For Michigan and South Carolina football fans, the Outback Bowl wasn't just about the game.
Hundreds of fans pulled out food, grills, music and games outside the stadium Tuesday for a tailgating tradition.
"Five hours before, five hours afterwards," said Ernie Lawhorn, who traveled from Columbia, S.C. for the game and festivities. Lawhorn's pre-game gathering included about a dozen people, and his "Jimmy Buffett margarita maker."
The experience is part of the draw to Tampa for fans, but so is the warm weather. Wendell Barron said he figured it was "about 37 degrees and flurries" back home in Michigan. Barron and his family have been here for two weeks.
The tailgating scene was a hopscotch of school colors, with Gamecock fans grilling next to Wolverine fans. It's one of the unique aspects of a bowl game, where fans mix in one big parking lot.
"My new year's resolution is to be nice to people who wear blue," joked Safety Harbor resident and South Carolina fan Paul Costello.
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