‘Boro Bucket List: Football edition

Lilly McCann

Hail Southern, no place else and everywhere else.

The college game day experience is unlike anything else.  Not all college football gameday atmospheres are created equally, and with the 2013 football season halfway over why not take the tailgate from Allen E. Paulson Stadium and bring the Georgia Southern University Eagle Nation to Appalachian State University’s backyard or to the University of Florida Gator’s Swamp.

“As fun as home games are, they’re pretty similar, you know where you’re tailgating, you know the stadium. Get five or six of your friends together, get out of Statesboro for a weekend with your friends and experience another city,” Tyler Stone, president of the Student Eagle Club, said.

There is nothing like college football and we will always be the Eagles. We yell “GATA,” we believe there is “One More Time” and we know it’s “Our House”. There is nothing like being in the heart of the Eagle Nation but there is something about an away game that could change an entire college football season experience.  Opportunities to experience new college towns, meet GSU fans from all over, see new traditions and even make some new ones,

Travel expenses are always something to consider on a college student’s budget, but if you’ve ever done spring break in Panama City you know how to cram a hotel room and split the gas money.

“Yeah it’s going to cost a little, but it’s totally worth it. Find some friends and split a hotel room,” Stone said.

The two biggest games left this season are against the App. State Mountaineers and the Florida Gators.

“We only have one more Southern Conference game left. A lot of these teams will be the last time we ever play them. I’m glad I went to as many as I could,” Stone said.

This won’t be the last season or last chance to see the Eagles at an away game but it is the last season before they will take on new opponents like Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University.

“Students don’t realize how good the big games are. A bunch of fans go to them. Even not knowing anyone, everyone is friendly. You show up at a tailgate without a beer they’ll give you one,” Stone said.

Appalachian State University

The annual showdown between the Eagles and Mountaineers is a game where rivalries rule and bragging rights are cherished and GSU hasn’t won a game in Boone since 2007. Both universities’ football teams are moving to the Sun Belt Conference by 2014 the rivalry won’t be getting any friendlier.

“It was a great experience where I got to see new places and different school’s traditions. I’ve been to The Citadel and App. State. Both were great games and I really enjoyed cheering on the blue and white while on the road,” Cody Dyer, sophomore international studies major, said.

University of Florida

The GSU Eagles will be playing the Florida Gators this November. University of Georgia Bulldog fans know all about the Swamp but it will be an experience for the Eagles. Gainesville is a little over four hours from Statesboro so it’s possible to make a day trip or stay for the nightlife, for the students looking for a little variation from The University Plaza.

“You can tell Gainesville knows how to party,” Stone said.

GSU and Coca-Cola are teaming up to present students with an opportunity to “Get on the Bus with Gus” where students will have the chance to win tickets and hotel accommodations for the game.