A few years back, a calamity befell the stands of Jordan-Hare stadium, a calamity of unexpectedly cold weather in the middle of an Auburn-Ole Miss game. The results of this calamity included fans feeling they needed to leave the stadium in order to get warm, at the expense of the atmosphere at a home conference game. Look, I get it, a football game isn’t worth losing fingers and toes to frostbite.
That’s why I am here, dear readers. I am going to give you the handbook to make sure you are warm and comfortable tomorrow evening when temperatures might dip below 55 degrees. A good rule of thumb for night games is to subtract about 5-10 degrees from the listed temperature because the wind has a tendency to swirl inside Jordan-Hare and you’re going to be stationary the entire game. If you were playing in the game, you could actually add about ten degrees to the listed temperature and you’d be fine. Sitting on aluminum bleachers in 55 degrees can feel miserably cold with the teeth-rattling nerves that usually accompany watching Auburn Tiger Football.
As a person who has been on the tallest mountains in Africa and Europe and who lives with the hope that he can bust out his cold weather gear at a moment’s notice, I feel like this is the job I was born for. Also this is an excuse to post a picture of me on Kilimanjaro with my Auburn hat on again:
First, a few rules:
- Cotton is your enemy: Auburn is an Ag school and we love cotton, but I am telling you right now do not let cotton fibers touch your skin on Saturday. Cotton is an incredible fabric, it breathes, it stretches, and it moves well with you. However, if it gets wet or sweaty it will never dry and you will get colder and colder until they find your ice-blue body huddled near the conecuh sausage dog stand sometime Sunday morning.
- Light layering is key: You will likely need completely different clothes during the game than you do for the tailgate. This can be accomplished with proper layers.
- Cold Feet Can’t Compete: Keeping your feet warm and dry for the duration of an Auburn Saturday is paramount. Nothing is more miserable than needing to stamp your feet in order to feel them. Merino Wool socks will be your savior.
Auburn is outfitted by Under Armour, effectively a great baselayer company that now makes basketball shoes and other stuff to moderate success. You can get all their stuff here, but I’d caution you against the “cold gear” stuff. It’s too good at keeping you warm, and you don’t need to over-heat. You just need something that will keep you dry and regulate your heat. I recommend anything merino wool at all times. Even on your legs, Merino wool will feel like you’re being massaged by cherubs while cheering for the Tigers. Smartwool thermal 150 is the GOAT, and you’ll pay GOAT-level prices for it too. If you have the scratch, get to their site, and buy the full set-up. While you’re at it, rich man, I could use a new baselayer...
If you nail the baselayer, you can basically wear your normal gameday shirt as your midlayer. If you’re polo guy, stay polo guy. If you are T-shirt fan, wear a Homefield shirt and be loud. On your legs, boys and girls, you’re probably going to want to wear a pair of pants. I don’t want to tell women what to wear, but I really feel like skirt or dress is a bad decision in cold weather. Now that athleisure is acceptable as casual dress, just throw a pair of joggers on and be the coziest fan. People will be whispering “Is he/she in sweats?!” but they will be thinking “I wish I was in sweats, man they look cozy.”
I’d like to take this time to remind you that a full adidas track suit is always acceptable attire, no matter the occasion.
Here’s an issue: Auburn doesn’t have an under-armour branded packable puffy vest available. That’s a problem. I really want one. A packable puffy vest is a crucial piece of kit because you can fit it into a pocket of a bigger coat and throw it on when you need it OR put it back in that pocket when you don’t. A vest is also an essential piece of the midtown uniform, you too can look like you work in fintech!
I want to take this time to remind you that no one looks good in a shacket. Not one person. Definitely not you. You could put McConaughey in a shacket and people would think he looked insane. There is not one thing a shacket does that a good vest doesn’t do better. Don’t @ me.
If you can get that jacket, you should. It’s pretty cool. If you can’t pull it off, there are other options. You don’t need a hood if you have a good hat. You might want one if it rains, though. I wear a Patagonia Down sweater and have had the same one for over a decade now. When you have the perfect piece of kit, you don’t need to replace it. No one makes a better one than Patagonia, and it has kept me warm on four continents and in temperatures well below zero degrees. I throw a rain coat on top of it when I need a fully water-proof layer, and the down sweater layers incredibly well.
Buddy, if you follow my suggestions, you can throw on an auburn ballcap and cheer on the Tigers in style. I hope you’re wearing your Adidas track suit on Saturday, I hope you’re loud in your warm shoes and packable vest, and I hope you explore the heights and depths of the human experience with Auburn football in comfort.