During the past seven seasons I’ve traveled to a different College Football game every single weekend – 117 games in all. I’ve traveled over 151,000 miles, traversed 36 different states, and sat amongst over 6.4 million fans during that pursuit. In 2016, I’m about to embark on my eighth season of travel across the country trying to catch some of the biggest games in the land.
My journey extends far beyond mere sports anthology. It’s a travelogue into the fabric of sport, tradition, food, history and geography that make up this fascinatingly rich culture and its relationship to the landscape of America. College Football isn’t merely a competition, it’s an event, and the atmosphere surrounding those pristine fall weekends is second to none.
Unique among sporting events, college football is an exclusively American phenomenon. In stark contrast to its sterile professional brethren, college football is a complex overlap of amateur athletics, tradition, pageantry, geography, cuisine and ultimately culture. It embodies the diversity of that distinctively American culture condensed into a dozen crisp Saturdays every fall. While most are content to simply capture the sports angle, I try to capture something deeper.
Beyond the game itself, I chronicle the entire journey – a uniquely American tale of adventure. I take back roads wherever possible, eschewing banal interstate highways and relishing the sight of those dying artifacts of Americana like the family diner and ramshackle barbecue joint. I explore all the colorful characters, distinctive traditions, campuses, tailgating revelry, local eats, and watering holes that make each College atmosphere so unique. My weekly exploits prove that authentic, visceral experience can still be had in a world overrun with mass produced, Disneyfied chain consumerism.
Just get in your car and go.