The Art of Tailgating

Football season is finally underway, and that means another great American tradition is also going on.  Of course I am talking about tailgating.  Tailgating in my opinion, is the best part about gameday.  In the dictionary, the definition of tailgate is: an event that happens before American sports games that defines nations pride.  That is such a perfect description.  You have the greatest things in the world right there, family, friends, food, football, America. There’s nothing more American than a tailgate.  That’s a pretty good Saturday to me. 

Tailgating for gameday starts immediately when you wake up.  When you arise from bed at 8 a.m, you can feel the excitement in the air around campus.  People are going around the dorms, playing the bagpipes, rallying the students to prepare a game more than 10 hours away. 

After a quick breakfast which doesn’t really consist of anything, you throw on your gameday gear.  Now gameday gear can range from a lot of things.  Some people go all out and get out the paint.  However, I’m on the Seinfeld campaign and I’m weirded out by people with paint on them.  Another option is being one of the thousand students with the plain gameday shirts.  Or, if you’re like me and don’t want to look like another clone and still have some class, you go casual.  Khakis, school colored button down.  You’re ready to go. 

As soon as you’re dressed and have everything you need, you head down to the stadium for the tailgate.  If you’re not tailgating by 930, your a darn rookie in my book, I don’t care when kickoff is.  As you walk towards the stadium, you notice the student section line filling up.  Being in front of the student section is cool, actually its on my bucket list for college, however, I’d rather be eating and sitting down.  You make your way through the stadium parking lot, until you finally see your tailgate tent.  You get settled, get some food, and you can finally relax.  The air is filled with clean cut grass, barbeque, and American freedom.

After about three brats and finishing College Gameday on the big screen, you realize its time for a game of corn hole.  After losing two straight games, you have to take your anger out on something.  And then you see those unfortunate fans wearing the opposing teams colors.  After heckling them until they run in shame, the school fight song comes on over the loud speakers, and our tent erupts into a chorus of chest bumps, and high fives.  Once that song is over, the excitement of everyone multiplies as we all stomp around and sing proudly to “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Wagon Wheel.”  After using up all that energy, you take a seat in the nearest chair, and start to doze off. 

You wake up, and you realize kickoff is two hours away.  Two more brats and some throwing the football around makes the time pass,  and its time to head in.  A see of fraternity flags, school flags and American flags take up your sight as you walk toward the student section entrance.  The student section is 3/4 full 90 minutes before the game.  It’s 49-0 at halftime, back to tailgating.

The second session of tailgating goes until the game is long over.  You sit there, your best friends by your side, barbeque still in the air, your team won, and the American flag is rising above the tent.  Thus ends how every gameday should be.