Quotes from Mercer tailgating

August 31, 2013 

We asked what brought you out to tailgate before Mercer University’s game Saturday (and if you think you’ll do it again). Here’s what you had to say:

Steve Ward: “Number one, my son plays on the team, so we’re excited. We live right here in Macon so it’s kind of nice to have a college game.”

Jim Barfield: “My son is one of the coaches. We got here Thursday.”

Sharon Will: “We’re here visiting our daughter. She and her partner graduated from Mercer 10, 12 years ago. ... This is a lot of fun. We love to tailgate.”

Chris Heape: “Mostly just to hang out, to be a part of the opening, inaugural day for the new team. And my fiancé’s cousin is playing for the team so I just wanted to be here for him too. ... I live here, so I’ll probably come out whenever these guys come out.”

Gregg Fitzgibbons: “We probably got here around 4, 4:30 yesterday. ... I’m an alumni. Number one, my nephew plays on the team, John Garrett Abernathy. Those are the main reasons. We just want to be a part of it.”

Lee Folsom: “I wanted to be here today because of the tradition, being able to enjoy friendship and fellowship with friends that I haven’t seen since I graduated 20 years ago. And that fun is a tradition that I hope continues in the years to come. ... This is part of why we came back today, from the standpoint that we graduated from Mercer that didn’t have a football team. Now that we have a football team, it gives us a reason to come back in the fall even before basketball, gives us something to rally around. So we’re looking forward to many, many more occasions like this."

John Fair: “It’s the first game in 70 years. I haven’t seen these guys in 20 years, starting brand new traditions or restarting old traditions. I loved my time here and I’m hoping to enjoy more Saturdays here.”

Gillian Arquisola: “Honestly, we have a lot of alumni here from my fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha). We haven’t seen them in a long time, so it’s just a great way to basically have fellowship, gather together. ... I don’t know when, but we will (tailgate again) as a group for the fraternity.”

Kay Kelly: “I love Mercer. I’m from Mississippi, I’m an Ole Miss fan, but I grew up knowing Kirby Godsey, the past president, so I’m here for the return of football.”

George Harvey: “To support the Bears! I just love football and we bought season tickets and I’m gonna be here every game I can. ... I’m going to (tailgate) every game that I can.”

Elaine Harvey: “I wanted to be here ’cause (husband George Harvey) has been pumped up about this ever since this thing started. Everything in our house has turned orange. And we’re just thrilled that Macon’s got a football team, that we actually have a college team here in Macon. I think it’s great for the city. This is the biggest thing that’s happened in I can’t even tell you the last time. We’re just thrilled to be here.”

Paula Marshall: “My son plays football, he’s No. 1, Jordan Marshall. He’s on the team.”

Susan Milam: “I just have always wanted to tailgate. I love college football, and I’ve never lived in a town that had it and I didn’t go to a college that had it. And my children didn’t. So I’m really excited.”

Jeffrey Holmes: “It’s the first football game Mercer has had in 72 years. You’re not going to miss the first football game. I go to Mercer and I want to support my school. Everyone is going to be there.”

Lauren Williams: “It is the first game that Mercer has had in a long time and I thought it would be awesome to go since they built the new stadium. There are all these new football players, so it’s pretty exciting and there is a lot of school spirit on campus. It feels like we are all one big happy Mercerian family.”

Ifedinma Orizu: “I am tailgating today because I want to have fun and be a little tipsy. I just want to have fun. I will definitely tailgate again in the future.”

Chase Dubois: “I am here because I want to be a part of something that is bigger than myself. I love social interactions. I like to hang out with people.”

Cory Adams: “It’s a historic event that I want to be a part of. I can tell my grandchildren about it.”

Bruna Rodriguez: “We’re making history and having fun.”

Colton Mattei: “To celebrate the first football game in 72 years. I love it! I got to meet a bunch of alumni and I am really excited to be here.”

Alex Baird: “I wanted to have a good time at Mercer University and I knew that this was the right place to be. I really think that football season goes hand in hand with tailgating. I think that tailgating is a pretty crucial part to going to a football game. Everyone loves tailgating.”

Sidney Jones: “I want to be involved with campus life and to learn what Mercer is all about.”

Chris Coney: “I love being a part of campus life and I love how Mercer is growing more and more.”

-- Center for Collaborative Journalism students Jane Hammond and Krista Holden contributed to this report.

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