Commentary: What BYU can learn from Ole Miss and Notre Dame about tailgating
Bob Messina, though a long-time Irish fan, made his first trip to South Bend from New Jersey. Hours before the game, he called his experience, "Totally, totally, totally outrageous."
Roger Mattens, a 60-year-old Irish fan, waxed philosophical about tailgating.
"People welcome you to ND’s campus. It doesn’t matter which team you’re supporting — if you come to Notre Dame, you’re part of the family. Every fan that walks by the ND ushers are welcome. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’ve always believed that if the fellowship that is found at tailgating could permeate the world, we would have no strife, we would have no war, we would have no conflict."
BYU fans can surely get behind that kind of philosophy, can't they?
Then, some fans get creative with how they support their team.
For example, there's a reflecting pool in front of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library with the famous "Word of Life" mural painted on the front. Each Saturday morning, the Notre Dame band marches out to practice for the upcoming game.
A few years ago, a student named Marko Pesce and a few friends decided to float on the reflecting pool as the band marched by. After the band marches by, they run to catch up and meet the band in the Stonehenge fountain.
Pesce has since graduated, but Bobby Weltner and Mike Lucente have kept this tradition going strong. They'll float that pool no matter the weather.
"Late in the season they tend to drain the reflecting pool sometimes. But we’re still there," Lucente said.
Jennifer Buckler, a native to the South Bend area, commented on the overall atmosphere. "I love to be here. I got sucked in early to the mystique of the football, the drama the pageantry of the team, of the university. Win or lose, I love them. Just being here on game day is one of the best things. It’s one of the highlights of the year for me."
Why can't Provo be like that?
Now, BYU shouldn't try to create an exact copy of Ole Miss or Notre Dame. As Bronco Mendenhall reminds us, BYU has its own tradition, spirit and honor.
With a little effort and a lot of fan support, BYU can apply what they've learned to create something special before every home game at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Lafe Peavler is a National College Football Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow me on Twitter @MasterPeavler
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