My video camera is out of batteries, thanks to Mike Wise's epic interview session with The Mountaineer. So I headed out to the parking lots with just a notebook and an Official Tailgate Question, provided by Bog friend and Baltimore Sun columnist Rick Maese, who is cleverly trying to wipe out his paper's competition.
"How much will Maryland win by tonight?"
Rodney Duncan: "This guy's had too much to drink."
Wes Duncan: "It's gonna be bad. We're gonna beat them by about 21. Slaton's gonna have at least four TDs."
A drunk guy calling himself "Bob Jim Jack John Bill Frank": "They're gonna lose by 48, bro. I called it right here." ["Why 48," I asked a few seconds later. "Why 48 what?" Bob Jim Jack John Bill Frank answered.]
Mark Winiesdorffer: "They'd win by 27 points if Friedgen was smart enough to sign Slaton and not kick him here."
David DiClemente: "They came with crabs and they're gonna leave with crabs."
Maryland fan Steve Zuraf: "Negative 12. I'm realistic." [Then he started gesturing at the West Virginia student tailgate area, known as "The Pit," and then hundreds of people in the pit started chanting "BAD, WORD, BAD, WORD" at him. I was warned not to enter The Pit.]
Chad Dick: "You're kidding, right? They ain't gonna win this game. I'm gonna say 34-13, WVU. It's just Maryland, you know what I mean? I'm not worried about this game at all."
Greg Starkey: "Get out of here. Shut up. I'd say their band has a better chance of beating West Virginia than their team does."
Buck Lane: "Boy, you need your temperature taken? What the hell is it?"
Natalie Giannone: "We have friends that went to Maryland; we heard they're really bad this season."
Larry "The Answerer" Lester: "Who is stupid enough to ask what Maryland is gonna win by? Who would ask that question? We got a room up here for you in the psychiatric department." [He then said the Wash Post was ok by him, because we print the truth "half the time; the New York Times never prints it."]
Maryland fan Don McLaughlin: "I'm a diehard Maryland fan and they're not gonna win tonight. They'll lose by 14."
Harold Dombrowski: "Somebody's liable to pop you if you ask that in the wrong place."
Sean Fitzpatrick: "Uh, you're insane."
Dave Morris [while selling "Slaton for Heisman" t-shirts]: "They're gonna take a valiant and noble defeat, since this is The Washington Post, at the hands of our impervious Mountaineers. Does that make sense? Whatever, they're gonna lose."
Maryland fan [and cousin of tight end Joey Haynos] Kevin Carbonell: "Three points. I honestly believe. Rankings don't mean [bleep]. Anyone can beat anyone."
So there you have that.
(Last thing: I also talked to some would-be couch burners.
Casey Thompson: "We're burning one tonight in our front yard, actually. It's in our garage but if we win we're going to bring it out and burn it. Blog that.")