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The attendance has been down the past couple of years, Converse Pumps Womens he said, and believed attendance was lower this year than each of the previous.

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tout the game as a "true classic," last year saying the same two teams Alabama State and Southern would compete each year.

Vernon Ash had attended each of the 35 Gulf Coast Classics, he said, while his longtime friend, Bama Walker, was tailgating for the first time. This year's game pitted Alabama State University against Southern University, but the tailgating beforehand is an event unto itself.

With game time approaching, more and more people filed in, and a long line formed at the Wind Creek Casino tent, Converse Shoes Dark Grey

Universal Riders, a group that met up in Mobile earlier in the morning and rode to the stadium together. Their leather vests, embroidered with the group's logo, were slung on the windshields.

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which offered fans a chance to spin a wheel, where they could win prizes such as T shirts and stadium seats.

"I believe this won't be my last," said Walker, who declined to give his birth name because, "If I tell you that nobody is going to know who I am."

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Ash and Walker were part of the Gulf Coast Converse Blue Leather Shoes

The scent of burgers and barbecue sizzling on grills filled the air.

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Outside the stadium, sport bikes, cars and trucks wove through rows of motor homes, with music thumping from giant speakers throughout the parking lot.

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Ash said the tailgating crowd was "the smallest he had seen in years." He believed a struggling economy may have forced fans to stay home this year.

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The City Council slashed funding for this year's game to $47,500, down from last year's $275,000 from the council and another $25,000 from Councilman William Carroll's discretionary funds.

"I'm loving it," said Walker. "I'm not even going into the stadium. I like to watch the game on TV, but I'm here to support it."

Walker, of course, is a fan of the Crimson Tide, but that didn't prevent him from enjoying Saturday's event.

Gulf Coast Classic fans turn out for tailgating

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(Press Register/Chip English)Tim Williams adds some baked beans to his plate while tailgating before the Gulf Coast Classic at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile. John Rogers, selling Alabama Sate University and Southern University shirts under a tent outside the stadium, said he had worked the game for the past 10 years.

A few of them were Southern University Alumni, others Alabama Sate University alumni, but mostly they were fans there for the "camaraderie and fellowship. Just a weekend to come down and get together," Ash said.

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which piece of meat he wants as Demetrius Langham, back, looks on Saturday before the Gulf Coast Classic at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile. MOBILE, Ala. Two men stood next to a row of about a dozen cruiser motorcycles outside Ladd Peebles Stadium on Saturday morning.

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