#2,452 Panther Stadium.

We woke up way before the sun again today and were on set at Bank of America’s Panther stadium for hair and makeup before we got to do live TV interviews via satellite for news stations all over the country. Even Ben had to wear a little makeup today since we were shooting high-def for news channels.


We used our experience as Ole Miss kids to give some tips on how to throw the ultimate DIY tailgate, and let me tell you what… When doing 30 back to back to back live interviews where you have 6-8 projects to run through in 3-4 minutes, include a little information about the Bank Americard and throw in a website URL at the end, all without knowing what questions the news hosts were going to ask, it’s like doing mental gymnastics and the SAT over and over in 2 minute increments. Live TV is no joke, y’all.


But goodness it’s fun and so cool to learn all about how these big TV productions are done from behind the scenes. Like, for instance, this plastic ice that I assumed was real until an hour in, when it still wasn’t melting.

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Ryan, there in the middle, has become kind of like our big brother in this live interview world. He’s the New Yawker always on the sidelines along with a super cool guy named Dave who are wearing the earpieces and telling us when to talk, when to wrap it up, when to talk more about the 7 layer chip and dip cups. We’ve got one more media day coming up in November so we’ll see all these good folks again before long.


For lunch, we were hosted by the Carolina Panthers and Bank of America in the 50 yard line skybox. That’s pretty breathtaking, especially with all the glass windows open to the field.

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And afterward, we got to take a tour of the stadium and the Panthers’ locker room with Erik, the team’s operations manager who was our host for the day.


I, obviously ignorant in all matters of the NFL, asked him “Are the Panthers a pretty good team?”

And he said, very kindly so as not to make me feel like an idiot, “Yep, sure are. They went to the Super Bowl last year.”

(feel stupid, hit brakes, stop asking questions)

We found a certain Ole Miss boys’ locker:

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And by 4:45 we were hurdling through the sky a million miles per hour and headed back home to Laurel.


Talk about a whirlwhind 24 hours.

These are the steps for a few of the favorite projects we shared in the interviews, if you’re feeling crafty!

Cornhole Set:

Key materials/steps:
2 – 4’x4′ piece of plywood, measured and cut into 2 (2’x4′) pieces + ramps for sides of boards
1 – 4′ long 2×4 board, cut into 2 (2′) pieces
wood glue
paint in your teams’ colors

Whether you’re a natural carpenter or newer to wood work, making your own set can be a quick project. Just head to your local hardware store and purchase a couple 4X4s of plywood, measure and cut into the appropriate sizes for the top and sides, and then assemble using wood glue and screws. Lastly – drill a hole in the top of your boxes. If this sounds a little overwhelming, work with your hardware store’s on-staff carpenter to help you size and cut the pieces of wood – they can even help you construct the boards. Then take home to paint and personalize!

Individual Seven-Layer Dip Cups:

A crowd favorite at our house – they’re easy to make in advance, even easier to eat, portable, taste great and add a pop of fun color to your tailgating spread. You can also use the ingredients as toppers for other foods you serve. To make, buy:

a can of refried beans
pre-made guacamole
a jar of salsa
a container of sour cream
shredded cheese
a packet of taco seasoning

Mix the beans with the taco seasoning and combine everything into even layers in individual plastic cups and serve with chips and a store-bought veggie plate. It’s easy to hold while you hang out and watch the game, and saves you from making repeat trips back to the chip and dip bowl.