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The Quick 10: 10 Best College Tailgates in the U.S.

Fall is my favorite. And here in Iowa, it's like September first hit and Mother Nature went, "Oh, right, it's fall." And boom, overnight we went from 80 percent humidity and 90 degree weather to crisp, cool air and highs in the low 70s/upper 60s. I'm not complaining "“ it immediately gets me in the mood for Halloween, apples, fall clothes, boots, and tailgating. Our first tailgate of the season is on Saturday (go Cyclones!) and I am so looking forward to it. Not as much as I'm looking forward to the Nebraska/Iowa State game (which, admittedly, we are going to lose), but it will be a blast.

The weather and the upcoming booze-a-thon has inspired me to write about tailgates today. This isn't my list "“ it's ESPNs. I've done a little extra reseach on their picks, though.

auburn

10. Auburn. ESPN says people line up to tailgate for a Saturday game at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning. That's pretty hardcore. But football is in Auburn's blood "“ two Auburn players have won the Heisman trophy and John Heisman (yep"¦ the guy) coached there from 1895 to 1899. The picture, by the way, is from Andrew Reed, who has an awesome blog documenting his tailgates across the country. He also compiled his own Tailgate Awards for Sports Illustrated On Campus.

9. Colorado. ESPN's Road Warrior rates this one at #9 largely because of the atmosphere. And I understand that "“ I think tailgating with the mountains as your backdrop is pretty awesome.

michie8. Army. Road Warrior says Army is amazing because people are so appreciative that these football players are also serving a bigger purpose. Football analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said the game day atmosphere is incredibly inspiring. Apparently RW is also scared to leave armed soldiers off of their top 10 list, so that's a decent reason too. It also helps that Michie Stadium has a beautiful setting to call home.

7. Wisconsin. You can't leave Wisconsin out"¦ it doesn't matter how cold it is or if there's a foot of snow on the ground "“ these fans will not be stopped from their beer, brats and cheese for anything.

Plus, there's so much spirit, they had to create a Fifth Quarter. The tradition started in 1969 when the Badgers had a 24-game losing streak. To rally the fans, the marching band announced that after the game, they would hold an event called the Fifth Quarter. Anyone who stays in the stands is treated to a performance that usually includes The Chicken Dance, On Wisconsin, Beer Barrel Polka, Tequila, Space Badgers, and Hey Baby.

6. UCLA. I'm sure UCLA fans, southerners and west coasters will disagree with me, but what's football without the cool weather? Nevertheless, the year-round gorgeous weather didn't stop ESPN from declaring UCLA as the sixth-best place to tailgate. I suppose when you're tailgating around a National Historic Landmark (it was declared one in 1987) in the sunshine, surrounded by beautiful people (so says ESPN), you declare that a pretty successful tailgate.

5. Penn State. More than 100,000 people show up for home games at Beaver Stadium"¦ Road Warrior cleverly refers to it as JoePa-Looza. Beaver Stadium is the largest stadium in the U.S., so that holds a lot of tailgaters. Well, not all of the tailgaters actually make it into the game. That's typical of any good tailgate, but it's especially problematic for Penn State. The school actually had to ban drinking outside of the stadium during the game because too many people were causing problems.

husky4. Washington. ESPN says it's not that the stadium is so fantastic or the tailgate is so nuts; it's the quality of the tailgate. While everyone else in the country (with the exception of the #1 pick) is munching on hamburgers, brats, hot dogs and beer, the good people at Husky Stadium are enjoying wild salmon, Dungeness crab and microbrews. On the lake. Yeah, Lake Washington sits right next to the stadium, so up to 12,000 people can hang out on the lake and enjoy the game. Some people actually stay the whole weekend. And the University is more than accommodating of this setup "“ just before kickoff, the University supplies a shuttle to the people on the lake so they can make it to the stadium in time to see the game start.

3. Tennessee has a similar set up to Washington "“ fans can camp out on Tennessee River prior to games. The tradition was supposedly started by Tennessee broadcaster George Mooney in 1962. At least 200 boats enjoy this set up for every Volunteers game at home "“ they've earned the nickname "the Volunteer Navy". Clever. Road Warrior ranked this tailgate experience over the Washington one because the barbeque is so good.

2. Ole Miss battles LSU not just for the SEC title, but also for the best college tailgate in the U.S. It earns the #2 spot for the good food, the passion of the fans and the fact that the speed limit on campus is 18 miles an hour. If you're not a sports fan, you probably don't know that Eli and Peyton Manning's dad, Archie, is a legend of the game. He had a heck of a career at Ole Miss, where he wore jersey #18. Eli and the oldest Manning brother, Cooper, also went to Ole Miss and played football.

1. LSU wins the top spot, largely because of the food. Road Warrior says they once tailgated with a group who made "jambalaya, duck and oyster gumbo, stuffed quail, deer sauce picante, wild duck, cochon de lait, Cajun sausage, crawfish etouffee, rabbit, alligator stew and marinated pork tenderloin. And that was for a non-conference game." Yeah, that sure beats my weekend plans of Doritos and Chips Ahoy.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us your best tailgating experiences in the comments.

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How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
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iStock

Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

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Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
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TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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