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The Ultimate College Football Road Trip Is BACK!

By Charlotte Wilder
FOX Sports Columnist 

Well, of us, I’m thrilled to announce it’s that point of 12 months. The time when youngsters return to highschool and so do I. 

The time once I gather all of the classic faculty tees I can discover and fill up on Advil in case I’ve to elevate a tuba: It’s Season 2 of the Dos Equis Ultimate College Football Road Trip!

It begins this week (!!!) in Atlanta, the place I’ll be going to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a nonconference showdown between No. 3 Georgia and No. 11 Oregon.

And I would like your assist, ideas and greatest tales.

But first, let me set the stage.

Last 12 months was the best assignment I’ve ever had as a sports activities reporter. I used to be immersed in faculty soccer for 10 weeks, and it was my job to study the specifics of fandom at every of the faculties we visited. I spent a complete season celebrating the pomp and circumstance that encompass Saturdays.

It was as superb as you’d anticipate. We even bought nominated for an Emmy! In equity, we didn’t win, however solely as a result of we had been following Alabama’s lead.

Last 12 months’s faculty soccer adventures have stayed with me for the previous 12 months. The flashes of reminiscence hit once I least anticipate it. I’ll see an RV on a freeway and bear in mind Hal, the person who gave me a tour of his celebration bus at LSU

When he opened the door to point out me his rest room, a good friend of his was in there and hollered that he didn’t have any garments on. Hal opened the door anyway. I caught a glimpse of a grown man’s bare calf earlier than the door slammed shut once more. Michelle, a middle-aged lady whose brother owned probably the most intense RV I’ve ever seen, made me do jello photographs together with her. LSU was wild.

Sometimes the reminiscences come again once I cross a very lovely canine and bear in mind Miss Reveille, the best rating member of A&M’s corps of cadets who occurs to be a Rough Collie. She was not solely the cleanest canine I’ve ever met, she was probably the most highly effective. And one of many sweetest. 

Charlotte Wilder meets Reveille

Charlotte Wilder will get to know Reveille, Texas A&M’s official mascot, on the Ultimate College Football Road Trip.

When I watch a film with Matthew McConaughey in it, I take into consideration Bevo the UT longhorn. I used to be fortunate sufficient to hang around with that majestic beast and some Texas cowboys on their house ranch close to Austin. 

I additionally spent time with the ponies who pull the Sooner Schooner (Boomer and Sooner) at their house in Norman, Oklahoma.

Charlotte Wilder describes Schooner Ride

Charlotte Wilder talks about the way it felt assembly Boomer and Sooner, the ponies of the Sooner Schooner.

I noticed a bit lady going to ballet class the opposite day and considered the Tiger Girls at LSU who had been variety sufficient to show me learn how to do a TikTok dance throughout one in all their marathon practices. It was no straightforward feat to make a then-32-year-old look cool, however they possessed the magic to come back shut (I nonetheless observe all of them on Instagram). 

Practice with LSU Tiger Girls

Charlotte Wilder trains with the famend, nationally-ranked LSU Tiger Girls in Baton Rouge.

But I consider final fall most frequently once I merely see folks out on the earth rocking gear with their groups on it. I mentioned this at our ultimate cease the day earlier than Florida-Georgia, however I discovered the hospitality of followers very transferring. We stay in an age of division and derision, and whereas I don’t consider sports activities can heal any of that, they’ll present a short second of widespread floor. And folks with whom I didn’t have many similarities had been all the time so keen to point out me their groups, colleges, marching bands — and their properties.

Because that’s what faculty soccer is about. Home. It’s a love letter to the place you turned who you might be, or the place your mother and father did, or the place your sister met her husband. It may be the place you first realized what a hangover was, or bought your coronary heart damaged, or realized what you had been captivated with. 

College soccer was and nonetheless is the rhythm of your Saturdays. And for folks to need to share that with me, an outsider, felt very intimate. I realized a lot.

Which is why I couldn’t be extra thrilled to set off on one other fall full of those adventures. I get to go to some outdated pals (lookin’ at you, Miss Rev), and discover some new locations.

Here’s the schedule:

Sept. 3: Oregon vs. Georgia in Atlanta
Sept. 10: Alabama at Texas
Sept. 24: Florida at Tennessee
Oct. 8: Auburn at Georgia
Oct. 15: Penn State at Michigan
Nov. 5: Florida at Texas A&M
Nov. 19: USC at UCLA
Nov. 26: Michigan at Ohio State

I’m excited to welcome Bama to Texas in Week 2 (a touch of UT’s SEC future), to tailgate on boats with Vol Navy in Knoxville, and to go to the Big House in Ann Arbor. I’m barely terrified for MichiganOhio State in Columbus, nevertheless it’s the great sort of concern, the one which comes with a extremely nice roller-coaster. I need to discover out which celebrities in L.A. care most about USCUCLA.

But that’s simply scratching the floor. 

This is the place all of you are available. 

I would like your ideas — I need you to inform me the place to go in your faculty city. Which restaurant I can’t miss. Which tremendous fan is thought for having probably the most outrageous sport day ’suits. Which fan has a narrative of resilience that have to be instructed. What traditions are essential and which marching band’s brass part goes the toughest. Which cheerleaders do the most effective flips.

I need to discover probably the most tricked-out RV, and I need to do an “MTV Cribs”-style tour of it. I need you to ask me to your mother’s tailgate, and I need her to show me, on digicam, learn how to make the most effective brisket in America. I need to march together with your marching band, cheer together with your cheerleaders, and dance together with your dance groups.

I need to honor your house, your soccer groups and your folks. So please tweet at me, DM me, find me on Instagram, or ship me a letter (simply kidding I’m not placing my tackle on the web lol). 

But nevertheless you do it, please give me your ideas, ideas, and tales you assume need to be instructed. I’m all ears, and I can’t wait to the touch down in your house state. 

Charlotte Wilder is a common columnist and cohost of “The People’s Sports Podcast” for FOX Sports. She’s honored to characterize the continually uncared for Boston space in sports activities media, loves speaking to sports activities followers about their emotions and is happiest consuming a hotdog in a ballpark or nachos in a stadium. Follow her on Twitter @TheWilderThings.

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