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Where I Come From: Washington Tailgating Traditions

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(This is the third article in a week long series sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011)

Husky Stadium is one of the most scenic sporting venues in the world. Located on the shores of Lake Washington and framed in by views of the Cascades to the East and the Olympics to the West the old girl has been consistently named one of the most scenic venues in college football.

Husky Stadium has a lot of options when it comes to tailgating. I have seen people arrive by yacht, seaplane, canoe, mass transit, bicycle, chartered bus, on foot, and that old stand by the automobile. By the end of the decade fans will also be able to arrive via a region wide light rail system which will relieve congestion considerably during game days.

To me the coolest way to tailgate at Husky Stadium is to do it on a yacht. I have had the good fortune to do it half a dozen of times. The most memorable being a surprise part my wife had for me on my 50th birthday. It is a great way to pre-function and avoid the traffic. Don't own a yacht, have rich friends, or a generous wife? No problem...for a smaller price you can take the party boat which departs from Chinooks on Salmon Bay to the game!

When on land I have always preferred the South side because of the scenery, proximity to parties I want to attend, people I wanted to run in to, the after game access to Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Downtown, and Lake Union. Long time season ticket holders have been partying here for generations. Select parking spots on this side of the stadium hold as much value as the seats inside the stadium.

Phrases such as meet you over at the climbing rock, see you by the tree's, or meet me in front of the crew house are the code words for finding your way around in this area. The South parking lot is framed by the remains of the old University of Washington golf course which is bordered by the Montlake Cut. It is a park like setting and one of the best tailgating venues I have seen around the country.

As far as personal traditions go I have never really had one as far as Husky tailgating goes. I have never personally had a parking spot in the main lot. I moved from Seattle approximately twenty years ago so I fly in for games. It never made much sense to pony up for a permanent parking spot. I guess I am a free agent type of tailgater. I go wherever I end up getting invited and always have a great time.

To me the most important thing on a Saturday before the game is running into old friends and making new one's.

What is your favorite Washington tailgating tradition?