Sunday, September 09, 2012

A Novice's Guide to Tailgating

From a SigEp at LSU (don't judge); good tips for anyone.

The Odyssey Online - LSU - Sigma Phi Epsilon - A Novice's Guide to Tailgating

Andrew Alexander

Sigma Phi Epsilon
Saturday marks the season opener for the LSU football team. Fans young and old must only wait a few more days before they get to witness LSU’s new high-powered offense, led by Zach Mettenberger and his stable of running backs. The roar of the most inebriated crowd in the country will be heard for miles as “Callin’ Baton Rouge” plays inside Death Valley during the pregame festivities. However, before the sun finds its home in the western sky and our ears are tickled by the sonorous voice of Dan Borne reminding us the chance of rain is “Never!,” there’s another matter Tiger fans must attend to: tailgating. 
Tailgating is the most integral part of the game day experience outside of the game itself. It’s a conglomeration of RVs, tents, couches, grills, Dixie cups and speakers, drenched in every shade of purple and gold, stretching beyond the farthest reaches of campus. Ladies wear their finest game day dresses adorned with their “(insert sorority here) loves the Tigers!” sticker, while the gents don their best looking purple and gold frattire.
Obviously as Greeks, I don’t have to educate most of you on the nuances of the tailgating scene, but for the new crop of freshmen and anyone else who may have forgotten our beloved game day tradition, here’s some advice to make your tailgating experience as fulfilling as possible.
Pace Yourself -  Tailgating is a marathon not a sprint. Pounding brewskis like an Adderall-filled chimpanzee at 10 a.m. probably isn’t the best strategy if you want to make it to see the Tigers kickoff. There’s nothing worse than missing the game and having to catch the highlights on Sports Center. Have a good time, but rage responsibly.
Koozie Up - No one likes to shake a cold, wet hand. Whether it’s a cola or a beer, every drink should be clothed with your favorite koozie. While plentiful and easy to find, you can tell a lot about a person by the koozie he or she uses. And for the record, it’s called a koozie, not a “huggie.” This isn’t Starkville, MS.
Stay Hydrated - Tailgating is an all-day affair for most, and it’s no secret that Louisiana is pretty hot and humid this time of year. Mix in a fews cups of water or Gatorade to ensure that you beat the heat.
Don’t Forget Your Ticket - One of the worst feelings in the world is walking all the way out to the Parade Grounds  - or worse  Tiger   Stadium - and realizing you forgot to print out your ticket. On game days, a ticket is more valuable than King Midas’ gold. Make sure to grab yours before you walk out the door.
Cool It On the Party Pics - This one is directed to the ladies, you know who you are, that insist on taking a picture with every single person at the tailgate. A few pictures to commemorate the day and your new game day dress are fine, but you don’t need to break up every conversation just to get a picture with your “bestie!”
Watch Out for Law Enforcement - While neither The Odyssey nor myself condone underage drinking, it undoubtedly will happen while tailgating. Make sure to put whatever beverage you’re drinking in a Styrofoam cup, and it’s usually wise to only consume under the safety of your tailgate tent or area. If you’re the wise guy who decides to roam the campus with a tall boy in hand, don’t be surprised if you get a minor  possession citation.
Lastly, get excited! Football season is almost here! The Tigers face a long road to Miami, but I know the Purple and Gold faithful will be with them every step of the way, one tailgate at a time.
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