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Ready for the Roar

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Moving to the south can be quite the eye-opening experience for college football fans.

Courtesy of Sports on Earth

Saturdays filled with dawn-to-dawn tailgating, with a healthy side of bilious regional tribalism, are almost among us.

I didn't grow up with college football. Mattoon, Ill., is about 45 miles south of the University of Illinois, a school obsessed with college basketball that occasionally remembers there's a football team on campus too. (This is the only way to withstand seven years of Ron Zook.) Football was something to keep you occupied until the basketball team started playing. Needless to say, this is a rarity in the world of college athletics. Football rules everything now.

Because the college football atmosphere was such a non-entity for me growing up, my football fandom was developed from afar, on television, flipping from one game to another on Saturday afternoons. This isn't the right way to do it. In baseball, every stadium feels different whether you're watching in person or on TV; the field of play is as varied as the architecture. It's not like this in football. On television, it's often difficult to tell one football stadium from another; you can hear crowd noise and guess at intensity, but it's nothing like being there. I watch dozens of college football games every year, but I don't really know what college football is like. I haven't really been there.

Here are the college football stadiums I have been to in my life:

• Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill. (Illinois)
• Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash. (Washington)
• HighPoint Solutions Stadium, New Brunswick, N.J. (Rutgers)
• Yale Bowl, New Haven, Conn. (Yale)
• Princeton University Stadium, Princeton, N.J. (Princeton)

Continue reading the rest of Will Leitch's story here: Ready for the Roar