I woke up this morning to 46 degree temperatures and everyone in my apartment gathered around the TV watching ESPN’s Game Day, live from Oxford, Mississippi. It was like watching the Macy’s Parade on Thanksgiving for me. Crowds were as far deep as you could see from the stage. Some students had spent the night there last night to get prime spots so their game day signs could be seen. At 10:55, in the last minutes of the college day broadcast, the commentators, and guest picker Katy Perry, made their predictions for the game day ahead. Katy Perry was the only one who believed that Ole Miss Rebels could actually beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. College Game Day had never been so exciting!
My First Thoughts about Ole Miss Game Day in the Grove
We drove down towards campus and found a parking spot for $20 on Molly Barr Road, about a half mile walk to the Grove. On campus, parking is reserved for very high paying donors. There was a nice fall chill in the air, but otherwise, a perfect football game day. We arrived with cooler in hand to our tailgating spot, which was nicely decorated with chairs, tents, food. Everyone was buzzing with excitement. The Grove was estimated to have 130,000 people tailgating prior to the game. It was the biggest sporting event I have ever attended. True to its hype and reputation, Ole Miss delivers the best game day experience. A sea of red, white, and blue tents, decorated with whimsical fan attire featured big screen TV’s broadcasting the game. Tables were laid out with decorative platters and fall flower arrangements. Ole Miss tableware and spreads of mouthwatering foods set the stage for the pre game munchies. Coolers in all shapes and sizes, as well as the old faithful red solo cups, filled every bit of remaining available space.
The Ole Miss Game Day Fun Continues
At noon, the players arrived at the Walk of Champions, which the team walks down to greet fans on their way to the stadium. The Ole Miss Band, Pride of the South, follows and leads the way to the stadium. They even offer a short bit of “Dixie” along the way. The lineup to watch this was spectacular and it was great to see so much crowd support for their team. We continued to stroll through the grove, and the circle, looking at everyone’s mini-parties, until time to head over to the game. The grove does not empty out but rather people stay at their tailgate sites and watch the game, partaking in the off-field activities, all day, and well into the night. At midnight, all people and possessions have to be out of the grove for the cleaning to begin.
See our article about the best tailgate party in the USA for how it all came together on the eve of game day,