The unquestioned highlight of last year’s visit to Murfreesboro was the guided tour of the Hillbilly Hilton that owner Dan Farrer provided a couple hours before kickoff.
If you need a reminder of the sheer greatness of the Hilton, just check out this post from last year.
In short, the combination of Southern hospitality, some ingenuity, a great tailgate atmosphere and renovated 1976 school bus is a pretty good formula.
I’d wondered if I would see the Hilton in the middle of a College Park surface lot during Middle Tennessee’s return trip this year. This wasn’t an idea that popped up just this week; the Hilton warranted a mention in the Blue Raiders’ section of the college football countdown back in July.
And yesterday, I got my answer in the form of a welcome, well-timed (and out-of-the-blue) e-mail from Farrer, who informed me he and his wife Dawn will be making the trip to Byrd Stadium on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, we are coming by ‘air’ and not by ‘Hillbilly Hilton,’” he wrote. “I am not sure she would make it.”
Well, that’s too bad. At the same time, undertaking the challenge of coaxing a 33-year-old bus all the way up I-81, across I-66 and then around the Beltway would probably be a decision bordering on wreckless.
So Farrer is making the right call —- even if the atmosphere won’t be quite the same without the Hilton.
—- Patrick Stevens