Interview: Taylor Mathis

Taylor MathisGoing on a tailgating tour to visit college and pro football stadiums is nothing new. Joe Cahn, the self-proclaimed Commissioner of Tailgating has been doing it for a living for years. Hans Steiniger has visited all 31 stadiums during his Quest for 31 tour. Adam Goldstein, a British football fan took four months and tried to see as many football games possible and tailgate all along the way. Add Taylor Mathis to the list of football fans who have dedicated three months of their lives to travel the country following college football. So what did Taylor Mathis do differently than those who came before him? He is a professional food and travel photographer.

His tailgating tour focused on the visuals that accompany tailgating and capturing the uniqueness of tailgating on film. Whereas most fans like Steiniger and Goldstein were drawn to tour for the game, Mathis’ whole focus was tailgating. The game was secondary. Mathis’ goal was to encompass the essence of what it is like to be on campus for a college football Saturday. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. What Taylor Mathis captured with his camera is worth a trillion.

We had a chance to catch up with Taylor Mathis and ask him about his tailgating tour, why did he do it, what cool stuff did he find and if there will be another tailgating tour in the future.

Wings Fire

Tailgating Ideas: To give us some background on you and to better understand how you came up with this idea to travel the country tailgating along the way, where did you grow up, where did you go to school and how did you come up with this idea?

Taylor Mathis: I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and went to high school there. I actually swam in college at Wisconsin. I got recruited out of high school and ended up going there to swim. I swam there for about three years but my last year I didn’t swim. I just enjoyed college life my last year there at Wisconsin. At that time I got really into photography and ended up going to photography school in Santa Barbara after college for about a year and a half. I then moved back to Charlotte last September. So it was about a year ago in 2009. I graduated high school in 2004 and graduated college in 2008 just to give you a timetable on me. I photograph food and travel for a living for a few magazines and some commercial stuff and I blog as well.

Brats on grill

The whole idea of the college football tailgating tour that I took this fall was…. Well, I wanted to visit other college towns and to see what kinds of foods they had. Going to school in Madison [Wisconsin], I am kind of biased in thinking that Madison is the best college town in the country. I just wanted to see what other people’s experiences were like. I have been to Austin [Texas], I’ve been to Athens [Georgia], Chapel Hill [North Carolina]. I’ve been to about 20 college towns.

I got the idea because I really like college football. I know game days in Madison are completely different than in other places from what I have heard. I have friends who went to Georgia or went to Tennessee and they are telling me how different their game days are. I’ve seen pictures on Facebook and seen girls wearing dresses and heels. That’s very different from what I had seen at Wisconsin.

I kind of wanted to combine my love of traveling, food and football all into one. I was looking around to see if there is anyone out there that has done something that I was thinking of and I couldn’t really find it. I made the decision that I was just going to go and do it. I was actually driving across the country with one of my roommates who goes to grad school in Pasadena, [Calif.]. I drove with him from Wisconsin to Pasadena and during that trip I decided I was going to do it. As we were in the car, I would sit there and look at my phone and look at all the different college’s football schedules and write them down. I was getting an idea of where I wanted to go and picking out dates. When we were actually in Las Vegas, I bought four tickets to Seattle, Dallas, Madison and Baton Rouge. I decided it was going to happen once I bought those airline tickets.

Tailgating Ideas: I am not going to ask you to disclose the finances behind all of this but did you have some money saved up in order to afford all of this? Did you just max out your credit cards or did you have someone sponsoring this trip? After all, 13 trips to college football towns in about four months is not cheap.

Taylor Mathis: I had some savings already saved up from other stuff I had done throughout college and other freelance work. Basically, I had some funds to do this but I knew that no one was going to pay me to do it. I might as well just do it. Also I looked at it as being a photographer, this body of work will help set me apart from other people. Because going to 13 locations, having no idea of what I am going to encounter and still trying to come out with a specific product all the way through… It was a challenge I definitely wanted to do and see if I could take it. It was just something I really wanted to do. My thought was the worst case scenario is I just have the most amazing experience one can have going to all of these schools and pretty much living college football for about three months. Now what I am trying to do is I am working on a book proposal. I have an agent and we are working on taking the entire tour and turning it into a book that will hopefully be out by next August.

Tailgating Ideas: You mentioned that when you were in Las Vegas you bought four tickets to four different places, thus putting the wheels in motion for this tailgating tour. But once it was all said and done, you ended up going to 13 different college football stadiums. How did you determine which schools you were going to visit and what criteria did you use to decide which schools made the cut? Did you map it out based on distance between the first school you visited and then the second school was a shorter distance than the others that made the list?

Auburn Food

Taylor Mathis: Actually I came back to Charlotte after every game. I wanted to include all of the major BCS conferences so I did make sure I spread it out. I went to six SEC schools, three Big 10 games, going to OU/Texas was my Big 12 game. I went to Pitt which is a Big East school and I also went to Virginia Tech which was my ACC game. I picked Wisconsin because I went to school there and I wanted to go back there for a game day. I picked Penn State because it is the second largest stadium in college football. I wanted to do Ohio State and Michigan but I had to choose just one of them based on logistics and driving considerations. Since the Ohio State vs. Michigan game was in Columbus this year, I decided to do Ohio State. Being in the Big 10 and it is always such an important game being a rivalry game, I mean, they have been playing each other since 1897. It’s such a huge game. I am so glad I went to see that. I started the tour at Ole Miss around Labor Day and it ended in Ohio after Thanksgiving. The tour went from sun dresses to hats and gloves. At Ohio State I got there about 6:30 in the morning and it was 22 degrees with the wind chill. It was pretty cold so everyone had hats and gloves and all that.

Ohio State hats

When it comes to schools, there are a lot of rankings out there by sports writers and bloggers trying to rank the best places as far as college tailgating. The exact order changes but consistently every year ranked in the top five are Penn State, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Washington. Given that I could drive to all of those SEC schools, I did that. Coincidentally, one of my roommates from college lives in Seattle. I had a place to stay with him and just walked to the game from his house. Seattle was one of the places that surprised me the most. Growing up in the south and going to school at Wisconsin, I really didn’t know much about Pac-10 football. [At Washington] They definitely can tailgate with the best of them out there. Washington and Tennessee are the only two schools that can tailgate on water so it was really cool to get to see that.

Texas vs. Oklahoma, just given the history of that game and how it is held at the Cotton Bowl inside the Texas State Fairgrounds, its just a different experience. The same goes for the Georgia/Florida game being the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. You can’t call it that anymore but the reputation behind the game I knew I had to hit that one. So as far as scheduling, Texas/Oklahoma and Florida/Georgia are always held on the same weekend so those were the first two that got locked in. I then just started looking at the match ups. When I saw LSU was hosting Alabama I knew I had to go there. Then I saw Tennessee and Alabama on the schedule and wanted to see Tennessee at its best. Alabama being the defending national champions I knew their fans would travel well and they would bring a big crowd. Washington just got thrown in because they had a night game and they were at home. Wisconsin got chosen as week two because it is also my birthday that weekend and the same weekend as the Wisconsin Ironman, which I had two of my friends doing.

Pitt Tailgating

I started the tour at Ole Miss because it is almost a 10 hour drive from Charlotte and I wanted to do that long of a drive at the beginning of the tour and not at the end. Coincidentally, I found out that Pitt was playing in a Thursday night game against Miami. I have a friend who goes to dental school at Pitt. So I went up there that Thursday for the Pitt game and then that Saturday went to the game in Happy Valley. Virginia Tech got slotted in there on the third weekend because I had an open weekend and they were at home in Blacksburg. I chose Auburn vs. Georgia because I had heard it is such a big rivalry. I am so glad I did because I had no idea Auburn was going to have the undefeated season like they did this year. The game that I went to, they clinched the SEC West at that game. My only regret is that I couldn’t have seen Alabama on a Saturday. I saw them on a Thursday when they played Georgia State a couple weeks before the Iron Bowl. It wasn’t at its height but I still had a good idea of what tailgating in Tuscaloosa is like. And then I ended the tour in Ohio State.

I did end up going to the ACC Championship game because it was here in Charlotte. I actually got to meet up with the same people from Virginia Tech that I met three months earlier. That experience I haven’t shared on my blog. That is going to be saved for the book. That’s more of post season tailgating. It felt like what it would feel like tailgating before a bowl game because you have to travel there. You don’t know until a couple of weeks ahead of time that you are actually going there.

I’m very happy with all the schools I chose to visit. All of them are definitely schools I would go back to again. I believe they are all at the top of the college tailgating scene. There are some that I didn’t make it to that I wished I could have gone to. I wished I could have gone to a game in Athens or a game in Gainesville or have gone to Ann Arbor or gone to Iowa.

Tailgating Ideas: Going to college at Wisconsin and being exposed to that type of Big 10 tailgating and football culture, you knew what you were in for when you started this thing. Being a professional photographer, did you choose tailgating and college football as your subject because you knew the colors and the textures of the foods and the excitement of the fans, etc., etc. would all make great photographs? Or did it come down to you enjoy tailgating and you would be able to take your passion for tailgating and it would translate to the photographs?

Tailgating wings

Taylor Mathis: It was a combination of both. Part of it was that I knew the level of excitement that was involved in Madison. I had heard and seen other people’s pictures from these other places that have that level [of passion for tailgating]. I was curious to see what it was like. The biggest thing for me was to see what SEC tailgating was like. Growing up in Charlotte I have a bunch of friends that went to SEC schools. They tell me, “yeah, we wear dresses to the games”. That’s unheard of in Madison. No one wears dresses up north to games. It’s so different to go to places like Tennessee or Ole Miss and it is a completely different world. So I was fascinated in seeing that. Also, I knew the whole piece together photographically would be really cool because of the different colors. Because every school you go to it is a different color scheme every time. It was all about what people would wear depending on what location they are in. It was also driven by what people eat while tailgating. At Wisconsin, most of our games are at 11 am. So there is not a ton of time for tailgating. So it’s either brats and a lot of beer basically. There is not a ton of time to do full-on menus. Where at LSU, their tradition is they normally have 7 pm kick-off games, unless TV moves the start time. Unfortunately the Alabama vs. LSU game I was at was supposed to be at seven but CBS decided to move it to the 2:30 slot. There were a lot of tailgaters that were not happy about that. When you are cooking a full pig, which is what I saw a lot of people doing, you need seven or eight hours. Some people got there at 4:15 in the morning to start tailgating.

Tailgating Ideas: People down in Baton Rouge take their tailgating almost as seriously as they do Tiger Football. From what I have seen, trying to differentiate the passion fans have for tailgating compared to the passion they have for watching their team play is like trying to tell identical twins apart.

Taylor Mathis: Oh definitely. They take it very seriously. It’s really cool to be a part of. Every game I went to I wore a shirt that had my website printed on it and on the back it had my whole schedule. I had different colored shirts for the different schools I went to. I did that to kind of blend in. Other than Wisconsin, I have no bias or ties to any particular school. Of course I will cheer for the home team of the school I am visiting because I want to see them win because of the atmosphere and all that. I could look at a majority of them in a non-biased view.

Tailgating Ideas: You mentioned earlier that you were very pleased with your choices of the schools you chose to visit. Of the 13 places you visited, which one or two would you most definitely want to visit again either because you had the most fun or you believe you didn’t get to experience the whole thing to the fullest?

burgers on the grill

Taylor Mathis: Unfortunately with the way college football schedules, the first month of the season you are not playing your big conference opponents. I only got to see the second half of my tour against rivals and big opponents. If I could choose to do it all over again, I would want to see The Grove [at Ole Miss] at its best. I would want to see Penn State at its best. I want to see Alabama at its best. I got an idea of what they are like. I would love to see an Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa. I would love to see when Michigan comes to town against Penn State. I would love to see when LSU visits Ole Miss. I got a taste of what it is like there but not at the height. I would love to go to those places and see them completely at their best. Given the scheduling, there was no way I could go to all these campuses at their height of excitement.

Tailgating Ideas: I think you bring up a good point in that people who do not understand tailgating as well as you do or I do, to throw myself into the conversation, don’t understand the culture behind it. You see all these rankings of schools that have the best tailgating. Kind of like Playboy ranks the Top 10 party schools every year, these sports writers try to rank which schools or which games will have the best tailgating. Unfortunately these guys don’t understand that a big rivalry game may not be all that conducive to tailgating. Take Texas/Oklahoma for example. Huge rivalry but the tailgating is not really tailgating as we know it. The game is inside the Cotton Bowl on the grounds of the Texas State Fair. The parking there sucks and the surrounding neighborhood is not the safest place to be hanging around the back of your car for a few hours. But for some reason these writers always say that it is great tailgating based on what they expect to be a good game on the field. A good game on the field does not necessarily translate to good tailgating away from it. Would you agree with that?

Taylor Mathis: With Texas/OU I looked at it from a different point of view. Tailgating there transcends from the parking lot. You are adapting to what you are given in the facilities. What you are given is unique in that you are in the middle of the Texas State Fair. I have no ties to either school, but it was really an amazing thing to see all the crimson and all the burnt orange. There are 92,000 people in the stands but there were easily 100,000 people in the fairgrounds not even going into the game. They were just standing there, just hanging out because football is what brought them all there. It’s not your typical tailgating in a sense that you are bringing food and cooking it there. You are more adapting to what is brought to you.

The Grove is unique in that you can’t bring charcoal in. That changes your tailgating scheme. You have to rely more on finger foods and sandwiches and that kind of stuff. A lot of the places I went it was interesting to see how the location and the rules of the schools dictated what you go do while tailgating.

That was probably the biggest surprise in all of this. Tailgating you generally have the notion of it is everything is in parking lots and you bring up your vehicle and you set out your grill and all that. That’s not necessarily the case in all of these schools.

Vol Navy GrillTailgating on the water in Washington and Tennessee was honestly one of the coolest things I have ever done. When I was in Tennessee I got to ride on a boat to the game and dock behind Neyland Stadium. If you ever get the chance to do it I would suggest you do it. It is a very cool experience to dock up next to other boats and just grill out there.

Tailgating Ideas: Seeing how you have tailgated across the country over a sampling of the major football conferences, can you assign a ranking to the conferences when it comes to tailgating prowess or is that something you are saving for the book?

Taylor Mathis: I can’t really say which conference is better because it is like comparing apples to oranges. In the SEC you have a lot more pageantry and tradition. A lot of times the start of the game and the game times have a lot of influence over the tailgating atmosphere. Down south it seems like every school has some sort of team walk. Ohio State has the skull session which they do inside which is pretty cool. In the south there is just so much more tradition in that everyone just goes and watches the team walk into the stadium. Penn State did have a thing where the band went through the student tailgating lot. They do a thing where Joe Paterno comes off the bus but it is not like the thing you have to go and see. Like at Auburn, everyone goes to see the Tiger Walk. At Ole Miss, everyone is lined up for the Walk of Champions. I can’t rank them on which is better because they are so special for their own reasons. In the book I am going to rank the schools one through 13 that I did visit. That is something I am saving for the book.

Vol Walk

Tailgating Ideas: I know it must have been hard to narrow down the tour to just 13 schools but during your travels was there an overwhelming response by people that you were leaving some obvious other schools off the list? If you were to plan a second tailgating tour, which are the schools that didn’t get hit this time that would definitely make the cut for tour No. 2 if you decide to so another one?

Taylor Mathis: There are probably 20 to 25 schools that I definitely want to see at some point in my life. There are only 13 weeks in the regular college football season so you can only see so many. It’s more on my website, people writing in and leaving comments or emailing me suggestions telling me if I ever do something like this again a lot of people were telling me I needed to go see Nebraska. Michigan people and Iowa people have told me I need to go there. Georgia home game and a Texas home game were also suggested. A Florida home game was suggested. I had some people from West Virginia tell me I needed to go visit them. Also people from UVa have written in. I’d like to get up to see a Harvard-Yale game. UCLA has also been mentioned. There are definitely a dozen other schools that I would love to check out at some point in my life.

With the 13 I chose I tried to mix it up enough. Also, logistically with self-funding this trip, logistically that’s just the way it worked out. It sometimes would depend on if I knew people that I could stay with or figuring out flights and figuring out how to get to places. Doing the travel there were only just so many places I could go. I am happy with what I did choose but there are definitely some more that easily could have made the list. Oh, and Colorado was another one that people had suggested I go to.

Tailgating Ideas: Now that the tour is complete, you have an agent shopping the book idea out there, what is the time table you are looking at if all goes well?

Taylor Mathis: The first thing we need to do is find a publisher. We’ve got the first sets of photos almost done and at the beginning of the year we are going to send it out. We’ll see what happens from there. I have started writing it already and I know what is going to go in it. That might change with what the publisher wants to do with it but having everything shot is huge. The book is going to be heavy on pictures. That’s what I do and I think it really illustrates it well. As far as a time table goes, I’ll find out once we find a publisher that picks it up.

Tailgating Ideas: You had your blog going and you also are on Twitter and had a Facebook fan page. Were you surprised as to how many people were reading your blog and following you on Twitter and on Facebook? Were the people that became engaged on all the different platforms were they people you had met during your travels or were they people that somehow stumbled across your stuff, became interested in it and started tracking your tour online?

Taylor Mathis: To tell you the truth, I don’t know how people would find me on the internet. With the internet it is kind of weird how things pop up and how people discover things. Everyone I have talked to have been really receptive and mostly their reactions have been, “wow, this is really cool what you are doing.” In talking to people about the tour it brings back their own memories of tailgating back when they were in school wherever that was. When I first starred out, I had no idea of what would become of it. I just knew it was something that I really wanted to do. I was just going to do it and then figure it out from there. Writing the book just seemed like a natural progression of where it was going to head next.

Tailgating Ideas: Since starting back in 2007, we’ve done a number of tailgating product reviews and discovered a lot of cool inventions when it comes to making tailgating more fun and convenient. What was some of the cool tailgating gear or gadgets that you saw as you wandered the parking lots on Saturdays?

Taylor Mathis: I saw a couple of gas powered blenders which is something I thought was really cool. I know there are a few companies that make those. I saw portable fryers which is cool. I saw a portable oven. It was a propane powered oven at Penn State. A guy bakes muffins there at the tailgate which was something different. Generally baking is not something you see while tailgating because an oven is not considered to be a tailgating thing.

As far as gadget that people made themselves instead of buying it online or in a store, there was this ice cream truck that was converted into this Wisconsin tailgating vehicle. On the side it had cups next to it. You would push a button and an arm comes down, picks up the cup, brings it up, fills it up with beer and then drops it back down. So on the side of the truck is an automatic beer tap. That was very cool that they made that and they engineered that themselves.


I saw a lot of cool vehicles that people over the years add things and just paint them. Ohio State had a lot of busses. Most everywhere I went they had RVs but to me busses are cooler than RVs. An RV is like you just have to throw some money into it and it is there. But to me, a bus… you have to understand they are old school busses or old city busses. So you have to think of a paint scheme and all these details of things you want to put in it. When you open a bus you are bringing a big party with you. Ohio State, by far, had the most busses that I saw. Those were pretty impressive.

Penn State Storm TrooperI saw one guy at Penn State dressed up as a Storm Trooper from Star Wars in Penn State style. One of the most impressive costumes that I saw was at Ohio State where a guy turned an Iron Man Halloween costume into an Ohio State Buckeye costume. He took the helmet and painted it silver and put the Buckeye stickers on it. That was really cool.

I saw a lot of the scooter coolers at the Florida/Georgia game and also a lot of golf carts. At Virginia tech there’s a guy there that has a Hokie Car. I actually saw him again in Charlotte. His horn plays a gobble sound. That was really cool. I am not sure exactly what kind of a car it is. I think it is an Oldsmobile. He has taken the time to paint it maroon and he has the graphics all over it. The insides are orange and maroon. The thing is completely redone into the ultimate tailgating sedan. He drives it to away games. He’ll drive it down to the Orange Bowl. He has done that twice already.

The vehicles were cool. The detail the people put into those was amazing in that every new season they add something new.

Tailgating Ideas: While you were on this tour, you were keeping people up to date via Twitter. I seem to remember one tweet where you said you had consumed seven different animals in one day. Now I am sure the folks at PETA are pretty pissed off right now but tell me where were you that you got sample that wide of variety of meat?

Taylor Mathis: That was at LSU. I had frog, alligator, chicken, cow, pig, shrimp and crab. What was actually cool about tailgating is the regional cuisines they serve. They eat what is close to them if that makes sense. For example, up in Seattle, they had salmon. That was one of the things I wanted to know at Washington was if they actually tailgate and serve salmon. The answer is, yes they do. I saw people grilling salmon which is really cool to see. In Pennsylvania they served a lot of venison because deer hunting is big there. Florida had a lot of shell fish and sea food. LSU had Cajun cuisine pretty much everywhere you looked. All the gumbo and jambalaya. Barbecue was big all over. That was probably the most common food I saw was barbecue.

Tennessee barbeque

Tailgating Ideas: So did you have a favorite or it was just, wherever you were, the indigenous food was good no matter where you went?

Taylor Mathis: It was hard to pick one that I liked the best. I had never had frog legs before so that was kind of cool getting to try one of those. I saw a lot of pulled pork. I saw a lot of beer can chicken. A lot of ribs. A lot of wings.

The food at the Texas State fair was its own thing. You can get fried butter or fried cookie dough. There were hot dogs or lemonade. That was kind of interesting eating friend butter before going into a game. The beer lines at the Texas State fair are very long there. That’s the one thing I noticed. The lines for tickets and the lines for beer were really long. People were waiting for 45 minutes just to buy tickets. You have to buy tickets before you can buy beer by using those tickets. If you are going to that game, I would suggest going the day before and buying a bunch of tickets. That way you are not spending all of your tailgating time waiting in line.

OU/TX line

Tailgating Ideas: Since you have traveled so much and seen so much tailgating in such a short amount of time, what would be your advice to tailgaters who are just getting into the tailgate party lifestyle or those tailgaters that want to take their tailgating to the next level?

Taylor Mathis: I would say planning is the biggest thing. To pull it off well, you have to have it planned out for what you are eating. You’ll need to know what are all the other things you’ll need to successfully prepare that dish. You need to think about and plan for trash. Plan on how long whatever you are making needs to cook.

The people with the huge tailgating set up, it didn’t just happen that year. They have been doing it for 10 to 15 years or sometimes longer than that. They just gradually added a few things every year. Most people just start out with a grill and a tent. Then they’ll add the TV and generator next. Then it just grows from there. So for those looking to improve their tailgate I would say each new season just add something new or try something different.

I saw a lot of groups where everyone puts in money at the beginning of the year and then they set their menu for the whole year. They just buy everything and they just have a big party with it. Normally it is a BYOB kind of a thing but still have a big party with it all. I’d also say find people who want to join you and have fun with it. Tailgating is not worth doing if it is not fun.

I had someone ask me, “who has the best fans?”. I can’t really answer that because everywhere I went the fans were so receptive and so nice. They just treated me as one of their own. I can’t say that it is like that if you choose to wear the other school’s colors.

Every fan that I interacted with was awesome. The people were really receptive to tailgating. After all, it’s a big party and entertaining. I would just walk up to people and ask them what were they cooking and it kind of went from there. Those were in places where I didn’t know people. I was just going in and meeting new people.

It doesn’t hurt to bring something with you. Just say, “hey I brought this, do you mind if we join your tailgate?”. That’s if you are going to visit other cities and other schools.

Tailgating Ideas: It probably didn’t hurt to have a big professional looking camera around your neck along with a T-shirt that says you are on a nationwide tailgating tour either?

Taylor Mathis: (Laughs) Yeah, I guess that doesn’t hurt either. Down at LSU, one of the guys I was with, he invited these Alabama fans to join his tailgate. They were just kind of standing around and he called out to them, “hey come join us”. LSU and Alabama, they are not supposed to like each other but that didn’t extend to tailgating. Different fan bases put aside their on-the-field differences when it comes to tailgating.

LSU and Bama fans together

Tailgating Ideas: I would even go as far as to say, that even if a team or a school is a huge rival of another, just because they are fans of that team doesn’t make them bad people. People are fans of teams because they either went to school there or grew up in the area. I know parents who will teach their kids the Hook ‘em Horns hand signal while they are still in their cribs. Being a fan of a particular team can come from how we are raised or where we grew up. But no matter what team you root for or wherever you grew up, tailgating is that one thing that can unite us all as sports fans in general. Tailgating is the one thing rival fans can agree on.

Taylor Mathis: I completely agree with you. Me, being a Wisconsin guy, I was kind of worried going to Ohio State. Wisconsin beat Ohio State this year and that was their one loss so I was a little worried as to how their fans would take it. They were honest about it and said, “yeah, you guys beat us”. I was more interested in telling people I had never been to Columbus for a game. I was impressed when I saw it. It pains me to say it because I really don’t like Ohio State because I like Wisconsin and they are our rivals. Being in Columbus, every fan I met was really awesome. I would definitely go back to a game day there.

Tailgating Ideas: I know you still have to land a book deal first before you start considering doing a second tailgating tour but if you do end up doing another one, would you consider doing NFL cities and the tailgating that goes on during a Sunday?

Taylor Mathis: It’s too early to tell I think. I just finished this and it is a lot of traveling. I would have to see what opportunities present itself next fall. I am definitely open to the idea. There is a lot of great stuff out there I still haven’t seen yet. I got a very good sampling this year. Football fans in America, I would say they are the most passionate sports fans there are. It is pretty impressive when you combine food and creativity and team spirit and what you end up with. There might be a round two out there but I am not really sure yet. I’ll have to see how things go the next couple months.


To see all the photos and to relive Taylor’s incredible tailgating tour through college football, visit and specifically the Tailgate Tour 2010 page. You can also follow him on Twitter (@taylor_mathis) and also on Facebook.

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