September 05, 2008
The humble folk of BYU roll into Seattle hoping to avoid the U-Dub jus jus that derailed Boise State's BCS ambitions this time last year, but whatever happens during the game, at least Holly Anderson's weekly tailgating guide will keep you busy, warm, and sauced while you're in the Northwest.
Welcome to Seattle. Here's your balaclava. Husky Stadium is nestled on the shores of Lake Washington, a U-shaped structure with the open end allowing a stunning view of the water and the Cascades beyond. UW faithful are fond of crowing that theirs is the only venue in the country where you can tailgate by boat. While this is patently untrue, it's the only such spot on the West Coast, and unlike Knoxville boasts water that will assure you of a quick death from hypothermia, not a slow wasting demise from toxic waste poisoning, should you take a tumble.
UW fans, appropriately enough, are a boisterous, sturdy, and slightly barbaric lot (I mean this as a pure compliment -- observe). The crowds on the boats pound cold brews and hot cocktails with equal enthusiasm. With their hands swathed in wool the majority of the season, they've had to strengthen their lungs to make up the noise level, and as a group overshoot this goal on a regular basis -- even for a college football stadium, this place is loud.
What to Wear
Whatever will keep you warm. I made my first trip to Husky Stadium in mid-fall of 2006, and discovered that even on the balmiest of sunny days in the city, the breezes off the water cut like cold hobos' razors. After September, any visitor who fails to cover every square inch of skin does so at his/her own peril. Long scarves that can be wrapped about your head and neck in comfy configurations are highly encouraged.
Or, in a pinch, a giant hot dog suit:Pregame Stops
The Ram Restaurant & Brewery will be wall-to-wall purple come gameday. A good bet if you're in the mood to sample local beers; they offer such adventurously named concoctions as the Buttface Amber.
Postgame Stops Ears ringing? The Monkey Pub isn't quite as frenetic a scene, and it's cheap(ish).
Haven't had enough? Meet the Irish Emigrant. Fill up postgame with meat, potatoes, and honest-to-god singalongs.
I can't recommend this enough for Sunday, if you can bear to function upright: Take I-405 N out of the city to 522 E and pay a visit to the Maltby Cafe. The drive takes 30 minutes to an hour, and no matter what time you show up there'll be a wait, but once the cinnamon rolls the size of hubcaps emerge from the kitchen, hangover and impatience will fade in the face of gooey marvel.
What to Drink
You're in Seattle, cowpoke; get your microbrew on.
- - -
Holly is a Tennessee-born writer and digital film editor based in Los Angeles, associate editor of Every Day Should Be Saturday, and 1/15 of the PtF coven. She welcomes your adulation and scorn at nastinchka-at-yahoo-dot-com. Photo of Husky fans via Getty Images.