I was really anxious on Saturday morning to be off to the game and assumed my position at the window to supervise as Dad unhooked the utilities and prepared for launch from the campground.
We were at the stadium lot by 10am and Mom and Dad put Sox and I on our cables outside while they set up the tables, revving up the generator and plugging in the crock pots, Mom had lots of great smelling tailgate food --- chili, sloppy joes, nachos, and hot chocolate .
Sox was quick to attract her usual personal fan club around the stadium. Mom says they are really lucky that we are so friendly with everyone. You’d be surprised all the benefits that come from being ‘suck ups’ to the fellow EIU fans!!
We were organized slightly differently this time, in front of the motorhome instead of on the side, so that they were in one big group with other Panther families. The Kickels fixed some really awesome Italian sausage concoction. The Robinson’s brought some really interesting new liquors from their store, like a sweet tea flavored vodka, and of course, Rumpelmintz to add a minty kick to the hot chocolate. We weren’t allowed to try any of that stuff but there was lots of other awesome food and people were sharing with Sox and me. Dad tried to restrict us to the meat and cheese items that didn’t have a lot of surprise spices, definitely no chili…said he didn’t want to be cleaning up after us all night, whatever that means.
Mom’s sister, Kathleen, and her husband, Wally, arrived in time for some pre-game tailgating. You can see me in the background having no problem getting my fix of attention.
Actually, from what Sox and I heard, it wasn’t much of a game to watch, with EIU ahead the entire game. But, the team played very well both offense and defense which is the most important part as we head toward post-season.
Trevor Frericks and Andre Lima against the Tennessee-Martin Offensive line first half of game
Trevor and Andre on sideline 2nd half of game
In fact, EIU was so far ahead that by third quarter most of the starters were watching from the sideline. Unfortunately, that makes it difficult for Trevor Frericks to get in the EIU record books. He is only five away from being in the top five all-time for tackles for loss. Pretty good considering that between transferring and injuries he’s really only played about 2 full seasons here.
The final score of the game was 49-13. You can see the official game info here. In fact if you go to the 'photo gallery' you'll find the front-side of that picture of Trevor and Andre and also a picture of Mom and the tailgate ladies doing 'Y-M-C-A'.
Kathleen and Walt posed with Mom, Trevor and Dad after the game
By the time we finished meeting the boys post game, it was already dark, so Mom and Dad decided to stay on the parking lot overnight rather than try to get back to the campground and back in to the site after dark. Ditka and I were in whole-hearted agreement with that since there was still gobs of food that everyone continued to share with us and there was even one nice lady who wanted the job of walking us around the tailgate area.
The players came out and joined the party and that always means we get extra special attention. In fact, with plenty of food and beverages around, the guys stayed outside with us until after 10pm. That’s what time they decided to go celebrate the victory at the local bars—they get started partying just about the time Mom, Dad, Sox and I are ready for bed.
Based on the standings after the Saturday’s games, the EIU Panthers at least will share the Ohio Valley Conference Champions position. If they win next week they will be the single conference champions.
Mom’s really excited that Trev will have a division championship ring since he’s been working toward that for five years now, a memento he’ll have for years to come to remember his football successes and the special family he was part of here. Sox and I think this Panther family is pretty special too and so long as those rings aren’t so heavy as to affect the guys petting hands, we’re real glad for them!!
The next game is Thursday at 5:30 central time and will be on ESPN-U. It will also be Senior Night so Trev will be playing his last regular season football game ever. Hope all of you will have a chance to tune in and cheer them to the championship.
Lovin’ licks, Ditka