskey Slushies, a perfect Tennessee Toddy.
- 3 cups Tennessee Whiskey, preferably Jack Daniels
- 1 12 (ounce) can orange juice concentrate
- 1 12 (ounce) can lemonade concentrate
- 4 cans water (use 12 ounce can)
- 2 cups tea
- Mix all ingredients together and freeze (gallon freezer bags work well).
- Pack in cooler.
- Serve slushy.
NotesCan use bourbon if you are a Kentucky fan!
Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com
I made Buckeye Candy for my previous post in honor of Ohio State making the Playoffs.
Buckeyes ready to be dipped in melted chocolate.
Ohio State upset Alabama and guess what my friends were served for dessert at our tailgate?
I also made Jill Barden’s Killer Dip which is similar to a tapenade.
Gameday! Tennessee Vols/Iowa Hawkeyes.
I used an old, faded, but well loved Tennessee flag as a tablecloth. (Ask my kids who ran down the street carrying this flag after Tennessee won the National Championship.) It is old and faded.
The Buckeye Candy is center stage, but check out the ORANGE cheese straws from my favorite Ole Miss fan, Lillian Carson. Her cheese straws are special, very thin with lots of flavor.
Sue and Steve Braddock, Iowa fans tailgated with us.
Sue’s Hawkeye Dip. Steve made the Hawkeye logo with black olives. Those are 2 I’s. Not goalposts!
- 1 can refried beans
- 3 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (3 ounce) can black olives, chopped (or more if you are making an Iowa Hawkeye logo)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Layer refried beans on a platter.
- In a separate bowl make guacamole; peel avocados and throw away the pits. Mash. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Layer guacamole over beans.
- In a separate bowl; combine sour cream, mayo and taco seasoning.
- Layer over guacamole.
- Layer in order; green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.
- Top with black olives in a design such as the Iowa Hawkeye logo.
By Sue Braddock via KathyMillerTime
Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com
I served the Tennessee Slushies directly from the bags in an orange tub!
My Tennesse rolling cooler has traveled to many tailgates, including Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss, Duke, and many Florida/Georgia games.
We also used James’ Florida Gator cooler, made by a good friend. “Rollin’ down a backwoods Tennessee byway…..A sweet soft southern thrill”. Lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Dixieland Delight by Alabama.
I also made some Iowa Hawkeye cups for my buddies.
Loved these Iowa fans! Something going on with the glasses.
Need a little orange.
My friend, Sue, was happy to find some fellow Iowa fans!
My ADPI sorority sister, Joy McCabe, traveled from her “Pond House ” in Georgia with son, Chris, a senior at UT. Joy’s tailgating segment on Knoxville’s WBIR is well known. I have also featured her Catfish Fry on a previous post. (I am encouraging her to write a “Pond House” story). Joy and friends also orchestrated a wonderful Tennessee Tailgate in Knoxville for the Tennessee/Florida game. Thank you Joy!
Chris with friends, Kellie, Heather, Sarah and Logan.
If you know me, you know I always have a story to tell. Darcy (4th from the left) is my story. You remember I have triplet sister-in-laws (Aunt Vern is one of them). Well Darcy is the 4th triplet. I guess that makes them quadruplets. Darcy and triplets grew up on Huntington, Long Island and have been friends for years. When Darcy and John married, we found new friends and more girls. John’s daughter Amanda decided to go to Tennesse (woohoo for me). Her boyfriend Trevor also is a Tennessee student. Stay with me on this one. Darcy and John live in the Washington DC area and visit Amelia Island quite often. They couldn’t believe Tennessee was playing in Jacksonville. When they joined our tailgate….Surprise!
Amanda’s sorority sisters, Zetas, were also at our tailgate.
Small world. Kellie is the daughter of good friends, Steve and Cheryl Wilburn. Kellie’s Christmas gift was a trip to Jacksonville….all the way from Houston.
Tennessee fans, Jim and Lori Dulaney, with sons Riley and Tyler, traveled from Raleigh, NC.
Logan and fellow UT students
Game time and the bands!
Iowa takes the field.
Tennessee answers led by Smokey the bluetick hound mascot.
Tennessee fan Joe Lawson celebrates.
Joe and Shann.
Joe would high 5 us even when Iowa scored.
Thank you Sue and Steve for celebrating with us. You are the best fans. Even though Iowa fans, every time Rocky Top was played guess who was singing along! Think we need to do a little clogging.
BTW (by the way) Steve from New Jersey can clog with the best of us!
My favorite part of the day…after a win or loss the players go to the band and sing along to the Tennessee Waltz…..and then of course Rocky Top.
Thank you for letting me go on about my bowl game. I do appreciate college football, the fans, the traditions and the spirit!
I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.
Come celebrate with me. I’ll save you a seat at the table.