So it’s not a secret that Lilly Lovers love Fall for more reasons than the beautiful foliage and all the excuses to eat yummy food – we love Fall because we love football! Weeeellll… ok. Let’s be clear – we love tailgating. Sure, we eventually go inside and watch the game but our true love is the tailgate party, looking cute and having fun with all of our friends. Perhaps the reason we don’t get as excited about the game as we do about the pre-game is because we don’t know enough about football to appreciate the finer points. Which is EXACTLY what Christie Leigh Mueller thought when she authored the book, Gridiron Belles; A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie. Her passion is SEC football. And though she absolutely counts herself a Lilly Lover, she actually loves the game as much as she loves to party! (shocking, we know.) Her book celebrates what it means to be a southern Belle on Saturdays in the Fall and forces the rest of us to give up our excuses and join in the mania that is SEC football! In Christie Leigh’s words…
What made you write the book?
I was growing restless watching football with just guys. I wanted my sister and sorority sisters to enjoy Saturdays in the fall as much as I do. Not to mention, there is a huge overlap of etiquette and SEC football… and since I’m passionate about both, it was a perfect combination for a book for women!
Where did you go to school and what is your favorite football team?
I went to Rhodes College, a small liberal arts school in Memphis, TN. While Rhodes College has my money, the Auburn Tigers have my heart and loyalty.
How many games have you been to? Have you ever missed a tailgate?
I never miss a tailgate if I am going to a game. I always schedule at least 4 to 6 hours to tailgate, that way I have time to relax, visit other fans and catch other SEC games on TV.
Describe a typical game day outfit- what should it be?
My typical game day outfits consist of dresses, pearls and a team tattoo on my cheek! The South and its Belles are so beautiful, we love our wardrobes to match so nothing less than your best with team flare is what I encourage on game day in Dixie.
The biggest revelation I had during my days of research was_________.
Not all Belles know about college football or want to know about college football, but generally speaking, Gents want their Belles to know at least a little bit about college football!
Without a doubt, my absolute favorite thing about football in the South is________.
Escaping reality 12 Saturdays a year and being surrounded by something bigger than myself. I also love being surrounded by Gridiron Belles; they are passionate, strong and involved in all of the glory that is Saturdays down South.
The thing that northern college football lovers just don’t seem to get is_________.
The northern football lovers I have met seem to think that arriving at the stadium minutes before kickoff in jeans and a sweatshirt is acceptable below the Mason Dixon line. It’s fun to hear their comments on their first SEC and how they’ll never be late or under-dressed for a game again!
What is your favorite Lilly football look?
I wore the fall 2011 navy eyelet dress (The Reeve!) at least 100 times! It is the perfect fit for women with curves and is classy all at the same time. I receive more complements when I wear Lilly outfits than when I wear anything else. Something about the clean, feminine and timeless style grabs people attention in a very positive way.
What does your father think about all of this?
He LOVES it! He’s thrilled I am finally making a business out of all of my tailgating and obsession with SEC football!
Tell us about your book tour and where our Lilly lovers might get to meet you.
I laced up my cleats at the beginning of the season am in the middle of a 12 game tour through the South stopping at small towns and big cities along the way promoting the book and meeting fellow football obsessed Southerners. I’m having a blast seeing the country from a new set of lenses and meeting such wonderful people. I am traveling everyday teaching women how to understand and enjoy the great game of football and tailgating every Saturday. This truly is a dream job!
Meet up with Christie Leigh on her tour and follow along in all her experiences on her blog, twitter and Facebook!