With just over a week to go, things are starting to come together for BHGP's courageous mission deep into the heart of our fiercest enemy's territory. Tickets are go. The bus is a go. The tailgate...well, that's still a work in progress. Right now we have plans that look to be as organized as this:
Granted, we're not Michigan State fans, so the behavior (and ability to pronounce "climactic") should be significantly better. Still, we need to get going on this thing.
Those of us from Operation Chicago Coach Bus are pretty restricted in our pre-game options. We leave the city no later than 7:15 CST which would put us in W. Lafayette in the neighborhood of 9:30/10:00 CST or just over an hour before kickoff (11AM CST/12 Noon Eastern). Obviously this doesn't leave us with much time beforehand.
Futhermore, the coach bus crew cannot stay indefinitely afterward as we pay an additional charge for every hour we stay past our contracted time. Since we are supposed to be back in Chicago by 7PM CST and since post-game traffic would almost certainly be sure to slow our exit, a departure time of 4PM CST would be the latest we dare flirt with. Again, not a ton of time
However, one thing is certain; the bus contingent definitely wants to meet up will all of you who are finding your own way down. Therefore we need some ideas as to how we can pull this off. One thought I had was to see if there are any of you going who planned on getting there early-ish and wanted to set-up a spot for all of us. Travis from over at Hammer and Rails has been generous enough to offer us a prime tailgating spot that his family has held for years. If there were some of you who could claim the spot in advance of our arrival and have things humming by the time we descend on the area like a hoard of black and gold-clad Mongols (or mongoloids, depending on alcohol intake), then we could simply add our contribution of fine cuts of venison, flagons of mead and jellied eels (read: beer & brats) to the feast without any fuss.
If there are other ideas, points, general points of order, this is the place to post them. Have at it!
[Update] So yours truly had his wires crossed and now needs to appeal to the masses for their thoughts. Travis does indeed have a parking pass in a prime spot, however he intends to use it himself. His offer was for us to join him and his wife and use their SUV as storage for coolers/grills/whatnot. That's still a nice deal except they don't plan on getting there much earlier than when the bus is scheduled to arrive. That's my fault for mixing this up: sorry folks.
Now while this is still a fine option for those of us arriving via bus it isn't so attractive to those of you coming from Indiana, Ohio, wherever, who plan on arriving earlier. I am told that there is a lot to the West of the baseball field (the bus lot is just South of the field) that is open to non-permit holders. The downside is that because it is permit-free it tends to fill up very early. Think the Old Field House lot when it was still open to tailgating.
It may be in everyone's best interest to try and do their own tailgates and then perhaps swing by the location on the hill a little while before the game so we can all head on over together or we can try to make a single location work. Again, I'm pretty ambivalent as far as tailgating is concerned so I'll leave it to you guys. Sorry for the confusion.