There are football towns and then there are die-hard football towns. Towns with fans so loyal they will brave any weather; will don lucky jerseys that don’t see a washing machine ‘til season’s end, lest the good luck be washed off; paint their bodies in team colors; all because they absolutely live for gameday. In some towns, football is so woven into the fabric of the community that football fever isn’t just an acute fall event, but rather a year-round epidemic. Come and take a “hike” with us as we explore some of these football towns around the country.
Dallas, Texas – Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
The lore of the Lone Star state’s love of football has been well-documented in movies and television shows for years. So, it’s no surprise that football, just like everything else, is big in Texas. The Dallas Cowboys hold the league record for consecutive attendance sell-outs. If you’re not lucky enough to get a ticket to the game, you can tailgate in the parking lot at the AT&T Cowboys Stadium in Arlington – no game ticket required (note there are tailgate rules that must be strictly followed). The stadium also offers a variety of tours at reasonable prices including a VIP tour, a self-guided tour, and Rally Days, which are held prior to game day. Visit the AT&T Cowboys Stadium, just a little over an hour’s drive when you stay at Bay Landing RV Campground in Bridgeport, Texas.
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State University (NCAA)
For a team that claims to have the largest student section in the nation; a serious pre-game pep rally, known as The Skull Session; 8 championship titles, 37 Big Ten titles, and 10 undefeated seasons in their history, it’s no wonder Game Day in Columbus is a big deal. For Ohio State fans, tailgating outside the stadium, nicknamed The Horseshoe, usually begins about five hours before game time. In Buckeye Country, if it’s game day, stores and streets are empty and everyone is somewhere watching the game! Catch a game or see what The Shoe is really like when you stay at Wilmington RV Resort in Wilmington, Ohio, a little over an hour drive to Columbus.
Eugene, Oregon – University of Oregon (NCAA)
The Oregon Ducks take fan apparel so seriously they actually print a “color schedule” so fans know what color to wear to games at Autzen Stadium. They take the competition seriously, too – when a new big screen was being built for the end zone, one stipulation was that it had to be bigger than that of rival Oregon State. Autzen Stadium now boasts the largest big screen in the PAC-12. Oregon Duck fans are also the loudest – thanks to what is known as the “Autzen bounce,” a so-called phenomenon that has the fan’s cheers reverberating to the top of the stadium and bouncing back down to the field. You can get in on the action (provided you’re wearing the right color) and tailgate at Autzen, which opens six hours before the game, or at Essig Field which is located conveniently across the street from Autzen, and opens four hours before game time. South Jetty RV & Camping Resort is about an hour and a half drive to the University of Oregon.
This is just a sampling – other big football towns to consider visiting during this season include Philadelphia (Philadelphia Eagles – NFL); Foxborough, Massachusetts (New England Patriots – NFL); South Bend, Indiana (Notre Dame – NCAA), Seattle (Seattle Seahawks – NFL), Madison, Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin – NCAA) and Tampa (Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFL).