The Eyes of Texas

It's that time again! As summer comes to a close, Texas Longhorn fans are gearing up for their season: football season. A few years ago, I got a call from a company that wanted me to shoot photos for the book, The Ultimate Tailgater's Big 12 HandbookI am a native Austinite, and to be completely honest I was mostly in the dark about what was going on at the UT campus during every home game. Yes, I've been to several games. My youngest daughter is a UT graduate. My father worked on the UT Campus for more than 30 years. But tailgating? I had no idea how devoted these fans are. Suffice it to say, my eyes were opened when I spent a day amongst them during the UT/Ohio State game.

University of Texas tailgating is not an event; it's a way of life.

First of all, tailgaters get to the UT Campus in a variety of ways. I saw several unique modes of transportation.

And then there's the food. If you're not a tailgater, you wouldn't believe how many spreads there are in just a few short blocks. It's a BBQ frenzy! And the makeshift "kitchens" range from small backyard grills to huge mobile smokers. Whether the setup is modest or elaborate, there are always plenty of adult beverages available.

In addition to the food and drink, football fans gather at tailgating parties to play games and settle scores. Competing fans place their teams on the lines by participating in a variety of friendly matches. Yes, as a matter of fact that is a foosball table set up in a parking lot!

Diehards spare little expense or effort to show their school spirit.