The University of Virginia kicked off its football season playing defense with Mother Nature.
Before UVA's Saturday win against Brigham Young University, severe weather suspended the game for two hours, but the rain delay didn't put a damper on the fun for UVA fans who see tailgating as a tradition.
Thousands of enthusiastic Wahoos packed the parking lots around Scott Stadium to tailgate hours before the season home opener.
"I am ready to watch UVA beat up some Cougars," said Patrick Walker of Scottsville.
Die-hard UVA fans filled the parking lots and lined the roads around the stadium Saturday afternoon.
Families, friends, and students gathered to celebrate the Cavaliers' first game of the season. For some it's a longstanding tradition. Bob Carneal of Ladysmith, Virginia has been coming since 1954.
"My father's an alum. He played on the 1941 football team and he graduated from law school here after 1942," he said. Now Carneal hosts his own pregame parties.
Jim Shannon says he's missed only two games since 1967. "We've had fraternity brothers that drop in once a year that we haven't seen for 20 years," Shannon said.
Some tailgaters like Ken Knowles reminisce about their days at UVA. "I was captain of the cheerleaders for three years and our main job was offering drinks for the policemen," Knowles said.
Others look forward to how the Hoos will play this season.
"We could turn up with a whole new plan and a whole new game and surprise everyone. Today is the start of a new era. We're gonna win the bowl game you guys," Shannon said.
But virtually all agree that one thing brings them back every year.
"It's not the football; it's the camaraderie of friends that we've known all of our adult lives," Shannon said. "What keeps us coming back are these people," Shannon said.
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