Friday 2nd of December 2011 08:19 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
You know that feeling you get when you go to a different church? You may not know all the hymns. You pause to see what time signature they're using to sing the doxology. You look around to make sure you're standing and sitting along with the crowd. You pause for just a second to see if this congregation says "debts" or "trespasses" during the Lord's Prayer.
I felt kind of like that at the University of South Carolina football game vs. Clemson last Saturday night. I know church and football probably shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Forgive my sacrilege.
I've been going to K-State football games since I was in elementary school. I've known the words to the K-State alma mater since I was about 10. I could probably say the words to the pre-game Ceremony of Allegiance right along with the stadium announcer.
Of course, USC had a perfectly respectful and meaningful flag ceremony. Their faithful sing their own alma mater, We Hail Thee Carolina.
But going to the USC game was a little like visiting a foreign country for me. I enjoyed it, but I didn't necessarily feel at home, though I wore the garnet and black of the Gamecocks.
A walk through the parking lots before the game had a familiar game day feel. The stadium is adjacent to the South Carolina State Fairgrounds. There’s some serious tailgating going on there, complete with garnet and black pole tents, plastic tables overflowing with food and collapsible folding chairs. We dodged flying footballs and skirted the washer games. All that seemed pretty familiar. But there's another whole level of tailgating at USC, an event called "rail-gating."
Last year, when a rival company opened seven cabooses in a parking lot down the street, they sold -- for $200,000 each -- in two weeks. All this for a 30-by-9-foot steel box on immovable wheels.
Our family doesn't often tailgate before K-State games, but a couple of weeks ago, we hitchhiked our way into a pregame gathering hosted by friends of our son-in-law and his family. (Thanks to Jay & Suzy Davis of Manhattan!)
Walking chili is more familiar fare than foie gras for K-State ballgames.