Posted – July 1, 2013

So where do we go from here? The sporting world is officially at a standstill in my opinion now that hockey and basketball are done for the year, even more so noticeable after having very active playoffs years for our local teams. Thankfully for that, or I’d have been posting this is May!! And I am sorry to insult baseball fans, and more specifically, our baseball fan followers, but really…you have a 160+ game season that runs 7 months!?! It is just so hard to get into and up for a game every day, 3 hours of pitch, catch…pitch, catch…and when your team is the Mets……well, enough said. At least Matt Harvey pitches every 5 days, right?

So football season starts in about 60 days, and the question is, what do we do now? Our schedule is set, check. Our flights have been booked, check. Hotels and cars reserved, check. We’ve begged and pleaded with our families to be allowed to go to the games we already booked (hehe) and seem to have survived yet another year, check. Now what? This is the part of the Quest that really makes our trips different for me than anyone else’s trips. What is that?

We will spend many hours researching the different locales for each of the trips; anything from driving directions to and from the airport, food venues which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, food challenges, famous dishes and meals, bars, etc. We will take an in-depth look at the stadium, and decide where we’d like to sit to get the most out of the experience (no, this doesn’t just mean sitting in the student section!!). We also look at the campus from a “tour” perspective and note things we’d like to see or do while we are “walking the campus”. One of those things is finding access to the highest point on campus that will give us a clear photo taking opportunity of the stadium. This is only done because most schools don’t sell post card photos of their stadiums in their bookstores (a clear missed opportunity for revenue). Then there is a bunch of research on the tailgating situation at the school; is it on campus, is it off campus, is there a big tailgate, is there no tailgate, is there a theme, is it dry, etc. Too many times we have walking into a “lack of” tailgate area, and ended up hungry and thirsty!!! And finally, we always do some research on the local tourist trap attractions (and the hidden gems) and make sure we make time to see what the town/city/area is known for and what they would like two New Yorkers to experience while there. Do you have any feedback, let me know!!

It is also good timing that Phil Steele just released his college football guide for this year, so I can read and digest that for a few weeks and decide what teams really have a shot at the national title, and also see if the games we selected a few months earlier, are lining up to be major clashes, GameDay games, or absolute bombs. Fortunately we have done a great job at picking games to date. Also, all the college football bloggers are starting to get revved up, so conversations finally become “interesting” now.

I also spend a lot of time chatting up with the locals fans to see what the real word on the street is about their teams, and things to make sure we include in our trips. Is the team a national title contender? Do they have conference championship potential? This is the best part of the pre-trip prep for me, learning in advance which of the schools truly have a football fan base and football educated, are social campuses, are involved, and are interested in showing off their school, campus and experience to outsiders like us. Believe it or not, I have some fan bases that are so friendly and want to show off the “best football experience ever” to us they’d probably pick us up at the airport, and others, well, others have just been radio silent (remember radio?). This also is a good time to see if there are any other sorting events to see at the school that weekend. Some of my best memories are not necessarily football related events.

So CFQ is getting excited for a great season!! Is your school on the list? Do you have an insights that will help guarantee us the proper experience? Anything we shouldn’t miss? Would love to hear from you!!!

I’m ready for football season to begin!!!!!!!!!