Despite the ominous skies threatening precipitation, Tulane fans, and students in particular, filled the campus quad with tailgating madness. Apparently, the area usually designated for Green Wave backers was given to visiting Tiger fans. Once it was apparent that Memphis was not going to fully occupy their designated area, the Tulane students took action. In a move of retaliation, a tailgate covering a few thousand square feet was lifted and relocated to its rightful land. In a scene like no other I have ever witnessed, a green wave of fans carrying tents, tables, coolers and kegs marched their event a few hundred feet back to its rightful territory and continued to party in a fashion that rivals many power five conference schools.
I got the feeling, however, that many Green Wave fans anticipated a Tulane loss for their conference opener against Memphis. While the students showed up in force for tailgating, the student section fell a bit flat. The first quarter rain certainly had a hand in that, but Memphis fans dominated one corner of the stadium with their band, cheerleaders, and mascot coating it all with royal blue.
The threat of rain had also canceled the pregame Mardi Gras style parade featuring the Tulane marching band. One could say that the tailgate relocation march provided a unique alternative.
Inside Yulman Stadium, the rain subsided in the second quarter, and Tulane began to take the roar out of the tigers. An impressive defensive effort kept a good rushing Memphis team from demonstrating its ability. The Green Wave offense took advantage and took over with an impressive 40-24 victory.
In the postgame press conference, Tulane coach, Willie Fritz, shared pride his team remarking that the “defense played extremely well – that’s a tough team to hold under 300 yards.” It certainly was an impressive start to a conference season now full of promise.