Sunday, November 5, 2017

Tailgating Excellence 2017

One of the high points - and favorite traditions - on the Gentlemen of Excellence calendar is our annual tailgating trip to a Middlebury College football game.  We have only the most tangential connection to Middlebury, as the entire trip is based on the fact that John Stroup's wife, the excellent Sarah, teaches there, but that's enough for us. Normally we intend to go earlier in the season, but every year we inevitably forget and throw together plans to attend the next to last or last game of the season, which usually means dreary weather.  Happily, yesterday we just about perfect football weather as the Panthers pummeled the hapless Hamilton College Continentals in the Old Rocking Chair Classic.

Kevin Andrews, the grill-master, and 2017 inductee into the Middlebury College Athletic Hall of Fame for Tailgating Excellence (at least voted by us).

John Stroup, Sandy and Debbie Zale, and Alice Neiley (who was experiencing her first tailgating extravaganza) enjoying the day, the weather, the food, the intellectual banter, and excellent collegiality.

The crew, including the traditionally late-arriving Sean Leahy, enjoying the football excellence.  The Panthers raced to a 41-0 half-time lead and, as gentlemen, spent the second half sitting on the ball so as not to run up the score on the Continentals.

The day, by age-old tradition, always ends at the house of John and Sarah Stroup for extended collegiality and gluttony.  Here the esteemed Sarah is putting the final touches on the Frito Pie, another tradition.

Yes, Frito Pie. Unless Juliette Binoche would have fed me the Frito Pie while we canoodled on the couch I can't imagine a better day.

As I've often said, one of the things that I like best about Champlain is that I've never been around folks who more routinely just create reasons, which become traditions, solely to spend time together.  I am blessed to have such amazing friends.

No comments: