SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Before the big game started fans engaging in that time-honored tradition of tailgate parties, but there's something different about what foods they enjoyed.
It was definitely not your typical pre-game tailgate party. With fans of both teams coming from 2,200 miles away, they didn't have grills to make the usual fare. We checked in with Alabama fan Nate Smith. What would he be eating if he were tailgating at home?
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"Barbecue, it's always barbecue," he said enthusiastically.
So fans had to make do, buying deli trays and beer and enjoying cold food on a cloudy and chilly afternoon.
When's the last time you saw the hot coals dumpsters in the parking lot go unused?
Alabama and Clemson fans were grateful that the rain stopped for this national championship. The weekend weather didn't put a damper on having fun and spending money.
"We went to Napa," said South Carolina resident Jordan Watkins. "We spent some money on wine. We try to support the wine industry as much as possible."
Amanda Outen had a wad of $2 bills to spend-- a Clemson tradition dating back to the '70s. Each bill is stamped with the tiger paw logo as a reminder of their spending power. She's given them to ride-share drivers and hotel workers.
"It's hard to pay for a whole bill these days in $2 bills so I always include one in a tip everywhere I go. That way they know I've been there," she said.
Monday's game is special to Lou Richie, basketball coach at Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School and a Clemson basketball player in the '90s. He loves that the game is right here.
"It's the chance of a lifetime," Richie said. "How many people get to go to a national championship and see their team play in their backyard? It's a dream come true."
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Whether they are Clemson or Alabama boosters, alums or parents of students, they're ready to cheer on their team.
The parking lot was filled with fans shouting two cheers-- "Roll Tide!" and "Go Tigers."
Not your typical tailgate parties at College Football Playoffs National Championship Game
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