Hank and Judy recommended we stop by the BBQ Caboose Cafe again this morning, since there was a local radio show being hosted with live music. It sounded fun so we hitched a final ride in the golf cart down to the square. The place was packed. We were sat right behind the DJ with a perfect view of the stage. Performing were a group of talented musicians playing guitars, banjos, keyboards and the fiddle.
The owners, Samantha and Ken sing and play with the guest musicians. They were so good – that country sound got everyone clapping and a hollering! Especially to the Cafe’s signature song “Eat, eat, eat”! You get a real sense of community spirit here, friends and family getting together and having fun over music and coffee.
Before we left we had our picture taken with local legend Randall Franks; we’d not heard of him before he sang for us that day, but he’s a huge star in these parts.
We were kindly given a CD recorded by Ken, whose rich, deep voice would be our soundtrack on our drive up to Murfreesboro that afternoon. We headed up that way to go see some live American football – a college game between MTSU Blue Raiders and UTSA Roadrunners. What a great experience! We sat alongside the field in a 31,000 seater stadium!! College football is just as big a deal as the professional league here. The stadiums are huge, the teams have their own merchandising, and the games are often on TV. No roof however, meant no escape from the sun beating down – we bought hats so as we didn’t pass out from sunstroke before the end of the game.
It so happened that this was a commemorative game for servicemen and women, so there was a big band and plenty of off the pitch action; which was just as entertaining as the game itself: cheerleaders lined the pitch forming pyramids and throwing each other up in the air (and catching each other as they returned!); the opposition dancing around and chanting to Seven Nation Army to intimidate the home team; and every time a home touchdown was scored there followed an enormous bang as fireworks shot from the top of the stadium behind the endzone!
This is a real family event, there’s no alcohol, no cussing and no abusive chanting. In fact there’s little chanting other than what we heard from the opposition and “De – Fence” and there’s definitely no singing. Very different to the English football games at home. It’s quite funny to hear the odd person shout out “you’re a cheater!”, rather than the foul-mouthed abuse you might hear at a sports match in the UK.
Unfortunately the Raiders lost and the majority of fans had left well before the end of the game. We stayed to the death enjoying the spectacle nonetheless, before driving down to Christiana to get some grub at Miller’s Grocery (a restaurant Judy had recommended which had live music similar to that we heard at the Caboose earlier).
We were lucky to get a table straight away as more people continued to pour through the doors after we were seated. Choosing hush puppies as a starter for the first time, we’re afraid to say we weren’t that keen on them as they were a bit too greasy for our liking, but the meatloaf and ribeye steak were to die for! Thanks for the tip Judy!