Tigers and Fans Prepare for Football Opener

Tigers and Fans Prepare for Football Opener

When the college football season opened a week ago, the Memphis Tigers found themselves on the sidelines.
MEMPHIS, TN – When the 2013 college football season opened—the Memphis Tigers found themselves on the sidelines.

A scheduling quirk gave them a “bye” in the first week; but on Saturday September 7, 2013 the Tigers host the Duke Blue Devils, and football fever is in the air.

Normally Memphis fans reserve their enthusiasm for the basketball team, but with a new coach showing some real leadership, football fans were coming out of the woodwork.

“Yeah we love it,” said Tigers fan Beth Riley, “we love Tigers football.”

When is the last time you heard that?

This year the Tigers will be running into new striped end zone, and the roar is getting louder.

“Thanks to coach Fuente,” Dan Gallini said. “I think he’s building a real program here.”

Even the Tigers Bookstore was doing a brisk business the night before the opening game.

“The last two days have been insane here.” said Lee Raney, the operations manager of the bookstore.

Two years ago you could hear a pin drop before games—no more.

“I’m really anxious to go to all the games this season,” Riley said. “I just actually picked up my season tickets.”

Now, sales run into the hundreds; a purchase of Tigers gear while localmephis.com was on the scene topped $220.

There is no Tigers gear you can’t get—for all ages.

“This is Mason,” said Laruen of her newborn son, “he’s excited to go to his first Tigers game tomorrow.”

In his brand new Tigers onesie, of course.

Tailgaters were already setting up an RV in Tiger Lane the day before the game—everything complete with a Tigers logo.

“We’ve got a bar,” said Dennis Williams, “we set up tables, chairs, cornhole games—I don’t know anything we don’t have.”

Wait—did he say—a bar?

Yep. So, if one were to belly up to that Tigers bar—what could they get?

“Anything your heart desires.” Gallilni told localmemphis.com.

Sounded good. But what Tigers fans desired most was victory, and there was a reason they believed they would get one.

“Definitely the new coach.” Raney said.

“You can feel it, can’t you,” asked Beth Riley, “it’s exciting.”

“Every year we get out here and get excited,” Williams said. “We’ve never lost a tailgate.”

Ticket sales were brisk—with an opening day crowd predicted between 35-50,000 fans.

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