The Tailgating Newsletter Vol. 3 #1

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi fellow tailgaters!

You can finally feel the winds of Dixie softly blow o’er the fields of Caroline, which means the 2005 season is finally upon us. And if we’ve learned a single thing since the Football Jesus bid Raleigh adieux and made His way to sunny San Diego where he holds a clipboard on the sideline better than any other NFL backup quarterback, it is this: change is, indeed, quite inevitable.

The TX-Lot experiment of 2004 is over and we wait eagerly – anxiously rather – to see whether or not Peacock Amato and his circus monkey quarterback can lead us back into Tangerine Bowl – now the Champs Sports Bowl – greatness.

But not all of the changes have been on the field. As a whole, this tailgating group has grown and matured over the years, collectively as well as individually.

Emily is now a Crawford; Ben will soon be a Miller. Matt is now a homeowner; Ben now is not. Jacob and Emily hope to soon be; Worm hopes to soon not be. Worm, Matt, Jacob, and Shawn all have new and exciting jobs as they solidify young and promising careers.

These changes are ongoing and dynamic, lending credence to the indubitable maturation of the group. Like it or not, we are reluctantly establishing our inherent place in responsible adulthood.
Even so, there remains a certain predictable and comfortable consistency that keeps us grounded, true to our roots. Worm still eats a burrito and drinks a milkshake every day, Emily still gives The Look, and Matt continues to salute the Maple Leaf. And, of course, anchoring this consistency with an undaunted recklessness is the anti-change himself: Lucas.

At twenty-six, he has no career, no ambition, and no direction in life whatsoever. He has gained much wisdom through experience, and his decision-making processes tend to be more deliberate now, rather than whimsical as in the past, but nonetheless he has really not progressed any further in life.

Even still, he has fostered certain changes. His hair is longer and he doesn’t go out drinking four times a week anymore. So there are signs of progress.

Thus, in an attempt to honor the process of collective and individual growth, the Tailgating Newsletter, the most-groundbreaking independent tailgating publication in east-central North Carolina, will begin a transition towards maturity as well.

Gone are the adolescent quips, uninspired anecdotes, and contrived spoofs. Cast away is the irrelevant, the asinine, and the ridiculous. Shoddy and ineloquent banter is brandished to the past, forgotten to posterity.

Through my own wood-chopping process of acquiring wisdom, I’ve discovered that reality doesn’t need to be spoofed or embellished to be entertaining. Life’s unprompted humor is much too genuine to sensationalize.

After all, we are a group brought together through no certain ties. Our backgrounds and interests are as diverse as any cross-section of society: three come from places called Iron Station, Elm City, and Wilkes-by-God-County; two are from Richmond; one from the affluent mountain-town of Asheville; another from the murder capital of the South. There is even a Cannuck.

We listen to different types of music, subscribe to different political ideas, and foster varying moral values. We like different recreational activities and have different aspirations.

And yet, somehow, we make it work. Because in the end, we all went to NC State – yes, even Chic and the self-proclaimed Greatest Person Ever, Her Easiness; they have more than put in their time.

So in light of this, this publication will become the story of this ragtag group and the others that join up along the way. More importantly, it will become the story of those times when you can’t help but think to yourself, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

R.L.

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