Fact Friday 168 - The First Niner Nation Tailgate
Next week is Homecoming Week for our alma mater, UNC Charlotte. There will be tons of events happening all week for students, alumni and supporters. We'd love to see you all out so if you're interested, check out the lineup at homecoming.uncc.edu!
Also, we're happy to announce that UNC Charlotte tapped us for the official Homecoming t-shirt this year! How awesome is that! These are sure to go fast so don't miss out on your opportunity to rep "Charlotte Till [You] Die"!
In the spirit of homecoming and football, check out this piece I found highlighting the inaugural football tailgate for Niner Nation.
Carla Smith and her sassy tailgate setup
This past Saturday, hoards of students awash in green and gold gathered in front of the student union on the campus of UNC Charlotte to prepare for the 49ers inaugural football game. Dancers, lipsticked and perky as all get out, flashed their pearly whites and collegiate midriffs, preparing their glittery poms for a spirited shake. Cheerleaders practiced their chants and cheers while the drum line pounded beats to the crowds delight.
The parking lot, covered in tents, was filled with alumni and students eager to participate in history.
Fueled by school pride and a maybe a few stiff drinks, a palpable buzz was in the air and I was out to cover the tailgating scene. Sure, there was a really important football game, but I was more interested in the food.
I stopped by a tent of rowdy gentleman, drawn like a moth to a flame to their smorgasbord of breakfast food. There were ham, egg and cheese biscuits, mini crab frittatas and chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, which were totally not breakfast, but spot on.
The manly men pointed me toward the handmade cornhole board and grill setup completely decked out in custom decals and told me about the special beverage they were sipping on that morning: "The Man-mosa," a blend of Blue Moon beer, orange vodka and orange juice. I like your style, gentlemen.
I moved on to another congested area of the parking lot, where a healthy group of people were gathered around an ambulance, painted green and white. I soon discovered the vehicle was no ordinary ambulance, it was the "Normbulance" named after UNCC mascot, Norm the Niner.
The "Normbulance" is the man-mastery of Rob Dibble, '96 alum and corporate trainer at LPL Financial. He began outfitting the Normbulance with a full bar, flat screen television, beer fridge and custom paint job two years ago. Emblazoned with its own crest, the "Normbulance" touts "Honor, Loyalty and Passion" as its creed. I am positive the crowd tossing back the complimentary green jello shots from Dibble's truck were filled with just that.
After a heartfelt toast, I ventured to the classy tent (plastic chandeliers equal classy, right?) of Carla Smith, a Greensboro resident and wife of a UNCC alum who woke up at 5 a.m. to attend the game. Smith padded her corner of the parking lot with green, grassy turf so she could go barefoot. Her West Virginia roots demanded it, she said. Smith and friend Tammy Burris celebrated the morning with mimosas and two different casseroles: french toast and hash brown.
Elsewhere, red hot grills were cooking sausages and hot dogs, preparing a feast fit for a victory. That day, the Niners demolished their opponents 52-7. Rise up, Niner Nation!
Until next week!
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Information taken from:
Creative Loafing - Charlotte, Keia Mastrianni, 2013.
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass