Along with the start of college football season also comes the start of the best time of year…Tailgate Season!
It’s the time of year where everyone breaks out their school colors, packs up the car and heads to the lots. The best part is there are no guidelines as to what is the best way to tailgate as it’s all based on your preferences. So whether you pull out all the stops or simply put a case of beer in the back of your hatchback, everyone has one thing in common…they’re there to have fun!
If you happen to go to a tailgate, but didn’t set one up of your own, here is a list of tailgating groups that you will undoubtedly see at your next tailgate and when you should approach them.
1. The “Odds are we’re not making it into the game” Tailgaters: This group will be made up of undergrads and will most likely pull in with some sort of trailer or huge RV. They have probably been sitting in line a few hours prior to the parking lots opening and will be a few beer bongs in by the time they get parked. Once they get in they will unload a bar, sound system, flabangos, Louisville Chugger, etc…Hit these people up early as they will be handing out free beers to anyone cheering for the same team as them. This is a good way to get your morning started.
Note: Odds are you’ll be getting a Natty or Keystone light, don’t complain, just embrace it! Don’t worry, they taste like water anyway, so it’s a good way to have a beer and rehydrate yourself from your big night the night before. Trust me, this is a group you’ll want to get to know…nothing, but fun…unless you’re wearing the wrong colors.
2. The “Young Alumni, but we’re going to party like we’re still in college” Tailgaters: This group will come in with 4-5 vehicles, tents, and all the tailgate games you can think of…cornhole, ladder golf, beersbie, thunder drunk, etc…They will also have a small grill & bags of chips and other appetizers. After hanging with the first group this is a great group to hit up as they will gladly give you better beer than you previously had, and will most likely Bud Light, Coors Light, or Miller Light. They will also offer you a pull of whiskey and tell you to help yourself to the chips & pretzels. Odds are you’ll get roped into a game of corn hole and will be forced to chug your beer when you lose! Hang with this group because if you’re an undergrad these people can probably hook you up with some good contacts after you graduate.
3. The “Couple” Tailgaters: These two will have pulled in with their car, two chairs, and a cooler of beer. This is typically a fun couple who don’t really know anyone, but are looking for a great time. Stop by and have a beer with them and invite them to come along to the next tailgate…they’ll appreciate it.
4. The “Older Alumni” Tailgaters: This group you’ll run into will be made up of responsible alumni. They will have the team branded tent, tables, table clothes, plates, cups, the whole nine yards…By now you have a few bad beers, some better beers, and a few shots of whiskey in you so this is the perfect opportunity to make your way over to this group.
It’s always best to pick out the guy by the beer and just start talking football and how this is going to be “the season.” If you can identify their graduation year, you can earn bonus points if you have any knowledge of the teams during those years…if you can, you are in like Flynn.
In no time you’ll be welcomed into the group with open arms & opened beers. The difference is you’ll be drinking craft beer at this tailgate, which will taste awesome after the crap you drank earlier. Plus this is a great time to get a brat or burger in your stomach as they will undoubtedly be grilling and will insist that you eat. Do not turn them down…you will regret it later when you’re passed out in the port-a-potty because you were the tough guy that could pound 12 beers & a few shots of whiskey on an empty stomach. Also make sure you stay in touch with this group, odds are they’ll be your future bosses some day.
5. The “Extremely close to the stadium” Tailgaters: After you leave the last tailgate you were probably ready to head into the game. Don’t worry though you still have time for one more! As you approach the stadium you will see a number of “fancier” tailgates going on. This will be where the high end donors are tailgating. If you’re too drunk just walk by and go into the game. If not, then this is kind of a crap shoot. Either they will welcome you with a high end martini or they will roll their eyes and tell you to beat it. Odds are about 50/50, but it’s worth a shot. Suck down that martini and now it’s game time!
Now that you have a quick guide on how to navigate the tailgate scene, get out there and tailgate!
Cheers and good luck!