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Husky Stadium Sat Tailgate-Free Saturday — So Did LSU and It Was Tough

The fan base for the SEC powerhouse wasn't permitted to tailgate for its opener. So naturally, the Tigers lost.
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If you were looking at the pre-pandemic football schedule, under that magnet on our refrigerator Husky Stadium would have been a ghost town this past weekend. 

Regardless of any health concerns.

The University of Washington football team had a bye last Saturday on its original lineup of 12 games, following non-conference outings against Michigan, Sacramento State and Utah State

Or the place would have been a test case for the university.

It's hard to keep track of these things, but the Huskies were rescheduled to host Stanford last weekend on the redrawn, conference-only, 10-game football schedule released on July 31.

One that lasted all of 12 days.

While it was never determined whether any fans would have been permitted inside for the Stanford game — and they won't be for whatever is coming in round 3 — people surely would have shown up at Husky Stadium to see if they could at least tailgate next to the action.

For some people, this a decades-old tradition, something almost more important than the game, a social outing not to be missed in the parking lots surrounding the 70,000-seat stadium by the lake.

In Baton Rouge last weekend, where the same purple and gold colors dominant the landscape, everyone was forced to go through tailgate withdrawal.

School officials allowed just 25 percent capacity inside Tiger Stadium for pandemic reasons, but the parking lots were largely empty as a serious no-tailgating edict was put in place. 

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As Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger describes from the scene, lucky fans given game access could eat snacks at their cars, but not set up tents, TVs or party tables that would have attracted large gatherings on campus property. If you're a serious and social fan, here's his story. Read it and weep.

The diehards were left to find places to roost well away from the stadium site, on private property, or on city streets, where they could break out the booze, the food and a celebratory atmosphere. 

And it just wasn't the same. 

No doubt, a lot of these loyal LSU fans were blaming the sanitized, underpopulated scene for their Tigers losing the opener 44-34 to Mississippi State and new coach Mike Leach, the Washington State defector — the school's first loss in two seasons after claiming a national championship.

It's supposed to be a frightening place to play. 

The Huskies have experienced it just once. In 1983, the week after beating Michigan at home, a very good UW team ventured into Baton Rouge, into a setting flush with fans and NFL prospects, and limped away with a 40-14 defeat.

 There was no shortage of bourbon or jambalaya that night. 

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